HC Deb 15 May 1908 vol 188 cc1439-523

Order for Second Reading, read.

*MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)

in moving the Second Reading of this Bill said the measure was not a new one, either to the public or the House of Commons. The Bill was almost the same as that associated with the name of the present Ambassador to the United States, the only difference being that the measure which he was now proposing applied not only to Scotland, but was extended to England as well. Mr. Bryce's Bill actually passed the Second Reading in 1888, but was not proceeded with further. In 1892 in a Conservative Parliament, a Resolution was passed by the House approving of the general principle of the Bill. Since then the question had sunk into the background of politics, chiefly, of course owing to Mr. Bryce's ill fortune in the ballot. No doubt there had also been another and secondary cause. In Scotland there had been, perhaps, a slight decrease of public interest, not because of the removal of the general grievance, which he would maintain had increased, but because the Winans scandal—an instance of private selfishness so gross that no one defended it—had disappeared. The Winans forest of 200,000 acres or more no longer stretched across Scotland from sea to sea, perpetually defended by an army of keepers, each having his beat, and many of them sentry boxes—an area from which the people were excluded, and where even pet lambs could not wander without their owners being in danger of prosecution. That social scandal, grotesque in its enormity, had gone, but the law or the absence of law, which permitted it, still remained. The general evil had increased in the last fifteen years, and it was now more difficult to walk freely in the wild places of Scotland and England. The need for legislation pressed more and more every year. He based his argument in favour of this measure in the long run on the ground that it was necessary for the highest health of the people. When introducing the Housing Bill the other day the President of the Local Government Board told them that our population was becoming more and more urban. Sixty years ago, when their fathers were free to wander all over the wild places of England and Scotland, only 35 per cent. of the population lived in towns; now 75 per cent. lived in towns, and there was a growing feeling in all classes of society that in order to live a thoroughly healthy life in a town, and in order that vigour might be properly maintained, it was necessary that the population should have country air, exercise, and pursuits, at any rate during the holiday periods of the year. No one among the well-to-do population ever dreamt of staying the whole year in town. Every rich man either bought or hired some place to go where he had his special share of wild country, and where he could enjoy in the fullest and freest way the most beautiful wild places. Fortunately the rich were not alone in recognising that their health and happiness depended largely upon their having recreation and exercise outside of towns, and that the fullest and best recreation for body and mind was, for at all events a great many of them, to wander over mountains and moors in the wilder parts of the country. There was a rapidly increasing mass of our population of moderate and small means in the great towns who, realising this, were forming walking and climbing clubs, and devoting portions of their leisure to the study of natural history during their country rambles. There was no country in the world except our own where any serious barriers were placed upon people going out into country districts. Abroad our people in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Italy, were free to go where they liked in the wild places of these countries. Who had ever been forbidden to wander over an Alp? Who had ever been threatened with interdict in the Appenines? Who had ever been warned off the rocks of Tyrol? Who had every been prosecuted for trespassing among Norwegian mountains? What was the state of things in our country? All the resorts in England or Scotland where people might go, such as the Lakes and Arran, were full to overflowing, and a large part of our not very well to do population was forced to go abroad for its holiday. The rich people in England stayed at home to the exclusion of the poorer part of the population who were forced to go abroad to Switzerland, Norway, and other countries, and pay for expensive journeys in order to get to places where they could walk and wander. This condition of things was not improving. Large tracts of the most beautiful parts of Scotland were being more and more closed every year. In 1882 rather under 2,000,000 of acres were under deer forest; now 3,500,000 of acres were under deer forest. From all that tract the public were practically excluded. The ordinary and less enterprising tourist could not go there at all. The owners of deer forests and grouse moors were increasing their strictness. In many directions rights of way were being closed. In many places the cottager had been forbidden to take in tourists. Even hotels in some places had been closed in which visitors could possibly stay. More and more the science of strict game-keeping was making resort to these sacred preserves more and more difficult. It was often asserted that the owners of forests did their best to help the public. He had been reading an article written in 1901, by a gentleman, who boasted the fine name of Duncan Darroch of Torridon, in which he said— To the majority of the owners and occupiers of deer forests in Scotland it is a great pleasure to be able to allow the climbing and scientific public to share as far as possible in the delights of climbing the hills and scenery. He heard a curious commentary on that the other day. He was told by an hon. friend that a gentleman of wide scientific attainments in Edinburgh some time ago wrote to ask all the owners of deer forests in Scotland if he and some of his friends might have leave, under any conditions, to go into the deer forests for scientific purposes for a botanical survey. He got less than a dozen answers and all of them were refusals.

*MR. CHAPLIN (Wimbledon)

Who was the gentleman? Can the hon. Member produce the letter?

MR. A. DEWAR (Edinburgh, S.)

I have not got it with me. The information which my hon. friend has given to the House came from me. This botanical survey desired to have access to mountains, and wrote to the owners—and tenants—of every deer forest in Scotland asking for permission to go at any time most convenient, and undertaking that they would do no damage. They did not get permission, I regret to say, from one.


said that the grievance against which this Bill was directed was not confined to Scotland alone. Every year it was getting a little more difficult to go on the English hills as well. It was true that in one respect the English were profoundly fortunate. Their English Braemar was not a game preserve, and in their English Lakes they were not confined to the motor road. The Cumberland Lake District was a free paradise. They owed that partly to the existence of large common rights, and partly to the traditional public spirit and unexclusiveness of the great landlords of that district who had never closed any part of it. But they owed that state of things most of all to the accident that over this great mountain district there were very few grouse and hardly any deer. The consequence was that there were hundreds and thousands of men and women scattered over England to whom the freedom of these hills was one of the chief joys and benefits of their life. He said there were many of them who would be different and less good men and women if Skiddaw, Wetherlam, Great Gable, and Scafell were closed, in order that a score of men might shoot every year for a score of days. In other districts of England the story was different. All down the Pennines it was steadily becoming more difficult for our people to get access to the moors. He had had a good deal of information sent to him in regard to restrictions of access since he brought in this Bill. Sheffield was a type of a great town, dingy, smoky, and colourless in its unattractiveness, but which had the natural advantage that at its very gates there was a great moor district which was the proper recreation ground of the people. In the old days it was open to them. Almost the only poet of the people whose reputation has lived in England was Ebenezer Elliott, and he became a poet because he loved the moors around Sheffield. The successors of Ebenezer Elliott—the workmen who had come after him—were not allowed to walk on the hills where he got his inspiration. These hills were almost entirely closed to the people of Sheffield. Every year more land was included in the ban, and another crag edge was forbidden to the climbers of Sheffield. They might go and look at Kinderscout through glasses, but they could not go up without the chance of being chased by gamekeepers. This Bill would open the mountains to everyone who wanted to go there for recreation, health, and scientific purposes. That liberty, however, was carefully qualified so as to prevent abuse, and if other dangers were apprehended by owners or tenants, the promoters would be ready to consider in Committee whether further arrangements and compromise could be made. But he knew perfectly well what the chief opposition to the Bill was likely to be. A certain number of people thought the Bill was an attack on sport, and was intended to destroy grouse-driving and deer-stalking. His own motives were above suspicion. Personally, he yielded to no one in the House in his love of shooting, and he did not believe any reasonable sport was going to be stopped by the Bill. He knew that ridiculously exaggerated pictures were drawn of a crowd of tourists walking across a grouse-drive and spoiling a day's sport. There was a moor in Northumberland which he was in the habit of shooting over, and this moor happened to be on the way along which a lot of tramps had been going for the last four or five years to certain waterworks in course of construction in the Northumbrian hills. On one occasion he admitted that a drive was spoilt, and very likely he muttered imprecations upon that occasion, but he would not be such a sulky and selfish curmudgeon as to give orders to gamekeepers that they were to exclude tourists or make these men go four miles round in order to get to their work in future and to save him from another annoyance of that character. The real walker and climber was not going to do very much harm; for the climber being a sportsman himself, he did not want to stop other people's sport. He himself had probably walked further than almost any other Member in the last ten years over moors and mountains, and he could only remember two occasions on which he had come across a shooting party. If walkers saw shooting parties they would keep out of their way, and if they deliberately annoyed the shooting parties he ventured to say that Clause 4 of the Bill would bring them under the law. In any case, he maintained that even if an occasional grouse-drive was disturbed there ought not to be anyone in this House who, for the sake of that annoyance to the most rich and most fortunate, would exclude the rest of the people permanently from our mountains. As to the deer forests in Scotland, it appeared to be imagined from the way some people talked that if this Bill were law an army of tourists would begin to tramp in extended line through the Highlands.

The forest owners were seized with panic, and each saw his deer being driven into his neighbour's forest. The last time this question was discussed in the House, Lord Elcho, speaking against the proposal, suggested that his sanctuary might be invaded by Scottish Alpine Clubs marching to the wail of the bagpipes. No one who knew the touring and walking community would be afraid of anything of that kind. He had often studied the tourist community in the Lake District. There were three kinds of tourists. The first and most numerous classes never went into the centre of a grouse moor or a deer forest at all. They frequented the main roads. They were driven about in various kinds of carriages. Occasionally they left the main road and wandered a little way through the woods, or went a few yards up the mountain side in order that they might get a good view. They were a very timid tribe, afraid of getting their feet wet. Yet this numerous class of people was frequently incommoded, bothered, and frightened if they dared to go on the edges of the moors. Instead of having their freedom curtailed, they were exactly the sort of people who ought to be encouraged to trespass, for it would do their souls and bodies good, and the game no harm. The next class of tourists was a very large one—the trampers who wanted to go very often long walks. They were not, however, very pertinacious persons, and always stuck to paths or clear tracks through the hills. They were rather afraid of getting lost in the mountains, and would, whatever freedom was given them, certainly never be guilty of wandering over the hills. They would always be inclined to walk along the lower plain, and to follow beaten paths, and therefore cause little disturbance. Yet this was the class which was most persecuted by the gamekeepers. These were people mostly from the big towns, who were just beginning to have this enthusiasm for a walk on the hills, and would be content with existing paths. Then there was a third class, comparatively small in munbers, who would walk over all the hills and mountains if they got a chance. The really bold walkers who wanted to go everywhere were few and far between, and it was absurd to exclude all the others because of these, and require all classes to stick to the main road. If anything could be done in Committee to allay the fears of deer forest owners, the promoters of the Bill would meet them in every possible way in a friendly spirit. He had heard it suggested that some sort of schedule should be made of sanctuaries in deer forests from which the public should be excluded. There was something in that, and it would be carefully considered by the promotors. He hoped however, that the attitude taken to-day would not be that where the deer treads there man must not tread, and that a deer forest or a grouse moor could not exist if man had free access to it. He hoped in the interest of sport itself that that attitude would not be adopted; if it were, he was sure that it would react dangerously on the best interests of sportsmen. Our town population did not know or care much about shooting, but were willing to live and let live. If it once got into their minds that their opportunities of recreation and holiday were seriously curtailed and spoiled by a class of rich sportsmen, then it was going to be an evil day for the game laws. If once their indignation was aroused the game laws would be roughly handled in a way that would make sportsmen sigh for the mild proposals in this Bill. He did not want to see this, and therefore he appealed to shooting men to support the Second Reading of the Bill. He believed that exclusion from mountains and moors was entirely indefensible to the unprejudiced person. There was a reasonable and unanswerable basis for exclusion from land where industry was being carried on. That was the same as securing the privacy of a man's house and grounds; but in the long run they could not defend to the unprejudiced mind a claim to exclude a large and increasing number of men and women who were seeking health and recreation in the best and most beautiful wild places of the country on the ground that another set of people, much less numerous, but with more opportunities, wanted it for their exclusive recreation. Surely it was better while the new system of enclosure was in its comparatively early stages, and before feeling was embittered further by increasing provocation, to come to some reasonable terms which would preserve for many generations, even in our demo ratio country, the best sport which a wealthy nation ever evolved, by showing that it was not incompatible with the elementary right of any population to know, to frequent, and to learn to love all that was wild, magnificent, and beautiful in this various and pleasant land.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

*MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)

said he did not move the rejection of the Bill because he thought nothing could be done in the direction desired. He moved its rejection not because he did not think that the principles embodied in the Bill were most desirable; but because the disadvantages would be found to outweigh to a very considerable extent the advantages which were aimed at. He believed that the object desired would be better attained somewhat on the lines of the Bill presented by the hon. Member for Leith Burghs, which, however, only applied to Scotland. The objects of that measure were not only the preservation of the rights of way at present existing, but the creation of new rights of way in a considerable number of cases where it was found to be desirable in the interests of the people. He proposed to argue this Bill so far as possible from the point of view of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, and as little as possible from the point of view of the protection of the rights of property. He knew, although he was by no means sure that it would be acknowledged in some quarters of the House, that the rights of property had their full justification. He also knew that that argument would appeal less to Gentlemen opposite than the argument based on the question of the advantages to be gained by the Bill. The object of the Bill could not be said to remove any painful evil or any pressing grievance. He acknowledged that the object was to give to a large number of people a certain liberty which they did not now possess, and in so far as that liberty was connected with the improvement of the health of the people, it would meet with the support of all Members of the House. He might say in passing that they might consider that the Bill applied, both from the remarks made by the hon. Member who moved its Second Reading, and from the nature of the case, more to deer forests than to any other form of property. The natives of the deer forest districts had all got their occupations, to a great extent of a laborious kind, and did not hanker after climbing up hills for the sake of climbing. What they did desire was to get from one village to another or from their homes to where they worked in the shortest possible time, and by the shortest possible route. Where that occurred he acknowledged that there was a very good reason for creating a right of way for the benefit of those people. The next class of people interested in the Bill consisted of those engaged in scientific and artistic work. He was sure that no one would deprecate more than he did anything which stood in the way of science and art, and he confessed that the case put before the House that owners of deer forests stood in the way of a scientific survey, except at a time when sport was in full swing, had greatly surprised him, and he could not for a moment approve of it. He thought that the greater number of sportsmen would be only too glad to do everything in their power to assist the cause of science or the work of the artist. The third class of people, and that most affected by this Bill, were the tourists. The hon. Member who brought in the Bill had already told them that the number of those tourists who had muscles sufficiently strong to take them up to the top of high hills, and were not afraid of getting their feet wet, was comparatively limited; and he thought that they might consider that the benefits of the Bill was mainly open to that comparatively limited number of tourists. The question was, what were the disadvantages which stood in the way of giving them this access to the mountains? He acknowledged that the Bill had several very useful safeguards. Clause 3 dealt with defences in proceedings for trespass. Clause 4 forbade tourists to carry guns, to be accompanied by dogs, to dig up roots, and so forth. These provisions, he acknowledged, were designed to protect property; and he did not think that the damage done on sheep runs would be very material. But he was quite prepared to base his argument on the question of deer forests, which he believed were the only form of moorland which would really suffer any serious evil from the tourists. It should be borne in mind that deer were animals of the most extraordinary eyesight and an astounding power of smell, especially apparently when the smell came from a human being. It was a well-known fact to all who had indulged in deer-stalking that the deer did not take much notice, and frequently no notice at all, of men walking along the valleys or below them; but they had an instinctive feeling of danger the moment they saw a man go up the hill and likely to get into a position above them. That was the reason why he said that, as long as people in deer forests kept to the low ground, he did not think the landlords would interfere, but the moment anyone walked to the top of the highest hill they could see, it was quite easy for such a man, without the least intention of doing harm, to clear the whole valley of deer and drive them from the forest in such a manner that they would not come back for several days. Of course, if a clause could be introduced into the Bill by which the tourist should become invisible and divest himself of this odour, there would be no objection to his going up to the hill-top. The owner of a deer forest would be exposed to three dangers, first, the danger of the tourist, who quite innocently, without any evil intention, walked up to the top of a hill during the stalking season, which only lasted five or six weeks—and it was during those weeks that the damage would be done—and drove the deer out of the forest altogether; secondly, to the danger of anybody who desired to do this to spite him; and thirdly, to the danger of blackmail by anyone who threatened to do so unless he were paid. With those dangers in front, of him no reasonable man, whether an owner or tenant of a deer forest, would feel justified in spending the amount of money he now did to protect the sport he enjoyed for a few weeks. Unless safeguards could be introduced, he ven- tured to say that both owners and tenants would abandon the sport, and the owners would be constrained to put the deer forests back to their original use of grazing land for sheep. ["Hear, hear."] Hon. Members opposite seemed pleased that that should be the case, but let them consider whether the abolition of deer forests was really to the interest of the community of Scotland. There were 3,500,000 acres of deer forests. At the ordinary estimate of one sheep to six acres they would support 600,000 sheep running for three years, which would mean an increase of 200,000 sheep a year towards the food supply of Great Britain; but, as the amount of sheep in Great Britain totalled to 25,000,000, he did not think the food supply of the country would be materially increased by the addition of these 200,000 sheep. As to whether the deer forests were desirable in the interests of the community he might point out that these 3,500,000 acres of deer forests brought in a rental of £165,000 a year or approximately 1s. an acre. From personal knowledge that he had of two forests in Inverness-shire he could say they would not be worth so much as they now were as sheep grazing lands. One of those forests was now let at £3,000 a year. It was originally a sheep run, and as such brought in £700. The present rental of the other forest was £3,100, and it was formerly let as a sheep run at £400, and the grouse shooting at £600, making £1,000 in all. As a sheep-run it employed four men permanently; as a deer forest, six, and twenty-eight gillies temporarily during the season. Those two cases clearly showed that the land as a deer forest brought in from three to four times as much as it would if it were a sheep run, and in addition to that it found more employment for the natives of the country. If it were let as a sheep run at 6d. an acre, which was over the amount it would fetch, there would be a net loss of £80,000 odd a year, and the loss to the local authorities, in the shape of rates, would be £12,000 or £15,000. And whatever the net loss on the assessments of these deer forests was, that would have to be made up by an increased rate on the houses and the agricultural property in the locality. These were points that required consideration, and if the Bill passed its present stage, it would be worth while to consider whether it would not be desirable in the Committee stage to introduce a provision for local option so that the people of the county could decide for themselves whether they would adopt this Bill or not. He begged to move.

MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.R., Barkston Ash)

, in rising to second the rejection of the measure, congratulated the hon. Gentleman who moved it upon his eloquent speech and the sincerity he undoubtedly showed in an object with which all must thoroughly sympathise, namely, the desire that those who needed it most should be able to get fresh air and recreation in these parts. The hon. Member had drawn a touching picture of the various classes of tourists who found the rights of way closed and places shut against them. He had drawn a picture of that class of tourist who was afraid to get his feet wet, who was absolutely harmless, and to whom access to a mountain side would be of little value. He himself was perfectly independent, in this matter. He neither owned nor was he ever likely to be in a position to rent either a deer forest or a mountain; and he was afflicted with that kind of nature that he would always rather look at a mountain than climb it. It seemed to him, however, either that this Bill would be ineffective or that it would inflict great injustice on a certain class of people, and if this kind of legislation was to be embarked on other classes ought to be dealt with in the same way. The whole Bill depended on the interpretation of Clause 5. He presumed the hon. Member had had expert advice as to what that clause meant, but if they attempted to define what was or was not a park or pleasure ground it was very possible that many of the deer forests with which the hon. Gentleman wished to deal under this Bill would not be included in its scope, but would come within the exemptions of Clause 5. A deer forest was very often in connection with or in proximity to a dwelling-house, and it could be described as a park if a park was a place fenced off from the rest of the land, because everybody knew there was a deer fence running round a deer forest. Why should a man in England be allowed to buy a large piece of land, not cultivated, and to exclude people from it, and the same rule not be applied to a man in Scotland? He had no desire to import personalities, but within the last couple of years the Parliamentary Secretary had bought an estate in Shropshire. Everybody knew how that beautiful place called Hawkstone stood up as a landmark against the whole of the surrounding flat and uninteresting country. He presumed that the hon. Gentleman would have a right, which was by this Bill to be taken away from the people of Scotland, to keep out the general public. If this House was once going to sanction the principle that no man had a right to keep the public off his wild and uncultivated property they had no right to single out a particular class. They had no right to make Scotland a corpus vile and not make the law general. What was to be the distinction between the land subject to this Bill and that which was not? Was the test to be cultivation? Because the previous section referred to uncultivated mountain or wild land. Would it be allowed to run a plough once or twice across a hill, or what would be the test which brought this land within or kept it outside the scope of the Bill? Owners of deer forests in Scotland had created forests, made roads, built bridges, and done a great deal to develop the country with the object of making it attractive to sportsmen. Were all those improvements and the expense which had been involved to be dedicated to the public without any compensation being given to those who made them? If that sort of legislation was to be applied it ought, to be applied to all classes. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen were not justified in introducing legislation which they thought would hit a certain class. He believed this Bill was introduced mainly in the interests of tourists and not of the population of these districts. He believed there was no very serious grievance among the people dwelling in the vicinity of these deer forests. He believed they could obtain the necessary leave to go across the ground when they required it. When the Bill said that access was to be allowed for purposes of recreation, or scientific, or artistic study, hon. Members must know what that was likely to lead to, having regard to what they knew of the failings of tourists in many parts of the country. They knew what was seen in the way of forest burning, names cut in trees, plants taken up and destroyed, horns blowing, and cornets playing.


Look at Clause 4.


said he was quite aware of the text of Clause 4. But how were they to find out who had taken the roots or done the damage? They knew what was left in the track of the tourist traffic in this country in the shape of orange peel and ginger beer and whiskey bottles. This legislation should be applied to all parts if applied to one; and if it was to be applied, some recognition ought to be allowed to those who had developed the country. Much as he desired to see those who surely had a right to obtain the healthy recreation and mental improvement which they needed and was so desirable, still he was not prepared to accept this Bill, and therefore he begged to second the Motion for its rejection.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the word 'now' and at the end of the Question to add the words upon this day six months.'"—(Mr. J. F. Mason.) Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said the House had listened to a very good and reasonable argument from the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, but he understood the hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection to say that the only damage this Bill was likely to do was to deer forests in Scotland. He thanked the hon. Gentleman for that statement, and hoped to be able before he had finished to persuade him that he was under a misapprehension, and that even deer forests would not be damaged under the Bill. He was convinced that the hon. Member's objection to the Bill was based on a misapprehension of what the Bill intended to do and a lack of knowledge of Scottish law. It was necessary to consider, first, what was the law, and, secondly, what the law would be if this Bill passed. Then it was necessary to consider how it would affect a landlord, the owner of a deer forest or grouse moor. The law of Scotland with regard to trespass was that the owner could prevent any man putting a foot on his land, but he could only do so by civil process. He could only make application to a Civil Judge to prevent the trespasser coming back again, and he would obtain an interdict and the trespasser would pay the costs. If the trespasser gave an undertaking not to trespass again the interdict was entered all the same, but in that case the trespasser might not pay the costs. If he was found trespassing again after the interdict had been obtained the trespasser was imprisoned, not for the trespass, but for contempt of Court in not obeying the interdict. Under this Bill the landlord would still have a right to make application to the Court to prevent a man coming on to his property. But in Clause 3 there was a new definition of the trespass. Under the Bill a man might say, "This moor is uncultivated land, and in the next place I am doing no damage." At the end of the clause hon. Members would see the words "that no special damage resulted from the alleged trespass." The word "special" was put in because a man did nominal damage wherever he put his foot. Of course, if a man wandered up to the top of a hill in a deer forest at a particular season the deer would flee to the next forest, and that would be special damage in a high degree, and an interdict would at once be entered by a Judge. The Bill was a modest and moderate one, and enacted nothing more than that innocent and honest people should be allowed to go where they could prove they were doing no harm. Hon. Members opposite might say they had no desire to curtail the liberties of anybody else. That was the meaning of the Bill. The man must prove, and the onus of proof was laid upon him, that he only went over the land when he could not possibly do any harm. He knew what it meant to have a picnic party on his best grouse moor, with the sandwich papers left lying about and scaring the grouse for miles round, but that was done solely in ignorance. Special damage did not mean great damage, but damage of a special character. After all, was there not plenty of room for restrictions? There were certain seasons of the year when special damage would be done, but there were also some seasons when a man could go into a deer forest without doing any damage. Would hon. Members agree to their getting into deer forests at those seasons? It was a fact that the sheriff wrote to every owner and tenant of a deer forest.


I have been an owner of a deer forest for twenty-five years and he has not written to me during that time.

LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

Nor to me.

SIR SAMUEL SCOTT (Marylebone, W.)

Nor to me.


Nor to me.


of course accepted the disclaimers at once, though it was just possible that the letters might have gone through some channel so that they did not reach hon. Gentlemen. He would give the hon. Members his authority privately if they desired. His information was that application was made to everyone, and no owner or tenant ever replied to the letter at all, but it was only fair to say that the Botanical Survey went on every deer forest in Scotland without authority, and what was more, they neither did nor received any damage. He only quoted the matter as an illustration of how careless one could be of public rights, and there was no doubt that all of them were careless, especially if they did not live on the estate. Not only that, but was it not a fact that landlords left a good deal in the hands of their gamekeepers? One did not blame these gamekeepers, but they were autocrats on their beats; and they were not always conciliatory. They placarded up everywhere "Trespassers will be prosecuted," and that was bad law—a terminological inexactitude if ever there was one, but it was quite enough to frighten away perfectly innocent people, because they did not know the law. That was the position just now with regard to innocent recreation. He appealed to the House whether it was not a fact that the sportsman who really had the broadest, mind with regard to these matters got the best sport. It was the sportsman who remembered that the farmer liked to be asked to shoot occasionally, and who remembered that his wife liked a brace of pheasants, who got the best sport, and the man who took a contracted view of his own rights who always had difficulty in finding birds. He appealed to sportsmen in their own interests in this matter, and he maintained that there was room both for sportsmen and for those perfectly innocent people who did not wish to do any harm. Let their right be regulated, and if hon. Members opposite would support a Bill that would regulate their right, they would have done a great deal for sport. Times and circumstances were changing for the tourist and for the man who used to find his enjoyment in walking on the public roads. This was the day of the motor car, and the landlords' and the city merchants' motor cars were to the innocent passenger a very great nuisance indeed. This was a new nuisance, and it was an additional reason for giving the innocent tourist and passenger some little concession on the moors and the hills, where he could do no harm. It was hard that a man who went to enjoy a week or a fortnight in the country should be hounded from places where he was doing no harm, and then have to stand and be covered with dust by the proprietor's motor car on the public road. It was wonderful how careless one could be of the rights of others when one had either a moor or a motor car. This Bill would make a man think just a little of the rights of others, and he appealed to hon. Members that in a correct reading of the Bill it did no harm. He asked them not to oppose it, but to support it unless they could give some other reasons than those already advanced, which were based on a misapprehension. If his reading of the Bill were wrong, he would never think of suggesting that liberties should be tampered with without due compensation, but there was nothing of that kind in the Bill.


said he was glad to hear from the hon. Member for Edinburgh his explanation of the law of trespass as it existed now in Scotland, but this Bill also applied to all parts of the United Kingdom, he understood, and he hoped some legal Member, equally well up in the law, would give them an account of how the law of trespass stood in England and Wales. Personally, he was one of those who believed that some clearer definition of the law of trespass would be a very good thing in this country. He did not yet quite understand from what the hon. Member told them how the law stood in Scotland. He always understood that the law of trespass did not exist there, and therefore he was rather doubtful what the use of the Bill was. He was doubtful whether the Bill would give to the public any right which they did not have before, because he had always understood the law in Scotland to be that if anybody walked about in any place, no matter where, and one did not want him to walk about there, one could go to the Courts and get an interdict against him. That was in the first instance, and then one had to catch the man a second time doing what the Court told him not to do. The whole process in Scotland seemed to be very difficult, and the hon. Member who wished to explore every mountain peak in the United Kingdom might take it from him that he could do so certainly in Scotland at the present time. If he went only once, he could go to the summit of every mountain in Scotland perfectly freely, and he would only be stopped if he was caught a second time and the proprietor happened to have obtained an interdict against him. He had met a great many people on the mountains at the place where he went for some months in the autumn, and he did not think he had ever told them to go away; they had asked him which was the way, and he had told them. If he said to one of them that he had got to go back, and the man was stronger than he, he would probably continue to go on.


You cannot use force except at your own risk, and then probably you would have an action for damages.


said the law practically came to this, that the law of trespass did not exist in Scotland at the present moment, and he really did not know what the object of the Bill was. He hoped that before they got much further with the discussion of the Bill some hon. Member well up in the law would give them a definition of the law of trespass as it stood in England and Wales, because in the case of a wood, for instance, he believed that there was no question of trespass: one had to prove that a person had done damage.

*MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)

said that perhaps the noble Lord would allow him to say something about that. If one prosecuted a person for trespass criminally, one had to prove that he had done damage; that was in England. Supposing the noble Lord were to meet somebody walking over his property in England, he would be entitled to say, "You must go back," and if that person insisted on the right to go on he would be claiming to be entitled to some right in the noble Lord's land, and he would be subject to an action for an injunction to prevent him. He could prevent that action being brought against him, by telling the person who interfered with him that he claimed no right or title to the land and going back, and if an action for an injunction were brought against him, then it would have to be proved that he threatened or intended to repeat the trespass on the land in order for the action to succeed.


said he was very much obliged to the hon. Member for his definition. It seemed to him that in Scotland, if one told a man to go back he could go on, but in England he had to go back. The Bill did not appear to do any great good in regard to the general public, and their right of access to mountains and moors. As regarded moorland, he thought that if the Bill became law there certainly ought to be some very strict regulations as regarded fires in dry seasons, because anybody walking about promiscuously on moors caused a risk of damage in dry times from fires. He was not sure that if the Bill was to work well there should not also be power given to the owner or tenant, or whoever was looking after the place, to ask for the name and address of anybody he found on the land. There would be no question of insult, but there would be a very great safeguard against damage being done, because afterwards, if damage were done, at all events there would be some guide as to who the person was who did the damage. During dry seasons of the year, if they had people walking about all over the moors, and it was not in the least known who was on the place, they might get people through carelessness starting great fires, which would cause considerable damage to owners and occupiers, and also to that very class to whom the hon. Member who proposed the Bill appealed, those large numbers of people who were lovers of the beautiful in this country, and who liked mountain scenery. There was one other point which he thought had been overlooked. There was a large number of Members who took their exercise and amusement in what some people called a very good game, viz., golf. There were many golf courses which would certainly come under the definition of mountains or moors, and as the Bill stood at present there was nothing to check anybody who wished to make himself a nuisance sitting down with a sandwich on the eighteenth green and refusing to move. He could say he was sitting there for recreation, and therefore had no right to be removed. He was only giving that as an instance where he certainly thought, if the Bill was to pass into law, there ought to be some unmistakable words inserted. If people were to go about as they liked on wild and uncultivated ground there ought to be very strong provisions made that they should not make them selves a nuisance and try to spoil other people's amusements. He did not believe for a moment that the landlords in the country in the least wished to stand in the way of the pleasure and pastimes of the people. One could easily see that by the generous manner in which landowners in this country threw open their parks and pleasure-grounds, in many instances practically keeping up pleasure grounds for the benefit of people in the district. It seemed to him, therefore, that there should be a stringent provision in the Bill to prevent people from wilfully trying to obstruct the sport and pleasure of other people. It might happen on very many golf-courses in England and Scotland that a man who objected to golf might sit himself down on one of the greens and absolutely refuse to move, and he thought there ought to be power given by the Bill to remove him from that position. So far there had been very little acrimony in the discussion. The hon. Member who had proposed the Bill, and also the hon. Member from Edinburgh had not, he thought, attacked the deer forests and grouse moors at all, and he was extremely pleased that they had not done so. He was bound to say that he had often heard in that House great fault found with proprietors in Scotland for having turned a certain amount of land from bad sheep land into deer forests. That had always struck him as a very bad argument on the part of hon. Members opposite, who were great free traders, because, after all, one of the great doctrines of free trade was that if one trade or profession did not answer they ought to turn their ingenuity and capital to some other. He could not see how hon. Members could throw in the teeth of proprietors the fact that, because they had found that sheep-farming did not pay, they had turned their land to what would pay, namely, deer forests. It was perfectly certain that any legislation which adversely affected deer forests in Scotland and caused them to cease, would do very serious injury both to the inhabitants and proprietors of the North of Scotland, because there was absolutely no doubt, as the hon. Member for Windsor had so ably pointed out, that an enormous amount was gained in rates and taxes from land which was valueless until it was turned into deer forests, besides which these deer forests afforded a great amount of employment and caused the expenditure of large sums in wages. He believed the inhabitants of the districts would suffer very much if legislation were passed rendering it practically impossible for deer forests to exist. There happened to be in his family two or three spots which were the most frequented by tourists of any in these islands, the Trossachs and Betts-y-Coed; yet he did not remember a single case of any trouble with regard to access to the moorlands under the law as it at present existed. He did not know what alteration in the law was necessary, but, if greater freedom for the people was required, personally he would not be opposed to it, provided always there was a distinct clause in the Bill prohibiting people from wilfully trying to interfere with a proprietor or tenant. He was sure they could all go on the principle of live and let live, and he for one would be only too delighted that people should enjoy the scenic beauties of their native land. He desired to refer, in passing, to what the hon. Member had said about foreign countries. He had described in a poetical and picturesque manner the charms of travel in Switzerland, the Appenines, and other mountain ranges. Personally he had always looked upon Switzerland as a region of desolation, and he, for one, hoped that Scotland would never be reduced to such a state as Switzerland, with funicular railways climbing up the mountains. They had far better leave Switzerland to manage her own affairs. He would like to see a little game on their hills, for it would be a very large source of profit to the Swiss. He did not know that game was very plentiful there. If they walked a long way they might shoot a deer or bag a magpie, or something of that kind. In Hungary the law was a great deal stricter than in Scotland, and instead of being only interdicted, he believed in some cases they might very nearly be shot at sight. In France, again, in his rambles with friends, he had frequently been confronted by the notice chasse reservee. He did not know what the chasse reservee consisted of, but he fancied they would not get a very heavy bag at any rate. What the penalty was for going into a place where the notice chasse reservee was put up he had never taken the risk of finding out. Personally, as regarded this Bill, he did not see any harm in it, provided always there was a distinct understanding that, if it were passed into law, there would be a clause preventing the people who were granted this public access from inflicting injustice on the proprietors and tenants.

*MR. ANNAN BRYCE (Inverness Burghs)

said that if all the landlords and sporting tenants in Scotland were of the character of the noble Lord, he was perfectly certain there would have been no thought of introducing this Bill. As the noble Lord himself had said, in the Trossachs and Betts-y-Coed there had never been any difficulty with tourists nor any damage done to the deer forests; and he had told them in a delightful way how when he found a person—who might under other circumstances and other landlords have been served with an interdict—asking the way to a particular point, he informed him, instead of telling him to go off the ground. Though the noble Lord was perfectly right in saying that in practice this Bill would make very little difference, yet in theory it made a great deal of difference. What they wanted was that the people should not have this access to mountains on sufferance, but that they should have it as a right. The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill had given them no instance where any practical damage had been done under the present law. If he could have shown in many cases, or even in a few cases, that deer forests had been damaged or sport stopped by tourists or artistic people walking over the mountains, then something might be said for his argument. He had himself never heard of such a case save that when Mr. Jowett, the late Master of Balliol, first made the acquaintance of a well-known Peer. Mr. Jowett had taken a party to a remote part of the Highlands in the neighbourhood of Glenshee. He had ascended a mountain, and as he came on the sky line in his black coat and white tie, he was met with the irate exclamation: "Who the devil are you, Sir?" Mr. Jowett replied in his gentle voice: "I am the Rev. Benjamin Jowett. Have I done anything wrong?" That was the foundation of a firm friendship with the noble Lord. The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill based his opposition to it mainly on the pecuniary damage which would be suffered in the Highlands if the Bill were to become law. That damage he had contended would arise from the fact that landlords might not be able to let their forests for the large rents they at present obtained. The hon. Gentleman had not considered one very important factor on the other side. At the present time the cottars and crofters in the neighbourhood of deer forests were almost universally prevented from taking any summer lodgers, and the hon. Member himself had last year voted for the rejection of the Small Landholders Bill, which would have remedied that disability. In a great many of these deer forests the land was formerly occupied by a thriving population of crofters who cultivated the soil, and who, if the Bill to which he had referred had been passed, would again have had the opportunity of cultivating the ground, and probably providing out of those parts of it which were cultivable a very much higher rent per acre than was got from the land in its present condition of deer forest. He was certain that a large part of the land would be lettable for sheep farms, and that a considerable part of it could be utilised for cultivation to far better advantage than at present and that for such part perhaps a rental of 30s. or £2 an acre could be obtained. ["No."] He believed that was so. Statements to that effect were made during the debate on this subject in 1892 by Mr. Angus Sutherland, then Member of Parliament for the county of that name and now a member of the Congested Districts Board and Chairman of the Fishery Board, a man of great experience. Was the hon. Member aware that the land which in the last fifteen or twenty years had been turned into deer forests amounted to about a million of acres? ["Not all of it."] He did not say that all of it could be let at £2 an acre, but facts like these largely controverted the statements which had been put forward by the hon. Gentleman. He had heard it said that tradesmen in towns in the neighbourhood of these deer forests would suffer if sporting rights suffered. But nowadays those who exercised sporting rights were no longer always landlords themselves, but often persons from America or from England to whom the lands were let, who were much less considerate of the interests of the people than the owners used to be. He held that the whole population of Scotland would be very much better off if there were a diminution in the number of deer forests. The introducers of this measure did not propose it in any spirit of antagonism to sport, but they wished to remove from the minds of the population in the neighbourhood and of tourists the idea that going upon a mountain was an illegal thing. The mover of the rejection seemed to think the case would be met by providing rights of way to enable the inhabitants to get from hamlet to hamlet or from house to house across a mountain, but he seemed to forget the fact that the ancestors of these very inhabitants originally had an equal right with the landlord. Why should they be compelled to keep to a footpath when the lands originally belonged to their clan who had a free right to roam over them? On their behalf as well as that of the people generally he said that no regulation, by which mere rights of way were safeguarded, would satisfy the demand which existed for the free enjoyment of the mountains and the moors.


said the Bill struck so directly at the question of the Scottish deer forests that it would be hardly possible to consider it without taking into account the conditions under which the deer forests existed. Having been himself for the past thirty-two years a resident in the Ross-shire hills and the owner of deer forests, he was fairly well familiar with the changing conditions of forest life. If it were desirable it would be by no means impossible to acquire the forests of Scotland for the use of the crofters and cottars; nay, more, there were in these forests the most splendid stone quarries from which excellent houses might be built for the people. But let him put the case at its highest. Suppose they acquired these forests for the people either by purchase or by confiscation and built houses for them and allowed them to live there rent free, tax free, and free in all respects, there would be but one chance left for them, and that was the old Act of Queen Elizabeth which provided that no man, woman, or child in these islands should starve, for starve they undoubtedly would if they had to dwell upon land which would not carry even sheep save in the summer, and was totally unfit for cattle or men and would carry nothing but deer and goats. To add to the misery of the people they would have to live very far from any place where they could obtain employment. To his mind, every year which passed since the Trevelyan Commission in 1892 had proved the wisdom and the justice of its findings. It said, in reference to deer forests— Though it may be that some individuals are now desirous of settling in those places, we are satisfied that desire is not widespread. In any case we are not prepared to make any representation as to any part of that area which is not scheduled. They scheduled 1,782,000 acres of land as suitable for the creation of grazings and crofting, and of that there was but 5 per cent. under forest, and by no perversion of ingenuity could that 5 per cent. be described as cultivable. It was a negligible quantity. There were to-day in Scotland 129 deer forests, and their rentals were from £400 to £6,000 a year, and the average rate paid by the owner on the assessable value was 3s. 4d. in the £. Scottish forests, such as Apple-cross, Freevater, and Athole, had been forest land since the days of Robert the Bruce, and, as in nineteen out of twenty of those of modern creation, there was not a plot of ground on which a croft could be established. Formerly, no doubt, a sheep run could be made, but then they had sheep farmers who could send their sheep to the lowlands in winter and feed them in the summer on the hills, and there was a small rental returned for the land. If the Bill passed as it stood, with the permission which it gave to all and sundry to enter the deer forests, it would not be a question of what would be the depreciation of value of the deer forests, because there would be no value at all. They would become absolutely valueless, and it would be necessary to institute a complete revaluation of the whole of the North of Scotland. A deer's senses were acuter than ours. He could see a man distinctly at a mile, and took the wind at a mile and a half, and it would be perfectly possible for one man in an hour to clear a whole forest. If the Bill passed, and the House rose early this summer, it was not improbable that hon. Members might see a personally conducted party of Cook's tourists climbing up the slopes of Ben Mohr with an effect that could be easily imagined. They would never see a deer, for there would not be one left within miles. He knew of more than one range of hills in West Ross where they had at the same time a forest on one side and a grouse moor on the other. It was perfectly open to a man to go on to the moor, to mount the hill, and enjoy the benefit of the heather and the scenery and the fine air, and to walk down again and do no harm to anyone. Why did they want to pass a Bill which would simply destroy property belonging to their neighbour, and do no real good to any human being? Why should not a man walk up the hill on the grouse side? Beside that, they destroyed the rating value of the forest, and the consequent loss fell on the poor crofters whose rates would be proportionately increased. They were intimately connected with the forest and loved it as much as he did, and did not want it to be destroyed. One inevitable result of the destruction of deer forests would be the impoverishment of the North of Scotland, and another would be an increase of depopulation. They had had a Committee of the House, twenty-one strong drawn from every section—landlords' men, tenants' men, crofters' men, and even cottars' men, and their decision was unanimous. They said— The evidence submitted to us did not bear out the allegation that deer forests tended in any way to the depopulation of the country. He could understand the position of the man who would like—though he did not agree with him—to take the forests of Scotland and for what they were worth distribute them for the benefit of the poor, but he could not understand what could prompt or promote a Bill of this wanton character, which would do no good to any living being, and would injure far and wide the now unhappy lot of the crofters in the forest districts of the North of Scotland.

*MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)

congratulated the hon. Member who brought in the Bill on the manner in which the discussion had generally proceeded. There was a very strong case for legislation in Scotland. He had proposed one way. This Bill proposed another. The question was how to obtain access by the public to the enjoyment of the country, and to do the least possible harm. This legislation was interesting as part of the whole question of gaining access to the land, and the use of the land by the public. They had had the English Small Holdings Bill, which gave access to the land in one form. They had had the Town Planning Bill, which made the urban authority master in its own house, and would enable it to obtain the use of land for building and recreation purposes. They had also the land values proposals, which would indirectly give the public access to the land. Those four branches covered the whole question. The case for legislation was a very strong one, and it originated, in the first place, in the exclusion of the people from great tracts of land in the deer forests. Another ground for legislation was that the rights of way in Scotland were in much less numerous than in England. Rights of way in Scotland had been shut up wholesale within the last half century in the Highlands. In Ross-shire, for example, many old roads had been closed. Were these re-opened, and if the public had reasonable access to the higher grounds through rights of way, along with those through the glens, the grievance would be much less. With regard to motor cars, one might as well walk along a railway as along some of the high-roads nowadays. Local authorities had not been sufficiently reliable custodians in the matter of these rights-of-way, and it was upon that footing which he introduced his own Bill. He tried to meet this question by giving either the parish council or any six electors the right to appeal, through the county council, to the Local Government Board either to revive lapsed rights of way or to create new public paths. The Local Government Board would institute an inquiry, and if the report was in favour of rights of access then these would be secured on payment of a cheaply conducted valuation to cover the damage to private property by creating the new public rights. They had been told that practically this Bill would not apply during certain seasons. The hon. Member for South Edinburgh said that moving deer would be a damage. The same thing would happen with regard to nesting or the shooting season on moors. It would occur also on a sheep farm in the lambing and other seasons. Those things would practically exclude the public from the hill land during the season when they most needed recreation in the summer time. That made it a very open question whether if they asserted what were the existing rights of way, and created new ones, they would not secure freer access to the moorlands under the plan he suggested than under this Bill. That point was worth considering also because the scheme of the Bill would operate very unequally upon owners and communities. They might in the one case have a community like Glasgow who might obtain the run of the whole countryside under the Bill, whilst in Dundee or Aberdeen there was very little opportunity for access to uncultivated land as compared with Glasgow. The question was whether, if it were perfectly simple to create rights of way they would not meet the requirements of the community better under his proposal than under the Bill, which would give access to one centre of population but not to another. The effect, too, would be very different upon different property. In the part of Scotland where he lived it would make little difference, but in some cases it would destroy the whole sporting or grazing value. These were cases in which it would operate very injuriously upon the individual. Where any serious damage was going to be done there was no reason why Mr. Winan's fence should not be renewed. Barbed wire was a difficult obstacle to tackle, and by a judicious distribution of strips of trees and barbed wire access to the country could be made very difficult. He did not attach much importance to the deer forests, but they were important from the rating point of view. It would have been an advantage to the Highlands if they had never had a shooting rent there at all. What the Highlands needed was sylviculture rather than sport. It was a pity that successive Governments had not made any effort at afforestation in those parts which could have been purchased at from £1 to 30s. per acre. It should be remembered that they could not carry on local government without the sporting rental in some places, and they had got to recognise that fact, because it was often all they had got to rely upon for rating purposes. Then besides the question of sheep farms in lambing times, the maintaining, meanwhile, of the sporting values, and protection during the nesting season, there was great danger from fires, for the town tourists were often very thoughtless on the moors. It was a very different matter when people came upon the land by invitation and when they came on as a matter of right and in large numbers. He did not think that Parliament should expose industries like timber raising and sheep farming to danger without protection. Further, it was not merely access to mountains that was asked. He was not sure that to many people access to streams was not even more important. He had discussed this question with those who took an interest in it, and they were of opinion that if a great extension of the right of fishing could be got it would meet a public demand and be extremely advantageous to the community. On the other hand they had no right to allow a rich man with rich pastoral land, where no harm could be done by access, to go immune, while in certain cases they let loose a number of people, who might unintentionally do considerable harm, upon the poorest land of a poor owner. That would not be just, nor did he think that the general community could be allowed to destroy the rateable value of property to the local community, whose requirements would be met by a sufficiency of rights of way They were dealing mainly with a national demand which might be met by the cheap purchase or renting of land for recreation and by the extension of rights of way in the manner he had tried to lay down. This was a subject which certainly had to be dealt with for the reasons he had given, and he sub- mitted that the nation, and all local authorities, landward or burgh, in conjunction with the Local Government Board, should have the widest powers and facilities to acquire land at a fair valuation, and to assert existing public rights in the use of lands or rights of way so as to preserve rights and create others for the community as a whole.


There is a legal aspect of this question which has been suggested to me, and which has not up to now been discussed in any way. It appears to me to be a serious one, but not being a legal authority, I cannot venture to express an opinion upon it. I hope that during this debate it will be seriously considered. It is whether this Bill, which proposes to give the public the right of access on all occasions, subject to certain limitations, to this particular kind of property, may not go much further than has been anticipated, and prevent that property in years to come from being applied to other purposes for which it might be necessary and desirable. I hope those who can express a legal opinion of weight and authority on this subject may turn their attention to that side of the question. The hon. Member for the Leith Burghs has added to the importance of that view of the question, for he has told us that it is almost impossible for this Bill to stop here. He has mentioned other kinds of property to which it might be desirable that there should be access, and if there is force in the demand which is made in the one case, it seems to me that there is force in that particular respect also. I agree with what was said by the hon. Gentleman when he pointed out—I have had some experience of this myself—the great danger there is from fire. Whole tracts of country may be easily set alight, and I am assured by those who have had painful knowledge of the subject, that it is very difficult to get reparation of any kind, or to, bring home responsibility to the person really at fault. I should like to say at the beginning of the few observations. I desire to address to the House that nobody can possibly complain of the tone and spirit of the speech made by the hon. Member who moved the Second Reading of the Bill, and I am sure that there is no one on either side of the House who desires in the slightest degree to interfere with the advantages and privileges that may be conferred on many members of the community by this Bill, provided they can be granted without injury to other interests which ought also to be considered. There is no hostility, so far as I know, on the part of the hon. Members with whom I am associated, to the general objects which the hon. Member has in view. I do not think that the hon. Member was quite correct in one observation he made early in his speech. He called attention to the Lake District, and I understood him to say that there are few grouse and no stags there.


I said hardly any deer.


There are more than the hon. Member seems to be aware of. Early in the debate I consulted a Member of this House who is a very high authority, and who is sure to have accurate knowledge of the subject, and I was informed by him that there are two forests there where there are stags—in one of them I have deer myself. One of these forests is in the hands of a distinguished representative in this House who is either the tenant or the trustee, and the experiment of giving the public access has been made without harm or injury in this particular district. I say this because I desire in dealing with this question, as with all other questions, to be as fair as I possibly can. The real mischief and danger to be apprehended from the passing of a Bill of this kind, in my humble opinion, is the possible injury to the sporting rights of the owners of the property, and the sporting value of the property. It does not rest there only, because even if there was no injury or harm to be done in this particular respect, it would affect a great many more people besides the owners. There are many parts of the country which would be affected by this particular Bill where sporting rents are really the chief value. I do not speak without some practical experience on this subject. I have had perhaps as much practical experience in regard to deer forests in Scotland as any Member of the House. I heard the hon. Member for the Leith Burghs say, if I caught him correctly, that he thought the bringing into being of sporting rents in the Highlands had done great mischief to the country. I know a case of one county in the Highlands at the present moment where, if the sporting rents were done away with, a most serious financial condition in the whole of the county would be produced. The revenue from other sources is very small, while the revenue from sporting rents is very large, and there is, so far as I can form an opinion, no reasonable possibility in any way of greatly extending the natural revenue from other sources. Why, I cannot imagine a greater loss in that part of Scotland than would result from the disappearance of the sporting rents. It would reduce it to something almost approaching bankruptcy, I believe.

MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

Will the right hon. Gentleman state the name of the county?


I am speaking of the County of Sutherland.


What happened in Sutherland-shire before the sporting rents were created?


Is the hon. Member referring to the clearances? I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman has any true knowledge of the clearances in Sutherlandshire. I have had the opportunity of knowing the facts. I had no intention of referring to the subject when I came into the House to-day, but still I recollect enough to tell the hon. Gentleman what the real truth on that question was. The real truth was that in the wildest and most distant part of that county in those days when people lived in the glens and were attached to their homes—as naturally they would be, and Where everyone would have desired them to remain if possible—throughout the whole area the conditions with which they were confronted were these. The climate in that county is, perhaps, one of the most inclement at certain times of the year in any part of Scotland. Climates were worse then than now. But there was something worse. There were no roads or means of communication. It was extremely difficult in good times of the year to get from one end of the county to the other, but when winter came what was the condition of the people? I will give the hon. Gentleman a single instance by which he may judge for himself what their condition was during the winter in those days. There was one occasion when there was an exceptionally severe winter, and in various parts of the county the people were absolutely at the door of starvation, for no reason whatever except that snow and the difficulty of access made it absolutely impossible to convey food to them to keep body and soul together. The then Duke of Sutherland some generations ago spent enormous sums of money, not derived from his revenues in Scotland, but from his revenues in other parts of the kingdom, in conveying meal to those poor people, and in that particular year no less than £11,000 was spent in conveying meal to the people living in the glens, and even under those circumstances there was the greatest difficulty in maintaining them alive and preventing numbers of them from dying of starvation. What would any humane man do under the circumstances? Why, he said, "This thing must be stopped. It is impossible that I can allow these people, who in a sense are under my care, to run the risk of dying of starvation. They must be removed from that part of the county, and brought near the coast, where with small crofts they can combine the industry of fishing." At great difficulty and enormous cost this was carried out. That is the truth, and the whole truth, in regard to the clearances in Sutherland in generations gone by, out of which so much capital has often been made. I ask the pardon of the House for departing from the subject immediately before us to refer to this matter.

I was going on to say that if a measure like this is really injurious to deer-stalking, as I think very probably it would be, the mischief and the injury does not rest merely on the owner or tenant of the deer forest. It is the people in the very locality who will suffer more than anyone else. There are few of the large deer forests in Scotland that I have not walked over. I have also made a deer forest under very peculiar circumstances, and I should like to state them as I think the case bears directly on this matter we are now discussing, and as there is misapprehension in the mind of the general public with respect to deer forests. There had been a very bad winter and all or nearly all the sheep on a certain farm died, and the farmer suffered terrible loss. I wanted to make a forest at that time, and I applied to the owner to give me the farm for that purpose. He refused. His answer was: "I do not want to have stories again about clearances such as have been made in this part of the world before." Next year the same thing happened, and the sheep died through an exceptionally bad snowstorm. Next year I was more successful; I got the farm and made it into a deer forest. If I had not taken the farm, it would have remained unlet, because it would have been useful for no other purpose. This morning I got some figures by telegraph and I shall read them in order to show the difference it makes to the people of the locality when that land, which otherwise would have been derelict, for nobody would take it as a sheep farm, is used as deer forest. First of all there are certainly three keepers and their wages will not be less than £50 or £60 a year. In the season, which may be taken at eight weeks, there are twenty-six gillies employed at 18s. to £1 a week. That is, say, £26 a week. Some of them are always engaged with ponies, and when that is done they get £2 a week. Their wages and board amount to £448 a year, and the keeper's wages are additional. That is the amount of money spent in giving employment in that particular district. If the place had remained a sheep farm, what would you have to place against that? The wages of two, or, at the outside, three shepherds. Last year in the wet season I said to a man employed on a deer forest: "I am afraid you are going to have a bad harvest again," and he replied: "Our best harvest is what we are doing now." That is true of those districts, where two seasons out of three the crops are entirely lost on account of the weather, and where very often they are never reaped at all. I have said this to show that if it be true that a matter like this would be seriously injurious to the sporting interest of the highlands of Scotland. There would be no people so much injured by it as the population of that particular locality. That is the result of my own experience in this matter, and I believe it to be absolutely true and incontestible. I have only one further word to say, and this applies still more to England than to Scotland. I do not think it would be open to question that it would be ruinous to grouse holdings. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Second Reading of the Bill gave an instance of certain tramps who had walked over a moor and interrupted a grouse drive in which he himself was engaged, and which produced some grumbling. The hon. Gentleman said that, of course, he would be sorry to interfere with those people and make them go a long way round, but probably they had a right of way.


No, they had not.


But suppose that was repeated constantly, that would be a very serious matter, and, as the hon. Member knows very well, even one man at a critical moment, coming at the wrong time, might spoil a whole drive. If that were to happen, not from any desire on the part of the person to spoil the drive, but from ignorance, it would be a cause of great annoyance, and one which any Member in the House would be sorry to see. I have nothing further to say, except that I gladly acknowledge the spirit in which the hon. Gentleman moved the Second Reading of the Bill. He himself made the suggestion that in large deer forests he would be ready to consider the question of establishing sanctuaries from which tourists should be excluded. I do not see how that could be made easily practical. I cannot see how a stranger walking up in the mountains is to know what is and what is not a sanctuary. But even if this practical difficulty were dealt with, deer may be disturbed in unfavourable winds by the intrusion of anyone not acquainted with their habits of the forest. There is another suggestion more worthy of consideration. Why should there not be a close time during the short shooting season when the Bill would not be in operation, leaving spring and summer open to the tourist? That season would be much more favourable to those friends of the promoters of the Bill who are afraid of getting their feet wet, because then the weather was generally dry. I make this suggestion because there is not the smallest desire on this side of the House, I am certain, to do anything to interfere with what we all like to see—the enjoyment of the beautiful prospects in the mountains by these tourists. There are, however, two sides to the question, and I have, to the best of my ability, put the objections, which are serious, to the Bill, in fair and reasonable language.


I listened with great interest to the speech just delivered. The right hon. Gentleman did say in the early portion of his observations that, substantially, he did not feel any hostility to the principle underlying the measure and in his concluding remarks he certainly echoed that sentiment. I hope, therefore, that under the circumstances the Party with whom the right hon. Gentleman acts will not put the House to the trouble of a division. It is perfectly clear that the reception given by both sides of the House to the measure is, on the whole, eminently favourable; and in this we all agree, that the Bill was introduced in a speech of the most admirable character. I wish also to say to the hon. Member for Windsor that, as I usually do to any speech delivered by him, I listened with great pleasure to his observations. I feel bound, however, to say that the Amendment is directly contrary to the Bill, and that notwithstanding the friendly spirit of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite, the two Parties stand in the position of either supporting or voting against the Second Reading. In regard to the attitude of the Government, I have conferred with my right hon. friend the Secretary for Scotland who naturally takes a favourable view of this measure. It is of a similar character to that honourably associated with the late Member for Aberdeen, now our Ambassador at Washington, which was regarded as a hardy annual for many years. Many of us regard it as a happy day when we have a full dress discussion on a Bill of the same kind. The House may not be aware that prior to the election of 1892 it was perfectly manifest in Scotland that Mr. Bryce's Bill had caught the popular imagination and the sense of justice in the North, and just at that juncture—I do not for a moment suggest that it had in view the impending general election—a Bill was brought into the House by the Tory Party backed by the present Lord Pearson, and the present Lord President of the Court of Session. That Bill provided for access to mountains, and it was a Bill conceived in many portions in identical language with that of Mr. Bryce. When I say "in identical language," I mean that the Unionist Party is deeply committed to the principle of the Bill the Second Reading of which was moved by the hon. Member for Elland. All that remains between that Bill and the present is a comparison and an adjustment of the various restrictions to be applied in working out the measure. I repeat, the Tory Party is deeply committed by Parliamentary action to the principle of the present Bill, and in consequence of that record I am not surprised at the amiable sentiments expressed on the present occasion. While there has been a good deal introduced into this debate which is not strictly ad hoc, I am not prepared to say that the references to deer forests are wholly out of place, and so far as these have been made they permit me to give the latest figures in regard to deer forests in Scotland. According to the latest returns, there are in a country of 19,000,000 acres—the dimensions of Scotland—3,481,000 acres devoted to deer forests alone. Now, when I say "devoted to deer forests," what do I mean? I mean devoted to an object very properly characterised as a sport, an essential condition of which consists in securing solitude. The condition of deer forest sport is solitude. You must make it a solitude, and call it peace. Thus in a territory of 19,000,000 acres you have conditions of solitude imposed in the present state of the law on 3,500,000 acres. Now that is in itself, on the face of it, a matter for very serious public consideration.


What is the solitude more in a deer forest than on a great sheep farm?


May I answer that by saying that one of the most apt observations in the debate was that of' the mover of the Amendment when he said that in so far as the principle of the Bill is concerned, he could see no conceivable injury to pastoral or agricultural land.


To sheep farms in the Highlands?


Yes. He said he could see no conceivable injury to pastoral or agricultural land in the Highlands. The conditions in regard to deer forests he attempted to show were totally different. He could see very little objection to including grouse moors in the Bill, but he would wholly and radically object to deer forests. That being the case, all that has happened with regard to these deer forests is this. They have not stopped in consequence of the ripening of public opinion against them; they have gone on. Every fresh return, and they are frequently made, shows an increase of land devoted to this sport, the condition of which is solitude. "Oh," it may be said, "but this land is not suitable for cultivation." Well, in 1892 the state of the crofters in the Highlands was investigated, and at that time far from there being 3,500,000 acres devoted to deer forests in Scotland, only 1,750,000 acres were certified by the Deer Forest Commissioners as devoted to deer but land which was likewise certified to be capable of being cultivated to profit or otherwise advantageously occupied by crofters and other small tenants. I admit that large proportions of that land should only be occupied in large holdings, but there are three Schedules attached to the Report setting forth the land which should be devoted to additions to existing holdings, to new holdings, and to large farms. What is the policy of the Government in regard to this matter? Confronted with figures of that kind and the increasing gravity of the problem, the Government introduced last year and this year a Bill to ameliorate the condition of affairs. They produced the Landholders (Scotland) Bill in order to invoke the assistance of the population in these districts in some respects to destroy a solitude by cultivating the land. The policy of the Bill of this and last year was to substitute for deer forests the effective cultivation of the land, notably by small holdings, and making provision for new holdings—to make an excellent beginning by cutting into that solitude. That being so, the hon. Member for Leith Burghs is perfectly right in saying that this Bill does not apply merely to access to mountains. There is a movement which is most regrettable. The hon. Member for Leith Burghs referred to the question of access to streams which is coming to be of importance in the future. In my own experience within the last two or three years thirty or forty miles, even more, of river banks of great beauty, on which from time immemorial people have enjoyed the right of angling, have been absolutely shut up against the public. How can you resist the conclusion that the time is rapidly drawing nigh when the whole public of Scotland, nay of these Islands, must insist on some legislative steps being taken to preserve for their enjoyment these spots of recreation, beauty, and splendour in this land so much loved by them? It is absolutely impossible that this state of matters can any longer exist or be allowed to become more acute, and therefore I welcome the spirit in which this Bill has been received. While giving their cordial assent to the Second Reading, the Government reserve their judgment in regard to details, in reference to one or two of which I will be perfectly frank. As to fires, we consider that to be the most important point, but we think it is met to some extent, if not entirely, by one of the subsections of the Bill, which reads— Where any person encamps on any land, or lights any fire, or does any damage to the surface of land, or to any trees, growing thereon, or to any building, fences, or other erections thereon. That is a subsection which also appeared in the Unionist Bill, so that both Parties in the State are absolutely agreed on that point, for they have adopted the same language. I speak somewhat frankly on this matter, because I am deeply interested in the Rothiemurchus district, where there was a dangerous and destructive fire in a most valuable forest from this cause. With regard to the time-limit on the exclusion of the public during a short period of the year, that occurred in the Unionist Bill of 1892, and it may possibly be admitted as a means of compromise. There are other points in the Bill to which I do not make any detailed reference. I wish to repeat very distinctly that the arguments against the Bill have been solely against the inclusion of deer forests. It is very remarkable that the opposition to this Bill was pervaded by the admission that no damage would be done to ordinary farms or to sheep farms. One of the most interesting speeches delivered was that of the hon. Member for the Horn-castle division of Lincolnshire, and I can only say, what has been already stated on this debate, that if all the landlords who owned deer forests had acted as that hon. Member and his family have acted there would not have been, not only with regard to this question but with reference to a great variety of other questions intimately associated with the land, any necessity for appeal to the State. In certain parts of the Continent chasse reservee is put over a certain part of the territory, and you enter that at the peril of your life. I regret that in Scotland chasse reservee is written over nearly one-fifth of the area of Scotland, and inside that chasse reservee there is excellent sport for the few, but outside are the people whose only desire is to have some access to what is some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, with no desire to injure sport. I agree that injury to sport can be done by the invasion of the sanctuaries of the deer or by wanton or malicious acts, or even by stupid acts repeated after warnings, but all that kind of thing, so as it is malicious and wilful, is governed by the existing clauses of the Bill, and if those clauses are not tight enough and strong enough, let them be made so. But as to the matter of the Bill I hope there will be no division, in consequence of those amiable observations from the other side of the House to which I have referred, but if there be a division let it be clearly understood what the division is. The division is: "Shall you prefer the interests of solitude, in consequence of solitude being a necessary condition of the one sporting right which is affected, or shall you prefer the interests of the people at large who desire access to these portions of the country?" It is quite clear that the debate is raised mostly with regard to this deer forest question, but whether it is raised with regard to deer forests or not, any other argument has disappeared, because it is now conceded that there is no question of injury to any other right. [Cries of "No, no."] If you get protection for injury by fire and malicious injury en the admissions of the mover of the Amendment, what remains? There is no injury at all.


said that he had mentioned two most important points, one with regard to lambing season and the other with regard to sylviculture. He had laid stress on these two points.


My hon. friend is quite right. He did refer to the lambing season and sylviculture, but I think that his point can be met by Amendments, and by the admissions which have been made. All that I meant to urge was that the substance of the case put against the Bill was not a case which could be adjusted by the time-limit, but a case which could be wholly adjusted because the conditions of that sport was the only difficulty. I do not wish to detain the House further except to say that I think my hon. friend the Member for Leith Burghs is also right that there is a question involved as to rights of way. The House knows that the rights of way question has been whittled away by the Courts of Law, and it is almost impossible to obtain a correct indication of a right of way in the ordinary natural sense. I know that the doctrine is imported by the Judges that you must not only have a public place from which a right of way begins, but also a public place to which the right of way leads, and this does not cover the mountain top and river and stream in the sense of being a resort of the people of this country. That is the sole object of this reform, and it is quite possible that this reform will be part of a series of reforms to enable the people at large to take more interest in and to have more concern in the country at large.


said he desired to address the House for a few minutes on behalf of the principle of the Bill. The observations which the hon. Member for Leith Burghs had made must undoubtedly be very seriously considered by the Committee on the Bill, and attention had been drawn to other matters also which must be debated. But the time for debating these points was in Committee, and not in the House on the Second Reading. Nor was the question one merely of the deer forests. He ought perhaps really to apologise to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon for having interrupted him as he did in respect of the clearances to which he referred, but all these matters were involved in the very general consideration which, in one respect, was a little outside the scope of the Bill, but nevertheless was somewhat germane to the discussion upon which they were centred that afternoon. He wished to associate himself, with a very considerable amount of knowledge of these districts, gained not from the inside but from the outside of the shooting lodge, with what the hon. Member for the Leith Burghs had said—that they in the Highlands owed absolutely nothing to the establishment of shooting lodges or the extension of deer forests. Of course, if they abolished a certain social system they must put another in its place. The deer forest was now essential to the county income of Sutherland, Inverness, and Ross. If in order to bring about the present state of things they destroyed the social economy that preceded the deer forest, then, of course, at a certain period hon. Members could turn round and ask them: "What can you do without the deer forest?" That was perfectly right. Hon. Members have destroyed the old, and now told them they could not do without the new, conditions. If this Bill, or any other Bill, would make such a revolutionary change in the social economy of the Highlands at the present time as was contemplated by some speakers above the gangway, of course this House ought not to give the Bill a second consideration. It would be suicidal, absolute folly, and little short of criminal. But at the same time, while they were ready to consider all these points and give these interests due force, hon. Members above the gangway on that side must remember that there was a history in this matter. He, for one, had listened with much pleasure to a great many of the fair words which had been said about the desire of shooting tenants to allow the outsider to enjoy the beauties of Scotland, but he remembered what had happened when he walked, say, over the Larig Ghru Pass with which he was acquainted. That was kept open by litigation, and now he found that every sign-board erected by the Scottish Right of Way Committee had been destroyed by the gillies of interested parties. He knew about the Glentilt case, and they all remembered the Dunkeld right of way case, where the decision of the law Courts revealed such an extraordinary fault in the law of right of way in Scotland that he did not believe that there were half-a-dozen fair-minded men in Scotland who would say that that decision was right in equity, though it might be so in law. These things were behind them. They who wished to have the right to enjoy the scenery of their country found that the area open to them was diminishing and the prohibited areas increasing. Estates were now passing under the control of gentlemen who were applying more stringently than the old aristocratic families their rights of exclusion. He was sure, if he was ever inclined to have any sympathy with the aristocracy, it was when he compared the conduct of the real aristocracy with the conduct of the nuveau riche. He called the attention of the House last session to certain things which were happening at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire. Members had turned round and said that if they limited the shooting rights they limited the county income, but that could not be said in this district five years ago. The game preservers had evicted the tillers of the soil who once paid the rates and they would by and by turn round and say, "How can Aberdeen exist without the rates levied on shooting property?" Now, people who used to take in lodgers five years ago were prohibited from doing so, and hotels were now closed. People who formerly carried on this very innocent and profitable industry were to-day informed that they would be evicted if they took any stranger in, more particularly if the stranger tried to walk about on certain preserved areas. The principle which they were endeavouring to discuss that afternoon was this. There were certain interests very well-to-do, very rich interests that had for the purposes of sport—with which he had profound sympathy—taken hold of certain areas of the country. Naturally those areas were beautiful—mountain areas, heather-clad areas or wooded areas—and they had monopolised them in a perfectly legitimate way, and he did not blame them for it. But there were other people who were penned up in towns, and were compelled eleven months out of the year to stay in towns. [An HON. MEMBER: More than that.] He was putting it very mildly. For eleven months out of twelve these people were compelled to live in towns, and in order that they might enjoy some sort of expansive life in which the enjoyment of natural beauty was part they went into the country for the other month. Did any hon. Member desire to say that these people had not got a natural claim against those who monopolised these choice spots of natural scenery and health? That was really the case—the necessities of the town versus the vast economic power and interests which could create a monopoly of natural beauty and natural scenery. The question became more imperative when they remembered that the high roads now were not what they were twenty years ago. He was one of those who delighted in trespassing. He dared say he knew the inside of the deer forests of hon. Members who had been talking that afternoon. He had been there without permission, and he proposed to go again without further permission. But one of the reasons why it had become more imperative that action should be taken was that the highway was not the old highway. Again, he put it fairly to hon. Members, between man and man, human being and human being, did any in this House mean to say that the holiday-maker, one who enjoyed nature, one interested in natural science and one enjoying walking—did any one mean to say that the highway, used as it now was, gave an opportunity for that quiet rest and recreation that it did twenty years ago? It did not. But that was not all. It might be said that one could turn from the highway to the footpath, but that was less true than it was. There was not a year passed but those who were members of footpath preservation associations got scores of applications from localities asking them to defend the public rights to footpaths, and those who followed this matter very closely were undoubtedly finding that year after year public rights were taken away for the want of pecuniary backing. He put it on a wider ground. He was thinking that afternoon what was the patriotism of our people. How could they create a rational patriotism if they confined the people to towns? Take a city like Edinburgh. If Edinburgh was placed right in the centre of a desert it would still be a precious possession. But a large part of Edinburgh patriotism was not the patriotism of Edinburgh at all, but the patriotism of Edinburgh plus her surroundings. What would Edinburgh be without the Pentland Hills? The Pentland Hills were as valuable to Edinburgh as her Castle. But they must remember that if they had had to trust to the landlords of Scotland there would have been no rights of way on the hills outside Edinburgh. They had protected one the sources of Edinburgh patriotism and Edinburgh pride by subscribing their money in order to put up warnings to the landlords that they would not be allowed to appropriate the Pentland Hills as they had so many other spots and districts in parts of Scotland. They had to settle that afternoon this very broad question: Was this House going to recognise, or was it not going to recognise, what he might call, for want of a better phrase, the national right of the population to enjoy national scenery? Was this House in favour of declaring that the mass of the people of this country, whether they lived in town or in the country, had a right to enjoy wild, un- cultivated, and unspoiled nature? If any limitation of that right ought to be imposed he was sure it would be very carefully considered by the promoters of this Bill. He was going to vote for the Second Reading on that broad and general ground, but he wanted to say, in conclusion, that the more the working classes in the towns took an intelligent interest in their own lives, the more would this Bill, if it became an Act of Parliament, be to them. They were trying more and more, by organising clubs—walking clubs and clubs of all kinds—to take the people out of towns on to the moors on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, half-holidays and every conceivable occasion, and that would do them an immense amount of good, but it could not be done unless the law were laid down on the broad and generous principles and ideas contained in this Bill.

MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S.E.)

said that the last speaker had laid it down that they ought to allow the population of their towns to enjoy natural scenery, and if that was all this Bill did he would have no objection to it. But it was far wider than that. The debate had been rather dominated by Scottish Members, but of course they were quite accustomed to that in this House owing to the composition of the Government and the affection which the Government had for Scotland and Scottish constituencies. The Lord Advocate had told them that the opposition to this Bill had been entirely confined to the question of deer forests, and that this Bill was a repetition of Mr. Bryce's Bill. Further, he had said that the Tory Party were committed to this Bill, because in 1902 a Bill containing its principle was brought in by a noble Lord who was in another place. But that Bill was confined to Scotland. This Bill was not, but applied to mountain and moorland in England as well. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that this movement for getting at the mountains and rivers, and so on, had grown—that sixty years ago there were thirty or forty miles of water which the public could go and fish in, but now could not But that was not the question. People who lived in the vicinity of streams were allowed to fish in them, but now there came down streams of excursionists, some 200 or 300 or more in number, and it would be perfectly ridiculous to give them the same rights as existed in the old days and were enjoyed by those who lived in the neighbourhood. The hon. Member who moved the Bill had made a good speech, as he always did, but he had told them that the cause of this Bill was Mr. Winan's conduct in Scotland.


wished to point out that all he said about Winan's forest was that he thought there might be a little less enthusiasm about the Bill because Winan's forest had gone, but still the grievance remained.


said the hon. Gentleman went so far as to say that pet lambs were not allowed to stray about Mr. Winan's property. He also said that the population had a right to wander over these mountains for the sake of their health. It was a very good thing for people in towns to go over mountains, and no one had ever held that where there were rights of way, and they had been closed, the people should not assert their rights. But that was not this Bill, and it was not a question of giving access to mountains only. This gave people the right to tread over moorlands and mountains, and any uncultivated land, without any control whatever, and threw the onus of taking care of the properties upon the owner. The hon. Gentleman had talked about grouse and deer, but if people were allowed to roam about flying kites and playing concertinas there would soon be no grouse or deer forests. He thought the Bill went a good deal further than breaking the rights and the amenities of shooting. It distinctly altered the law of trespass. They had been told that day about the law of Scotland, but the Bill did not apply only to Scotland, and he wanted to know what the English law was. A definition of trespass had been given to the effect that it was the entry upon another man's ground without lawful authority, and at some damage, however inconsiderable, to his real property. When the right of meum and teum in regard to property in land was once established it followed as a necessary consequence that this right must be exclusive, that the owner might retain to himself the sole use of his right and that every entry without his sanction or leave or contrary to express orders was a trespass. Did the Lord Advocate consider that a fair definition?


Is the hon. Gentleman referring to an English definition of the law?




I am no authority on the law of England.


said that that was what he thought. They were asked to discuss a Bill of this sort, full of legal questions, and they had no one on the Government Bench ready to give them any information. He had been waiting since twelve o'clock to see if anyone would be present who could give them an explanation. Perhaps the hon. and learned Member for South Edinburgh could enlighten the House on the subject.


I am afraid I am not an authority on the law of England either.


said that this incident showed that they ought to have more advice about this question from English lawyers. This was a very serious question of meum and teum, as recognised by hon. Members below the Gangway. The Bill attacked not only the ownership of the landlords of deer forests, but the whole question of the owning of land. How could a man be said to own land if he had not the exclusive right to it, and if he could not keep people off it who were doing damage to his land or injury to his crops? As to these "mountains" and "moorlands" there was no definition laid down in the Bill. Hon. Members were aware that mountains were of different sizes. The highest mountain in the world was, he believed, 29,000 feet above the sea-level, while Ben Nevis was only 4,000, but the Bill laid down no definition of where a mountain began. Moreover, there were dangerous places in these mountains, and he believed that as the law stood the owner of land containing unfenced holes and other dangerous places would be liable to any person coming on lawful business, and other than a trespasser, who sustained an injury in consequence of this want of fencing. That was to say that anybody who possessed a mountain or a moorland was to fence in every dangerous hole so that people who came on the land should not fall in, or he would be liable for damages; for if people were given a right of access by Act of Parliament they would not be trespassers, and so would be entitled to be compensated. He was himself unfortunate enough to be a landed proprietor in Northumberland, and had on his property a mountain called Humbleton Hill, near the site of the battle of Flodden Field, and providing extensive views from its summit. Twenty-five years ago there was no railway near this place and it was very little frequented, but the railway had come there and at present large numbers of people to the extent of 150 or 200 at a time came and wandered about certain proteins of the hill, and did considerable damage. He had not so far restricted them. He would be very much injured if these people were encouraged to do more damage by spreading all over that country instead of confining themselves to that portion which took them in a convenient way up the hill. By this Bill, however, in the interests of science and art they were invited to spread themselves all over the moor. Then, again, hon. Members talked as if sheep only existed in the lambing season, but he thought he would be corrected on that point and told that sheep were there and might be disturbed at any time. These moors, moreover, were called uncultivated, but in a sense they were cultivated because they were fenced in, and shepherds had to watch the ground. Heather was, he believed, a crop. Scottish law was a very curious thing, and heather was a crop, and young heather was damaged by having vast crowds of people wandering over it. Having received no answer on the question of law as to trespass, he would ask the Home Secretary or the President of the Local Government Board if they would be so kind as to give him some satisfaction on this point, that they would look at the Bill and see that exemptions were put in so that a landlord would not have to keep an army of watchers to look after everybody who came upon the land. He also wanted to ask whether it was not unfair that the present rights of owners and occupiers in regard to commons in this country should be interfered with. Moorlands were not confined to Scotland, and there were many commons in this country over which the commoners alone had rights. A stranger was, it was true, never allowed to walk about the paths, but under this Bill the public would have a right to come on a common—because it was called a moorland—to go all over it, and set fire to it, and cause great loss to the commoners because of the depreciation of the brush. He also wanted to know whether, if they took away the rights of one person and gave them to another, compensation ought not to be paid? This country was a small one, and he wished the people had a great deal more land on which to work; but so long as it was an agricultural country they could not allow people uncontrolled to wander where they liked over fields and farms. In the United States they had Yellowstone Park, and if we had it here it would give room for our own population to wander about. While giving every credit to the people who brought this Bill in to increase the facilities for the enjoyment by the people of natural scenery he thought it was unworkable and that it would do a great deal of harm to a good many innocent people, and no good to the people for whom it was intended.


said he felt a difficulty about supporting this Bill, not because he disagreed with its object or with the speech of the mover, who made a very eloquent and very moderate speech, but because he did not think it was drawn upon the right lines. It did not approach the subject in the right way, and he doubted whether in Committee it could be so altered as to be made a good Bill which was entitled to support. He did not take up a position in defence of deer forests at all, although he yielded to no one in his adherence to sport. He always took up the position that if sport interfered with the interests of the community the interests of sport must suffer rather than those of the community. But he thought that every Member who had spoken on the other side had shown a most reasonable spirit in regard to this question, and it was agreed on all hands that some legislation was required to deal with an admitted evil. As he understood from the hon. Member who introduced the Bill the object was to prevent a landowner occupying the position of a dog in the manger, and it was not intended to deprive the landlord of his rights or damage him or interfere with him in the proper occupation of his property, nor would the hon. Member desire to allow the public to acquire rights which were inconsistent with the landlord's rights. But this Bill appeared to go far beyond what was necessary. What was it that it did? It gave the public a statutory right of way by the easiest path to a mountain, with which right of way the landowner would be absolutely unable to interfere, and which might very seriously injure the management of his property. But, apart from that, it went very much further, because the Bill gave to the public the right to go on a hill and wherever they pleased over mountain and moorland. That was a general right of wandering which the law of this country had never recognised, because it had always been held that it would be an unreasonable right, as the effect of it would be to deprive the landlord of the use of the land. The effect of it would be to stereotype uncultivated land in the position in which it was at the time of the passing of the Bill. Supposing the owner wished to cultivate it or to build a house on the side of the hill, he would be told that he was withdrawing rights from the public, and he would be put in the position of a landowner of the present day who wished to block up a road with a right of way over it. He would not be allowed to do it. Further than that, it would give the public the right of wandering over uncultivated land or moorland. It would prevent the landowner from cultivating the land, because if he did so the effect of so doing would be to withdraw from the public land over which they had a right to go. It would be tantamount to inclosing a common. Those points could be met by Amendments in Committee, but he did not quite agree with what had been said by a great many hon. Members that the Public did not abuse their privileges. His experience was that the public were very liable to abuse their privileges, even when they were only privileges enjoyed by consent of landowners, and the public would be in the position of having a right and not a privilege if the Bill were passed. The effect of the Bill was practically to make every mountain and moor into an unregulated Hampstead Heath. It had been the policy of the law in this country to give to Commissioners or some public authority, rights as to making regulations for the use of places on which the public had the right to go. Under the Bill there was no possibility for anybody to make regulations with regard to the way in which the public should exercise their rights. No public authority had any such power, and no landowner could do so, because the public was given an unrestricted right, and for the landowner to make regulations would be a derogation from the rights of the public. They had heard about the public being driven off the roads by motor-cars, but motor-cars also affected the question in another way. The introducer of the Bill pictured the quiet lady artist or the professor in search of specimens walking over the secluded plains; but there was another side of the picture. There was the possibility of a regular train of motor-omnibuses filled with rowdy and drunken tourists, who certainly did require regulation. They had a precedent in previous legislation with regard to analogous matters. He would like to read to the House some of the powers which were given to the Enclosure Commissioners under the Commons Enclosure Act of 1876. He would do that because it seemed to him that those were the lines upon which legislation of this sort ought to be drawn. Either the Enclosure Commissioners or some other public body ought to be given the power to make regulations enabling the public to have access to these places upon reasonable terms, and to lay down the conditions upon which it was to be done. That was necessary because circumstances varied in different localities, and it was not possible to lay down at Westminster general principles with regard to the matter which would be universally applicable. He thought something very much more was required than was provided by the Bill of the hon. Member for the Leith Boroughs, which had been referred to, as it would only lay down distinct rights of way. The public ought to be given the right of wandering at will over places where they could do no harm, but in order that it might be reasonably done, it seemed to him that the right way to approach the question was as in the case of the Enclosure Commissioners, viz., to empower some public body to make regulations with regard to enabling the public to go on mountains and moorlands. The powers he would read were as follows:—Power of giving free access to particular points of view; power to make particular trees or objects of historical interest objects of preservation; reserving particular places for playing games, so as not to injure the rights of those interested in the common; setting out roads or paths where they were most convenient for approaching objects of interest; and any other thing which was equitable or expedient, regard being had to the benefit of the people in the neighbourhood. It seemed to him that if they got those conditions or some similar conditions given into the hands of some public body it really would solve the difficulty which had to be met and in a way which would meet the objections raised to this matter on every side of the House.

*MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)

said he was sorry to intrude on the House, because he felt that the Scottish Members had occupied rather too much of their time, and that the Bill was not the Bill they were traditionally accustomed to dealing with for Scotland alone, but one which dealt with the whole of England as well. He could only approach discussion of the Bill from the point of view of the Scottish Members. He agreed largely with his hon. friend the Member for Windsor, that this was not a Bill, or not a principle to which he was actually opposed, but he did not agree that the Bill would do no harm. Indeed, he thought the Lord Advocate went a little too far in saying that his hon. friend had said that. He did not go quite that length; he merely agreed that the state of the Scottish law made the position of tourists and others in Scotland as regards access to mountains and moorlands rather different from their position in England. The hon. Member for South Edinburgh had given them his opinion as to the law in Scotland on this subject, and he thought he was strictly accurate in what he had said, but it would have been desirable to have some statement from the Lord Advocate, and to have received an assurance from him that the third clause of the Bill did give reasonable protection to such owners in Scotland as the hon. Member for Wick in connection with deer forests and their sporting rights. His impression was that the third clause sufficiently safeguarded those interests and that any Court in Scotland would hold, under that clause, that interference with sport would be a sufficient ground for the Judge to grant the interdict required. He did not know whether the Secretary for Scotland was in a position to answer the legal inquiry, but he put it to him as to whether his construction was accurate or not. If Clause 3 did give that protection the Bill could not be objected to, and if not the right hon. Gentleman should see that it was amplified. The noble Lord, the Member for Horncastle had asked a question of the hon. Member for South Edinburgh as to what his rights were in connection with the removal of any person who might be on his land. He (Mr. Younger) agreed that the owner had no rights of removal. He might simply ask the trespasser to go off, and if he did not go he could not interfere with him by personal violence; he could only ask the Sheriff to interdict him from coming back. He had heard of a difficulty which arose with one eminent English sportsman, not understanding quite what his rights and privileges were, who, some time ago in Scotland, had his sport interfered with by a trespasser. He did not know that he used or thought of using the invective which the hon. Member for Elland applied to one in a similar position, but he asked the keeper what he might do, and he was told to shoot at him. The sportsman did not quite see that he could accept that advice, and he said "I can't do that." But the keeper said "Shoot at him." He did not realise that the keeper only meant "Shout at him." his knowledge of the vernacular being deficient. That, he believed, was the extent of an owner's rights in interfering with a trespasser. The right hon. Gentleman would no doubt deal with that particular point in his speech, and would assure the House that if the clause was not strong enough it would be strengthened. He did not think that, so far as grouse shooting was concerned, any serious harm would be done, provided that a right existed to prevent interference with drives and so-forth, but the Bill raised a serious economic problem. Anybody who knew anything about shooting in Scotland knew that they had to double the rent to find out exactly the benefit which the country and the people derived from sporting rights in Scotland. If a man paid £500 a year for a grouse moor, it meant that he spent £1,000 on the shooting. One half went to the landlord and the other half to the people who were there, and he knew many parts of Scotland in which a good or a bad grouse season meant all the difference between a comfortable and an impoverished winter for a great many people. It would, therefore, be a very serious matter to do anything which would reduce rental in the first instance and in the second the employment afforded by the sporting rights which were so valuable to Scotland and which were so much appreciated by their Sassenach friends. He should not vote against the Bill, but he hoped this aspect of the case would be very carefully considered in Committee.

MR. MOLTENO (Dumfriesshire)

thought there was much consensus of opinion on both sides of the House as to the principle of the Bill, because it seemed to him a matter of justice and a matter of bringing back this country to the historical condition in which it was at one time. How was it that they were discussing a Bill of this kind at all in Great Britain? One hundred and fifty years ago there would have been no necessity for it, because every man had a right then to go where he pleased; and, coming to a later period, even so recently as 100 years ago, they found the Agricultural Commissioners or the Board of Agriculture reporting that there was on enormous area of waste land in Great Britain, which could be used freely by the public for all kinds of purposes. From their return they said that in 1808 there were 6,259,000 acres of waste in England, 1,629,000 in Wales, and 14,218,000 in Scotland. What had become of that area since then? Was it still waste? They had a Doomsday Book published in 1875, giving an account of the landowners in Great Britain, and looking at the area in Scotland in the hands of private owners it appeared that the whole of that area was claimed with the exception of half a million acres, so that a private appropriation had taken place of that enormous area. It was stated in that Report that the ground upon which it was taken was that of the public interest. It was considered to be in the public interest that that area should be enclosed and cultivated; it was a kind of panacea for distress. But at that time the danger which faced the country was in the minds of the Agricultural Commissioners, and he would like to quote a paragraph in their Report in which attention was drawn to this point. In discussing a general Enclosure Act it said that waste lands had been occupied in some sort as the common estate of those who had no other; they were spaces of the earth on which every man walked in freedom and imagined he was committing no trespass. In view of the law which was proposed to enable the land to be enclosed, the Report added, every man not possessing a share of landed property would be a trespasser when he stepped off the high road. That enclosure was carried out, and what had been the result? Every man who was not an owner of landed property in Scotland was a trespasser. That position was really an extraordinary one when they found that nine-tenths of Scotland's nineteen million acres were owned by only 1,700 persons, who were thus able to make the whole of the rest of the population trespassers in their own country. If the ground on which that right to enclose was given had failed, as it had failed in many areas, surely the State now had a right to say that the conditions on which those areas were made more or less private property had not been fulfilled, and that they should be treated as waste and open to the uses to which that land could be put. They were all agreed that no damage would arise and no abuse be made of this right. It was most important that a country, as an hon. Member had pointed out, should be in a position to encourage the patriotism of its people. He was much struck by a military friend of his telling him of his difficulties in training men. He said he was discussing the proper tactics to approach a fortified position, and endeavouring to explain how his men should take advantage of cover, but the difficulty was that his men had never seen cover. They had been brought up in the towns, and did not know anything about cover or the contour of land, and he had most serious difficulty in getting his men to appreciate what he wanted them to do. That was a curious light thrown on the exclusion of people from all the natural features of the country which ought to be a part of their character.


thought the speeches to which they had listened proved that this was a very ill-considered measure, and that, at the present moment, it should under no circumstances be passed into law. The hon. Member who proposed the Bill certainly made a very interesting speech, but he did not know that he had considered the scope of the Bill; while the hon. Member who followed him mentioned that the Bill was of a moderate and modest character. He thought they on that side of the House had had ample evidence in the past that a Bill which was called moderate and modest must be looked upon with the greatest possible suspicion, and as far as the hon. Member had explained it appeared that the success or the non-success of the Bill depended upon the sporting instincts of the Judges who would be called upon to decide as to what the law of trespass was. To his mind, there were two very important and, he thought, obvious qualifications necessary for the passing of a measure into law. First of all, it should be for the benefit of the community, and, secondly, there should be some demand behind the Bill for its passage into law. He would ask Members of the House how this measure was calculated to benefit any section or individual belonging to any class of the community? He ventured to join issue with the hon. Member for Edinburgh when he said there were difficulties placed in the way of tourists who desired to visit the beautiful spots in the United Kingdom. As far as he was concerned, he had been in the position of renting a deer forest in Scotland, and he received very few requests to visit the mountains there. He need hardly say that whenever he received any request he was only too delighted to grant it, and to let anybody who desired visit the mountain scenery. From what the hon. Member for Leicester had said they had conclusive evidence that there was no need for this Bill, because the hon. Gentleman said that he had been in the habit of visiting all the beautiful spots in various parts of Scotland and had never asked permission, and that he would continue to do so. The hon. Member did not appear to have met with any difficulty, and he did not think that those who had visited those places, or were interested in botanical or scientific research, would in any sense be impeded from doing what they had done in the past. He thought it was obvious that either this Bill would be a dead letter or, if carried into effect, and if the population of all the towns of England and Scotland used these places to the fullest extent, it meant that the deer forests and the grouse moors, which hon. Members seemed so anxious to take, would have to be swept away, because it would be impossible to maintain them. He did not go into the question whether or not that was desirable. He did not think that the promoter of the Bill had exactly calculated its scope. The Bill meant—and a good many Members opposite would support it for that reason—an invasion of the rights of property. He knew that that was a very popular feature with some Members.


As long as it is not their property.


Yes, as long as it was not their property, as his hon. friend reminded him. The promoter of the Bill had made reference to a gentleman who owned a property which stretched between the two seas, and when they remembered that the gentleman in question was a member of a republic, a community which desired to see liberty for everyone, he thought the hon. Member had made use of a dangerous instance, if that was his idea of a liberty-loving community. As far as he could see, the Bill was unworkable. It depended altogether on Clause 4, and that clause appeared to him to be largely a matter of opinion. If a large number of tourists were to be permitted to go on to the moorlands in Scotland he did not see how anyone would be in a position to say that they had or had not done damage. It was obvious that if this was to be left to the discretion of the Judges a very difficult situation must arise, because each party of tourists I might destroy all those objects of the deer forest for which the tenant had paid a large sum of money, and in an action it might not be the opinion of a Judge that the community of tourists had driven the deer away. He sincerely hoped that this measure would not pass the Second Reading, chiefly for the reason that he regarded it as an ill-considered proposal and, in its present form, unworkable. He hoped that the promoter of the measure, if he desired to go on with it, would consider very carefully its scope, and the purpose for which it might be used. They opposed this Bill not with the object of preventing individuals and the inhabitants of our large towns from enjoying beautiful scenery in this country, but first of all, because it was not desired by any large section of the community, and, secondly, because it would not attain the object which its promoters had in view.

MR. ROGERS (Wiltshire, Devizes)

said he desired to say a few words in support of the principles of this Bill from the point of view of one who lived in the South of England. In the South of England, especially the middle south west, in Wiltshire and Berkshire and Hampshire, there were very large stretches of downs which had never been cultivated, and which had been made by the public practically a walking and riding tract from time immemorial. Those downs were at the present time in some considerable danger owing to two reasons. In the first place, there had been a great extension of the practice of keeping sheep within wired areas; and, secondly, there had been a great extension of the practice of making these downs a camp for the training of racehorses. He thought that no one who had followed the history of this matter would disagree with him when he said that there should be some greater security, which he understood that this Bill would give, to those who desired, in a perfectly innocent fashion, to walk or ride over those downs, as their fathers and grandfathers had done since the day Julius Cæsar landed in England, or since Stonehenge was erected by a former people, whoever they were. Might he just point out again why this was so important a matter? There had been access to Stonehenge not by one but by a dozen different paths. Twelve tracks led in one direction, and they were not able to prove that any one of those tracks was actually the original way. A case was fought out in the Courts on the question of Stonehenge, which, as hon. Members would recollect, was included some time ago in an enclosure. The case was fought by the Society for the Preservation of Footpaths and Commons, and, speaking as a layman, he understood that the society failed to resist the enclosure because no track direct from one place to the other could be proved. On the other hand, everybody knew, and there was a good deal of evidence brought to show, that people had been in the habit of going to Stonehenge without any opposition by all the tracks that passed over that part of the open downs. But the fact that they had gone by so many tracks from so many directions made it impossible to prove that they had gone by any one track that could be turned into a right of way. He mentioned that to show the very great importance not only of keeping open rights of way, but of preserving access to the unenclosed and uncultivated places in that part of the country. There was no question of game in the down country, for there was very little game on the downs, and it was very doubtful whether any damage could be done to any game there. Consequently, this was a question every bit as important to those who rode as to those who walked. He might say, in conclusion, that just as the hon. Member who brought in the Bill mentioned that it was the moors around Sheffield which produced the poet Ebenezer Elliott, so it was the downs in the south which had produced one of the most charming writers—Richard Jeffreys.

MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)

In all my experience I never heard a more extraordinary reason given for voting for a Bill than that given by the hon. Member for East Wiltshire. I have only one single advantage over the hon. Member, and that is one of which I am not proud; it is age. I am a much older man, and I venture to say I have both ridden and walked over the Wiltshire downs which he has just described twenty times for once that he has done. I live near them, and I know every inch of them. I believe I could find my way to any part of them blindfold. I have, however, never known any inconvenience to arise, nor any one to stop or interfere with any rider or walker, except it be by a tenant farmer who wants to protect his crops. I am sure the hon. Member does not want to diminish the right of a tenant farmer to protect his crops. There is now only sheep farming on a large scale within wire fences left, and the hon. Member cannot seriously propose that that system should be interfered with. He knows the great difficulties which beset the farmer in that part of the country. He knows that land has been kept in occupation and partly in cultivation only by this large system of farming and sheep grazing. In no other way would a great part of the Salisbury Plain and those adjoining be occupied at all now; and even under that system they are occupied under a rental involving a loss to the landlord. It is only by almost tempting the farmer by peculiar terms and conditions that you can get the land occupied at all. The suggestion therefore that the hon. Member would vote for the Bill because he believed that in some manner—he did not know how—there would be interference with these large sheep farms within wire enclosures, is extraordinary. We have learned by slow degrees and painful steps as the debate goes on what the intentions of the Bill are. So far the Bill has been supported almost exclusively by Scotsmen. I include the hon. Member for Leicester, because he spoke not so much as the Member for Leicester as a Scotsman. The most remarkable speech of all, however, was that of the learned Lord-Advocate. I listened to his speech very carefully, and he will correct me if I am wrong. It appeared to me that the whole of his speech, the statistics he quoted, and the information he gave, went to show that at all events he regards this as a Bill which by a method of its own will result in displacing a portion, at all events, of the existing deer forests and replacing them by a better system. I do not think he will deny that that was his main argument. If I am wrong of course he will say so.


The right hon. Gentleman is entirely wrong. I referred in no way to the displacing of the system. I said that Amendments might be introduced in Committee such as had been enumerated by his Party to preserve all legitimate rights, and the right hon. Gentleman will, I think, do me the credit of saying I quoted the text of the Bill introduced by his own Party affecting this topic and including these safeguards.


I, of course, entirely accept the right hon. Gentleman's statement. I was no doubt, as some others were, misled. The Lord Advocate quoted the Bill introduced by my right hon. friend who is now a distinguished member of the Scottish Courts as a precedent for the one which the House is now considering; but it was a strange lapse of memory on his part that, while he told us of the security with regard to game, he forgot to tell us of the most important part of the Bill, viz., that it not only had a time-limit in it, but included certain restrictions which were so important that they can hardly be described as matters for Committee. Further still, the Bill applied only to Scotland and was intended to deal, and only in a limited way, with the difficulty which exists in Scotland. We are asked to take this Bill on the action of Lord Dunedin. With the exception of an angel visit on the part of the learned Solicitor-General, we have not been honoured to-day by the presence of one single Cabinet Minister, representing either England, Ireland, or Wales, nor have we had the presence of one single law officer. In the absence, and perhaps because of the absence of the law officers, others have been more expansive, and we have been favoured with certain opinions from the hon. and learned Gentleman who sits for South Edinburgh, and the hon. and learned Member who sits for the Wycombe Division of Buckinghamshire. Their speeches were very interesting. We are obliged to them for the learned advice given to us in circumstances of difficulty, and on the whole I think we may be content to accept their view of the Scottish and English law as being perfectly accurate. They will not suggest that I am wanting in courtesy to them if I say it is the immemorial practice and custom of this House when it asks for information on legal questions to expect to get it from the law officers of the Crown. It is very largely for this purpose that law officers exist. It is very largely for this work that they are paid. We have asked, and I am going to ask, one or two questions which no Minister at present on that bench can answer. The learned Lord Advocate has told us himself that he is no authority on English law. The Secretary for Scotland cannot be expected to answer questions which are legal in their character and do not apply to the country which he specially represents. Why is it that the Government to-day have been represented solely by Scottish Members? The Bill does not apply to Scotland alone. In some degree its application to England and Wales and Ireland is of a far more serious character than its application to Scotland. The hon. Member congratulated the House and the promoters of the Bill on the fact that the debate had been so satisfactory, and that there had been a general agreement. I have listened to the greater part of the debate and I do not think his description of it is an accurate one. There has been, I admit, and I hope there always will be, a general agreement upon the propositions that have been laid down by two or three Members, especially by the hon. Member for Leicester, that it is desirable that there should be access to the beauties of their native land for the people under reasonable conditions. There has been a general agreement that there ought not to be undue interference with the rights of the general public by the selfish and illegitimate assertion of their rights by individual landowners. That is an academic statement, which, if embedded in a Resolution, might have found general acceptance. But this is a Bill, and those highly benevolent intentions which have been expressed in different quarters find very little expression in it. We might be content to let the Bill pass without opposition were it not for this unfortunate fact which has come into existence almost exclusively during the period that the present Government have been in office, namely, that at a late period of the session, particularly when you have an autumn session and when the account for the past year is being made up and the Government find that either in regard to a particular part of the United Kingdom or in respect of some particular industry they have not done quite as much as they ought to have done, they look around them to see what private Member's Bill they can take up and star. I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would give us an assurance—probably he would say it is a matter for which only the Prime Minister can speak, and at a time when he is in a position to consider what the business as a whole is. The Government cannot commit themselves, and therefore we are in this position, that if the Bill passes its Second Reading to-day, the Government may make it a Government measure. "A good thing too," somebody says. It must be somebody whose experience of Parliament is very limited. I appeal to the common fairness of the House. There has not been one Minister on that bench to-day able to answer any questions which have been put. There has been nobody here to tell us why, for the first time, this particular measure, which we have had introduced frequently before, has been made applicable to any other part than Scotland; and all the speeches that have been made in its support, with the exception of that of the hon. Member for Wiltshire, have been directed exclusively to questions of deer forests or moors. [At this point the Attorney-General entered the House, his appearance being greeted by OPPOSITION cheers.] I rejoice to see that late in the day the Attorney-General has put in an appearance. He is under the disadvantage of not having heard the questions which have been asked by speakers on this side of the House in regard to the application of this Bill to Great Britain and Ireland. After some little difficulty it was found, not by the statement of any law officer but by the voluntary statements of private Members, that the law of trespass in Scotland differs entirely from the law in England. So far as Scotland is concerned this Bill is not required to a very large extent. With regard to England, in order to assert trespass damage has to be included. Has the Attorney-General considered in regard to this Bill who is to interpret the meaning of these words, "mountain," "uncultivated" and "moorland"? Mountains in some parts of the country, certainly in parts of the South and West, would not be considered in the North or in Scotland more than hillocks. To places that we consider high hills which would take a great deal of climbing, and which exactly answer the hon. Member for Leicester's description, namely, places that people like to go to and enjoy, within my experience the vast majority of landowners give free access, subject only to certain simple conditions. Is this Bill to apply to these places? Are people to have a right of access to hills which are used practically only for game purposes? If so, who is to be liable supposing an accident occurs? The people who own these places indulge in rabbit shooting. Very often there is no other game there. A personal friend of mine was once shooting rabbits on one of these hills. He was a very good shot, and was shooting with a pea rifle. He shot at several rabbits, and did not hit them. He took a different position in the hope that he would get nearer the quarry, and discovered behind the nearest hillock that he surmounted, a wandering artist on a camp stool making a picture. He asked him whether he was really alive. He said: "Yes, why should not he be?" My friend said: "I have been shooting at rabbits in your immediate neighbourhood for the last half-hour, and have not hit them. The wonder is that I missed you." Supposing in that particular case the unfortunate owner of this bit of land had hit the artist instead of the rabbits, who would have been liable?

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

The artist.


If the artist is responsible I do not think anything more is required than that the fact should be known. But if, on the other hand, the owner of the property is to be liable, then I submit that the Bill will be absolutely mischievous, and it involves interference with the rights of property, which has been disowned by all its promoters and even on the Front Bench opposite. The Bill is drawn entirely in the interests of Scotland and is intended practically, as we see from its phraseology, to apply to Scotland and, as everybody has shown, to deal with those cases where there are great enclosures of land for game purposes, to the injury of some, at all events, of the people in the neighbourhood. How is it going to be made applicable to England and Ireland? Surely we ought to have an undertaking that if the Bill is to proceed it should be limited, as it has always been hitherto, to Scotland, or, if it is intended to apply to the rest of the United Kingdom, that it shall be done in such a way as to make the effect of the Bill clearly intelligible, and that we shall not be asked to accept on Second Reading a Bill which its promoters admit requires considerable amendment, with the assurance that the Amendments shall be carefully considered in Committee. What is the advantage to us here under the new procedure of assurances in regard to the Bill? One speaker to-day rather found result with us for raising these minor questions now. He said that they are entirely questions for Committee. That is all very well, but under our new procedure, what guarantee has any one of my hon. friends who are here to-day of having a chance of raising any of these questions in Committee? The Com- mittees have only a small section of each side of the House upon them, and many of us may not be on the Committee. But even if they were on the Committee this is not a Bill which requires only a general consideration. The hon. Member for Leith approves of the Bill with certain alterations.


I did not approve of the Bill. I approved of my own Bill.


I claimed for the Government a support they were not entitled to; there is even less support to be found for it than I thought. Even the Lord Advocate, who is not generally driven into a tight place, spoke in the most generous terms of the intention of the Government to support Amendments, provided they were reasonable, and so on. Surely this is a purely academic debate, in which the Bill is proved to be, first of all, not justified by any of the facts which have been advanced by its promoters, and secondly, drawn to go a great deal further than its promoters realised in the first instance. Surely it should be treated as was advocated by the hon. Member for Wycombe, when he said that if we were to have an alteration of the law of this kind we ought to proceed on the lines of the Enclosures Commissioners, that the Bill went a great deal further than its promoters intended, and, therefore, ought to be regarded with very great caution. That is the course which ought to be taken and not the course which we are asked now to adopt, viz., to read the Bill a second time, to leave it to a Committee, and enable the Government to star it in order to get credit for a section of their supporters. The hon. Member for Leicester made a very important speech on this subject. He was absolutely honest and straightforward, as he always is, and perfectly clear. He told us that the object of the Bill was to enable people to visit parts of the country that they cannot now. But he was contradictory even in his speech, because he went on to tell us that he did not care about the Bill. He had been, without leave, to every forest owned or rented by hon. Gentlemen behind me and he gave them due notice that he meant to go there again. That proves, if it proves anything, that the man who legitimately desires to enjoy the beauties of the country, and does it in a reasonable way with due respect for the rights of others, is not interfered with. I believe the passage of a Bill of this kind, ill-drawn, ill-suited to the purpose for which it is drawn, is more likely to interfere with the rights the people now enjoy than to confer new rights. I believe that in those cases where existing owners give these privileges, a Bill of this kind will induce them to withdraw them rather than to allow them to continue. The wise course to take would be not to press the Bill to Second Reading, because it goes a great deal further than is intended, because there is no precedent for such a Bill applying to the whole kingdom, because no one has advanced one reason or argument in support of its application to the United kingdom, and because we have had on the bench opposite no single English Minister until this moment able to answer any question put by the opponents of the Bill. Much as I dislike that proceeding, and I dislike it intensely, I felt sorely tempted an hour ago to move the adjournment of the debate in order to make my protest clear and distinct against a system which is within my experience perfectly novel. It has hitherto been the invariable practice for Ministers representing the United Kingdom to be present when a Bill applying to the United Kingdom is being considered and to be ready to answer questions which may be raised in debate. I do not believe you can properly carry on debates in this House if you adopt the system which has been followed to-day. I make my protest in the strongest terms I can, speaking with many years' experience, against a system which is perfectly novel and absolutely unjustified. To-day questions have been: "I cannot answer for the English law." I believe there has been no case made out for the Bill, because it applies to the whole kingdom while the arguments apply only to Scotland, and because it is badly and loosely drawn. I shall certainly support the Amendment.


said he was agreeably surprised when he entered the House a moment ago at the unaccustomed warmth of his reception, but he was more surprised when on inquiry he ascertained its cause. Hon. Members had referred to a certain amount of legal embarrassment, to which they contended this Bill gave rise. He was asked by the right hon. gentleman what was meant by a mountain or moorland. He thought the Judges of the land had a very fair acquaintance with the English language. They had to define words very much wider in their meaning. But it was suggested that Judges in England and in Scotland might take different views, and that in Scotland they might treat a hillock as a mountain.


said he had merely made the statement that hills varied in height. The hon. and learned gentleman now told them that any one who was called upon to interpret this clause must wait for the decision of a Judge. Therefore, those for whose benefit this Bill had been introduced would have to wait until Judges decided what it meant.


said that he was about to suggest that mountains varied in height. They had done so ever since they were established. But that had not invested the use of the word "mountain" with any great difficulty. He did not think there was any Judge who would have any difficulty in telling them what a mountain was. Then they had the House of Lords, and whatever else it could or could not do, it had shown itself equal to the task of reconciling conflicting decisions in different parts of the United Kingdom. The right hon. gentleman opposite had asked who would be responsible under the Bill if a person who was shooting at rabbits hit an artist who was sitting on a stool sketching. The right hon. gentleman's sporting acquaintance would not show any negligence in firing, except in so far as the rabbits were concerned. If he had not shown any negligence quoad the artist, he could see no ground of action against him so far as the artist was concerned. If, however, the artist became alarmed, was roused by the sound of the gun and put his head up, and the sportsman had continued to fire in his neighbourhood, then the artist would have had good cause of action if he had been hit. He did not think any more serious point than that had been put to him.


I asked the Lord-Advocate a question about the law of trespass to which I should like an answer.


said he was told the hon. Gentleman had read a passage from Blackstone. He knew that passage fairly well. It pointed out that in order to maintain an action for trespass there must be damage. He understood the hon. Gentleman put the point of someone wandering over mountains and moorlands and tumbling into a hole, and asked who would be responsible—the man, the landlord, the hole, or who. If a man wandering over a mountain tumbled into a hole, the landlord need have no fear. That would not make him responsible. There was a case which said that a man wandering on to premises, a dockyard or a warehouse, and getting injured, might in certain conditions get compensation, because there was an implied invitation. A man who opened a shop had that in view and must take reasonable care; but who would apply the doctrine of an implied invitation to the right of wandering over a mountain under this Bill? It would be ridiculous to talk about an implied invitation. If these were the kind of points of law raised in the debate, he thought it hardly necessary to call the law officers of the Crown from urgent public duties to answer them.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said the hon. and learned Gentleman had made a humorous speech, but if it was designed to enlighten the House all he could say was that it did not appear to have done so. He desired to put one point which was, he thought, more serious. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that if somebody, having come on to land under the Bill, was injured by accident, the owner would not be responsible unless he were guilty of negligence. He did not think the hon. and learned Gentleman had read the Bill. Clause 2 provided that— No owner or occupier of uncultivated mountain or moor land shall be entitled to exclude any person from walking or being on such land for the purposes of recreation or scientific or artistic study or to molest him in so walking or being. He thought that if a man who was walking on land was shot in the leg he would regard it as molestation. The question of negligence was ignored altogether, and a statutory obligation was imposed on the owner not to molest any one. It was totally inadequate for a law officer of the Crown to come in at the last minute without having read the Bill and without being cognisant of what had been going on and answer them by making a few jokes in reply to serious questions. In view of the speech of the Attorney-General he begged to move that the debate be now adjourned.



Motion made, and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."—(Lord R. Cecil.)

The House divided:—Ayes, 59; Noes, 195. (Division List No. 95.)

Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. Faber, Capt. W.V. (Hants, W.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fell, Arthur Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Anstruther-Gray, Major Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Ashley, W. W. Hamilton, Marquess of Ronaldshay, Earl of
Balcarres, Lord Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Kerry, Earl of Starkey, John R.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Bowles, G. Stewart Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S Walker, Col. W.H. (Lancashire)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lonsdale, John Brownlee Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Bull, Sir William James MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Castlereagh, Viscount M'Arthur, Charles Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) M'Calmont, Colonel James Winterton, Earl
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Morrison-Bell, Captain Younger, George
Craik, Sir Henry Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Cross, Alexander O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Lord
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Robert Cecil and Captain
Faber, George Denison (York) Percy, Earl Craig.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Devlin, Joseph Kekewich, Sir George
Acland, Francis Dyke Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Kilbride, Denis
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N Laidlaw, Robert
Ashton, Thomas Gair Donelan, Captain A. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Lamont, Norman
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Erskine, David C. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Barker, John Esslemont, George Birnie Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Barnes, G. N. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Lehmann, R. C.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Everett, R. Lacey Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Ferguson, R. C. Munro Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Beale, W. P. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lupton, Arnold
Bellairs, Carlyon Flynn, James Christopher Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Fuller, John Michael F. Macdonald, J.M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Boland, John Gibb, James (Harrow) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Bowerman, C. W. Gill, A. H. MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Brace, William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Callum, John M.
Branch, James Grant, Corrie M'Crae, George
Bright, J. A. Gulland, John W. M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Bryce, J. Annan Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton M'Kean, John
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Maddison, Frederick
Cameron, Robert Harwood, George Mallet, Charles E.
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hayden, John Patrick Markham, Arthur Basil
Cheetham, John Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Marnham, F. J.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Cleland, J. W. Higham, John Sharp Massie, J.
Clough, William Hobart, Sir Robert Meagher, Michael
Clynes, J. R. Hogan, Michael Meehan, Francis E.(Leitrim, N.)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Horniman, Emslie John Menzies, Walter
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Hudson, Walter Micklem, Nathaniel
Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Hyde, Clarendon Molteno, Percy Alport
Cox, Harold Idris, T. H. W. Mooney, J. J.
Crean, Eugene Illingworth, Percy H. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Cremer, Sir William Randal Jackson, R. S. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Crooks, William Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Muldoon, John
Curran, Peter Francis Jardine, Sir J. Murnaghan, George
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, Leif (Appleby) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Joyce, Michael Nicholls, George
Delany, William Kavanagh, Walter M. Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Nussey, Thomas Willans Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd Thomasson, Franklin
Nuttall, Harry Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Thorne, William (West Ham)
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Robinson, S. Torrance, Sir A. M.
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Trevelyan, Charles Philips
O'Brien, William (Cork) Roche, John (Galway, East) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Rogers, F. E. Newman Walton, Joseph
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Rowlands, J. Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
O'Doherty, Philip Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Wardle, George J.
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
O'Dowd, John Scott, A.H. (Ashton under Lyne Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Watt, Henry A.
Parker, James (Halifax) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Weir, James Galloway
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sheehy, David White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Power, Patrick Joseph Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford, E.) Snowden, P. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Pullar, Sir Robert Spicer, Sir Albert Williamson, A.
Radford, G. H. Stanger, H. Y. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Reddy, M. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Wilson. W. T. (Westhoughton)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Steadman, W. C. Yoxall, James Henry
Redmond, William (Clare) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Rees, J. D. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Rendall, Athelstan Summerbell, T. Captain Norton and Mr.
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Sutherland, J. E. Whitley.
Ridsdale, E. A. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)

said the hon. Member for South Edinburgh had stated that every owner of a deer forest in Scotland had been written to asking for permission for botanical surveys, that twelve only replied, and they all refused permission. The hon. Member had also told them that these learned and scientific, gentlemen from Edinburgh, in spite of the refusal of the different owners of deer forests to grant them permission, had gone to those forests and had carried out whatever investigations they desired to make without the smallest molestation. Therefore, there was no justification for the charge that the proprietors of deer forests prevented people going over their land so long as they did no damage or harm. This Bill not only applied to Scotland but also to England and

Ireland. They had heard some very interesting things about the law of trespass in Scotland, and they had only quite recently heard something about the law of trespass in England. But during the whole of this debate they had not heard from any speaker sitting on the front Ministerial Bench or from any hon. Member from below the Gangway a single word about the application of this Bill to Ireland. It was impossible for any ordinary Member——


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

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 190; Noes, 61. (Division List No. 96.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Bryce, J. Annan
Acland, Francis Dyke Beale, W. P. Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bellairs, Carlyon Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Cameron, Robert
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Boland, John Channing, Sir Francis Allston
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Bowerman, C. W. Cheetham, John Frederick
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Brace, William Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Branch, James Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S
Barnes, G. N. Bright, J. A. Cleland, J. W.
Clough, William Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Ridsdale, E. A.
Clynes, J. R. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lehmann, R. C. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Robertson, Sir G Scott (Bradf'rd
Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Cox, Harold Lupton, Arnold Robinson, S.
Crean, Eugene Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Cremer, Sir William Randal Macdonald, J.M. (Falkirk B'ghs Roche, John (Galway, East)
Crooks, William MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S) Rogers, F. E. Newman
Curran, Peter Francis MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Rowlands, J.
Dalziel, James Henry M'Callum, John M. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) M'Crae, George Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Delany, William M'Kean, John Scott, A.H. (Ashton underLyne)
Devlin, Joseph M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Maddison, Frederick Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Mallet, Charles E. Sheehy, David
Donelan, Captain A. Marnham, F. J. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Erskine, David C. Massie, J. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Esslemont, George Birnie Meagher, Michael Snowden, P.
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N Spicer, Sir Albert
Everett, R. Lacey Menzies, Walter Stanger, H. Y.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Micklem, Nathaniel Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Flynn, James Christopher Molteno, Percy Alport Steadman, W. C.
Fuller, John Michael F. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Gill, A. H. Muldoon, John Summerbell, T.
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Murnaghan, George Sutherland, J. E.
Grant, Corrie Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Gulland, John W. Nicholls, George Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe
Gurdon, Rt Hn Sir W. Brampton Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Thomasson, Franklin
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose Norton, Capt. Cecil William Thorne, William (West Ham)
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Nussey, Thomas Willans Torrance, Sir A. M.
Harwood, George Nuttall, Harry Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Hayden, John Patrick O' Brien, Kendal (Tipperary M Walton, Joseph
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Higham, John Sharp O'Brien, William (Cork) Wardle, George J.
Hobart, Sir Robert O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Hogan, Michael O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Horniman, Emslie John O'Doherty, Philip Watt, Henry A.
Hudson, Walter O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Weir, James Galloway
Hyde, Clarendon O'Dowd, John White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire
Idris, T. H. W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Illingworth, Percy H. Parker, James (Halifax) White, Patrick (Meath, North
Jackson, R. S. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax
Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Philips, Owen C. (Pembroke) Williams, J.
Jardine, Sir J. Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Williamson, A.
Joyce, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Kavanagh, Walter M. Pullar, Sir Robert Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Kekewich, Sir George Radford, G. H. Yoxall, James Henry
Kennedy, Vincent Paul Reddy, M.
Kilbride, Denis Redmond, John E. (Waterford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Laidlaw, Robert Redmond, William (Clare) Trevelyan and Mr. Arthur
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rendall, Athelstan Dewar.
Lamont, Norman Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe
Anstruther-Gray, Major Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Kerry, Earl of
Ashley, W. W. Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm
Balcarres, Lord Craik, Sir Henry Lane-Fox, G. R.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cross, Alexander Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S
Bignold, Sir Arthur Dalrymple, Viscount Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Bowles, G. Stewart Faber, George Denison (York) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Bridgeman, W. Clive Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) M'Arthur, Charles
Bull, Sir William James Fell, Arthur M'Calmont, Colonel James
Castlereagh, Viscount Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Markham, Arthur Basil
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Hamilton, Marquess of Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Morrison-Bell, Captain Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Winterton, Earl
Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Ronaldshay, Earl of Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Starkey, John R. Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Younger, George
Percy, Earl Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Walker, Col. W.H. (Lancashire) TELLERF FOR THE NOES—
Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford, E.) Walrond, Hon. Lionel Sir Samuel Scott and Sir
Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.) Frederick Banbury.
Rees, J. D. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord

Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 177; Noes. 65. (Division List No. 97.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton Nuttall, Harry
Acland, Francis Dyke Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Harwood, George O'Brien, William (Cork)
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Higham, John Sharp O'Doherty, Philip
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hobart, Sir Robert O'Dowd, John
Barnes, G. N. Hogan, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Horniman, Emslie John Parker, James (Halifax)
Beale, W. P. Hudson, Walter Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Bellairs, Carlyon Hyde, Clarendon Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Idris, T. H. W. Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Boland, John Illingworth, Percy H. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Bowerman, C. W. Jackson, R. S. Power, Patrick Joseph
Brace, William Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Pullar, Sir Robert
Branch, James Jardine, Sir J. Radford, G. H.
Bright, J. A. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Reddy, M.
Bryce, J. Annan Joyce, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kavanagh, Walter M. Rendall, Athelstan
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Kekewich, Sir George Ridsdale, E. A.
Cameron, Robert Kennedy, Vincent Paul Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Kilbride, Denis Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Cheetham, John Frederick Laidlaw, Robert Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Robinson, S.
Cleland, J. W. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Clough, William Lehmann, R. C. Roche, John (Galway, East)
Clynes, J. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Rogers, F. E. Newman
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Rowlands, J.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Lupton, Arnold Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Scott, A.H. (Ashton under Lyne
Cox, Harold Macdonald, J.M (Falkirk B'ghs Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Crean, Eugene MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Cremer, Sir William Randal MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Sheehy, David
Crooks, William M'Callum, John M. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Cross, Alexander M'Crae, George Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Curran, Peter Francis M'Kean, John Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Dalziel, James Henry M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Snowden, P.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Maddison, Frederick Spicer, Sir Albert
Delany, William Mallet, Charles E. Stanger, H. Y.
Devlin, Joseph Marnham, F. J. Steadman, W. C.
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N. Massie, J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Donelan, Captain A. Meagher, Michael Sutherland, J. E.
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Erskine, David C. Menzies, Walter Thomasson, Franklin
Esslemont, George Birnie Micklem, Nathaniel Thorne, William (West Ham)
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Molteno, Percy Alport Torrance, Sir A. M.
Everett, R. Lacey Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Walton, Joseph
Flynn, James Christopher Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Ward, John (Stoke-nupo-Trent
Gibb, James (Harrow) Muldoon, John Wardle, George J.
Gill, A. H. Murnaghan, George Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Grant, Corrie Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Gulland, John W. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Watt, Henry A.
Weir, James Galloway Williams, J. (Glamorgan) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n Trevelyan and Mr. Arthur
White, Luke (York, E. R.) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough) Dewar.
White, Patrick (Meath, North Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Whitley, John Henry (Halifax Yoxall, James Henry
Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F Ferguson, R. C. Munro Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford, E.)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Anstruther-Gray, Major Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Rees, J. D.
Ashley, W. W. Hamilton, Marquess of Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Balcarres, Lord Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Bignold, Sir Arthur Kerry, Earl of Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bowles, G. Stewart Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lamont, Norman Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Castlereagh, Viscount Lonsdale, John Brownlee Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Walker, Col. W.H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- M'Arthur, Charles Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) M'Calmont, Colonel James Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Markham, Arthur Basil Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Winterton, Earl
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Morrison-Bell, Captain Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Craik, Sir Henry Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Faber, George Denison (York) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington James Mason and Mr. Lane-
Fell, Arthur Percy, Earl Fox.

Bill read a second time.

Motion made, and Question put "That the Bill be committed to a Com-

mittee of the whole House."—(Sir Frederick Banbury.)

The House divided:—Ayes, 61; Noes, 177. (Division List No. 98.)

Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol West) Rees, J. D.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Ridsdale, E. A.
Ashley, W. W. Hamilton, Marquess of Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Balcarres, Lord Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Barran, Rowland Hirst Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bellairs, Carlyon Kerry, Earl of Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Starkey, John R.
Bowles, G. Stewart Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lonsdale, John Brownlee Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ
Bull, Sir William James MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Walker, Col. W.H. (Lancashire)
Castlereagh, Viscount M'Arthur, Charles Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- M'Calmont, Colonel James Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Markham, Arthur Basil Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Mason, James F. (Windsor) Winterton, Earl
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Morrison-Bell, Captain Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Younger, George
Dalrymple, Viscount O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Faber, George Denison (York) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Frederick Banbury and Mr.
Fell, Arthur Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Evelyn Cecil.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Ashton, Thomas Gair
Acland, Francis Dyke Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)
Barnes, G. N. Hudson, Walter Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hyde, Clarendon Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Beale, W. P. Idris, T. H. W. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Illingworth, Percy H. Power, Patrick Joseph
Boland, John Jackson, R. S. Pullar, Sir Robert
Bowerman, C. W. Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Radford, G. H.
Brace, William Jardine, Sir J. Reddy, M.
Branch, James Jones, Leif (Appleby) Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bright, J. A. Joyce, Michael Rendall, Athelstan
Bryce, J. Annan Kavanagh, Walter M. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kekewich, Sir George Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Kennedy, Vincent Paul Robertson, Sir G Scott (Bradf'rd
Cameron, Robert Kilbride, Denis Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Laidlaw, Robert Robinson, S.
Cheetham, John Frederick Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lamont, Norman Roche, John (Galway, East)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Rogers, F. E. Newman
Cleland, J. W. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Rowlands, J.
Clough, William Lehmann, R. C. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Clynes, J. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Lupton, Arnold Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Corbett, C H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Sheehy, David
Cox, Harold Macdonald, J.M. (Falkirk B'ghs Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Crean, Eugene MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Cremer, Sir William Randal MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Crooks, William M'Callum, John M. Snowden, P.
Cross, Alexander M'Crae, George Spicer, Sir Albert
Curran, Peter Francis M'Hugh, Patrick A. Stanger, H. Y.
Dalziel, James Henry M'Kean, John Steadman, W. C.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Delany, William Maddison, Frederick Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Devlin, Joseph Mallet, Charles E. Sutherland, J. E.
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Marnham, F. J. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Thomasson, Franklin
Donelan, Captain A. Massie, J. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Meagher, Michael Torrance, Sir A. M.
Erskine, David C. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N Walton, Joseph
Esslemont, George Birnie Menzies, Walter Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Micklem, Nathaniel Wardle, George J.
Everett, R. Lacey Molteno, Percy Alport Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Flynn, James Christopher Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Watt, Henry A.
Gibb, James (Harrow) Muldoon, John Weir, James Galloway
Gill, A. H. Murnaghan, George White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Grant, Corrie Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Gulland, John W. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Gurdon, Rt. Hn Sir W. Brampton Nuttall, Harry Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Williamson, A.
Harwood, George O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W) Yoxall, James Henry
Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Doherty, Philip TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Higham, John Sharp O'Dowd, John Trevelyan and Mr. Arthur
Hobart, Sir Robert O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Dewar.
Hogan, Michael Parker, James (Halifax)
Horniman, Emslie John Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)

Bill committed to a Standing Committee.