HC Deb 31 March 1905 vol 144 cc46-83


Order for Second Reading read.

*DR. SHIPMAN (Northampton)

said that in moving the Second Reading of this Bill he believed he would have support largely from both sides of the House. The Bill was to remedy a great injustice done by recent Acts in not allowing women to sit on county councils or borough councils. This Bill was practically of one clause. It said— It shall be lawful for women to be elected and to act as councillors and aldermen of county and borough councils, and metropolitan borough councils in the same manner and on the same conditions as men. Objection had been taken to the Bill on the ground that it would only be a stepping-stone for ladies being asked to sit in this House. But he would point out that the duties of this House and of those councils to which the Bill applied, were to a great extent very different. The duties of this House were mainly legislative; the duties of the councils were mainly, almost entirely, administrative. In proposing this measure they were not taking a leap in the dark. Women had already sat and worked most usefully on public bodies. On boards of guardians they were brought into contact with the poor and with children; and it had been admitted that their co-operation with men on these bodies had been highly advantageous. They also sat on district councils, the working of which did not very much differ in character from the work of the county councils or the metropolitan borough councils. Then it must be remembered that on school boards women had done most useful work. He believed that in Scotland one of the most effective workers on any school board was a lady who was now the chairman of the Edinburgh School Board. Unfortunately school boards were now abolished in England, and their powers were transferred to the county councils; and women were practically disfranchised from sitting on these bodies, and some of the best workers on the school boards were now excluded from taking any part in educational work. That, in itself, was a powerful argument for placing women on the county councils and on the borough councils.

He would call attention to the fact that Lady Sandhurst, who had been directly elected to the London County Council had to submit to an action at law as to the legality of her election thereto, and that a judicial decision went against her. If it had not been for that case, although there might have been a doubt as to the legal right of ladies to sit on these councils, ladies would have been elected in many cases. The London County Council showed their appreciation of the value of the presence of ladies on these bodies by making Miss Cons an alderman. He was speaking in the presence of many members of the London County Council, who could testify more effectively than he could as to the excellent work which women had done in the proceedings of that council. That work was largely done through committees and subcommittees, and he believed that women had been selected as members of no fewer than sixteen committees and sub-committees of that body. That spoke very eloquently for the wisdom of placing women on county councils, and enabling them to co-operate with men in the work of those councils. At present men had to visit lunatic asylums. He, himself, had visited the female side of these institutions and the conclusion he had come to was, after that experience, that no man should be allowed to go there. It was a work eminently fitted for women. Then there was the case of providing homes for babies. Only women were fitted for such work. Again, they all knew that in visiting industrial homes for boys and girls, a woman's sympathetic voice and touch was most powerful. The same work had to be done in the borough councils as in the county councils. He knew that some husbands objected to sit by the side of their own wives at these councils, although they did not object to sit beside another councillor's wife. That, however, was a selfish view. The other night the Lord Chief Justice drew attention to Miss Mary Bateman, who had edited the first volume of Borough Customs and said she had shown "She knew more of the law of the period dealt with than nine-tenths of the lawyers who would read the book. She had thoroughly entered into the spirit of those old customs." If that were true, would not such a lady put new life into the work of the councils of to-day? As regarded the metropolitan borough councils, he was on extremely safe ground, because a Bill entitling women to election passed its Second Reading in 1900 by a large majority. The chief reason why he now asked the House to give a Second Reading to this Bill was that, as long as women were not allowed to serve on borough councils and county councils an artificial restraint was placed upon constituencies in the selection of their representatives. We could not be said to govern ourselves with the full strength of the intelligence we had at our command while women were prevented from serving on such councils. There should be free import of ideas and no protection. No doubt the home was woman's sphere, but not the only one. The nation was a cluster of homes, and women ought to be invited to take an active part in managing and regulating the homes of the nation. He asked the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.

SIR RICHARD JEBB (Cambridge University)

said he desired to express his entire sympathy with the Bill the Second Reading of which had been moved in such an able speech as that which had just been delivered. He had had some knowledge of the co-operation of women in the province of education. Women were members of the Commission on Secondary Education that reported some years ago, and women were at this moment members of the consultative committee of the Board of Education and of many other educational committees. So far as his experience went, he could add his testimony to the abundant testimony that was forthcoming from all who had had similar experience that the assistance of women in the discussion of educational questions was of the greatest possible value. In matters relating to public health, the employment of children, the prevention of cruelty to children, industrial schools, and many other matters, the intervention of women in local government was obviously of the greatest value. They brought to these departments of local government a knowledge and insight into the conditions affecting women and girls which men could not possibly contribute. The great progress made in the higher education of women was a fact that should not be lost sight of. There were probably few localities in the country where it would be difficult to find women well qualified in every respect to take their part in the duties for which it was proposed to make them eligible. He sympathised with the view of the hon. Member for Northampton that by failing to enlist women in these departments of local government, and in the discussion of questions bearing so directly on the health and well-being of the community, we were losing a force of the most valuable kind—a force which could not be supplied in any other way. He earnestly hoped that the House would consent to the Second Reading of the Bill.

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


in moving the rejection of the Bill, said that the proposals contained in the measure rested much more on sentiment than on good sense or practical principles. He did not deny that women could usefully occupy places on education committees and some other administrative bodies, but that was not a reason for exposing them to the disagreeable circumstances connected with contested elections for borough or county councils. There were methods at present by which women could be enabled to discharge duties for which they were particularly fitted in connection with administrative bodies, but the general work of a borough council or a county council did not come within the proper sphere of a woman's activity. Men, he submitted, were quite competent to deal with such questions as levying rates and other public matters. No doubt those who opposed the Bill in that House would be in a small minority; but he claimed that outside the House they represented a large body of opinion, and the feeling against the proposals now submitted were largely shared by the women of this country. Many women still clung to the old-fashioned notion of what was a woman's work, and would not care to take up duties which properly belonged to men. He was surprised that the promoters of the Bill had not recommended that women should be allowed to become Members of the House of Commons, as it was quite easy to suggest that there were many legislative matters in which their advice would be useful. He had always supported the plan of having a certain number of women factory inspectors, who were capable of performing a very valuable work, but he dissented from the view that in order to give women an opportunity of rendering useful service to the community they must be put in the same position as men on public bodies.

*CAPTAIN JESSEL (St. Pancras, S.)

seconded the rejection of the Bill. The question was not, he said, a new one, and many hon. Members would recollect the discussions they had in 1899, when the London borough councils were formed, and the point was raised whether women should be allowed to be members or not. One of the arguments against their inclusion was that from the year 1894 down to the passing of the London Government Act of 1899, although women were eligible for election on vestry boards, only thirteen succeeded in getting the suffrages of the electors out of the fourteen or fifteen hundred seats that had to be filled. Again, it was pointed out that when the Bill which enabled women to sit on vestries came before the House, no mention was made of the fact that it contained any such proviso, and it was carried without the question being debated. In 1899, however, there were four different divisions in the House on the question, with the result that while women were given the right to sit on councils they were debarred from acting as mayor or alderman, and eventually, when the Bill came back from another place, even the right to sit as councillors was taken away from them. In 1900 another Bill, solely relating to London, was introduced to the House and was rejected by a very large majority, and in the course of the debates on it, it was pointed out that it would be very unfair that London boroughs should be singled out for special treatment in this matter, and that it would be better to deal with it from the point of view of the country as a whole.

They now had before them a proposal to put ladies on county councils and corporations throughout the country. That, certainly, was a more fair and straightforward method of dealing with the question. In the Memorandum attached to the Bill it was said that the object was to enable the electors to place directly-elected women on the education authorities. They knew very well that women, by the abolition of the school boards, were not enabled to seek the suffrages of the electors. But he would ask: had the education committees of the country been thereby in any way deprived of the most valuable co-operation of ladies? Was it not provided in the Education Bill that a very large proportion, of the managers should be ladies? He, for one, fully appreciated the value of their co-operation on educational bodies, and that, he was glad to say, had been secured, and it was a very good thing also to secure their services in such matters as the management of female lunatic asylums, the employment of children, supervision of midwives and baby farms, and the prevention of cruelty to children. But matters of this nature—important though they were—did not constitute the duties carried out by municipal corporations. In London, on the Metropolitan Asylums Board, women were nominated for these duties, but he could not himself say that they were more qualified than men for such work as the laying of sewers. They were not better financiers, they were not more capable of framing by-laws, neither were they better able to deal with valuation matters; all this work was far more efficiently done by men. No doubt, in matters affecting the dietary of children, women were pre-eminently qualified, and for that reason one welcomed their co-operation in the administration of the Poor Law. But it was important to bear in mind that now-a-days, in all county and borough council elections, the element of politics was introduced, and one of the great objections he had to placing ladies on these public bodies was that it would involve them in the turmoil of political life.

MR. SLACK (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

How about the Primrose League?


continuing, said women were not, under the Bill, to be allowed to aspire to the office of mayor. He thought that was hardly logical. He was told it was because women could not act as justices of the peace, but if ladies were to be eligible as members of county and borough councils, why should they be excluded from the highest positions? On the previous evening there was a debate before the Hardwicke Society on the question of ladies being concerned in the administration of justice, and the question was asked: Why were not women eligible to sit on juries as well as men? Why should not there be mixed juries? It was interesting to know that the celebrated authoress, Mrs. Craigie—John Oliver Hobbes—said "she did not believe in women becoming entangled in legal machinery, because they were by nature unfair, and their natures did not contain the first elements of justice. Where, she asked, would men go for sympathy if women were impartial? When justice was represented as a woman she was blind-folded because she could not be trusted, as Americans said, to see straight."

The Second Reading of this Bill was moved by the junior Member for Northampton; he was sorry the senior Member for that town was not present, for he was a stalwart on this Question, and he believed he would have endorsed the view that the great majority of women did not wish to meddle with politics. They were quite ready to allow the management of municipal affairs to be carried on by men. It was, after all, only a few who were ambitious, for if there had been a general desire on the part of women to take part in the work of these councils larger numbers would have been councillors when they had the opportunity. Surely it was not wise to upset a whole general system for the sake of a very few. But the greatest objection of all to this proposal was that it was only the thin end of the wedge. It would not stop at this point, but they would have renewed agitation for the Parliamentary suffrage and eventually a claim for seats in the House. He opposed the Bill because he was averse to giving the Parliamentary suffrage to women, for he held that if they had votes it would be impossible to deny them the right to sit in the House. In all the great democratic Continental countries women were refused the Parliamentary suffrage, and he did not think that even the strongest advocate of the Bill would favour their admission to the House of Commons. He was glad to see a representative of the Local Government Board present (the hon. Gentleman the Member for Thirsk). It was not often that the Members who sat on the Treasury Bench honoured them on Friday afternoon. He hoped for guidance from that bench. It was not so much this Bill as the fact that it represented the beginning of the end. He objected to it in the interests of the vast majority of the women of this country. He did not believe that they desired it in the least. It was only brought in for the benefit of the few, and he would very much regret if, in consequence of the noisy clamour of those few, a Bill of that nature should be passed throwing on the sex positions and duties for which the great majority had no desire.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"—(Sir William Tomlinson.)

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

*MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

regretted that the Bill did not apply to either Scotland or Ireland. He was anxious to see it extended to his country. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston—the champion of lost causes in that House——


And of winning ones too.


said the hon. Member spoke as if the Bill would force women to become members of municipal bodies. There was no compulsion at all in the matter. It was a mere question of giving them a legal right to exercise powers which, when they had undertaken them, they had exercised well. In Scot- land they were not always anxious to have extended to them Acts passed for England. They never wanted, for instance, either the English Licensing Bill or the English Education Bill, because they had better Acts of their own. The Scottish Education Bill now before the House would, as in the past, still render women eligible to be elected on education boards. He could assure the House that feeling in Scotland, however, was in favour of the extension of the provisions of this Bill to that country. The Irish Members could, of course, speak for themselves. The hon. Member for South St. Pancras had alluded to the fact that in Germany and France the women had not these rights. That might be so, but then they did not need to go to those countries for lessons as to the policy they should pursue. Let them turn to their own self-governing Colonies. What did they see there? In New Zealand women had the privilege which he hoped they would soon possess in this country—of voting for Parliamentary representatives—and had exercised that right in a way that had kept a good strong Liberal Government in power. It was idle to talk about the thin end of the wedge. Those who knew and appreciated the good sense of the majority of women wished to give them the same rights and privileges that they themselves enjoyed, and for that reason he heartily supported the Second Reading of the Bill.


said it had apparently escaped notice that Scotland and Ireland had been dropped out of this Bill. Was it because Scotchmen and Irishmen were much more impressionable, and could not be trusted to sit alongside the other sex? He thought that was a distinct slur on the male sex both of Scotland and Ireland, and it was a suggestion that they were not to be trusted in the same way as Englishmen. Did the promoters, by omitting Scotland and Ireland, hope to gain votes from Scotch and Irish Members?


said he was one of those who believed that each nation should look after its own affairs, and he had, therefore, confined the action of the Bill to England and Wales. But if it were desired that the Bill should apply to Scotland or Ireland he should welcome an Amendment in Committee to that effect.


Are we to understand that the great majority of the Scotch and Irish Members have no wish for this Bill? Has the hon. Member received representations to that effect?


I have received no such representations at all. But if any are made those two countries can be included in the Bill.


Then why was the clause referring to Scotland and Ireland struck out of the Bill?


I have been trying to give the reason.


feared that the cause not the reason had been given. He had always been opposed to the Parliamentary vote being given to ladies, because he believed the logical conclusion was that they must obtain seats in that House. Everybody knew that the influence of women and their higher knowledge and skill were of very great importance in dealing with social questions. After all, it was the life of the home which was the foundation of the greater social life of the nation. The hon. Member for South St. Pancras had told them it was a very good thing for women to take part in particular portions but not in the general work of borough councils, but how was the line to be drawn in these? A distinct and absolute line could be drawn between representation in that House, where the affairs of the nation and the Empire were dealt with, and such service on councils as was proposed. He thought that if they went on opposing proposals that women should take part in social life it could be fairly urged against them that they were not seeking the good of the community, but were acting in prejudice against the other sex who, after all, in matters affecting their children and their social life could do infinitely better than men. He thought it would be a great mistake if they did not trust them.


considered that the speeches of the hon. Members who moved and seconded the rejection of the Bill were exceedingly illogical and inconclusive. It seemed to him that the Bill was a measure of very tardy justice, not only to women but to the whole system of the domestic government of this country. This matter was first prominently brought before the public mind in the London County Council elections of 1888, when two or three women were elected as aldermen and councillors. They worked on the Council for a considerable number of months, and, with perhaps one solitary exception, their male colleagues agreed that the work they did was absolutely invaluable if not indispensable. But by a decision of the Courts of Law they were disabled from continuing to sit, and since then the House had been constantly moved to remove the disability. The hon. Member for South St. Pancras had referred in terms which seemed to be particularly inapplicable just now—having regard to the part of London which he represented—to the unsuitability of women to discharge certain business functions connected with county and borough councils. He had the privilege of residing in the Parliamentary Borough of Holborn, which adjoined the hon. Member's own constituency.


I did not say they could not discharge them. I simply said they were not better fitted than men to discharge them. I hope the hon. Member will not misinterpret what I said.


said they had had some startling revelations in Holborn recently, which showed how thoroughly incompetent men had proved themselves to be for the discharge of ordinary business duties. He was himself one of the unfortunate ratepayers who would probably lose thousands of pounds because of the proved incompetency of a borough council to properly look after some of their officials. Matters could not have been worse had women had seats on the council. The hon. and gallant Member had also objected to women being involved in the turmoil of political life, but he for one would far rather see women take their place in political and municipal life in a straightforward manner, by the exercise of the franchise and as was proposed in this Bill, than working as they did in many of the constituencies on behalf of the Primrose League. They had no objection to women being made eligible for the office of mayor, and if the Bill disqualified them—he did not think it did—the defect could be remedied in Committee. Then they had had an extraordinary quotation from Mrs. Craigie, a distinguished writer of fiction, who had shown that she could also speak fiction, and that very glibly and effectively. He was not going to take his views of public political life, public morality, or other subjects from Mrs. Craigie or any other novelist. When Mrs. Craigie told them that women were not meant to govern he would refer her to the most prominent and conspicuous member of her sex in the last century, Queen Victoria, who exercised a potent influence on the affairs of this Empire, and indeed of the whole Christian race. Further it was complained that the Bill would upset the general system for the sake of the few. But it would not do anything of the kind. It would simply enable duly qualified women to be nominated for seats on these councils in the same way as men; it would not involve the slightest change in administration, practice, or procedure. As to the antiquated and grossly immoral thin-end-of-the-wedge argument he could not too strongly condemn it. He remembered hearing, when a boy, orations by Mr. John Bright and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in that city; and one sentence used by the Member for West Birmingham in 1885 impressed itself Very forcibly on his memory. It ran—"it is never wrong to do right." If the measure proposed by this Bill was right, it could not be wrong to carry it now. It was always right to do right, and the question of expediency should not be allowed to enter into these calculations at all.

The speech of the hon. Baronet who moved the rejection of the Bill answered itself. It spoke of the proper sphere of woman's work, but the hon. Baronet did not explain what that sphere was. He told them that women could be co-opted on education committees of county councils, and that the system of co-option was preferable to direct election, but he would like to point out in answer to that that the principle of co-option was mischievous because the co-opted member had not the same authority or responsibility to the ratepayers as the directly-elected representative. Women had done excellent work on boards of guardians, school boards, and the London vestries, and it seemed to him that the Bill opened up to women a sphere of usefulness for which they were peculiarly fitted. Reference had already been made to the services they might render in connection with housing, the inspection of women's lodging-houses, the female side of lunatic asylums, and the employment of children. The electors ought to have the fullest possible choice in the matter of their representatives on the bodies which had to deal with these questions, and they should be at liberty to choose women if they wished to do so. In all assemblies, municipal or Parliamentary, legislative or administrative, unrepresented interests were apt to go to the wall, and in the interests of men, women, and children he strenuously supported this Bill.

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

said that when visiting large lunatic asylums as a member of the lunacy committee of his county council he had often regretted that the inspection could not be shared by lady visitors who could understand the circumstances and needs of the female inmates so much better than men. He believed that in many departments of local government an infusion of the woman element would be very valuable, and therefore he should certainly support the Second Reading of the Bill, and hope to see it extended to Scotland. Reference had been made to New Zealand. He had visited New Zealand since women were invested with the franchise, but his opinion of the result did not coincide with that which had been expressed, and he very much doubted whether the change had been altogether beneficial. If all married ladies as well as married men were entrusted with the franchise it might lead to awkward contentions, or tend to double the influence of married men. He was opposed to the extension of the Parliamentary franchise to women, but as regarded their admission to local governing bodies and departments he thought it would be a great advantage, and therefore he supported this Bill.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

said he stood in a position which was probably a little exceptional among those who supported the Bill because he was an opponent of the principle of women's suffrage. That had always been his attitude, it was still so, and he would not be advocating the Second Reading of the measure before the House if he thought it would prove even a step in the direction of women's suffage. He did not, however, think that was the case. The question involved seemed to him to be a totally different one, and he did not think any opponent of women's suffrage should be influenced by his views in regard to that question in the direction of opposing the Bill before the House. He thought, indeed, opponents of women's suffrage ought, if anything, rather to be influenced the other way, for those to whom it would seem to be a great and perilous change to give women the tight of voting at Parliamentary elections were, perhaps, all the more bound to do their utmost to see that women should be provided with such other spheres of influence as could be opened to them for devoting themselves in some measure to the service of the country by helping other women and children. He defended the Bill on the grounds of expediency. The question was a practical one, and the chief point at issue was as to whether women would be useful to the community if they were admitted to the boards mentioned in the Bill. It was, moreover, the right of the electors of the country to have the largest possible field of choice in those to whom they had to entrust the care of their municipal and county interests, and it was not fair to exclude any person willing to serve the community except on a strong proved case that it would for some reason be undesirable to accept such proffered services. Such onus probandi lay, surely, with the hon. Gentleman who had moved the rejection of the Bill, but the hon. Member for Preston had not even attempted to show that women would not be desirable members of these councils. On the other hand, there had been a good deal of practical evidence given which tended to show that women had done their special work on similar bodies very well. They had been specially valuable members of school boards, and one of his reasons for regretting the Education Act of 1902 was that it prevented women taking the same part as before in working the educational machinery of the country. Their services had, in some measure, been retained by making them co-opted members of education committees, but that was not the same thing, since they had not now the same authority they possessed when they sat as elected representatives of the ratepayers.

Women could do a vast amount of good work in matters affecting the housing and general well-being of the poor, and, as had several times been said in the course of the debate, in looking after the women and children in our lunatic asylums. There were, indeed, many kinds of such work in which, with the genius for detail which specially belonged to them, and their unwearied perseverance in making themselves masters of all that was to be known, women could make themselves very useful indeed—sometimes more useful than men engaged in similar work could be. The borough councils were not doing all the work they ought to do in that direction, and they would do it more efficiently if they had women among their members. At first he had some hesitation about supporting the Bill, because the borough councils had to some extent adopted a political character. But the possible risks in that direction were not sufficient to counterbalance the advantages which he saw in putting women upon the borough councils. When he looked at the whole field of educational and social reform he felt quite sure that the balance of argument was strongly in favour of the Bill. The sphere of action of women in all kinds of philanthropic and social work was increasing every day and was becoming more and more valuable to the community; and therefore he could not feel any doubt that the House would render a great service to the community, and not in any way injure the position of women, if they gave a Second Reading to this Bill.

*MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

associated himself with a great deal that had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen. He should support the Second Reading of the Bill, but he should do so as an opponent of female suffrage, and also with the hope, to which he should endeavour to give effect in Committee, that women would not be allowed to become members of county councils. He desired to restore to women a privilege they had already enjoyed, and which they had justified themselves in possessing. This was especially the case in London, where recent legislation had deprived them of the privilege they had previously possessed. Experience had shown that women had done excellent work in local and municipal government for which they deserved encouragement, and that encouragement could best be given by restoring to them the privilege they had accidentally lost. He could bear personal testimony to the excellent manner in which women had worked on local bodies, having worked side by side with them on the Metropolitan Asylums Board, on a board of guardians, and on education committees, on all of which bodies they did excellent work, and he had been struck by the fact that they always took a sensible view of affairs and applied themselves to that part of public work for which they were suited, without attempting to push themselves into work for which they were not suited. That was a compliment which could not always be paid to the other sex. But he might be asked why, if these were his views, he stopped short at the county councils. The reason was that on the county council they got into something approaching a political atmosphere, and with all his respect for women and their work, a political woman, whether Liberal or Conservative, was not a woman who commended herself to his personal judgment. He was not a member of the Primrose League. It might be said that that reflected no credit upon him, inasmuch as the efforts of that league would be somewhat out of place in the University of Oxford; but, at any rate, he had no desire to see the political woman multiplied. It was not right to sneer at the thin-end-of- the-wedge argument if the thick end of the wedge represented something that was objectionable. But here experience had shown that women did excellent work on municipal bodies in connection with women, children, the destitute, and sanitation; but the same women did not take part in politics. They were not the same class. The woman who did good social and philanthropic work was not, as a rule, the woman who desired to take part in politics. If that was so, the "wedge" disappeared, and consequently there was no thick end, and the alleged thin end could do no harm. On the merits of the question he did not doubt the House would be doing right in supporting the Second Reading of the Bill.

MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)

pointed out that some of the strongest testimony that had been given as to the value of women's work on local bodies had been in connection with work under the control of the county councils, and, therefore, the statement of the last speaker that he was not prepared to go so far as to give women the right to sit on those bodies was a matter of surprise to most supporters of the Bill. One of the most painful duties connected with membership of a lunacy committee was that of visiting the wards containing women and children, and if ever men felt their helplessness it was then. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted the excellent work women did in connection with the Metropolitan Asylums Board, and yet he would not allow them an opportunity of doing similar work for the asylums in the country which were under the county or county borough councils. There were a number of committees connected with borough council work on which women could do good work. First of all, there was the education committee, of which at present they could become members only by co-option, a method which did not invest them with the influence or authority they would possess if elected directly by the ratepayers. Moreover, they were debarred from following their work through to the finish in the education authority itself, as they were not permitted to be members of that authority. The baths and washhouses department was also one in which there were splendid opportunities for the exercise of that knowledge which women alone possessed. He hoped the Bill would pass its Second Reading by a large majority and become law before the end of the present session.


reminded the House that on the three bodies to which the hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division had referred women were already able to serve. By co-option they could be, and as a matter of fact, had to be, appointed on the education committees. With regard to baths and washhouses it was perfectly competent for ladies to be elected to act as visitors. The inspection of workhouses was never left to the lady members of boards of guardians, but lady visitors were appointed who were specially qualified for the work. As to the Asylums Board, his right. hon. friend had stated what excellent colleagues they made on the body.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

pointed out that that applied only to the Metropolitan Asylums Board, and not to the asylum committees of the county councils.


said that many of the supporters of the Bill were very lukewarm in their sup port, and his right hon. friend especially had hedged his approval with many qualifications. This Bill enabled women to be elected upon county and borough councils, and the metropolitan borough councils. He rather gathered that the chief argument in favour of this proposal was due to the fact that in former years ladies were able to sit upon the London vestries, and that they had lost ground to that extent. That was hardly the case, because it was a fact that ladies obtained that privilege by accident. When the Act was passed it was never intended that ladies should sit on the vestries, but, according to the wording of the Act, the Law Courts decided that ladies could become members of vestries. He would not say that women were incapable of discharging the duties with which the Bill proposed to entrust them; but he did say there would be no advantage in enabling them to become members of these various bodies, and this, he was quite sure, was the view held by the majority of women in these islands. He felt very strongly upon this question, and he considered that it was his duty to oppose it to the best of his ability. He thought that would be the view taken by the Government. By throwing those positions open to women they did not get the best of their class to come forward. His right hon. friend had stated his objection to the political lady, and in his opinion it was only the political lady who was likely to come forward under this Bill. The elections for county and borough councils had now become as much a political affair as any other election, and therefore they could not I avoid bringing in the political ladies. The ladies who would be most likely to confine themselves to the special duties which came within their province hardly ever came forward. Ladies were useful on boards of guardians, but boards of guardians were not political bodies, although they were semi-political. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen said the onus probandi rested with those who thought that women were not fitted for this work, but all he could say was that the change proposed was one for which there was no warrant, and from which no advantage would be gained. He never supported any change unless he felt sure that it was going to produce good, and he hoped no hon. Member would support any change unless they thought it was likely to do good.


said that his argument was that the electors of this country ought to have the widest possible choice, and it lay upon those who desired to limit that choice and the freedom of the electors in this respect to show why women should be excluded.


said that argument appeared to him to amount to the contention that everybody ought to be eligible unless they could be shown incompetent for the post.


Not quite that.


said that was practically what it amounted to. [An HON. MEMBER: Ladies sat upon the school boards.] Yes, they did, and many of them were now serving on the education committees, and what was more, the Act stated that a certain number of ladies must be placed upon those committees. A very considerable number of ladies were now acting as managers of schools under the Education Act. Women were too apt to go into enormous detail, and they could not carry on municipal business unless people confined themselves more to general principles. Women were more inclined than men to devote themselves to small petty details than to general principles. He doubted the statement that this Bill excluded a woman from being elected as mayor. There might be some difficulty as to whether a lady mayor could be a justice of the peace, but it appeared to him that, on the whole, the Bill was so worded that the position of mayor was one which could be occupied by a lady. The change proposed in this Bill was not one which would be for the benefit of the country, and he was convinced that it was not desired by anything approaching a majority of women of this country.


said that on behalf of a considerable number of women in his constituency, who he hoped in years to come would become constituents in reality and not only in name, he wished to give very hearty support to this Bill. The arguments in favour of this Bill seemed to him to be strong and unanswerable, while those against were both sophisticated and feeble. He regarded this debate more as an "affair of outposts" in the general campaign for extending the Parliamentary suffrage to women. To-day the demand was a very modest one indeed. It was simply that women should be declared capable of sitting on county and borough councils, upon which it was argued tint there was a large amount of work which they could perform a great deal better than men. There were special reasons why this Bill should be received with favour on the Ministerial side of the House, because the Conservative Party was pre-eminently the Party which recognised the qualifications of women to take part, not only in the details, but in the serious business of life. The Primrose League had been spoken of. That gigantic organisation, which was founded for the purpose of upholding religion, the Estates of the Realm, and the Imperial ascendancy of the British Empire—that great league, charged with the furtherance of these great objects, was largely comprised of women. Over that organisation the Prime Minister himself presided, and with him acted not only a male executive, but also a female executive, known as the Ladies' Grand Council, which doubtless assisted him in furthering the interests of that great mission which this league was founded to promote. This circumstance in itself conceded the principle on this side of the House that women were qualified to take part in the work of executive government, and the Prime Minister agreed with that principle. He was sorry to see that afternoon that hon. Members were going back upon their chief, and upon the Ladies' Grand Council, by declaring by their opposition to this Bill that the same women who were fit to sit upon a council charged with the furtherance of such great Imperial and national responsibilities were not qualified to take any part in the comparatively trivial business of the local councils of the counties and towns. But there were other councils besides the Ladies' Grand Council which claimed to take some part in shaping the destinies of their country. There were numerous women's trades councils representing hundreds of thousands of working women, who were bread winners, and who were pressing forward to take some part in the selection of those who made the laws which regulated the conditions under which they laboured, and under the security of which the bread of themselves and their families was won. He hoped the House would recognise the strength and sincerity of this movement by not resisting that instalment of its accomplishment which passing the Second Reading that day would provide.

MR. BENN (Devonport)

mentioned that during the first year of its existence the London County Council had the great advantage of the presence of three most able women as members. Owing to a decision of the Judges the Council were deprived of their assistance, and year after year ever since the County Council had sent petitions to the House asking that the law should be so amended that they could again enjoy the advantages of such services. He had known women connected with school board work who considered it a great privilege to appeal to the electors and get fresh inspiration from them. It was true that such women had been co-opted and placed upon the education committee by the London County Council. Speaking on behalf of that body he desired to inform the House that they considered this amended plan of co-optation as a degradation and an inconvenience, and he asked that those women should have restored to them those rights and privileges which they formerly enjoyed. He was sorry that the hon. Member for St. Pancras had spoken so slightingly of the services of women on the old London vestries. For a great many years they rendered really valuable services to London as members of those bodies. With regard to the work of women on the old London vestries the Prime Minister once said— It does seem hard that when women have been engaged in a particular work, and have carried out that work in a satisfactory manner, the House should take the occasion of a great reform to restrict their sphere of usefulness. He could not put it more forcibly than that. He ventured to urge the acceptance of the Bill on the ground of purity of administration. Corruption was creeping into some of our public bodies, and the presence of women on those bodies would check the increase of that corruption. Lord Salisbury, speaking in the House of Lords on this subject, declared that— In the presence of women on these councils you have a security against indolence and against selfish administration which you will not have if they are removed. They sadly needed the services of good and able women on some of their public bodies, the administration of which would be strengthened and purified by their presence.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

said he felt a special obligation to say a few words in support of this Bill, because he had always thought that one great, though unavoidable, blemish in the Education Act of 1902 was that it deprived the country of the advantage of women on the governing body in education. It was quite true that the best that could be done was done by making it compulsory upon the new education authorities to place women on the education committees, but he quite agreed with the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for Aberdeen that that was not a complete substitute for their former powers on school boards. He could not speak too highly of the work done in the education of the people by women. In the training and development of infants and very young children the experience and authority of women was absolutely invaluable. The House was probably not aware of the silly and stupid things which were done day after day in multitudes of our infants' schools because those schools, although they had a mistress at the head of them, were practically managed by male inspectors, who knew nothing about infants and went into the schools with the preconceived notion that they were only diminutive men or diminutive women. He had the most earnest desire to see women made eligible for election to borough and county councils, because those bodies now administered the Education Acts, and he knew of no real reason why they should be excluded from those bodies. It seemed to him that all their past experience was against any attempt to restrict the choice of the electors in this respect. Besides the experience he had had with school authorities, he had had considerable experience in and out of boards of guardians, and he did not think men were so well qualified to do a great deal of the work which was done by boards of guardians as women were. Happily they were still on boards of guardians, but there was a proposal in the air to vest the powers of these boards in the municipal authorities as had been done in the case of education. If that was done it was all the more important that women should be made eligible for municipal councils.

His right hon. friend the Member for Oxford University desired to exclude women from county councils because these bodies were partly political. If they were they ought not to be. He hoped that in the growing intelligence of the age and nation politics would be as much banished from county councils as they were from boards of guardians and from the best municipal authorities. It was bad enough that this House should be political. They had experience of the discredit that was cast upon the House of Commons because of its political character. He should have the greatest possible pleasure in voting in favour of the Second Reading of the Bill. The question of women's franchise seemed to him to have nothing to do with the question dealt with in this measure. During his political life, ever since John Stuart Mill moved his famous Amendment to the Representation of the People Act of 1866, he had steadily voted in favour of the enfranchisement of women. But that question had nothing to do with this Bill. The whole question was whether the electors were or were not to be curtailed in their choice of representatives.

*MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

said he desired to associate himself with what had been said by his right hon. friend with regard to the question of the Parliamentary franchise for women. This Bill had nothing to do with that. As a Member for a Scotch constituency he regretted that Scotland was not included in the scope of the Bill, and he thought if the Bill went to a Committee an Amendment should be moved to include that country. His right hon. friend had not referred to a matter in which they had both been much concerned, viz., the question of the employment of children in various capacities outside of school hours, and more especially to street selling. He could not imagine any subject on which the views of women would be more useful and helpful to the local authorities. In the particular matter of education it seemed perfectly absurd to say that women were not useful in guiding the education of the young, and especially of young girls. There were also such questions as public lodging-houses, industrial schools, the regulations relating to midwives, sanitation and public health, with respect to which the advice and co-operation of women were not only useful and helpful, but even essential. This little Bill would do only a tardy act of justice to women by conferring on them the position of which they were robbed by the present Government, when by the London Government Act they were barred from giving those services to the State which they were so eminently qualified to give. The hon. Member for Hackney seemed to have had an extraordinary experience of women. The hon. Member went so far as to say that there was no warrant for what the Bill proposed, and that no advantage would be reaped from it. It was a self-evident proposition that women had conferred immense advantage by their counsel on those boards of which they had been members.


said his hon. and gallant friend the Member for South St. Pancras had asked for the guidance of the Government in this matter. Were there to be no questions upon which the Government were to be allowed to have an open mind? The question of the capacity of women to administer public affairs divided men into hostile camps almost as much as the question of religion; and if women had to wait for their enfranchisement until a Government were agreed upon it he was afraid they would have to wait a very long time. He was not to be taken as speaking for the Government. This was a question upon which nothing was to be done in this Parliament by this Government. Indeed he might go so far as to say that this was a question upon which nothing was ever to be done in any Parliament by any Government. But he himself had always been in favour of women being admitted as freely as possible to administrative bodies. He might have risen in the House at least twenty times to express those views, but Mr. Speaker, in the exercise of his privilege, and knowing he was then a bachelor, had not called upon him to speak. He had no reason to change those views from his experience of the last three years. In this matter he might be called a "whole-hogger." He was in favour of giving the Parliamentary franchise to women, although he doubted whether the House of Commons was a place in which they ought to be allowed to sit. There was a county council in this country which had always tried to be a legislative assembly. It had to work through the machinery of this House at present, but, as a rule, county councils were not legislative assemblies. But while he thought that women might properly be excluded from the making of laws, they might, upon local bodies, be very safely entrusted with the administration of those laws. He should like to say a word about the thin-end-of-the-wedge argument on this question which was always brought up, and which had again appeared to-day. What was the danger of the wedge? It was said that if it was inserted in the way proposed now, it might be driven home in ways which would change the conditions in the whole sphere of society. The progress of the wedge had been remarkably slow. Reference had been made by the hon. Member for Berwickshire to the fact that women were not on municipal councils, but he would remind him that it was not this House which excluded them. The House of Lords laid that down.


May I remind the hon. Member that the Government tellers were put on when the Motion was put to agree with the Lords' Amendment?


said the hon. Member was technically correct, but in spirit he was incorrect. The question was whether they should agree with the Lords' Amendment, or whether at the end of the session they should drop that big and important Bill. The Leader of the House decided that it was better not to fight with the other branch of the Legislature on this particular point in the Bill. In order to get the Bill through at once the objection to the Lords' Amendment was waived, and that was practically why the Government Whips were put on to tell in favour of it.

He wished to deal with the strange position which was created by women being allowed, as they were allowed, to sit on urban district councils, and not on borough councils. He did not feel that he could define the distinction between the administrative conditions of urban and borough councils. It did not consist in the importance of the districts over which they ruled. Willesden for example, with a population of over 114,000, had an urban district council, while Hendon, with 1,100 inhabitants, was a borough. There were many instances throughout the country of urban councils to which women might be elected, and of borough councils to which they could not be elected, though in the urban districts the population might be greater and the powers exercised practically the same. He knew of no sufficient distinction between the two which gave women the right to sit on the one and not on the other. There were many duties in both administrative bodies upon which women's influence and knowledge could be most usefully employed. In the question of housing, women as guardians had done useful work for the pauper class; why should they not be allowed to give equally good service to the class above? A woman was far more likely to know whether the kitchen and scullery arrangements were of a convenient kind. Under the Factory Acts women were appointed as inspectors, and it was recognised that they were well qualified to discharge the duties. He was sure no one would wish to go back on that policy. Surely the matters to which they gave their attention could be well regulated by women in council. To enforcing the food and Drugs Act women would give much activity, for women were the caterers for working-class households and suffered most from the adulteration of food. He thought if women could sit on the borough councils some of the councils would be keener to take samples of food with the view to the prosecution of the offenders. By-laws which affected social habits came peculiarly within the province of women. Recently a council applied for sanction to a by-law requiring all dust-bins to be placed on the kerb at seven in the morning, a by-law that certainly no woman would support. Why, if women were so useful as guardians in relation to infirmaries, should they not assist in the administration of hospitals and asylums? There were 8,000 female lunatics in our asylums, yet no woman could as a matter of right sit on the committees to look after the affairs of those asylums. Regulations in regard to the employment of and prevention of cruelty to children were especially fitted for the consideration of women. Many of the duties devolving on local authorities were such as a wise councillor would consult his wife, mother, or grandmother upon; and where municipal interference was forced upon homes women had a right to be heard.

When it was urged that women could have no knowledge of roads and bridges, be replied, What did the average county councillor know of the subject? He acquired his knowledge as he went on; and a woman was not less apt than a man to acquire information from her surroundings. Women had stronger reasons than men for desiring that the high roads should be properly constructed. When he was a member of a highways committee he learned that what caused most of the mud was that too much use was made of certain filling-in material. He fancied that if women were on county councils there would not be so much of this unnecessary filling-in material used. In the regulation of traffic who could better judge than women of the corners where motors at high speed would be dangerous to women and children pedestrians? There was no question of draging women into political conflicts; they were there already. They exercised considerable influence in politics, and he did not doubt that many Members in the House owed their seats to that influence. Would opponents go so far as to allow women to sit as aldermen, avoiding the horrors of a contested election? In municipal matters women had politics thrust upon them, they had votes, and after all, there was nothing to prevent a man or woman retiring from political life. There was no compulsion in this Bill. The great beauty of public life was that they did not require to go into it unless they liked. It should be noticed that Irishmen had shown their gallantry by electing women to local bodies where-ever it was possible to do so.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

We would have them in this House if we could.


said they wanted on these local bodies all the earnest, public-spirited, leisured people they could find, for the work was growing as year by year new duties were cast upon them. It was a pity the barrier of sex should shut out a large resource, and he should vote for the Bill.

SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)

said his hon. friend the Secretary to the Local Government Board had for once departed from that sound common-sense which always distinguished him. He had advocated this Bill on the ground that gallantry came into it. That might be one of the reasons for which he himself objected to it. If his hon. friend happened to sit on a borough council with a charming lady would he contradict her if he thought she was in error? He did not think gallantry came into the question at all. It was a question of the merits and the demerits of women, and of the practicability of putting them on certain public bodies. As a rule the majority of women did not desire to be put on these bodies. They could exercise their usefulness in many other directions. There was no doubt that they did exercise a very great influence on elections, but they exercised it in a totally different manner to what they would do if put on administrative or legislative bodies. An hon. Member had said that unless the electors wanted them they would not be elected. Every Member of this House knew perfectly well that a great many of the electors would not take any trouble to vote either at a county council or a borough council election, and consequently the true feeling of the electors was not really ascertained. No doubt a certain number of women would come forward, and no doubt a great number of people would not take the trouble to go to the poll. The hon. Member for Leicester said that the business transacted by the borough councils and the county councils was of a very trivial nature. He disagreed with the hon. Member altogether. He considered that it was of a most important character. During the last thirty years the municipal debt of the country had risen from somewhere about £90,000,000 to over £400,000,000. Were women economically likely to reduce that expenditure? His experience of women—[Laughter]—he might not be so fortunate as his hon. Friends—[Laughter]—but he had a certain experience with women, and he believed that, as a rule, they were not economical. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] He believed further, that such was their temperament, their kind-heartedness, and sentimentality, that if they considered a certain thing was right—he did not deny that it might be right they would say, "Never mind what it costs, it is a good thing, and let us have it." Therefore, he did not think it would be at all advisable to put women on borough councils and county councils, as they would encourage the already extravagant habits of those particular bodies.

They had heard from the right hon. Member for Cambridge University a long and excellent speech in which he recommended the adoption of the Bill on the ground that women had done good service on educational bodies. Nobody denied that; but he did not see that they would be deprived of the opportunities of doing such service if this Bill did not pass. They might be able to superintend schools, even if they did not sit on borough councils or county councils. His right hon. friend discoursed largely on various matters at which the ladies were good—inspecting kitchen ranges, and seeing whether the food was bad. But he would ask his right hon. friend whether a woman as an inspector would not have much more power in regard to such matters in bringing them to the notice of county councils and borough councils than if she were a member of such bodies. The hon. Member for Hackney had made some allusion as to what would happen if this Bill passed and women became aldermen or mayors. He did not attach much importance to that. The hon. Gentleman was very much upset by the idea that if the borough councils or county councils ordered that the refuse of households should be put on the pavement at seven o'clock in the morning, the women on the councils would vote that the order should not be passed. Now, he thought that that was a very strong argument for not putting women on these bodies.

Hon. Members who had supported this Bill had admitted that they were in favour of the Parliamentary franchise being given to women and of women sitting in this House. That was really at the bottom of the whole of this agitation. One hon. Member had said that this Bill was only a step in a certain direction, and his argument was that if they once admitted women to the county and borough councils they would have to go further and admit them as members of the Legislature. He thought it would be an extremely evil day for the country when that was done. He did not wish to decry for a moment the good work which women did, or were capable of doing, in the management of the different affairs of life; but he had not heard a single argument to show that women were in any kind of way better than men. The hon. Member for Devonport had argued that there was some practical reason for passing this Bill, because a few years ago three women had sat on the London County Council. No doubt these were very exceptional women, of very great ability, but that was a very shallow argument to put forward in favour of giving every woman in the country an opportunity of sitting on borough and district councils. He hoped the House would not accept the Bill, especially on a Friday, when very few Members were present. He was sorry that so few Members had thought it worth their while to come forward to oppose the Bill by their voice and vote; and the only conclusion he could come to was that on Friday afternoon the majority of Members regarded such Bills as this as the expression of a pious opinion which was not likely to come into force. He was glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General present in the House, and he did not think that on such an important Bill as this the House should be deprived of the opinion of the Law

Officers of the Crown, who had such great opportunities of studying the capabilities of women.

*MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

said that he had invariably voted against any Bill proposing to give female suffrage; but, he should vote for this Bill because he believed it would afford women an opportunity of serving on local bodies which might be regarded as training schools and thereby proving their fitness, if they had any, for occupying posts in public life. Having explained the reason why he could not give a silent vote he would not delay the division.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 175; Noes, 25. (Division List No. 98.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E. Cheetham, John Frederick Gilhooly, James
Ambrose, Robert Cogan, Denis J. Goddard, Daniel Ford
Arkwright, John Stanhope Coghill, Douglas Harry Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cohen, Benjamin Louis Graham, Henry Robert
Atherley-Jones, L. Condon, Thomas Joseph Grant, Corrie
Bain, Colonel James Robert Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Baird, John George Alexander Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Haldane, Rt. Hn. Richard B.
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Cremer, William Randal Harcourt, Lewis
Barran, Rowland Hirst Crombie, John William Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil
Bell, Richard Crooks, William Hay, Hon. Claude George
Benn, John Williams Dalkeith, Earl of Hayden, John Patrick
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Hope, John Deans (Fife, West
Bignold, Sir Arthur Dickson, Charles Scott Horniman, Frederick John
Bill, Charles Dobbie, Joseph Hudson, George Bickersteth
Black, Alexander William Doogan, P. C. Hunt, Rowland
Blake, Edward Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark) Jacoby, James Alfred
Boland, John Dunn, Sir William Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Broadhurst, Henry Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Joicey, Sir James
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Emmott, Alfred Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James Esmonde, Sir Thomas Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Eve, Harry Trelawney Joyce, Michael
Burns, John Faber, George Denison (York) Kennedy, Vincent P (Cavan, W
Buxton, Sydney Charles Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Kitson, Sir James
Caldwell, James Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Lamont, Norman
Cameron, Robert Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.) Laurie, Lieut.-General
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Finlay, Sir R. B (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs Law, Hugh Alex (Donegal, W.)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Lawson, John Grant (Yorks N R
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Flavin, Michael Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Causton, Richard Knight Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Cautley, Henry Strother Furness, Sir Christopher Lewis, John Herbert
Lough, Thomas O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N) Strutt, Hn. Charles Hedley
Lundon, W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Sullivan, Donal
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. O'Shee, James John Talbot, Rt Hn J. G (Oxf'd Univ.
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Paulton, James Mellor Tennant, Harold John
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
M'Crae, George Price, Robert John Thornton, Percy M.
M'Kean, John Rea, Russell Toulmin, George
M'Kenna, Reginald Reckitt, Harold James Trevelyan, Charles Ernest
M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Reid, Sir R Threshie (Dumfries) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Markham, Arthur Basil Rickett, J. Compton Wallace Robert
Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n Ridley, S. Forde Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Morley, Rt Hn. John (Montrose Roberts, John H. (Denbighs) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Morrell, George Herbert Robson, William Snowdon Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Moulton, John Fletcher Roe, Sir Thomas Welby, Lt-Col A C. E. (Taunton)
Murphy, John Rolleston, Sir John F. L. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N Russell, T. W. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland) Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Norton Capt. Cecil William Schwann, Charles E. Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Nussey, Thomas Willans Shackleton, David James Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B) Young, Samuel
O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid) Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew Yoxall, James Henry
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sheehy, David
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Dr.
O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Sloan, Thomas Henry Shipman and Mr. Slack.
O'Dowd, John Spencer, Rt Hn C R (Northants
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Stanhope, Hn. Philip James
Acland-Hood, Capt Sir Alex. F. Fardell, Sir T. George Randles, John S.
Allsopp, Hon. George Forster, Henry William Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Atkinson, Rt. Hn. John Gordon, Hn. J E (Elgin & Nairn) Reddy, M.
Balcarres, Lord Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Kilbride, Denis Roche, John
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth
Campbell, Rt. Hn J A (Glasgow) Milvain, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Delany, William O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) William Tomlinson and Cap-
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) tain Jesse.
Douglas, Rt. Hn. A. Akers- Pierpoint, Robert

Main Question put,

The House divided:—Ayes, 171; Noes, 21. (Division List. No. 99.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Buxton, Sydney Charles Dobbie, Joseph
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Caldwell, James Doogan, P. C.
Ambrose, Robert Cameron, Robert Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Dunn, Sir William
Ashton, Thomas Gair Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Ellis, John Edward (Nott.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Emmott, Alfred
Bain, Colonel James Robert Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Esmonde, Sir Thomas
Baird, John George Alexander Causton, Richard Knight Eve, Harry Trelawney
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Cautley, Henry Strother Faber, George Denison (York)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cheetham, John Frederick Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Cogan, Denis J. Fergusson Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r
Bell, Richard Coghill, Douglas Harry Findlay Alexander (Lanark, N E
Benn, John Williams Cohan, Benjamin Louis Finlay, Sir R B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Condon, Thomas Joseph Flynn, James Christopher
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.
Black, Alexander William Cremer, William Randal Furness, Sir Christopher
Boland, John Crombie, John William Gilhooly, James
Broadhurst, Henry Crooks, William Goddard, Daniel Ford
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Dalkeith, Earl of Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Graham, Henry Robert
Buchanan, Thos. Ryburn Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Grant, Corrie
Burns, John Dickson, Charles Scott Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Griffith, Ellis J. M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Markham, Arthur Basil Schwann, Charles E.
Harcourt, Lewis Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose Shactkleton, David James
Hardie J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Morrell, George Herbert Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Hay, Hon. Claude George Moss, Samuel Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Hayden, John Patrick Moulton, John Fletcher Sloan, Thomas Henry
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Murphy, John Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N. Sullivan, Donal
Horniman, Frederick John Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Hudson, George Bickersteth Norton, Capt. Cecil William Tennant, Harold John
Hunt, Rowland O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thornton, Percy M.
Joicey, Sir James O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Toulmin, George
Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jones, Leif (Appleby) O'Dowd, John Tritton, Charles Ernest
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Wallace, Robert
Joyce, Michael O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Kitson, Sir James O'Shee, James John Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Lamont, Norman Paulton, James Mellor Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Laurie, Lieut.-General Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Price, Robert John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Layland-Barratt, Francis Rea, Russell Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Rickett, Harold James Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Lewis, John Herbert Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lough, Thomas Rickett, J. Compton Young, Samuel
Lundon, W. Ridley, S. Ford Yoxall, James Henry
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas. J. Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Robson, William Snowdon TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Roe, Sir Thomas Dr. Shipman and Mr.
M'Crae, George Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Slack.
M'Kean, John Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
M'Kenna, Reginald Russell, T. W.
Allsopp, Hon George Kilbride, Denis Reddy, M.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Balcarres, Lord MacVeagh, Jeremiah Roche, John
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Milvain, Thomas
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Campbell Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Sir William Tomlinson and
Delany, William Pierpoint, Robert Captain Jessel.
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Randles, John S.
Forster, Henry William Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne

Question, "That this House do now adjourn" (Sir A. Acland-Hood) pat, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Trade, &c."—(Dr. Shipman.)

And, it being after half-past Five of the clock, and objection being taken to further proceedings, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed on Monday next.