HC Deb 21 December 1906 vol 167 cc1865-82

Order read for the Consideration of the Lords Amendments.


in moving that the Lords Amendments be now considered, said it would be convenient to state the nature of the Amendments and the course the Government thought it necessary to take. There were two Amendments, and their effect was to exclude Scotland from the provisions of the Bill. He reminded the House of the position. A Bill for Scotland in exactly the same terms as the English Bill passed its Second Reading unanimously, and the two Bills were referred to one Committee. That Committee, finding the two Bills proceeded on the same lines, recommended their amalgamation, and in the present Bill as sent to another place the powers were extended to Scotland. The striking out of this extension appeared to him an extremely harsh course for the House of Lords to take. He could hardly describe it as less than a wanton blow at the rights of the representatives of Scotland. Five-sixths of the Scottish Members were at the back of the Government, and they had with practical unanimity agreed to the recommendation of the Select Committee that Scotland should be included in the Bill. The Bill had been subjected to prolonged examination both in that House and in the House of Lords, and no hole had been picked in its framework. There was no evidence that opinion in Scotland was against the Bill. Such expression of opinion as there had been in Scotland was in reference to the Bill before it went up to the Select Committee. In Committee the Bill had been made a businesslike measure, and there had since been no hostile expression of public opinion in Scotland. On the contrary, they had evidence that opinion in Scotland had changed and was taking a favourable view of the Bill. It was a permissive Bill; it was designed to meet emergencies, and it encouraged voluntary effort. In these circumstances it was an extraordinary thing that the clause applying the Bill to Scotland should have been struck out. The hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities was the only Scottish Member who had taken the slightest objection to the Bill. They did all they could to educate the hon. Member, but they failed: he remained incorrigible to the end. They protested against the treatment to which Scotland had been subjected by the Lords in this matter. Hon. Members from Scotland would know how to put this matter right next session. But they had to consider the position of the Bill now. It was absolutely necessary that the Bill, which was badly wanted in England and Wales, should be passed into law. Its structure so far as England and Wales were concerned, had not been touched. Therefore great responsibility rested on them in considering whether they had the right to risk the whole measure. They felt it would not be right to take that risk, and therefore he felt himself driven to move "that this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendments."

Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendments."—(Mr. Lough.)

MR. BARNES (Glasgow, Blackfriars)

said that as a Scottish Member, and moreover as a Scottish Labour Member representing a large industrial constituency also as one whose privilege it was to introduce a small Bill dealing with Scotland upon the same subject, which eventually became the clause under discussion, he ventured to associate himself with the protest which had been made by the Secretary to the Board of Education. He also wished to go one step further and express the hope that even now at the eleventh hour the House might find some way of remitting the Bill to the House of Lords in order to secure the re-insertion of the clause. The Bill he had introduced upon the matter went through the Commons unopposed, and he was glad to say that after that he had the unanimous support of the Scotish Liberal Members. He did not know what the number of them was, but he believed it was practically all of them, with the exception of the representative of the Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities. He failed to understand the reason why those in another place had struck out the clause. From what he could gather, in the first place, the Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities in his speech on a previous occasion laid great stress on the statutory conditions of Scotland as being different from those in England. He did not know much about the statutory conditions of Scotland, but in his opinion those conditions ought to be subordinate to the common claims of humanity. The hon. Member on that occasion had devoted much time to showing that Scotland had no need for the Bill and did not want it. He (Mr. Barnes) ventured to claim to represent the the Scottish opinion of those directly concerned with the Bill a good deal better than the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities. The chief thing about the matter was the depth of Scotland's poverty. He spoke upon this subject with knowledge and observation, and he knew there was as great need for the Bill in Scotland as in any other part of the British Isles. Nor did he trust even to his own observation in the matter. The Royal Commission on Physical Training in Scotland in its Report stated that— It was evident that among the causes which told against the physical welfare of the population, the lack of proper nourishment was most prevalent. Many important witnesses were of opinion that it was most desirable that increased attention should be given to the feeding of children in State-aided schools. We entirely agree. Again, the Dundee Social Union had said that the health of a large number of children was impaired and development retarded by inefficient nourishment. Such expressions as these were convincing as to the need for the Bill in Scotland. It was quite true there had not been such a voluminous demand for the measure on the part of the Scottish education authorities as one might wish, but he had had the honour of presenting to the House a strongly-worded minority report from the Glasgow School Board, in which it was urged that the Bill should be applied to Glasgow. Then again they had had some evidenceas to the demand for the Bill from the trade unions of Scotland, and these organisations certainly had some claims to speak for the people on the matter. On two occasions the trade unions had asked that the Bill should apply to Scotland. Apart from all this, however, he did not think they need go beyond the fact that five-sixths of the representatives of Scotland in this House were in favour of the measure. Even assuming that there was something in the argument that there was no demand for the Bill in Scotland and that that country did not want it, all that he and his friends asked was that in the event of any one authority in Scotland expressing a desire for it, neither the Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities nor the House of Lords should stand in the way.

MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

drew the attention of the House to the proceedings in Committee upon the Bill. They sat, he said, from mid-day till after three o'clock in the morning in order to get the Bill through. On 13th December it came on for Report, and the Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities moved the rejection of Clause 7. The Speaker, however, who was in the Chair, thought the motion a frivolous one, and ordered hon. Members in support of the omission to stand up Thirteen only stood up, and eleven had their names taken down. Of that eleven there was not one Scottish Member, with the excepttion of the Member for one of the Scottish Universities. Notwithstanding the protests of Scottish Members they were not to get the benefit of this Bill. But there was one hon. Member who would be pleased, and to him they tendered their congratulations. When they went down to their constituents after Christmas they would be able to tell their the way in which Scottish Liberal opinion in this House was repealed at the bidding of the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities.

MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)

said he associated himself very fully with the protest made against the action of the House o Lords, but his main purpose in rising was to put before the House one very important aspect of the situation in which they found themselves. This Bill was in the first instance a private Member's Bill, and they were all aware of the difficulty there was in getting any private Member's Bill carried through the House. In this particular instance it was only because the Government had assumed responsibility that the Bill was able to pass. But, he asked, what, supposing they consented to the Government's suggestion, would be the position next session, and what guarantee was there that the Government would assist in passing a measure applying the provisions of the Act to Scotland? Repeated protests had been made this session that the Government had dared to take the responsibility for measures introduced by private Members. If they were going to be placed in that difficulty and exposed to the uncertainty as to whether the Government next session would help a private Member's Bill, dealing with this question, would the Prime Minister promise that he would grant such facilities; or, better still, would he promise that the Government themselves would bring in a small measure which should apply the benefits of this Bill to Scotland? If a promise to this effect were given he thought they could all agree to the position the Secretary to the Board of Education had taken up to-day, though of course they must all protest against the action of the Lords.

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

thought a great mistake had been made in striking Scotland out of the Bill. It was a permissive Bill, and if Scotland did not want it Scotland need not have it. But he joined issue at once with the statement that substantially there was no need for this measure in Scotland. He knew from personal experience that in the great town schools of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee, there was grave need for a Bill of this sort. The late Miss Stevenson, when on the Edinburgh School Board, told him there were a great many children in a half-starved and neglected condition attending the schools. And, when he thought of the full-blooded complacency with which Lord Balfour of Burleigh said this Bill was not needed for Scotland, he could not help thinking of the old Scottish proverb "When the guid man's full, naebody else is empty." If the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities examined the petitions he would see there was no petition against the Bill on the merits of the case, but the petitioning bodies thought some other authority ought to be charged with the work. He was sure, however, that finding themselves where they did the Motion made by the Parliamentary Secretary was the only one possible. He ventured to think that the Prime Minister would out of the goodness of his heart respond to the appeal made by the hon. Member for Barnard Castle, that something should be done to give facilities to a private Member's Bill next year. He did not like giving way to the Lords in this or anything else; but he understood it was either that or losing the Bill. This Bill had been before the country for ten years, and it was about time they got to work. It was a comfort to feel that amid all their hopes of effecting something for educational reform this year, at any rate they had succeeded in putting one small Bill on the Statute book in the interests of little hungry children.


said he had really nothing to add to what had been said by his hon. friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, who had conducted the later stages of the Billthrough the House with a tact, a skill, and a courage which, he thought, were admired by them all. He, like his hon. friend, wanted to save the Bill. It was a question of life and death now. It was too late to send it back to the other place, where the Bill had not many friends. If it had been a Bill referring perhaps, to other classes of the community, and dealing, perhaps, with other matters, it might, even at this last moment, have had a chance, but he was afraid that this Bill would have no chance. Therefore, to save the Bill for England, they must bow the head to the conclusion that had been come to elsewhere as to Scotland. The idea that the Scottish people objected to this Bill was all moonshine. It was parliamentary moonshine, at all events. When they had the whole of the Scottish Members, with the exception of one or two at the outside, strongly in favour of the Bill, it was trespassing a little too much on their patience to be told that the Scottish people disliked the Bill. The only Scottish Member who had taken a prominent part against it was his hon. friend opposite who had only been a short time in the House, and therefore had no Parliamentary knowledge of the feelings of Scotland, and who represented two of the Universities. It was almost reducing the whole thing to an absurdity to say that they were to be compelled to submit their judgment of what was good for Scotland to such authorities as the House of Lords and his hon. friend. This was the strongest case of the inversion of authority on these Constitutional matters that they had ever seen. Stronger than the Education Bill, stronger than the Plural Voting Bill, stronger than any was this little thing. Yet he advised the House not to reject the Lords Amendment, but to treasure it in their hearts and to accept the Lords Amendment rather than sacrifice the whole Bill. He had been asked what the Government would do next next session. He could give no pledge. He had been rather searching his recollection, but he did not think he had given any pledge to anybody on anything for next session. If that were so, it was so much the better, because they would be able to have a free hand, up to the last moment, to exercise their judgment, and it would be a judgment guided by sympathy with the mass of the representatives of the three countries, of which Scotland was one. He could give no pledge, but he would say that he wished to see a similar Bill passed for Scotland, and he would ask his hon. friend the Member for Barnard Castle to leave the matter there.

*SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

said he would not have risen to take part in the debate but for the words that had fallen from the Prime Minister. He was unwilling to have it supposed that he was not prepared to accept responsibility for the opinions he had expressed in this House, or that he was not prepared openly and boldly to say that he was glad of the action taken by the House of Lords. The right hon. Gentleman had cast up against him his lack of Parliamentary knowledge, inferring from that that he had no knowledge of Scotland. He thought he had shown by long years of work in connection with the administration of Scottish affairs that he had its interests at heart, and that he was not entirely dead to the welfare of Scottish children. Some references had been made to the course of this Bill. They were told how long it was before the House and how carefully it was considered. So far as Scotland was concerned, the Second Reading passed without a single word, and in Committee the Scottish clause was not reached until 3 o'clock on a Saturday morning, when it occupied about ten minutes. On Report, about twenty minutes were spent upon it. Then there was the Report of the Select Committee, on which, although the Members of the party opposite were dominant, the clause applying the Bill to Scotland was only carried by a single vote. Every witness from Scotland gave evidence directly against its applicability to Scotland.


Mr. Hector Ferguson.


said that, from conversations he had had with Mr. Hector Ferguson, he was quite sure that that gentleman's opinion was adverse to applying the Bill to Scotland. Miss Laura Stevenson was also strongly opposed to the Bill, and hon. Members knew quite well her views, because her words had been quoted to the House. He had had many conversations at different times extending over years with Miss Laura Stevenson, and from first to last her opinion was against the measure. He had been told that he entirely overlooked the opinion of Scotland as expressed by hon. Members opposite. He could only say that some of the hon. Members representing Scotland had spoken to him on this question in private in terms far different from that.


I should like to know who they are. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Name."]

SIR FRANCIS CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

asked whether it was in order for the hon. Member to refer to private conversations with other hon. Members without naming them when he was relying upon their opinion as evidence in support of his case.


I cannot say that the hon. Member is out of order.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

Will the hon. Member tell us whether Preston is in Scotland?


said the Prime Minister had thought fit to sneer at one or two school boards which had petitioned against this Bill.

MR. AINSWORTH (Argyllshire)

asked if the hon. Member was in order in referring to the Prime Minister as sneering at the school boards because he happened to differ from him?


I think the hon. Member is in order in using such language if he likes, but it is quite another question whether it is justified or not.


said it had been stated that one or two school boards in no way expressed the opinion of Scotland upon this matter. The School Boards of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Govan, and Aberdeen were against the proposal. Was there a single petition in favour of it from one school board in Scotland? He had been told that the trade unions had expressed themselves in favour of the Bill, and he was prepared to give every weight to opinions expressed by these bodies, but he was not aware that they had specially interested themselves in benevolent efforts of this kind, and they had not under their charge the administration of funds for this object, as many of the witnesses who were against this measure had. The decision of the House of Lords was backed by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, whose opinion would not be lightly disregarded in Scotland. The Prime Minister had taunted him with the suggestion that his opinion was worthless because he represented the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen. Yet he believed among his constituents there were more men who had felt the stress of poverty than in almost any other constituency in Scotland. His was no wealthy constituency, nor one representing privilege of power; many of his constituents sprang from the poorest classes of Scotland and were acquainted with their needs. He ventured to say that the sneering references of the Prime Minister to his constituency were uncalled for, and they would redound more to the right hon. Gentleman's discredit than to that of the Universities he represented.

*MR. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.)

said he deeply regretted the course which the Government had taken. He felt it very difficult to speak with moderation in this week above all weeks, when the hands of the other House were reeking with the blood of the Education Bill. That they should be asked by the Government to take this further blow from the Lords was more than human nature could stand. He was in hopes, whilst, listening to the speech of the hon. Member in charge of the Bill, that the Government were going to take the right course and insist upon the Bill's being applied to Scotland. The Bill was born in Scotland, owing its origin to the Report of the Commission on Physical Deterioration. The Bill was desperately needed in some of the large cities, and he would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, who sat in Paradise, whether it was too late for them to go cap in hand to the Lords, and, on the knee if necessary, to make a last appeal. He maintained that the benefits of the Bill were urgently needed in some of the Scottish cities, and he complained that, although Scotland had been starved in the matter of legislation for years, they were now asked to assume that this Bill was not wanted there because nine Members of the House of Lords presumed to judge so against the opinion of seventy-one out of seventy-two Members representing Scotland in the House of Commons. He asked whether it was too late to appeal to the Lords; there were surely some reasonable men left there. He hoped the Government would at any rate allow Members to express their opinions in the Lobby without putting on the official whips. He denied that there had been no representation from Scotland in favour of the Bill. He had received representations in favour of it, and he knew a great many other Members had also. It was certainly not wanted in some quarters, but it was very much wanted in others, and those who did not want it need not have it. If the measure had been compulsory he should have hesitated about it, but as it was optional it could not do anybody any harm.

*MR. J. D. WHITE (Dumbartonshire)

said he desired most earnestly to associate himself with the protest which had been made against the treatment which this Bill had received in another place. He had listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, and in all that he had said the hon. Member had failed to deal with what he regarded as the leading fact as to public opinion in Scotland, namely, that five-sixths of the representatives of Scotland in this House had declared themselves in favour of the Bill. The measure was optional, and no local authority in Scotland need adopt its powers unless they liked. His hon. friend opposite did not mean to give the local authorities of Scotland a chance of adopting the measure. No one who knew the conditions of child-life in the large centres of Scotland would deny to them anything that might improve those conditions in any way, particularly during the course of the present winter. He protested against what had been done in another place, and also against the manner in which it had been done. The Bill had been sent to the other House a week ago, but the majority of its Members were so busily occupied in mutilating other beneficial measures that they were unable to turn their attention to this particular measure until last night, and the consequence was that it had not been sent back to this House until to-day. The view of the Government was that they must either agree to the Lords Amendments exempting Scotland, or lose the Bill for England and Wales. In the circumstances he should hardly feel justified in differing from the Government as to the course which should be taken. Amendments of this character should be received in time to give the House a reasonable opportunity of saying whether they agreed or disagreed with them. They might look upon this as the last kick the Lords had administered to the beneficial legislation of the session. It was particularly bad that it should have been administered to Scotland, because, on account of the pressure of other measures, Scotland had been the Cinderella of the session. The Prime Minister had expressed the hope that the Scottish Members would treasure this in their hearts. As one of the rank and file of the Scottish Members he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that they were not likely to forget it. When the time came for the right hon. Gentleman to take steps for giving effect to the will of the people as declared by their elected representatives, the Scottish Members would be among his most loyal and enthusiastic supporters.

MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

desired to remove what he believed to be a wrong impression that had prevailed in the course of the debate. It was not true that Scotland and the Scottish School Boards petitioned against some form of public relief being given tohungry school children. Glasgow School Board, in sending its petition, sent a covering letter asking that the powers given to the Poor Law authorities in England to provide meals for hungry children should be extended to Scotland. Therefore, there was noopposition to the principle of the measure. If the public authorities in Scotland had not petitioned in favour of the Bill, it was because they knew that the House of Commons was practically unanimous in favour of it. It did not occur to them that petitions were necessary. He regretted that the Government had not asked the House to adopt the course which he was going to suggest, namely, that the Lords Amendments should be sent back to the Upper Chamber, and that this House should wait for the return of the Bill. There was no statutory obligation to close the House of Commons at a given hour today, or even to wind up the session to-day at all. Most hon. Members present felt strongly on this point. Those who were in earnest upon it were quite prepared, at whatever inconvenience, to sit to any hour this evening, or, if necessary, to sit again to-morrow finally to dispose of the Bill. He hoped the Government would reconsider their attitude. The course he suggested did not involve any risk of the Bill's being lost. If the Lords persisted in their present attitude, he would respectfully advise the House to let Scotland go for this session rather than lose the Bill altogether. The Prime Minister had said that the Bill had few friends in the other House. That was perfectly true. Those who were present and heard the debate in the other House could not fail to be struck by the fact that the benches on which the bishops usually sat—the bishops who were so prominent recently while striving to force their sterilising creed on the minds of children—were empty on the occasion when the claims of hungry and starving children were being considered. He disputed the statement of the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities that his constituents were behind him in this matter. The doctors and the ministers of Scotland, who knew the needs of the poor, were not supporting him on this question, and, indeed, he should be sorry for the educated classes in Scotland if it could be said in regard to a humanitarian measure of this description that with their approval their representative, of all the Members of the House of Commons, was the one man to interpose his will between the children and the relief which this Bill was intended to give them. He did not want to take this rebuff from the Lords lying down. He did not wish to concede a point to them on this or any other subject. Let hon. Members give them to understand that they did not admit that there was anything in the argument against this clause which could be substantiated by anyone familiar with Scottish local requirements. The real truth was that those who had worked so hard to have Scotland taken out of the Bill were opposed to the Bill altogether. They had fought the Bill inch by inch, and line by line. He hoped the House would not tamely I accept their opposition, and that one more effort would be made to have Scotland included in the Bill.


sincerely hoped that Scottish Members would be satisfied with what had fallen from the Prime Minister on this subject. Surely the logical consequence of this Bill's being passed for England must be that a similar measure for Scotland would become law next year. He appealed to Scottish Members not to stand in the way of the children of England and Wales getting the benefit which was in store for them under the Bill. The arguments in favour of including Scotland in the Bill had been urged largely by hon. Members representing populous districts, but he would remind the House that there were sparsely inhabited districts in the Highlands where children had to walk four or five miles to school. The journey had sometimes to be made in stormy weather over wet roads, and it was almost essential that some food should be given to them when they got to school, and that some authority should be empowered to spend money in supplying what was required. If this Bill was allowed to go through, the Scottish Members might rest assured that they would have the assistance of the English and Welsh Members in procuring the same benefit for Scotland next year.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

said that the debate had turned into a general attack on the House of Lords, and with very much that had been said he sincerely sympathised. But in their treatment of this Bill he thought the House of Lords had demonstrated their absolute in-capacity to act as a Second Chamber. Any intelligent Second Chamber would Lave rejected the Bill in toto. It had been forced through the House of Commons in an all-night sitting, and its object had been grossly misrepresented to the country. It was not a measure to provide food for starving school children, but a measure to enable public authorities to establish municipal restaurants and run them at the expense of the ratepayers.


Order, order! We are not on the question of the Bill. The question is the Lords Amendment excluding Scotland from the Bill.


I was only pointing out that the justification for the rejection of the Bill by the Second Chamber would have been that it had been absolutely misrepresented to the country.


The hon. Gentleman must confine himself to the question before the House.


said he was merely dealing with the general attack upon the House of Lords which had been made by every previous speaker, and he was explaining why they were justified in mitigating the effects of the Bill by removing Scotland from its operation. When they had a bad Bill, it was an advantage, at any rate, that its operation should be limited. He repudiated the suggestion that those opposed to the Bill were in any way desirous of leaving children to starve. Their opposition was based solely on the fact that it was better that children should be fed by their parents than by the local authorities. The essential difference between hon. Members and himself was that they wanted to make poverty pleasant, while he wanted to get rid of it altogether.

SIR W. J. COLLINS (St. Pancras, W.)

said he would view with dismay persistence in any course which would Tenderthe benefits of the Bill impossible for the children of London. He deeply deplored the action of another place in eliminating Scotland from the Bill, but he appealed to hon. Members from north of the Tweed to content themselves with having made their protest against the action of the Lords—a protest with which he sympathised—and not to imperil a Bill which was urgently needed, especially in the case of necessitous children in London. He believed that the valuable experience of the working of the Bill in large and populous centres which would be obtained in England would create such a force of public opinion in favour of its application to Scotland that next year it would be absolutely impossible to oppose the passing of a similar measure, possibly modified and improved, for that country. As to the opposition of the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, it would probably be found that pressure would be brought to bear upon him by his constituents, and especially the medical graduates whom he represented, to show that they were generally in favour of this useful piece of constructive legislation. The suggestion of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil was not a practical one at this stage of the session.

MR. RAINY (Kilmarnock Burghs)

thought they ought to allow England and Wales to have the benefit of this Bill. He deprecated any action being taken which would imperil its passage into law. But he must protest that when the Scottish representatives were almost unanimously in favour of the Bill's being applied to Scotland, they should be so unceremoniously treated by the House of Lords at the instance of one Scottish Member who did not represent an ordinary constituency.

MR. MORTON (Sutherland)

protested against the way in which Scotland was treated generally, both in the House of Lords and in the House of Commons. He supposed it was because the Scottish Members were not thought much of either in the other House or this House.


The hon. Member is not entitled to say so.

Mr. MORTON said he trusted the Scottish Members would join together at the proper time and insist on having Scotland treated equitably whether in regard to the provision of meals for school children or any other matter.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendments—

"In line 5, after the word 'England' to insert the word 'and' and leave out the words 'and Scotland;"

"To leave out Clause 7, and to insert in lieu thereof the words 'this Act shall not apply to Scotland;"

Read a second time, and agreed to.

Message to attend the Lords' Commissioners.

The House went; and the Royal Assent was given to a number of Bills (see cols. 1851–2).

And afterwards His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech was delivered to both Houses of Parliament by the Lord High

Chancellor (in pursuance of His Majesty's Commands).

After which the Lord Chancellor said:

My Lords and Gentlemen,

By virtue of His Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal, to us and other Lords directed, and now read, we do, in His Majesty's Name, and in obedience to His Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday, the twelfth day of February next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday, the Twelfth day of February next.

End of the 1st Session of the 28th Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the sixth year of the Reign of His Majesty King Edward VII.