HC Deb 30 October 1908 vol 195 cc638-720

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 18:

*MR. GIBBS (Bristol, W.)

moved to leave out subsection (1). He said the Government proposed by this clause to make alterations in the licensing law as it stood at present under the Act of 1874. Public-houses on Sunday were open for two hours in the middle of the day, and four hours in the evening, and it was now proposed to reduce the hours to one in the middle of the day, and two in the evening. He could not see why the Government should reduce the hours which had been settled upon as necessary for the convenience of those who went to licensed houses. Two hours in the middle of the day, and four hours in the evening were not too long, especially when one considered that in many parts of the country the men who visited public-houses had to go great distances. It was proposed to reduce the number of public-houses in the country in accordance with the scale at the end of the Bill, and that would mean that in future more people would go to any one public-house than at present. If two hours was not too long a, period now, surely it would not be too long in future. He was sure that no one wished to see great crowding at public-houses both inside and outside. On hot days in the middle of summer, if this clause passed as the Government proposed, in all probability there would be great crowds of people inside public-houses, while others would be waiting in the street outside. In this case the Government were legislating, or wished to legislate, not for those who had cellars of their own, but for those who went habitually to the public-house which to them was the only means by which they could obtain refreshment. He considered, therefore, that it was most necessary to maintain the hours at present existing. Besides those who habitually went to the public-homes in the evening to obtain their beer, or whatever they wanted, there were those who in the summer months on going out for a walk in the evening, went to the public-house for refreshment either on the way out or on the way home. He supposed that they were a great majority of the people of the country. The effect of reducing the number of public-houses would be to drive all those people in the same direction at the same time, and there would be the same undesirable jostling crowds as at the middle of the day. Was it the intention of the Government to reduce the amount of alcoholic drink consumed? It seemed to him that by this very clause they would be increasing it. The subsection provided that the justices of the district were to fix the hour for opening at any hour between noon and 3 p.m. The hour when houses were open not being the same all round, it seemed to him if a man wanted alcohol he would only have to go to District A at twelve o'clock, to District B at one o'clock, and to District C just before three o'clock; he would then be drinking for the whole of the three hours, whereas at present he probably stopped in the same public-house, and when the licensed victualler thought that he had had enough he stopped serving him. In this way the Government would be defeating their own object. He did not know whether this clause was meant to apply to hotels and other places where licences were held. If it was, it seemed to him that it would cause very great discontent. People who arrived at a hotel late for a meal would by the terms of this clause only be allowed to have a meal without alcoholic liquor of any kind. In summer great crowds habitually resorted to seaside towns, and they, as well as the crowds on the great highways of the country would be deprived of the opportunity of obtaining any alcoholic liquor at hotels if they went to them outside of certain fixed hours. It seemed to him that if they passed this clause they would largely increase an undesirable type of drinking club. He was as strong as anyone in his support of bona fide clubs, but he thought it was most undesirable to increase those clubs which were started merely to take the place of public-houses which were closed. Let them take the case of Wales. In Wales the effect of Sunday closing was to increase the number of undesirable drinking clubs. [Several WELSH MEMBERS: No.] Hon. Members from Wales said "No." He had in his hand the report of the proceedings of a deputation to the Prime Minister in May last. It had appeared in the Alliance News, and in the course of the proceedings it was stated that there were in the administrative county of Glamorgan, exclusive of Cardiff and Swansea, 26,000 members of clubs, that the great majority of them only attended the clubs on Sundays, and that it had been stated during police Court proceedings that more money was taken in five hours on Sunday than over the whole of the remainder of the week.

SIR HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

There are fewer clubs in Wales in proportion to the population than in England.


said that the hon. Baronet would not deny that the clubs were on the increase since Sunday closing was introduced. He did not believe that Sunday observance would be made better by the passing of the Bill. In fact they would find that Sunday would be kept less well if the clause was passed, and so in the interests of decency and order he moved the omission of the subsection.

Amendment proposed— In page 11, line 27, to leave out subsection (1).—(Mr. Gibbs.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out down to the word 'shall' in line 28 stand part of the clause."


said that this was a clause to which the Government attached very great importance. He thought that it represented in an outstanding shape a reform which practically all persons interested in the spread of temperance had been advocating for years. The condition of things affecting the opening of public-houses in Great Britain on Sunday was very anomalous. In Scotland for fifty years there had been absolute Sunday closing; and he could say with some assurance, having represented a Scottish constituency for twenty-two years, that he had never heard in his own constituency or in any other part of Scotland any complaint of that law or any agitation in any responsible quarter to secure its repeal or its modification. He knew very well that the Scots, so far as they consumed alcohol, were a whiskey-drinking people, and though the English alternated between whisky and beer the preponderance of taste was in favour of beer. It was much more difficult, of course, to deal with complete Sunday closing in the case of a beer-consuming population than in the case of a whisky-consuming people, who could get their bottles filled and spend Sunday quietly away from the public-house. That was a point which should be carefully borne in mind. In Wales Sunday closing had been in force for a considerable number of years, and despite the criticisms that had been made he did not think there was in Wales any responsible body who desired to revert to the state of things which existed before the passing of the Act. In regard to Wales the difference between the social tastes and habits did not so much arise as in England and Scotland, and he believed that the Welsh consumed beer more than spirits very much as the English did in so far as they consumed alcohol at all. The fact remained that the two object-lessons supplied by Scotland and Wales showed that Sunday closing had been attended with highly successful results which had not been found obnoxious to the sense of freedom by the people there. He was reminded by an hon. friend that there had been a similar experiment in Ireland attended with equally satisfactory results. There had been recommendations and attempts made from time to time to secure total prohibition in England. When the Government came to consider the matter they thought, after a careful survey of all the material in their hands, that absolute Sunday closing in England would be to go in advance of public opinion, and in excess of the prudent necessities of the case. They had therefore submitted this modified proposal, which many of his friends of the temperance party thought much too moderate, because they would prefer at the outset to have a general law in favour of prohibition with provisions for local variations either by popular vote or through the action of the magistrates in the exercise of their discretion. But the Government had not gone so far as that; they were very anxious in these matters to proceed definitely and successfully and not in advance of the degree of public opinion that would secure support for the reform. Was there anyone who would contend that it was necessary for the reasonable accommodation of the public, especially the poorer classes, that the public-houses should be open on Sunday for so many hours as they were at present?

EARL WINTERTON (Sussex, Horsham)



said the noble Lord thought so, but he did not think he would find any large body of opinion to support him in that. The Government thought they were making very reasonable and generous provision for the real necessities and wants of the people when they gave one hour for the mid-day beer and a couple of hours for the necessities of the evening. But, speaking for the Government as well as for himself, he said that he was not wedded to this precise division of time. He noticed that there were a number of Amendments on the Paper which suggested that there might be localities and districts where it might be more generally convenient that the time, not exceeding three hours, which was the maximum proposed to be allowed, should be taken either continuously or at different hours of the day from those actually proposed. He would be quite prepared to listen to suggestions of that kind as long as they did not affect the proposal that the total time should not be more than three hours. Some local elasticity should be allowed, but beyond the three hours the Government did not think that they ought to go. Let him add, though it was rather anticipating Amendments which were on the Paper—perhaps it would be convenient to deal with them in a general way at the outset—he did not think also that there was any occasion for alarm or apprehension that these provisions would operate harshly on hotels, restaurants, and refreshment rooms, or upon the supply of food and non-intoxicating liquor. As he understood the law on the subject—which they did not propose to change in any way—they were simply limiting the hours fixed by the Act of 1874 and dividing them by one-half. In all other respects the law remained as at present. Whatever privileges hotels and refreshment-rooms enjoyed now they would enjoy subject to this limitation. The law, as he understood it, was plain. When they said that places where liquor was sold by retail were to be closed, they meant closed for that purpose and no other. It was lawful to keep the premises open for the accommodation of wants, such as a cup of tea or milk; they were closed merely for the purpose of supplying drink.

MR. RAWLINSON (Cambridge University)

In practice if the right hon. Gentleman tries to get into a licensed hotel during these hours, unless he is recognised he will have considerable difficulty.


said he thought his hon. and learned friend would agree with him that that was generally understood to be the law. An offence was not committed either by the licence-holder or the person visiting the premises unless one supplied and the other asked for intoxicating liquor. The law would remain as it was. The whole scope of this proposed change was to reduce the six hours to three, the length of time when intoxicating liquor was supplied to the public, to a person not an inmate of the house, and not a bona fide traveller.

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

said that the Committee had reached a wholly different series of proposals from those they had been lately engaged in discussing, and which were really intended by the Government and their supporters to have social reform as their aim without inflicting, or intending to inflict, any injury on any portion of the community. He approached this very difficult subject, not in a controversial spirit, but in a spirit of real and sincere anxiety to hear from those who had given special study from the social point of view exactly what the effects of this restriction were, or were likely to be. He might first observe that what the right hon. Gentleman had said with regard to the accommodation which would be given in public-houses and other licensed premises to the bona fide traveller ruled out an argument which had figured with much prominence in these discussions—the argument, namely, that the publican, his family, and servants, were deprived of the seventh day of rest unless they had complete closing of public-houses on Sunday. Of course, if they were going to open public-houses, as he thought they must do—he was not suggesting that there was not an alternative—the argument for the Sunday rest in favour of the licence-holder, his family, and servants, fell to the ground. He would at once make the admission that the right hon. Gentleman was right when he said that in Scotland a great value was attached to Sunday closing as it had existed in that country for more than fifty years. He understood the Welsh representatives—and he thought very likely the majority of the population—took the same view in Wales. He went further. He had a very clear recollection that at the time when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland and when a Committee of the House looked into the question of extending, or making permanent and obligatory, Sunday closing provisions to the five great cities of Ireland which had been excluded from the provisions of the ordinary law applicable to the rest of Ireland, the chairman of the Committee, the then Attorney-General for Ireland, now Chief Justice, told him that witnesses of all shades of political opinion and religious conviction were practically unanimous upon the desirability of bringing that extension about. These witnesses included Anglican clergymen, Roman Catholic priests, and Presbyterian ministers in the north of Ireland. Those were very important factors of feeling which the Committee could not afford to put on one side. And yet he could not help still having some doubts upon which he should like to hear those who had studied this question, not from the point of view of temperance controversy, and still less from the point of view of political controversy—but who had really tried to see how this provision affected the classes actually touched by it. After all, the majority of those in that House, if they wanted alcoholic refreshment on Sunday, did not require, unless they happened to be bona fide travellers, to visit these places of public convenience; but they now had to do with the largest body of the community who, from their peculiar circumstances, necessarily had different habits in that respect from their own. They had not the opportunity which the richer classes had of storing alcoholic beverages, and, if they did store them, he was afraid it was inevitable that it would be in the form, not of beer, but of spirits, and in the form, therefore, most destructive to health and most inimical to habits of sobriety. Now, on what were his doubts founded? In the first place, he thought a great deal of the feeling in regard to Sunday closing was religious in its character; largely, but not all of it. He thought that on the whole this country had greatly gained by the fact that Sunday was regarded in a somewhat different light from that in which it was observed even by the religious and Protestant classes on the Continent. Yet he was surely not wrong when he said they had no right to approach this question from the religious point of view. Their only right was to consider it from the social point of view, as it touched the habits and practices of the people, and from the point of view of those who desired to see those habits in regard to the consumption of alcoholic liquor, greatly improved. Eliminating the religious question and adhering strictly to the social side, was there real evidence that, on the whole, the good of such restrictions out-balanced the inevitable evil? He was no pedantic individualist. He quite agreed that there were points where individual liberty might be so injurious both to the individual and to the community to which he belonged that some interference might be not only allowable, but obligatory. But they should not extend that interference beyond the point necessary. But what was likely to be the result, as it seemed to him, of preventing large classes of the community from obtaining that moderate amount of alcohol which none but those with very extreme views upon morals and physiology would regard as injurious? What effect was it going to have? One effect he was most afraid of was that it would stimulate the substitution of spirits for beer. If he were asked what he thought was the greatest misfortune that had ever happened to England, Scotland, and Ireland taken together in connection with the consumption of alcohol, he would say that it was the cheap manufacture of spirits and the substitution in large portions of the country of spirits for beer as the alcoholic beverage of the people. Though none of them defended the legislation of 1830, which was intended to promote the consumption of beer and to discourage the consumption of spirits, everybody must agree that the object the Legislature then had in view was a good one. If they could in Scotland at the present moment make his countrymen go back to what was then their habitual beverage—namely, beer—he thought they would do much more for Scottish temperance than all the Sunday closing and restrictive legislation which the ingenuity of temperance reformers could suggest would be able to accomplish. Unhappily, it was very hard to alter the tastes and habits of a very large community, but he thought they must be very careful how they did anything to encourage them. There was another point germane to this aspect of the question, though not germane perhaps to the Amendment, to which he would like to-call the attention of the House. It was the subject of the very deepest alarm to everyone interested in the social life and condition of the Scottish people to see that even within the last few years drunkenness in the large towns had greatly increased. He had never yet heard a satisfactory explanation of that most deplorable anomaly. But he had been told, and he would like those who had had more opportunity than he had of investigating the facts to confirm or deny it, that the effect of the Act passed by the late Government, closing public-houses at ten o'clock instead of a later hour, had been to induce people to drink more alcohol in the last permitted moments than was consistent with their sobriety when they were driven out of the public-houses into the open air. He did not know whether that was the explanation of the increase of drunkenness, but if the theory were correct it was surely a striking illustration of the damage that might be done to the community by compelling or inducing people to take their alcohol in the form of spirits instead of in the form of beer. And were they sure that by this practice of preventing the poorer classes taking alcohol on Sundays except in the form of spirits, which they could store, instead of in the form of beer, which they could not, they were not promoting a change in custom which of all possible changes in the customs of a country would be most destructive to the moral and social life of the community in connection with alcoholic beverages? That was the first question he would ask. The point was that the poor man could not store beer, but he could store whisky. If they prevented him having his glass of beer in the public-house on Sunday, did they not compel him to store the whisky on Saturday or some preceding day? If that were so, was there not a danger, in the first place, that they would make him take spirits instead of beer to satisfy his desire for alcohol; and secondly, that they would introduce into the house the most disastrous of all evils, viz., the habit of drinking spirits, not as an accompaniment of social enjoyment, but merely to obtain that unhappy and destructive satisfaction which excess in alcohol unhappily gave.

MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM (Glamorganshire, Rhondda)

The public-houses sell whisky on Sunday as well as beer.


Yes, but he thought his hon. friend saw his point. It was perfectly true that if they did not have Sunday closing a man could call for whiskey as well as beer; but if they did close the houses on Sunday they did not give him the opportunity of having a glass of beer—did not give him the alternative of having a glass of beer to the carrying further of the more dangerous practice, the drinking of spirits. There was just one other point he would like to refer to, and it was really very relevant to the all-important question that they were discussing. Did the Committee think that, even if it were possible, it would be right or desirable to shut all public-houses on public holidays? He quite agreed, it he might say so, as to days of elections and so forth. But take a bank holiday, when the whole community, or, at least, the hardworking part of the community, went out for a day's enjoyment. He did not think anybody would suggest that, on such an occasion, it would be desirable even if it were possible, to prevent that reasonable and moderate consumption of alcohol which, through all ages and in all communities, had accompanied social intercourse and enjoyment. If that were so, and he thought it was, were they quite sure that they were on the right tack when they made it impossible for the poorer classes, on a Sunday afternoon, to have even the most moderate alcoholic accompaniment with their friends or relations? So far as his observation went, the habit of visiting among these classes on Sunday was greatly increasing. He thought that increase had its bad side, but it certainly had its good side. These visits kept up old ties and cemented those affections made, it might be, in the nursery, which the diverging streams of life were so apt to break among people moving in search of employment from place to place. Was it possible, and, if it were possible, was it right to say that that social intercourse should never have any alcoholic accompaniment, however moderate and reasonable, and however much in accordance with habits of perfect sobriety and in conformity with the practice of the better-to-do members of the community? He thought it was a rather strong order. He would like to be quite clearly convinced that it was necessary, and to ask again the question he had already asked: Were they not driving people on such occasions to use spirits when otherwise they might drink beer? And let them observe this in connection with this question of social intercourse on one day in the week, when the toil of the worker ceased. He did not think the Government meant to stop clubs. He was quite sure they would not stop clubs if they meant to. Clubs were open on Sundays for the very reason that it was the only day of leisure of the people who used them, and he was informed that it was a growing practice—a practice, possibly, accompanied with some vice, but also with a great deal of innocent pleasure—in London and elsewhere to have entertainment at these clubs at which the wives and the children could share the social pleasures which their mankind were enjoying. He was told that that was so.




said he did not speak with authority on the point, but evidence had been given to him to that effect. At present, the clubs were practically unrestricted. They were, therefore, a real index of the wishes of the people who formed and used clubs, and those who belonged to them were probably the best of the working men of the country. When they saw these clubs, by a natural process of development, having these innocent Sunday entertainments, with alcoholic refreshment, consumed, he should hope, in moderation, was it not rather a risk to say that, in regard to that portion of the community who had, from the nature of their circumstances, to go to public-houses, if they went anywhere at all for alcoholic refreshment, they and they alone among the working classes were not to have the advantage which all the working classes who belonged to clubs insisted on obtaining? He felt himself that the difficulties surrounding this problem of dealing with the alcoholic vice by restriction were so enormous that he need hardly apologise to the Committee for having so long detained them. The conscience of the community was, of course, intimately concerned with this subject, and they had the clergy of every denomination, who found, unhappily, that the weapon proper to their profession, that of preaching, was inefficacious, appealing, naturally but, perhaps, not always wisely, to the secular arm. It had been the practice of clergy in all ages. He did not say that with a sneer. It was natural, and it was almost inevitable, but he really was not sure whether it was right. The only really satisfactory way of dealing with the problem, he thought they would all admit, was to change the tastes and habits and ideas of the community. Were they going in the right direction, and were they aiming at the right ideas? When—and here again, the question of clubs came in—he saw the very best of the working classes, permitted by law, organising themselves as they pleased, and providing for themselves and their wives and their families the entertainments and amusements they pleased, on the only day on which a hard life of toil permitted them any great measure of freedom in this respect, he asked himself whether, in the first place, these members of the working class were doing any wrong, and, in the second place, if they were not doing wrong, and if they could be trusted, like the German working man or the French working man, to enjoy a moderate indulgence in alcoholic beverages, with their wives and families, in places of innocent entertainment, whether they might not have been wrong, in the beginning, in trying to make the public-house an intolerable place to anybody who did not merely wish to satisfy his appetite there, and whether the restrictive arrangements suggested by the Government, with the very best intentions, in this clause were or were not in the right direction. Upon that great problem he did not dogmatise. He had thought much about it, but he honestly admitted that he had not the opportunity—perhaps no man who did not actually belong to the class himself had the opportunity—of really gauging, not what the working man representatives preached but what the actual working man, the decent, sober, honest working man, in this country desired, and what was good for him. He thought the question was one of enormous complexity, and he had intervened so early in the debate, with a speech which, he thought, the Committee would admit was not controversial, because he knew there were many Members who really had endeavoured to study this question from the beginning, and he would be most grateful to them if they would give them the result of their ripe experience before the close of this debate.

*SIR THOMAS WHITTAKER (Yorkshire, W.R., Spen Valley)

said if it would not be presumptuous for him to do so, he wished to thank the right hon. Gentleman for the spirit and manner in which he had discussed this matter. He was sure it would lead, to a useful discussion, and the right hon. Gentleman would be the first to recognise that he had raised some very important points and far-reaching issues. The right hon. Gentleman had expressed doubts as to whether restriction generally ever had been beneficial. He thought, however, they would all admit that the restrictions which had during the last sixty or seventy years been gradually brought into operation had been beneficial. If they went back sixty or seventy years the public-houses of this country were practically open all night. Then they were closed for just one hour, and gradually the closing had been extended. On Sundays they used to be open the whole of the day, except during the divine services in the church in the morning and afternoon, but gradually restriction was introduced, and he thought everybody would admit that that restriction at any rate had been beneficial. They had no proposal from any quarter of the House to go back upon those restrictions, they had no suggestion that they should have longer hours than they had now, and he submitted that was pretty strong evidence that the country as a whole agreed that the restrictions which had been put upon the sale of drink had been beneficial. He thought they might fairly ask themselves if they had reached the limit at which they could produce beneficial results. Reference had been made to the Continent, but he thought they were very apt to be misled about the condition of things on the Continent. All the great Continental nations were rousing up and awakening to the evils of intemperance in their midst. Germany, France and other nations were moving. Temperance organisations, formed not by teetotallers, but by people who wished to reduce drinking and the drink evil, were very active and vigorous in France, Germany, and other countries, and a change was coming over the spirit of the people. He thought that those who went across to Germany and said they did not see drunken people were under a misapprehension as to the state of things there. Visitors might walk about London, and how many drunken men would they see? They might not see any drunkenness, and say that the drink evil was much exaggerated in this country. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the undoubted very large increase of arrests for drunkenness in the large towns of Scotland since the passing of the Act for which the right hon. Gentleman and his Government were responsible, which gave to the large towns the power to close at ten o'clock at night. He would point out that all the small towns had had the same power long before the Act. It was an optional power, and it was used by every town in Scotland that had the power to use it. The point came up before the authorities every year, whether they would continue the earlier closing for another year, and every town that had that power had used it. That was very strong evidence, it seemed to him. Then the power was given to the large towns of Scotland, and every large town in that country, the moment it got the power, used it, and each succeeding year had continued to use it. He suggested that that was pretty good evidence, at any rate, that in the opinion of people on the spot who knew and would suffer, early closing did not cause any evil or inconvenience. They would not every year have continued these early closing-powers if they did not themselves know that they were beneficial. The number of arrests for drunkenness was not by any means a test of the amount of intemperance, because the number depended upon the character of the people, on their occupation, on the condition of trade, and above all upon the activity of the justices and police. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham had once said that in Birmingham one turn of the screw would increase the arrests for drunkenness several-fold. It was a curious fact that the number of arrests increased as public, opinion became alive to the evil, not because there was more of it, but because public opinion was aroused. The authorities of Glasgow found it difficult to say what was the cause of the increasing number of arrests for intemperance there. They did not say the early closing was the cause, but they did think that the increased activity of the police was one cause. If they closed public-houses at ten instead of eleven o'clock the men who turned out in a state more or less of intoxication came out at a time when there were more people about than there were at eleven o'clock, and would be much more likely to be arrested in a thoroughfare which was crowded than they would be if turned out later when fewer people were about. There was another fact. In Glasgow, there had been a great development in the tramway system, which not only took people out, but brought in a great number of people from the outlying districts, especially on Saturdays. One very important fact was that one-third of the total arrests of the week in Glasgow took place on the Saturday, and they were very largely due to the influx of people from outlying districts. A more important matter, however, was to be found in the fact that a policeman was not always anxious to arrest a drunken man if it involved his attendance at the police Court the next morning, when he ought to be off duty and taking his rest. Consequently a night policeman was disposed to allow a drunken man to pass along, if able to do so, to the next beat. But what had happened? Recently in Glasgow the authorities had made a regulation which provided that when a man was arrested for drunkenness and brought before the magistrates the next morning, if he pleaded guilty the attendance of the policeman was dispensed with, but if he pleaded not guilty he was remanded for twenty-four hours, when the policeman would be in attendance to give evidence. The result of that regulation was that nine out of ten persons arrested pleaded guilty, and that had added to the activity of the police, who were more ready to arrest drunkards than before the regulation was made. No one attributed increased drunkenness to early closing.

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

Will the hon. Member say whether, when a man pleads "not guilty" and is remanded for twenty-four hours, he is remanded in custody?


said that did not affect his point, which related to the attendance of the policeman. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had expressed the fear that this restriction would lead to increased drinking of spirits. He could not help thinking that the brewing trade of this country, business men as they were, could be trusted to meet the demand for beer and had proceeded in that direction by means of the bottle and jar branches of their trading. There had been an enormous development in that branch, and he believed the brewers would meet it. His conviction was that in Ireland there had been a growth in the consumption of beer as compared with spirits since the Sunday Closing Act had been enforced, and that Sunday closing there had not led to an increased consumption of spirits. Our experience further led him to believe that facilities for obtaining beer also led to the consumption of spirits. The Act of 1830 not only increased the consumption of beer enormously but also of spirits. The difference between the consumption of beer and of spirits was largely a matter of climate. The Scottish people, for instance, did not readily take to beer. It was in the colder countries and in the damper weather that spirits were more greatly consumed, and in this country the consumption of spirits varied according to the time of the year and the weather. He could not view with the right hon. Gentleman's complacency the growth of the Sunday opening of clubs, with their entertainments and facilities for the supply of alcoholic liquor. That development was very undesirable, and it would be going the wrong way to work if they accepted that as a reason for leaving open the public-houses. In the large towns many clubs were a combination of the music-hall and public-house, and had two entertainments on a Sunday. He could not regard that as satisfactory. With regard to Sunday closing, he was reminded in passing that in Norway there was not only total closing on Sundays and public holidays, but in most places the public-houses were closed at 5 p.m. on the days preceding those mentioned. There was none of this increased consumption of spirits which the right hon. Gentleman feared. All the views just advanced by the right hon. Gentleman had always been put forward when Sunday closing legislation for any part of the United Kingdom was discussed. When the Sunday Closing Bills for Scotland, for Ireland, and for Wales were brought in they were assured in each case that evils and dangers would be the result of their efforts; that there would be more drunkenness, people would be inconvenienced, and the whole thing would be a failure. But in each case a Committee or Commission had been appointed to inquire and report—and whether in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales, the Report had been in favour of closing, and that the allegations as to failure and evil results were quite unfounded, and that the Act had been a great success. They were often told that Sunday was a very drunken day in Glasgow, but he had figures which showed that the number of arrests for Sunday drunkenness was infinitely smaller than the number on other days. Taking the Saturday, from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, the number of arrests for that cause was 8,870, whereas from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday it was only 437 and from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday the number went up to 2,622. Those figures spoke for themselves, and showed that these were far higher on Saturday than on any other day, because the men then had got their money—besides which, large numbers of people were in from the surrounding districts. Saturday was the great drinking day. It was a great boon to the people of Glasgow that there was Sunday intervening because they could get to work in something like condition on Monday. Employers of labour knew the difficulty of getting their men to work on Monday morning where there was not Sunday closing. These figures showed that Sunday closing did promote temperance. Coming to Ireland, and taking a period of two and a half years before the Sunday Closing Act was put in force, he found there were during that period 11,887 arrests for Sunday drunkenness, whilst during the two and a half years after the passing of the Act the number was only 4,269. In the five great cities of Ireland the Sunday Closing Act did not operate, but taking the country as a whole, the arrests after the Act was enforced were one-third of the number previous to its adoption. There was a very useful comparison to be found in the case of Cardiff and Newport, two large Welsh towns near each other, and with a population somewhat similar in character, but one of which was in the Sunday closing area and the other outside it. He found that in Cardiff the arrests on Sunday were only three per 100,000 population, whilst in Newport the arrests were fifty-six per 100,000.

MR. JESSE COLLINGS (Birmingham, Bordesley)

They were all Cardiff people, perhaps.


(dissented) He said the right hon. Gentleman was thinking of the border in line Monmouthshire. Newport was several miles from Cardiff, and the people would not go all that distance for this purpose. After the adoption of the Sunday Closing Act the consumption of spirits in Scotland-fell away very considerably indeed, and with regard to Ireland, where the Act was put in force in 1878, the consumption of spirits fell from 19,000,000 gallons during the three years previously to 15,600,000 gallons during the succeeding three years—a difference of 3,400,000 The fear of the right hon. Gentleman that Sunday closing would promote the drinking of spirits was not indicated by the figures he had cited. He wished the Government could see their way to enact total Sunday closing, and then give authorities the power to allow such exemptions as they might think necessary in their own localities. He could not conceive that because a plausible case was made out here and there for a house remaining open that was a justification for allowing all public-houses to remain open everywhere. A point had been made as to the inconvenience that would, be caused by the Act, but they ought not to think as much of the convenience of those people who wanted a glass of beer on Sundays as of those residents in outlying districts which were turned into a pandemonium for several hours on the Sunday by the numbers of those who came out there to get a glass of beer. The question should be regarded all round. Then as to the cup of tea question. Tea and other refreshments of that character could be obtained at public-houses during the hours they were closed without breaking the law. He had found no difficulty in obtaining a cup of tea in public-houses during closed hours.


Does that cup of tea refer to people within the three miles radius?

MR. RAWLINSON (Cambridge University)

invited the right hon. Gentleman to read the subsection— Premises in which intoxicating liquors are sold by retail shall be closed during the whole of Sunday, except for one hour between noon and 3 p.m., and for two hours between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.


Yes, for the sale of intoxicating liquor. [" No, no"; and an HON. MEMBER: It does not say so.]


The section has never been construed in any other sense than that premises are to be closed for this particular purpose.


said the practical test of the value of earlier or total closing was the practical experience of those parts of the United Kingdom which had had Sunday Closing and Early Closing Acts in force. No Member of the. House representing constituencies in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales had at any time suggested either the repeal or the weakening of those Acts, nor had any representative authority in any of those countries passed a resolution asking the House to modify or repeal those Acts. The real test was the knowledge and experience of those who had lived under those Acts for thirty to fifty years. That experience and knowledge were practically unanimous so far as those countries were concerned as regards Sunday closing.


did not think the right hon. Member who had just delivered a most interesting speech had dealt with the question before the Committee as to how far the suggestions proposed in the clause would go to restrict drunkenness. The right hon. Gentleman and others had approached this question from the point of view of Sunday closing, and had instanced the effect of total Sunday closing in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. What they had to deal with was not so much the advantage or disadvantage of Sunday closing as a whole, but the actual proposal to reduce the hours of opening from six to three. The point was, would those reduced hours have the effect claimed for them, and restrict drunken ness. He personally failed to see that the proposal would, have that effect. No one could deny that the moderate or temperate drinker would be inconvenienced by the clause—that the man who was perfectly temperate, and who desired to obtain moderate and reasonable refreshment, would have less opportunity of obtaining it than before. Was it the intention of the Government to make it harder for the moderate drinker to obtain his drink on Sunday? He believed the Government were not in favour of the moderate drinker being inconvenienced, and he failed to see that the subsection would be of any practical benefit in reducing intemperance. The immoderate drinker, who would resort to the public-house on Sunday, would have as much opportunity of getting drunk in three hours as in six. No doubt another argument would be used in favour of this restriction that it was in the interest of the publican and his servants that this restriction should be put in force. That argument had been greatly used in the country. Hon. Members opposite were ready enough to deprive the publican of his living, and to put every possible slur on his character, and had done all they could to restrict his selling on Sundays, but like the Member for Appleby they had not much regard to the hours of rest—

*MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)

I myself and those who think with me do not cast slurs on the publicans. What we say is that it is so dangerous a trade that not even men of the best character can carry it on without great evil resulting.


understood the hon. Gentleman to say that it was a degrading trade, and that the evil was due to the publican and the brewer. He did not think the exceptional regard shown by hon. Gentlemen opposite for the liberty of publicans should be taken as a deep conviction. The Prime Minister had spoken of the facilities that could be obtained in these houses, even during the hours when they were closed, for non-alcoholic refreshment and food. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman on that point. He thought the law of the Prime Minister and of himself was better than that of his hon. friend the Member for Cambridge University. Whatever the words of the section might be the publican could always be induced to sell such things on a Sunday. Whilst it was true that it had always been the custom that a man could obtain non-alcoholic refreshment, in nine cases out of ten he had not been able to obtain it, because, as a matter of fact, the public-house was locked up. The right hon. Gentleman had not realised that. He might have been exceptionally fortunate in finding a publican willing to serve him with tea or whatever the beverage might have been during closing hours; but in nine cases out of ten he would not have been able to obtain any refreshment. The effect, therefore, of having the licensed premises open only three hours instead of six would be that except for three hours it would be impossible to get refreshment of any kind. That was the real effect of the subsection. He did not believe such a provision would reduce drunkenness, whilst it would certainly make it more difficult for the temperate drinker to obtain alcohol in a perfectly proper fashion. He hoped on this ground the Committee would support the deletion of the subsection. He thought they should have stronger evidence before the subsection was passed. There was another point. Houses were to be allowed to be open one hour between noon and three and two hours in the evening between six and ten, and it would be for the justices to declare what those hours were to be. That would lead to enormous inconvenience and trouble throughout the country. In one district the justices might select the hour between twelve and one, in another that between one and two, and in a third that between two and three. Personally, he considered the justices should be compelled to allow the houses to be open during the actual dinner hour. If justices fixed the hour between two and three, workmen would not be able to get their dinner beer and great hardship and inconvenience would result. The clause, he thought, afforded another instance of how badly advised the Government had been in drafting their Bill. The general question of total Sunday closing had not very much to do with the Amendment, but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley had introduced a great deal of contentious matter on that subject, purely, he ventured to say, for the purpose of creating prejudice, and he had taken the opportunity of making a very cruel and uncalled for attack upon the Glasgow police, suggesting that in certain circumstances they would be unwilling to do their duty, because they would be put to a little personal inconvenience. He held no brief for the Glasgow police, but he had been to that city, and after seeing the difficulties in the way of drunkenness with which they had to deal, instead of being condemned, he thought rather that they were entitled to sympathy. He did not wish to go into that matter, but he thought a protest ought to be made against the attack, which was not the first they had heard from the benches opposite, upon the methods of the police in carrying out the law and preventing drunkenness in the country. As that right hon. Gentleman had referred to Sunday closing, perhaps he might be allowed to quote a few figures on the subject. It was exceedingly difficult to get accurate figures as to the arrests and convictions for drunkenness on Sunday in England, Scotland, and Wales. Apparently there were no statistics after 1895. As far as the statistics went, they were as follows: In 1885 there were in England per 1,000 of the population .50 convictions for drunkenness, without Sunday closing; and in Wales, .55; in Scotland,.58; in Ireland, 1.10 with Sunday closing. Again, in the years 1886 to" 1890, .49 per 1,000 in England; in Wales, .72; in Scotland, .58; in Ireland, 1.21. Then in the years 1891 to 1895, the figures were: England, .42; Wales, .57; Scotland, not given; Ireland, 1.07. They had been challenged on this question by some of the speakers opposite, and perhaps the hon. Member for Appleby would enlarge upon the subject. They did not say on that side of the House that total Sunday closing had much to do with this particular question; but, where it had been in force, the statistics by no means justified the view taken by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that it had had a great and good effect. The same conclusion was to be drawn from the statistics of drunkenness in border counties—Brecon and Glamorgan on the one side, and Hereford and Monmouth on the other. The last year available was the year 1907, and the figures were as follow: number of cases of drunkenness per 100,000 of the population: Brecon, 696; Glamorgan 870; Monmouth, 390; Hereford, 188. From a statistical point of view he failed to find anything to uphold the contention that Sunday closing in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales had been anything like a success. Sunday closing, as the Leader of the Opposition had said, was generally popular in Scotland. He believed the same was the case in Wales; and in neither case was there any suggestion to do away with it; but that applied to total Sunday closing and not to partial Sunday closing, as proposed by the Bill. It was entirely a different matter whether the people of Scotland and Wales were wise and justified by statistics in having Sunday closing. Just as many magistrates could be found to express themselves against as for Sunday closing, and in this matter they must rely to some extent upon the statistics of drunkenness, which, so far as they went, afforded no real evidence to support the view that Sunday closing had been a success. The whole point before the Committee was whether three hours of opening instead of six was likely to have the slightest beneficial effect in the direction of temperance. He maintained it would not. On the other hand, it would cause great inconvenience to the moderate and temperate drinker. He considered the clause was badly drafted, and he particularly objected to the provision requiring magistrates to fix the hours of opening, having regard to the fact that they might select the hour between two and three, which, would be of no use to anybody and would not enable the working man to get his dinner beer. He submitted that no evidence had been brought forward in support of this proposal.

MR. BARNES (Glasgow, Blackfriars)

said that, in the first place, he would like to associate himself with the observations which had fallen from the other side as to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. That speech was fair and considerate, and, so far as concerned those represented on the Labour benches, was sympathetic. He was glad to find that the discussion, so far as it had gone, was in the main on those lines. Like the Leader of the Opposition, he did not approach this subject from the point of view of the rabid teetotaller or, to use the right hon. Gentleman's own phrase, a "teetotal faddist." He was speaking only for himself, his colleagues not being all agreed upon this particular Amendment; but he thought he might say not only for himself but for all his hon. friends on the Labour banches, that they approached this particular question not from the point of view of the teetotaller, but from the point of view of the ordinary citizen interested in good government and in minimising what they considered to be a great national evil, detrimental in its effects upon the community generally, and especially to the class to which they belonged. He was going to vote against the Amendment and in favour of the Bill as it stood. In the first place, as a reason for that, he would like to associate himself with the Prime Minister in what he had said with regard to Scotland. Of course he was not old enough for his memory to go back to the period previous to the Forbes Mackenzie Act, but he had spoken to people who were old enough to remember what was the condition of the Scottish people in the days preceding that enactment, and to compare it with their present condition. Everybody acquainted with the circumstances agreed, he thought, that the result of the Act was seen in the great improvement which had been effected in Scotland; and as had been pointed out, no representative man or woman would think of reverting to the opening of public-houses on Sundays. They knew, of course, that there were microsopic cases of shebeens and similar places known only to the police and to habitual drunkards; but, so far, everybody in Scotland admitted that at all events for one day in the week they had, by Sunday closing, something like law, decency, and order in Scotland, and for that reason all were agreed, or every representative person at least would agree, that this Act should remain. They had the same case in Wales, but his friends from the Principality would deal in more detail with that part of the subject. They had heard convincing testimony from Wales, however, of the same thing happening there since the introduction of Welsh Sunday closing. He supported the subsection on two grounds. First of all, it reduced the number of hours worked by the staffs of public-houses. That, he thought, was a legitimate cause for his support of the subsection, because they knew that the hours of these attendants in public-houses were far too long. He believed that some of them worked up to seventy and eighty hours a week, and even longer than that. He was sorry that London was not included in the operation of this particular clause, because in all conscience the hours of public-house servants in the Metropolis were long enough for an ordinary day let alone Sunday. However, they were disposed to support the Bill as it stood because to some extent it limited the time during which employees would be engaged in those houses. He was quite ready to have clubs put under reasonable regulations. His colleagues had met and discussed the matter, and later on, no doubt, they would be able to give their opinion upon the question, which was not now, however, under consideration. In the second place, the Labour Members supporting this particular clause did so because they believed that it minimised the temptations to drink. He was inclined to think with the Leader of the Opposition that they had taken perhaps to some extent a wrong view of this question. He held that the public-house should not be made an intolerable place but a place of reasonable refreshment, apart from alcoholic drink, and that if they had made it so they would have minimised the temptation to drink and improved the tastes of the people. He held that the great thing was to improve the tastes and habits and ideas of the people. The public-house as a whole was a brutalising place and it brutalised, and he wanted to minimise the temptation to go there as much as possible. They would be far ahead of public opinion to close public-houses, especially in London, all day on Sunday, and, moreover, he would like to retain reasonable opportunities for people getting what was legitimate. It was a fact that a large number of people in England had a practice of having a little alcoholic liquor with dinner on Sunday. It did no one any harm that he knew of. The habit did not exist in Scotland because Scotsmen were so thrifty that they only had two meals on Sunday. But in England it was customary, and it was reasonable that the public-house should be open so that beer might be obtained. But it was altogether unnecessary to have public-houses open for two hours during the middle of the day for that purpose. The fact of opening for two hours simply meant that men would go there when the house opened and remain till it closed, and if they did not do that they would not get so much to drink and would be in a better condition when they went home to dinner. It was not so much for that that the public-house was open, because the clubs came in here and afforded that opportunity for reasonable social intercourse, and did it far better than the public-houses. He was in favour of a one-hour opening in the daytime and two hours in the evening. That was a reasonable compromise and as far as public opinion would enable them to go at the present moment. The Leader of the Opposition might dismiss from his mind, so far as he and his colleagues who were supporting the Bill were concerned, the idea that it had any religious aspect. Something had been said as to the change in the drinking habits of the people from beer to spirits, and, so far as he could gather, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that the Closing Acts in Scotland during the last generation or two had given rise to it. But it seeemed to him that the change had its origin long before that legislation was thought of. He was inclined to think that in addition to climatic considerations the pressure of life to-day had something to do with the changed habits of the people in Scotland and elsewhere. It was a fact, he supposed, that whiskey had a more exhilarating effect, for the moment at all events, than beer, and he thought the ordinary pressure of life, the intensity of competition, and the fact that people had to work harder and that life altogether was becoming ever subject to increasing pressure and anxiety, had a good deal to do with the fact that people drank more whiskey than they used to do. At all events he supported the clause because on the whole it would minimise the temptation to drink. It was reasonable, and he hoped the House would pass it as it stood, because he held it would meet not only the demand of the organised temperance reformers of the country, of whom he was not one, but would tend to the benefit of the great class whom he specially represented.

*MR. W. JOHNSON (Warwickshire, Nuneaton)

said it was not only the working classes who drank on a Sunday. Not only in London but in country districts the middle classes and some of the upper classes took their share of drink at public-houses on Sunday. He had for a long time objected to the working classes being saddled with this accusation. All classes did their share, and probably the working classes did the least. He belonged to the working classes and he knew something of them. He had lived the life. He was not a total abstainer and he was not one of the temperance wolves, though he spoke in the interests of temperance and was as good a temperance man as there was in the House, and he was going to support the Bill, and especially this clause, through thick and thin. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer had quoted some observation of his to the effect that the workmen would get their drink as easily after the Bill was passed as before. He adhered to that statement which he had made in connection with what the opponents of the Bill said, that it was robbing the poor man of his beer. It would not, because he would get it if he wanted it. But they wished as far as possible to destroy the facilities by which he was tempted to drink and to take away the opportunity. But he could get it as easily in three hours as six after the Bill was passed, and he could get beer as easily as spirits. If it was a question of taking it home he might buy a pint of whisky on Saturday night for 2s. If he wanted beer he might call on Saturdays at several places and order a dozen of bottled beer or stout for 1s. 6d., and it would be sent. He would not have the trouble of carrying it home. If he preferred beer or stout he would get it. There were plenty of off-licences willing to send in a dozen bottles of beer for 1s. 6d. better than he could get in a public-house—the brewer took care of that—or the brewer himself would send the beer and no trouble about it. In reference to the hour at dinner-time, in his district the public-houses were open from 12.30 to 2.30, and he found that men were tempted to stay till half-past two. The dinner hour was from 12.30 to 1.30 and they got late for dinner. Their wives and families had had it, and there was very often a row when the father went home. If the houses were open only from twelve to one or half-past twelve to half-past one, the fathers would get home and prevent a row which perhaps, lasted a whole week, whereby the man was tempted, through the righteous nagging of his wife, to drink for the remainder of the week. He had held meetings on Sundays and kept them on till half-past twelve, and men had been tempted to stop at the public-house, and he had been blamed for it, perhaps rightly. Of late years he had had the meetings at ten o'clock, and had them over at half-past eleven, so that the blame should not be on him. Men would do this, and they could not stop them. Any man who attempted to stop him having his glass of beer on a Sunday or any other time would find he had a difficult subject to deal with. He had always told his children, and he believed it was a thing they should all instil into the minds of children, that they should go to a place of worship once on Sunday, and never be late for dinner. If a man had strength of character to carry out those two things it was safe to say that he would not get drunk. In his own district there were ten clubs and they were all closed on Sunday except one. He belonged to all of them. He was in favour of closing clubs on Sundays. But they must have some regard for human nature. He knew a choir in a church who, after the service, rushed round the corner to the public-house. He believed if public-houses were open one hour in the day-time and two hours in the evening, more people would attend places of worship. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] He had practical experience of this life. He would be sixty years of age next year, and his father drank as much beer as any man in the world. He got it as part of his wages, and he could stand his share. Even boys had beer in those days as part of their wages. The old saying was, sixpence a day and a caudle and half a pint of drink. They used to say to him: "John, you are drunk," and he would reply: "Yes, but not at your expense." "John," they would say, "what a red face you have got." "You could have one if you would go to the expense of it," he would reply. But his father, although he had plenty of drink in the week never went to a public-house on Sunday, and he (the hon. Member) was the eleventh child; he was the biggest of the lot, and his mother used to say he was a beauty. What was done in those days could be done now. If they were having friends on Sunday they could get the beer in on Saturday night. They wanted to put as few temptations in the way of people as possible, and he thought one hour in the middle of the day on Sunday and two at night were quite sufficient. He believed Sunday closing would be for the benefit of the country. He would not only support that clause, but the whole of the Bill.


declared that he was a temperance reformer of many years' standing. He had supported temperance societies with time and money; but he parted with them when he found that the cause of temperance had only the second place in their efforts. In their political work they had been the great barriers to temperance reform. This Bill had been advocated as a religious question. He had received a circular from the Lord's Day Observance Society which strongly advocated this clause in order to secure devout observance of the Lord's Day. That society had done more damage to real religion than any society he knew. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh! Oh!"] He succeeded as chairman of the committee in Birmingham some years ago in opening the Public Library and Art Gallery on Sundays. That society was the great opponent of the proposal. When the Lord's Day Observance Act was put into force in a district in America he remembered a man being asked what was the effect of it, and he replied that whereas formerly the men used to go out on Sunday morning with their axe on their shoulder to mend fences, now they went out at the back door with the axe carefully concealed under their coat to do the same work. They could not make people religious or sober by Act of Parliament. As to the Continent, the condition of things there was different from what it was in England. He had seen a building in Germany in which there were a post office, a church, and a public-house. The Leader of the Opposition had said that it was difficult to alter the habits of a people. The right hon. Gentleman was referring to the task of weaning the Scotch from whisky drinking to beer drinking. But by this Bill it was sought to wean the English people from beer drinking to whisky drinking. Most people knew the immense difference between spirit drinking and beer drinking. Some years ago he went with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham to Sweden to examine their system, and what did they find? They found that the temperance party there had established a number of beer-houses where light beer was sold, and which were called temperance houses.

MR. MADDISON (Burnley)

on a point of order, asked if the right hon. Gentleman was in order in dealing with the general question.


I have been watching the right hon. Gentleman for some time. I do not think he is in order. The question before the Committee is a very limited one and the discussion must be confined to the subject raised in subsection (1), namely the further restriction of the hours of sale of intoxicating liquor by retail on Sunday.


I think you were not present when the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition delivered speeches in which they dealt with the drinking of whisky and beer.


I was in the House at the time. The right hon. Gentleman knows from his large parliamentary experience that, for the general convenience of the House, a certain latitude is allowed to the Prime Minister and to the Leader of the Opposition in reply, which cannot be claimed by other speakers.


Is it out of order to say that these proposals will lead to spirit-drinking instead of beer-drinking?


The subsection simply refers to the further restriction of the hours of sale by retail on Sundays.


said that was the whole point of his argument. He was arguing that the proposal in the Bill would wean the people from beer-drinking to spirit-drinking. Why should "the Metropolitan district" be excluded from the operation of the clause? [Several MINISTERIALISTS: Put it in.] Such immense cities as Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool were to be subject to these rules, but the Metropolitan area was to be left out. Were the Government afraid of the turmoil and disturbance which would happen if they included the metropolitan district? He should certainly like to have some answer to that. The arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley were summed up in the statement that restrictions lessened drinking, or lessened drunkenness. That was begging the whole question. The one thing in dispute which had not yet been settled was whether or not restrictions did lessen drunkenness and drinking. The hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow said that public-houses were brutalising places. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] Yes, he thought when Ministers spoke of public-houses they were thinking of the large drinking palaces of London, Glasgow, and other places, but they forgot the ten, twenty, or a hundred-fold number of public-houses which existed in various parts of the country, in the towns and villages, where public-houses, so far from being brutalising, were the only places that could afford social intercourse. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] Yes, the only places that could afford social intercourse. [Cries of "No."] He agreed that the better they could have them, the better it would be, but restrictions would never make them better. Why were such places on the continent so well regulated? They were places where men could take their wives and families and enjoy themselves. Simply because they were not restricted. The more restrictions they put on public-houses in this country, the more likely they would be to lower the character of them. He objected to this further curtailment of personal liberty. The hon. Member for the Blackfriars division had not a word to say about this further infringement of individual liberty. Some hon. Members remembered the great struggles which took place to secure individual freedom, and now they witnessed gentlemen who called themselves democrats on every possible occasion supporting the restriction of individual liberty. He could quite understand why the Socialist Party below the gangway should do so. They wanted to destroy all individualism.

MR. HODGE (Lancashire, Gorton)



said he thought that was so He had studied it closely, and he believed the main object of Socialism was to destroy individualism, and to put in its place collectivism. Tyranny over the individual was its first consideration. He had some sympathy with the statement of the Bishop of Peterborough, who said— It is better to have a country free than sober. Of course, it was an epigrammatic way of putting it, but the truth that underlay the statement was undoubted. If they made men free, other advantages would follow. He objected to this proposal of the Government because it would not diminish drunkenness. It would increase drunkenness. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] It was all very well for hon. Members who had cellars of their own and servants to go down for their drink to cry "No," but he was speaking of the masses of the people. The argument about laying in a stock had been brought forward, but the stock would consist mainly of spirits, and that would lead to an increase in home-drinking. Most of the advocates of the lessening of the hours for public-houses on Sunday outside the House, and some of those inside, were people whom those restrictions, or any other restrictions, would not affect. They were talking now of people in the large cities who lived in houses of one or two rooms, and he wished to know where they were to lay in a stock. Those people were the majority, and the Government and the supporters of this clause were piling up legislation to increase their discomfort. This would give an enormous impulse to the formation of clubs. At present a man would go to a public-house for an hour or two on a Sunday evening to smoke his pipe, and have one or two glasses, and enjoy social intercourse, but under this proposal he would barely have time to do that, and he would imbibe as much drink as he could in a short time, and he might take something away with him. Which was the better way? In the one case he would take a glass or two and be satisfied; in the other case he would take a great deal more than he would otherwise do. The hon. Member for Nuneaton had frankly stated that no drunkard would ever drink less. This Bill created no distinction where a distinction ought to be made, namely, between the ordinary drinker and the drunkard. Out of 18,000,000 adults in England and Wales 99⅞ per cent. were ordinary drinkers and sober people, and only ⅛ per cent. drunkards. The Government sought by this Bill to treat the whole nation as drunkards. The two classes must be divided, treating one as lunatics who ought to be subject to special legislation, and the other as free and sober men whose liberties ought not to be interfered with. He supposed the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire ought to know something of the effect of Sunday closing. That official had stated that Sunday closing in Wales was a nuisance to the county, and his opinion was that if the Sunday Closing Act was extended to Monmouth- shire drunkenness and disorder would be largely increased. That was an opinion worth answering, but he had seen no answer to it up to now.


Did he say that drunkenness had largely increased?


He said that drunkenness and disorder would largely increase if the same conditions were applied to Monmouthshire. Perhaps the Under-Secretary will give some answer to that.


The Chief Constable is in favour of the extension of the Sunday Closing Act to Monmouthshire.


said the statement he had quoted was contained in the Report of the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire, dated July, 1904. He did not say whether the Chief Constable was right or wrong, but the Committee were entitled to some answer from those who were arguing in support of the clause now before them. As a rule; restrictions increased drinking of the worst form. Statistics showed that in England fewer people were proceeded against for drunkenness than in the other parts of the kingdom where restrictions existed. On the Continent where there were no restrictions there was less drunkenness than in England. Now when on-licences were decreasing rapidly, and off-licences were decreasing slowly, clubs and other facilities for drinking were increasing rapidly. Therefore, on the ground of temperance he opposed this further restriction.


said the question before the Committee was whether the existing six hours on Sunday should be limited to three hours. If he did not misapprehend the argument of the hon. Member for the Bordesley division, it was that they should revert to Sunday opening. He was not quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman had thought out what would be the result of that change. He did not desire in this debate to deal in any controversial spirit with the matter before the Committee. He was, in common with the whole House, deeply impressed by the speech of the Leader of the Opposition in which the right hon. Gentleman expressed his anxiety to hear from those who were acquainted with the system of Wales and Scotland how the matter had worked in those countries. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bordesley seemed to cavil at the exclusion of London from this clause.


I only asked an explanation.


said the explanation of that, as the Prime Minister had already explained, was that it was extremely desirable in these reforms not to go too far in advance of public opinion, and by the Majority Report of the Licensing Commission London was left out. A third point was that he thought no better index of public opinion could be found than the House of Commons, and the Government would be very glad indeed to know what was the opinion of the House upon this question. Now in what he was going to say as to their experience in Scotland, he was not going to speak as a Member of the Government, and he hoped that anything he would say would be by way of assisting the House to draw some kind of picture of what had been their experience in Scotland on this point. He must premise his remarks by saying that he failed to understand the right hon. Gentleman opposite when he introduced the word "tyranny" into a matter of this kind. The people of Scotland were supposed to have as much love of freedom as those of any other nation, but they had been groaning under this "tyranny" of Sunday closing ever since 1853. He could assure the House that they liked it very much. Not only that, but they would deplore the day when it was proposed to abolish Sunday closing, even to the extent of a single hour. He did not think there could be found amongst the Scottish representatives for the past generation and a half any one who would come to the House of: Commons and attempt to revert to the pre-1853 days. He had inquired from old men their experience and they told him how the constrast between the period before that time and the subsequent period had struck their minds. They said, of course, that two things were quite clear. In the first place the contrast was vivid when the Act came into effect, but, in the second place, as years went on, it was most remarkable how Scotland had adapted itself to the change, how the Act squared with the moral, religious, and social life of the people, and how now the idea of making any such contrast was one for the historical student. He had made inquiry, and he would state the result to the Committee. He would take the town of Leith. It had a mixed population, the component parts being Scotsmen who lived there and a certain seaport influence which always had to be considered. With regard to that town, and also, he believed, Glasgow, old people had told him that on Sunday the situation was of the most deplorable description. The works were closed, so that the people were free to amuse themselves, to debase themselves, or to elevate themselves according to their own desire. When people proceeded to public worship the streets of Leith were positively in many cases infested to a certain extent by drunken men and women; so as to make parents almost regret that they were accompanied by their children in going to the House of God. Now all that was changed. It was a change from the days of liberty to the days of "tyranny." Now they had a state of comparative peace, almost of absolute peace.


And less drinking?


said he did not think his right hon. friend committed himself to the statement that in consequence of this there was an increase of drinking.


I only said that it was stated so.


said he did not know what the right hon. Gentleman's experience in England was, but every Scotsman would agree that it was perfectly fantastic to make such a suggestion. The arrests for drunkenness must count for something; and the Sunday arrests for drunkenness in Glasgow were eight and on Saturdays the arrests for drunkenness were 107. How then could it be maintained that by closing the public-houses on Sundays they increased drunkenness on that day? His experience was founded on interviews with men and women who had known the period when there was no prohibition on Sundays. He could assure the Committee and the Leader of the Opposition, in answer to the question put by that right hon. Gentleman, that it was hardly possible to over-rate the confidence of the Scottish people that in passing the great Act of 1853 they had done upon the whole a wise thing; and, as he had said, any endeavour to abolish Sunday closing and to revert to the old system would produce the nearest approach to a revolution on any social question he knew of.


I agree.


thought that both sides of the House were agreed upon that. The right hon. Gentleman had introduced another topic, and that was as to a certain remarkable increase of convictions for drunkenness within the last few years. The right hon. Gentleman would excuse him if he did not enter into details, as he had not been able to fortify himself with complete information on the matter since the right hon. Gentleman spoke. It was a very interesting subject, and his contribution to it was this: he thought a very great deal more of the increase of convictions for drunkenness than was generally supposed was to be attributed not only to the spirit in which the Licensing Act was now administered, but to the actual text of the Act. He had something to do with the framing and amending of the Scottish Licensing Bill, which was piloted through the House by the present Lord Dunedin, who was Lord Advocate in the late Administration. Prior to the passing of that measure, there was only one clause in the Act of 1862 dealing with the offence known as "drunk and incapable." There was now in substitution for that clause a very elaborate code of seven or eight subsections dealing with other offences than drunkenness and incapacity, which were at least substantially novel. One instance would illustrate how the case now stood. His recollection was that under the former law if a man was drunk, so long as he was not incapable also, or committed a breach of the peace, if his language even in the most crowded thoroughfares was obscene, there was no chance of getting a verdict against him. Observe the difference now; and how the two things worked in together. There was another statute under which there was early closing at ten o'clock in large towns, an hour at which the streets were fairly crowded. If obscene language was used it was now a categorical offence. The administration of these statutes undoubtedly were reflected in the statistics of the convictions for drunkenness. He did not say that that was an exhaustive explanation of the increasing convictions, but it operated along with the ripening of opinion and the less lax administration of the law. He wished to make one point which was not referred to during the debate. As the Committee knew they had not in Scotland the system of tied houses, at least only on a surreptitious and small scale, and therefore they had a better means of ascertaining the unbiassed opinion of the publican himself. He could assure the Committee, from all the inquiries he had been able to make and the information he had obtained on this subject in his official capacity, that if the publicans and drink sellers were asked if they wanted to open for even an hour on Sundays they would almost unanimously reply "no." He spoke not only for them but for the publicans' assistants, who were an intensely over-worked class. The Sunday to them was the only break in a life of somewhat squalid monotony. That privilege was afforded to them under the law. There being no opening on Sundays, except by clubs, all publicans were placed on a square level without in any sense the closing by law being undermined by some persons having a privilege. He did not think that any man with a sense of real responsibility would utter the sentiment that the publicans and their assistants were in favour of reverting to the system of Sunday opening. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bordesley had said that if they reduced the hours of opening on Sundays from six to three, they would introduce a system of "compulsory gulping." He did not think the Committee would take that view too seriously.


said that what he had stated was that at present a man, as he had the right to do, would sit down for an hour or two to enjoy himself on a Sunday evening and smoke his pipe and take his glass, while under this Bill he would have to go and drink in a hurry. He had said nothing about compulsory gulping. He would then take drink home, if not allowed to take a glass in a public-house. He contended that that was an infringement of the personal liberty of the great mass of the people of this country, who were not drunkards, but moderate drinkers.


said that if "compulsory gulping" was too strong or too dramatic, he would take it that they would have to drink in a hurry in the public-houses if the hours were reduced from six to three. Fancy what the opinion of Scotland would be if they proposed the opposite thing—to impose three hours' opening upon Scotland. He did not know what would happen inside this House, but he could assure the Committee that no Scottish Member's constituency would tolerate the sanctioning of that for a month. Therefore, on the principle of the Bill, he was bound to confess that all his inquiries and all his experience pointed to the advantage of Sunday closing. He had been brought more closely in touch with this subject by working in a very poor down-trodden district in Edinburgh, where there were a great many dwelling-houses eight storeys high. He belonged to a congregation which had a mission in that district. They knew every person in it. They attended to the sick, and tried to help the people with their amusements so as to combat what they acknowledged to be their enemy, drink. They had their schools on Sunday with music and little entertainments through the week. In that way those who conducted the mission got to know who the people were and what they liked. He was convinced from that experience that if they had a vote of all that class of people they would say: "Spare us still the infliction of Sunday opening."

*MR. WALTER GUINNESS (Bury St. Edmunds)

said that the real question of this clause, viz., the restriction of the Sunday opening to three hours, disposed of a good many of the arguments that had been advanced that day. The Lord - Advocate had told them that one of the great advantages to be derived from this innovation would be that, as in Scotland, the publican would be able to take a holiday on Sunday. But would he be much better off for this provision? Apart from the necessity of being at home to supply refreshment to bona fide travellers, the publican would not be able to get away for even half a day if he had to open for one hour in the middle of the day, and two hours in the evening. The Committee would agree with him in saying that they had had a most interesting debate. For many days they had been listening to technical discussions on small points, which the average layman who had not had experience of the law Courts could not follow. But that day they had had a plain issue put before them. The Lord-Advocate had dealt with the question of freedom, and said that in Scotland they had had for fifty-five years compulsory closing of public-houses on Sundays; and that that did not in any way restrict their freedom. He forgot who it was who, in France more than a hundred years ago, described liberty as a state of things where everybody could do whatever he wished to do so long as he did not interfere with anybody else. From what the Lord-Advocate said nobody in Scotland wished to drink on Sunday. He should qualify that by saying that nobody wished to drink in public - houses on Sunday, and this was quite to be expected if they had become accustomed to the convenience of drinking their whisky in their own houses. But if any considerable minority of the population in Scotland did wish to drink in public-houses on Sunday, he did not think that the prejudices of the majority who after all would not be inconvenienced should in any way justify any infraction of the liberty of those who wished to go into a public-house. The speech of the hon. Member for Nuneaton division was very interesting, and they all listened to it with very great sympathy, because they felt that the hon. Member really knew what he was talking about. Unlike a great many temperance advocates he had been in a public-house, and knew what a public-house meant. The hon. Member informed the Committee that it was not only the labouring classes who drank, but that the middle and upper classes drank quite as much. Did not that knock the bottom out of the argument for the Bill? If the majority of the drunkards did not necessarily come from the labouring classes, that showed that this Bill, which only attempted to deal with a small section of a particular class, could not profess to settle the temperance question. The hon. Member told them that he would vote for the Bill, because it would not decrease the facilities for obtaining drink and would not prevent him or anyone else getting a glass of beer when he wanted it. Surely it was an argument against the Bill altogether, if it would not increase temperance and would not put obstacles in the way of a man who was likely to fall into intemperance. Really, the only argument which the hon. Member for Nuneaton had produced in favour of the Bill was that it would increase punctuality at Sunday dinners and decrease the nagging of wives. He thought a Bill of this importance was hardly justified by objects of that kind. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Spen Valley division went so far as to tell them, in a very moderate speech, to which he listened with great interest because it dealt with the whole principle of the Bill, that he thought everybody would agree that the restrictions that had hitherto been employed were beneficial, but he appeared to forget that there was such a thing as the principle of diminishing returns, and that if restrictions went beyond the public opinion of the day reaction was sure to follow. The right hon. Gentleman used the argument from Scotland whore it was quite arguable that total closing on Sunday had not been beneficial. They had, however, figures to show that under the Act sobriety had increased. Of course, it had increased, but it had not increased only because of the Act. It had increased, as it had all over the country, owing to the growing force of opinion which condemned a man who indulged in alcoholic excess. He thought the right hon. Gentleman himself admitted that there had been a great increase in the force of public opinion, and he told them that if they walked about the streets of London they no longer met drunken men. That proved that this restrictive legislation at the present moment was not necessary, and it was because there was this progressive opinion in favour of sobriety that the right hon. Gentleman had the force he had in this House. It was because he represented the force of public opinion that the Government had given way to him in this attempt, to make sobriety compulsory by Act of Parliament. They must remember, however, the dangers of reaction, and he thought it was to be feared that such restrictions as this went beyond the wishes of the country. Hon. Members opposite seemed to think that if they hid an evil they necessarily did away with it. He thought they were quite mistaken. He did not think the great evil of drunkenness was the intellectual damage done to the person who saw a drunken man in the streets; the great danger was the actual undermining of the health and the morals of the man who indulged in drink; therefore, he did not think they were going to do much good by bottling up drunkenness in private houses. And that was what they would do. They would obtain the same effect as this legislation had had in Scotland. They would prevent people from being seen drunk in the street, but encourage them to get drunk in their houses. The Lord-Advocate had told them that there were very few arrests in recent years in Glasgow compared with what there had been before prohibition on Sunday. But naturally there were fewer arrests, because the police had previously arrested people in the streets as they came home from public-houses. In Scotland where people got drunk in their own houses naturally the police did not come across the drunkenness, and they did not have the same opportunity of making arrests. Another argument they had heard was that it was in the interest of protecting the amenities of country districts, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley called attention to the inconvenience caused by the exodus from country towns of drunken people who walked along the roads. But surely this Bill would increase that nuisance, because they were going to prevent people from getting drink when they needed it and to encourage them, if they had not had the foresight to lay in a bottle of whiskey on Saturday evening, to take a six miles walk out to get it. From that point of view, therefore, the last state of the country towns and villages would be worse than the first. He thought the most interesting speech in the debate was that of the Prime Minister. The right hon. Gentleman did not justify this clause on the ground that it was going to increase temperance, but really the burden of his speech was that the clause might safely be accepted, because it would not inconvenience anybody. Of course it would not, if they changed their habits and went in for drinking whiskey, and he practically admitted that that would be the case; for he said it must be remembered that the habits in England were not the same as in Scotland. He would like to know what temperance reformers would think of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, which he thought took away a good deal of the ground on which they had built up their case. There was no doubt whatever that the proposal would increase spirit-drinking, partly because the publican, generally speaking, made a far larger profit on spirits than on beer, and, therefore, the man who bought his spirits in large quantities or at a grocer's would be able to get a cheaper drink by buying spirits than beer; but in a public-house the exact opposite was the case. For that reason he thought they would increase the amount of whisky drank. The right hon. Gentleman said that the restrictions would not be obnoxious to the sense of freedom, but that applied chiefly to people who were keen on getting liquor. The people who would be affected were the moderate drinkers, who did not buy bottles of whiskey on Saturday, and that was the class of drinkers that they did not want to penalise, because he thought the majority of the House did not see any evil in indulgence in alcoholic liquor, so long as people did not indulge in it to excess. He thought that secret drinking was far worse than public drinking, and far more dangerous to family life. The great evil of these particular proposals was that they were going to concentrate drinking into a shorter period and by thus crowding the public-houses they would increase the temptations to excess. If he thought that this clause was in the least degree going to decrease the possibilities of drunkenness he would certainly support it, but while they left the present unrestricted powers of creating new clubs, whose only object was to sell alcoholic liquors, he thought the clause would drive drinking away from the cognisance of the police into secret places, where they had not the same facilities of supervision and where the seller of drink was not under the same penalties. A person who kept a club did not lose his livelihood if he allowed drunkenness, and while the present state of law existed as to clubs these restrictions would merely cause people to congregate and drink where there was practically no control.

*MR. G. GOOCH (Bath)

said he should like to bring forward two critcisms, in no controversial spirit, of the attitude which had been taken up by the Opposition in the speeches that day. In the first place, it appeared to him that the objections brought forward would have been much more relevant and convincing if the Bill had been for total Sunday closing, rather than the reduction of hours from six to three. He thought that was an oversight which disposed completely of the opposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bordesley, and also took the sting out of the reflections of the Leader of the Opposition as to the possible or probable displacement of beer by spirits. Secondly, he should like to mention that on this occasion, as on so many others, the Opposition were far behind the position taken up by the Majority Report. Before this Bill began to be discussed, he had thought that the Opposition would be prepared to accept what the Majority Report showed, that those who signed it were prepared to accept. They had, however, found that that was not so, and they had been attacked on many occasions for putting in their Bill proposals which had the authority of that Report. One of the matters to which he referred was that about which they were talking that day, and in the speeches he had heard there had been no reference whatever on the Opposition benches to the well-known fact that the Majority Report suggested and advised that the Sunday hours should be reduced to four. He thought that was a great help to the Government in the position which they had taken up. He was not disappointed with the Government proposals, because he never expected complete Sunday closing, and could not say personally that he thought the time had come for it. He hoped that the very moderate instalment of reform which the Bill gave would before long lead up to complete Sunday closing, which had acted so excellently where it had been tried. As in several other directions, the Government did not go, and did not pretend to go, anything like as far as the most zealous and eager temperance workers had demanded, but the Bill was all that they were likely to get, and was a fair and very moderate response to the best and most instructed opinion of the country. There was one point in connection with this question of the contraction of Sunday hours that had not been referred to that day, and that had reference to the way in which it affected the employees in the pubic-houses. The discussion had turned almost entirely on the probable effect of this change upon temperance, and upon the people, but it also very closely affected the employees. The employees in London public-houses were allowed to work 123½ hours a week; in provincial towns, 108 hours; and in country districts, 102. Therefore, he said, apart from any question of temperance, but as a matter of humanity, the question of the reduction of hours and of this terrible overwork of men and women was an important consideration that they ought to bear in mind in the discussion. He felt that that had a special bearing, because they all knew very well that Sunday came after the heaviest day of the week, Saturday, and therefore some diminution of Sunday work was necessary. There was one aspect of the question with which he was exceedingly disappointed, and which he was quite at a loss to understand. They had heard from the Prime Minister and others of the great success of Sunday closing in Wales, and they had been led to think that the reduction of hours in England would be equally successful. If that were true, it was utterly inexplicable why the Government had left London out of the Bill. He believed he was right in saying that until the Lord Advocate spoke that afternoon, no member of the Government had ever attempted to explain, still less to justify, the omission of London from this particular clause, and he was very glad indeed to hear the right hon. Gentleman invite the opinion of Londoners on the subject. Two or three of them had put down an Amendment to bring London within the clause, and he hoped that either that day or on Report that would be done. From their point of view, the case of London was far more urgent than anywhere else, because there the public-houses opened earlier in the morning, and closed later at night on week-days than in any other place, and, in addition, on Sunday they were open for seven hours instead of six. Therefore, from the point of view of the workers, the omission of London from the Bill seemed inexplicable. The Government had not followed the Majority Report in many things, and he thought it was a great pity that they had followed it in this respect. The Majority Report was in favour of leaving out London and several big towns, and really the Government had been inconsistent in the way they had followed the Majority Report, because they had desired to bring in other big towns with a population of half or three-quarters of a million, while they did not bring in London. He hoped that London Members or those who, like himself, were Londoners though not London Members would urge the inclusion of London.

*MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

said he desired to take up a few moments because on this subject he was unable to associate himself with hon. friends who sat on that side of the House. This was almost the only clause in the Bill to which he could give cordial approval, and he was bound to carry that into effect by his vote, and on this occasion the Government could have whatever advantage that would give them. This was a subject to which he had given attention for a great many years, and almost the first Bill he supported was introduced by Sir Joseph Pease and seconded by the lather of his noble friend the Member for Maidstone for the partial closing of public-houses on Sunday. That Bill was opposed by the extreme section of temperance reformers, to whom he must pay the doubtful compliment that had it not been for their action in insisting on total Sunday closing a measure of partial Sunday closing would long ago have been carried. The result had been that to this very day, nearly forty years since that measure had been brought forward, the matter had remained unamended. He supported the proposal of the Government, therefore, on two grounds. First, as far as the diminution of facilities to obtain drink could promote temperance he was in favour of such diminution; and, secondly, because of the benefit to the employees of the licensed victualler, men, and especially women, whose general lot was hard and unenviable. Those who were trying to lighten the lot of the workers of this country should not forget those who worked in this trade. But it was said that the publican could not get away from his public-house because he would still have to serve on Sundays. That was true, but he would have three hours more to himself than at present and his servants would to that extent have that opportunity of Sunday rest and recreation which nobody should grudge them. He mixed his approval, however, with a good deal of censure. This was a bold Bill, and he could not understand why the Government had not been consistently bold, and why they omitted London from its scope. It might not be needful to apply the same amount of closing to London as prevailed all over the country, but to leave London houses untouched so far as Sunday closing was concerned was to him an inexplicable procedure. He suggested that London houses should close, say, at 9 o'clock on Sunday evenings, because to say that the people of London wanted refreshment in refreshment houses after that hour was to assert a state of things that was to him incredible. He was surprised and disappointed that the Government had not acted up to what he believed to be their conviction and dealt with London in this section. Then, as to clubs, the Government had apparently not considered the tremendous accumulation of evidence on this head. If public-houses were closed on Sundays for a certain number of hours, and no restriction was placed on the clubs on that day, it seemed to him that under the guise of promoting temperance they were really promoting something very like intemperance. Prebendary Carlile had declared that there was more vicious drinking in clubs than in public-houses on Sundays; and if the Government closed the public-houses while leaving the clubs untouched, they were really driving people to the clubs. Something had been said about public opinion. He quite agreed that in these matters, closely touching the social life of the community, it was right to consult the better class of public opinion if legislation was to be successful. If one listened to the whole of public opinion no reform would ever take place, because there was a residuum of bad public opinion. He certainly believed that the best opinion of the country was ripe for a diminution of the hours when public-houses were allowed to remain open, not only on Sunday, but on the other evenings of the week. He was sure that the public-houses in London need not be open until 12.30 every night. On that point he had strong conviction. So far as the Government with the enlightened opinion of the country he believed they were doing wisely, but it was because he believed that they were not going with the enlightened opinion of the country in the other matters that he did not support the other portions of this Bill.


felt constrained to apologise for interfering in what might be called a purely English debate; but said he was convinced he had had experience of Ireland in this matter which might be of profit to the Committee. He thought that the Irish experiment was of greater importance than that of either Scotland or Wales. In the remarkable speech which the Leader of the Opposition had delivered that day, the right hon. Gentleman had said he had no doubt that a great deal of the driving power behind the movement in Scotland and Wales was religious. He did not challenge that at all. He thought the right hon. Gentleman was right as regarded Scotland. Certainly he himself was not going to say that Ireland was not religious. Very far from it, but he meant to say there was none of the feeling of Sabbatarianism which would put this measure into operation on that ground. Ireland was a country with no Sabbatarian feelings whatever, and one which devoted a great part of the Lord's Day to healthy amusements. Yet a measure of Sunday closing had been in operation in Ireland for thirty years, and there had not been a single vote from the country calling for its repeal. Indeed, everything that had been done had been in the way of tightening up and strengthening the measure. That was a very important fact in considering the English question. The Leader of the Opposition also expressed his fear that legislation of this kind might tend to increase spirit drinking, and he believed that it would be better that people should drink beer than spirits. He himself was not a judge. [Cries of "Why?"] He did not drink either, and he was not prepared to give any opinion on the matter, but he would point out that the Irish experiment did not bear out the fears of the right hon. Gentleman. He had not any figures to quote; the right hon. Member for the Spen Valley had quoted figures, but from his own observation in every part of Ireland he could say that the tendency was all towards the increase of beer drinking and the lessening of spirit drinking. Figures would prove that assertion. Ireland was, in fact, almost rapidly becoming more and more a beer-drinking country. He spoke from an acquaintance with the whole movement before and after the passing of the Sunday Closing Act of 1878. It was very bitterly opposed by a small body of Irish Members. There were eleven of them, and they put up a most magnificient fight for free drinking on Sundays, but they were badly beaten. It was to a Conservative I Government that Ireland was indebted for that Act. If Sir Stafford Northcote had not given the necessary facilities for the closing stages of the Bill it never could have been passed. It was passed as a temporary measure for three years, and the five large towns, Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, were excluded from its operation. At the end of three years it was put into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and continued there till 1906, when it was made a permanent measure, with the entire consent of Irish Members. He remembered very well the; great deputation which the present Leader of the Opposition received in Dublin long ago when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland. To that deputation the right hon. Gentleman said the day for argument was past, and the time had come for action. If it had wholly depended on the right hon. Gentleman then the five large towns would have been included long ago. In 1906 the Act was made permanent, the hours were reduced for the five large cities, and an hour was taken off Saturday night. He had been in every one of those five large cities on Saturday night. The effect in Dublin of ten o'clock closing on Saturday night instead of eleven o'clock had been that almost every shop closed at half-past ten o'clock. In the old days poor women in thousands were wont to watch their men leave the public-houses at eleven o'clock, and then had to go and market afterwards. Now, however, the streets of Dublin were as quiet as Westminster Hall after ten o'clock. What he wanted to point out was this, that apart altogether from the reduction in the arrests for drunkenness, the gain to public order and decency had been enormous by that hour taken off Saturday nights. What was true of Dublin was true also of Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, and he had made it his business to be in all those towns after that hour to see the result. If he took the restrictions on Sunday, the Committee would see they had been progressive. First of all it was eleven on Sunday night; that was reduced to nine, then to seven, and in 1906 it was reduced to five. Now what was the effect? When it was seven o'clock closing the crowds were just coming out of the public-houses as the people were going to places of worship, and nothing could be more intolerable than that. Now the public houses were closed in these large towns at five o'clock on Sunday evening, and they had only three hours sale during the whole of Sunday, and the streets were as orderly and peaceful as they could be. That was evidence as to restriction. The arrests for drunkenness from nine on Saturday night to eight on Monday morning in Dublin for 1906 were 1,274 and in 1907 1,140. If they took the other cities, with the exception of Limerick, there was a corresponding decrease. He did not, however, attach much weight to those figures, and they did not cover a long period, but from his own knowledge—and he was certain the police would bear him out—the gain to public order and decency by this earlier closing on Saturday and Sunday had been enormous He did not want to shirk any difficulty. There were the clubs. A good deal had been said against the clubs, and he would like to tell hon. Members that he rather thought a great many of them had been pushing an open door. But so far as he was concerned, he would say that although clubs had sprung up in the large towns, they had not sprung up in great numbers. Then they had got the Clubs Act, and they were not unmanageable. Although they existed they did not exist in such a number as would enable anyone to say that they had done away with the good effect of the restrictions, and in the country districts they were not cropping up at all. In Ireland, in the country districts, clubs hardly existed. They were not an evil in the sense that he had heard they were in London. He thought they were manageable, and that they had not created that disturbance in Ireland that some people imagined. They had one difficulty, and that was in regard to bona fide travellers. Large numbers of men represented themselves as bona fide travellers, there was no doubt, and he thought the magistrates did not enforce the law in all cases. That was the only drawback, in his opinion, to the Sunday closing law. This had never been a question of creed or class in Ireland. They had had this Act for thirty years, with the entire assent of hon. Gentlemen sitting below the gangway, and many of them had fought courageously for it, and no effort had ever been made to repeal it, nor did he believe there was an Irish county which would tolerate its repeal.


said the House must listen with attention to any remarks made on the temperance subject by his right hon. friend opposite. The right hon. Gentleman had boon a lifelong temperance reformer, and he was therefore not the least astonished at the words which fell from his mouth, but he rose to offer the most uncompromising hostility and absolute opposition to the clause now under discussion, and if he had wanted to add any fresh arguments to those already existing in his own mind one of the principal ones would have been afforded by the hon. Member for Bath, who, speaking a little earlier in the afternoon, said that amongst the other advantages conferred upon temperance by this section was that he looked upon it as an instalment of temperance reform. So that, in addition to the great curtailment, as he thought, of the liberty of the subject already existing in the section, they had those who avowedly looked upon it as an instalment of reform and a step only in the direction of entire Sunday closing. The Lord Advocate had informed them of the extraordinary success of Sunday closing in Scotland and said it was looked upon as a boon by all classes, and that there could be found but few against it. He would like to know whether the one representative of Scotland whom he saw on the front bench opposite agreed that Sunday closing had been such an advantage. He would like to know, for instance, what the statistics for drunkenness in Blairgowrie were as compared with Hertfordshire or even Northumberland. He thought that if the right hon. Gentleman went into that subject and questioned those who sat near him, he would find that drunkenness in Blairgowrie showed considerably higher figures than in any part of England. They had heard many Members speak as regards the success of Sunday closing in Wales. He was proud to say he was half a Welshman himself—the best half, whatever that might be—and he had heard with astonishment his delightful friend the hon. Member for the Arfon division the other day, when they were talking of the advantages of Sunday closing in Cardiff, say that it was true there was drunkenness, and a good deal of it, on Sunday evening, but that if they went into the question they would find that it was because the people that one met there were not Welshmen, but Chinamen or Hindus.

MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)

I meant that on Sunday the drunken men that one met in Cardiff were men who had obtained drink in Monmouthshire, because there is Sunday closing in Cardiff.


said the hon. Gentleman insinuated that they were not Welshmen, but all he could say was that they were Chinamen with a strong Welsh accent. He had also been in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon and evening, and he had seen no advantage conferred in that most interesting and thriving town by the Sunday Closing Act. He represented a division that was partly in the Metropolitan district and partly in the rural district, so that perhaps the opinion of his constituents might be a little divided. Those in the Metropolitan district, it appeared, were not to have their advantages curtailed, but those in the rural district, among whom he numbered himself, were to be obliged to cycle, motor, walk, or train into the Metropolitan district to obtain any refreshment on a Sunday. He looked upon Sunday closing in rural districts as a very great hardship. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were indeed mistaken when they looked upon the ordinary rural public-house as a centre of drunkenness or debauchery, or of any other vice, the truth being that the ordinary village public-house was a place of the most innocent amusement and entertainment. He was not going to say that drunkenness did not exist there. Of course, there was a certain amount of it, he regretted to say, all over the land, but the ordinary public-house in a rural village, especially on a Sunday, was not a centre of drunkenness. He understood that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Spen Valley declared that drinking on Sunday at any time interfered with the amenities of country life. His division was pretty close to London, and they were certainly favoured every day of the week, including Sundays, with a large number of excursionists who came down to enjoy the beauties of the country, to pull down his hedges, and to indulge in other innocent amusements of that sort. He was bound to say he had never seen any great drunkenness on the Sunday. What would be the effect of a further curtailment of the hours? The effect would be that the lanes and places round the public-houses would be crowded with brakes and with people waiting for the hour of opening. He believed that, instead of being an advantage to the country districts, a further curtailment of the hours would be of the greatest possible disadvantage. His own opinion was that if they had attempted to legislate in this way many years ago, when drunkenness was really rife, there might have been some reason for it, but at the present time there was very little drunkenness, and it was gradually decreasing. Years ago, in the time of their grandfathers, what were the upper classes? They were heavy drinkers then. What was the case now? They seldom, if ever, met with drunken people in the upper classes. He was not claiming the immunity of the upper classes, or comparing one class with another, but he maintained that drunkenness amongst the upper classes was uncommon. Had that sobriety been produced by Licensing Bills or penal laws? Certainly not. It had been produced by education, and education alone, and he meant to say that in the same way the lower classes and the middle classes did not drink now in the way they did years ago, and that education alone was responsible for the improvement. He believed that by this section and by this Bill altogether they were unwarrantably interfering with the liberty of the subject, and as such, and believing it was unfair and unjust, he should give it his most uncompromising opposition.

MR. THOMAS RICHARDS (Monmouthshire, W.)

said he wanted to add his meed of appreciation of the very excellent and high-toned speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, which had been favourably commented upon by everyone, with the exception perhaps of the noble Lord the Member for Horsham, who would hardly be expected to appreciate a speech of that calibre. He dared say, too, there might be other Members of the right hon. Gentleman's party who might think that he dealt too favourably with this question. He thought the right hon. Gentleman was in the position of an old Welsh Puritan of whom he once read, who violently opposed the introduction of music into the Church service. They wanted to buy a harmonium, and the old man violently opposed it. When it had been carried against him, however, he headed the subscription list with a handsome subscription. Of course, he was at once charged, by those who had followed him in his opposition, with inconsistency. The old man very naively replied: "If you are going to worship God by machinery, then I want you to get the very best machine possible." He looked upon the action of the right hon. Gentleman in this discussion in that manner. He had been opposing these restrictions, but his speech that afternoon had said: "If you are going to apply restrictions, I want you to apply them in the best possible manner." He must admit to having shared, perhaps in a humbler degree, the feelings of the right hon. Gentleman to some extent when seeing the French and German workmen and their wives and families with their luncheon baskets and bottles of wine on a summer afternoon on Sunday in the woods. He had strong temperance convictions and Sabbatarian convictions, which had been very rudely shaken upon some occasions of that kind, but he had found an antidote, and would tell the right hon. Gentleman where he found it. If he would go back into Paris or any of the great Gorman towns, and go into the quarters of the working classes, he would find them in large numbers drinking absinthe and other fiery concoctions, and he thought the right hon. Gentleman would say that if some restriction was put on that, they would have a larger number of working men enjoying themselves with their families in the woods. He did not think this was without an economic bearing. The indulgence in amusements and drinking was also largely developing into free indulgence in work by the labouring classes in the large centres. It was no uncommon thing to see the mason in his yard, and the carpenter in hisshop, in Paris, on a Sunday. It was very recently that he was awakened on a Sunday morning earlier than he liked, by some masons who were erecting a hotel opposite to where he was sleeping. They also looked upon this restriction in regard to Sunday opening as to some extent protecting people they represented from being called upon to do a greater amount of work on that day. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had expressed his desire to hear the experience of those who were familiar with the districts where Sunday closing had for some time been in operation under the Act. He had a unique experience of Sunday closing which perhaps hon. Members could not get if they tried. That experience was in connection with the Brecon village in which he happened to live before Welsh Sunday closing was in operation. In that little village, whose population consisted of some four or five thousand miners, when the Sunday Closing Act was passed and the public-houses were closed, to see a drunken man in the village street was a very rare thing indeed. But under the Local Government Act which was passed seven years afterwards, the village was transferred to Monmouth for local administrative purposes, and then a change was made with regard to the public-houses. First of all, therefore, before the Sunday Closing Act, they had the houses open; then they had them closed for seven years on the Sunday, and since 1888 they had been re-opened. With this alternation of experience he did not think that the villagers would hesitate to say that they were far happier and spent a far pleasanter Sunday under the Act which closed the public-houses on that day than when the houses were open. He put this little piece of experience before the Leader of the Opposition as well worthy of his consideration. In the course of the debate much had been made of the convictions for drunkenness on Sunday, Here again he would refer to his experience in the little village in which he lived. He believed that the attitude of the police there was typical of the action of the police elsewhere. There was only one policeman in the village, and he liked a little drop himself, but during the Sunday closing period, if he saw a man drunk in the street, he reasoned that where there was drunkenness there must be drink, and he at once arrested the man as the readiest way to finding out where he had been able to get liquor illicitly. In this way every drunken man who was the worse for drink was arrested and convicted, and in that respect that little village in no degree differed from other places. Where they had Sunday opening, however, men might get drunk with impunity, and unless they committed some breach of the law in addition to getting drunk, there were no arrests or convictions to form part of the statistics. Only during the past fortnight, while the stages of this Bill were being discussed, in leaving the House with an hon. Member one night, he saw a drunken man pass the gates and stagger across the road, hardly able to walk and in great danger, yet the police took no notice. He asked hon. Members who quoted statistics on this subject to bear in mind that instance as showing that returns of convictions for drunkenness were in no degree a basis for forming a judgment as to the amount of drinking which went on. Much had been said about Sunday closing and the border difficulty. Wherever they had a Sunday closing area and an open area together, there would be a border difficulty. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition when they came to the later portion of the clause to support them in removing that great border difficulty which confronted them under the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. Where there was a narrow dividing line between the closing area and the opening area, perhaps a narrow valley running between thickly populated mining villages, or a small rivulet forming the boundary, they could not hope to get the best results from the Act. But if Monmouth were included in the Welsh Sunday Closing Act they would have the boundaries passing through thinly populated districts, divided by a wide channel on one side and a wide valley with few bridges on the other. A restriction would thus be put on habitual drunkards. It was they who found their way from one district to another to get drink, and not respectable working men; it was the men who had acquired a craving for drink, who ruined themselves, their wives and their families, and who, if the law put no restriction on them, would ruin this great Empire. He would point out to the right hon. Gentle-man that he had the same object lesson in Wales and Monmouth that he had given them as applied to Ireland. Since the introduction of this Licensing Bill he had been through three or four divisions and large mining centres on the borders of Wales, where he had addressed meetings of various descriptions. In not a single meeting had he had anything but the most enthusiastic support of the Government proposals for further restriction of the hours of opening and for the extension of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act to Monmouth. The Monmouth County Council, district councils, boards of guardians, every public and religious body, together with large and enthusiastic meetings of miners, all supported these proposals. Really, if there was anything in the right hon. Gentleman's speech, admirable as it was, he should expect to see him go into the lobby with them and vote for the inclusion of Monmouth in the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. They believed that Monmouth and Wales were one in that national sentiment of which such an eloquent exposition was given the other day by his hon. friend the Member for the Arfon division of Carnarvonshire. National sentiment was discounted in some quarters of the House, but he would say— Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own my native land ! Certainly the noble Lord sitting on the other side of the House would not be inclined to find fault with such national sentiment. He appealed to the House to put further restriction on Sunday opening and to include Monmouth in the Welsh Sunday Closing Act.

MR. FORSTER (Kent, Sovenoaks)

said the discussion had been kept at a high level since the speech of his right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition, indeed, since the beginning of the afternoon; and he hoped that the Committee would allow him to add a few words, because he found himself in a peculiar difficulty. From the very early days of his Parliamentary career he had taken a view which was very hostile to any proposal to close public-houses altogether on Sundays, though he had always considered it possible, indeed desirable, that there should be some further restriction upon the hours during which public-houses could remain open. The difficulty in which he found himself in dealing with this clause was that he thought further restriction upon the hours of opening would be useless unless they dealt with clubs at the same time. It was idle to argue that they could make any member of the community sober by preventing him from going into a public-house except between the hours of two and three in the afternoon or between the hours of six and eight in the evening, if they left him absolute freedom to go into some drinking den, as some of these clubs were, without observation on the part of the police, and where he could be free from restriction of any sort or kind. Therefore, from the point of view of temperance, he thought that the move which they were making, unless they included clubs, was worth nothing at all. The other difficulty which presented itself to him was that which had been touched upon by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down—the difficulty of the frontier. He had listened to every speech which had been made in the course of the debate, and awaited an explanation of the proposal that this subsection was not to apply to premises in the Metropolitan district. Without desiring to import in any way controversy into the discussion, from which it had been free up till now, he confessed that he was astonished at the explanation which had proceeded from the lips of the Lord-Advocate. When asked why it was that the Government had excluded the Metropolitan district from this provision, the Lord-Advocate said the Government considered that it was unadvisable to march in advance of public opinion. He was astonished to learn that public opinion in London was so vastly different from public opinion in Liverpool or any other large town; and he really asked himself how it was that the Lord-Advocate arrived at the conclusion that public opinion would not support further restriction in the Metropolitan district. After all, how did they ascertain what the public opinion was? The Government when it suited their purpose told them that public opinion found full and adequate expression in the voices of Members occupying the Ministerial benches. If they applied that test he would have thought they would have found that public opinion was very strongly in favour of the inclusion of London within the operation of this subsection. He could not think that the Government had to disregard the voices of their supporters and to regard only the results of the bye-elections in London, because, if that were their method of ascertaining the trend of public opinion, they would have withdrawn their Bill altogether, and Members would not have found themselves as far as they were in the discussion that day. He was glad, he confessed, to hear the Lord-Advocate state that the Government were not going to put pressure on their supporters to exclude London from the Bill, and that the House would have a further opportunity of expressing its views upon this question. For himself, he was bound to say he did not see at all when that opportunity was going to be. He would remind the Committee that there would be no opportunity, so far as he could see, at any rate on this stage of the Bill, of taking a division on the point. It was a great pity, but it was entirely the fault of the Government that it was so. The division would take place shortly, and he had to ask himself what he was to do, being, as he was, favourable to restriction of the hours during which public-houses were open, and yet being face to face with the situation as he found it in the Bill. He could only say, and he said it with great reluctance, that he intended to vote against this subsection, unless they had a clear and explicit declaration from the Government that they intended to apply the provision to the Metropolitan district, and to deal with clubs in the manner which had been suggested in various quarters of the House. If the Government gave them an undertaking of that kind, then he for one should not oppose the subsection. If, on the other hand, they did not give them any undertaking of that kind, then he would feel bound to vote against it. When he looked at the situation in his own constituency he was convinced that great inconvenience would be caused and great injustice done by the proposals of the Government as they stood. His constituency ran up to the Metropolitan area. Supposing that the subsection was passed in its present form what would happen would be that from all around they would inevitably have the evil of an influx from the country districts into the Metropolitan area. That was a most undesirable thing; it was certainly unnecessary, and unless he got an explicit assurance on the point he should vote against the subsection.

*MR. BRACE (Glamorganshire, S.)

said the debate was one of the most interesting to which it had been his privilege to listen since he had been a Member of the House. He did not anticipate, despite the fact that the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down said he would vote against the subsection, that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen above the gangway would carry this question to a division, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman their Leader. He had simply risen to say, as a member of the working classes, as a resident at Newport in Monmouth, and as Member for Glamorganshire, that he had no hesitation in associating himself with the proposal for limiting the hours during which public-houses were kept open on Sunday. He had been surprised that the basis of the attack levelled against the Government proposals was that it would encourage the opening of clubs. If hon. Gentlemen believed that, it was their duty to table Amendments of a more drastic character dealing with clubs rather than make it an excuse for not supporting a reasonable proposal such as this. The right hon. Gentleman had expressed a fear that the limiting of the hours to three on Sundays might encourage the consumption of spirits instead of beer; but it was cheaper for them to get in beer on a Saturday night than spirits, and the danger was one that need not be seriously apprehended. Might he bring forward the claims of the family? He had listened carefully to hear the family note struck in the discussion. All the fear had been as to what the drinker was to do. What about his family? Let the Committee take a concrete case. On a Sunday the man who was given to going to the public-house to drink went out at about half-past eleven or twelve, and went into the public-house at half-past twelve and stayed, not to get the dinner beer, but until half-past two, and went home drunk or partially drunk. He was a nuisance to himself and to his family. Instead of having his dinner with his wife and children on the only day in the week that he could spend with them, he was encouraged to go to the public-house and stay till half-past two. It was to put an end to that, and in order that the families should have greater consideration than they had had, that he strongly supported the proposal. It was said they wanted to make sobriety compulsory by Act of Parliament. Surely hon. Members were not so foolish as to think they were going to do that. They had never thought that by the passing of this measure they were going to make people sober. What they claimed for the Bill was that it would reduce the opportunities or temptations by which men were tempted to drink to the point of abuse. As a Welsh Member, as a resident in Monmouthshire who had seen close at hand the working of the Sunday Closing Act, he had no hesitation in declaring that as this to some degree carried them forward to complete closing he supported the proposal, and he should expect to see the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition in the same lobby with them and carrying a number of his friends with him in support of the whole proposal, believing as he did that the House might well give attention to the claims of the family rather than to the man who spent his Sunday in seeking opportunities to drink.

MR. W. R. REA (Scarborough)

said the Leader of the Opposition had asked for further information as to whether Sunday closing would not put a stop to the recent development of spending Sundays and week-ends away from home, where people might be, at any rate, better employed than in soaking in public-houses in the towns. As the representative of a watering-place which relied for a considerable part of its income on this week-end trade he assured the hon. Gentleman that, having taken the trouble to find out what the effect of the clause would be on his own constituents, he was quite satisfied that it would do them no injury, and that they welcomed the reduction in the hours of opening. They believed that three hours was quite sufficient for the reasonable refreshment of the visitors, and they were most anxious that it should be understood that people went to Scarborough, Brighton, and Eastbourne as health resorts and not as drinking resorts. They therefore welcomed the clause, but subject to this, that the allotment of the hours during which the public-houses were open might be left to the discretion of the local justices. The requirements of a watering-place were quite different from those of London and the large manufacturing towns. From three to six on Sunday were just the hours when refreshment was needed at watering-places in the summer, and it was unreasonable that the House should lay down the hours at which these public-houses should be open. It was infinitely preferable that they should leave it to the local magistrates who knew the circumstances and allow them to open the houses when they were required in the daytime, and close them in the far more mischievous hours after dark. With that proviso he was certain that no injury would result from the passing of the clause, and that it would improve the character of the towns.


said his experience of Ireland was somewhat different from that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Tyrone. He had told them that since the Act of 1906 was passed, Ireland had been a peaceable and happy place, and led them to suppose that it must indeed have been a terrible place before. The importance that the right hon. Member for South Tyrone attached to the working of the Act of 1906 in Ireland was largely exaggerated. The right hon. Gentleman's opinion as to temperance legislation in Ireland was about as impartial as that of the right hon. Member for Spen Valley in regard to England. He had told the House that the Act of 1878 was imposed upon Ireland. That was not so. It was conceded by the House in deference to the unanimous desire of the hierarchy and clergy of Ireland. It was the unanimous demand of the people of Ireland. Was there any such unanimous demand from the people of this country for the legislation they now sought to impose upon them? In his opinion there was not. This was the most restrictive and repressive legislation on the less fortunate people who could not go to clubs, or be socially entertained at home. The right hon. Gentleman told them that arrests for drunkenness in Dublin had decreased, but what was the effect of licensing legislation on the suburban areas? If they took Dublin and a circle of ten miles it had not decreased drinking in any way. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley had told them that in the three years following the passing of the Sunday Closing Act in Ireland the amount of spirits consumed decreased by 3,000,000 gallons. But was there no other cause? Was he aware that in that time the population was decreasing by 10 per cent., that in a decade half a million people had vanished, that it was a period of acute distress, and that in the main the reduction of alcoholic drink was due to the moral suasion of the clergy? It was that moral suasion that he would ask them to apply to the people of this country. They could never make the people temperate by Act of Parliament. On the one hand, hon. Gentlemen opposite sought to extend political liberty and power, and on the other hand they asked for repression. The two could not go hand in hand. If they wanted to advance political freedom they must try to elevate the moral character of the people; if they did not do that all their repressive legislation was in vain. This was a tyrannical measure proposed by a so-called democratic Government.


said he wished, in the first place, to express the acknowledgments of the Government for the manner in which the Committee had dealt with the clause. The debate had been free from those elements of controversy which had characterised many of their discussions, and it had disclosed the fact that there was in that House an overwhelming body of opinion in favour of the principle which the clause contained. The right hon. Member for the Epping division did, indeed, say that action of this character was unnecessary, because in these days drunkenness had almost disappeared. Last year there were in England and Wales no fewer than 197,000 convictions for drunkenness, a vast total, and, in addition to that, there were, of course, an immense number of cases that were not discovered or charged. The clause had behind it the advantage of the lessons that could be drawn from the experience of those parts of the United Kingdom which already had complete Sunday closing. They had had some most powerful and eloquent speeches from representatives of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, who had given the information as to the experience of those countries for which the Leader of the Opposition asked at the beginning of the discussion. The last speaker differed from others who had spoken, but he was well-known in that House as an uncompromising opponent of all measures of legislative restriction upon the liquor trade, and whenever a Bill of this character was discussed the hon. Gentleman advocated the interest of that particular industry.


I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon. I am not an opponent of all temperance measures, but only of the inference drawn by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Tyrone.


said he was not referring to the hon. Member's words, but to his actions, and he would be much interested to learn from him if he had allowed to escape any occasion, since he had been a Member of the House, of opposing any measure which had been regarded by the friends of temperance as designed to promote temperance. With that exception they had had universal testimony from all those portions of the United Kingdom that Sunday closing had been a great success, and that practically no voice would be raised in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales for the repeal or limitation of the measure of legislative protection which they now enjoyed. Commission after Commission, Committee after Committee, appointed by the Sovereign or that House, had inquired into the working of the Sunday closing laws in these parts of the United Kingdom and without a single exception they had reported that those laws had been of great advantage to the populations to which they applied. They did not propose in the Bill to go as far as the experience of the other parts of the kingdom might justify them in doing. They realised that public opinion was not yet ripe for a complete measure of Sunday closing in this country, and therefore the very modest proposal was made in this clause, which might be supplemented by the action of the justices in proper cases, that the hours of opening, which were now six on Sunday outside the Metropolitan area, should be reduced to three. The matter was submitted to the Royal Commission on the Licensing Laws some years ago, and both sections of that Commission declared that a further restriction of the hours of Sunday opening was desirable and necessary. The Majority Report, signed by eight representatives of the liquor trade, though four dissented from this particular recommendation, urged that the hours should be reduced from six to four, though they suggested that London and the principal cities should be exempted for a time. They also urged that Monmouthshire should be included in the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. The Minority Report proposed that the hours of Sunday opening should be reduced to three, with power to the local magistrates to close them altogether in districts where public opinion called for that course. They also advocated the inclusion of Monmouth in the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. He could turn also to the Conservative Ministry's Local Government Bill of 1888, which contained a clause conferring on county councils the power to make regulations to close licensed premises on Sundays, Christmas Day, and Good Friday. That showed that the Conservative Government of that day clearly realised that there was a case for Sunday closing. That clause was withdrawn because the Government did not desire to overload the Bill, and were averse to having the first elections for the newly-created county councils fought on so controversial a matter as Sunday closing. The proposal for Sunday closing combined in its support many varying elements. There was not only the desire to reduce the facilities for the consumption of drink. There was the religious sentiment of the country, and also the desire to secure a larger measure of leisure for those employed in this industry. Mr. Charles Booth, in his investigations of the hours of labour on licensed premises in London, showed that this trade was the most overworked of all trades in this country. The hours of barmen and barmaids were over eighty generally, and not seldom rose to as many as ninety per week. In conclusion he came to three special points. There was first the small one raised by the hon. Member for Scarborough, who pleaded for a greater measure of elasticity in the selection of the three hours in which public-houses might be open on Sundays. They admitted that there was force in his contention, and would propose on the Report stage an Amendment to meet his wishes, and the wishes of other Members allowing the three hours to be selected between mid-day and the closing hours at night, provided that one was in the middle of the day, to give opportunities for obtainng the "dinner beer." The hon. Member for Sevenoaks raised two points. He said first—"If you wish for my support, you must tell us what you are going to do with regard to clubs, on Sundays. Here are these institutions, many of them merely drinking dens, and you propose to impose no disabilities on them with regard to the sale of liquor." If the hon. Member had sufficiently studied the clauses in the Bill dealing with clubs, he would have found that clubs which were merely drinking dens would be suppressed altogether. They could not exist under the Bill at all. With regard to the restriction of hours in well conducted clubs, he asked leave to postpone any remarks on that question until they came to discuss the clauses dealing with clubs. It was far too large and complicated a question to be dealt with as a side-issue on a clause which did not deal with clubs at all. Then the hon. Member asked: "Why do you exempt London?" The reason why a provision was not inserted with regard to London was that London had always been exceptionally dealt with in regard to hours in licensing legislation hitherto. The inclusion of London was not recommended by the majority Report of the Licensing Commission, and they were anxious to obtain expressions of opinion from various quarters of the House before extending the provisions of the clause to London. After the speeches from both sides of the House that had been made during that discussion, and from other expressions of opinion that had reached the Government, he thought the House would favour the inclusion of London. Consequently on the Report stage an Amendment would be moved to that effect. They would consider whether the clause should be applied to London simpliciter, as it stood, or whether any modification of a minor sort was necessary. He hoped that that announcement would remove any hesitation there might be in the minds of hon. Members in giving full approval to the clause.


said he was going to vote in favour of the retention of the clause. He recognised that it did not, as many other clauses did, strike at the interests of the trade, or the people interested in it. On the contrary, he believed that all the legitimate trade would be done within the hours in which the house would be open. It would be an enormous boon to the people conducting this trade—always a strenuous task, often a difficult one, requiring constant attention, tact, and care—and a great relief to them to have their hours further shortened on at least Sundays. He had always expressed his opinion in favour of a greater restriction of hours on Sundays, provided that reasonable opportunities were given to people to get what liquor they required. A great number on the opposite side of the House had argued the question as if it were one of total closing on Sundays. If that had been the case he would have been found voting against it. He was in favour of restriction, but he was not in favour of prohibition. Even restriction might lead to some irregular or secret drinking, but prohibition would lead to a great deal more.

DR. RUTHERFORD (Middlesex, Brentford)

expressed his deep gratitude to the Government for the announcement that it was intended to apply this clause to London.

MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)

asked if under this clause public-house people would be able to supply intoxicating drinks to travellers who cycled or walked into the country during the hours when they were closed? It would be a serious thing if cyclists and other travellers were unable to get any sort or kind of refreshment on Sunday which was often the only day upon which they could take their recreation.

MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)

asked whether it would not be wise to strike out the words "by retail." Whilst they could not get beer on Sunday in Wales at public-houses they had no difficulty in purchasing a 4½ gallon barrel from wine and spirit merchants. This had been done in the case of a whole gang of navvies, and it could be repeated until the whole gang got hopelessly drunk.


said it would still be possible to supply intoxicating liquor to bona fide travellers. The question to which the other hon. Member had referred had not escaped the attention of the Government, but at this point the Committee were merely dealing with an alteration of hours.

*MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

drew attention to an Amendment standing in his name introducing a differentiation of hours for rural areas and hoped that it might be adopted by the Government.


That is not in order at present.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 250; Noes, 39. (Division List No. 311.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Cory, Sir Clifford John Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cox, Harold Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Acland, Francis Dyke Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Crooks, William Higham, John Sharp
Agnew, George William Curran, Peter Francis Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Alden, Percy Dalziel, James Henry Hodge, John
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Holland, Sir William Henry
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Horniman, Emslie John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S. Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Astbury, John Meir Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Atherley-Jones, L. Donelan, Captain A. Hudson, Walter
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Hyde, Clarendon
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Jackson, R. S.
Barnes, G. N. Essex, R. W. Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Beale, W. P. Esslemont, George Birnie Jardine, Sir J.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Evans, Sir Samuel T. Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Faber, G. H. (Boston) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Berridge, T. H. D. Fenwick, Charles Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Ferens, T. R. Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Ferguson, R. C. Munro Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Kekewich, Sir George
Black, Arthur W. Findlay, Alexander Laidlaw, Robert
Bowerman, C. W. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Brace, William Fuller, John Michael F. Lambert, George
Branch, James Furness, Sir Christopher Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm
Bright, J. A. Gibb, James (Harrow) Lamont, Norman
Brocklehurst, W. B. Gill, A. H. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich
Brodie, H. C. Gladstone Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lewis, John Herbert
Brooke, Stopford Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Bryce, J. Annan Grant, Corrie Lundon, W.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lupton, Arnold
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Greenwood, Hamar (York) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Byles, William Pollard Griffith, Ellis J. Lyell, Charles Henry
Cameron, Robert Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Lynch, H. B.
Carlile, E. Hildred Gulland, John W. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Bg'hs
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Mackarness, Frederic C.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Maclean, Donald
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Macnamara, D. Thomas J.
Cheetham, John Frederick Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh M'Arthur, Charles
Clough, William Harrison-Broadley, H. B. M'Callum, John M.
Clynes, J. R. Hart-Davies, T. M'Crae, Sir George
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Haworth, Arthur A. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Hazel, Dr. A. A. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hedges, A. Paget Mallet, Charles E.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Ridsdale, E. A. Toulmin, George
Marnham, F. J. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Massie, J. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd Verney, F. W.
Menzies, Walter Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Micklem, Nathaniel Robinson, S. Vivian, Henry
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Robson, Sir William Snowdon Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Molteno, Percy Alport Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Roe, Sir Thomas Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Rose, Charles Day Wardle, George J.
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Waring, Walter
Morpeth, Viscount. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Morrell, Philip Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Morse, L. L. Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Waterlow, D. S.
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Watt, Henry A.
Murray, James (Aberdeen, A.) Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Myer, Horatio Seaverns, J. H. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Napier, T. B. Seely, Colonel White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Shackleton, David James Whitehead, Rowland
Nussey, Thomas Willans Silcock, Thomas Ball Whitley, John Henry Halifax)
Nuttall, Harry Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Whittaker,Rt.Hn.Sir Thomas P.
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Sloan, Thomas Henry Wiles, Thomas
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Parker, James (Halifax) Snowden, P. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Soares, Ernest J. Williamson, A.
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Spicer, Sir Albert Wills, Arthur Walters
Pense, Herbert Pike (Darlington Stanger, H. Y. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Steadman, W. C. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Stewart, Halley (Groonock) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Sutherland, J. E. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Radford, G. H. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Yoxall, James Henry
Rainy, A. Rolland Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Rasch, Sir Frederic, Carne Thomasson, Franklin TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E. Joseph Pease and Master of
Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Elibank.
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Torrance, Sir A. M.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F. Guinness, W. E. (Bury, S. Edm.) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Balcarres, Lord Hay, Hon. Claude George Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hills, J. W. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Hunt, Rowland Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh' m Kerry, Earl of Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir FredDixon Kimber, Sir Henry Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Lowe, Sir Francis William Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Faber, George Denison (York) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Young, Samuel
Faber, Capt, W. V. (Hants, W.) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Fardell, Sir T. George Nield, Herbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Fell, Arthur Nolan, Joseph George Gibbs and Earl
Forster, Henry William Oddy, John James Winterton.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Grotton, John Renton, Leslie

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

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 237 Noes, 55. (Division List No. 312.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Barnes, G. N.
Acland, Francis Dyke Ashton, Thomas Gair Beale, W. P.
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Astbury, John Meir Beaumont, Hon. Hubert
Agnew, George William Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt
Alden, Percy Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Berridge, T. H. D.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Black, Arthur W. Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Bowerman, C. W. Higham, John Sharp Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Brace, William Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Radford, G. H.
Branch, James Hodge, John Rainy, A. Rolland
Bright, J. A. Holland, Sir William Henry Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Brocklehurst, W. B. Horniman, Emslie John Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Brodie, H. C. Horridge, Thomas Gardner Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Brooke, Stopford Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Ridsdale, E. A.
Bryce, J. Annan Hudson, Walter Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jackson, R. S. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Byles, William Pollard Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Robinson, S.
Cameron, Robert Jardine, Sir J. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc. Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea Roe, Sir Thomas
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Jones, Leif (Appleby) Rose, Charles Day
Cheetham, John Frederick Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Clough, William Kekewich, Sir George Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.
Clynes, J. R. Laidlaw, Robert Rutherford, V. H. (Brent ford)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Lambert, George Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Lamont, Norman Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Scott, A. H. (Asht'n-under-Lyne
Cory, Sir Clifford John Lewis, John Herbert Seaverns, J. H.
Cowan, W. H. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Seely, Colonel
Cox, Harold Lonsdale, John Brownlee Silcock, Thomas Ball
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Lundon, W. Simon, John Allsebrook
Crooks, William Lupton, Arnold Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Curran, Peter Francis Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Sloan, Thomas Henry
Dalziel, James Henry Lyell, Charles Henry Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Lynch, H. B. Snowden, P.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Soares, Ernest J.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Spicer, Sir Albert
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs) Stanger, H. Y.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Mackarness, Frederic, C. Steadman, W. C.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Maclean, Donald Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Essex, R. W. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Esslemont, George Birnie M'Callum, John M. Sutherland, J. E.
Evans, Sir Samuel T. M'Crae, Sir George Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Faber, G. H. (Boston) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Fenwick, Charles M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Ferens, T. R. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Thomasson, Franklin
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Mallet, Charles E. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Findlay, Alexander Marnham, F. J. Torrance, Sir A. M.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Mosaie, J. Toulmin, George
Fuller, John Michael F. Menzies, Walter Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Furness, Sir Christopher Micklem, Nathaniel Verney, F. W.
Gibb, James (Harrow) Molteno, Percy Alport Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Montagu, Hon. E. S. Vivian, Henry
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Grant, Corrie Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Morpeth, Viscount Wardle, George, J.
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Morrell, Philip Waring, Walter
Griffith, Ellis J. Morse, L. L. Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Gulland, John W. Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Waterlow, D. S.
Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton Myer, Horatio Watt, Henry A.
Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale Napier, T. B. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Nussey, Thomas Willans White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Nuttall, Harry Whitehead, Rowland
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Hart-Davies, T. Parker, James (Halifax) Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wiles, Thomas
Haworth, Arthur A. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Hodges, A. Paget Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Williamson, A.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Wills, Arthur Walters
Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton) Mr. Joseph Pease and Master
Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.) Yoxall, James Henry of Elibank.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex, F. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Balcarres, Lord Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rawlinson, John Frederick Pee
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hay, Hon. Claude George Remnant, James Farquharson
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Hills, J. W. Renton, Leslie
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Rowland Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Kerry, Earl of Ronaldshay, Earl of
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm' Kimber, Sir Henry Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Craik, Sir Henry Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lowe, Sir Francis William Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Marks, H. H. (Kent) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Winterton, Earl
Fardell, Sir T. George Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Fell, Arthur Nield, Herbert Young, Samuel
Forster, Henry William Nolan, Joseph
Gardner, Ernest O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Oddy, John James Mr. Goulding and Mr. George
Gretton, John Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye D. Faber.
Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) Percy, Earl

Clause 19:

And, it being after Five of the Clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of. 17th July, successively to put forthwith the Questions on the Amendments moved by the Government, of which notice had been given, and the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded this day.

Amendment proposed— In page 12, line 8, to leave out from beginning to the first word 'the' in line 9.' "—(Mr. Herbert Samuel.)

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 228; Noes, 61. (Division List No. 313.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Branch, James Cory, Sir Clifford John
Acland, Francis Dyke Bright, J. A. Cowan, W. H.
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Brocklehurst, W. B. Cox, Harold
Alden, Percy Brodie, H. C. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Brooke, Stopford Crooks, William
Ashton, Thomas Gair Bryce, J. Annan Curran, Peter Francis
Astbury, John Meir Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Dalziel, James Henry
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Byles, William Pollard Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cameron, Robert Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.
Barnes, G. N. Carr-Gomm, H. W. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)
Beale, W. P. Channing, Sir Francis Allston Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Cheetham, John Frederick Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall
Benn, Sir J. Williams Devonp'rt Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)
Berridge, T. H. D. Clough, William Essox, R. W.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Clynes, J. R. Esslemont, George Birnie
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Evans, Sir Samuel T.
Black, Arthur W. Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Faber, G. H. (Boston)
Bowerman, C. W. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd) Fenwick, Charles
Brace, William Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Ferens, T. R.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Mackarness, Frederic C. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Maclean, Donald Seaverns, J. H.
Findlay, Alexander Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Seely, Colonel
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Fuller, John Michael F. M'Callum, John M. Simon, John Allsebrook
Furness, Sir Christopher M Crae, Sir George Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Snowden, P.
Grant, Corrie Mallet, Charles E. Soares, Ernest J.
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Spicer, Sir Albert
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Markham, F. J. Stanger, H. Y.
Griffith, Ellis J. Massie, J. Steadman, W. C.
Gulland, John W. Menzies, Walter Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton Micklem, Nathaniel Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale Molteno, Percy Alport Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Montagu, Hon. E. S. Sutherland, J. E.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Morrell, Philip Thomasson, Franklin
Hart-Davies, T. Morse, L. L. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Haworth, Arthur A. Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Torrance, Sir A. M.
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Myer, Horatio Toulmin, George
Hedges, A. Paget Napier, T. B. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Verney, F. W.
Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Nussey, Thomas Willans Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Nuttall, Harry Vivian, Henry
Higham, John Sharp O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Parker, James (Halifax) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent
Hodge, John Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wardle, George J.
Holland, Sir William Henry Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Waring, Walter
Horniman, Emslie John Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Pickersgill, Edward Hare Waterlow, D. S.
Hudson, Walter Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Watt, Henry A.
Hyde, Clarendon Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Radford, G. H. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Jackson, R. S. Rainy, A. Rolland Whitehead, Rowland
Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Jardine, Sir J. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.
Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Wiles, Thomas
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Ridsdale, E. A. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Kekewich, Sir George Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Williamson, A.
Laidlaw, Robert Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd Wills, Arthur Walters
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.
Lambert, George Robinson, S. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Lamont, Norman Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Wilson. P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Lewis, John Herbert Roe, Sir Thomas Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Rose, Charles Day Yoxall, James Henry
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Lyell, Charles Henry Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lynch, H. B. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Mr. Joseph Pease and Master
MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) of Elibank.
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F. Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Fell, Arthur
Balcarres, Lord Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E Forster, Henry William
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Gardner, Ernest
Barnard, E. B. Craik, Sir Henry Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bignold, Sir Arthur Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Gretton, John
Carlile, E. Hildred Du Cros, Arthur Philip Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Faber, George Denison (York) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford
Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Hay, Hon. Claude George Morpeth, Viscount Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Hills, J. W. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield Nield, Herbert Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Hunt, Rowland Nolan, Joseph White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Kerry, Earl of Oddy, John James Winterton, Earl
Kimber, Sir Henry Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Percy, Earl Young, Samuel
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Younger, George
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Lowe, Sir Francis William Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lupton, Arnold Remnant, James Farquharson Mr. Samuel Roberts and
M'Arthur, Charles Renton, Leslie Captain Faber.
Marks, H. H. (Kent) Ronaldshay, Earl of

Amendments proposed— In page 12, line 9, after the word 'licence,' to insert the words' of any licensed premises.' In page 12, line 15, to leave out the words 'to which this section is applied.' In page 12, line 20, to leave out the words 'to which this section is applied. In page 12, line 24 at beginning, to insert the words 'In this section the expression "child" means a child under the age of fourteen years and.' In page 12, line 26, to leave out the words 'a specified,' and to insert the word 'that.'

"In page 12, line 29, to leave out from beginning to the word 'premises,' in line 30, and to insert the words 'nothing in this section shall apply in the case of a child who is resident but not employed in the licensed premises or in the case of.'"—(Mr. Herbert Samuel.)

Amendments agreed to.

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

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 229; Noes, 56. (Division List No. 314.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Clough, William Grant, Corrie
Acland, Francis Dyke Clynes, J. R. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Greenwood, Hamar (York)
Alden, Percy Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Griffith, Ellis J.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Gulland, John W.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cory, Sir Clifford John Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale
Astbury, John Meir Cowan, W. H. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Cox, Harold Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Crooks, William Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh
Barnes, G. N. Curran, Peter Francis Hart-Davies, T.
Beale, W. P. Dalziel, James Henry Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Haworth, Arthur A.
Benn, Sir J. Williams Devonp'rt Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Berridge, T. H. D. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S) Hedges, A. Paget
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Black, Arthur W. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Bowerman, C. W. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Higham, John Sharp
Brace, William Essex, R. W. Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Branch, James Esslemont, George Birnie Hodge, John
Bright, J. A. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Holland, Sir William Henry
Brocklehurst, W. B. Faber, G. H. (Boston) Horniman, Emslie John
Brodie, H. C. Fenwick, Charles Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Brooke, Stopford Ferens, T. R. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Bryce, J. Annan Ferguson, R. C. Munro Hudson, Walter
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Hyde, Clarendon
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Findlay, Alexander Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Byles, William Pollard Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Jackson, R. S.
Cameron, Robert Fuller, John Michael F. Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Furness, Sir. Christopher Jardine, Sir J.
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Gibb, James (Harrow) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Cheetham, John Frederick Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Kekewich, Sir George Parker, James (Halifax) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Laidlaw, Robert Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sutherland, J. E.
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Lambert, George Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Lamont, Norman Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Thomasson, Franklin
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Pickersgill, Edward Hare Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset E.
Lewis, John Herbert Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Radford, G. H. Torrance, Sir A. M.
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rainy, A. Rolland Toulmin, George
Lyell, Charles Henry Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Lynch, H. B. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Verney, F. W.
MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Ridsdale, E. A. Vivian, Henry
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Mackarness, Frederic C. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Maclean, Donald Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd Wardle, George J.
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Waring, Walter
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Robinson, S. Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
M'Callum, John M. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
M'Crae, Sir George Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Waterlow, D. S.
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Roe, Sir Thomas Watt, Henry A.
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rose, Charles Day Wedgwood, Josiah C.
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Mallet, Charles E. Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Whitehead, Rowland
Marnham, F. J. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax
Massie, J. Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.
Menzies, Walter Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Wiles, Thomas
Micklem, Nathaniel Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Seaverns, J. H. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Molteno, Percy Alport Seely, Colonel Williamson, A.
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Silcock, Thomas Ball Wills, Arthur Walters
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Simon, John Allsebrook Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Morse, L. L. Sloan, Thomas Henry Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Snowden, P. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Myer, Horatio Soares, Ernest J. Yoxall, James Henry
Napier, T. B. Spicer, Sir Albert
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanger, H. Y. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Nuttall, Harry Steadman, W. C. Joseph Pease and Master of
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Elibank.
O'Grady, J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn Sir Alex. F Gretton, John Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Balcarres, Lord Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Barnard, E. B. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Remnant, James Farquharson
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Hills, J. W. Renton, Leslie
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Rowland Ronaldshay, Earl of
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kerry, Earl of Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Kimber, Sir Henry Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Craik, Sir Henry Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham White, Patrick (Heath, North)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Lowe, Sir Francis William Winterton, Earl
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lupton, Arnold Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Du Cros, Arthur Philip M'Arthur, Charles Young, Samuel
Faber, George Denison (York) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Younger, George
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Morpeth, Viscount
Fell, Arthur Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Forster, Henry William Oddy, John James Mr. George Gibbs and Mr.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Nield.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.

Whereupon Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the Order of the House of 31st July, adjourned the House without Question put.

Adjourned at Twenty-six minutes after Five o'clock till Monday next.