HC Deb 18 February 1908 vol 184 cc656-727

Order for Second Reading read.


Sir, I do not know that it often falls to the lot of a Minister in this House to introduce a Bill for the third time, and under these circumstances, I would most humbly ask for the special consideration of the House in endeavouring to discharge the duty which falls upon me on this occasion. While much of what I have to say must be familiar to many hon. Gentlemen who sit opposite to me, there does lie upon me an obligation of some sort to state, as sufficiently as it is necessary, the details of the Bill, in order that the case may be fairly and properly presented. This Bill was first introduced in the session before last, in 1906. Last session it was again introduced and carried through all its stages in this House, and then it went to the House of Lords, where it failed to pass owing to action of the Opposition Peers. Two months after this Bill was introduced in this House last session—two months indeed after it was read a second time—the Small Holdings Bill was introduced by the Government for England and that Bill passed into law. As to a comparison between these two Bills, I mention the English Bill now in order to point out the distinction which is apt to render all such comparisons illusory. The English Bill provided solely for the creation of new holdings and allotments, but the aim of this Bill is not so simple, and no matter what your scheme may be, it cannot be so simple, for while there are in Scotland, as in England, county councils charged with duties under the Small Holdings Act of 1892, we have in addition in Scotland two other bodies which have powers in regard to small holdings, or what are virtually small holdings. Since 1886 the Statutory Crofters Commission has been at work in Scotland, and there is also the Congested Districts Board. Neither of these bodies has its analogue in England. The Congested Districts Board, although it has worked assiduously and has met with considerable success, is imperfectly equipped, and in the public interest it "is in urgent need of reorganisation and of development for the proper discharge of its duties. These duties are somewhat miscellaneous. They relate to piers, harbour lights, roads, footpaths and the like. The Board performs further the duties of the Department of Agriculture for that part of Scotland, but its largest undertakings have been purchases of land for the purpose of resale to tenants, and latterly carrying out a scheme for the settlement of tenants upon land as tenants under the Crofters Act. On the other hand, the Crofters Commission is a judicial body charged with the duty of fixing fair rents and other duties laid upon them by the Statute. It has done this work with general acceptance, and while it is looked upon as the guardian of their rights by the great body of the crofters and tenants, it has the respect and support, and in many cases the gratitude, of proprietors in the Highlands, as being a competent and impartial tribunal which has done justice to all sides. I suggest no comparison with his colleagues, the other Commissioners, when I say that the success and the high public appreciation of the work of this Commission is largely and properly identified in Scotland with the name of the first, hitherto the only, Chairman of the Commission, whose recent death, so deeply and widely mourned by his friends, has made this important office vacant. I refer to Sir David Graham. His name will not be forgotten by the Highland people, and his death has deprived Scotland of an able, faithful, and distinguished public servant. Any Secretary for Scotland responsible for legislation on the subject of small holdings in Scotland is bound therefore, to keep in view, not only the work of the county councils, of which there is only one instance in this respect in Scotland, but also the work of these two other authorities I have mentioned. This Bill does not touch in any shape or form the question of ownership of the land. It deals solely with conditions of occupation by the cultivating tenant. The House will naturally inquire why do we persevere with this Bill. On its merits, because we believe it to be urgently necessary, and because we believe—at any rate, that is our experience—that it is the only scheme which fits the facts of the situation. Why is this legislat on necessary? Nobody will deny that the business of farming has become more scientific. Cultivation, as it becomes more and more close, requires more brains, more education, more capital, and more security for the capital. Thirty years ago a fall in prices brought to a head an agitation among farmers of general education in this country for a remedy for their grievances The demand they put forward was for greater security of tenure, and the reply of Parliament was a series of Agricultural Holdings Act, beginning with the Act of 1879, the last of the series being the Act of last year. Among farmers of all sizes there are numerous cases still, I expect, at any rate in Scotland, in which the absence of security of tenure restrains the tenant from making improvements, acts as a check to his enterprise, and diminishes the productiveness of the soil, to his loss, and the loss of the community; and when we come to examine the circumstances of small holdings and small farms, Parliamentary inquiries, two of which have been held during the last sixteen or eighteen years, have told the same story. Small holdings are disappearing. In comparison with other countries, far less land is under such cultivation; there are far fewer small holdings in Scotland than in other countries. There is a far smaller proportion of our population living in the country districts and a far larger decrease of that rural population registered by every succeeding census. While the land has been brought under cultivation in recent years in foreign countries, in this country it has gone out of cultivation. While many of the best young men and women from the rural districts seek their fortune in America, Canada and other countries, and our small towns and villages are being starved for want of population, on the other hand you have the fact that our imports of perishable farm produce are enormously increased. The vital importance to the nation of a country population is admitted on all hands as valuable to agriculture and essential to the nation politically. If that is so it is obvious that the present system of land tenure—whatever be its merits in other directions—has signally and disastrously failed to keep the people on the land. The fact is that the inducements are not sufficient, and we have to increase them. In discussing this Bill in another place last year Lord Balfour of Burleigh said— It is more difficult for a landlord to get a good tenant than it is for a good tenant to get a farm. I say that if that is the case, there can be no greater condemnation of the present system. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may say that that is theory and may argue that the real root of the evil which has produced this state of things is not the lack of security of tenure. But I say that theory is supported by fact when a comparison is instituted with other countries. It is undeniably the fact that in every prominent agricultural producing country at the present time—whether in the form of ownership or in the form of tenancy or any other form—the cultivators have complete security of tenure.


Are there cases of other forms?


Yes, there are other forms in Denmark, there are other forms nearer home in many parts of England. I will refer the right hon. Gentleman to Evesham where the most successful system of cultivation has been developed.


I do not want to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but I thought he was speaking of foreign countries.


So I was, and I can point the right hon. Gentleman to France and Denmark where facilities are given for security of tenancy, although they may not be the same things which we propose by this Bill. In foreign countries they do give security of tenure. But let the right hon. Gentleman look nearer home. Let him look in England where in various parts he will find a tenant-right system, say in Essex. Let him go to Ireland; I am not afraid to go to Ireland for support for our scheme. The most successful part of Ireland from the agricultural point of view is the North of Ireland, where there exists a system of tenancy very comparable with the tenancy which we establish under this Bill. The value of security of tenure is that upon that foundation small cultivators have built up a fabric of education, of organisation, and of co-operation which are the only conditions under which the business of small farming can prosper, and be carried on successfully at the present time, We all know the improvements brought about in Scotland by the Crofters Act. And, as the right hon. Gentleman has suggested, security of tenure has been given in other ways. It has been given by purchase in Ireland, but I will not trouble the House about purchase at any length, and it is obvious to those who have studied this question that purchase does not settle the question. When you have established your scheme of purchase, when you have handed to your peasant proprietor his land, whether it is a small or a large plot, you do not settle this question, because it becomes his absolute property, and it is open to him to sell, mortgage, or get rid of his land, or subdivide it.


No, no.


The right hon. Gentleman I know differs from us on that point, and thinks he has provisions which will guard against those contingencies, but they exist in Ireland, under the measures of the late Government; therefore I would remind the House that these difficulties have still to be met even if you do establish a system of purchase. This Bill places no obstacle in the way of the sale of land to purchasers who wish to become small holders. It leaves to the county councils their present powers under the Act of 1892. As I have said before in this House on this subject, I believe that there is in Scotland a limited demand for purchase of land for small holdings for special purposes, and that demand I think is well within the capacity of private effort to satisfy, and nothing in this Bill interferes with the progress of the satisfaction of that demand. But there is no evidence whatever of a general demand for purchase in Scotland by people who are likely to become small holders. Landlords may be willing enough to sell in some cases, especially to the Government or to any public-authority, but it is too large a speculation for the small man and it requires four times at least the capital to purchase as it does to become the tenant of a holding, and these men will not entertain it for the very good reason that the cannot afford to do so. Let the small man by tenancy get his foot on the first rung of the ladder, and you can leave purchase and the rest to be undertaken by him in good time. Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bordesley that the Committee of 1890, though they reported in favour of purchase, did so in a great measure against the weight of evidence given in that Committee. Out of eighteen witnesses examined by that Committee, eleven declared in favour of tenancy, and it was the influence we are combatting now, the influence of the owners of the land, which induced that Committee to report in favour of purchase. We all know the result of that Act. Even in England it has not been of very great effect, while in Scotland there has only been one instance of land being taken under it. What is the method of giving security of tenure which is adopted by this Bill? The. Bill gives security of tenure under statutory conditions at a fair rent fixed by a Land Court, to all existing small holders of a rent of £50 or under, or alternatively, holding 50 acres or less. At the opening of my remarks I ventured to remind the House that the problem to be solved in Scotland was more complex than the kindred problem in England. Let me draw their attention now to the difference of method of this Bill. We think that to spend Government money in the creation and equipment of new small holdings in Scotland, without doing anything to prevent the tendencies which are bringing about the absorption of existing small holdings, would be an unjustifiable use of public money. These small holdings are the subject of agreement between landowner and tenant, which may be presumed to be satisfactory to both. They have survived their difficulties, which are not economic, but due to the fact that imperfect land laws have hitherto denied to them the security of tenure essential to their permanent existence and development. Scattered through Scotland as they are in twos and threes, and often groups of larger numbers, they are an invaluable nucleus and foundation for the organisation and co-operation without which they and the new small holdings which may be added to them cannot prosper. Their existence is imperilled in our view, by the absence of security of tenure and therefore the first step taken by this Bill is to place them under that condition. We have adopted the statutory conditions slightly amended of the Crofters Acts and applied those conditions throughout Scotland, replacing the Crofters Commission by a Land Court having jurisdiction throughout Scotland. The Congested Districts Board is abolished and succeeded by Commissioners of Agriculture for Scotland. It is obvious that the granting of fixity of tenure at a fail-rent to existing small holders is the mainspring of the objections to the Bill, and I have been severely censured for my supposed unwillingness to accept Amendments to the Bill. I do not think that accusation can be made good. There are two classes of Amendments. There are Amendments which are openly intended to destroy. This Bill, founded as it is on the principle of security of tenure, from which naturally flows a fair rent, under an authority to fix the fair rent, does not admit of the consideration of Amendments obviously intended to destroy the principle. There is another class of Amendment. The Amendment intended to correct errors, to facilitate smooth working, to extend, if you like, in some respect the operation of the Bill or to restrict it. These Amendments have been freely considered by the Government, who have always been willing and are willing still—willing and anxious—to consider all proposals and suggestions that are made with that view. Nobody can deny that fixity of tenure must imply an impartial independent authority to fix a fair rent, no matter by what name that authority is called. Undoubtedly, that is the central principle of the Bill, and if security of tenure is to be given, if some rent-fixing tribunal is to be set up, in the opinion of the Government the Land Court proposed in the Bill is likely to be the best, most expert, capable and impartial and cheapest tribunal which can be obtained. It is not a Land Court upon the Irish model. Its powers and duties differ in most important respects from the Irish example, and so does the Statute which it will have to administer. It is a system of which we have had trial and successful trial in Scotland in small holdings. One other point I would mention in regard to this security of tenancy in regard to existing small holdings. Our desire is to give this security of tenure with the minimum of interference with the present system of tenancy. For this purpose, while a small holder cannot be deprived of his right of fixity of tenure, he is under the Bill at liberty to enter into an agreement as to rent for a term of years, which agreement is binding upon him as long as it lasts, and suspends the exercise by him of the right to a fair rent fixed by the Land Court. There are some other objections upon which I should like to say a word or two. The impartiality and competence of the Land Court is questioned. Such criticism is either directed against the Government which appoints the Land Court, or against the possible conduct of public officials and servants in Scotland. I say without reserve that I will be no party to the appointment of what can fairly be characterised as a partisan Court, and I know no member of the Government who would. Further. I have complete confidence that those who are appointed will be guided, by the sense of public duty and responsibility proper to their judicial or quasi-judicial functions. But apart from the question of the authority, apart from the machinery, this proceeding of giving security of tenure to the existing tenants is strongly opposed, and by nobody more strongly than by the Leader of the Opposition. In a speech at Glasgow recently he described it as confiscation, not only of the land, but of the landlord's capital in the land. Now confiscation is a hard word and a plain word in its meaning, though it is often used some what recklessly in political controversy, and I cannot reconcile the plain meaning of the word with what is proposed it the Bill. Here is the position. The nation is losing its country population and threatened by symptoms of physical deterioration, and yet having to do its utmost to maintain the physique of its people for their own sake, to compete with other nations, to maintain our industrial efficiency and to man the Army and the Navy. Was there ever a set of circumstances which more amply justified the interference of the State, and surely it is too late to contend that the State under no circumstances is justified in interfering in the relations between landlord and tenant. What are all our factory laws, sanitary laws, public health laws but interferences of a similar kind? And even in regard to the use of land for railways, for housing schemes and for other public improvements, Parliament has interfered to enable the public interests to override the private interests concerned. Here is a great public purpose if there ever was one, where the public interest is at stake, and in this Bill there is I believe the minimum of interference necessary to achieve the end in view. The land remains the property of the landlord, to sell, to bequeath, or to mortgage. He retains his mineral, his timber, and his sporting rights. He is to get a fair rent for it, equipped as it is, and a fair rent for his capital. His capital and his improvements are protected by statutory conditions which he can enforce and which the Land Court is bound to help him to enforce. If any other statutory conditions can be suggested, which do not interfere with the sense of security of tenure of the tenant, we shall be very willing to consider them. All that is done by this Bill is done now by a good landlord—and I am far from making any accusation against landlords as a class, when I say that it is the system, the law, that is at fault and of which we complain, and which we now propose to amend, and not landlords personally. But there are landlords who are not good landlords. There are landlords who are poor landlords and cannot afford to lay out money on their property. There are landlords who are represented by factors. There are trustees who are landlords, and the upshot of the system as a whole is that we have come to the present pass, and a remedy is urgently called for. Another argument which is put forward by landlords is that legislation of this kind will disturb the existing relations between landlord and tenant. No doubt it will alter those relations, but I believe that it will alter them for the better. Recently some gentlemen visited some of the crofter districts, and subsequently recorded their opinion of the working of the Crofters Act, and they say that— The chief good effect of the Crofters Act has been to give the crofters complete independence and full security for fair rents and for improvements made in their houses and holdings. It is scarcely open to doubt that the sense of security which has been created has mitigated the agrarian difficulties which existed before the passing of the Act. The Acts have also encouraged the crofters to improve their houses, in so far as they had the means and desire to do so, since they are now protected against the risk of losing the advantage of their improvements. That is the evidence of witnesses by no means friendly to this Bill, as having been the result and effect of crofter legislation. No doubt the landowner does lose some of his arbitrary rights. That is true; but in any walk of life is the arbitrary power of one man over another likely to foster good relations between them? I say that the restraint of such arbitrary power and the giving to men of a sense of independence, is likely to increase their sense of justice and equality and fair play which is the salt and strength of the British nation. There will in future, it is urged again, be no landlords' expenditure upon those small holdings. I am not in the least alarmed on that score. In the first place, this Government has come forward to enable landlords to overcome what has been the obstacle to the creation of small holdings, viz., the cost of equipment, and the Bill provides for loans to new holders for the erection of their houses and their buildings. In the second place, let me remind you that the tenant of existing as well as new holdings is free to enter into agreements as to rent. This opens the door to the landlord if he is still willing to maintain the old relationship and his former responsibilities towards the holding; for an agreement as to rent obviously may include a quid pro quo in the shape of money provided for buildings or for some other improvement; and therefore, if the small holders cannot get on without the landlords' capital the Bill provides the opportunity for the landlords to come forward and help in this way. Thirdly, let me remind the House that the experience of the crofter system has shown that in these remote and unfertile regions tenants will come forward and expend their own capital to improve their own homes where landlords' capital has not in many cases been forthcoming. Fourthly, let me call the attention of hon. Members to the fact that the prosperity of agriculture in other countries—say Canada and Denmark—does not rest upon landlords' capital.


They are all landowners.


It depends upon the tenants themselves. In these countries it does not depend upon the landowners' capital; that is to say, the capital of wealthy men who can afford to own land. It depends upon themselves.


They are owners.


The right hon. Gentleman sees purchase in everything, but I wish to point out that once you give security of tenure you provide a foundation for the use of credit, for the employment of co-operation, for the establishment of laud banks and the development of agricultural organisation for which there is no firm basis at present, and which will go far to fill the gap, if there is any gap left by the absence of landlord's capital. Another objection is entertained by some farmers who apprehend that their farms, or a part of them, may at any time be taken for the creation of new holdings. This point was raised in Committee, and words were inserted to safeguard the interests of farms under close cultivation. I believe the provisions of the Bill as it stands will meet that difficulty, and the real check upon the Agricultural Commissioners in regard to any rash proceedings of this kind is the money compensation which they will be obliged to pay. If any further suggestions can be put forward which will meet those apprehensions we shall be glad to consider them and to insert any other reasonable precautions which do not interfere with the working of the Bill. It is repeatedly urged that Scottish opinion is against us, and Bills have repeatedly been introduced in another place formulating a rival policy. It is something at any rate for us to have achieved that and brought hon. Gentlemen opposite to the point of embodying their policy in measures after an interval of fifteen years, and thus admitting the necessity of legislation. But let me point out that it was not until after the English Bill of the present Government was introduced that they found salvation. I need not describe these rival Bills which embody the criticisms which were made on this Bill in another place last year. I should like to point out one or two difficulties which they present. In the first place, their policy takes two Bills instead of one. The first amends the Crofters Act, confines it to the crofters area and amalgamates the Congested Districts Board with the Crofters Commission, that is to say amalgamates an administrative body with a quasi-judicial authority which is at present subject to no appeal. The second Bill adapts the clauses of the English Bill of last session, or attempts to adapt them, to Scottish circumstances. I think there are grave and fatal objections on their merits to the policy embodied in these Bills. Examine the notion of employing county councils for this purpose in Scotland. Look at the cost in the first place of making every county council in Scotland a landowner, buying and selling land, with an office in every county where at present there is no staff for the purpose. Look at the initial cost of such a system. County councils in Scotland are not representative bodies.




I doubt whether they ever can be representative in the full sense, I am not making any accusation against the county councils or their members. I ask the hon. Gentleman to look at the map of Scotland. He will find not only in the Highlands but in the Lowlands to a far larger extent than in England, that in every county there is a remote inaccessible district not traversed by railways, or any means of rapid communication and the result is that members of county councils inevitably find it extremely difficult to attend, to sacrifice the time and the money, to give up a day or two days to attend meetings. That is a physical and I think for some time to come an insuperable difficulty to county councils in Scotland being so thoroughly representative as they are in England and I think it is an insuperable obstacle to their ever undertaking business which requires frequent attendance at the county council. Then take another point. Scotch counties are much poorer than English counties. Scotland has about half the area of England. It has only one-sixth of the population. Take the counties of Northumberland and Berwick. You will find that Berwick has three-quarters of the acreage of Northumberland. Northumberland has ten times the population of Berwick and seven times the valuation, excluding the towns. Many of the Scottish counties are a great deal poorer than English counties and, therefore, are less likely to be able to afford to embark on this business of creating small holdings, whether by purchase or in any other way. They are much more likely to be timid and cautious, and very' properly so. There is another reason which would contribute to their caution. They are largely manned by owners of land. The rates in Scotland fall on the owners and the occupiers. In England they fall almost entirely upon the occupiers. After all I think this is a burden which would more properly fall on taxes than on rates. It is likely to be very unequal as falling upon different counties, and it will have to come to that in the end. Then again, in Scotland we are not accustomed as hon. Gentlemen opposite know, to overriding one authority by another. Then look at the duplication of authority. In the Highlands you are to have the Crofters Commission creating and enlarging holdings and doing all the work of the Board of Agriculture for the crofters, the crofters looking to them for the protection of their rights and to fix a fair rent. In the same counties you are to have county and parish councils creating small holders and allotment holders subject to being overridden by a branch board in Edinburgh, and that branch subject to the authority of the Department of Agriculture in London. Any scheme more likely to lead to extravagance and confusion I cannot imagine. I do not think the Government could have dared to propose it. On their merits, therefore, there would be great difficulty in inducing the people of Scotland to believe that these are practicable alternatives to our proposal. To what extent are they supported? Lord Balfour of Burleigh made a long speech in the House of Lords criticising the Government Bill. He said he thought it was an honest Bill, and I thank him for that admission. But he did not say one word in favour of committing these powers to county councils. Lord Rosebery also made a speech on that occasion. He was a Member of the Government that passed the Crofters Act, and was Prime Minister when Sir George Trevelyan brought forward his Bill about extending the Crofters Act to eight additional counties. The Bill never passed. It was never even discussed in Committee, but it was always understood in Scotland as providing a real and effective extension of the Crofters Act and if it had been on examination shown to be anything short of that it would never have been accepted as meeting what was then the demand of Scotland in that regard. Lord Rosebery, so far as I can understand, and I hope I do him no injustice, now opposes the extension of the area of the Crofters Act and supports the application of the English Act to the rest of Scotland. I am not sure of this. There is room for doubt, because recently in Glasgow he declared himself in favour of purchase. That is another alternative. He denounced the machinery of this Bill for the establishment of Agricultural Commissioners and a Land Court as savouring of an Edinburgh job and as an insult to county councils. If there is offence to Scottish sentiments, where is the greater offence—in the Government Bill which leaves the county councils their present powers without interference and without being overridden, and establishes the machinery of this Bill with a Scottish Agricultural Department, or in the English Bill which establishes in Scotland simply a branch of the English Board, which cannot help being a predominantly English Board, which can do nothing without the authority of that Board, and gives to the Board and also to its subordinate branch in Edinburgh power to override the county councils, and I believe the parish councils, and march into every county and parish in Scotland for the purpose? Let me say a word then about the opinion in the House of Commons. During the debates in this House the Opposition gave no indication whatever of having found salvation until after the introduction of the Government's English Bill, except that on one occasion during the debates the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition declared himself in favour of a purchase scheme. But the Opposition has, I am sorry to say, been strongly fortified in their work on this occasion by my hon. friend the Member for Leith Burghs. What is his position in regard to this Bill? The other night he declared the Bill to be, in his opinion, unamendable—so bad that nothing could possibly make it a measure worth passing into law. That was not always his opinion. When the Bill was first introduced into this House he gave it a hearty support, subsequently, I admit, explaining that he gave that support under a misapprehension which was cleared up a few days later. But in supporting the Bill he made some general statements which I think I may fairly quote as indicating that he has come to his present position gradually. He said— When they came to extend the crofting area, there was nothing for it except the inclusion of the whole of Scotland. That was inevitable. They might dispute as to the exact kind of protection to be given to the small tenant within the crofting area and outside of it, but whatever they did beyond the crofting area must necessarily extend to the whole of Scotland. And as bearing on the subject of county councils, let me quote this from the same speech— Local authorities were really of no use in dealing with the subject of allotments or small holdings. My hon. friend may object to my quoting the passages which I have just read, as having been uttered before he saw the Bill in print, but some time after he had seen the Bill in print he again spoke on the subject, at the meeting of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture in Edinburgh, on 10th October, 1906, and let me quote from what he then said— In regard to the Bill, I speak as one who is in favour of its main provisions. I believe in a Land Commission, I do not think the county councils are of much use in such a matter. I believe in the £50 holdings: I believe in applying the Bill to the whole of Scotland, and I believe in a separate Board of Agriculture for Scotland. These are general observations which I find it very difficult to reconcile with the position which my hon. friend has taken up in regard to the Bill, and which I greatly regret. Then take the indications of public opinion outside Parliament. The Party to which I have the honour to belong has consistently advocated the amendment of the Crofters Act, and its extension to the eight additional counties included in the 1895 Bill has long been the official policy of the Party. What of the Unionist Party? They, I assume, are now in the position of opposing all extension of the area of the Crofters Act. In the eight additional counties of the Trevelyan Bill, one after another of their candidates, successful or unsuccessful, from 1892 to the present time, has declared himself in favour of the extension of the Crofters Act and its application to those counties. Then take the opinion of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture. Their attitude has varied. The first occasion on which they considered this Bill was at the conference which I have mentioned, on 10th October, 1906. Their resolution on that occasion was not condemnatory of the Bill, but expressed the opinion that full information should be obtained before legislation is introduced further, and that the conference was opposed to the provision in the Small Landholders Bill by which it is proposed to establish a system of dual ownership in Scotland. Down to this present time they have not said one word in favour of adopting the county council as the authority for such legislation. I want now to correct one or two misapprehensions about the Bill, and then I will sit down. It has been stated in regard to the Agricultural Commission we wish to establish that the expenses of that Department will fall upon and, pro tanto, diminish the fund of £100,000 set aside under the Bill for the purpose of creating small holdings. That is not the case, because the expenses of that Department will be defrayed by the Votes. Therefore, there is no limit, except the limit imposed by Parliament and the Treasury, to such expenditure, and there is no obstacle in the way of giving Scotland as well an equipped Department as any other Department discharging similar duties. It is intended that this Department shall be well equipped, and that it shall be an efficient servant of Scottish agriculture. Let me say one or two words about another misapprehension concerning the exclusion of Canadian cattle. I may point out that that is not a matter which falls within the province of the Agricultural Department at all, because it has been determined by statute. We have argued this matter repeatedly and nobody has taken greater interest in it than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin, who has strenuously opposed the establishment of a separate Board of Agriculture for Scotland. He said on 23rd October, 1895, when he paid his first visit to Scotland as President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries— If you are going to break up your Department, do not make two bites of a cherry. Take hold of your nettle, and do not mince matters. If you are not satisfied with the Agricultural Department, do not be content wish asking that which would be of no use to you at all, a man in Edinburgh who would be subordinate to the Minister in London, who could give no answer without communicating with the Minister, and who could afford no informal ion which you could not get yourselves by writing a note. I submit this Bill again with confidence to the House because, in my judgment, it stands as the only scheme which fits the facts of the case. No doubt there will be plenty of opportunities for us to examine the rival Bill, but in my judgment no practical alternative has yet been suggested. The opposition to the Bill is, in essence, a political opposition, and those who are leading it are, with exceptions, those who oppose the Government not on this count only but on all counts. They are chiefly owners of land in Scotland, against whom personally I have no feeling of hostility whatever; but they have openly scorned and resented the authority of the promoters of this Bill to deal with this subject. We pretend to no special authority whatever. Our authority comes from the support of this House which has been so emphatic and it is this House which speaks for the people. It has never been admitted that landowners or any class of men are the best judges or should be the sole judges in their own case. Landowners not less than any other class desired to be fair to others, but I suggest with all humility that it is true that landowners, from the very nature of the case, are not in sympathy with the feelings of the tenants or farm servants. [An HON. MEMBER: Why not?] Because they have never been tenants or farm servants, and it is the hardest thing for anyone to understand another man's point of view, especially when we are in business relations with that man. We are confident that in putting forward this Bill we have the support of a large number of the farmers of Scotland. ["No."] I have had as good an opportunity as other hon. Members of ascertaining public opinion upon this Bill, and I am giving my individual opinion for what it is worth. I say that this measure has the support of a large number of farmers, who have as good a right to their opinion as other men. There is no doubt whatever that the opinion of the mass of the people is that this Bill opens a career to the men working on the land. It will give them incentive to thrift and industry, and strengthen the character of the people as a whole. I trust that this Bill will be honestly and fairly considered. The Government are willing and anxious to consider amendments and changes which may be suggested. [An HON. MEMBER: There is no time.] There will be opportunities offered to the opponents of this Bill to suggest Amendments. ["Where?"] In another place, [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"] My own opinion is that it would be a reckless course of conduct to refuse without further consideration to pass this measure because that would put a stop to the progress of this branch of farming in Scotland; you would be making it known that there is to be no greater security of tenure to farmers, and denying to Scotland what I believe her people really want. I beg to move.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Sinclair.)

MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S. E.)

in moving the following Amendment, "That this House whilst desirous of increasing the number of small owners and occupiers in Scotland wherever they are likely to prosper, declines to proceed with a Bill which establishes in the Lowlands of Scotland a system of land tenure alien to the traditions of the people and utterly unsuited to the conditions of agriculture," said the Secretary for Scotland began his speech by asking why did the Government proceed with this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had occupied sixty-five minutes in explaining why the Government had proceeded with the Bill, but the question remained a riddle still. The right hon. Gentleman had only left the House two hours and three-quarters, and it was a little too much to hear a democratic Minister say, in effect: It does not matter what you discuss in this House, for the Bill will go to another place. They had some discussion last week on the question of the guillotine. But he would not deal with that now, because they had been told that minorities must suffer. Neither would he refer to that fruitful topic, the proceedings of the Grand Committee. They had left pleasing memories in his mind—memories of the courtesy, good nature, and kindness of his political opponents and a strong appreciation of the many good characteristics of the Scottish people. Those memories only strengthened his determination to prevent the infliction upon so charming a people of the misfortune of the passing of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that fixity of tenure was the greatest thing in the world. He had told the House strange tales of how small men had succeeded because they had security of tenure, that there was no such thing in Scotland, and that the only way to get it was by passing this measure. He had made charges against landlords. True, he spoke in a moderate tone about them, and said they had arbitrary powers, were out of sympathy with their tenants, and could not understand the points of view of other people, and that therefore their powers should be curbed. He had charged some of his opponents with using language which pointed to confiscation. He (Mr. Lambton) objected to the Bill not only because of what it contained, but because of the whole tone and spirit of it, and because the foundation of the Government's agrarian policy had been hostility to the landlords. When the Bill of last year was introduced, and again to-day, when reintroduced, the right hon. Gentleman described it as a great democratic measure. The right hon. Gentleman said that he and his friends were wedded to Liberal principles and Constitutional practices. That might be so, but he did not think he could congratulate them on their fidelity. There seemed to him to have been a great many lapses latterly. During the past two years they had been flirting with Socialism, and now they were flirting with anarchy. He maintained that half of the evils in the Bills proposed by the Government, and half of the faults of the measure now before the House, were due to the alliance made with the Socialist. Party below the gangway.

MR. SINCLAIR indicated dissent.


said that if the right hon. Gentleman objected to the word "alliance" he would withdraw the expression, and say they were the tools of Socialism. They had not heard in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman anything with regard to the purchase of land. Everybody knew that the Socialist Party objected to the purchase of land, and he believed the reason why the possibility of anyone becoming the owner of his holding had been denied in this measure was to be found in the opposition of hon. Members below the gangway. Hon. Members on that side of the House thought that a great mistake; they considered it desirable to increase the number of small owners as well as the number of small occupiers. He did not make this charge without authority. He could quote high authority. Last year before the introduction of the English and Scottish Bills speeches were made by the Prime Minister and the Under-Secretary for the Colonies. The Prime Minister speaking at a luncheon at the Holborn Restaurant attributed the depopulation of the rural districts to the fact that the labourers could not call their souls their own. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] That statement was cheered on the other side. He thought at the time that it was a slip of the tongue, or one of those things said to a too ignorant audience, and that it would not be repeated. But it was repeated to the Drury Lane audience by the Under-Secretary for the Colonies. That sort of charge was what produced hostility on that side to the measures of the Government. His opposition to these measures was because they were bad measures. He was not one of those people who cared which quarter measures came from. He looked at their merits and judged accordingly. He objected to the principle of legislation of this kind. There seemed to be a desire to do something uncomfortable to the landlords. The Government must remember that they were trying to ride three horses at once in this matter. He dared say that the English Land Act was an excellent measure. Hon. Members opposite said it was a great triumph of legislation, but they would on no account apply it to Scotland. They were going to spend £65,000 a year to establish in Scotland a system which they were to spend about £100,000,000 in getting rid of in Ireland. He would not venture to speak on this particular subject had he not some knowledge of the conditions in the Lowlands of Scotland. He could not see why the Lowlands of Scotland should not be treated in the same way as England. He had been for fifty years on the border of Scotland. He did not think that hon. Members in going through the counties of Roxburgh and Berwick would know whether they were on Scottish or English soil, for the conditions were practically the same in regard to flocks and herds, farms and farm buildings. [An HON. MEMBER: The laws are different.] He did not think that was a relevant interruption. The conditions being practically the same, why could not legislation suitable for England be extended to that part of Scotland? He had never yet heard a feasible argument against it. He knew that there was one put forward by the Prime Minister last autumn, but he did not think it was a good one. The right hon. Gentleman told an audience in Scotland that Scotland must have this Bill becauses the Tweed was not dry yet. That was a physical fact which could not be denied. He thought the Prime Minister was wise in making that statement, because it could not be contradicted. Supposing the Welsh Members became a little restive in regard to the Welsh Disestablishment Bill all the Prime Minister had to say was that Snowdon was not yet flat. Last year when it was broadly stated that there was lawlessness in Ireland, that the Government had ceased to exercise the right to govern and had handed over its power to the Irish League, all that the Attorney-General for Ireland had to say was that there was still salt water in St. George's Channel These geographical reasons were not good reasons. The right hon. Gentleman objected to purchase in Scotland. Why did he object to give to the loyal Scottish what the Government were so anxious to give to the Irish? Dual ownership was established in Ireland. It was proposed to establish in Scotland what existed in Ireland. They knew that in Ireland people were only too anxious to own their land. Was the right hon. Gentleman quite sure that in establishing that system in Scotland there would not be brought about the evils which had attended the system in Ireland? What example was the Government going to give people in Scotland to be patient under this Bill, and to hold their land until they obtained that which the Government had promised them—this elysium in the shape of security of tenure? There was only to be £65,000 advanced for this purpose. Many people might become impatient. Were they to be allowed to break the law and to render the lives of others insupportable because the right hon. Gentleman could not give them what they desired? To apply the Irish system to Scotland would be fraught with danger. There were many objections to the Scottish Bill of last year. In the first place, it was a Bill to legislate by reference, and all authorities would agree that there was no worse way. It was proposed to apply the Crofters Act throughout Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman had quoted some remarks from a Report pointing out how the crofters had benefited by having security of tenure given to them. It was obvious from the fact that the crofters had benefited that they deserved the Act. He did not think anybody objected to the passing of the Crofters Act, or similar legislation, for the crofters had made their own improvements and built their own houses. The crofting districts were in an entirely different position in that respect from the rest of Scotland. The quotation read by the right hon. Gentleman applied solely to the persons living under crofter conditions. If the right hon. Gentleman had read another portion of the Report he would have seen that the Commission reported quite the opposite in regard to the Lowlands. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to point out a single case in which these conditions existed in the Lowlands. He had never been able to get the right hon. Gentlemen, or any of the people who advised the Government in Scotland, to point out any specific case in which a tenant in the Lowlands had made his own improvements, and yet the Crofters Act was to be extended all over Scotland, although the conditions were different. In the Amendment he said that the Bill proposed to establish in the Lowlands of Scotland "a system of land tenure alien to the traditions of the people and utterly unsuited to the conditions of agriculture." Although the Crofters Act did justice to the tenants, it had not produced a satisfactory state of agriculture in the Highlands. Evidence went to show that although the houses might in certain instances be improvements they were not suitable habitations from a sanitary point of view for other parts of Scotland. Yet the right hon. Gentleman pointed to the Congested Districts Board as a panacea for the rest of Scotland. Being a Scotsman himself the right hon. Gentleman should recognise that the agriculture of Scotland was the highest form of agriculture in the world, and yet he came down to the House and said that the system of land tenure in Scotland had been an absolute failure.


What I said was that the system, whatever its merits, was fatal to keeping people on the land.


said the right hon. Gentleman stated that that was the fault of the system. The evidence given before the Commission said that depopulation in the crofter districts had been as great as in the other parts of the country. Therefore, according to the light hon. Gentleman's own showing, although the crofters had security of tenure the decrease of population in those districts was as great as in other parts of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman knew perfectly well that it was not the English land system that accounted for repopulation. It was going on in the other countries of Europe, and even in Canada the same thing was taking place. People were leaving the land for the towns, and they all recognised that it was a great evil. It was a fallacy to say that it was the fault of the English land system. The right hon. Gentleman had not referred to the very important question of rates. In the crofting districts no rates were paid in respect of the buildings on the holdings. Did he mean to apply that exemption to the rest of Scotland? If he did, it would be a great hardship to the holders of property in the other districts. The right hon. Gentleman was very proud of the constitution of the Land Court, believing that it would be of great advantage to small landholders. But he and his friends on that side of the House objected altogether to a Land Court for fixing rents and deciding the compensation to be paid. Why should the relations of landlord and tenant be decided by a Land Court? The provisions for the constitution of the Land Court were of the most arbitrary description he had ever heard of. Then the right hon. Gentleman said that there ought to be an Agricultural Commission set up for Scotland. The constitution of such a Commission might be a very good thing in the right hon. Gentleman's eyes, but it was not, in his (Mr. Lambton's) opinion, necessary. The existing Agricultural Commission in England might do all the work required of it in Scotland perfectly well. There was no necessity for a new Agricultural Commission for Scotland—it would involve two sets of authority and two sets of rules and conditions, which would prove most tiresome to both farmers and merchants. Those who attended great agricultural markets like Berwick-on-Tweed and Carlisle were not to know under what conditions their transactions were being conducted. The necessity for this Bill had never been shown, and there was no reason why the English Small Holdings Act should not be made applicable to Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman had said that poor men were not represented on the county councils of Scotland; but he thought that the Scottish of the rural districts were men of independence. At any rate, the same conditions existed in England, and any difficulties that might arise were being got over every day. The county councils in Scotland were being granted by this Bill extensive powers with which they should not be entrusted. The right hon. Gentleman had made the extraordinary statement that Scotland was a poor country, and that the small landholders should be enabled to equip and furnish their holdings. But why should the cost be placed on the rates in England, and in Scotland on the taxes? That was perfectly unjustifiable. They had not yet Home Rule in Scotland, and if there was going to be a great new system of land tenure for that country passed by the House, they ought to see that the financial conditions were equal to those that existed in England: that what came out of the taxes in England should come out of the taxes in Scotland, and what came out of the rates in England should come out of the rates in Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that Scotland was a poor country, and that they were unable to look after their own affairs.




said that the right hon. Gentleman told the House that the county councils were not representative. What then were the people of Scotland doing? The hon. and learned Member for South Edinburgh had told them that the people of Scotland had made up their minds in regard to a reform of the county councils.

MR. A. DEWAR (Edinburgh, S.)

said that what he had stated was that there were large counties in Scotland from many parts of which the meeting places of the county councils, were inaccessible, and that therefore these could not be represented by poor men. It sometimes took a three days journey to get to the capital town of the county.


said that the Secretary for Scotland had declared that the people could not look after their own affairs; and now that was whittled down by the hon. and learned Member for South Edinburgh to the statement that there were a few places in Scotland from which it cost a good deal of money to get to the meetings of the county council. When the debate took place in the other House—although he would prefer to have the discussions in the House of Commons—he hoped that the remarks of the Secretary for Scotland and of the hon. and learned Member for South Edin- burgh would be remembered. There was no validity in the remarks of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He most seriously asked the House to pause before passing a measure such as this. There was no necessity for it. He was not one of those who declared that this was a measure which was never meant to pass; but he did not think that hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial Benches, although they wished it to pass, ever expected to pass it now. He believed that the reason why so many Members opposite thought well of it was because it was one of those which went to filling up the cup. He did not know how long their siege of the House of Lords was going to last. Frontal attacks were very dangerous, and so they were resorting to flank movements. The House of Lords would, however, take care of itself, and he did not think that this measure was of a sort that would shake its foundations. The Secretary for Scotland had said that he had got some support for the Bill from farmers in Scotland, but his own belief was that all the farmers with holdings of greater extent than fifty acres were opposed to it. They would have no security at all for their farms under its provisions. They might be taken from them and cut up into small holdings to-morrow. But it was not only the farmers who would be left insecure; the stewards, shepherds, and farm labourers would be in the same position. He knew something of the landlords of Scotland, and they would not embark their capital in new equipment for their farms; they would not build new houses for their stewards, shepherds, and labourers, and the Bill if it became law would lead to great distrust in the agricultural community. In the Lowlands of Scotland they knew what agriculture was. They did not farm patches of land and eke out a living by fishing. The stewards, shepherds, and farm servants in the Lowlands were, he ventured to say, better housed than any crofter in the Highlands, and their houses were erected and maintained at the expense of the landlords. He had known the landlords in the Lowlands all his life, and he was sure that it had never entered into their minds to oppress their tenants or farm labourers—very far from it. There had been political attacks upon the landlords, but he maintained that they had borne uncomplainingly the sufferings due to agricultural depression during the last forty or fifty years. The right hon. Gentleman had made attacks upon them for their shortcomings and the want of security of tenure which their tenants had, but he would point out that the Tents had gone down from £60,000,000 to £40,000,000 during the last fifty years. Moreover, there was not a district in Scotland where more money tad not been spent on improvements during the past twenty-five years than in any previous quarter of a century, and yet the return on the capital expended was very much smaller than formerly. The assertions that the landlords did not do their duty were unjust and were made to catch votes. He thought that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite had found out their mistake in that respect and that they should trust to the solid middle-class opinion of England. Honest men did not like such attacks as had been lately made on the landlords of the country. This Bill ought not to pass. If it would conduce to the interests of agriculture he would support it. The right hon. Gentleman's intentions, his hopes, and his auguries might be very good, but the Bill itself by which he proposed to carry them out was a hopeless mockery. He begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.

*MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)

said he was not one of those who thought for a moment that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland bad not a sincere desire to pass this Bill on its merits. He believed with his hon. friend who had just spoken that the right hon. Gentleman could not expect to fulfil that desire by proceeding to deal with the whole of Scotland in one measure instead of two. He happened to be in the unfortunate position of representing both the Highlands and the Lowlands, and he found on many occasions that he had to take the view of one section of his constituents on a particular measure and the view of the other section on another measure. But in this particular case he was inclined to think that both sections desired some kind of measure which would increase the number of small holdings in Scotland. However, the Lowland part of his constituents did not approve of the crofterisation of their agriculture; and when he fully explained his position to his constituents in Oban he found that they did not desire to be made a cat's paw of in order to crofterise the Lowlands, and that they had no desire to back up the right hon. Gentleman opposite in pressing the scheme of this Bill. He thought he was entitled to complain of the persistence with which the right hon. Gentleman unfairly presented the attitude of the Unionist party on the Crofter question. What had been the Unionist record in the past? Who had done most for the crofters I He frankly admitted that the Liberal Party had the credit of passing the Crofters Act of 1886. He gave them every credit for that, but they passed it with the general support of their political opponents, who in many respects desired to extend it beyond the principles on which it was founded. And the curious fact was that every shilling since voted in the interests of the crofters had been voted by the Unionists who, by the irony of fate, almost immediately after the Bill was passed into law, by the turn of the screw, came into power. Their first step was to pass an Act making a grant of £30,000 to the Scottish Fishery Board for the benefit of the poor fishermen crofters on the West Coast; and consistently from that time these Crofters Acts had been sympathetically and generously administered by the Unionists for 17 years. Lord Lothian appointed a Commission in 1889, of which Mr. Spencer Walpole was the chairman, to find a remedy for the destitution and discontent which then existed. That Commission reported in 1890, recommending railway extensions and grants for lines of steamers, piers, and harbours, to the immense advantage of the crofting population and the country as a whole. The Government passed the Highlands and Islands Works Act in 1891, under which no less than £200,000 was granted to and spent on the poorer parts of these districts in order to help them. In the course of time the Act was superseded by the Congested Districts Boards Act, under which £350,000 had been spent. During the whole of this period hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite were only in power for three years, from 1892 to 1895, during which time they did nothing whatever. He remembered that the bon. Member for Invernesshire re signed his seat as a protest against what he considered was the neglect of the crofting interest. He called attention to this because throughout the whole of the discussions that had taken place on this question not a single word of acknowledgment had fallen from the right hon. Gentlemen or the Lord-Advocate with regard to the services rendered by the Conservatives and the Unionist Party. As they could not get any acknowledgment from the Government for the credit they were entitled to demand, he claimed that credit now. They were anxious to continue their policy and help these people. The crofters were never in a more distressing condition than at present. Legislation had been too long delayed, and it would be delayed again if the right hon. gentleman persisted in his policy of making a condition of his scheme the crofterisation of the whole of Scotland. That was a price they could not pay and which they would not pay. It would deny to the crofter the legislation they should immediately receive. He vigorously protested against the right hon. Gentleman persisting to deal with the whole of Scotland under one scheme, instead of two.

Amendment proposed— To leave out all the words after the word 'that' in order to insert the words 'this House, while desirous of increasing the number of small owners and occupiers in Scotland where-ever they are likely to prosper, declines to proceed with a Bill which establishes in the Lowlands a system of land tenure alien to the traditions of the people and utterly unsuited to the conditions of agriculture.'"—(Mr. Lambton.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

*MR. H. J. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

said he would like to make it quite clear at the outset that he was deeply impressed with the gravity and danger of rural depopulation on the one hand, and the accompanying phenomenon of urban overcrowding on the other. In the recent discussions there had been an almost universal agreement as to the desirability of setting up small holdings in the abstract. But when it came to the concrete, the desirability was so overlaid with doubts and difficulties that the advocacy became mere lip service. The Bill in no way met the difficulties, and in so far as it ignored them it merely did paper service. But other countries which had similar difficulties had met them with success, and their success was a warrant for our proceeding on their lines. This Bill was dangerous in principle and defective in machinery. It was dangerous in principle because it set up dual ownership, which in Ireland had produced such disastrous effects. It was defective in machinery because it set up a permanent board divorced alike from popular control and all touch with local sentiment. What was required was a popularly elected body practically acquainted with the special circumstances of the particular districts, and above all outside the influence of red tape and routine. The Bill might be suitable to the Highlands, but it was unsuitable to the county which he had had the honour to represent in this House for fourteen years. He contended that it was unsuitable to the needs of Scotland because there was no analogy between the Highlands and the Lowlands. What sort of holdings were contemplated by this Bill? Many of its supporters appeared to think that ordinary extensive agriculture could be successfully pursued under its provisions. They were mistaken. In the Lowlands, and, in speaking of the Lowlands he desired to bind himself to Berwickshire, East and Mid Lothian, and any part of Roxburghshire, it was impossible to make fifty acres pay by ordinary extensive cultivation; a man with fifty acres could not compete with the large farmers. Fifty acres would not keep a pair of horses. He trembled to think what would happen to those poor men who tried to make fifty acres pay in such seasons as that which had just passed. These were not the days in which we could afford to get the second or third best out of the land. The productivity of the land must be stimulated to the utmost of its bent. They in Berwickshire were proud of their agriculture, which they believed to be the best or nearly the best in the whole world. Even if it were true that by extensive cultivation fifty acres could be made to pay, the only result would be that a farm servant would be taken from one farm and put into another. The population question remained untouched. All that this Bill would do would be to postpone his departure from the country for a few months or a few years, but he would enter the town with empty pockets, impoverished in hope, embittered in spirit, with nothing behind him but the memory of his failure. It had been urged "why criticise so closely, it is only a small measure and will have but a small range." Was this what Scotland wanted? This was not his conception of the needs of the country: the consineration of its needs led him to criticise the Bill from the point of view of its sins of omission. It contained no recognition of the experimental character of the proposal; no provision for teaching either by travelling instructors or technical instruction in the schools; no provision for the establishment of experimental plots such as had been so useful in other countries. France had 3,000 or 4,000 of these plots upon which experiments could be made by which the cultivators of the soil could tell what would pay, and to determine the class of agriculture which would profit the people on the land. Let them learn by the experience of other countries. What could they teach us? The staple products which came from abroad were butter to the extent of £22,000,000, cheese £6,900,000, eggs £7,100,000, poultry £903,000, and vegetables £3,700,000, of which potatoes and onions alone represented £2,371,000. The only way in which we could get hold of those markets was to spend money on training. The Belgian Minister for Agriculture in a message to Parliament said— Every franc spent on agricultural teaching brings brilliant returns. And the Dutch President of the Agricultural Council said— Every guilder spent on the promotion of agricultural teaching brings back profit one hundredfold. The greatest illustration of this was to be found in the case of Denmark. The British Vice-Consul at Copenhagen in 1860 said that Danish butter at that time was execrable. Now they exported to this country butter to the extent of £9,000,000 or £10,000,000 a year. The extraordinary progress which had been made in Denmark was entirely due to agricultural training. Having regard to the objectionable features of the Bill and all it omitted, how could he vote for it. If he were the Chief Secretary for Ireland he might say, "I won't," but being the humble individual he was he could only say," I cannot." He advocated a policy of small holdings, and had his right hon. friend introduced a Bill for occupying ownership, different- tiating between the Highlands and the Lowlands, and introducing a scheme of agricultural training and experimental plots and providing money for these purposes, and had placed the scheme on a democratic, basis, abjuring bureaucracy, he would have laid up for himself treasure not only in the ballot boxes but in the hearts of the people.

*MR. MURRAY (Aberdeenshire, E.)

said he could not agree with the last speaker for the reason that he had recently returned from his constituency, where he had spent November and December taking the opinion of his constituents on this Bill from early morning till late at night. He found that from one end to the other of East Aberdeenshire a great majority of the people were in its favour. At his first meeting, which was composed of crofters and farm servants, he was told when leaving, "Mr. Murray we could have sat and listened to you all night;" and at the last meeting he was told that all they wished to listen to in East Aberdeenshire was about this Land Bill. That showed the feeling in his constituency. It was always a pleasure to listen to the hon. Member for South East Durham who combined those two qualities so rare in a Scotsman, cynicism and chaff, but there were one or two points of the hon. Member's speech which he would like to refer to. The hon. Member asked why a Bill which was suited to Northumberland should not suit Berwickshire. He might as well have asked why the religion which suited Northumberland would not suit Berwickshire. For centuries England tried to make Scotsmen Anglican and did not succeed. Or it might be asked, Why would not the education that suited Northumberland suit Berwickshire? The answer was that the Scots were a totally different people, a different race with different traditions. One reason why this Bill pleased the great majority of Scotsmen was that it gave every man a chance to rise in life. Every man should have a chance, but at present the farm servant had no such opportunity. The Leader of the Opposition had said that if circumstances in Scotland were analogous to those of Ireland he would have no objection to this Bill being applied to the Lowlands of Scotland. He (Mr. Murray) could only say that he represented one of the largest Lowland constituencies in Scotland, and that, if it had not been for the small holders, East Aberdeenshire would have been a howling wilderness. It was the small holder who had taken in almost every rood of land in Aberdeenshire. He spent night and day with his wife and children under every conceivable hardship and privation, reclaiming the soil from nature. And what was the reward which he received for his toil? He started with what was known as an improving lease—that meant that with great labour to himself and family he dug and tenched the land, he gathered the stones, he drained the land and fenced it with the stones gathered from the fields, he built his house and homestead, and at the end of his lease in nine cases out of ten his rent was raised long before he was able to recoup himself for the labour spent on the holding. They had frequently heard that the landlords of this country were a fair-minded race. No one had heard him saying they were not, but during his recent tour in East Aberdeenshire he was impressed by the fact that the sense of awe with which for centuries the peasantry regarded the landlord had not yet in many cases been stamped out. If it was difficult for an employer of labour to know what his employees thought of him, it was still more difficult for a landed proprietor to know what his tenants and the peasantry generally thought of him and those connected with him. He was struck also by the struggle for existence on the part, not only of the small landholders, but of many farmers of every description. This worried him very much, because it was forty years since he spent twelve months on his father's farm and there was then a great deal of prosperity in the neighbourhood. What did he find on looking into the facts? In 1860 this country ceased to produce sufficient mutton and beef for its own demands, and although supplies were imported from France, Germany, and Spain, they were insufficient to keep the prices down. Prices rose considerably, and in 1878 rents followed in the wake of high prices, and no embarrassment followed. In 1878 prices reached their highest, and since then had been gradually falling, until we were now where we were in 1860. The prices of cattle now were perhaps a little less than they were forty-seven years ago, and oats were 4s. a quarter less. Against this, the wages of farm servants had risen about 80 per cent., and rents, although they rose in sympathy with the high prices, had stopped in the decline half-way down, so that in Aberdeenshire the rent now was about 30 par cent. higher that in 1860. It had been contended that it was impossible for a farm of fifty acres in East Aberdeenshire to nuke a living, but it was equally impossible for a farm of 200 or 300 acres to do so. The bigger farm was producing exactly the same articles—oats and beef. He knew it was contended that certain things must be produced on a largo scale at a profit when on a small scale would entail a loss, but he contended that intensive cultivation on a small holding could produce what a large farm could not. Not only the Liberals, but many Tories also in his constituency were in favour of this Bill. The chairman of one of his meetings remarked to him—"Mr. Murray, we do not agree in politics, but I am thoroughly at one with you in your enthusiasm for this Bill." In regard to the disappearance of small holdings, he told the House that in forty-seven years the number in East Aberdeenshire had diminished to the extent of between one fourth and one-third. That was a very serious condition of things, because, as everybody knew, the best farm and domestic servant that could be had was the child of a small holder. One question he put before his constituents was that of purchase. He did not advocate purchase because it took more money to become an owner than a tenant. A tenant could farm 100 acres with the capital he required to purchase a thirty-acre croft. It was perfectly true that the Duke of Fife, for reasons of his own, sold farms on a basis of twenty years purchase some years ago, and that, therefore, one or two of his (Mr. Murray's) friends favoured purchase. It was all very well for a wealthy landlord like the Duke of Fife to sell on such terms, but the, average landlord in Aberdeenshire could not afford to do so, an I would require thirty or forty years purchase. Therefore, he did not see that purchase was possible in his constituency. If the tenants got fair rent and fixity of tenure, although they did not get the dignity of a landed proprietor nor the responsibility they got all they wanted to make their business a success. For these reasons he wanted, speaking for East Aberdeenshire and a great many Tories as well as Liberals, to tell the Secretary for Scotland that they were almost unanimously in favour of the Bill.

MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N. W.)

said this was not this Bill's first time on earth and it would appear that those responsible for its successive reincarnations considered it of such merit that it was in their view entirely unnecessary to discuss in this House that considerable portion of the Bill which last year was passed under the guillotine. Having that view the Government apparently thought that the Bill had behind it a strong body of public opinion in Scotland. If that were so, which he begged leave to doubt, then it only remained for him to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman and the Government on having done what no previous Government had succeeded in doing. They had produced out of their inner consciousness about one-third of the very long Bill of last year in a form so perfect that no discussion in this House was required and no Amendment needed; in such a perfect form that it reflected the opinions and wishes of the whole of Scotland. That was a most laudable thing for any Government to do. It must be a matter of pride to the Lord-Advocate and the Solicitor-General to reflect that Clause 3 was produced in such a perfect shape that it required no discussion with regard to the principle of setting up a Land Committee in Scotland. The people of Scotland had no criticism to offer to that; all they desired was that the junior members of that august tribunal should receive an extra £200 a year. If that was the view they held he considered it flattering but incorrect, because if they took expert agricultural opinion it was hopelessly and overwhelmingly against the Government. To begin with, at the very inception of the Bill, the report for which the Bill did not wait—the Report of Lord Onslow's Small Holdings Committee—condemned in unmeasured terms the principle which was embodied in it, as also did the Secretary for Scotland's Danish Commission by eighteen votes out of twenty. The Douglas Commission, which had just inspected the working of the crofting system, had condemned the Bill. The Chamber of Agriculture had condemned it, not once, but repeatedly, and the Chamber of Agriculture was originally commended to them by the representative of the Board of Agriculture as a body of hard-headed Scottish farmers representing Scottish agricultural opinion; and more than that, the President of the Board of Agriculture took occasion in October, 1906, to make some remarks with regard to the limiting of landlords' contractural rights, and their power of negotiating incoming tenants, and said— Such legislative regulation of the terms of contract is a first step in the direction of valued rents and a Land Court, and without saying whether these are good or had I doubt whether the members of the Chamber are prepared to enter upon that step without much further consideration. That further consideration was given and it was surely strange and worth more than passing comment that when the Chamber of Agriculture made up its mind that the Bill was not good but bad, the noble Lord who presided over the Department found it inconvenient and undesirable to go to Scotland and discuss the matter with those whom he had previously found so willing to meet. Even at the Perth Liberal Conference there was one prominent agriculturist who said they had raised against the Bill an almost solid mass of agricultural opinion. Then as to popular opinion, he did not know what opinions the farmers and farm servants of East Aberdeenshire expressed when under the spell of the hon. Member's eloquence, but he knew that a petition was presented to the House from the farmers and farm servants of Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire, and Banff, protesting against the terms of the Bill. It was signed by 2,573 farmers and 852 crofters, and 1,095 farm servants. The hon. Member's speech was a demonstration of the elasticity of the present system as regarded the constitution of small holdings. He said Aberdeenshire was accounted a small holdings county, but it was made a county of small holdings under, existing conditions. He fancied the hon. Member for Argyllshire would hesitate to subscribe to the doctrine that the Government were infallible interpreters of Scottish public opinion or to the view that the action which the Government had taken with regard to arbitration, for instance, under the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1906, was an accurate reflex of public opinion and wishes. The Secretary for Scotland had taken hi; stand once more upon the successful working of the Crofters Act in preventing depopulation. The difference of conditions in the crofting districts and the south of Scotland had been pointed out before and was admitted by those responsible for the original drafting of the Crofters Acts. But it was more than doubtful whether the Crofters Acts had proved such a success in stemming depopulation as the right hon. Gentleman would have them believe. The Douglas Commission Report was open to very considerable misconception. The members recorded their general conclusions with regard to the working of the Crofters Acts as follows:— Our general conclusions as to the working of the Crofters Acts in the districts where they apply is that while they have made possibly considerable improvement in crofters' homes, given independence to the people, and in some' causes stimulated improvement in farming, they have not in point of fact in the course of twenty-one years created a successful or prosperous agriculture. It may very well be the case that economic and other considerations make it impossible for any agrarian change to bring about these results in the crofting districts, but the fact remains that the crofting system as it exists at present furnishes no positive indication of its capacity to bring about agricultural prosperity. We have found no evidence that the Crofters Acts have served to arrest rural depopulation That extract gave a fairer idea of the general sense of the Report of the Committee than that read by the right hon. Gentleman. The Prime Minister had said little about the working of the Crofters Acts, but had said much about the effect of the growth of the small holdings system in North Wales in preventing rural depopulation. He understood that an error of something like 100 per cent. had been detected in his figures by one of his open followers, but taking them as they stood, as a matter of fact the proportion of shall holdings in Wales and in Scotland at present was almost identical, and the Prime Minister's argument appeared to lack any logical sequence whatever. If small holdings had checked rural depopulation in Wales, one would have been expected to institute the same system in Scotland. The right, hon. Gentleman, however, proposed to introduce into Scotland an entirely different system. As a matter of fact with regard to the figures on the relation of rural depopula- tion and small holdings, one could only say that there was the greatest confusion and uncertainty. It was impossible to trace any real connection between one and the other. Over all Scotland in the period from 1891 to 1906 small holdings from five to fifty acres had increased on an average by 9 per cent. and rural population had decreased by 4.9 per cent. In the seven Crofting counties small holdings had increased by 19.7 per cent. on an average, and rural population had decreased by 6.4 per cent. In 13 of the counties there had been a decrease both in the number of small holdings and in rural population. The average decrease was 5.8 per cent. of small holdings and 8.8 per cent. in population. In only two counties had there been an increase in small holdings and in population, 9 per cent. and 3.2 per cent. respectivaly. In 18 counties the increases and decreases had not been in sympathy, but had been different one from the other. In four counties there had been a decrease in the number of small holdings and an increase in population, and in 14 counties it had been vice versa. Any attempt to draw a clear and definite argument from the figures was obviously not borne out by the facts. That was worth considering in regard to the cry of "Back to the land." That was not so much a political as an economic problem. If small cultivation could be made to pay plenty of people would seek and find opportunities of returning to the land, and he had always thought it was a curious inconsistency which had led gentlemen opposite to make the laying down of permanent pasture, which was certainly not a good means of decreasing the amount of rural depopulation, an improvement so great that it could be made without the landlord's consent and compensation be required from the landlord for making it. If they looked at the Bill from an economic point of view, the proposed limit of 50 acres was about as uneconomic as they could make it. In Roxburghshire and Berwickshire a very strong opinion had been expressed to him with regard to this uneconomic limit. 'The right hon. Gentleman had cited Blairgowrie and the Vale of Evesham, but they were not parallel cases. Surely the Government did not imagine they were going to have intensive cultivation all over Scotland. That was impossible, and they had to consider how small holdings could be worked under ordinary economic conditions. Intensive cultivation was an excellent thing, but the fact remained that small holdings must be worked under ordinary economic conditions, and the only way in which a successful result could be achieved was by cooperation and organisation. Clause 4 of the Bill contained a large number of provisions which the Agricultural Commissioners were to carry out. Those functions were all very well and good, but the Bill gave them no money to carry them out. The sum of £35,000 out of the £100,000 was ear-marked for the operations of the Congested Districts Board and the other £65,000 must go automatically towards the constitution of new holdings and the enlargement of holdings under the Crofters Act. All the talk about what was going to be done under Clause 4 meant nothing, because the Agricultural Commissioners were not to be given any money.


Apparently the hon. Member did not hear my statement on this point. I stated that the cost of the work of the Board of Agriculture would be placed upon the Votes.


said he did not understand that the right hon. Gentleman's statement covered the point to which he alluded, and he did not follow the right hon. Gentleman's argument about the unrepresentative character of the county council. He said it would be a long way from some remote glen to a county town, but it would be a much longer distance to Edinburgh. Divided ownership had been referred to. He understood that the Secretary for Scotland had now ranged himself on the side of those who supported this measure because it did not contain the principle of divided ownership. He hoped that before the debate closed they might have an opportunity of understanding once and for all whether the Government had made up their minds that they were supporting the Bill because it contained dual ownership or because it did not contain dual ownership. He hoped the Lord Advocate would inform the House whether the Bill contained that principle and whether he agreed with the Lord Chancellor that it was being supported on that account. The only other argument was the suggestion that the Bill contained the germ of a great democratic principle. He doubted that suggestion, and he thought that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer were present he would reflect if he looked at Clauses 16 and 17, because he would find that on the one hand the landlord was restrained from letting, and on the other the tenant was restrained from leaving, and he would begin to doubt how far liberty, not only upon its negative, but upon its positive side, was being secured. If judicial rents, crofting tenure, and a Land Court were essential parts of the democratic principle of Liberalism, what about the English Act? If those were essential principles he would like to hear from the First Commissioner of Works why it was that the English system was alien to the traditions of the people of the Lowlands, and why it was that the crofter system this Bill sought to introduce had none of the demerits which they alleged against it.


said that one of the disadvantages of the debate was that they had had the Lord Chancellor telling them that the Bill contained dual ownership whilst the Solicitor-General assured them that it contained nothing of the kind. Then the First Lord of the Admiralty had told them that he preferred the county councils, and the Secretary for Scotland had told them that he did not. Under those circumstances it was small wonder if when on the introduction of the Bill he gave his support to the right hon. Gentleman on general principles, that indiscretion carried him somewhat farther than he intended. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman of one or two points he had raised. First, in regard to the extension of the Crofters Act under Sir George Trevelyan's Bill. That Act was extended to adjacent counties and applied only to crofting parishes of those counties, and to very few of them. That was one of the reasons why he adopted that form of procedure, because he desired to carry out the principle that any further legislation should extend to the whole of Scotland. He never proposed that the Crofter Commission should be abolished; on the contrary, he had argued that the Crofter Commission and the Congested Districts Board should be united. He had always advocated that local authorities should have large powers. Throughout the whole of this matter he had at any rate been consistent in this way, that he had advocated the extenison of any further legislation to the whole of Scotland. He had also advocated that tenants below £50 rent should have a valued rent, with precautions, however, against fixity of tenure. Regarding small farms as an experiment, he thought that experiment would be better conducted by a central authority than by a local authority. The main work of land reform, however, was to give free access to the land for the purpose of cultivation, and that matter would be best dealt with by local authorities. They had learned a good deal since the Bill was introduced. The English Bill had provided that central coercion or stimulus for the local authorities which was necessary to make them effective. The whole of the members of the County Councils of Sutherland and Caithness were turned out at the last election. Nobody would tell him that the local authorities in Scotland were less representative or more subservient to the landlords than the local authorities in England. To be told that Carlisle and Berwick were fit to take land and to administer it, and that Dumfries and Kelso were not, was really to state a proposition at which "the man o' independent mind looked and laughed." To be told that Northumberland was free while the Lothians were servile, and that the Agricultural Commissioners attached to the Board of Agriculture were for the landless in England and against the landless in Scotland was a preposterous statement. He maintained still that a central authority was more effective for making what he regarded as a most difficult experiment—the creation of small farms—an economic success. He thought the English Act had shown them the way, and that Act, although it was called the English Act, was based upon the evidence in and the Report of the inquiry which extended equally to Scotland and England. This Bill was hurried into the House while the Report was in the hands of the printers. Now they were told by the right hon. Gentleman that small farmers had to provide against difficulties which were not economic. The whole question was economic. Why had the large farmer thrown out the small one? It was because of the dealing in bulk, the greater freedom of the access to markets, and the use of machinery, and the only way in which they could restore the small farm to its former place was by providing a wider system of agricultural education, arranging for co-operation, and giving better access to markets. That would put the small farmer more on a level with the large one. The efficiency of the present agricultural system rested upon the owners' expenditure. Whether that was right or wrong was a matter on which opinions might differ, but they brought agriculture into ruin and chaos if they stopped that expenditure without making any alternative provision for it. There was another point which the Bill overlooked, and that was responsible management. It was not only the fact that the owners had provided over £1,00,000,000 worth of equipment which was withdrawn from the protection of the ordinary law, but they had to spend over £2,000,000 a year in the renewal of that equipment. They had also to find £250,000 a year for management in order to safeguard against waste. If they established occupying ownership as in Denmark, or gave free sale as in Ireland, there would be in the one case no need of responsible management, and in the other comparatively little need; but occupying ownership and free sale were tabooed by the Bill, and therefore they must retain responsible management unless there was to be in definite waste. The real question before them with regard to that matter in the Bill was the question of justice. It was not really the position of the owner that was before them. That was a secondary consideration. The real question was the position of agriculture under the Bill. The Bill would knock agriculture on the head in Scotland. He did not say it would do so for ever, because some way would be found out of the situation. The difficulty in regard to divided ownership in Scotland would be in a much more acute form than in Ireland, because they could not transfer the £100,000,000 worth from the owners to the occupiers. There would be a far more complicated divided ownership in Scotland, and there would be far more litigation. As a consequence there would be a deterioration in agriculture through the landlord's equipment to which the tenant had been accustomed being stopped. There would be litigation in the Courts, and finally they would have to have land purchase in Scotland also. The Government had to provide an alternative system for the one it was about to destroy, and it would have to find £2,000,000 for equipment, and £250,000 to meet the cost of its own factorship. It would also have to find equipment for the new holdings. Land purchase itself would not be a solution of the problem in Scotland any more than in Ireland. They would have to find £100,000,000 or more for land purchase, and they would have, according to the policy of the Government, to divide up a great proportion of grass and arable land to find new holdings, and all this at a time when they were faced with great expenditure in Ireland. Why the Government should court similar expenditure in Scotland without the slightest necessity was beyond his comprehension. It was because the carrying out of the proposal would mean chaos to existing agriculture that he was so staunch an opponent of the measure to-day, and would be until they got on to more rational lines.

*MR. BARNES (Glasgow, Blackfriars)

said that the mover of the Amendment had put forward the idea that this was a Socialist Bill, and had further ventured the opinion that the Government had been forced to adopt Socialist principles because of the pressure brought to bear on them by himself and his colleagues on those benches. As a Socialist he wished a Socialist Bill. But he was afraid that they would have to disagree with the hon. Member. This was by no means a Socialist Bill, but one framed on the principle put forward a few weeks ago by, he thought, the, Chancellor of the Exchequer, namely, social reform conditioned by individual enterprise. He had not the right hon. Gentleman's exact words, but they were to that effect. There was a sense in which this was a Socialist Bill; it embodied the principle of fair rent and fixity of tenure in substitution for rent fixed by the hard need of the occupier. It made a further Socialist Bill possible, because he thought it might reduce rents, and, therefore, make it easier later on to go a step further in the same direction. He need scarcely say that he committed nobody on the other side of the House when he gave expression to that opinion. He would like to associate himself fully with what had been said by the hon. Member for Berwickshire who spoke of the need for co-operation and education. He also thought there ought to be relief from the exorbitant railway rates so as to make it easier for the agricultural population to hold their own. This Bill was by no means final. It set up machinery whereby, so far as he could see, at all events co-operation would be easier in the future than it had been in the past. It set up commissioners who were specially charged with the duty of agricultural organisation, and, therefore, it was a step in the direction of achieving the object which the hon. Member had in view. The Secretary for Scotland had stated that he intended to press for more money. He thought, therefore, the hon. Member for Berwickshire might be encouraged to hope that the Bill would at no distant date achieve the object he and himself had in view. He had waded through the 467 columns of Hansard in which the proceedings in this House on the Bill were reported last session. The speeches of hon. Members who opposed the Bill occupied 283 columns, leaving only 184 for its defenders. He saw no reason to alter the opinion which he had held more or less ever since the Bill was introduced. He had given a somewhat qualified support to the Bill in all its stages in the House, but not because he believed that it was a final Bill. He wanted responsible ownership and responsible control. He wanted public ownership and control. The Bill was not an heroic one. It was not an ideal one. There were many defects. For instance, the resources were too small. He thought there was a general concensus of opinion that £65,000 would only have the effect of setting up 100 to 150 small holders in the year. That did not go far enough. He was against divided control. Another serious defect was that it did not help the labourers to get advantage of it. And, finally, he would like to see the £50 limit altered. It was too low. He believed that what was good for small farms was also good for larger ones. But he believed that the Bill within its limited scope gave effect to a principle which was calculated to transform Scottish agriculture, if only it was carried out to its logical conclusion. That was the principle of fixity of tenure. The result of his own energy, enterprise, and labour should be secured to the small holder. It stood to reason that a man who was working for himself, as it were, knowing that he was going to benefit in proportion if he worked hard and put skill and ardour into his work, was going to be more productive and therefore more beneficial not only to himself, but to the community, than the man who was liable to be turned adrift at any time by an arbitrary landlord. Me was not speaking disrespectfully of the landlords of Scotland. As a result of fifty years experience he found that: "We are all pretty much of a muchness." But what he wanted to direct attention to was that there was an inequality between the parties making the bargain—between the poor and therefore dependent man on the one side and the rich landlord—at any rate, many of them were rich—on the other. There was no equality there. The bargain made, in the nature of things, must be an unfair one. Landlords made bargains as other people did, having regard to all the circumstances of the case; and the salient circumstance in this case was the poor man with whom the bargain had to be made. He heard the Secretary for Scotland allude last year to the disadvantages with which the State had to contend in making bargains with landlords. The State was always expected to buy dear and to sell cheap. But whatever these disadvantages were they were as dust in the balance compared with the disadvantages of the poor men in Scotland who had to compete one against another for the occupancy of those small farms, and therefore were charged a higher rent than they otherwise would be. He believed that the Bill, small as it was, was calculated to attract people to the country, or, if not, to stop the rural depopulation. So far as he understood the position, the chief argument he had heard against the Bill was one which might be applied to all the Bills having that as its end and object. It was put by the hon. Member for North-West Lanark when he said that the reasons why the people left the country had nothing to do with the Bill or the things that they had been discussing that day, but were economic in their character. That plea was put forward by the Leader of the Opposition last year, who speaking on the Bill said in reference to its bearing upon urban congestion— However you are going to deal with the urban problem you do not diminish its gravity by increasing the number of rural inhabitants of the country. The effect is exactly the reverse. And again, later on, the right hon. Gentleman said— The more you increase the number of families engaged in agriculture the larger is the source—the birth-rate remaining the same—from which people will have to leave agriculture and to enter the towns. The right hon. Gentleman had proceeded on to support that argument by comparing agriculture with engineering and cotton-spinning, and he said that agriculture being depressed, the people would leave it just as now people left engineering and cotton-spinning, and for the same reason. And the right hon. Gentleman went on to say— That that had nothing to do with land tenure. He submitted to the House that the conditions under which engineering manufacturing and cotton-spinning manufacturing were engaged in were altogether different from the conditions under which small farmers in Scotland engaged in their industry. In engineering and cotton-spinning there was, at any rate in most cases, a guarantee that their rent was not going to be increased in proportion to their energy; and if, peradventure, any one of them was in a position to have his rent increased, he did not lead that strenuous life which was necessary in order to contribute to holding his own in competition with other people. Neither would the farmer. There were two things involved in the argument of the Leader of the Opposition and of the hon. Member for North-West Lanark. First, that agriculture must be a diminishing industry in proportion to the industrial activity of the whole people. That was perfectly true among a wealthy people, because food was a relatively smaller proportion of their needs. Secondly, machinery had, to some extent, displaced people from agriculture as in other industries. But he would say that rural depopulation did not proceed from either of these two causes, but from the fact of the insecurity of the tillers of the soil, together with the absence of proper education, and co-operation. The right hon. and hon. Gentlemen seemed to have forgotten the importation of immense quantities of agricultural produce, mentioned that day. We imported something like £60,000,000 of value in the way of agricultural produce. Hon. Members above the gangway might say that the way to stop that was by imposing taxation on food stuffs. He and those who agreed with him believed in a better way, and that was to make our soil more productive, and, by sustaining a larger number of our own people on the land, to make a market for our own manufactures. He and his friends were going to support the Bill, because it was a step, however small, in that direction. They hoped the Bill would pass in the House this year, and he felt sure that the agricultural population of the country were in favour of it. Some of the small people who were working at present for wages, if the Bill passed, would be in a position to start on that lower rung of the ladder so often spoken of. There were a large number of people in Scotland with a little money who, could they but get a footing on that lower rung, would develop and increase the agricultural population of Scotland, and save us, he believed, from a great deal of that deterioration that was going on in our race, and ultimately do something to mitigate the terrible urban congestion. For these reasons he hoped the Bill would pass through this House and also the other House this session.

MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)

I am reluctant to interpose so early in the debate, and I do not desire to trespass longer than I can possibly help on the attention of the House. But I think that even the most devoted supporters on that side of the House of the new form of closure, if they have been present during the debate, must have been asking themselves some rather anxious questions as to the desirability of the procedure which the Government have adopted. This debate has lasted about three hours out of the four that we have at our disposal; and it must be manifest to the most casual listener that the time has been altogether too short for the full expression of the views of hon. Gentlemen in all quarters of the House. I am not going to suggest that His Majesty's Government took refuge in this remarkable procedure in order to save themselves from an unpleasant position. It is a remarkable fact that out of those who spoke this afternoon and who usually support the Government two hon. Members, both Scotsmen and Scottish Members, acquainted with Scottish needs and Scottish affairs, throughout the whole of their speeches condemned the Bill root and branch and gave very substantial reasons for doing so. I am sure that the Secretary for Scotland must regret that he had committed himself to the astounding statement that the opposition to the Bill is political and partisan, and proceeds from those who are opposed to the Government on general political grounds. The right hon. Gentleman has already heard two Members of his own Party criticise the Bill and oppose it; and he should know better than I do that in Scotland this last winter and before, there were many men who hold the same political views as he does and belong to his Party who have condemned this Bill, basing their condemnation of it on their acquaintance with agriculture in Scotland. Through the whole of the debate there has run a sense of unreality. It is not this Bill that is in hon. Gentlemen's minds. It is not the merits or demerits of this particular measure. It is quite another thing. We know that—we were not in doubt about it, we knew it definitely from the candid avowals of the Secretary for Scotland himself who told us that there was plenty of time for Amendments. And when some of my friends anxious to take part in the debate became a little impatient at the very large proportion of the limited time at our disposal taken by the right hon. Gentleman, he reminded them that they need not be impatient because there would be opportunity for them to express their views. What opportunity? Then the right hon. Gentleman in justification of that statement told us that although the Government are limiting discussion here, there is another House in which the Bill will be discussed. What an astounding second volume this is of the great work which was commenced in the autumn. We were told from platforms all over Scotland that this Bill was to be brought in line by line and word for word as it was before, sent up to the House of Lords, and if they did not pass it they must take the consequences. Now we are told by the only member of the Government who has spoken that it is to the House of Lords the Liberal Government looks for the full discussion and adoption of Amendments which this House is forbidden even to consider. I think nobody who has listened to the right hon. Gentleman's speech, nobody who has followed the strange history of this Bill, can doubt now that whatever confidence the Government might have in their Bill or some of their other proposals they have not got the same robust confidence in their policy with regard to the House of Lords which seemed to animate them in the earlier part of last autumn. The right hon. Gentleman gave a somewhat lengthy description of the Bill, and quoted some of the criticisms that have been addressed to it. But what struck many of us as being very remarkable was that he did not tell us what were the reasons that led the Government without inquiry or investigation to adopt this Bill as a remedy for the evils of which they complained. He told us in an earlier speech, and he referred briefly to it in this, that the object of the Government is to put an end to the depopulation of the rural districts. I do not know whether he has any real confidence in this Bill as a remedy for depopulation, but if he listened to the admirable speech made by the hon. Member for North Lanarkshire earlier in the afternoon he must have realised that figures which cannot be answered were produced by my hon. friend, and I do not think that anybody will be found in this House or outside of it who will contradict them. These figures prove that by small holdings you are not of necessity going to get rid of rural depopulation; they also show that where you have adopted the small holding system in some cases there is a decrease of the population. In the recess a comparison was made between Scotland and the rest of the country, and we had some wonderful figures produced by the Prime Minister in regard to Wales. Those figures have all collapsed. They were challenged; and by whom? The Secretary for Scotland tells us that the policy of the Government is opposed only by their political opponents. But was it a political opponent who exposed the travesty of the Prime Minister's figures, showing that they were erroneous and that not one of them could stand the smallest test? Was it a political opponent who showed that the analogy of Wales which the Government had put forward was one which could not be relied upon. No; that destruction of the Government's own figures came from one of their own supporters, and yet the Secretary for Scotland wishes us to believe that the opposition to this measure is purely political.


When I made that statement everybody must know that I made it with some exceptions.


The right hon. Gentleman says he made the statement with some exceptions, but let us see what this infers. There have been two Scottish members who are supporters of the Government who have led the debate this afternoon and some of their supporters in the other House spoke against it and an active part was taken by Lord Rosebery. But apart from that, if the criticism of the Secretary for Scotland means anything it means this, that our opposition is not based upon our honest opinion that the Bill is a bad Bill, and that it will prejudicially affect the agricultural industry in Scotland, but that it is because we are political opponents of the Government that we resist it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to explain? I mean to say that the Party opposite have determined to oppose this Bill, and has therefore commanded the legions of its supporters to give them their assistance in opposing it.


I confess I am a little puzzled to see what the interruption means, but I must remind the right hon. Gentleman that the statement which he has made now is not what he said when he was moving the Bill this afternoon, which was to the effect that the opposition to this Bill was a political opposition.


Hear, hear!


And that the opponents of the Bill were the partisans who belonged to this side of the House, the only limitation being that there were some exceptions. I maintain that the opposition to this Bill in Scotland has come from those, many of whom are supporters of the right hon. Gentleman, who are experienced in agriculture and whose knowledge of agriculture has compelled them to oppose the Bill irrespective of their own political views. I go further and I say that it is not the opposition to the Bill which is political and partisan, but it is the support of the Bill which comes from the political followers of the right hon. Gentleman that is so. The support of the Bill comes from hon. Gentlemen who believe that some great political advantage will be created by dealing in this way with the land question in Scotland. Take it from the right hon. Gentleman's own point of view. In order to get rid of depopulation in your rural districts you are prepared to tear up by the roots the whole agricultural system of Scotland. You are prepared to apply to the Lowlands of Scotland, principles which have hitherto been limited to a part of Scotland different in every respect from the Lowlands and from parts of Scotland in regard to which I do not think that even now you can produce evidence that this kind of legislation has been beneficial and successful. It may be that in certain cases you have secured the improvement of the condition of the crofter tenant; but where you change a system in that way you get rid of the landlord influence, the landlord power, and the landlord money, and where you put the whole responsibility and all the burden upon the tenant and do not make him the actual owner, you have no right to claim that you have any experience of the results until that system has been in vogue not for twenty years, but for a period more like half a century. We know very well that it is in the second generation that difficulties occur in regard to your fixity of tenure. At all events there will be no dispute about this, that whatever may be the condition of things in Scotland, the introduction of dual ownership of land in Ireland brought evils which made it compulsory upon all parties who were committed to it, to get rid of the system by buying out one of the parties to the contracts. Is there any reason to believe that what has been the experience of Ireland must not be the experience of other countries where similar principles are applied? You apply to Scotland, in order to get rid of this difficulty, a system which I believe, notwithstanding the views held by the Government, gives undoubtedly dual ownership, and, as my hon. friend the Member for Leith Burghs says, you have not the courage of your convictions. You do not go on to complete the fabric by giving freedom of sale. Therefore you have again a fixity of tenure, you have again a dual ownership which contains all the vices of the original land legislation for Ireland and none of its virtues. The right hon. Gentleman was indignant with one of my hon. friends for saying that he had condemned the landlords wholesale. It is perfectly true that the right hon. Gentleman said that there are some good landlords, and that he believed the majority of them are trying to do their duty, but he made the amazing statement that it was impossible for the ordinary landlord to appreciate the feelings or comprehend the needs of the tenant farmer or of the labouring man. If that is in the smallest degree true, is it not remarkable that the agriculture of Scotland and of Great Britain should be what we know it to be, the most developed and the very best form of agriculture that is to be found in any country in the world, and producing crops which will compare both as regards quality and quantity with those of any other country except one? And yet these results have been brought about by the wise and generous expenditure of money by the landlord on the development of his estate, and by the excellent way in which the farmers and labourers combine to add their share in the production. These results have followed under a system where the whole development rests upon the owner of the property, who is, according to the right hon. Gentleman, unable to appreciate the real needs of the tenants on his estate. I do not believe that there is any gathering of labourers or tenant farmers in England, Scotland or Wales, who would not say, if the question were put to them apart from politics, that there is not a shadow of foundation for that charge against the landlords. We were irresistibly reminded by the speech of the Secretary for Scotland to-day of the comment made by the Leader of the Opposition last year when he told us that this was a Government which legislated in compartments. Could anybody who wanted to attack the English Land Act of last session have done so more completely, more emphatically, or I might say with greater venom, than the right hon. Gentleman did in the course of his speech in defence of his own measure, which was an absolute condemnation of the Bill which he and his colleagues passed last session? He told us that everything that had been done in this country with regard to land was wrong, that the tenants could not protect themselves, that the labourers could not protect themselves, and that without a Land Court you could not expect justice or benefit to agriculture. But he went further and gave as his reason that he did not believe in the county council. Last year his colleagues said that if you are to develop small holdings you must trust the county councils which have local knowledge and local responsibility to aid you in the work. Now the right hon. Gentleman says: "Not at all, because in Scotland the county councils do not represent the locality." Then an hon. Gentleman behind him told the right hon. Gentleman that in some cases in consequence of the bad train service in Scotland, the poorer men could not get to the county council meetings. But it is not a question of the train service, but of the amount of time it takes to serve on the county councils which the poor man cannot afford to give. But what is the right hon. Gentleman's remedy? It is a novel remedy for Liberal administration. The right hon. Gentleman tells us that the county councils are not representative; and what are we to have under his scheme? We are to have more centralisation than ever before. He assured us, and I am confident that it will be so in his case, that the men who are appointed will not be appointed from any political motives and that he will see that the best men are secured. Whom will these men represent? Are they in any way representative of the people whose interests are confided to them? They are more officials centralised in a Government Department to do work which in England has to be done by those who are elected by the people. It is an extraordinary illustration of the difference in the legislative achievements of the Government. I can only say that during the whole of the debates on the English Land Bill there was nobody on this side of the House so powerful and so bitter in their condemnation of the proposals of the Government as the Members who spoke from the Ministerial side of the House this afternoon, and who usually support the right hon. Gentleman. I do not wish to discuss the merits or rather the demerits of the Bill. We are charged with opposing it on purely political grounds. I do not know on what grounds others may be opposing it, but so far as I am concerned I oppose it because I believe it deals in the very worst way possible with agriculture either in Scotland or in England. The Bill does give fixity of tenure and does create dual ownership, and the right hon. Gentleman proposes under it also to separate the Scottish business of the Board of Agriculture from the English and to give Scotland a separate Department. He quoted some words of mine on a former occasion, but I think he ought to have quoted the words I used on the main proposition. The right hon. Gentleman forgot to tell the House that I did not go to Scotland as Minister for Agriculture once, but five times, and upon the last two occasions the suggestion for a separate Board of Agriculture had dwindled to a suggestion that there should be one or two officials in Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman's contention with regard to the Contagious Disease Act falls entirely to the ground. He says these Acts are administered by Statute and the Minister could not alter them. That is true, but the Minister can repeal them if necessary. But it is not the question of the administration of these Acts alone. What happened the other day when questions were asked in this House as to the serious outbreak of cattle disease in Scotland? That was not dealt with by a separate answer. I All Members of the House were deeply interested in that serious question, and there was a Minister in this House who could answer for it, and there was the knowledge that the orders of that Minister would be carried out. If the alteration proposed by the right hon. Gentleman is carried out that could no longer be the case, because it is obvious that when you set up a separate Department with a separate head for Scotland, and a case of this kind occurs, Members of this House will not only have to address themselves to the President of the Board of Agriculture but also to the Scottish section, and it will be necessary to see that the orders sent out by the two Departments are the same. This is one of the most serious questions that could be met with, because one of our great sources of wealth is our flocks and herds, and anybody who remembers the ravages made in our flocks and herds thirty or forty years ago must see how very serious it is. The anxiety in all quarters of the House upon this question is manifest; and I say that if this change is made the administration must be weakened and cease to be as perfect as we desire it to be. This change is to be made in Scotland to stop rural depopulation. To stop rural depopulation you are going to treat the lowlands of Scotland in a totally different manner from that in which you treat the north of England. My hon. friend the Member for South-East Durham in my opinion made a perfect case against this Bill. For my part I am thankful that you are not going to apply this system to England. On our side of the border we do not want Land Courts. I believe our farmers do not want continuity of tenure and that they are satisfied with the present laws. And I very much doubt whether in Scotland there is the strength of feeling on this subject to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. Why have the Government gone through the farce of giving three days to this Bill? As it is quite certain that the Government intend this Bill to be amended in the House of Lords, let it go straight to the House of Lords and come back to us with the Amendments which we are not allowed to make. Then there will be three or four days in which to deal with it in its amended form instead of debating it as we now are in its incomplete state. The defence of the Bill is not very whole-hearted, because one of the supporters of the Government has told the House that he only supports it as a small instalment of a great reform. I believe his remark is more true than that of the Secretary for Scotland. I believe this Bill is more likely to injure agriculture and the labourer on the land than anything else that could be done. I believe that if this Bill passes into law you will have to carry fresh legislation to abolish the landlord altogether and get rid of dual ownership or you will have, by other legislation, to amend the law in a different way. Convinced as we all are that this will injure agriculture and not assist it we oppose the Bill not as political partisans but as citizens of this country who wish to prevent injury being done to our greatest industry.


In the discussions upon this question during the last two years, Scotland at all events, may be said to have derived one advantage in so far that we have been successful in ingathering to our Scottish discussions the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin. It is a pleasure to listen to him in these debates. I may have to differ from him on a few points, but we all recognise the great interest which he takes in these matters, and his honesty of purpose in discussing them. The right hon. Gentleman very naturally founded on the tact that two speeches have been made by Liberal Members against the Bill, and he says, "Look at that. Is not that a startling thing in a short debate I "Well, it is better to look at how the figures actually stand. Scotland at this moment is represented by seventy-two Members. Sixty of these are Liberals. Of these sixty, three disapprove of the Bill, and of these three two have spoken to-day. So that the situation even now with regard to the opinion of Scotland is as strong as this—that fifty-seven Scottish Members are enthusiastically for it, and fifteen Scottish Members are against it. Of course it is very difficult for English Members, and several of them have taken part in this debate, to realise the strength of feeling in regard to this measure. My right hon. friend who has just spoken has adopted exactly the attitude adopted by Lord Lansdowne in the House of Lords. On the visit he paid to Scotland, Lord Lansdowne laid down two propositions which have been reiterated in this House this afternoon. In a short word—he said this Bill was Irish, and it should be English. To that our answer is that this Bill is Scotch and should be Scottish. I thought we could not improve upon or vary those propositions until I heard the hon. Member for Leith Burghs, whose views appeared to be that the Bill should be neither Irish nor Scottish, but that on the whole it should incline to a Welsh solution. I wish to say one word in the limited time at my disposal upon the proposition that the Bill is Irish ere I take up the challenge of the right hon. Gentleman who says that it contains none of the virtues of the Irish system and all its vices. Roughly speaking, the Irish system is a system of three F's.—fixity of tenure, fair rent, and free sale. In the crofting counties in Scotland we have for twenty-two years adopted, and in this Bill we adopt a system of two F's. We have no free sale; and the advantage of having no free sale is that the Gombeen man has never been able to penetrate into the Highlands of Scotland. A negotiable asset has never been created for the tenant under which the merchant and the money lender could come around and persuade him to part with his property. The system that we have is the two F's. What is the attitude of the Unionist Party with regard to the two F's? Authoritatively they have declared that these are vices. It is a vice to have a fair rent impartially fixed. Could ever landlordism declare itself more absolutely? It is a vice to have fixity of tenure. The very secret of the independent holding of land is fixity and permanence of tenure. Rather than have that, say the Unionist Party, let the landlords be expropriated altogether. There is the whole diameter of the opposition between the two Parties in the State on this Bill. I wish to make now one other remark as to a good many of the figures which were given by the Member for Lanarkshire. I will take one broader figure. I agree with him very largely in the view that he took with reference to percentages and population in various areas. I agree that it is very difficult to make any induction which will lead you to an absolutely irrefutable conclusion. We have over and over again heard Irish members declaiming on the subject of emigration, and saying that the lifeblood of Ireland was being drawn away across the Atlantic. In Scotland in the last recorded year, 1906, we were able to make a contrast on the subject of emigration in Ireland. In Ireland there were 51,200 souls who left and went abroad, and the net fiugre of actual emigration was 31,000. In the same year 53,100 men, women and children left Scotland, and the net figure wae 34,000. For the first time in our history the tide of emigration has been greater from Scottish shores than from Irish shores. Apart from percentages I trust that the House will agree that that is a fair and broad view to take as to the necessity for some measure which will undo this, which will revoke this tendency to leave our native shores. And when I say that in Scotland the amount of land available stands in this position, that there are nearly three millions of acres dedicated to sport, and that for every man, woman and child in Scotland there are 4½ acres of ground, I submit to the House that we have mace out a case for saying that these great spaces, North, South, East and West, in our native land should be made more a refuge for the population than for the deer. It is said: "Why not give this duty to the county councils?" We have had some experience of county councils in regard to this matter. In the first place, I have not observed during these two years of discussion that any county council in Scotland has asked Parliament to entrust this duty to it, and not to a central body. But, in the second place, we have had sixteen years experience of county council action—or inaction, which is it? The count of Inverness is not without knowledge on the subject. Somewhere about 1,200 applications were made in that county. The county council appointed a committee; that committee appointed a local visiting subcommittee that spent nine days in the affected districts, and that subcommittee reported strongly to its committee, which in turn reported to the county council of Inverness, that the demand for land was clamant and there was abundance of land to satisfy the demand. That happened nine years ago. And the county council has never disposed of the applications yet! It knew that it could either grant the request or refuse it and that an appeal could be made to the Local Government Board of Scotland; but it neither granted nor refused the request and so appeal has been impossible, and the thing is suspended till this moment. What we say as a Government is that, with experience such as that, we wish to entrust the management of this Statute to those who are in whole-hearted sympathy with it. Unless you have wholehearted sympathy with a measure you can never get it well administered. I had little experience with the county of Lanark. It is the most populous of our counties,—even apart from its urban population, what remains is still the most populous. A factor wrote to me asking me not to say anything against the county council because, he said, since the Allotments and Small Holdings Act of 1892 they have not, although they have advertised in a dozen newspapers, been able to get any application until March, 1907. I wrote back to get hold, of the advertisement and found that it contained an announcement that the council was desirous "of ascertaining whether there was a demand for small holdings" under the Act of 1892. When was that advertisement made? Will the House believe it; it was only made in March, 1907. Is not the like of that a conclusive example of the need for seeing that the administration of the Act is placed in the hands of those who will have an insight into the situation and whole-hearted sympathy with its administration? I know perfectly well that two counties have taken this matter up. The county of Caithness took it up because the county council passed a resolution against the Bill. An election came on; and out of twelve vacancies ten of the old councillors were turned out and ten approvers of the Bill were put in. In Sutherland several men who contested seats were turned out if against the Bill and replaced by these in its favour. These are instances of what we say—that not only by the inaction of the county councils, but by their positive actions and declarations of policy, we are justified in adhering to the precedent of the Crofters Act and administering not through county councils but through a central body. I will only say with reference to observations that have been made as to the provisions of the Bill, that it is out of the question now to suggest as Lord Rosebery once did, that in some reckless and ruinous fashion farms are going to be cut up. Section 7 preserves the right of every tenant during the entire currency of his lease, and compensation on the full scale is granted, not only to the tenant, but to the landlord, and to the landlord in respect not only of the holding, but of its effect upon the estate generally. Accordingly, I think we have no attack made upon the shape and frame of the Bill. It is only said: "Why is it not English?" I will put this to my hon. friends on the other side. Assuming you had a line drawn from Chester to Bournemouth, and on one side of that line you had a most excellent system on which improvement had followed, and in many cases the very face of the country had been transformed—better drainage, better fencing and better housing for man and beast—and assume that a Bill was brought in to extend that system to the rest of England. But the House of Lords says: "Oh, no. Do not make the rest of England like the part that has gone on so well. Make it like Scotland." How would Englishmen like that? Suppose they were threatened by the Lords that they must become Scottish in dress? Or that in religion they must as in Scotland treat every Episcopalian as a Dissenter? The fact is, this argument cannot apply in the case of a self-governed country like Scotland which is so fully alive to its own interests. I never yet heard it suggested that Scotland did not know the right side of a shilling. Upon this simple ground that the shrewdest of nations is absolutely resolved upon this Bill, I ask all Members of the House—Englishmen who appreciate the illustration given, Irishmen who know the value of self-government, and Scotsmen who know exactly the outs and ins, the pros and cons of this measure—to adhere to the policy of last session. As to the shortness of our debate, it is well to be short, although the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has given us a hint which may fructify in time to come as to a shorter method still of disposing of our business when another House is recalcitrant. We shall not forget that. A word in conclusion as to the interesting speech of the hon. Member for Berwickshire. He is all in favour of education and co-operation among these small holders. So am I. I find nothing

in the Bill to derogate from these great functions, but I find much in it that is to their advantage. Education, co-operation, and all those things which are so important in a country which at this moment is importing from foreign shores not less than £70,000,000 worth of perishable farm produce, are, in our view, best built upon a situation in which the tenant shall be secure in his holding, shall have independence in his life and career, and shall face all the problems not only of his individual and family effort, but of co-operation with others on the footing that he cannot be dispossessed or penalised in consequence of good agriculture.

*MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)

said that perhaps the best argument that had been brought forward in favour of the Bill was that the crofters had spent £150,000 of their own money on the crofts. But he asked the House to remember that there were 28,000 crofters, and that the Crofters Acts had been in operation for twenty-two years, so that the expenditure of the crofters on their crofts amounted to 5s. 6d. per croft per annum.

And, it being a quarter before Eight of the Clock, Mr. Speaker proceeded to put the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded this day under the Order of the House of the 13th February.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 353; Noes, 106. (Division List No. 12.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Berridge, T. H. D.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd)
Acland, Francis Dyke Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)
Agnew, George William Barker, John Boland, John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Boulton, A. C. F.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Barnard, E. B. Bowerman, C. W.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Barnes, G. N. Brace, William
Armitage, R. Barran, Rowland Hirst Bramsdon, T. A.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Branch, James.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Beale, W. P. Brocklehurst, W. B.
Astbury, John Meir Bellairs, Carlyon Brodie, H. C.
Atherley-Jones, L. Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Ches.)
Bryce, J. Annan Grant, Corrie Lough, Thomas
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Grayson, Albert Victor Lupton, Arnold
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Burke, E. Haviland- Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Griffith, Ellis J. Mackarness, Frederic C.
Burt, Rt Hon. Thomas Gulland, John W. Maclean, Donald
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Byles, William Pollard Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Cameron, Robert Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) M'Callum, John M.
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh M'Crae, George
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hart-Davies, T. M'Kean, John
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Cheetham, John Frederick Haslam, James (Derbyshire) M'Killop, W.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Haworth, Arthur A. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Cleland, J. W. Hayden, John Patrick M'Micking, Major G.
Clough, William Hazel, Dr. A. E. Maddison, Frederick
Clynes, J. R. Hedges, A. Paget Mallet, Charles E.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Helme, Norval Watson Markham, Arthur Basil
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hemmerde, Edward George Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Massie, J.
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Masterman, C F. G.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Henry, Charles S. Meagher, Michael
Cooper, G. J. Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Menzies, Walter
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Micklem, Nathaniel
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Higham, John Sharp Middlebrook, William
Cowan, W. H. Hobart, Sir Robert Mond, A.
Cox, Harold Hodge, John Money, L. G. Chiozza
Crombie, John William Hogan, Michael Montagu, E. S.
Crosfield, A. H. Holden, E. Hopkinson Mooney, J. J.
Cross, Alexander Holland, Sir William Henry Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Crossley, William J. Holt, Richard Durning Morley, Rt. Hon. John
Cullinan, J. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Curran, Peter Francis Horniman, Emslie John Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Dalziel, James Henry Horridge, Thomas Gardner Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Murray, James
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hudson, Walter Myer, Horatio
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hyde, Clarendon Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Idris, T. H. W. Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Illingworth, Percy H. Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras. N Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Nolan, Joseph
Dillon, John Jackson, R. S. Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Dobson, Thomas W. Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Nuttall, Harry
Donelan, Captain A. Jardine, Sir J. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Duckworth, James Jenkins, J. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Duffy, William J. Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jones, Lief (Appleby) O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Jones, William (Carnarvonshire O'Grady, J.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Jowett, F. W. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Joyce, Michael O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Elibank, Master of Kavanagh, Walter M. O'Malley, William
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Kearley, Hudson E. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Erskine, David C. Kekewich, Sir George Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Essex, R. W. Kelley, George D. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Esslemont, George Birnie Kettle, Thomas Michael Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk. Eye)
Evans, Sir Samuel T. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)
Everett, R. Lacey Laidlaw, Robert Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Fenwick, Charles Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Ferens, T. R. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Findlay, Alexander Lambert, George Pirie, Duncan V.
Flynn, James Christopher Lamont, Norman Pollard, Dr.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Power, Patrick Joseph
Fuller, John Michael F. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh. Central
Fullerton, Hugh Layland-Barratt, Francis Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Gill, A. H. Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras. E. Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Radford, G. H.
Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W. Lehmann, R. C. Rainy, A. Rolland
Glendinning, R. G. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Raphael, Herbert H.
Glover, Thomas Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Levy, Sir Maurice Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Gooch, George Peabody Lewis, John Herbert Redmond, William (Clare)
Rees, J. D. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
Rendall, Athelstan Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Ward, W. Dudley (Southamp'n
Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S. Wardle, Gaorge J.
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mptn Snowden, P. Waring, Walter
Richardson, A. Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wason, Rt Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Ridsdale, E. A. Soares, Ernest J. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Spicer, Sir Albert Waterlow, D. S.
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Stanger, H. Y. Watt, Henry A.
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Steadman, W. C. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Weir, James Calloway
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Strachey, Sir Edward White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Robinson, S. Straus, B. S. (Mile End) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Roche, John (Galway, East) Stuart, James (Sunderland) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Roe, Sir Thomas Summerbell, T. Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Rogers, F. E. Newman Sutherland, J. E. Wiles, Thomas
Rose, Charles Day Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wilkie, Alexander
Rowlands, J. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthn
Runciman, Walter Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Thomasson, Franklin Wills, Arthur Walters
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Thorne, William Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Torrance, Sir A. M. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Seaverns, J. H. Toulmin, George Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Seddon, J. Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Seely, Colonel Ure, Alexander Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Shacklelon, David James Verney, F. W. Wodehouse, Lord
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Villiers, Ernest Amherst Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Vivian, Henry Yoxall, James Henry
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wadsworth, J.
Shipman, Dr. John G. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Silcock, Thomas Ball Walsh, Stephen
Simon, John Allsebrook Walton, Joseph
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Morpeth, Viscount
Anson, Sir William Reynell Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fell, Arthur Nield, Herbert
Balcarres, Lord Ferguson, R. C. Munro Percy, Earl
Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Fletcher, J. S. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Forster, Henry William Randles, Sir John Scurran
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gardner, Ernest Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Goulding, Edward Alfred Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, H. Michael Hugh Hicks Guinness, Walter Edward Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hamilton, Marques of Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bowles, G. Stewart Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Bull, Sir William James Hay, Hon. Claude George Starkev, John R.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Helmsley, Viscount Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.
Carlile, E. Hildred Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cave, George Hills, J. W. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W Houston, Robert Paterson Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hunt, Rowland Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W Thornton, Percy M.
Chance, Frederick William Keswick, William Tuke, Sir John Batty
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Kimber, Sir Henry Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Clark, George Smith (Belfast, N. King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Whitbread, Howard
Coats, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Lane-Fox, G. R. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Lockwood, Rt. H. Lt-Col. A. R Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin. S Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Courthope, G. Loyd Lowe, Sir Francis William Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Younger, George
Craig, Captain James (Down, E. M'Arthur, Charles
Craik, Sir Henry Magnus, Sir Philip TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir. Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Dalmeny, Lord Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Dalrymple, Viscount Mason, James F (Windsor)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Mildmay, Francis Bingham

Main Question put.

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Corbett, C H (Sussex. E. Grinst'd Helme, Norval Watson
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hemmerde, Edward George
Acland, Francis Dyke Cowan, W. H. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Agnew, George William Cox, Harold Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Crombie, John William Henry, Charles S.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Crosfield, A. H. Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Cross, Alexander Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe
Armitage, R. Crossley, William J. Higham, John Sharp
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cullinan, J. Hobart, Sir Robert
Astbury, John Meir Curran, Peter Francis Hodge, John
Atherley-Jones, L. Dalziel, James Henry Hogan, Michael
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Holden, E. Hopkinson
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Holland, Sir William Henry
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Holt, Richard Durning
Raring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Barker, John Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Barnard, E. B. Dillon, John Hudson, Walter
Barnes, G. N. Dobson, Thomas W. Hyde, Clarendon
Barran, Rowland Hirst Donelan, Captain A. Idris, T. H. W.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone. N Duckworth, James Illingworth, Percy H.
Beale, W. P. Duffy, William J. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Bellairs, Carlyon Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Jackson, R. S.
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Jardine, Sir J.
Benn, W. (T'w'rHamlets, S. Geo. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Jenkins, J.
Berridge, T. H. D. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Elibank, Master of Jones, Sir H. Brynmor (Swansea
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Boland, John Erskine, David C. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Boulton, A. C. F. Essex, R. W. Jowett, F. W.
Bowerman, C. W. Esslemont, George Birnie Joyce, Michael
Brace, William Evans, Sir Samuel T. Kearley, Hudson E.
Bramsdon, T. A. Everett, R. Lacey Kekewich, Sir George
Branch, James Fenwick, Charles Kelley, George D.
Brocklehnrst, W. B. Ferens T. R. Kettle, Thomas Michael
Brodie, H. C. Findlay, Alexander King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Flynn, James Christopher Laidlaw, Robert
Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Ches. Foster, Rt. Hon Sir Walter Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Bryce, J. Annan Fuller, John Michael F. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fullerton, Hugh Lambert, Geroge
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Gill, A. H. Lamont, Norman
Burke, E. Haviland- Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W. Lardner, Jumes Carrige Rushe
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Glendinning, R. G. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Glover, Thomas Layland-Barratt. Francis
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.
Byles, William Pollard Gooch, George Peabody Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Cameron, Robert Grant, Corrie Lehmann, R. C.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Cawley, Sir Frederick Griffith, Ellis J. Levy, Sir Maurice
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Gulland, John W. Lewis, John Herbert
Cheetham, John Frederick Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Lough, Thomas
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Lupton, Arnold
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Cleland, J. W. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Clough, William Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn's. sh Mackarness, Frederic C.
Clynes, J. R. Hart-Davis, T. Maclean, Donald
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Haslam, James (Derbyshire) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Collins, Sir W. J. (S. Pancras. W. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Haworth, Arthur A. M'Callum, John M.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hayden, John Patrick M'Crae, George
Cooper, G. J. Hazel, Dr. A. E. M'Kean, John
† See correction in second entry following Division List.

The House divided:—Ayes. 247†; Noes, 103. (Division List No. 13.)

M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Strachey, Sir Edward
M'Kllop, W. Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Radford, G. H. Stuart, James (Sunderland)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Rainy, A. Rolland Summerbell, T.
M'Micking, Major G. Raphael, Herbert H. Sutherland, J. E.
Maddis on, Frederick Rsa, Russell (Gloucester) Taylor, Austen (East Toxteth)
Mallet, Charles E. Reddy, M Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Markham, Arthur Basil Redmond, William (Clare) Thomasson, Franklin
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Rees, J. D. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Massie, J. Rendaall, Athelstan Thorne, William
Masterman, C. F. G. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Torrance, Sir A. M.
Meagher, Michael Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Toulmin, George
Menzies, Walter Richardson, A. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Micklem, Nathaniel Ridsdale, E. A. Ure, Alexander
Middlebrook, William Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Verney, F. W.
Mond, A. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Money, L. G. Chiozza Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Vivian, Henry
Montagu, E. S. Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee Wadsworth, J.
Mooney, J. J. Robertson, Sir G Scott (Bradf'rd Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Walsh, Stephen
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Robinson, S. Walton, Joseph
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Roche, John (Galway, East) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Roe, Sir Thomas Ward, W Dudley (Southampton
Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Rogers, F. E. Newman Wardle, George J.
Murray, James Rose, Charles Day Waring, Walter
Myer, Horatio Rowlands, J. Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Runciman, Walter Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Nicholson, Charles N (Doncast'r Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Waterlow, D. S.
Nolan, Joseph Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Watt, Henry A
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Schwann, G Duncan (Hyde) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Nuttall, Harry Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Weir, James Galloway
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Seaverns, J. H. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Seddon, J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Seely, Colonel White, Patrick (Meath, North)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Shackleton, David James Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
O'Grady, J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B. Wiles, Thomas
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthn
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Shipman, Dr. John G. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
O'Malley, William Silcock, Thomas Ball Williamson, A.
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Simon, John Allsebrook Wills, Arthur Walters
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.)
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Snowden, P. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Soares, Ernest J. Wodehouse, Lord
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Spicer, Sir Albert Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Pirie, Duncan V. Stanger, H. Y.
Pollard, Dr. Steadman, W. C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Power, Patrick Joseph Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Carlile, E. Hildred Dalmenny, Lord
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cave, George Dalrymple, Viscount
Anstruther-Gray, Major Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. W. Davies, David (Montgomery Co.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Balfour, Rt. Hn A. J. (City Lond.) Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A (Worc. Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Clark, George Smith (Belfast, N. Fell, Arthur
Banner, John S. Harmood. Clive, Percy Archer Ferguson, R. C. Munro
Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Fletcher, J. S.
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birminghm Forster, Henry William
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Gardner, Ernest
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Bowles, G. Stewart Courthope, G. Loyd Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bridgeman, W. Clive Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Guinness, Walter Edward
Bull, Sir William James Craig, Captain James (Down, E. Hamilton, Marquess of
Butcher, Samuel Henry Craik, Sir Henry Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford
Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Magnus, Sir Philip Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hay, Hon. Claude George Marks, H. H. (Kent) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Helmsley, Viscount Mason, James F. (Windsor) Tennant Sir Edward (Salisbury
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Hills, J. W. Morpeth, Viscount Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Houston, Robert Paterson Muntz, Sir Philip A. Thornton, Percy M.
Hunt, Rowland Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield Tuke, Sir John Batty
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Nield, Herbert Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W Percy, Earl Ward, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Williams, Col. R, (Dorset, W.)
Kimber, Sir Henry Randles, Sir John Scurrah Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Wilson, A Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Lane-Fox, G. R. Ronaldshay, Earl of Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Younger, George
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir. Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Lowe, Sir Francis William Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Starkey, John R.
M'Arthur, Charles Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.