§ Order read, for Further Consideration of the Bill, as amended (by the Standing Committee.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
moved the adjournment of the debate. He said he did so on several grounds, each one of which would, in his opinion, justify his action. The first ground was the convenience of the House. The Government were disappointed, no doubt, in their plans with regard to the Plural Voting Bill, owing to the regrettable illness of the Minister in charge of it, but they told the House on Friday that they were prepared to go on with the Merchant Shipping Bill and were even anxious to discuss it. The House therefore understood that that Bill would be taken, and hon. Members in the faith that it would be taken had, of course, made their arrangements. All that had been upset by the plan of conducting Government business, which appeared to him absolutely arbitrary. The course adopted was inconvenient for another reason. The Bill before the House was originally a private Member's Bill, and the Government having taken charge of it proposed to amend it, and some of the Government Amendments only appeared on the Paper that morning. The Opposition had therefore had no opportunity of examining or discussing them. But for some reason, so far absolutely mysterious, the Government, instead of taking a Bill with which they were ready, had determined to take another Bill without the smallest notice, their Amendments having only appeared on the Paper on the very morning of discussion. That alone would justify him in asking the House to postpone the further discussion of the Bill until there had been time to consider the Government Amendments. But there were 354 other reasons. Nobody acquainted with the methods by which it had been habitual to carry on business in the House during the last two Parliaments would say that the reasons he had given were not reasons which would have been powerful with the predecessors of the Government. On 4th August the Government asked the House to pass a Motion that for this part of the session Government business should hare precedence, and that at the conclusion of Government business each day the Speaker should adjourn the House. He did not suggest that there had been a technical broach of that Resolution, but there had been a substantial breach. The House had no notice at that time that the Government intended to make this Bill a Government measure. He was not aware that anything fell from the Prime Minister suggesting that course. Indeed, a Minister, in answer to a Question, while admitting that the Bill was favourably looked on by the Government and that they would like to see it passed into law, never for a moment suggested that it was going to be made into a Government measure. Therefore in starring the measure they had not less certainly violated the common understanding of Members on both sides of the House when they had suddenly added to the list of Government measures with respect to which they asked the House to pass the Resolution of 4th August last. Besides these two grounds of justification for this Motion, he had a much stronger reason affecting the fundamental principles on which the legislative procedure of the House ought to be based. The measure before them was a private Bill which passed its Second Reading after four hours' discussion on a Friday afternoon, and was then sent up to a Grand Committee for consideration. On that Committee there was not a single English law officer present. The Government wore not always successful in their attempts to mould legislation in the direction they desired. They were beaten by their own friends, and, as usual, accepted this beating with that serene philosophy which was so peculiar to the present Administration. On the Grand Committee the Government were not and could not be adequately represented, for the reason that that Committee sat at an hour when the majority of hard-worked Ministers could 355 not find time to attend. The growing and salutary practice of that Assembly was to leave the framing and conduct of great controversial measures in the hands of the Government and to the admirable staff which assisted them in the drafting of their measures. It had been the practice of successive Speakers of late years always to give the closure at the end of a Second Reading debate on a Friday afternoon to measures formerly talked out. This practice was adopted only because private legislation of a controversial character had practically no chance of getting through the House, and was useful mainly as directing public attention to subjects on which legislation was desired and obtaining a preliminary decision on the subject whether legislation should be attempted or not. Private legislation still had a useful function to perform, chiefly connected with uncontroversial subjects. How could that practice be permitted to continue, if the Government were afterwards going to wait until a Bill had passed the Second Reading and a Grand Committee before they starred it? There was no precedent for such a proceeding. In 1893 or 1894 the Liberal Government gave an opportunity for discussing the Miners' Eight Hours Bill, but the experiment proved a disastrous failure, and led to no decision, although there was a long wrangle, in which the miners from the north expressed vigorously their differences with the miners from other parts of the country. On that occasion the Government did not take up the measure as their own, but they simply gave time to wrangle it out on the floor of the House. The Government had now seized the facilities which private Members enjoyed, and taking advantage of those privileges, they took over this Bill, which had passed its early stages, in its adult maturity, and they had adopted it as their own child. No Bill of this character could have got through on a Friday afternoon had it been a Government measure. Closure would not have been given after three or four hours to a Government measure of this kind. Closure, therefore, was obtained on false pretences. It was claimed because everybody supposed that the Bill would suffer the fate of controversial measures in the hands of private Members. Having got the Second Reading by false pretences, they were now squeezing their advantage 356 to the last-drop, with what motive he knew not, nor did he care to inquire. Whether they were building up what they called a case against the House of Lords he really neither knew nor cared. The House of Lords were amply qualified to look after themselves. What he did care for was that the Government had in effect aimed a most serious blow at the practice of discussion of private Members' Bills in that House. Evidently the House would acquiesce in the rapid closure of debate on these Bills no longer if they were in total ignorance whether it might not place the Government months afterwards in a position to take the Bill into its own hands and it having gone through its initial stages adopt it if the Government thought it was going to be popular or subserve some political interest of their own. The right hon. Gentleman was now the responsible Leader of the House. In his hands the business of the House necessarily lay. He pressed upon the House the view that the right hon. Gentleman had been lading in that consideration for the minority which it was desirable should always animate the Leader of the House.
But, putting that minor point aside, did the right hon. Gentleman not think that by the course he had adopted he was aiming a blow, not at the minority, but at the whole practice of the House with regard to Fridays and private Members' legislation? If Mr. Speaker should think fit to vary the practice which had hitherto guided the Chair by declaring that the closure could not be granted after a four hours debate, unless it was evident that the Government did not intend to take the Bill into their own keeping, he did not know that the minority would lose by the change, but surely the House as a whole would think that it was a great disadvantage to take a decision on these Friday afternoons which, though never binding as to the details of a Bill, did show the way in which the current of public opinion was moving with regard to legislation on a particular subject. It was a valuable privilege to possess, and it was one which the Government were endangering by what they were doing that afternoon. It was for that reason, more than any special ground of complaint with regard to the manner in which they had been treated over this particular measure, that he desired that the 357 practice, which had been hitherto adopted by general consent, should be continued —a practice which, it seemed to him, would be thoroughly shattered if it was not merely in the power, but within the will, of a single Minister to come forward and say, "Although the measure has received on the Second Reading but a half or a third of the general debate which it would have excited had it been a Government measure, and although that measure has been treated as a private measure all through the stages of the Grand Committee, nevertheless we intend to take all the advantages which would have been ours had we gone through the ordinary procedure of the House in regard to Government measures, we intend to pass it through this House, we intend to adopt it as our own, and, having got it forward by these illegitimate methods to a stage which, had we shown our hands, had we been honest enough to say what we intended to do, it could never have reached, we mean to take advantage of every technical privilege given to us by the House, at whatever sacrifice of the rights and privileges of unofficial Members."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."— (Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, Stirling Burghs)
said that the criticism of the right hon. Gentleman divided itself into two parts. In the first place the right hon. Gentleman found fault with the particular disposition of business this week. The House had been engaged on the Plural Voting Bill in the early part of last week and in the later days of the week on the Trade Disputes Bill. The intention of the Government would have been to proceed with the Report stage of the Plural Voting Bill on Monday, but the interval hardly afforded time enough for the framing of the necessary Amendments to carry into effect the promises that had been made by his right hon. friend in charge of the measure. He had made these promises out of consideration to members of the Opposition, and in order to meet their requests. His right hon. friend had made a number of promises that he would reconsider 358 certain points and introduce words relating to them. There was not time before Monday to have these Amendments ready; therefore the Government proposed to devote Monday to the Merchant Shipping Bill, and then proceed with the Report stage of the Plural Voting Bill on Tuesday. Then supervened the unfortunate illness of his right hon. friend in charge of that Bill, who had made so many promises to hon. Members opposite that no one could very well take his place without a long delay, because the right hon. Gentleman was master of the subject in a higher degree than anyone else could be. Being unable to go on with the Plural Voting Bill on Tuesday, the Government therefore proposed to go on with this Bill. So far as these questions were concerned, therefore, the case of the right hon. Gentleman fell to the ground. The Leader of the Opposition now said that the Government had no right to "star" a private Member's Bill at all. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was brought forward on a Friday, that the Second Reading was taken on a Friday, in accordance with the practice which allowed a Bill to pass that stage with a comparatively short period for discussion on the general understanding that it was only an academic discussion and there was no chance of the measure going further. But the Bill was not closured on that Friday. A hostile Amendment to the Bill was rejected 322 to 77 votes, and the Second Reading was carried by 334 to 81 votes. The closure was allowed on the question of referring the Bill to a Grand Committee, not on the merits of the Bill. That Motion was carried by 306 votes to 72, and the Motion to refer the measure to a Grand Committee was carried nem. con. It went to the Grand Committee, who discussed it for nine days. The Government were in favour of the Bill. Substantially the same Bill had passed a Second Reading in 1895, and it was a measure with which the House was tolerably familiar. Were the Government and the House to lose all the work expended on the Bill? No; being in favour of the Bill and having had its provisions fully discussed in the Grand Committee, the Government resolved to give an opportunity to pass it into law; and they therefore starred it. Was that procedure exceptional? [Cries of "Yes."] Was no controversial Bill 359 ever starred? The right hon. Gentleman's own name was on the back of the Musical Copyright Bill. It was very stoutly opposed; the Government were appealed to by him to star that measure. It was a private Member's Bill, and if the right hon. Gentleman's argument meant anything, it meant that no private Member's Bill should be starred. The present Bill was no more controversial than the Musical Copyright Bill. The right hon. Gentleman now said that he would take every advantage [Cries "No, no," "He was quoting you "] to oppose the Bill.
§ SIR H CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
quite accepted that explanation, and therefore they might hope for a reasonable and quiet and not a dilatory discussion of the Bill. There was one little point of no great importance raised by the right hon. Gentleman as to the Government Amendments which had been put down that day. The Motion for the omission of Clause 3 had been put down in reference to the opinion of a number of the right hon. Gentleman's friends; and the other Amendments did not commence until Clause 11, which was not likely to be reached that night, and were consequential on the Amendment to Clause 3. So there was nothing on that ground. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh."] There was nothing in any of the grounds advanced by the right hon. Gentleman, and he trusted that the House would proceed to its business without further delay.
§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)
said he did not think that the House generally, if it divested itself of Party feeling, could possibly feel satisfied that the Prime Minister had met the case made out by the Leader of the Opposition. It was only fair that the Prime Minister should have pointed out that it was only on Friday last that the House knew that the Land Tenure Bill, which was a private Member's Bill, was going to be added to the Government's programme for the autumn sittings; and the conditions under which the Government had accepted the Bill as a Government measure did not appear until their Amendments were put down on the Paper. He thought that that was a very strong proceeding to take. He maintained that anyone outside the 360 House, who was shown the Order Paper of 4th August last and saw the division there made between what was Government business and what was not, would certainly gay that the Resolution then passed precluded such a proceeding as the Government had now adopted. He fully admitted that although the action of the Government might not be a breach of the Standing Order, it was a distinct breach of the spirit of the understanding on which the adjournment in August was agreed to, and on which the business of the House had been conducted until last Friday. But in addition to the Land Tenure Bill, the Government had starred the Town Tenants (Ireland) Bill, and the Provision of Meals for Children Bill. It would have been, he thought, a somewhat unprecedented proceeding to pick and choose large controversial measures from amongst private Members' Bills in an ordinary session; but he maintained that in this case it was a distinct broach of the agreement made between the Parties in the House in August last. Moreover, the step which the Government had taken was a direct attack on the principle of the ballot by which the precedence of private members' Bills was determined. He thought there was a very real danger in that. Three years ago he warned the Government then in office that by relegating private Members' Bills to Friday, when they would be inadequately discussed, they ran the great danger on an unscrupulous Government making use of the privileges of private Members to force forward unduly Bills in which they were interested, and in a manner never contemplated. If the Government had brought in this Land Tenure Bill, which included an Amendment of the Ground Game Act, there would have been a long discussion on the First Reading; whereas, it being a Private Members' Bill that stage passed without discussion, and the Second Reading was carried after only four hours' debate when the only law officer of the Crown present was one from Scotland. Surely, it was not right that a Bill having passed its Second Reading in that sort of way should be adopted as a most important Government measure, and it was not in harmony with the recommendation of the Procedure Committee, which stated that a special Grand Committee should be set up during the whole session to deal with private 361 Members' Bills. He supported the Amendment because he believed with the Leader of the Opposition that this procedure was a real menace to the rights of private Members, and also a breach of the understanding come to in August last.
§ *SIR J. DICKSON-POYNDER (Wiltshire, Chippenham)
said that the opinion which he held was largely in agreement with that of hon. Gentlemen opposite and especially with that of the right hon. Gentleman who had spoken. He believed that discussion on a Bill dealing with a controversial subject, introduced by a private Member, should be looked upon as academic, even if it passed its Second Reading. But it was not from that point of view that he rose to support the Motion before the House. He believed that there were many Members who shared the opinion that this Parliament had boon returned in order to do something real and practical for agriculture and rural questions. If they were to do something for rural housing and in the interests of small holdings, it seemed to him that the Government should have at its disposal before introducing legislation on these subjects all possible material upon which to found that legislation. There was a great deal in this Bill with which he was in entire agreement. He believed that some of the clauses were highly controversial, but there was a great deal to be said for the argument that legislation might be necessary in the direction aimed at. But if they were to have practical legislation for the agricultural districts of England it was necessary that all the information that could be obtained should be at the disposal of the Government in order that they might frame their legislation upon it. There had been sitting for the last two years a Select Committee, which was exhaustively examining into the small holdings question, and before the end of the year that Committee would have reported and submitted to Parliament specific recommendations. There was another Committee, of which he happened to have the honour to be Chairman, dealing with the rural housing question, and there would be points in their Report and recommendations which were closely connected 362 with the subjects dealt with by this Bill. If this measure were passed in its present state it would create obstacles to the large development of small holdings throughout the country. He asked the Government to reconsider whether they could not postpone this particular legislation until they had the whole of the materials for it to their hand. The record of this Government in two years time would largely depend upon their agricultural legislation, and he was sure that they would be better able to pass useful legislation for the agricultural districts, if before they attempted to do so, they had all the materials at their disposal. After all, it would only be a postponement for a few months, because next year the Government would be in a position to introduce a Bill carefully framed by a Government Department. Such a Bill would of necessity be a much more useful and practical one than a measure which, like the present, was introduced upon the incomplete information at the disposal of private Members. There wore now a number of private Members' Bills "starred" by the Government, and some of them were of great importance. There was one of almost universal importance to which he would like to allude. There was great danger that the Bill dealing with the provision of meals for children might be crowded out. Some hon. Members might not agree with all its provisions, but he believed that, speaking generally, it was supported. It could be easily amended and it would prevent great hardship upon children in industrial centres if it were passed. He earnestly suggested to the right hon. Gentleman that as the result of this debate he might consider the advisability of postponing the present Bill until he had before him the whole of the information in regard to the housing and small holdings in agricultural districts, and was thus enabled to bring forward a comprehensive measure dealing with the whole subject.
§ *MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
said he would not have intervened in the debate, which struck him as being singularly unreal and uncalled for, but for the remarks which had just been made by the hon. Member for the Chippenham Division who seemed to think 363 that this Bill was a wholly novel and unconsidered set of proposals upon which the Government and the hon. Members who had made themselves responsible for it had an entirely insufficient supply of information. It was perfectly well known that the hon. Member who drew the Bill was the hon. Member for South Molton. He himself and that hon. Member had both served upon the Agriculture Commission of 1893, which reported in 1897. That Commission obtained most exhaustive and authoritative evidence on the subject from every part of England and also from Scotland and reported exhaustively upon all the issues raised by this Bill. The present President of the Board of Agriculture was the Chairman of the Welsh Land Commission, which also went exhaustively into the whole subject and reported on those particular issues as they affected Wales. He ventured, therefore, to point out that the hon. Member was not well advised in suggesting that they were now proceeding to deal with matters upon which the Government and the private Members who were responsible for the Bill had not the fullest and most complete information. His hon. friend had also alluded to the fact that the Small Holdings Committee had not yet made their Report, and had urged that provisions of this Bill might tend to defeat their wish to see a large extension of small holdings. He (Mr. Channing) was a member of the Small Holdings Committee, and of course could give no indication whatever of what was likely to be the nature of their Report. But the Government, to a certain extent at any rate, in regard to Scotland in the Small Landholders Bill had shown its hand as to the conditions under which it expected small holdings to be successful, and so far from standing in the way of an effective Small Holdings Bill during the coming session he welcomed this measure as paving the way or satisfactory proposals.
§ ME. MILDMAY (Devonshire, Totnes)
said it seemed to him that the question was a very simple one. They had been discussing the Trade Disputes Bill and the Plural Voting Bill, and had been led to expect that they were going to debate the Merchant Shipping Bill. Suddenly and practically without notice, a Bill had been sprung upon them in 364 which a totally different class of constituents were interested. There were many constituencies which were purely agricultural in their nature, such as his own. They had no trade unionists and no shipping interest, and the Members for those constituencies would have thought themselves at liberty to be absent from the House for the week. Was it therefore quite fair to spring upon them the Land Tenure Bill? He was quite sure the right hon. Gentleman was actuated by the same desire as previous Leaders of the House not to place the Opposition at a disadvantage, and, on reconsideration of the matter, he could not, he thought, but see that their complaint was justified. He would put this to him. Would he treat the Irish or the Labour Party in such a fashion? He was quite sure the Irishmen would not stand it. During his twenty-one years experience of the House he had never known business to be thus sprung upon them when hon. Members genuinely desirous of taking part in the debate were absent, and he thought if the right hon. Member would dispassionately consider the matter he would see they had just cause for complaint.
§ MR. ROWLANDS (Kent, Dartford)
thought hon. Gentlemen had gone a little wide in their arguments in drawing any possible inference from the Report of the Small Holdings Committee, of which body he happened to be a member. Up to the present time not a single word of that Report had been decided upon; the Committee only sat that morning to consider their draft Report, and, as far as he could see, all the questions dealt with by that Committee would be outside this Bill. The Prime Minister had not mentioned the whole of the time of the House which had been given to this Bill. Besides the Second Reading; debate and the nine days spent in Committee, they had had two days on the Report stage, when very large divisions were take. One of the most striking things which showed the way in which they were fought was that the Speaker granted the closure after two days had been spent upon the Report stage.
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)
thought he could break 365 down one of the chief arguments used by the Prime Minister. When he said that the whole of the Amendments which represented the Government views were on the Paper, the right hon. Gentleman was quite mistaken, as that which in the opinion of the House was the chief Amendment to this Bill was not on the Paper. It was a matter of public notoriety and public knowledge that a great deal of the interest in this Bill, at all events in the minds of a great number of people, centred upon the fifth clause, on which the President of the Board of Agriculture had spoken with emphasis in the country. On every occasion on which the noble Lord had spoken he had stated clearly and definitely that an Amendment embodying the view of the Government was going to be put on the Paper in reference to that clause. It was not yet there. The Amendment to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded was a matter of trivialimportance, whereas the other was one to which those who were interested in the Bill had been looking forward with the utmost concern. He was not going to allege for an instant that the right hon. Gentleman, or those who worked with him, would take any unfair advantage of their position; but what was it they were making possible in the future? The present Government had an enormous majority in this House, and had absolute power as to what business they should make Government business during the session. They could indefinitely prolong the session for the purpose of carrying out the business they selected as especially their own. They had an enormous advantage in the ballot, and could get the great preponderance of private Bill legislation. It therefore followed that they could pick and choose if they liked from the Private Bills in order to put them forward as their own. That would be multiplying indefinitely the power placed in the hands of a majority, and if would be absolutely against fair play and the rights of the minority. The Government had not only their own majority, but they might utilise the power of private Members in the ballot. They could take for electioneering purposes those Bills which were most 366 advantageous, passing over others, thus utilising not only their own power but also the rights of private Members to promote their own ends at the expense of public propriety and public justice. It was generally understood at the time of the Adjournment in August that the Government would have autumn sittings only to proceed with the business of the Government as it was understood in the summer, and no other. No one had any idea that they were going to press other measures into their list. The House would very soon lose credit as an assembly if they did not understand the merits of playing fair one with another. To add to their list of measures a Bill as to which the Government had given no sign that they contemplated taking it up was very unfair against the opponents of the measure. The Opposition fought this Bill in the summer fairly and honestly under the rules of the House, and, having been beaten in a fair fight, was it fair that its supporters should come behind and take advantage of that to which they had no right? The hon. Member for Northamptonshire had argued that the House was in possession of ample knowledge of these matters, partly because of the Report of the Royal Commission of which he was a distinguished member. That Royal Commission reported adversely to a good many propositions contained in the Bill, and therefore he might further use that argument in support of the contention that on grounds of fair play and to prevent a grave Parliamentary scandal the Bill should not be proceeded with. For these reasons he confidently appealed to the generous sense of the House to support them in their contention.
§ MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
said that one of the reasons that had been suggested for this Motion which seemed at all practical and germane to the subject was that certain hon. Members, because of absence from the House, were unable to take part in the debate. He supposed that was another way of saying that these hon. Gentlemen were shooting or hunting. Those who were in attendance ought not to have to wait the pleasure of others who were not. A remark had been made 367 to the effect that the Government would not dare to spring upon the Labour Members or the Irish Members a subject in which they were specially interested without giving them notice. As a matter of fact, he believed the Labour Members would be only too delighted to have any legislative work dealing with labour forced upon them at any time. The Labour Members were present to work, and he felt disgusted with the waste of valuable time to-day in a barren discussion which might have been devoted to the consideration of the Bill itself.
§ MR. ABEL SMITH (Hertfordshire, Hertford)
said that Labour Members would reasonably complain if a Bill to which they were opposed were suddenly brought forward as a Government measure. He could not understand what had induced the Government to take this extraordinary and unprecedented course. No reason had been put forward by the Prime Minister why, in the absence of the First Commissioner of Works, he should not put down the Merchant Shipping Bill. He wondered whether the action of the Government was due to the threat of the President of the Board of Agriculture. It was certainly not from any pressure from any large body of Government supporters in this House, because it was within public knowledge that a considerable number of hon. Gentlemen supporting the Government were strongly opposed to the provisions of this Bill. The President of the Board of Agriculture had made a great many speeches during the recess, but that was certainly no reason why the Government should have adopted this Bill without any demand for it among the class most interested. The President of the Board of Agriculture had been rushing up and down the country trying to find a farmer in favour of it, and he believed he had found one. But he was certainly not successful in Scotland, however successful he might have been in England. The Scottish Chamber of Agriculture had refused to adopt the suggestions in the Bill, and the hon. Member for Leith Burghs had put down as an Amendment that the Bill should not extend to Scotland. Beyond that the hon. Gentleman had introduced a 368 Bill called the Land Tenure (Scotland) Bill, which modified this Bill very considerably and especially left out Clause 5, to which so many hon. Gentlemen objected. If the Bill was not likely to benefit Scotland, he did not think it was likely to benefit England. The English Chambers of Agriculture had only given a very qualified support to its proposals. He agreed that it was a most unfortunate opportunity to take to attempt to deal with the land question. The Departmental Committee dealing with the question of small holdings and the Select Committee upon the Housing of the Working Classes, both of which had been sitting for a long period, were about to report, and whatever might be the effect of those Reports or of any measure founded upon them it was absolutely impossible for the Government to deal with the whole of these questions in the broad and statesmanlike manner desirable until they had considered those Reports. He protested most strongly against the attitude of the Government in this matter. It would have been a strong action for the Government to take at this period of the session after proper notice, but he believed that in the circumstances it was unprecedented. He agreed with his hon. friend that it was a most unsportsmanlike action.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N. R., Thirsk)
said that all who desired to take part in this discussion felt most strongly the action of the Government in bringing the Bill on in the manner they had. If he were to use the strongest language possible and accuse the Government of a breach of faith he did not think he would be going too far. If the Resolution passed at the August adjournment did not mean that the Government was going to devote this part of the session to their Government business, it meant that every order on the Paper at that time came within it, and in that case the Resolution was worth nothing.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said the Government had already announced that they were going to give facilities both for this Bill and the Town Tenants Bill.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
asked where that announcement was made, because 369 the Opposition, including his right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition, were entirely unaware of it.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said if the noble Lord appealed to him he would point out that it was thoroughly understood by Lord Lansdowne at all events, because the noble Lord in his letter to the Peers on the meeting of Parliament mentioned as one of the subjects which was sure to come for-ward the Land Tenure Bill, which had made such progress in the House of Commons.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
said he was unaware that the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition themselves were expected to take the Government programme from the Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House.
§ SIR H CAMPBELL - BANNERMAN
said the noble Lord had said it was not understood. He thought he had said sufficient to show that it was, at all events by Lord Lansdowne.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
said he could not accept the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as an answer. It only showed that the answer of the right hon. Gentleman did not affect the statement made by the hon. Gentleman opposite who had said it was announced definitely by the Government that this was to be a part of the Government business during the autumn session.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said in the case of the Town Tenants Bill it was announced across the floor of the House, and in the case of the Land Tenure Bill it was announced in reply to a deputation, the proceedings of which were reported in the Press.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
thought that if the hon. Gentleman referred to the report of the, proceedings of that deputation he would see that he was far from stating the fact. In point of fact, it seemed to many from the reports that appeared that the Government were more inclined to drop the Bill altogether. But quite apart from the question of 370 breach of faith there was a question of courtesy to the House. He thought the business of the House was arranged as far as possible to suit the convenience of both sides. Of course it was well known that when members of the Labour Party were absent from the House they were away on the business of their constituencies, and that when members of the Opposition were away they were fox hunting and shooting. But what was more to the point was the question of courtesy between the Parties in the. House, and the question was whether the relations between those Parties were to be embittered more than they need he by the nature of the controversies between them. If they were, the Government had taken the best course to attain that object. His right hon. friend had explained that it was inconvenient to take this B II to-day owing to the illness of the late Chief Secretary for Ireland, who took a, keen interest in the measure, but apparently it was the privilege only of members of the Government to be excusably ill, and that privilege was not to be extended to the members of the Opposition. He thought they might have been treated with more courtesy by the Government. Then there was the interest of legislation to be considered. Was the House to suppose that the interest of legislation had been considered when a Bill, brought in on a Friday, and inadequately discussed because it was a private Member's Bill, and sent to a Grand Committee in spite of the feeling of a great many members of the Opposition that it ought to be discussed in Committee of the Whole House, was brought before them in this way. What during the nine days the Bill was before the Grand Committee was the attitude of the Government? The hon. Member for South Somerset sat on the Committee from day to day and nominally represented the Government. He represented the Government by a policy of silence and studied indifference, and it was only after constant joggings by the Minister for Agriculture that one day he ventured to intervene, his intervention merely amounting to saying that the Government did not so much mind what was done with regard to a particular Amendment, that he would leave it to the promoters of the Bill, and whatever they wished the Government would support. 371 That was the sole guidance the Committee received from the hon. Baronet who was supposed to represent the Government before the Committee. Then what about the Law Officers of the Crown. There were many complicated subjects before the Committee on which it wanted legal advice. He admitted the hon. Gentleman the Solicitor-General for Scotland gave such advice as he was able in the most impartial and learned manner, but he could only speak for Scotland. The Solicitor-General for Scotland was not the Solicitor-General for England, and the law of Scotland was not the same as that of England, especially in these difficult agricultural questions. If this Bill was to be treated seriously and made a Government Bill he thought that the Committee upstairs were entitled to the advice and opinion of the Law Officers for England. Further time should be given to the Bill in all its stages, having regard to its magnitude and importance. As a Government Bill it ought to have received proper treatment and not to have been sprung upon a reluctant House at the last minute and taken up by the Government in the way it had been.
§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)
said he desired to make a few remarks upon the proposal now before the House. The policy of the Government was said to be interfering with the rights of private Members. He thought the House would readily agree with him when he said that those sitting on the Labour Benches would always be prepared to guard most jealously any interference with the rights of private Members. The policy adopted by the Opposition with regard to this special Bill seemed to suggest to him that their action was dictated from a desire to protect not so much private Members' interests inside the House as the private interests of certain Members outside the House. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"] He had attended every discussion which had taken place upon the Land Tenure Bill, and he had no hesitation in repeating that the discussions suggested to him that the Opposition were anxious to protect not the interests of private Members in the House, but the interests of Members outside the House. Let them examine for a moment the three Bills which the Govern- 372 ment were condemned for having starred. The Government had had the audacity to star three Bills to be taken during the autumn sitting with a view to preventing all the work done on them in this House and upstairs from being absolutely wasted. First of all, there was the Land Tenure Bill. That measure had received the careful consideration of the Committee for no less than nine days. He believed that since it came from the Committee two Fridays had been spent upon the same Bill. Were they to be told that a Bill, simply because it was. introduced upon the responsibility of a private Member, after it had been considered by a Committee upstairs and had had two days devoted to its Report stage was not to be taken up by the Government? Why was the measure not to be proceeded with? Simply because of the hundreds of Amendments put down against it from one particular section of the House, and now the Leader of the Opposition asked the House that all this valuable work should be absolutely wasted, and that the House should begin with the Bill next session de noro. An hon. Member had hinted that it would not have been quite so objectionable if the Government had made its selection in a different way, and had not taken up Bills introduced by its own supporters. It was a fact that only one of the three Bills starred was introduced on the Government side of the House. The Land Tenure Bill, by the fortunes of the ballot, was introduced by one who was a supporter of the Government when he sat in this House, but the Town Tenants Bill was introduced by an hon. Member sitting behind him. As they all knew, the Provision of Meals Bill was introduced by a Member sitting on the Labour Benches, and it was the first Bill which passed without a division being challenged. It was sent to a Committee, witnesses were called, and a prolonged inquiry was held. Being a member of that Committee, he followed the Bill through all its stages, and the Member of the Government in charge of the measure when it passed its Second Reading promised that Government time should be given when the Bill returned to the House. This point has been disputed by an hon. Member, but he would remind the House that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Battersea, gave a definite promise that 373 the Bill should have Government time immediately it returned to the House. Now, when the Government felt that it ought to facilitate the progress of those measures, he was not going to object to their taking hold of a private Bill. He only hoped that they would take hold of private Bills oftener, because one of the most heart-breaking proceedings in the House of Commons in the past had been that private Members could introduce their Bills and get the verdict of the House upon them and then get no further. So far as the Labour Members were concerned, they hoped that the Government would take up such Bills as these, have thorn starred and push them through. He trusted the Government would not be daunted by this Motion, but persevere with the Bills they had starred, and it would be to their credit if at the end of the autumn sittings they had passed not only those measures for which they were mainly responsible, but also the three measures which they had now take a the responsibility of starring.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)
said it would be fair to remember that some of the opposition to this Bill had come from sources well qualified to deal with it. He agreed, however, that some of the discussion had been unnecessary and some of it selfish. They must not overlook the fact that a very strong opinion had been expressed by the Chambers of Agriculture which consisted of 05 per cent, of tenant farmers. He believed that the Bill which he had drafted and brought in for Scotland went a little further than the measure under discussion. The question was not only one of doing work, but of doing the right work. Although he supported much that was in this Bill, he did not think that it was particularly applicable to Scotland in all respects. It might be quite possible to provide for some of the special needs of. Scotland in the Bill, but still he did not think, if that was done, it would be nearly so satisfactory as if it were done by a Bill brought in by the Government. One of the proposals made by the Government itself, and one which he cordially supported, was for the creation of a separate Board or Department of Agriculture for Scotland. He was quite sure if that proposal were agreed to such a board would not apply this Bill to 374 Scotland, but would introduce one much more on the lines suggested by the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture. In all this legislation it would be wise to take a survey of the land question as a whole. As a member of the Small Holdings Committee, he did not think that this Bill traversed to a serious extent the line on which they might advance in regard to small holdings. At any rate, whether in regard to small holdings or any other part of the land question, he thought it would have been better if a Bill had been brought in by the Government next session, when they had received the Reports of the inquiries which were being made by Committees, and after they had taken a survey of the land question as a whole.
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
said the speech to which they had just listened and the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for the Chippenham Division would go a long way, although not the whole way, to justify the Motion made by his right hon. friend. But even those two Members did not show that they were seized of the force of the objection which his right hon. friend had raised. The hon. Member for the Leith Burghs had given many excellent reasons why this private Member's Bill should not be "starred." He had pointed out that the Bill could not easily be applied to Scotland. That was just the kind of mistake—if they might call it a mistake—which a private Member living in the South West of England would inevitably fall into. It was not his business to know the form of land tenure which prevailed in Scotland. It was a mistake into which a Minister might fall, but he would be at once corrected by the law officers of the Crown. The matte. would go to the legal advisers of the Treasury and such points would be raised weeks, or even months, before leave was asked of the House to introduce a Bill at all. Therefore he was not for a moment reflecting upon the ability of private Members, more especially the Gentleman who was no longer a Member of this House and who was responsible for the Bill in the first instance. The hon. Member for the Chippenham Division had raised the point that 375 it was dangerous to deal with the occupying tenant alone and that the tenants in any rural districts of England were not the whole of the agricultural population. It was not a question of landlord or tenant, but a question of what was best for the agricultural community. He did not intend, however, to speak upon the merits of the Bill. Two supporters of the Government had shown that the Bill ought not to be starred and taken up at the last moment by the Government, but they had fallen into the error of speakers of the Independent Labour Party, inasmuch as they did not see the force of his right hon. friend's contention. His contention was that if the action of the Government were taken in respect of the Bill before them or any Bill which was both controversial and of widespread application, they would have to reconsider the whole practice which obtained in the House with respect to private Members' Bills. That point had not been touched upon and certainly not met by the speeches in favour of the action of the Government. It was inconceivable that they should be content with a three or four hours debate upon a question of such magnitude if it were, after two or three weeks or months, to be taken up by the Government and ranked as a Government measure. That was the objection of hon. Members upon his side of the House, and it had not been touched upon by the two members of the Independent Labour Party, who naturally, if he might say so, attached less importance to matters of precedent than some hon. Members who had been in the House sixteen or twenty years. Their inability to understand the argument was not solely due to the fact that they had not been Members for a long period, but partly to the fact that they had missed the point of the contention. The previous speaker and the hon. Member for Barnard Castle had imputed motives to the Opposition. They had said that he and his friends were not doing what they had professed to do that afternoon, that they were not standing up for the protection of the practice in relation to private Members, but were wasting the time of the House by obstruction in the interests of certain individuals. That was the 376 imputation made by two hon. Members who most earnestly deplored the wasting of the time and work of Parliament, but there could be no more subtle form of obstruction than to prefer and then repeat somewhat discourteous attacks upon Members who for their part only claimed terms of absolute equality with other hon. Members. He thought hon. Members of the Independent Labour Party—
§ ME. WYNDHAM
said it hardly rested with any member of the Labour Party to denounce any other member for having the interest of a class at heart. By the practice which had prevailed in the House for many years it had been the habit of hon. Members, to whatever class they belonged, to bring forward their arguments to be judged by other Members who were their equals. Every one must belong to one class or another, and might be unduly actuated by the passions and prejudices of his particular class, but hitherto hon. Members had always endeavoured to leave their passions and prejudices at the door, and when they had come to listen to the arguments in this House they had simulated impartiality even if they did not possess it. They had been told that they had no right to complain because some hon. Members who should be present were away amusing themselves. That was not the kind of argument which tended to shorten debate. He supposed the Labour Party would hardly contend that no one should consider a measure except those who agreed with them or the Government, and yet that pretension on the part of the supporters of the Government was being pushed further day by day. It assuredly did not lie in the mouths of the Labour Members to denounce others for having class interests at heart; and it was certainly unwise on the part of the supporters of the Government, and particularly unwise on the part of the Labour Party, to take it for granted that every one who supported the Government must be right, and that any who-preferred greater deliberation must be 377 wrong, as well as being actuated by selfish motives. His right hon. friend the Member for South Dublin was absent through illness. Hon. Members might differ altogether from the political views of his right hon. friend, but surely when a question touching the rural life of England was being discussed every Member of the House would be glad to have him present. There were other hon. Members in the House who ought to object to this measure being brought on to-day, because they had not had proper opportunity of preparing themselves for the consideration of the matter. There were some who, rightly or wrongly, believed that the Bill might not improbably prove to be the first step in legislation for this country not dissimilar to the legislation which had been passed for Ireland, legislation which in the long run would involve an immense burden being placed on the credit of the country in dealing first with the farmer and next with the labourer. To be called upon to deal with a Bill of this character after only twenty-four hours notice was the way neither to economise the time of the House nor to aid its smooth working. The Prime Minister had not appreciated that; he had rested his case on the precedent of the Musical Copyright Bill, and he thought the Leader of the Opposition ungenerous because he objected to the "starring" of the Land Tenure Bill, which dealt with the ramifications of the rural life of England and might involve the Imperial Exchequer in an enormous credit draft. He believed that the Labour Party were in favour of land nationalisation. That was a most expensive process. When they gave to certain persons a certain right to property in land they invariably showed that they would like to have the whole property. This Bill was the first step towards the nationalisation of land, and it was not dissimilar to the Act passed for Ireland. In either case it was a Bill of enormous moment; and yet it was compared to the Musical Copyright Bill—a Bill which would have been passed six years ago but for the indomitable confidence in his own view of the hon. Member for Mid Lanark! That put the last touch upon the effrontery with which the Government had disregarded the case put forward by his right hon. friend. The House had 378 not had the least excuse or apology from the Leader of the House for going back on the understanding come to on 4th August. The right hon. Gentleman had said: "That is my case"; but he had not explained how it came to pass that he, the Prime Minister of the country and Leader of the House—they were not concerned with what was going on in another place —did not think it worth his while to say why, seeing that on 4th August he stated that nothing but Government business would be taken in the Autumn sittings, this private Member's Bill was now brought on on a few hours notice. He did not call that a breach of faith; he should describe it in a more complimentary phrase as a colourable transaction. The right hon. Gentleman had changed the colour of his horse in order to qualify in the race. And when they ventured to demur the right hon. Gentleman said "Do you not read Lord Lansdowne's letters to the Peers?" as though there were no rights and privileges of the Lower House. Reference had also been made to a letter written by the Leader of the Opposition in another place and to the speeches made by Lord Carrington. Were they to take their orders of the day at third hand from the impression made on the mind of one Peer from the stump oratory of another Peer, from speeches made by one noble Lord interpreting correctly or incorrectly the speeches of another noble Lord? After all, an understanding was come to with the Members of this House by the Government, and this House ought to stand up for its privileges and dignities.
§ MR. HUBERT BEAUMONT
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put;" but Mr. SPEAKER withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ *VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
said that he proposed to put into practice what hon. Members below the Gangway had advanced in theory, and so would only intervene for a few moments, as he had no desire to prolong this discussion to undue length, but he would like to emphasise the remarks which had fallen from hon. Members on both sides of the House. The conduct of the Prime Minister could only 379 be described as most unjustifiable, and as an unwarrantable endeavour to eliminate the opposition to the Bill. He had always considered that of the arduous duties of the Prime Minister, by no means the least was that of furnishing an example to embryo statesmen, but he considered that in the example which the right hon. Gentleman had set on that occasion he had singularly failed in his duty. The right hon. Gentleman had put forward an example which would prove that the operations of that House had been carried on in a manner which he might call scarcely honest. The arguments put forward by the Prime Minister had materially weakened his own case, because he had said that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Plural Voting Bill was unable to be present owing to illness. They on the Opposition side of the House most heartily concurred in the statement that that Bill should therefore be postponed, because it was necessary for the efficient conduct of that measure that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill, who during the course of the Committee stage had displayed the ability of an expert and a courtesy singularly foreign to the Party to which he had the misfortune to belong, should be in his place on the Treasury Bench. The plea of the Leader of the Opposition that in the absence of the right hon. Member for South Dublin the Land Tenure Bill could not be efficiently discussed, was similar to that put forward by the Prime Minister with regard to the absence of the right hon. Member for Rossendale. No one in the House was more cognisant of the details of the Land Tenure Bill than the right hon. Member for South Dublin, who was unable to take part in the discussion on account of illness. He had every reason to believe that the Government, as a Government, knew very little about the matter dealt with by the Bill. In fact, he did not believe they had gone deeply into the subject. They had brought forward the measure at the instigation of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Agriculture, whose presence in the Cabinet he deplored perhaps more than the presence of any other gentleman. They all knew the right hon. Gentleman's views; and he believed that the right hon. 380 Gentleman would be handed down to posterity as having a desire rather to be notorious than to bring in legislation for the benefit of the community. He maintained there was no urgency for the Bill, and there was no demand for it. It would be in the recollection of all that the Bill had been brought forward in a very admirable speech by an hon. Gentleman who he regretted was not at present in the House. He always had the opinion that the Land Tenure Bill had been introduced for the purpose of enabling that gentleman to make his maiden speech rather than that the speech was made to introduce the Land Tenure Bill. They all remembered that this Land Tenure Bill had been seconded in an equally brilliant speech by the hon. Member for Barn-staple; but he did not think that anyone with the widest stretch of imagination could look on the hon. Member for Barnstaple as in any sense representative of the interests of the British farmer. He desired to press on the Prime Minister the desirability of reconsidering the decision which he had come to in a somewhat hasty manner. And that for three primary reasons. First of all, there was no urgency and no demand for this measure. It was not desired by any one interested in the industry of agriculture, the welfare of which they all had at heart. In the second place, it was not previously a Government measure. And in the third place, he urged that if the right hon. Gentleman reconsidered his decision he would be exhibiting that spirit of compromise without which it would be impossible to carry on the business of the Assembly in which they sat.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS (Birmingham, Bordesley)
said the hon. Member for Leith Burghs had made some remark about a right of way, but there was another consideration, and that was the right of time. He would not pass any remark as to the unfairness of the Government in adopting a private Member's Bill at all, but especially considering the gigantic nature of the subject which had been so suddenly imposed on the House. He himself was a member of the Small Holdings Committee, which was sitting for four hours per day for several 381 days in the week. He believed that they were doing that to oblige the Government; and if they kept on at the present high pressure rate they might produce a Report in some days' time. He put it to the House, if any Member was engaged four or five hours per day in Committee on a particular subject, what time had he to consider a Bill on a similar subject and Amendments to it which he had not seen? All Bills on the land question should be treated as a whole; and the Report of the Small Holdings Committee ought to be in the possession of any one who wished to deal seriously with the question of land tenure. He was particularly interested in one part of the Bill—that which dealt a very unfair blow at the interests of the agricultural labourer and he would be curious to see how the Labour Members were going to support it. Hon. Members must remember that they had another audience outside that House which would have a great deal to say on this point. He also pressed for a postponement of the Bill on the ground of the absence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin, especially as the Plural Voting Bill had been postponed because of the illness of a Minister. Where was the need for hurry? He urged the Government to withdraw the Bill till they had got all the reports on kindred subjects from the Committees now sitting, otherwise their work would be piecemeal and patchwork. He was aware that the President of the Board of Agriculture was most anxious to get the Bill through. He had been going up and down the country doing a good deal of trumpet blowing, which was being "found out," but he could assure the Government if they pressed the measure forward they would waste the time of the House and the result would be piecemeal legislation.
§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.R., Barkston Ash)
said he had been hoping that they would hear a good and satisfactory answer from some member of the Government to the arguments which had been addressed to them. It seemed to him that the only reason why this measure had been brought before the 382 House was to "save the face" of the President of the Board of Agriculture, who had been spending his holiday in the congenial task of going round from one Chamber of Agriculture to another and making the same speech which was everywhere received with the same chilling silence. Having pledged himself, his reputation depended upon this Bill's being adopted by the Government, and he had reverted to that sort of pressure to which the Front Government Bench were so susceptible, based on the principle that he who asked often and asked much was most likely to get it. One argument which had been brought forward he repudiated with the utmost force of which he was capable. They were told that they were wasting time and that it was being done to support their own private interest. He did not care whether this Bill was against his private interest or not, but he did say that it was against the best interests of a large class of the tenant farmers of the country. [Ironical cheers from LABOUR MEMBERS.] He thought that such cheers came from hon. Members with a very bad grace after they had got their Bill from the Government by constant pressure and by never leaving their victims alone. If the expense of maintaining his buildings, etc., was put upon the tenant farmer the Legislature would create a system of dual ownership and breed distrust between landlord and tenant. Hon. Members might say that nothing of the sort would happen, but in cases where landlords had previously done their best for their tenants, if they became disabled through a heavy death duty or other cause from helping them they would take advantage of the clause and the tenants would suffer. He thought this was a Bill which they were bound to oppose, not because it inflicted injury upon the interests of the landlords, but because it would injure tenant farmers. There were a certain number of Members on the Ministerial side who resided in agricultural districts, but the greater number of them did not know that the majority of agriculturists were against the provisions of the Bill. He rose, however, strongly to repudiate the suggestion that those who were opposing this Bill were acting in their own interests; they were doing it in the interests of all classes of 383 agriculturists and not from the unworthy motives attributed to them.
§ MR. WINFREY (Norfolk, S.W.)
said he could not allow the statements of the hon. Member to pass without comment. He had said that there was no one on that side of the House who was competent to represent tenant farmers.
§ MR. LANE-FOX
said he had expressly stated that there were some hon. Members on the Ministerial side who understood agricultural matters, and that would include the hon. Gentleman, who had more knowledge of them than anybody else.
§ MR. WINFREY
said he did not claim to have superior knowledge, but he did claim equal knowledge, and that so far as the tenant farmers of the Eastern Counties were concerned they wanted this Bill and they would be bitterly disappointed if the Prime Minister did not get it through. Deputations of tenant farmers from Essex and Lincolnshire had waited or were about to wait upon the President of the Board of Agriculture in favour of the Bill. From the latter county the deputation represented no less than 600 tenant farmers, and yet the Lincolnshire Chamber of Agriculture, largely composed of landowners and land agents, passed a Resolution against it. They ought to listen to the views of the tenant farmers, and he thought the President of the Board of Agriculture had done good work in going about trying to get views from the tenant farmers of the country. Having been associated with agricultural labourers for the last twenty years, he had no hesitation in saying
§ that there was nothing in the Bill that would prejudice the acquisition of small holdings, and he felt certain that it would be supported by agricultural labourers generally when they came to understand its provisions. It was a Bill to give tenant farmers proper security in their holdings. He would not enter into the question as to the reasons the Government had for taking up the Bill. It was sufficient for him to know that the measure was very much overdue, and he would be very sorry if all the time they had occupied in Committee was thrown away. He trusted they would have an opportunity of dealing fully with the Bill on the Report stage.
§ MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)
said the Bill was very badly drafted, and personally he felt that it would do a great deal more harm than good. A great majority of the farmers did not want the Bill at all. He was satisfied that it would not help the labourers or the small holders, and for those reasons he really thought the Government might have had sense enough to withdraw the Bill and bring in another measure next session after giving the matter their very serious consideration. He was sure this measure would not do the Government any good.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 356; Noes, 104. (Division List No. 377.)387
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Barker, John||Bertram, Julius|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Barlow, John Emmott (Somers't)||Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Waldon)|
|Adkins. W. Ryland D.||Barnard, E. B.||Billson, Alfred|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Barnes, G. N.||Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire).|
|Alden, Percy||Barran, Rowland Hirst||Boland, John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Beale, W. P||Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Beauchamp, E.||Brace, William|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Beaumont, Hn. H. (Eastbourne)||Bramsdon, T. A.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Beaumont, Hn. W. C. B. (Hexhm)||Brigg, John.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Beck, A. Cecil||Bright, J. A.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bell, Richard||Brocklehurst, W. B.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Bellairs, Carlyon||Brodie, H. C.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Brooke, Stopford|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Berridge, T. H. D.||Brunner. J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J.T.(Chesh.)||Gill, A. H.||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Bryee, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen)||Ginnell, L.||Mac Veagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.|
|Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs,)||Gladstone, RtHn. Herbert John||Mac Veigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Glendinning, R. G.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Glover, Thomas||M'Crae, George|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gooch, George Peabody||M'Killop, W.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Chas.||Grant, Corrie||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Cairns, Thomas||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Maddison. Frederick|
|Cameron, Robert||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hammond, John||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Chance, Frederick William||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Meagher, Michael|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hart-Davies, T.||Meehan, Patrick A.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Menzies, Walter|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Harwood, George||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Clarke, C. Goddard||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Clough, William||Haworth, Arthur A.||Mond, A.|
|Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)||Hedges, A. Paget||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Hemmerde, Edward George||Montagu, E. S.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Corbett, CH. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Henry, Charles S.||Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)|
|Cory, Clifford John||Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.)||Morley, Rt. Hon. John|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Morrell, Philip|
|Cowan, W. H.||Higham, John Sharp||Morse, L. L.|
|Cox, Harold||Hobart, Sir Robert||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Murphy, John|
|Cremer, William Randal||Hodge, John||Murray, James|
|Crombie, John William||Hogan, Michael||Myer, Horatio|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Napier, T. B.|
|Crossley, William J.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Hooper, A. G.||Nicholls, George|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncast'r)|
|.Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N||Norman, Henry|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|.Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hudson, Walter||Nuttall, Harry|
|Delany, William||Hyde, Clarendon||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid|
|Dewar, Arthur (Ed'nburgh, S.)||Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Jardine, Sir J.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||Jenkins, J.||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||O'Dowd, John|
|Duckworth, James||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||O'Grady, J.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommom, N.)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Malley, William|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Jowett, F. W.||O'Mara, James|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Kekewich, Sir George||O'Shee, James John|
|Elibank, Master of||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Parker, James (Halifax,|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Partington, Oswald|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||Paul, Herbert|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Laidlaw, Robert||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lambert, George||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Lamont, Norman||Perks, Robert William|
|Fenwick, Charles||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lehmann, R. C.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Pollard, Dr.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lever, W.H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Levy, Maurice||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Lough, Thomas||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Fuller. John Michael F.||Lundon, W.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lyell, Charles Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rees, J. D.|
|Gilhooly, James||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Renton, Major Leslie||Stanger, H. Y.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Ward W. Dudley(Southampton|
|Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n)||Steadman, W. C.||Wardle, George J.|
|Richardson, A.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Strachey, Sir Edward||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Wedgwood. Josiah C.|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Sullivan, Donal||Whitbread, Howard|
|Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee||Summerbell, T.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Sutherland, J.E.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Robinson, S.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Rose, Charles Day.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Rowlands, J.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Runciman, Walter||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthn)|
|Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Thomasson, Franklin||Williamson, A.|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thorne, William||Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)|
|Seddon, J.||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Wilson, Henry J.( York, W. R.)|
|Shackleton, David James||Toulmin, George||Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh., N.)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Ure, Alexander||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Verney, F. W.||Winfrey, R,|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hudderst'd)|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Young, Samuel|
|Smyth, Thomas F.(Leitrim, S.)||Wallace, Robert|
|Snowden, P.||Walsh, Stephen||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Walters, John Tudor||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Walton, Sir John L.(Leeds, S.)||Pease.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fell, Arthur||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J.(City Lond.)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banbnry, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Gibb, James (Harrow).||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.||Haddock, George R.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hambro, Charles Eric||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hay, Hon. Claude. George||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Helmsley, Viscount||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm'ds||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Scott, Sir S. (Marbleyone, W.)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hunt, Rowland||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Starkey, John R.|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hn.Victor C.W.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Talbot. Rt. Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Wore)||Liddell, Henry||Thomas. W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham)||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Thornton. Percy M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Turnour, Viscount|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J.(Birmingh'm)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Craig, Captain James(Down, E.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Younger, George|
|Cross, Alexander||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Viscount Valentia.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."390
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 115; Noes, 341. (Division List No. 378.)393
|Balcarres, Lord||Fell, Arthur||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.||Haddock, George R.||Renton, Major Leslie|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hambro, Charles Eric||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Helmesley, Viscount||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm'd||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hobart, Sir Robert||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Carlile, E. Hildren||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hunt, Rowland||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cave, George||Keswick, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W||Kimber, Sir Henry||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||King, Sir Henry Seymour(Hull)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Wore||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury|
|Chance, Frederick William||Liddell, Henry||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lew'sham)||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingham||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Turnour, Viscount|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Cory, Clifford John||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Whitbread, Howard|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)-|
|Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Cross, Alexander||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Younger, George|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Nussey, Thomas Willans||and Viscount Valentia.|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Beauchamp, E.||Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Beaumont, Hn. H. (Eastbourne)||Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)-|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Beaumont, Hn. W. C. B (Hexham)||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Bell, Richard||Buckmaster, Stanley O.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bellairs, Carlyon||Burke, E. Haviland|
|Alden, Percy||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Berridge, T. H. D.||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Chas.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Byles, William Pollard|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cairns, Thomas|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Billson, Arthur||Cameron, Robert|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Boland, John||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.)||Brace, William||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bramsdon, T. A.||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Barker, John||Brigg, John||Clarke, C. Goddard|
|Barlow, John Emmott (Somers't)||Bright, J. A.||Cleland, J. W.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Clough, William|
|Barnard, E. B.||Brodie, H. C.||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Brooke, Stopford||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Brunner, J. E.RL.(Lancs., Leigh)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W|
|Beale, W. P.||Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J.T.(Cheshire||Cooper, G. J.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E Grinst'd)||Hodge, John||Murray, James|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hogan, Michael||Myer, Horatio|
|Cowan, W. H.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Napier, T. B.|
|Cox, Harold||Holland, Sir William Henry||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hooper, A. G.||Nicholls, George|
|Cremer, William Randal||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncaster)|
|Crombie, John William||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N||Norman, Henry|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Crossley, William J.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nuttall, Harry|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Hudson, Walter||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid|
|Davies, David(Montgomery Co.)||Hyde, Clarendon||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Idris, T. H. W.||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Delany, William||Jackson, R. S.||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Dowd, John|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N||Jardine, Sir J.||O'Grady, J.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jenkins, J.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||O'Malley, William|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||O'Mara, James|
|Duckworth, James||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire)||O'Shee, James John|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Jowett, F. W.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Paul, Herbert|
|Dunne, Major Martin E.(Walsal)||Kekewich, Sir George||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pearson, W.H. M.(Suffolk, Eye)|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Perks, Robert William|
|Elibank, Master of||Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Laidlaw, Robert||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Pollard, Dr.|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Lambert, George||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Lamont, Norman||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Priestley, W.E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Lehmann, R. C.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lever, W.H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lough, Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Lundon, W.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rees, J. D.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Lynch, H. B.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs)||Richards, Thomas (W. Momn'th)|
|Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S)||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Richardson, A.|
|Gilhooly, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Gill, A. H.||MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||M'Crae, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Glendinning, R. G.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee|
|Glover, Thomas||M'Killop, W.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Gooch, George Peabody||M'Micking, Major G||Robinson, S.|
|Grant, Corrie||Maddison, Frederick||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Mallet, Charles E.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rowlands, J.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Markham, F. J.||Runciman, Walter|
|Hammond, John||Meagher, Michael||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Meehan, Patrick A.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Menzies, Walter||Sears, J. E.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Micklem, Nathaniel||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Seddon, J.|
|Harwood, George||Mond, A.||Shackleton, David James|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Montagu, E. S.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Mooney, J. J.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)||Morley, Rt. Hon. John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Morrell, Philip||Snowden, P.|
|Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.)||Morse, L. L.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Higham, John Sharp||Murphy, John||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Toulmin, George||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Steadman, W. C.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Ure, Alexander||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Verney, F. W.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Wallace, Robert||Williams, Llewelyn-(Carmarth')|
|Sullivan, Donal||Walsh, Stephen||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Summerbell, T.||Walters, John Tudor||Williamson, A.|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wardle, George J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Winfrey, R.|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersfd)|
|Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)||Waterlow, D. S.||Young, Samuel|
|Thomasson, Franklin||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Thorne, William||Weir, James Galloway||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Tomkinson, James||White, George (Norfolk)||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Torrance, Sir A. M.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Pease.|
§ MR. ABEL SMITH,
who was indistinctly heard, moved an Amendment to Clause 1 to provide that all notices under the Act should be in writing. He was understood to say that under the second sub-section of the first clause it was laid down that all questions under the Agricultural Holdings Act or this Act which were to be settled by arbitration were to be settled by a single arbitrator, and therefore all the important matters brought within the purview of the Agricultural Holdings Act for the first time would come under the rules of arbitration laid down in the Act of 1900. Perhaps the Solicitor-General would be able to tell them whether that provision covered other matters. For instance, the fifth clause dealt with very difficult questions indeed. Questions of compensation for disturbance would have to be dealt with by a single arbitrator, and he was sure the representative of the Government now in charge of the Bill would agree that such important matters required very careful treatment. He did not believe that under the Act of 1900 it was absolutely certain that the claim should be made in writing. In future he thought it should be made perfectly clear that all these notices should be in writing, and he begged to move.
§ SIR FEEDERICK BANBURY
seconded the Amendment. It could not do any harm as the only effect of it would be that both parties would know exactly what was going on. In the case of verbal notices one party might forget or not under- 394 stand, and in matters like this it was absolutely essential that everything should be clear and that there should be no misunderstanding between landlord and tenant.
In page 2, line 4, at end, to add '(3) "All notices given under this section shall be in writing.'
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir W. ROBSON, South Shields)
said the section itself did not specifically contain any reference to this matter, but it referred to the Act of 1900. Therefore this Amendment would affect notices under the Act of 1900. Under that Act certain notices must be in writing, but there were other minor notices which need not be in writing. He thought that in a great majority of cases the parties would desire to give notice, and would prefer that such notice would be in writing. If there were any strained relations between a landlord and his tenant the tenant would certainly prefer to give notice in writing. On the other hand, there were many cases in which the relations of landlord and tenant were of a friendly character and notices were not necessary in regard to some matters. In the interests of greater elasticity and in order to avoid technical hardships it was thought better to leave the provision as to notices the same as it was under the Act of 1900. He thought they should be left as they were under that Act, because they had 395 worked satisfactorily and no complaint had been received in regard to them.
§ SIR E. CARSON (Dublin University)
said the Solicitor-General apparently had not realised that under this sub-section all the claims under the Act would be brought in. The section was laying down what in England was a novel claim, namely, the claim for unreasonable disturbance made under the fifth section. He suggested to the Solicitor-General that it would be almost impossible to adjudicate upon a question of what should be paid for unreasonable disturbance without having obtained proper particulars in writing from both parties to the dispute. In the Irish Act dealing with this subject there were most elaborate provisions as to how the case was to be brought into Court.
§ CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
remarked that it had been said that where friendly agreements were arrived at it was unnecessary to have the notice in writing, and that such written agreements would perhaps be to the detriment of one or the other party. From his experience, and he was sure this was the experience of other Members who represented rural constituencies, no more harmful thing could be done than to pass word with regard to agreements from the landlord to the tenant or from the tenant to the landlord or his agent. Difference often arose in regard to what had been said, sometimes unwillingly, sometimes not. Undoubtedly it was far more satisfactory, no matter how friendly the relations might be between the landlord and the tenant, that the notice of claim of compensation should be in writing. He urged the Government at the outset of the discussion to consider favourably the Amendments that were proposed, for they had been most carefully prepared with the view of making the Bill workable. He did not speak any more for landlords than for tenants. There had recently been very costly litigation simply in consequence of the fact that when an agreement was about to be arrived at word was spoken that it was "all right." If that "all right" had been transferred to paper a great deal of ill-feeling, trouble, and annoyance which had occurred 396 in connection with land legislation in Ireland would have been avoided. He hoped those who were now plunging into similar legislation for England would benefit by that experience. The Government would do well to adopt this innocuous Amendment, which would do the Bill no harm, but would rather improve it.
§ MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)
hoped the hon. Gentleman would not persist in his opposition to this useful Amendment, which might be a very substantial improvement. It would not be fair that a tenant of a large farm having made a large improvement should not give proper notice in writing in his dealings-with his landlord. The hon. Gentleman himself insisted upon notice in regard to compensation. It seemed most unreasonable not to accept an Amendment which would provide that notices in writing should be given.
§ *SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said these notices were absolutely unnecessary in all cases. They were introduced under the Act of 1900 at the instance of the Party opposite, and they were now only following the same precedent by refusing to make any alteration. What was good enough for the 1900 Bill ought to be good enough for this Bill.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
thought the Government were making a mistake in starting this discussion in the manner in which it had been started by the Solicitor-General and the hon. Baronet. They only appeared to have one argument, and it was that they were following the Act of 1900. It certainly was gratifying to find that the were following the example of a Conservative Government in this matter, and he was sorry they were not following them in other respects. When analogous subjects were brought forward in connection with Irish legislation most careful precautions were placed round the provisions. The idea of leaving the question undealt with other than by writing never crossed the minds of the framers of that legislation. No reason had been given why the Government should adhere to this obstinate attitude. 397 Under this Bill the controversies between landlord and tenant would go before what was to all intents and purposes a Court. It was a Court which took the form of a single arbitrator, and he thought it would be absurd not to provide that the disputes should come up in a formal shape having a binding effect on both parties. In the ordinary course of estate management this practice of reducing notices to writing was habitually followed. Why the Government should refuse this simple Amendment he could not comprehend. Was the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill going into the discussions on the Report stage with the determination to oppose any Amendments which modified in any degree the letter of a Bill which he did not frame, for which he was not responsible, and for part of which, he supposed, he was ashamed? Why was he going to give to the House and the country the impression that he would oppose everything whether good or bad, without offering a single reply against the arguments adduced by the Opposition? He submitted that if the Government wished the happy passage of the measure through the House they ought to accept Amendments which were harmless, and which hon. Members on that side thought were important to the proper conduct of the delicate relations between landlord and tenant in this country.
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY
said the hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that a great many of these arrangements would be on a friendly footing. Was it not exactly in the arrangements between friends that they ought to be most formal? There were many cases in which friendships were broken for want of formality in business relations. He asked the hon. Gentleman to look at the matter from that point of view, and to accept the Amendment.
§ MR. GUEST (Cardiff District)
appealed to the Government to yield the small concession asked for, on the ground that the measure made a great alteration in the relations subsisting between landlord and tenant. It was surely a small thing to ask that the notice should be placed in writing and recorded. Conciliatory action on the part of the supporters of the Bill would do a great deal to satisfy those who did not regard it as the best 398 possible measure for dealing with the agricultural situation.
§ MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)
thought that one of the things that ought certainly to be made in writing was a claim for compensation for improvement. He cited the precedent of Section 1G in the Irish Land Act of 1870 in favour of the Amendment.
§ THE SOLICITOK-GENERAL FOR SCOTLAND (Mr. URE, Linlithgowshire)
said he was surprised to hear the Leader of the Opposition say that the only reason for the action of the Government was that they were following the precedent of the Act of 1900. That would be, he quite agreed, an insufficient reason. Let the right hon. Gentleman remember that there had been six years experience of the working of the Act of 1900, and no one had got up to say that that experience supported the claim in favour of writing. Under the Act of 1883 a claim in writing had to be made, but the provision was deliberately struck out in the Act of 1900. The reason for that was obvious. It would be a very hard thing on the tenant to be told when he went before the arbitrator that his claim was barred because he did not give notice of it in writing at some time anterior. All claims under the game clause must be given within a reasonable time after the claim arose. If this Amendment had suggested that the notice anterior to the arbitration must contain certain particulars he could have understood it, but it was to be a notice in the most general terms and therefore the Amendment would serve no good purpose.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
joined issue with the learned Solicitor - General for Scotland as to the experience acquired since the passing of the Act of 1900. It was that experience which ought to lead the House to insert these words in the present Bill. There was no doubt in the world that the omission of these words from that Act had been found to be a very serious drawback. No other business relations in the world were carried out by word of mouth, and therefore it seemed to him to be rather peculiar that in the matter of agriculture it should be deemed unnecessary to have notice in writing in making a claim such 399 as might be made under that Bill. Necessary as such written agreements had been found to be since 1900, when this Bill came into force they would be found to be more necessary still. In another part of the Bill itself it was provided that a notice of claim must he in writing. Why then, if it were admitted
§ in one instance, was it not also admitted in all cases of claims that might be made under the Bill?
§ Question put.
§ The House divided. Ayes, 88; Noes, 323. (Division List, No. 379.)403
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Nield, Herbert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington.)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fell, Arthur||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Forster, Henry William||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Rutherford. John (Lancashire)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Haddock, George R.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hambro, Charles Eric||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Starkey, John R.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hedges, A. Paget||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cave, George||Hervey, F. W. F.(Bury S Edm'd)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hunt, Rowland||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord R.(Marylebone, E.)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Whitbread, Howard|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingham)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Cross, Alexander||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Abel Smith and Viscount|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Meysey-Thompson. E. C.||Helmsley.|
|Davies, David (MontgomeryCo.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Bertram, Julius||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cawley, Frederick|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Billson, Alfred||Chance, Frederick William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire)||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Alden, Percy||Boland, John||Cheetham, John Frederick|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Clarke, C. Goddard|
|Astbury, John Meir||Brace, William||Cleland, J. W.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Branch, James||Clough, William|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Brigg, John||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bright, J. A.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Barker, John||Brodie, H. C.||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)|
|Barlow, John Emmott (Somers)||Brooke, Stopford||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex E. Grinstd)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Chesh.)||Cowan, W. H.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen)||Cox, Harold|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Craig, Herbert J.(Tynemouth)|
|Beale, W. P.||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Crombie, John William|
|Beaumont, Hn. H. (Eastbourne)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Crooks, William|
|Beaumont, Hn. W. C. B. (Hexh'r)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Chas.||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Bell, Richard||Byles, William Pollard||Davies Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Cairns, Thomas||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R||Cameron, Robert||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams(Devonp'rt)||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Delany, William|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Pearson, W.H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Perks, Robert William|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Jowett, F. W.||Philipps, Owen C, (Pembroke)|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||Kearley, Hudson E.||Pollard. Dr.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kekewich, Sir George||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Duckworth, James||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Laidlaw, Robert||Priestley, W. K. B. (Bradford, E.|
|Duncan. J. H. (York. Otley)||Lambert, George||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lamont, Norman||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lehmann, R. C.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Edwards. Frank (Radnor)||Lever. W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Elibank, Master of||Lough, Thomas||Rees, J. D.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lundon, W.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Richards, Thos, (W. Monmouth|
|Eve. Harry Trelawney||Lynch, H. B.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mptn|
|Everett. R. Lacey||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Richardson, A.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Ferens, T. R.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macpherson, J. T.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||M'Callum, John M.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Crae, George||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Gill, James (Harrow)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Robinson, S.|
|Gilhooly, James||M'Killop, W.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Gill. A. H.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Micking, Major G.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Maddison, Frederick||Rowlands, J.|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Mallet, Charles E.||Runciman, Walter|
|Glover, Thomas||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Gooch, George Peabody||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Grant, Corrie||Meagher, Michael||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Meehan, Patrick A.||Sears, J. E.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Menzies, Walter||Seddon, J.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Micklem, Nathaniel||Shackleton, David James|
|Hammond, John||Molteno, Percy Alport||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Hardy. George A. (Suffolk)||Mond, A.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Mooney, J. J.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Harwood, George||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morley, Rt. Hon. John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Morrell, Philip||Snowden, P.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Morse, L. L.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Henderson, Arthur Durham)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.||Murphy, John||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Henry, Charles S.||Murray, James||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Myer, Horatio||Steadman, W. C.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Hodge, John||Nicholls, George||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hogan, Michael||Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncaster||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Hooper, A. G.||Nuttall, Harry||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Summerbell, T.|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hudson Walter||O'Donnell. C. J. (Walworth)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Hyde, Clarendon||O'Dowd, John||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Idris, T. H. W.||O'Grady, J.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Kelly, James (Rocsommon, N.||Tomkinson, James|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Malley, William||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Jackson, R. S.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Ure, Alexander|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Shee, James John||Walsh, Stephen|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Parker. James (Halifax)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Jenkins, J.||Partington, Oswald||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Paul, Herbert||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|Wardle, George J.||White, head, Rowland||Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh, N.)|
|Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Wilson. P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Wason,John Cathcart(Orkney)||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Wiles, Thomas||Winfrey. R.|
|Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Weir, James Galloway||Willams, Llewelyn(Carmarth'n)||Young, Samuel|
|White, George (Norfolk)||Williamson. A.|
|White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Wills, Arthur Walters||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Wilson. Hon. C. H.W.(Hull, W.)||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson. Henry J. (York, W. K.)||Pease.|
§ MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)
said that the object of the Amendment standing in his name was to cheapen arbitration under the Bill. He thought that all parties were agreed that the number of arbitrations, instead of landlord and tenant settling matters, as formerly, by mutual agreement, were increasing. It was therefore desirable to make these arbitration proceedings as cheap and simple as possible, in the interest of both the landlords and the tenants. The scheme which the Government had adopted at the eleventh hour was that by the second sub-section of the first clause of the Bill all cases of dispute between landlord and tenant should be determined by a single arbitrator, in accordance with the provisions set out in Part I. of the Second Schedule to the Agricultural Holdings, Act, 1900. That scheme was received with such disfavour in the country that only three members of the Chamber of Agriculture supported it while the remainder of the members of the Chamber voted against it. He ventured to think that the scheme would not be a success in cheapening arbitration, but would rather increase its cost. How could a poor farmer put his case before a single arbitrator in competition with his landlord unless neither party were represented at the arbitration by counsel or solicitor? He believed that in many cases the small tenant farmer would go to that small and decreasing class of pettifogging solicitors whose interest it was to promote litigation by every means in their power. It was in order to obviate those difficulties that, in the interest of the tenant who was often a poor man, that he moved his Amendment.
§ *MR. EVERETT (Suffolk, Woodbridge)
seconded the Amendment and thought' that the object which it had in view would commend itself to everyone. Its aim was that the valuation necessary when a new tenant came or the landlord 404 took a farm over himself should be as simple and inoffensive as possible. In the county in which he lived they were perfectly satisfied with the practice which had hitherto been adopted. The parties each appointed a valuator, and if they did not agree they appointed an umpire whose decision was to be final. The object of the Government in saying that there should be only a single arbitrator was, he supposed, to prevent the matter from going into the Courts of law. If that was so, it was a commendable object on their part, but he understood that often if counsel were employed, arbitrations were more expensive than going to a Court of law. They did not want to have counsel and lawyers mixed up with their valuations at all, and the Amendment which had just been moved would make it clear that their valuations when farms changed hands would not be attended by the necessity of employing either solicitor or counsel, because if they were employed by the rich landlord the tenant would be at a great disadvantage if he could not employ them himself. For himself he would like to see the Amendment stop at the word "solicitor," so that it would read "neither party shall be represented at the arbitration by counsel or solicitor." The latter part said that they should not appear unless the claim or counterclaim should exceed in amount the sum of £50. He did not think that they wanted a solicitor or counsel in regard to any sum of money when a farm changed tenants.
In page 2, line 4, at end to add the words neither party shall be represented at the arbitration by counsel or solicitor unless the claim or counterclaim shall exceed in amount the sum of £50.' "—(Mr. Nussey.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added.
§ *SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said that of course everyone would wish that these arbitrations should be carried on in the most 405 simple way possible, and the hon. Member was right in saying that these arbitrations had been conducted in his county in this way and he thought in time that there would be no difficulty in carrying them out in a more economical way. Each party would proceed by his valuer as he was doing at present, and it would only be in case of difference that an umpire would be called in. They had already settled the question whether there should be one or two arbitrators, and the question at present was whether either party should be forbidden to be represented before the arbitrator either by counsel or solicitor. Although at the first blush it might seem a reasonable Amendment, he thought that when it was carefully considered it would be seen that cases might easily arise where the amount of the claim was under £50 and even only £15 or £20, but the point at issue might be a very complicated one in regard to which it would be advisable to employ a solicitor or counsel to argue for the landlord or the tenants. This sum of £50 would only be applicable in the cine of small owners who would be the last men capable of standing up and arguing against the landlord. Then again in the interest of the landlord, it might be a case of the trustees or executors of landlords who might say "We cannot take upon ourselves the responsibility of arguing this case. We must have legal advice." Or there might be the case of a widow who was not able by herself or her trustees to appear before the arbitrator and might desire the appearance of a solicitor or counsel. In the majority of cases he thought these would not be needed, but there might be hard cases, both in regard to a landlord and also in regard to a small tenant, and it was the small tenant they had to look after in this matter. Therefore it was necessary that they should give some freedom of choice in the matter, and there was no reason why any restriction should be put into the Bill. For that reason he was obliged to resist the Amendment of his hon. friend the hon. Member for Pontefract.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
inquired i whether the Government were not in a very inconsistent position. They had simplified the Court by weakening it, and to simplify the Court and not to simplify 406 the procedure before it was unreasonable. What they wanted was to simplify the tribunal and reduce the expense. The hon. Baronet in charge of the Kill had said that although the matter might be small in regard to the money involved it might be extremely complex, that the small holder might not be able to state his case before the tribunal, and that although the sum might be only £15 or £20 he must be allowed to bring in the services of a professional adviser. But how much of the £15 or £20 would remain after he had paid his professional advisers? If the arbitrator was worth anything he would be a man who understood agricultural affairs, and he would find no difficulty in seeing the point put by the tenant whether the tenant was big or small. It seemed to him almost inconceivable that the arbitrator called in under this Bill, even in the case of a relatively poor tenant explaining his case, would say "I do not understand what you are talking about; you are unable to put your case before me and I decide, against you." Such things did not happen. The Government appeared to contemplate that both parties would be represented by solicitors and counsel to deal with complicated questions which touched only small sums of money. Whom was that going to benefit? It was going to benefit the counsel and the solicitors, but this Bill was not intended for them nor primarily for their advantage. Who was the next party it would benefit? It would benefit the wealthy and litigious landlord in a contest with a small tenant. The case would be decided in favour of the person whose purse was long enough to secure a decision in his favour. It seemed to him one of the anomalies in our social system that justice so often went in favour of the rich man who could afford to employ gentlemen of legal capacity which the poor man could not do. That state of things might be necessary, and no one had seen his way to deal with it, but when they were dealing with arbitrators whose duty it was to decide these simple cases of landlord and tenant, why should they introduce all the complications of our legal system from which we could not free ourselves in the Courts of the country? He thought both landlords and tenants would suffer if the first clause Mere kept as it was, but the class who would suffer least were the class whose purses 407 were the longest—the class which could afford to pay for the argument of these complex cases which it was said must come before the arbitrator. He did not know to what class of complicated cases the hon. Baronet referred. He only took his words. He thought it was in the interests of every party except gentlemen of the long robe, not only that we should have a simpler tribunal, but that we should have a simpler procedure.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
said the declarations of the right hon. Gentleman would be serious and alarming if they were not dealt with in the light of experience. The right hon. Gentleman when he was at the head of the Government did not think it necessary to introduce any disabling section into his Act of 1900. He should like to know in how many cases under that Act those whom the right hon. Gentleman described as gentlemen of the long robe had been brought in. There were very few cases in which counsel did appear, and there were a great many reasons why counsel did not appear upon matters involving claims for less than £50. It was said that the landlord might avail himself of costly legal advice to the detriment of the unhappy tenant. But experience showed that during the last few years it had not been the practice to introduce solicitors, and certainly not counsel into cases involving small claims. In cases where the tenant did not wish to appear for himself, or could not appear, was he to be debarred from having a representative while the landlord would be entitled to employ his agent? It was not proposed that while the landlord was to be able to employ any agent he pleased, the tenant should be deprived of his choice of agent. He might prefer a valuer, but if he thought the case was one in which a local solicitor whom he knew would better serve his purpose than a valuer whom he did not know, it was not proposed to deprive him of that choice. During the last six years under the Act of the right hon. Gentleman these evils had not arisen, and the Government did not anticipate that they would arise in the future under this Bill. What had happened in the past would happen in the future, each party would probably have a valuer. It had been said that the tribunal had been simplified on the face of it and should be simplified in fact. 408 The present system was for each party to appoint an arbitrator, and the two arbitrators if they could not agree appointed an umpire, so that in the arbitrators each party really had his own agent. That was the system which in substance would prevail in the future, An agent would be appointed by the tenant, but not as an arbitrator, and there was every reason why, if the tribunal was so simplified that there would be only one arbitrator, the tenant should have the choice of an agent.
§ *MR. WHITBREAD (Huntingdonshire, Huntingdon)
expressed the hope that the discussion would not close before some Member on the front Bench had given an opinion upon a matter in regard to which there was considerable doubt. A great deal of apprehension had been felt as to whether this section of the Bill, which was intended to simplify and cheapen procedure, would not have the opposite effect. Under the Acts of 1883 and 1900 it was the custom of each side to appoint an agent, and when those agents, who were generally valuers, were unable to come to an agreement, for them to appoint an umpire. In the large majority of cases, however, which had to be decided under this method, a satisfactory conclusion was arrived at by the two valuers without recourse to an umpire. The question arose whether under the system which this Bill provided it would be possible for a satisfactory conclusion to be arrived at between the two agents without any recourse being had to the arbitrator. There appeared to be some uncertainty with regard to that. That was a point which he thought ought to be made quite clear, because on reading the text of the Bill it did not appear whether it would, or would not be necessary in all cases to appoint three persons to adjudicate. On the face of it he was inclined to support the Amendment, because it would appear that it would cheapen the procedure, which was going to be much more costly in the future than it had been in the past.
§ MR. HICKS-BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
joined in the appeal of the hon. Member that this interesting point should be cleared up, because great objection had been raised by the Chambers of Agriculture throughout the country to 409 Clause 1, which said that all cases should be determined by a single arbitrator. The custom in the past had been for each party to appoint their own valuer, who settled the claims between the parties. Under this section it would be necessary for a third person to be appointed, who would be over the two agents. Had the promoters of this Bill used a little discretion last session they would have been well advised to drop this section. It had given rise to great animosity throughout the country, and had it been dropped it would have disarmed opposition at that time and would have rendered it unnecessary for anyone to raise the particular Amendment now before the House. Reference had been made to the Act of 1900, but that Act was not very material to this matter, because it dealt only with the improvements of a holding by the tenants. This Bill went further. Here the arbitrator would have to decide not only the extent of the improvements made by the tenant, but also the amount of damage that had been done to the holding by game. He would also have to decide whether the cause for disturbance was reasonable or unreasonable. He defied any valuer in the country to give a proper definition of reasonable disturbance, and unless some Amendment of this kind was put into the Bill he thought the number of cases in which the rich landlord: would employ the most learned counsel he could in order to settle whether the disturbance was reasonable or not would be very great indeed. The tenant, by reason of the length of his purse, would not be able to enjoy the same facilities, and in order to set this matter on a reasonable basis there should be some such Amendment as was proposed. He should be pleased to support the Amendment, because he believed it was a step in the right direction and in the direction of economy. His only doubt was whether it went far enough, and whether they ought not to leave out the latter part of the Amendment, because in the larger cases the rich landlord would have a larger pull over the tenant than he ought to have.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
said he could not but think the | hon. Member who had just spoken had to some extent forgotten what the Amendment was. He had delivered a speech to prove that the present Bill was 410 most complicated. That seemed to point to the necessity of employing rather than excluding lawyers. If the case was simple laymen might settle it, but if questions of law came before the arbitrator it might be necessary for him to have lawyers before him to decide it. The more complicated the Act from a legal point of view the more necessary became the assistance of lawyers. No case, in his opinion, had been made out for the Amendment now before the House. He did not think it would benefit the tenant to rule out. a counsel and solicitors. On the contrary he thought it probable that tenants would sutler, and landlords perhaps benefit by the proposed limitation, but he did not think any case had been made for limiting the freedom of choice of either party. He imagined that the procedure in the future under this Act would be the same as that with which they were all familiar at present. If there were really any doubt about the two parties being able to come to a settlement without an appeal to an arbitrator, he thought the Government would insert words in the Bill to ensure that being possible. To his mind, however, it was clear that there was nothing to prevent two valuers coming to an agreement which would be binding on both parties, without reference to an arbitrator, who would only be called upon to act in the event of disagreement between the valuers. This being so, he saw no advantage in adding the words proposed, and he hoped the Government; would resist the Amendment.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON
said the real question underlying this discussion was the cost of arbitration, which was really a very serious burden on agriculture. As to having one arbitrator, he would be very strongly opposed to any change in that matter so far as Scotland was concerned. One of the reasons which made it so difficult to combine Scotland and England in one Bill was that in the former country they wanted one arbitrator, while in England the system prevailed of calling in two friends who very often settled the matter in dispute. He did not know that he altogether agreed, however, with the Amendment. If counsel and solicitor were prohibited as proposed, there would be nothing to prevent advisors from consulting solicitor and 411 counsel, and he did not think any expense would be saved. That was a point that could not be entirely dismissed from the consideration of the Government, but if this clause did not carry out the object for which it was intended he certainly did not think the Amendment would do so. If the representative of the Board of Agriculture would undertake to limit the costs of arbitration he should be in favour of everything being submitted to arbitration as between landlord and tenant. If there were an unlimited number of arbitrations the burden on agriculture would be so heavy that something would have to be done by the Government to reduce the costs. The Government would be living in a fool's paradise if they thought that by merely limiting the number of arbitrations they would be thereby doing good to owners or occupiers. If arbitrations were not good in themselves it was because of the cost, which agriculture could ill bear. He was not at all sure that this particular Amendment would meet the point, which he regretted had not received a little more consideration from the Government before they adopted the Bill.
§ MR. COCHRANE
said everyone would agree with the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken in deprecating the piling up of expenditure upon landlords and tenants. This Amendment would strike at a class of lawyer they were all too familiar with, namely, what was called the pettifogging solicitor. Hon. Members had only to read the records of the Departmental Committee on Workmen's Compensation to see how the pettifogging lawyer dragged the unfortunate claimant from one Court to another. He believed the same class would push their way into these arbitrations. If, as the Government said, this was a Bill to reduce expenditure and facilitate the working of the land system, let them curb this class of solicitors, so that in small claims under £50 or £100 they would not be able to extract their blood money. Those who were best acquainted with the tenants, such as the hon. Member for the Woodbridge Division, and the hon. Member for Huntingdonshire, took the view that in the interests of tenants it was desirable that an Amendment of this kind should be carried. Those who took the opposite view took the professional view, which was that no trans- 412 action in this country could be properly carried out unless a member of the legal profession was consulted on every point.
§ MR. COCHRANE
said the hon. Member stated his case so clearly that he forgot for the moment that he was not a lawyer. At any rate if they gave the loophole, as this Bill would, to pettifogging lawyers, all sorts of questions of detail would be raised. There ought to be some simple method of settling differences, and, after all, there were the Courts of law for the purpose of settling legal questions. Arbitration at the best was only a substitute fur law, and a very inefficient substitute, and if these cases were to be argued by counsel or solicitor why not send them to the Courts? The Amendment was one of a moderate and reasonable character. At least he would ask the Government to state whether it was intended to allow the system to continue in England under which each side appointed a valuer. He would go one step further than the Amendment. He saw no reason why they should limit the prohibition to claims of £50. If the hon. Member went to a division he should give him his support.
§ *SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
said the procedure under the Bill would be cheaper than it had hitherto been, as it was much simplified. In the great majority of eases in Scotland, he supposed, as in England, it would be a case of mutual agreement between the two valuers, and it would not go to arbitration. If they did not agree there would be one arbitrator, which simplified the matter very much.
§ MK. CAVE
said he was in rather an unusual position in agreeing with the Minister in charge of the Bill, and differing from hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side. He thought it ought to be open to either side to employ a solicitor if need be. Members on both 413 sides talked about pettifogging solicitors and so forth, but he was sure those who said that were not very well acquainted with what was done in the country districts, where the solicitor was often a man whom everybody had confidence in, and would entrust his affairs to. The real reason he objected to this Amendment was that it was another piece of grandmotherly legislation. He thought that business men—because landlords and tenants were very often business men—should be left to make their own arrangements in business matters. It was very odd that throughout this discussion everybody who had spoken said that the existing system was best, yet the Government had thought fit to change it. That was the first mistake, but to adopt this Amendment would be mistake No. 2. People were getting on very well now, and the more they interfered with what business men thought was the best thing to do, the more would matters be confused and expense increased.
§ *MR. BERTRAM (Hertfordshire, Hitchin)
said that with regard to the words of the Amendment he might point out that every member of the class described as pettifogging solicitors would without a moment's hesitation advise his client that he could, so to speak, drive the proverbial coach-and-four through these words. They had only to make a claim of £51 in order to do just as they pleased in regard to the employment of counsel or solicitor.
§ *CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
said he certainly thought the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had put forward an aspect not touched before, but he might point out to the hon. Gentleman that if the claim were for about £49 and there was a counter-claim of £49, instead of being £51 as the hon. Gentleman suggested, this clause would be dealing with an amount of £9S. Although a coach-and-four might well go through the clause he thought the Amendment was more drastic than some Members of the House at first recognised. The Bill had been hurried before the House, so that those who wore interested in it had had; no real opportunity of going into these matters in the way they would have liked. Still, at the last moment they must make out a case where they saw 414 serious grievance introduced in the Bill. One of these would be obviated by this Amendment, or some assurance that in I small claims which amounted to about £50 the expenses should be kept down. Tenants in some instances were shy of even small costs in arbitration. The custom of settling differences varied in different parts of the country. In some cases a friend of both parties was I asked to decide the point in dispute. This Amendment permitted of that being done, without having the responsibility put upon the tenant of employing an expensive lawyer or a very learned counsel at a large fee to encounter a costly solicitor or barrister on the other side. It was to obviate that that the Amendment was introduced. Having regard to the multitudinous claims that would immediately be made under this Bill, he thought the Minister in charge had no conception of the magnitude of the step he had taken in fathering this clause. If the people were able to take advantage under this Amendment of the customs hitherto practised in various parts of the country it would go a long way towards improving the clause. Costs in each and all of these thousands of claims, whether settled in favour of the landlord or of the tenant, would be an intolerable burden on the agriculture of the country, and mounting up year by year, were a tax which the country was not fitted to bear. In order to eliminate costs in the smaller claims, he held it was absolutely essential that they should have an Amendment of this nature. Those who were interested in seeing agriculture flourish in the country had not been given a fair chance in this question. This was an Amendment which would undoubtedly simplify the matter, it was desired in every quarter of the House, and he hoped that the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill would give an assurance that that current of thought, would receive careful attention.
§ *MR. WARDLE
said he desired to point out what appeared to him to be the real crux of the question. They were told that the cost: was the thing which was at issue. They who represented workmen in the House found themselves in a very similar position with regard to the Workmen's Compensation Act and other legal difficulties which workmen had to meet. What had they done? Hesuggested 415 that the tenant should do as they did done. They should combine and have a small insurance society, and then they would get over this small difficulty. After all, £50 might be a great deal to these men. By the single method which workmen had put in force, this body of tenant farmers and holders of small holdings would got that legal advice to which they were entitled.
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY
said that the Amendment had been advocated on the ground that the tenant wanted protection as against the possible encroachments of the landlord, and yet the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Hill opposed it on the ground that what its supporters thought it would effect was contrary to what would really happen. The hon. Gentleman opposed it because he thought it would be against the interest of the tenant. If the House wanted proof of the extraordinary bad judgment which had been shown in the bringing forward of this Bill, he did not think they could have better proof than they had from the hon. Gentlemen opposite in the discussion of this Amendment. He thought the balance of argument was in favour of the Amendment, which he believed would work in the direction of putting the tenant on more level terms with the landlord, and, in so far as that would be the result, the Amendment had his approbation. The landlord's agent was frequently a solicitor, and it was not desirable that he should be barred from appearing. Another interesting point was that Scotland was diametrically opposed to England in regard to the appointment of a single arbitrator.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment—
To leave out the words unless the claim or counterclaim shall exceed in amount the sum of £50.' "—(Mr. Nussey.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment.
§ MR. FORSTER (Kent, Sevenoaks)
said it seemed to him that the Amendment to the Amendment introduced a really different question. The Amendment as amended would prevent either party from being represented at the arbitration by a lawyer, however large the question involved might be. He did not think the hon. Gentleman was well advised in leaving out the latter part of the Amendment.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)
said he should have been perfectly prepared to support the Amendment as at first proposed, but he entered a caveat against the method of procedure which the mover had followed. By striking out the latter part of the Amendment he had destroyed the whole of the reasoning on which the Amendment in its original form had been supported. It was right that the parties should not be put to unnecessary expense in trifling cases, but he could not assent to the proposal that lawyers should be barred from appearing where large interests were involved.
§ Amendment to the Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 72: Noes, 301. (Division List No. 380.)419
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F||Bowles, G. Stewart||Craig, Chas. Curtis(Antrim, S.)|
|Agnew, George William||Boyle. Sir Edward||Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Craik. Sir Henry|
|Atherley-Jones. L.||Bull, Sir William James||Cross, Alexander|
|Balcarres, Lord||Butcher, Samuel Henry||Davies, David(.Montgomery, Co.|
|Banbury. Sir Frederick George||Carlile, K. Hildred||Douglas, Fit. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Baring. Hon. Guy (Winchester;||Castlereagh, Viscount||Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Fell, Arthur|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Cheetham, John Frederick||Finch, Mr. Hon. George H.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Cochrane Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Forster. Henry William|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Collings, Rt. Hn.J (Birming'ham||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)|
|Haddock, George R.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Smith, F.E. (Liverpool, Walton|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Meysey-Thompson, E.C.||Starkey, John R.|
|Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Nield, Herbert||Staveley-Hill. Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Harwood, George||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Partington, Oswald||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hunt, Rowland||Randles, Sir John Scurrah||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent. Mid)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Watt, H. Anderson|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Whitbread, Howard|
|Lane-Fox. G. R.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Wilson. A. Stanley (York, E.P.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Salter, Arthur Clavell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)||Nussey and Mr. Everett.|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Clough, William||Hart-Davies, T.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Coats, Sir T. Glen(Renfrew, W.)||Harvey, A. G. C (Rochdale)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Corbett.CH.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Alden, Percy||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Allen, A. Acland-Christchurch)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Henderson, Arthur Durham)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Strond)||Cowan, W. H.||Henderson, J.,M.(Aberdeen, W.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Cox, Harold||Henry, Charles S.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cremer, William Randal||Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon.. S.)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Crombie, John William||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Crooks, William||Higham. John Sharp|
|Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury. E.)||Crosfield. A. H.||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Dalziel, James Henry||Hodge, John|
|Barker, John||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hogan, Michael|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Holden, E. Hopkinson|
|Barnard, E. B.||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hooper, A. G.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Delany, William||Hope John Deans(Fife, West)|
|Beale, W. P.||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hope. W. Bateman (Somerset, N|
|Beaumont, Hn. H. (Eastbourne||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Beaumont, Hn W.C.B.(Hexh'm||Dobson, Thomas W.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Beck. A. Cecil||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Bell, Richard||Donelan, Captain A.||Hudson, Walter|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Duckworth, James||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Idris, T. H. W.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams(Devonp'rt||Duncan, J. H. (York. Otley)||Jackson, R. S.|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Betram, Julius||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Jenkins, J.|
|Bethell. J. H. (Essex. Romford||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Johnson, John (Gateshead,|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Elibank, Master of||Johnson, W. (Nuncaton)|
|Billson, Alfred||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire)||Evans, Samuel T.||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire)|
|Boland, John||Eve. Harry Trelawney||Jowett, F. W.|
|Bolton, T.D.(Derbyshire, N.E.)||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Fenwick, Charles||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Ferens, T. R.||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Ffrench, Peter||Lambert, George|
|Brace, William||Flynn, James Christopher||Lamont, Norman|
|Brigg, John||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Bright, J. A.||Fuller, John Michael F.||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Fullerton, Hugh||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Gardner, Col..Alan(Hereford, S.||Lever, A. Levy(Essex, Harwich)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Gibb, James (Harr W)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)|
|Brunner, J.F.L.(Lancs.,Leigh)||Gill, A. H.||Lough, Thomas|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J.T.(Chesh.)||Ginnell, L.||Lundon, W.|
|Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Lynch, H. B.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Glendinning, R. G.||Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Glover, Thomas||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Gooch, George Peabody||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Cairns, Thomas||Grant, Corrie||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Greenwood. G. (Peterborough)||MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.)|
|Cave, George||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||M'Callum. John M.|
|Chance, Frederick William||Hammond, John||M'Crae, George|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hardie. J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||M'Kean, John|
|Clarke, C. Goddard||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||M'Kenna. Reginald|
|Cleland, J. W.||Harmsworth," Cecil B.(Worc'r)||M'Killop, W.|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.||Summerbell, T.|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Raphael, Herbert H.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Maddison. Frederick||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Mallet. Charles E.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln||Redmond, William (Clare)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rees, J. D.||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)|
|Meagher, Michael||Rendall, Athelstan||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Meehan, Patrick A.||Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th)||Tomkinson, James|
|Menzies, Walter||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Richardson, A.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Rickett, J. Compton||Ure, Alexander|
|Mond, A.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Verney, F. W.|
|Money. L. G. Chiozza||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Vivian, Henry|
|Mooney, J. J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Morgan, (J. Hay (Cornwall)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Morrell, Philip||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|Morse. L. L.||Robinson, S.||Wardle, George J.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Murphy, John||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)|
|Murray, James||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Myer, Horatio||Rose, Charles Day||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Rowlands, J.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Nicholls, George||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Nicholson, Chas. N.(Doncast'r)||Scott, A.H.(Ashtonunder Lyne)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Norton. Capt. Cecil William||Seddon, J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Shackleton, David James||Whitehead, Rowland|
|O'Brien. Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Dowd, John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n)|
|O'Kelly. Conor (Mayo, N.)||Snowden, P.||Williamson, A.|
|O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.||Soares, Ernest J.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|O'Malley. William||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|O'Mara, James||Stanger, H. Y.||Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh. N.)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Shee, James John||Steadman, W. C.||Winfrey, R.|
|Parker. James (Halifax)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Paul, Herbert||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Young, Samuel|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Perks. Robert William||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Pollard. Dr.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Whitley and Mr. J. A.|
|Price, C.E.(Edinburgh, Central)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Pease.|
|Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Sullivan, Donal|
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
said he moved the omission of Clause 2 for two reasons. First, because the clause would not attain the object in view, and would cause bad feeling; and, secondly, because it would abrogate contracts already entered into. The object of the clause was apparently to give compensation to the tenant for damage done by game which he had not the right to kill. Supposing for a moment that game was preserved in the ordinary way, and did some damage to the crops of the tenant farmers, how on earth was it going to be proved that the damage was done by partridges and pheasants, and not by rooks or pigeons? He maintained that partridges did no harm at all, and pheasants only at certain seasons, and then only if they were in excessive numbers. Moreover, how could it be proved that 420 the damage was done by the partridges and pheasants belonging to the landlord? In the case of a small estate the game often came over the border, from the land of a neighbouring landlord, and did the damage. Was it a fact that there was such an amount of damage done by excessive game preservation that it was necessary to interfere with freedom of contract as between landlord and tenant? It was perfectly well known that a tenant in taking a farm where he knew there would be a large amount of game preserved got compensation in the way of abatement of rent. But it might be said that where the amount of loss was very small, and the number of holdings very large, the tenants were were in the hands of the landlords. He believed that that was the opinion of writers in Radical newspapers. But every- 421 body knew that it was quite contrary to the fact, and is nine cases out of ten the tenant could make what terms he chose. He could say that there was too much game on the place, and he must have a reduction of rent. Therefore his interest was already safeguarded. If this change in the law was introduced, the tenant, in cases whore it could not be told whether the damage was done by rooks, pigeons, partridges, or pheasants, might go to a pettifogging lawyer, or the lawyer might come to him and he might make a claim which he could not prove. The result would be ill-feeling between the landlord and tenant. Then he objected to the words, "any agreement to the contrary shall be void." Why should the House interfere in this manner between two sane men, and say that they might not make any arrangement they liked? The relations between landlord and tenant were in a great number of counties extremely satisfactory, but those friendly relations would terminate and strained relations would be substituted if the Rill were passed. It would tend to destroy the rural life of England. One would have thought that if this Bill was to be introduced the Government would have followed the precedent of the Ground Game Act and made it not to apply to the agreements existing at the time of the passing of the Act. The Ground Game Act exempted such cases, but there was nothing in this Bill which would do that.
§ CAPTAIN CRAIG
, in seconding the Amendment, said the House found itself in the particularly objectionable position of having to discuss this particular clause on short notice. Clause 2, although the title of the Bill was the "Land Tenure Bill," was one which he thought everyone in the House would agree affected a very large question outside the question of land tenure, and one which required very much care and thought. He really sympathised with the hon. Baronet who had to father this carelessly drawn measure, and although many of them — at least speaking for himself, it was the case—certainly approved and always had approved of reasonable compensation where damage by game had been sustained, still he objected that this clause, which was loosely framed, had been thrust upon 422 them at such short notice that they had hardly had time to frame Amendments to make it reasonable. They were, therefore, face to face with it and had to debate it upon very short notice and without having proper Amendments before them. The measure principally referred to winged game and not to ground game, but in the first three lines they found such an anomaly that, although he was heartily in agreement with compensation where the damage had been done by the landlords game on a tenant's farm, it would render the working of the -Bill particularly irksome. The tenancy might be for four, five, ten, or fifteen years, and yet it was to be at once cancelled. There might be an agreement by the landlord fixing a reduction in rent, say, of 1s. per acre with no claim for damage, and yet it was to be abrogated. That was the Scottish system, which had worked well for thirty years, and which he would like to see embodied in this clause. There was no other plan so plain and simple, and no method by which this compensation could be more speedily and rapidly carried out, or could be so well understood both by landlord and tenant the Scottish system was utterly ignored by this Bill, which, it might be pointed out, applied to Scotland as well as to England. Whore they found an old custom, as in Scotland, it would be better to continue it, and certainly the case of Scotland ought to he applied to for regulations in regard to game, for there they had had more experience in regard to moors than perhaps in any other country in the world. Where they found laws in existence which had proved so satisfactory for so many years, it would be much better to re-enact them rather than to provide others.
said the hon. -Member was now dealing with how the clause might be amended and not with the Amendment to strike out the clause altogether.
§ CAPTAIN CRAIG
said he was obliged for the ruling, but it was his warm feeling against this clause which was responsible. He wished to urge that it should be left out altogether. The objections to it were that first and foremost it broke contracts, and he 423 was trying to elaborate the point that if they found a contract which Was to be in force for a number of years, they should not pass the words "any agreement to the contrary shall be void." It made an agreement entered into by men of sound common-sense, such as the tenant farmers in Scotland and their landlords, null and void. But then it was said that these two people might come forward and make another agreement. From the first to the last line, of the clause there was the greatest looseness of phraseology, and therefore he supported its omission from the Bill. He submitted that they should have some argument in support of the clause. They had indeed heard no argument from the front Government Bench in support of the Bill. When a measure was suddenly brought forward, the Opposition, small as it was, deserved courtesy. He did not, however, blame the Government for want of courtesy, but he did blame them for not giving them the opportunity to convince the House that this section was wrong.
To leave out Clause 2."—(Sir Frederick Banbury.)
§ Question proposed, "That the clause down to the word ' had,' in line 5, stand part of the Bill."
§ *SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
said the hon. Member who had moved the Amendment seemed to complain that he (Sir Edward) had not explained the clause, but it was not possible for him to do so until the hon. Gentleman had resumed his seat. The hon. Baronet had expressed himself as being unable to see the object of the clause. Its object was to prevent, excessive game preserving except where compensation was paid to the tenant. A good deal had been said t about creating bad feeling between landlord and tenant. He knew perhaps as t much about that as the hon. Baronet, He thought that the way to preserve t good feeling was to sec that the tenant got compensation where a large head of game was kept up on his land. He appealed to hon. Gentlemen who were on the Standing Committee whom this question was discussed. Many concessions were made protecting the land- 424 lords, and the clause was added to the Bill without a division and with the general assent of those who were looking after the interests of the landlords. He would also point out that in the Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, in 1893 the right of the occupier to compensation for damage to crops by game was recognised. When hon. Members recalled the fact that there were such men serving on that Royal Commission as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin, whose absence to-night they all deplored, and Mr. Chaplin, and it was clear that they thought there ought to be adequate compensation, he was surprised that the hon. Baronet should seek to strike out this clause altogether and deny to the farmer the right to claim compensation for damage done by the excessive preservation of game. He did not say that he was going to oppose unreasonably any Amendments to the clause that might be required, but he objected to striking the clause out of the Bill.
§ SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somersetshire, Wellington)
said that if his hon. friend would agree to this Amendment he would make the Bill what it called itself—a Land Tenure Bill. The hon. Gentleman who himself proposed to leave out Clause 3, one of the game clauses, knew that a great deal more damage was done to farmers by ground game than by winged game, and if the present clause were left out they would have a Land Tenure Bill and not a land tenure plus a Game Bill. A great dual had been said as to the damage done by the excessive preservation of game, but the hon. Gentlemen must know perfectly well that if the winged game did a certain amount of damage it also did a great deal of good. He would like to know from the Solicitor-General how far, if at all, wild deer would come within the four corners of the Bill. He was not speaking of the deer in Scotland, but the wild deer in the west country, where they were preserved for hunting. Their preservation brought tens of thousands of pounds into the pockets of the people of the west. Wore they to conic into the category of game for which the landlord might be sued for compensation for damage? He thought it would be very unfair to put on the small landowners of that district this great responsibility for 425 the red deer which wandered all over the country, and which no doubt did a groat deal of damage at times.
§ *VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
said that they were in a difficulty in discussing the Amendment, because although one might object to this particular clause he might not to a similar and better clause, which would actually carry out the object which the hon. Baronet had announced to be his intention in regard to it. Every one, he thought, would admit that where damage was done to farmers' crops—it was, he might observe, usually very much exaggerated—owing to the excessive preservation of game, the farmer should have compensation, but there were certain things to be taken into consideration in the matter. One ought to bear in mind that it was only the excessive preservation of game they wanted to make provision against, and it had been held in the Law Courts that a tenant farmer could get compensation for excessive damage by common law. The Government were, therefore, not doing anything new; they were only giving under statute what the farmer could now get under the common law if i he cared to apply for it. All the talk about compensation for damage done by! game consequently amounted to little, because they were simply substituting one form of procedure for getting compensation for another. If the clause only gave greater facilities to farmers to get compensation, he should support it, because he thought that would be an advantage; but it went further. It denied, as a matter of fact, that the owner had any rights whatever in the game upon the land, although in all contracts of tenancy he specially reserved to himself the sporting rights. He believed that under the common law the sporting rights in ordinary leases went with the tenancy, but in most cases the landlord reserved them and the tenant recognised that a certain proportion of game was supposed to be on the land and took into consideration any damage which might be done by it. The clause would alter that, for under it the sporting rights would mean nothing. The probability, therefore, was that the landlord would put up the rent to counterbalance the loss of his sporting rights, and if that would be to the advantage of the tenant he (the hon. Member) 426 should be surprised. Therefore, on that ground as well as because the clause did not accord with the speeches of the Minister for Agriculture, e should vote against it, hoping thus to make way for a better clause. He was in favour of compensation being given for damage by excessive game, but unfortunately they had to vote on this clause without knowing what Amendments were going to be moved and accepted.
§ *MR. NICHOLLS (Northamptonshire, N.)
said that to a large number of farmers with whom he had come in touch this was the most important part of the Bill. Although they had heard in this House a good deal about excessive preservation of game, no mention was made of it in this clause. The reason why this compensation was required by the farmers was that they had held, in many cases, their tenancies for many years. A good many of them were aged men and did not want to move. They knew not what dual ownership but dual tenantship meant. The farmers had held the land for some years, and the game preserving had gone on year after year for the benefit of the sporting tenant, and the man who had improved the land wanted some consideration. As soon as he complained of the excessive preservation of game and consequent loss to him he was told by the agent that if he did not like it he could shift, and that there were plenty of other people who would take the farm. But he did not want to leave the land which he had improved; all he wanted was reasonable protection against these imported aliens, imported not for him but for another man who rented the shooting. A good deal had been heard of the sanctity of contracts. Many farmers would like more consideration given to that point. There was not much sanctity about it. When it came to a landlord getting more for the spot ting rights than the rent he got from the farmer, if all the tenants could be moved to-morrow and new contracts made, it might be much easier to consider these dual rights, but he desired to protect the farmer during the present tenancy. On some faring he walked over recently, the tenant had been in possession for ten years. Every year the gamekeepers had been increased and yet the landlord could not afford to build better houses. He walked about among the 427 game, of which there were hundreds of head in the fields, and which were as tame as poultry. That game was not the ordinary product of the land. It had been brought there and damaged the crops, and when the tenant complained he was told it was no use complaining; he could leave if he did not like it. But every one knew that if the land was of any use there were plenty to take it after it had been improved by the tenant. He submitted that the men who were cultivating the land were entitled to consideration in this matter; they must protect the present tenant.
§ MR. HICKS BEACH
said that although the hon. Member and himself were agreed in a great many things, there were some points in the hon. Member's speech to which he must take exception. The hon. Member had alluded to the excessive preservation of game, and then in almost the same breath had said that if a man left his farm there were plenty of people ready to take it under the same conditions. That would appear to show that the conditions were not very onerous. He therefore failed to see where the hardship came in. Mr. Nicholls said that the hardship came in when the tenant had improved his farm. After ten years hard work, other men were ready to take it and reap the reward of his labour. His capital and labour had increased its value, and he should he considered. Mr. Hicks Beach said that with regard to the Amendment before the House, he wished to say he was in hearty sympathy with the proposal to give compensation for damage caused by the excessive preservation of game, and he frankly admitted that during the discussions in the Committee a great many of the points for the Opposition were met by Amendments, which, strange to say, were accepted or introduced by the hon. Baronet representing the Government. This clause was three times as long as the original clause, which went to prove that the arguments adduced by the Conservative members of the Committee had considerable weight. He, however, did not agree with it in its present form. In his opinion it was capable of great amendment. He had, in order to draw attention to this point, put down an Amendment on the Paper. When a man took a farm, in ninety-nine cases out 428 of a hundred he went over the farm and asked people who knew it what was the ordinary amount of game raised upon it and the amount of damage clone by the game. He himself was rather sceptical about the amount of the damage clone by game on the farm. A flock of pigeons would do far more harm in one day than 1,000 pheasants in a month, because pheasants were artificially fed by the keepers and pigeons had to seek their own living. In addition to that, pheasants did a considerable amount of good by consuming large quantities of insects, and particularly wire worm, which in some put of the country was very prevalent and a most obnoxious pest. He had drawn attention to this because, when a tenant took a farm, he offered a rent which he thought was commensurate to the return he could obtain from the soil, and in that offer he also took into account the amount of damage done by the game living on the soil. He ought, however, to receive compensation if he could prove the amount of damage done to be excessive owing to excessive preservation. If the Solicitor-General would give some assurance that In? would favourably consider the Amendment on the Paper to omit the word "any" after "damage" he (Mr. Hick? Beach) would not support the rejection of the clause. Upon that understanding and upon an assurance that an Amendment to be moved by the hon. Member for Barkston Ash, that not the landlord in every case should be liable for damage done by game but the person in whom the sporting rights were vested, would be accepted, he was prepared to vote against this Amendment. He hoped also that the House would receive some definite answer to the question raised by the right hon. Baronet the Member for West Somerset, as to whether the damage done by deer was included in the clause. That was a very important point to people who lived in the west country.
§ *MR. COCHRANE
asked for an interpretation of the two sections of the clause. He pointed out that the first section said that the tenant should be entitled to compensation for damage and that any contract to the contrary should be null and void, whilst the second said it should be the subject of an agreement. There appeared to 429 be some contradiction in terms which should be cleared up. Where an excessive amount of game was pro-served, it was only fair and right that the man on whose land they fed should have compensation. Bat when he read this clause and compared it with the state of things that obtained in the more favoured country which he represented, he found that, if this passed, instead of putting the landlord and tenant into a better position it would have the opposite effect. The amount of damage done by game was surely better fixed by agreement than in any oilier way. They did not want to drag men on friendly terms into these arbitrators' Courts. It was far better that a friendly arrangement between landlord and tenant should exist than that this question should be fought out at the point of the bayonet. He found by the schedule that this Bill repealed the beneficent law which had been in operation in Scotland since 1877, and under which the landlord might make an agreement which would cover the damage caused by game. In default of an agreement the small sum of 40s. was deemed to be the amount of the damage the tenant would sustain, and if damage to a greater extent than 40s. was done the tenant was entitled to be compensated. He appealed to the Government, at any rate, to leave Scotland where she was in this matter, because there they had always been able since 1877 to manage these affairs in a friendly fashion, and he hoped the Government would not mix Scotland up in this matter with this more benighted country.
§ *SIR. WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
said he desired to raise a point in regard to those landlords who made no reservation of sporting rights, namely, the colleges of the Universities who for the most part were accustomed to let their land without reserving the sporting rights. He said, supposing the tenant on such lands let the sporting rights to a shooting tenant he then ceased to have the lawful right to kill the game. The shooting tenant then raised a quantity of game, which damaged the tenants' corn. The tenant could then come to the landlord for compensation for damage caused by the preservation of game over which he had no control whatever, and the landlord would have 430 to go to the shooting tenant to recover an indemnity for the compensation for which he was liable through no cause of his own. This appeared to have escaped the notice of the farmers of the Bill. They had not considered the case of the tenant who had shooting rights, who let them, and then came down on the landlord with a claim for damage.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
said he did not wish to speak at any great length on the questions put before him. So far as he understood, hon. Members on both sides of the House were agreed on the principle of the clause. A tenant who at the commencement of his tenancy had the right to kill the game would not come under this section at all, because this clause was intended to compensate those tenants who had not the right to kill the game. The smaller points of detail could be dealt with better as each phrase was reached. He thought it would be desirable to insert some definition of game in the Bill. It had been asked whether it was fair that a small landlord should be called upon to pay for damage done by deer that came a great distance. Damage was already done by deer, and it was generally amply and generously made up by the hunt. If the tenant received a right of obtaining redress from the landlord he would probably still go on making an arrangement with the hunt, and if he exercised the right it would only mean that the landlord would have to adjust the matter with the hunt in his stead.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said his objection to voting against this clause was that he was entirely of opinion that the excessive preservation of game was a matter for which the tenant should receive compensation. He was reluctant to vote against a clause which dealt with that subject. He was bound, however, to say that he thought the clause required amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the hon. and learned Gentleman had made a statement which he cordially welcomed. If he admitted that the drafting of the Bill might cause a difficulty, and if he 431 was prepared with a remedy, he hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would consider the words which ought to be applied to secure that remedy. His right hon. friend the Member for Somersetshire had raised a point which was a burning question in the west country, and he did not think that the answer of the hon. and learned Gentleman would give much satisfaction. On the question as to whether they on that side of the House should support the Amendment of his hon. friend the Member for the City of London, his objection to voting against the clause was that he was entirely of the opinion expressed by many of his hon. friends and supporters that the excessive preservation of game was a matter for which the tenants should receive compensation. It was for that reason that he was reluctant to vote against the clause which dealt with that subject. He was bound, however, to say that he thought the clause required amendment. If he read the clause aright, it would be quite impossible for any tenant to make such an arrangement with his landlord as would put into his pocket a great deal more by way of reduction of rent than he would lose by the game. If he understood the clause rightly, it might be an arrangement by which he would lose in damages £25, and receive in compensation £50.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that if it was good business for the tenant, why not let the tenant have it? The clause actually forbad the tenant to make any such arrangement. Was the House really going to lay down the proposition and solemnly enact it that no bargain, however favourable to the tenant, if connected with game at all, was to be a kind of bargain into which he was to be at liberty to enter? That seemed to him to be an unwarrantable interference with the liberty of 432 contract, in contradiction to common sense and common judgment. In the mean time while pointing out this particular difficulty to the House, which was the most formidable that had been raised he did not think it would be in accordance with the views of his friends on that side of the House to vote against the clause He therefore suggested to his hon. friend, that he should not press his Amendment, to a division, but when they came to discuss the words of the clause the particular difficulties with which he had attempted to deal must be met by specific Amendments.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that he was very pleased to accept the suggestion of his right hon. friend, he did not introduce the Amendment because he had any sympathy with the excessive preservation of game, but because he held the objection so clearly raised by the right hon. Gentleman that this clause interfered with the sanctity of contract or bargains entered into between landlord and tenant.
LORD K. CECIL (Marlebone, E.)
did not think the right hon. Member for Oxford University apprehended the difficulties to which this clause gave rise. The clause said—Where the tenant has sustained any damage from game which he has not the lawful right to kill,he should obtain compensation. Those words were absolute. It seemed to him that if a qualification were inserted which said that the tenant, hail deprived himself of the right to kill game, the clause would be destroyed altogether. He ventured to ask the Solicitor-General what kind of words he would put in to make any reality of the clause at all.
§ Amendment by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON
said that he proposed to move the Amendment 433 standing in the name of his hon. friend the Member for Ayr Burghs, viz,, to insert after the word "tenant" the words "under any contract of tenancy made after the passing of this Act." The House would see that that would safeguard contracts already made. He really believed that in the general sense of the House it was desirable, to preserve the sanctity of contracts, unless those contracts were directly opposed to public-policy or to the general interests of the community. The alteration of the (lame Laws was a very serious question. The Ground Game Act of 1880 was defended on the ground that by it the Government were not going to alter any existing contract, and under Clause 5 of that Act such contracts were expressly safeguarded. This Bill should also, he thought, give effect to existing contracts. He could understand the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill taking the objection that the majority of leases were from year to year, and as the operation of this Bill was to be postponed for a year there was no sense in their agreeing to an Amendment of this sort. To that he would agree if Scotland were excluded, because there they had a totally different system of long leases, say for nineteen, twenty and twenty-one years, which had worked very well. The English tenant was going to be put in a better position than he now was in, but the Scottish tenant did not wish his position to be changed, by which any extraordinary damage by game was recoverable from the owner of the gaming rights. All ordinary damage was contemplated in the lease, and if a man took land adjourning coverts he knew that he was likely to have game running into his fields and it was taken into consideration. But if in one year a man raised an extraordinary head of game the tenant could recover compensation. He said that the case for the introduction of some such words as these was irrefragible.
In page 2, line 5, af for the word 'tenant' to insert the words 'under any contract of tenancy made after the passing of this Act."— (Mr. Mitchell -Thomson.)
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ *THE CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. LAMBERT, Devonshire, South Molton)
said the Amendment would destroy the basis of all our existing agricultural legislation. The Agricultural Holdings Act of 1883 and 1900 were compulsory as regarded the landlord. They overrode existing contracts. This Bill followed the same course. The tenant in possession of a farm now was to be entitled to the same privileges as the tenant who came into possession a year hence. It was the met who held farms to-day who required protection. The Government in this Bill wore giving the minimum amount of protection and of compensation to the farmers for damage caused by game which they had not the lawful right to kill. He was sure that no genuine sportsman would be guilty of the meanness of wishing that he should enjoy sport at the expense of the poor tenant fanner.
§ *MR. COCHRANE
pointed out the advantages of the nineteen years' leasehold system in Scotland, where the custom usually was for the landlord to give a reduction of rent to the farmer equivalent to the amount of damage caused by the game. The interest of the landlord was to keep a good tenant, not to get rid of him. A landlord had this friendly arrangement with a tenant by which the latter benefited to a considerable extent by having a reduction of rent generally more than equivalent to any damage that might be done to his crops by game; yet, under this Bill, such an agreement was to be null and void, although the farmer might receive his reduction, and at the same time might; go before the arbitrator and make 435 claim for the damage done by the game. If agricultural questions were to be approached in such a one-sided way the Government would be dealing the industry a severe blow.
§ MR. ABEL SMITH
said everyone who represented a Scottish constituency would agree that the present system between landlord and tenant in Scotland was perfectly satisfactory, and he could see no real reason for disturbing it. The proposal of the Government to interfere with the arrangement seemed to him to be mischievous and meddlesome. He would like to sec the friendly arrangement which existed in Scotland extended to this country.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
said the Civil Lord of the Admiralty must think landlords very big tools if he imagined that under this Bill they could enter into an agreement with their tenants in the way suggested. Some hon. Members seemed to think that the landlord did his best to put every difficulty in the way of the tenant, whereas absolutely the reverse was the case. Under this Bill the friendly feeling between landlord and tenant would be interfered with.
§ MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S.E.)
said he should like to ask the Lord-Advocate a question. This section said that any agreement should be null and void. How would that be the ease in the event of a landlord by agreement allowing his tenant a reduction of £50 for damage done bv game? Would the landlord be enabled to withhold the reduction he had promised?
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY
asked whether the Civil Lord of the Admiralty really thought that contracts deliberately made could be broken on one side only? If the tenant were free to break a contract the landlord would feel compelled to put an end to any arrangement under which he had 436 perhaps made a considerable rebatement to the tenant.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
said that it would be seen in Clause 2 that where the tenant had sustained damage he was to be entitled to compensation, and any agreement to the contrary was to be void. But such an agreement us that cited by the hon. Member was not an "agreement to the contrary." An agreement to fix the damage was a perfectly legitimate agreement.
§ *LORD HELMSLEY
said he did not think the Solicitor-General had appreciated the real point. The question was whether it was generally not an agreement, but a tacit understanding, that was arrived at between the landlord and tenant. A field likely to be visited by game would be let, say, for 12s. an acre instead of 20s. The tenant having got the field at 8s. reduction to allow for damage, could he afterwards claim for compensation as well?
§ MR. J. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
as representing perhaps the largest agricultural constituency — fifty miles square—stated that such an allowance being made at the beginning of the lease was quite unknown in Scotland. Whenever a farm became vacant there were ten or twelve men after it, and the factor generally let them bid against each other so that the tenant fixed his own rent. The small farms having been thrown into big ones, there were now more farmers than farms.
And, it being Eleven of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed To-morrow.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Resolution of the House of the 4th August last.
§ Adjourned at one minute after Eleven o'clock.