HC Deb 25 February 1908 vol 184 cc1597-663

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]

Clause 1—

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

I think this is a fitting opportunity for the House to concentrate its attention, not upon the general merits or demerits of this Bill, but upon Clause 1 of the Bill, which has the effect of extending to the whole of Scotland the particular legislation provided in 1886 for a part of Scotland which is relatively large in area but small in population, backward in agriculture, and has no pretence to rival more fortunately situated areas in other parts of the country as regards general industrial and social developments. I am one of those who think that the provisions embodied in this clause are a great test of the capacity of the present administration for dealing with questions of social reform. Questions of social reform are in all our thoughts, but he must indeed be a novice in these matters who thinks that they are easy of solution, that they do not require the most careful consideration and all that experience and all that theory can teach us, and who does not view with dismay those rash, but maybe well-intentioned legislators, who rush into a question affecting immense interests and vast bodies of our population without the smallest apparent regard for the responsibilities incumbent upon them. I do not think in the whole history of legislation by a responsible Government there has been anything ever done that was more rash, more ill-considered, and more obviously foolish than this attempt to apply to the whole of Scotland legislation which was applied for very special reasons to a part of Scotland and which was derived, not from Scottish tradition, history, law, or needs, but from an experiment which has been tried in Ireland alone of all the nations of the world, and has been found to be a failure. What is the history of the Crofters Act in Scotland, which Act this Bill proposes to extend from the mountains and moors and the storm-beaten islands of the north and north-western part of Scotland to the whole kingdom? In 1881 Mr. Gladstone found himself face to face with something in the nature of an agrarian revolution in Ireland. He had to deal with it rapidly, and the particular ethical difficulty which met him was, in Ireland as in the Highlands of Scotland, that the tenant and not the owner of the land provided the capital necessary for the cultivation of the land, and that the buildings and improvements had been made, not at the landlords', but at the tenants' expense. The result was that property had really been created by two people, but was vested only in one. That difficult state of things could only be dealt with in one of two ways. It could be dealt with either by establishing a system of dual ownership, or by establishing a system of single ownership, vesting both the improvements and the land in one ownership. In 1881, Mr. Gladstone adopted the first of these alternatives. At the time he was face to face with difficulties of almost unprecedented magnitude in the government of Ireland. There were men on both sides of the House, and many Irish Members sitting then as now, below the gangway, who said that the true solution was not to be found in the establishment of dual ownership, but in the establishment of a peasant proprietary, or a system by which, instead of having two owners, there should be one owner and that owner the man who had created the improvements on the land. In that view Mr. Bright and others strongly concurred. I believe that Mr. Gladstone himself held that theoretically the plan he adopted was one which in the end was not likely to succeed. But he had to face an immediate difficulty. He adopted the Act of 1881 as an interim arrangement, as a passing phase in land legislation which was to lead at no great length, of time to a system of peasant ownership. I remember speeches of the present Duke of Devonshire in that sense, and I think it is not improbable that many statements by Mr. Gladstone can be found which support the view I have taken of the policy of the Government of that day. Time has shown that those who took that view took the correct view of the situation. The Lord Advocate has been apparently in communication with a particular official of the Irish Government. He wrote him a letter and got a letter in reply, which he read—an unusual proceeding, and I venture to think not a very dignified one—in which that particular Irish official said that good had been done by the Act of 1881. There are senses in which I think it is possible to maintain that much good was done by the Act of 1881, because the Government were face to face with a great agrarian revolution and the situation-had to be dealt with. But I do not believe that even the particular official to whom the Lord Advocate referred would maintain that dual ownership was a better system than single ownership. To maintain that proposition would be to run counter to the best of Irish opinion and to the most matured judgment that has been formed about Irish affairs by those who are not Irishmen, but who have been responsible from time to time for Irish administration. The Secretary for Ireland invariably tells us that he welcomes the operation of the Land Purchase Act. He regrets every obstacle which financial difficulties threw in the way of that Act, and he looks forward to the completion of the policy inaugurated thirty or forty years ago, and promoted by the great Act passed by my right hon. friend the Member for Dover, as the greatest of all boons that could be given by the financial credit and power of this country to the Irish population. That is the history of the Act of 1881, as it applies to Ireland. What is the history of the Act of 1886, which applied the same system to the crofting areas in the Highlands and islands of Scotland? Did the authors of that measure say it was a plan obviously of general application which they desired to see widely extended, but which they would try experimentally in one corner of Great Britain? No, Sir; the authors of the Act of 1886 found themselves in precisely the same position as Mr. Gladstone found himself in in 1881. They had to deal with a condition of disorder. They had to deal with a system of land tenure in which, broadly speaking, the occupiers had made and the owners had not made the improvements on the soil; and they adopted in the face of the same difficulties the same solution that Mr. Gladstone adopted. The same results followed. I do not deny that, as a transition measure, the Act of 1886 may have given some benefit to the Highlands. It may have conduced to law and order, it may have prevented some few cases of injustice—I think very few were alleged—it may have given tenants security for future improvements, it may have helped them to expend money which otherwise they might have been afraid to spend lest their rents should be raised upon the improvements which they themselves had created. But surely every observation that is applicable to the great theatre of Ireland is applicable to the smaller theatre of the north and north-west of Scotland. On a miniature scale, the problem was the same in all its characteristics, and I have always thought that ultimately the same solution, and the same solution alone, would adequately meet the case. But when you take this legislation, which had its origin in Irish land revolution, which was supported by something in the nature of a small Highland revolution against the payment of rent, based upon the economic fact that one man owned the land and another made the improvements, and propose to extend it to a part of the country where there has never been an agrarian difficulty, where the tenants do not make the improvements, where not one of the original justifying conditions can be found to prevail, then you are turning topsy-turvy—you are making hay of all the best traditions of legislation, and I venture to say you are showing yourselves quite incapable of dealing with problems of great difficulty, involving the future application of capital to land and the future interests of agriculture. Unless you can show that in the Lowlands of Scotland conditions prevail which make the experiment tried in the Highlands applicable, it seems to me your whole policy is utterly and hopelessly without justification. We are constantly told by those who are defending this Bill that the experiment of the Crofters Act has been so successful in the Highlands of Scotland that we should be foolish indeed if we were not to take advantage of so admirable a system, and extend it to all other parts of the United Kingdom. I need hardly say that that argument equally applies to England, but I do not mean to dwell upon that point. But let as treat it now as a Scottish matter. I do not mean after the manner in which it is treated by the Treasury Bench. The Solicitor - General for Scotland says, "What have Englishmen got to do with this Bill? We are dealing with a peculiarly Scottish problem; let us deal with it in a peculiarly Scottish way." Yes, but this is not a Scottish way; it is an Irish way, and it is a discredited Irish way. And, really, that is not all. Land tenure is a very large and complicated subject, upon which experiments have been tried and different methods adopted in different countries with different historic pasts and different conditions. Is there one country in the civilised world where any attempt has been made to find fixity of tenure or security for tenants' capital on the plan which the Treasury Bench has now adopted? The Lord Advocate or the Secretary for Scotland last week, in the debate on this Bill, said that in Denmark the system was one of peasant proprietors, but there were other plans for giving fixity of tenure, but he did not tell us what those other plans may be. I do not remember any. But is there any example anywhere of this particular plan? Have any of the other countries whose prosperity we envy, and in some respects desire to copy, adopted this system? Is it to be found in Denmark? Is it to be found in Belgium? Is it to be found in France? I have never heard of any such plan. In the United States. I need hardly say that this plan would be scouted as the most grotesque travesty of land legislation which could possibly be conceived. Therefore, the Government have no example to go upon except the example of Ireland, which has already been abandoned, and the example of this small corner of Scotland—small in regard to wealth and population—where it is alleged the experiment has had immense success. I am sceptical about the immense success. I do not in the least deny that it was better to have some solution of an economic and of an ethical problem than no solution at all. In that sense I believe the Act was better than nothing; but when I am told that all the improvements which have happily taken place in the Highlands are due to the operation of the Crofters Act it is drawing a cheque upon my credulity which I must absolutely decline to honour. Am I wrong in saying that the total amount of rents valued under the Crofters Act is not much more than £65,000 a year? I think I am right in saying £65,000 a year is the total amount of rents which have been fixed by the Crofters Commission. But more than half that amount is poured from the Treasury every year into that small district in Scotland. If there has been, as there has been in some parts of the Highlands, a great augmentation of prosperity, do you not think that some credit might be allowed for the fact that this House has voted large sums of money and for the effect brought about by the expenditure of these sums every year? Do you not think something might be allowed for the improved means of communication, for the guaranteed railways, for the improved railways, for the telegraphic communication, for the harbour improvements, and the money which the Congested Districts Board has at its disposal to spend every year? This £35,000 a year is more than half the whole rent valued by the Crofters Commission. If the condition of a population, which has a sum of money amounting to more than half the total rents poured into the district, at the expense of the Lowlands, is not ameliorated, then I think we may despair of ever ameliorating anybody's condition. I do not believe that the slightest examination of what is happening under the Crofters Act will justify the very rosy view and sanguine estimate which the Government apply to it. In the eastern parts of the Highlands of Scotland where the population and the climate are more closely allied and have more in common with Aberdeenshire and other portions of the Lowlands, I do not believe that the improvement in the crofting area is a bit greater than the improvement in the non-crofting areas which adjoin it. In the growth in wages, the improvement in houses, the improvement in education and sanitary conditions, or by whatever test you like to apply to prosperity, I do not believe you will find this marked difference between the parts in the Eastern Highlands where the Crofters Acts apply and the other parts of the Eastern Highlands adjoining where the Crofters Acts do not apply. And when I turn to the west of Scotland, is that an area on which the Secretary for Scotland and the Government can look with unfeigned satisfaction? I am not going into the controversy which has been raised over the treatment of Lady Cathcart by the Government or Lady Cathcart's treatment of those occupying under her in the crofting districts of the Western Hebrides. But there is one fact connected with her estate which gives cause for the deepest anxiety. It appears that in the last twenty years the population in Barra has grown by more than one-third, and it has grown in a way painfully familiar to every student of the congested districts in the west of Ireland. It has not grown because intensive cultivation has added immensely to the productive capacity of the soil, nor because new sources of industry have added to the wealth of the people, but by the well-known reluctance of the children to leave the crofts of their fathers, so that they prefer subdividing to either migrating or emigrating. Now, love of home is a sentiment which we all in a measure share, but every man who knows the history of Ireland and every man who has the smallest acquaintance with these islands of Scotland, knows that of all the causes of starvation and misery in districts so little favoured by nature and situated under such inclement skies, none has been more effective and deadly in its operation than this growth of the population in an area incapable of sustaining it. That way poverty and misery inevitably lie, and I cannot discover that the Government have shown the smallest perception of the danger which in spite of the Crofter Acts, is now threatening portions of the Western Highlands, or that they do otherwise than look with a kind of blind satisfaction upon these cases so big with the seeds of future miseries and destitution, and I fear even of future disorder. There is one more circumstance which cannot be left out of account. In contemplating the working of the Crofters Acts is it not true that a large number of the crofters greatly prefer being under the ordinary law to availing themselves of the privileges under the Crofters Acts, and these are often some of the most enterprising and vigorous of your crofting population? They greatly prefer being under the old terms with their landlords by which they can ask for assistance with capital and that co-operation to which they have been accustomed, and where the relations of landlord and tenant are really good and are certainly more conducive to the proper cultivation of the soil than anything you are likely to substitute. Therefore, I cannot admit that even in the districts where the Crofters Act has been a success, it is the kind of success claimed for it by the Government. It has proved a measure of advantage; it has produced a greater consideration for the law; it has in some cases helped improvement; but the idea that the Crofters Act has turned the Highlands and islands of Scotland into an agricultural garden is a pure vision that exists only in the minds of the Government and has no foundation in fact. Therefore, so far as the Highlands are concerned, there is no justification for an extension of the crofting law to other areas less suited to it and where dual ownership has not that ethical justification it may have had in the Highlands. Then I turn from the Highlands to ask what is the history of that part of the country to which you mean to apply this system of dual ownership. Has the agricultural history of the Lowlands of Scotland been a discreditable history? If anybody will take the trouble to read the history of the Lowlands of Scotland since the middle of the 18th century he will arrive at the conclusion that in no part of the world has there been a greater development in the science of agriculture; in no part of the world has the land produced more per acre of the staple crops, and produced them with greater success and by larger outlay of capital. You may say that may be correct as to the farmer and landowner, but how about the agricultural labourer? I venture to say you may search the world over and you will not find a more prosperous and a more independent body of men than the agricultural labourers in the Lowlands of Scotland. I am particularly acquainted with agriculture, as it is practised in the Lowlands, but I believe, with some slight modifications and alterations, the system prevailing there is the general system to be found over large areas in Scotland. And it is a system undoubtedly more beneficial for the agricultural labourer than the system which prevails in the Highlands, in Ireland, in England or Wales, or many parts of the Continent of Europe. I suppose the audience I am addressing is mainly Scottish and therefore acquainted with the system, but there may be some hon. Gentlemen present who do not know what that system is. There the contract between the farmer or the occupier and the labourer is annual generally, though sometimes it is for six months. The agricultural labourer does not usually move far from the district in which he was born and brought up and where his friends and family reside. He is within that district very movable. If he does not like one employer at the end of that term of contract he moves and enters the service of another. I do not believe in the subserviency of the agricultural labourer in any part of the United Kingdom, but to those who know the agricultural labourer to apply such a term to the agricultural labourer of Scotland is a ludicrous misapplication. During the year of the contract the agricultural labourer has a cottage in a place upon the farm steading, as we call it, conveniently situated for his work and he has it rent free. If he falls ill there is no diminution of his wages for six weeks. If he still remains ill after six weeks without being able to work he can retain his cottage rent free for the remainder of the year for which he has contracted to work. The wages are certainly above the average in other portions of the country, and in my own recollection the improvement in the houses of the agricultural labourers has been broadcast, and the whole character of the cottages in which they reside has entirely altered. Therefore, you have in the Lowlands of Scotland a system under which, as it seems to me, if you are to have hired labour on your land—and nobody doubts that it is an essential part of the agricultural system, though it may not be the main part—you are never likely to have it on a better plan and one more favourable to the independence, the security, and well-being of the class of agricultural labourer in whose interest you are chiefly concerned. There is no part of the habitable globe where larger sums have been spent by the owners of the soil upon buildings, cottages, draining, fences, and all the other necessary permanent equipment of a farm. Is that nothing? It is the main thing you have to look to, for agriculture differs from all other industries in this respect, that nobody makes a fortune by it. It has no great prizes. There is no prospect even of large interest on money expended. If, therefore, you want to get a great expenditure of capital, you will never get it by appealing to those motives which in other enterprises make men risk their fortunes. What are the Government doing? You have to deal with human nature as it is. What are the motive which induce men, whether on the Continent or in England, Scotland, or Ireland, to spend long hours of labour or vast sums of money, for no great remuneration, on the improvement of their land? It is the pride of possession, and it is the security. The owner of the land says, Both duty and pleasure, the responsibilities incident to my position, make it incumbent upon me to spend, even if unprofitably, money on the land I own. That motive has, in the south of Scotland more than anywhere else, induced landlords to expend vast sums of money. This Bill absolutely destroys that. The Government boast of destroying it. For they say to the landlords: You will be, relieved of the vast expenditure you have hitherto undertaken. Are you going to substitute for the motive of ownership another motive which will induce the small occupiers to expend money and labour upon the holdings which they till? You refuse to do that. In Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, you will get men to work, with their wives and children, hours which would hardly meet the approval of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, in order that their small holdings should give them a living, and should give for their sons the same source of pride which they are to them. You refuse to appeal to that motive. Having destroyed the interest of the large owner, you refuse to create the small owner. Having dried up one source of capital expenditure on the land, you proceed to dry up another. And you are doing this in a region of the country where there is no ground for drastic and risky remedies based upon the dangerous condition of the patient. The patient is flourishing. In the Lowlands of Scotland we have got through, without Government assistance, without vast sums of money spent by the Exchequer, a great agricultural crisis, without disorder, without discontent, and with less friction than has ever occurred in a great industry subjected to a tremendous and wholly unexpected strain. And this is the region where it is necessary to upset everything that at present exists, and to introduce into it a brand new importation from Ireland which has never been tried in any other part of the world, where, by the way, they have not been unduly reluctant to try land experiments. You are going to put the prosperous parts of Scotland under a bureaucratic heel in Edinburgh. A more foolish experiment has never been suggested by a responsible Government in this country. And this is a specimen of what we are to expect from this Administration in the way of social legislation. It is by this specimen of their ingenuity that we are to judge of the efforts they propose to make with regard to other great industries. It is in this spirit of rash and unauthorised experiment, of foolish obstinacy, that the Government, not content with introducing a Bill in 1906, not wisely and prudently anxious to bury it out of sight as decently as they can, reintroduce it practically without modification in 1907, spend the autumn in trying to flog up the flagging public opinion of Scotland, and, unmoved by argument, untouched by experience, incapable of learning even from their own friends in Scotland and England, reintroduce it for the third time, forgetting nothing and learning nothing, in 1908. An hon. Gentleman below the gangway, a supporter in a general way of the Government, informed us that the Bill was dead. The Bill may be dead; I daresay it is; but the example of the Bill lives. As a touchstone and test of the capacity of this Government to deal with difficult and complicated questions it is immortal. We shall not forget it; nobody will forget it. It is a test of their wisdom and knowledge, their power of learning from the experience of others, and their power of learning from their own colleagues on that bench. I occupied a quarter of the time on the debate the other day, and I regret to say that I have occupied a quarter of the time allowed to-day. But this first clause is worthy of many days debate. It stands as a permanent example of the ingenuity, the intelligence, and the caution of those who have devised it. Our duty is plain. It is to resist it now as we have resisted it before by every means in our power, and to save the most progressive parts of Scotland from the dead bureaucratic hand by which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends desire to strangle the greatest of our national industries.


I may, perhaps, be allowed to make a few observations in reply to the right hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the Committee. In discussing this Bill, ignoring differences of race, creed, religion, education and traditions, between the two countries, it is persistently stated that this measure is being founded on the model of Irish legislation, and that it is bound to lead to disaster to found a measure on that principle. But that assumes, in the first place, that the Land Act of 1881 is to be written down in history as a failure.


As a transition.


As a failure. It may be a transition or not, but as a failure. Everybody knows what led to the supersession of the Land Act of 1881 by subsequent legislation. In the first place, the Act of 1881 did nothing more than this—rightly or wrongly, it applied to Ireland the principles which had characterised the land tenure and farming of the most prosperous agricultural portions of that country. For generations that system had lasted in the north of Ireland, where to this day it persists to a large extent, and is the foundation of its agricultural prosperity. For what it is worth, though it is not precisely the model which is adopted in this Bill, history does not condemn the Ulster tenant right custom. That custom stands as a successful tenure which has led to agricultural progress and prosperity. The real truth is that in regard to the Act of 1881 it had to give way to the pressure which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned. There were purchase clauses in the Act which had the support of Mr. Bright and the Duke of Devonshire, but the right hon. Gentleman did not mention that he himself, supported by Lord George Hamilton, came down to this House in 1883, and insisted that those clauses in the Act of 1881 had not been properly developed nor given a fair chance; and it was he and his Government who, in 1885, and in later years, introduced the purchase principle which made it perfectly impossible for the tenure under the Act of 1881 to be left undisturbed in Ireland. Owing, therefore, to the right hon. Gentleman and his friends, the Act of 1881 had not a fair chance, because they attempted to rum alongside of it the purchase system; so that we had pictures drawn for us of certain estates like the Dillon estate, where the tenant on one side of the line was paying rent under the Act of 1881, while a tenant on the other side of the line was paying a smaller rent under the operation of the right hon. Gentleman's purchase clauses, which gave him the fee simple of his holding. It is obvious to everybody that apart from the defects of the Act of 1881, what made that measure impossible was the attempt of the right hon. Gentleman and his friends, the owners of land in Ireland—who thought they were not being fairly treated under the system of hire—to get, in their pride of possession, the full value of their property.


I said nothing about pride of possession.


I do not say that the right hon. Gentleman said that, but it was the effect of the legislation of 1885 and of later years which made it impossible for the Act of 1881 to have a fair trial. Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman that the absurdity of applying this legislation to the rest of Scotland is not now suggested for the first time. When the Crofters Act was introduced the right hon. Gentleman himself clearly condemned it as a first step to the inevitable sequel of its application to other parts of Scotland. Twenty or more years ago a Bill was introduced into this House by a well-known representative of Scottish farmers, the late Mr. Barclay, with the object of applying fixity of tenure, and establishing a Land Court for the whole of Scotland. It is no new idea in Scotland, whatever it may be in this House. You will find that the Crofters Act did not deal with the same difficulties as those which obtained in Ireland, neither did it follow the same lines as the Irish legislation. There were rack rents, disorder, and evictions, but even with this similarity, there were radical and fundamental differences between the cases of Ireland and Scotland which preclude the supposition that they are exactly on the same footing, and that we are confronted by precisely the same difficulties. We have attempted in this Bill to meet what the right hon. Gentleman says is the ethical problem which he said confronted him, whether it is right and fair in the different conditions of the Lowlands to apply the same legislation as was adopted for the crofters' areas, where the small tenants had made their own improvements, and hand over the landlord's property in the shape of buildings and capital which he had put into the land. The question of whether it is just and fair is the question which we have endeavoured to meet in this Bill, and the right hon. Gentleman has never addressed himself to the point as to whether within the limits of this Bill a fair rent was to be fixed. We have made certain proposals under which we think this transaction can with fairness be carried out. We have submitted those proposals to the House, which has supported us by enormous majorities. The right hon. Gentleman specifically referred to the question of the success of the Crofters Act, but I will not labour that joint. Whatever the Crofters Act does, it certainly cannot alter the climate of the barren parts of Scotland, especially in the Western islands. No land tenure, no land laws can overcome the huge difficulties by which cultivators of land in those regions are confronted. It is no condemnation of cultivators in those regions if they cannot achieve the agricultural successes gained in the Lowlands. We have the problem of Vatersay and of Lews and other congested districts, and if the Crofters Act had contained powers for the creation of new holdings for devoting the land to the enlargement of holdings, so that they should become economic holdings, and for placing the crofters on the land, the House would have had a very different problem in Vatersay and Lews from what it is to-day. This Bill is not designed to supplement the Crofters Acts in these respects, but we trust it may. The right hon. Gentleman also alluded to another point. It has frequently been mentioned in this controversy as indicating the failure of the Crofters Act, namely, that a great number of the crofters under statutory limitations, remain outside the Act. There are something like 12,000 or 13,000 crofters who would otherwise be entitled to have a fair rent fixed who remain outside the Act. But it is no condemnation of the Act that this should be the case, and it would be no condemnation of this Bill which we are now laying before the House if that also occurred under it. It is a desirable thing in all respects that the tenants should exercise their own will, and if their landlords come to an agreement with them, and they care to remain on the terms which existed before, or on terms altered by consent, we see no reason why they should not do so. They are allowed to do so under the Bill, and they are allowed to do so under the Crofters Act of 1886. That is one class of crofter that does not have a fair rent fixed, and there are other classes of people, including those in the twelve excluded parishes, the crofters who are leaseholders and who are not admitted to the Act of 1886, and the purchase tenants in the Highlands and the proprietors of small holdings. They are all outside the Act, and it is no condemnation of the Act to say that all those who are entitled to have a fair rent fixed have not availed themselves of that privilege. The right hon. Gentleman then travelled to the Lowlands, and there we met the ethical problem which he mentioned to us. This is only going one step further than the agricultural holdings legislation takes us at the present time. When the tenant leaves his holding you recognise that he has some capital in his holding, and the capital is assessed when he leaves his holding. In fact you have what is in essence a Land Court set up to assess the value of the capital which the tenant has sunk in the holding and which by law he is entitled to take away with him. We go one step further in the proposal which we make which applies solely to small holdings and say you ought to recognise that capital throughout the duration of a man's tenancy as well as at the end. The right hon. Gentleman did not attach much importance himself to the definition of "crofter" and "crofting parish." They are purely arbitrary, I might almost say artificial distinctions. There is no obvious line, no obvious feature in Scotland by which we can recognise the crofter region from that which is outside the crofter region. If the case is strong enough, surely we should not allow these distinctions to stand in the way. What are the distinctions between the Highlands and the Lowlands in Scotland? There may be some Members who would call Caithness a highland county. It is nothing whatever of the kind. Except in the extreme west it is as purely a lowland county as any other in Scotland. The truth is that the Lowlands of Scotland are a strip running up the eastern sea-board and broadening in the southern parts of Scotland, but in every county in Scotland there is highland as well as lowland. There is lowland in Caithness and in Wigtownshire. There are highlands in Sutherlandshire and in Berwickshire. There are ten counties in Scotland of which half the area is highland. Four of them are in the crofter region and six are in the non-crofter region. It is quite impossible then to draw a distinction of that kind between the highlands and the lowlands. Therefore, when we recognise the evils with which the Bill deals we are perfectly free to consider the question on its merits. The right hon. Gentleman has never indicated his view of what the remedy should be for the state of things we are obliged to consider. He suggests that the Lowlands are a very prosperous part of Scotland, and that the agricultural labourer and farm servant in that part of Scotland is an independent and self-respecting man. I know he is; but the difficulty is, and farmers will tell you that is the difficulty, that there are not enough of them, and farmers in every part of Scotland are at their wits' end for labour. The very fact that these men are such good men and are so highly paid increases the difficulty. Farmers are not able to employ them. Everything has not gone very well with the owners of land. There has been a great fall in rents. Will that be taken as an indication of the smiling prosperity of the Lothians? The great fall of rent that is common to the whole of Scotland cannot be traced in other countries which have had the greatest agricultural success. Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, which are supplying us with perishable farm produce which we hope these small holdings will rind success in producing, have suffered no fall of rents, and I cannot see that when there has been this great fall of rents, and there is this great scarcity of labour, and emigration, and land going out of cultivation, how the present condition of things can be defended as requiring no consideration and no remedy. The right hon. Gentleman says the patient is flourishing, but no one has been more eloquent than the right hon. Gentleman himself as to the necessity for some remedy for agricultural depression. This clause is founded upon Scottish experience, and it would be impossible for any Government to ignore Scottish experience when they came to deal with small holdings in Scotland. The largest experiment in small holdings in this kingdom has been the experiment under the Crofters Act—an experiment over a large area, and one which has met with a very large measure of success. How many families has it enabled to improve their holdings? How much capital has it not induced them to spend on inhospitable and difficult tracts of country? The real truth of it is that, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon said in the Second Beading debate on the Crofters Act of 1886, it would be much more proper to try this experiment on the more fertile region of the Lowlands. And after the experience we have had in the Highlands and the northern parts of Scotland, we have all the more confidence that we may adopt the suggestion which the right hon. Gentleman made. Surely, near the markets of the south, near great centres of population, where there is communication and transport, where there are large populations to feed, and where there is a much more genial climate and a much better soil, there is a more promising field for the application of this principle of security of tenure. The right hon. Gentleman questioned what I said the other day, and said that there was no way of giving security of tenure except by making the cultivator the owner of the soil. That is not so. If he will examine the history of agriculture in Denmark, he will find that the beginning of the agricultural prosperity of Denmark was under a system very analogous to the system which we have in this Bill. The peasant cultivators there were not in the first instance owners of their holdings, and it was only after some time, when they began to do well and accumulated wealth like other people, that it was possible, or that they desired, to become owners of the soil. And he will find also in various parts of England precisely similar tenures operating with success. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman proposes as a remedy for this difficulty, and whether he would put forward purchase as his plan. We have no objection to purchase, or to people becoming owners of their own holdings. They are perfectly free to become owners of their holdings, and county councils of Scotland are perfectly free to assist them to become holders of their holdings, and what is more, there is nothing under our Bill to prevent a landlord disposing of his laud as he chooses. He may equip it and let it or sell it for the purpose of small cultivation just as freely after the Bill has passed into law as he can at this moment. We interpose no obstacle, but the great obstacle in the way of any Government proposing a system founded on purchase is that the farm servants, labourers, and small holders who are likely to become cultivators of these holdings do not wish to purchase. There is no desire on their part to purchase. They have no means to purchase, and if the right hon. Gentleman will study the matter, as it has been my fate to do, so far as my opportunities have enabled me to do it, he will find that in England, for instance, men began with allotments and rose to be tenants of larger holdings, and then in time to come when they have capital like other people, if they wish it they put it in the purchase of the land themselves. But the beginning, the first rung of the ladder, is the tenancy system in some form or other. The Government wishing to make this a bona fide and honest attempt to meet the great evils which we are confronted with in the less populous country districts, seeing that the desire of the people generally, almost universally, is tenancy; seeing that it is only by that system that we can put it within their reach to put money into the land, to stock it, to till it and to use their experience in so doing, we have adopted the tenancy system. For my own part I cannot help believing, without exaggerating and without drawing deductions which are not warranted from crofter experience of this tenure, that this Bill has the prospect of bringing great benefits to the Lowlands of Scotland and to the country as a whole, and I would ask the Committee to bear in mind that there is a remarkable unanimity of opinion shown in this House and also outside in Scotland in favour of this view. I know we are not all agreed, and I am perfectly aware that there are exceptions on this side of the House; but I ask hon. Gentlemen to look back fairly at the history of any other legislative proposal which has been so long as this before the country and say if they can recollect a similar persistence and resolute unanimity in support of that measure. It would be a great pity if this opportunity were lost to Parliament to place this measure upon the Statute-book. Scotland will receive a serious blow if its wants are not met on this occasion.

MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)

said that he was glad to hear the Secretary for Scotland say he had not a rooted objection to purchase. Up till now he had been under the idea that he was very much opposed to it in any case. The right hon. Gentleman had quoted Denmark as an instance of the success of the tenancy system; but that was hardly fair, considering that in Denmark fifteen-sixteenths of the whole holdings belonged to the people who cultivated them. Again, in France, whore small holdings had been a notorious success, ownership was practically the order of the day. The right hon. Gentleman had also said that nature had made a great difference between the conditions that prevailed in the north and in the south, and that it was not surprising that the people in the north could not do great things with their small holdings. That was the best part of their contention. Nature had made a great difference between the conditions of the north and south; but he did not think that it could be allowed that, because they could not level up the conditions of the north, they should level down the conditions of the south. The proposal to bring the conditions of the crofters into the entirely different area of the South of Scotland could only be justified by the success of the Crofter Acts in themselves and by seeing that the change would not do more, harm than good. In the north the landlords had not spent money on repairs and on the equipment of their small holdings as the landlords in the south had done. So far he agreed that this fixity of tenure in the north had been advantageous, because it had allowed the tenants to spend their money without fear of losing it. So far, so good. But he was not so sure that the Crofter Acts were such an enormous success as had been usually maintained. It was frequently urged that the crofters had spent very large sums of their own money. It was said that they had spent £150,000 in the island of Skye, but he did not know whether the crofters on the mainland had spent all this money or anything approaching the amount which had been mentioned in the case of the islands. But in spite of the money which it was claimed the crofters had spent themselves, and the enormous sums which had been poured from the public purse into these districts, the fact remained that the crofters were, as a class, living in a condition of poverty and hardship greater than that of any other class in Scotland. And yet it was proposed to convert other classes living in the south in a much more prosperous way to the conditions in which these people lived. What were the conditions of the south? There they had the landlords carrying out all repairs and finding the equipment of these small farms. Why did the landlords do that? They had heard it constantly said that the landlords would go on doing this. Why should they? Why did they do it now? Was it for philanthropic motives alone? Were landlords so much greater philanthropists than other people that they did this? He thought the landlords in the South of Scotland, like landlords in England, did the repairs and found the equipment on the farms because it was only in that way that they could retain their tenants and find new tenants when they wanted them. By one stroke they were going to remove the whole of that motive by giving a form of fixity of tenure which the landlord did not desire. What motive would he then have to continue to spend his money? He would not desire to keep a tenant, but to get the land back into his own hands if he could. 'They removed the motive for the expenditure of the landlord's money, and what did they put in its place? Only the expenditure of the tenant's money. So that they were going to take away from the tenant the advantage he had hitherto had of the expenditure of the landlord and throw upon him the burden of replacing the money out of his own pocket. This application of the crofter condition to the small tenants, who were in exactly the same position as small holders in England, had never been justified, and if they threw upon them the burden of equipment which was now carried by the landlord they would be doing them a very poor service.

* MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)

said that his right hon. friend had made some interesting admissions, but he still remained in the dark as to what the policy of the Government really was. No doubt the unanimity with which the Bill had been supported on that side of the House had been very remarkable, though the opposition in Scotland had been no less remarkable. But it was a great disadvantage that Scottish agriculture was not represented in that House. He could not rank as an authority. The Tight hon. Gentleman had told them that no landlord could know anything of agriculture or have any intimate acquaintance with the agricultural classes because he had never been a farm servant or a farmer. At any rate, he did not profess to be an agricultural authority, but he regretted that there was no direct agricultural representation in that House, otherwise the state of mind of the House towards the Bill might have been very different from what it had shown itself to be. One would almost imagine that if one was a land owner, or a farmer, or a farm servant, one was ignorant, that only an urban lawyer, or one who had no connection with the land whatever knew how to solve its problems. His right hon. friend had referred to the crofting statistics. There was a great deal in them which was applicable to the crofter districts, but very little which was applicable to the Lowland districts. The Member for Ross-shire had never concealed his opinion in season and out of season that the two cases should have been separated and dealt with separately. As to the Southern part of Scotland, the Member for West Fife had made the only speech that he had made since he came to Westminster in uttering a prayer to his right hon. friend and his supporters that well cultivated large farms should not be put into small holdings. He trusted the hon. Member would not be known as Single-speech Hope, but that he would pursue this matter, and perhaps it was one of those points upon which some impression might be made upon the Government. But, after all, this clause was the crux of the Bill, and they had been told that there could be no compromise upon it. He did not think there could be a compromise, apart from this clause, although there could be an agreement on a good many provisions in the Bill. The clause represented nominally an extension of the Crofters Act. What it really represented was a reversal of the whole Liberal land policy of the last twenty-five years, discarding all precedent and all authority and every kind of inquiry. The county councils had power to provide small occupying ownerships, but they had no compulsory powers; compulsory powers were not provided under the Bill, and that was one of the main reasons why county councils had been unable to set up occupying ownership, which was a form of tenure that was not to be permitted. The Leader of the Opposition had referred to this Bill as an example of the social work of the Government, a proposition which he did not accept, because he thought a great deal of the social work of the Government had been extraordinarily good. This Bill, however, was something rather apart from ordinary social work. He quite agreed that a great deal of the trouble they were confronted with now was owing to the neglect of the right hon. Gentleman and his friends to deal with the amendment of the Crofters Act. If the machinery had been strengthened and the powers of the Crofters Commission increased, they would not be confronted with this Nemesis as a consequence of a policy of neglect. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of dual ownership in Ireland and in the Highlands. That system was introduced under conditions of agrarian agitation in order to legalise custom and to allocate joint rights. It was the recognition of a natural division of property which existed at the time. In the Lowlands of Scotland there was very little division of property unrecognised by the Agricultural Acts, except in exceptional cases, and they had therefore to consider not only any likeness between the proposed Bill and the Acts passed for the Highlands and Ireland, but also the condition of the Lowlands, and the conditions prevailing in the Highlands and in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the Scottish agricultural system had broken down; but that statement was absurd, because the Scottish system, by virtue of its equipment was maintaining as large a population on the land as could be maintained upon it in a condition of economic prosperity, wherever the land was being properly cultivated.


The hon. Member begs the whole question when he adds: "wherever the land is being properly cultivated."


maintained that there was no place in the world where the land was so well cultivated as in Scotland. He was aware that there were estates which were not properly kept up, and there were also bad tenants, but the agriculture of Scotland was the best in the world. A far larger proportion of England had been laid down to grass, whereas in Scotland the plough had been kept going at the owners' expense. Did the right hon. Gentleman imagine for a moment that he would succeed by adopting a proposal which withdrew the co-partner who provided four-fifths of the capital, namely, the owner? The owners had to find the capital for the equipment of the land because they were competing for tenants. He was at a loss to understand how the land was to maintain a larger population if they withdrew four-fifths of the working capital, which they must do under this Bill. Scottish agriculture never was doing better than it was at present. [An HON. MEMBER: Question.] At any rate he was entitled to his own opinion. Although rents had fallen 35 per cent., Scottish agriculture had been able to withstand the severest crisis experienced during the last thirty years. The improved housing and methods of cultivation, the progress of scientific agriculture, the beginning of co-operation, and the adoption of more business-like methods of conducting operations must carry one to the same conclusion, that agriculture was never carried on in a more progressive spirit than at present. That was the system which it was proposed to upset by this extraordinary anachronism of a Scottish Small Landholders Bill. They had heard a good deal about free sale and no free sale. In Ireland free sale was established not only because there was partial custom there, but because in no other way could tenants have obtained compensation for their improvements. Therefore, free sale was a logical element in the Irish Land Bill. In the crofter districts there was practically no agriculture, and the compensation was on a smaller scale. Consequently compensation for improvements became a logical part of the Crofters Acts. The system now proposed without free sale would collapse. He acknowledged that in many ways the Crofters Acts had done good. He had not troubled the Committee with his own experience, but he would now state it. He was associated with a number of small tenants who could come under the Acts if they wished, but only one of them had done so, and his was the worst conducted holding on the estate. One of his tenants had provided his own equipment, and his was about the best holding in the property, and he was not under the Act. For the rest of his tenants he had equipped himself, and they had all elected to remain outside the Acts. The Douglas Commission, after a full inquiry, reported that the Crofter Acts, while they had done some good for housing in certain districts by giving fixity of tenure, had had no effect whatever upon agriculture. There was practically no agriculture in the Highland crofter districts before the Acts, and there was none now. The Lord Advocate had drawn a picture of 50,000 people settling under this Act upon the deer forests. A small portion of the deer forests of Scotland might be used for crofting purposes, and there was a large area which might be used for afforestation; but to lead the House to suppose that they would maintain 50,000 people was absurd. The deer forests were now maintaining as large a population as they could possibly maintain under any system short of afforestation of the land. The statement of the Lord Advocate on this point was a stretch of the imagination to which nobody who was acquainted with the area to which he referred would pay the least attention. To note the full significance of this clause they had to bear in mind the past Liberal policy in regard to land reform. Last year they amended the Agricultural Holdings Act. They had had proposals made by which local authorities should have compulsory powers to take land, and they were supported by the whole of the Liberal Party. Then they had an Amendment proposed for the Crofters Acts giving compulsory powers and improved machinery. This was followed by Sir George Trevelyan's Bill, which proposed to extend the Crofters Acts to analogous conditions. There was at the present time an inquiry going on into the registration of title to promote the cheap transfer of land. All this tended towards the consolidation and strengthening of the agricultural system of Scotland, the maintenance of an economic standard of responsibility of management, the securing of the investment of capital, and freedom of access to the land for those fit to occupy it. With a few amendments and extensions that policy would be complete and it would be easy to get rid of the owner. It might be public advantage to strengthen the number of owners, but if they eliminated the present owners they ought to set up some alternative system in their place, and that was exactly what this clause failed to do. The clause was a travesty on all past policy. It applied similar treatment to opposite conditions on the Highland line, and opposite treatment to similar conditions along the English border. It transferred the investments of one man to another without security and did not permit of further investment of capital in the soil. It also eliminated the owner's initiative in the investment of capital. It compelled the small tenant to find £5 of capital for every £1 he had to find before. There was no security for larger holdings, because there was no independent valuation for holdings or equipment liable to sub-division. It destroyed all security against loss, waste, and deterioration, because it set up no responsible management in the place of that which it destroyed, and it replaced the economic standard of value by the standard of rent which the small landholder could afford to pay. If he could not afford to pay within 5s. or 10s. an acre what the present tenant paid, that loss was to be met by the State or by the individual whose property was taken for the service of the small occupier. It provided limitations which would hamper intensive cultivation, and it bolstered up what his hon. friend the Member for Peeblesshire had called the poor landlord, who was unable to perform his duty in equipping the land, and the incompetent tenant. The clause had no money behind it, and without a very large allowance it would be inoperative or it would be destructive instead of being constructive. It was said that it was "so cheap." He thought that it would be found in working very expensive. No doubt it presented some element of cheapness. It was that element of cheapness which would render capital unobtainable afterwards. They were told that the tenant's pocket would be opened by this clause, because the tenant must open his pocket to find equipment. He had never found any evidence of the tenant being willing to open his pocket to find equipment. If it was not found by the tenant, it would have to be found by the State.


was understood to say that the tenant did so under present conditions.


said that, under present conditions, the tenant did not open his pocket. Let them take the Highland area to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred. There he was able to equip his holding under security of tenure. He did not do it if he could get anyone else to do it for him. In the Highlands, where it had been the custom of the tenant to equip his holding, there was a much greater tendency on the part of the tenant to provide equipment then in the Lowlands where they had not been accustomed to do it. The Bill rendered the owner incapable of equipping, because no owner in his senses would equip under it. He said that advisedly, because he knew the conditions well. He himself equipped quite readily for his Highland tenants as co-proprietor, and he looked upon them and himself as part and parcel of the estate; but in regard to the small holdings under this Bill he would not think of equipping for tenants without an independent valuation in case of sub - division. The Government, therefore, fell between these two stools—they cut off the very man who hitherto had provided the equipment, and they did not provide it themselves. This clause had been founded rather, he thought, upon phrases and by turning a blind eye to facts. They were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the clause represented rather a matter of method than of principle. It seemed to him odd that, if it was a matter of method, all expert advice should be ruled out in promoting the clause and in refusing any change with regard to it. Who knew how, when, or where, the clause originated? He would like to know what authority there was for it. What agricultural authority had ever been given for extending the crofter legislation to the rest of Scotland? They were told upstairs that it was proposed by a united Government. But they found that it was not a united Government that wished to extend it to the rest of Scotland. They found Lord Tweedmouth demonstrating unfavourably towards it, and they found Lord Elgin retaining his seat so firmly that wild horses would not draw him off it. They had heard a great deal about the advisability of co-operation, which was taken as the ideal in many industries. He would like to know what better example of co-operation there was than that which they found between landlord and tenant in Scotland. That had been one of the most highly effective forms of cooperation, and yet they would destroy the one industry where it was a natural growth. They wanted the free co-partnery which this clause destroyed, and which enabled the man who found the bulk of the capital to associate himself with a competent man to manage the land. They could form nothing on this clause, because the only issue from it was agricultural deterioration, chaos of the agricultural system, and endless litigation between the nominal owner and the occupier. He had endeavoured to show how far they could go without destroying their agricultural system. He much regretted that he happened to be engaged in his municipal duties when the Bill which was drafted by the leading agriculturists of Scotland was before the House on Friday. That was a Bill which really represented the leading agricultural opinion of Scotland. It was not his Bill, but it was produced by the leading tenant farmers of the Highland Society, and the Chambers of Agriculture, and by other leading agriculturists on both sides of politics. He thought that on the lines of that Bill some compromise might be found. The right hon. Gentleman had recently developed a strange desire for compromise in another place, which seemed to be quite a new phase of Liberal policy. Much as he would like to see a good amendment of the Crofters Acts, he would like to see it on different lines from those proposed. It was upon very different lines from those they were asked to adopt that they would restore the population to the land, and do what they could to raise the status of the landward population.

MR. A. DEWAR (Edinburgh, S.)

said he understood that the proposition before the Committee was whether it was expedient to apply the principle of the Crofters Acts to the Lowlands of Scotland. The only part of the speech of the hon. Member for the Leith Burghs which appeared to him to be quite relevant to that proposition was where he endeavoured to show that the Crofters Acts had not been much of a success—he understood that the hon. Member admitted that they had had a qualified success—and, secondly, where he said that in the Lowlands of Scotland agriculture was as good as it could be. So far as the latter proposition was concerned, his view that that was an argument against all small holdings whatever, for if the condition now under the system of large farms was exactly what the hon. Gentleman desired, the best in the world, and the most successful that anyone had ever seen, why agitate for any change? But it was within his recollection that the hon. Gentleman produced a Bill every year to have that system which he said was so good rectified. The fact was that the hon. Gentleman had always desired some change, and he understood until to-night that he had always desired small holdings. It seemed that his view had changed in that respect. The real question to which the House must direct its attention was—had the Crofters Acts been successful? In order to ascertain one must try to realise what was the condition of affairs in the Highlands of Scotland before 1886 when the Crofters Bill was introduced. Anyone who had read the history of the Highlands of Scotland in the writings of Sir Walter Scott, Dr. Norman McLeod, and Professor Blackie, all of whom had one view, knew what the Highlands had suffered before the passing of the Crofters Acts, and that the people were under a tyranny more oppressive than any tyranny in Europe. That was the view of those thoughtful Scotsmen. The crofters were the most patient race in the world, and for many a long year the tyranny was tolerated, but at last just before 1885 the crofters rose in flat rebellion. The last straw had been put on their backs, they refused to pay any rent, and when an officer of the law went with writs to eject them they deforced and assaulted him and refused to allow him to serve the writs. The Government sent a policeman to quell the disturbance; they apprehended the crofters by the batch; they brought them to Edinburgh, they put them on trial and sent them to prison, and all that had no effect whatever. The rebellion still continued; the crofters refused to pay rent or to leave their holdings. The Bill of 1886 was introduced. The simple principle of that Bill was that a Land Court should be established, consisting of impartial and skilful men, and that they should say what the rent should be, that it should be fair and that the small holders should never be ejected. That principle acted like magic. The rebellion was at once quelled the agitation in the Highlands ceased, and the crofters from that day to this had been satisfied. The real test of the success of the Act was the contentment of the people on the land. The Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member for Leith Burghs had both illustrated to the Committee how poorly off and how miserable the crofters were. He agreed that the land was the poorest in the world; that the crofters were confined to narrow spaces; that there was no room for extension of their holdings. True, the land they held would not produce wealth, but the people were happy because they were independent; and what more did the hon. Gentleman want? His point was that if that principle succeeded on that bare land, on that un fruitful soil, under those inclement skies, and if it had quelled a rebellion and rendered the people contented, the onus lay on the Gentlemen opposite to prove that these results would not follow if the system were applied to the whole of the rest of Scotland. That was really the whole case. Notwithstanding the series of propositions of which they had heard so much from the hon. Member for Leith during the past six months, he wanted an answer to the question: if a fair rent, fixed by a Land Court, succeeded on poor soil, why should it not succeed on good soil? He knew that hon. Members would answer: "Oh! the conditions were very different;" and they would talk about climate and soil; but again he asked, if the system succeeded on a bad soil and under bad climatic conditions, why should it not succeed with a good soil and under better climatic conditions? He asked hon. Gentlemen who had travelled in the Highlands to contrast the buildings that existed there twenty years ago and now. Formerly the crofter's house was a building a few yards long, in one end of which the crofter and his family lived and slept, and in the other the cows, pigs, and other animals were huddled. The building was put up by the crofter and his wife, and the walls consisted of stones fixed together with mud and the whole was not worth half a sovereign, Hon. Gentlemen told them that the Crofters' Act was passed to protect this building, which was not worth half a sovereign, and asked why not give the crofter the same tenure as the ordinary Lowland farmer got? That was not the reason at all. The reason was that the only way independence could be given to the crofter was to give him security of tenure. Was it the case, however, that in the Lowlands the landlord always equipped his farms and supplied the buildings at his own expense? He did not think that that was so when the case was properly understood. The hon. Member for Leith Burghs had spoken only of the case of the large landed proprietors. He knew a good many landed proprietors in Scotland who were not the best judges of what was good for their tenants. It was not the case that the landlords always paid for new buildings, but leased. If they erected the new buildings they charged the tenant 6 per cent. interest on the cost and could borrow the money from the Public Works Loan Commissioners at 3½ per cent. Moreover, when the lease came to an end the value of the improvements was included in the rent under the next lease. A landlord might get a small rent in proportion to the buildings on the farm, but the rent would be much less if the buildings were not in repair. However, that part of the argument was not quite so important as the other. With a view to prove that the Crofters Act was not successful, the right hon. Gentleman had referred to the agitation that was at present going on in the Island of Barra. He knew something of that matter; and he would like the Committee to know what the real facts of the case were. Fifty years ago the Island of Barra, some fifty miles in length, was entirely covered with small holdings. Adjacent to the Island of Barra—only a couple of miles away—was the Island of Vatersay, which was occupied by only one grazing tenant. Fifty years ago Vatersay was covered with small holders who were evicted from their holdings and the houses which they themselves had built. These took refuge on the extreme end of Barra. They were there not as small holders in the ordinary sense; they were not crofters but cottars, who made their Irving mostly by fishing; they had no land of their own. They were squatters, but never with the consent of the landlord, and now that part of Barra was congested to a great extent. In 1883 the Deer Forest Commission scheduled the Island of Vatersay for the purpose of providing small holdings to crofters, but the landlord refused to divide it. When the County Councils and Parish Councils Bill was passed in 1892 the Barra parish council petitioned Lady Cathcart to divide Vatersay into small holdings. She refused. Then the parish council petitioned the county council of Inverness to create small holdings in Vatersay compulsorily, which they had the power to do. The county council sent down a committee to make inquiry on the spot. That committee stayed nine days on the Islands and reported to the county council that the land on Vatersay was suitable for small holdings and ought to be made available. The county council of Inverness, however, refused to put into operation their own committee's report. That was an object lesson to those who declared that the crofters were themselves to blame. These people had no place to make a living out of the land, and although their own parish council and the county council committee recommended that small holdings should be provided for them on the Island of Vatersay, the landlord, supported by the county council of Inverness, refused to give them. Could anyone wonder that the people in the Highlands looked with suspicion on the action of the county councils in Scotland? Would anyone wonder, when the full facts were before the House of Commons, that they who represented Scottish constituencies should oppose any suggestion that the powers proposed to be given to the Agricultural Commission under this Bill should be taken out of their hands and put into the hands of the county councils? The real argument against Clause 1 had not been stated in the House, but it had been stated in another place and in Scotland by Lord Lansdowne. Lord Lansdowne said that his real objection to Clause 1, which was the essence of the Bill, was that it took from the landlord the precious power of being able to guide the destinies of his estate. He agreed; but he would observe that the estate had no destiny; it was the people on the estate that had a destiny, and it was their destiny that the landlord had in his power. He agreed that where they had a just and generous landlord like Lord Lansdowne; that might be the best form of government of an estate, just as it was conceivable that the beat form of government of a country might be that of an all-wise autocracy. But Lord Lansdowne claimed that power not only for himself, but for all landlords.


Lord Lansdowne never objected to compulsory purchase. What he did say was that while you left the estate to the landlord he ought to be allowed to guide it.


said he admitted that and would deal with it in a moment. He was only dealing in the meantime with the question as to whether it was a wise and prudent thing to leave in the hands of one man the right to control the destinies of another man. Lord Lansdowne claimed that power not only for the good but for the bad landlords. Was any man who had sufficient money to buy an estate to have the right to guide the destinies of the people he found on that estate? He did not think that that was a wise power for a man to possess, and if it could be got rid of with justice it had better go. The slave holders of old used the same argument. They pointed to the plantations and to the happy and prosperous negroes upon them, and said: "We guide their destinies; they cannot do it themselves." That argument took in many good people, even Mr. Gladstone himself. For a long time it was believed to be the only possible way, until ultimately it was realised that both the slave and the slave owner were better without a system of slavery, and it was done away with. The Leader of the Opposition had said that what the Bill proposed could not be done justly, and that it was confiscation to take this right away from the landlord without payment. He thought not. It was the right and duty of the State to regulate all private rights in the public interest. He said all private rights, and he thought our Statutes were an illustration of that because they Were, in many cases an invasion, of private rights in the public interest He might instance the Factory Acts. A man took a piece of land and built a factory on it and thought he could carry on work there as he chose, but along came the inspector who said: "Unless you spend £1,000 on proper ventilation or proper heating, or in some other way, we shall close your factory." Did the right horn Gentleman contend that the proprietor of the factory had any right to say: "If you interfere, buy my factory?" Or they might take the case of a coalfield. A man bought a coalfield and thought it was his individual right to work that mine as he pleased, but an inspector came 'along and said: "Unless you spend £10,000 in making an escape shaft we shall close your pit." There were many similar instances. There was the case even of the cabman who was bound to take a fare a certain distance for a shilling. Pursuing the right hon. Gentleman's argument, had not any individual a right to buy a cab and charge what he pleased? But in the interests, of the public he was limited in his charges. Was it to be said, however, that a man who bought a parish or a county, and sometimes acquired it in a disreputable way, could exercise his terrific power for good and evil uncontrolled? Had he a right to say. "Buy my parish or my county, or I will do as I choose?" Any business man could give many illustrations of the kind he had brought forward. The right hon. Gentleman had said that this policy of the Government would not cure depopulation; but that depended upon how one looked upon it. Those who had had to consider why the labouring population in the country districts left the land gave different reasons. One said because of free trade; another, that wages had fallen; a third, that prices had risen; while yet another quoted the attractions of the town and of the public-houses and the beer-houses and so on. His answer to that was that the blacksmith usually was a man who had bought a stake in the country, and he was never attracted by the glare in the towns. Who were attracted by it? It was usually the labouring man who left the farm to better himself. It meant that he was tired of earning £1 a week and of not being his own master In view of the education now given nobody could believe that any one set of men were born to remain in a sphere out of which they could not lift themselves. Under the circum-stances the man became dissatisfied with his surroundings. Moreover, the man who left the country and came back to the village afterwards, although he might have only a humble shop in a back street in town, was another man, and encouraged the others to go to towns and try their luck, and everybody knew how often their luck failed them. The explanation of why men went to the towns was that they were given no inducements to remain in the country. If the House were going to solve this question they would have to look at it from the labourer's point of view, because it was a labourer's question. He acknowledged how courteous their opponents had been in regard to these matters and he knew that they felt keenly, but he thought that they had looked at the problem too much from the landlord's point of view. He did not think it probable that they knew what was passing in the agricultural labourer's mind. If it was a desire to better himself he thought they would agree that it was to better himself in his particular line. What did he want? A little bit of a farm; he wanted not only a place to live in but a home. They could not give him a home without security of tenure, and it was not a home if he was only to spend a few years in it, even if they gave him a nineteen or thirty-five years' lease. It was only a home when it was one upon which he could spend his health and strength, live his life, and form a refuge for his old age. The second thing he wanted was for some one to say what was a fair rent, and the third thing, which would get the best out of him, was the right to transmit to his children. The right hon. Gentleman might not think of it, but the very same instinct which induced the wealthy man to create an entail upon his son was in the working man, who also thought that his family should succeed him. If they were to make the best of him let them look at the matter from his point of view and give him these three things which he asked or rather which they asked on his behalf. He was convinced that it would do him good and the community and landlord no harm at all.


said he was too conscious of haying occupied the time of the Committee for an undue period to make another lengthy speech, but he wished to deal with the particular issue raised by the hon. Member for South Edinburgh. He did not think that in the latter part of his speech the hon. Gentleman had taken sufficient account of the arguments which he brought forward from their point of view, which was precisely the same as the hon. Member's except that he pointed out that if they were to enable a man to take an interest in the development of his property and give him the power of entailing it they ought to give him a freehold. But he would not occupy the Committee on the broad issue, and if the hon. Gentleman read what he said, he would see that he pointed out that the motive which had been considered the strongest in every country in the world was the motive of ownership, whether small or large. The hon. Gentleman had attacked him for considering this matter from the landlords' point of view, and for claiming for them immunities from the obligations which were cast upon other citizens, but he had not done so. The hon. Member had said that the factory owner could not use his factory as he liked, because the inspector came in and saw that his machinery was guarded and that in other respects the Factory Acts were carried out. For what reason? In order to look after the health and safety of our fellow subjects. Who asked immunity for the landlord or anybody else if similar safeguards were demanded in his case? They might multiply inspectors and the safeguards in regard to life and health and no objection would be raised by anybody, certainly not by him. Then the hon. Gentleman had said that a man could not manage his coal-mine as he liked; the inspector came in and said he must do this or that. But that was for the safety of the coal-miners. What was the analogy between that and a landed estate? The hon. Gentleman seemed to think that a man with landed estate held the fortunes of every person on that estate in the power of his hand What justification was there for thinking that? He could understand that allegation being made against an employer of labour, because he had it in his power to dismiss at a week's notice or less the great majority of his employees. But the landed proprietor was no employer of the people who lived upon his estate and had absolutely no power over them at all. Let the Committee take the case of the unhappy Lowland lairds of which he was an unhappy specimen. What power had he over the people employed on the farms on his property? Did he choose them, employ them, settle their wages or their tenure of residence on the land? The person who employed them was the farmer, he engaged them, paid them their wages, and dismissed them. What had he to do with it? What had the landlord got to do with the fate and fortunes of nine-tenths of the persons who lived on his estate when it was let as it often was to other occupiers? The hon. Member had taken a most fantastic view of the powers of a landlord. Let them control those powers as much as they liked within proper limits, but all he pleaded for—and he was sure he was not pleading a selfish or a foolish cause—was that in the case of land, just as when a man had a factory, he should be allowed to use it to the best of his ability for the objects with which he was concerned, subject to what the law allowed and laid down with regard to his rights and duties towards others whom he employed. What hon. Gentlemen wished to say to the landlord by this Bill was: "You happen to own an estate, we are going to choose your tenant for you and settle the terms under which he will be your tenant; we are going to take away all your motives for assisting him and forming friendly relationships." All that was to be taken away. What would hon. Members say if that were taken a Way in the case of the employer of labour? A man built a factory and spent a large sum of money in fitting it up, just as the landlord expended a considerable amount on buildings, drains, labourers' cottages, and so forth on his farms. Would hon. Members come down and say: "You have no right to control the fortunes of your factory in this way, we propose to manage it, we propose to judge the kind of output there is going to be, and the kind of cottages you build in the neighbourhood of the factory, because we think that everybody employed in a factory should have a permanent home and be able to leave it to his son. We therefore, propose to take in hand these buildings which we say everybody has a right to and which a man may send on to his son." What would hon. Gentlemen opposite think of that? In the country as well as in the towns, in the Highlands as well as in the Lowlands, there was a mutual interdependence of one class upon the other. They could not have the isolated units of which the hon. Member dreamt. The idea that the power which mutual relationship always gave between; the employer and the employed, between the landlord and the tenant, could always be abused either in industry or agriculture was wrong, and he maintained that there was no occupation in which it was less abused than in agriculture, and in which the hardships of competition were less felt than among the various classes concerned. There was no industry in which more friendly feelings obtained among all those concerned in it; and the idea that there was some special tyranny exercised by the landlord over those who were brought into relations with him, and that they were controlled in the preposterous manner suggested in the Bill, was a dream of the hon. Member. If they tried to prevent one class of the community from having an interest in the fortunes of another class they would reduce isolated communities to a state consistent only with savage life, and their scheme would have no-relation to the actual facts of existence in which men met for common objects and worked together for that production in which landlord and tenant, employers and employed, were all equally concerned and on which all equally depended.

LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said he was rather surprised that any Member of this Committee should have had the idea that the farm servants of Scotland were slaves like those who used to work on the plantations.


said he did not say that. What he said was that the landlords claiming the rights they did over their tenants were claiming the same rights as the slave owners.


said that all he could say was that every labourer employed on the land in Scotland was subject to exactly the same conditions as the labourer employed in any other part of the United Kingdom. No doubt if he had a good berth and was unfortunate enough to lose it, it would be very inconvenient to him, but that was the first time he had ever heard of the proposition, which he did not think the hon. Member could carry through, that a man under no circumstances whatsoever was ever to get notice to quit or to be sent away. If the hon. Member carried that out in his own business or occupation he might find his business would not progress very greatly. The argument that a landlord had no right to manage his own property came very strangely from the Liberal Benches. The argument which had always been used by the Party opposite, whenever complaint was made that agriculture in this country was not in a prosperous condition, was that the landlords and farmers did not adopt business methods. The argument had hitherto been that if a man found his occupation was not profitable he was a fool not to turn his capital and machinery to some other which did pay. If landlords found large holdings pay—or to take the illustration of the Prime Minister, of the deer forests which were said to lead to the depopulation of the land—hon. Gentlemen opposite should be the last to object, because their argument had always been if a man's occupation did not pay he should turn his energies into another channel. The hon. Member in the latter part of his speech had spoken of the terrible condition of Scotland before the passing of the Crofters Acts, and had given very excellent reasons why the Crofters Acts should be passed for the crofting districts. Those counties were in a state of revolt, and something had to be done. But did the hon. Gentleman suggest that that was the condition all over Scotland? Of course it was not, and there was not the same need or demand for extending the Crofters Acts to the whole of Scotland as he had suggested. But to prove his case the hon. Gentleman ought to have gone further and given strong evidence as to the good which had been effected by those Acts in the districts for which they were passed. It was true there was now content among the people who in the past feared to be evicted, and no doubt there had been reductions of rent in certain counties. But he did not know that the economic condition of the crofting country had improved to such a great extent as the hon. Gentleman would have the Committee believe. There was still a great amount of distress in the crofting districts, and many families were living in buildings which would not be passed by a sanitary inspector in the Lowlands. In addition to that, he believed, that in the crofting districts, in spite of fresh dwellings having been built and facilities given, the population had increased to a very small extent, if at all. No proof had been given that the Crofters Acts had brought about a good state of affairs in the crofting counties. They had not encouraged people to go back to the land, nor resulted in suitable buildings, or in increased cultivation of the soil. There was also the further fact mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition that a large sum of money had been annually spent among a population not large. £35,000 a year had been spent, and if the amount was distributed even by a Government Department it would be a strange thing if some people did not get some little benefit from it. The whole proceedings relating to this Bill were the most wonderful he had ever reao or heard of. First, there was the spectacle of the Prime Minister denouncing the House of Lords because of their action when the Bill was before them last year. Then during the recess, when many people expected a visit to Scotland from the Minister for Agriculture, and to have some explanations and reasons for the Bill of which they knew nothing, the noble Lord informed the Chamber of Agriculture which was against the Bill that he could not accept the invitation, to go to Scotland and address them on this topic. They could not help thinking then, knowing the kindness of the noble Lord and his propensity for not creating a jarring note at what would otherwise have been a convivial reunion by saying something which would not please the Chamber of Agriculture, that he had been told by the Government he had better keep away. Having thus chained and muzzled the noble Lord, the Government, however, let loose the First Lord of the Admiralty, who was allowed to go to Scotland and speak on this Bill at Perth, where he gave the case completely away, so far as the Government were concerned. The noble Lord had said that he much preferred the working of the English Bill. The Government in the future would no doubt learn wisdom and muzzle all noble Lords. In addition to the argument of the success of the Crofters Act, it was said that the people of Scotland wanted the Bill, and, undoubtedly, a majority of the Members representing Scotland were in favour of it, but whether their constituents were was quite another matter. His own view was that if this Bill became law it would be a mistake, as those on the Liberal Benches who represented Scottish constituencies would learn to their cost. He had no doubt that hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies did not differ from the rest of them and that they sometimes spoke in glowing terms about the advantage of the Bill, without altogether explaining its disadvantages. Undoubtedly, if the Bill became law, a good many people in Scotland would be very greatly disappointed and would suffer a good many disadvantages. He would leave out the question of the landlords altogether, because they had heard a good deal of talk about them already. The Secretary for Scotland appeared to think that the great body of farmers of Scotland were in favour of the Bill. It was the first the had heard of it. He would have thought that the vast majority of them were bitterly opposed to it, seeing that they would be liable to have part of their farms taken away from them, and to be ejected from their homes without notice by the Land Commissioners. Then they came to the farmers, who were to be particularly benefited by the clause—the farmers with under 50 acres of land. He was very doubtful, if the Bill became law, whether their position would be materially improved. In his opinion, in many cases they would be direct losers. A man would naturally think, if the clause were passed, that he would be able to go to the Land Court and get a reduction of rent. In the first place, that reduction was purely problematic, and, secondly, in a great many cases, he might not get a reduction at all, and in certain cases he might even get his rent increased. What advantage could he get which he had not at the present time? By the Act of 1906, he had already practically got security of tenure. That Act made it extremely difficult for a hard-hearted landlord to turn his estate into a game preserve, for he had to pay high compensation for unreasonable disturbance. The tenant had been given freedom of cultivation and full claim for compensation for game. He did not see what further benefits he could have, unless he was going to get a large reduction of rent. It was, however, extremely problematic that he would get any reduction if the clause was passed. On the other hand, he would get a good many disadvantages. When the Bill was passed, and the Crofter Acts were applied to the Lowlands, the landlord would say to his tenant: "You have got security of tenure and everything else on which you have set your hearts, and which your Liberal representatives have told you will make you a free and independent man. Under these circumstances, you will do all the repairs on the farm." Then, if a bad year occurred and the man lost the greater part of his crop, there would be no going to the landlord and trying to get a reduction of rent, which he believed, had in many cases been granted during the past recess. There were these disadvantages even to the tenants who were going to receive the greatest benefits. In his opinion, he would merely get a little more security of tenure, and at the same time he would suffer the disadvantage of never getting any help from his landlord. There was, however, another class of people, the people whom the Government had told that if they once got a small holding they would be different men and able to walk down the village street with high heads. There would in one or two years' time be failures among those men; and, when they had lost their little capital, they would not be best pleased with those hon. Members who had recommended them thus to invest their savings. There would not, even among the successful applicants, be contentment. There would be a repetition of what had occurred over and over again in regard to land legislation in Ireland. They would not be merely unprosperous, but they would be working out a miserable livelihood by excessive toil, far harder than they would have as labourers; and they would demand fresh Land Courts, fresh reductions of rent, and fresh alterations in the law. The Government, by the Bill, would inflict a grievous harm on every single tenant who farmed over 150 acres of land. They would create a feeling of insecurity and stop two classes of men who had expended money on agriculture in the past—viz., the landlord and the big farmer—from doing so in the future. That would mean less employment and a great loss to agriculture. He believed that the Government were flying directly in the face of all economic law. Although in certain districts, with milk raising and intensive cultivation, the holdings might answer, the main crops of British agriculture must be corn-growing and stock-raising; and he did not believe that these men in small holdings, even with security of tenure, could compete with the stock-raising and wheat-producing countries of the world, with all their latest machinery and big herds of cattle. He believed that in many cases these men were bound to fail, and that those hon. Members who had encouraged them to undertake an industry not economically sound would find that there would be a great many complaints against them.

* MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

said he was not alone among the representatives of the crofting districts in feeling that they were running a very great risk in reference to this particular clause. He was glad no one had denied that the Crofter Acts had done good for Scotland, but they had been unceasingly agitating and urging for amendments in the Acts. Some of those amendments they would perhaps get under the Bill, and some of them they might not possibly get. The representatives of the crofting districts felt far more deeply in this matter than those hon. Members who looked at it from a theoretical or political point of view. They had been looking forward for many a long day to an amendment of the Crofter Acts, and, whilst they would be the last in the world to refuse any rights to their friends in the South, they thought they were deserving of special treatment and consideration in regard to this matter. There were, he knew, several hon. Members who took the same view as he did. It seemed to him, especially from the speech of the Lord Advocate the other night, that the Crofting Act had not been altogether the success which was maintained for it. It had not done everything to settle the land question. There were many important matters which required urgent attention at the hands of the Government, notably of all the cottars question. He claimed equal knowledge with most people as to the views of the people in the Lowlands. He was ready to admit that the Leader of the Opposition had given a fair and accurate description of an agricultural labourer in the South of Scotland, but he did not think the inference he had drawn was altogether a fair one. He said that the labourer there demanded no alteration in his not and was perfectly content. He (Mr. Wason) knew of his own knowledge that many of the men did demand an alteration. What they wanted above all things was a small bit of land which they could call their own, so that they would not be driven hither and thither at the mercy perhaps of some particular farmer. They wanted a piece of land which they could cultivate in their hours of leisure. It would be greatly to their advantage if they had more hours of leisure and more opportunity of spending time in their own homes. At the same time, of course, advantage would accrue to the farmer, because he would not have to pay their wages. Every hon. Member from Scotland to whom he had spoken was entirely of opinion that unless in the South they started this land question from the villages and got people to start from there, there would be great difficulty in working the Bill and in getting suitable people on the land. If those people were to be barred from obtaining and cultivating holdings, unless they were going to give up their existing means of employment, the Bill would be a bitter disappointment to the whole of the Lowlands, and to all those people who were now looking forward to some chance of prosperity and a greater amount of happiness than they had had in the past. The right hon. Gentleman had sketched quite fairly the farm labourer, but his sketch was nothing like what it ought to be. If he had a better chance given him in life, there would not be on the labourer's part the same desire to emigrate. They were in the North of Scotland exceedingly anxious about the Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking the other day, said that the Government were prepared to accept reasonable Amendments, and, he supposed, a fair compromise; and the Secretary for Scotland adopted a similar attitude. If there ever had been an occasion when a compromise was necessary it was on a Bill of this sort. He did not take the same view of the landlords of Scotland as did the Secretary for Scotland. His continual argument had been that landlords and tenants must work hand in hand, and if the landlords did not cooperate with the tenant land reform would be a failure. But the landlord had never accepted the Crofter Acts, at least in his constituency. In Orkney and Shetland they had never been content with the Crofter Acts, and had done their best to drive the men out of the benefits of the Acts, and to become again landlords' men. If ever there was a case for a compromise this was one. A Frenchman said the lion was a most mischievous animal, that when it was attacked it defended itself. The landlords were defending themselves in every way they could, and in countless ways the people were suffering from their hostility. He thought that if the Government could obtain peace with honour by way of a compromise they would be wise to do so. He could not forget a speech made when the Liberal Party was not strong, and had only a small representation in this House. He remembered the Chancellor of the Exchequer speaking in Inverness and saying that he was authorised to speak for the Liberal Party, and advocating the extension of the Crofters Acts to places where similar conditions obtained. The Government would have been wise to have stopped there, but this Bill went far beyond that. What was wanted was an elastic Bill, which this was not. The proposal as it stood would injure the rights of the people, especially in the South of Scotland, where land ran up to as much as £5 an acre rental. A man with 50 acres might pay a rental of £200 or £300 a year, and this Bill stereotyped him there for all time, whilst at the same time there were men near by who only wanted an acre or two of their own on which to earn a living. In other parts of the same country there were vast tracts of land which also would not come under the Bill. Looking across to the hills from the back of his own house he could see thousands of acres of land on which in past times there were a good many homesteads, but which now were nothing but a gigantic sheep ranch which supported a few shepherds.


That is free trade.


said it was not free trade, but landlords and landlordism. That was what they wanted to alter and so make it easier for a man to earn a living. What was wanted was an amendment of the Crofters Acts and a Land Court free and unrestricted in its operation. He would for his own part be satisfied, rather than to get nothing, with a Land Court restricted in its operations. He would be content with a Land Court with power to acquire land on bankrupt estates, trust estates, and corporation lands in different parts of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman opposite and the hon. Member for Leith Burghs talked of landlords as if they were angels, all desirous of co-operating with the tenants and doing the best they could; but that was a fanciful picture. That there were such landlords he did not deny. Many of them sat in this House. It was only the landlord of that kind that could. It was the bad landlords of Scotland that had caused this desire from one end of the country to the other. He knew that compromise was not the doctrine to preach on this occasion. He knew it was considered best to nail one's colours to the mast and go down with all the glory of war, but he did not want to go down. He wanted to go back to his constituents and say: "Look at what the Government have done for you." The people in Scotland wanted the Government to fulfil the promises they had made. In view of this question affecting as it did the whole of Scotland, in view of the hostile attitude many of the landlords had taken up upon it, he certainly trusted that although this Chamber was not permitted to propose any compromise wiser counsels would prevail when the Bill reached another place, and that hon. Members would not again have to go back to their constituents on the question of land reform.

* MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)

said that they listened now, as they had listened in Committee, with the greatest interest to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland while he smote this Bill hip and thigh and said it did not fulfil the pledges of the Government. He thought the Secretary for Scotland must have been asleep during the interval between this and the discussion in Grand Committee. If the right hon. Gentleman had not been asleep, he had, as the Leader of the Opposition had stated, forgotten nothing and had feared nothing. He had taken as much advantage as possible of those meetings which had been arranged for him with so much skill by the hon. Member opposite who had been described as holding the political destinies of Scotland in his hand, instead of availing himself of the plentiful and experienced information which was also to his hand. The hon. Member for Leith Burghs, who had made such an exhaustive criticism on this Bill, had said he was not a man of experience, but who did not know that the hon. Member was a good and generous landlord, and did his duty? In addition to the hon. Member there were half a dozen of the Cabinet who were opposed to this Bill. Lord Tweedmouth did not hesitate to pour his contempt upon it. Lord Elgin, whose silence was more eloquent than speech, refused to be drawn into giving any opinion upon it. Two very respected Members of the Liberal Party in Scotland Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael and Dr. Douglas had made inquiries which should have been made by the Government, preliminary to this or any other Bill. They had taken upon themselves as a private duty the labour that should have been the duty of the Government, and with remarkable skill had formed a Committee to inquire into the subject. The Committee include five of the very same gentlemen who had been selected by the Secretary for Scotland for their ability, integrity, and sound common sense to go to Denmark to investigate and report upon the agricultural industry there. These gentlemen went through Scotland and the crofting districts to inquire into the crofting question. He invited every Scottish Member to read the lucid, informing, moderately worded and convincing report those gentlemen had produced. The right hon. Gentleman would not take even the expression of opinion of Scottish agriculturists. He remembered the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture years ago when it was notoriously constituted on somewhat Liberal lines. He remembered that they were described by the Secretary for Scotland as hard-headed Scotsmen whose opinion ought to carry weight. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman that those hard-headed Scotsmen were still as hard-headed as ever they had been on the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture, and by increasing majorities they had condemned again and again the principles of the Bill which they were now considering. To his mind this particular clause presented the most objectionable features of any clause in the Bill. It applied the crofter system which was condemned in the Report he had referred to, and also by the experience of hon. Members of this House as being inapplicable to other parts of Scotland. It was now proposed to apply this crofter system to the whole of Scotland. The hon. Member for Caithness hoped that some compromise might be arrived at in the House of Lords. His view was that if they adhered to this clause compromise was absolutely impossible. He hoped some extention of the crofter system to similarly situated parishes in Scotland might be possible. They were told in this clause that the crofter system was to be applied to the Lowlands subject to certain provisions, and the principal of those provisions was that a Land Court was to be set up, which was not contained in the original proposals of the Secretary for Scotland. This change was to be made without discussion in Committee or in this House, except in the most cursory manner. A Land Court was to be introduced, and no explanation had been given why the Government had changed the view they held when the Bill was first introduced, dealing with this subject. Why had such a body now been incorporated in the Bill? It was to be an absolutely irresponsible body from whose decisions there was to be no appeal. The Secretary for Scotland had stated that in case of any damage by compulsory removal there would be compensation. He remembered when the Bill was before the Scottish Grand Committee the question was asked whether the damage done could not be estimated by independent arbitrators, who should be paid for by the Land Courts, and the right hon. Gentleman refused to listen to that reasonable request. To call the scheme drafted by the right hon. Gentleman for paying compensation to landlords, tenants, and labourers who might be displaced, fairness was nothing more than a grotesque travesty of justice. The man who had done the damage and endangered the property would be able to say that he considered the claims put forward for compensation were frivolous, and only worth a small sum. He knew that a great many hon. Members would vote for this Bill who had never heard a single word of the debate. Those hon. Members who had listened to the debate would vote with considerable reluctance in support of their Party. A scheme such as this meant something in the nature of a tragedy for Scottish argiculture, and it would make it very difficult for landlords to invest their capital in land. The Secretary for Scotland had asked what class of land was most suitable for small holdings, and he answered it by saying the most suitable land was that which was accessible to markets by railways and roads. The right hon. Gentleman expressly excluded all those lands in the neighbourhood of burghs which were most suitable for small holdings on account of something he intended to propose later. He had done this simply because it might interfere with some other project he was going to bring under review to-morrow.


Order, order! The hon. Member is dealing with points which will more properly arise on other clauses.


thought that the aim of legislation should be to raise the standard of comfort in the country rather than impose in the Lowlands of Scotland a standard of existence to which they had fortunately been strangers. The crofters were not self-supporting at the present moment, and were only able to pay their way by the assistance they received from friends better situated than themselves, who lived in foreign countries. Consequently, their present tenure was something in the nature of a tenure by postal order, because they got their support largely from Canada and Australia, where their relatives resided. The Lord Advocate had talked about planting 50,000 men on the deer forests, but he would never be able to plant a prosperous and thriving tenantry on such land. They were told that this Bill would cure depopulation in the Highlands of Scotland. Again he would quote the returns issued during last year to controvert entirely that statement. The population of the crofting parishes in 1881 was 342,898; in 1891, it had fallen to 333,000, and in 1901 the total was 324,000. Therefore the claim that they would arrest depopulation by this Bill stood on a very feeble foundation. There was a further point which he thought hon. Members who were interested in Scotland might consider; it was pointed out in the evidence of Mr. Drysdale, who said that many of these crofts were being worked not by the manhood of Scotland and the class they would like to see reared up, but largely by women. Mr. Drysdale gave two parishes, one containing 182 crofts, 82 of which were occupied by women, and the other containing 169 crofts, sixty-six of which were worked by women. He was afraid that if the right hon. Gentleman intended to settle the suffragette question by making them owners in Scotland, he would not be conferring a very great benefit upon the country. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland had asked why did these men go to Canada? Simply because when they went there they became the owners of the soil. If the right hon. Gentleman would deal with the question of purchase, which he had shut out from his Bill, he would find a remedy for this state of things. During the course of the Grand Committee they implored the right hon. Gentleman not to cut himself off from carrying on experimental purchase of land in the Lowlands. There was only one way in which they could do this in the Lowlands, and it was by purchasing land in suitable areas, carving it out in different sized holdings, and placing in charge of each settlement someone capable of giving instruction and guidance to those who needed it. That policy could be carried out by the Government purchasing land freely in the open market, and by enabling those on the land to become their own proprietors. Men, and Scotsmen in particular, would exert themselves and work if the ultimate result was that they might raise their heads higher in the social scale and find themselves owners of the land they tilled. That was a very proper aspiration. This clause in the Bill was condemned by all Scottish agricultural opinion. He believed as an outsider and observer that the Bill was barely tolerated by Members of the Cabinet who sat near the right hon. Gentleman. He believed that it would disappear in oblivion, and that its disappearance would not be regretted in a single parish. It was designed to produce a land system which had not succeeded in any part of the habitable globe—a system foreign to Scottish methods of agriculture, which were the finest in the world.


said that when he listened to the Leader of the Opposition and to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire he had great difficulty in recognising the Bill, with every line of which he was familiar. He had discussed the Bill on public platforms throughout all parts of Scotland during the autumn recess, and it had met with favour from all his fellow-countrymen who had taken the trouble to understand it. It had been received with gratitude by those for whom it was primarily intended. It was a Bill to denounce which not a single Member for Scotland who opposed it last summer had had the courage to call a public meeting of his constituents.

* MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)

said he had denounced it at five meetings of his constituents.


said he was sorry that the hon. Member did not call a public meeting of his constituents for the purpose of condemning the Scottish Small Landholders Bill.


said he condemned it pretty stiffly when he did address a meeting.


said that the hon. Member was well entitled to say what he chose against the Bill. He stood by his assertion that the Bill had not been denounced at a public meeting called for the purpose by any Member for Scotland. The Bill had been denounced as a tragedy involving death and ruin to agriculture, as a Bill designed to destroy the independence of the yeoman farmer, the pride of ownership, and the friendly feeling which existed between landlord and tenant in Scotland. It was a Bill, to use the phrase of the hon. Member for the Leith Burghs, to knock agriculture on the head. The Leader of the Opposition had spoken of it as a travesty of what agricultural legislation ought to be. He replied that the right hon. Gentleman's attack on the Bill was a grotesque travesty of the provisions of the measure which he was criticising, for the application of the Crofters Acts to the whole of Scotland meant only that after they were applied every small farmer in Scotland, and every small farmer who would come into existence under the machinery provided by the Bill, would be entitled as a matter of right to remain in his holding unless some good reason existed for turning him out, and every small farmer would have the right to bequeath his holding to any member of his family, provided it could be shown that he was a suitable person, The right hon. Gentleman did not deny that these were great advantages to confer on small farmers, but what he and his friends said was that they could only confer these advantages by giving them full rights of ownership. He asked the Committee to observe how narrow was the dividing line between the two sides, and how intemperate was the language of the Leader of the Opposition. Hon. Gentlemen opposite did not deny that in the public interest it was of great advantage to increase small holdings in Scotland. They did not deny that there was plenty of suitable land and suitable men to occupy it. They did not deny that the creation of small holdings could not be left to voluntary effort, that compulsion might be needed, and that it ought to be given. The Government said, on the other hand, that it was quite possible to secure the cardinal virtues which were to be found in ownership, namely, the right of security, and the right of transmitting property to a member of the family, without the drastic and revolutionary remedy which hon. Gentlemen opposite desired to apply, if they took the existing system of landlord and tenant in Scotland to which the people had become accustomed, and cut out of it the liability to arbitrary eviction, the right which the landlord now enjoyed of turning out his tenant without good cause, or, perhaps, any cause at all. That was the object of applying the Crofters Acts to the whole of Scotland, and that would be the whole effect of so applying them. These were great advantages which would be secured. He readily allowed that they could not give security of tenure unless they set up a Fair Rent Court, and applied statutory conditions. Without that court they would have the landlord fixing such an exorbitant rent that the tenant being unable to pay, would be turned out. If they did not lay down statutory conditions, they gave security of tenure with the one hand and took it away with the other. During the autumn recess seven skilled men made an investigation into the operation of the Crofters Acts, and they had given the results of their impartial inquiry. No man would allege that those seven investigators entered upon the inquiry with any prepossession in favour of this Bill. What was the result of their inquiry? They came to the conclusion that the chief good objects which the Crofters Acts had produced were: Complete independence to the tenants; and full security for fair rents and for the improvements which they had effected upon their houses and holdings. They came to the conclusion that every advantage that security of tenure alone could produce had been produced in the crofting counties, and they asserted that they were prepared throughout the whole of Scotland to apply the Crofters' Act wherever the conditions were similar. [OPPOSITION cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite agreed with that. Let them see what was the difference in the conditions and inquire whether the difference was such as to make the security of tenure which was good in the crofting counties bad in the Lowland counties, because, after all, that was the pivot on which the whole argument turned. That was the crux of the question, and the centre around which the controversy took place. The difference was that, whereas in the Lowland counties the landlord, as a rule, made the permanent improvements, in the Highlands the converse was the case. Why was this security of tenure a good thing for the small farmer who made his own improvements, and a bad thing for the small fanner who had not made his own improvements? That was the only question which they had to discuss, and he was going to answer it in the word of the seven famous investigators. They said that if the landlord was not deprived of freedom of choice in the selection of his tenant, and if he was not deprived of freedom of selection in the improvement on his farm, he should not be unwilling to spend his money in equipping his farm.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 350; Noes, 95. (Division List No. 23.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Cox, Harold Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Crean, Eugene Hedges, A. Paget
Acland, Francis Dyke Cremer, Sir William Randal Helme, Norval Watson
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Crombie, John William Hemmerde, Edward George
Agnew, George William Crosfleld, A. H. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cross, Alexander Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Alden, Percy Crossley, William J. Henry, Charles S.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Cullinan, J. Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dalziel, James Henry Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Armitage, R. Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Hobart, Sir Robert
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hodge, John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hogan, Michael
Asquith, Rt. Hon Herbert Henry Devlin, Joseph Holden, E. Hopkinson
Astbury, John Meir Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Holt, Richard Durning
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N) Hope, W Bateman (Somerset, N.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Horniman, Emslie John
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dillon, John Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Barker, John Dobson, Thomas W. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Donelan, Captain A. Hudson, Walter
Barnard, E. B. Duckworth, James Hutton, Alfred Eddison.
Barnes, G. N. Duffy, William J. Hyde, Clarendon
Barran, Rowland Hirst Duncan, G (Barrow-in-Furness Idris, T. H. W.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Illingworth, Percy H.
Beale, W. P. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Isaacs, Rufas Daniel
Beauchamp, E. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Jackson, R. S.
Bell, Richard Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Bellairs, Carylon Elibank, Master of Jardine, Sir J.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Erskine, David C. Jenkins, J.
Berridge, T. H. D. Essex, R. W. Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Esslemont, George Birnie Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Evans, Sir Samuel T. Jones, Leif (Appleby).
Black, Arthur W. Everett, R. Lacey Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Boland, John Fenwick, Charles Jowett, F. W.
Boulton, A. C. F. Ferens, T. R. Kearley, Hudson E.
Bowerman, C. W. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Kekewich, Sir George
Brace, William Flynn, James Christopher Kelley, George D.
Bramsdon, T. A. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Kettle, Thomas Michael
Branch, James Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Fuller, John Michael F. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Brodie, H. C. Fullerton, Hugh Lambert, George
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Furness, Sir Christopher Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire Gill, A. H. Layland-Barratt, Francis.
Bryce, J. Annan Glendinning, R. G. Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lehmann, R. C.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Gooch, George Peabody Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich.
Burke, E. Haviland- Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Levy, Sir Maurice
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lewis, John Herbert
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Lough, Thomas
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Gulland, John W. Lupton, Arnold
Byles, William Pollard Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Cameron, Robert Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Lynch, H. B.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Macdonald, J. R, (Leicester)
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hall, Frederick Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Halpin, J. Maclean, Donald
Cleland, J. W. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Clough, William Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Macpherson, J. T.
Clynes, J. R. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hart-Davies, T. M'Crae, George
Collins, Sir W. M J (S. Pancras, W) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) M'Killop, W.
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Haslam, James (Derbyshire) M'Micking, Major G.
Cooper, G. J. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Maddison, Frederick
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Haworth, Arthur A. Mallet, Charles E.
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hayden, John Patrick Manfield, Harry (Northants)
Cowan, W. H. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Marnham, F. J. Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Thorne, William
Massie, J. Reddy, M. Tomkinson James
Meagher, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Torrance, Sir A. M.
Menzies, Walter Rees, J. D. Toulmin, George
Micklem, Nathaniel Rendall, Athelstan Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Middlebrook, William Richards, Thomas (W. Monmth) Ure, Alexander
Mond, A. Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n) Verney, F. W.
Money, L. G. Chiozza Ridsdale, E. A. Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Montagu, E. S. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Vivian, Henry
Mooney, J. J. Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee) Wadsworth, J.
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Walker, H. De. R. (Leicester)
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Robinson, S. Walsh, Stephen
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Robson, Sir William Snowdon Walters, John Tudor
Muldoon, John Roche, John (Galway, East) Walton, Joseph
Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Roe, Sir Thomas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent
Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Rogers, F. E. Newman Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton
Murray, James Rose, Charles Day Wardle, George J.
Myer, Horatio Rowlands, J. Waring, Walter
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Runciman, Walter Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Russell, T. W. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Nicholls, George Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Waterlow, D. S.
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Watt Henry A
Nolan, Joseph Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne Weir, James Galloway
Nuttall, Harry Sears, J. E. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid) Seaverns, J. H. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Seddon, J. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Shackleton, David James Whitehead, Rowland
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wiles, Thomas
O'Grady, J. Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilkie, Alexander
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N.) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Parker, James (Halifax) Sloan, Thomas Henry Williams, Llewelyn (Carm'rth'n
Partington, Oswald Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Snowden, P. Williamson, A.
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wills, Arthur Roberts
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Perks, Robert William Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N. W.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Steadman, W. C. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Strachey, Sir Edward Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Winfrey, R.
Pollard, Dr. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Power, Patrick Joseph Summerbell, T.
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Sutherland, J. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Pullar, Sir Robert Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Radford, G. H. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Raphael, Herbert H. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Anson, Sir William Meynell Butcher, Samuel Henry Dalmeny, Lord
Anstruther-Gray, Major Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dalrymple, Viscount
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cave, George Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon
Balcarres, Lord Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gov.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey Faber, George Denison (York)
Banner, John S. Harmood Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Ferguson, R. C. Munro
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc. Forster, Henry William
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, H.) Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gardner, Ernest
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.
Bertram, Julius Collings, Rt. Hn. J (Birmingh'm Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bowles, G. Stewart Corbett, T. L (Down, North) Guinness, Walter Edward
Boyle, Sir Edward Courthope, G. Loyd Hamilton, Marquess of
Bridgeman, W. Clive Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd
Bull, Sir William James Craig, Captain James (Down, E. Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Craik, Sir Henry Heaton, John Henniker
Hills, J. W. Percy, Earl Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Randles, Sir John Scurrah Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark
Kimber, Sir Henry Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Tuke, Sir John Batty
King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Remnant, James Farquharson Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Lane-Fox, G. R. Ronaldshay, Earl of Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareham Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Salter, Arthur Clavell Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Moore, William Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton Younger, George
Morpeth, Viscount Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Starkey, John R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Nield, Herbert Stone, Sir Benjamin
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)

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

Question put, "That Clauses 2 to 33, inclusive, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 352; Noes, 96. (Division List No. 24.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Bryce, J. Annan Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall
Acland, Francis Dyke Buckmaster, Stanley O. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Burke, E. Haviland- Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Agnew, George William Burns, Rt. Hon. John Elibank, Master of
Ainsworth, John Stirling Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Erskine, David C.
Alden, Percy Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Essex, R. W.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Byles, William Pollard Esslemont, George Birnie
Allen, Charles (Stroud) Cameron, Robert Evans, Sir Samuel T.
Armitage, R. Carr-Gomm, H. W. Everett, R. Lacey
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Cawley, Sir Frederick Fenwick, Charles
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Ferens T. R.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cleland, J. W. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Astbury, John Meir Clough, William Flynn, James Christopher
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Clynes, J. R. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Cobbold, Felix Thornley Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Fuller, John Michael F.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Collins, Sir Wm. J (S. Pancras, W Fullerton, Hugh
Barker, John Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Furness, Sir Christopher
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Condon, Thomas Joseph Gill, A. H.
Barnard, E. B. Cooper, G. J. Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W)
Barnes, G. N. Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Glendinning, R. G.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Cowan, W. H. Gooch, George Peabody
Beale, W. P. Crean, Eugene Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Beauchamp, E. Cremer, Sir William Randal Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Bell, Richard Crombie, John William Griffith, Ellis J.
Bellairs, Carlyon Crosfield, A. H. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Crossley, William J. Gulland, John W.
Berridge, T. H. D. Cullinan, J. Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W Brampton
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Dalziel, James Henry Gwynn, Stephen Lucius
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Black, Arthur W. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hall, Frederick
Boland, John Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Halpin, J.
Bottomley, Horatio Devlin, Joseph Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis
Boulton, A. C. F. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Bowerman, C. W. Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Brace, William Dickinson, W. H (St. Pancras, N.) Harmsworth, R. L (Caithn'ss-sh.
Bramsdon, T. A. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hart-Davies. T.
Branch, James Dobson, Thomas W. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Donelan, Captain A. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.
Brodie, H. C. Duckworth, James Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Duffy, William J. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J T (Cheshire Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Haworth, Arthur A.
Hayden, John Patrick Masterman, C. F. G. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Meagher, Michael Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Hedges, A. Paget Menzies, Walter Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Helme, Norval Watson Micklem, Nathaniel Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne
Hemmerde, Edward George Middlebrook, William Sears, J. E.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Mond, A. Seaverns, J. H.
Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W. Money, L. G. Chiozza Seddon, J.
Henry, Charles S. Montagu, E. S. Shackleton, David James
Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S. Mooney, J. J Shaw, Charles Edw, (Stafford)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.
Hobart, Sir Robert Morley, Rt. Hon. John Shipman, Dr. John G.
Hodge, John Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Silcock, Thomas Ball
Hogan, Michael Muldoon, John Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Holden, E. Hopkinson Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Sloan, Thomas Henry
Holt, Richard Durning Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Hope, John Jeans (Fife, West) Murray, James Snowden, P.
Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. Myer, Horatio Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Horniman, Emslie John Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Soares, Ernest J.
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nicholls, George Steadman, W. C
Hudson, Walter Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Nolan, Joseph Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Hyde, Clarendon Norton, Capt. Cecil William Strachey, Sir Edward
Idris, T. H. W. Nuttall, Harry Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Illingworth, Percy H. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Summerbell, T.
Jackson, R. S. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Sutherland, J. E.
Jacoby, Sir James Alfred O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Jardine, Sir J. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Jenkins, J. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Grady, J. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Parker, James (Halifax) Thorne, William
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Partington, Oswald Tomkinson, James
Jowett, F. W. Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Torrance, Sir A. M.
Kearley, Hudson E. Pearce, William (Limehonse) Toulmin, George
Kekewich, Sir George Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Kelley, George D. Perks, Robert William Ure, Alexander
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Verney, F. W.
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Lambert, George Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Vivian, Henry
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Philips, John (Longford, S.) Wadsworth, J.
Layland-Barratt, Francis Pickersgill, Edward Hare Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington) Pollard, Dr. Walsh, Stephen
Lehmann, R. C. Power, Patrick Joseph Walters, John Tudor
Lever, A Levy (Essex, Harwich) Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Walton, Joseph
Levy, Sir Maurice Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E. Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lewis, John Herbert Pullar, Sir Robert Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n)
Lough, Thomas Radford, G. H Wardle, George J.
Lupton, Arnold Raphael, Herbert H. Waring, Walter
Luttrell Hugh Fownes Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Lynch, H. B. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Meddy, M. Waterlow, D. S.
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Radmond, John E. (Waterford) Watt, Henry A.
Maclean, Donald Rees, J. D. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Kendal Athelstan Weir, James Galloway
Macpherson, J. T. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhmpt'n) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Ridsdale, E. A. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
M'Crae, George Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Whitehead, Rowland
M'Kean, John Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dunde Whitley, John Henry (Halifax
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
M'Killop, W. Robinson, S. Wiles, Thomas
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
M' Micking Major G. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wilkie, Alexander
Maddison, Frederick Roche, John (Galway, East) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Mallet, Charles E. Roe, Sir Thomas Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthn
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Rogers, F. E. Newman Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Rose, Charles Day Williamson, A.
Marnham, F. J. Rowlands, J. Wills, Arthur Walters
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Runciman, Walter Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Massie, J. Russell, T. W. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.) Winfrey, R.
Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Anson, Sir William Reynell Craik, Sir Henry Percy, Earl
Anstruther-Gray, Major Cross, Alexander Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dalmeny, Lord Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Balcarres, Lord Dalrymple, Viscount Remnant, James Farquharson
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond) Dixon-Hartland. Sir Fred Dixon Ronaldshay, Earl of
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool
Banner, John S. Harmood- Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Salter, Arthur Clavell
Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester Faber, George Dension (York) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Barrio, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Ferguson, R. C. Munro Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Forster, Henry William Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Gardner, Ernest Smith, Abel H (Hertford, East)
Bertram, Julius Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Goulding, Edward Alfred Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Boyle, Sir Edward Guinness, Walter Edward Starkey, John R.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hamilton, Marquess of Stone, Sir Benjamin
Bull, Sir William James Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Heaton, John Henniker Thomson, W. Mitchcll-(Lanark)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hills, J. W. Tuke, Sir John Batty
Cave, George Kenyon-Slaney, Rt Hon. Col. W. Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C W. Kimber, Sir Henry Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Lane-Fox, G. R. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareham) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc. Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Younger, George
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm) Moore, William
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Corbett, T. L. (Down. North) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield
Courthope, G. Loyd Nield, Herbert
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Parkes, Ebenezer

Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair to report the Bill to the House, pursuant to the Order of the House of 13th February.

Bill reported without Amendment.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER proceeded to put the Question, "That the Bill be now read the third time," pursuant to the Order of the House of 13th February.

The House divided:—Ayes, 347; Noes, 90. (Division List No. 25.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bramsdon, T. A.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Barnard, E. B. Branch, James
Acland, Francis Dyke Barnes, G. N. Brocklchurst, W. B.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Barran, Rowland Hirst Brodie, H. C.
Agnew, George William Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs, Leigh)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beale, W. P. Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J T (Cheshire
Alden, Percy Beauchamp, E. Bryce, J. Annan
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Bell, Richard Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Bellairs, Carlyon Buckmaster, Stanley O.
Armitage, R. Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Burke, E. Haviland-
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Berridge, T. H. D. Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Asquith, Rt. Hon Herbert Henry Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles
Astbury, John Meir Black, Arthur W. Byles, William Pollard
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Boland, John Cameron, Robert
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Bottomley, Horatio Carr-Gomm, H. W.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Boulton, A. C. F. Camley, Sir Frederick
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Bowerman, C. W. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Barker, John Brace, William Cleland, J. W.
Clough, William Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N E. Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Clynes, J. R. Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Massie, J.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Masterman, G. F. G.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Haworth, Arthur A. Meagher, Michael
Collins, Sir Wm. J (S. Pancras, W Hayden, John Patrick Menzies, Walter
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Hazel, Dr. A. E. Micklem, Nathaniel
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hedges, A. Paget Middlebrook, William
Cooper, G. J. Helme, Norval Watson Mond, A.
Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd) Hemmerde, Edward George Money, L. G. Chiozza
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Montagu, E. S.
Cowan, W. H. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Mooney, J. J.
Cox, Harold Henry, Charles S. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Crean, Eugene Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S. Morley, Rt. Hon. John
Cremer, Sir William Randal Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Crombie, John William Hobart, Sir Robert Muldoon, John
Crosfield, A. H. Hodge, John Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Crossley, William J. Hogan, Michael Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Cullinan, J. Holden, E. Hopkinson Murray, James
Balziel, James Henry Holt, Richard Durning Myer, Horatio
Davies, M. Vauhgan-(Cardigan Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Horniman, Emslie John Nicholls, George
Berlin, Joseph Horridge, Thomas Gardner Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nolan, Joseph
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Hudson, Walter Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Hutton, Alfred Eddison Nuttall, Harry
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hyde, Clarendon O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Dobson, Thomas W. Idris, T. H. W. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Donelan, Captain A. Illingworth, Percy H. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Duckworth, James Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Duffy, William J. Jackson, R. S. O'Connor, T P. (Liverpool)
Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness Jacoby, Sir James Alfred O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jardine, Sir J. O'Grady, J.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Jenkins, J. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, W
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Parker, James (Halifax)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Partington, Oswald
Elibank, Master of Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Erskine, David C. Jowett, F. W. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Essex, R. W. Kearley, Hudson E. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Esslemont, George Birnie Kekewieh, Sir George Perks, Robert William
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Kelley, George D. Philipps, Col Ivor (S'thampton)
Everett, R. Lacey King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke
Fen wick, Charles Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Ferens, T R. Lambert, George Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Layland-Barratt, Francis Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Flynn, James Christopher Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Pollard, Dr.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lehmann, R. C. Power, Patrick Joseph
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Fuller, John Michael F. Levy, Sir Maurice Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Fullerton, Hugh Lewis, John Herbert Pullar, Sir Robert
Furness, Sir Christopher Lough, Thomas Radford, G. H.
Gill, A. H. Lupton, Arnold Raphael, Herbert H.
Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Glendinning, R. G. Lynch, H. B. Rea, Walter Russell (Searboro)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Reddy, M.
Gooch, George Peabody Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Maclean, Donald Rees, J. D.
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rendall, Athelstan
Griffith, Ellis J. Macpherson, J. T. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton
Gulland, John W. MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Ridsdale, E. A.
Gurdon, Rt. Hn Sir W. Brampton M'Crae, George Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius M'Kean, John Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Hall, Frederick M'Killop, W. Robinson, S.
Halpin, J. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Roche, John (Galway, East)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis M'Micking, Major G. Roe, Sir Thomas
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Maddison, Frederick Rogers, F. E. Newman
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Mallet, Charles E. Rose, Charles Day
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Manfield, Harry (Northants) Rowlands, J.
Hart-Davies, T. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Runciman, Walter
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Marnham, F. J. Russell, T. W.
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Sutherland, J. E. Weir, James Galloway
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Taylor, John W. (Durham) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Thomas, Abel (Camarthen, E.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Sears, J. E. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Whitehead, Rowland
Seaverns, J. H. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Seddon, J. Thorne, William Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Shackleton, David James Torrance, Sir A. M. Wiles, Thomas
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Toulmin, George Wilkie, Alexander
Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B. Trevelyan, Charles Philips Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Shipman, Dr. John G. Ure, Alexander Williams, Llewelyn (Carm'rth'n
Silcock, Thomas Ball Verney, F. W. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Villiers, Ernest Amherst Williamson, A.
Sloan, Thomas Henry Vivian, Henry Wills, Arthur Walters
Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wadsworth, J. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Snowden, P. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Walsh, Stephen Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Soares, Ernest J. Walters, John Tudor Wilson, J. W (Worcestersh, N.)
Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.) Walton, Joseph Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Steadman, W. C. Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton Winfrey, R.
Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wardle, George J. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Strachey, Sir Edward Wason, Rt Hn. E (Clackmannan
Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Waterlow, D. S.
Summerbell, T. Watt, Henry A.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Parkes, Ebenezer
Anstruther-Gray, Major Craik, Sir Henry Percy, Earl
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cross, Alexander Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Balcarres, Lord Dalmeny, Lord Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Dalrymple, Viscount Ronaldshay, Earl of
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Dixon-Hartland. Sir Fred Dixon Salter, Arthur Clavell
Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N) Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Faber, George Denison (York) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Ferguson, R. C. Munro Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bertram, Julius Forster, Henry William Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Bowles, G. Stewart Gardner, Ernest Starkey, John R.
Boyle, Sir Edward Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Bridgeman, W. Clive Goulding, Edward Alfred Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Bull, Sir William James Guinness, Walter Edward Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hamilton, Marquess of Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Tuke, Sir John Batty
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cave, George Heaton, John Henniker Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Hills, J. W. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Kimber, Sir Henry Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Cecil Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc Lane-Fox, G. R. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Younger, George
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Mason, James F. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Morpeth, Viscount
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Nield, Herbert
Courthope, G. Loyd O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens

Motion made, and Question, "That this House do now adjourn,"—(Mr. Whiteley)—put, and agreed to.

King's Consent signified.

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