§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 9:
§ *MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)
said that in moving the omission of sub-section (1) he wished to find out exactly what the clause meant. There was some doubt both as to the wording of the clause and as to the application of previous declarations of the Government in the matter. In the first place, the clause proceeded at present by licensing districts. They all knew that in an earlier clause a change was made from licensing districts to parishes and urban areas, and he thought it would be of interest to know whether a similar alteration of policy would be made in this case. In the second place, he wanted to call attention to this: the clause provided that if a resolution for further reduction was passed, then the reduction was to be made, but the clause omitted to say by whom that resolution was to be passed. There was nothing in the whole of the clause to show whether it should be a resolution of electors, or of justices, or of somebody else. So far as the claue itself went, it might be a resolutions passed at a public meeting called by the United Kingdom Alliance. He dared say he would be told that the intention was that there should be a similar resolution to that in Clause 2; but if that was so, the clause wanted a great deal of alteration, and here again some of that redrafting already promised ought to be made as soon as possible. It was impossible to construe the clause as drawn in that way, and they would certainly expect, what they were now accustomed to, a recasting of the clause. In the next place if a resolution of parochial electors was intended, was the resolution to be passed by a bare majority, as in Clause 2, or by a majority of three-fifths, as in the Scottish Local Option Bill, or of two-thirds, as in the amended Clause 3 of the Bill? According to the policy of the Government hitherto, immediate local veto was to be obtained by a bare majority and local veto fourteen years hence by a two-thirds majority. On which of these 1382 principles was this clause to be framed? It was a vital matter to everybody concerned. Then, again, were off-licences to be included? Under Clause 2 of the Bill they were certainly included, and under Clause 3 as amended he thought they were included, but they were told that that was a slip on the part of the Government. Were they to be added by the Government to the present clause? If all this happened, the effect of the clause was this, that if a resolution was passed, then immediately, as he gathered, there was to be made in the parish or area in question either a reduction of licences by 50 per cent. more than the statutory reduction, or a reduction by 200 per cent. more than the statutory reduction, or the immediate absolute extinction of all on-licences of any kind. In other words, this was something quite different from what they were discussing the other day, viz., a nebulous prohibition fourteen years hence. It was, or might be, the immediate prohibition of all the licences in a district. Then, as he understood the clause—and the learned Solicitor-General did not stop him, so he presumed his reading was correct—no licensee was to have the right of appeal. Supposing a resolution for partial reduction was passed, the houses chosen were to have no right of appeal; they were to be immolated, and they were to have no opportunity of going to a higher authority. If extinguished during the reduction period, they would be entitled to compensation, but if extinguished after the reduction period, they took no compensation at all. He thought he was right in his reading. If so, they were placed in a very serious position indeed. They had a proposal involving the possibility of immediate prohibition. They had had one discussion on the matter, and he was not now going through all the arguments against local veto, but he wanted shortly to indicate why he would give his strong and unalterable opposition to any proposal of that kind. In the first place, let them look at the tyranny of the thing. Whatever the majority might be in any particular parish or area, there would always be a mass of individuals, perhaps in a minority, who did desire to consume alcohol in a licensed house. Nobody contended that it was immoral, and the doctors said it was desirable. At all events they had a mass of people who 1383 preferred to take their drink in that way. He referred the Committee to what was said some years ago by a Liberal statesman on this matter. Speaking on a Licensing Bill Sir William Harcourt said:—Liberty does not consist in making others do what you think right. The difference between a free Government and a Government which is not free is principally this: that a Government which is not free interferes with everything it can, and a free Government interferes with nothing except what it must. A despotic Government tries to make every body do what it wishes. It is this practice of allowing one set of people to dictate to another set of people what they shall do, what they shall think, what they shall drink, when they shall go to bed, what they shall buy and where they shall buy it, what wages they shall get and how they shall spend them, against which the Liberal Party have always protested.That speech was made by Sir William Harcourt in 1872, and he did not think that statesman altered his views. Later on Sir William Harcourt said—The policy of the Liberal Party has been for generations a policy of emancipation from restriction, and if it is now to set to work to forge fresh fetters for the free, I myself will have no part in such a perversion. I am against the whole system of petty molestation and irritating dictation, whether by a class or by the majority. I do not admire the grand-maternal Government which ties night-caps on a grown-up nation by Act of Parliament.So much for the tyranny of this proposal. He would next deal with the point that where they had restrictions without strong public feeling behind them they always got evasions. It was impossible for anybody who had studied the facts to doubt that if they were going to enforce prohibition upon an unwilling minority they would not get the law obeyed, and instead of doing good they would do harm. He always accepted with a good deal of hesitation figures given them from private sources as to the operation of local veto in other places, because a good deal depended upon the quarter from which they came. He was not satisfied with the figures either for or against prohibition from private sources, but he relied on the official figures, and those who had studied them must be convinced that the mere reduction of licences did not produce increased sobriety or a decrease of drunkenness. If they merely suppressed on-licences, leaving untouched the other sources of supply, they were taking a step which to him seemed childish. 1384 Licences were granted on the hypothesis that they were required, and if they suppressed something which was granted to meet a demand, if they prevented men from buying in the open shop, they would certainly buy at the off-licensed house or supply themselves from another source. Therefore the prohibition or suppression of one particular mode of sale was bound to be ineffective. If they were going to suppress all sources of supply as some hon. Members wished, then they would simply drive the evil in, and they would get the same results as had been found in other places where that particular method had been tried. He wondered whether hon. Members had read an account given by the hon. Member for Woodstock of the result of his visit to the State of Maine in the United States. It illustrated well what happened everywhere when they attempted to suppress by law something which public opinion did not commend. The hon. Member wrote—The enforcement of the prohibition law is, as I have already said, carried out at present in Portland with a thoroughness and severity hitherto unknown. Raids, arrests, and fines are the crambe repetita of the Police Court annals; no open saloon exists, the Liquor Agency is altogether above suspicion, and no hotel will under any pretext furnish the visitor with any form of intoxicant. Nevertheless, what do we find? A few weeks ago I visited Portland, and after dinner at my hotel, took a walk with a friend through the town. At 8.30 a successful police raid was directed against the Atwood Cafe in Center Street. Fifty dozen bottles of Budweiser beer, and several dozens of 'Bass' were captured and removed in patrol wagons. About ten o'clock I asked a young man who appeared to be in charge at the restaurant if I could get a glass of beer, and he said that he would have been delighted to accommodate me, but every bottle of beer had been removed in the raid. This young person appeared to be quite cheerful; he seemed to regard his losses as the fortune of war, and the restaurant had probably realised considerable profits on the previous sales. Leaving this optimist we soon afterwards reached the doorway which somehow suggested alcohol. I entered, and on passing through an inner door found myself in an ordinary bar with the familiar white handles ranged along its inner side. Placing five cents on the counter I was promptly served with a glass of beer. Half a dozen other men were drinking, and while I was inside breaking the law in order to gain information, a powerfully built man who stood at the end of the room handed over flasks of whisky to several disreputable looking individuals who entered the bar quickly and as quickly disappeared. These men are known as 'pocket-pedlars' and sell spirits—most of it fiery and maddening stuff—at exorbitant prices to customers whom they chance to meet.1385 The article went on to deal with other matters which were well worth reading, and it concluded with this statement—The net result is that during the week I was there no fewer than fifty-eight arrests for intoxication took place, and the average for the year actually amounts to between forty and fifty per week, which in a population of 60,000 works out for Portland to about forty per thousand inhabitants per annum—that is three times as bad as our worst drinking centres, the seaport towns and mining counties, six times as bad as Loudon, and nine times as bad as our manufacturing towns.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
Was that in a prohibition State or a no-licence district in a local option State?
§ *MR. CAVE
said it was in Maine, and it was in a town which was in the same position as this clause would reduce Wales and Monmouth to. The article proceeded—Such statistics cannot, it is true, be cited as absolutely conclusive evidence in these cases, for they do not cover all the ground, but after all they form practically all the available data we possess for comparisons between one town and another, and they certainly lend support to the view of practically every ordinary level-headed citizen one meets, that the prohibition law is in many respects a hypocritical farce as far as the larger towns are concerned.So much for the certainty of evasion in the case of passing a measure of this kind. The other objections to local veto were well known. It would lead to frequent polls and canvassing of a most objectionable kind. It would give to the publican a precarious tenure, which always led to the bad conduct of public-houses, and in the end would lead to a great increase in the very kind of drinking which they desired to put an end to. It also meant a grievous loss to the men whose houses were suppressed whether they were brewers or private owners or licensees. Under this Bill the passing of a resolution in Wales would mean ruin to a number of people, because the compensation to be paid under this measure was nothing like the market value. For the reasons he had put forward and for other reasons he would always be opposed to a measure of prohibition. Several hon. Members opposite had told them plainly that they were opposed to prohibition and to local veto. Some of them had 1386 refrained from voting either against or in favour of the local veto proposals in Clause 3, because it was understood that those provisions would not take effect without the passing of a further Act of Parliament. That excuse, however, was of no avail upon this clause, which meant immediate local veto in Wales. He claimed that hon. Members opposite who were opposed to local veto ought to vote on this clause in accordance with their opinions. He was glad to see in his place the hon. Member for Huddersfield who made so earnest and interesting a speech the other night on this point. The hon. Member not only opposed local veto, but he gave reasons for his opposition. He should be glad to know what line the hon. Member intended to take on this Amendment, and whether he intended to support the Government or not. The same observation applied to other hon. Members who were present. He was moving this Amendment not on the footing of opposition to the whole Bill, although he was opposed to it. He hoped to have the support in the division lobby of all those who were opposed to local veto. The Westminster Gazette had an article recently in which the writer pointed out that by adopting local veto the Government were departing from the main lines of the Bill, and advised the Government not to press the point. He was entitled to say that this clause was entirely separable from the rest of the Bill, and he hoped they would have the real opinion of the House reflected in the division on this clause. He knew that anybody who took upon himself to oppose any part of this Bill, took a certain amount of responsibility on his shoulders. They had their own views as to what were the proper remedies for the evils which they all admitted existed. When he listened to the hon. Member for Huddersfield the other night, he found himself entirely in agreement with the final part of his speech, in which he said that the real remedy was not to be found in attacking public-houses, but in improving the conditions under which alcohol was sold. They would find in the Blue-book for 1907 figures which showed that drunkenness was the greatest where there was the greatest density of population.
Really the hon. Gentleman is now going a little too wide 1387 of the Amendment. The general question of the right remedy for the prevalence of drunkenness hardly arises on this Amendment.
In page 5, line 26, to leave out subsection (1)."—(Mr. Cave.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'If at any time after the' stand part of the clause."
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir S. EVANS,) Glamorganshire, Mid.
said he did not address the Committee as a Welsh Member, but in his capacity as a minor member of the Government. The hon. Member said the excision of the clause would not destroy the Bill. That was so, but the Government thought its omission would be very injurious to the Principality and to the county of Monmouth. His hon. friend behind him who had a sort of hereditary right to speak on this matter would reply further on the general question. Taking the four questions put by the hon. Member, his first question was—What was the area in which the operation of this clause would take place? As the Committee had decided that the area was to be the rural area or urban area as defined in the Bill that would also be the area in which the operation of this clause would take place. He need hardly say that an Amendment to that effect had been put down. The second question was—Who was to pass the resolution? There was on the Paper a mere drafting Amendment in his name which when made would make it obvious that the people who were to pass the resolution were the parochial electors. The next question was—What was the proportion with regard to the local veto and then with regard to the other provisions relating to further reductions? The answer was that the Committee had already decided that where local veto was concerned the resolution had to be carried by two-thirds majority. When they were dealing with further reductions 1388 the reduction was to be carried by a bare majority. The next question was—Were off-licences to be included? In the time-limit clause off-licences were included in Clause 3 by the Amendment moved by the First Commissioner of Works. That would be the provision also with regard to off-licences in this clause, but when they came to the question of local option in another part of the Bill off-licences were not to be included for the purpose of the time-limit. They were included for monopoly value under Clause 3.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)
said the Solicitor General had answered the questions put to him by his hon. and learned friend the Member for Kingston, but he had not offered any defence of the clause. By this clause the Government were according different treatment to Wales from that given to England. This clause was not discussed on the Second Reading of the Bill, and therefore they had not heard what particular defence the Government had to make for treating Wales in this way. He rose to make this protest because he saw a bevy of Welsh Members in the House belonging to the Radical Party who would, no doubt, later in the debate give their reasons why they thought Wales should be treated differently from England. This clause applied only to Wales and the county of Monmouth; it contained a very serious proposal, and he thought the Committee ought to have had from the Government some particular defence of it. He did not think that the answers to questions which had just been given by the Solicitor-General, except possibly so far as off-licences were concerned, had in any way lessened the objections which he and his friends had to the subsection. As he read the clause a licensee was to have no right of appeal at all. He thought 1389 that was dealing out a great deal of hardship to men engaged in a legitimate trade. On that side of the House they opposed the subsection, because first of all they thought it arbitrary and tyrannous. A majority in Wales was absolutely to rule; there was no chance whatever for the minority who were perfectly law-abiding and useful subjects of the Crown. There might be in a county only one less than the number of those who wished to impose this rule, and yet the majority were to have the power of saying that there was to be entire prohibition. There was no liberty for the subject in this respect. A bare majority were to have the right of saying that there should be no public-house in the locality. What had the experience been where this prohibitory system had been tried? The people there were inevitably encouraged to get liquor to be consumed at home, and the result was more disastrous than if they had been able to consume it on premises which were liable to the proper inspection of the police authorities. It was a great hardship not only upon the people for whom, at all events, the Government and their supporters had some sympathy, but also on those who had property in these licensed houses, for whom he knew they had no sympathy whatever. He should like to speak for those who had legitimately invested their money in these houses and who had hitherto conducted them properly. It was proposed that simply because a majority of one decided that licences should be extinguished— [Cries of "No."] That, as he understood, vas what was proposed, but hon. Members who held another view would have opportunities to explain.
§ SIR S. EVANS
In regard to local veto the majority is to be two-thirds; on the question of reduction it is to be a bare majority.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said he understood the reduction was to be by a majority of one, and therefore he thought he was justified in the conclusion which he drew. The Government could no longer say that in bringing forward the Bill, so far as Wales was concerned, they were going to improve the condition of the remaining houses. Their desire was not to improve the condition of the 1390 houses, but to close them altogether. For these reasons he and his friends offered the strongest opposition to the clause.
*SIR HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said he might be allowed to lay before the Committee some of the main grounds upon which this provision had been incorporated in the Bill. The main principle of the provision, namely, popular control both in regard to reduction and prohibition, had been for generations the hope and goal of the great majority of the people of Wales. He did not think it was desirable at that moment to go into any elaborate argument as to the merits of the popular control in licensing matters. Personally he believed it was a principle which in time would undoubtedly be adopted throughout the civilised world. They were not concerned at the moment with the merits or demerits of that particular principle. What they had to consider was—What did Wales, the majority of the people of Wales, think about this matter now, and what had they thought for many years past? He would submit two or three of the main grounds upon which the provisions of this Bill rested. He did not think it would be necessary for him or desirable to go into the influences which had brought about the strong convictions of the Welsh people on this point. He would refer to two or three facts connected with this development. What had led up to the present situation, a situation which with regard to licensing in any part of the country was, he supposed, almost unique from a Parliamentary standpoint? It was that every constituency in Wales and Monmouthshire at the last election sent their representatives to the House in order to press for the particular principle contained in this clause. Ever since the Ballot Act became law, forty years ago, the Welsh people had at every general election expressed their opinion by overwhelming majorities upon this specific point. The majorities had also been constant. Whatever might be the present strength—and he thought it was growing—of the movement in England in favour of the principle of popular control in licensing matters, it had varied from election to election; but the Welsh people had, from the first opportunity given to them, expressed their 1391 views as a whole, and had spoken in the same voice on this all-important subject. In 1891 a Local Veto Bill for Wales was passed under a Conservative Administration in a Conservative House of Commons by a majority, and the Second Reading of a similar measure was passed in 1893, giving to the people of Wales effective control over the liquor traffic. The next point he would mention was the recommendation of Lord Peel's Commission and the Chairman's recommendation on this subject. That Report was issued in 1898, and the recommendation of Lord Peel's Report was that in seven years Wales should be given a large measure of popular control. But further than that they had had for Wales special legislation in the sphere of licensing. The right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down objected to the fact that if this clause were passed Wales would have special treatment in regard to the reduction and the prohibition of licences. But they had already in Wales legislation in the sphere of licensing. They had the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. That was, he ventured to say, the foundation upon which they built their case for special treatment. One or two facts would show the general character and the strength of the forces behind the movement which operated in Welsh public life in support of this clause. Every county council in Wales had passed a resolution in favour of the principle of this clause, and also a great many borough councils, boards of guardians, and public bodies. He only mentioned this in order to show that the support of this principle permeated all through the public life of the country. It was not something that was manufactured at election times and by politicians, but it was something that went to the root of the life of the people. The last force he would like to refer to in support of this principle—and it was undoubtedly the greatest of all—was the long continued support given to the principle by the great Nonconformist denominations in the Principality. What had the Welsh temperance reformers done on this point? They first had asked for the right of controlling, by the voice of the people in each locality, the number of licences. That would in a large measure be granted to them through the operations of this clause. The claim which the people of Wales made for 1392 larger powers in connection with the reduction of licences was not based upon anything in their minds as to the special evil and injurious effects of the drink traffic in Wales. The demand was based upon what had long been the conviction of the great majority, namely, that if they could reduce the facilities for drink there would be an effective step taken in the direction of sobriety. The right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had referred to the difficulty of treating Wales differently from England in this matter. Might he remind the Committee of a notable declaration made on this point during the Second Reading of the Welsh Sunday Closing Bill in 1881 by the late Mr. Gladstone? Mr. Gladstone said—Wales is after all a country with a people of its own with a language of its own, with traditions of its own, and with religious feelings and associations of its own. This I will say, that where there is a distinctly formed Welsh opinion upon a given subject, and the acceptance of which does not entail any public danger or public inconvenience to the rest of the Empire, I know of no reason why a respectful regard should not be paid to that opinion.If it was right acccording to Mr. Gladstone in 1881 to pay a respectful regard to the feeling of the people of Wales on Sunday closing and to give Wales special treatment on the matter, there was no valid reason why he should not ask the House of Commons to have the same regard paid to it in regard to local option. Temperance reformers in Wales had always had their eyes fixed on the same goal and had tried to march forward on the same line. He would point out that in the Local Veto Bills of 1891 and 1893 there were two options—the option of reduction and the option of prohibition. They in Wales had long been convinced, whilst they recognised and believed that their goal in time should be for prohibition, that there must be large areas of the country where it was impossible, in existing circumstances, effectively to secure prohibition. So that from first to last they had asked for the two options, and those two options they asked to-day. He would point out to the Committee what would be the practical result of the carrying out of this clause. Supposing the people of Wales were to utilise its provisions to the fullest extent. The number of licences in Wales and 1393 Monmouthshire, according to the latest returns, was 7,100. Were these licences reduced to the statutory limit they would stand at 4,659; and if the further resolution was passed, subject, of course, to financial conditions, they would be further reduced by 3,104. There were one or two comments he would make upon those figures. The Solicitor-General had already referred to the question of area. Although he had his own view upon that point, he recognised that having regard to the Amendments which had been made in the Bill on an earlier clause, it was necessary to alter the area in the provision to meet the alterations already made. But the only practical difference between the working of this clause with regard to further reductions in Wales, and the second reductions in the working of the clause as generally applicable to the whole country, was that whereas in England the second reductions, the optional reductions, would take place according to the discretion of the justices, in Wales they would take place subject to the voice of the people in the locality. There was no distinction in principle; the only difference was that having regard to the strong feeling in Wales, it would enable the people to decide that question, whereas in England it was left to the justices. His last point was the long time that Wales had asked for the adoption of popular control of licences. He felt certain that all Members on that side, and many Members on the other side of the House, would be ready to consider the case of Wales as resting upon different conditions from the general case of the whole country. He reminded the Committee that this had long been a burning question in the Principality. It had been the hope of the people for generations, and they were speaking about things that they knew—about the conditions of life and the opinions of the people amongst whom they had to live all their lives. It would be useless for him to attempt to minimise the strength of the conviction prevailing in Wales on this point, and he appealed to the hon Gentleman to give this clause a careful consideration. They asked for an experiment to be tried within the limits of Wales, which they believed would be of undoubted benefit to the Welsh people. They believed that if they obtained this larger power it would be an instrument in their hands for doing better 1394 things, and endeavouring to work out their salvation in these matters in accordance with the deep-rooted convictions of their country. He had in conclusion only to thank the Committee for the very kind hearing they had given him. He spoke somewhat strongly on this point because he felt strongly, and he hoped the result of this debate would be that the clause would be passed by a decisive majority.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
said he could assure the hon. Member who had just sat down that he would be the last person to complain of his speech. He wished, however, the Government would do something to meet the appeal of his right hon. friend near him, the Member for the St. Augustine's division of Kent, who surely put forward a reasonable request that they should have a general discussion on this clause before going into the details. If this clause had been discussed on the Second Reading, it might be reasonable to wait for the question that the clause stand part of the Bill, before they discussed it generally. But it was not discussed on the Second Reading, and he was not aware that a single syllable was said either in condemnation or in praise of it by speakers then present. It therefore really behoved the Government to make some general statement to the House and the country as to why Wales should receive particular treatment, and why, if it received particular treatment, it should be of the especial character designed by this clause. He did not know whether the members of the Government who were not subordinate members of the Government—he was alluding to a distinction drawn by the learned Solicitor-General—he did not know whether members of the Government who were not subordinate, were going to defer any discussion until they got to the question that the clause stand part of the Bill. That was a course which might have justification if they were not working under the particular rules of the closure, but there was absolutely no justification for it when they were working under those rules. He would not labour the point, because he understood from signs from the Treasury Bench that they agreed to the proposal that he had made, and that they would give them their views of this clause before they proceeded 1395 to the details. In order that they might be able to give that defence under the best possible circumstances it might be convenient that he should ask them one or two questions with regard to this proposal. In the first place, did they agree with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down that there was no difference of principle between this clause and the clause dealing with the optional reduction of licences in England? He listened to that statement with amazement, especially in the mouth of the hon. Gentleman. Was it the view of the Government generally that there was no difference in principle, in leaving it to the magistrates to initiate any decrease in the number of licences to be dealt with and the plan by which that initiative, indeed that decision, was left to the popular vote? Was that accepted by the Government? Was this merely the English principle with slight modifications and in a new disguise? He objected to the English method of doing it, and he certainly did not think that the Government had thought that in getting hold of this decision and taking it away from the magistrates, and giving it to the voters in the various parishes, they were doing nothing that touched principle but that they were merely occupied with details. That was the first question which he would ask, because he understood that the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, spoke in some sense on behalf of his brother Members from Wales. The next question was whether the Government thought that Wales ought to have a diminution of licences by popular vote, because Wales was peculiarly qualified to deal with these questions by way of popular vote, and that England had not risen to those heights of self-government, which the Government thought might be managed without abuse by Wales, but which the poor Englishmen living on this side of the Welsh border ought not to have entrusted to them, without a long preliminary training, lasting for fourteen or twenty years. He would put the same question in a different form. Did the Government think that this plan was unsuited to England, or did they think that though it was suited for England, England was not fitted for it? Which of these two alternatives did they mean to adopt? They had deliberately taken a plan for Wales and deliberately rejected it for England. They had 1396 both plans before them and they had put them in their Bill and they differed. He wished to know how that difference in the Bill was justified. Was it that England was not fitted for it, or that it was not suitable for her condition?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said then we were apparently in an undeveloped and semi-civilised condition, which justified the Government in withholding full local management for many years, just as they withheld self-government from a Crown Colony which had not reached the stage of social development in which they thought free institutions could be granted. Unfortunately he was addressing at that moment an assemblage chiefly composed of Welshmen and therefore the particular point of his argument would not appeal to them as he thought it would appeal if he addressed it to Englishmen. He understood from the declaration just made and from the framework of the Bill and from the interruptions he had received from hon. Gentlemen that they thought this treatment ought to be given to Wales and not to England. [A WELSH MEMBER: "Oh, we are prepared to give it you."]
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said then perhaps the answer was that Wales had really asked for this and England did not want it.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that England would ask for it if she wanted it. He had put the question and had received contradictory answers from above and below the gangway, and when a member of the Government rose and spoke, he hoped he would solve his doubts upon this subject. The Government had deliberately adopted the popular method of dealing with licences in Wales, and they had deliberately adopted the magisterial method in England. Was it that the Welsh people were better than the English, or that the English people were better than the Welsh, or was it 1397 because Wales wanted it and England did not. Those were the alternatives, and he should like the Government to give a reply as to each of them. At all events they ought to be informed on which of these strange alternatives the Government were going to stand or fall. There was another point. There was no limit to the number of licences which must be compulsorily reduced by a bare majority, except the amount of money available to pay what the Government were pleased to describe as compensation for the destruction of the licensee's interest in his holding. What he wanted to know was, whether the money from which this so-called compensation was to come was not drawn out of the common stock to which England and Wales contributed in the same proportion and on the same basis. He thought he was right in saying that that was so. If it was so, it meant not only that the Welsh people might be trusted while the English people might not be, but that the Welsh people might be trusted with English money which the English people themselves were not allowed to touch. Was that in any way a misrepresentation? Was not that exactly what it meant? How on earth were the Government going to justify that? According to the theory of hon. Gentleman opposite there ought to be, or might be, a great need for reduction of licences beyond the statutory scheme laid down in the schedule of the Bill. The only limit proposed was a financial limit, and the machinery by which the common fund was to be drawn from was in the case of Wales a popular machinery, while in the case of England it was a magisterial machinery. So far as he could gauge the matter the Government believed that they were much more likely to have reckless action taken by the popular than by the magisterial method. In other words, there would be more reductions by popular than by magisterial method. Then why should this procedure be carried out only in one country and at the expense of the other? Why was this financial preference to be given to the Principality? Why was it to be allowed to draw upon the general resources of the nation when carrying out its own views by a popular majority? He now came to the third question. The Government had said that it had always been their intention to see that local veto, speaking generally, should not 1398 be applied by a bare majority, but by a two-thirds majority. They did not think, if they were in the minority, that it would be fair to allow a bare majority to deprive them of alcoholic liquor. When they were giving those extended powers why did they not go in for a two-thirds and not a bare majority system? There was nothing that he was aware of, supposing English money held out long enough, why a large number of districts in Wales should not have every single licence withdrawn. If there was enough English money to do the job, the Welsh parish councils in various parts of the Principality might be able to have total prohibition in their districts. If they were to enforce total prohibition—and it could only be fairly and justly given on a two-thirds majority—after fourteen years trading, why were they going to give it in another place—Wales—under a system of a bare majority? He hoped the Government would explain this portion of the Bill in its relation to the other portions. It was a right hon. friend of his who said that this Bill was managed by the Government in water-tight compartments—first by one Minister and then by another. His right hon. friend might have added that it was fought out in water-tight compartments, and that a particular scheme was advanced by one Minister for one section of the Bill, and that scheme had no fault except that it was totally inconsistent with another scheme advanced by another Minister. Let them have this Welsh part of the Bill defended in relation to the whole scheme of the Government in respect to the licensing question, and let the Government clearly show why they adopted one set of principles across the Welsh border and another for the English side of the border. The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down told the Committee that Wales had a particular claim to special treatment, because it had been consistent in its views on this subject through many elections. He did not quarrel with the hon. Gentleman for his opinion of his countrymen. The hon. Gentleman had a better opportunity than himself of forming an opinion, but when a Member was elected for a given constituency how could they say he would not have been elected 1399 except for the fact that his constituency wanted this or that thing done for which the hon. Member intended to vote? The hon. Member would not deny that the great majority of the Welsh Members had been consistent in desiring disestablishment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
But they could not have more than one dominant question at one time, and if the local veto question was the dominant question at the time of the election, where did disestablishment and the free trade question stand? They were painfully familiar with the fact that there was a Welsh majority on the free trade question. That was a fact which had had a very important consequence on the balance of Parties in this House and on national legislation and policy, but he did not think they could say when a particular question came up with regard to Wales, that that was a dominant question in Wales, and that the representatives of all other portions of the kingdom should be asked to give a particular majority of Welsh Members that which they said they ought to have. He had a great distrust of that kind of thing. Every Government had to consider—ought to consider, and was bound to consider—the opinions of the majority of the representatives of the people in this House, but that did not mean that they were to break up their legislation into small pieces, cut it up into fragments until the whole formed no more organic unit than a tesselated payement of ill-cemented fragments. There was only one other question of importance on which he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would really give them information at length. The hon. Member who had just sat down had told them there had been special legislation for Wales in the past—Sunday closing, for instance. He used that as a reason for giving more special legislation; but could the Government give the Committee facts and figures to show that special legislation for Wales had had its natural and appropriate result in increased temperance? Naturally he had not the same opportunities which the Government possessed for 1400 arriving at any conclusion on this point; but such figures as had been given to him apparently showed the lamentable fact that intemperance in Wales had increased and not diminished since the special temperance legislation was passed, and that at this moment intemperance in Wales compared very unfavourably with intemperance in this country. But the Government must have figures, and they must have surveyed the situation before introducing this anomaly into their Bill. They must have approached the subject from the point of view of the social reformer, who did not really consider platform cries, but the lessons of experience and the actual working of such legislative experiments as had been tried already. He hoped, therefore, that the House would not be put off on this branch of the question by the Government's attempting to show whether Wales was less or more temperate than it used to be through a comparison with the adjoining counties in England. He agreed that if people desired to have a change in the law it was a reason for considering their wishes; but there was another branch of the argument which no wise legislator could afford to put on one side. It was the effect that any particular reform would have on the social well-being of the country. He did not suppose that Wales had a greater dose of original sin than its neighbours on the English side of the border; but it had enjoyed special temperance legislation, and if it was found that the population which had this special legislation was less temperate than a population not hitherto so blessed, there was but one conclusion—namely, that special legislation as a remedy for intemperance ought to be received with extreme caution. He did not put it higher than that. He was not one of those who thought that the complicated problems touched upon in this drink question could be settled by a formula here and there; but was there any one in the House who did not feel, when he was studying this most difficult and complex of all problems, that one thing must give pause to the hasty and enthusiastic legislator, viz., that the hasty and enthusiastic legislation passed had not only not been followed by any of those happy consequences which its promoters always desired, but that, as far as statistics 1401 could prove anything, they seemed to show that coincident with that special legislation there had been a perceptible increase of the very vice and evil which that special legislation was intended to cure.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. MCKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
said that the right hon. Gentleman had very fairly asked the Government to give some general defence of this clause in its relation to Wales. If the right hon. Gentleman was right in his view that Wales, having had exceptional legislative treatment for some years, so far from becoming more sober had become less sober, then he would agree that the right hon. Gentleman had put forward a very formidable argument against any fresh experiment in Welsh legislation. But it so happened that the question the right hon. Gentleman had put as to whether Wales had become less temperate under this special legislation had been answered by two Royal Commissions which had considered this subject. Both Commissions were appointed by the Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a leading Member. The first Commission, presided over by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, inquired into the operation of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. After it had been seven years in force, the Commission found unanimously, on full investigation of the facts, that the measure had been a success, and recommended its continuance. That Commission was appointed by the right hon. Gentleman's own Government, whose supporters were opposed to Welsh Sunday Closing; and if that Commission had been able to report that the Act had worked unfavourably in Wales, that recommendation would have been gladly accepted by the right hon. Gentleman's Government. But the Commission who investigated the facts fully and fairly, came to the opposite conclusion, namely, that the Welsh Sunday Closing Act was found to have justified itself. Then another Royal Commission was appointed by the right hon. Gentleman's Government, but Welsh Sunday closing was only a minor question in the reference. It was Lord Peel's Commission, and this was the conclusion at which they arrived after 1402 the Sunday Closing Act in Wales had been in operation for twenty years.We repeat that in Wales, as a whole, Sunday closing has been a success, and if, in some places, as in Cardiff, success has not been so fully maintained, a marked improvement is discernible, and we have no doubt that complete Sunday closing would be entirely in harmony with the feelings and sentiments of the Welsh people.
§ MR. MCKENNA
That was in the Minority Report signed by Lord Peel. He would now read the Majority Report. The Commission, of course, included direct representatives of the trade. The Majority reported—We see no reason to dissent from the general conclusions of the Royal Commission which inquired into this subject in 1890.That was Lord Balfour of Burleigh's Commission—We are of opinion that in Wales, as a whole, Sunday closing has been a success, especially in rural Wales, and that if in places as in Cardiff, success has not been so fully maintained, improvement is discernible.Both those Royal Commissions were appointed by Conservative Governments, and both, after full investigation of the facts, had come to a conclusion directly opposite to that which the right hon. Gentleman now asked them to accept. While he fully admitted that had the right hon. Gentleman's objection been well founded it would have been so formidable as not to be overcome, nevertheless all the authentic facts went to show that the special treatment of Wales had been a success, and so far as experience went the Government were justified in acting on that precedent.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he had any figures later than those at the time of the Peel Commission.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said he should have thought that the Reports of the two Commissions were the best evidence. They had the Act of 1881, they had the report for nine years in 1890, and another report upwards of ten years later. There was no reason to suppose that such an accumulation of evidence 1403 lasting over a period of nineteen years was not sufficient; at any rate the Government had nothing before them to justify them in proposing the appointment of another Commission.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he only asked—surely it was not an unreasonable request—whether there were any figures relating to convictions brought up to date. They would be very interesting.
§ MR. MCKENNA
The figures were published annually, but there were no figures which would justify the belief that the Act was not succeeding. The whole Committee was aware on what the right hon. Gentleman founded his view. Cardiff was a large seaport town, where no doubt there was a great deal of drunkenness, just as there was in every large seaport town throughout the country.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had been given to understand that it was not really a question of Cardiff. Cardiff might be exceptionally situated, but there was also a difference between the counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth, and of Hereford and the neighbouring English counties. There appeared to be a very lamentable distinction between them.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said that that was really not quite to the point. The distinction between Glamorgan and Monmouthshire and Hereford was that the two former were mining counties, while the latter was purely rural. The real point was not whether there was drunkenness in Wales, but what had been the effect of this special legislation in Wales. The Commissioners who had made inquiry had all the facts before them, and they could only infer from their Reports that drunkenness would have been greater in Wales if there had not been Sunday closing there. The right hon. Gentleman had asked why, if local option in any form was suitable to Wales, England was to wait fourteen years for it. Personally, he should be very glad to see it introduced into England to-morrow, but he could not disguise from himself that the condition of 1404 opinion in England on this subject was not the same as it was in Wales, although he thought that in England there was a growing opinion in favour of it; he was not sure that a poll of the whole country might not show a considerable majority for it. Nevertheless, in Wales he was absolutely certain of it, but he was not so sure in regard to England, He was positive that in Wales they would get an overwhelming majority in favour of this particular proposal. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman, if it had any meaning at all, seemed to suggest that in all social legislation they were in every case to deal with England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales on the same footing. But three or four years ago the right hon. Gentleman had himself introduced a series of education Bills—one for England, another for London, and a third for Scotland. The same argument would apply in that case. If they gave it to England and London, why not give the same to Scotland? Parliament had always proceeded on different lines, where it was thought desirable, in legislating for England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. There was such ample precedent upon this particular topic, namely, legislation dealing with the control of licences, for treating Wales on a different footing, that he did not think, however amusing the right hon. Gentleman's speech was on the point, the Committee would be misled into regarding it as a serious argument. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition of an experience which occurred to him when he was leading the House in 1891, and when, if he recollected aright, he had a majority of 150. On a Wednesday afternoon a Bill for local veto in Wales passed the Second Reading—his right hon. friend near him being one of the tellers—out of a House of nearly 400 Members, and this at the time when there was a Unionist Government with a majority of 150. At that time, therefore, there was a strong feeling in favour of the Welsh Bill, because the House, where there was a strong local feeling such as was exhibited in Wales, at all times thought it proper to deal with the particular country on a different footing from that on which it would deal with 1405 the country as a whole. Another question which the right hon. Gentleman had put to him concerned finance. He admitted frankly that if they proposed to treat England and Wales on a different financial footing there might, though not necessarily so, be some force in the objection taken by the right hon. Gentleman. The Commissioners were empowered to pay out of the surplus funds at their disposal all the compensation required to meet two sets of cases, that was to say, they were entitled to pay compensation out of their surplus funds in cases of optional reduction by the magistrates over and above the compulsory reduction. First of all Wales contributed to the whole fund, and if there was any surplus after paying compensation for the compulsory reduction, there would be a margin from the Welsh contribution, and therefore, the Commissioners would have at their disposal Welsh funds exclusively derived from Wales.
§ MR. YOUNGER
pointed out that if all the licences were extinguished by local veto there would be no fund whatever from Wales.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said they might assume upon this clause that something which was not possible under the Bill would happen, but although verbally they might argue as if it were possible, yet it would not be possible to extinguish all licences. The Commissioners in such circumstances would not have funds with which to do it.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said the Bill certainly gave the Commissioners the option out of surplus funds to pay compensation for any reduction over and above the compulsory statutory reduction, but the Commissioners would only have a certain limited amount of money at their disposal, and they could only out of that limited money pay for the extra reduction to the extent it would permit; but if they had to finance the scheme they would never have enough money at their disposal to enable them to do what the hon. Gentleman suggested.
§ MR. YOUNGER
asked whether, in case these resolutions were passed and licences were extinguished, they would be unable to pay compensation.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said if the hon. Member looked at the clause he would find that it stood thus:—Except that the carrying out of the scheme for further reduction shall be subject to the sanction of the Licensing Commission from the financial point of view.So that the Licensing Commission could only sanction these proposals for further reduction according to the amount of surplus money they had at their disposal.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had a very simple case to put to the right hon. Gentleman. They knew that probably the English magistrates in almost every district would regard the statutory reduction as meeting the necessities of the case in their district. That, however, from the point of view of Welsh Members might not meet the whole necessities of the case. He was told they wanted prohibition, and the only thing to stop them reaching total prohibition was the want of money. If the money was not used for England there would be a great deal of money left for Wales, so that English licensees would really be paying for total prohibition in Wales.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said he must not be taken as necessarily agreeing that magistrates would not reduce licences in excess of the statutory amount, but assuming it was true, let them follow out the argument. Magistrates, they would assume, in the majority of cases, would not reduce beyond the statutory amount, but there would be certain justices who would. They would draw their money from the areas in which the magistrates would not reduce beyond the statutory amount, and would be reducing the expenditure in those areas. What he accepted as true of different parts of England this modern separatist refused to go over the Border and do for Wales. He said Lancashire and Yorkshire were one integral part of England, but the Welsh counties were to be treated on a different footing.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said they were giving them different powers, following well-established precedents for dealing with licences in a different way in Wales from that in England. He was only dealing now with the financial part of the proposals, and he had shown that what the right hon. Gentleman accepted as proper as between two English counties, he did not accept as proper as between a group of Welsh and a group of English counties. But the real answer to the right hon. Gentleman was this. They had established through the whole country for all purposes one fund which had one great duty to perform equally over the whole country, in England and Wales alike, with no distinction in regard to the habits of magistrates. But one small portion of the fund was going to be dealt with differently. It would be a great mistake to break up the whole unity of their finance in order to separate Welsh and English finance. It was agreed that they could not break up the financial system as between different English counties, although the right hon. Gentleman's argument was absolutely appropriate to that. Therefore, while much could be made of the apparent injustice of English money being used to contribute to the compensation of Welsh licences, nevertheless it did not appear necessarily to follow that any English money would be paid at all, because the surplus might come entirely out of the Welsh contribution, and if any money collected in England went for the purpose of compensating Welsh licences it could be only such a small amount that it would be most undesirable to break up the whole financial scheme. There was no substantial reason for doing so, and the Government proposed to adhere to the clause as it stood on that point. Then the right hon. Gentleman complained that they were extending the reduction by a bare majority. His hon. and learned friend had stated that as regarded local veto a two-thirds majority would be required, and it was proposed to incorporate into this clause the same terms that they had incorporated in Clause 3. On the reduction resolutions 1408 it would stand as in the Bill at a bare majority.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am not sure that I quite understand what the proposal is. I thought that under the Bill Welsh constituencies were allowed to reduce licences to the point of extinction—that means, of course, local veto. I thought they were allowed to do that by a bare majority, and that that was going to stand.
§ MR. MCKENNA
said it did not stand. A resolution might be one of three kinds. Let them take a place with a given population which according to the schedule would allow the district to have three public-houses. The first resolution would be carried by a bare majority reducing the three to two, a second resolution might be carried by a bare majority reducing the three to one, or a third resolution might be carried by a two-thirds majority, taking away all three licences. That was the Bill as it would stand when the Government introduced their Amendment.
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
Take, for example, a ward in a town like Cardiff, where there is a number of public-houses, of which I understand in addition to the statutory reduction a bare majority could extinguish all but one, and a two-thirds majority could extinguish the lot. That two-thirds majority would have a complete veto, but would a two-thirds majority be required to diminish the number below the standard reduction?
§ MR. MCKENNA
said it would not. Take the case of a district in which the number after the statutory reduction was 120. A resolution might be carried by a bare majority, allowing only 80 and another resolution allowing only 40 might be carried also by a bare majority. If it was required to reduce it below 40 a two-thirds majority would be necessary.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
That does not differ from what I said. It only requires a bare majority to go below the amount allowed by statutory reduction and you can go on till you get to the last house.
§ MR. MCKENNA
No, the last 40 houses, one-third of 120. It had been argued that a system of local option amounted to a local tyranny. It must not be overlooked that in large tracts of Wales at the present moment what was described as tyranny when it was done by the vote of a majority was actually done by the action of individual landlords. In Wales there was no indefeasible right for anybody to have a public-house within a convenient distance of where he lived. They could go over areas extending into many thousands of acres in the whole of which they would not find a single licensed house, simply because the landlord would not allow it. If nobody regarded that as tyranny why should it be tyranny because a majority of the inhabitants refused to have licensed premises dumped down in the area in which they lived? It was no question of tyranny at all. It might be wise or unwise, but to attack it on the ground of tyranny was to overlook the whole course of their history, and the actual facts under which they lived. They did, down to 1904, give certain magistrates a discretion to deprive any area they pleased of its licensed houses, and they proposed under this Bill to restore that power. That had never been described as tyranny. He found in one case in Carnarvonshire all the landlords combined together in seven adjoining parishes, covering an area roughly of 10,000 acres in which no licensed house was allowed. In another case of four adjoining parishes covering an area of about 8,000 acres no licensed premises were allowed by the landlord. There were in Anglesey nine adjoining parishes where no public-house was allowed. If it was not tyranny for the landlords—
§ MR. MCKENNA
said this was a new attack upon the rights of property. They were told there was only one tyrannous use of the sacred rights of property, when the landlord refused to allow beer to be sold. There were numerous other cases where the rights of property were exercised in the same tyrannous manner, covering in one case a group of parishes of 14,000 acres, 1410 in another of 21,000 acres, and in another an individual parish, 30,000 acres. The population, in the first case was 2,670; in the second, 3,261; and in the third, 5,398. That had been tolerated and allowed all the while the last Government was in office, and never until that minute had any supporter of the right hon. Gentleman described the action of landlords in this respect as tyranny. If the procedure in the past had been intolerable they were doing nothing worse. If the landlord had a right to declare that no licensed premises should exist on his property, on which he might not even live, the people who lived on the property ought to have an equal right to determine whether there should or should not be licensed premises. The conditions in Maine did not apply in the present case. Portland, Maine, was a city in a prohibition area covering a whole State, and no doubt there was opposed to the system a large minority who broke the law. In the Government proposal no such conditions as these could possibly arise. The area was going to be a small one and wherever there was a majority of people who required to have facilities for getting intoxicating liquors they would vote against the adoption of the clause. They would have the law in their own hands. If the clause was to be opposed it should be opposed as what it was, a very limited measure of local option. The Bill of 1881 was in many respects similar to this clause. In that Bill there were three resolutions, one for local veto, one for a reduction of licences, and a third prohibiting the grant of new licences. The principle of the Bill was the same and in detail it was almost the same. With the experience they had had of the successful working of special legislation for Wales the Committee would be well advised in allowing this experiment of local option, which was in conformity with the wishes of the Welsh people, to be adopted, and to wait for the future before they came to a conclusion as to what its operation would be.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH (Liverpool, Walton)
said that the right hon. Gentleman, like the hero of a well-known ballad, had argued high and argued low and argued round 1411 about him, though in attempting to discover what were the principles which had led him to the conclusion that he ultimately reached, he had not perhaps shown all his customary lucidity. In dealing with this clause there was not present in the House a single Member representing the very considerable minority in Wales. That there was a considerable minority he did not think even the most advanced member of the party of Welsh Liberalism would deny. He wished to apply a test to the right hon. Gentleman's observations. In the earlier part of his speech he expressed the opinion that special legislation in Wales had been a very great success, and he had quoted two Commissions with the object of establishing that conclusion. Had his attention been drawn to a Report by the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire in 1904, which was of much more recent date than that of the Commissions, in which that official said the Welsh Sunday Closing Act was a nuisance to the county, causing constant complaints of drunkenness along the border, and expressed the opinion that if the Sunday Closing Act were extended to Monmouthshire drunkenness and disorder would largely increase. That might show that opinion was not entirely one-sided in the matter. He would also like to ask whether some figures which had been supplied to him were correct and, if so, what was the explanation of them. He was told that in Glamorganshire the number of licences per 10,000 of population was twenty-four, but the charges for drunkenness per 10,000 of population were eighty-seven, while in Monmouthshire there were thirty-nine convictions and thirty-seven houses per 10,000 of population. If one compared Carnarvon with Somerset, the number of on-licences per 10,000 of population was 28 in Carnarvon and 40 in Somerset, but the convictions for drunkenness in Carnarvon were 55, and in Somerset 20. Carnarvonshire was a county with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was very familiar. The argument was strengthened if one compared the counties in England and Wales having the highest and lowest number of convictions for drunkenness to population. In Northumberland there were 20 on-licences 1412 per 10,000 population, and the convictions for drunkenness were 146. In Glamorganshire with 24 on-licences to 10,000 population, the convictions for drunkenness were 87. In Oxfordshire with 65 on-licences per 10,000 population, the convictions for drunkenness were 11. In Cardiganshire with 47 on-licences per 10,000 population the convictions for drunkenness were 25. These figures showed that the most sober county in Wales had more than twice as many drunkenness convictions as the most sober county of England although it had fewer public-houses. How these figures could be made to support the case which had been put forward on behalf of the Government he had very considerable difficulty in understanding. But the right hon. Gentleman passed on from that and said that England must wait for her local option and continued—"I should like to see local option to-morrow, but I am not satisfied that there is a majority in favour of it." If the right hon. Gentleman was not satisfied to-day that there was a majority in favour of local option in England, why on earth should he embody in an Act of Parliament the provision that in fourteen years, England, of whose opinions he would then probably know less, should be ordered to have local option? The right hon. Gentleman added that English opinion was not as advanced as Welsh opinion, and he gathered the view below the gangway to be that there was an overwhelming preponderance of opinion in Wales in favour of applying the facilities which this clause would give. Then why was it necessary to insist on a bare majority instead of the three-fourths or two-thirds which they had in England after the fourteen years? If they had so large a majority to play with, they might at least have given those whom they were going to dispossess the advantage of requiring that two-thirds majority which, with their great enthusiasm and superior numbers, they would have no difficulty at all in providing. The right hon. Gentleman had actually condescended to the argument, totally unworthy of anyone who sat on the front bench, that because private Members' 1413 Bills had been passed year after year, therefore, it must be assumed that the subject was ripe for legislation according to the sense of those private Bills. It was only a short time ago since the Miners' Eight Hours Bill, which was passed repeatedly as a private Member's Bill, was condemned by a Committee appointed by the Government. The real truth, of course, was that no importance, or very little, was to be attached to a decision of the House on a private Member's Bill. Over and over again Woman Suffrage Bills had been passed and a great majority of hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side were pledged to the reform. He did not gather that the Government, in spite of the educational experience of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a well known police court, were intending to introduce a Bill giving effect to the principle. The most astonishing argument of all that the right hon. Gentleman had put forward was that in which he attempted to deal with his right hon. friend's criticism on the financial aspect of his proposal. His right hon. friend had pointed out that they were giving Wales what he might describe as some special moral advantage, though why it should be given to Wales remained a little obscure; but after examining the arguments put forward, he gathered it was not because Wales was more drunken and had greater need of moral advantage—although that was the explanation which would readily occur to the superficial mind—but because the majority in Wales desired it, and no other argument had ever been put forward. This moral advantage also by a singular coincidence connoted no small degree of financial benefit to the Principality. If, therefore, they were going to support a claim to a special financial benefit for a part of the country which which was very often proudly described by those who belonged to it as "gallant little Wales" on the principle that the majority desired it, they were very likely to have Scottish and Irish majorities who might take a similar view. How did the right hon. Gentleman meet that? He said that if Lancashire did not want a reduction and Somerset did, the Lancashire fund might be tapped for the benefit of Somerset. The difference was this, that the Lancashire drunkard enjoyed the 1414 same prospect of moral reform that the Somerset drunkard enjoyed. Here their grievance was that to the Welsh drunkard was given a special and a very costly opportunity of reforming his alcoholic tendencies, and that opportunity was to be paid for not by other Welsh drunkards or publicans, but by English who themselves received no benefit and who had not even the compensating advantage of seeing a moral improvement proceeding around them in their own neighbourhood. If that was really the best argument that could be put forward against the financial objection it was one, he thought, the proposal would require very considerable recommendation by quite different argument to any put forth up to the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman said further that there might be no recourse at all to the English fund, that it might be forthcoming out of the Welsh fund, so that the Welsh publican, instead of getting advantage, might have to pay to the English fund. But he did not think in saying that the right hon. Gentleman could have considered the terms of his own Bill or entirely appreciated the warmth of enthusiasm for temperance reform which he assured the Committee had affected the bosoms of the Welsh. What did the clause empower the Welsh people to do? It empowered Wales, first of all, to take advantage of the provisions of the Bill for statutory reduction. Nobody would say that that was on an inconsiderable scale, but that was not sufficient for the moral desires, or perhaps, he ought to say, the moral necessities of Wales, and therefore, the avenue of optional reduction was also thrown open to those aspirants to a higher standard of alcoholic morality. Statutory reduction plus optional reduction was given them. Still they were not satisfied, and they came forward and said that where a bare majority was desirous of accelerating the progress of reduction, although it became three times what the progress would be under statutory plus optional reduction, they should be entitled to do so. [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.] He gathered that the view of the hon. Member below the gangway was that the people of Wales were panting to take advantage of the facilities under the Bill. Was it not 1415 obvious that, if they took advantage of the statutory reduction plus the optional reduction, which might be three times as great, the funds would not be procured from Wales and indeed would not be sought for there? He had full confidence in the business acumen of hon. Members from Wales so to arrange these matters that the funds would not be entirely forthcoming from Wales. He thought it was very likely that they would be found going beyond the Celtic fringe in order to obtain the necessary funds. The right hon. Gentleman opposite continued his argument, and raised the first enthusiastic cheer when he went on to deal with what he described as the tyranny of landlords. There was nothing which united hon. Members opposite with such temporary solidarity as observations derogatory to landlords.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
Oh, then, perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell me whether he considers it right or wrong that a landlord should have unlimited right over an unlimited area in preventing, in any case, alcoholic facilities?
§ MR. MCKENNA
If the landlord exercises his right to prevent licensed premises being set up on his own land, I should certainly justify him in so doing.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said the view of the right hon. Gentleman was that however extensive the estate of the landlord might be, or however impossible it might be for those who lived upon it, whether for the purpose of refreshment or of health, to obain alcoholic drink, the landlord had the right to prevent the setting up of licensed premises. So extreme, so feudal was the right hon. Gentleman's conception of the position of the landlord, that in his opinion he should be able to prevent a poor workman who lived upon his estate from getting refreshment of any kind, while the landlord's own cellars were full.
§ MR. MCKENNA
I would not allow it. I say that if the landlord exercises the power he has the right to do so.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said his mind was hardly sufficiently rapid to follow the swift changes of policy which the fleet mind of the right hon. Gentleman made possible for him. He now understood that the right hon. Gentleman thought it wrong that the landlord should have an unlimited power.
§ MR. MCKENNA
I have neither said it is right, nor wrong. I have expressed no opinion in this debate on the rights of the landlord. I have only said that the landlords have got the right, and they are quite justified if they exercise it. On a proper occasion, I shall be happy to discuss with the hon. Gentleman whether they should have that right or not.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said the right hon. Gentleman had been afforded an opportunity of discussing that on an Amendment which he introduced a few days ago. He had moved an Amendment which would have given power to the localities to provide themselves with new licences if they thought it right to have them, and the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters voted against it.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said he expressly stated that he would draft or assist to draft all necessary consequential Amendments. The gravamen of the objection to this clause was that which the right hon. Gentleman opposite wafted away summarily, namely, that it was tyrannous to minorities. The only answer the right hon. Gentleman made was that landlords were also tyrannous to minorities. He (Mr. Smith) ventured to commit himself to the broad proposition that when they assumed to themselves the right, as they did under this Bill, by a majority to prevent a fellow-citizen from obtaining any alcoholic refreshment they were committing an act of the grossest tyranny, and they were starting a quarrel which would gladly be pursued upon every platform in this 1417 country. He would point out also that whether or not they had the right to do it, the consequence of doing it had been very little encouraging in those districts where some partial attempt had been made in that direction. The Solicitor-General could inform them if he were present how many drinking clubs had been started in his constituency during the period of Sunday closing. He agreed with the statement of the right hon. Member for Spen Valley, who had given great attention to this subject, that although local option might have produced improved results in country areas it had never produced satisfactory results in any crowded or urban districts. The experience of the civilised world was against this scheme. It was proposed to carry this scheme, tyrannous as he thought, futile as the right hon. Member for Spen Valley thought, and to apply this panacea to Wales at the expense of England, and he as an English Member objected to that course.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES
said the speech of the hon. Member did not show much knowledge of Welsh opinion or of the Welsh counties. He made comparisons between great industrial centres in Wales and comparatively agricultural centres in England. Somerset was brought into it, but it was a comparatively agricultural county, and a vast proportion of its population was constantly getting over the border into Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. He did not want to impugn the character of Somerset, but it was constantly alleged by police and other authorities in South Wales that many who crossed the borders were among the most intemperate persons in Wales. He could easily get reports from Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire which would bear out his contention to the fullest extent. A great industrial centre like Glamorganshire contained one of the most important and most cosmopolitan seaports in the world. Why, if one went through the streets of Cardiff on a Saturday night one did not know whom they were rubbing against. The places where public-houses had been planted were dark alleys and slums whose condition was as bad as could be found in 1418 the lowest centres of English towns. [A MEMBER on the OPPOSITION Benches: They are all Liberals, are they not?] The great difficulty they had in Cardiff was the clearing of the slums. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had himself appointed a Commission at the instance of the Cardiff brewers and others to investigate Welsh Sunday closing, and the result was that a most vigorous recommendation was passed for the continuance of Sunday closing by Lord Balfour of Burleigh's Commission, together with a strong plea for its extension to Monmouthshire. When Lord Peel's Commission investigated the same question the hon. Member for Ayr Burghs signed the majority Report in favour of including Monmouthshire. Not only did the minority advocate the extension of Sunday closing to Monmouthshire, but the majority did, including representatives of brewing firms—the hon. Gentleman himself being one of the number. In Glamorganshire the figures were 87.07 per cent. of convictions per 10,000 of the population. Let them compare Glamorganshire not with Somerset or Gloucestershire or any other agricultural county in England, but with Northumberland and Durham—great mining centres—and it would be found that the result was very different. In Durham the figures were 101.59; in Northumberland they were 146.22. He was not going to base his argument entirely on convictions. The hon. Gentleman made another interesting comparison between Cardiganshire and Oxfordshire. He knew both counties well. Oxford was a purely inland county; Cardigan had a seaboard, and for four or five months of the year there was an immense influx of visitors all along the coast. But that was not all. In all the Welsh counties invariably — and he challenged any contradiction — the moral feeling, sentiment, and opinion of the people were so strong that the police dared not relax their effort to convict for drunkenness.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
asked if the hon. Gentleman suggested that the police in Oxfordshire were drunken?
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES
said that his point was that there was a stronger 1419 feeling on this question in Wales than in England. All through, the magistrates in Wales helped the police, coming as they did into intimate touch with them on that score, and in almost every centre there was a vigilance committee to help the police and strengthen their administration, with the result that there were increased convictions. In his own native county of Anglesey there were thirty-two parishes which had no public-houses; and there would have been more had it not been for the Act of 1904. These public-houses had been closed at the instance of the moral sense and public feeling of the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants. In a parish of that county there was a public-house which was said to be kept going, as far as the sale of liquor was concerned, by one farmer. The sober-minded people determined to get rid of it and so remove the temptation in the interests of their children, and they appealed against the renewal of the licence. The owners of this tied-house resisted this appeal in two Courts, but in vain; and when they threatened to take the case to another, a brave woman—one of the strong leaders of temperance in the district—declared she would charter a special train to convey all the inhabitants, save that one farmer, to appear against the brewers. The town where he was bred in North Wales was the centre of county government; it contained the County Court; it was where the county council and its committees and all the educational committees held their meetings. It was a place where the farmers from all parts of Anglesey did their marketing. When he was a lad there were twenty-six public-houses in the town. Now, with a growing population, and when it had increased in importance, the number of public-houses had dwindled down to eight, owing to the moral feeling of the people. He never had been a fanatic, although he had been a total abstainer all his life. His point of view was that they ought never to legislate too far in advance of the moral and social sentiment of the community; and he was convinced from experience and knowledge that the moral sentiment of the people of Wales, with the exception of one or two centres, was in favour of local option. A plébiscite 1420 had been taken of all the counties in North Wales by a committee largely composed of Tories and churchmen. The result of that plébiscite was that nearly 30 per cent. of the householders who voted were in favour of local option and a large percentage went for prohibition. Evidence in regard to this plebiscite was given before the Peel Commission; and in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Ayr Burghs, as to who were of the number who signed for prohibition, the witness answered that it was the drunkards in the place, and that they wanted prohibition as a protection against themselves. The hon. Gentleman, when he got that answer, said that the proportion who had voted for local option was extraordinary. The moral feeling in Wales was so strong that throughout the length and breadth of the land no candidate for Parliament dared stand up unless he was wholesome and square on this matter; no Labour Member even could have been returned for any part of Wales without giving a pledge, not merely that he was in favour of the disestablishment of the Welsh Church, but that he was also in favour of local option. They wanted to free their country, and make it advance more and more. They were doing it to the admiration of the civilised world in the matter of education. They had only begun in earnest on that question forty years ago. Let them be given a chance also to regulate the licensing question after their own desire. Let them have facilities to cripple and destroy social and moral temptations so that they might raise still higher the level of their citizens and help Wales to make greater advances in progress for the sake of the Empire and mankind.
§ EARL WINTERTON (Sussex, Horsham)
said they had heard a great deal from the hon. Member who had just sat down about the moral feelings and the moral elevation of Wales, but few of them on that side of the House were disposed to enter into an argument with him as to how far the morality of Wales was in advance of that of England. Welshmen in the past had had the very unenviable reputation, and a very unjust one no doubt, of forcibly possessing themselves of other people's goods. 1421 Some of their most distinguished representatives at the present time seemed, however, rather disposed to live up to that reputation. The question they had to deal with was not the vague and ambiguous question dealt with by the hon. Gentleman in his speech. He would say nothing further about the question whether the moral feeling and sentiment of Wales were better or worse than the moral feeling and sentiment of England, except that he deprecated very strongly attempts to treat Wales as a separate part of the United Kingdom. The Leader of the Opposition and other hon. Members had shown by statistics of convictions for drunkenness that Wales was very much worse than England, and certain references had been made by the hon. Member who had just spoken to some views expressed by magistrates and others in Wales. He did not propose to weary the Committee by quoting statistics, but he would like to quote the view of the Stipendiary Magistrate for Cardiff, expressed in 1895. He said it was not his duty to propose a remedy, but to state what was proved by daily proceedings that on the day when the licensed houses were closed there was a demand by a large section of the community for intoxicating liquor, and that that demand was supplied in clubs. The Committee had to deal in this proposal virtually with prohibition. The First Lord of the Admiralty shook his head, but they were dealing with the chance of actual prohibition being put into force. That was what they had really got to face. He did not propose to continue the argument as to whether or not statistics of drunkenness in Wales could be compared with those of drunkenness in England, except to say that an argument such as that the police in Glamorgan were better or more pure than those in Oxford, was to be deprecated. It was impossible to answer such an argument. They were always met with this difficulty when they dealt with Welsh questions, because Welsh institutions and individuals were always claimed to be so superior to other institutions and people. Facts and statistics, however, were not always on the side of the Welsh people. It was exceedingly difficult to get accurate and comparable 1422 statistics of drunkenness for different countries and districts, but he denied altogether that the state of affairs in Wales was better than that in any English county. He would take figures which were a real test of relative morality and temperance. In Wales, in 1898, there were no less than 679 prosecutions for illicit sale of drink; and in 1905, out of a total of 261 prosecutions for the illicit sale of drink in England and Wales, no less than 112 were in Wales, though the Principality was but a twentieth of the size of England. That really was a test, whatever might be the case with prosecutions for drunkenness. There was no doubt that, if they took the statistics of prosecutions for illicit sale, the restrictions on the trade in Wales were not a success. He also found that in 1905 there were ninety-one prosecutions in Glamorgan with Sunday closing, and none in Monmouthshire without Sunday closing. He would ask the Solicitor-General whether he did not think that that was an argument against Sunday closing. The Solicitor-General had referred to two Royal Commissions, one of which reported in 1889, and the other in 1899; but the statistics of prosecutions for the illicit sale of drink which he had quoted were of later date, so that the opinions of those Royal Commissions could not be accepted as final. They were entitled to ask the Government, as they had constantly done, what had been the effect of the restrictions which had already been put upon the licensed trade in Wales. They had never answered that question. Could they really honestly say that the results had been so satisfactory as to warrant them in placing further restrictions upon the trade? They had pressed for an answer to that question and also to the equally important question as to what countries these were where such a system of prohibition as was proposed in this section had been successful. No answer had yet been given. He strongly deprecated these appeals to Welsh national feeling and sentiment. This was an Imperial House of Parliament, and had to deal with questions from a general point of view. They were not dealing with a foreign country, but with a part of the United Kingdom; and they had no evidence to show why this system should be put in practice 1423 in Wales, or why Wales should be made the dumping ground of an exotic experiment. He appealed to the Government to give them some statistics to show the result of the restrictions already in vogue there, and to justify their introduction of a clause which had no connection with the rest of the Bill and which only tended to make confusion worse confounded.
§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM (Glamorganshire, Rhondda)
said he was not able to follow the debate very closely, and he did not think it was necessary that he should do so. The great point was: Were there any facts to prove that prohibiting drink had been beneficial to the people? That was the question. He represented one of the largest mining constituencies in Great Britain, and he remembered the time when he first went there, before the passing of Sunday closing. He remembered the condition of the public roads through drunkenness on Sunday afternoons, and very sorry he was to see them. It was a condition of things that one was almost ashamed to mention. He remembered the time when, on coming out of chapel after eight o'clock on a Sunday evening, he had seen men coming out of the public-house in a drunken condition. Then Sunday closing came, and in less than two years it removed completely all that condition of drunkenness. One fact like that was worth a ton of argument. What happened afterwards? Sunday clubs became popular, and things became worse in regard to drunkenness than they were originally. The hon. Member for one of the divisions of Liverpool had taunted them with the fact that the number of public-houses that were open on Sundays was somewhat against their moral aspirations. That was a most unfortunate statement to have made. What happened? The only gentleman who could be found to fight him at the general election was a great traveller for whisky, and the one claim that he put forward for a right to sit for a Welsh constituency was that he had opened more Sunday clubs than anyone else in the country. That was not very creditable to the Party opposite, because three out of every four clubs in a mining constituency were purely drinking 1424 clubs, lions dens, homes of temptation for the people who, before they were opened, were content to take their Sunday's dinner with their families and spend the day quietly. They had no temptation to drink. They had been taunted with the fact that in Monmouth where there was no Sunday closing there were no convictions for drunkenness, while in Glamorganshire where Sunday closing was in force there were many. Why? Let them take a place near Cardiff, just over the border of Monmouth, called Rhymney. People could not get drink in Cardiff on a Sunday, but every drunkard crossed the border, got drunk in Rhymney, and then they were caught and convicted in Cardiff.
§ EARL WINTERTON
said the hon. Member had misunderstood his quotation. What he intended to convey was that this system of restriction did not prevent the illicit sale of liquor.
§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM
said the fact was as he had stated, and it was sufficient for him. If hon. Members could go down and see the effect of drink on Sunday, through the opening of these clubs, they would say: "Close them all, close every hotel, pothouse, and club." All that the Welsh Members said was that if an opportunity was given to the people to drink they would drink; they wanted their little country clean, and they appealed to the House to help them to prevent the opening of these clubs and public-houses, and to prevent the opportunity for drinking. He had put the fact before the House, and on that one fact he justified the passing of this Bill into law.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
said that in the course of the debate he had been privileged to hear a good many speeches from the Ministerial side of the House from time to time. The observations that were made in the extremely eloquent speech of the hon. Member for the Arfon division of Carnarvon were not open to the same, but to similar objections as those in the speeches of hon. Members who had preceded him. The strength of the hon. Member's speech lay, not in the arguments he had adduced, but in the 1425 very powerful appeal he made to the moral sympathy and the imagination of the House. He had been so affected by the appeal that he was driven to ask what really were the moral interests involved? Hon. Members constantly spoke as if intemperance in drink was the only moral evil in the world. [Cries of "No."] If that appeared to be an exaggerated estimate he would amend it and say that hon. Members believed that it was the chief and most important moral evil in the world. But that was exactly where he differed from them. That was where, much as he admired it, he was not able to follow the eloquent appeal of the hon. Member for the Arfon division. He did not regard intemperance as the principal, or the most serious, evil that affected the people at the present time. There appeared to him to be serious moral and intellectual evils which affected them more from a moral and civic point of view. He regarded intolerance and un-charitableness as a moral evil of as great importance as intemperance. He did not think a more effective answer could have been given to the speech of the hon. Member for the Arfon Division than that of the hon. Gentleman to whom the Committee had just listened. The hon. Member for the Rhondda Valley said there was a great amount of intemperance in Wales; that after Sunday-closing came into operation secret drinking clubs sprang up everywhere. What was the result? They had certainly increased deceit and probably other moral evils.
§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM
said he must not be taken as admitting the arguments of the noble Lord. He did not say secret drinking clubs. Moreover, many of these clubs had been opened for political purposes.
§ LORD R. CECIL
thought that so far as political clubs were concerned no doubt the hon. Member and his friends in Wales regarded these drinking-clubs as Tory clubs, but if he moved in Tory circles in London he would find that all these drinking-clubs were Radical clubs.
§ LORD R. CECIL
replied that they were all in this House concerned with the truth. If they had legislation of this kind, not only was it very doubtful that they would reduce intemperance, but it was perfectly certain that they would run very serious risk of bringing other moral evils to the community. It seemed to him one of those strange perversions of mind which sometimes affected bodies of men in all parts of the world, that those who, he was convinced, thought they were working for morality, should be running the risk of doing infinite moral harm by legislation which they believed was going to improve the morality of their fellow countrymen. He could not help comparing the morality on these topics, of which they had had such brilliant expositions that afternoon, with true Christian morality as he understood it. He did not find that this one sin was put in a position of predominance in any authorised form of Christian morality. He found hypocrisy, untruthfulness, intolerance, and un-charity held up, but he did not find it said that excessive indulgence in alcoholic liquor was the main or chief moral evil of the world. For his own part he believed that the moral effects of legislation were so very doubtful and so uncertain that it was madness in that House to trust to that argument in passing or refusing to pass any particular measure of legislation. They could do something to see what would be its effects, not on the morality of the people, but on their civic qualities. For his part he believed that this excessive restriction was a very doubtful benefit from the point of view of temperance, and was certain to be injurious to the interests of liberty and independence, which he regarded as of supreme importance from the civic point of view. He would heartily vote for the Amendment before the House.
§ MR. ELLIS DAVIES (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
said in the general discussion that afternoon some members had spoken of the tyranny of prohibiting the sale of liquor, but as a matter of fact that was already done by two authorities in the country. In the first place, landowners had the power and exercised it. A landlord could prohibit the sale of liquor on 1427 his property. Lord P—extinguished all licences except two in a populous district ten miles long, with very beneficial effect. The other authority who had power to restrict the sale of liquor were the licensing magistrates, and the real question at issue so far as this portion of the Bill was concerned was whether the restrictive power was to be held by justices or the public. In the county of Merioneth the statutory number of licences would be more by ten than the existing number of licences, and if any temperance reform was to be carried out it must be by reducing the number of licences in Merionethshire below the statutory number. In the same way, in his own county of Carnarvon the number of licences was 366, while the statutory number would only be 311. He was quite sure that the House would agree with him that the reduction of more than 55 licences must take place during the next fifteen years. No one had any doubt as to the necessity for reduction, because it must be perfectly well known to any one who took an interest in licensing questions that there were thousands of houses carried on, not because they were necessary, but for the purpose of getting compensation, and they were carelessly and badly conducted. They found continually in licensing cases that houses were being carried on at a loss. He knew of one case in which, when the sheriff went into possession, everything in the house was sold lock, stock, and empty barrel for the magnificent sum of £5, and yet Quarter Sessions, when the house was taken, gave £400 compensation. The whole question at issue was whether the power to restrict the number of licences should be given to the magistrates or to the public. No attempt had been made to defend the power of the justices. Hon. Members opposite had referred to them in complimentary terms, but it was perfectly well known that the Act of 1904 was passed because the Party opposite had no confidence in the licensing justices. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin, speaking in that House on 29th April last, said—Nobody on this side denies the justices the right to the exercise of their powers, but 1428 we object to their doing so in what we regard as an arbitrary way as with certain benches of justices.The culprits no doubt included the Farnham justices, and one wondered if the attitude of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kingston was a form of deferred repentance for the stand he took as chairman of the Surrey Sessions in confirming and praising the decision of the Farnham justices. Even the Licensing Commission, with its array of brewers, did not defend the justices, and the majority suggested the introduction of an elective element to the extent of one-third, and the minority to the extent of one half. Might he also point out that the Local Government Act of 1888 vested the power of licensing in a public body, namely, the county council. It had been asked why this clause was extended to Wales. The answer was obvious—because Wales demanded it. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had pressed the point as to whether they were morally superior or morally inferior, but the real question was whether the measure would improve the moral and social condition of the people. He submitted that the most competent to deal with this subject were the people themselves. It was not that Committee, but the electors whom they represented in that House who were in the best position to decide for themselves what was for their moral good. If hon. Members were afraid to apply this clause to England then let them apply it to Wales alone. The Welsh people were quite prepared to run the risk. If they failed their's would be the consequences and with England would rest the advantages. On the other hand, if they were successful, and if this clause proved to be for the social well-being of the community, then it might be that in the near future it would be applied to England.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
said he should dislike to think that any one of his fellow Members thought him unsympathetic towards temperance reform. He felt, and had always felt, that the reduction of public-houses judiciously accomplished with fair compensation could only be productive of good. He had never held any other 1429 opinion. He supported the Bill of 1904 upon that basis. He would support this Bill if he did not find in its financial clauses, dealing with compensation and the time-limit, what he believed to be an element of injustice. If he believed that the local option clause in this Bill would really accomplish what it was thought it would achieve, he would support it. His hon. friend opposite who had made so eloquent a speech had caught them all up on a moral wave for an instant, and they felt that they would be doing a cruel and unfair thing if they did not help gallant little Wales to make the most of herself. In sympathy, in fairness, and in justice, they were to pay tribute to the avowed policy of the people of Wales; that was what the hon. Gentleman said. If he believed that what the hon. Gentleman asked for would achieve the desired end he would support him. He would give his reasons why he did not think that in Wales, or in any other portion of the United Kingdom, it would accomplish the hon. Gentleman's object. We had tried in this country, as had been tried in all countries, sumptuary laws. In the middle ages there were sumptuary laws against heresy. What did they produce? Persecution and conspiracy. Local option in Wales would produce there what had been produced wherever it had been tried—persecution and conspiracy. Conspiracy consisted in people banding themselves together to break the law. He had seen the most awful scenes caused by drunkenness. He had seen them in London, on the River Nile, and in Rhodesia. He had seen the Kaffir drunk on Kaffir beer, and he had seen in the streets of New York, as in the streets of London, scenes which the human mind could hardly conceive. All that was drunkenness under legal conditions. It was "understood of the people," and at any rate it was the exercise of a human free-will. Perhaps he ought to say it was an abuse of human free-will, but at any rate it was an exercise of free-will. He had seen nothing to compare with the degrading experience he had witnessed in the evasion of the law in States and Provinces committed to prohibition, because there was not only the degradation of drunkenness but the deepest kind of degradation, 1430 namely, the moral degradation of a man furtively evading the law of his country whilst doing what he had a right to do, namely, to satisfy his physical desire for stimulants. Was there any hon. Member who would say that it was a crime to take stimulating drink? The exercise of free-will with regard to a stimulant could not be a crime. A state of things under which a man who was prevented by the will of his neighbour from exercising his own free-will to take stimulants either in moderation or in immoderation, and had to resort to the kind of evasion furtive, sinister, and vile, to which men had to resort in prohibition countries, could only produce and did produce upon the community at large a deleterious evil and had a depreciatory effect. Every one knew that in Canada, the United States and New York, the convictions for drunkenness had increased under the no-licence law. In Norway the increase of bottled sales had increased with the decrease of sales over the bar. Did anyone suggest that in those countries there had not been a degrading element produced in the body politic and in the civic life by the exercise of the will of the majority over the will of the minority? Hon. Members opposite conceived themselves to be the friends of liberty, the friends of free-will, and the friends of human rights. If there were ten men in Wales who desired drink and wished to exercise their will to drink stimulants, and 10,000 were to say to them: "No, you shall not have the opportunity to do it," he contended that the 10,000 had no right to prevent those ten citizens from the exercise of their free-will. [An HON. MEMBER: One man does it sometimes.] Well, even the rights of one man ought to be protected. If there was one country in the world where respect was paid to the rights of individuals it was this country, and the hon. Member's interjection enabled him to say that if there was one man who in any town or village of Wales desired to exercise his free-will concerning a thing that was not a crime he should be permitted to do so. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his friends were only consistent in this he would be able to find some excuse, but they were not consistent, not even in Wales. That 1431 was almost unbelievable when they reviewed the political career of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If they were going to apply local option, if they were going to apply the principles of temperance, why not apply them to off-licences as well as on-licences? The Chandler of the Exchequer thought his suggestion was unreasonable, but he invited him to be consistent. If it was a good thing to destroy human free-will for the benefit of the mass, let them do it in a large way, and not in the twopenny-halfpenny pettifogging furtive way that was being adopted here. He would be perfectly willing never to touch a drop of drink again in his life if his fellow-citizens would agree to do the same. He would do it if the Government would agree to do the same. They wanted to be able to exercise their free-will and they were determined to exercise it as long as they could. An Act which imposed upon a minority local option such as was suggested for Wales was tryannical. Did hon. Members even suggest that local option and prohibition votes represented the will of the people? He could not speak for Wales, but he could speak for other places, and he could safely say that they never did represent the will of the people. To take Canada, for instance, where they had tried local option and where it had been a failure.—[Cries of "No. no."] Yes, they passed a prohibitory law in Manitoba and then said: "No, we will not apply this law until we have tried it again upon the electorate." Then the electorate decided against it.
AN HON. MEMBER
Does the hon. Member state that Manitoba has not passed a local option law and that it is not on the Statute Book both for Manitoba and Ontario?
§ SIR GILBERT BARKER
said local option law was on the Statute-book of both Ontario and Manitoba, but this clause applied to the whole of Wales, and they had been assured that the whole of Wales had combined to accept the principle of local option and to apply it. In Canada and the United States local option had always proved itself to be an invitation to the surrounding district, 1432 to abuse the law. The test at the polls was not a true test, because people found it difficult in some districts to give a vote against local option. He was speaking of the human tendency, because people would say if they voted against local option they would be showing a lack of sympathy with temperance and the upward movement of the people. How many people were affected? Most people went to the poll not to express a strong opinion upon the question at issue, but because their neighbours expected them to do so, and because if they did not vote they would be accused of having shown a lack of sympathy with the moral welfare of the people. Therefore the poll was not a true test, and this was shown by the experience of every district which had adopted local option or prohibition. The result had been in those districts that the law was continuously evaded. The hon. Member for the Romford division had described the rise of drinking clubs. Wales was full of drinking clubs. They knew from the convictions recorded that Wales was full of drunkenness. He did not say that Wales was a drunken country, but he was taking the records, which showed that Wales was full of drunkenness. Wherever they had had Sunday closing and had attempted to interfere with the will of the minority abuses had grown up. They would not contribute to national morality by interfering with the natural rights of man, nor would they make Wales sober by giving to a majority the right to interfere with the free exercise of the will of the minority.
§ *MR. MACLEAN (Bath)
said he had made a personal study of the operation of the Sunday Closing Act in Cardiff and he was in a position to state that the administration of that restrictive law on personal tastes—perhaps the most difficult form of law to administer—had proved really successful, and, arguing from this experience, he expressed the opinion that Parliament might safely conduct this experiment of local option in Wales. Cardiff, with its large floating population, was a very difficult place to enforce legislation of this kind, but it could be made successful. Let them take, for example, the figures for drunkenness since the year 1895. During that year 1433 there were 576 convictions for drunkenness, whereas last year the number sank to 104. That was not explained by any laxity on the part of the police, because they had an extremely vigilant Chief Constable at Cardiff and a very effective police force, and those figures were striking. He believed there was in Cardiff a steady upward trend of public opinion in favour of trying the experiment of local option in Wales. Reference had been made to the state of things in 1895. He admitted that in that year there was a condition of lawlessness which called for serious consideration. Like many other laws the success of the laws dealing with the sale of drink depended largely upon the manner in which they were administered. In the year 1895 there was a large amount of drinking in shebeens and also in clubs, and in that year there were convictions for the illegal sale of drink amounting to 161. What was the position last year? The total convictions for illegal sale of drink were only seventeen. Then as to Sunday drunkenness. In the year 1895 there were eighty-seven convictions for drunkenness on Sundays, and last year there were only three. During the past four or five years it was accurate to say that the number of convictions for Sunday drunkenness in Cardiff would not exceed fifteen or eighteen. And who broke the law? They were persons who had been convicted previously of assaulting the police, brothel keepers, disorderly women, thieves, stray seamen, and others who could not be classified under any particular head, but who were declared by the police to be associates of thieves and disorderly women. Therefore those who broke the law were principally those of the ordinary criminal class of the community. Every one of the convictions for illicit trading took place in the criminal quarter of the town. He challenged anybody to go down to Cardiff on a Sunday and go to the roughest streets of the city, in the parts where the docks were situated, and prove that Cardiff would not bear comparison with any other like city in regard to public order, the quietness of the streets, and the demeanour of the inhabitants. Not long ago on a Sunday night he went into some of the lowest lodging-houses 1434 containing men of all nationalities, and he saw no sign of drinking, and there was not a single man there under the influence of drink. The result of the steady administration of this very difficult Act affecting the personal habits of men in an exceptionally difficult place had really proved successful.
§ *MR. YOUNGER
, though adhering to everything he said as to Sunday-closing as one of the majority Commissioners on the Licensing Commission, insisted that the success or failure of Sunday-closing in Wales had no relevance to the question of prohibition which they were discussing. On the question of finance with which the Leader of the Opposition dealt they had not had any satisfactory explanation. The First Lord of the Admiralty was an extremely able man, and he was extremely able and slim in avoiding the uncomfortable points of any argument. The main point he dealt with was the similarity of treatment which Wales was to have in consonance with the treatment meted out to English counties. He told them that while the English counties were having similar treatment, the Opposition refused to grant similar treatment to Wales. In Wales, where prohibition might be carried into effect, the pull would be greater on the public funds. There was no analogy in the cases of English counties; nor was there any need for any theatrical display such as they had had to meet an argument calling the attention of the Committee to the point whether it was right to deny to Wales what they were granting to this country. Previous to 1904 the magistrates of England had not the absolute right to withdraw all licences in any district. That right was very carefully safeguarded, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite ought to have known that the Judges stated most distinctly that their decision gave no such right, but only the right to deal with each individual case on facts brought before them. So far as experience had gone in other countries they need not go far to find out what the result of prohibition had been. He had any number of cases which he could quote showing the effect in Canada. They knew the result of restrictions in the larger towns in Scotland, where they now had early 1435 closing, and they knew what a serious effect that had had on the drinking habits of the people, and how they had taken to drinking spirits instead of beer, which they had been accustomed to drink in the past. A serious state of affairs had arisen as the result of these restrictions. If prohibition were resorted to the evils would be infinitely worse than at present. He did not rise to discuss the general question at all, but he wished to say that so far as Sunday-closing was concerned it did not bear in the least upon this clause.
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
said the Committee would have liked to have heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the question now before them. Those who had been attending these debates must have been struck with their lifeless character. It might be due in part to the fact that they were discussing the Bill under the closure Resolution, and in part to the fact that a great many of those who were supporting the proposals of the Government did not really believe that the Bill was going to find a place on the Statute-book; but that air of unreality and lack of vitality had been greater in regard to the proposal before them that day than upon any of the other proposals of the Government. It would seem to some of them that this child of theirs was not long for this world. If anybody could have galvanised the question into life it would have been the Chancellor of the Exchequer; he would have argued on the merits and made a more convincing plea than any of his compatriots in favour of the proposal that the Committee should defer without inquiry or examination to what they were told was the opinion of Wales. The hon. Member for Bath thought it incumbent on him to offer a word of explanation for daring to intervene at all in the debate; he said that, although he was not a Welshman he spent part of his time in Cardiff. He himself, and the Party to which he belonged, utterly denied that they had to qualify by residence in Wales in order to discuss so large a question as the introduction of prohibition within the limits of the United Kingdom. On the contrary, one of the great advantages 1436 derived from sitting together in this House was that when those who represented some portion of the United Kingdom took a novel or violent course, those from other parts brought impartial minds to bear on the subject and declared what they really believed was the right course to pursue. In the case of Wales, as in the case of Ireland, there was a large minority which had no effective representation at all, and therefore, the members of the House, as a whole, were bound to examine questions upon which Welsh and Irish opinion went further than, or even directly contrary to, British opinion. What were the opinions of hon. Members on the question of prohibition? Two days ago in the only animated debate which they had had one Member after another got up on the Government side of the House and objected to prohibition on its merits; they objected to it because it stood in the way of a more moderate and hopeful temperance reform. It was their duty to express that view in the lobby.
§ MR. GIBBS (Bristol, W.)
said the hon. Member for the Arfon Division of Carnarvonshire had stated that a large majority of those who were convicted of drunkenness in some part of Wales were people who stepped over there from Somerset. If they stepped over into Wales, they would have to step over several miles of the Bristol Channel. He thought the hon. Member was making a mistake. He should like to know whether the hon. Member for Bath had found that those who were convicted of drunkenness in Cardiff were people from his own constituency. In regard to the question generally he thought the proposal of the Government was of the most tyrannical description. It appeared to him that they were interfering with the liberty of the people, and especially of the poorer people, who could not help themselves in this matter. This clause would not interfere in any way with people who had cellars of their own. It would interfere with those who had to earn their daily bread, and it would drive them to join drinking clubs, of which so much had been heard. The proposal was by a bare majority to allow total 1437 prohibition. It seemed to him that that would be very hard in many places. The Committee had heard from hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies that Wales was yearly becoming more sober. Surely if that was the case there was
§ no necessity whatever for local option in any part of the Principality.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divide:—Ayes 239; Noes, 93. (Division List No. 284.)1439
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Fenwick, Charles||Maclean, Donald|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Ferens, T. R.||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Findlay, Alexander||M'Callum, John M.|
|Agnew, George William||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||M'Crae, Sir George|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Gibb, James (Harrow)||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Astbury, John Meir||Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Glover, Thomas||Maddison, Frederick|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Menzies, Walter|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Gulland, John W.||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Beale, W. P.||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Middlebrook, William|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Hall, Federick||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Mond, A.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Morse, L. L.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Branch, James||Haworth, Arthur A.||Myer, Horatio|
|Brigg, John||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Napier, T. B.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hedges, A. Paget||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hemmerde, Edward George||Nicholls, George|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Nussey, Thomas Willians|
|Bunyeat, W. J. D.||Higham, John Sharp||Nuttall, Harry|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hobart, Sir Robert||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hodge, John||O'Grady J.|
|Cameron, Robert||Holland, Sir William Henry||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hooper, A. G.||Partington, Oswald|
|Chance, Frederick William||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Horniman, Emslie John||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Pollard, Dr.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hudson, Walter||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Cleland, J. W.||Hyde, Clarendon||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Clough, William||Idris, T. H. W.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Radford, G. H.|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Rees, J. D.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jowett, F. W.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Kekewich, Sir George||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Crossley, William J.||Kelley, George D.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Laidlaw, Robert||Robinson, S.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Lambert, George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lamont, Norman||Rose, Charles Day|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Levy, Sir Maurice||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne||Lewis, John Herbert||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Essex, R. W.||Lynch, H. B.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Sears, J. E.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Seddon, J.|
|Seely, Colonel||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Tomkinson, James||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Simon, John Allsebrook||Toulmin, George||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Verney, F. W.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Snowden, P.||Vivian, Henry||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Walters, John Tudor||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Stanley, Albert, (Staffs, N. W.)||Walton, Joseph||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Steadman, W. C.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||Winfrey, R.|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Waterlow, D. S.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Summerbell, T.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Sutherland, J. E.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fell, Arthur||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Ratcliffe, Major R. F.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fletcher, J. S.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Ashley, W. W.||Forster, Henry William||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Gardner, Ernest||Renwick, George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gretton, John||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Hamilton, Marquess of||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanier, Beville|
|Bull, Sir William James||Houston, Robert Paterson||Starkey, John R.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hunt, Rowland||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Kerry, Earl of||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cave, George||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Winterton, Earl|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.||M'Arthur, Charles||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craik, Sir Henry||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Young, Samuel|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Younger, George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Nield, Herbert|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Percy, Earl|
|Fardell, Sir T. (George||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
§ EARL WINTERTON moved an Amendment the effect of which was to postpone the operation of the clause to the year 1916. It seemed to him that the reasons in favour of extending the time in Wales were mainly the same as those which had been previously urged against passing the subsection as a whole. The question of putting Wales on an entirely different footing from England in the matter 1440 of local option had already been discussed; but even so he saw no reason why this proposal should come into operation at once. In the case of England it was proposed that local option should not come into operation until after fourteen years, and the Government might consider whether they would not allow the licensed trade in Wales to have some period in order to prepare for the inevitable results of 1441 prohibition there. He and his friends thought that it was a reasonable proposal which they made. The Government throughout this Bill had been only too ready to put upon the shoulders of future Governments the duty of deciding whether this or that should be carried, and, although the Opposition did not altogether agree with that attitude, as it had been adopted for England as a whole it ought to be adopted for Wales. They had a strong case inasmuch as a real hardship would ensue to the liquor trade generally in Wales if the proposal were put into operation at once. He appealed to the Government to accept the Amendment.
In page 5, line 26 to leave out the words 'passing of this Act,' and to insert the words 'first day of January, nineteen hundred and sixteen.'"—(Earl Winterton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR S. EVANS
hoped the noble Lord would not press his Amendment or call upon the Committee to discuss it in detail. He had himself not spoken at length in the previous discussion, but it must be quite obvious to the Committee that whether the opinions held on the subject were right or wrong there had been what he might almost call a passionate appeal on the part of those who represented in a special sense the Principality for a clause of this kind. It would be going entirely contrary to that appeal, so strongly made that afternoon, and also to the opinion of the majority of the Committee as expressed in the division which had just taken place, if they were to postpone the beneficent operation of this provision for the period proposed. He entirely agreed with the sentiments that had been expressed in the debate by all his colleagues, and he believed they represented the views of the vast majority of the country from which he came. It was impossible to accept the Amendment and he trusted the noble Lord would not press it to a division.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said he agreed with the Solicitor-General in this respect 1442 only, that he did not think this matter would take up any considerable time of the Committee. At the same time he thought there were one or two reasons why they might differ from the views of the Solicitor-General. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that he thought the chief reason, or one of the reasons, why they should agree to this clause was on account of the passionate appeal urged on the part of those who represented Wales and the opinion which had been expressed by the division that had just taken place. That was all very well, and certainly hon. Members opposite might have given expression to a strong opinion on behalf of a majority in Wales, but in many counties it might be only a majority of one. There was, however, another side to the question, viz., the position of the minority. It would be very hard indeed on the trade and on those who had invested their money in the trade if this clause should come into effect at once, supposing the Bill passed. They ought to give these people some notice so as to prepare for so great a change. It was only reasonable that some close time should be suggested, and he thought they had a precedent for this. The hon. Member for Appleby in a Bill which he introduced some time ago suggested a period of five years which should be, so to speak, a close time, and, therefore, he thought they might have some support from him in their view that this option should not come into force at once. The Opposition held just as strong a view as the Solicitor-General on this question. The hon. and learned Gentleman talked of the passionate view of Wales which he thought ought to prevail, and that the majority ought to have the power at once. The Opposition asked, on the other hand, for some mercy, some consideration for the minority in Wales, and for those who were largely interested in these matters.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
said he ought to explain in answer to the right hon. Gentleman that there was no compensation in his Bill. The veto was to operate in five years without compensation. His reason for giving that notice was that under the Act of 1904 the Party opposite conferred a vested interest 1443 upon the trade, and, therefore, he thought he was bound to fix some limit.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER (York)
said that the Solicitor-General had talked about the passionate appeal that had come from Wales on the question of local option. But the Government Front Bench had been singularly silent on the matter. He looked upon the clause rather as a strategical move on the part of the Government. He believed the clause had been put into the Bill—because there had been many cooks at work—in order that later on in another place it might be thrown out. It was a strategical move, having an eye on another place, and also in order to gratify a certain section of the Government's own supporters. Nobody who had heard the speech of the hon. Member for Carnarvonshire could have any doubt of his feeling on the matter. At the same time, when they were asked to abstain from going to a division on account of a passionate appeal, they must exercise their judgment in the matter, and he thought it would be singularly ill-advised from the point of view of the best interests of this measure, that they should have there and then, if it passed into law, local option for Wales. The very root and foundation of the Bill was the reduction scheme and the compensation fund. By passing this clause the effect would be to throw the licenses in Wales that might be reduced under it, upon the compensation fund. They were going to dislocate the whole fund. But the fund had not been created for that purpose. It had been primarily created for the purpose of meeting the reductions that were to be made under Clause 1 of the Bill. They were going to promote financial chaos. They were going to make it the object of the Commission to increase the compensation levy to the highest rate possible. That would cause the greatest unfairness and hardship. It was not fair that the benefit, if any, that would result to Wales from local option should be paid for by England, and that would be the effect of the clause.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
said it would be unfair to bring this clause into effect there and then, and it would be better to wait until the termination of the time-limit.
said that that was not the Amendment, which would be some years after the end of the compensation period.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
said he did not agree with the noble Lord who moved the Amendment as to the exact time, but he thought he was at liberty to adduce an argument to show that if they postponed local option in Wales it was highly desirable in the interests of everybody concerned. As to the number of years, he would assimilate the period to that in the third clause of the Bill. If England was to have local option at the end of the time-limit he thought it would be only just and proper that Wales should be in the same position. It would be much fairer all round that local option for Wales, if it was brought into force, should wait until the end of the time-limit.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Central)
said he desired to join in the protest of his hon. friend the Member for York against the view of the Solicitor-General that they should reject this Amendment because a passionate appeal had come from Wales in favour of the principle of this clause. He entirely demurred. He thought that passion was the last thing which should influence this Assembly, and they should not be influenced by passionate appeal. He might also say that in the Welsh temperament passion was more easily evoked than in that of the English people. He congratulated the hon. and learned Solicitor-General, on his self-restraint in his speech, though he feared he must always find his present position less agreeable than his former seat below the gangway, where there was no necessity for self-restraint. He rather disagreed with his noble friend and should prefer to put in the words "1923." It could fairly be argued that if they took 1923 Wales would be treated with special consideration, because then they would have agreed definitely to give 1445 the Principality this power, whereas with regard to England they only indicated in a very vague way that she might on some future occasion obtain it. In that case they would be dealing very specially with Wales in order to meet the passionate demand made upon them. It might be objected that, after all, the great point was that Wales should immediately get these special powers, and that whereas a probationary period of fourteen years was necessary in the case of England, in connection with Wales a very much shorter period would be necessary. On the whole, he was not disposed to quarrel with and move an Amendment to his noble friend's proposal, because he had made some concession to Welsh sentiment, but he did most earnestly appeal that the provision as to seven years should be made. He wished to call attention to a very serious thing which was going to happen next year under the combined effect of this clause and the first clause. The first clause said that the licensing justices should prepare a scheme of reduction, but in Wales there was to be granted a power of local option, and he asked what, if this clause came into operation at the date of the passing of the Act, the position of the justices would be? It would be really an intolerable position. They would first of all have to meet and try to make up their minds as to the scheme of reduction, and how it was to be carried out, but while they were doing this they would be in the greatest uncertainty as to what the parochial electors in all the parishes would be about. It would be impossible to frame their scheme of reduction, because all the time they might know that the local electors would be setting on foot other plans, and they could not make any recommendations to the Licensing Commission until they knew the result of all these local elections. They might make their recommendations on a scale which would involve a certain liability on the Compensation Fund. But supposing they ignored this provision as to local option and went ahead without preparing their scheme, made all their calculations as to the number of years, and all the rest, and sent it to the Commission? In 1446 the meantime, after they had taken all this trouble, the passionate electors of certain parishes or districts might set on foot their requisition for local option. They were not bound to do it at once; they might do it at any time within the year; and not till months had passed would it be possible for the justices to know how far their original proposals would be modified, and necessarily modified, by the result of the local option polls. This was, he said, putting the licensing justices in Wales into even a worse position than they would be in England, because all their time, labour, and trouble might be vitiated by these subsequent local polls. On that account he earnestly entreated the Government, if it was only for three years, to defer the operation of this local option provision until they saw how the magistrates were able to work the Act under the powers as to statutory reduction in Clause 1. But if the provision was difficult financially for the justices it would become intolerable for the Licensing Commission. He had no sympathy with the Licensing Commission. He had read a speech by a member of the present Government saying that if anything particularly indefensible was contemplated the usual method of dealing was to get three lawyers to carry it out. Therefore, he was not greatly in love with the Licensing Commission, but he would like to see them have a fair chance once they began; and they would not have a fair chance, because they would have to consider all these competing schemes for reduction. They would have to consider the schemes for statutory reduction by the justices, and then on top of that would come further modifications of those schemes under subhead (a) subsection (2), of this clause, and the same under subhead (b) and the amount of congestion of work would be almost intolerable for them. He could not see, under these circumstances, that they could possibly frame a yearly budget, because all their calculations might be upset by some few parishes, who were somewhat late in proceeding to take advantage of the local option proposal in Wales. They might consider all the schemes of the justices, and their financial aspects, and then on top of their work would come 1447 certain belated decisions as to local option, which would upset all their calculations. That was not a proud position in which to place the Licensing Commission. The Government must see the difficulty, and he was rather sorry that there was no Cabinet Minister present, though they had been rejoiced to see the First Lord of the Admiralty, who took part in the debate that afternoon, and to know that his other duties did not prevent him from doing so. He would ask the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to give a suspensory reply on this question, and not to give a non possumus to the very reasonable request his noble friend had made.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS (Birmingham, Bordesley)
said his hon. friend behind him had said that this proposal was not fair: but there was nothing fair within the four corners of the Bill. The Solicitor-General in his speech illustrated the tyrannous character of the position which the Government had taken, not only with regard to this but with regard to almost every other proposal that was made. The hon. and learned Gentleman had given as what he called his chief reason not the principle, but the passionate desire for the provision by what he called the people of Wales.
§ SIR S. EVANS
pointed out that all he had said was that such a proposal went to postpone the system for seven years.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
replied that the Solicitor-General said that his chief reason was pressure of opinion. What about the passionate appeal of what might be forty-nine people out of every 100?
§ *THE DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. CALDWELL,) Lanarkshire, Mid.
said that the expediency of the further reduction had been decided under the Amendment to omit subsection (1). The only question now was the date at which the proposal was to come into operation. By the Bill it was to be the date of the passing of the Act and by the Amendment seven years later.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said he agreed. He was alluding to the reason given by the Solicitor-General why the Government could not assent to the postponement, and the chief reason was the passionate appeal made to them, which might be that of perhaps fifty-one out of 100 people in a locality. Those who supported the Bill had no great sympathy with the minority, and to his mind one great reason why this suggestion should be assented to was that it would put off the time for seven years at least when the process of prohibition might be entered upon, and secret drinking, home drinking, and the formation of club which must inevitably follow on prohibition would take place. They though those changes might well be postponed for seven years. The Government had made up their minds and they had got the majority behind them to carry out their wishes. But there was no enthusiasm whatever in the opposition to this Amendment; it was only an arbitrary decision. [An HON. MEMBER: Tyranny.] Yes, tyranny, and a disregard of the minority which was illustrative of the position of the Government in this matter.
§ MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)
said he would not have risen to take part in the debate but for the fact that the Amendment, which he heartily supported, was calculated to meet the desires which had been expressed by a good many members of the Welsh party. He extremely regretted that the large amount of enthusiasm which was shown for local option in Wales in the earlier part of the debate had so suddenly evaporated, and that they were reduced to the spectacle of two Welsh Members on the benches opposite. It was a striking illustration of the enthusiasm of Welsh Members, especially when this clause affected them so very closely. The Amendment seemed to him to offer these enthusiastic Welsh Members an opportunity which they had been crying for. It had been declared in no measured tones in the debate that for many years past Wales had been hoping for the opportunity to do away with licensed houses throughout the Principality. It seemed to him that if they extended the period they might have an opportunity 1449 of doing this great thing for Wales. He imagined that the Welsh were a reasonable and fair people, and did not want to do an injustice to anybody. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Spen Valley had declared the value of licences to be something like £100,000,000, and they were told that Wales represented a small portion of that sum. Why not, if they were reasonable and fair men, have the courage of their convictions and say that they would wipe out the licences at the earliest possible moment and pay for them? No one would object to their taking the licences if they paid for them. The extension of time proposed would enable them to carry out what they so enthusiastically professed their desire to accomplish, and he would support them if they did what right-minded and honest men would do, namely, pay compensation to those from whom they took their legitimate property, acquired in a trade which had been sanctioned and permitted for so long a time. No doubt those who had been so enthusiastic in the early part of the evening would come from the smoke room when the division was called, and then they would have an opportunity, if they had the courage of their convictions, to pay for the licences they took, and so confer on their country the boon for which they asked.
§ *MR. YOUNGER
said his noble friend had submitted a strong objection to the working of the clause if it were brought into operation at once. It would achieve no good to do ruthless injustice to those who held on-licences, but to say that to the Government was merely beating the air. There was one difficulty which struck him, and he thought it constituted a very good reason for postponing the operation of the clause. The Government did not propose to include in the operation of this clause off-licences. Under these circumstances, wherever a prohibitory resolution was carried that would at once add a very large monopoly value to these licences. Therefore, they were robbing one class of licence-holders to aggrandise the other. He thought an operation of this kind might well be postponed, and if they postponed the operation of this clause for seven or eight 1450 years they would at all events minimise the intense unfairness which would necessarily follow from the adoption of prohibition in any of those areas. He strongly supported the Amendment of his noble friend.
§ EARL WINTERTON
said he must ask the Committee to go to a division on this point. It affected a very large portion of the licensing trade in Wales, and great interest was taken in it throughout the country. The Solicitor-General had made rather a curious reference to the "passionate appeal" made in Wales for local option, but the hon. and learned Gentleman would realise, he thought, that passion and justice did not always go well in double harness. There was something besides passion to consider when they were deciding a question of this sort. It was not a question of passionate appeal for local option in Wales, but a question of whether, in carrying out the dictates of that passionate appeal, they were doing considerable injustice to a large body of people. It was for this reason he pressed his Amendment.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
asked whether the Government would not give some answer to the cogent arguments which had been offered in support of the Amendment. It was scarcely respectful not to answer arguments of the description which had been advanced.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he was just on the point of rising to reply when the right hon. Gentleman intervened. The answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield was, that the first scheme would be the ordinary scheme which would be prepared by every bench of justices. There would be no difficulty at all, if the resolution was carried in accordance with the provisions, in having a supplemental scheme which did not in any sense upset the old scheme.
§ SIR S. EVANS
replied that if there was no money the resolution would be of no avail. The answer to the hon. Member for Ayr Burghs was this. The hon. Member said: "You might be creating a monopoly value for off-licences." If they created additional 1451 value to those licences by giving effect to the views of the locality expressed in prohibitory resolutions, they had taken steps in the Bill to take away the monopoly value.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said the number of off-licences was very small, and that was not a matter which arose under this section; but the Government would take note of what the hon. Member said, that the value of off-licences would be enormously increased by taking away on-licences. As to the use of the word "passionate," he meant fervent appeal arising out of a deep conviction.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 197; Noes, 66. (Division List No. 285.)1453
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Ferens, T. R.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Findlay, Alexander||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Agnew, George William||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lynch, H. B.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Fullerton, Hugh||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Gill, A. H.||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Glover, Thomas||M'Callum, John M.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton.||Maddison, Frederick|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Hart-Davies, T.||Menzies, Walter|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Middlebrook, William|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Harwood, George||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Branch, James||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morse, L. L.|
|Brigg, John||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hedges, A. Paget||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hemmerde, Edward George||Myer, Horatio|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Henry, Charles S.||Napier, T. B.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Nicholls, George|
|Cameron, Robert||Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hobart, Sir Robert||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hodge, John||Nuttall, Harry|
|Cleland, J. W.||Hooper, A. G.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Clough, William||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerest, N.||Partington, Oswald|
|Clynes, J. R.||Horniman, Emslie John||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pollard, Dr.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hudson, Walter||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hyde, Clarendon||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Idris, T. H. W.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Crossley, William J.||Jackson, R. S.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Rees, J. D.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Roberts, Charles N. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Jowett, F. W.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Kekewich, Sir George||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Essex, R. W.||Kelley, George D.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Laidlaw, Robert||Robinson, S.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lambert, George||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Sears, J. E.||Thomasson, Franklin||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Seddon, J.||Tomkinson, James||Williamson, A.|
|Seely, Colonel||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Toulmin, George||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Vivian, Henry||Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)|
|Simon, John Allsebrook||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Walsh, Stephen||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Snowden, P.||Walters, John Tudor||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Steadman, W. C.||Watt, Henry A.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Summerbell, T.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Sutherland, J. E.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Renwick, George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fletcher, J. S.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Gardner, Ernest||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Baldwir, Stanley||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Stanier, Beville|
|Barnard, E. B.||Gretton, John||Starkey, John R.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hamilton, Marquess of||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Houston, Robert Paterson||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||M'Arthur, Charles||Winterton, Earl|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Young, Samuel|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Younger, George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Nield, Herbert|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. George D. Faber and Mr.Lane-Fox.|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Faber, Capt, W. V. (Hants, W.)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Fell, Arthur||Remnant, James Farquharson|
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he was glad to be able to adopt an Amendment which, had been put on the Paper by an hon. Member opposite. It proposed to insert after "carried," the words "in any rural parish or urban area," and as its effect would be to reduce the size of the area in which local option was to be exercised in Wales, it would bring this clause, so far as areas and districts were concerned, into harmony with Clauses 1 and 2. He begged to move.
In page 5, line 29, after the words 'carried in,' to insert the words 'any rural parish or urban area.'"—(Sir Samuel Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. CAVE
thought that the hon. and learned Gentleman knew that the Opposition were strongly opposed to this Amendment for the same reason that they were opposed to a former Amendment on which this was consequential. He had always felt strongly that if local veto was imposed it ought only to be in large areas where there was no bias and where an honest vote was obtained.
§ Question put.1456
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 197; Noes, 66. (Division List No. 286.)1457
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Pollard, Dr.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harwood, George||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Agnew, George William||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Hedges, A. Paget||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Rees, J. D.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Henry, Charles S.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Higham, John Sharp||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Hobart, Sir Robert||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Benn, W. (Tw'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Hodge, John||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hooper, A. G.||Robinson, S.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Horniman, Emslie John||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hudson, Walter||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Branch, James||Hyde, Clarendon||Sears, J. E.|
|Brigg, John||Jackson, R. S.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Seddon, J.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Seely, Colonel|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Byles, William Pollard||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Cameron, Robert||Jowett, F. W.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Kekewich, Sir George||Snowden, P.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Kelley, George D.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Laidlaw, Robert||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Cleland, J. W.||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Clough, William||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Lambert, George||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Summerbell, T.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Lynch, H. B.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Crossley, William J.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Macpherson, J. T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||M'Callum, John M.||Tomkinson, James|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Toulmin, George|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Maddison, Frederick||Vivian, Henry|
|Essex, R. W.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Marnham, F. J.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Masterman, C. F. G.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Menzies, Walter||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan|
|Ferens, T. R.||Micklem, Nathaniel||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Middlebrook, William||Watt, Henry A.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Molteno, Percy Alport||Wedgewood, Josiah C.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Morse, L. L.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Myer, Horatio||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Glover, Thomas||Napier, T. B.||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Nicholls, George||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Williamson, A.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Nuttall, Harry||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Hart-Davies T.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.— Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Rasch, Sir Frederic Came|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fell, Arthur||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fletcher, J. S.||Renwick, George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gardner, Ernest||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Brdigeman, W. Clive||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Gretton, John||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Guinness, W. E. (Bury, S. Edm.)||Stanier, Beville|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hamilton, Marquess of||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm'ngham||Houston, Robert Paterson||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Captain, James (Down, E.)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Young, Samuel|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield||Younger, George|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Nield, Herbert|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Mr. Cave and Mr. Rawlinson.|
§ MR. LUTTRELL (Devonshire, Tavistock)
said the Amendment he was about to move was to leave out the words "in Wales (including the county of Monmouth)," so as to give England the same benefit as the Act would confer upon Wales.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE
submitted that the Amendment was out of order, because under Clause 3 it had been decided that local option should be extended in such manner as Parliament might determine at the termination of the reduction period. This clause made a special reduction in the case of Wales, but to accept the Amendment would nullify and stultify the effect of what was carried on Monday by enacting that before the termination of the reduction period local option should generally prevail.
§ *THE DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
said that Clause 3, referred to by the hon. Member, had reference to local option which was to come into effect on the termination of the reduction period, in both England and Wales. The Clause (9) presently 1458 before the Committee had reference to a further reduction extending the statutory reduction, and was to have effect after the passing of this Act. The principle of this further reduction was affirmed by the decision to omit subsection 1. The effect of the Amendment to be proposed by the hon. Member (Mr. Luttrell), to leave out "in Wales (including the county of Monmouth)," if carried would be to extend this power of further reduction to the whole of England and Wales, which was quite in order.
§ *MR. LUTTRELL
said he was asking the Committee whether they would extend the same benefit to England as they were proposing to extend to Wales. After all, statutory powers were to a certain extent arbitrary. ["Hear, hear".] Hon. Members opposite cheered that. They contended that they were arbitrary in the sense that they might go too far; but if they admitted that, they must also admit that they might be arbitrary in not going far enough. He held that it was quite possible that the statutory power might not give expression to the views of the people in the locality. Whatever they were they were not a parish body, and 1459 the object of the Bill was to give to parishioners an opportunity of settling what the number of houses in their locality should be. The statutory reduction was an expression of their opinion in the House of Commons and not that of the parishioners. They gave Wales an advantage; why not give the same advantage to England? He could not see why there should be any distinction drawn. It might be said that Wales was in advance of England, but there were many parts of England which were quite as advanced as Wales in the direction of temperance reform. Cornwall was, he believed, solid in favour of local option, and there were many districts of England which were also strongly in favour of extreme temperance reform and which he was convinced would not feel they were being fairly dealt with if advantages were given to Wales over them. He only pleaded that there should be local option. If there was a district which expressed an opinion that the statutory reduction was not sufficient it should have the opportunity of altering it to a certain extent. He did not think that request could be looked upon as unreasonable, nor did he see why the gallantry of Wales should be rewarded over the gallantry of Cornwall and other parts of England.
In page 5, lines 29 and 30, to leave out the words 'in Wales (including the County of Monmouth).'"—(Mr. Luttrell.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'in Wales' stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he was afraid they could not accept the Amendment. He recommended his hon. friend to use his powers of persuasion in converting England to the same view as Wales held in the matter. Immediately it appeared that the whole representation of England was in favour of this principle he had no doubt it would be granted. Until that time it was quite obvious that England was not ripe for such a change. The hon. Member said Cornwall was in favour of it, but the reason was obvious. Cornwall was part of Wales. The only portion of England 1460 to which they could apply this provision was the county of Monmouth, which was taken away from them by their own King Henry VIII.
§ *Mr. DUNN (Cornwall, Camborne)
appealed to the mover to limit the application of the Amendment to Cornwall. If that were done might he appeal to the Solicitor-General to accept the Amendment in that form? The strongest argument he could use in favour of such a course was to adopt that which had fallen from the Solicitor-General a moment ago to the effect that if the whole, representation of a district were in favour of such a proposal it should be permitted. Cornish Members were unanimous in this request. They must remember after all that Cornwall was not England. In Cornwall the people still spoke of going into England, and when visitors came to them across the Tamar they still referred to them as foreigners. And, after all, the geographical divisions that divided Cornwall from Devonshire were even more marked than those dividing Monmouthshire from the adjoining districts, and as they were dealing with differential legislation this was important. Seeing that Cornwall was ripe to receive this power and desired it, and that, taking Cornwall as a whole, they were already within the statutory limit, he would appeal most earnestly to the mover to allow the people of Cornwall to go one better than England, and be enabled to do what their Celtic brothers were entitled to do under the provisions of the section.
§ *MR. CAVE
said it appeared to him that the mover of the Amendment was entirely logical in what he had said, and so was the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. If the measure was good for Wales it was equally good for England or for any part of England, and if separate treatment was to be applied to Wales, why not to other parts of the Kingdon which desired it? He was not in favour of the Amendment, because he was not in favour of the clause, but the position of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment was more logical than that of the Solicitor-General.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1461
§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.R., Barkston Ash) moved to omit the words "including the county of Monmouth." They had been told that one unanswerable reason why this treatment should be accorded to Wales was that there was a solid representation of Members in favour of the change. To be logical they must extend that even further, and say that because Monmouthshire had been misguided enough to send a representation entirely united in their desire to support the present Liberal Government, they were, therefore, uniform in support of the principle of this Bill, a principle which, if once applied to the counties of England must be carried a great deal further. He came from the West Riding of Yorkshire—one of the few Unionist Members. He was sure that West Riding would not wish to have these provisions applied to them. If the Government endeavoured so to apply them, one result would certainly be seen in the next Parliament. There would be very few Liberal representatives from that part of the country. From the political point of view, he was not sure that he should not wish to recommend that point to the House. But there were a great many reasons why they should hesitate before they adopted the suggestion contained in these words. If once they began to apply these conditions to England, there was no knowing where they would stop. The figures of convictions for drunkenness which had been hurled from one side to the other were undoubtedly difficult to put together. They had had figures from the two sides of the House which did not altogether agree, but they could not get away from the fact that there had been an increasing number of convictions for drunkenness in some counties and a decrease in others. They all admired the sincerity of the remarkable speech which they heard earlier in the evening, and no one denied that there was a feeling in Wales on this question which did not exist in English constituencies. The Solicitor-General was very fond of raising precedents, and he had referred to the precedent of Henry VIII. He thought that was going back rather a long distance. To argue that because Monmouth belonged to Wales and not to England in the time of Henry 1462 VIII. they should now restore it, was using a very remarkable argument. The convictions for drunkenness in the county of Monmouth about a quarter of a century ago were 734 per 100,000; and they had falllen in 1905 to 549. In Glamorganshire the figures had risen from 771 per 100,000 to 1,161 in 1905. It was for the Government to give reasons why this clause should apply to Monmouth as well as to Wales—reasons which would controvert these figures. Welshmen would make an excellent bargain because they were to get a great moral impetus at the expense of Englishmen. It seemed to him a gross libel upon the moral condition of the people that they should imply that this great moral regeneration was necessary. They found by the convictions that there had been a steady improvement in drunkenness in Monmouth as had been the case all over England. There were signs of a great improvement in all sections of the community, and before they could contend that Monmouth should be included the Government ought to prove that there was special reason for taking that step apart from the other counties of England. He had much pleasure in moving his Amendment.
In page 5, lines 29 and 30, to leave out the words 'including the County of Monmouth.'"—(Mr. Lane-Fox.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."
§ SIR IVOR HERBERT (Monmouthshire, S.)
said he had experienced a slight shock whilst listening to the moral views put forward by the hon. Member opposite. The hon. Member admitted that Monmouthshire was improperly taken away from Wales, and because restitution had been delayed for centuries he contended that it ought not to be restored at all. That was not the moral tone which they adopted in the Principality. If an illegal act had been committed—
§ SIR IVOR HERBERT
said the inference he had drawn from the hon. Member's speech was that he admitted what the Solicitor-General had said to be correct, namely, that Monmouthshire had been withdrawn by the action of King Henry VIII. from Wales, and as restitution had not been made it should be indefinitely postponed. He dissociated himself entirely from such morality as that. The hon. Member gave as a reason for maintaining the provision which would place Monmouthshire back in its proper position, as an integral part of Wales, that he thought English money would be taken for the benefit of Welshmen. ["Hear, hear."] He was glad to hear that cheer, but the hon. Member need be under no apprehension on that point whether they called themselves Welshmen or Englishmen in the county of Monmouth. The money, if it was English money, would certainly go back in the form of compensation to Englishmen, because it would go back into the pockets of English brewers who had been so generous as to provide Wales with an excessive number of tied houses in the county of Monmouth. The effect of the Amendment which the hon. Gentleman had moved was to open a somewhat wider field of discussion than that upon which they had been engaged that afternoon. He did not wish to refer to the question of Sunday closing more than incidentally, but the decision on this Amendment would undoubtedly have some influence on the debate which might take place with regard to Sunday closing. He thought that even hon. Gentlemen opposite would not argue that if Monmouthshire was to be reserved for the purposes of Sunday drinking in England, it would be strictly logical to come to that conclusion after the Committee had accepted the view that for the purpose of local option Monmouthshire was to remain attached to Wales. Possibly the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite might be that it should be so divided that local option might be granted as a sort of sop or a kind of plaster to make up for the injury effected by keeping Monmouthshire away from the other part of Wales in the matter of Sunday closing, and that they were to be allowed local option as a remedy for the weekly debauch 1464 which took place on Sunday, if things remained as they were at the present time. The question whether Monmouthshire could be considered as part of Wales or as part of this country had been again and again argued in the House of Commons. If hon. Gentlemen opposite were curious on the subject they would find the whole of the arguments set forth in Hansard both on the Welsh Intermediate Education Act and on the Introduction of the Welsh Sunday Closing Bill. He did not propose to weary the Committee by reciting those arguments, which were historical, theological, linguistic, and geographical. It would take up a great deal of time unnecessarily if he entered into those matters. He would confine himself to the potent argument whether in this matter Monmouthshire feeling was Welsh or English, and whether they took the English or the Welsh view of temperance reform. As a Monmouthshire man who had lived all his life in that county, he could confidently assert that the feeling of Monmouthshire was undoubtedly wholly with Wales in her aspirations and ideals. If any hon. Gentleman required a more potent argument he would ask him to look at the result of the last election. The Leader of the Opposition had expressed some doubts as to what were the dominating questions at that election in certain constituencies in Wales. There was no doubt whatever as to the question which gave him the seat which had always before been held by a Conservative in South Monmouth. He admitted that up to a certain period there might have been doubts as to whether he was a fit and proper person to represent a Welsh Nonconformist seat, but he could assure the House that from the day when the right hon. Gentleman then leading the Government made his famous surrender to the trade all doubts were at an end, and from that moment to the present he had never felt a shadow of a doubt about being perfectly safe in his seat. It was true that there were other questions which exercised considerable influence at that time. There were the questions of education and disestablishment, on which he received more heckling than on any other subject, but when the 1465 subject of temperance reform was added to the other great national questions a wave of feeling spread over the country that produced the result of which he was a feeble exponent in this House. It was said that the condition of the people should be improved by giving them better dwellings instead of forcibly shutting up public-houses, but he would ask the Committee to look at the condition of things that existed in his part of the county, the part most English—the part adjacent to the boundary of Gloucestershire. In the two petty sessional divisions near that frontier the condition of things was perfectly appalling. In one division there were no fewer than 51 licensed houses, making the proportion of one to every 100 inhabitants, and the other, that of Chepstow, there were 65, or one to 149 inhabitants. Surely no hon. Member opposite would say it was reasonable for every 100 inhabitants to have their own particular public-house. Nor could their joy be increased by such an excessive number of places of entertainment. The truth was that Welshmen wished in this matter to move a little more rapidly than the Opposition desired. They wanted to get out of a condition of things which had arisen owing to the history of that particular part of the country. That region was at no very distant period the domain of a great nobleman who never lived there and never looked upon the property as anything more than a place to derive rents from and exercise political power over. In one half-mile of this district there were thirteen public-houses. He had often passed them and counted them again and again. A vast amount of evidence was laid before the Licensing Commission, showing the desirability of treating Monmouthshire on account of its geographical and industrial position on precisely the same basis as the neighbouring county of Glamorgan. For administrative reasons it would be very much easier and would make very 1466 much more certain the correct application of the law. In this matter sentiment could not altogether be dismissed. Monmouthshire was Welsh in its language, beliefs, and ideals, and to separate the two on a question so close to the heart of the people of the neighbourhood as temperance reform would be an act that that House should not really sanction.
§ MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)
said the hon. and gallant Member opposite had stated one or two reasons why he thought Monmouthshire should be treated as part of Wales. One of the points he made was in regard to the number of public-houses there. It was stated that in one district there was 1 to the 100 of population, and in another 1 to 149. These figures were not borne out by the official Returns.
§ SIR IVOR HERBERT
said the official Returns were not brought up to the day before yesterday, as his information was.
§ MR. COURTHOPE
said that if the official Returns for 1907 were correct, and if the hon. and gallant Member's figures were correct, then all he could say was that the justices of Monmouthshire must have granted a great many new licences during the past year. The official figures showed that in one of the petty sessions districts referred to by the hon. Member the proportion of licensed houses was 39.43 per 10,000 of the population; in Newport 24 per 10,000 of the population, and in the only district where the figure was large the proportion was 105 per 10,000 of the population, so that the argument of the hon. Member fell to the ground. For the sake of argument he would assume that the hon. Gentleman's information was correct. If that was so, all the more rapid and greater would be the decrease of licences under Clause 1 of the Bill, and therefore, he did not think that the hon. and gallant Member could found on that an argument for the 1467 inclusion of Monmouthshire in the Principality. One reason suggested by the hon. and gallant Member why Monmouth should be included was that the people of the county were absolutely keen for temperance reform If the whole of the population of the county were so keen, he wondered why they got drunk so much, for it was remarkable that, as compared with the adjoining counties, there was a large number of convictions for drunkenness. He did not wish to press that point. The mere fact that there were so many convictions for drunkenness in that county might be used as an argument why it should receive the same treatment as Wales. He did not think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman's argument of the extreme desire for temperance on the part of the inhabitants of Monmouthshire could be used as a reason for including the county in the Principality. The most extraordinary point had been made that Monmouthshire was once a part of Wales, until the reign of Henry VIII. They might just as well argue that they were to apply local option to Canada or the States of America, for they belonged to this country far more recently than Monmouthshire belonged to Wales. When they were discussing the proposal to delete subsection (1), the Solicitor-General made a great point of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. Surely the argument he used then was fatal to the argument now to include Monmouthshire, for it was then excluded. It always had been excluded. Surely the fact of this kind of legislation having been passed on more than one occasion for Wales, always excluding Monmouthshire, was fatal to the argument of including it now. He would like to draw attention to the wording of the section. As it stood now it was—Wales, including the county of Monmouth.But Wales did not include the county of Monmouth, and how could they allow a section to go on the Statute-book 1468 with words like that? He would like to ask the Chairman's decision on the point. He doubted whether it was within their power in this form to bring Monmouthshire within this section. For all those reasons he strongly supported the leaving out of the county of Monmouth from the clause. He should raise the point again whether it was possible to achieve the object of the Government by the use of the form of words in the clause.
§ *MR. REES
said that without discussing the merits of Clause 9 he would insist that if it was passed it must include the county of Monmouth. The hon. Gentleman opposite acknowledged that Monmouth was once part of Wales, but he said that that was no argument for its remaining a part of Wales. That showed a complete ignorance of the Welsh character, which was always to hold on to anything that it once had. He could assure the hon. Member that Wales did not mean to let go the county of Monmouth. The hon. Gentleman said that Monmouth was not part of Wales because in Acts of Parliament Monmouth was always referred to separately from Wales, but that only meant that that part of Wales alone deserved, and required specific mention. There were other parts of Wales for which the argument which had been used might be more fairly put forward. For instance, in his own county of Montgomeryshire they would not part with one town, village, or family; although ethnologically one-half of the county, it might be argued, was not Welsh but English. They were Church people, Conservatives, and everything that was English. Did the hon. Member imagine that they would on that account part with one man, woman, or child? How much more was it the case with Monmouthshire, where, in point of fact, Welsh was more spoken than in the neighbouring county of Glamorgan or in half the county of 1469 Montgomery. He put his case upon ethnological and historical grounds; and not on geographical boundaries, which was a small matter. The question was, what was the feeling and heart of the people? They were thoroughly Welsh, and he did not believe that anyone who really knew Monmouthshire and the other parts of Wales would ever propose for a moment, even for the amusement of a political argument, to separate them. A great deal had been said about Welsh standards, and the finger of scorn had been raised in regard to the Welsh people because they did not invariably come up to them. But, even if the Welsh fell, and he did not say it, slightly below the standard which had rightly been described as their own, it did not follow that their views in regard to temperance were not in advance of the neighbouring and foreign country of England. It was no use talking about these standards if they were of no avail. A high standard was a good business. Of course, all rules had exceptions. For instance, he had frequently heard the Gothenburg system referred to as one of the three systems which the Government must choose. He did not pretend to have studied the temperance question as closely as some of his hon. friends, but he knew a drunken man when he saw one; and he declared that never in his life had he seen so many men so thoroughly drunk so early in the morning as round about Gothenburg. In that classic district of temperance, if a visitor went out early in the morning—as visitors did when fishing in Swedish rivers—he saw people staggering about in a condition which they never saw in the United Kingdom; which even when judged by the lowest standards were wholly unpardonable in the early morning, unless, indeed, the morning was to be regarded as a mere Bacchanalian prolongation of the night. He did not know whether hon. Gentlemen who advocated the Gothenburg system had seen it in the working. He had seen a 1470 little of it, and that was enough for him. An hon. Member had said that he had seen any amount of drunkenness in the coast towns of Glamorganshire; but that was no practical standard of the condition of the Welsh people generally. He remembered the hon. Member for Water-ford once held that the condition of the Cardiff and Newport folk was a proof of the drunkenness of the Welsh people. If the hon. Member for Walton Division, who seemed to take the same line, had visited these ports he would have seen that the number of convictions for drunkenness was no proof of, and did not support his contention, because the persons convicted of drunkenness were, for the most part, seafaring men from foreign places, or residents who had recently settled on the coast. He regarded any proposal for excluding Monmouthshire from the clause as an absolute outrage.
§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)
said that the hon. Member who had last spoken said that Wales had no intention, and had always shown that it had no intention, of giving up anything that was her own. He would go further and say that the motto of Wales was: "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine also." The Welsh representatives evidently desired to have the compensation intended for England, and also to attach Monmouthshire to Wales. He would not take exception to the statement that Monmouthshire once formed part of Wales, but he would like some Member to rise and give a date and prove that it was a county of the Principality. At all events, the matter had been frequently discussed in the House, and no proof of the fact was ever given, so far as he was aware. As everybody knew at the time the matter was settled in Henry VIII.'s reign, there were five marches between Wales and England, and Wales got the line drawn so that she attached four and 1471 England only received a miserable one. But those were never counties, and he defied any hon. Member to prove that they ever did form counties of England or Wales before. If they referred to the statute it was pretty clear that Monmouthshire was included among the counties of England and the other counties were added to the Principality. So far as historical truth was concerned, there was no truth whatever in the statement that Monmouthshire formed part of Wales. As to the guide of language, he was not sure about the last census, but the census before that showed that in one place the number of the population who declared that they were monoglot Welshmen was four, while the number of monoglot Englishmen was seventy-nine, and it was not quite clear whether Monmouthshire spoke Welsh or English. As to precedents one was a temperance measure and the other was not. The temperance measure expressly excluded Monmouthshire, and was confined to the counties of the Principality. When, therefore, they were dealing with a temperance measure which was the matured opnion of the Liberal Government in 1881, and he assumed they were right in forming their judgment—perhaps more right than they were now—it was treated as English. Except perhaps for the majorities on this question, he could not see why they should sever the Principality of Wales from the rest of England in this manner any more than any other localities. There were majorities in favour of dealing more drastically with the temperance question in other parts of England, but the Government was not likely to yield to them. He did not think they should carry out what was an unfortunate precedent on the part of the Conservative Government in the Education Act. He, therefore, should vote against the proposal.
§ SIR S. EVANS
was understood to say that it was part and parcel 1472 of the Government plan to include Monmouthshire with the rest of Wales, to which it was attached and to which it properly belonged. The hon. Member who had just sat down had referred to the Act of Henry VIII., but undoubtedly under that Act Monmouthshire was not a county at all. As a matter of fact at that time, and up to that time, the area now covered by the County of Monmouth consisted of several marches, and the marches were not five along the West parts of Wales, as the hon. Member had said, but 150.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said there were 150, and 24 of these marches were taken to form the County of Monmouthshire. That was done under the Act of Union between England and Wales. It was a significant fact that Monmouthshire should be constituted English under the Act of Parliament which provided for the Union. For sometime previous Monmouthshire had not any representative in Parliament. Until the time of Henry VIII. they never sent one and it was intended amongst other things under that Act that certain representatives should be allotted to various counties in the Principality, and Monmouthshire was treated just as the other counties. The tendency of recent years had invariably been to connect Monmouth with Wales for all purposes, and the people in Monmouthshire regarded themselves as part and parcel of the Principality. He would not refer again to the precedents, but it was a curious thing that in an Act of Parliament which had been referred to Monmouthshire came right in the middle of the shires. However that might be, the tendency of modern legislation had been to connect Monmouthshire with Wales, and it was intended so to 1473 include Monmouthshire in the licensing law. It was intended to include that county in the Disestablishment measure which was produced in this House thirteen or fourteen years ago, because the whole of Monmonthshire was in the diocese of Llandaff. Therefore, for episcopal, ethnographical, geographical, historical, eductional, and political reasons Monmouth should be included with Wales.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he had listened with the greatest interest to the last defence of the Ministry of what they were asked to believe was temperance reform. They had had abundant time to say that local veto or prohibition was the best of all forms of temperance legislation, or that even it was a temperance reform at all. The Government had been well-advised to abandon that defence because when they were discussing this question the day before yesterday he thought, with the single exception of the hon. Member for Appleby, not one of their supporters was prepared to say that it was that kind of temperance reform that he advocated. The defence put forward for this so-called temperance reform was concentrated by the Solicitor-General into a historical disquisition which an hon. friend assured him did not come up to the standard of historical accuracy of which the hon. and learned Gentleman was a recognised custodian. They had been assisting, in a debate on temperance reform, to enact within the small arena of our domestic frontier a parallel to the great drama which had recently been enacted in the Far East. They were engaged, or at least the Government were engaged, in a rectification of frontier. They were not discussing temperance reform, but what in the language of diplomacy was called "the peaceful penetration of England." But why should this so-called temperance Bill be made the means of annexing to Wales part of England? If there was to be this infraction of territory, at least let it be done deliberately and with some 1474 regard to treaties in the past. He did not think it would do to make a debate in favour of temperance reform the occasion for altering the map of Great Britain. If hon. Members who supported the Government believed that local veto was a temperance reform, and the best kind of temperance reform, then he could understand their position; but nobody had ever said or attempted to show that it was a great blessing, and casting aside all this historical, political, and romantic disquisition upon the patriotism of Wales let them preserve this bit of England, which was a piece of England de jure, from being brought under what they believed to be not a blessing but a curse.
§ *MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)
said that as representing a border constituency he felt a little anxious about any question of the line of the boundaries between England and Wales. Although he had never observed that the Government had shown any intention to extend it to the county in which he lived, he felt that a very bad precedent would be created if he were to vote for including in Wales any county bordering the Principality. He was not interested in the historical or ethnological argument of the Solicitor-General. The speech the Committee ought to turn to was that of the hon. and gallant Member for Monmouth, which, the hon. Gentleman said, represented the feeling of the country. He had introduced a new mandate and told the Committee that he won his seat on local option in Monmouth.
§ SIR IVOR HERBERT
said, not local option. His point was that what made his seat quite safe was the adoption of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the then head of the Government, of the views of the trade on the licensing question.
§ *MR. BRIDGEMAN
expressed the hope that on the next occasion the hon. 1475 Gentleman would be able and would be careful to attribute the result of the election to the same cause. His speech was quite unlike that of any Welsh Member supporting this principle. They supported the principle on the ground that Wales was in favour of and entitled to exceptional treatment, because of the saintliness of the Welsh people; but the hon. and gallant Gentleman advocated that it should be extended to Monmouthshire on the ground that Monmouthshire was a bad county and had a great many public-houses. It was not on the ground that Monmouth was a good place and had so reduced the number of licences that they must have local option extended to them in order to effect further reductions, but that Monmouth was so bad that it would be good to include it in the Welsh scheme. Such, an argument as that would apply equally well to Scotland and Ireland. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would include thorn with Monmouth and advocate this principle for the whole country.
§ *MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)
thought that the speeches to which the Committee had listened from hon. Gentlemen opposite were very fair representations of the swallowing capacity of Wales. They had heard a great deal of her swallowing power. She was now
§ apparently bent on swallowing a small sprat in Monmouth, and would go on swallowing until she had swallowed England, Scotland, and Ireland. That was but a commencement. One step followed another: a hot Catholic drew out a strong Orangeman—the vigour of one drew out the vigour of the other. Fanatics begat fanatics. Welshmen, they knew, drank strong waters, and he admitted that Scotsmen drank far too much; but because Scotsmen drank too much, were they to force Englishmen to drink nothing? He had read and he had heard the words preached from the pulpit, that we should be temperate in all things, but he had never read that there should be total abstinence from all things, whether wine, women, or song. Where would the coming generations be if we were to abstain totally from these humanities? This proposal was an attempt on the part of Wales to spread the system of total abstinence, and he protested against it. England would become prohibitionist, Scotland would become prohibitionist, and poor Ireland, considerably dependent for her prosperity on her poteen and her Guinness, would have to become a total abstainer.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 272; Noes, 103. (Division List No. 287.)1479
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Barran, Rowland Hirst||Bright, J. A.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.||Brodie, H. C.|
|Agnew, George William||Beale, W. P.||Brooke, Stopford|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Beauchamp, E.||Bryce, J. Annan|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bellairs, Carlyon||Burnyeat, W. J. D.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Berridge, T. H. D.||Byles, William Pollard|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Cameron, Robert|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Black, Arthur W.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Boulton, A. C. F.||Cawloy, Sir Frederick|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Bowerman, C. W.||Chance, Frederick William|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bramsdon, T. A.||Channing, Sir Francis Allston|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Branch, James||Cheetham, John Frederick|
|Barnes, G. N.||Brigg, John||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Priestloy, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Clough, William||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Radford, G. H.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rees, J. D.|
|Corbett, CH(Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Jowett, F. W.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Kekewich, Sir George||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Kelley, George D.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Crossley, William J.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Laidlaw, Robert||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester||Robinson, S.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lambert, George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lamont, Norman||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol,S.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Rose, Charles Day|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Rowlands, J.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Lewis, John Herbert||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Erskine, David C.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Essex, R. W.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lynch, H. B.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Sears, J. E.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Ferens, T. R.||Maclean, Donald||Seddon, J.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||M'Callum, John M.||Seely, Colonel|
|Findlay, Alexander||M'Crae, Sir George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Micking, Major G.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.||Maddison, Frederick||Snowden, P.|
|Glover, Thomas||Markham, Arthur Basil||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Marnham, F. J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Massie, J.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Gulland, John W.||Micklem, Nathaniel||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Middlebrook, William||Summerbell, T.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hall, Frederick||Mond, A.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Montgomery, H. G.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrell, Philip||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Morse, L. L.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.||Tomkinson, James|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Toulmin, George|
|Harwood, George||Myer, Horatio||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Napier, T. B.||Verney, F. W.|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nicholls, George||Vivian, Henry|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Walters, John Tudor|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Walton, Joseph|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Nuttall, Harry||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Henry, Charles S.||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Grady, J.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Partington, Oswald||Wedgwood, Josiah A.|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Paulton, James Mellor||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Hodge, John||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Hooper, A. G.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wiles, Thomas|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pirie, Duncan V.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hudson, Walter||Pollard, Dr.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Williamson, A.|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Jackson, R. S.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.|
|Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Gardner, Ernest||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Rasch, Sir Frederc Carne|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Gretton, John||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Balcarres, Lord||Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston)||Renton, Leslie|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Renwick, George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Haddock, George B.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hamilton, Marquess of||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hills, J. W.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stanier, Beville|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Kerry, Earl of||Starkey, John R.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Keswick, William||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Cave, George||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Straus, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Walrond, Hon. Colonel|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Warde, Col, C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Craik, Sir Henry||M'Arthur, Charles||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Winterton, Earl|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Mildmay, Francis Bingham)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark Govan||Morpeth, Viscount||Young, Samuel|
|Faber, Capt, W. V. (Hants, W.)||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Younger, George|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Fell, Arthur||Nield, Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Lane-Fox and Mr. George D. Faber.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Forster, Henry William||Percy, Earl|
§ 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 on the Amendments proposed by the Government of which Notice had been given.
In page 5, line 30, to leave out the word 'section,' and to insert the word 'Act.'"—(Sir Samuel Evans.)
In page 5, line 31, after the word 'shall,' to insert the words 'within such time as the
§ Licensing Commission may fix.'"—(Sir Samuel Evans.)
§ The CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded at this day's sitting.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 272; Noes, 104. (Division List No. 288.)1483
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Atherley-Jones, L.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)|
|Agnew, George William||Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Astbury, John Meir||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Gulland, John W.||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Middlebrook, William|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Beale, W. P.||Hall, Frederick||Mond, A.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Belloc Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose||Montgomery, H. G.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrell, Philip|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Morse, L. L.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hart Davies, T.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Rom'rd||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Myer, Horatio|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Haworth, Arthur A.||Napier, T. B.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Nicholls, George|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hedges, A. Paget||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Branch, James||Helme, Norval Watson||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Brigg, John||Hemmerde, Edward George||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Bright, J. A.||Henry, Charles S.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Brodie, H. C.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||O'Grady, J.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Higham, John Sharp||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Hobart, Sir Robert||Partington, Oswald|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hodge, John||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Byles, William Pollard||Holt, Richard Durning||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hooper, A. G.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Horniman, Emslie John||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Chance, Frederick William||Hotridge, Thomas Gardner||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hudson, Walter||Pollard, Dr.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hyde Clarendon||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Idris, T. H. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Clough, William||Jackson, R. S.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Radford, G. H.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex E. Grimst'd||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rees, J. D.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Jowett, F. W.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Craig Herbert J. (Tynemonth)||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Richards, F. T. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Crossley, William J.||Kekewich, Sir George||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Kelley, George D.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Dalziel James Henry||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Laidlaw, Robert||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Robinson, S.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Lambert, George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lamont, Norman||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Rose, Charles Day|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Rowlands, J.|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Erskine, David C.||Lloyd George, Rt. Hon. David||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Essex, R. W.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleland)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lyell Charles Henry||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lynch, H. B.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Ferens, T. R.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Sears, J. E.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Findlay, Alexander||Maclean, Donald||Seddon, J.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||M'Callum, John M.||Seely, Colonel|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Crae, Sir George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.||M'Micking, Major G.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Glover, Thomas||Maddison, Frederick||Snowden, P.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Markham, Arthur Basil||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Gooch George Peabody (Bath)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Marnham, F. J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Grednwood, Hamar (York)||Massie, J.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.|
|Steadman, W. C.||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Walters, John Tudor||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull. W.)|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Walton, Joseph||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Stuart, James (Suderland)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Summerbell, T.||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Waterlow, D. S.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whitley, John Henry Halifax)|
|Tomkinson, James||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thos. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.|
|Toulmin, George||Wiles, Thomas|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Verney, F. W.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Vivian, Henry||Williamson, A.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Forster, Henry William||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Gardner, Ernest||Percy, Earl|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Ratcliffe, Major R. F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.||Renton, Leslie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Haddock, George B.||Renwick, George|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Hamilton, Marquess of||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hills, J. W.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kerry, Earl of||Stanier, Beville|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cave, George||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm'g'am)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles||Winterton, Earl|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Young, Samuel|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.||Morpeth, Viscount||Younger, George|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Fell, Arthur||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Nield, Herbert|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesand)|
Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again,"—(Mr. Asquith)—put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.1484
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 31st July, adjourned the House without Question put.
§ Adjourned at sixteen minutes before Eleven o'clock.