§ [THIRD READING.]
§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed,. "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
complained that the House of Commons was unable to discuss the working of the great Land Act of 1903 owing to the fact that no information had been given as to its work Last year they were told, not unnaturally, that the time had been so short that no real information could be given on which to found criticism, but now the Act had been in operation a year and a-half and it was not, he submitted, unreasonable to ask the Government to I put them in the position of being able to discuss the matter. Already this session the matter had been raised on three or four occasions, but not once had they had any effective debate whatever. All these debates had been of a most ineffective and useless character, because they had not in their hands any adequate information as to how the Act was working. He did not make any complaint, of course, against the present Chief Secretary, who manifestly was not responsible, nor had he any desire to blame the other members of the Irish Government; but the position in which they found themselves was most improper and ridiculous. The House of Commons ought to be in possession of the facts which would enable it to discuss the question, and, in view of the possibility that the session might come to an early end, it was most important that this should be done without delay. All they had got at present was a certain list of figures giving the number of applications for sale, the prices paid, and so forth; but the preparation of this list would take more time than the preparation of a general Report, so that it could not be on account of want of time that they were left in ignorance of the principles on which the Act was worked, as to the directions in which the Commissioners were working, and as to why, in the Commissioners' views, the Act was not working satisfactorily in certain portions. He urged most strongly on the Chief Secretary, now that he had come to the fulfilment of his 1743 duties, that he should inquire into the matter and find out why the delay had taken place; and asked that before the end of the Easter holidays they should be supplied, first with the general Report of the Estates Commissioners, giving not only the figures, the amount of money, and so forth, but their comments on the working of the Act and their explanations of the principles on which they were working; and, secondly, with the regulations and instructions about which there had been a good deal of mystery and discussion, and which the Chief Secretary promised—it was one of his first acts—should be prepared and published in a simple manner as soon as possible. It was absolutely essential they should have these materials given them, and he earnestly pressed upon the Chief Secretary the necessity of losing no further time. A great deal of mischief had been done by the information having been withheld. He believed there was probably a great deal of misapprehension in both extremes as to the working of the Act; and this was inevitable so long as they were kept in the dark. What interest in the world could be advanced for withholding the information? Surely it was not in the interest of the Government, and it could not be in the interest of the Estates Commissioners. Was it that the staff was insufficient? This great Act had been working a year and a-half, and no Report whatever had been made. It was little short of a scandal, and he urged the Chief Secretary to free himself from any responsibility for it by insisting that the information should be in the hands of hon. Members before the House assembled after Easter.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
said that to his mind the reason they had not had the Report was perfectly plain. Under Section 23 of the Act the Estates Commissioners could only issue a Report on instructions from the Treasury both as to the time of its presentation and its form; and in answer to a Question he had addressed to the Secretary to the Treasury it had been admitted that no representation was made by the Treasury to the Estates Commissioners with regard to the issue of a Report till February 28th. This was the reason they had not had a Report. They had 1744 been promised regulations, and these were important, but what was more important was that before they could know what was going on, they ought to have the instructions issued by the Estates Commissioners to their inspectors. The absence of this Report and of any debate in the House of Commons as to the working of the Act were most embarrassing and led to all sorts of mischief in Ireland. It was said that the Act was a failure, but he did not believe it. He thought it had failed in some important particulars, but he did not agree that there had been failure in a general sense. They could not, however, get out the facts until they had not only a full Report, but these regulations and instructions.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
agreed that until they had the information asked for it was impossible adequately to debate the administration of the Land Act, and this, he also agreed, led to a good deal of misapprehension, for, through ignorance of what was going on, partisans on both sides came to conclusions which he thought were inaccurate. He had only been able to make a partial examination into the subject, but the little he had seen led him to believe that the Act was in no sense a failure, and bethought the information when supplied would substantiate this view. He had nothing to conceal at all. It was true that it was within the province of the Treasury to prescribe the time of the presentation of the Report and, what was much more important, the form the Report should take, but the Treasury, as far as he knew, was only actuated by the desire that the Report should be in accordance with what they believed to be the principle laid down in the Act, and he did not think there had been any delay. He regretted very much the absence of the information, but he would do his utmost to expedite its publication in every possible way. One of the first things he did on succeeding to his present office was to inquire both of the Estates Commissioners and his other advisers in the Department the cause of this delay and to press upon them the very great urgency of bringing the matter to an immediate conclusion. 1745 He thought, however, that a year and a-half was too liberal an interpretation of the time the Act had been working.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
The right hon. Gentleman forgets that the late Chief Secretary promised Reports every six months.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I do not forget, because I am not a war eof it. Proceeding, he said it was conceivable that in passing a great Act of Parliament assurances might be made with confidence that they would be able to be carried out, but which, when it came to administration, they found could not be. This was probably one of the most complicated and difficult Acts that any Government had ever had to administer, and, after all, the Estates Commissioners could not get together the necessary information for their Report until they had been long enough in the saddle to arrange their procedure and arrive at a plan of how their work was to be done. He did not think there had been undue delay on their part. He believed they had now arrived at a time when they would be able soon to proceed to publication, and although he would not promise more than that, he would do everything in his power to secure publication of the Report before the end of the Easter holidays. He thought this result ought to be secured. It was impossible to justify keeping the House out of information essential to a discussion, which it ought to have, and which he desired it should have, because he believed that it would be in the interest not only of those responsible for the passing of the Act, but, what was more important, to the advantage and interest of the whole Irish population that the full power of the Act should be understood, that its method of administration should be understood, and that the relations between the Executive and the Estates Commissioners should be understood.
There were two sets of regulations, those issued by the executive Government to the Commissioners, and those issued by the Commissioners to their inspectors. The latter were ordered from the printer on March 20th, and he would take care they were laid 1746 immediately. He agreed that with regard to the other regulations it was undesirable that there should be any mystery; it was not only undesirable, but also unjust. The Act imposed upon the executive Government the obligation of issuing regulations for the guidance of the Commissioners, and it was obvious that if the action of the Commissioners were to be controlled by regulations issued by the executive Government, in fairness to them and in order that the House and the public might judge as to where responsibility rested, there should be no mystery about it, and that these regulations should be made public as soon as possible. The first thing he did on returning to London was to call for information as to these regulations. He had already considered them, they were now before the Estates Commissioners and the other members of the executive Government, and he had asked that they should be put forward: with, the utmost rapidity, He desired that they should be published as soon as possible, and, if they proved insufficient and required amendments, those amendments should be issued in the same form as the original regulations so that the House would be able to judge of the responsibility of action under them. He shared the view that a full knowledge of the subject was all important if they were to judge of the ultimate success or failure of the Act. He believed it would effect a great agrarian reform and that it would, if justly and wisely administered, bring great blessings of peace on the country as a whole. Therefore, he desired to do everything that could be done to facilitate its smooth and successful working.
§ *MR. JOHN CAMPBELL (Armagh, S.)
said he rose to move the rejection of this Bill in order to call the attention of the House to the condition of the aborigines of Western Australia, as disclosed in the recent Report of the Roth Commission. The state of affairs depicted there was so appalling that no words of his were necessary to enhance it. He should use, therefore, the simplest and most pedestrian of phraseology, and promise that, as far at least as he was concerned, no undue heat would be imported into this discussion. Now, what was it that 1747 this Report contained? It indicated, in the first place, that the native population in Western Australia were living in a condition of slavery. He used the word advisedly. The males were compelled to work for the white men from the tenderest years without a penny of wages, and when they were incapacitated by old age or infirmity they were turned adrift remorselessly without the slightest provision being made for them.
As for the administration of the laws under which they lived it was the worst conceivable. Take the commonest offence with which these poor people were charged—cattle-killing—which constituted 90 per cent, of native offences. When a bullock was reported to have been killed anywhere, what happened was this. The constable went out into the bush with half a dozen police trackers armed with rifles and well equipped with chains and manacles for a purpose which he would explain later on. This force of armed men would surround the black encampment at nightfall and in the morning rouse up the whole assembly male and female. The former were taken into custody as prisoners. The latter were seized as witnesses against their male relatives. Both males and females were impartially put in chains, which were never once removed, day or night, whether travelling overland or wading through rivers, until the trial was finished. On the journey the evidence proved that the unhappy female witnesses—who, on the very face of it were not even accused of any crime—were systematically out-raged by the police and their agents. Worse remained behind. The trial it self was the merest travesty of justice. The prisoners did not know the nature, of the charge which was made against them. They were ignorant of the language even of the tribunal, and to them was given as interpreter the police boy. The latter was very often ignorant of the special dialect of the prisoners, and in any case he was never a safe medium. Through his agency the culprits who were arraigned conjointly in batches were usually prevailed on to enter a plea of guilty—a plea on which, according to the Criminal Code Amendment Act of 1902, any justice was empowered to inflict a sentence of three years 1748 hard labour. Consequently, they need not be surprised to hear that for a prisoner to escape was a thing altogether unheard of. In connection with this question it must not be forgotten that it was to the direct pecuniary interest of the police to bring in as many prisoners and witnesses as ever they could; for they were allowed conduct-money at the usual rate of 2s. 5d. per head per day, and as they could subsist the natives for a few pence a day they contrived to make a very handsome profit. And when the trial was over the young women witnesses, instead of being conducted back to their former place of residence, were turned adrift in the streets, the police pocketing the daily capitation grant for the return journey. Even while in gaol the prisoners were kept in irons. There was really no justification for this. All the gaolers confessed the practice to be unauthorised and illegal. The only attempt at palliation was the allegation that if not fettered they would escape. But if this was really true, then obviously the remedy was to build better prisons, the convict labour being ready and quite sufficient for the erection of proper houses of detention.
He desired to call special attention to the question of the children. The lot of these little creatures was a very sad one indeed. From the earliest age they were forced to labour for employers who gave them nothing in return—neither education nor wages. Was it astonishing that they commonly fell into evil ways—thievery or prostitution? The evidence of all the witnesses went to show that, if the children were to be saved, provision must be made for them in the way of orphanages and industrial schools. The pearl-shell fishery business also required special mention. The boats employed in this industry were for the most part unseaworthy. They were purposely never registered in order to escape inspection under the Merchant Shipping Act. Boys and women were taken aboard in direct contravention of the statute. Liquor and opium were carried without stint, and they were therefore prepared to hear that drunkenness and immorality prevailed all along the coast line.
And now, to substantiate these charges. He trusted the House, would bear with him if he went briefly through some of the most important evidence contained 1749 in the Report under discussion. He would read to the House a few extracts from the Roth Report of December, 1904. Mr. Prinsep, chief protector of aborigines, was asked—Can a contract be legally entered into without your knowledge?—Yes.Can you prevent any Asiatic or European from being an employer under the Act?—No, I cannot.Can you prevent the greatest scoundrel un-hung from employing an aboriginal under contract?—No.Absconders might be arrested on warrant. Employment without contract was the commonest form of service. The proportion of natives under contract to all actually employed was one in twelve. Many employers were objectionable but the police were powerless to interfere. The police were invoked to bring back runaways and this was quite illegal. The indentures were up to twenty-one and too long, and fourteen or sixteen would be better. They received no education. Inspection by justices was permissive, but never used. But all three forms of employment—under contract, without contract, or under indenture—were alike in the fact that no wages were ever paid.
John Byrne, sergeant of police, Broome, in his evidence was asked—As far as you are aware, are any wages being pail under the contract system?—Not that I know of. I have never heard of anything more than clothes, food, and tobacco being supplied.Have you any opinion of your own as to whether wages should be paid?—I do not see any reason why wages should not be paid. For instance, a settler has a station, and in the dry season all the surface water dries up. The cattle have to be watered from the wells, and he employs natives. If he could not get atives he would have to employ white men. I think it is a big advantage to the settler to have the natives, and they should have some wage.Matthew Langtree, stockman, was questioned as follows—How are the natives treated by the Kimberley pastoralists?—They have to work night and day, and all they get is a bit of clothing and a little food. They are only half-fed and half-clothed. It only costs about a shilling a week to keep them. When they get old and infirm they are allowed to lie down and die.Have you been on the stations?—Yes. I have seen old men and women blind and helpless. There is no home for them. They die like dogs.Nearly all the witnesses were unanimous that wages should be paid either (a) 1750 direct to the native or (b) to the Government to make provision for the indigent and infirm. The Commissioner supported the latter suggestion and proposed a minimum wage of 5s. a month on land, and 10s. a month on boats. The period of leave of absence to be also paid for. Blacks were also employed on municipal works. No wages were paid, save perhaps a bit of tobacco from the mayor. In the pearl-shell industry no wages were paid and the natives were sent out in unseaworthy boats.
Another witness, Walter John McKenna, Acting Sub-Collector of Customs, Broome, gave evidence as follows—Are you responsible for the administration of the Pearl Fisheries Act?—Yes; as far as prohibited immigrants are concerned, and the shipping of men signing the ship's articles.Can you stop any unseaworthy vessel from going to sea, whether registered under the Merchant Shipping Act or not?—I can only stop a vessel when she is registered.How many of the 400 pearling luggers are thus registered?—I do not know.Do you know anything about the Merchant Shipping Act?—No.Why not?—Because we haven't got a copy of the Act in the shipping office, though we have made repeated applications to the Shipping Master, Fremantle. We have made four applications since last April.Graham Blick, medical officer and acting R.M., Broome, was asked—Is anything done to stop an unseaworthy boat from going to sea?—I have no power to prevent any old cranky boat from going to sea.Do you know of anyone here who has power to stop any such boat going to sea?—No. If such a case did occur the matter would have to be dealt with by a special board.Have you ever exercised your power as Resident Magistrate or justice for boarding a vessel to examine the stores in accordance with the Act?—No.Do you know whether any of the other justices have exercised this power?—No. Two of the other justices are pearlers, but I do not think they have visited any but their own boats.You have never satisfied yourself as to the quantity or quality of the stores carried on the boats?—No.Is there any limit to the quantity of liquor that may be carried on these boats?—Not to my knowledge. It is a question for the shipping master.Filomeno Rodriguez, pearler, of Broome, said—I think some of the boats are unseaworthy.You mean that they are a danger to human life?—Yes.1751Have you ever drawn the attention of the owners to such boats?—Yes.To your knowledge has any action been taken on that information?—No.As far as you are aware does any Government official ever inspect these boats to see whether they are seaworthy or not?—No.If there were such a Government official would there be many boats that he would condemn?—Yes.Is it to the interests of the pearlers that they should keep these unseaworthy boats in use?—Yes. I think it is to their interest.In your experience have you ever known of a justice or a magistrate boarding your vessels and examining your stores, etc.?—Once, in 1886; not since.Native boys and women were taken aboard in defiance of statute. Liquor and opium were allowed to be carried in unlimited quantities and liquor was sold to the crews at 10s. per bottle for whisky, and 12s. to 15s. per bottle for gin. Drunkenness and prostitution prevailed along the coast line from La Grange Bay to the east shores of King Sound. Diseases and unspeakable vices were imported by the Malays, Japanese, and Manillamen. Cattle-killing constituted 90 per cent. of native offences. Why? Because squatters shot the kangaroos; pastured their stock on all the watered portions of the run; destroyed the natives' hunting dogs, etc., etc. Arrests were made in crowds from pecuniary motives, as the following evidence clearly proves.
Mr. Skinner, J..P., Wyndham, said—What are the rations allowed per head per day to the police for prisoners and aboriginal witnesses' rations?—2s. 5d. at out-stations and 1s. 6½d. in Wyndham.Having been here so long you must have a fair idea of the ordinary cost of living, have you not?—Yes.Do you consider that the police make any profit out of this allowance?—I do, of course.Why do you say 'of course'?—It has always been a well-known thing. Everybody knows that they have made a profit out of it for a long time past.Have you ever kept a black here?—Yes.What does it cost you on the average to keep him?—I am feeding the one I have at the present time for 1s. per day, which pays for what he eats. He gets practically the same as I do myself. He is a cripple and the Government pays me 1s. per day for his support.1752 Questions were put to John Wilson, constable of police, Isdell River, as follows—Do you actually spend 2s. 5d. per day on each prisoner or witness?—No; but each native has sufficient food.How could you make up 2s. 5d. per day for rations for a young female aboriginal witness, for instance?—They have the same rations as the men.You say that they only receive flour, tea., and sugar, and that you kill kangaroo sometimes, and that they sometimes collect lizards and roots. I want to know how you can spend 2s. 5d. per head on each one?—(No answer.)Do you mean to tell me that you are not in a position to state whether you make a profit on this 2s. 5d. which you are allowed for daily rations for these blacks?—I make a profit. I do not lose anything by it.Dodwell Browne, R.M., a district medical officer, Wyndham, was the next witness—Have you not felt often in dealing with these cases that there is something of an undercurrent of injustice meted out towards the natives in the way that they have been brought in without defence and with no opportunity of calling witnesses?—I have. I have felt all along that they first of all do not thoroughly understand the charge against them. They do not understand the nature of the crime of killing a beast. I have done my best to give them justice in this Court and to give them the lightest sentence possible. I have had my judgments criticised in consequence. All these cases, in my opinion, are a huge source of revenue to the police. It is to their advantage to arrest as many prisoners as they can, whether they have killed or alleged to have killed the beast, because they get their maintenance per day for each man. This is too high and, as common report has it, the cost of one Winchester bullet for killing a kangaroo is about their true feed. The police also get maintenance for rations supplied to witnesses and their children, and they are supposed to escort discharged native prisoners after their time is up back to their homes, and the witnesses too.William Goodridge, corporal of police, Wyndham, said—I consider that the police make a considerable profit out of the 2s. 5d. per head per day.Do you consider that this acts as a temptation for them to bring in a larger number of prisoners and witnesses than otherwise?—I do.Have you ever mentioned this matter to your chief?—I have not, for the reason that I thought if the thing leaked out I might be looked upon as a black sheep if the other police found out that I had tried to cut down the rate for rations. I spoke about it to one or two.1753 As to the mode of arrest it could be effected either with or without a warrant upon verbal information or upon no information at all. They surrounded the camps at night and waited for daylight. The constables and black trackers were armed with Winchester rifles and chains for fifteen to thirty natives. One constable testifies that he once arrested thirty-three prisoners.
F. A. Hare, commissioner of police, in his evidence was asked—In cases of cattle killing, do the police arrest an aboriginal without warrant?—Yes, they do. A warrant is taken out in the first place if information is laid against certain aborigines, but when the police go out on patrol and an offence is reported, the offenders are tracked and arrested without a warrant.What method is adopted to prevent their escape from custody?—Chains are used.Are neck-chains used on Europeans under similar circumstances?—I have never heard of it.Have you any legal authority for using neck-chains on natives?—Authority is given in the Police Regulations.Regulation 647.—In escorting native prisoners, the practice of chaining them by the neck must not be resorted to except in cases where the prisoners are of a desperate character, or have been arrested at a considerable distance in the bush; or, when travelling by sea, they are near the land to which they belong, and it is necessary to adopt special measures to secure them. Even then the practice must not be adopted if it can be avoided.Have you any regulations as to the size or weight of these neck-chains?—No.To what is the neck-chain attached when the prisoner is escorted by a police officer who is mounted?—He would be fastened by the neck and arm and chained to the man next to him, and attached to the saddle only when absolutely necessary.Robert Anderson, corporal of police, was asked—In escorting native prisoners do you use neck-chains?—Yes;What authority have you for using them?—I know no legal authority, but the chains are supplied by the Department for that purpose.George Jeffery Scott, gaoler, Wyndham, gave evidence as follows—When blacks are brought in in chains from Hall's Creek, are they ever made to swim the rivers in their chains?—As far as I can find out from police and natives, the chains are never taken off them when crossing rivers and creeks.Is not this a great risk to life?—It is a wonder to me that they are not all drowned 1754 from what I hear of the state of the rivers in the rainy season.Do you know of any cases of blacks having been drowned in this manner?—Natives in past years have told me that several have lost their lives in crossing the rivers.When the police bring in prisoners to your gaol are they always properly clothed?—They are always naked, with the exception of the usual loin cloth. In the wet season it is very severe on natives travelling without clothing or blankets.Chains were used also in prisons. Octavius Burt, Sheriff and Comptroller-General of Prisons was asked—Are neck chains used in prisons?—Yes.Are these chains used continuously during the whole length of the sentence?—Yes.Kindly let me know what is your authority for the use of them?—There is no legal authority. I can only say it is one of those things so universally adopted that it is never questioned. The practice has been in vogue for about thirty years or more I believe.Are neck-chains ever used for Europeans?—Not that I know of.You have no regulations as to the use of neck-chains?—None.Have you any regulations as to the weight and size?—There is nothing laid down.The weights of the chains in use are:—Roebourne, from 2 lbs. 12 ozs. to 5 lbs. 14 ozs.; Broome, 2 lbs. 2 ozs.; Wyndham, 5/11 lbs. with Yale lock and everything complete.Has the chain a collar and padlock?—The chain encircles the neck and is fastened with a small Yale lock.William Paterson, gaoler, Broome, on the same subject was examined as follows—Who supplies you with these chains? The Comptroller-General of Prisons.Do you use any 'up' and 'down' coupling chains?—No.If you did use such a chain the weight would be much less, would it not?—Yes. It would take a great deal of the strain off.Have you any authority for using neck-chains at all?—Yes.What is the nature of this authority? The nature of the authority is that I must place all native prisoners consigned to my keeping in chains.From whom did you receive this order?— The Comptroller-General of Prisons, Mr. Burt.When did you receive this order?—About the middle of last year, as near as I can tell at the present time.Do you mean to tell me that every aboriginal prisoner who comes here, say for a minor offence e.g., absconding under the 'Merchant Shipping Act,' has to be chained?—Yes, according to the order mentioned1755Even although the boy is fairly civilised, and perhaps educated and working for Europeans for years?—Yes.Is it ever mentioned in the warrant that aboriginal prisoners are to be chained?—No.Is it just custom and usage then?—Yes.Do you place neck-chains on any other than aboriginal prisoners?—No.It appeared from the Report that the gaolers sometimes allege that the prisoners could not be kept in safe custody except by being chained. That was due to the fact that the prisons were not properly constructed. The use of chains could easily be abolished if the prisons were properly constructed.
The following was from the evidence of John James Pond, gaoler, Roeburne, who was questioned as follows—Is it ever mentioned in the warrants that the aboriginal prisoners should be kept in chains?—I have never seen it.Do you place neck-chains on any other than aboriginal prisoners?—No.Why not?—It is not necessary.The cells in which your aboriginal prisoners are confined are all stone, with iron bars to the windows and iron gates?—Yes. They are very substantial.Are these cells sufficiently strong to prevent escape?—I should say so.Are the neck-chains kept on the prisoners at night?—Yes.Are they fixed to the walls?—Yes. They are fastened to rings in the wall.If these cells are sufficiently strong, why are the chains not removed at night?—That I could not give you any reason for. If the chains were taken off, the prisoners might 'rush' the gates. Two officers are always on duty, and we would have to arm them. There are twenty prisoners in each cell. It would be possible to leave the prisoners chained together, but not cuffed to the wall.What do you mean by being 'cuffed'?— Attaching the end of the chain by a small handcuff to the ring in the wall.The same witness was examined as follows in regard to split-links—When you first receive aboriginal prisoners at this gaol are the neck-chains fixed by single cuffs or by Yale locks?—Some have Yale locks and some have single cuffs.Are the neck-chains ever fixed by any other method?—Yes; by iron split-links. Two batches of prisoners from Wyndham, twenty in each batch, were fixed by this method.What was your method of opening these Split-links?—By hammer and chisel, with the 1756 prisoner's neck placed on the blacksmith's anvil.Is not this a dangerous method?—Yes. In case of accident in transport, especially on board ship; if there was a wreck, every life of the twenty might have been lost. Even on shore if one prisoner had a fit it might prove too late to open a link.Does the escorting constable carry appliances to open such split-links in case accident should suddenly befall to any one of the batch?—I have never seen any.About how long did it take your warder to unloose each split-link?—Between five and ten minutes.That is to say, even with all appliances ready to hand, it would take a warder any where between one and a-half and three hours?—Yes.Did the warder find it a difficult job when he unloosened the split-links on the prisoners that came here? —Yes. I had to superintend and hold the chain while the officer opened the link with hammer and chisel. I was afraid it might injure the prisoners' necks; these prisoners had no proper necklets—all raw chains.Can you let me take possession of one of these split-links?—Yes.Did you draw the escorting constable's attention to such split-links being used?—Yes. I asked him why they were used. He did not know. Two of my warders were present.George Jeffrey Scott, gaoler, Wyndham, was examined as follows—When you first receive aboriginal prisoners at this gaol from the police, are the neck-chains fixed by single cuffs, Yale locks, or split-links?—Some are fixed with patent split-links, some with both cuff and ordinary split-links, occasionally with cuff only. I think the cuff is only readjusted in the police yard to save time. It is mostly done with split-links.In case of a fall or a fit, is not the use of a split-link dangerous?—Very often. The use of the split-link is dangerous. Also the fact of the chain being too short is dangerous. If a prisoner fell he would be bound to drag down the prisoner on either side of him.How short have you noticed the chain joining two prisoners necks?—Twenty-four inches. I have remarked to the police that I have thought it much too short and was cruel.This Commission has been informed that in the majority of cases the witnesses for the prosecution are young women. Is that so?— In every case on the charge of cattle-killing the police have always brought female aboriginal witnesses.Young ones?—Yes.Have you ever drawn attention to the fact that these aboriginal witnesses are always young females?—No. I have always drawn attention to the fact that the witnesses are females.1757 Matthew John Langtree, stockman, gave the following evidence as to the chaining of witnesses—Are the women put in chains?—Yes. This is done as a safeguard because they are witnesses against the male prisoners.Are the women witnesses?—Yes, in the majority of cases. They are young women.John Wilson, constable of police, Isdell River, was questioned as follows—Do you ever arrest the gins?—Yes.Do you accuse them of cattle-killing?—No.Do you arrest them as witnesses?—Yes.Have you any legal authority to arrest these women as unwilling witnesses?—No. Not that I am aware of.How do you detain them, with neck-chains? —They are chained by the ankles.Do you mean that their two legs are chained together? —No. I fasten the gin to a tree with a handcuff and then fix the chain to one ankle with another handcuff—one handcuff for each prisoner.Is it only at night that they are chained like this? —It is necessary to detain them sometimes in the day when going through scrub or rocky country where they might get away. It is very rare that they have to be secured in the daytime.The Commission has received evidence that these witnesses are generally young gins or young children. Is that so?—I have never brought in female children as witnesses, that is, what I have considered children.Have you brought in young women?—Yes.Have you brought in old women?—Yes.Is it true that more young women are brought in as witnesses than very old ones?—I think there would be an equal portion of each.''Do you allow your trackers or the assisting stockmen to have sexual intercourse with the gins whose relatives or friends you have arrested?—They may do it without my knowing it.Do you take any precautions at night that these assisting stockmen or trackers do not have connection with the women when chained to the trees?—No.Does such intercourse go on?—I suppose it does. It could go on in the camp at night and I would know nothing about it.So far as you know, then, this sexual intercourse may go on with these female aboriginal witnesses?—Yes.Do your trackers have sexual intercourse with these female aboriginal witnesses?—I have never watched them. They might do so. I sleep at ease myself and never take any notice of these things. It would have caused trouble if I did.1758 When the witness was asked whether women who were wives and relatives of the prisoners were warned as to giving evidence he said he did not warn them about giving evidence against their husbands.
John Inglis, constable, was questioned as follows—Do they realise the harm that they are doing to their husbands?—Not in the slightest. They do a lot of harm against their husbands, and do not know it.John Wilson was questioned as to bringing evidence for the defence—Do you bring in any witnesses for the defence—No.Why not?—It is not a customary thing in the district. I have never seen it done.This is rather a one-sided kind of justice for the black, is it not.—Yes. I have never known it to be done since I have been in the district.You have admitted that some of these witnesses are relatives of the prisoners, have you not?—Yes. They are all related in one way or another to the prisoners.John Inglis, Constable of Police, Hall's Creek, was examined on this point as follows—Do you ever bring in any witnesses for the defence? —No.Is not this a rather one-sided kind of justice for the black?—It is in a sense. It in a queer country where I am. Every mother's son is guilty.H. Mackenzie Skinner, J. P., Wyndham, was questioned as follows—Have they any witnesses for the defence?—No; never.Mr. Prinsep, Chief Protector of Aborigines, gave evidence as—Is an aboriginal prisoner discharged from gaol without clothes?—Generally, I believe.Do the police bring him into Court without clothes?—Yes, as far as I know.The evidence of Dodwell Browne, R.M. and district medical officer, Wyndham, contained the following—Do you ask the accused how he pleads?—Yes.Through an interpreter?—The interpreter generally asks how the man pleads, and the man answers to the Bench with gestures or in the usual pidgin and broken English.Who is this interpreter, as a rule?—He is generally the police boy.How can you guard against this interpreter telling you a lie?—In no way whatever.1759Does he always understand the language of the accused, or does he speak through another interpreter?—They are different tribes, but from what I see I think they can understand pretty well the drift of what is said generally.Because the accused happens to admit or is made to admit that he has killed a beast, do you take such a reply to mean that he proposes to plead guilty?—The charge is explained as carefully as I can do it. They kill a beast on such and such a day at such and such a creek. If the man says that he kills such and such a beast I take it that he pleads guilty. I think, and have seen it, that a man will plead guilty now for killing a beast some time ago. The native cannot separate two charges on two beasts, and will still have the one offence in his mind. If he kills a bullock once he will plead guilty to every subsequent charge of killing a bullock no matter how often he will be charged with it.''Do you believe that these wild blacks can be made to understand the scope of the meaning of the terms 'pleading guilty' or 'intent'?—I think very few of them do.William Paterson, gaoler, Broome, was asked—Amongst the aborigines sentenced for cattle-killing whom you have shown me, and to whom you have spoken in my presence, how many do you think really understand what they are here for?—Not one of them, in my opinion.If an aboriginal pleaded guilty to any offence not capital he might be sentenced to three years' imprisonment with hard labour. Ordinarily they were charged conjointly in batches. Prisoners were also cross-examined—a mode of procedure utterly alien from the spirit of English jurisprudence.
Mr. A. G. Woodroffe, manager, Adelaide Steamship Company, Wyndham, was examined as follows—Does the prosecuting police officer cross-examine the accused?—Yes.''In 'pidgin' English?—In cases where the natives understand English he does it directly in English. In cases where the prisoner does not understand English it is done through the interpreter.Are you satisfied that the evidence of the aboriginal accused and witnesses is correctly obtained?—That is a hard thing to say. I do not understand the native language. There is no doubt in my mind that the native witnesses in many cases are not property cross-examined. As a proof of that I can refer you to the depositions in the Courthouse at Wyndham, which will show that the questions put to all the natives are answered alike in every detail. They all have the same story.When blacks are accused of a crime you do not think they have a fair trial?—I am satisfied 1760 in my own mind that they never have a fair trial. If a native is tried for murder he is tried before the Resident Magistrate and committed for trial, and then the same Resident Magistrate is given a commission to again try the same case. It is natural that he will not direct the jury against his previous verdict. I can cite one case (the Teroney case) in which I was not a juryman, but I was interested because I offered bail, but it was not accepted because the Resident Magistrate had a personal animus against mo. I attended the Court in this case, and the Resident Magistrate told the jury that if they did not tiring in a verdict as directed by him it would not be just and right.In most of these cases, then, do you think the blacks merely get the drift of the evidence, or do they really understand the evidence given against them?—I firmly believe that the blacks do not understand the charges that ate brought against them.Mr. Prinsep, Chief Protector of Aborigines, was questioned as follows—Are any cases of such a punishment as three years imprisonment on an aboriginal known to you?—Yes.For what?—One case of unlawfully wounding and several others of killing one head of cattle.Can you suggest any justification for a three years sentence on a black for killing cattle?—Yes. Unless severe sentences were given for the suppression of this crime, other and more unlawful means might be taken against the native.What do you mean by 'other and more unlawful means'?—Private suppression or by force of arms.''In your opinion is not a three years sentence a terrible power to put in the hands of a justice?—Certainly.William Paterson, gaoler, Broome, was examined as follows—You showed me one old man who was a cripple and practically blind. Is this man here for cattle-killing?—Yes. I have his warrant, which states that he with others pleaded guilty, that he did kill one cow, the property of Rose Brothers, at Isdell River, on or about the 12th day of April, 1904, with intent to steal the carcase. He received six months imprisonment.Have you reported the fact that this man is a cripple and almost blind to your chief?—I have.What made you report it?—The man's condition. I thought it behoved me to recommend that the Government remit the remainder of his sentence.Do you believe in long sentences on aboriginal prisoners?—No. I am opposed to long sentences for offences such as cattle-killing. On the other hand I have noticed of late that the sentences for this offence are not quite so long as they have been in former years.1761 The evidence of J. J. Pond, gaoler, Roebourne, contained the following—Do you believe in long sentences on aboriginal prisoners?—I do not.Can you give me any reasons for thinking so?—I think that when they have been away from their homes so long they seem forgotten when they return. Their tribes will have very little to do with them. They often commit further crimes because their women have been taken.What do you consider the youngest ages of the prisoners you have here?—Sixteen, fifteen, and fourteen years. These boys have been sentenced to two years imprisonment for cattle-killing.G. J. Scott, gaoler, Wyndham, was questioned as follows—What do you consider the youngest ages of the prisoners you have at present?—Judging by appearances, between eleven and thirteen years of age.What punishment have these children received? —Sentences from six months to two years, with hard labour.What proportion of these aboriginal prisoners do you honestly believe know what they are in prison for?—When I came here a great number of them were "Myalls," and their idea was that they were here for road-making. As they become educated the majority of them know that they are here for cattle-killing, as they come to gaol so often.The young women who were called as witnesses were not sent home again. This was a contravention of the regulations. The police got the money for the homeward escort, put it into their own pockets, and turned the young women out into the streets.
The hon. Member said he would now read the evidence of two natives, giving in summarised form a description of the evils which prevailed in the administration of justice. Boodungarry was an aboriginal child, about fourteen years of age, undergoing in Wyndham Gaol, a sentence of two years hard labour for alleged cattle-killing. Mr. Hartrick, secretary to the Commission, took shorthand notes, and compiled the following evidence in the form of a readable statement—I was caught by Jack Inglis and Wilson (policemen). Some others, named Manulla and Goominyah, were with me and other men. We were naught at the camp at Mt. Barrett. I had been working for a white man, but left and went, into the bush. Wilson asked mo if I killed cattle. I said 'No.' Wilson and Inglis then talked together, and they said they would shoot me. Inglis put a cartridge in his rifle, pointed it at me, and said he would burn me at a rock. 1762 It frightened me, and I then said I did kill a bullock. The first time I said I did not kill any cattle, but this time I was frightened when he said he would shoot, and I said I did kill cattle. He took me and some other blackfellows, who were also frightened. They all said they had killed a bullock because they were frightened. The policemen put handcuffs on our legs and hands. Two of us were chained by the legs. They then caught some more blackfellows—a big mob—and some gins, and took us away. Wilson got a gin and took her into a gully. I have seen Policeman Wilson 'marry' plenty of gins. We were taken to Hall's Creek. At the Courthouse I said nothing, because Inglis told me not to talk. Wilson hammered plenty of blackfellows with nulla-nulla. I do not know why he "wommered' [beat] them, but he frightened me and I did not talk in the Courthouse. The gins did all the talking. The magistrate only spoke to them. He did not ask me whether I killed a bullock.Garngulling, a native about thirty years of age, undergoing a sentence also in Wyndham Gaol, for alleged breaking into a house, was examined apart from Boodungarry and said—Jack Inglis [policeman] caught me at the station when I was watering cattle for Ben. Cranwell. Inglis made me get off my horse and go with him. We left my horse at the house. The waterhole was close to Ben. Cranwell's house. I went away with Inglis. One day we came into a camp and all the black fellows ran away into the bush. Inglis asked where the black fellows were, and the police boy asked an old man, who said they had run away. Inglis did not chain me up, but gave me a ride on a horse. We met a wagon. Jack Inglis went into the camp, but there were no blackfellows. We met two gins, who said they wanted to go back to Hall's Creek. We saw tracks of two blackfellows and two gins land followed the tracks. They caught blackfellow Larry. Inglis asked me if I could find some blackfellows. I said there might be some in the creek, as I had seen tracks. We had dinner, and saw two police boys bring up one blackfellow, who was Larry. There were two gins in Inglis's camp. Inglis asked Larry if he killed a bullock belonging to Ben Cranwell. Larry said he did not, and that he came from Hall's Creek with a letter for Ben. Cranwell. Inglis said to Larry, 'Now, you tell truth. If you don't I will burn you in the fire.' I heard it with my own ear. Inglis said, 'I will shoot you.' Two gins sat down and said he killed cattle. They told a lie. Inglis said, 'If you don't tell me the truth I will shoot you.' He picked up the rifle. I saw him holding it in his hand. Larry said he only had kangaroo beef. We then packed up and looked for some more blacks, and got some, including little Tommy, and went into Hall's Creek. I have seen policemen Wilson and Caldow and Jim O'Brien 'marry' gins. [O'Brien was a constable, but has since left the service.] I have seen policemen sleeping with gins at night time. I have seen Caldow sleeping with gin Nelly, who is now working for the corporal at Wyndham. Blackfellows do not like the police. Sometimes 1763 on the road we have plenty of tucker, and sometimes nothing. Sometimes we have beef. Sometimes we have nothing for breakfast, nothing for dinner, and for tea we had some Johnny-cake We were often hungry, and had only a little bit of tucker. Policeman would not let gins or tracker get any food. This policeman was named Wilson. We were chained to a tree and had no tucker. Policeman chained the gins by the leg at night time, so that they would not run away. I have seen Inglis put a chain on a gin at the 40- Mile, Ben. Cranwell's station [1522.] Sometimes police men and sometimes police-boy shoot kangaroo for tucker. Sometimes police-boy gets a kangaroo, and takes a prisoner to help him. Gins get tucker from the policeman, but they don't give it to the black man.Then he came to the subject of the distribution of the Government rations and blankets. The Report seemed to indicate that the Government did issue these things, but that the persons appointed to distribute them applied them to their own uses. The evidence on that point was as follows—
T. Houlahan, sergeant of police, Carnarvon—Have you ever caught the police charging for rations which they have not supplied?—I have. About three years ago (I cannot remember the exact date) a constable named Mercer, stationed at the junction, sent in an account for rations supplied to natives, which I knew from my own personal knowledge to be incorrect. I had seen the natives employed and knew that they were being fed by their employer. They were employed washing wool and picking locks at a shearing shed. After seeing that the natives were employed I waited to see what the constable would do. An account came in for rations supplied, and I fully reported on the matter through my department, but heard no more about it.Is it possible for such a thing to happen now?—Yes. It is possible for it to happen now, because I am not permitted to visit the upper station (junction) when I choose. It could happen at any time.Mr. Ostlund, R.M., Marble Bar—In your opinion do those distributing relief to natives benefit by so doing?—I certainly think so, and I will read a communication I sent to the Aborigines Department on 18th June, 1900:—'From my own observation I find that the old and infirm natives come for relief twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. On Thursday, the 14th instant, I weighed two lots of rations in the presence of Mr. C. H. Wilson, a Justice of the Peace, and found each to contain about 2 lbs. of rice, 2 lbs. of flour, and ¼ lb. of brown sugar. The natives inform me that they always receive the same ration. From a calculation of the local retail prices the cost of 1764 the ration is about half the allowance I hardly think the rations supplied alone would be sufficient for their sustenance, but these are supplemented by the employed natives, who are very kind to the aged and crippled ones. The natives receiving relief appear to be fairly well nourished.'As far as I remember, I had a reply from Mr. Prinsep, in which he said that he did not abject to distributors pecuniarily benefiting by the relief as long as it was within reason. I quote this instance to show that I have drawn the attention of the Chief Protector to the matter.Mr. J. Langtree, stockman, said—I am certain the blacks do not receive the rations authorised by the Government.As to the burial of these unfortunate aboriginals, the evidence of Mr. Prinsep, Chief Protector, was—Are prayers paid for at a burial?—No; unless the deceased was a recognised Christian.Have you ever paid for prayers at the grave?—I believe I have in some instances, although under protest.Do you consider that there is any necessity for prayers? —No.There was only one bright spot, only one bit of pleasant reading in all this Report. It was the evidence of Father Nicholas, a Trappist monk, who seemed to have been to these aborigines what Father Damien was to the lepers in the Sandwich Islands. He established schools, orphanages, homes for the aged and the infirm, and accomplished all this at his, own expense. Father Nicholas' evidence was as follows—Who pays for all this?—I do. I have given all I have. I have no more. And now for the first time after ten years work amongst these people, I am in debt to the amount of about £100.''Do you mean to tell me that the Government has given you no pecuniary assistance? —Not a penny, so far. But the time has now arrived at last when unless the Government come soon to my assistance, I can no longer continue this expenditure which, though I have to admit it with a wounded heart (le cœur naure), will mean that I shall have to abandon all such sick natives to their fate. When Mr. Olivey travelled round here on behalf of the Aborigines Department, the Resident Magistrate spoke to him very forcibly on the necessity for giving some assistance to these blacks. Mr. Olivey promised to make the necessary recommendation to the proper quarters. I received only one box of medicines.Does any religious body give you pecuniary assistance in this good and noble work?—No.You are then dependent only upon the charity of the Broome public?—Yes.1765Where do you keep all these sick people that you have just mentioned?—With the exception of three of the worst cases (the amputated leg, the pleurisy, and the syphilitic which I have here at the back of my premise in a tent and a hut, they are all at the Point.Where is this Point?—A headland, within the town boundary, where I have 10 acres, a very healthy locality and exposed to the sea breeze.Is there anything paid for this?—Yes. It is rented at £3 per year.Who pays this £3?—I do. It is my blacks camp.Are there many old and infirm blacks in the neighbourhood of Broome?—Yes; I have often found them dying of hunger in the absence of a little care and kindness. Considering the many instances I have come across in Broome, how many must there be in other centres occupied by aborigines! I would suggest that all such cases, instead of being abandoned to their fate like dogs, should be collected into certain areas and looked after by some one friendly to the natives. But, for this the assistance of the Government is essential.He asked the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary what he proposed to do in this matter? Did he propose to to make any change in the constitution of the Protector of Aborigines? That gentleman seemed to have no legal status. Powers should be given to him to deal with children, in the way of sending them to schools and reformatories. All the witnesses were unanimous that the children ought to be fed, taught, and saved from thievery and prostitution. There were also the questions of supplying the natives with liquor and opium. A much heavier fine than at present should be imposed for the first offence. A second offence should be punished by imprisonment without the option of a fine. Most of all he urged the necessity of a speedy and drastic reform of the system which prevailed with regard to the administration of justice. To effect such reform it was surely unnecessary to wait for fresh legislation. These abuses were not so much owing to statutory defects. They were mainly administrative. The whole evil system of arresting and chaining both prisoners and witnesses in great batches for the purpose of securing the capitation fees, of forcing the prisoners to plead guilty at the muzzle of the rifle, of outraging the girl witnesses while in irons, of trying native prisoners for offences the very nature of which they were incapable 1766 of appreciating, of using the police boy as official interpreter in Court, of sentencing them to long terms of imprisonment, and of making them work out the whole period of their sentence in chains—all this could be amended by the vigilant supervision of the Executive, and without need for recourse to the Legislature. He had endeavoured to be as simple and concise as possible. If the facts set forth were correct—and he apprehended there was no one who would impugn their accuracy—then he confidently invited the House to condemn a state of things which was a disgrace to a British colony, and which would be a blot on even the most barbarous community.
§ SIR HARRY SETON-KARR (St. Helens)
said he had had the opportunity of looking through this Report on the Condition of the Aborigines in Western Australia; and he was bound to say that the hon. Member was perfectly justified in bringing the matter before the House. Any one who spent half an hour in reading that Report could only come to the conclusion that this was a very bad case and ought to be dealt with by the proper authorities. He was aware that his right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary and His Majesty's Government were in a difficult position, because this was a question which affected the internal administration of a self-governing colony; but it was a question of wide and general interest. They had in another continent an example of what had happened in regard to the treatment of aboriginal races, and if his hon. friend had no direct power in this matter, it was just as well that the British public should not be ignorant of, and that British public opinion should be expressed on, the condition of things which had been described by the hon. Gentleman opposite. He should like to state to the House the terms of reference upon which this Commission was appointed. It was appointed by the Governor of Western Australia on August 31st last year. There was something significant in those terms of reference. The Commission consisted of one man, no doubt chosen because he was most thoroughly cognisant of the conditions of the problem, and the reference said that this commission was appointed to consider the position 1767 of the aborigines in West Australia in respect of the allegations made when the Bill of 1897 was proposed. He could only think that the Governor must have had some information as to the state of things prevailing in regard to the natives conveyed to him, or he would have given less full power to the Commission.
He did not wish, in regard to this Report, to harrow the feelings of the House, but he should certainly like to refer to two points. The first was as to the manner in which these prisoners were compelled to plead guilty. The Commissioner reported that, with a view to justifying their action in bringing these men into court, the police naturally took care to be sure of their victims. Unfortunately, the Report went on to say—The Criminal Code of 1892 put something of a weapon into the hands of the police. It really saves trouble to get the prisoners to plead guilty, and it enables the police to deal more rapidly with a large number of native prisoners, in respect of whom they get certain fees, and so, to secure convictions, the accused are made to plead guilty—at the muzzle of the rifle, if need be.One was really reminded of some of the things which happened in the dark ages, and one could not help looking with wonder and regret on the mere possibility that such things could happen in the British dominions at the present time. The other question he wished to refer to was that of the failure of the Colonial Government to supply adequate native reserve territory. It might be said that part of the difficulty of remedying what was going on lay in the other difficulty of making a perhaps not very intelligent police force understand the best method of dealing with uncivilised natives. What the Commissioner said on this point was interesting and instructive. He said that a great responsibility rested upon the Colonial Executive in respect of the large amount of country which they were continually allowing to be taken up by British settlers without making the slightest provision for a land reserve for the natives, who were thus dispossessed of their hunting grounds. To raise cattle, the Commission went on to say in the Report, the kangaroo, which largely served the natives with food, was got rid of, and when kangaroos got scarce 1768 the unfortunate natives, whose standard of intelligence and of right and wrong was naturally not very high, were almost bound to commit crime in order to save themselves from starvation. In other words, they must either kill sheep or cattle which did not belong to them or they must starve. No doubt this, as he had said, was really a matter for the consideration of the colony, since it was a self-governing one, but he thought there was also some responsibility upon them, and, at all events, he was sure his right hon. friend would wish to seek some chance of impressing or the Colonial Government the desirability of giving these poor natives some chance of living in their own country. Much the same problem had presented itself in the Western States of America, but it was solved in a very different way, because when the Indians were conquered and the whites entered on possession of their territory large reserves were kept for them. That was the only way in which they could live, since the buffaloes which they used to hunt had been practically exterminated. If they had not been supplied with reserves they would have been face to face with the dilemma which they were now allowing the unfortunate aborigines of Western Australia to face. The same problem would probably face them for many years in Africa, and the only way he could see of meeting it was to arrange for the provision of more reserves on which these natives could live. In Australia, as he had said, they had no direct control, but he thought the question ought nevertheless to occupy the serious attention of the Colonial Government, and ho thought, so far as was possible, public opinion in this country might fairly be so expressed as to stimulate action by the Government.
Might he, in conclusion, point to the conclusions at which the Commissioner arrived at the close of his Report? He admitted that in the areas over which the investigation had been made he was satisfied that the natives, generally, were not subjected to any actual physical cruelty, but said that wrong and injustice were taking place throughout those areas which could not, in his opinion, be longer either hidden or tolerated. Fortunately these wrongs were of such a nature, he added, that they could 1769 be dealt with by legislative action and by Departmental supervision, and he concluded with the earnest prayer, on the eve of his departure, that in the next Colonial Parliament the Bill of 1894 supplemented would become the Aborigines Act of 1905. There were redeeming features in the case—one was that an attempt was made on a former occasion to bring in a Bill protective of the natives, and the other was that the Governor of the colony seemed to have had his attention drawn to the matter at a more recent date, and that that led him to appoint the Commission. It should not be forgotten also that the Commissioner had only just reported, so that they might hope for the passing of the Bill, which was again on the stocks. He would only express a hope, in conclusion, that his right hon. friend would give the House some assurance that, so far as he was concerned, everything possible would be done to expedite a reform in this matter.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
said the case presented by the two previous speakers appeared, from the Report of the Commission, to be only too well founded, and went to show that the old gloomy story of the treatment of aboriginal Australians by white men was still true in at least one of the Colonies. He only wished that the hon. Member who had brought the question forward had shown equal zeal for the natives of the Congo State, but by a strange inconsistency he happened to be the only Member of that House who hitherto had undertaken the defence of the Congo Government when its methods were called in question in the British Parliament.
§ MR. JOHN CAMPBELL
The charges made last year against the Congo were vague and shadowy, based mainly on hearsay and not on substantial evidence. The Roth Report which he had been discussing was a legal, public document, upon which he invited the House to pass its opinion.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
said that His Majesty's Government had sent the British Consul on a tour of inquiry in the Congo Free State, and it was on the revelations in his Report that their 1770 indictment largely rested. But, however that might be, the House had reason to be grateful to the hon. Member that night. He quite realised that the Government of West Australia and not the Colonial Secretary were responsible for what the Report of the Commission disclosed, but it was nevertheless well that it should be clearly known that there were many Members of the British House of Commons who felt most strongly on this matter, and who expressed a very ardent hope that early and effective steps would be taken to stop the discreditable proceedings that had been described.
He wished, however, to deal with another question. He did not know whether the attention of the Government had been drawn to a proclamation issued in Southern Nigeria in 1900. Under that proclamation the Governor was empowered to order a chief to attend to the cleaning out of any creek, and to call on the natives to do the work without, apparently, any pay, while any man refusing to help in the work was liable to imprisonment. That was a system of forced labour —a corvee — which he thought it undesirable to introduce into British Colonies, especially as it might with equal justice be applied in regard to the making of roads and railways, and he trusted that, unless the proclamation was qualified in some way in its administration, its withdrawal would be ordered by the Colonial Secretary. He also pressed the right hon. Gentleman for further information in connection with the Chinese labour question in South Africa—information which had been promised on various occasions. He specially wanted specific inquiry to be made into the report that white men were being dismissed from the Transvaal mines to make room for Chinese coolies through the substitution of hand-drills for machine-drills. He was assured that such displacement was taking place, especially in the Van Ryn Mine, and he also understood that a proportion of the white men who were ousted had the option of going back to work at a reduction of from twenty-five to thirty per cent. in their wages.
§ *MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)
said that on a previous occasion he raised the matter of the Transvaal loan. There 1771 were two points which, he pressed on the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. One was in regard to the guarantee of the mineowners, and he desired to again press it on the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. The other was the question of the draft Ordinance which the Legislative Council had to pass before the thirty million loan could be issued and was also very important, having regard to the relationships between the Colonial Office and the Legislative Council with reference to the loan. He thought he could put his case by quoting from two despatches. Sir Arthur Lawley, on December 7th, 1903, wrote that, not having heard from Lord Milner, he was anxious to know whether they were to pass the necessary Ordinance during the then ensuing session, and if so what should be the form of the Ordinance, having regard to the existing guarantee loan. To that the right hon. Gentleman replied on December 12th.Referring to your telegram of December 6th, I fully discussed the issue of the first instalment with Lord Milner. I do not consider it desirable at present to approach the guarantors as to the terms of the issue, but I shall do so before long probably, and will inform you of the result. All necessary provision in respect of the guaranteed loan is made in the draft Ordinance formulated in my despatch of the 22nd August. The Ordinance should be passed exactly as drafted, otherwise marked difficulties might arise here.Incidentally a very important point arose as to the question of the sinking fund. The mineowners stipulated that there should be no sinking fund. The Lieutenant-Governor, replying on the initiative of the right hon. Gentleman, said that a sinking fund was considered essential by the Executive Council. These were two points the House ought to bear in mind when discussing this matter. Another point was the view of the Boers in regard to the loan. At the Boer congress on May 23rd, 1904, a resolution was passed reiterating the protest of the deputation to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in January, 1903, against the placing of a thirty million war debt on the land before responsible government was granted. He desired to ask the Colonial Secretary whether he had conceded the wishes of the Boer Congress that no step should be 1772 taken with regard to the issue of the Transvaal loan until representative government had been granted; whether the Legislative Council of the Transvaal had really refused to pass the Ordinance to sanction this loan; or whether they had put before the right hon. Gentleman reasons which enabled him to come to the conclusion that in the meantime the loan should not be issued. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol in the statement that the Government ought to have made an arrangement with the Legislative Council of the Transvaal at the time the guarantee loan was issued. That was the time to get the Legislative Council of the Transvaal to have passed the Ordinance sanctioning the loan. The Government did not do so, and the result had been that all negotiations had stopped since December, 1903. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would in his reply give some explanation as to this.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON, Warwick and Leamington)
said the hon. Member for Cleveland had not given him notice of his intention to raise the question of a proclamation in 1900 for the clearing out of creeks in Southern Nigeria. He was unable to deal with the question from memory, but he would make inquiries. As to the question of Chinese labour, he was in possession of Returns with regard to sentences, and he proposed to embody them in a Blue-book very shortly. A Report upon South African native affairs had been placed in the Library. With regard to the alleged displacement of white men by the substitution of hand labour for machine labour the facts were these. In a reef which was narrow it was undesirable to use the machine, because there was a danger that when the dynamite charges were placed in the holes drilled they would blow down not only the reef but also a portion of the roof which was incumbent on the r ef. This was bad from the point of view of economy, because a quantity of rock became mixed with the ore and sifting was expensive, and also because there was great danger to the workmen. Therefore the use of machine-drills in narrow reefs was undesirable. They 1773 came into use to some extent during the time when there was a great shortage of native labour. That shortage was now being redressed, and the machine-drill was now only being used in reefs that were sufficiently broad. He was informed that the result was not to displace white labour at all. That was merely the dictum that he had received from authoritative sources in South Africa, and before he made himself a party to it he should wish to see the exact figures.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
said that white labour was intended to be merely temporary in these mines, and it was intended, as soon as native and other labour could be found, that the white labour should be replaced.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he was aware that during the time of the shortage of labour the mine-owners used every effort to secure the elaboration of a small stope machine for the purpose of meeting these difficulties instead of employing white unskilled labour, and whether that attempt had been abandoned.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
said he had not heard of the attempt suggested by the hon. Member. With regard to the points raised by the hon. Member for Edinburgh in connection with the Transvaal loan, the matter now stood in this position. A sinking fund was obviously desirable in the case of such a loan, and the desirability was pointed out by him to the guarantors. The assent of the guarantors to the creation of a sinking fund was given in January, 1904, provided that there was no diminution of the interest. The Government had lo take great care in dealing with the terms of the guarantee, as any variation of the terms might have released the guarantors from their obligation. When he first went to the Colonial Office, and was not very familiar with the question of the loan, he hoped to raise the first £10,000,000 in January, 1904, according to the promise which had been given and had never been receded from by the underwriters. But it was expressly understood that this loan should not be issued at a time of unfavourable market conditions, and by January, 1904, it had become apparent 1774 that the market conditions were very unfavourable. That condition of things continued throughout a considerable portion of 1904. The time went by in which this loan could be issued, and in the ordinary coarse the condition precedent to the issue of the loan—namely, the passage of the Ordinance—also lapsed. He understood the hon. Member to ask whether it was not desirable now to obtain the Ordinance from the Legislative Council. What he desired on behalf of the Government was not to press this subject upon the nominated Assembly. He had admitted that the money market was now favourable, and the guarantors were willing and anxious that the loan should be issued. But the Imperial Government thought that it was desirable, not only in the economic interests of the mother country, but also in a high degree politically, that the representative Assembly should take this obligation upon themselves. For that reason he had not proceeded with the Ordinance, or asked the unrepresentative Assembly to sanction it, which would be the necessary step if the loan were to be issued at the present time.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
said if the market conditions were favourable the guarantors were equally willing to adhere to the conditions of their underwriting. He did not know whether the prophecy of the hon. Member that representative Government would not have come into being until the present Administration had gone out of being was an anticipation of gloom or of hope, but he was afraid it could not affect the question. If he understood the debate aright, even the hon. Member's own side—he might quote the right hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick and the senior Member for Oldham—agreed that the loan should not be enforced by the high hand of a nominated Council, but that they should wait until representative Government had come into being. He further understood the hon. Member to say that the Boers had protested against this obligation being undertaken in any form by the colony until the fullest 1775 self-government had been granted. That was no part of any understanding, expressed or implied by His Majesty's Government, and they wholly declined to accept such a conclusion.
§ *MR. McCRAE
asked whether any opinion had been expressed by the Legislative Council with regard to the issue of the loan, altogether apart from the question of the £10,000,000 and the favourable opportunity.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
said that no opinion had been given by the Legislative Council on that point. The correspondence which took place between His Majesty's Government, Lord Milner, and Sir Arthur Lawley was strictly confidential, so that he had not been able to lay it on the Table of the House, but no communication had passed between the Home Government and the Legislative Council on that point.
With regard to the subject brought forward by the hon. Member for South Armagh, after a very full analysis of quotations from the Report which had been made, it was unnecessary for him further to elaborate the matter. No one who had read that Report could possibly say that the state of things there revealed was not wholly deplorable. Nobody could defend such a condition of affairs or read of it without a feeling of great abhorrence. But hon. Members would remember that they were dealing with a self-governing colony which as regarded its internal affairs was substantially independent. A measure had been brought forward in the Legislative Council of that colony dealing with this matter. But he was informed that the Government of Western Australia desired to make perfectly certain of the facts—more precisely certain of the exact nature of the deplorable state of affairs which had been brought to their notice—and they appointed Dr. Roth, a thoroughly efficient and independent man, to inquire into the matter. On December 29th they received from him the Report which had been so largely quoted, and that Report reached the Colonial Office on the 23rd of this month. He had written a despatch and also cabled to know in detail what were the precise intentions of 1776 Colonial Ministers, but he had not yet received a reply. He understood that this Commission was appointed in order that full legislation might be brought forward in 1905, and he entirely identified himself with the hope expressed by the Commission that the legislation brought forward in 1904 would, with the additions recommended in the Report, become an Act of Parliament in 1905. He expressed the obligations of himself and the House to the hon. Member for having brought forward this matter, which it was obviously desirable in the interests of all should be made public; but he wished particularly to guard himself against admitting that the Australian Government were not conscious of the evils which existed or not desirous of dealing with the matter with thoroughness and expedition.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
fully endorsed the concluding remarks of the right hon. Gentleman, and said that while it was perfectly obvious that in such a matter the authorities at Downing Street had no control over the self-governing Colonies, it was of advantage that public opinion in this country should be expressed, not for the purpose of reflecting in any way on the Colonial Government, but with the hope that it was in accord with British views and that it would thereby be strengthened in the carrying out of proper reforms. With regard to the Transvaal loan, the right hon. Gentleman had once more repeated, as though it was an answer to their contention, that he could not see his way to press or force upon the Legislative Council, just when some extension of representative government was to be made, an Ordinance recognising the obligations of the Transvaal in regard to this loan. Every Member of the Opposition who spoke in the previous debate agreed that it would be a great mistake to do anything of the sort under existing circumstances. Obviously the loan could be issued only when the market was favourable, and the Ordinance could not be forced through the present or any other Legislative Chamber against its will. But the point raised by his hon. friend was that the House gave its assent to the £35,000,000 loan on the 1777 absolute condition that the £30,000,000 loan should be issued at some time, and the then Colonial Secretary said that an Ordinance would be at once passed by the Legislative Council giving a legal recognition on the part of the Transvaal of their indebtedness in that respect. The question was, why was not that Ordinance passed in 1903, which all agreed could not be asked for now? It was most unfortunate that it should not have been passed them, as the question would not now have arisen in connection with the change in the form of government, but the right hon. Gentleman had given no explanation whatever of why the Ordinance had been hung up for two years. With regard to the alleged substitution of Kaffir and Chinese labour for white labour, he understood the facts were not denied.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
understood the right hon. Gentleman to admit that under certain conditions there had been a substitution, but that on the whole there had not been a diminution of white labour. In the particular mine referred to, it was not the case that the white labour which had been removed was temporary labour. He understood that it was permanent labour, and that it had been displaced simply because of the alteration in the system under which Kaffir and Chinese labour was substituted for white labour. He did not doubt that the Colonial Secretary was under the impression that no such substitution had been made. Those who had considered the figures given at the beginning of last year before Chinese labour was brought in, must have come to the conclusion that, compared with the former proportion of white to coloured labour, there had been a very considerable substitution of Kaffir and Chinese labour for white labour in connection with the mines both above and below ground. The latest figures showed that, since the advent of the Chinaman, white labour in the mines had only increased 1778 by 2,000, and even some proportion of that was due to work anticipatory of the advent of the Chinese. There were something like 50,000 more natives and Chinese, that was, 20,000 natives and 30,000 Chinese in the mines. Upon those figures, instead of there being an increase of white labour of 2,000 there should have been an increase of 8,000 or 10,000, as an influx of 50,000 unskilled labourers ought to have led to a proportionate increase in the employment of white labour, but the old proportion of white to coloured labour there had disappeared, and that would have more than accounted for the increase of 2,000, so that practically there had not been a single additional white man employed because of the importation of Chinese labour. The real fact of the matter was that before the influx of Chinamen there was great pressure upon the mine-owners to use white labour and they employed white labour. The whole of that pressure had now disappeared, and naturally they now were employing a far smaller proportion of white men to unskilled labourers than before the influx of the Chinaman. Would the Colonial Secretary try to find out how far white labour had been displaced, in what way, and whether there were at the present moment as many white men employed in proportion as there were before the importation of the Chinese? He appealed to the right hon Gentleman to state whether the time had not come when some limitation ought to be placed upon the influx of the Chinaman. When the Colonial Secretary got the House to consent to the Chinese Ordinance, he did so on the ground that there was a deficiency of 30,000 unskilled labourers. Now he had not only got 30,000, but 50,000. They had seen how the experiment was likely to operate, and he thought the right hon. Gentleman might very well now say whether he intended placing some limitation upon the influx of the Chinese instead of allowing the mineowners to introduce as many as they like. He should also like to know when they would have placed before them the letters patent of the new Constitution. Would the right hon. Gentleman inform the House whether they were likely to have this information before Easter.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
said that in the case of a number of mines in the Transvaal the mine proprietors employed a very considerable number of whites for working drilling machines temporarily in order to tide over the time until, with greater safety, they could employ the hand-drill in the unskilled hand of the Chinaman or the Kaffir. With regard to the employment of white men in the mines the hon. Member for Poplar had acknowledged an increase of 2,000. A few weeks ago he gave the figures for one mine, which showed that there had been an increase of 275 white men in that particular mine. Of that number seventy-five were employed upon buildings and construction, and therefore 200 extra white skilled workers had been employed in that mine since the Chinese were brought in. At the first glance the importation of 30,000 Chinamen and Kaffirs and the small increase of white men might appear somewhat startling, but what were the facts? In the mines, as every business man knew, in order to keep the organisation going a certain number of men must be employed. In the Transvaal, in spite of the opinion that had been expressed by a good many hon. Members, who seemed to think that the mineowners were entirely selfish, he wished to state that there had been upon the part of the mine proprietors a deep sense of their responsibility in regard to the employment of white labour in the Transvaal, and he knew that in many mines white men were kept on when there was practically very little to do; and they were employed, exactly as the hon. Member for Cleveland had pointed out, for this particular work of drilling by machinery which was neither suitable for them or for the mines. There had been an increase of 50,000 Chinamen and Kaffirs, but he wished to point out that the proportion of white men in the mines to the amount of production before the introduction of Chinese and Kaffirs was not according to the necessity, and until sufficient Chinamen and Kaffirs had been brought in to establish things upon the ordinary basis of production, there could not, of course, be a very large increase of skilled white labour. Of course as soon as the balance was got then the increase of skilled white 1780 labour would be very considerable, in the proportions pointed out by the Colonial Secretary in his previous speeches in the House. It had been stated again and again in the country, most inaccurately, that the proportionate increase of skilled white workers to the proportion of recruited Chinamen was not according to the information given by the Colonial Secretary and others who had spoken on the question in relation to the mines. Until the numbers of Kaffirs and Chinese properly balanced the number of men kept on, men who were unnecessary for the mine when there was not sufficient work, until that balance was got, there could not be as large an increase as would probably be anticipated. That time had almost arrived. A number of the white skilled workers kept on hitherto without sufficient work had now got, sufficient work, and the hon. Member for Poplar, in suggesting that this increase of 2,000 in white men employed represented largely men employed in construction, was inaccurate.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said he did not make that statement. What he said was that they had no information to go upon because the Colonial Secretary had been unable to give them any. They had been informed that the proportion of these men employed upon buildings and construction was probably about 25 per cent., and upon that calculation they would have to deduct 500 men from the 2,000 alluded to.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
said that probably a good number had been employed upon construction, but those men were being absorbed, and would be absorbed when construction ceased by the ordinary skilled work in the mines. The whole tendency now was towards an increase of skilled workers rather than the decrease which existed before the introduction of the Chines. He could only give his own impression upon this point.
Perhaps he might be permitted to say a word or two in connection with the question raised by the hon. Member in regard to the Transvaal loan, not from the standpoint of those who had already spoken. The other day he listened with interest to the speech of the right 1781 hon. Gentleman opposite, who spoke with great feeling and with great wisdom from his large public experience, upon their relations to the colonies which they had lately acquired, and he said that they could afford, if it were a question of closer union with this country, to forego that £30,000,000 loan in order to accomplish a closer identification of those colonies with this country. He might be allowed to say something with regard to his own experience. Before he went to the Transvaal he heard that public opinion there and in the Orange River Colony was against the placing of the loan. There was in their mind an impression that the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony, like some South American Republics, might repudiate the bargain. This was said once or twice by gentlemen whose opinions he rated highly, they having had large experience in Colonial matters; but when he went to the Transvaal he came to the conclusion that the £30,000,000 should be placed. He believed the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony should bear that burden. He believed that all reasonable pressure should be put upon them by the Government. He was glad to say that the invariable reply to many hundreds of inquiries he had made, not among irresponsible people and not among mine-owners only, as to whether they meant to repudiate the debt, was that if it meant ten, fifteen, or twenty years they intended to keep to their bargain. All responsible British people in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony approved of the loan and would be ready to bear the responsibility. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh was quite wrong in supposing that there was a feeling against it in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony, and that there might be a strong desire to repudiate such a debt of honour.
§ MR. McCRAE
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to say that I did not make any such suggestion. I asked whether the Legislative Council might not repudiate it.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
begged the hon. Gentleman's pardon. He understood him to say that there was a strong 1782 feeling against it in the Transvaal. There was, however, and naturally, a feeling among their Boer and Dutch fellow-subjects there against it becoming a charge upon the future of the country. He thought they could understand that. The country was a hard one to live in, and the Boers were an agricultural people, and any heavy charge upon the lard would be a severe handicap upon them. He sympathised with them, and he thought they all did in this matter. The leaders of the people, however, were unnecessarily fearful of this being made a burden upon the land. It would not fall upon the land; it would fall upon those whom hon. Gentlemen in the House thought should properly bear it. Those gentlemen who were so often criticised in the House would, if it were a question of honour, take the whole burden upon themselves, if necessary, in order to clear themselves from any reproach by the people of this country. It would, he thought, be a dangerous thing to say that this country was quite willing not to press the matter and to forego the loan. It was in human nature to accept freedom from debt if it were offered, and it would, to his mind, be most undesirable to suggest: "Well, you are hard up; we will not press you; you need not pay the loan." We should be injuring that country instead of benefiting it, because self-reliance, self-dependence, and honour necessarily, and pre-eminently necessarily demanded in this case that the debt should be paid even if it took twenty years. It was a question which the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony must face, not only in our interests, but in the interests of their own nationality.
Referring to the question of the treatment of aborigines in Western Australia, the hon. Member said he was extremely glad the House had taken a temperate view on this question. Anyone who had lived in a colony for any length of time knew how sensitive the people there were. When they saw facts crowded into a Report like that quoted it was too dramatic. They had the whole thing concentrated in a fashion which was apt to mislead the judgment. There was a previous agitation on this question, and the House 1783 would remember that most of these unfortunate acts on the part of officials, police, and others were the results of a series of reprisals upon both sides. In the old days of Queensland there was not a squatter that was safe, and if the West Australian Government punished severely there was good reason for it; for sometimes the stealing of horses or the killing of cattle practically deprived the people, who were far from railways and means of locomotion, of the means of livelihood. In dealing with native races, and particularly with a race so low down the scale of intelligence as the aborigines of Australia, methods sometimes severe and often cruel were used, but the Government must not be blamed; the blame rested very largely upon individual people far removed from the control of law in a sparsely settled country. A responsibility was thrown upon the individual in such a country which was not thrown upon him where millions of people were concentrated and where the supervision of conduct could be better maintained. He thought the Australian Government would act more strongly because of the sympathetic pressure discussion in that House was sure to produce, and, suggested that they should not grow too sentimental over even such a state of things as had been decribed. He expressed the opinion that the Australian Government would act with even greater promptness than our Government would act.
§ SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)
said that if they discussed from time to time the question of South Africa it was not—at least on his part—from the smallest desire to embarrass the Government in their duties in relation to that country, and still less was it their desire to throw blame on the Colonial Secretary, who had had imposed on him by inheritance a task as difficult as any statesman had been required to undertake in his recollection of public life. The reason why they ought to dwell to a certain extent on these things was that the House during the last five or six years had been constantly misled by the information which came from South Africa. The Press there, as was perfectly well known, was mainly in the hands of the mineowners, and we did not get, and had never got, true 1784 statements of facts from South Africa We did not know, except from private sources, of the destitution and misery there was in South Africa, of the sufferings which the white people had gone through, or of the many people who, having gone out there in the vain hope that they would succeed, had had to return. The information which came in private letters, and through other sources, was that the country was in a very serious condition financially and socially. He was not speaking now about Chinese labour. Therefore, it became incumbent on the House to dwell on these matters more or less. The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down gave the expectation that there would be more white people employed in the Transvaal at some future stage. It had always been "in the future." They were always to be blessed; they never were blessed. Not one of the expectations held out in regard to that country four or five years ago had ever been fulfilled. There had never been an instance in recent history of such a constant succession of vain hopes held out as to the predicted relations between the coloured and the white population in the Transvaal. He would believe those predictions would be verified when they were verified. The soldiers who went out to this Golconda were to find employment and settlement. That was on the placards inviting Volunteers.
What happened? Many of these men went out to stay—but not in the usual sense applied to an emigrant; and others had to come back disappointed to this country after risking their life in the war. The whole thing had proved an utter failure. There was to be an agricultural military colony. That was dealt with in a Special Report by the present Secretary for War who went into the history of various military colonies from the time of the Romans downwards. The whole thing had ended in some 500 or 600 heads of families being settled in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony together. Hardly any of them had gone with their families, and a great proportion of them had since left the place. That settlement had cost this country from £1,200 to £1,500 per head of family who had settled there They could not go on colonising a British 1785 white population in the Transvaal when each head of family cost from £1,200 to £1,500. This expense was primarily drawn from the resources of the Transvaal, but the great part of it had been paid for out of the £35,000,000 loan which had been guaranteed by this country In addition to that, he had discovered that upwards of £20,000,000 of our funds had been spent in the Transvaal during the two years since the war. How much more had yet to be traced? Then, there was the irrigation scheme. A most elaborate Report, approved by Lord Milner, recommended the expenditure of £30,000,000 on irrigation, which was one of the things that was to bring wealth to and develop the agricultural resources of the Transvaal. He believed irrigation was a most excellent thing, especially in such a country; but they had never heard anything more about it.
Then, there was the debt of £30,000,000 that was to be repaid. Originally it was to be £170,000,000; in fact, enthusiasts spoke of the whole cost of the war being paid by the Transvaal. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh!"] Yes; that was the burden of their song. Then it was to be £100,000,000; next £50,000,000, and lastly it came down to £30,000,000, But the £30,000,000 had not been paid, and he thought rightly because, as the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary had said, the equilibrium between expenditure and income had not yet been established. In other words, the Transvaal could hardly pay its own way. Here he would correct the hon. Gentleman opposite who seemed to think that he had said that, on the ground of sentiment, the debt of £30,000,000 due by the Transvaal should be forgiven. He had never put it on that ground. He was one of those who believed in maintaining the greatness of this country and the bonds of union between us and the Colonies. He sincerely desired to be just, not only to the Colonies but just to ourselves. When the Estimates for the Army and Navy were looked at, he thought there was no risk of our being unjust to the Colonies, but that a great risk was run of being unjust to ourselves. No one could see any real prospect of this money being paid or this debt being undertaken by the Transvaal, and, there-fore, it should be dismissed from our minds. 1786 He might be wrong. He should like to see those who fomented the war made to pay the whole of the debt; but it was impossible, from the nature of things, to say that a population of 300,000 could take on the burden of £35,000,000 for the loan and the £30,000,000 debt besides. He believed the Government were right not to press for the payment of the debt of £30,000,000, although he was not advocating any generous abandonment of it. But they ought to face facts, and not live in dreamland. He did not, however, imagine that there was any real prospect of getting it at all.
Then they should remember the expectations of freedom being established in that country for which we went to war. Why, under the Ordinance issued two or three years ago—an Ordinance as autocratic as any ever issued in Russia—the Government of the Transvaal were enabled to put a man out of the country within twenty-four hours, without previous notice or explanation; and to arrest and keep a man in prison for three weeks without warrant or bringing him before a magistrate. He was quite sure such rules were as objectionable to the sentiment of the Colonial Secretary as to himself. The only other matter on which he wished to refer was the treatment of our Indian fellow-subjects. One of the grievances for which we went to war with the Transvaal was the unmerited and abominable treatment of these Indian natives when they went peacefully to that country. It was not disputed that the restrictions on our Indian fellow-subjects were now greater, or at least quite as strict, as during the time of the South African Republic.
§ *MR. LYTTELTON
said that a judgment had been pronounced by the Transvaal Supreme Court in either May or June last, which gave liberty to British Indians to trade. That was one of the objects sought, and sought in vain, from the old Transvaal Government by his predecessor and by the Indian Government. That judgment stood, and British Indian colonists had a licence to trade as a right. That was a substantially better position for them to be in than they were 1787 before the war, a position against which this country protested.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said he was very glad to hear that. His information must be belated, and the recent judgment must have escaped his knowledge. Was he to infer from the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary that he was now satisfied the grievances of our Indian fellow-subjects had been removed? It was one thing to say that a grievance on a particular point had been put right; but another thing that all their grievances had been removed. He was certain that the position of our Indian fellow-subjects in the Transvaal was still a subject of dissatisfaction to the Government at home and had been the subject of remonstrance. If he was wrong he would say nothing further, but he believed he was right in saying the position of the Indians in the Transvaal was not satisfactory. He would not, however, labour the matter further, beyond expressing the opinion that it was our duty to keep a constant eye on what was going forward in South Africa. The true remedy would be the granting of responsible government, and until that was granted we should keep our eye on what went forward and not confine ourselves so closely to the one question of Chinese labour as to shut our eyes to all the other things that were constantly going on against the interest of the Transvaal and ourselves.
§ MR. SPEAR (Devonshire, Tavistock)
raised a question which he said closely affected a large number of his constituents. He hoped that if the Admiralty persisted in a large reduction of men in the dockyards they would accomplish that reduction as gradually as possible, and thereby minimise the sufferings of the labourers and avoid the disorganisation of labour generally in the particular districts. He recognised the importance of economy, and ventured to submit that the reduction of shipbuilding necessary in the interests of economy should fall on the private yards rather than on the dockyards. He fully recognised the importance of the Admiralty keeping in touch with the private yards and giving them a part 1788 of the work so that in times of crisis they should have a larger field in which to deal with the requirements of the Navy. But it was important, in the interests of the Government and the country, that our dockyards should be considered as the first source of supply both of new construction and repairs. All must recognise the importance of attracting to the dockyards the best workmen of all classes, because if there was a reduction in those workmen the status of the men would be lowered and the Navy would suffer in consequence. It was sometimes asserted that ships could be built cheaper in private yards than in the dockyards, but that had not been conclusively proved, and he did not believe that dockyards, carefully supervised and well managed, could not effectively produce hips and carry out repairs. This was a matter of very serious consequence to a large number of his constituents, and he appealed to the Secretary of the Admiralty to ensure that where a reduction was necessary it should fall rather upon the private yards than the dockyards, and thereby maintain the efficiency of the Government yards.
The hon. Member also referred to the question of remounts or the Army, and stated that two years ago he suggested the importance of bringing into closer touch the buyer of Army horses with the breeder. They all knew the difficulty experienced during the late war of procuring the requisite number of horses. The advent of the middleman was bad both for the country and the producer. He suggested that the representatives of the Army should nominate a veterinary surgeon in each district, to make a register of horses suitable for Army purposes. Then a central place should be arranged to which the horses could be brought for inspection by Army buyers. This was a matter for consideration because the question of the native production of Army horses in the country was becoming a serious one. With the advent of motor-cars there was a lesser desire to breed horses than before, and, unless breeders were brought into direct communication with Army buyers there would be great difficulty in obtaining horses at all in the future.
§ *MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N.W)
drew attention to the administration of the Education Department. He asser ed that the Act of 1902 was acknowledged by educationists on both sides of the House to be disappointing in the provisions made for the system of secondary national education, and, therefore, they were not surprised to find that progress under the Act had also been disappointing and left much to be desired. He would not have raised the question but that he felt that the Board of Education was to some extent responsible for the slow progress that had been made. The Board of Education some time ago issued regulations which dealt with some very important matters. First of all they apparently desired to prescribe a high minimum fee; they further wished to limit to a certain extent scholarships, and to establish a separate set of governors for these municipal secondary schools. Those interested in the spread of secondary education found a serious barrier to progress in these regulations. In the first place they aimed a blow at what seemed to be one of the main features of the Bill, that of co-ordination between elementary and secondary education. The idea that the Secretary to the Board of Education should give large powers to headmasters of schools, separate from the authorities of the district, was in itself a serious disadvantage, as it was regarded by the authorities as a desire on the part of the Government to set up something in the same line as the existing grammar schools. He was glad to acknowledge that the fresh circular letter which had been issued to some extent minimised the evils they saw in those regulations, and he believed that the circular had been issued in deference to widely expressed opinions of the authorities. The hon. Member desired an assurance that the spirit of that circular would not only be adhered to by the Department but that its scope would be considerably widened. Other circulars issued by the Board of Education had been partially withdrawn owing to the guiding hand of the private schoolmaster, and he feared the same pressure might be brought to bear upon this circular. He was jealous of anything that might deprive elementary schools of the benefits of secondary 1790 education. The Board of Education should give authorities support in this matter rather than place obstacles in their way, and he asked that this circular, which they welcomed, should not only be acted up to, but that the Board should leave local authorities larger discretion in the matter of fees and scholarship. He was jealous of anything that would interfere with secondary education in connection with the poorer children. Genius could always take care of itself, but genius was rare. There were, however, thousands of children who could be passed on to secondary schools with great advantage to themselve; and to the nation. He was quite sure that the hon. Baronet might trust the education authorities not to pass on to secondary schools pupils who could obtain no benefit from them; ne ther need he be afraid that the schools would be made a great burden on the neighbourhood. Rather it should be the business of the Board of Education to give the education authorities a spur in this matter and not obstruct them in any way. He should, therefore, be glad to hear that this circular, which they all welcomed, would not only be acted up to, but that its scope would be extended in order to leave, local author ties a large amount of discretion in regard to the matter of fees and scholarships.
As to elementary education he wished to congratulate the hon. Baronet on the step which he had taken some months ago in regard to children being removed from school to church for religious instruction. He was afraid that there, again, pressure was being brought to bear on the Board of Education, because the hon. Baronet departed to some extent from what was a very just and fair position. He should like to know what the persons who took the chi dren from school to church desired. They had already under the Education Act, which he regarded as a standing injustice, the power to appoint teachers, paid solely out of public funds, of the denomination to which the school belonged. That, he believed, was a great injustice to the nation, but surely they might then be content to leave the religious instruction in the hand, of the teachers. Further, the clergymen could give religious 1791 instruction in the schools themselves if I they desired. But now they were; face to face with this difficulty that, in the view of certain clergymen, religious instruction could only be given within the four walls of the church building. This ought to be resisted by the Board of Education. Such action would disorganise the schools to a very large extent, especially as the teachers were not allowed to accompany the children, which was a rule that the Board of Education very properly laid down. It was very difficult to determine where this proceeding would end. He saw the other day that a discussion took place in the Education Committee at Dover, where it was claimed that the children were to attend church on twenty-two Saints Days a year. They were extending the Saints Days to a very considerable number. He believed that his Roman Catholic friends were satisfied with less than a third, and he hoped the Board of Education would watch this development, and would not allow it to be carried to the extent it now was. The first object of the Board of Education should be the education of the children, and he hoped the hon. Baronet would remain firm in the original position he took up.
With regard to what he considered the somewhat lax attitude of the Board of Education in regard to the adequate provision for the children in various districts, it was perfectly notorious that, prior to the Act of 1902, a great differentiation was made between Board schools and denominational schools, but when the whole of the maintenance was placed on the rates it was generally supposed that even justice would be meted out. The Board of Education, however, allowed schools to be maintained which were absolutely unsuitable to the purposes of education. He could give many cases in all parts of the country which would justify the position he had taken up, but he would confine himself to a few cases in his own locality. He would refer the hon. Baronet to King's Lynn. It was perfectly well known that the educational provision there had been exceedingly deficient for years, and if the Board of Education had done its duty a school board would have been started there long ago, Two years had elapsed since the 1792 Act came into force, and yet at this moment it was a positive fact that there were children in King's Lynn who could not find a place in any school in the town, and even if they did it would only be in a school which was in an insanitary condition. He was not bringing these charges against the denominational schools only, The other schools were also affected; but where they had a chairman of the education committee declare that a boy who left school at twelve made a better man than if he had remained until he was fourteen, and that an ignorant workman was better than an educated workman, the Board of Education should see that the education committee was kept up to its duty. In one school in his own city the building was condemned as a fire trap. It was decided to build a new school and statutory notice was given. Now, however, plans were submitted for making alterations which, it was admitted, would not make the school suitable. The Board of Education, instead of adhering to their original decision that a new school should be built, were now troubling about these plans. He felt, under the existing Act, parents who bore equal burthens should not have their children forced into insanitary schools because they happened to live in a particular part of the city, whereas children in another part were properly accommodated At Stow Bedon, a small parish with only fifty-five children, the clergyman was unable to maintain the school under the old Act, and leased it to the school board, but when the Act of 1902 came into force he declined to renew the lease, and the education authority at once applied to the Board of Education for power to build a school, which was given. Those connected with this transaction were, however, subjected to the most unwarrantable persecution. A small holder of land was given notice to quit, because the squire told him he had been one of the ringleaders in favour of the new school, and the woman who gave lodging to the new teacher had also had notice to quit. Yet the Education Department now supported the reopening of the denominational school in this tiny parish. He asked if that were done in the interests of education or in the interests of economy? What had these parties done 1793 to merit such consideration from the Board of Education? His object in bringing forward these matters was simply because he desired that the Board of Education should walk firmly and recognise that education was the first claim upon them. He was quite sure that the hon. Baronet was deeply interested in the cause of education. He desired to do the very best he could to carry out the work of his Department, but pressure was being brought to bear from one quarter and another which often caused him to swerve from the right and straight path. It was necessary, therefore, that the Board of Education should know that when they promoted education rather than denominational interests they would have the support of hon. Members who sat on that side of the House.
§ MR. KEARLEY (Devonport),
referring to the discharges in Government dockyards, said that when the question was raised on the Estimates the answer given was neither definite nor satisfactory, but it was agreed to delay pressing the matter until Vote 8 was reached. In view of the fact, however, that during the last few days a large number of additional notices of discharge had been issued, he thought the House were entitled to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty to state definitely the policy of the Admiralty in the matter. When a somewhat similar state of affairs arose at the Sparkbrook Factory, Birmingham, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, with the result that the discharges had been stayed on the ground that the policy was to be thoroughly inquired into by the Defence Committee. Thereupon his colleague in the representation of Devonport also wrote to the Prime Minister, but he had not succeeded in getting a similar gratifying announcement with regard to the dockyards. If the policy as it affected Sparkbrook was to be inquired into before further discharges were carried out, why was not a similar course adopted in regard to the dockyards? Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would tell the House what policy the Government had in view which necessitated these large discharges. The discharge of nearly a thousand men in Devonport in the 1794 depth of winter seemed exceptionally cruel, especially as the Government were showing their sympathy with the unemployed in other parts of the country. Were the Government really determined to give up new construction in the Government yards, as seemed to be foreshadowed by the First Lord's statement that new construction could be more cheaply carried out in private yards—a view with which he was glad to hear the noble Lord the Member for Ealing, a former First Lord, did not agree. He had no desire to pick a bone as between private and Government yards, but as representing these men he felt bound to speak for them, especially as the Dockyard Expense Accounts showed that buildings in the Government yards were, at any rate, not more costly than in private yards. He desired to call attention to the case of the man Welsford, who met with an accident two years ago, which entirely incapacitated him. He had been awarded temporary deferred pay for six months, but when he came up for survey, instead of being allotted his pension, as he ought to have been, the matter had been deferred from time to time pending a decision of the Government medical men as to whether he was totally incapacitated. It was most unreasonable on the part of the Government to hold this man in suspense as to their ultimate decision. He knew Welsford to be of the highest integrity. He had visited him every time he went into the West, and he feared that before the Admiralty arrived at any decision the man would be dead. He was absolutely and totally incapacitated, and he (the hon. Member) thought he was suffering from softening of the brain. What was the difficulty in the report of the medical men? They did not assert that this man was not incapacitated.
§ MR. KEARLEY
said he had never heard that before. He understood there was one obstinate man who could not give an opinion one way or the other. He hoped the hon. Member would state where the difficulty lay.
§ *MR. DUKE (Plymouth)
said the question of dockyard discharges was a very serious one. Dockyard towns were dependent for their prosperity, and to a large extent for their existence, upon the policy of the Admiralty, and it did not appear at the present time that the Admiralty was exercising that discretion with regard to discharges which ought to be shown by a large employer of labour. The sudden removal from employment of hundreds of men without any previous notification caused a great deal of trouble and dissatisfaction in the district concerned. He did hope the Secretary to the Admiralty would be able to tell the dockyard populations, through the House, what the intentions of the Admiralty were, and to assure those engaged in the dockyards that discharges would not be made in great numbers without some reasonable notice, so that the men could have the longest possible period to prepare themselves for the change. If the Admiralty would pursue some policy of that kind instead of ordering sudden discharges in hundreds, they would relieve themselves of some of the unpopularity which seemed to be not without reason at the present time, and also remove a great deal of difficulty from the local authorities. The mayors of both Plymouth and Devonport were in London about the matter, and his hon. friend might be assured that the policy pursued was causing in these towns a feeling very near to consternation.
§ *MR. PRETYMAN
acknowledged the entirely reasonable character of the remarks which had been made, and was sorry there should have been a necessity for the strictures upon the Admiralty. The principles which were enunciated by the hon. Member for Tavistock and the hon. Members who followed him, were exactly those which had been followed, namely, that it was foreseen, as must have been foreseen by everyone in the House, that when there came a reduction in the programme of naval construction there must be discharges as business shrank, and from the moment it became evident that this was necessary the Admiralty considered how those discharges could be carried out in a manner to cause least inconvenience 1796 and distress. What the Admiralty then decided to do was to spread these discharges gradually over as long a period as possible, and that they should not in any one of the dockyards exceed twenty-five in the course of a week. He could not, however, ask that the Admiralty should be absolutely acquitted, because through an unfortunate misunderstanding there was some confusion in transmitting these distinct orders some time ago to the Admiral-Superintendents, and owing to this misunderstanding these notices were given by the Admiral - Superintendents at Portsmouth and Devonport entirely contrary to the intention of the Admiralty. Immediately this was discovered instructions were sent to all Admiral-Superintendents in the sense he had indicated, that no discharges were to be carried out, if it could possibly be avoided, at a greater rate than twenty-five per week. It was the object of the Admiralty to give the utmost possible notice, and to carry out these discharges in a manner which would cause the least inconvenience.
As regarded the question between dockyards and private yards he would only say that, while repairs were more cheaply carried out in the dockyards, new construction as regarded cheapness, had been slightly in favour of private yards. But at the present moment ships were being constructed practically at equal cost in both yards. There was no intention to abandon new construction in the dockyards, and what was being done was as far as possible to adjust the total amount of new construction required as between the dockyards and the private yards. Bather the major part would go to private yards, of which the area was very much greater than the dockyards; but there would be a certain amount of new construction available for the dockyards. When the amount of new construction was reduced there must be less employment available. There was only this consolation, that I every sovereign which was not spent in the dockyards meant a reduction of taxation to that extent, and consequently that money was available in other directions. That meant, therefore, not an actual putting out of employment of 1797 labour, but simply a displacing of labour, and although displacing of labour was extremely unpleasant for those displaced at the time, yet, regarding it over the whole area, it did not mean that there would be less employment of labour throughout the country as a whole.
As regarded Welsford, that was a very simple matter. Under the regulations a full pension could only be given, as the hon. Member himself had stated, in cases of total incapacity; and whether a man was or was not totally incapacitated, whatever the opinion of private individuals might be, could only be decided by medical professional opinion. They could not get away from that. The hon. Member might be absolutely right—and he and the hon. Member for Plymouth had taken great interest in this particular case—but the Admiralty could not be bound by the opinion of hon. Members, however active, they must take medical opinion, and medical opinion had been unable to certify that Welsford was totally disabled. Another examination was going to be made, and he might say that the facts which had been stated to the House were not quite accurate, because the last suggestion made came direct from the Admiralty to Welsford, and they asked whether he would prefer to be examined by a doctor in London or by a doctor at Torquay, and he had informed them that he would prefer a doctor at Torquay. That examination was now about to be carried out. He might say that every consideration had been shown, but until they got the medical certificate that he was totally disabled they were unable to grant the amount of his pension.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
said that after the passing of the Education Act of 1870 many working-class parents were ready and prepared to forego any wages their children might earn if provision could be made for the children receiving something more than the common standard of education in the ordinary elementary schools. Provision was made for higher education, and it was made cheap and effective for such parents as cared to forego the earnings of their children. That went on until the year 1895 when as a result of the Cockerton judgment it was decided that 1798 school boards in making this provision were doing what was quite wrong and it was declared illegal. School boards had since been ruled down to purely primary work of the ordinary standard. He did not think that the Government were really sorry to find that judgment given, because it provided them with an opportunity to curtail the work of education beyond the standards adopted by the great school boards for the common people. The Government endeavoured in 1896 to bring in a great measure of co-ordination and to build up anew upon the wreck of the school board movement caused by the Cockerton judgment. In 1902 the Government brought in what was from a great many points of view a great Bill by which they desired to systematise and link together every grade of education. Part III. had been in operation for some considerable time, and Part II. was intended to build anew the work which had been destroyed by the Cockerton judgment. It would be impossible for him to emphasise too strongly the criticisms which his hon. friend had passed upon the Board of Education in carrying out Part II. in respect to higher education. It was the first step that counted here, and if they went wrong and provided for a particular class as against the whole community; if they built secondary schools as a thing for a special class of the community and not for the whole nation, then they would have done something to cut more deeply the social differences which marked our people, and would have missed an opportunity of obliterating those differences and making the various classes of the community know each other better than they did at the present time.
In endeavouring to add this superstructure to the educational system the Board of Education issued regulations for secondary schools, and the whole purport of them was to set up a social select class of school especially for the middle and professional classes, and not to be used by all classes of the community irrespective of their social position. He held in his hand a document which would do more harm to the well-being of this country than he could possibly describe, not only educationally Hit socially. Time was so short that he 1799 could only call attention to three points in these regulations to prove his statement that they were now building up schools for a class, notwithstanding the pledge which the Government had given that they would build these schools for the whole community, and set up secondary schools in their proper place in the national scheme of education. The first was Regulation 16, which told the great municipalities of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and London that if they wanted to set up a secondary school under the Act of 1902 and the Government gave them power, they would not be permitted to manage that school themselves. "The school must be conducted by a body of governors." That was at variance with both the spirit and the letter of the debates in 1902, in which the House was urged—and by no one more than the Prime Minister—to trust the local authorities, to whom practically all the power was to be given in this matter. The constitution of the governing body had to be such as the Board of Education could approve. He did not mind so much the approval of the Board of Education being necessary, but he should have thought that in consonance with the speech of the Prime Minister in 1902 the Board of Education should have left these great municipalities free to set up their schools in the meantime in the way that seemed best to them. If he were a member of a local education authority he would certainly not give to one of these secondary schools any part of public money unless, they conformed to the scheme of management which the authority for the locality thought wise and proper to impose. That would be carrying out the spirit of the Act of 1902. The regulation did not do that. The Board of Education, under another regulation, laid it down that these municipalities could not be allowed to have a secondary school in which the fees were less than £3 a year. In regard to the higher grade schools, where the fees had been sixpence or ninepence a week, what right had the Board of Education to insist that a working man for the education of his child should pay £3 a year? Such a minimum at once transformed the provision of secondary education in industrial and working-class communities into a class institution. It 1800 was a preposterous regulation, and he regarded it as a gross piece of impertinence on the part of the Board of Education to dictate to great municipalities the fees they should charge in schools largely supported out of their own rates. In the poorer part of St. George's, East Bristol, a high-grade school had been built up and the working-class people there had paid the fees with great difficulty, but now the Board of Education came down upon them and said that they must pay £3 a year. The third and last point was equally grave, and in this connection he pleaded for the child of the working-class parent who wished to give him the secondary education which it was understood he was to get. The regulation said—The Board of Education will be prepared to sanction the remission of fees to individual scholars on sufficient grounds.But that was a very objectionable way of dealing with the matter. What right had the Board of Education, on the strength of that general regulation, to say, as they were saying, to the great municipalities that they should not have in their secondary schools more than twenty-five per cent, of free places? If the great municipality of Bolton was to have all the powers which they were promised according to the discussions in 1902, they would provide free places to save children from the factory and the workshop. Why should they not be permitted to do that? Who were the Board of Education to say that there should only be one place out of four free? He spoke with considerable indignation on this matter. These regulations were fatal to the working-class higher-grade schools. They were not justified by anything in the Act of 1902, and they would do most serious harm to the development of secondary education. He believed, however, by way of a death-bed repentance, that the Board of Education had issued a letter in which they climbed down a little. He hoped they would continue to climb down, and that they would leave the local authorities, subject to the veto of the Board of Education, where it was understood in 1902 they would be left—absolutely unfettered to carry out secondary education, not as a mere class or exclusive provision, but as a provision for the whole community.
§ *THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON,) Oxford University
said he desired to refer, presently, to the topic on which the hon. Gentleman had spoken with so much indignation, but he would deal first with the matter of church attendance, which had been brought before the House by the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk. The hon. Member had said that the Board of Education had given way under pressure. He was not aware that the Board had departed under pressure from the position taken up. The Board came to the conclusion that the law of school attendance should be interpreted in a particular way, and to that interpretation they had adhered, and would continue to adhere. It was true that pressure was put on the Board of Education, but it was from every quarter—by the hon. Member's own friends, by Church people, by the advocates of secondary schools, by the ratepayers, and by the teachers. If pressure from all sides could keep a Government Department straight then the Board of Education had a better chance than any other Department. In regard to Stow Bedon he was not surprised that in the long tangle of the history of the controversy another hon. Gentleman should have gone wrong. The school was recognised as a certified efficient school and the Board had no choice in the watter. But no public money, whether from rates or taxes, had been or would be spent upon it. The hon. Gentleman was wrong in saying, whether under pressure or not under pressure, that the Board had allowed a school to be established contrary to the provisions under which schools should be established under the Act of 1902. He hoped the hon. Member would accept the assurance that the school of Stow Bedon was no expense to the ratepayers or the Exchequer. With regard to the schools at King's Lynn and Norwich, he undertook to make inquiry and see whether the provision of school places was inadequate.
Coming to the question of secondary schools, he thought the indignation of the hon. Member for Camberwell was not altogether justifiable. The Board of Education held, first of all, that a secondary school should fulfil the conditions as to education which a secondary 1802 school was intended to fulfil. It was no compliment or benefit to the working classes to enable them to send their children to a school which was a secondary school in name, but an elementary school in reality, and the Board had been at some pains to define what a secondary school should be. They had to consider what the financial prospects of a secondary school would be when established, as well as the question of efficiency. Such schools, unless they were endowed, must depend upon the Parliamentary grant, the rates, and the payments of fees by the scholars; and the Board considered that, in the majority of cases, fees should be paid, The Board had never insisted on a particular standard of fees, but they endeavoured to determine the amount of the fee by the conditions of the locality, and the incomes of those who wished to send their children to the school.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
asked whether the Board had not written to Bolton insisting that there should be a minimum fee of £3.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that no doubt n many cases they had suggested a minimum £3 fee; and he recollected pressing that last year on a local authority. He had heard since that the £3 fee had been paid and that the school was flourishing. Then, as to free places, which, of course, were independent of scholarships which might be conferred, they had the right to say that it would not be safe, having regard to the economic condition of a school, that more than 25 per cent, free places should be allowed. The charge of audacity or impertinence was wholly irrelevant, for, since Government money was granted, the Board had the right to satisfy themselves that the grants were made for the purpose which secondary schools ought to serve, and to insist that those grants should not be made except to schools which were economically as well as educationally efficient.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said the Board had had a longer experience even than a 1803 municipality or the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member had complained that the Board required schools to have a body of governors, and had taken full control out of the hands of the local authority. But what was everybody's business was generally nobody's business. As a rule they could not govern a secondary school through a great county council or a large education committee of thirty of forty persons, and, in the result the government would very likely lapse into the hands of the permanent officials. Unless they established some such body of person, some of whom might be extraneous to the local authority, to whom the headmaster might submit get the work done as satisfactorily as it ought to be done. But the Board of Education had no desire to withdraw from the great local authorities such power as they ought to have over their secondary schools.
§ the Secretary to the Board of Education had completely misunderstood their complaint. They complained that upon the higher-grade school—the modern type of secondary school—the hon. Baronet wished to impose the old form, the cramping form, of the endowed grammar school. That was their complaint, and to justify it the hon. Baronet took refuge in a definition of what the Board of Education thought a secondary school should be. In his own city of Nottingham an attempt was made to establish three modern secondary schools, but the regulations which were imposed by the Board of Education prevented it being done. On account of the unsatisfactory reply, he begged to move that the Bill be read a third time that day six months.
§ And, it being Seven to the clock, Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 16th March, put that Question.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 248; Noes, 190. (Division List No. 93.)1807
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Campbell, Rt. Hn JA(Glasgow)||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ.||Doughty, Sir George|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Douglas, Rt. Hn. A. Akers|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cautley, Henry Strother||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire)||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. HnHugh O||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Dyke, Rt Hn. Sir William Hart|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. SirH||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A(Worc.||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Chapman, Edward||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward|
|Balcarres, Lord||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Fergusson, Rt.Hn. SirJ(Manc'r|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J.(Manch'r||Coates, Edward Feetham||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds)||Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Finch, Rt. Hn. George H.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Finlay, SirR.B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Colomb, Rt Hon. Sir John C. R.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Forster, Henry William|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.||Gardner, Ernest|
|Bigwood, James||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.|
|Bill, Charles||Crossley, Rt. Hn. Sir Savile||Gordon, Hn. J. E(Elgin & Nairn|
|Bingham, Lord||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Bond, Edward||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Goschen, Hn. George Joachim|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Davenport, William Bromley||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Denny, Colonel||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Brassey, Albert||Dewar, Sir T R(Tower Hamlets||Gray, Ernest(West Ham)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Gretton, John|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Dickson, Charles Scott||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bull, William James||Dimsdale, Rt.Hn.Sir Joseph C.||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hain, Edward|
|Butcher, John George||Dixou-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Halsey, Rt. Hn. Thomas F.||Maconochie, A. W.||Round, Rt. Hn. James|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||M'Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nderry||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Majendie, James A. H.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Malcolm, Ian||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Marks, Harry Hananel||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Helder, Augustus||Maxwell, RtHnSir H. E (Wigt'n||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Henderson, Sir A (Stafford, W.||Maxwell, W. J H (Dumfriesshire||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Fredk. G.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Milvain, Thomas||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants)||Skewes-Cox., Thomas|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Horner, Frederick William||Moore, William||Spear, John Ward|
|Hoult, Joseph||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Morrell, George Herbert||Stroyan, John|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Morrison, James Archibald||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Talbot, Rt. Hn J G (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Hunt, Rowland||Mount, William Arthur||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Nicholson, William Graham||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M|
|Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Rt Hn. Col. W||Parker, Sir Gilbert||Tuff, Charles|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Peel, Hn. W. Robert Wellesley||Turnour, Viscount|
|Knowles, Sir Lees.||Percy, Earl||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffield|
|Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Pierpoint, Robert||Walrond, Rt Hn Sir William H|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Welby, Lt-Col. A CE (Taunton)|
|Lawson, Hn H. L. W (Mile End)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Lawson, John Grant (YorksNR.||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Lee, Arthur H (Hants. Fareham||Pryce-Jones, Lt. Col. Edward||Whiteley, H (Ashton and Lyne|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Pym, C. Guy||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Randles, John S.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Rankin, Sir James||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col A. R.||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H (Yorks.)|
|Long, Col Chas. W. (Evesham)||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Remnant, James Farquharson||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Lowe, Francis William||Renwick, George||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Younger, William|
|Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hn. Alfred||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Viscount Valentia.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Elibank, Master of|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Caldwell, James||Ellice, Capt. EC (SAndrw's Bghs|
|Allen, Charles P.||Cameron, Robert||Ellis, John Edward (Notts)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Emmott, Alfred|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Causton, Richard Knight||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cawley, Frederick||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Cheetham, John Frederick||Eve, Harry Trelawney|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Bell, Richard||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)|
|Benn, John Williams||Cremer, William Randal||Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.)|
|Black, Alexander William||Crombie, John William||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Blake, Edward||Crooks, William||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Boland, John||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Brand, Hn. Arthur G.||Delany, William||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.|
|Brigg, John||Dobbie, Joseph||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Doogan, P. C.||Gilhooly, James|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark)||Gladstone, RtHnHerbert John|
|Bryce, Rt. Hn. James||Duffy, William J.||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Dunn, Sir William||Grant, Gorrie,|
|Burns, John||Edwards, Frank||Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||M'Crae, George||Roche, John|
|Haldane, Rt. Hn. Richard B.||M'Kean, John||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hammond, John||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Rose, Charles Day|
|Harcourt, Lewis||Markham, Arthur Basil||Runciman, Walter|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Mooney, John J.||Russell, T. W.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Moss, Samuel||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Moulton, John Fletcher||Sheehy, David|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Murphy, John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Higham, John Sharpe||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Slack, John Bamford|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||Newnes, Sir George||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West||Norman, Henry||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Nussey, Thomas Willams||Spencer, Rt. HnC. R (Northants|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Chas. Fredk.||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Stanhope, Hn. Philip James|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid.)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Johnson, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Thomas, Sir A (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Jones William (Carnarvonsh.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Thomson. F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Tillett, Louis John|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John||Tomkinson, James|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.||Toulmin, George|
|Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Malley, William||Ure, Alexander|
|Kitson, Sir James||O'Mara, James||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Labouchere, Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lament, Norman||O'Shee, James John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Langley, Batty||Partington, Oswald||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Paulton, James Mellor||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Power, Patrick Joseph||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Rea, Russell||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Levy, Maurice||Reckitt, Harold James||Wills, Arthur Walters (N Dorset|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Reddy, M.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Wilson, J. W (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Lough, Thomas||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hudders'd|
|Lundon, W.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'h||Young, Samuel|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Yoxall and Mr. Shackleton.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robson, William Snowdon|
Bill read the third time, and passed.