|United Kingdom and England:—|
|Local Government Board||86,000|
|Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens||43,000|
|Houses of Parliament Buildings||25,000|
|Miscellaneous Legal Buildings, Great Britain||33,000|
|Art and Science Buildings, Great Britain||15,000|
|Diplomatic and Consular Buildings||54,000|
|Public Buildings, Great Britain||180,000|
|Surveys of the United Kingdom||90,000|
|Harbours under the Board of Trade||8,000|
|Rates on Government Property||260,000|
|Public Works and Buildings, Ireland||110,000|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|House of Lords Offices||7,000|
|House of Commons Offices||15,000|
|Treasury and Subordinate Departments||40,000|
|Privy Council Office, etc.||3,000|
|Board of Trade||85,000|
|Mercantile Marine Services||30,000|
|Bankruptcy Department of the Board of Trade||3|
|Board of Agriculture and Fisheries||55,000|
|Civil Service Commission||17,000|
|Exchequer and Audit Department||25,000|
|Friendly Societies Registry||3,000|
|Mint (including Coinage)||5|
|National Debt Office||6,000|
|Public Record Office||10,000|
|Public Works Loan Commission||5|
|Stationery and Printing||330,000|
|Woods, Forests, etc., Office of||8,000|
|Works and Public Buildings, Office of||30,000|
|Secretary for Scotland, Office of||25,000|
|Local Government Board||5,000|
|Chief Secretary for Ireland||12,000|
|Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction||80,000|
|Charitable Donations and Bequests Office||1,000|
|Local Government Board||27,000|
|Public Record Office||2,000|
|Public Works Office||17,000|
|Valuation and Boundary Survey||6,000|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|Miscellaneous Legal Expenses||28,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature||140,000|
|Police, England and Wales||13,000|
|Prisons, England and the Colonies||350,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain||130,000|
|Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum||12,000|
|Law Charges and Courts of Law||30,000|
|Register House, Edinburgh||15,000|
|Crofters' Commission, Scotland||2,000|
|Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions||32,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature, and other Legal Departments||43,000|
|County Court Officers, etc.,||45,000|
|Dublin Metropolitan Police||60,000|
|Royal Irish Constabulary||600,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools||55,000|
|Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum||3,500|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|Board of Education||7,000,000|
|National Portrait Gallery||3,000|
|Scientific Investigation, etc., United Kingdom||24,000|
|Universities and Colleges, Great Britain, and Intermediate Education, Wales||60,000|
|Endowed Schools Commissioners||400|
|Diplomatic and Consular Services||250,000|
|Telegraph Subsidies and Pacific Cable||35,000|
|Cyprus (Grant in Aid)||15,000|
|Superannuation and Retired Allowances||300,000|
|Merchant Seamen's Fund Pensions, etc.||1,500|
|Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances||1,000|
|Hospitals and Charities, Ireland||17,000|
|Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Deficiences|
|Repayments to the Local Loans Fund|
|Ireland Development Grant||100,000|
|Visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales to India|
|Total for Civil Services £14,070,000|
|Post Office Packet Service||250,000|
|Post Office Telegraphs||2,200,000|
|Total for Revenue Departments||£7,430,000|
§ Resolution read a second time.
§ MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight) rose to move the reduction of the Vote by £1,000, in order to call attention to a matter I which would enable the Colonial Secretary to more fully explain the state of affairs in regard to the £30,000,000 Transvaal loan. As he understood it—although he had not seen the paragraph himself—the Colonial Secretary had communicated to the newspapers a correction of what he 812 had told the House in regard to what would take place in the event of the loan being issued at a premium. His statement was that the guarantors, who were in that case the large mining houses, would, so far as the first loan of £10,000,000 was concerned, reap the benefit of the added premium. But he (the speaker) understood that the correction sent out by the right hon. Gentleman was that the advantage would be reaped not by the guarantors but by the Transvaal Treasury. Quite apart from that, he wished the Colonial Secretary to fully inform the House what the facts were, for it was only just to the mining houses of the Transvaal that it should be fully understood that they did not make the bargain in order to put money into their own pockets. He would, however, ask whether this arrangement applied to the £10,000,000 only, or to the whole of the £30,000,000. He was sure that on that point the House would be glad to get information.
Again, he proposed to ask the Colonial Secretary's attention to a statement made—inaccurately made, he thought—that this loan had nothing to do with the question of the working of the mines of the Transvaal, whether by Asiatic labour or by any other means. The right hon. Gentleman said in the course of discussion the other night that the latter question was not germane to the subject. [Mr. LYTTELTON dissented.] He would like to point out that in the course of the discussion reference was made on the Opposition side of the House—by way of interruption, he believed—to the question of Chinese labour, and the right hon. Gentleman said, with the approval of hon. Members on his own side of the House, that that question was not very germane to the discussion. He would like to point out, however, that it was very germane to the discussion, because at the time when the financial arrangements were being made it was pointed out by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham that the resources of the country as they were, did not enable it to provide more than £30,000,000, and what was more interesting was that last session the Colonial Secretary, when speaking on the matter of the amount of labour employed in the
mines, said that quite apart from any other aspect of the labour question, it would obviously be most unwise and imprudent for the House to rob the mineowners of the opportunity of fulfilling the obligations laid upon them. Perhaps, as the matter was one of considerable importance, he ought to read the words of the right hon. Gentleman when he was referring to the £35,000,000 loan, and was pointing out that the £30,000,000 loan was part of the whole transaction. The right hon. Gentleman said—
Can you as a matter of economic prudence and policy, having laid this great burden on the community, deny them, if they put proper restrictions and precautions upon it, the opportunity of discharging the obligations you have laid upon them?
§ He thought it was a fair inference to say that the House was induced to a great extent, having disposed in its mind of any moral question in regard to Chinese labour, to sanction it because it would enable the Transvaal Government to fulfil the obligations which it had undertaken. He thought it would probably be more in accordance with precedent if our Government were to suggest to the Transvaal Government that they could not have it both ways, that if they were to say to this House, "If you enable us to develop our mining industry it will make it more certain that we shall pay you this £30,000,000 war contribution—if you do as we wish," the Government on its part should point out that there was a peculiar obligation on the Transvaal Government to go forward with the loan whenever they could, and that the question could not be dismissed in the phrase that the subject of labour was not germane to the issue. As he held, it was most especially germane, because having given the mineowners certain opportunities which were admittedly denied to any other section of the community engaged in mining or other industries in any part of the British Empire, and having given them those opportunities in the belief that, as a consequence, this large sum of £30,000,000 would be forthcoming, we should now say, "If you cannot pay the £30,000,000, and we would be the last to urge you to do that which you cannot afford and which may cripple your country, we do say 814 that there must be an end to this peculiar arrangement, foreign to every British principle and utterly unknown to any other British colony." If, in fact, they were to say that there must be an end in regard to the importation of that particular kind of labour, that would seem to be a reasonable position to take up. He believed that persons outside the House would consider it most disastrous if the, mining industry, having given these promises, and having to a certain extent on the basis of these promises obtained special concessions, now refused to carry out their pledges. It was no part of his duty to find fault with the mining industry in South Africa. They had differed as to the wisdom of the course that had been pursued, but if the Colonial Secretary could give to the House some indication that he was prepared to take further action in this matter he was sure the country would be greatly relieved. The public, or rather many of them, felt that they had been deceived—that they had been befooled. Was it, then, not possible to take the step he had suggested, and to do something to make it plain to the people of this country that the Government would no longer be befooled by one section, however powerful, of the community in South Africa.
§ As to whether the loan should be pressed for or not, he would not venture to express any opinion, and if there were no question of special privileges concerned, he agreed it would be most unwise to press for the loan which in the heat of the moment was promised under the influence of the eloquence of a most remarkable man. But, under the peculiar circumstances of the grant of these extraordinary privileges, so very contrary to the wishes and aspirations of the people, he did hold that the guarantors should be pressed for reasons why the loan should not be issued. It was stated that it could not possibly be issued until certain legislative action had been taken, and it had been further suggested that it would be impossible to pass proposals for it through the present Legislative Council or through the body to be set up under representative government. Again, it was suggested by many persons in the 815 Transvaal that those who gave the guarantee for the loan were not properly authorised to do so, and that under a system of full responsible government it was not probable that they would obtain a favourable vote on the matter. If that were the case it was just as well that it should be made known. He had stated that, in his humble judgment, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, they ought to press for the loan, and that it was the duty of the Government to do that; but, at any rate, whether they pressed for it or not, it would be as well to know what was likely to happen and what the Government were going to do. Members on the Opposition side of the House had vehemently protested again and again against the special privileges given to a particular class in the, Transvaal, the class which had guaranteed the loan and which, to a great extent, dominated the Legislative Assembly. They had protested, and would continue to protest, but their protests up to the present having failed he thought they were entitled to know whether those who had been given such privileges would be urged to fulfil their obligations.
§ *MR. MCCRAE (Edinburgh, E.) rose to second the reduction of the Vote. He invited the Colonial Secretary to take the opportunity of further extending the statement which he made to the House on Monday night. In the letter which the right hon. Gentleman had written to The Times that morning he said that he omitted to state an important fact. But that was not the grievance which they had against the right hon. Gentleman. It was not only that he had omitted to state an important fact, but that he had founded his argument on the contrary view. He (the speaker) himself tried to interpose at the time, and to point out that the right hon. Gentleman was unintentionally, no doubt, misleading the House, but he could not get a hearing, and he, therefore, wished now to urge that the House was entitled to an explanation and a refraction from the right hon. Gentleman. In regard to the premiums on the Transvaal Loan, if the right hon. Gentleman would turn to pages 1 and 2 of the Blue-book he would find that the stipulations which the 816 guarantors made did not refer only to the first instalment of £10,000,000 which they had guaranteed, but referred to the whole loan of £30,000,000. Evidently the position was that the I guarantors, being interested in South Africa, found that if the £30,000,000 loan were issued at a premium, that premium would go to the Home Government, and the Home Government would get a certain amount in excess of the £30,000,000. They felt that that would not be right, and they, therefore, stipulated that whatever premiums were received should go, not to the Home Government, but into the Transvaal Treasury. If the right hon. Gentleman would read the Minute of Agreement, which evidently he had not yet done, he would find that that was the case.
§ There were one or two other matters he wished to bring under the notice of the House. The late Colonial Secretary always prided himself upon being a business man. In making that arrangement he made one loan contingent on the other, and although a sinking fund was provided for the £35,000,000 loan it was stipulated in the agreement that no sinking fund should be provided for the £30,000,000 loan. Now, surely that was not a proceeding which a business man would approve, and the Government itself found later on that it was an arrangement which it could not confirm, for the present Colonial Secretary wrote to the guarantors pointing out that it was necessary that a sinking fund should be established, and asking them to agree to such a course. Those words might be found on page 149 of Cd. 1895, No. 85. The mineowners, very properly from their point of view, said that before they would consent to any further extension of the conditions of their guarantee they must know the time and terms on which the issue of the loan would be made. That was in January, 1904, and, so far as he could gather, no further negotiations had since taken place between the Colonial Secretary and the guarantors. Another interesting feature was that in the same letter from the Colonial Office to Messrs. Wernher Beit and Co. it was stated the necessary provisions for raising the loan were embodied in a draft Ordinance, which 817 was forwarded some time before to the Government of the Transvaal, and which would be submitted in due course to the Legislative Council of that Colony. That was in December, 1903, and he would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman why that Ordinance had not been submitted to the Legislative Council. That was a delay for which no explanation whatever had been given, and he had not the slightest doubt that, although they had no record of it, there must have been some correspondence between the Colonial Office and the High Commissioner in regard to the issue of the first instalment of £10,000,000, and in regard to getting the consent of the Legislative Council to the loan. He would like to ask why that information was withheld from the House of Commons. He held that the House was entitled to know exactly how the matter stood.
§ He was bound to admit that the guarantors had behaved very well in this matter, and he thought the blame rested more with the Colonial Office than with them. They had no doubt taken the opportunity on one or two occasions of trying to minimise the conditions on which they consented to guarantee the loan. For instance, they endeavoured to secure power to decide the date of its issue, and they did thereby try to whittle down their responsibility. The Colonial Office, however, would not agree to that, but Lord Milner, on the 16th February, stated that if the loan was issued at less than four per cent. the guarantee would fall to the ground. That was perfectly fair. Still, the more that one looked at the agreement the more one felt that it was not worth the paper upon which it was written. For the sake of the Transvaal, the mine-owners would not be asked to incur any responsibility on their guarantee; but, on the other hand, if the loan were a success the rate of interest would be reduced. He believed that the first instalment of £10,000,000 could be floated just now at a lower rate of interest than four per cent., and if that were so then the guarantee of the mine owners fell to the ground. But he was not complaining 818 of that. What he was complaining of was that a definite arrangement was made whereby Parliament consented to the guaranteed loan of £35,000,000 on a condition which was now being departed from. The loan was being hung up, and the longer the delay the less likely it became that we should get any money. He hoped the Colonial Office would frankly place before the House of Commons the position in which this matter now stood, and if that were done they, on their part, would be willing, while they ought not to concede one job or tittle of what they were entitled to, to take a reasonable view and endeavour to meet the present position in the Transvaal. He therefore urged the Colonial Secretary to take that opportunity of giving the House a full and frank statement.
To leave out '£21,500,000' and insert '£21,499,000'"—(Major Seely)—"instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That '£21,500,000' stand part of the Resolution."
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said he listened with some astonishment, and he confessed with considerable regret, to the speech of the Colonial Secretary the other night. The whole of the Government policy in South Africa had been a failure, and the right hon. Gentleman had made one of the greatest confessions of failure he had ever listened to. In May, 1903, the late Colonial Secretary, in speaking of the arrangement of the loan, said, "It is a final arrangement. After three years we shall hear no more about it." But on Monday last the present Colonial Secretary informed the House that there was an excellent chance of our obtaining the £30,000,000, because there had been a discovery of diamonds in the Transvaal. Therefore, we were to speculate for our £30,000,000 on receiving something from the diamond mines. What an excellent prospect for the British taxpayer! He was sure no one wished to press the right hon. Gentleman in the direction of saying that the loan should be issued at a time which was unfavourable for the 819 purpose, because, if that were done, there would be a loss to the Transvaal in future years; but what he thought had been made clear was that, practically, this guarantee was not only waste paper, but that it could not by any possibility have ever thrown any liability of any sort on those who gave it. And this was the great diplomatic triumph about which they had heard so much! These capitalists were going, they were told by the right hon. Gentleman, to make a great sacrifice for their country; and now it appeared that the right hon. Gentleman was altogether mistaken.
What were the reasons advanced for not issuing the loan? One was that the war had left great devastation in the Transvaal, another was that the taxation was very heavy, and thirdly, it was urged that the process of development might be delayed if the loan was at once issued. But he would point out to the Colonial Secretary that every one of the arguments and objections he urged the other night as reasons for not issuing the loan were present at the time when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham made this arrangement. Indeed, they were present in far greater force then than they were at the present moment, for the whole financial condition of the Transvaal had very much improved since this bargain was struck. In the matter of labour, for instance, the natives had returned to the mines in greater number, as was expected would be the case under improved conditions of working. Put the blame where they liked, there was no getting away from the fact that there had been a breach of faith somewhere. This was, he repeated, one of those deplorable failures which had marked the policy and action of His Majesty's Government in South Africa before, during, and since the war. The more this was discussed the better, and he hoped the Colonial Secretary would take into consideration what fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol the other night, viz., that in any arrangement or negotiation with regard to the future government of the Transvaal this claim should not be lost sight of. That was the only way in which this breach of faith could, in any sense, be condoned.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
pointed out that every year the payment of the loan was delayed, the taxpayers of this country were suffering to the extent of £1,000,000. If this £30,000,000 were paid our National Debt would be reduced by that amount, and the interest upon it would be decreased to the extent of about a million a year. He did not complain of the Transvaal mine-owners as guarantors, but he complained of them as taxpayers. If the mineowners, on the one hand, guaranteed to underwrite £10,000,000 as the first instalment of the loan, and to bear the loss, if there should be any, in the issue of the loan, and if, on the other hand, they stipulated, and the Government agreed, that the loan should not be issued unless the market was favourable, it was no guarantee at all. It was as taxpayers of the Transvaal that they had the right to complain of the mineowners, for it was as taxpayers that the mineowners would have to bear the burden of the charge for this sum. The right hon. Gentleman said it would be unfair to lay on the people of the Transvaal, a small population, so enormous a dead-weight as this loan of £30,000,000 would be in addition to the £35,000,000 already charged on them. In the first place, that ought to have been considered before the pledge was given. In the second place, he would point out that the £35,000,000 already charged on the Transvaal was by no means all dead-weight, because a great deal of it had been used in the purchase of the railways, which brought in revenue. It was not a debt in the sense in which our National Debt was a burden round the necks of the taxpayers. He would point out, also, that in the case of the Transvaal it was not fair merely to take into account the number of the population without taking into account the immense mineral wealth which lay buried in the earth there. The circumstances now were different from what they were when the pledge was given, but the difference in every way was in favour of the Transvaal. In the first place, no one, at that time, had the slightest idea that the Premier Diamond Mine would yield £450,000 a year to the Transvaal, and if the mineowners could give the pledge at a time 821 when it was not yielding anything, surely there was all the more reason now for the pledge to be fulfilled. At that time the Chinese labour question had not come prominently forward, and it was since then that there had been an enormous increase in the labour force of the Transvaal, both in Chinese and Kaffirs. The right hon. Gentleman said, a year ago, that if we wanted to have our £30,000,000 we must give them Chinese labour. We bad given them Chinese labour, and now they refused to fulfil the pledge. Now the right hon. Gentleman would have them believe that the Transvaal was only to be charged for the £30,000,000 loan if it involved no increased taxation in the Transvaal. Was that so?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON, Warwick and Leamington)
I think the terms are that no increase should be made on the 10 per cent. tax on the mines.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
Surely there are other sources of taxation. You have the taxation now from the Premier Diamond Mine. Are we to understand that we are to receive no portion of the loan of £30,000,000 until there is a normal surplus in the Transvaal of £1,000,000 a year?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I do not like to make a general pledge, in advance, of that nature, but as a general rule you do not issue a loan unless there is a sufficient surplus revenue to provide for it.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
Then what is the value of the resolution passed and the pledge given that the £30,000,000 loan should be raised and the interest charged on the revenues of the Transvaal?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
If the hon. Gentleman believes that the Premier Diamond Mine will be of such value, of course there is considerable revenue to be anticipated; but the hon. Gentleman is aware of the somewhat speculative character of diamonds.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
Have the Government taken any steps to make this debt of honour a first charge?
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
said he only hoped that the faith of His Majesty's Government would be justified by the result. At the present time they had a definite refusal of those who composed the Legislative Council of the Transvaal—not a definite expression of refusal, but the Government had reason to understand that if they introduced this measure it would be met with considerable opposition in the Legislative Council and would not be passed without the use of the official vote. The right hon. Gentleman said that was so. Apart from the official vote it was the mining interest that dominated that Council. They had a majority in it. Therefore, the House must clearly understand that the mineowners themselves refused to permit any further increase in the taxation of the Transvaal in order to carry out a definite obligation to this House, for which they had not only got Chinese labour, but also secured the guarantee of a loan of £35,000,000 for the development of the colony.
§ SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)
said he was anxious that they should not live in a fool's paradise in regard to this payment from the Transvaal. He believed we had not the slightest chance of getting the £30,000,000 or any part of it. He quite sympathised with the view of his hon. friend that they should make those who were responsible for the war, namely the mineowners, pay some part of the cost of the war. That was a feeling which was not confined to his side of the House. He had heard it expressed strongly by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and if there was any means of making them do it he would rejoice to adopt those means, believing that the money was being properly exacted from them. The Colonial Secretary pointed out with perfect truth the other evening that there was really—these were not his words, but in substance it came to this—no risk taken by the mineowners at all 823 when they underwrote the loan. There was no real guarantee. If there had been a guarantee it was practically of no value. It involved no risk to the guarantors, because it was a guarantee of a loan at 4 per cent. behind which, as the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the House, the honour of this country was committed. The idea of these, people having given themselves up to feelings of generosity when they underwrote a loan at 4 per cent. which was practically guaranteed by this country was absurd. There was in point of fact from the beginning no risk on their part. The proposal was brought forward in a speech of extraordinary eloquence by the then Colonial Secretary in, he thought, May, 1903, in which he painted an extraordinary picture. If the right hon. Gentleman had not been above suspicion at that time, he should have thought the speech was made for the purpose of bulling on the Stock Exchange. It was one of the most powerful speeches he had ever heard in the House. This promise of £30,000,000 was part of the inducement held out to the House, in the most conspicuous terms by the late Colonial Secretary, to consent to give a guarantee for the sum of £35,000,000. They gave the guarantee and they were befooled in giving it. That was the first use made of the promise. He was not saying that it was done disingenuously. He believed the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham was a creature of impulse. He had no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman in his own mind believed that this was an El Dorado. The £30,000,000 was a perfectly worthless asset.
The second use made of the promise was when they were asked to assent to the Chinese Labour Ordinance. Those interested said, "We are under this guarantee, which everyone says is an onerous guarantee. Are we not to have Chinese labour to earn money to enable us to discharge our obligations." His object now was to prevent a third use being made of the promise. This House and the country had endorsed the war and on them must rest the responsibility. He was not going to talk of the rights or the wrongs of it now, but do not let the people of this country imagine that they were going 824 to get this £30,000,000. They would get nothing, and the Colonial Secretary had shown plainly that it was impossible to get it. Why? There were difficulties in the way of putting taxes on the land. The country had been described by Lord Milner in more than one despatch as having been reduced largely to the condition of a wilderness. All the agricultural stock had been destroyed, and nearly all the houses had been burned. How could we expect to get much, even if we were at liberty to put taxes on them? What was the other resource? The other resource was to tax the profits earned by the mines. Why could we not do that? Because that admirable man of business the late Colonial Secretary when he made this bargain that we were to guarantee the £35,000,000 loan, and that we were to get the £30,000,000 contribution, made a third bargain, and it was that there was not to be more than a 10 per cent. tax on the profits of the mines. We were absolutely prevented by that bargain so long as it was operative—he was glad to say that it was possible it might not be long operative—from getting any part of this £30,000,000. The resources were all dried up by the arrangement which the late Colonial Secretary went out to make. When he came back his friends boasted of it as one of the greatest achievements of his magnetic influence. The people of the Transvaal completely got the best of the late Colonial Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman went out there, no doubt, full of compassion, pity, and kindliness towards the people of that country, and with strong Imperial ideas. They were looking after business, and the men of business got the better of the patriot on this occasion. The final reason why we need not indulge the vain hope that we were going to get this money was that the country could not afford to pay it. The Colonial Secretary told them with perfect truth that the market would not permit of this loan being placed at par. The reason it was not done last year was because the market was not suitable. Very well, that objection had disappeared. The market was now suitable. The Colonial Secretary, in substance, had told them—he believed perfectly rightly—that the country could not bear the burden of 825 this taxation. That was the plain English of it; and the whole scheme put before the House two years ago, when they were induced by a Parliamentary bargain—if it was a Parliamentary bargain—to guarantee a loan of £35,000,000 on the footing that they were to receive a contribution from the Transvaal of £30,000,000—was a scheme based on air, worth nothing, was a delusion from beginning to end, and was now a delusion.
He agreed in substance and in spirit with his hon. friends in their arguments, but he could not agree with their conclusions when they pressed on the Government and on the Transvaal for payment of this loan. If it were true, or anything like true, that the Transvaal could not bear that extra burden of £30,000,000, how unworthy it would be for this great country, in the few months or weeks that still remained while there were no representative institutions in the Transvaal, to fix on it liabilities which it could not bear? He thought the Colonial Secretary was perfectly right; but he believed the House of Commons had the strongest reason to resent the manner in which they had been hoodwinked in this whole transaction. Had they not been more credulous than they should have been two or three years ago, they would never have been deceived by this vain and hopeless story.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I cannot say that I complain of the discussion, though I fear that I can do little but repeat the arguments I used a day or two ago. I think it is possible and natural that hon. Members should feel warmly upon this matter if they do not have a perfectly clear conception of the facts. I endeavoured the other day to place before the House all the facts of this case. I really think the House saw what the situation truly was as the result of my statement. It is perfectly true that, on the day of the Colonial Vote, the Colonial Secretary has to be ready to deal with a great multitude of topics, and in the comparatively short discussion, from the Marshall Islands to Ceylon, and from Ceylon to the Constitution of the Transvaal it is perfectly true that I made one slip which I put right at the first moment. I made a 826 slip which I was bound to put right in the interests of the mineowners to whom I had done an injustice. I represented erroneously to the House that they might make a profit out of this transaction. This was a slip, or at any rate an incomplete statement, because the underwriters had offered that any premium should go to the Transvaal Government. I was bound to make that clear.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
My reading of the bargain is that they can only prescribe the destination of the premium in the first £10,000,000; on the subsequent £20,000,000 the Transvaal Government would have the right to keep any premium that might arise. While I say, I regret them, I do not complain of these discussions. We have paid £250,000,000 of money, and we have sacrificed God knows how many lives. Yes, I will not go back upon it, but everybody who hears me knows it is true that it was with the assent of the vast majority of the people of this country, and of hon. Members of this House, that we made that tremendous sacrifice. We have done it in order to preserve the British Empire in South Africa, and in order to give to our fellow-subjects in the Transvaal equality with the Boers. I do not wish to speak in the slightest way harshly in the matter, but I know the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dumfries Burghs was one of the few who differed from that policy, and who had the manhood to say so.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
was understood to say "disgraceful," with reference to some interruption from the Opposite side of the House.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
The hon. Member for Oldham is perfectly in order. The hon. Member for Gravesend has said "disgraceful." He had no right to use such a word.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
I heard neither the interruption nor the comment. If the word "disgraceful" was used it ought not to have been used, and it ought to be withdrawn.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
On a point of order the hon. Member for Gravesend did in fact use the word "disgraceful," and that word is very much resented on this side of the House.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
It is quite true I used the word, but I did not wish to use the word offensively. I am afraid I meant to say it to myself rather than aloud to the House; and at the same time I wish to withdraw the expression.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I was pointing out that this country had made immense sacrifices of men and treasure in order to acquire this colony and in order to preserve our ascendancy in South Africa. I venture to say, with a strong sense of responsibility, that in the action the Government are now taking in forbearing to force through a nominated Assembly an acceptance of a voluntary contribution made by the Transvaal towards the cost of the war within three years of it, we are acting, as we believe, in the highest interest, both of this country and of that country; and I believe that the hon. Member for Dumfries really agrees with me. I am perfectly certain any person who thinks of this matter at all would regard it as absolutely deplorable that, after this tremendous sacrifice, we should jeopardise its fruits for the sake of accelerating a few years the issue of this loan. I think, really, I have the assent of the House in that statement. Let us understand where we are. If I have the agreement of many Members to that proposition, do not let us jeopardise, for the sake of money, the good feeling which exists between ourselves and the Transvaal.
Well, now, I say to take, as the hon. Member for Cleveland says we should, a security for a debt of honour is, in my mind, a very un-English proceeding. I do not think when somebody makes you an offer voluntarily, [OPPOSITION cries of "No, no!"], offers a voluntary contribution, it would be very worthy to take security. But if this is too 828 nice or refined a way of looking at it, I wish to put this to the House. Do they think it likely that issuing this loan at the present moment and forcing it through a nominated Assembly, will make it more or less likely that we should obtain the £20,000,000 subsequent to the £10,000,000. I venture to say that it would imperil, and naturally imperil, that £20,000,000. [MINISTERIAL Cheers.] And more than that. Would it be a right thing to do, when you are setting up a representative Assembly on a low franchise, such as roughly obtains in most Colonies, and when that Assembly would be in being in a few months. Does this House and hon. Gentlemen opposite think it would be right to go to a nominated Assembly—which is only of course representative so far as it could be made so, and even by the use of the official vote, or by the use of strong pressure upon nominated members—and say, "Give us this" when the bargain was for a willing and voluntary contribution. Surely hon. Members must see that that would be precisely to break those conditions made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham and which hon. Gentlemen have never read; it would be to enforce by the act of a superior Power on the Legislature the performance of this undertaking, and it would be to do it in such a way as, I say, would arrest the due progress and the development of the country; and in the last place it could not be done without departing from all precedent. I defy any financial expert of experience to draw up the prospectus of such a loan without departing from all precedent, unless it were being raised upon a surplus revenue.
That is the state of things which exists at this moment. The figures show about an equilibrium; there is an estimated deficit of, I think, £120,000 in June. Therefore, you have a situation in which at present there is only equilibrium between revenue and expenditure in the Transvaal, putting it at the highest. You have the treaty obligation not to put a tax upon land, and you have the right hon. Member for West Birmingham's obligation not to tax the mines beyond 10 per cent. Yes, I have got to treat 829 with facts as I find them. I do not intend, nor do hon. Gentlemen opposite, I believe, intend, though the words "breach of faith" have been used, to break the conditions which my predecessor made, and which he stated in the most specific and lucid terms to the House. I know the hon. Member for Dumfries is a fair-minded man, and I would point out to him that it is grossly unfair to the right hon. Member for West Birmingham to read part of his speech and not read the rest, which is really germane to this matter. It is grossly unfair to him, and ought not to be done. I do not mean the whole of the speech, but all that part which treats with this particular bargain, and the conditions under which it was made. It was unfair to my right hon. friend to say that the guarantee of £35,000,000 was conditional upon the loan of £30,000,000, without stating the terms upon which the £30,000,000 were promised. To summarise those terms, they were that the £30,000,000 should be voluntarily and willingly given, that it should not involve taxation beyond 10 per cent. upon the mines, and should not arrest or unduly impede the development of the country. I say, and I really cannot see any answer to it, that if I take all these three conditions, for the present Government to bring forward this war contribution at this present moment would be a breach of all three of the conditions which the promisers of that £30,000,000 attached to that undertaking. How in the world can hon. Members opposite ask the Government at the present moment to begin the treatment of this most difficult and delicate subject by breaking the conditions which were solemnly made by the late Colonial Secretary. [Oh!] Were these conditions not made?
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
The right hon. Gentleman's bargain was what they were willing to give then, and they willingly made it then, and the right hon. Gentleman has no right to speak of willingness now two years afterwards.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman; but supposing for the sake of argument he was right, does he think it would be right to break 830 even two conditions instead of three? Does he think we are entitled to do that? Whatever his view is, I do not think we are. But far above that, or at any rate an argument equally strong is that we are giving representative government with the assent, I believe, of everybody here. Will it be right to exact this from a moribund nominated Assembly when next year there is going to be a representative Assembly which can take on this debt of honour and which can ratify it and give it legislative sanction?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
The hon. Member for Oldham thinks his fellow-subjects in the Transvaal are not to be believed. I deeply regret that anybody should hold that view, but if that is the hon. Member's opinion I shall not attempt to dislodge it from his mind. He is entitled to hold it. I deeply regret it should be publicly stated in this discussion. I most profoundly regret it and I appeal to the hon. Member to look at this matter for a moment from a higher standpoint than Party, which I know he is very capable of doing. Does he think it is likely to draw closer the ties between that colony and ourselves that they should be first asked by some Members opposite to take upon themselves this enormous obligation at this present time, and then that some other Members of the Opposition should say—if you give them, in conformity with your policy in every other colony, a few months or years in order that their own representatives may take upon themselves that obligation—"We do not believe a word of anything they say. We would not trust the representatives of the people there. We think they are unworthy of belief, and we deliberately say here on the floor of the House and in public, although the Motherland has made these tremendous sacrifices for the Empire, and among others for them, that they in the future will not be, willing to pay a single shilling towards the cost of the great sacrifices which have been 831 made." I should be sorry to think so ill of my fellow-subjects. I do not think that this is the way that a great Empire can be kept together or any Government carried on. You must give some credit to people's good faith and good intentions. What evidence have any hon. Gentlemen who have spoken of any breach of faith whatever.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that is not correct. There is another term which is contained in the shorthand notes of the proceedings that the loan should not be issued at a time when it was unfavourable. It was agreed by everybody last year—it was never challenged in this House—that the moment was extremely unfavourable. Everybody knows that in January, 1904, everything was down to the very abyss in the City. No one contended that the loan could be issued then. Those who guaranteed this £10,000,000 were perfectly willing it should be issued, but the burden of that would not have fallen upon them but upon the taxpayers of the Transvaal. Hon. Members must have it one way or the other; these charges of breach of faith ought not to be bandied about in this light way. How can it be shown that the guarantors have broken faith? We did not attempt to issue it in 1904. They are perfectly willing we should issue it in 1905, but from reasons of high policy we abstain from doing that which we are competent to do, because it would be a breach of the conditions of the bargain, and because we think it expedient and more likely to result in the fulfilment to the full of this voluntary undertaking that we should postpone the issue of the £30,000,000 until the representative Government has met and taken upon itself the arrangement necessary to discharge the matter. We may be right or we may be wrong upon the matter, but there is a vast deal to be said in favour of the view we have placed before the House. Surely hon. Members do not desire to bleed the 832 Transvaal to death. We assure them that as far as the present evidence of the wealth of the country goes the conditions point to a substantial surplus next year; a surplus sufficient to pay the interest upon the first instalment of £10,000,000. If that is so, and I think it is, surely we have a tremendously strong case upon which to go to the Transvaal representative Government and say, "Here is a state of things in which we fairly can ask you to redeem the promise you have made. You have the £350,000, which is the advantage of our guarantee of, the £35,000,000 loan; you have a sufficient surplus in your coffers to serve the first £10,000,000 of the instalment. Surely, we can ask you now voluntarily to take upon yourselves the discharge of the first instalment of what is a debt of honour?" Are we more likely to get it by that way, and if we treat them in a fair and reasonable spirit, or are we more likely to get it if we enforce the £10,000,000 immediately on a nominated Assembly, and in breach of the conditions under which it was made?
§ MAJOR SEELY
In moving this Motion I never made any charge of breach of faith. I asked for specific information, which I believe the right hon. Gentleman possesses, as to whether the Transvaal Legislature admitted the liability for this £30,000,000, seeing that he admits we cannot get it without an Act passed by them. Has he any information whether they admit it or whether the new body is likely to admit it?
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
Will the new representative Government be entirely elected or partly nominated? If the nominated members are in favour of this loan and the rest are not, how will we then stand?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I do not think I am very regular in replying to that question; but I think I may say this much—that other than the Executive Government all the members will be elected. With reference to the Question put by the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Wight I think he will see it is impossible to answer it. He asks 833 whether the Legislative Assembly, not yet in being, but to be elected, will admit this obligation or not. It really depends upon the belief you have in the people of the Transvaal who elect that body, as to whether you believe they will give you a reasonable redemption of this pledge.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I think it would produce a most grievous effect if this House were, under this condition of things, to ask that Legislature, which, of course, is non-elective, to take upon itself this obligation; and I do not think we can make that request.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I cannot say that. I do not think the nominated Assembly would have any greater power or authority at the present moment, when they are under sentence of extinction, to bind the people than those who promised the contribution. I trust the House appreciates that the policy of abstention from issuing the loan is not pursued without a great sense of responsibility, and a most profound desire to obtain for the taxpayers of this country the full amount of the £30,000,000. The real fact is that we believe the taxpayers of this country will have a far better and greater chance of obtaining the full sum of £30,000,000 if this House will be patient for a few months and allow the representative system to come in and the revenues of the country to recover themselves than if we were at this moment to endeavour to enforce with a high hand this obligation, which is only one of a quasi-legal kind. I do most earnestly desire to deplore the language which was used by the hon. Member for Dumfries that this was no real guarantee by these financial houses. Do let us in this House endeavour to do justice to people if we can. These gentlemen have publicly underwritten this £10,000,000. They have allowed the £35,000,000 to precede their obligation and to rank as a prior lien upon the assets of the Transvaal. They gave 834 this guarantee in 1903, six months after the termination of the war; and at any time when the market conditions were favourable in England they could be called on to find the £10,000,000. A time might have been selected when it would have been very difficult to induce the public to come in; but these gentlemen have never repudiated this bargain in any form. They have always held that they are bound by it, and as persons of great weight in the financial affairs of the Transvaal, as the owners of the mines, they must be the persons primarily affected. Therefore it is very unjust to say that they did not undertake a serious obligation.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
I believe it was the late Chancellor of the Exchequer who said in this House that it was a moral obligation. What I said was that under those circumstances it was no imputation on these gentlemen to say that there was no real financial risk.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I have admitted that after the first two years there was no very great risk. But the hon. and learned Member said that this was no real guarantee, and was not worth the paper it was written on. That is absolutely incorrect. No financial house is worth anything unless its credit is good; and how is it possible to contend that when people of financial weight take upon themselves an obligation they can resile from it without grievous loss of credit?
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
I used the word in connection with the condition that the loan should not be issued unless the market conditions were favourable.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I venture to think the hon. Member is absolutely wrong. It is a question of fact when the market conditions are favourable. They are favourable now. The hon. Gentleman admits that. Who can say when the loan was guaranteed that the market conditions were not favourable?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
The hon. Member does not think a promise is of the slightest value unless it can be sued on in a Court of Law.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
Then I do not understand it. If it be the fact that the promise could be broken when all the conditions are favourable for its performance, then the hon. Member would be right. But I contend that it could not be broken without grievous loss of credit; and I say that there has been no attempt to resile from the bargain. The anticipation is that from the Premier Mine next year there will be sufficient profit to serve the first instalment of the war contribution; and I founded on this fact a reasonable expectation that with this surplus provision will be made for the issue of the first £10,000,000. My argument is that, not only for considerations far higher than monetary considerations we should do very ill if we, for the sake of accelerating the discharge of this obligagation, were to alienate the taxpayers of the Transvaal, but that from the merely business point of view we should do ill by jeopardising the issue of the next £20,000,000.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
Will the right hon. Gentleman reply to the suggestion of the right hon. Member for West Bristol that security should be taken on the Premier Mine and other mining royalties?
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
I have dealt with that suggestion. This was, in effect, a voluntary debt—a debt of honour which is not enforceable by law. I may be wrong; but I think we should do better not to treat a debt of honour as if it were a thing to be secured. Does the House know what the facts are with I regard to the debts of the self-governing Colonies to this country? The population of the self-governing Colonies is about 12,000,000, and their debt is £400,000,000, borrowed almost entirely in this country; and there has not been default in a single shilling of the interest. Hon. Members wish to take security for a debt of honour from them. That is not the view of His Majesty's Government. It is of no 836 use to give one's own confident anticipations; but I say deliberately for myself and for the Government that, in the first place, we think we shall better keep the affections of the people of the colony, and are more likely to recover in due time the full amount of this contribution, if we exercise some forbearance, and if we leave it to their good will and sense of honour to take upon themselves this obligation. We believe it is the right course and the one more likely to produce relief to the pockets of the taxpayers of this country; and, above all, we believe that it will not tend in any degree to jeopardise the harmony and good relations of the two countries for which the Motherland has sacrificed so much.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
The right hon. Gentleman urges that we should not be in a hurry to place on the Transvaal a burden of £30,000,000 which it is not in a position to bear, and which therefore must cause a certain amount of hardship and distress. No one urges that that should be done. But when the right hon. Gentleman reproaches us with feeling warmly, and says that we should not feel warmly if we had a precise conception of the facts, we must point out that it is just because our conception of the facts is clearer than his. The right hon. Gentleman has no conception of the facts on which this loan of £35,000,000 was guaranteed by us. The right hon. Gentleman says that the right hon. Member for West Birmingham, in getting the assent of the House to that guarantee, though he mentioned the promise of the £30,000,000 loan, stated at the same time that the payment must depend on three conditions; and because it was to depend on three conditions the right hon. Gentleman says the House has no right to feel aggrieved if the conditions have not been fulfilled. But the whole point of the speech made by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham was that those conditions were then present. The impression produced on the House at the time was exactly that represented by the right hon. Member for West Bristol the other day.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
Will the right hon. Baronet read the passage in the speech 837 of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham?
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
The right hon. Member for West Bristol summed up the impression produced on the House in this way. He said that the tone of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham was rather one of apology for not having exacted the promise of a larger sum than £30,000,000; but that he urged the House to be content with £30,000,000 and no more, because it was "a bird in the hand." That is the interpretation of that speech given by one of the oldest and most experienced Members of the House when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
No; he was not Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
Then he was, perhaps, in a more impartial position; and he was certainly a not less old or experienced Member of the House. The right hon. Member for West Bristol is certainly as qualified as any one to sum up the impression produced on the House by a debate; and if the impression which the right hon. Gentleman has described was produced, what is the good of quibbling about conditions? The fact remains that when the House was induced to guarantee a loan of £35,000,000 by mystic representations of what the Transvaal might do in return, the persuasion was founded, not on judgment, but on impulse. Till the Colonial Secretary realises how the House has been deluded in the past by this impulsiveness and want of judgment, how can we have any confidence in his anticipations about the future? What we feel warmly about is not what is taking place now, but the way in which the House has been misled about the whole transaction. But I will say a word about the future. The Colonial Secretary has admitted that the reason why we have not got the £30,000,000 is that the country could not afford it, and that the prospect of obtaining the money is founded on the possibilities of a mine not yet developed. I 838 really think, after the disappointments of the past, it would be better to leave these off-chances out of account. Let us at any rate not be deluded about the future, whatever may have happened in the past. The Government might have done something in the past to make the chances better than they have become. They have let slip any chance of getting any public recognition of the obligation with regard to this sum of £30,000,000. They say that they cannot do it now because the present form of government is to be modified. But two years ago we were told that the form of government which was not then modified was going to register this obligation. On July 27th, 1903, the right hon. Member for West Birmingham used these words—I do not entertain the slightest doubt that the Legislative Chamber of the Transvaal will pass the Bill. The only reason that they have not yet done so is that communications have been passing as to the exact form of the Ordinance.If that had been done, at any rate, it would have been a public recognition of the obligation, though it might have been one which you would say would not be binding in the same way as if made by a representative and responsible Government, Still it would have been the only form of public recognition available. That opportunity was neglected, and now we are told that we cannot have a recognition because the present form of government is to be modified. Thus we have no recognition except the guarantee of private individuals. There is no question of the honour or the good faith of the private individuals, but the matter about which there is a question is how far they were ever held to be entitled to lay an obligation on the whole of the Transvaal. The Colonial Secretary said it was a debt of honour. I should like to know how far it is understood in the colonies that those gentlemen who gave the guarantee were entitled to pledge the colonies. Do not let us get into any dispute with the colonies about a debt of honour. If they had had representative and responsible government, and that Government had undertaken this obligation, it would have been a debt of honour and we 839 should have had no hesitation in charging it upon them; but now we must go cautiously in the matter.
As to the chance of getting the £30,000,000 in the future, I should like to know, when the Government change the Constitution of the Transvaal, whether they are going to make any conditions in the sense in which the right hon. Member for West Bristol last night indicated might be done with regard to the £30,000,000. I am not very anxious that they should make any condition. If they are going to give representative government—a kind of intermediate stage which can be given without responsible government—what they will be giving will be so little worth while that they had better not complicate it with any transaction about the £30,000,000. But if they are going further and are going to give representative and responsible government, then I think the question will arise whether, in giving it, anything should be said about the loan of £30,000,000. On that matter I would speak with caution with regard to the future. If it should be the case that the Transvaal is unable from poverty to undertake the additional burden of £30,000,000, I should not urge that the gift of representative and responsible government should be handicapped with a condition of that kind, and for this reason, that I should like when the Constitution of the Transvaal changes at all, to see a clean and living job made of it. When we give representative and responsible government let us start under the best possible conditions, and, above all, with good will between them and us.
More than ever do I regret the way in which this question of the£30,000,000 was introduced by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham so optimistically, because time shows that it is more and more in danger of becoming a source of friction between us and the Transvaal. At the present moment it is not important, but when you come to the subject of responsible government it will be important. I therefore put forward one practical suggestion. If when you give responsible government to the Transvaal it is still unable to incur the extra burden of the £30,000,000 loan, you might 840 represent that our part in the transaction, which this House regards as a complete transaction, was fulfilled by the raising of the £35,000,000 guaranteed by us. We might point out that we have fulfilled to the letter our part of the bargain by guaranteeing this sum, that the Transvaal has had the benefit of the money, that it has benefited to the extent of £350,000 a year compared with what its position would have been had it raised the money without the credit of this country. If the repayment of the £30,000,000 is to remain in abeyance the time may come when the prospects of the Transvaal improve, and when we might raise the point whether they could not make some extra contribution comparable to the annual benefits they have received by the use of our credit, and which would year by year hasten the repayment of the £35,000,000 loan already granted. I put that suggestion forward because I see in the debates and in the feeling of the House, which is inevitable after what has passed, a danger in the future, though not at the present moment, of this subject causing friction between ourselves and the Transvaal Government; and I am exceedingly anxious that when we come to the point of granting responsible government to the Transvaal the concession should not be handicapped by any friction or lack of good will at the start.
§ *MR. CHURCHILL
agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries that in regard to this repayment we should not take up any exacting or ungenerous attitude, or seek to prejudice the early days of a colony recovering from the devastation of a great war. That feeling was general on both sides of the House, and the Colonial Secretary would not attempt to suggest that that point of view was overlooked by those who criticised the proceedings of the Administration. In the words of the right hon. Gentleman, they did not wish "to jeopardise for the sake of money the good feeling which prevails between the different parts of the Empire." That argument did not find favour on the other side of the House last year, when a proposal was made with regard to coloured labour which was much resented by the Australian Colonies and 841 other parts of the Empire. But the Opposition considered the argument valid then, and they thought it valid now. Certainly this question ought not to be approached with any idea of revenge, or of punishing any particular class of persons in South Africa for their share in the war, or for the opinions they had expressed. There was no room for revenge in politics. Possibly there was no room for gratitude, but there was certainly no room for revenge. We should look forward to the future, and not attempt to mete out abstract justice to any particular class of persons for what they had or had not done in the past. What had to be considered was not what the mineowners had promised, but what we thought it right to require. We had not to consider the guarantees of the mineowners in particular, as they had no real authority to commit to immense liabilities a Government not then called into being. They made a promise which was binding upon themselves under certain circumstances, and he had never heard any statement on their part that they wished to evade their responsibility. But there was a bargain, described by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol, who spoke with immense authority on this subject, as a matter of faith and honour which, if broken, would constitute a breach of faith with the House of Commons and the taxpayers of the country. He was certain the Colonial Secretary did not underrate the gravity of the situation, but he would read one extract from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in which the bargain was commended to the House. It was true that the House might be misled by isolated extracts, but it would be seen that this one could fairly be taken apart from the context. The words of the right hon. Gentleman were—But the whole arrangement must be treated together; and I might almost say that the support of the Committee to the loan of £35,000,000 which is now under consideration is indeed conditional upon the contribution of £30,000,000 to which I hare referred.We had pledged our credit for the £35,000,000, but whether the other part of the bargain would be carried out was extremely doubtful. He saw little prospect 842 of our securing the £30,000,000 promised as a complementary and indissoluble part of the bargain to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham invited the House to assent. But could we now take any security? We did not want to do an unhandsome or grabbing thing, and after such a vast expenditure of money and of life it would be egregious folly to prejudice all hope of a permanent settlement for the sake of £20,000,000 or £30,000,000. But he had heard no answer to the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol, who asked why a security should not now be taken on the mining royalties of the Premier Mine for the repayment of, at any rate, a portion of this money. There might be good reasons against such a course, but they had not been stated. When this agreement was put forward, the House of Commons were seized of the general circumstances prevailing in South Africa and allowance was made for them, but a new factor had now come in. He remembered being present at the action of Diamond Hill, but little did they think, when they lay down that night, of the fabulous wealth concealed below the bivouac of the Army. The Premier Mine had come, so to speak, as a gift from Heaven to the colony; why, then, should we not take some security with regard to this windfall as to some portion of the guarantee for the repayment of the money for which, on every moral ground there was a liability on the part of the Transvaal towards this country.
These South African gentlemen were a very powerful organisation. There was no getting over that fact. They had tremendous influence in the Press and in society; they used very effective arguments, and they had means of bringing those arguments to bear on all sorts of occasions and in all sorts of ways. During the last four years there had been various controversies between the Imperial Government and the Johannesburg gentlemen, and in every one of those controversies the Johannesburg influence had prevailed, the Imperial Government having been defeated in the end. Lord Milner had been the principal advocate; he had no other friends in South Africa, and he naturally 843 had to fall back on those who backed him. That was one reason why he had always thought it was a great pity that the Government had left, to make the peace, the man who made the war—and he would say the same with regard to the new appointment which had been made. In every one of those disputes, whether it was the question of coloured labour, or of the treatment of Indian subjects in the Transvaal, or of the loan raised on the credit of this country, or of the repayment to be made, the gentlemen in South Africa had succeeded in putting such pressure, through the Colonial Office, upon His Majesty's Government that the arguments which commended themselves to the good sense of the House had been defeated and swept away. He asked the House to consider that in all these three conferences they had been defeated by this powerful organisation, which was going to be used in the Press, in the House of Commons, and on all the platforms, to prove that all those who drew attention to this bargain were animated by sordid and unpatriotic motives. If they did not take effective security for this money before setting up a local native government, they might be perfectly certain that they would never get the money at all. The Colonial Secretary said he hoped that no one would impugn the honour of a Government yet unborn, but they ought to look at things as they really were. It was no use deluding themselves by golden visions. If representative government were granted, did they imagine that any candidate appealing to the electors would declare that he was in favour of the payment of £30,000,000 to the people of the British Islands? What conceivable man, asking either for Boer, Afrikander, or Johannesburg votes, would have a chance of being elected under such circumstances? They must look at facts. He did not say they would be doing a dishonourable action, but he would like to ask what continuity of identity was there between the Government they were going to call into existence and the gentlemen who met the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham round the table at that conference? They did not recognise any debt of honour. They ought to take the security which 844 was necessary, and if they did not do so they would never get a farthing of the money upon the promise of which they were induced to guarantee a loan of £35,000,000.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
said that previous speakers had spoken as if the British public were a set of capricious and avaricious people who had taken advantage of a voluntary offer to contribute towards the war. This was an extremely mean view, when they recalled the circumstances that led to the war. The question he wished to refer to was upon whom the responsibility for paying this contribution should fall. Those gentlemen, who were liable to guarantee this £30,000,000, had given assurances which history had falsified in every particular. False reports were sent to this country and newspapers were corruptly influenced in the Transvaal to misrepresent the actual state of affairs, and to induce this country to take the step of bluffing which led to the war. No more disgraceful episode ever occurred than the methods adopted by the mineowners to force on this war; and they, having succeeded by forged letters and all sorts of corruption, were now told that it was disgraceful, on our part, to suggest the slightest doubt that they did not intend to pay a debt of honour. He did not regard this as a debt of honour or a voluntary gift, for that was entirely a misrepresentation of the actual facts. Really the Transvaal ought to pay the entire cost of the war, £250,000,000, and because this country was letting them off to the extent of £220,000,000, and asking them only to pay £30,000,000, sordid and avaricious motives were being ascribed to us. Why was a different principle applied in the case of a colonial war to that which was applied in the case of an Indian war. Whenever there was a war in India, although it was not waged by the Indian people, but by Englishmen sent out there to rule India, every farthing was charged upon India. This was so in the case of the military operations connected with the Tirah, Chitral, and Tibet campaigns. These wars were charged upon India, although the income of the average Indian subject might be counted in shillings per annum, and yet 845 these mineowners, it was said, would be ruined it they were called upon to pay only one-eighth of the cost of a war which they themselves persuaded the English Government, by misrepresentations, to undertake. To him it seemed a piece of impudence for the mineowners to come whining to the House and suggesting that they ought not to make any contribution to the war at all. The right hon. Member opposite placed much reliance upon the fact that the Transvaal Government was a nominated Assembly; but a nominated Assembly was not a representative Assembly, and possessed no power or mandate to do anything which the mineowners objected to.
The right hon. Gentleman said it was a monstrous thing to impose this burden upon the Transvaal, because the war was commenced with the assent of the people of this country. He denied that that was the case, for their assent was never asked for, and the only question placed before the country was whether, having commenced the war, the Government should carry it through. The assent of the people to the nefarious steps taken in the Transvaal, by which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, and Lord Milner, were gulled into bluffing the Transvaal, had never been approved of by the people to this day. The country was quite willing that the war should be carried through, but not a single hon. Member opposite would venture to go to his constituency and risk his return upon convincing the people of the justice of the South African War. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh, oh!"] The right hon. Gentleman had spoken about the importance of keeping the affections of the people of the Transvaal. On the Opposition Benches they had been as energetic as any persons in the world in endeavouring to retain the affections of the people of the Transvaal, but by the people they did not mean the mineowners, but the inhabitants of the country at large. As regarded the mineowners of Johannesburg he did not care one straw about alienating their affections, and he only regretted that their affections were not alienated five years ago, for then they would have saved this country £250,000,000. Was the right hon. Gentleman opposite really 846 afraid of alienating their affections by imposing upon them this liability? Why was he not afraid of alienating the affections of the British taxpayer? Let him look at the record of recent by-elections and he would see what the British taxpayers thought of the war. The danger, to-day, was the far more serious one of alienating the affections of the British taxpayer rather than the affections of the Transvaal mineowners. He quite agreed with the statement that, if the Transvaal could not pay, then we should have to pay the money ourselves. He was quite prepared to recognise that fact. He did not see, however, what was the use of talking about people not being able to pay when they owned property which was paying dividends at the rate of from 300 to 4,000 per cent per annum. If all the dividends above the working expenses of the mines had been exhausted, he would have been quite willing that every farthing of this promised contribution for war expenditure should fall on the British taxpayers. Until that happened, however, nobody would say that the Transvaal mineowners should not pay the £30,000,000 which had been promised.
§ MR. MARKHAM
said that when the late Colonial Secretary went to South Africa there were agreements made other than those mentioned by the Colonial Secretary to-day. The first agreement made with the mineowners was in respect of dynamite. For a good many years there had been a great agitation going on in South Africa with reference to the action of the late Government of the Transvaal in regard to dynamite. It was one of the causes of the late war. After the visit of the late Colonial Secretary to South Africa the mineowners said they were willing to put up a dynamite factory in South Africa. They asked the late Colonial Secretary whether he would give a preferential tariff to enable them the better to compete with the manufacturers in this country, of whom there were many, who in the past had sent large quantities of dynamite to South Africa. He had been asked to mention this matter by the dynamite manufacturers, because the coast duty of 1d. per pound, which was imposed for the benefit of the De Beers Company, 847 had completely closed South Africa as a market for them. The owners of the local factory which was put up in Cape Town reaped immense benefit in consequence of the imposition of the tax imposed on dynamite imported from Europe. In a book recently published it was stated on the authority of Mr. Eckstein that previous to the war the cost of dynamite entailed on the mines a charge of no less than £500,000 on account of the excessive charges which the mineowners had to pay in the time of President Kruger's Government. What had happened? When the late Colonial Secretary was in South Africa he came to an agreement with the mineowners by which they were to pay a tax of not over 10 per cent. In that way the mineowners had gained £340,000 on the profits tax and £500,000 on dynamite alone. They had also an immense advantage in railway rates as compared with the pre-war period. It was stated in Sir Percy Fitzpatrick's book, "The Transvaal from Within," that these charges made by the Netherland Railways were so excessive as to represent £1,000,000 sterling a year. While the mineowners obtained these advantages as the result of the war, they had given us nothing.
Another serious matter arose in connection with the discovery of the Premier Mine. The Colonial Secretary had during the past year ratified an agreement with the mineowners giving to them not what they were entitled to under the old law of 1898, namely, one-eighth, but four-tenths of the mine. The right hon. Gentleman now told the House that the Government were going to receive £500,000 a year of profits. He said that that was a bad bargain in every sense of the word, because the total number of white miners working the Premier Mine only amounted to the wretched number of 200 or 300. The Premier Diamond Mine consisted of 4,000 claims, and before the amalgamation of the De Beers Mines there were 40,000 white men in Kimberley alone on the fields. All these mines could have been worked by white labour. The washing alone did not exceed 2s. per ton. and the amount derived from a ton of soil treated came to something like 20s. When he 848 brought the matter before the House the answer he got was that it was necessary that the Government should create a monopoly in diamonds, because if that was not done the price of diamonds would fall to such an extent that diamond mining would become unremunerative. That was a very curious argument for the Government to set up, especially when the price of diamonds was maintained at 50s. a carat by the De Beers Company. He knew the influence that caused the Government to say that the price must be maintained. It was because of the influence which the De Beers Company brought to bear on Lord Milner. If the Premier Mine had been thrown open there would have been an immense white population working on those fields to-day instead of the wretched 200 or 300, and they would have brought up the political equilibrium in the Transvaal which to-day was in great danger. As to the question of security for the loan, he would say that, being a pro-Boer, he knew from his Boer friends that they were going to repudiate the loan and have nothing to do with it. He had stated during and since the war that he did not see how the future Transvaal Government could be bound by a body of alien German-Jews and a cosmopolitan crowd of financiers, who had entered into an agreement with the late Colonial Secretary. They had no right to bind the people of the Transvaal, and the Boers, who were the majority of the population, would not be bound. Unless we took security before granting the Transvaal what the Colonial Secretary called representative government we had not the remotest chance of getting a farthing.
The Transvaal had great resources, and he had no hesitation in predicting that there would be a large surplus if economy was shown in the administration of the country; and if our Government did not got back from the Transvaal at least £30,000,000 of the war expenditure they would deserve very little consideration from the country. He hoped, however, that the Government would be out of office before this matter came to be dealt with. The right hon. Gentleman had all these difficulties to face. All the odium fell upon the present Colonial Secretary, while the late Colonial 849 Secretary escaped; therefore he was truly sorry for him. As one holding strong views about South Africa, he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not possible for him to give careful consideration to the opinion and advice which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol tendered a night or two ago. Unless the Government got that security, what they would get from the Transvaal was not worth a farthing. That, really, should be self-evident to the Colonial Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman must know well the fact that the majority in a future representative Assembly in the Transvaal would oppose any contribution towards the war expenses.
There was another point. He had been asked by some influential Boers in South Africa to urge, in that House, the justice of granting full responsible government to the Transvaal. Those Boers had accepted the British flag; they had loyally carried out their part of the contract. [MINISTERIAL cries of Oh, oh!"] Let hon. Gentlemen opposite say in what particular they had not carried out their bargain. They were now British subjects, under the British flag, even if they had gallantly fought in defence of their own country. What would be the result if these people were denied the rights of citizenship, and a form of government set up which was not representative of the people but dominated by the capitalist influence in South Africa? He believed he was right in stating that the Boer population in South Africa would have nothing to do with a form of government which was not a fully responsible government; that they would rather have no form of representative government at all, and that the present system should be retained. If the Transvaal was settled why not give the people of the country responsible government? The Boers were the majority of the voting element at present, and besides them there were Germans and people of other nationalities from all parts of the world. Moreover, there was a large body of dissatisfied Britishers who had thrown in their lot with the Boers. If that was the case, what would the future be if a full measure of responsible government 850 were not granted? He would therefore implore the Government, after all the mistakes they had committed, to give to the people of the Transvaal a Constitution which a free people could accept as satisfactory.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
said that the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary did great honour to his heart; but he took too generous a view of human nature. He absolutely told the House that it was far better to have a debt of honour than a good security. If the right hon. Gentleman himself told him that he owed him £100, he knew that the right hon. Gentleman would pay him and he might not perhaps go to the Colonial Office and ask security. But these cosmopolitan financiers of South Africa had not the same high sense of honour as the right hon. Gentleman. When they came to dealing with those cosmopolitan gentlemen on a matter of £30,000,000 and a question of security for it, as a matter of business he would not take their honour, even if they swore to it. He liked security. The right hon. Gentleman asked the House to regard those men as the noblest of patriots, and said that they had incurred great risks in underwriting this loan. He defied any hon. Gentleman on either side of the House who understood City business to say that these men incurred one sixpence of risk. Let these gentlemen be taken at the general valuation of this House, was it likely that they were going to incur a great monetary risk without getting a quid pro quo. Their quid pro quo was that they got a guarantee, or promise that they should not have to pay more than 10 per cent, on the profits of their mines. That was an enormous advantage. It was as if some one said "Let me get an arrangement so that if you do something that produces absolutely nothing, I will promise you never to increase, the income-tax." The House should not run away with the idea that those contractors for the loan were actuated by a patriotic spirit. They did not incur the risk of loss or of gain except in this, that part of the bargain was that this country was to guarantee the loan to the Transvaal of £35,000,000. A large amount of that 851 money, as the right hon. Gentleman knew, was to be spent in the development of the Transvaal; and everybody knew that it was a very great advantage to people who had mines to have a railway close to their mines. Part of the development was to make railways running up to their mines. It was a matter of pure business that they should undertake an obligation in regard to the floating of this £10,000,000 loan; and it was uncommon good business for them.
He always thought that hon. Gentlemen opposite had many excellent qualities, but that their memories were defective. At the time the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham came bank to this country from South Africa he said that our claim for £30,000,000 from the Transvaal was too little, but that the payment of that £30,000,000 was a certainty. He had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham believed that at the time, but he was entirely under a delusion. And what was the result? It was that this country guaranteed the loan of £35,000,000 on the distinct understanding that we were to have that £30,000,000. Whether we should get it he did not know. At any rate, the payment of it had been put off two years; and the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary now said that it might be something like another five or six years before we got it. Some might make it seven years, but let them call it five. Who was paying the interest on this now? Why, the taxpayers of this country were. They had already paid £2,000,000 or more; and in five years more they should have paid £7,000,000, whereas they had a bargain, a distinct understanding, that they should be relieved of that. They wanted the bird in the bush as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol said. [Cries of "Bird in the hand."] He was wrong in talking of a bird in the bush. Why, it was a bone in the mouth of a tiger wandering about the middle of South Africa. Several hon. Gentlemen had praised the speech of the right hon. Gentleman because it was an effort of tardy repentance. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol when he was Chancellor of 852 the Exchequer was always looked upon as a hard-headed man of business; and the House did not push the matter very far because they were under the impression that the right hon. Gentleman was of opinion, as their representative in the Government, that they had got security that they would get he money. And now the right hon. Gentleman blamed them, and told them that they ought to have been more careful. He held that the right hon. Gentleman was more in fault for not seeing that good security for the money was obtained. The right hon. Gentleman urged the plea that this demand should be put off until the Transvaal had received what he was pleased to call representative government. He himself quite admitted that there was a certain point in that; but it was only on the supposition that the Transvaal was to receive real self government within a few months. They knew, however, that that would not be the case; and it would be monstrous to ask the new Government, which did not represent the country or our own ideas of self government, to tax the people for this purpose.
He believed it was nonsense to say that the Transvaal could not pay. The Transvaal could pay perfectly well. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the amount per head of the population; but when most of the money went into the pockets of a few thousands the amount per head must be small. But the gentlemen who had made millions and millions out of the country could pay. The poorest of the people in this country were taxed on their tea and sugar in order to save the shoulders of these millionaires. The right hon. Gentleman spoke a great deal about the Premier Mine. He spoke rather as if he were promoting the company. Let this country get that mine as a security. Let us say to the representative Government, "You are men of honour; we all trust you in England; but besides trusting you we should like a little security such as the Premier Mine; allow us to earmark that so that the profit may go towards the payment of the interest on the loan." That would be a very reasonable offer. He thought the right hon. Gentleman was not fair to his predecessor, who he was sorry to read was indisposed. He made the most 853 serious accusation against his predecessor in office than he himself had ever heard. The right hon. Gentleman said he never admired the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham more than when he entered into this arrangement. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham did not, at any rate, run away from his opinions like other people; and as an honest man of business he would probably say that perhaps he had made a mistake, and that he regretted it. But, according to the right hon. Gentleman, this arrangement was the most admirable thing the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham ever did in his life. He considered that that was an insult to the right hon. Gentleman. He himself was not an indiscriminating admirer of his; but he would admit that the right hon. Gentleman did better things, especially when he sat on that side of the House. Was it proper to say of an able and intelligent man that the best thing he did in his life was to let himself be fooled for £30,000,000 sterling. If the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary could get £5,000,000 for the liability he would advise him to accept it.
§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
said that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary had promised him an Answer to the Questions he submitted yesterday with reference to Ceylon. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would answer now.
§ *MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
said the Colonial Secretary had taken credit for forbearing to force through a nominated Assembly in the Transvaal the issue of the first part of the £30,000,000 loan. He agreed with him in that. It would have been making a grievous and calamitous mistake. The first issue would have caused friction and the remainder of the loan would not have been issued. What he wanted to point out, however, was that if the Colonial Secretary ever meant to get any money he must either force it through the present Legislative Council or else he would not get it all. It was important that the Government should make up its mind whether they were going to have 854 the cash and bear the discredit in the Transvaal of forcing it through or whether they were going to magnanimously give up any claim they might have? He must confess that, in this matter, he did not agree with some of his friends on his side of the House. He believed it was impossible to get this money unless it was forced through the Legislative Council. In the first place the Colonial Secretary was bound by the pledges of his predecessor. He could not raise the income-tax on mining profits to more than ten per cent., and, in the second place, the late Colonial Secretary promised that nothing should be done to hinder the development of the Transvaal. He believed he was right in saying there was urgent need in the Transvaal for more money, for more roads, for the extension of railways, for schools, for technical education, and for a great reform in the state of the prisons, which were in a most shocking condition. If there were a surplus it was already mortgaged in anticipation for these various objects in such a way as to prevent the issue of a loan. The third condition laid down was that it could only be regarded as a debt if it was accepted voluntarily by the people of the Transvaal. What was this so-called debt of honour. It appeared to consist of a particular resolution passed by fourteen capitalists, and certain other capitalist representatives, on a certain day, when the late Colonial Secretary met them. They agreed to the principle of the issue of a loan of £30,000,000, but they, and they alone, agreed. The great bulk of the people of the Transvaal had never been consulted about it.
§ *MR. EMMOTT
said he was perhaps, underrating the number of people who agreed. At any rate, he was correct in saying that the great bulk of the population were left outside the agreement. It had been said by the right hon. Gentleman that the agreement should not be put into force until representative government was introduced. But when there was representative government what possible chance was there of the representative Government agreeing to the 855 payment of £30,000,000? It had been pointed out by his colleague the Member for Oldham that it would be impossible for anyone seeking election to the representative Assembly in the mining or agricultural districts of the Transvaal to issue an election address in which he would say he was in favour of so and so and he was willing to give £30,000,000 towards the cost of the war, a war that had devastated the very country which was now being asked to pay this money. It would be impossible to get this money, and he did not believe, from the point of view of this country, that it would be wise for them to try to get it. They must look at the matter on broad and statesmanlike grounds. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer the Member for West Bristol suggested something like a bargain being made when representative government was given to the Transvaal. But it would be undesirable to make any bargain with the kind of representative Assembly the Government proposed to constitute. If they were going to have responsible government for the Transvaal it might be possible to make a bond, but not with such a half-and-half Assembly as they proposed to put up. But he went further. Even if any bargain were made with any Assembly it would give rise to everlasting friction. It would be an unusual thing to do with a country which was annexed. It was a wrong system altogether to annex a country and then ask it to pay an indemnity. No indemnity was ever asked from Alsace-Lorraine when they were annexed by Germany. If a country were annexed the Government of that country should not subsequently be asked for an indemnity. Even though he might be in a minority, he was glad to have an opportunity of putting his views before the House, for he felt very strongly on the matter. It might be asked if he meant that we were to spend so much money and lose so many lives and get nothing back. He thought they might reasonably ask for the £350,000 a year which the British guarantee had enabled the Transvaal to save on the first loan, but he did not think the Transvaal should be asked to pay it as an indemnity for the war. It might be asked for as a contribution to the Navy. He fully admitted that the average man in this country 856 desired to get something out of the mine-owners, but he believed sound and statesmanlike policy should shrink from such a course. After all, who dared say in that place, on whichever side he sat, that we went to war for the sake of the mine-owners of the Transvaal? We did not go to war for them, but in the first place because the Queen's dominions were invaded, and in the second place because of the enormous importance of South Africa to the Empire. If the Government meant to do what he thought an unwise thing, levy part of the loan, they must do it now. But they should give up the idea that they would get it, or even ought to get it from a representative Government in the Transvaal.
§ SIR EDGAR VINCENT (Exeter)
said he agreed with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down that it would be most unstatesmanlike to enforce anything on the Transvaal Government at the present time, whatever might be the convenience to this country. This had always appeared to him an unusual and highly complicated arrangement, and whatever view we might take about it, it referred to past conduct and did not help to get us out of our present difficulty. The real practical point was that we could not get this amount without imposing on the Transvaal, against the will of the people, a heavy financial burden. He believed if the arrangement originally made by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham was allowed to stand, and if the attitude of the Colonial Secretary was adopted and we said that this was a debt of honour which we hoped, as soon as representative government was established, would be met by the Transvaal, that would be a miscalculation, and the net result would be to considerably diminish the chances of repayment. He felt from the financial point of view it would have been much better if hon. Gentlemen opposite had left unsaid a good deal of that which they had expressed with regard to the good faith and honour of the Transvaal in this matter. The real point was: Was this country justified in guaranteeing the loan of £35,000,000, and it appeared to him that the hypothecation of revenue as a guarantee of repayment was sound and adequate. He did not think there was 857 any chance of recourse being had to our financial resources. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol on a previous occasion, in an interesting speech, appeared to adopt the view that we should take somewhat strong measures, lay hands on the Premier Mine, and make the source of revenue accruing from that mine our chance of repayment He differed from the advice given by the right hon. Gentleman. Any attempt that we made to use the revenue coming from that mine on account of our distrust of the new form of Government in the Transvaal, would be regarded as an act of suspicion by the citizens of the Transvaal and would very much diminish our chance of obtaining payment of the £30,000,000. He urged the Government not to take advice from any quarter which might lead them to take such action as might be construed as distrustful of the new Government's intention to fulfil its obligations.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said he wanted, if he might, to congratulate the hon. Member for Carnarvon, Eifion, whose rising was received by the exodus of hon. Members from the House, on the way, after five years of misrepresentation, abuse, and calumny, in which his views on South Africa and the war in South Africa had been justified. He also desired to say how much better it would have been had the House accepted the view of the hon. Member and that put forward by the Leader of the Opposition. Although this country had been guilty of a mean action in entering upon an unwarrantable and dishonourable war at the instance of, not the mineowners directly, but as a consequence of the Jameson Raid, without which there would have been no war at all, that was no reason why this country should at this moment follow up that mean action by another, and it would be mean indeed for us who were responsible for breaking up homes, for destroying crops, and bringing misery and destitution where rough comfort prevailed, to ask the people of the Transvaal to undertake the obligation of paying out of their slender and impoverished resources £30,000,000 which the mine-owners did promise, though it would not, in his opinion, be a breach of faith on their part if they did not pay it. He 858 held the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol, who had made the most clear and cautious speech he had ever heard on the South African problem. We could not enforce payment of this £30,000,000, nor could we put it on the Transvaal, save as a debt of honour.
He was surprised at the Colonial Secretary being so sensitive of criticism with regard to the mineowners. The right hon. Gentleman had no right to defend them in the way he had done. He had no doubt that if the mineowners, who were now using the opportunity to shuffle out of their obligations, were brought before a jury at the Old Bailey they would be kept to their promise and, failing that, would go for a term of hard labour for having treated this country in the way they had. They were too strong for the late Colonial Secretary, and the present Colonial Secretary would have to exercise tremendous pressure if he was to succeed. Every promise they had made they had evaded. One of the conditions of our getting the £30,000,000 was that they should have facilities for developing the country. Chinese labour was the first facility! But how differently the Colonial Office treated the demands of the mineowners as compared with Mr. Kruger, who, when asked to allow Asiatic labour, declined on the ground that South Africa was a white man's country, especially so far as open work or work in the Premier Mine was concerned. When the mine-owners said that unless such labour were permitted the mines could not be properly worked, Mr. Kruger simply said what the Colonial Office ought to have said—that if they would not work the mines in the interests of South Africa the Government would. He wished there had been a man of Mr. Kruger's character, strength of mind, and determination at the Colonial Office during the last few years; there would not then have been an expenditure of £250,000,000 on the war, a request for £30,000,000 from the mineowners, or the imposition of the degradation of Chinese labour upon South Africa and the British race. There was also the question of cheap dynamite. That had been given them, but they had no idea of giving any quid pro quo— which, by the way, they pronounced 859 quids pro quo. Although they had secured so many advantages they now boggled over paying their share of the cost of the war.
But the point he wished to urge was as to the Government having a greater lien or security on the Premier Mine. He warned the Colonial Secretary that unless he secured for the British people, or for the people of the Transvaal and South Africa generally, the major share of the interest in the Premier Mine before the Legislative Council was elected, the mineowners would so gerrymander the vote, as they did in regard to Chinese labour, that every man elected would support the proposal to sell the Transvaal share in the Premier Mine to companies such as were now engaged in corrupting the constituencies with that very object. To allow this valuable asset to slip from the hands of the Transvaal people would be a crime which many would afterwards regret. He appealed to the Colonial Secretary not to part with this revenue of £400,000 a year from the Premier Mine, and, before the Legislative Council was elected, so to control the distribution of the money as to render impossible its sale for £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 to a syndicate now in course of formation. Unless the threatened gerrymandering was prevented it would lead to one of the most disastrous blunders and crimes even in the history of South Africa. The Government had not been wise before the event. Their lack of patience and temper, their insufficient knowledge and intelligence before the war, practically placed South Africa in the hands of a gang of unscrupulous mineowners, who reminded him of Dr. Johnson's words that "patriotism was always the last refuge of the scoundrel." The country had had a sample of their handiwork; we had lost life, property, credit, and prestige, and events might eventually prove that we had lost a continent. He begged the Government not to facilitate that loss of a continent, but to give Lord Selborne such instructions that he would sit on the necks of these cosmopolitan financiers who had played ducks and drakes with our honour and credit in South Africa. It should not be forgotten that circumstances 860 had changed. The men who flew to the guns five years ago to save England from losing South Africa did not feel that way now. The rich men in South Africa now took the view that, unless the Government carefully guided affairs through the stormy period of the next few years we should witness the best of the Britons and the whole of the Boers linked up by a common aim and destiny against the mineowners who had betrayed the Government's trust and treated Boer and Briton in an unjust and scandalous way, and when that day came not 20,000, nor even 100,000, soldiers would be sufficient to hold South Africa. He, therefore, begged the Government to be warned in time by a pro-Boer who had had his windows smashed, and who, if Lord Selborne required help, would be glad to put them on the right track.
§ MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said a great deal had been urged as to the need of consideration for the mineowners, on the one side, and for the Boers on the other, but he wished to say a word about the need of consideration for the poor taxpayer of this country. He calculated that the non-payment of this £30,000,000 meant a loss of about 17s. per head of the population of this country, or about four guineas to the head of a family. That was a small matter to Members of the House, but to men with wages of 24s. a week it was a very serious consideration, especially when it was remembered that for the last five years these poor taxpayers had been paying, directly or indirectly, higher prices for almost everything they had to buy. He therefore refused to assent to the view that mineowners or Boers should be considered before these taxpayers, of whom he represented some 15,000. Of course, he deprecated the taking of any step which would place upon the Boer population of the Transvaal an unfair burden. The farming and pastoral Boers had no hand in bringing about the war; and to call upon them to pay this money would be both unfair and unwise. According to the Colonial Secretary, this money was to be regarded as a debt of honour. But the mineowners who guaranteed it were perfectly able 861 to pay it now, and if they refused to recognise it as a debt of honour now, they were not likely to recognise it later on. He submitted that it was perfectly possible to devise means for securing to this country the payment of the £30,000,000 without inflicting any unfair tax on the Boer population. Measures might be adopted with regard to the mines which would bring in sufficient revenue to liquidate gradually this debt of honour. There were large tracts of metalliferous country held by mineowners at nominal rentals, and to which they had no legal claim. Why should they not pay a fair rent for those lands? And what about the mining royalties? Instead of reproducing the system which obtained in this country, the Government might have commenced de novo, and have insisted that all mines should belong to the State, that the revenue from them should go to the State, and that if the working of the mines was let out to corporations or individuals a proper royalty should be paid to the State. Such royalties would produce a revenue which would soon liquidate this so-called debt of honour. He did not wish to go back on the miserable past, but it was significant that man after man, Colonial Secretary after Colonial Secretary, should appear to be caught in the net of these South African mineowners and to dance like puppets at their bidding. The Colonial Secretary never rose in his place without saying something in defence of the mineowners, very little for the Boers, and nothing at all for the taxpayers of this country. In the name of his constituents and the people of this country, he claimed that the Government ought to do everything in its power to see that the obligation of the mineowners in South Africa was properly carried out.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
said that, representing a great industrial community numbering nearly 250,000 souls, he claimed that they ought to insist upon the payment in full of the millions of money which this country had advanced to the mineowners of South Africa. He did not suppose there was any hon. Member of this House who would have the heart to go to the distressed, starving, ruined, heart-broken agriculturists of the Transvaal in order to tax 862 them further with regard to the devastating war which this country had levied upon them. If there had been no goldfields in South Africa there would have been no war. Professor Lecky, in anticipating the events in South Africa, said there was a strong vein of gold running through all the negotiations. When they were voting those millions for the supplies of the Army in the field, it was repeatedly stated that the cost would be repaid, not from the agricultural industry, but from the vast and almost inexhaustible wealth of the gold and diamond mines. From that bargain they ought not to budge one inch, and they should hold the mineowners to it, and make them repay in full every penny which they had guaranteed to pay. The Colonial Secretary worked himself into a state of uncontrollable excitement and indignation because they were not willing to worship at the feet of these men who had pledged their word of honour. The Colonial Secretary was a lawyer of considerable eminence as well as a politician, and he was inclined to believe that it would have been better if the right hon. Gentleman had made a plain confession instead of leading them along this fool's paradise still further than they had gone. If he had declared that his Government did enter into a certain business transaction in which they had been absolutely worsted, and advanced millions without an atom of security; and if he had admitted that it would depend upon the moral obligation of those who borrowed whether they repaid or not, then they would have cheered the Colonial Secretary and looked upon him as a man of courage and determination. But the right hon. Gentleman rode off upon another issue, and he wanted them to accept without a doubt the word of honour of a band of men who were mostly foreigners, and who had no sympathy with the people of this country.
Those men were holding hundreds of millions of valuable assets in British colonies which had been won by British money and British soldiers. He could conceive only one business way of dealing with them, and if he could have his way he would exercise the 863 authority of Parliament to extract from this endless wealth which the mines gave a repayment at least of the money advanced after the war was ended. This money had to be paid by the British taxpayers generally, who had no direct means of organising themselves to influence the Government to insist upon the reclamation of this money. What would have taken place if this £30,000,000 had been owed to a few City of London financiers, and the people owing it had been the inhabitants of some small South American Republic. They all knew what would have happened. Not long ago when there was something interesting to the financiers of this country and of Germany we joined forces with Germany and sent a demand over the seas in the form of ships belonging to the British Navy to enforce the debt of some private persons. He was aware that they could not send ships to the Transvaal, but they could send other authority equally effective. He did not think he was extreme in saying that whilst the wealth was there, and the debt was owing, the British Government ought to see that every farthing of the debt was paid in full to the British taxpayers. Why should his poor constituents have now to pay poor rates to keep the men who had been maimed and ruined for life in the South African War, who were now within the walls of the workhouses being maintained out of the rates which were being paid by people almost as poor as themselves. These vast sums of money were advanced to facilitate the working of the mines in order that profits might be made for the shareholders. Surely this was an occasion where they should use no rose-water methods, but where it should be clearly understood that now, or some time in the near future, this money must be repaid in an honourable and straightforward manner, or else means must be adopted to secure it.
The Colonial Secretary said they could not force it through the Legislative Council now, and they must wait until there was a proper constitutional authority created in Johannesburg in order that they might take up this liability. Could the Colonial Secretary give them his word of honour that when this popularly elected Assembly 864 met they would acknowledge the obligation agreed to at a public meeting of mineowners and their nominees? He would not give them his word of honour nor a word of hope or encouragement that he believed that this liability would be taken up and acknowledged by the newly constituted authority in Johannesburg. Nothing of the kind. There would be a Parliament elected in this country he hoped before many years were over, although the present Government was very much like the Mad Mullah, always in hot water, but they never would dissolve. Such a new Parliament would not be called upon to redeem pledges given by a dozen men in the City of London, and neither would this public authority feel itself called upon to honour an engagement, entered into by private persons who were clamouring not for the welfare of the country but for increased profits out of their own mines. Some of his hon, friends had discussed this matter in a tone that would lead people to think that they would willingly give up this £30,000,000, but he for one was not going to budge one inch of the ground in the direction of giving away one farthing of that £30,000,000 if he could help it, so long as there was any wealth in the mines of the Transvaal, and means of making the mineowners liquidate their honourable engagements. He hoped that any South African authorities who read this debate would not be lead astray by any admissions or suggestions of that kind, because he believed that the next Parliament, when elected, would insist upon a full, ample, and exhaustive return of the money which had been spent in the interests of the mineowners and in their interests alone. They had a right to insist upon the return of those vast sums of money which had been taken out of the pockets of the British taxpayer.
§ MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
said he felt bound as an Irish Member to express the hope that under no circumstances would any portion of this £30,000,000 of debt be remitted. What fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham after his visit to South Africa induced the House to give the guarantee of the Imperial Exchequer for the £35,000,000 865 loan, and the consideration held out to the House was that the people of the Transvaal, and especially the owners of the mines, would contribute £30,000,000 so as to make together £65,000,000 for the setting up of the colony. Ireland stood in a peculiar position, because the Childers' Commission some years ago showed that it was overtaxed to the extent of between £2,000,000 and £3,000,000. Why should Ireland stand aside and allow this £30,000,000 to be, as it were, given as a present to this South African colony? It was no concern of the people of Ireland that the principal burden might fall upon the South African mineowners. They were very well able to bear it. They indulged in every luxury, and they were in the enjoyment of great wealth. The people of Ireland were the worst clothed, the worst fed, and the poorest in Europe, and they were overtaxed to the extent he had mentioned. On what principle of justice and natural equity could it be said that this great sum should be remitted to South Africa while Ireland
§ complained in vain of its over-taxation? Within the last day or two, when the Irish land question was under discussion, it was stated from the Treasury bench that one of the difficulties in carrying out the Land Act of 1903 was the Exchequer difficulty. While there were contracts for the purchase of land to the extent of about £25,000,000, an amount likely to be doubled in a short time, the property could not be transferred because the Exchequer could not see its way to advance more than £5,000,000 a year. Was that argument to be used against the carrying out of this beneficent measure, while at the same time the Ministry was to assent to remit £30,000,000 really to the mineowners and capitalists of South Africa? He made no apology for entering his protest against remitting that sum while the argument was advanced that the Land Act must be blocked for want of money.
§ Question put.
§ House divided:—Ayes, 256; Noes, 196. (Division List, No. 77).869
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Butcher, John George||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow)||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'cr)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Finch, Rt Hn. George H.|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A(Worc.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Chapman, Edward||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Forster, Henry William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gardner, Ernest|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R.||Garfit, William|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredrk.|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Gordon, Maj. Evans-(T'rH'm'ts|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cust, Henry John C.||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Bigwood, James||Davenport, William Bromley,||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bill, Charles||Denny, Colonel||Green, Walford D(Wednesbury|
|Bingham, Lord||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dickson, Charles Scott||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.|
|Bond, Edward||Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Gretton, John|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Hain, Edward|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middlesex||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Brassey, Albert||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Halsey, Rt. Hn. Thomas F.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dyke, Rt, Hn. Sir Wm. Hart||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Hamilton, Rt Hn LordG(Midd'x|
|Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nderry||Majendie, James A. H.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Manners, Lord Cecil||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Marks, Harry Hananel||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew|
|Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Maxwell, RtHn Sir H. E. (Wigt'n||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Heath, Sir Jas. (Staffords. N. W.||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Helder, Augustus||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Milvain, Thomas||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)||Smith, H. C. (North'mbTyneside|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Smith, RtHn. J. Parker(Lanarks|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Horner, Frederick William||Morpeth, Viscount||Spear, John Ward|
|Hoult, Joseph||Morrison, James Archibald||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich|
|Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Mount, William Arthur||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes.|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Stock, James Henry|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hunt, Rowland||Myers, William Henry||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.|
|Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Nicholson, William Graham||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.||Parkes, Ebenezer||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Peel, Hn. W. Robert Wellesley||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Kennaway, RtHn. Sir John H.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Tuff, Charles|
|Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Percy, Earl||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn.Col.W.||Pierpoint, Robert||Turnour, Viscount|
|Kerr, John||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Vincent. Col. SirC.E.H.(Sheffield|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Lawrence, Sir J. (Monmouth)||Purvis, Robert||Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E.(Taunton)|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Lawson, John Grant(Yorks.NR||Randles, John S.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Lee, Arthur H(Hants., Fareham||Rankin, Sir James||Whiteley, H. (Ashton and Lyne|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Ratcliff, R. F.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Reid, James (Greenock)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Renwick, George||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Ridley, S. Forde||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H. (Yorks|
|Long, Rt. Hn.Walter (Bristol,S.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Lowe, Francis William||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Wylie, Alexander|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Royds, Clement Molyneux||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|M'Calmont, Colonel James||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Viscount Valentia.|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Allen, Charles P.||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Burke, E. Haviland||Cremer, William Randal|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Burns, John||Crombie, John William|
|Asquith, Rt Hn. Herbert Henry||Buxton Sydney Charles||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Caldwell James||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cameron, Robert||Delany, William|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Bell, Richard||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Dobbie, Joseph|
|Benn, John Williams||Causton, Richard Knight||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Boland, John||Cawley, Frederick||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Channing, Francis Allston||Duffy, William J.|
|Brigg, John||Cheetham, John Frederick||Duncan, J. Hastings|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Dunn, Sir William|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Clancy, John Joseph||Ellice, Capt E. C. (SAndrw's Bghs|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts)||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Emmott, Alfred||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Roche, John|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Levy, Maurice||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Lewis, John Herbert||Rose, Charles Day|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lloyd-George, David||Runciman, Walter|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lough, Thomas||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)|
|Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N.E.)||Lundon, W.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shackleton, David James|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehy, David|
|Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Shipman, Dr. John G|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||Markham, Arthur Basil||Slack, John Bamford|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Mitchell, Ed. (Fermanagh, N.||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Grant, Corrie||Mooney, John J.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E (Berwick)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Moss, Samuel||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C.R.(Northants|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Moulton, John Fletcher||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Murphy, John||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hammond, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harrington, Timothy||Norman, Henry||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Tomkinson, James|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ure, Alexander|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Wallace, Robert|
|Higham, John Sharpe||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West||O'Dowd, John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Malley, William||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Johnson, John||O'Mara, James||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Shaughnessy, P. J||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||Partington, Oswald||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Paulton, James Mellor||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||Perks, Robert William||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk,Mid|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.|
|Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Kilbride, Denis||Priestley, Arthur||Wood, James|
|Kitson, Sir James||Rea, Russell||Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd|
|Labouchere, Henry||Reddy, M.||Young, Samuel|
|Lambert George||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Lamont, Norman||Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th)|
|Langley, Batty||Rickett, J. Compton||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Major|
|Law, Hugh Alex (Donegal, W.)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Seely and Mr. M'Crae.|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Roberts, John H. (Denbigh s.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
§ Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
said as a sum of money for the Board of Education was included in the Vote he desired to ask a Question with reference to the physical condition of the children of the working classes in the schools, and particularly as regarded lack of food in many cases. On September 2nd, 1903, the Board of Education appointed what was called the Physical Deterioration Committee of which Mr. Almeric W. FitzRoy 870 was Chairman. The Committee sat for days and examined sixty-eight witnesses, including Dr. Eichholz, Colonel Lamb of the Salvation Army, Mr. C. S. Loch, Mr. Charles Booth, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University. The Report of that Committee was one of the most important of State documents which the House had ever had before it. It dealt with the whole condition of the working classes and with the physical condition of children. On this Vote, however, he must confine his remarks to the recommendations regarding children. He complained 871 that so long a time should have been allowed to elapse without anything practical having emerged. The Report recommended that a survey should be made year by year of the children in the schools so that reliable data might be obtained as to the effect of school life on the physique of the nation, and also better physical training generally. It urged the systematic medical inspection of children in the poorer schools as regarded eyes, teeth, and ears, and made two proposals for legislation, one for the prohibition of cigarette smoking by small boys, and another with regard to the provision of food for children who attended school, and who were suffering permanently from mal-nutrition.
Nothing more cynical had ever come under his notice than the disregard shown by the Board of Education for this vitally important question of the physical condition of working-class children, particularly in the matter of food. He was himself formerly a teacher in an extremely poor school in Bristol. He had under his care about 300 working-class boys. About thirty of them did not go home at all during the dinner hour because there was nothing to go home to; and about sixty brought to school a paper parcel containing a rough crust of bread and perhaps a raw onion, or some bread and margarine, or similar food. These two figures accounted for nearly one-third of the boys, and the case was typical of all slum areas in our big cities at the present time. He well remembered seeing two brothers, with the hoar frost on the playground still white at mid-day, sharing between them a cold turnip for their mid-day meal. They could not build Empire on that kind of thing. Yet it could be ended to a great extent by the administrative action of the Board of Education. The witnesses spoke most pathetically of this lack of food. The master of the Victory Place School at Walworth in his evidence stated that the boys were not in a fit condition to receive instruction. He added that he sent to a baker's for all the driest crusts he had in his shop, and the boys ate them ravenously, though they did not know he was observing them. Miss Deverell, an inspectress under the Board of Education, stated the master of one school informed her that the children 872 got most of their meals by meeting workmen's trains and begging scraps from the men.
What was going to be done about this? This thing could not be permitted to continue any longer. There was abundant evidence, including the testimony of Dr. Eichholz, as to the lamentable lack of proper food ascertained among the school children of the poorer districts, including the adjoining district of Lambeth. The whole question centred round feeding. There was, first of all, the want of food, then the irregularity of the food, and, thirdly, its unsuitability. These were the determining causes of the degeneracy of the children. Where was the raw material for the Army and Navy to come from if that state of things continued. The breakfast of these children was bread and margarine, and their dinner was only what could be obtained at a fried fish shop for a penny. Within a gunshot of the Guildhall, the master of the school reported that several boys came without breakfast, and the mother of one boy came in the afternoon to the school with scraps of bread. He himself had seen the miserable condition of many of the puny little scraps of humanity upon whose weak shoulders the burden of the Empire would ultimately rest. No child in this country ought to be hungry. The great bulk of parents cheerfully made unknown sacrifices to provide for their children, but they must attend to the child in any case before pursuing the neglectful parent. He was not asking that they should in any way undermine parental responsibility. In all the great Continental cities they were attending to this question, and in Paris they had a coupon system whereby 8,000,000 meals were provided at a cost of £70,000, of which the parents paid about £20,000 by way of coupons, £15,000 came from voluntary contributions, and there was only £45,000 as a public charge. In London such a system could not possibly cost more than a halfpenny in the pound, and that extra halfpenny would ensure that much of 1s. 2d. rate was not, as at present, wasted where it was most wanted. The rate at present was 14d. in the pound, but the expenditure was altogether wasted where it was most needed because of the physical condition of the children, and 873 what the Londoner had to ask himself was whether he would go on paying this 14d. with the assured knowledge that the whole of it was wasted where it was most needed, or make it 14½d. with the assured knowledge that he would have a beneficent result from the whole of the expenditure. This was not a scheme for undermining parental responsibility at all; it was a scheme for developing parental responsibility, and for securing to the children who would ultimately be the stewards of this Empire what every child now had in all Continental cities, viz., one square meal a day.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said that this was a matter not for the Board of Education only, but for the whole Government. Before the Report of the Physical Deterioration Committee, there was the Report of the Royal Commission on Physical Training in Scotland, which revealed with regard to Scotland matters quite as serious as those brought to light by the later Report with regard to the whole of the United Kingdom. The question concerned the Home Office, the Local Government Board, the Board of Education, the Irish Office, and the Scotch Office. All those Departments ought to have read and studied this Report, and its entire neglect by the Government had filled him with consternation. The Board of Education appeared to be the only Department which had moved in the matter; they had drawn up a syllabus of instruction in domestic economy, and appointed another Committee to make further inquiries. The time for inquiry was past; the time for action had come; and it was most discreditable to our powers of administration and legislation that after so exhaustive an inquiry into so important a subject the Departments concerned had not yet declared what recommendation they intended to adopt and why they refused others. He reminded the Secretary to the Board of Education that Dr. Eichholz's evidence was given in November, 1903, that his investigations were conducted by order of the Board of Education for the purpose of giving evidence before this Committee, and that no doubt had ever been thrown upon Dr. Eichholz's accuracy or competence. 874 The Report of the Committee was made in July, and it was not until March that it occurred to the Board of Education that further inquiry was necessary. He hoped before the session was over positive declarations would be made by the various Departments concerned as to what steps they intended to take to carry out the recommendations of the Committee or to deal with the great evil which that Report had shown to exist. For his part he promised—and he hoped the hon. Member for Camberwell would join him—that on every possible occasion he would bring the matter before the House—on Scotch Estimates, Irish Estimates, and the Scotch Education Bill. The Government would not get rid of him until they took the matter up seriously and treated the interests of these children as they would the interests of any powerful body of constituents whose votes they were anxious to secure.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALTER LONG, Bristol, S.)
said that as he was at the head of the Local Government Board at the time this Report was issued he might be allowed to say a word. The view taken by the Local Government Board was that there was a great deal in the Report which could not be dealt with without legislation, and that what could be done by administration would require careful examination not only by the Department, but also by their medical advisers. He did not remember anything in the Report with which his Department could have dealt with effectively immediately. After all, they had nothing to do with children in school. The Local Government Board were concerned with matters affecting the general health of the people, and they could not accept any charge that they had neglected that duty in any particular.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
referred to the recommendation that the Local Government Board should make regulations as to the supply of milk.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
said that one of the last things he did before leaving 875 the Local Government Board was to obtain the sanction of the Treasury to an additional staff to carry on certain work in connection with the Adulteration of Food Acts, so as to be able to keep local authorities up to the mark in that respect. One of the everyday duties of the Board was to receive reports from local authorities and to ascertain what they were doing. During the last few years there had been a remarkable improvement in the activity of local authorities with regard to impurities in milk and other articles of food, and in order that the Board might do the work thrust upon thorn by the last Adulteration of Food (Amendment) Act they had increased their staff so that the work might be thoroughly supervised and properly done. Therefore, he did not think that the charge of incompletely could be levelled against that Department, and certainly if anything could be done to improve the administration the House could rest assured that it would be done.
§ *THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON, Oxford University)
said that the Board of Education was powerless to provide for the feeding of children in the elementary schools. When the Board was charged with being slack in carrying out the recommendations of this Committee he must remind the House that the Report was issued only last July, and that throughout the autumn he had been inquiring of persons with a practical acquaintance of the life of the poor as to how this question—which became the more difficult the nearer it was approached—could be dealt with. It was not a new question. The children had not lapsed into this underfed condition in the last two or three years, and he had in vain searched the Department for any record of the interest taken in it by the right hon. Member for Cambridge University during all the years he was in office.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that in 1899, in introducing the Education Estimates, he told the House that most of the money was being wasted because the children 876 in the schools were not in a fit condition to be instructed.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that he was glad that after four years of official life the right hon. Gentleman had paid attention to the subject. Some part of the Committee's recommendations concerned the Poor Law administration. If children came to school in a starved condition, urely the managers could bring the parents of those children under the operation of the Poor Law or the law directed against cruelty to and neglect of children. But the ev[...]l[...]lay deeper than the coming to school occasionally of underfed children. They ought to get to know exactly what were the conditions as to the children who daily attended school. The evidence was uncertain. The London School Board placed the number of children attending school who were hungry at 10,000 in one year, by Dr. Eichholz it was calculated at 60,000, and later at 122,000. They desired to know what was the precise extent and nature of the evil complained of. It was a question of the physical condition of children varying very much in character. There were the children who had been ill-fed or ill-cared for from infancy, and who were so backward in development, as to require a different course of study. Then there were the cases in which children were occasionally left without food because of illness or want of employment of the parents. These cases needed different treatment. He was told that where meals were supplied on the school premises the immediate result was that the parents relied wholly on charitable effort. This administration of meals ought to be conducted with the greatest care. To take away from the parents the duty of supplying meals for their children, and to break up family life by inducing the children to have their meals regularly at school, might have disastrous results socially. What it was necessary to get at was the extent of the evil and the proper remedy. Neither was known at present. It was not fair to attack the Department for negligence in a matter of such pathetic importance when the essential facts were not known and when a false step might have such serious consequences.
877 And it being half-past Seven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, put that Question.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 241; Noes, 183. (Division List No. 78.)881
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Faber, George Denison (York)||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ(Man'r||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt Hon.Sir H.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lowe, Francis William|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Finlay, Sir R. B.(Inv'rn'ss B'ghs||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Balcarres, Lord||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Flower, Sir Ernest||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Banbury, Sir Fredk. George||Forster, Henry William||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Galloway, William Johnson||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Gardner, Ernest||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Garfit, William||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredkr.||Marks, Harry Hananel|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gordon, Hn J. E (Elgin & Nairn)||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gordon, Maj. Evans-(T'rH'mlets||Maxwell, RtHn. SirH.E.(Wigt'n|
|Bigwood, James||Gorst, Rt Hn. Sir John Eldon||Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriesshire|
|Bill, Charles||Goschen, Hn. George Joachim||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Fredk. G.|
|Bingham, Lord||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Milvain, Thomas|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Graham, Henry Robert||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.|
|Bond, Edward||Green, WalfordD(Wednesbury)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col.H.F. (Middles'x||Gretton, John||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Brassey, Albert||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mount, William Arthur|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Hain, Edward||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Butcher, John George||Hambro, Charles Eric||Myers, William Henry|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn.J.A.(Glasgow||Hamilton, Rt Hn. Lord G(Mid'x||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'ry||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Peel, Hn. Wm Robert, Wellesley|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.J.A(Wore.||Heath, Sir Jas. (Staffords.N.W||Percy, Earl|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Helder, Augustus||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Chapman, Edward||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hogg, Lindsay||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Horner, Frederick William||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoult, Joseph||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C.R.||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Purvis, Robert|
|Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole||Hunt, Rowland||Randles, John S.|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Crossley, Rt. Hn. Sir Savile||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Kenyon, Hon. Geo.T.(Denbigh)||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt.Hn. Col. W.||Renwick, George|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Kerr, John||Ridley, S. Forde|
|Denny, Colonel||Kimber, Sir Henry||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Knowles, Sir Lees||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon.Sir John E.||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Round, Rt. Hon, James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lawson, JohnGrant(YorksN.R||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Lee, ArthurH. (Hants. Fareham||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Whiteley, H.(Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Thornton, Percy M.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)||Tollemache, Henry James||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Tuff, Charles||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Tuke, Sir John Batty||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Turnour, Viscount||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Smith, H. C. (North'mbTynes'd||Vincent,Col.SirC.E.H.(Sheffield||Wortley, Rt Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Spear, John Ward||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wylie, Alexander|
|Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.)||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H.||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Stock, James Henry||Warde, Colonel C. E.||TELLERS FOB THE AYES—Sir|
|Stroyan, John||Welby, Lt-Col. A. C.E.(Taunton)||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)||Viscount Valentia.|
|Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Allen, Charles P.||Griffiths, Ellis J.||Norman, Henry|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Hammond, John||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hardie,J. Keir (MerthyrTydvil)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)|
|Bell, Richard||Harrington, Timothy||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Benn, John Williams||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Boland, John||Hayter, Rt, Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.|
|Brigg, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Higham, John Sharpe||O'Dowd, John|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Malley, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Mara, James|
|Burns, John||Hutchinson, Dr. Chas. Fredk.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Caldwell, James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Partington, Oswald|
|Cameron, Robert||Jacoby, James Alfred||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Johnson, John||Perks Robert William|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cawley, Frederick||Jordan, Jeremiah||Rea, Russell|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Kearley, Hudson E.||Reddy, M.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan,W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kilbride, Denis||Reid, Sir R. Threshie(Dumfries|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kitson, Sir James||Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Lambert, George||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Crombie, John William||Langley, Batty||Roberts, John H (Denbighs.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Delany, William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Roche, John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dobbie, Joseph||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Rose, Charles Day|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Runciman, Walter|
|Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark)||Levy, Maurice||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lloyd-George, David||Seely, Maj.J.E.B.(Isle of Wight|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lundon, W.||Shackleton, David James|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehy, David|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Crae, George||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||M'Kean, John||Slack, John Bamford|
|Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.)||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Markham, Arthur Basil||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Mitchell, Ed. (Fermanagh, N.)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Mooney, John J.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R.(Northants|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||Moss, Samuel||Sullivan, Donal|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Moulton, John Fletcher||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Murphy, John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Grant, Corrie||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.|
|Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||White, George (Norfolk)||Wood, James|
|Tomkinson, James||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Woodhouse, SirJ.T.(Huddersf'd|
|Ure, Alexander||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Young, Samuel|
|Waldron, Laurence Ambrose||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Wallace, Robert||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Herbert Gladstone and Mr.|
|Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)||William M'Arthur.|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Weir, James Galloway||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|