§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 2:
§ EARL WINTERTON (Sussex, Horsham)
moved the omission of subsection (1). 322 He said he did so not only because he believed that local option, or local veto, as he preferred to call it, was bad in principle and had always proved a disastrous and doleful failure, but also because its introduction in that clause was out of place, having regard to the fact that the Bill was already overloaded with very controversial matter of an entirely different kind. He was unable to trace any real connection between the main or avowed principle of the Bill and this subsection dealing with local option. The Bill dealt with the reduction of public-houses on an organised plan and the putting of further financial burdens upon the trade, and while it was not in order to discuss that point, it in itself was of great importance and of a far-reaching character, and therefore the question of local option was quite out of place. Looking at the Bill, one was struck by the fact that it appeared to have two authors. On the one hand, the Government seemed to have been the authors of that part of the Bill designed for the robbing of the hen-roosts, and the other part seemed distinctly to be due to the authorship of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley and his temperance friends, who, like bulls in a china shop, had been attempting to crash into everything connected with the trade. On the question of principle, however, it was quite as important that the Committee should pause before they passed this subsection. It was a principle which had never before been adopted in any Act which had been passed by that House. It had never before been possible for a small clique or knot of residents in any locality to forbid a perfectly legitimate trade being carried on in that locality, and the seriousness of the principle was one which could not be over-estimated. If carried to its logical conclusion it might mean that eventually a few fanatics would be able to prevent all sorts of legitimate trades being carried on in a locality. It was not a bit more absurd than the proposal in this Bill to imagine a case in years to come in which vegetarians might combine and prohibit all butchers' shops in a certain locality. That was on all fours with the proposal in this clause, and it might be carried further in a great many other cases. For instance, if the hon. Member 323 for Sleaford and his friends ever became popular and powerful in the country, they could prohibit vaccination in a certain area. If this principle were adopted, there was no knowing to what extent it might not be carried in the future, and he would remind the Committee that it was a principle which had always been unpopular. He did not propose to go into the whole question of cases where local veto had been tried in other countries, but he would respectfully challenge the Prime Minister to give any instances of cases in other countries where it had been a success. There were isolated instances all over the world where it had been tried, but in nine cases out of ten it had been found to be a disastrous and doleful failure—in such cases, for instance, as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. A point which had never been answered by the Government was how they, were going, if they adopted the local option suggested in this section, to get over the difficulty of the scandal which had invariably ensued when there were great restrictions upon the licensing trade in one locality while just over the border no such restrictions existed. Everybody who knew the cases in the past, where restrictions had been put on the licensing trade on Sundays in certain parts of England, knew that in the neighbouring districts terrible scandals had ensued, and the temperance party them selves had put that point to the Government, and it had never been answered. Perhaps, of all the reasons which could be urged against the adoption of this subsection, the beet was its exceedingly undemocratic character. The Government proposed to allow people to decide whether there should be no public-houses, but they did not propose to allow them to decide whether there should be more public-houses. That was a point on which he thought everyone on that side of the House joined issue with the Government. It was one of the most extraordinary and undemocratic proposals ever put in a Bill by a so-called democratic Government, and the case was very well given away by a certain Mr. Malins, an official of the Temperance Federation, writing in the Morning Leader about a year ago. He was challenged in the Manchester 324 Guardian, and was told that if local option was to be a really democratic measure it should be allowed for the people to decide whether they would have more public-houses as well as less, and Mr. Malins answered that no Anglo-Saxon Government would dare to put the liquor traffic on that basis. That was the Government's idea of democracy, and of trusting the people. But Mr. Malins was wrong, because two Anglo-Saxon Governments—those of South Australia and New South Wales, he believed—had put the liquor traffic on that basis. In other words, they had given real local option. The Government did not do it, he imagined, because Mr. Malins was expressing their views when he said that no Anglo-Saxon Government would dare to put the liquor traffic on such a basis. The whole policy of the Government was a policy of distrusting the people, tempered by hypocrisy. He challenged the Prime Minister to say what precedents there were for saying that local option would be a success, and, secondly, why the Government had refused to trust the people and allow them if they wished to vote for more public-houses as well as for less. He appealed to the Committee to consider twice before they passed this subsection, because he was convinced that they would be passing a very dangerous principle, which, if carried to its logical conclusion, would make life in this country absolutely intolerable. If they carried this principle in the Bill they would be laying the foundations of a most dangerous state of affairs, and they would eventually put the whole of the local government of England from this House into the hands of small cliques and knots of fanatics in particular residential districts. He begged to move the omission of the subsection.
In page 2, line 8, to leave out subsection (1)."—(Earl Winterton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'if' stand part of the clause."
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fifeshire, E.
said he was not 325 going into some of the questions raised by the noble Lord in his interesting Speech, because he thought he had failed to observe—at least he did not detect in any part of his speech that he had recognised—that the proposal embodied in Clause 2, so far as the next fourteen years were concerned, did not deal with existing licences at all. It dealt entirely with new licences, and it simply proposed to give the inhabitants of a district the right to say in a manner which could not possibly come into collision with any Vested or existing interest whether or not either the existing supply of public-houses should be increased, or, if there Were no public-houses there, whether one should be imported for the first time into their midst. That was a right which had often been exercised. The Government saw no reason why it should not be vested in the majority of the inhabitants, who were the persons primarily affected. If the noble Lord's Amendment were passed and this power were taken away, the matter would be left, as it was now, entirely in the discretion of the licensing justices. He quite agreed that when they were dealing with existing licences it was a power the use of which should be very carefully safeguarded, but when it was a question of simply a multiplication of what already existed, or the inclusion of something which was not already there, and which the majority of the people did not want to see, he confessed he was wholly at a loss to understand why the noble Lord should say it was an undemocratic measure. The Government could not accept the Amendment.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Central)
said he could not help thinking that the Prime Minister had overlooked the answer to a Question put by the hon. Member for Westmoreland on this very clause. It was true that anyone reading the clause for the first time would naturally come to the conclusion that none but new licences, in the ordinary sense of the word, were affected. If that were the meaning of the clause it would not go very far, because during the reduction period, in consequence of what had been done in Clause 1, no new licence would be possible, unless the number of licences in a district were below the proper proportion 326 for the area. He supposed it must have struck the hon. Member for Westmoreland that that was not very strong or satisfactory. But they must read the first section of Clause 3, which ran as follows:—After the termination of the reduction period compensation shall cease to be payable. … and an application for the re-grant of any on-licence shall be treated as an application for the grant of a new licence, not as an application for the renewal of a licence.If they read those two subsections together the result would be that after the termination of the reduction period all licences, although they might have been continually renewed for many years, would be treated as new licences, and therefore the local veto would come into operation, and it would then be in the power of a bare majority of those voting at a poll in a very narrow area absolutely and completely to prohibit all licences within their district.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
said it was very important that they should know precisely what, in the judgment of the Chair, they were to discuss now. As he understood it, the clause they were now discussing would practically make local option a universal rule with regard to every licence in the country at the end of fourteen years, and therefore the whole question of local option or local veto came in its fullest sense. Therefore, it would seem that this was a very appropriate place at which to discuss the general policy involved in that question.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said that if Clause 3 were omitted from the Bill it was obvious that Clause 2 would only deal with new licences, i.e., licences not now in existence.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL (Dublin University)
said the Prime Minister entirely omitted, the real point of the section. The question was: What was a new licence? The Prime Minister rather suggested that it applied only to applications made for the first time, but if Clause 3 of the Bill were passed, a new 327 licence got a wholly different signification, which would attach to the second clause in the Bill. Therefore he submitted that when they were discussing Clause 2 they must assume that a new licence there would bear the meaning that the Bill proposed to give it, and discuss it on that basis; otherwise, they were discussing it entirely in the dark.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE
said the question of the hon. Member for Westmoreland was with reference to Clause 2. He asked distinctly whether all licences would not come under the provisions of Clause 2, and the Under-Secretary for the Home Department said "Yes."
§ MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
said his question related entirely to the interpretation to be placed on Clause 3.
said he did not want to give a ruling not in accordance with the justice of the case, but he had considered the points put to him, and it seemed to him perfectly clear that unless Clause 3 was passed, Clause 2 would not apply, and that being the case, he thought the time when that point should be discussed, i.e., the application of the prohibition as to new licences being made to old licences as well, would be on Clause 3.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that, supposing the definition intended by the Government of a new licence was not contained in Clause 3, but in the Schedule to the Bill, surely it would be very inconvenient to defer the discussion until they got to the Schedule. They had to consider the meaning of a new licence. As the Government had framed their Bill, undoubtedly a new licence meant not only a new licence, but every licence in existence at the termination of the fourteen years. He would ask whether that consideration had been present in the Chairman's mind in giving his decision.
That consideration was present to my mind. I am very anxious to meet the wishes of the Committee, but it does seem to me that this clause is meant to apply to the granting of new on-licences at the 328 present time, and that the other question ought to come up on Clause 3.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If you have considered that, it is not for me to make any further comment on your decision. But as a matter of convenience may I ask whether it is not a fact that on Clause 3 there must arise the whole question of the time-limit, one of the biggest questions involved in the Bill, a question which has excited the deepest feeling throughout the country, and whether it would not be of enormous convenience, as we are working under a compartment Resolution, if so big a question as local option could be discussed on a separate day from that allotted to the tremendous and all-important question of the time-limit.
I would like to ask the opinion of the Prime Minister, before settling that question, whether the wording of Clause 3—"an application for the re-grant of any on-licence shall be treated as an application for the grant of a new licence"—does not raise the whole question which is sought to be brought in on Clause 2. I think it ought to be dealt with on Clause 3. In regard to the question of the right hon. Gentleman himself I am not responsible for the Resolution under which we are working. I have to do the best I can under it.
§ MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)
asked whether under the Chairman's ruling the whole series of Amendments which sought to confine the operation of Clause 2 to the reduction period would be in order.
§ MR. GEORGE ROBERTS (Norwich)
On a point of order, may I ask whether subsection 2 of Clause 2 is not specially allocated to the first half of the sixth, allotted day?
§ *MR. SHERWELL (Huddersfield)
On a point of order I desire to ask whether it will be in order under your 329 ruling to call attention to the inconsistency of Clause 2 as it now stands with the frame-work of Clause 3?
§ *MR. JAMES HOPE
, resuming his speech, said that in any case the clause affirmed the principle of local veto. This question of local veto was very old. It dated as far back as 1864, but whenever it had been brought forward it had met with very little support in the House, and less in the country. When the Licensing Commission brought in their Report, neither the majority nor the minority supported the proposal. A good many years had passed since that Report was issued, and he held that in every direction what had happened since that date had diminished rather than strengthened the case for local veto. The Report from the United States in regard to local veto, which he thought he saw in the hands of the right hon. Member for Spen Valley, undoubtedly stated that local veto might be carried out in districts where the population was sparse, but that where there was a congestion of population the system entirely broke down, and that necessarily, if only from the enormous difficulties involved in what was known as the boundary question. Some hon. Members opposite had become pretty sensible of it in connection with Sunday closing. Speaking on behalf of a deputation to the Prime Minister, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 13th December, 1907, Sir Thomas Whittaker—pressed the desirability and, indeed, necessity of making legislation on Sunday closing of national application, and not leaving it to localities to decide for themselves. Mr. Asquith asked the deputation why it should not be left to localities, to which Sir Thomas Whittaker replied: 'Because the difficulty of drawing a border-line was enormous. If they were to have opening in one locality and closing in another, it would lead to deplorable results, as had been the case in Cardiff.'A large deputation, accompanied by Members of Parliament, waited last year on the Home Secretary and urged the same facts. In their Manorial they stated that—Local option would be unworkable and impracticable. It would multiply, in hundreds 330 of cases and places, the border difficulty. It would increase, and in many districts hitherto free actually create, the nuisance and evil of travelling for drink which at present is one of the abuses most needing to be remedied. This would mean undoubtedly an increase in public drunkenness.He thought that that was where fundamentally any proposal of local veto must necessarily break down; it would be applied where least wanted, as for instance in residential districts, but it would not be applied in poorer districts where there was a large number of public-houses. The strongest case would be found in the West End of London, where there were a few public-houses which undoubtedly served a certain class of the population, such as servants and early carriers of provisions and vegetables. If there was a vote taken on the question of local veto in such a district, no doubt a great majority of the well-to-do residents who could obtain what liquor they wanted in their own houses, would either not vote at all, or vote for [prohibition. There were many men who had been disturbed by a street noise when drinking their last drop of whisky before going to bed, who in their selfishness would gladly get rid of the public-house at the corner, although that house served their poor neighbours in the same district, who would be undoubtedly driven over the border into another district where they could get a supply of liquor. He protested against any serious social question like this becoming the sport of caprice at popular elections. The issues were far too grave and the result should not be dependent on one local election or another. He was quite certain that if this proposal was once adopted it would lead to such a storm of popular discontent and confusion, that practical temperance proposals would suffer. It was on these grounds that he supported the Amendment of the noble Lord.
§ *MR. TOMKINSON (Cheshire, Crewe)
said he had listened with very considerable surprise to the speech of the hon. Member, who, as he understood, owned a large property in a county not very far from London and in respect of that property possessed an absolute power of veto, the power to prevent a single house for the sale of intoxicating liquor to be 331 opened on the whole of his property. He did not know whether the noble Lord had ever exercised that right, but he did know districts in which by the action of the landowners not a single public-house was allowed. He knew a high road along which he had often ridden for ten miles on returning from hunting, and another road where he had ridden for twelve miles, where there was not a single public-house. [OPPOSITION cries of "Shame."] It did not make the slightest difference to him. He knew of another landowner who would not have a licensed house within a three mile radius of his own dwelling. He was astonished that when it was proposed that the legislature should confer a similar power of prohibition on the majority of the inhabitants of a district hon. Gentlemen opposite should denounce it as a tyrannical and autocratic measure.
said that the hon. Gentleman had referred to himself as having done away with public-houses on his property.
§ *MR. TOMKINSON
said it seemed to be an extraordinary thing to them to say that if there should be a thousand people living in a district it was tyrannical for 500 or so to say that they did not want a new licence, and that it should be called tyrannical and autocratic to leave power in the hands of the people, a power now possessed by a single individual over a whole district.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Croydon)
, who was indistinctly heard, was understood to say that he noticed that on the clause which raised in its entirety the local option question the discussion would be postponed. That would have the result that a discussion which was not permissible now, would take place on Clause 3, but he did not think he should be unfair, if he addressed himself to what was said by the Prime Minister, because although the details of this clause were no doubt very interesting, he did not attach much importance to them, because he thought they would generally be inoperative. But the general principle was important, and it showed how easily a catch-phrase might be applied to a great wrong or a great error. The Prime Minister said that after all the 332 principle was purely democratic, and that these were purely democratic steps. He ventured to submit that the Prime Minister was not entirely of that opinion himself, and that it was not whether the time-limit was for fourteen years or 500 years. It had been his misfortune to analyse the decisions at elections all over the country for a very long time, and it was worth noting that they did not arrive at any general democratic solution by taking the views of small isolated communities in that way. Switzerland was a democratic country. What happened? The small canton of Fribourg passed a resolution in favour of a Roman Catholic University. The whole of the liberal opinion of the canton was against it, but it was carried. What happened? The democratic opinion of Switzerland ignored it, and they had refused to recognise this University. Its degrees were not admitted in any other Swiss University, and the whole thing was carried on in contravention of the law. He remembered very well an election which took place in this country where the majority of the Members of this House were elected by a minority of the voters; and they might have over and over again in large counties where there were large urban populations, and small rural populations, a vote given which would close the whole of these facilities entirely against the views of residents hi the town areas. But after all, the Prime Minister said it was the persons concerned who were affected by the vote. Was the right hon. Gentleman prepared to carry that principle a little further, and apply it to every great question in all the measures which came before this House? And if not, why not? He said it was not right to invoke this principle of democracy or anti-democracy in favour of what was after all a local question—in favour of one clause of one Bill. The eventuality to which the hon. Member for Sheffield referred was certain to happen throughout the country. Parishes situated side by side would give contradictory decisions, and persons in one parish would be injured and damnified by what was done in another, and the decision of districts in favour of what the opposition conceived to be a just and reasonable solution of the question 333 would be overridden by a minority in the county. Let the Prime Minister apply this principle all round. But the right hon. Gentleman did not intend to apply it to one case in a thousand which came before the House; and, therefore, the sooner they got rid of the confusion which might be created by the right hon. Gentleman's statement that they were acting in opposition to a democratic principle the better. They were really protesting on behalf of what they believed to be the freedom and liberties of the people of this country.
§ *MR. CAVE
said he found it difficult to discuss either the clause or some of the Amendments without knowing what the Bill meant as a whole. He wished to discuss whether it was expedient that all existing licences should become new licences after fourteen years. If the clause meant only that no new licences, in the sense in which they now understood the term—that was to say, additional licences—should be granted after the passing of a prohibitory Resolution, it was really a small matter, because, as his noble friend had pointed out, there was already a prohibition in Clause 1 against granting those licences in excess of the scale. He appealed to the Government to say whether he was right in thinking that the effect of the clause would be that, after fourteen years, all existing licences could be suppressed by local veto. If that were so, the clause was open to objections which could not be stated too strongly, because, reading the two clauses together, they meant that, after fourteen years, the surviving licences, which would be presumably those most wanted and those which had paid the most money, might be wiped out by a bare majority of the inhabitants of the locality. There was some ambiguity in the Bill, and surely the Committee was entitled to know what was the meaning of the Government, and whether when they came to Clause 3, they were going to put in some provision that existing licences in their sense would not be affected by Clause 2. He hoped some response would be made to that appeal, as he found it difficult to give his opinion on the clause without having an answer to it. In the meantime, if they obtained no answer he should certainly vote against 334 the clause, as he understood it, as introducing local veto with regard to existing as well as future licences.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman, which was courteous, fair, and reasonable, illustrated the imprudence and inconvenience of discussing on Clause 2 anything more than Clause 2 itself. Clause 2 was confined to new licences, and all its provisions were confined to that, and it was not until they came to Clause 3 that Clause 2 had any effect upon existing licences. If he were, in response to his hon. friend's courteous appeal—and he must say something—to go into matters of detail as to what the Government would do when they reached the next clause, he would open the floodgates of discussion and upset the whole of the Resolution giving time for the discussion of the clauses, and debar the Committee from devoting the time allocated to Clause 2, in which there were important and practical considerations. As to the majority by which local option was to be voted, and the area within which it was to be voted, he would say at once—and he appealed to the House not to take advantage of it and widen the area of discussion—that when they came to Clause 3, the second subsection, he should certainly make it clear that it was not the intention of the Government that after the expiration of the fourteen years the existing licences should be got rid of by a bare majority, and in no Local Option Bill that he had ever known, dealing with existing licences put forward by a responsible Minister, had any such intention been expressed. To that extent he might reassure his hon. friend, but he deprecated discussion as to the effect of Clause 3 until that clause came before the House.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said his hon. friend appealed to the Government to make clear the scheme which they proposed in relation to Clause 2 and Clause 3, and he might be peculiarly unfortunate or peculiarly slow of apprehension, but he really was left in an absolute fog as to what the Government's intention was. He did not believe that any hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side had the smallest idea of what 335 their intention was. [Ironical cries I of "Hear, hear," from the LABOUR benches.] There might be some hon. Gentleman below the gangway who did understand what the intention of the Government was; they might be in their confidence, but he would mention an hon. Member who was not in their confidence. There was the hon. Member for Westmoreland, who had taken the keenest interest in this question for many years past, and whose honesty and ardour he respected, although he profoundly differed from his opinions. What had the hon. Gentleman said in the country? He said this meant a I ocal Veto Bill in the fullest sense of the word, because if Clauses 2 and 3 were taken together the only possible interpretation was that at the end of the time-limit every existing licence would be a new licence, and that all the provisions with regard to local veto would be applied. That was also the view of the Under-Secretary for the Home Department, but it now seemed that that was not the view of the Prime Minister, and they were left in absolute confusion as to what was the meaning of the Government by the two clauses taken in their logical and natural connection. He was anxious to follow the ruling of the Chair, and to abstain from discussing the broad question, but he must say if the Government did not put on their own Bill the interpretation which every other human being had put upon it, they ought to have placed on the Notice Paper the Amendments which were absolutely necessary, in order that the House might understand what the Government were driving at. He spoke in the presence of a large number of hon. Members opposite who differed from him, but who were equally anxious to know what interpretation the Government put on it. He objected to the Bill as drawn; they approved of it; but those who objected and these who approved were quite agreed as to what it meant. If he was right and the Government were going to withdraw from the Bill as it had been drawn, and to put an entirely new view as to what was to occur at the end of fourteen years, he thought it would be desirable in the interests of the debate that they should put on the Paper of the House those Amendments which, when introduced 336 on Clause 3, would make clear what was now the utterly obscure and nebulous policy which they were recommending for their consideration. He could understand the Prime Minister's anxiety that this debate should not wander off into a discussion upon local option, but he must enter his most serious protest against the treatment the Government had meted out to the House in leaving them up to within a few hours of the discussion on Clause 3 in absolute ignorance of what it was that they meant. Without asking the Government to discuss or to defend any proposals which might be brought before the Committee to-morrow, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee what was the Amendment, which no doubt the right hon. Gentleman had in his portfolio, but which he had refused to put upon the Paper and which was so to alter Clause 3 that it would neither carry out the wishes of the hon. Member for Westmoreland nor the policy to which those who sat on the Opposition side of the House were and always had been opposed.
§ MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
thought this debate justified what he had ventured to say on the Second Reading of the Bill. A great mistake had been made in jumbling together a licensing and a temperance Bill. He said that as one who had advocated the main principle of this Bill for more years than most of the Members now supporting it. He felt very strongly indeed the absolute need of the essential principle of the Bill, which was that the nation should obtain the control of the drink traffic. He would have thought that was object enough. It was certainly sufficient to raise enough opposition and difficulty without putting into the Bill a number of temperance matters. He was not going to discuss them, but would merely say that this was not a proper temperance measure, and these matters ought not to have been put into it. A number of things had been put in, and he protested against them. As a supporter of the main principle of the Bill, he protested against "local option," "barmaids," and many other things being brought in. He opposed the whole of these things, because he believed they were unwise. It was all very well 337 for Members who were enthusiastic in these matters to support them, but he asked the Committee not to jeopardise the main principle of the Bill, which was that the nation should get the control of this traffic. Once the nation had got that it could manage it as it chose. But it was almost a breach of faith to say that the nation should then be tied by these restrictions. All these matters of local veto and the like were matters for posterity. They had no right to meddle with posterity. It was because he wished to see the main principle passed into law that he opposed this clause.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH (Liverpool, Walton)
asked the Government whether he rightly interpreted the position as explained by the Prime Minister. As he understood it, the present view of the Government was that the local option proposals were not to operate in regard to the new licences under Clause 2. [Cries of "No."] That only showed how extremely important it was that there should be a clear statement. He confessed the construction he placed on the answer made by the right hon. Gentleman was that at the conclusion of the fourteen years reduction period it was not the intention of the Government that the licences, which became new under the extraordinary provisions of Clause 3, should be included under local option within the scope of Clause 2. Was he now to understand that the view of the right hon. Gentleman was identical with that expressed by the Under-Secretary in answer to a Question put by the hon. Member for Westmoreland in this House? The Question was—Am I right in supposing that if no fresh legislation is passed, the licences, having become new licences, will be subject to the local option provision of Clause 2.The Under-Secretary to the Home Department made a short and lucid reply. He said "Yes." They were, therefore, face to face with the fact that the present proposals of Clause 2 were to apply to every licence in the country as soon as the fourteen years had expired.
§ MR. E. E. SMITH
said in that case he would not continue to discuss the Amendment. The point of order would and must arise on the next Amendment on the Paper. He would, therefore, say nothing further, except that if they were to discuss to-day the question of whether or not they should agree to the proposals for local option, without in any way knowing the scope to be given to those proposals, a less profitable discussion could not be taken.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
said he imagined from the Chairman's ruling that all these Amendments limiting reduction period would be out of [order. He had one objection to local option that he had always had, and it was a matter of regret to him that he was opposed to his friends upon this matter. He was in favour of temperance and temperance legislation. He would like to see this traffic under the control of the State, and not in the hands in which it was at present. If this clause was to make local option unlimited he, with many of his friends, would have to vote against it. As he had said he understood these Amendments would be out of order.
I do not think they are out of order. I am inclined to think that some of them are likely to bring up this question, but I do not think it arises properly on the Motion to leave out this subsection. If it arises at all it arises on the Amendment for the reduction of the period.
§ MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
appealed to the Prime Minister to give the Committee a clear statement as to the arrangement he had come to, and to let the Committee have a free and fair discussion upon it. Members had come down to the House prepared to discuss the whole question, but under the ruling of the Chairman had been restricted to a very small part of it, namely, the new licences to be granted during the reduction period. There might be a few such cases. If there were, why could not the Government leave the matter to the licensing justices? They had a knowledge of the district 339 Anyone who had sat on a licensing bench knew the difficulty of getting a new licence. The Prime Minister said that on Clause 3 he would make certain proposals. He gathered those proposals would be to alter the majority. If the right hon. Gentleman altered the majority it would only come back to Clause 2. Clause 3 was going to rule all licences after the reduction period, and, therefore, it would be convenient for the House now to discuss Clause 2 as applicable to licences after the reduction period.
The hon. Member appears to be discussing that clause at large. If this question arises at all on this clause it will arise on the Amendment to insert the words "at any time during the reduction period."
§ MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS
expressed his fear that when Clause 3 came to be discussed the Committee would be told that Clause 2 had been passed, and that they could not go back to it.
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY (Hackney, S.)
said that as he happened to have upon the Paper an Amendment to omit this clause, he might be allowed the opportunity at this stage to address the Committee. He shared the embarrassment of hon. Members as to where they stood, and he would like to endeavour if possible correctly to interpret the somewhat oracular utterance of the Prime Minister. He gathered that the right hon. Gentleman wished the Committee to understand that while he had up his sleeve—to use a cant phrase—some modification of the clause, they must for the moment content themselves with discussing the point of what was erroneously called local option, but what was really local veto with regard to its operation in Clause 2 as it stood—in other words, in regard to its operation during the reduction period. He construed the Prime Minister's words in this way: "We have a very difficult Bill to pass through the House, and we have a very militant section of supporters whom it has been our custom to study. We have had to throw them this sop of local option, and by a stroke of ingenuity on the part of our draftsmen, we have given them something which appears to satisfy them, but which 340 turns out to be nothing more than this: We have given you local option during a period in which there will be absolutely no new licences to vote against, and when the time comes for the old licences to become new licences we are going to take the local option from you by some method which it would not now be in order to discuss." He was in the House when the hon. Member for Westmoreland asked the question as to whether local option under this particular clause would prevail after the reduction period, and the Under-Secretary made the laconic answer "Yes." The right hon. Gentleman, the Prime Minister, with his legal mind, knew that when a clause of an Act of Parliament said that something which had been provided for should be subsequently enforced, it could only be enforced as might subsequently be determined by Parliament; it did not become operative until Parliament had again considered it. He understood the position to be this: Under the clause they were asked to say—and to this he particularly called the attention of the hon. Member for Westmoreland and the right hon. Member for Spen Valley—that if it were a question of any new licence about to be granted during the reduction period—a state of things which it was almost impossible to conceive—they were to get together a handful of parish voters, who might prevent the justices who were responsible from granting it. That was all they were doing at present. In contemplating the vote he should give on this point he would bear in mind the fact that possibly to-morrow the House might determine that, after the reduction period, existing, licences should become new licences. That was the meaning of Clause 2. Therefore he must not vote for local option under Clause 2, without having present in his mind that local option might become operative and applicable, under some other clause, to all other licences to come. That being so, he went right back to first principles and asked himself what they were talking about, what local option meant, and especially what it meant under the provisions of this extraordinary Bill—this omnibus Bill. He would like to throw out this specific and definite challenge to any hon. Gentleman who supported the Bill. 341 Could he point to any place on the earth in which local option — as it was so erroneously called—had been in operation, where the total consumption of alcoholic drink had been lessened by 1d. in the course of the year. That was a fair test. [The Prime Minister here left the House.] He was sorry he had frightened the right hon. Gentleman away—[Laughter]—but he was happy to see present the right hon. Gentleman's able lieutenant, the right hon. Member for Spen Valley, who was the real author of this Bill. He asked this specific question—Where had local option done any good from the temperance point of view? They might point to one or two limited districts and say that by the artificial operation of this system in such a district, there was a less consumption in that particular piece of God's earth; but as against that, they had the fact that there was a great consumption in the district immediately adjoining, with infinitely intensified evils. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] That being so, the first foundation of the proposal was gone. He took the phrase which was used on that side of the House, "local option"—but perhaps he used it with less of tongue in his cheek, if he might say so respectfully, than did the noble Lord opposite—and he would say that it was utterly opposed to every principle of democratic Government. They talked glibly about giving the people power to decide, but they did not give that power. First of all, they selected a carefully limited section of the community to decide the question; and, on that, let him remind hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House that where local option had been put in force the highest poll ever recorded did not exceed 33 per cent. of the parish electors. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] The hon. Member said "No." He repeated that the highest poll ever recorded in favour of any local option resolutions, in any part of the world, did not exceed 33 per cent. and the average number of the votes did not much exceed 25 per cent. even of the limited electorate entitled to vote. Dealing strictly with the right of any section of the community to vote on the question of licences, he submitted that, on the point of principle, it was utterly opposed to every principle of representative Government. It reduced every representative of the people, 342 whether municipal or parliamentary, to the position of a mere delegate—a position which he hoped no hon. friend near him was prepared to accept—at any rate in that House, whatever might be necessary in other congresses and associations. So much for the principle of the thing; but what about its effects? He happened to make an inquiry yesterday of a friend who lived very near to that earthly paradise, the Garden City of Letchworth. There there was no public-house, and he assumed that local veto in operation would have that effect, and he asked his friend what would be the effect on the Garden City. Might he ask the attention of the Committee to this letter which be had received, and which explained what followed the operation of local veto as contemplated by Section 1 of this clause? The letter said—The Garden City (two and a half miles from Hitchin) has a population, approximately, of 5,000 people—men, women and children. Of these about 2,000 would be working men. There are two licensed houses on the estate, which were in existence before the city was established. They are four miles apart, at opposite corners of the estate. There are no other facilities whatever for obtaining drink, as grocers and clubs are expressly barred from selling it. The consequence is that an enormous amount of secret drinking goes on in private houses. In fact, I have been told by several people who are in a position to know, and I have checked the statements by careful inquiries, that it is no uncommon thing for three or four 36-gallon casks of beer to be delivered a week at workmen's cottages. Of course, it is kept pretty quiet, or they would get into trouble with the Revenue officers. Then others, finding they have no facilities in the city, make a weekly pilgrimage on Saturday afternoons to Hitchiu and Baldock (three miles away), and stop in the 'pubs' till the last train, at 10.30 p.m., to the Garden City. This train has got to be known as the 'drunkard's train,' so bad is the condition in which they get.
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY
Well, that was a direct result of the prohibition which existed in that place, and which would arise under local veto if it existed in this particular way. They were dealing here with one particular evil called the drink evil, and to test this principle of local veto he was entitled to say that if it were applied to the drink traffic it might legitimately be 343 applied to any other traffic which in the honest opinion of a section of the community is injurious to morality. The noble Lord had referred to the butcher's trade. He confessed, and he confessed proudly, that he was one of those who believed that more evils and more crime were directly attributable to over-indulgence in animal food than to any other traffic. If this principle of local veto were conceded, why not go further and give the right to a certain section of the community to veto the establishment of butchers' shops?—and, according to the provisions of this Bill, the only voters would be the greengrocers. When he found a principle like this put forward by a democratic Government he was reminded of the words: "Oh, liberty, what burlesques are perpetrated in thy name!" He was sorry to take this attitude towards the clause, but he regarded it as a sop to a confiding section of the Liberal Party to get through the House another portion of the Bill, and an infinitely more iniquitous one. He was satisfied that local veto so established could never operate during the reduction period, because there would be no new licences to which it could apply, and after the reduction period all other licences became new licences. He ventured respectfully to urge the Committee to pause before passing this clause, which would stultify them in discussing the next, and would affirm the principle that one small section of the community was to be entitled, simply for its own comfort and convenience, and not for any other reason, to shift to some other sections all the disadvantages and annoyances of an objectionable trade. To call such action "temperance reform" was, he thought, a burlesque of language and a subversion of every democratic principle of liberty which the Party on that side of the Home was suppose to support.
§ *MR. VIVIAN (Birkenhead)
said he desired to repudiate in the strongest way possible the insinuations which the hon. Member who had just sat down had made again that night with regard to the Garden City.
§ *MR. VIVIAN
said he would not detain the House more than a few moments, but it was a case on which he felt he ought to speak. First of all, this story by a nameless gentleman who made what, he submitted, were purposely vague charges, and therefore incapable of proof and because of their indefiniteness difficult of being disproved. He was, however, acquainted with one or two facts which tended to dispose of the insinuations. He had been for some time chairman of a society which was one of the largest employers in the Garden City—employing more than 200 workmen. A more steady, sober, temperate body of workmen he had never been acquainted with in his life. At the present moment he was chairman of the same society which collected the largest number of rents in the Garden City, being probably half the total number of houses, occupied by the workpeople at the city, and a more sober body of tenants was never known. Judging by the regularity with which the rents were paid, they had evidence that these people knew how to make the right use of their wages. As chairman of this society he came into close contact with what he thought was the largest social club in the city. He could assure the hon. Gentleman that a more decent and sober lot of men. [Ironical cheers.] He did not understand those cheers.
§ *MR. VIVIAN
said he would have thought, if sympathy should have come from any quarter with a movement such as had been inaugurated at Garden City, it should have come from the opposite side. Indeed, he knew they had many of their best supporters on that side of the House. He said emphatically there was absolutely no foundation for the insinuations and the charges made in this broadcast way. That there were isolated cases, which could be brought against any town in the world, he would not of course deny, but that the broad imputations were true he absolutely denied, and he was prepared to submit evidence in the proper place to substantiate his denial.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
said he had no personal knowledge of the Garden City of I etchworth, but he knew something of a somewhat similar experiment close to his own home in the neighbourhood of Birmingham, in the garden city established there by Mr. Cadbury, and he would be surprised if it were not the case that the people who were the first to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by garden cities were not men of a very high type of character and rather the pick of their class than a sample of the abounding population of a crowded industrial area. Therefore, it was extremely probable that all that the hon. Member had just said about the general character of the inhabitants was quite true, and that it was very unlikely that there should be in such a community, and under such circumstances, a special indulgence in drink which they did not find elsewhere. But the question raised was really wider than as regarded a particular garden city, and the dangers were much greater in other places than in garden cities. He remembered a description of the village at Bournville in one of the daily papers, and the fierce indignation of the inhabitants at its being supposed that they had ever been or were likely to be slum dwellers, or belonged to that class of the population. But when they applied the same kind of restriction, to which the picked inhabitants of these special cities willingly submitted, to the masses of the crowded quarters of our
§ towns, would they not run a very great danger of promoting the kind of evils to which the hon. Member for South Hackney alluded? That was a serious question, because information supplied to him from more than one town led him to believe that there had been a tendency in recent years to form drinking clubs of a perfectly informal character in private houses. Bodies of men—not the best workmen, not characteristic workmen—who found difficulty in getting drink during prohibited hours on Sundays, subscribed sixpence apiece, bought a barrel of beer, and had it delivered to the house of one of them. They met on Sunday morning and sat there until the beer was consumed. He believed any attempt to enforce local veto in crowded populations was certain to lead to a tremendous development of secret drinking, which was infinitely more dangerous to the individual and to the community than any amount of regulated and public drinking. It was because he believed that any effort to impose upon a large number of people what, perhaps, a bare majority or a minority who went to the poll on a particular occasion chose to consider good for them, would lead to a great increase in secret drinking and all its abuses, that he was wholly opposed to giving such powers as were contemplated in this subsection.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 261; Noes, 99. (Division List No. 254.)349
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, R'mf'rd||Cameron, Robert|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Alden, Percy||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cawley, Sir Frederick|
|Armitage, R.||Black, Arthur W.||Chance, Frederick William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Boulton, A. C. F.||Channing, Sir Francis Allston|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Brace, William||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Bramsdon, T. A.||Cleland, J. W.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Brigg, John||Clough, William|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Bright, J. A.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brooke, Stopford||Collins, Stepher (Lambeth)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Cooper, G. J.|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Beauchamp, E.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Cory, Sir Clifford John|
|Bell, Richard||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Bennett, E. N.||Byles, William Pollard||Crooks, William|
|Crossley, William J.||Lamb, Ernest H. Rochester)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Lambert, George||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Lewis, John Herbert||Seddon, J.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Shackleton, David James|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Lupton, Arnold||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Duckworth, James||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Maclean, Donald||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Macpherson, J. T.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Erskine, David C.||M'Callum, John M.||Snowden, P.|
|Essex, R. W.||M'Crae, Sir George||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||M'Micking, Major G.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Mallet, Charles E.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Field, William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Marks, G. Croydon (Launcest'n||Summerbell, T.|
|Findlay, Alexander||Marnham, F. J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Masterman, C. F. G.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Menzies, Walter||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Middlebrook, William||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Fullerton, High||Molteno, Percy Alport||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampt'n|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Glover, Thomas||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Tomkinson, James|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Myer, Horatio||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Napier, T. B.||Ure, Alexander|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Nicholls, George||Verney, F. W.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Vivian, Henry|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wadsworth, J.|
|Gulland, John W.||Nuttall, Harry||Walsh, Stephen|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||O'Grady, J.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Parker, James (Halifax)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Partington, Oswald||Wardle, George J.|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paulton, James Mellor||Waring, Walter|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcest'r||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Perks, Sir Robert William||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southamptn||Weir, James Galloway|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Radford, G. H.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Raphael, Herbert H.||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hodge, John||Redmond, William (Clare)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Rees, J. D.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Rendall, Athelstan||Williamson, A.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampt'n||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Hudson, Walter||Richardson, A.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Ridsdale, E. A.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Robinson, S.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Jowett, F. W.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Mr. Joseph Pease and Master.|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Rose, Charles Day||of Elibank.|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rowlands, J.|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fell, Arthur||Nolan, Joseph|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Oddy, John James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Forster, Henry William||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gretton, John||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barnard, E. B.||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Renwick, George|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.||Haddock, George B.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hamilton, Marquess of||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bertram, Julius||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Heaton, John Henniker||Sassoon, Sir Albert Albert|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Helmsley, Viscount||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hill, Sir Clement||Smith, F. E. (Iiverpool, Walton|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Houston, Robert Paterson||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Cave, George||Kerry, Earl of||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Winterton, Earl|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Younger, George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||McArthur, Charles||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Valentia|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
§ *MR. BENNETT (Oxfordshire, Woodstock)
said he had intended by his Amendment to call attention to the fact that existing licences would in 1923 automatically come under the conditions applicable to new licences, and to ask for some assurance that local veto by a bare majority would not apply to these licences. He now understood from what the Prime Minister had stated that such licences as survived the process of elimination in 1923 would not be exposed to any prohibition by a bare majority vote. He felt reassured on this point, and so did not move.
§ *MR. CAVE
said that if the hon. Member did not move he proposed to move the Amendment himself, because he did not understand from the Prime Minister that Clause 2 would not apply to existing licences. He certainly thought he said something to that effect, but afterwards it was modified, and he now understood that it was 350 intended, to some extent at all events, that Clause 2 should apply to licenced now existing. It might be that he had some proposal in his mind for altering the majority by which, in the case of old licences, local veto should be enforced. But he had not said he proposed to introduce into Clause 3 any words to make it clear that for the purposes of Clause 2 these were not new licences, and it was extremely important that the House should vote on the point. The effect of the Amendment which he now moved was that Clause 2 only applied during the reduction period, leaving it to Clause 3 to determine what would happen to all licences after that period. He did not know that he need at any length discuss whether prohibition ought to apply to old licences. He did not think anybody who had thought upon the question would fail to see that if that were enacted very grave injustice would be done; because they were saying that during the next fourteen years redundant licences should be cut off, leaving, of course, the best houses and those which were most required. Then by this clause, 351 as altered, they enabled a bare majority of any licensing district, composed, as no doubt it would be, of persons who had no use whatever for any public-house, to close the whole of the remaining houses, 60,000 in number, in the Kingdom, without a penny of compensation, and without any substantial notice to the holder of the licence. He did not think any such proposal had ever yet been made—certainly not by any Government—and he could not believe until he was assured of it that the Government meant that, but unless the clause was altered, that was the real effect of the Bill.
In page 2, line 8, to leave out from the word 'If,' to the word 'a,' in line 9, and to insert the words 'during the reduction period.'"—(Mr. Cave.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."
§ MR. ASQUITH
said that, in view of the ruling which the Chairman had given, it appeared to him that the Amendment did not raise the point which the hon. and learned Gentleman wished to raise. The question did not arise until Clause 3, where they were to give to the term "new licence" in Clause 2 an extension of meaning which in itself the term did not convey, and which was only imported into it after they had assented to Clause 3 in some form or other. If he was right in that contention, the simple effect of carrying the Amendment would be that the local option provision of the clause would not apply to new licences in the old sense of the term—after the expiration of the reduction period. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not want that. Nobody wanted that. The point that the hon. and learned Gentleman wanted to raise was whether at the expiration of the reduction period the local option provisions of Clause 2 should apply to existing licences after the reduction had taken place. That was a question which could only be discussed on Clause 3, which was not relevant to Clause 2 at all, and was not even raised by the Amendment. The Amendment simply raised the question whether new licences 352 in the strict, old, proper sense of the term should or should not be subject after the fourteen years to the operation of what was called local veto. He was very sorry he had unwittingly enlarged the area of the debate. He would have done better to have held his tongue, but he thought it was for the convenience of Members on both sides that he should indicate that the Government would make it perfectly clear by express terms that it had never been their intention that a bare majority should decide the question of the continuance of these existing licences after the expiration of the reduction period. They would be subject to the local option provisions. They would be new licences in the full sense of the term, so that the local veto on the proper requisition could be taken. But they never intended, and he believed no responsible statesman had ever proposed, an operation of that kind in regard to existing licences by a bare majority. The Amendment to Clause 3 would appear on the Paper to-morrow, and as the discussion of that subsection did not come on until Monday, there would be ample time to consider whether the language they put down in fact carried out their intentions.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
expressed great regret that the right hon. Gentleman, after the opportunity for meditation in the holidays, was not going to put down the Amendment making Clause 3 clear until to-morrow. It was perfectly true that every Minister in charge of a Bill must, in the face of discussion and criticism, make modifications in his Bill, and put down Amendments carrying out those modifications. As he understood, he was only going to put down an Amendment which made clear what had always been the intention of the Government, and it was rather hard that what the Government always intended should only be told to the country two or three days before it came on for discussion. This was not a conclusion forced upon the Government by adverse criticism. It was their original intention, and why on earth the Government could not make their original intention clear in their original draft the right hon. Gentleman had not explained. The speech he had just 353 made, while leaving them in great doubt as to what the general scheme of the Bill was, gave the strongest possible argument for introducing the Amendment. But although they did not know what the Government plan was, the right hon. Gentleman had dropped enough to make it clear that, while he was going to have local veto, he was not going to have local veto by a bare majority. He was going to introduce some modification of the rather crude and simple plan embodied in Clause 2. As soon as they did adopt that modified plan, by which a bare majority was to cease to have power in regard to existing licences, they ought to make their scheme universal, and make it apply to all licences, and not merely to those new licences in the sense of Clause 3, but to new licences in the sense in which "new" was used in the Bill of 1904. Could anything be more absurd than what was apparently the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman, which was to have two methods of local veto running concurrently after the end of fourteen years? As he understood it, they would have a scheme of really new licences dealt with by a bare majority running at the same time with a scheme dealing with what were not properly called new licences—with old licences renewed—done on some different principle which had always been known to the Government, and which they had never revealed to the House or the country. This was the only opportunity Members would have of pointing out this absurdity. When they had been forced under pressure to accept this scheme of a bare majority with regard to the really new licences, it would be too late to say how ridiculous it was to have a different system running concurrently for the other licences. If the Government still wished to keep up an attitude of secrecy, they ought at least to explain so much as was required to justify a policy which had a wholly different method after the fourteen years period of dealing with new licences and dealing with continued licences. The Government were not merely limiting debate by artificial restrictions, but requiring such debate as was allowed to be carried on to be conducted under impossible conditions. It had been suggested to the Committee that the plan of dealing with local veto 354 by a bare majority should be continued for fourteen years and fourteen years alone. If the Government wanted that plan extended and running side by side with some other plan, they surely ought to a ford the Committee the means of comparing the two. If not, the plan ought to be restricted—as was proposed in the Amendment—to the fourteen years. Whatever Members' opinions might be about the Bill, he thought they would agree with him as to the procedure of the House of Commons. For the Government not to disclose both their systems was a violation of all Parliamentary procedure and Parliamentary decorum, for which he did not believe a precedent could be stated. The Committee were helpless. The House had bound itself with fetters which it could not at that moment shake off; and the Government were masters of the situation. If the right hon. Gentleman thought he was forced by Parliamentary exigencies to deal with this Bill by closure by compartments, he was not compelled so to misuse the powers given him as to keep the Committee in ignorance of provisions which were absolutely necessary for a rational discussion of the subject.
§ *MR. SHERWELL (Huddersfield)
said the hon. and learned member who moved the Amendment had failed to see that if carried it would not meet his point. Under it veto might still extend to two years beyond the reduction period, because subsection (1) was governed by subsection (5), which provided that once a resolution was decided by a ballot no fresh ballot could be taken for a period of three years.
§ MR. SHERWELL
said he understood that the Government meant to put down same Amendment that would guarantee that, but as the clause now stood it would be possible to continue complete veto of all licences for two years beyond the reduction period. It was desirable that 355 they should have some assurance that such a contingency should not arise.
§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W. R. Barkston Ash)
suggested that, in view of what the Prime Minister had said, the hon. Member would not only be fully justified in but fully desirous of moving his Amendment. Nothing could be clearer than that what was meant was that all licences were to go, and what the Government contemplated was merely, a change of machinery. The answer given by the Prime Minister made it all the more necessary and important, as the Leade of the Opposition had said, that they should press the Amendment, because they were in ignorance of the real intension of the Government and of their policy. Personally, he had very little doubt as to the real meaning of that policy. The whole question of local veto was surely raised now in a stronger form than they could have anticipated, and it was therefore far more important now than it was before that the Amendment should be pressed. He only hoped that in the division the Amendment would be supported by a large number of Members opposite who were opposed to local veto as a matter of principle, and that they would thus take the opportunity of saying that the method of the Government was not a proper one.
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER (Hants-Basingstoke)
said he found himself in a position of the greatest difficulty in regard to this clause and the Amendment which had been moved, and he felt convinced that that difficulty must be very largely shared not only by his own colleagues on that side of the House, but by hon. Members on the back benches opposite. He would look with the greatest interest to see not only how hon. Members opposite voted, but what they would say before the division took place, in regard to what he would venture to say was the extraordinary position in which the House of Commons found itself placed. The Committee were called upon to make up their minds upon the expediency or otherwise of a certain clause which was printed here, and they had to ask themselves before they passed that clause what its practical operation and real meaning 356 would be. That clause, which was of the utmost moment, would have operation in this country during the reduction period. That they all understood, and the Amendment, if carried, would limit its operation to that period upon which light was thrown. Would it have operation after the expiration of the reduction period? At one time that was denied, but a question of great importance was asked by the hon. Member for Westmoreland, and it was answered, in his humble judgment, in the only way in which it could be answered, having regard to the terms of the Bill. If the matter stood there, they should know where they were, and they should know what the operation of the cause would be after the expiration of the reduction period. Whether they approved or disapproved they should be voting on that which they knew. They were now told that the clause would have some operation—and any operation it had would be of great importance and would affect the lives of many—but they were not told what the operation would be. That was left unknown. Hon. Gentlemen on the back benches opposite, whose credit was involved at the present moment, were asked to vote in the dark for a clause the meaning of which the Committee did not know, on the faith and belief that the Government would so alter a subsequent, clause that the meaning of the present clause would be found satisfactory. He appealed to Members of the Committee not to tolerate a proceeding to which no member of Parliament ought to consent, and to insist on not recording a vote on the merits of this clause until they were able to say to themselves that they knew what its practical operation in the country would be.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir S. EVANS,) Glamorganshire, Mid.
said he thought that the clause was perfectly clear, irrespective of the application which might be given to it when they came to a subsequent clause in the Bill. The meaning of it was that with regard to all new licences not merely for the fourteen years, but for all time, they could have local option by a bare majority. New licences was a term well understood. It had been used often. It had been used 357 several times in the Act of 1904; and when they knew what a new licence meant in the Act of 1904 they know what this clause meant, viz., that with regard to every new licence the local option machinery was to be put in motion.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that they all read the clauses of an Act together; but when they were discussing a Bill in Committee they did not. They must then deal with the Bill clause by clause, otherwise they could not get on with the work of the Committee. He quite agreed that if they did anything in Clause 3 which would alter Clause 2 it was quite right to ask something about Clause 2, but if Clause 2 had a distinct and definite meaning in itself, Parliament had to determine whether that clause should be passed.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that the speech of the hon. and learned Solicitor-General was extraordinary for more reasons than one, but it would hardly produce the effect which the Solicitor-General desired. The hon. and learned Gentleman said in effect that they had in this clause a constructive piece of machinery for a specific purpose, and that it was confined entirely to new licences, but that it was wholly irrelevant in a discussion on the clause to consider what use was to be made of the machinery created by the clause. The question raised by the Amendment was: Should a new licence continue to be refused after the expiry of the reduction period by a bare majority? That was, he contended, a wholly unreasonable and absurd proposal. He thought it was absurd to apply such a condition even during the reduction period. Indeed, he could hardly conceive it possible that, for all time, new licences should be capable of being refused by a majority of one elector. They would thereby be putting the power into the hands of those who had never occasion to use a public-house of saying that those who did use it should not do so. But the clause meant more than that. It meant that those who habitually used intoxicating 358 liquors, and who, like most Members of this House, had their own stores of liquor in their own cellars, should have the right of saying to their poorer neighbours in the same district, "You shall not enjoy the acknowledged conveniences which a licensed house brings within your reach." He knew it was said, that thus was not class legislation, but what legislation could be more tinged with a class character than legislation which enabled those who had no need of the ordinary conveniences used by the poor, to say that the poor should not have the advantage of those conveniences. He should support the Amendment of his hon. friend if he went to a division.
§ MR. MACLEAN (Bath)
said that in many parts of the country large new communities were arising—districts in which streets of working men's houses were erected. He instanced the case of the large seaport of Barry which had grown up, and had now a population of 30,000. There were quite a large number of public-houses in the town to satisfy the needs of the general community. Now the working men—entirely irrespective of whether they were abstainers or otherwise, and no matter what was their political belief—had bought or erected for themselves dwelling-houses by the score, and had elected to live in that portion of the community away from the main streets. Of his own knowledge he knew, and also because the working men had themselves told him that they had gone to live in that locality because they desired that they and their families should be free from the nuisance of the public-houses which were in the main streets. But what had happened in Barry? The brewers had, year after year, endeavoured to rush the licensing magistrates and force them to grant licences in that particular locality, and the members of the community in that particular locality had at their own expense opposed at the licensing Courts these applications for licences; and by some good fortune they had managed to keep their streets free from the presence of public-houses. What was the proposition in the clause under discussion? It was that instead of these working men being put to the nuisance and expense of fighting out this question before the bench of licensing 359 magistrates year after year, they should be free for a term of years. He did not call that class legislation. He called it entirely democratic.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that the hon. Gentleman would see that his illustration did not apply at all. He had spoken on the question of a bare majority. In the case referred to by the hon. Gentleman probably 99 per cent. of the electors might vote against a licence.
§ MR. MACLEAN
said that even on the question of a bare majority, he suggested that with the facilities already existing in the community at large, a bare majority were entitled to protect themselves.
said he would remind the Committee that the question under discussion was not what the majority was to be. That was to be decided by a subsequent Amendment.
§ MR. MACLEAN
said that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire had forced this question on the Committee. His argument was that in the concrete instance he had cited the licensing magistrates had adjudicated against the granting of a licence because its re usal would be an immense benefit to the community of that particular district.
§ VISCOUNT HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk)
said that the remarks of the hon. Gentleman had produced on him exactly the contrary effect to that which the hon. Gentleman had intended. In the first place he pointed out how well the magistrates in a particular locality did their duty, but that afforded another argument against local veto, which appeared to him to be absolutely unnecessary. Suppose that that community wished exactly the opposite, and suddenly realised the need of a public-house, did the hon. Member mean to say that the other people—a few families living in another part of the licensing district—ought to have the right to prevent this locality from getting the licensed house it required? That seemed to him to be one of the most absurd propositions ever put forward, and it 360 certainly, as had been said, was most undemocratic in principle. He would like to deal with some remarks the Solicitor-General made lately. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think it was absurd on their part to complain that they did not know what they were discussing with regard to this particular section or Amendment. He also said that if this section was altered by any words in a section which followed it, then they would have some excuse for complaining, and would be entitled to ask what the alteration would be; but it seemed to him that the whole thing hung upon the word "new," and what they wanted to know before they voted on this section was, what was meant by the words "new licence" in line 12 of that sub-section. He had always held that in reading a Bill, one had to find out by definitions contained in the Bill or a subsequent clause what the different words in it meant; and looking at Clause 3 they saw this—An application for the re-grant of any 'on' licence shall be treated as an application for the grant of a new licence.Looking at that, it was perfectly obvious that this new licence meant any "on" licence. If that was not the intention of the Government, not only would they have to amend Clause 3, with regard to the majority, but they would have to introduce some Amendment with regard to the definition of a new licence. That Amendment had never been foreshadowed by the Prime Minister, or the Solicitor-General, and they were still in the dark as to what they had to vote upon. Surely they were drifting, or the Government were drifting, into a very difficult position. They started their Bill obviously meaning that at the end of fourteen years local option was to come into effect. That was how it was read up and down the country; that was how the hon. Member for Westmoreland understood it, and how everybody understood it. Now for some reason unknown to the House, perhaps because or criticism in the country, they took up the position that that was not what they meant at all, that they never meant anything of the kind, but that on the contrary, local option was to be quite different, and was to refer only to new licences under the 361 definition of previous Acts, and not having any regard to this new definition at all. Surely they were entitled to some further explanation. If they were to take it that the clause was confined to new licences in the ordinary sense of the term, and not as defined in the Bill, this local veto provision was of rather more importance than had hitherto been attached to it. If it meant what the Prime Minister said it meant, he should vote for the Amendment, but, on the wider question, they were entitled to a more definite expression of opinion.
§ MR. WALSH (Lancashire, Ince)
said he had listened very carefully to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition when he spoke of parallel and contemporaneous cases—a high sounding phrase of which it was difficult to get at the meaning. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that parallel treatment should be meted out to the two classes of cases. In the first place, they might be parallel so far as period went, but they were not parallel in their incidence. In the one instance they had a case of a house which, during the statutory period, was paying its fair levy for compensation all the time, but when a new licence was created there was practically no such thing at all. He looked now to the title of the clause, which was "Local Option as to Prohibition of Grant of New Licenses," giving the power to localities to prevent the construction of something that was not yet in existence. In the case of the old licence there were, of course, very great interests involved, and they had to consider those interests, and to take into account an entirely different set of considerations from those which existed where old interests had not become established. A great deal was said about this clause being undemocratic, but perhaps he might be allowed to say that there was no clause in the Bill to which he gave a more unflinching adherence. It had been said that it would be in the power of a bare majority in a particular district to prevent those people drinking who wanted to. Why, that was being done now all over the country. Very greatly to their credit he saw that many lords 362 of manors had forbidden the erection of public-houses within their district. Was that democratic or not? But he supposed hon. Members would believe that it was a right thing to do; and surely that which was right in the case of a man who held an estate, ought to be equally right, and indeed, more than equally right, where 51 people out of 100 voted in favour of no such licenses being constructed. He wondered, after all, whether there was any real heart in the opposition that was being offered to this clause.
§ MR. WALSH
intimated that he would do so, and went on to say that everyone knew the object of the language which was being used. It was to delay, defeat, and obstruct the Bill. He was as anxious as anybody to impute the best motives to hon. Members, but to the limitation during the statutory period of the new licences he could not see any possible objection. A great deal had been said about vested interests in the old licences, but what interests could there be in a licence which had not been granted? Surely it was right to say that no interest having been constructed the people had a right to prevent any being set up. That was what the whole of this clause sought to do. Why should they confine them to fourteen years? The sooner the people had a right to say whether a licence should or should not be granted the better, and though they might give a definite limit to interests which were in existence, why should they give one to the interests which were not constructed? This was a matter to which this House ought to give attention, and he believed there could be no possible ground of argument except that ground of obstructing and delaying the Bill.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said the hon. Gentleman had said that the object of his hon. friends was to delay and defeat the Bill, but if he would study the scope of the Amendment he would see that not a single observation of his had been germane to it. The Amendment was a 363 very simple one indeed. Clause 2 introduced certain local option proposals and the field upon which these proposals were to operate had been defined as new licences. But no new licences, or none of any account, could be granted at all. Therefore his hon. friends, assuming that this Clause 2 was not introduced merely for the purpose of providing the House of Commons with something to do, looked into the latter portion of the Bill to see if they could discover something to account for the importance which the Government attached to it, and in Clause 3 there was a definition given to "new licences," which extended the scope of Clause 2, hitherto inoperative, and made it very different indeed. Therefore they criticised the local option, not on the unreal or lesser operation of Clause 2, but on the mischievous field exposed by Clause 3. The Solicitor-General said that in construing the Bill they must in considering in Clause 2 what was the definition of a new licence in Clause 3, limit themselves to the definition given in Clause 2. When his hon. friend pointed out that it was a universal canon of construction of Acts of Parliament to take them as a whole, the Solicitor-General said an Act was not a Bill. That was a new and interesting canon of construction. His Parliamentary experience was a short one, but he was sure the Solicitor-General would never have drawn that distinction unless there were numerous and weighty precedents to support him. He hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would indicate what they were. The truth was that whether they were construing an Act or a Bill or any other document they construed it as a whole. Where did that carry them? It carried them to this point, that this apparently innocent scheme of local option was to operate not only on a few new licences, but on the whole of the licences which remained at the end of the fourteen years limit. That was the proposal with which they had to deal. Where was the hon. Gentleman on the benches opposite who had pat down an Amendment similar to that moved by his hon. friend? What was his position? He had put his Amendment on the Paper, and explained that he thought that the Government were overloading the Bill, and 364 that it was a mistake that the local option should cover the whole of the licences at the end of the fourteen years. The Prime Minister said it was intended to cover the whole of these licences, but instead of a bare majority a greater majority would be required. He supposed, under these circumstances, the hon. Gentleman would vote with them in the lobby. What would the Amendment do if it were carried? There seemed to be some misunderstanding on the point. If this Amendment was carried it would make Clause 2 an honest clause, and make it impossible for that clause to do more than on its face it proposed to do. In the belief, which was not confined to one side of the House, that the extending of the principle of local option in Clauses 2 and 3, when read together, was mischievious in operation, and that it had never been considered by the Government, as had been shown by the introduction of an Amendment at the last moment, he would have no hesitation as to which way he should vote on this occasion.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said his position was that he objected to local option or local veto as a permanent institution. The Liberal Party applied to the country on that issue in 1895, and were given a very distinct answer. He learnt a great deal about electioneering at that time, and he had since learnt a good deal about the feeling in the country on the subject of local veto. It had been recognised by temperance reformers that local veto was the wrong line on which to push forward temperance reform, and the right hon. Gentleman had in this Bill put temperance reform on other lines. The control of the drink traffic was to be in the hands of the nation. That being so, he applied to the Government to drop all minor issues, which created opposition without advancing the cause of temperance. The Solicitor-General had inferred that it would be rather ridiculous to stop this curtailment at the end of fourteen years. But there was all the difference in the position before and after that period. During the fourteen years the control of the liquor traffic would be very much where it was at present. After fourteen years it would be in the 365 hands of the Government, and they had to deal with an entirely different state of things. It would be time to legislate for that state of things when that time came. Therefore this clause ought to be limited. Future generations ought not to be put under local option which the present generation had once refused very decisively, and would, as members would probably find, be ready to refuse again. He was very anxious to see this Bill go through, but if these things were to be ticked on to it the opposition raised would kill the Bill, and wreck temperance reform.
§ MR. HARWOOD
expressed his intention of voting for the Amendment upon what he might term the principle of posterity. What he desired to urge on the Committee was that at the end of the fourteen years or whatever the period was the nation should have a free hand. It was inconsistent to say that at the end of fourteen years licences should end, but that the people should have a local veto. If the Government were going to give the Committee a scheme of that kind they should give a complete scheme. That they had not done. They had given the Committee an incomplete scheme, and the remarks of the Prime Minister endangered the position. It might be that after a period the Government might have to alter the majority, but what right had this Parliament to lay down conditions for fourteen years hence? I might be that in fourteen years public feeling would have changed, and that the people then might be content with a bare majority. Then they might say what right had Parliament to lay down these restrictions? If it was proposed to lay down a complete system for the conduct of this trade at the end of fourteen years, by all means let it be laid down, but if it was not proposed to lay down a complete system let them not lay down two or three conditions which would hamper future generations. His object was simple. He desired to get the control of this trade into the hands of the nation, and the nation could then say how it would manage it. He contended that Parliament had no right to say that at the end of fourteen years there should be local veto for the new licences by a 366 bare majority, and for the old licences by a two-thirds majority. This Parliament had no right to tie the hands of its successors. This Amendment had nothing to do with local veto. Local veto had been passed. The House had said that local veto should continue in regard to new licences for the next fourteen years. The question now was should local veto continue after that period. He said not, not because he objected to local veto, but because he objected to tying the hands of the nation in the future. Public opinion might be very different in fourteen years time from what it was now, and if they bound the people to a two-thirds majority they might say they had paid for the trade and would manage it as they chose, and not have their hands tied.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE
asked why the Prime Minister had taken 5th April as the date for the purposes of this clause. In view of the provisions contained in it, he should have thought that the 1st of April would have been a more appropriate date.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER (York)
said the position, in spite of the debate which had taken place upon this question, was still far from easy to elucidate. He did not think it was the fault of the Committee that the position was still one of difficulty. Nine out of ten people who read Clause 2 would have confined its scope to the prohibition of new licences. They would have imagined that when Clause 3 came into operation, and all old licences became new licences, Parliament would then, and not till then, decide on the question of prohibition in respect of those licences. But the answer given by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department to the hon. Member for Westmoreland in April last had greatly added to the difficulty and vagueness in which they were involved. The Under-Secretary had clearly indicated in that reply that if Parliament did not legislate at the end of the reduction period, Clause 2 would operate in the case of every licence. That came with startling force to most Members. Nearly six months had elapsed since that answer was given, and the Government had never attempted to 367 clear up the position in any way. To-day the Government had vitally altered the position. They had thrown over the Under-Secretary, both by the speech of the Prime Minister and by that of the Solicitor-General. Apparently, the opinion of the Government now was that there should be two schemes of local option running concurrently at the end of the reduction period. The one was to be immediately in operation for new licences under Clause 2, and the other was to be for all licences at the end of the time limit. They were actually to have two schemes of local option running together, one with all the elaborate machinery set up by Clause 2, and the other which, he supposed with all its elaborate machinery, they were to have to-morrow. The Prime Minister in answer to the hon. and learned Member for Kingston had stated that a bare majority would not operate, as regarded all the licences of the country, upon the conclusion of the time limit period. Then what local option were
§ the Government going to have? Strong language was against his inclination, but he thought the Government had left the Committee in a most unfair position. This was a vital matter. Was local option to apply to every licence in the country, or was it to apply only to new licences during the redaction period, and to new licences which might be granted afterwards? No man in the House could answer that question, however honestly he might apply his brain for the purpose of doing so. He did not think they ought to be left in that position of difficulty and uncertainty. He should certainly, by his vote, support the Amendment, because in clear and simple language it said that Clause 2 should only apply during the reduction period.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 284; Noes, 109. (Division List No. 255.)371
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Faber, G. H. (Boston)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Ferens, T. R.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Byles, William Pollard||Findlay, Alexander|
|Armitage, R.||Cameron, Robert||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Chance, Frederick William||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cleland, J. W.||Glover, Thomas|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Clough, William||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Barker, John||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Grant, Corrie|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Grayson,, Albert Victor|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Gulland, John W.|
|Bell, Richard||Cowan, W. H.||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Crooks, William||Hall, Frederick|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Crossley, William J.||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale|
|Bennett, E. N.||Curran, Peter Francis||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Bertram, Julius||Dalziel, James Henry||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'd)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Hart-Davies, T.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.|
|Bolton, A. C. F.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Brace, William||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hazel, Dr. A. E.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Duckworth, James||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Branch, James||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Brigg, John||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Henry, Charles S.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir JT (Cheshire||Erskine, David C.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Essex, R. W.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Esslemont, George Birnie||Hodge, John|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Hooper, A. G.||Nicholls, George||Snowden, P.|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Norman, Sir Henry||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nuttall, Harry||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Parker, James (Halifax)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Partington, Oswald||Stewart, Halley (Grennock)|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Paulton, James Mellor||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Summerbell, T.|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Jowett, F. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Radford, G. H.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Raphael, Herbert H.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Tomkinson, James|
|Lambert, George||Rees, J. D.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Rendall, Athelstan||Verney, F. W.|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Richardson, A.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Ridsdale, E. A.||Walton, Joseph|
|Lupton, Arnold||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wardle, George J.|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs)||Waring, Walter|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Maclean, Donald||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Robinson, S.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|M'Callum, John M.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Weir, James Galloway|
|M'Crae, Sir George||Roe, Sir Thomas||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Rogers, F. E. Newman||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Rose, Charles Day||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Rowlands, J.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas D.|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Marnham, F. J.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Massie, J.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Menzies, Walter||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Middlebrook, William||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Seddon, J.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Shackleton, David James||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Morrell, Philip||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Morse, L. L.||Silcock, Thomas Bull||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Myer, Horatio||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Napier, T. B.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Elibank.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F.||Bottomley, Horatio||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bowles, G. Stewart||Clive, Percy Archer|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bull, Sir William James||Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Binmingh'm|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond)||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Courthope, G. Loyd|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Butcher, Samuel Henry||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Barnard, E. B.||Carlile, E. Hildred||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Castlereagh, Viscount||Doughty, Sir George|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Du Cros, Arthur Philip|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Kerry, Earl of||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Fell, Arthur||Keswick, William||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Kimber, Sir Henry||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Forster, Henry William||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham||Long, Col. Charles W. (Eveshum||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)||Starkey, John R.|
|Gretton, John||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Haddock, George B.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||M'Arthur, Charles||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Harwood, George||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nield, Herbert||Winterton, Earl|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Oddy, John James||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Younger, George|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Pease, Herbert, Pike (Darlington|
|Hills, J. W.||Randles, Sir John Scurrah||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Mr. Cave and Mr. George|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Remnant, James Farquharson||Faber.|
|Hunt, Rowland||Renwick, George|
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
moved to amend the clause by inserting after the first "resolution" the words "requiring or," in order that the inhabitants of a district might have the power to require the grant of new licences as well as the power to prohibit the issue of any such licences. The Amendment, he said, was one which he was very hopeful would commend itself to the Government. In the course of the debate several speakers had recommended the general tenour of this local option proposed on the ground of its democratic character, and it was his good fortune to repair the omission of the Government responsible for it to enable them to carry out the democratic principle of the work begun in this section. His Amendment was necessary in order that the intention of the clause could be carried out. The principle of local option was that localities had the right to work out their own moral salvation. He would be glad to know why, if the people on the spot were the best judges whether they should not have a public-house, they were not also the best judges as to whether they should have one. Understanding the basic principle of the clause to be that the people on the spot were the best judges whether they should or should not have public-houses, he was anxious to hear the Government explain why the people were not the 372 best judges whether they should have more licensed houses than existed in their locality. But the Government's answer must be a democratic one. He would have liked to ask the Labour Members, had they taken sufficient interest in the question to be present, whether their view of the democracy which they so specially represented was that it should be prevented from having additional public-houses if it thought proper. Was that the view of the Labour Party, and if so, why were they not present in larger numbers to support it?
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said that perhaps they would hear some democratic explanation of that point. The question had been discussed by a very intelligent organ of Liberal opinion, the Manchester Guardian, and he would commend to hon. Gentlemen opposite its view as to what was democratic in this case—The only perfect solution or approach to a perfect solution is one that would give each and every area the right to be sober by its own will or intemperate by its own will. It is democratic; it concedes all that is reasonable in the views of the rather-see-England-free-than-England-sober party, and it minimises the obnoxious element present in nearly all legislation for improving other people's habits.373 Coming from a Liberal organ, he received these expressions of opinion with very great pleasure. But they did not please the National Temperance Federation, whose secretary wrote to the paper a very warm remonstrance, describing its views as "grievously and sadly erroneous." He said in his letter—I have heard oven eminent temperance advocates flatter their working-class hearers by telling them that hitherto the magistrates have been the licensing authorities, but that the temperance people desired to make the workingman magistrates in that respect, whereat their hearers cheered mightily. … The loose way in which this claim for a popular veto power was expressed has caused some public men who have come on our platforms, half-educated on the question, to assume that the temperance Bills, known as Permissive Bills, Local Option Bills and Local Veto Bills, are really Bills to enable the masses cither to vote licences down or to multiply them by popular vote.The Manchester Guardian, which was not accustomed to take things lying down, replied that—The basis of the case for local option is the bolief—which is also the basis of Liberalism—that on the whole the ordinary man or community of men when given the control of their own concerns will seek after the better and eschew the worse Our correspondent's letter with its disbelief in the adequacy of any such popular tendency towards self-respect and decency, strikes us as a very good example of the attitude by which, more perhaps than by any other, temperance reform is delayed and discredited.He hoped the Government would clearly explain to the House before this Amendment was disposed of whether they assented to the principle that the real reason for leaving these points to the working classes was that they knew their own needs and, requirements better than the Government, and better than the Members of the House of Commons. If it was the case that the working classes were the best judges as to whether there was too many public-houses in a district, surely it could not be denied that they were also the best judges as to whether there was an insufficiency of public-houses. If that was the view of the Government then this Amendment ought to be carried. If it was not then the whole basic principle of local option disappeared, and it was nothing but a quack remedy.
In page 2, line 9, after the word 'resolution,' to insert the words 'requiring or.'"—(Mr. F. E. Smith.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. ASQUITH
said that, if it were a matter of what he might call an abstraction of democratic policy, he thought there would be a great deal to be said for the view which the hon. Member had brought forward. A to the controversy between the Manchester Guardian and the Temperance Union, he would not say on which side his sympathies lay, but it seemed to him that the reasoning of the Manchester Guardian was cogent. The answer he had to give to the Amendment on behalf of the Government, and he believed the majority of the House, was that they were dealing with a serious practical question. In point of fact, nobody had asked for this addition to the machinery of local option. He had not heard of any part of the country which had come forward to complain that the existing licensing authorities did not give them a sufficient supply of facilities for the sale of intoxicating drink, and that it was necessary to egg them on with the stimulus of a local vote. He thought it could be only in possibly imaginary, and certainly very rare, cases that the community was unable, under the cumbrous machinery of the present law, to obtain a sufficient supply of public-houses. If that were so, it was unnecessary to encumber the Bill by an Amendment which, if it were carried, would involve a great deal of alteration of the latter part of the clause.
§ MR. ASQUITH
suggested that that circumstance, was an additional reason for not accepting the Amendment which had just been moved, because, it was likely to supply a fruitful field for further discussion. He thought the Committee would do well to adhere to the simplicity of the clause in its present form.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had been somewhat entertained and surprised at the distinction which the Prime Minister had drawn between what he called serious practical questions on the one side and democratic abstractions on 375 the other, because it was something which he never expected to hear from the bench opposite. Was it to be understood that there was no democratic abstraction at the root of local veto? He was not aware that anybody had alleged that the magistrates of this country had been over-ready to grant new licences; and, therefore, all this discussion depended, not upon a serious and practical question, but upon what the Prime Minister called a democratic abstraction. If that were so, let the abstraction have the one virtue which an abstraction could have by being complete, round, and logical. He thought hardships might arise in the application of local veto to the grant of new licences. For example, in the case of the construction of a new railway, a large body of navvies would be introduced into a district in which they would have no voting power in regard to the question whether the number of licensed houses was adequate. He should have thought that the best judges as to whether the accommodation was sufficient would have been the magistrates.
§ MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
The navvies supply themselves without the permission of the magistrates.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked, if that were so, what was the use of all this machinery. If liquor, instead of being obtained through the regular channel of the supervised public-house, was to be obtained through other channels which were not supervised, the Bill before them would not be worth the paper it was written on. He ventured to say that the whole of this scheme in Clause 2 was quite an unnecessary attribute to what the right hon. Gentleman called a democratic abstraction. If they were going to make sacrifices at that altar at least let the Government carry their principles to their logical conclusion, and not give a body—as he considered not qualified to deal with the matter at all—half the power and refuse to give the other half. He did not know whether his hon. and learned friend proposed to carry his Amendment to a division. Personally, he disliked the whole method adopted by the Government of dealing with this 376 question, and therefore, he was not so anxious that it should be made either logical or coherent. The Amendment, however, did bring the clause within, the rules of consistency and logic. It would appear from the proposal in the Bill that the Government did not consider the communities fit to deal with the question of drink facilities, for they were to be hampered by legislation to prevent the misuse of the power given. It seemed to him that the whole basis upon which the Government said they were dealing with licences was cut away from under their feet, and they were reduced to the melancholy position of the right hon. Gentleman putting practical necessities on one side as something not to be considered, and democratic abstractions on the other as things useless, unnecessary, and unworthy of the attention of a businesslike assembly.
§ *MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
appealed to the Prime Minister to accept this Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman represented a Scottish constituency, to which this Bill did not apply, whilst on the other hand he (Mr. Lupton) represented a constituency to which this Bill did apply. There could not be a more ardent partisan supporter of the right hon. Gentleman than he was, for he had determined to live and die supporting the Party of which the right hon. Gentleman was the head. He had taken part in a good many hard fights, and he had always been victorious. The reason was that he had always chosen the ground on which he should fight so as to ensure that he had a good moral case. He believed that the democratic line of argument was a good one to run on, and a line on which they could win, but a fanatical teetotal line was not one on which they could win. If the Government contended that the magistrates were not competent to decide whether or not there should be new licences, and were going to grant local option, then let it be real according to the heading of Clause 2. If this Bill was going to permit the people in any locality to decide for themselves whether they would have one public-house, two or twenty, and whether they were to remain 377 open on Sundays, and what hours they should open or close, then it would be a democratic Bill, and a thundering good Bill. By accepting this Amendment the responsibility would be thrown on the locality, and if it were accepted he would be able to reply to the electors who accused him of closing up the public-houses: "No, we are going to leave it to you to decide." One of the great evils of the present system was the wretched character of the public-houses due in a great measure to legislation and the action of the magistrates. It had been asked, if this clause did not operate for more than fourteen years, what was the use of it, because there would be very few licences granted. As far as Clause 1 was concerned, he contended that under it there might be a good many new public-houses created in both urban and rural districts, and also in districts where at present there was practically no population at all. It was a matter of the highest importance that the Government should proceed on a line that could be justified on the platform. If they took a line that could not be justified on the platform they would be deliberately riding for a fall. If there was no demand for a public-house, then this Amendment would be harmless; on the other hand, if there was a demand by an overwhelming majority why should they not have the public-house? He saw no reason why the people should not be trusted, because the more they trusted the people the better it was for them, as they rose to the dignity of the occasion. He did not desire to occupy the time of the House unnecessarily, but he wished to state to the Committee that he had seen what went on in other parts of the world; and the idea that they were going gradually to close all public-houses was altogether a delusion. The only chance was to reform public-houses, and they could only do that by placing the control entirely in the hands of the people who used them. If they were all opened up to broad daylight and if the ladies and gentlemen who went to these public-houses felt the responsibility for them they would keep them in order. They, wanted an enlightened public opinion, and they could only get that by adopting a really sound local option. Surely the 378 Prime Minister did not wish to lead them on to destruction, but was desirous of making a really sound Bill, which would be on permanent lines which no man could dispute. What was the use of passing a Bill which would be upset in three or four years time? If they did win it would be a great and glorious victory, and something of which politicians, temperance men, democrats and aristocrats alike might well be proud.
§ *MR. SUMMERBELL
said it was not within his province to discuss the accusation which had been brought against the Labour Members in regard to non-attendance in the House, but he would say that the accusation was most unfair, for the members of the Party to which he belonged gave better attendance than many of those who sat above the gangway. If the hon. and learned Gentleman challenged that statement, he would produce proof. In regard to the matter under discussion he wished to say that in almost every industrial centre where the middle and upper classes lived, licensed houses were very scarce. That was due to the fact that the middle and upper classes had monopolised the licensing benches up to the present moment. It was on that account he rejoiced that they were going to have put into the hands of the people the power of saying how many licensed houses they would have in their midst. If the hon. and learned Member had adhered to that alone he would have considered that there was some justification for the Amendment. He believed in trusting the people to the fullest possible extent. He believed there was something in the argument that if the people were to be trusted in regard to the reducing of licences they should also be trusted in regard to the increasing of licences. He was glad to find so many enthusiasts on that side above the gangway in regard to trusting the people. If they were ready to trust the people in regard to the proposal in this Amendment he and his friends would ask them to trust the people in regard to a great many things, before long so far as legislation was concerned.
§ EARL WINTERTON
said his hon. and learned friend was anxious to 379 know what course hon. Members below the gangway proposed to take in regard to this Amendment. Would they support it as a democratic Amendment? The Prime Minister seemed to think that the suggestion, of his hon. and learned friend was almost farcical, and he suggested that it was only brought forward for the purpose of causing diversion. What the Amendment proposed had already been adopted in some parts of the British Empire. It had been adopted in Victoria and South Australia. Section 27 of the Victoria Act of 1890 empowered the inhabitants to determine whether the number of victuallers' licences should be decreased or increased. That was exactly the principle which his hon. and learned friend had brought forward in the Amendment. The South Australian Local Option Act of 1880 provided that the people might vote for a reduction of licences, the retention of the existing level, or the granting of new I licences. Therefore in both these cases democratic Governments trusted the people to say whether they would have fewer or more licerces than they had. The right hon. Gentleman altogether misapprehended the position. He said that he never heard of any locality demanding more licences, and he challenged his hon. friend to bring forward a case. But he forgot that the position under the Bill would be entirely altered. He forgot that under the drastic proposals of the Bill a locality might consider itself aggrieved in not having a sufficient number of public-houses. He thought the pretence that this was a democratic measure had been demolished.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
said that when he heard the principle of local option and local veto assailed by Members opposite he felt that he must reply. He thought that the hon. Member who moved the Amendment had not explained to the Committee that what he was proposing was a revolution in the licensing system, and practically the abrogation of it, because the whole theory of our licensing system implied that the general law of the country was prohibition. The licensing system implied a general prohibitory rule for the whole country. The very title of Sec 380 tion 3 of the Act of 1872 was "Prohibition of the sale of Liquor without Licence." Prohibition had been the law of this country for the last 400 years. He was not surprised that hon. Gentlemen opposite did not shrink from revolution on this subject. They executed one revolution in 1904, and now they proposed a new revolution which practically abolished the licensing system. So long as the people of this country accepted the licensing system, which he thought all did, he held that local veto on the question whether there should be exception is to the general rule was a necessary and essential part of any just licensing system. The whole theory of the system was that the general prohibition was subject to local exceptions granted to meet local needs by local magistrates. He and his friends contended that the people on the spot were bettor judges of the local needs than licensing justices; He had always felt that the licensing system could not logically be justified unless they took the vote of the people as to whether, the general rule ought to be set aside. If the people refused to pass a prohibitory resolution and said: "We leave it to the justices; we do not interfere with the discretion of the licensing authority," then he and his friends were content to leave it to the justices to issue licences up to the statutory limit, to select the houses and the people who were to carry on the trade. But they claimed that they could not have a really logical system and justify the exceptions unless the people vo[...]d on the question, and therefore he thought the Government were eminently right in giving merely a prohibitory vote, and in not submitting the alternative question whether there should be free sale of liquor. If hon. Gentlemen opposite would propose the free sale of liquor he and his friends would have plenty of arguments against it. If they had a licensing system, local veto was logical, necessary, and just.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to put the temperance policy of the Government on a logical basis, and he must say that a more extraordinary speech he had seldom listened to. In order to justify the proposal of the 381 Government and the attitude of the temperance associations with which he was connected he laid down that the whole basis of our licensing system was general prohibition subject to particular exceptions. He ventured to say that that was not historically true, and that it was practically nonsense. The progress of our licensing system was on a contrary principle. It started with free trade on which was gradually grafted increasing restrictions and regulations, but never from first to last had there, been any historical foundation for the hon. Gentleman's argument that our system was based on universal prohibition. Was the Government's Bill based on that? It was quite true that no one might carry on the trade without a licence, and in order to hold a licence the licensee must fulfil certain requirements of the law. In order that a man might carry on practice as a doctor he had to fulfil certain qualifications, and they might as well say that our system of medical jurisprudence was based on general prohibition, subject to occasional exceptions; and equally in the case of solicitors, auctioneers, and barristers. The Bill did not contemplate anything like universal prohibition. It might contemplate prohibition in particular areas and circumstances, but quite clearly, if the Government had thought there was going to be universal prohibition, it would have been mote pointedly and succinctly expressed in the Bill itself. He would like to ask the Prime Minister, if he were present, whether he agreed with that opinion. He did not agree with all that the hon. Gentleman said in the House, but he thought that on this occasion the hon. Gentleman had shown eminently good sense, when he said that the attempt to repress the trade was to encourage illegitimate trade, or, as the hon. Member for Stoke had said, they should endeavour to regularise the trade instead of abolishing it. They had had an illustration that night in the House of the kind of speech by which hon. Gentlemen on the benches opposite recommended this Bill to their own constituents. They talked about it here as a great temperance measure which was going, if not to put down drinking, to reduce it; if not to repress public-houses altogether, to reduce them. But when they went down to their constituencies 382 they said: "We are not going to take away a single public-house. All we say is that you should have the power to reduce the number of public-houses if you wish it, and to increase the number of public-houses if you desire to do so." He recommended the hon. Gentleman to read Clause 1, which provided that the public-houses were to be reduced.
§ MR. LUPTON
said he did not say that. He was not allowed in his speech to refer to the consequential Amendment which he had put down on the Paper, which said that, notwithstanding the scale in the First Schedule, there should be a regulating resolution which might be either prohibitory, or one imposing conditions, or one demanding one or more new licences with or without special conditions.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that the hon. Gentleman's speech to his constituents was quite inapplicable to the Government Bill, and to the clauses already passed. It referred to a state of things which the Government were not endeavouring to carry out, but which they were doing their best to resist.
§ MR. LUPTON
said that the Amendment which he had put down on the Paper would carry out what he had suggested.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that the moment the hon. Gentleman's Amendments were submitted to the Prime Minister he was informed, that these referred to abstract questions, which were not worth a moment's attention of the House of Commons. He had drawn attention to the speech of the hon. Gentleman, because it was characteristic of many speeches which had been made in the country by the supporters of the Bill. He had noticed in a speech (reported in a Birmingham paper) by the hon. Member for the Nuneaton Division of Warwickshire, at a meeting of what was called the Liberal Council in that part of the county, in which the hon. Member, having dealt with various other questions, turned to the Licensing Bill and said that under it the working man 383 would get his beer just as easily as he did now. That was the class of argument that was used by hon. Members in the country; but when they got fierce temperance advocates like the hon. Member for Westmoreland they found that that hon. Member dwelt on the mandatory character of Clause 1 and the power of his constituents to reduce the public-houses still further without the power to increase them. It was now explained by another hon. Member that all that meant nothing, that it was not worth the paper it was written upon, and that if their constituents did not get beer in the public-houses they would get it elsewhere.
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER
said that the speech of the hon. Member for Westmoreland was one of the must interesting he had listened to in the House for a long time. The hon. Gentleman rushed in where his leaders feared to tread. For his part, he greatly respected the hon. Member for his courage, but he confessed he profoundly differed from the statement of the law on which the hon. Gentleman based his argument. The hon. Gentleman stated that the basis of our licensing law was prohibition. He ventured to say that the basis of our licensing law was not prohibition but regulation. It was impossible to read especially the earlier governing Acts, without seeing that, instead of its being the intention of Parliament to restrict, it was to provide, under regulation, but in ample measure, victualling houses for the people. If he went back to the Act of 1830 he found at the threshold of that measure, which was one of the most important of the licensing statutes, that it recited—It is expedient for the better supply of the public with beer in England to give greater facilities for the sale thereof than are at present provided.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
asked the hon. and learned Member if the Beer Act of 1830 was not recognised at the time as an
§ absolute change of the policy of the past, and was not the experiment a failure which had afterwards to be reversed?
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER
admitted that that Act was found to work badly and was afterwards modified. But on the ground of a disputed fact, he differed profoundly from the hon. Member. However, if the hon. Member's statement of the law was accurate, it was not logical. They must trust the regulation of the trade either to the representatives of the people—the justices, or the people themselves. What was proposed in this Bill was wholly illogical, because they did not trust the one or the other. They trusted either to a certain extent. They trusted the justices to provide for a sufficient supply of drink to those who wanted it, but not for a sufficient reduction of the number of public-houses; and in the same way they did not trust the people wholly but only when the people agreed with what hon. Gentlemen opposite desired. If the majority agreed with them the wishes of the majority were to prevail, but if the majority wanted more public-houses then the opinion of the minority was to prevail. He felt confident that if local option or prohibition ever commended itself to the people of this country it would be on the lines that existed in our democratic Colonies.
§ SIR C. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
said that an hon. Member had said that magistrates had never forced licences on an unwilling district; but if he read the newspapers he would have found that in thousands of cases the licensing justices had often inflicted public-houses on districts which had been determinedly opposed to them.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 98; Noes, 257. (Division List No. 256.)387
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bottomley, Horatio|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Banner, John S. Harmood-||Bowles, G. Stewart|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Bull, Sir William James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bertram, Julius||Burdett-Coutts, W.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Bignold, Sir Arthur||Butcher, Samuel Henry|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Cave, George||Helmsley, Viscount||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Sir Clement||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Hills, J. W.||Renwick, George|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Hops, James Fitzalan (Sheffield||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Houston, Robertson Paterson||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Hunt, Rowland||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kerry, Earl of||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Summerbell, T.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Fell, Arthur||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Lupton, Arnold||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Forster, Henry William||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gardner, Ernest||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Macpherson, J. T.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Grayson, Albert Victor||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gretton, John||Moore, William||Younger, George|
|Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Myer, Horatio|
|Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. F. E. Smith and Mr. Salter.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Nield, Herbert|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Oddy, John James|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Cameron, Robert||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Agnew, George William||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John|
|Alden, Percy||Cheetham, John Frederick||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Glover, Thomas|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Cleland, J. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Armitage, R.||Clough, William||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Clynes, J. R.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gulland, John W.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hall, Frederick|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Cowan, W. H.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Crooks, William||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Crossley, William J.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Curran, Peter Francis||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Harwood, George|
|Bell, Richard||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford||Duckworth, James||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Henry, Charles S.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Brace, William||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Hodge, John|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Erskine, David C.||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Brigg, John||Essex, R. W.||Hooper, A. G.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Esslemont, George Birnie||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Everett, R. Lacey||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Ferens, T. R.||Hudson, Walter|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Findlay, Alexander||Hutton, Alfred Eddison|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Byles, William Pollard||Fuller, John Michael F.||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Partington, Oswald||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Stewart, Halley (Grennock)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|King Alfred John (Knutsford)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Radford, G. H.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Raphael, Herbert H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Tomkinson, James|
|Lambert, George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Redmond, William (Clare)||Verney, F. W.|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Rees, J. D.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n||Walsh, Stephen|
|Maclean, Donald||Richardson, A.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Walton, Joseph|
|M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|M'Crae, Sir George||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wardle, George J.|
|M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)||Waring, Walter|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Robinson, S.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Marnham, F. J.||Roe, Sir Thomas||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Massie, J.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Rose, Charles Day||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Menzies, Walter||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Middlebrook, William||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Seddon, J.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Morrell, Philip||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Morse, L. L.||Shackleton, David James||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard)||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Silcock, Thomas Bal||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Napier, T. B.||Simon, John Allsebrook||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Winfrey, R.|
|Nicholls, George||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Snowden, P.|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Soares, Ernest J.||Mr. Joseph Pease and Master|
|Nuttall, Harry||Spicer, Sir Albert||of Elibank.|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
*MR. HEEBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)
moved to insert after the word "prohibiting" the words "the removal of any licence into such district or." The object of the Amendment was to carry out, as he believed, the intentions of the Government, and to do so without some of the incidental disadvantages which accrued from the way which the Government proposed. He ventured to hope that this was an Amendment which the Government might accept, because it was certainly one of the class that the Prime Minister, over and over again, had stated that the Government would be willing to accept; that was to say, it was a proposal which was loyal to the principles of the Bill, and was free from 388 some disadvantages such us the Government Bill had. The objects of the Bill were to reduce licences to the scheduled number, by giving the inhabitants of licensing areas power to prevent an increase in the number of licences, and also to make the publican, at the end of the reduction period, pay the monopoly value. The object of the Government was not incidentally in carrying out these objects, to make a publican pay compensation value unnecessarily within the reduction period. In order to give the inhabitants of a district power to carry that out, it was clear they must have the possibility of prohihiting the grant of new licences in their district, and also of preventing the 389 removal of a licence from one ward of a borough into another ward, because, as far as the inhabitants of a licensing district were concerned, it was the same thing if the number of licences was increased by the removal of a licence or by a new licence. The Government prohibited the removal of licences at all, and they altered the existing law. Under that law licences could be removed from one ward of a borough to another. The Government prohibited that by subsequent clauses altogether, and the result was that, supposing they had in a borough a number of wards, if in one of those wards the schedule required reduction in the number of licences, and in another the number of licences was not up to the schedule number; it was quite reasonable, there being no prohibitory resolution in force, if in the opinion of the justices there should be an additional licence in that ward, that they should be able to say to the publican: "Your licence has got to be put an end to, but if you go to the end of the street, you would be getting practically the same clientele and carrying on the same business, and you had better remove there, and have a new licence and not pay monopoly value for fourteen years." But they could not do that under the Government scheme—they could not do that unless they made him pay the monopoly value, although they did this next year or any year during the fourteen years. That was a result which was not necessary to the object which the Government had in view, and it appeared to him that it was inflicting upon publicans an unnecessary hardship, because the Government scheme could be perfectly well-carried out by accepting his Amendment. Of course, the difficulty arose largely from the fact that they had different areas for licensing and for the local veto resolution. He thought that everybody agreed that if they were going to have local veto it must be in small areas. The smaller the area the more reasonable it became, so under the Bill they had a different area for local veto and for the jurisdiction of the licensing justices. Under those circumstances, he submitted that putting forward as he did an Amendment loyal to the principle of the Bill, and carrying out its principle in every respect in the way in which the Government desired, 390 and avoiding an incidental injustice to those engaged in the licensing trade, it was an Amendment which might be accepted by the Government. He therefore begged to move.
In page 2, line 9, after the word 'prohibiting,' to insert the words 'the removal of any licence in such district or.'"—(Mr. Herbert.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that, speaking generally, the policy of the Government Bill was to do away with the removal of licences, and they were there to give local option by way of prohibition. It would therefore be convenient to discuss the matter generally as to the removal of licences, and, speaking in that sense, he perhaps might give the House his experience that it had been attended with very considerable danger to the community. What they had very often was an application for a new licence in a particular district, to a particular bench of magistrates, and, as a sort of bait for the granting of such anew licence, the applicant came and said: "I do not ask for a new licence de novo; I ask for a removal from a place in the same licensing district." The difficulty was this, that as soon as they got their district they had their public-houses for it. If the licence was necessary, it should be granted for that district; if it was not, it ought not to be granted by removal from another. He suggested that, having made a very fair speech, his hon. friend might now drop the subject, in order that he might deal with it formally later on.
§ MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)
thought the Solicitor-General had overlooked the fact that great convenience very often arose through allowing licences to stand. The hon. and learned Gentleman must know of many cases where, owing to the growth of building in one part of a district at a greater rate than in another, or to the construction of a railway station or some other development, need arose for a licensed house at a particular spot where one had not previously stood. Over and over again, difficulties were 391 removed and things made to work smoothly by the removal of a licence from one house to another. Clause 22, if passed, would stop all that. It would prevent the justices really considering the needs of the district, for which they were responsible in licensing matters, and would lead to the maintenance of houses no longer required but which would be retained because of the inability to remove the licence to a district where it was required. The hon. and learned Gentleman must have also overlooked the fact that, from the point of view of compensation, Clause 22 would be a very bad thing indeed. If Clause 22 when reached was struck out of the Bill, and some such an Amendment as the one before the House inserted to enable the people to remove a licence from a district where it was no longer required to a locality where it was needed, a great deal of money in the shape of compensation would be saved. He strongly urged the Committee to consider these points before they finally rejected this Amendment.
§ MR. GRETTON (Rutland)
was of opinion that the House did not quite realise what the Bill proposed to do. As he understood it, the Amendment, if passed, would not only prevent the licensing justices moving a licence from one district to another, but from moving it to another place in the same district. It would prevent them removing a licence from one house to another in the same street, or to a better site within a few yards of the old house. Before the Committee voted on this Amendment they should understand that a prohibition of removal went a great deal further than the hon. Gentleman proposed it should go by his Amendment. He understood that the Government was opposed to all removals; this proposal would prevent the removal of a licence already in existence to a more convenient site, even to next door, and therefore he earnestly suggested to hon. Members opposite that they should give the matter a little more consideration before deciding this question.
§ MR. PATRICK WHITE (Meath, N.)
pointed out that what the Committee was asked to do was to say that instead 392 of extinguishing a licence it should be possible to remove it from a district where it was no longer required to one where it was needed. If the right hon. Gentleman really desired to carry out the intentions of the Bill, he should certainly consider that point.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER
said the Amendment he now had the honour to move must be read in conjunction with one lower down on the Paper. The effect would be to restrict the popular veto to saying there should be no increase on the present number, and it would not give them the power which this Bill undoubtedly would of shutting up existing public-houses. There were very cogent reasons to be urged in support of this Amendment. During the reduction period the operation of Clause 2 would not be very important, but during that time it would have one unfortunate operation. There was a transaction very common at the present time at Licensing Sessions which was most convenient. It was a transaction whereby an old-fashioned, ill-placed, and ill-fitted public-house was shut up on condition that a licence should be granted to a new house. If this Amendment were rejected it would not be possible during the reduction period for the justices to sanction an arrangement of that kind, because it would be granting a new licence. The result, if the Amendment were accepted, would be that during the reduction period a large number of old and ill-found houses, which would be much better out of the way, would be kept alive because the justices would feel the hardship of sweeping them out of existence. In the interests of temperance and good order this Amendment was deserving of attention. When they came to the period after the reduction period, this clause would have a very wide effect. By the operation of some majority which was to exceed the bare majority the people would have the power of shutting up every public-house. In any area they could pass a resolution the effect of which would be that at the expiration of the period of the current licences every public-house and every hotel must close its doors unless the licensing commission 393 were kept on for the purpose of granting licences. Parliament ought to hesitate before they put it into the power of the majority taken on a popular vote to shut up every house of public entertainment in any area. Local option had always been a failure. He also felt very strongly on the point taken by the hon. Member for Bolton. They ought to hesitate before legislating for posterity. They were now going to legislate so that at the end of fourteen years this enormous power was to be the subject of a popular vote. Such an important matter as that should not be legislated for now. It should be left to those responsible for dealing with it when the time came. This Amendment did no more than carry out the original intentions of the Government, and he thought that they never had any intention of giving to popular veto power beyond that of saying that after a certain number there should be no more new licences.
In page 2, line 9, to leave out the words 'the grant of new licences,' and to insert the words 'any increase in the existing number of licences,'"—(Mr. Clavell Salter.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'the grant of new' stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that, so far as the object of the Amendment was to clear out undesirable houses, the Government hoped that they would be done away with almost entirely by the procedure of reduction in the fourteen years. But it ran entirely counter to the plan of the Government to allow the magistrates to grant any new licences at all if a prohibitory resolution had been passed. He could quite conceive than it would be most unsatisfactory, in the view of those who passed a prohibitory resolution, that a small house should be put on one side and what was called a gin palace substituted for it. Such a change might be most objectionable to a neighbourhood. Under these circumstances, they would follow the clause as it stood, so that after the passing of a prohibitory resolution a big licensed house could not be put in the place of smaller ones, for a big house might be 394 much more objectionable to a than the smaller ones.
§ MR. COURTHOPE
said he gathered that the expectation which was placed before them was that the result of his hon. and learned friend's Amendment would be that gin palaces would be set up in the place of respectable houses, but surely such cases were likely to be very few and far between. He was certain it would be admitted that the great majority of licensing justices honestly tried to do the best they could for their neighbourhoods, and they welcomed the opportunity whenever they got it, not of setting up gin palaces, but of setting up decent commercial houses, where food could be obtained and consumed in comfort, and not in unfit places, ot hovels, such as existed in many parts of the country. If the Government insisted on this clause remaining in its present form they would be absolutely checking the work of one of the greatest temperance agencies that they had at the present time, viz., the work of the public-house trusts and of the refreshment-houses associations, and so forth. If the Amendment of his hon. and learned friend were adopted it would give power to those bodies to continue their excellent work. It would enable the justices to substitute a house for one or two, or even three, inefficient and insufficient houses, as the case might be. He had no hesitation in saying that in refusing an. Amendment of this kind the Government were not doing anything for temperance; on the contrary, they were striking a blow at the progress of the temperance movement. He hoped that even now, at the eleventh hour, the Solicitor-General would see his way to changing his mind and accepting the Amendment.
§ MR. LANE-FOX
said the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General must recognise the very large number of cases in which the public-house trusts had been able to do a great deal of good by paying the surrender value of badly-ventilated and ill-constructed houses, and setting up in their places useful and desirable refreshment places. The Bill, as drawn, made that in future impossible. 395 The Solicitor-General must know that in a great many cases, in small market towns, there were a large number of old-fashioned houses which were certainly unsuited to the requirements of the present day, and which could be very easily altered and put into better form. It would be absolutely impossible with the Bill as it stood for buildings of that sort to be erected. He could not expect the Government to accept the Amendment, because, as the hon. and learned Gentleman had said, it was contrary to the principles they had announced to the House, and it would make it impossible for the operation contemplated under the next clause to come into effect. Before they finally dismissed the Amendment, however, he wished to ask what justification the House had for rejecting it. What mandate had the House for saddling upon the country a system under which the prohibitory resolutions could be passed by which absolutely all the public-houses in a place could be taken away, it might not be by a bare majority, but by whatever majority the Government pleased? What hon. Member would dare to go before his constituents and say he was prepared to support a measure of total prohibition of that sort? The speech of the Solicitor-General showed that the Government were just as unwilling to trust the magistrates as in another direction they were unwilling to trust the people, and he thought it only right that the country should be made to realise the direction in which the Bill was going.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he should have thought the Government would have taken up a totally different attitude with regard to this Amendment from that they had adopted as expressed by the Solicitor-General, but they had shown themselves absolutely deaf to appeals made to them in the interests of temperance reform upon a basis far more likely to be permanent and to work beneficially in the hands of the people than any of the rather crude prohibitory methods which at present found favour on the Treasury Bench. The principle of the Government Bill was that, when there had been a resolution against a new licence, the resolution should be interpreted to mean actually 396 not that the number of licences should not be increased, but that there should not in the technical sense be a new licence. That was not the form in which the people of the locality would really give the vote. Nobody would contend that if they had a vote in any of the localities, the people would be thinking of the quality of the public-houses or of the technical grant of a new licence. They would be thinking of the total number of public-houses, and what they would be voting for, and what everybody knew they would be voting for, would be that the number of public-houses should not be increased. His hon. friend suggested that they might concede the real principle the Government had in view, and that they might give to the locality an absolute discretion as to the number of licences, but that they should allow some latitude as to the quality of the licences granted. The hon. and learned Gentleman got up and said that if they did that they might see a gin palace substituted for a good and reputable, although a small, public-house. The hon. and learned Gentleman knew perfectly well that that was not what would happen under the Bill. It was neither the intention of the mover of the Amendment, nor was it what was going to happen in any circumstances. What was going to happen was that agencies which were now moving in the direction of true temperance reform, and were striving to the best of their ability to raise the character of public-houses, would receive a serious blow, deliberately dealt by a Government which professed to have the temperance cause at heart. The hon. and learned Gentleman had not made the smallest answer to the arguments of his hon. friend. The case put was this: If a locality decided that there should be no new licence, what they really meant, and what was always meant, was that there should be no increase in the number of licences; but the Bill made it impossible for any proposal to be made to improve the quality. He thought it was remarkable that a Government which claimed to be promoting temperance legislation should seriously defend a policy of that kind. If the Prime Minister were present to listen to the arguments addressed 397 from that side of the House, he did not think the Government would be able to adhere to their decision; but he supposed in the present condition of the benches the members of the Government in charge of the Bill were absolved from answering to those arguments, and in those circumstances he did not think his hon. friend had much chance of carrying his Amendment. By the rejection of the Amendment, the Government were dealing a serious blow at one of the great agencies in favour of temperance, and they were doing that for no object whatever except to maintain the verbal integrity of the Bill they had thrown upon the Table of the House.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said they differed from the view of the right hon. Gentleman and thought he was mistaken as he thought they were mistaken. He could only assure him that even if the Prime Minister were present the answer of the Government would be the same. The Government had no notion at all of preventing the improvement of public-houses. It could be effected by the justices now. The right hon. Gentleman said that what people would vote upon was whether there should be an increase in the number of the public-houses in a locality. What he (the hon. Member speaking) said and what he repeated was that what they would vote against was there being any new licence at all. He therefore differed from the right hon. Gentleman in that matter, and he did not say that where a gin palace was substituted for a small house or two small houses it often happened that they had much more facilities for ordinary drinking, because in the old houses they had more room adapted for recreation than in the new house. If the old licence ought not to exist, they hoped it would be done away with; but there was no reason why, if they gave the locality the right to pass prohibitory resolutions they should create a new licence in a different spot.
§ made it extremely difficult to improve houses in the direction in which they ought to be improved. The hon. Gentleman in his first speech had given what he thought was a very extreme case. It might have been one in his own private practice in which he succeeded in getting a gin palace erected somewhere or other instead of two small licences which were given away for it. If he succeeded in doing so he was to be congratulated on his success, because licensing benches in Scotland, and he believed in England, looked very narrowly indeed at proposals of this kind, and never granted new licences of that sort in return for a surrender unless they were perfectly satisfied that it would be an improvement on the existing condition of things, and that it was a public necessity, and would, to some extent, increase the accommodation in that locality. Why the Government should cut away the power of the licensing magistrates and reduce them to a position of complete nullity in administering the licensing laws it was difficult to say. They spoke with two voices. At one time they did one thing and at another time another. If there was one thing more patent than another it was that this Bill from beginning to end was a hotchpotch. There had been lots of cooks in the preparation of the Bill, and the result had not been particularly successful. Already the Prime Minister had said he required to-morrow to make Clause 3 read with Clause 2. He supposed Clause 2 was drawn by some people and Clause 3 by others. But be that as it might the whole thing was a complete muddle, and before they got to the end of the Bill, goodness knew what would happen to it. Meantime it was impossible, he supposed, to expect that any reasonable Amendment of this kind would be accepted. Having regard to the fact that it was to have such a wide operation at the end of the time-limit period it seemed certainly not very judicious to leave it in its present unsatisfactory position.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 230; Noes, 72. (Division List No. 257.)401
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Alden, Percy||Ashton, Thomas Gair|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Armitage, R.||Astbury, John Meir|
|Agnew, George William||Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Atherley-Jones, L.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Barker, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rees, J. D.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Henry, Charles S.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Beauchamp, E.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Higham, John Sharp||Richardson, A.|
|Bell, Richard||Hodge, John||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Hooper, A. G.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Horniman, Emslie John||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Robinson, S.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hudson, Walter||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Brace, William||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hyde, Clarendon||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Brigg, John||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jowett, F. W.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Cameron, Robert||Kekewich, Sir George||Seddon, J.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Shackleton, David James|
|Chance, Frederick William||Laidlaw, Robert||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Clough, William||Lambert, George||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Clynes, J. R.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Snowden, P.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Lewis, John Herbert||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Maclean, Donald||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Crossley, William J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Macpherson, J. T.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||M'Callum, John M.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||M'Crae, Sir George||Steadman, W. C.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Duckworth, James||Mallet, Charles E.||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Summerbell, T.|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Essex, R. W.||Marnham, F. J.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Massie, J.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Evans,, Sir Samuel T.||Menzies, Walter||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Micklem, Nathaniel||Tomkinson, James|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Middlebrook, William||Wadsworth, J.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Morse, L. L.||Walton, Joseph|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Murray, Capt Hn. A. C. (Kincard.||Ward, John (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Glover, Thomas||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Myer, Horatio||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Napier, T. B.||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan|
|Grayson, Albert Victor||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Nicholls, George||Watt, Henry A.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Gulland, John W.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Nuttall, Harry||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hall, Frederick||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Partington, Oswald||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Harwood, George||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Haslam James (Derbyshire)||Price, Sir Robert, J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Raphael, Herbert H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)||Winfrey, R.|
|Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||Yoxall, James Henry||Elibank.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex, F.||Gardner, Ernest||Oddy, John James|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gretton, John||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Renwick, George|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Haddock, George B.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bertram, Julius||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Heaton, John Henniker||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement||Starkey, John R.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hills, J. W.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Courthope, G. Lloyd||Lowe, Sir Francis William||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Younger, George|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Fell, Arthur||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Salter and Mr. Lane-Fox.|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Nield, Herbert|
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
moved an Amendment substituting the rural parish or urban area within a licensing district for the licensing district as the area in which local option might be exercised. He said the Amendment would make a change in the area over which the local option poll would take place. As it stood in the Bill the area of the local option poll in a borough was the borough or, if the borough was divided into wards, the wards of the borough. But in rural districts the local option area was the licensing district, and he proposed to substitute for the licensing district the parish. It seemed to him very inconvenient to have a different area in Clause 1 for reduction purposes from the area which they had in Clause 2 for local option purposes. The whole of the licences under Clause 1 would be considered by the justices. There would be various statistics gathered together and various facts relating to them. The whole licensing situation, so to speak, would be considered from the point of view of the area in Clause 1, the parish in the case of rural districts and the borough or the ward in the case of a borough. Obviously on the face of it it was desirable to keep to the one area if possible, and, therefore, in 402 Clause 2 unless good reason was shown to the contrary, they should keep to the area which had already been decided upon as the reduction area in Clause 1. Another very great reason for the change which he proposed was that the licensing district in the rural areas were very much too large for the purpose of the local option poll in regard to new licences. According to the statistics contained in the Blue-book on licensing in 1907, the licensing district, apart from boroughs, averaged about 20,000 population, and an area of 40,000 acres, but sometimes they were very much larger both in population and area. For instance, in his own constituency of North Westmoreland, the east ward had an area of 160,000 acres, and the west ward 140,000 acres. In some licensing districts there was a scattered population with villages ten, twenty, and even thirty miles apart. With regard to new licences it seemed almost irrational to poll villages twenty or thirty miles off on the question whether or not there should be a new licence granted in a village with which they had practically nothing to do. The voters in a village at the extremity of the licensing district would not understand why they should be called upon to settle the licensing problem of a 403 village ten or twenty miles away at the other extremity. There were licensing districts in the neighbourhood of big towns which had an enormous population. Take, for example, the Beacontree Division of Essex, which had a population of 285,892. He had in his possession a list of nineteen or twenty of those large licensing districts with a population of over 75,000. The Edmonton Division had a population of 241,504; Willesden, 182,364; Glamorgan, 159,851; and the Manchester Petty Sessional Division, 163,256. It was obvious that to poll all these people on the question of a new licence at the other end of the division, with which they were very little concerned, was quite an unnecessary process if they accepted the position he took up, namely, that a licence was a matter of local concern affecting only the immediate neighbourhood which it was proposed to serve. His Amendment was of first importance in the case of districts just outside great towns. The Brentford Petty Sessional Division, of Middlesex had a total population of 124,000, and some of the parishes embraced in that area were growing whilst others were stationary. Take, for example, Ealing, which in 1901 had a population of 33,031, and an estimated population in 1904 of 39,920; Twickenham, 20,991 in 1901, and an estimated population in 1904 of 24,500. Those were growing districts in the neighbourhood of London to which working men went to escape from public-houses, and it was essential if this clause was going to be any use at all in such districts that his Amendment should be accepted. In the case of Ealing and Twickenham it would be quite sufficient to let the people of those parishes vote in this matter themselves, and not call in places ten or twenty miles away. He wished to point out how the decision in regard to Clause 1 would affect the smaller districts. In most of the parishes of the country there could not be any new licences. In the county of Cumberland, where there were 206 civil parishes, there were only fifty-three in which there could be a new licence under the Bill, because the scale of licences fixed already settled that the other 153 were fully supplied. In the Penrith 404 licensing district, which contained thirty-eight civil parishes, the question of a new licence could only arise in eight parishes, because thirty of those parishes were already fully supplied, according to the scale of the Bill. Some of the villages were thirty miles apart, and it seemed altogether to defeat the intention of the Government to allow those scattered villages to vote on questions which scarcely concerned them at all. When the late Sir William Harcourt introduced his Bill on this question in 1895, the area chosen by him was practically the same as he was now proposing. Some parishes would probably be too small for that purpose. There were 4,654 parishes with a population of less than 200, and he had figures dealing with those of less than 100, and between 50 and 100, and he quite recognised that it might be desirable to group some of these parishes. Another important point was that the area decided upon now would become the area at the end of the time limit. He had heard the argument used against local veto in this House, that they were likely sometimes to enforce it upon an unwilling population. He could understand that situation arising if they took a very large area. Most of what hon. Members opposite called the fallacies of prohibition very largely arose from the attempt to group together different areas with the result that they might have a large rural population enforcing upon a small urban area a condition of things which the urban area did not desire. That was the experience in the United States in places to which hon. Members had already referred. He agreed that this kind of legislation could not be effective unless they had a strong popular opinion behind it. Reference had already been made to the Blue-book issued by the Foreign Office on the experience of local option in the United States, and this emphasised the importance of having behind local option the influence of the local population. That Report said—The tendency of legislation is now to make the unit smaller and smaller. It is endeavoured to ensure that the same public opinion which enacts a law shall also supervise its enforcement.On grounds of local convenience, as well as the experience of other countries, it was desirable they should choose the smaller area rather than the larger one.
In page 2, line 10, after the word 'in,' to insert the words 'any rural parish or urban area within.'"—(Mr. Leif Jones.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. L. HARCOURT,) Lancashire, Rossendale
congratulated the hon. Member upon the very able and moderate statement he had made in moving this Amendment. This point could not be a question of party contention, because precisely the same Amendment was down on the Paper in the name of an hon. Member opposite. This was not a question of principle at all, but a question of machinery and of local convenience. There had never been any doubt in his mind that the licensing districts, taken as a whole, must in many cases be too large, and that it would have been inevitable to have divided some or perhaps many of the larger licensing districts. Obviously it was inconvenient to bring the voting influence of a somewhat distant parish or town to bear upon another parish which might reasonably wish to prevent an increase of licences in their locality. He thought it would be unwise to put these localities to the trouble of voting on such a matter. The hon. Member had referred to the Bill of 1895, which took practically the same words as he had moved. As he had already said, if licensing districts were to be adhered to, it would mean that there would have to be in a large number of cases sub-divisions of those districts He had come to the conclusion that it would be better to take the words of the hon. Member and adopt the rural, parish, or urban area. He therefore accepted the words of the Amendment, but with the proviso that probably on the Report stage it might be necessary to change the words in order to make the proposal applicable to the Bill. While he would not change the sense of the Amendment he desired to reserve the right he had mentioned. It might be necessary and desirable in the case of very small parishes to arrive at some method of grouping such as was suggested in the Bill of 1895.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)
confessed that he was astonished at the acceptance of the Amendment by the Government. The hon. Member for the Appleby division had put forward a strong plea for small areas. On the question of areas he was prepared to support an Amendment on the Paper in the names of some hon. Members behind him. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that there were certain large areas, but he entirely ignored the much greater preponderance of small parishes. The right hon. Gentleman had indicated the opinion which he held in regard to the Amendment, and stated that on the Report stage he might change the words to make them applicable to the Bill. Perhaps by that time he or the Prime Minister would have on the Paper some Amendment which would show how the Government proposed to deal with small parishes. In passing he wished to say that he thought it would have been better if the promised Amendment had been put on the Paper on Clause 2 instead of having to wait for Clause 3 or some future clause in the Bill. He himself certainly professed to know more about the country districts than the urban districts, and he thought the inconvenience in country districts would be extremely great. They were not giving local option in the clause. It would be simply local veto, and it would have the effect of driving all the drinking population into one small area. The Government were going to accept this proposal to put all over England the same difficulty in the way of all the small parishes. He was sure that that would not be acceptable to the majority of the inhabitants in the country districts. Judging from the Amendment which they had discussed, and from the speech of the Solicitor-General, the Government were thinking only of certain urban districts. They were afraid of closing unnecessary houses in case gin palaces might be opened. They forgot that the same rule did not apply to country districts. Unless they were going to group areas up to 10,000 or 20,000, he thought the policy which the Government had decided upon would be of a very disastrous kind. He had no doubt that the question would receive great consideration on this Amendment and on 407 the Amendment which his hon. friends desired to move to increase the areas. He was not certain whether the Amendment standing in the name of his hon. friend the Member for Sheffield could be brought on at a later stage, and on the point of order he asked the ruling of the Chairman.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said that as the Amendment now before the Committee put the question in a way which enabled them to discuss it, he thought they should thoroughly discuss it now rather than take the chance of discussing it on an Amendment which was to come on later and which might be ruled out of order.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
I thought so. I think that any decision taken on this Amendment would not rule out the Amendment of my hon. friend the Member for Sheffield. So far as this Amendment is concerned I am certain that hon. Gentlemen behind me will oppose the smaller areas, for we are certain that they would not be in the interest of administration or temperance.
§ EARL WINTERTON
said he understood the Deputy-Chairman to rule that if this Amendment was accepted by the House, the Amendment standing in the name of his hon. friend the Member for Sheffield would not be in order.
§ SIR SAMUEL EVANS
On the point of order, perhaps it would be better to let that matter stand until we reach the Amendment.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
I would point out that if we were to wait to a 408 later stage, we might be cut out of the opportunity for discussion altogether.
§ THE DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think it is inconvenient to give a ruling on the point just now. Hon. Members know that there may be another in the Chair when the Amendment is reached. It is more convenient that the Chairman who is in the Chair when the Amendment is reached should give the ruling.
§ MR. YOUNGER
May I point out that if the words of the hon. Member's Amendment are put in the Bill restricting the areas, words increasing the areas cannot be moved.
§ THE DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That is the point I have stated. We will deal with the Amendment when it is reached.
§ EARL WINTERTON
I did not gather, if I may say so, that the decision which has been come to is the decision of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman made use of the pronoun "I" in the course of his speech, and I gathered that he had come to this decision almost on the spur of the moment.
§ MR. L. HARCOURT
Perhaps it will be for the convenience of the Committee if I tell them that the noble Lord is mistaken.
§ EARL WINTERTON
said he regretted that he had formed a wrong impression. Certainly any impartial listener to the speech would have come to the conclusion that the right hon. Gentleman had made up his mind on the spur of the moment to accept the Amendment. The light-hearted way in which the right hon. Gentleman accepted the Amendment showed that the Government could have given little consideration to the matter. It was a matter of first-rate importance, and under the decision which the Government had come to a most ridiculous state of affairs arose. There were parishes in England which 409 had only a small number of inhabitants, and under the Amendment the area for exercising local option would be the parish. He did not think that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite really realised the effect the Amendment would have in small parishes. There were parishes six or seven miles long and barely a mile broad, and the effect of the Amendment would be that a man living in the middle would only have to go half a mile north or south to get into an area where there was no local option. To carry out the hon. Gentleman's suggestion logically, it would be necessary to have some kind of gendarmerie to prevent people from going out of one parish into another. He appealed to the Committee before passing this Amendment to consider the ludicrous position the country would be placed in if the parish area were adopted.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
said that morally, if not technically, it would be impossible hereafter to discuss any enlarging Amendment if this one were decided in the affirmative. It was necessary now to say how much they on that side of the House regretted the decision of the right hon. Gentleman. By accepting the Amendment, as they thought with such levity, the right hon. Gentleman had totally ignored the dignity, independence, and the right to be treated as efficient self-governing communities of all the great boroughs of the country. The effect of the Amendment was to make local option between ward and ward in all the great boroughs. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to leave to these great boroughs the option of saying for themselves in what way they would regulate this great and important matter in their own areas.
§ MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
said he objected entirely to these small areas. By an Amendment which he had on the Paper he proposed that the area should be that of Quarter Sessions or boroughs with over 25,000 inhabitants. Areas of that kind, he thought, would be much more suitable than the licensing districts which the Government proposed. But 410 by the Amendment which the Government had accepted the licensing districts were going to be split up into small areas quite unsuitable for the purpose intended. The border difficulty was a real difficulty, and one which was fully appreciated by the right hon. Member for Spen Valley when he waited on the Prime Minister last year. The right hon. Gentleman appreciated the difficulty in regard to Sunday closing, and the same argument exactly applied to local veto. The report of the deputation which waited last December on the present Prime Minister, stated that the right hon. the Member for Spen Valley—Pressed the desirability and, indeed, necessity of making legislation on Sunday closing of national application and not leaving it to localities to decide for themselves.The Prime Minister asked: "Why should it not be left to localities?" to which the right hon. the Member for Spen Valley replied: "Because the difficulty of drawing a border-line is enormous." What border-line was he and the hon. Member for Appleby going to draw now? The right hon. Gentleman continued—If they were to have opening in the one locality and closing in another, it would lead to deplorable results, as had been the case in Cardiff.The area was now to be the ward. It might be a ward densely populated, close together, in a small area in which the division went down the middle of the street, so that there was a border difficulty even as the clause now stood. He was afraid under the procedure that night they would not have an opportunity of discussing this question properly. They who represented county boroughs entirely objected even to wards being made the districts for polling on this important question. He was afraid it was almost too late to ask the right hon. Gentleman to re-consider his decision. It was hardly treating the House fairly for the right hon. Gentleman to accept an Amendment from a prominent Member of his own party on an important question of this kind. The Government ought to have considered it when they were framing their Bill. Representatives 411 of the county boroughs could only enter their protest as he now did on their behalf.
§ MR. DICKINSON (St. Pancras, N.)
said that from the point of view of London, he heartily welcomed the assent of the Government to this Amendment. The Bill, as drafted, proposed that the local option area should be the licensing district, but in London the licensing districts were very large—the one he represented contained half a million individuals—and the proposal, therefore, was, so far as London was concerned, wholly inefficient and impracticable. He would be glad to learn from the First Commissioner of Works whether or not the local option areas in London would be the wards of the Metropolitan boroughs in the same way as he proposed for the other boroughs in the country.
§ MR. BONAR LAW (Camberwell, Dulwich)
said that the hon. Gentleman supported the Amendment accepted by the Government for the very good reason that he was not thoroughly satisfied with the Bill as it stood, and that any change would be for the better from his point of view. His hon. friend had expressed surprise that the Government had accepted this Amendment, and he evidently misunderstood the speech of the First Commissioner of Works. As he understood it, what the right hon. Gentleman intended to do was to throw another small sop to the extreme section of the Party behind him, and of course the value of the compliment was greatly increased by the statement that he had been greatly impressed with the arguments brought forward by the hon. Member for Appleby. There was nothing whatever surprising in the Amendment considering the direction from which it came, or in the Government's, adopting it. It was natural that the hon. Member who moved it should wish the area to be small. He knew that if they made the area a large one, the chance of finding a sufficient number of faddists to put local option into operation was extremely small; and he knew, on the other hand, that the smaller the area the better the 412 chance there would be of finding a few gentlemen who held the views he so ably represented, and of seeing local option adopted. The action of the right hon. Gentleman, and the attitude of the Government to the Amendment had placed the Committee in an almost ludicrous position—in a position exactly the same as they were in earlier in the afternoon. The Prime Minister deliberately set aside one whole day to discuss the principle of local option. They came to discuss it, and found that what they were discussing was not the principle of a local option which was often to be applied, but the principle of a local option which was only to come into effect in regard to cases which would never happen, or which were so small in the total that there was not a soul in the Committee who cared whether they were discussed or not. The real local option, the subject they were to discuss the whole day, was locked in the bosom of His Majesty's Government, and nothing would induce them to tell the Committee what that principle was. The right hon. Gentleman opposite took up the same attitude towards this particular proposal. They were to discuss the area, but what the area was to be was sacred to the Government. The House of Commons had been accustomed to a good deal of closure of debate, but they had reached a stage that day which had never been reached before. They were discussing for the first time as a practical proposal a system of local option. Local option had been discussed previously academically by Resolution, or on a private Member's Bill, but here was a system of local option, and he believed that there was not one hon. Member outside the Government benches, and precious few on them, who had the smallest notion as to what the principle was which the Government intended to put into operation. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would tell them later on. In the meantime they were to decide what the area was to be to which this local option was to apply, without the smallest knowledge of what it was to be, except that it was not to be the area in the Bill as it was at present framed. They were given to understand that there was to be grouping, but what the nature of the grouping 413 was to be they did not know. He was perfectly certain that the right hon. Gentleman did not tell them about the grouping, for the very good reason that probably he did not know.
§ MR. L. HARCOURT
said that he only rose in order to explain to the hon. Gentleman that he had quite distinctly stated that he had accepted on behalf of the Government the rural parish or the urban area in the words of the Amendment, and he only suggested that it might possibly be necessary, at a later stage, to effect some grouping for the convenience of the smaller parishes. He wished to make it clear to his hon. friend the Member for North St. Pancras that the Amendment which he had foreshadowed would probably be necessary on the Report stage in order to carry out his hon. friend's intention, and would make it perfectly clear that, as regarded London, they would adopt the areas of the wards of the Metropolitan boroughs.
§ *MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had in mind the definition of a suburban area which was inserted in Clause 1, subsection 1, by the Home Secretary, under the Closure, without any discussion whatever. It declared that for the purpose of a definition of an urban area, a Metropolitan borough should be deemed to be a borough, and, where part of a ward of a borough or urban district was situated in one licensing district and part in another, each such part of the ward should be treated as part of the ward with which it had the longest common boundary in the same licensing district. That had surely escaped the notice of the hon. Member for St. Pancras. He would like to know how the Government who had accepted the Amendment intended to deal with a Metropolitan borough under such Amendment.
§ MR. JOHN WARD
said the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dulwich had spoken of the proposal which was before the House as most ridiculous and as one which could have been fashioned only in the brain of a teetotal fanatic, yet the same Amendment 414 appeared on the Order Paper in the name of one of the hon. Gentleman's colleagues.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
said that what he spoke of as fanaticism was the idea of the possibility of local option being adopted.
§ MR. JOHN WARD
said there was not the slightest doubt that what the hon. Member was discussing was the Amendment, and that Amendment which he described as absurd would have been moved by one of the hon. Gentleman's colleagues but for the accident of his absence from the House at the moment. That was a fairly good estimate of the whole of the speech to which they had listened. He was interested in this question as it applied to London, and he thought it would be a great mistake if the wards of the different boroughs of London were to be taken as the areas for deciding under this clause of the Bill. Take, for instance, a district which he knew perfectly well—Wandsworth—as an illustration. Here was the old parish of Wandsworth split up into four wards, and if they were going to have one ward on one side of the street declaring in favour of vetoing of licences and another on the other side declaring in the opposite direction there would be considerable confusion, and he thought the right hon. Gentleman had found that he would have to make some special arrangement in regard to London. At least he was going to vote in favour of the Amendment on the promise that this would be reconsidered on the Report stage.
§ *MR. CAVE
said he did not understand how the hon. Member was going to vote for the Amendment after the speech which he had delivered, because the argument which he had put forward with regard to London boroughs was exactly the argument which appeared vital to the Opposition with regard to other areas. If a small parish were made the voting area, and it decided in favour of prohibition, those residents in that parish who wished to obtain drink would go outside in order to get it, and this legislation would be entirely ineffective. There were three objections to the 415 Amendment. First, if the matter was to be determined by a popular vote the larger the number the more likely it was to be right, and therefore they ought to appeal not to the little population of a small parish but to a larger population. They had it from the First Commissioner of Works that they must take the parish as the area. That was to say, 200 or 300 people representing perhaps 50 or 60 houses were going to decide for all the inhabitants of that place. It was quite possible in a place like that to get a number of people with strong opinions—faddists—to vote for prohibition, but if they appealed to a large area the possibilities of getting an impartial decision were much more hopeful. Secondly, if they appealed to a large area they did not get the personal interest which they had in a smaller place, and it was undoubtedly true that in a small parish personal interest might affect the vote. If they could provide that only those interested could vote, they reduced the area very much, but that was not the plan of the Government; they were going to give the vote to people who bad no interest whatever in the matter. Thirdly, there was the border difficulty to which he had referred, and which would be enormously increased by this Amendment. Therefore, he thought they were right in upholding the view that the larger the area the better.
§ VISCOUNT HELMSLEY
said that, having an Amendment on the Paper in order to increase the area, he felt he should like to say a few words about this Amendment which had been accepted by the right hon. Gentleman. He thought the effect of the clause would be even worse in rural parishes than in urban districts, especially as regards the boundary question. If a prohibitory resolution were passed by a bare majority
§ in a small parish, he would like the House to picture to itself the friction and dismay which would occur. The minority would know who had carried the resolution against them, and there would be very little friendship and good feeling in that parish for a long time afterwards. The border difficulty would be increased in exactly the proportion by which the voting areas were decreased in size. If the area was small, then they promptly brought into play the competitive forces between various public-houses, and there might arise a position in which a publican might vote for prohibition in one part of the small area because prohibition there would increase his trade at a house on the other side of the boundary. That seemed to him to reduce this vote to a greater absurdity than it was in the Government Bill when introduced. He could not imagine what had induced the Government to accept the Amendment, which certainly was far from being an improvement on the original clause. It was the experience in every country where local veto had been tried that it had no chance of working successfully except in a large area, and in proportion to the reduction in the area was the plan less successful. The Government had given no solution of the boundary difficulty. In a small parish a few fanatics might put prohibition into operation with gross unfairness, and the larger the area was the more difficult it would be for those fanatics to have their way. The Government had adopted an Amendment which would be grossly unfair in its application, and which was very far from being an improvement of the original clause.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 275; Noes, 108. (Division List No. 258.)419
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Ashton, Thomas Gair||Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Astbury, John Meir||Beauchamp, E.|
|Agnew, George William||Atherley-Jones, L.||Beck, A. Cecil|
|Alden, Percy||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Bell, Richard|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Barker, John||Bennett, E. N.|
|Armitage, R.||Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Barran, Rowland Hirst||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E)||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Harwood, George||Nuttall, Harry|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Brace, William||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Grady, J.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Brigg, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Partington, Oswald|
|Bright, J. A.||Henry, Charles S.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Perks, Sir Robert William|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Higham, John Sharp||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hodge, John||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hooper, A. G.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Horniman, Emslie John||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Chance, Frederick William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hudson, Walter||Rees, J. D.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hyde, Clarendon||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Clough, William||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Richardson, A.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Jowett, F. W.||Robinson, S.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Kekewich, Sir George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Crooks, William||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Crossley, William J.||Laidlaw, Robert||Rose, Charles Day|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lambert, George||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Lehmann, R. C.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Duckworth, James||Levy, Sir Maurice||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lewis, John Herbert||Seddon, J.|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Lupton, Arnold||Shackleton, David James|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Maclean, Donald||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Erskine, David C.||Macpherson, J. T.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Essex, R. W.||M'Callum, John M.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||M'Crae, Sir George||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Snowden, P.|
|Everett, R. Lacey||M'Laren, H. D. Stafford, W.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Mallet, Charles E.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Ferens, T. R.||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Findlay, Alexander||Markham, Arthur Basil||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Marnham, F. J.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Massie, J.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Menzies, Walter||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Middlebrook, William||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Summerbell, T.|
|Glover, Thomas||Mond, A.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Gulland, John W.||Morse, L. L.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Hall, Frederick||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Myer, Horatio||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Napier, T. B.||Tomkinson, James|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)||Nicholls, George||Ure, Alexander|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Verney, F. W.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Vivian, Henry||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Wadsworth, J.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Walsh, Stephen||Whitehead, Rowland||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Walters, John Tudor||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Walton, Joseph||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wiles, Thomas||Winfrey, R.|
|Wardle, George J.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Waring, Walter||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen|
|Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Williamson, A.|
|Watt, Henry A.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)||Elibank.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gardner, Ernest||Nield, Herbert|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Oddy, John James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Barnard, E. B.||Gretton, John||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Haddock, George B.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Renwick, George|
|Bertram, Julius||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Heaton, John Henniker||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Helmsley, Viscount||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hill, Sir Clement||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hills, J. W.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cave, George||Kerry, Earl of||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Keswick, William||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey||Kimber, Sir Henry||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm'gham)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lowe, Sir Francis William||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Winterton, Earl|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||M'Arthur, Charles||Wortley, Rt. Hon. G. B. Stuart-|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Younger, George|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Fell, Arthur||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Viscount Valentia.|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Forster, Henry William||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
§ *MR. STUART WORTLEY
said he desired to move an Amendment which was in manuscript. He apologised for not having put it on the Paper, but the House would appreciate why. Some Members had been taken completely by surprise, and had been somewhat embarrassed by the unexpected acceptance of the last Amendment by the Government. He rose to insert in line 11 after the words "licensing districts" the 420 words "or in any large borough as defined by Section 15 of this Act." It was quite unnecessary to enlarge upon the tremendous claims which the great boroughs had upon the consideration of this House owing to their unrivalled powers for organisation with regard to all matters within the borough. The Amendment, if accepted, should lead to a subsequent Amendment which should provide that within their own boundaries the great 421 boroughs themselves should settle what should be the local veto area. He submitted to hon. Members on both sides of the House that no one could organise these important powers so satisfactorily as the great boroughs. That being so, he begged to move.
In line 11, after the word 'district,' to insert the words 'or in any large borough as defined in Section 15 of this Act.'"—(Mr. Stuart Worthy.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR S. EVANS
said the right hon. Gentleman had no right to suggest that by reason of the acceptance of the previous Amendment the Committee had been placed in an embarrassing position. On the merits of the right hon. Gentleman's proposal he could only say that the decision which the Committee had just taken was exactly contrary to the principle of this Amendment, because the Government had made it clear that after gravely considering the matter, after giving consideration to the difficulties of boundary and to the question of homogeneity of population, the licensing district as such was too large an area for the purpose of giving effect to the desires of the people who were really affected.
§ MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)
, as representing one of the large boroughs, urged upon the Committee the necessity of accepting the Amendment. He thought temperance was the object of this Bill. It was quite certain that no borough would be able to carry a vote of prohibition in every one of the wards, and therefore the position would be that some wards would be favoured, if it was considered to be a favour to have 422 the power of drinking, and that others would be damaged. He had himself seen a case in America where prohibition was in force in one district, and not in another on the opposite side of a river. What was the result? When the river was crossed it was found that the first twelve houses in that district were licensed houses. The same might be said in this country, where one ward might be called, as they were called in America, a "dry ward," and the other a "wet ward." Was it desirable that such terms should be applied to boroughs in this country? It was too preposterous to suggest that it would be convenient to have all the public-houses in one borough closed and in another borough open. The suggestion of the Government was perfectly preposterous, and he should certainly show it up in the country on every possible chance.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
thought that if they wanted to get a true expression of opinion on prohibition, the larger the area the better. They would get a real opinion if they had a large area, whereas, if they had an infinitesimal area, they would have nothing but faddists at work and never get a real expression of opinion at all. A large area would also give them a truer test of the value of prohibition. York, the constituency he represented, was divided into wards, but if he wanted to test prohibition there—it was really the last thing he wanted—he should certainly have it over the whole of York and take a vote of the whole of York upon it. He would not cut the city up into wards. He would thus get a true expression of the opinion of York; and, if prohibition did promote temperance, it would be much better to have 423 it operative throughout the whole area their area of such a size that it was not of the city than to separate the wards and have it in operation only in some of them. A prohibition resolution might be passed in one only of the six wards of York. A man would then merely have to walk 200 yards out of one ward into another. How was prohibition to be effective under such a system? If the hon. Member for Westmoreland desired prohibition to be effective, he was going a very funny way to make it so. They were certainly not going to promote temperance by cutting large boroughs up into all these districts: just the reverse. They were going to reduce the working of the clause to a farce. If he were in favour of drinking and not in favour of temperance, he would advise making the areas as small as possible, because then prohibition would become farcical. He could not understand why the First Commissioner of Works ever accepted the Amendment. He did not know whether the Goverment were going to be rather harder on the temperance party as the Bill went on and that, therefore, it was better at this stage to throw them a little sop; but, so far as they had gone, the Nonconformist tail was wagging the dog, and he was sorry for it.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he was quite unable to follow the reasoning which had led the Government to their decision. He understood the view of the Government was that by diminishing the facilities for drinking, or by removing them altogether, they would reduce drunkenness. He would accept that view for the moment; but if it were to be tried with any reasonable prospect of success, they must make 424 their area of such a size that it was not easy for anyone within a prohibition area to evade the restrictions of the Act by going just outside that area. That argument pointed to the necessity of having large areas in which the vote would be taken. He ventured to say that where they could show even a colourable success of prohibition or local option it was always in areas which were considerable, and where the bulk of the population had little opportunity or opportunity only at long intervals, of going outside that area into another where drink was to be obtained. It was well known that in certain sparsely populated districts in America they could for long periods make men sober by prohibition, but men whom they thus compulsorily made sober by Act of Parliament took their revenge when from time to time they went to some neighbouring city by spending their earnings of three or six months in a wild debauch of three or six weeks. They could not, however, apply even that temporary success to a case where a man would only have to go a few yards in order to get into an area where the sale of drink was freely permitted. It was possible that by taking even so small an area as the ordinary rural parish they might sometimes find an area to give them some chance, if not a very hopeful one, of testing the efficacy of the Bill; but, if they treated the wards of towns separately, what chance had they?
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
asked the hon. Member if he thought that helped his case. The hon. Member 425 thought that if he was able to show that the Bill did not help temperance he might not object to its passing, but he wholly misconceived his position. He was not so clamorous as the hon. Member and he was not so intemperate in his views upon temperance, but he thought he had as great a dislike of the disgusting vice of intemperance, and, if they were to deal with the licensing question, he earnestly desired that they should make some progress in checking what was an admitted evil, and, if by the courtesy and rules of the House he was permitted to intervene in the debate, his object would be to make the Bill more suitable to bring about temperance reform than it existed at present. If they took ward areas in towns, they would reduce any prospect of the successful working of local option to an absolute farce. On one side of the street a man would be forbidden to buy or to sell drink, whilst on the other they might have houses, limited in number and accommodation, which were crowded. They would not check the demand for drink in the prohibited areas, and they would not check in any material degree the obtaining of drink by those who lived in them, but they would produce over-crowding and other evils in immediately neighbouring districts. Whilst producing those evils they could not pretend that they would in any way serve the cause of temperance. He had heard much from American friends and knew something from his own experience of what wont on in small urban areas in America where prohibition was enforced. He was once challenged at a public meeting to give his own personal experience in America. He accepted the challenge and answered in a sentence. He had been in these 426 prohibited areas, and he got liquor without any difficulty in all of them. That was what would happen in this country if they proceeded with legislation of this kind against the general sense of the majority of reasonable people. In our great towns certain wards presented very special features. There were central wards which had a population in the day time who had to be provided with mid-day meals. The day population was wholly disproportionate to the electoral roll or to the night population, but they were putting it in the power of the night population of those central wards, or of such electors as happened to be on the register for them, to decide whether or not the day population should have any facilities for obtaining wine or any alcoholic refreshment for their midday meal. Was not that a ludicrous proposal? Had there been any explanation of it by the Government or one word of justification for its adoption? He was utterly unable to follow the reasoning of the Government on the question. If they wished to reduce their proposals to a nullity and make local option a farce they could not have taken a better course.
§ MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said that perhaps he might be allowed to express his own experience, drawn from action for which he was largely responsible in the City of Liverpool. Very large tracts of Liverpool had come under the principle of prohibition. His own experience and the experience of those who had gone before him demonstrated the fact that the imposition of prohibitory restrictions over large areas in towns had not only operated to the general advantage of those districts, but had not in any way 427 led to the results in surrounding districts at which the right hon. Gentleman had hinted. In his experience, what had been done in prohibitionary areas had been welcomed by all who lived in them, and he had never seen protests of any kind by residents. He felt certain that if this provision were carried out it would lead, not only to the great advantage of the rural districts, but to the great advantage of city life. No doubt the imposition of this restriction in single wards would eventually lead to a general policy being adopted, and he felt certain experience of the past would not be belied.
§ *MR. WALTER GUINNESS (Bury St. Edmunds)
hoped the Amendment would be adopted, because it would reduce the absurdity to which the House was committed by the last Amendment which had been passed. The Bill was justified on many grounds. He believed its chief justification in the eyes of hon. Members opposite was that they thought it was going to do a great deal of harm to the owners of licensed premises, but they did not always like to avow that. Sometimes they pretended that it was going to reduce the amount of drunkenness in the country. The Amendment which was last carried would undoubtedly enormously increase the facilities for drunkenness in comparison with the proposal of the Government as originally put down in the Bill, because it was surely far easier for an individual who wanted to get drunk to go over the boundary if the boundary was only situated a short distance from his own door, than if the area was much larger and he had to take a six mile walk before he could procure anything to drink. It was quite possible that even 428 under the last Amendment in some cases in a large scattered country parish where prohibition is put into force a man might find it difficult to get to a public-house, but it was obvious on the face of it that that difficulty would be entirely done away with in a borough, because in a borough the distances were far smaller, and it would always be easy for a man who happened to live in a district where there was prohibition to go over the boundary and get a drink somewhere else. He did not think this would decrease drinking in the least; it would increase it, and for a very simple reason. It was a well-known fact that people tended to drink far more if they were gathered together in large numbers. It was the experience of a great many countries that there was less drunkenness where everybody practically was allowed to sell drink. It was the experience of countries in the south of Europe where they drank wine. Where they only got two or three people gathered together in a room they very soon gave up treating each other and had as much as they wanted to drink and went away, but if they got hundreds of people gathered together in a small and inconvenient public-house they were much more likely to get drunkenness than if they spread, what hon. Gentlemen opposite considered a nuisance, indiscriminately over the whole area. He thought this particular proposal was simply a piece of Puritanical cant, and he objected to it the more because in this case he did not think it was harmless. It was Puritanical cant at their neighbours' expense. If this drinking was a nuisance it was only fair that each district should suffer for it. It was not fair to concentrate the whole of the nuisance on their neighbours. Let them think 429 also of the difficulty of police supervision. They were going to concentrate the whole of the drinking perhaps in the small area of a town. They would have to increase the police in that area, and it would be far more difficult because the police might be able to cope with one drunkard in every street, but it was very difficult if they were going to concentrate twenty drunkards in a single street. It seemed to him that this proposal to which the House had partly committed itself was to upset the whole principle of the Bill, because they had laid it down in the First Schedule that they were going to place the public-houses according to the number of population to the acre. But now they would have to place the public-houses, if they were going on any logical principle at all, not according to the number of population per acre in that particular ward or licensing area, but according to the number of people who were compelled to flock into that restricted area by the prohibition restrictions which were enforced all round, and it seemed to him that this system would strike at the whole principle of the Bill. The real truth of the matter was that the hon. Member who brought forward the resolution was anxious to get prohibition on any terms. He supposed he would like to be able to tell his constituents that he had got it, but it was quite obvious that prohibition would, from the temperance point of view, be quite ineffective, and it would not carry out the function which it would have carried out if the Government had stuck to their original proposal. They, no doubt, wanted these smaller districts because it would be easier to get an extreme expression of opinion among a few people than if they trusted to the common sense of a large district where 430 they could get an average opinion. He strongly objected to the extension of these small areas because it was only another case of the tendency which the Government had already shown of hading the dice against those who showed any signs of disagreement.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
said he was struck with the extraordinarily small amount of reply that there was on the merits of this Amendment. The official reply was that the House was practically prejudiced in its discretion by the decision which was arrived at on the previous Amendment. Nothing of the kind was the case. At the best that was a surprise decision, and it was one in which the House acted in the full belief that it was not prejudging the case of the great towns, for, after all, subsection (7) still remained on the Paper, and the House ought to have an opportunity of discussing this Amendment, and that was the proper occasion on which to safeguard the interest of the great towns. There remained only the remark of the hon. Member for Denbighshire, which amounted to this, that in Liverpool, by philanthropic action against which he had not a word to say, some small prohibitionist areas seemed to have been created. But of what use were these to argument? They pleased all parties. They pleased the temperance people as far as they went, and they did not interfere in the least with the habits of the drinking people. Let there be no mistake. This was an Amendment to safeguard the antonomy and dignity of the great municipal areas, and to leave them free to say for themselves within their own area whether the local option area should be the city itself, the whole municipal area, or a single ward, or a 431 grouping of wards made by the city itself, which the House ought to trust with that duty.
§ MR. RICHARDSON (Nottingham, S.)
said he could foresee a difficulty if the Amendment was carried. There was immediately contiguous to the city of Nottingham a place called West Bridge-ford. It had a population of 11,000. Over the whole area of that place, with the exception of an old public-house, called the "Trent Bridge Inn," connected with the cricket ground, there was not a single licensed house. This was because Liberals and Conservatives, Churchmen and Nonconformists, had, from the early beginnings of that village, formed an association for the purpose of opposing the introduction of any licensed house in the place. West Bridgeford was one of the most prosperous and respectable villages in the county of
§ Nottingham. Now, there had been houses bought by men interested in the liquor trade for the purpose of opening licensed premises, and every year, whenever the brewers came forward and asked for a licence, the whole of the 11,000 people were represented, undivided by religion or politics, before the magistrates, to oppose such licensing. The result was that the magistrates would not grant a single licence. There was a movement on foot to include West Bridgeford in the borough of Nottingham, but if the Amendment were carried, he was quite certain it would induce the habitants of West Bridgeford to opposo inclusion for the very reason that they, did not want and would not have a public-house there.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 122; Noes, 314. (Division List No. 259.)435
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Kerry, Earl of|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Doughty, Sir George||Keswick, William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Loud.)||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Lea, Hugh Cocil (St. Pancras, E.)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fell, Arthur||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks-||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Fletcher, J. S.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Forster, Henry William||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gardner, Ernest||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gretton, John||M'Iver, Sir Lewis|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Haddock, George B.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Cave, George||Hamilton, Marquess of||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Moore, William|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nicholson, Wm. G. Peterfield|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Heaton, John Henniker||Nield, Herbert|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Helmsley, Viscount||Oddy, John James|
|Coates, Major E. P. (Lewisham||Hill, Sir Clement||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Hills, J. W.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Hope, Jamas Fitzalan (Sheffield||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Cowan, W. H.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Hunt, Rowland||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Remnant, James Farquarson|
|Renwick, George||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Starkey, John R.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Ronaldshay, Earl of||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Winterton, Earl|
|Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.|
|Salter, Arthur Clavell||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Younger, George|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Viscount Valentia.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Cooper, G. J.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Agnew, George William||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Higham, John Sharpe|
|Alden, Percy||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Crooks, William||Hodge, John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Crossley, William J.||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Armitage, R.||Curran, Peter Francis||Hooper, A. G.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Astbury, John Meir||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hudson, Walter|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Duckworth, James||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Barker, John||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Erskine, David C.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Essex, R. W.||Jowett, F. W.|
|Bell, Richard||Esslemont, George Birnie||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Bennett, E. N.||Everett, R. Lacey||Kincaid-Smith, Captain|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Bertram, Julius||Ferens, T. R.||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Findlay, Alexander||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lambert, George|
|Black, Arthur W.||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Fuller, John Michael F.||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Fullerton, Hugh||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)|
|Brace, William||Furness, Sir Christopher||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Branch, James||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Brigg, John||Glover, Thomas||Lupton, Arnold|
|Bright, J. A.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Brodie, H. C.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Maclean, Donald|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Griffith, Ellis J.||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||M'Callum, John M.|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Gulland, John W.||M'Crae, Sir George|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Hall, Frederick||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln|
|Chance, Frederick William||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hart-Davies, T.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Clough, William||Harwood, George||Massie, J.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Menzies, Walter|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Middlebrook, William|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Henry, Charles S.||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Mond, A.||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Tomkinson, James|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Robinson, S.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Ure, Alexander|
|Morse, L. L.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Verney, F. W.|
|Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Vivian, Henry|
|Myer, Horatio||Rose, Charles Day||Wadsworth, J.|
|Napier, T. B.||Rowlands, J.||Walker, H. De. R. (Leicester)|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Runeiman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Walsh, Stephen|
|Nicholls, George||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Walton, Joseph|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|Nussey, Thomas William||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Wardle, George J.|
|Nuttall, Harry||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Waring, Walter|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan|
|O'Grady, J.||Seddon, J.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Seely, Colonel||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Partington, Oswald||Shaekleton, David James||Watt, Henry A.|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Sherwell, Arthur James||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Shipman, Dr. John G.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Silcock, Thomas Ball||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Simon, John Allsebrook||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Perks, Sir Robert William||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Snowden, P.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Pollard, Dr.||Soares, Ernest J.||Williams, Llewelyn (Garmarthen|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Spicer, Sir Albert||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Stanger, H. Y.||Williamson, A.|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Radford, G. H.||Steadman, W. C.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Rainy, A. Rolland||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Raphael, Herbert H.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Summerbell, T.||Winfrey, R.|
|Rees, J. D.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Richardson, A.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.||Elibank.|
§ And, it being after half-past Ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 17th July, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded this day.436
§ Question put, "That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 315; Noes, 117. (Division List No. 260.)439
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Atherley-Jones, L.||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Bennett, E. N.|
|Agnew, George William||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Berridge, T. H. D.|
|Alden, Percy||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Barker, John||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine|
|Armitage, R.||Barran, Rowland Hirst||Black, Arthur W.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N)||Boulton, A. C. F.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Beauchamp, E.||Bowerman, C. W.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Beck, A. Cecil||Brace, William|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bell, Richard||Bramsdon, T. A.|
|Branch, James||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Brigg, John||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)||Morse, L. L.|
|Bright, J. A.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||Murray, Capt Hn. A. C. (Kincard)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Hart-Davies, T.||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Myer, Horatio|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Napier, T. B.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Harwood, George||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nicholls, George|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hemmerde, Edward George||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Byles, William Pollard||Henry, Charles S.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Cameron, Robert||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Higham, John Sharp||O'Grady, J.|
|Chance, Frederick William||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hodge, John||Partington, Oswald|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Holland, Sir William Henry||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hooper, A. G.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Clough, William||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Horniman, Emslie John||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Parks, Sir Robert William|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Hudson, Walter||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Cooper, G. J.||Hyde, Clarendon||Pollard, Dr.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Radford, G. H.|
|Crossley, William J.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Jowett, F. W.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Kekewich, Sir George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S)||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rees, J. D.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Laidlaw, Robert||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Richards, Thomas (W. M'nm'uth|
|Duckworth, James||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lambert, George||Richardson, A.|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lehmann, R. C.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs)|
|Erskine, David C.||Lewis, John Herbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd|
|Essex, R. W.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robinson, S.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Maclean, Donald||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ferens, T. R.||Macpherson, J. T.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||M'Callum, John M.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Findlay, Alexander||M'Crae, Sir George||Rowlands, J.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||M'Micking, Major G.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Mallet, Charles E.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Ronfrew, W.)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester|
|Glover, Thomas||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marnham, F. J.||Seddon, J.|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Seely, Colonel|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Massie, J.||Shackleton, David James|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Menzies, Walter||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Micklem, Nathaniel||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Gulland, John W.||Middlebrook, William||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Hall, Frederick||Mond, A.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Snowden, P.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Verney, F. W.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Vivian, Henry||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen|
|Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Wadsworth, J.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Steadman, W. C.||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Williamson, A.|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Walsh, Stephen||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Walters, John Tudor||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Walton, Joseph||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Summerbell, T.||Ward, Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wardle, George J.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury||Waring, Walter||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan)||Winfrey, R.|
|Thomas, Abcl (Carmarthen, E.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Watelow, D. S.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Thomasson, Franklin||Watt, Henry A.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Tomkinson, James||Whitehead, Rowland||of Elibank.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Ure, Alexander||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gardner, Ernest||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Moore, William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Nield, Herbert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Gretton, John||Oddy, John James|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Barnard, E. B.||Haddock, George B.||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hamilton, Marquess of||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bertram, Julius||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Renwick, George|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Heaton, John Henniker||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Helmsley, Viscount||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Sir Clement||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hills, J. W.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunt, Rowland||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cave, George||Kenna way, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kerry, Earl of||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Keswick, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Winterton, Earl|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Younger, George|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.||M'lver, Sir Lewis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Fell, Arthur||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Viscount Valentia.|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Forster, Henry William||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
§ Adjourned at eight minutes before Eleven o'clock.