HC Deb 15 April 1907 vol 172 cc631-87

, in moving a Motion for the termination of the proceedings upon the Business of the House (Procedure), said he did not imagine that in any part of the House his action in putting down this Motion could have created surprise. One or two alterations in the Rules of Procedure had been introduced to expedite business, to facilitate legislation, to secure the better consideration of measures submitted to the House, and altogether to give better facilities and a better chance for the reforms which hon. Members desired. Everyone knew that i the elements and possibilities which tended to hinder legislation were very great in that House, and perhaps a great many of those elements were not without their uses. The Government, how-ever, were strongly of opinion that they were tremendous, and Members desired to have some change in the Rules in order to improve the character of the House as a legislative assembly. The Government proposed its first Rule. During the first three days of the consideration of the new Standing Order sixteen hours were spent upon it, and the progress made amounted to eight lines; and on Thursday last the whole day of seven hours was occupied and not one line or word was passed. The particular part of the Rule now under consideration was that which laid down certain exceptions to the Bills which were to go automatically to a Standing Committee. Hon. Members had put down a series of almost indiscriminate exceptions which really destroyed the main principle and intention of the clause. He had stated quite plainly that the idea of the Government was that, with the single exception of Money Bills, no measure should be excluded from the operation of the Order, but that it was not their intention to send out of the House Bills of a high Party character—great controversial measures. They did not see any advantage in attempting a definition, and, if the House were to go over all the subjects which individual Members might desire to see excluded from the Order, they might sit there almost indefinitely and never come to an end of the matter. In these circumstances, he had expected that hon. Members would not proceed with the Amendments of which they had given notice for adding to the number of excepted Bills, but they had done so, the Amendments being rejected by huge majorities. It became almost farcical to proceed with the Rule under this fire of Amendments—Amendments which, if carried, would have the effect of destroying the Rule. The Government offered an additional day for the consideration of the Rules, and he expected an arrangement would have been come to for the convenience of Members, the fact being recognised that a Rule supported as this Rule had been ought to pass. But that was refused. The Government thought the time had now come when they might have recourse to such a Motion as he had placed on the Paper. In moving a guillotine Resolution he could not do otherwise in a certain sense than apologise for it. He recognised that it was a rough, uncouth, and, in many respects, unfair way of forcing business forward. But there was no better instrument available. He hoped there would be a general agreement in favour of some day setting up a Committee of Business to which such a matter as this could be referred. He begged to move.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the proceedings on the Motions with respect to Business of the House (Procedure) shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion on Tuesday, the 16th day of April, in the following manner, and subject to the following provisions:—1. At 10 p. m. on that day, Mr. Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Amendment or other Motion already proposed from the Chair, and shall next proceed successively to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments or other Motions moved by the Government of which notice has been given (but on no other Amendment or Motion), and on any other Question necessary to dispose of the proceedings to be concluded; 2. On that day the proceedings to which this Order relates shall not be interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to the Sittings of the House; 3. On that day no dilatory Motion, nor Motion for Adjournment under Standing Order No. 10, shall be received unless moved by a Minister of the Crown, and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith without debate; 4. Any opposed Private Business which has been set down for consideration on that day shall stand adjourned without Question put until such other day as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine."—(Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman.)

MR. A. J. BALFOUE (City of London)

said the right hon. Gentleman, in I the very brief explanation he had given of his policy, on this occasion had stated, and with perfect truth, that he made the Motion with reluctance. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman was sincere in expressing reluctance to make the Motion before the House, but he considered the justification which the right hon. Gentleman had offered to be of the most meagre and jejune description. Never before had it been suggested that Rules modifying the traditional methods of procedure should be forced through the House by means of closure by compartment. When the modification of the Rules was under consideration in 1902 no less than 17 days were occupied in discussing them—


How many Rules?


said he would come to that in a moment. The debate on the Rules in 1902 lasted seventeen days. But inconvenient as that expenditure of time necessarily was to the Government of the day, it never occurred to them that they could possibly bring the discussion to an end by the forcible means of closure by compartments. The right hon. Gentleman interjected across the floor of the House, "How many Rules?" It was perfectly true, as he implied, that the number of Rules discussed in 1902 was larger than the number proposed to be discussed now But the right hon. Gentleman was only going to give them five days for their discussion. He noticed with surprise that the right hon. Gentleman himself appeared greatly to underestimate the complexity as well as the importance of the proposals which he had made to the House. It might be true, and he was bound to admit that it was true, that the proposals of 1902 were somewhat more complex than those which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to carry through by ten o'clock on Tuesday. But these proposals were not, as anyone who listened to the Prime Minister's speech would suppose, confined to the question of the Committee stage upstairs. They included some other propositions of most far-reaching importance, on which the right hon. Gentleman had not so far said a word. What was his alleged justification for the absolutely unprecedented course which he was asking the House to pursue? It was that they had reached a stage of the discussion when hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House had the audacity to propose additions to the regulations which the right hon. Gentleman himself had made with regard to the Bills it was proposed to send upstairs. It might be that he thought some of their Amendments would destroy the efficacy of his Rule, and the right hon. Gentleman might perhaps make out a good case for that. But could any human being make out a case that to exclude from the provisions of this Rule Bills which effected great changes m the Constitution of the country would be to make exceptions of a kind which would destroy the efficacy of the Rule? It was preposterous to say so. The truth was that the right hon. Gentleman had greatly added to the difficulty of his task by using very ambiguous and obscure language with regard to these exceptions. He had told them that afternoon, and on previous occasions, that the procedure which he intended to substitute for the traditional procedure of the House would give a better chance of discussing all Bills, and improve the legislative machinery, of the House. If that was really true, why was he going to except all Money Bills, Budget Bills and substantially all first-class Government measures from the purview of the Rule? Were they measures which ought to be imperfectly discussed? Were they measures to which it was improper to apply this improved machinery? No; everybody knew that the machinery was not an improvement. The whole action and policy of the Government showed that they did not think it even an improvement, but that it was absolutely necessary, or at any rate highly desirable, to enable the House to get through more work in the course of the session. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] Yes; but they could not have it both ways. Let the right hon. Gentleman be perfectly frank with the House and consistent with his own policy; let him admit that it was a misfortune to have to send Bills upstairs, but that it was a misfortune which they had to submit to if they were to do the whole of the legislative work he desired to see accomplished. The right hon. Gentleman was so fond of his Rule that he advanced in favour of it an argument which his own policy showed to be impossible and inconsistent with his scheme. It was because the right hon. Gentleman had held ambiguous and inconsistent language on this point that he had encouraged the Opposition to endeavour to increase the list of exceptions which he himself admitted ought to exist with regard to the general scope of his proposals. He said, then, that the Government had made their position with regard to this Rule more difficult by the fact that they had not held consistent language or unambiguous language in regard to the measures which were to be excepted. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, both in Committee upstairs and in his place in the House, had indicated his view very clearly; he did not believe that measures ought to be sent upstairs in the wholesale manner proposed by the Prime Minister. They did not know in the least what the Prime Minister meant to do with regard to the only Government measure which was at present in process of being discussed on Second Reading. They did not know what he meant to do about the Army Bill, and about other Bills promised, but which so far had not yet been read even a first time, or, as far as they had any reason to believe, got through the hands of the Government draftsmen. But he had a more serious complaint to make. The right hon. Gentleman, he thought, had not understood or grasped the number of important questions which must be decided by the House before these Rules were passed. The right hon. Gentleman had actually, as he understood him, laid down the policy that as soon as the Government had declared that they intended to adhere to a particular line, as soon as they had laid down the scope of their own policy, then it became an impertinent waste of time for any Member of the Opposition to be sufficiently audacious to suggest the smallest change in the proposals laid down by the fiat of an omnipotent Government. It was perfectly true that the Government were omnipotent; it was perfectly true that, they could force through these proposals in any shape they chose, however absurd or unworkable; but he had yet to learn that it was part of their duty to bow in humble submission to these exhibitions of arbitrary temper, or to withdraw their Amendments once the Government had announced officially that they did not mean to accept either those Amendments or any others of similar importance. No Opposition had ever accepted that rôle. The Opposition which the right hon. Gentleman led for many years with so much courage had never accepted it; he would be the last person to accept it, and the first to regard them as utterly unworthy of the functions thrown upon them if they obeyed the principle which he had laid down. Let him ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he had clearly grasped the magnitude of the proposals which were still to be discussed before ten o'clock the following night—if this Rule was to be passed by ten o'clock the following night, he would not say discussed. In the first place, there was a question to which the Government ought to give more thought than they had done up to the present, and that was the publicity to be given to these Grand Committees. They had to consider whether eighty or ninety gentlemen were to exercise their immense powers and privileges in private, unknown to the public, and under the conditions which used to prevail in the bad old times before Parliamentary proceedings were reported. Another question of importance was whether these Grand Committees were to sit when the Whole House was sitting, and whether that would not throw an impossible burden upon the House as well as upon members of the Government. And then there was the important question of separatist and particularist Grand Committees for Wales and Scotland. It would be quite out of order if he were to discuss that proposal, the magnitude of which surely could not escape the attention of any Member of the House. They touched very nearly upon questions to which he would not now more closely refer; but one aspect of the matter he must deal with. What machinery were the Government proposing for deciding whether a Bill was Scottish or Welsh? Was it a small matter to ask Mr. Speaker to decide whether a Bill for the disestablishment of the Church in Wales was purely a Welsh Bill or not? It would be disastrous to hurry through before 10 o'clock the following day a discussion involving matters of this kind without hearing a word from the Government as to their policy. Was it a small matter that they were relieving the Chairman of Commit- tees of his work in connection with the Committee stage of Bills in that House, and throwing that onerous duty on Mr. Speaker? That was a most serious proposal, and it required full discussion. He did not think that closure by compartments had ever before been suggested by any Minister on any subject where the House ought to have had a freer and a fuller opportunity for debate, and where less justification for the course being taken had been given. He thought the Prime Minister's method of dealing with the matter had been unfortunate. He had told the House he was going to make one concession to the Opposition by conceding the same freedom of discussion on the Report stage as they now possessed on the Committee stage of a Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had not kept his promise in that matter. His statement was clear and explicit, and it was understood in the same sense on both sides of the House. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy understood it exactly as they understood it, and he got up and protested against it; in fact, he took occasion to strain the rules of order in order to make a protest against what he understood was the Prime Minister's promise. The Prime Minister sat and listened to the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy without suggesting that he had made a mistake, and it never occurred to anybody that the hon. Member had made a mistake. But upon looking at the Paper they found that the Prime Minister had translated that undertaking into language which broke the promise in every particular. If the Minister in charge of a Bill made a promise on one night and broke it on the next, the progress of public business was not likely to be facilitated; and, therefore, in one sense it might be fortunate for the Prime Minister that he had asked the House to continue this discussion under the fetters of a gag Resolution. They were, for the first time, asked to discuss, under guillotine proposals, revolutionary, and possibly beneficial, changes in the principles underlying the management of their business, although there had been no abuse of the Rules, and although the Opposition in opposing those changes had not exceeded what a minority ought to do, or what every minority, including that led by the Prime Minister, had in Parliamentary history invariably done.

*MR. ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

said he rose not to follow the right hon. Gentleman over the whole ground which he had covered, but to deal with his allusion to 1902, and to mention a few facts connected with what happened in 1902, when certain alterations were made in the Rules of Procedure by the then Prime Minister. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, speaking in the debate the other evening, said that in 1902 the present Leader of the Opposition gave seventeen days, and it was now proposed to give only five days, and he exclaimed: "What an enormous disparity!" What were the proposals of 1902? Evidently the Leader of the Opposition felt that he was on rather tender ground, because he admitted that the proposals of 1902 were different from those now under consideration. It was quite obvious that in this matter there was between the two sides of the House a great gulf fixed. In 1904 the Leader of the Opposition told his followers that he did not mean to trouble them with much legislation, but the present Government meant to legislate, and that was the difference between them.


I never said anything of the kind.


said that if the right hon. Gentleman doubted his assertion he could give the words and when they were spoken. The proposals which I the right hon. Gentleman in 1902 placed I before the House occupied a good many pages of foolscap and dealt with twenty-four Rules of Procedure. It was quite true that they had seventeen days to discuss them, but there would have been no need to occupy that period if the debates had been conducted in a Parliamentary manner. Those rules were brought forward, then postponed, and afterwards brought up again, and they never knew where they were from one night to another. The present Standing Order Book showed that one of the orders at present stood without any ending at all; as the right hon. Gentleman once said, "It remained a torso;" and that was an illustration of the manner in which the whole thing was conducted and left. He was almost amazed at the right hon. Gentleman's effrontery. He did not use the word discourteously, but it amounted to that. The changes proposed in 1902 ranged over the Order of Debate, punitive proposals of a drastic character, the power of the Speaker to adjourn the House, sittings of the House, priority of business, private business, Standing Committees, Committee of Supply, proceedings on Report, the introduction of Bills and First Readings, the Second and Third Readings of Bills, withdrawal of clauses, money Resolutions.


Surely all those matters were not discussed in the seventeen days?


said he was going to state what they did in the seventeen days. Those were the subjects dealt with by the proposals placed before the House by the late Prime Minister. The House dealt with a large number of those matters; some were agreed to, and some were adjourned, but they all involved, discussion. Everyone was interlinked with the others, and they could hardly discuss propositions of that kind in the House without dovetailing one into another; that was to say, without referring to matters which were not specifically before the House at the moment. His proposition was that five days gave a superabundance of time for what the Prime Minister now proposed as compared with seventeen days for the matters he had detailed to the House. Moreover, the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman in 1902 did not come before the House after the labours of a Committee who had, as in this case, carried the proposals by considerable majorities. The right hon. Gentleman's proposals came of his own will, out of his own head. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, in regard to the time allowed for the discussion of the proposals now before the House would not hold water. There was no more Conservative Member of the House than himself in regard to Parliamentary procedure. He had been reluctantly driven to the conclusion that if the House was going to transact its business they must put in force the principle of the Committee of 1886—devolution. Hon. Members would find that there was much more reason for some of the Standing Orders now proposed than they might be inclined to think at first glance. However that might be, he was perfectly satisfied that, if Liberals meant to legislate and to do the reasonable work of the nation — he was not referring to the promises some people had made—they must delegate to and devolve on those Standing Committees a large number of Bills.

*MR. ABEL SMITH (Hertfordshire, Hertford)

said that if the proposals brought forward by the Leader of the; Opposition in 1902 were discussed for seventeen days, surely the proposals made by the Prime Minister should have more than two or three days discussion. He thought the Motion now before the House was calculated to cause surprise. On Thursday last the Prime Minister made the extraordinary state merit that the Government had made up their minds that the Amendments of which notice had been given were not to be accepted, and that it was a misuse of Parliamentary time to move or to discuss any further Amendments. That was a delightful theory. Was that to be the system which was to prevail in the House in future? It seemed to him that it would make all discussion practically a farce. It would have the effect of making it perfectly superfluous to have discussion either in Committee of the Whole House or in the Grand Committees. It would be a very simple process. The Minister responsible for a Bill, or a proposal before the House, would get up at an early stage of the proceedings and say that the Government had determined that they could not accept any Amendment whatever, and that therefore the discussion might as well come to an end at once. When the Prime Minister made the extraordinary statement to which he had referred the Amendment under discussion was that Bills relating to the Army should be discussed in Committee of the Whole House. That was a substantial Amendment and deserved a good deal of discussion. The House had important constitutional responsibilities with regard to the maintenance and discipline of the Army. The scheme of the Government was to send all Bills upstairs with certain exceptions. He maintained that the Government gave away their case by the exceptions they had already admitted. If the principle contained in the new Rules was a good one, it ought to be applied to all the business of the House.


The hon. Member is not now discussing the Motion before the House. He is now discussing the procedure under the Resolution.


said he bowed to the ruling and would reserve his remarks on the point for a future occasion. He thought that the Motion before the House, looking to the character of the Amendments which they would be prevented from discussing, was a high-handed proposal on the part of the Government. The time allowed for the discussion of the new Procedure Rules was wholly inadequate.

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

said it could not be denied that the Prime Minister had justified the course which he had been obliged to adopt with, he was sure, great reluctance. Every section of the House suffered very materially from what had taken place. Those who had heard the dilatory Amendments which had been moved, and the dilatory talk of those who had moved them, could only come to the conclusion that the deliberate object of hon. Members opposite was merely to waste the time of the House. The Scottish Members would suffer most from the arrangement now proposed, and he suggested that, instead of the guillotine Motion applying in toto, as proposed, time should be apportioned to each Standing Order, so that at least the Scottish case, which was a most important matter, would not be disposed of without being discussed. No question of such magnitude, so far as Parliamentary procedure was concerned, had been before Scotland in the present generation. Mr. Gladstone, speaking in that House in 1888 on the Rules of Procedure, said— I confess I am one of those who during the eight years I have been a Scottish Member—the last capacity in which I am likely to sit in this House—I mean the latest in point of time—I admit that I have felt the greatest difficulty before my assembled constituents in excusing myself and the House of Commons with reference to the handling of Scottish Business. I do not know what the experience of the hon. Member opposite has been; but I have excercised such ingenuity as either nature or practice has given me to make a decent and presentable apology to lay before the people of Scotland for the manner in which their Business—I will not say has been transacted—but let alone. He strongly appealed to the Government to allow the Scottish representatives time to discuss this most important subject affecting the interests of Scotland.

SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

said there was one point on which he agreed with the hon. Member for North Aberdeen, and that was as to the extreme importance of the proposals in regard to Scotland. He thought that it was little short of a Parliamentary scandal that those proposals, on which the opinions of the people of Scotland were diametrically opposed, might be passed without discussion. Under the Motion made by the Prime Minister for a time limit for discussing the new Rules of Procedure, it might be that those which were to apply to Scotland would be entirely pushed aside and carried absolutely sub silentio. Was that a method which ought to be approved by Scottish Members? Was that a proof of the great importance which they considered should be attached to proposals relating to legislation for Scotland? On the Notice Paper that day, there were from sixteen to eighteen Amendments put down against the proposals by supporters of the right hon. Gentleman. The Amendments put down by Members on the Opposition side of the House required adequate discussion, but they were not so numerous and they did not raise questions so important as those suggested from the Government side. In the Parliament of 1894–5 a somewhat similar proposal was brought forward by Sir George Trevelyan, who was then Secretary for Scotland; it, however, was to be only a Sessional, not a Standing Order; but under that proposal only very exceptional Bills were to be referred to a Scottish Standing Committee, and then by express Resolution, and not automatically. In the session of 1894 the discussion on that one Resolution occupied five days, although it was not nearly so important, or drastic, or intended fundamentally to interfere with the Parliamentary rights of Scotland. That Sessional Order was dropped in 1894. It was in 1895 renewed after two days discussion, and only in regard to a single Bill—the Scottish Local Government Bill. But that Bill was framed almost exactly on the same lines as the English Bill which occupied forty-two days of the time of Parliament in discussion, and there was every reason why the Scottish Bill should be discussed with no undue prolongation of debate. He did not think that any Scottish Member would say that the time was wasted in either of those years. It was to be rememberer that the Amendments to the proposed Rules were to be guillotined at ten o'clock, and therefore they might be subsequently passed sub silentio.

SIR J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)

thought that the proposal made by the Prime Minister was generally approved by the people of Scotland. What they wanted in Scotland above all was a business way of carrying through the business of the country.


said that the hon. Member was anticipating discussion which might arise at a later stage. He must confine himself to the Motion now before the House.


said that all he wanted to submit was that he thought the feeling of the Scottish nation was well represented by the proposal now before the House.


said that this was clearly a case of chickens coming home to roost. Or, to put it in another way, the reckless I.O.U.'s which the present Government distributed during the general election were now coming in, and a demand was being made for them to be paid. He maintained that to press through these new Rules of Procedure, which were of immense moment, in the short space of time allotted was nothing short of an abuse of the Rules of the House. The comparison between the seventeen days allowed in 1902 by the late Prime Minister for discussion of the new Rules then proposed and the beggarly five days now to be given was very striking. The right hon. Member for Rushcliffe had admitted that the alterations made in 1902 were not greater or more important than those now proposed. Moreover, when, in 1902, seventeen days were given for discussion, there was no guillotine. If the present Government had pursued the same course as the Government of 1902, the matter would have come to a conclusion at a proper time. The Members on the Opposition side of the House had no desire to delay business, but they did not want to have their mouths closed by the gag and the guillotine.

SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)

said that the right hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division had advanced two reasons for adopting this Resolution: first, that although it was true that the debates in 1902 had occupied seventeen days, the number of alterations was really very much larger than that now proposed; and secondly, that, though he regretted it very much, the Government had come to the conclusion that in order to facilitate the business of the House somothing of the sort was necessary. The right hon. Gentleman had added that the late Prime Minister had at one time stated that he was not desirous of passing legislation, whereas the present Government were desirous of legislation. It was quite true that the number of alterations in the Rules was in 1902 greater than was now proposed; but they could not always count the importance of alterations by numbers. For instance, one was that the House should meet at two o'clock instead of at three; another, that there should be a dinner hour from half-past seven to nine; and a third, that private Members' Bills should be taken on Fridays instead of on Wednesdays. All those alterations were made for the convenience of the House; but the Prime Minister was proposing alterations which limited the immemorial practice of having free discussion on the floor of the House. He was sure that the right hon. Gentleman did not in his innermost heart believe in his own case. The next defence advanced was that in order to facilitate legislation something of this sort must be done. They had had three days and not five days as some hon. Members said, and at the end of those three days the right hon. Gentleman announced his intention of moving a guillotine Resolution. At any rate he might, like the late Government, have waited till the end of the seventeenth day before he did anything so startling. They were to be prevented from discussing Amendments, a restriction which was not necessary, as the debates up to that point had not been of a dilatory nature. After ten o'clock all Amendments were to be ruled out of order and not even put from the Chair, with the excep- tion of Amendments proposed by the Government. That was to be done by trampling upon the rights of discussion and on the rights of the minority, on the ground that it was necessary to facilitate business. He would like with the permission of the House to read some pertinent remarks from a speech of the late Sir William Harcourt which seemed apposite to the present case. Speaking on 7th February, 1902, the right hon. Gentleman said— May I say one word upon a question to which I do not know that any particular rule applies, but upon which a great deal has been said, and which inspires, I think, a good deal of these changes, and that is the intolerance of debate and discussion in this House? I believe that that is founded upon a complete misconception of the function of the House of Commons. I have often heard Mr. Disraeli speak in private on this subject. He said—'I wonder whether those Gentlemen know what the etymological derivation of the word Parliament is? Parliament means a body that talks and discusses. It is not a mere voting machine.' Those who remember Mr. Disraeli will recollect his attitude in this House as the most patient of listeners. He said to me—'I have never understood any subject really until I have heard it well debated in Parliament'—not by ten minutes speaking. We are asked, 'Why do not you conduct yourselves like, business men? Why do not you behave as if you were a meeting of shareholders or a vestry meeting?' We do not, because we are not a meeting of shareholders, because we are not a vestry meeting, but because we are the great Parliament of England, and really these miserable conceptions of the way in which Parliament ought to conduct its business, make me almost despair of the House of Commons managing to appreciate the duties it has to perform. I remember Mr. Disraeli also saying—'I have very often learned more from a bore who understood the subject than from the most brilliant speaker in the House of Commons.' He (Sir F. Banbury), commended these words to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite and regretted that there was only one Cabinet Minister in his place on that the most momentous occasion that had occurred for the last fifteen years. So little did the Government regard the rights of the House in the discussion of a legitimate matter that, having brought down these guillotine Resolutions an hour ago, they had not the courtesy to stay and listen to what might be said against them. That was an insult to the House of Commons.

MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E. R., Holderness)

wished to add his protest against these Rules which the Prime Minister had described as being of the utmost importance, being hurried through. He could only re-echo the words of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, when he said that the condition of the Front Government Bench was an insult to the House of Commons. Up to the present time any tampering with the Rules of the House had always been looked upon as a non-Party question. The Government, however, had now made it a Party affair. The proposed alterations created a revolution in the House, and ought not to be passed without full discussion being allowed. The Prime Minister's speech gave no adequate reason for the introduction of the Resolution under discussion. The right hon. Gentleman could not even get up and say that there had been obstructive speeches from the Opposition benches. It had been pointed out that when the late Government brought in their new rules, they allowed the House to discuss them day in and day out for some seventeen days, and what happened at the finish? The right hon. Gentleman would remember what happened at the finish, because if he remembered aright the right hon. Gentleman took considerable part in those debates and some of his speeches might be considered to be of an obstructive character. But at the end of seventeen days the late Government, because they found that, owing to the obstruction of hon. Gentlemen opposite, it was impossible to carry the proposed Rules, gave up the task in despair; they left them in the middle of a sentence, and that sentence had never been completed. On Thursday last they came down to the House perfectly prepared to consider the Rules at any length at which the Prime Minister wished to consider them, They were prepared to sit up with him all night and to have a free and fair discussion. The prospect of an all-night sitting, however, rather frightened the Prime Minister, and so he sent them all off to bed and brought forward this closure Resolution. Thus at the conclusion of four days the Rules were to be forced down their throats whether they liked them or not. And that was by a Government which came into office in favour of free speech and the rights of private Members. Well might the Chief Secretary for Ireland make the famous remark that minorities must suffer. That seemed to be the policy of the Government. The Opposition might be a very small minority, but they had not the slightest intention of taking this treatment lying down. The country would see that the Government were acting in a manner which was entirely without precedent. They were acting to get an advantage for themselves—to forward their own interests and not those of the House and the country. No adequate reason had been given by the Government for the suggested change. In fact, the real reason was that they were endeavouring to do too much. They gave so many pledges at the last general election that they found it difficult to fulfil them. What happened last session? The Government endeavoured to pass a great number of measures, but many of them had to be dropped, and those which were passed involved an autumn session, and Parliament sat for nine months. As to this session they had also given innumerable pledges. They had promised an Army Bill, a Licensing Bill, a Home Rule Bill, a Roman Catholic University Bill, a Land Bill for Scotland, and a Land Bill for England. How many of them did the Government intend to pass? New Rules of procedure were extremely difficult things to frame. The Opposition had been able to show that there were a great number of flaws in the proposed Rule, and it was only by ample discussion that flaws could be properly dealt with. He wished to add his protest to that of the Leader of the Opposition against the breach of faith of which the Government had been guilty in respect to the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Dublin University. The Government had promised to accept the principle of that Amendment, but when he picked up his Notice Paper, to his amazement he saw on it an Amendment entirely different from that which the Government said they intended to accept. It was not the first time the Government had committed a breach of faith with those who sat upon the Opposition Benches, and they felt that they had got to get accustomed to the practice. There were many important Amendments on the Paper, and it would be absolutely impossible to discuss them in the time allotted. He himself had an Amendment on the Paper in regard to the reporting of proceedings of the Grand Committees, but as it came last on the Paper he supposed it would be cut out by the closure. That Amendment proposed that an official report of the proceedings of, and speeches in, each Standing Committee should be taken and published in Hansard for the use of all Members of the House. The right hon. Gentleman promised that that matter should be thrashed out in a Committee of the House. It was an important Amendment, and he suggested that the only proper course for the Government to take up with regard to it under the present circumstances, having regard to the promise given to him by the Prime Minister, was that the Government should take that Amendment over and put it in their own name. He hoped the Government would reconsider this question, and give the House a little more time. The Government were treating the House in a very harsh manner in closing the debate at ten o'clock. Why could they not allow the House to sit up a few hours and discuss the new Rules amicably? If fair time were offered the Opposition were prepared to accept it. Nobody on the Opposition Benches had the faintest desire to obstruct the progress of the Rule. He appealed to the Government to give another day. The House would then be able to come to an amicable agreement with the Government, and they would be far more satisfied than it was possible to be under the present conditions.

MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)

expressed astonishment that the Government had not supported by their own presence upon the Treasury Bench this remarkable Resolution. They had evidently made up their minds not to consider any extension of time which would have made their treatment of the House less oppressive. He had watched the changes of procedure of the House for many years, and he believed this was the first occasion upon which closure by compartments had been proposed by the Government of the day, merely in order to advance their own business, and not to put an end to obstruction and dilatory action on the part of the Opposition. The main grounds on which Amendments to the new Rule were moved were the summary manner in which it was proposed that Bills should go to a Grand Committee, and the unsatisfactory manner in which Motions were to be made that particular Bills should be retained in the House. He much regretted that it seemed to be becoming the practice for Members to make a speech and immediately leave the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Rushcliffe had made a speech in which he strongly supported the Motion made from the Treasury Bench. The right hon. Gentleman had left the House, but they might learn wisdom from his lips. In 1902 the right hon. Gentleman said he regretted that he had ever voted for the guillotine, and went on to say that so long as he remained in the House he would never vote for another such Motion. He further said he was an anti-closure man; that he believed the use of the closure marked the Parliamentary incapacity of those concerned in its use, and that users of it were not entitled to the same respect from the House as were the right hon. Gentlemen who piloted the Finance Bill and the Parish Councils Bill through the House without resort to the closure. The Government had fallen from the high ideals of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Rushcliffe, who had given them the most effective support he could to the Motion, but had not thought fit to listen to the comments on it. The Prime Minister said he had moved the Motion with great reluctance, but he had not, like his predecessors in office, shown that the time occupied in discussing the new Rule had been so long and the discussion so fruitless that the Government had no alternative but to resort to the closure. The right hon. Gentleman did not say there had been any dilatory action on the part of the House; he only said they must "get on." Let them get on by all means, but let the House note that for the first time in the history of Parliament a Motion of this kind had been moved by the Government for the facilitation of their own business without any argument being placed before the House in support of their contention. On the last occasion when this new Rule was debated the Government admitted they were not able to answer the questions put to them. What was to be done with the Bills already remitted to Standing Committees? What was to be the attitude of the Government with regard to them? Had they thought of that and provided a remedy? Comparisons had been drawn between the Rules of debate introduced by the Leader of the Opposition and those now proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, and reference had been made to the fact that seventeen days were taken to discuss those of his right hon. friend before the closure was applied. But so far as he was concerned that was not the question. It was enough to say there never was a change made of so far reaching a character as that proposed by this new Standing Order. It would be impossible to resist, the action of the Government, but he did not think any moderate man on the Government side of the House would adopt the cry that the Opposition had attempted to obstruct the Government proposals. The change would not advance, but retard business; there would have to be still further alterations, and he firmly believed the country would say that the Government had no right to pass a Motion of this kind without giving the House time to consider it.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said he had listened with interest to his hon. friend the Member for Holderness, who had suggested that the course which ought to have been taken was that the House should have been asked to consider these proposals at a late sitting, probably an all-night sitting. In frankness and candour he wished to say that though he disapproved of the course taken by the Government, he could not himself think that an all-night sitting was a desirable alternative.


I do not mind.


said his hon. friend was good enough to say that he did not mind. But that was not the only question. He thought that that particular way of getting through their business, or pretending to get through it, was one that ought never, under any circumstances, to be adopted. But, none the less, he could not regard the present Resolution as a great improvement even on an all-night sitting. He was against all these "methods of barbarism" in dealing with the business of the House, methods which had one certain result—they destroyed the prestige of the House. If it was only the present House of Commons he would regard such an event with equanimity. He did not think that they were likely to do much which he would admire, and the less capable the present House was of important legislation the better he would be pleased. He had not that admiration for the principles of the present majority which would lead him to think that their legislation would be beneficial. He was sure that a Resolution of the kind now proposed materially diminished the power of the majority of the House to carry a great Resolution on such a question as the House of Lords. If they were going to attack the House of Lords, they might be perfectly certain that they would not be successful without mature and proper consideration; and if it was to be said that the House was being muzzled, and that their ancient privileges had been curtailed, the country would pay very little attention to the verdicts at which they arrived on that and other questions. There was another great objection to a Resolution of this kind. The legislative functions of the House had already been to a great extent transferred to the Government of the day. He believed that right hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House thought that it should be the Government of the day who shaped the legislative action of the House. They put it in that courteous way; but what it meant was that the Government were to decide on the legislation and the House were to sanction that decision. That, he feared, was past praying for. But there was left to them the deliberative power of the House, no less important than the legislative power. Resolutions of this kind, however, shattered and destroyed that deliberative power, and when both the deliberative and the legislative powers of the House had been destroyed, he very much feared that there would not be attracted the most desirable persons to fulfil the high and important duties attaching to Membership of the House. For his part, therefore, he very much regretted this new departure. It would be exceedingly unfortunate if, owing to the operation of this Resolution, the proposal in regard to the Scottish Committee received no discussion at all. It appeared to him that that deserved the full discussion of the House. On Resolutions affecting the procedure of the House there was only one opportunity of discussion,. It would be conceded by everyone that the proposal as to the Scottish Committee was of enormous importance. At the present moment, when a Bill affecting Scotland was sent to a Standing Committee, the Committee of Selection put upon the Committee fifteen experts, who would naturally be Scottish Members, who would know something about the subject, and, the Committee would have full advantage of their knowledge on the matter. But the purpose of this Resolution was to prevent any but Scottish Members taking part in the discussion at all. It was an exclusive and not an inclusive Resolution. That amounted to an assertion that nobody but Scottish Members were capable of discussing Scottish affairs. That was a principle of very far-reaching importance—how far, could be seen by the claims from various sections of the House to have the same principle applied to them. There was the Welsh claim, which, since it was backed by a large Liberal representation, the Prime Minister had immediately conceded. There was the London claim. Unfortunately for the hon. Member who was responsible for it, London had, in exceeding bad taste, returned a considerable number of Conservatives and Unionists, and therefore the Prime Minister promptly ignored the claim.

SIR EDWIN CORNWALL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)

The claim has not been ignored.


said the claim had been absolutely ignored so far as the Prime Minister was concerned, unless the hon. Gentleman had some secret understanding with the right hon. Gentleman. Then there was the case—he must apologise for mentioning it—of England. He was quite aware that under the present administration it seemed to be regarded as axiomatic that Scotland and Wales were entitled to special treatment, but no special privilege of any kind was to be given to England. That, it appeared to him, was one of the questions which might well be a matter for discussion; it was a matter of importance, and one in which the country took some interest. He regretted very much that under this Motion such discussion would be practically precluded. There were about three pages of Amendments on the Paper and a fourth page with regard to the Scottish Committee, and as there would not be more than five or six hours for the Amendments preceding those referring to the Scottish Committee, it was incredible that they would reach discussion on the latter question at all. The question of the Scottish Committee had been presented to the House by the Prime Minister in a most perfunctory manner, and was to be voted upon absolutely sub silentio. Therefore, he earnestly pressed the House to support the Amendment of which he had given notice and which he now moved, to the effect that the proposal as to the Scottish Committee should be omitted from the Resolution. He appealed to hon. Members not to assent to the Resolution without some such limitation in order that this important change in their Constitution should not be made without, at any rate, fair discussion.

*MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)

, in seconding the Amendment, asked the Government to give it their consideration, for the reason that in regard to the constitution of the proposed Scottish Grand Committee there was a good deal of difference of opinion among hon. Members and also in the Scottish constituencies themselves. The Government had only to look at the Amendments on the Paper by Scottish Members in order to convince themselves of this. Time should be given for full and fair discussion of the matter; but under the present Resolution there would be no discussion at all, and the whole thing would be "guillotined." Many thought, that the question of the constitution of the Scottish Committee required a good deal of sifting and it would be a pity if discussion were stifled. He thought that the Government would do well to give consideration to the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In line 2, after the word 'Procedure,' to insert the words 'other than so much of such Motions as refers to the establishment of a Scottish Committee.'"—(Lord R. Cecil.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

regretted exceedingly that the Government had found it necessary to introduce the guillotine at all. He thought that the Prime Minister was not particularly in love with it himself, and had only introduced it with the intention of expediting business. He did not say where the blame lay, but he could not but regret that they had not more of what there used to be, namely, "deals" with regard to public business. He did not know whether any suggestion had been made on one side or the other, or whether there was a spirit on the other side not to accept any arrangement which would have made this Resolution unnecessary, but there seemed to be an absence of that disposition to come to arrangements which he had seen session after session during the fifteen years he had been in Parliament. He regretted that, in the first place, because it introduced a temper into their debates which was greatly to be deprecated, and nobody suffered from it more than the Government of the day. He was a strong disciple of the Prime Minister when he stood up for the policy of "splitting the difference." He always thought it a good policy for getting business through. He was sorry they were occupying time in discussing this Motion which might have been usefully given to the discussion of the Procedure Rule. Somebody had said the Rules were a Party matter. Certainly they ought not to be. He was afraid he was rather conservative on many matters, and this was one of them. They were setting up, for good or for evil, a form of procedure which would be permanent, unless some future Government interfered with it; and it was of vital importance, therefore, if these Committees upstairs were to have that importance which in his opinion they demanded, that the House as a whole should be parties to the arrangement. They knew what the result would he when the Bills came back from those Committees. He regretted that the Government had regarded the course they had taken as necessary. He did not blame the Government, because they were responsible for the business of the House, but he would have much preferred it if the question had been made a matter of general understanding between both sides of the House, for then the time of the House would have been much better occupied. He could not agree with what the hon. Member for Aberdeen had said in regard to what he called the undoubted obstruction which had taken place. The Prime Minister did not make that the basis of his Motion, his ground being that they must get on with public business. He did not think that, in the ordinarily accepted sense of deliberate obstruction, there had been any undue abuse of the rules of debate on this very important question. The immediate question was whether the Motion should apply to the Scottish Grand Committee, or whether that point should be left to be considered on some future day. If they accepted the noble Lord's Motion it would probably delay the consideration of the subject until the end of the session, with no guarantee that they would have an opportunity of considering it at all. He would remind the House that they had before had a Scottish Grand Committee which represented the whole House, and there was no vital difference between that Committee and the one now suggested. He regretted that it had not been found possible to settle the question without the aid of the guillotine, but as he was in favour of setting up a Scottish Grand Committee he should vote against the Amendment.


said the hon. Member who had just sat down had stated that the Government had made no attempt to come to an arrangement with the Opposition in regard to bringing the debate on this Rule to a close.


said he had not made any such assertion. What he said was that he did not know whether any such attempt had been made.


said there was a way of saying one "wondered" whether any attempt had been made which implied that no attempt had been made. If his hon. friend had been in the House when he introduced this Motion, he would have heard him say that an attempt was made to come to an arrangement with the Opposition in regard to the new scheme of procedure; and it was because they were told that the arrangement would not be accepted, that no other arrangement would be listened to, and that the Opposition had determined to fight the thing to the bitter end, that the Government had resolved to take another course. He agreed with the noble Lord as to the importance and the expediency of having an opportunity of discussing the appointing of a Scottish Grand Committee, but why could they not discuss it? Simply because so much time had been thrown away by the Opposition moving unimportant Amendments, by unnecessary repetition, and by other means of occupying time. [OPPOSITION cries of "No, no."] Now they were asked to exclude the question of the Scottish Committee from this proposal, and to reserve it until a more convenient season. They wished to get that Grand Committee started because business of great importance was waiting to be referred to it. The time at the disposal of the Government was already mortgaged for other business of great importance, for the carrying through of which the setting up of this Scottish Committee was required. Therefore it was quite impossible to accept the Amendment. Without any desire to diminish the authority of the noble Lord in this matter, perhaps he might be allowed to say that he had not been very long in the House, and he had certainly not been a Member long enough to have had much experience of those questions which had been before the Scottish Committee. There was a Scottish Commiteee in 1894 which worked exceedingly well, and passed most useful legislation. It proved an immense success and passed one or two most important measures which had proved a blessing to Scotland over since, and it was because it was not continued that there had been practically no Scottish legislation since. It would be seen that it was upon past experience they were proceeding, and that diminished the necessity that might otherwise have existed for a full and elaborate discussion of the principle of a Scottish Grand Committee. The Government could not make any exception to their Motion. Those who wished to criticise the new Procedure Rule should have confined their Amendments to points of importance; if that had been done there would have been abundance of time for the discussion of the proposal of a Scottish Grand Committee. But that course had not been taken, and the Government, therefore, were compelled to make this Motion.

MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)

said the Prime Minister had suggested that, because they had a different kind of Scottish Committee established under a Sessional Order thirteen years ago, therefore it was unimportant and of no consequence that they should discuss a proposal to constitute a new form of Scottish Committee this year. That was a declaration which had aroused considerable difference of opinion not merely among the Members of the House, but among people outside. The right hon. Gentleman was so anxious for Scotland's welfare, and so tender of her interests, that he could not find even a single day to discuss an important question on which Scottish opinion was, as the hon. Member had said, so widely divided. [Cries of "No."] Of course, when doctors differed, they must settle the matter among themselves. He had correctly represented what was said by the hon. Member for Stirlingshire, and was that not enough to prove his case? It was not only the interests of Scotland that were concerned. The right hon. Gentleman was forced by the precedent which he was in the course of creating to support another sectional or Grand Committee which, by the necessity of the case, must be differently composed from that for Scotland. Was the House to have any opportunity of discussing that? The right hon. Gentleman was in favour of referring all Scottish measures to a Committee in which the Scottish Members would form a majority, and in a Committee of eighty they would form a considerable majority. But Wales, having very many fewer Members, would stand in a wholly different position in the Welsh Grand Committee from that which Scotland would occupy in the Scottish Grand Committee. These were matters which were worthy of consideration. The House ought to know how the Government justified their proposals, but they were to have no opportunity of discussing them. The Prime Minister said he was anxious that the Scottish Grand Committee should get to work at once. On what? No Scottish Bill had passed the Second Reading. There was no reason for this hurry. There had, indeed, been a Land Tenure Bill for Scotland introduced, but was not that one of the measures which by the declaration of the Prime Minister it was not the intention of the Government to refer to a Committee upstairs?


Why not?


said that was a grave announcement and showed the necessity for full debate. The House had been repeatedly told that it was not intended to send the principal or highly contentious Government measures to these Committees. Was the Land Tenure Bill a principal measure, or was it merely a by-product? It was certainly supposed that such a Bill would fall within the category of those the Government would exempt by motion. If it was intended to send such a Bill upstairs, the proposal became ten times more important. It would be a monstrous infringement of the rights and privileges of Parliament that such a proposition should be put through without discussion on the fiat of the Government. The Government had had the opportunity of carrying out a reform of procedure with the hearty approval of the Opposition; but, having chosen a set of Rules which they must have known to be highly contentious, they had only themselves to thank for the discussion that had arisen. If the discussion of the new rules had taken three, four, or five days more, it would have been a very moderate allowance of time compared with the time spent on the same subject when the Conservative Government was in office At any rate, the particular point to which the present Amendment was directed, namely, the exclusion from the guillotine resolution of the proposal to set up sectional Grand Committees, taking Members from one part of the House instead of from the House as a whole, was one which should be accepted by the Government. If the proposal of the Government were passed without discussion, it would be a scandal, he hoped even this House of Commons would not sanction.


said the Government were perfectly justified in proposing the guillotine with respect to the Amendments dealing with the classes of Bills to be exempted from the operation of the Rule. He understood from the Prime Minister on another occasion that it was on that series of Amendments the House had taken up sufficient time. He understood the right hon. Gentleman had brought forward the guillotine Resolution to release the House from that difficulty, but the Motion had been moved in a form which would penalise not only the Members who had put down that series of Amendments, but also other Members of the House, supporters of the Government, who wished to have an opportunity of discussing what kind of Grand Committees ought to be set up. He was not speaking with the object of embarrassing the Government in any way. This was not a Party question. He was entirely opposed to hon. Gentlemen opposite taking up so much time on the question whether certain Bills should go to the Grand Committees. That part of the proposal ought to be guillotined, but a fair opportunity should be given for discussing what kind of Standing Committees should be set up. He had taken the trouble to ascertain the number of public Acts passed by this House during the last thirty years. He found that there had been 1,285 passed affecting the United Kingdom as a whole; 132 affecting England and Wales; 204 affecting Scotland; 248 affecting Ireland; seventy-four affecting London; and five affecting Wales. Did not these figures prove that the House before deciding what kind of Standing Committees were to be set up should have full opportunity of discussing the kind of business to be done, having regard to past experience? Great injustice would be done to certain sections of the House if that course was not followed. In the past when Scottish Bills were considered in Committee of the Whole House, and the Scottish Members remained in the House, it was practically a Scottish Committee. If there was a London Bill before the House they could rely that the London Members would remain in the Chamber. Private Bills would not be affected by his proposal: but if General Public Bills applying only to London were sent upstairs to a Committee of eighty Members many London Members would lose the opportunity which they had at present of making a contribution to debate. He had spoken to private Members and even to members of the Government on the matter, and they seemed to think that in making his proposal for a Special Grand Committee for London he was not fully justified, because they asked, "What about Lancashire and Yorkshire?" [Laughter.] Hon. Members laughed as if he were making a geographical comparison. His comparison was as to the amount of business which the House was called upon to do in regard to the London area. He appealed to the Prime Minister to give his support to the change which he proposed. During the last thirty years Wales had had only five Public Acts applying separately to the Principality; whereas London in the same period had had seventy-four Bills before the House. The proposal was not a fair recognition of the claims of London—more especially when the principles of the Bills applicable to London and the urgency of the problems with which they dealt were considered. He thought that the guillotine Motion should apply to the earlier part of the Government proposals, so that a discussion might be allowed with regard to setting up a Grand Committee for London. If the Bills for the different Grand Committees were not ready at the beginning of the session the arrangements could be altered so that the best use of hon. Members could be made to deal with Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and London Bills.

SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somersetshire, Wellington)

understood that a few Ministers, including the Prime Minister himself, had complained that he had declined to come to any arrangement with regard to the discussion on the Rules of Procedure. What happened? On Thursday last the Prime Minister proposed to take certain Navy Votes on the following Monday, on Tuesday the Second Reading of the Army Bill was to be taken, and on Wednesday certain minor measures like the Patents Bill. When pressed on that question the right hon. Gentleman said that if the Rules of Procedure debate was not concluded on Thursday night—a proposition which never for a moment appeared to be possible to hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House—he would continue the debate on Monday. About eleven o'clock the Patronage Secretary spoke to him behind the Chair and asked him if there was any chance of coming to an arrangement, and he told the Patronage Secretary that the only arrangement he could come to was in regard to the Army Bill, and that the Opposition were ready to give the Second Reading of that Bill if a full day were given to its discussion. He could not understand what the Government wanted in regard to the Rules. At that moment the Eleven o'clock Rule was suspended, and he said to the Patronage Secretary that the debate might go on to two, three, four o'clock in the morning, or after, and under those circumstances it was impossible for him to come to an arrangement. Immediately after that, the Prime Minister, instead of taking advantage of the facilities the House had given him of continuing the debate, announced that he would move a guillotine Resolution. It was not likely he would make a bargain after that. There was another thing which the Government had overlooked. At the moment it was attempted to make a bargain on Thursday there stood on the Paper Amendments to the Rules of Procedure in the names of no less than thirty-two of the supporters of the Government, and he was acting not only as trustee for his own side of the House, but in the interests of the House generally. He might tell the right hon. Gentleman and his friends that, until he got orders to the contrary from his leader, he would not make any bargain of a kind which surrendered the liberties of the House, so long as he held the position he now occupied.

MR. MORTON (Sutherland)

said he quite agreed that the House should have an opportunity of discussing the proposals of the Government. The time taken up in discussing Scottish Bills was generally consumed by hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House. If Bills were sent to the Grand Committee, Scottish Members would have an opportunity of discussing them which they did not have in Committee of the Whole House. He understood that the Amendment now under discussion was to cut Scotland out of the Grand Committee proposal altogether. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] Well, that was how he read it. The main reason for bringing forward the proposal was that they might have an opportunity for discussing Scottish business, otherwise they could not get any Scottish business done at all. For anyone to suggest that there was much or any difference of opinion in Scotland on this matter was absurd. In fact what the Scottish people were asking for was something more than a Grand Committee; they were asking for Home Rule, but they were willing to take a Grand Committee as an instalment. There was another reason. Scotland generally was in advance of the rest of the United Kingdom; and Scotland was willing to show by passing legislation for her own people a good example to the rest of the United Kingdom, although he did not know that the rest of the United Kingdom would follow that example very rapidly They had been told by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer that England would inevitably get the reforms that Scotland got.


was understood to say that he never said that.


said he took it down at the time. If that were true, why had England not Sunday closing which was passed for Scotland sixty years ago, or a complete system of national education such as they had had in Scotland for hundreds of years? But was that any reason for Scotland not getting the reforms that were absolutely necessary for the welfare of her people and of the whole of Great Britain? He believed that even now they could discuss the question and come to as intelligent a decision as they could if they were to debate it for weeks. He did not blame the Tory Party for their action in the matter, because they were merely acting according to their nature, and did not want the House to pass legislation. England wanted a good many reforms and so did Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but the Tory Party said they should not have them. Last year a Bill which affected not only England and Wales, but Scotland, was sent up to the Grand Committee, passed that Committee, and came down to this House and was passed into law.


said the hon. Gentleman was straying from the question before the House, which was the method of dealing with the Procedure Resolutions. He must confine himself to the question before the House; what he was saying had nothing to do with the Rules.


said he only wanted to point out that if what was mainly an English Land Bill could go before a Grand Committee and be dealt with, surely a Scottish Land Bill could also go there. He hoped that the Prime Minister with his immense majority would insist upon doing some business, in spite of the fact that it was the desire of the Tory Party not to do business. Ministerialists, however, wished to do business, and above all, what the Members for Scotland wanted was the establishment of this Scottish Committee. They were told last session that Scotland must wait, but he thought that they had a right to insist upon the Rules being altered, so that the House of Commons might be in a position to do business and to carry out the many important reforms which were desired by the Scottish people for the welfare of the whole of the population. He trusted, therefore, that the Amendment would not be supported by any Liberal Members on any account whatever, because the main reason they wanted this alteration of the Rules of Procedure was to obtain this Scottish Committee, so that matters affecting Scotland might be referred to Scottish Members and to Scottish Members only.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

said he must congratulate the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, on having exercised in favour of the facilitation of business those gifts of concise exposition of which they had had such long and pleasurable experience. He himself rose, not to continue the debate initiated by the right hon. Gentleman, but to make an appeal to the Government. Of course it would not be worth making if it absolutely traversed their policy, but he proposed to ask them to do something to remove what he thought they must feel to be the greatest blot upon their proposal. He objected to bringing any debate on the Rules of the House to a violent close, until the necessity had been more amply proved than it had been on the present occasion; but he waived that point now, and asked the Government whether they could not do something to avoid the scandal of making part of the permanent machinery of Parliament a Scottish Committee which had never been made a part of their permanent machinery, and of instituting for the first time a Welsh Committee, of which nobody had ever yet heard, and refusing, if those principles were accepted, even to discuss the possibility of an extension to other parts of the country which might have as great a right to such Committees as Wales or Scotland, or a greater right than they had. Would it be impossible for the Government, if they thought a clear and precise limit must be put to this discussion, to exclude from the Rule as printed the subject of the Scottish and Welsh Grand Committees, and the Amendments to the proposal for Grand Committees, and, having accepted that Amendment, to add a rider stating that two full Parliamentary days would be given to the discussion of the Amendments to Standing Order 47? If hon. Members would look at their Papers they would see that all these proposals and Amendments came up under Standing Order 47, and he would suggest that two days should be given to their discussion, and when those days had concluded there should be the same form of guillotine as was now proposed. The House would then be relieved of the fear of an unlimited series of Amendments postponing to an indefinite future the conclusion of the discussion on the Government's proposals. They would know exactly the amount of time which could not be exceeded in the discussion of these Rules, and they would have

avoided the grave inconvenience and scandal, and the unprecedented blot on their debates, of having carried out a revolutionary change in Parliamentary procedure with such an absence of discussion and divisions as was now contemplated. He made this suggestion in a spirit of conciliation.

*SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

, whilst appreciating the spirit which animated the right hon. Gentleman, said it was impossible for the Government to assent to the proposal that two days should be given to the discussion of these Rules. It was impossible to minimise the importance of the Scottish or Welsh Grand Committee question, but a considerable amount of time would be available that evening. [Cries of "Private Bill."] The private Bill was, he understood, unopposed. The Government would be ready to give facilities with a view to placing the time on the following day under the control of the Opposition, practically from four until ten o'clock, for bringing forward the Amendments to which they attached the greatest importance. That was, he thought, a very fair response to the right hon. Gentleman.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 108; Noes, 314. (Division List No. 114).

Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hay, Hon. Claude George
Anson, Sir William Reynell Courthope, G. Loyd Heaton, John Henniker
Arkwright, John Stanhope Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Helmsley, Viscount
Ashley, W. W. Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. E'm'ds
Balcarres, Lord Craik, Sir Henry Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Dalrymple, Viscount Houston, Robert Paterson
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Hunt, Rowland
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchest'r Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gov'n Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Faber, George Denison (York) Kimber, Sir Henry
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Faber. Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm
Bignold, Sir Arthur Fardell, Sir T. George Lane-Fox, G. R.
Bowles, G. Stewart Fell, Arthur Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareh'm
Bridgeman, W. Clive Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fletcher, J. S. Long. Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.
Cave, George Forster, Henry William Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Cavendish. Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Lowe, Sir Francis William
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Haddock, George R. M'lver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Wor. Hambro, Charles Eric Magnus, Sir Philip
Cheetham, John Frederick Hamilton, Marquess of Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Muntz, Sir Philip A
Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Sloan, Thomas Henry Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Parkes, Ebenezer Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Waring, Walter
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n Smith. F. E. (Liverpool, Walton Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Percy, Earl Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Pirie, Duncan V. Starkey, John R. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Randles, Sir John Scurrah Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark) Younger, George
Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Thornton, Percy M.
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Tuke, Sir John Batty TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Salter, Arthur Clavell Valentia, Viscount Lord Robert Cecil and Mr.
Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard Smeaton.
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Agnew, George William Clynes, J. R. Gulland, John W.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Ambrose, Robert Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Collins, Sir W m. J. (S. Paneras, W. Hall, Frederick
Ashton, Thomas Gair Condon, Thomas Joseph Halpin, J.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Astbury, John Meir Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harrington, Timothy
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hart-Davies, T.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Cowan, W. H. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cox, Harold Haworth, Arthur A.
Barker, John Crean, Eugene Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cremer, William Randal Hedges, A. Paget
Barnard, E. B. Crombie, John William Helme, Norval Watson
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cross, Alexander Hemmerde, Edward George
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone. N.) Dalziel, James Henry Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Beauchamp, E. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Henry, Charles S.
Beck, A. Cecil Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Bell, Richard Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Higham, John Sharp
Bellairs, Carlyon Delany, William Hobart, Sir Robert
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Berridge, T. H. D. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N. Hodge, John
Bertram, Julius Dickson-Povnder, Sir John P. Hogan, Michael
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, R'mf'rd Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Holden, E. Hopkinson
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Dolan, Charles Joseph Holland, Sir William Henry
Billson, Alfred Duckworth, James Hooper, A. G.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.
Black, Arthur, W. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Horniman, Emslie John
Boland, John Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Bowerman, C. W. Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Brace, William Elibank, Master of Hudson, Walter
Bramsdon, T. A. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Illingworth, Percy H.
Branch, James Erskine, David C. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Brigg, John Essex, R. W. Jackson, R. S.
Brocklehurst. W. B. Esslemont, George Birnie Jenkins, J.
Brodie, H. C. Evans, Samuel T. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leish) Eve, Harry Trelawney Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bryce, J. Annan Everett, R. Lacy Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Faber, G. H. (Boston) Joyce, Michael
Burke, E. Haviland- Fenwick, Charles Kearley, Hudson E.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Ferens, T. R. Kekewich, Sir George
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Ffrench, Peter Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Findlay, Alexander King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James
Byles, William Pollard Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Laidlaw, Robert
Cameron, Robert Fuller, John Michael F. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fullerton, Hugh Lambert, George
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gilhooly, James Lamont, Norman
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Ginnell, L, Lehmann, R. C.
Chance, Frederick William Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Glover, Thomas Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Levy, Maurice
Clarke, C. Goddard Greenwood, Hamar (York) Lewis, John Herbert
Cleland, J. W. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Clough, William Griffith, Ellis J. Lough, Thomas
Lundon, W. Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Lyell, Charles Henry Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Summerbell, T.
Lynch, H. B. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Sutherland, J. E.
Macdonald, J. M. (FalkirkBg'hs Pollard, Dr. Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Mackarness, Frederic C. Power, Patrick Joseph Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Maclean, Donald Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Pullar, Sir Robert Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Radford, G. H. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. Rainy, A. Rolland Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
M'Callum, John M. Raphael, Herbert H. Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
M'Crae, George Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Thomasson, Franklin
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Tomkinson, James
M'Killop, W. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Torrance, Sir A. M.
M'Micking, Major G. Redmond, William (Clare) Toulmin, George
Maddison, Frederick Rees, J. D. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Mallet, Charles E. Renton, Major Leslie Ure, Alexander
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Rickett, J. Compton Verney, F. W.
Marnham, F. J. Ridsdale, E. A. Vivian, Henry
Massie, J. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Meagher, Michael Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Walsh, Stephen
Menzies, Walter Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Micklem, Nathaniel Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Mond, A. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n
Montagu, E. S. Robinson, S. Wardle, George J.
Mooney, J. J. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Rogers, F. E. Newman Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Rose, Charles Day Waterlow, D. S.
Morrell, Philip Rowland, J. Watt, Henry A.
Morse, L. L. Runciman, Walter Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Weir, James Galloway
Myer, Horatio Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Whitbread, Howard
Napier, T. B. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) White, George (Norfolk)
Nicholls, George Scarisbrick, T. T. L. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Nicholson, Charles N. (Donc'st'r Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Nolan, Joseph Scott. A. H. (Ashton under Lyne) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Sears, J. E. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Nuttall, Harry Seaverns, J. H. Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
O' Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid Seely, Major J. B. Wiles, Thomas
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.) Wilkie, Alexander
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
O'Doherty, Philip Sherwell, Arthur James Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
O'Grady, J. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.)
O'Malley, William Snowden, P. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Parker, James (Halifax) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Partington, Oswald Spicer, Sir Albert
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Stanger, H. Y. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Steadman, W. C. Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
Perks, Robert William Strachey, Sir Edward Pease.
MR. LAURENCE HAEDY (Kent, Ashford)

moved an Amendment to exempt from the operation of the Rule the proposal with regard to a Welsh Committee, and also the application of Standing Orders 26 and 27 giving power of closure, to Grand Committees. So far as the first part of this Amendment was concerned it did not come under the ban of the Prime Minister, who had desired the House to concentrate their attention on and to discuss the most important of the Amendments. Had the debate on the Rule concluded on the previous Thursday they could not possibly have concentrated their attention on the Amendment just placed upon the Paper. There was a strong case for the exclusion of the Welsh Committee, because there had been no opportunity of ascertaining the Government's position on the point. Wales was not in the same position as Scotland, and therefore the question that a rose was entirely different. Wales was to be attached to one of the Standing Committees, and the Motion of the Prime Minister proposed to alter Standing Order 48. Hither to it had been possible for the Committee of Selection to alter the general body of Members who sat on Grand Committees, but the Prime Minister now proposed to make the members of those bodies irremovable. To those bodies were to be added fifteen under the Standing Order to which the Welsh proposition was attached. And now having got a Standing Committee the Members of which were irremovable and to which fifteen Members were to be added, it was proposed to add thirty-two more, all of one complexion of politics, a policy which was directly opposed to all the principles of their Constitution. An entirely new principle was to be adopted. That was a condition of things that required and deserved some discussion in the House, but which under this guillotine proposal would be voted on without any debate whatever, and without a single word of explanation from the Government as to how the scheme intended to work. Another matter which ought not to be passed sub silentio was the proposal of the Government under which the whole of the powers of closure were to be given to the Standing Committees. Anybody who looked back to the time when the closure was introduced into that House knew what interest it excited, but it might not be within the recollection of the House that in the last Parliament the Deputy Chairman of Committees, a salaried official of the House, had not the right to accept the closure except on a declaration made to the House that the Chairman was unavoidably absent. They were now proposing to give those powers to Chairmen sitting upstairs. They were giving these Committees power to cut short debates at the very moment they were professing a desire to give greater freedom of discussion. He did not think that this was a proposal which the House should sanction. He urged that before the Standing Order was passed the House should have some opportunity of discussion. It was undesirable that the Standing Order now proposed should be adopted. They had always had Standing Orders which were applicable to the condition of things in the House which ever Party was in power. Let them take the proposal for a Welsh Committee, and suppose the Constitutional Party were returned to power. How would it be possible for the Welsh Committee any more than the Scottish Committee to exist if entirely composed of Welsh Liberal Members? The Members for Wales were generally of the opposite way of thinking to the Unionist Party, and it would be impossible for a Unionist Government to entrust legislation to Grand Committees of that nature, because no Government would consent to send legislation to Committees on which they were in a minority. Therefore, they were proposing Standing Orders which must be altered whenever there was a change in the balance of opinion in the House. If, as was suggested, these were made only Sessional Orders, of course the matter could be rectified; but as long as the Government insisted on their being Standing Orders, he earnestly urged that they should at least give an opportunity for discussion of the two very important matters dealt with in his Amendment. He begged to move.

MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

, in seconding the Amendment, said that in regard to the question of a Committee for Wales the attitude of the Government had indeed been remarkable. Nobody knew that this Welsh Standing Committee was going to be set up at all, but at the last moment the Prime Minister apparently had yielded to the threats of the hon. Member for Swansea and other Welsh Members, and they were now obliged to agree to an Amendment of the Standing Order which would revolutionise the system of procedure as regarded Welsh Bills, without there being the slightest opportunity of full and fair discussion. It was most essential that this Welsh proposal should be exempted from the Resolution. It was unfair to the House that they should be left, in that position, and that a proposal which because it was unfair could not be permanent should be passed by means of the closure. If the Government brought in another Welsh Disestablishment Bill, would it be relegated to this small, and, without offence, he would say packed Committee upstairs, and then when it came down to the House on the Report stage be dealt with under conditions which would allow hon. Members to make only one speech? He did not know what the Prime Minister proposed to do in that respect, but they had all believed and hoped that he would assent to a provision for plurality of speeches on the Report stage. That, apparently, was not to be. It made it all the more unfair that this proposal with regard to the Welsh Committee should not be discussed. As regarded the other portion of the Amendment, there were equally strong grounds for excepting it from the guillotine Motion. Formerly, they used to be extremely chary about applying the closure at all, and if its application had been more strongly opposed by one Party than another, he would have thought it was by the Party now in office; yet that Party deliberately proposed not merely that the guillotine should be used in the House, but that it should also be used in Grand Committees upstairs. Much of the valuable work of amending Bills was done in Grand Committee, but if the proceedings were to be subject to closure the value of the work would be very much diminished On the other hand, if the Bill was to be carefully examined and fully amended in all its details, and in all respects properly considered, they must not merely send it up to the Grand Committee, which had proved so valuable in the past, but they must not fetter the discussions in that Committee. He appealed most strongly to the Government and the House to let this matter be thrashed out thoroughly before they altered the Standing Orders, and to except from the Resolution that part which related to the closure.

Amendment proposed— In line 2, after the word 'Procedure,' to insert the words 'other than so much of such Motions as refer to the establishment of a Welsh and Monmouthshire Committee and which apply the Standing Orders 26 and 27 (Closure) to the Standing Committees,"'—(Mr. Laurence Hardy.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said the Rules of Procedure introduced by the Leader of the Opposition in 1902 raised no such questions as were involved in the proposals of the Prime Minister. He had only to direct attention to the Amendments to be moved by his right hon. friend the Member for the Hallam division of Sheffield. For instance, Bills to create a subordinate legislature in any part of the United Kingdom, Bills to ratify treaties, Conventions, or other international instruments—


The hon. Member is not addressing himself to the Amendment which refers to a Committee for Wales and Monmouthshire.


said his object was to show that matters of great magnitude were involved, and that the question which had been raised by his hon. friend behind him was of even still greater magnitude than those subjects to which he had referred. In that House, so far as the Government were concerned, there were two Parties—one the Labour Members below the Gangway, and the other the President of the Board of Trade. They were both very powerful. The Labour Members had been ably to secure certain concessions, and the President of the Board of Trade had been able to secure for Wales a special Standing Committee. If the Labour Members, or Saul, had slain his thousands, David had slain his tens of thousands. Behind the proposals of the Prime Minister was a process of devolution. He believed that the scheme for a Scottish Grand Committee and a Welsh Grand Committee was a species of devolution intended to lead up to the larger policy of which the right hon. Gentleman was the most distinguished exponent. Presently they would have from the Nationalist Benches a proposal to establish an Irish Standing Committee. [Cries of "Why not."] He had never known Irish Members in that House to miss an opportunity to secure some sort of concession, valuable or less valuable. If they once established the principle of Standing Committees for each portion of the United Kingdom they would be striking a blow at the very union of discussion which when the Union was created it was intended to have. The whole tendency was antipathetic and that was an extremely bad thing. The proposal to establish a Welsh Standing Committee, small as it might seem, taken in conjunction with the Scottish Standing Committee was a blow at general discussion in the House. The proposals put forward by the Government were such as to entitle them to a much longer time for discussion than would be given if this Motion were carried. The question fundamentally affected the rights and obligations of hon. Members. If every Welsh and Scottish question was to be sent upstairs, an evil which they had always deplored would be intensified. Upon one occasion, when he ventured to discuss the principle of local option, he was looked upon with perfect astonishment because Scotland only was concerned. The principle involved, however, was one which affected the whole country. If it was considered indiscreet for an hon. Member representing an English constituency to intervene in a Scottish debate, how much worse would it be when these particular questions were sent to Scottish, Welsh or Irish Committees for discussion. By opposing these proposals the Opposition were performing a duty which he was sure would be recognised some day by hon. Members opposite.


said the hon. Member who moved the Amendment argued that the Welsh proposal was of such first-rate importance that the House should have the fullest opportunity of discussing it. What was the proposal? It was to include the thirty-four Welsh Members in one of the Committees which had to deal with a Bill which was exclusively Welsh. The Committee of Selection now added fifteen Members to an ordinary Committee. These fifteen Members in the case of a Welsh Bill would form part of the thirty-four Welsh Members. In ordinary circumstances there were five or six Welsh Members on one of the Standing Committees. There remained, therefore, thirteen or fourteen more Welsh Members who would be put on the Committee, possibly in exchange for others. The result was that out of a Committee of eighty Members there would be thirty-four Welsh Members to deal with a Bill which was exclusively Welsh. That matter was considered by hon. Gentlemen opposite of such importance that it should be excluded from the operation of this Resolution. The second point raised was that the proposal to give the Chairmen of these Committees power to grant the closure was so important that it ought to have a special opportunity for full discussion. It was obvious that the powers of the Chairmen at present were inadequate and unsatisfactory, and he would have thought it was the general desire of the House that such a power should be granted. He did not think the proposal of the Government was of such a novel and revolutionary kind as to justify these Amendments.


said the right hon. Gentleman had not realised the real strength of the opposition to his proposals. It was not a mere matter of adding so many members to the Committee. The real question was whether the new Grand Committee was to reflect the opinion and composition of the existing House of Commons, or whether it was to be composed of the Members for that particular part of the country with merely those added to bring it up to the necessary number. The representation of Wales was for the most part in the hands of one Party. Did the Government seriously propose that, in order that the Grand Committee should represent the House, they should add to it a sufficient number of English and Scottish Members to flood the Welshmen and prevent their representing the Principality and giving to the Committee the political complexion that their representation justified? The Government were proposing to overshadow them by the representatives of other parts of the country. The right hon. Gentleman said it was a small proposal, but the Member for Gravesend had shown beyond answer that it was unquestionably the beginning of a very much larger proposal. It might be that that was the object which the Government had in view. The reason of the closuring by compartments proposal was not factious opposition on that side of the House. The only justification for it was that the Government had got their business into such a condition that they had to pass matters through the House practically without discussion. He thought the principle involved was an extremely bad one, and that it destroyed the whole character of the House. He did not suppose there had been one Amendment moved which had not been genuine and conceived with the desire to make the proposals of the Government more workable. He protested against the arbitrary and tyrannical action of the Government in preventing the discussion of questions which seriously affected the business of the House.


said he did not think the House realised the very great importance of the duties to be entrusted to the Chairmen of the Standing Committees, under the proposed regulations. He should be sorry to say one word in disparagement of the gentlemen who had filled the Chair in the Standing Committees, and he hoped he should not be acting in a manner showing want of appreciation of their work if he pointed out the great difference in the method of their appointment from that of the Chairman of Ways and Means. If it were proposed to appoint as the Chairman of the Committees of this House a gentleman who was not acceptable, they knew how such a Motion would be dealt with. But the appointment of the Chairman of a Standing Committee was not the act of the Whole House; it was the act of the Committee of Selection, and he could not help thinking that if it came to a case of strain, there might be great difficulty arising out of the fact that the Chairman of a Standing Committee was appointed by the Committee of Selection only. There was this further difficulty. Those who occupied the position of Speaker, or Chairman of Committees, soon gained valuable experience and became more and more influential, but the Chairman of a Standing Committee only occupied his position for a short time. He came and went, and his position was not the same as that of the gentlemen who presided over the House itself. Another objection to the proposed new Rules was the want of publicity in the Standing Committees. When the closure was given in the House it was given before the world. It was given before those who, whether in or out of the House, criticised their proceedings. But the closure when applied by the Chairmen of these Committees would be deprived of the benefit of publicity which was so great a guarantee for safety and impartiality. He was perfectly sure that as time went on the importance of these

arguments would be appreciated. In regard to Wales, he was not sure that a Bill for the Disestablisment and Disendowment of the Church in Wales was exclusively Welsh business, because the Welsh dioceses were not coincident with any of the English counties. Where a Welsh Disestablisment Bill was discussed years ago that was the great difficulty. If it was a great difficulty then, it would become an impossibility now under the proposed Standing Order, because a Motion with reference to the Welsh Church would not be exclusively Welsh business. He looked with the greatest apprehension on this principle of what he would venture to term disintegration. What he desired to see continued was the United Kingdom—united in sympathy, in policy, and in future prospects. He looked with the greatest dread on these proposals, however innocent they might seem at first sight—proposals which would involve separation in their administrative and legislative business of one part of the country after another, instead of securing a united whole. He deprecated in the strongest manner the idea of disintegration and separation, regarding it as not respectful to the House.

MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD (Liverpool, West Derby)

rose to continue the debate.


rose in his place, and claimed to move "That the Question be now put."

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 306;. Noes, 90. (Division List No. 115.)

Adkins, W. Ryland D. Beale, W. P. Brigg, John
Agnew, George William Beauchamp, E. Brocklehnrst, W. B.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beck, A. Cecil Brodie, H. C.
Ambrose, Robert Bellairs, Carlyon Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)
Asquith, Rt. Hon Herbert Henry Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets. S. Geo. Bryce, J. Annan
Astbury, John Meir Bennett, E. N. Buckmaster, Stanley O.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Berridge, T. H. D. Burke, E. Haviland-
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Bertram, Julius Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Burnyeat, W. J. D.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Barker, John Billson, Alfred Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Black, Arthur W. Byles, William Pollard
Barnard, E. B. Boland, John Cameron, Robert
Barnes, G. N. Brace, William Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Bramsdon, T. A. Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N. Branch, James Chance, Frederick William
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Haworth, Arthur A. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Cheetham, John Frederick Hazel, Dr. A. E. Myer, Horatio
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Hedges, A. Paget Napier, T. B.
Clarke, C. Goddard Helme, Norval Watson Nicholls, George
Cleland, J. W. Hemmerde, Edward George Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster
Clough, William Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Nolan, Joseph
Clynes, J. R. Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Higham, John Sharp Nuttall, Harry
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hobhouse, Charles E. H. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Collins, Sir W m. J. (S. Pancras, W Hodge, John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hogan, Michael O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Corbett, C H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Holden, E. Hopkinson O'Doherty, Philip
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Holland, Sir William Henry O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Cowan, W. H. Hooper, A. G. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Cox, Harold Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N O'Malley, William
Crean, Eugene Horniman, Emslie John Parker, James (Halifax)
Cremer, William Randal Horridge, Thomas Gardner Partington, Oswald
Crombie, John William Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Crosfield, A. H. Hudson, Walter Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)
Dalmeny, Lord Jackson, R. S. Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke)
Dalziel James Henry Jenkins, J. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Johnson. W. (Nuneaton) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Jones, Sir D. (Brynmor(Swansea Pirie, Duncan V.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pollard, Dr.
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Power, Patrick Joseph
Delany, William Joyce, Michael Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Kearley, Hudson E. Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Kekewieh, Sir George Radford. G. H.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kennedy, Vincent Paul Rainy, A. Rolland
Dolan, Charles Joseph Kincaid-Smith, Captain Raphael, Herbert H.
Duckworth, James King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Laidlaw, Robert Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Redmond, William (Clare)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Lambert, George Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mp'n)
Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Lamont, Norman Rickett, J. Compton
Elibank, Master of Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Ridsdale, E. A.
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Erskine, David C. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Essex, R. W. Levy, Maurice Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Esslemont, George Birnie Lewis, John Herbert Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Evans, Samuel T. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd
Eve, Harry Trelawney Lough, Thomas Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Everett, R. Lacey Lundon, W. Robinson, S.
Faber, G. H. (Boston) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Fenwick, Charles Lyell, Charles Henry Rogers, F. E. Newman
Ferens, T. R. Lyneh, H. B. Rowlands, J.
Ffrench, Peter Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Runciman, Walter
Findlay, Alexander Maclean, Donald Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Freeman-Thomas, Freeman MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Fuller, John Michael F. MacVeagh, Charles (Donegal, E. Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Fullerton, Hugh M'Callum, John M. Sears, J. E.
Gilhooly, James M'Crae, George Seely, Major J. B.
Ginnell, L. M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B)
Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John M'Killop, W, Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Glover, Thomas M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Sherwell, Arthur James
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Micking, Major G. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Maddison, Frederick Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Mallet, Charles E. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Griffith, Ellis J. Manfield, Harry (Northants) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Gulland, John W. Marnham, F. J. Snowden, P.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Massie, J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Meagher, Michael Spicer, Sir Albert
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Menzies, Walter Stanger, H. Y.
Hall, Frederick Micklem, Nathaniel Steadman, W. C.
Halpin, J. Molteno, Percy Alport Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Montagu, E. S. Strachey, Sir Edward
Harrington, Timothy Mooney, J. J. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Hart-Davies, T. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Morley, Rt. Hon. John Summerbell, T.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morse, L. L. Sutherland, J. E.
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent) Wiles, Thomas
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Ward, W. Dudley (South'mpt'n Wilkie, Alexander
Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury Wardle, George J. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Waring, Walter Williams, Llewelyn (Carm'rth'n
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wills, Arthur Walters
Thomasson, Franklin Waterlow, D. S. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E. Watt, Henry A. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Torrance, Sir A. M. Wedgwood, Josiah C. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Toulmin, George Weir, James Galloway Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Trevelyan, Charles Philips White, George (Norfolk)
Verney, F. W. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Vivian, Henry White, Luke (York, E. R.) Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J.
Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) White, Patrick (Meath, North) A. Pease.
Walsh, Stephen Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Ashley, W. W. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Balcarres, Lord Fletcher, J. S. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Forster, Henry William Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchest'r Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rutherford W. W. (Liverpool)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Haddock, George R. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bowles, G. Stewart Hay, Hon. Claude George Sloan, Thomas Henry
Bridgeman, W. Clive Helmsley, Viscount Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton
Carlile, E. Hildred Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Houston, Robert Paterson Starkey, John R.
Cave, George Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kimber, Sir Henry Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc. Lambton, Hon. Frederick W m. Tuke, Sir John Batty
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Lane-Fox, G. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Courthope, G. Loyd Lowe, Sir Francis William Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Magnus, Sir Philip Younger, George
Cross, Alexander Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Dalrymple, Viscount Middlemore, John Throgmorton TELLERS FOE THE NOES—Sir
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mildmay, Francis Bingham Alexander Acland-Hood and
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gov'n Muntz, Sir Philip A. Viscount Valentia.
Fardell, Sir T. George Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n
Fell, Arthur Percy, Earl

Question put accordingly, "That these words be there inserted."

House divided:—Ayes, 89; Noes, 306. (Division List No. 116.)

Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F Carlile, E. Hildred Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gov'n,
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fardell, Sir T. George
Ashley, W. W. Cave, George Fell, Arthur
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Coates, E. Feetham (Lewish'm) Fletcher, J. S.
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchest'r Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Forster, Henry William
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Courthope, G. Loyd Haddock, George R.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Craig, Captain James (Down. E. Hamilton, Marquess of
Bowles, G. Stewart Craik, Sir Henry Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.]
Bridgeman, W. Clive Cross, Alexander Hay, Hon. Claude George
Butcher, Samuel Henry Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers. Helmsley, Viscount
Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Ed'ds) Muntz, Sir Philip A. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Houston, Robert Paterson Percy, Earl Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thornton, Percy M.
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W Randles, Sir John Scurrah Tuke, Sir John Batty
Kimber, Sir Henry Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Valentia, Viscount
Lambton, Hon. Frederick W m. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Lane-Fox, G. R. Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Salter, Arthur Clavell Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'gh, W. Sloan, Thomas Henry Younger, George
Magnus, Sir Philip Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton Tellers foe the Ayes—Mr.
Middlemore, John Throgmorton Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Laurence Hardy and Mr.
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Starkey, John R. Evelyn Cecil.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Clough, William Greenwood, Hamar (York)
Agnew, George William Clynes, J. R. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cobbold, Felix Thornley Griffith, Ellis J.
Ambrose, Robert Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Gulland, John W.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Collins, Sir W m. J. (S. Pancras, W Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Astbury, John Meir Condon, Thomas Joseph Gwynn, Stephen Lucius
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Gr'st'd Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hall, Frederick
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Cowan, W. H. Halpin, J.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cox, Harold Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Barker, John Crean, Eugene Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cremer, William Randal Harrington, Timothy
Barnard, E. B. Crombie, John William Hart-Davies, T.
Barnes, G. N. Crosfield, A. H. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Dalmeny, Lord Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N. Dalziel, James Henry Haworth, Arthur A.
Beale, W. P. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Beauchamp, E. Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Hedges, A. Paget
Beck, A. Cecil Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Helme, Norval Watson
Bsllairs, Carlyon Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hemmerde, Edward George
Benn, W. (Tw'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Delany, William Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Bennett, E. N. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Berridge, T. H. D. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Higham, John Sharp
Bertram, Julius Dolan, Charles Joseph Hobhouse Charles E. H.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, R'mf'rd Duckworth, James Hodge, John
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Hogan, Michael
Billson, Alfred Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Holden, E. Hopkinson
Black, Arthur W. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Holland, Sir William Henry
Bolnnd, John Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Hooper, A. G.
Brace, William Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.
Bramsdon, T. A. Elibank, Master of Horniman, Emslie John
Branch, James Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Brigg, John Erskine, David C. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Brocklehurst, W. B. Essex, R. W. Hudson, Walter
Brodie, H. C. Esslemont, George Birnie Jackson, R. S.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Evans, Samuel T. Jenkins, J.
Bryce, J. Annan Eve, Harry Trelawney Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Everett, R. Lacey Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea
Burke, E. Haviland- Faber, G. H. (Boston) Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Fenwick, Charles Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Ferens, T. R. Joyce, Michael
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Ffrench, Peter Kearley, Hudson E.
Byles, William Pollard Findlay, Alexander Kekewich, Sir George
Cameron, Robert Fowler, Rt, Hon. Sir Henry Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Fuller, John Michael F. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Chance, Frederick William Fullerton, Hugh Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Gilhooly, James Laidlaw, Robert
Cheetham, John Frederick Ginnell, L. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lambert, George
Clarke, C. Goddard Glover, Thomas Lamont, Norman
Cleland, J. W. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Lever, A. Levy (Essex. Harwich) Partington, Oswald Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Pearce, William (Limehouse) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Levy, Maurice Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Summerbell, T.
Lewis, John Herbert Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Sutherland, J. E.
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Lough, Thomas Pickersgill, Edward Hare Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Lundon, W. Pirie, Duncan V. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Lupton, Arnold Pollard, Dr. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Power, Patrick Joseph Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Lyell, Charles Henry Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Lynch, H. B. Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Thomasson, Franklin
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Radford, G. H. Thompson, J. W.H. (Somerset. E
Maclean, Donald Rainy, A. Rolland Torrance, Sir A. M.
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Raphael, Herbert H. Toulmin, George
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Ure, Alexander
M'Callum, John M. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Verney, F. W.
M'Crae, George Redmond, William (Clare) Vivian, Henry
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Renton, Major Leslie Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
M'Killop, W. Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpton Walsh, Stephen
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester Rickett, J. Compton Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
M'Micking, Major G. Ridsdale, E. A. Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Maddison, Frederick Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n
Mallet, Charles E. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wardle, George J.
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Roberts, John H. (Denbighsh.) Waring, Walter
Marnham, F. L. Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Massie, J. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Meagher, Michael Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Waterlow, D. S.
Menzies, Walter Robinson, S. Watt, Henry A.
Micklem, Nathaniel Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Molteno, Percy Alport Rogers, F. E. Newman Weir, James Galloway
Montagu, E. S. Rowlands, J. White, George (Norfolk)
Mooney, J. J. Runciman, Walter White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Whitehead, Rowland
Morse, L. L. Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Wiles, Thomas
Myer, Horatio Sears, J. E. Wilkie, Alexander
Napier, T. B. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Nicholls, George Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Williams, Llewelyn (Carm'rth'n
Nicholson, Charles N. (Donc'st'r, Sherwell, Arthur James Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Nolan, Joseph Shipman, Dr. John G. Wills, Arthur Walters
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Nuttall, Harry Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Smyth, Thomas F (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Snowden, P. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
O'Doherty, Philip Spicer, Sir Albert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) ' Stanger, H. Y. Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon. N Steadman, W. C. Pease.
O'Malley, William Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Parker, James (Halifax) Strachey, Sir Edward

Main Question again proposed.


said he desired to move, in line 2, after the word "shall" to insert the words "be taken on Tuesday," and the consequential Amendment, in line 4, to leave out "Tuesday, the 16th day of April," in order to insert, "Wednesday, the 17th day of April." His object was to give effect to the proposal of the Leader of the Opposition that an additional day should be given for the discussion of the more important features of the Closure Resolution. He did not think that many words ought to be needed to commend this course to the House, because sufficient latitude of time ought to be given to hon. Members to enable them adequately to discuss the many important questions which were raised by the new Rules. Not the least important of these was whether hon. Members were to be allowed to speak more than once on the Report stage of Bills which came down from Grand Committees. Unless that privilege were allowed, he believed that it would lead to the prolongation instead of the shortening of debate.

And, it being a quarter-past Eight of the clock, and there being Private Business. set down by the Chairman of Ways and Means under Standing Order No. 8, further Proceeding was postponed without Question put.