§ Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question (20th April), "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Question again proposed; Debate resumed.108
§ Mr. A. C. MORTON
I regret that when this matter was before the House last week I had not time to complete my speech, and I should be sorry if anybody on the Front Bench thought that I spoke then merely for the sake of opposing the Bill. I had nothing of that sort in my mind; I simply wished to discuss the Bill on the ground of economy. We understood that before this matter was dealt with there should be some Return granted showing what the proposed changes were, and what their cost would be. I have been told that this is only a question of repealing a clause in an old Act of Parliament; but it goes further than that. That clause was put in by our predecessors, who had some idea of economy, to prevent the salary of the particular office exceeding £2,000. It might be as much less as Parliament liked, but it could be no more, and that I think was an exceedingly wise provision. I suppose that something of the same sort was in the late Mr. Gladstone's mind when he said in 1891, or thereabouts, that nobody thought of economy nowadays. That is more true today than it was even in 1891. Unfortunately expenses continually increase, but we do not think of economy. We have been told that the real effect of these proposals will come up by-and-bye in the Estimates. In addition to the danger of the guillotine, it is almost impossible on the Estimates to move the reduction of anybody's salary without making it to some extent a personal matter. You may move a reduction in order to discuss some matter connected with the Government, but if you move simply in order to decrease a salary it cannot help but be personal, and I should be sorry to do anything of that sort at any time, especially if my own party were in office. Can the right hon. Gentleman before the Bill gets much farther give the House a Return showing the proposed changes, with an estimate of the probable cost per annum? If he would do that, we should at any rate know better what is intended to be done, and the cost it will involve, than we do at present. As far as I am concerned, I do not think the present is a very opportune moment for increasing salaries at all, and I am afraid that that will be thought outside. Moreover, I am very suspicious when the two Front Benches agree upon any matter. But the Opposition Front Bench was prepared to go back even farther than the Government, and to let the prospective increase apply to the present occupant of the office. There seemed to be a suggestion that we 109 were really working for the Tory party, who some day, I suppose, expect to be in office. I am not at all anxious to sit here and vote public money just to benefit the party opposite, who probably want money less than the rest of us. Why we should be called upon to advocate an increase of salary which will apply only to our opponents I cannot quite understand. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will believe that as far as I am concerned I wished to discuss this matter purely from the point of view of economy. That is the main reason why we are sent to this House. I do not at all consider that this should be in any way made a party measure. I am willing to do the best I can to help the present Government in regard to their salaries and everything else, but, at the same time, I do not wish the question of economy to be forgotten when we are dealing with other people's money, especially at a time when money is so exceedingly scarce for the Government and everybody else. I do not propose to oppose the Bill, but I hope my right hon. Friend will be able to give us the Return for which I have asked.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
In reply to the question which my hon. Friend has just put to me, and in pursuance of a pledge which I have given, I can now quote figures, as far as we can work them out, which show the estimated increase of cost which this Bill will entail. I may give at the same time, for the general convenience, the corresponding figures in regard to the Local Government Board if a similar change in status takes place in that Department. In regard to the Board of Trade, the total additional cost, exclusive of the addition to the salary of the head of the Department will be £2,800 a year, or with that addition £5,800 a year. In the case of the Local Government Board the corresponding figures are £1,775 and £4,775.
§ Mr. GEORGE BARNES
I beg to offer a few observations in opposition to this Bill. The figures which have been given by the Prime Minister are of a somewhat more reassuring character than we have been led to believe would be the case in the matter of the additional cost of carrying out this Bill. We thought it would have been a great deal more than the figures which have been given to us. But my opposition to this Bill is not by any means appeased because the figures are only about £10,000 in the two Departments instead of the higher figure many of us feared would be the case. As the 110 right hon. Gentleman across the floor has just said, even £10,000 is worth consideration in these times of hardship. There are a great many in the country who would be glad of rise in screw proposed in this Bill, and who do not get it so easily. There are a great many who have to work very hard, and who would be glad if they had money to finance schemes that they are interested in. Generally speaking, however, these are times for retrenchment. But many who know all the facts do not set much store by them.
What we want to do is to avoid expenditure, and I think we have a right to complain of certain pledges which we understand are not to be carried out and that certain reforms which we have been advocating for so long a time have not been given to us. Instead we have simply an increase in expenditure in these two Departments by way of salary, for which we are to get, so far as I can see, nothing at all. I remember that on 6th February last year this matter was under discussion. A great deal was said about the overlapping of these Departments. I remember the Prime Minister himself saying that while he was in the Home Office it had often been forcibly brought to his mind that he was dealing with matters which were also being dealt with by another Government Department down the street. Since that time we have had occasion to know that the Board of Trade in dealing with railway matters, for instance, were not dealing with them so efficiently as we should have liked. We have had reason to complain that the Government Departments, possibly because they had so much to do, possibly because the matter was of a specialised character, could not give the attention necessary to them. We have always contended for the gathering up of these labour problems, and things, of that character, and putting them under the control of one Department, so that we can get them attended to a great deal more efficiently than they have been attended to.
On 6th February there was a proposal practically in identical terms to that of the present Bill. That was that the President of the Board of Trade should be raised to the status of a Secretary of State. So far as I remember, the Government undertook deliberately to institute an inquiry as to the possibility of gathering up these things which I have mentioned, and putting them in charge of one Department and reorganising the Department, as far as my memory serves me, with a view of 111 getting these matters brought under one Department, and therefore getting them not only more efficiently discharged but also giving this House a little more control and supervision over the whole of the Departments than they have at present. At all events, that is what I had in mind, and that is what, I venture to say, many of the hon. Members had in their minds when it was stated by the Prime Minister on that occasion that a Departmental Committee would sit and consider the whole matter. I have been told that in the debate of last Wednesday, that instead of the Departmental Committee having been set up and reporting to this House, instead of this House having full information, we simply have this Bill put before us, the top, bottom and sides of which is that certain Gentlemen in these Departments are going to have their salary raised. Apart from that, everything remains just exactly as it was before. That is not treating the House quite fairly. We are told that there has been, instead of a Departmental Committee, a Cabinet Committee; and it is fair to assume that that Committee has had evidence submitted to it as to the possibility of re-arranging these duties so as to get them more efficiently discharged. It is fair to assume that there has been a good deal of information submitted to the Cabinet. I venture to say that the House ought to be put in possession of that information before this Bill is passed. At all events, so far as I can see we are simply asked by this Bill to buy "a pig in a poke." We are asked to give £10,000 of the public money for the purpose of increasing the salary of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, and also that of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
This Bill deals entirely with the Board of Trade. It has nothing whatever to do with the Local Government Board.
§ Mr. BARNES
So far as I understand, the Prime Minister in his speech explained explicitly—and his speeches generally are explicit—that the other Department depends on this Bill. He had even ascertained the figures.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
He gave the figures in the event of the status of the President of the Local Government Board being raised in the same way that this Bill enables the status to be raised of the Board of Trade. I am perfectly accurate in saying that the Local Government Board question, as a question, is not raised by this Bill.
§ Mr. BARNES
I do not think there is so very much between the right hon. Gentleman and myself. As a matter of fact, to raise the salary of the President of the Local Government Board it requires no Bill. We were told that last week—simply an Order of the Treasury, To raise the status of the President of the Local Government Board does depend on the passing of this Bill, because no one would seek to pass that Order of the Treasury unless first of all the barrier that is in the way of raising the position of the President of the Board of Trade had been removed. Therefore it seems to me that after all the raising of the two Departments stand together. I am not going to say—we are not going to say a single word as to the President of one Board or the other. No doubt the President of the Local Government Board believes he deserves a rise in his salary. No doubt the President of the Board of Trade also is thoroughly of opinion that his position ought to be equal to anybody else's position in the Cabinet. But that is not the question. We want some rearrangement of the duties whereby, under a Ministry of Labour or something of that sort, all these things which are now being done partly by one and partly by the other, partly by the Home Secretary, and some of them by other Departments—whereby in a Ministry of Labour all these can be gathered up and put in charge of one man, responsible, in the first place, I should say, to a Committee of this House, and in the second place to the House as a whole.
I say again that although we were led to believe in February that something of that sort was to be done before any increased money was to be spent, there is absolutely nothing in this Bill of this character, but we are simply asked to sanction the spending of about £10,000 of public money in the increase of salaries for certain gentlemen, and absolutely for nothing at all, so far as we can see. It is for that reason I oppose the Bill, not in the apologetic manner of my hon. Friend across the floor; I oppose it because it does not do anything to put upon a more satisfactory 113 footing those things which we insisted on on behalf of those whom we represent in this House. I oppose it also for the minor reason that it adds to the expenditure nearly £10,000, and gives absolutely nothing for it.
§ Mr. J. S. HIGHAM
I am very sorry that the Government has decided to bring this Bill before the House in the manner in which it is brought. Following on the declaration of the Prime Minister and the declaration of previous Governments, we find that a Bill has been introduced which deals only with the lesser and the minor points. Last week when this Bill was before the House quotations were read from the speeches made by the Prime Minister last year, but in February, 1904, there was a discussion upon this same subject, and on that occasion the Prime Minister stated that the present administrative system was seriously defective, first in the duplication of its functions, and next in the conflict of jurisdiction. He referred especially to the Home Office, the Local Government Board, the Board of Agriculture, and the Board of Trade. Well, now five years have gone by since then. Everyone who studied the Estimates and watched the business of this House cannot but come to the conclusion that those evils have been intensified in these five years. Yet this Bill does not deal with a single one of them. Most of us agree that it is not the representation of these Boards in the House of Commons that requires amendment; the amendment is entirely necessary in the officers. The Ministers representing these Departments are in this House mostly at question-time, and I do not think any Member will find fault at the way in which they represent their Departments here. I have referred to the observations of the Prime Minister who in the year 1904 referred to this matter. I will go back to the previous year, 1903. In that year Mr. Ritchie spoke upon the same subject, using practically the same language as the present Prime Minister. He said he doubted very much if any beneficial result would come from the demand for an additional representative in this House. Too many expectations were based upon it. He agreed there should be an inquiry as to the status of the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade with regard to the distribution of the work, and he added:—I give my undertaking that this shall be done.I think, in the face of the undertaking given in 1903 of the opinion expressed by the Prime Minister in 1904, and the under- 114 taking given again last year, it is really too bad that this House should be asked to deal with the minor part of the work and leave the real evils practically untouched. I have a good deal of sympathy with the remarks made by my hon. Friend to the effect that we need more investigation by Committees of this House in regard to this work. It is not possible for a man to have sat upon a large corporation without coming to the conclusion that the financial work of corporations are better managed than the financial work of this House, and, the greater the corporation—in the vast majority of cases—the better the work is done. I do lean to the opinion that Committees of this House should have more dealing with the Departmental work, and then it would be better done than it is at the present time. Coming to the Board of Trade, I find that that there has been an enormous increase of the costs—I am quite prepared to admit that there has been an increase of work—but it really needs a Committee of this House to watch and to see that good value is given for the increased cost. In the year 1896 the whole cost of the Department under the Board of Trade came to £250,000. The Estimates in the current year are only £1,000 under £500,000. That is an increase of £250,000 in these dozen years. Members of this House cannot be considered unreasonable when they ask that they should be allowed a more careful examination of the work of these Departments than they are at the present time. I should not be in order in referring to the other Departments in which increases like this take place. I put it to the House, and to my hon. Friends, that these Departments are not managed in such a way as they ought to be. I think no objection can be raised to the salary of the head of the Department; but it means a great deal more than that. My hon. Friend anticipated that the cost would be £10,000 extra. The direct salaries of the officers of the Board of Trade come to nearly £60,000 and an increase of status of the Board would mean longer holidays, higher salaries and shorter hours. Big salaries always mean these things and £10,000 will not go far in a Department like the Board of Trade. I hate being asked to support this when I feel we can get no information after all these repeated promises of the last five years. For these reasons I feel sorry the Bill has been brought forward and that very much more information is not given to the House.
§ Mr. F. W. JOWETT
I am opposed, like my hon. Friend, to the passage of the second reading of this Bill, and I am opposed to it because I feel that far more minute inquiry should have been made into the business of the Department if such a change as is contained in the Bill should be brought into effect. The Board of Trade is a very ancient institution, and, as we all know, it is hardly possible for an institution to be so old as the Board of Trade without requiring some very important changes to bring it up to date and to make it efficient. I understand that in theory the Board of Trade is a Committee of the Privy Council, but that Council itself is a somewhat nebulous institution, which would be all the better for a little examination. It consists of some 300 members residing in different parts of the world, and they never meet together. Like the Privy Council, of which it is supposed to be the Sub-Committee, the Board of Trade never meets, and its members are not likely to be of any service if it were called together. When I mention the fact that one of the most prominent members of the Board of Trade—a most ornamental member—is the Archbishop of Canterbury it will at once be realised that not much service to the trade of the country is done by including the Archbishop amongst its members. The First Lord of the Treasury, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Chief Secretaries of State are also members, and I doubt whether the Board of Trade has ever met together, and it is in every sense of the word a phantom Board. It is all very well to say that the President of the Board of Trade represents the business of that Department and is responsible to this House, but, as a matter of fact, this House has very little control over the business of a Department like the Board of Trade. I have been present when questions have been put to various heads of Departments, including the present President of the Board of Trade. I am not sure whether the case I have in my mind occurred after he took up his present position or before, but I remember on at least one occasion he referred a rather persistent questioner in search of information to the Estimates, saying his time would come when the Estimates came up for discussion, and he could raise the question and seek the information whilst the Estimates were under consideration. We all know how slight chances are for any hon. Member of the House to get these particular bits of information during the time the discussion 116 of the Estimates is going on. It is only likely that among 670 Members there will be scores of hon. Members each with their separate point which they wish to discuss. Many of them are very important points, and every hon. Member naturally feels that he would like to have his own point elucidated, but he finds that he has been vainly seeking information by firing off questions which have been parried by the officials of the Board of Trade, who are behind the President, and who have done this for years.
When an hon. Member has been vainly seeking information throughout the year in this way naturally he would like to get that information during the time the Estimates are under discussion, but the opportunities for getting that information are extremely small. Moreover, it has become practically impossible for the House of Commons to distinctly challenge by vote the action of any Department of State. Centuries ago, when the business of State Departments was much smaller this theory may have been all very well, because then the Members of the House of Commons could exercise control and challenge the administration of Departments when the Estimates were under consideration, but that is not the case now. Amongst the Departments which last year passed its accounts through this House in such a way that it was not possible for any Member to challenge the action of such Department was the Board of Trade itself, although the business it transacts ought to demand the most careful attention of the House of Commons. Very important business is continually being done by the Board of Trade which, as Members of Parliament, we cannot exercise any control over.
During the year 1906 a change was made in the load line of ships, and practically the Plimsoll mark was allowed to be painted out. I understand that the change made was equivalent to the addition of one ship to every ten possessed by the shipowners of this country—that is to say, that they could carry on the newly-arranged Plimsoll loadline as much in ten ships as they previously carried in eleven. That was a very great change indeed, and it was made entirely by the Board of Trade itself. This House never exercised any discretion whatever in the matter, and it goes almost without saying that if it had been put to the House of Commons such a change would never have been made. We have it on the confession of the ex-President of the Board of Trade, who is now Chancellor 117 of the Exchequer, who stated, when a deputation met him from the shipowners asking for concessions to be made in the Merchant Shipping Bill, which was going through Parliament in 1906:—He would ask them to bear in mind that in this year they had also benefited the shipowners in another respect by improving the loadline regulations; therefore they were not altogether harassing the shipowners, and they were bearing in mind the difficulties they had to meet in competition, difficulties which were increasing from year to year.That is a matter which ought not to have rested with the President of the Board of Trade at all, and it should not have been carried out without the full assent of this House.
Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER
I do not quite understand the relevance of the observations the hon. Member is making, and I do not see how they bear upon this Bill. This measure is merely to remove a certain restriction on the salary of the President of the Board of Trade.
§ Mr. JOWETT
The Bill is to raise the salary of the President of the Board of Trade, and I understood that the general question of the efficient organisation of the Board of Trade could be raised on a question affecting the salary of its President, and that is exactly what I am discussing at the present moment. I am endeavouring to show that the present constitution of the Board of Trade is not acting efficiently. We should have instead of the change proposed a full inquiry into the Department, and that is my reason for opposing this Bill.
Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER
If the hon. Gentleman is using that as an argument against any change being made until some other change which he desires is made he will be in order but I do not think that he is in order in going into all the details in these matters.
§ Mr. JOWETT
That is what I desire to do, Sir. I was going to illustrate the present ineffectiveness of the Board of Trade, and to make some remarks for the purpose of showing why this Bill should not pass. I think, Sir, that I can conform to your ruling. I will not go into all the details, seeing that you do not wish me to do so at great length, but I am entitled, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to give examples of the way in which the present Board of Trade works in order to show that a change must be made. In the Department of the Board of Trade there are some barnacles that have grown up. They ought to be looked after, and that is why I support the remarks of my hon. Friend 118 the Member for Sowerby. There is, for instance, the Trinity House, which has the expenditure of a very large sum of money every year. The public have no control over Trinity House. All these are questions that should be gone into. There is the Railway Commission, each member of which I believe receives £3,000 a year. The number of meetings which they attended in 1905 was 21, and nobody knows very clearly how much good they do or whether they do any good at all. These are questions that should be inquired into, and I think we have reason to have this Bill rejected or to get these inquiries made. I believe that the Board of Trade could do much good if it cared to do it in the way of reducing railway rates. I am not alone in that opinion. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer was very strong on that point. On 16th June, 1904, he said that the Board of Trade could do a great deal if it told the railway companies that obstacles would be put in their way in the House of Commons unless they acted in a reasonable manner. We believe that much good in that direction could be done now by the Board of Trade. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer was two years and over President of the Board of Trade, but during those two years he did not effect that beneficent work, for the absence of which he had criticised Mr. Gerald Balfour, and the present successor of the right hon. Gentleman has shown no desire for doing the same work. If I read the position rightly what is going on behind the screens where that Board meets or ought to meet is that the combinations of railway companies will result in a very probable increase in the burdens of trade, and of all kinds of inflictions on trade. We want to know what has happened and is happening. I notice that the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, who is connected with the Great Northern Railway, and other Members of this House seem to be on good terms with the Board of Trade. There is a feeling amongst a section of this House that we do not know everything we ought to know about Public Departments, and that the Board of Trade is one of those Departments. To choose this particular time, when so many people are dissatisfied with the work of the Board of Trade, to introduce a Bill for increasing the salary of the President of the Board of Trade is a thing which I for one cannot imagine. After criticising in the way I have done, whether effectively or ineffec- 119 tively, the Board of Trade let me suggest that we might follow the advice that has been mentioned by an hon. Friend of mine, and associate the work of the Department with this House, so that we may come in contact with its work. Frankly, to put it—bluntly to put it—I would remark that Committees of this House ought to be in touch with the business of the Departments of State. The time has come when that step should be taken. In making such a proposal we have got very good precedents behind us. There is Lord Esher who has spoken in regard to the War Department and the Admiralty. He is distinctly in favour of the association of Committees of this House with the working of those two Departments. If it be a permissible thing to suggest that a Committee of the House of Commons should be in close touch and association with the work of the Army and Navy then surely it should be reasonable to suggest that the Committees of the House should be in touch with other Departments where there is not so much necessity for secrecy as in the two great Departments which I have mentioned. But we have even a better precedent than that. We have the opinion of the Government itself officially in favour of associating Committees with the work of Departments of State. By the Irish Councils Bill, which the present Government themselves produced in this House, they proposed to disestablish or to abolish eight similar boards and establish in place of each one of them representative committees. And if it be a right principle to associate such work in Ireland with committees—to allow the representatives properly elected to have control, to have touch at first hand with public affairs of the same description, then I want to know why it is wrong to do the same here. These issues should be discussed, examined and weighed before we take the step of passing this Bill, the second reading of which is now moved, and which I most heartily and thoroughly oppose, hoping that the Bill will be rejected.
§ Mr. W. P. BYLES
I do not propose to follow my hon. Friend in the detailed criticism which he has made of the work of the Department of the Board of Trade, not because I think that they are not useful—on the other hand, I think they are very useful—but I have risen to associate myself with the advocates of economy in this House. And may I say that I rejoice to find that, the House is not bereft of that 120 race of economists who have always adorned this House, and I hope it will be long before the House is without such men as my hon. Friend behind me (Mr. A. C. Morton), who has always kept his eye on the expenditure on public services. I find in one clause of the Bill that it is said that the 1826 Act limits the salary which is to be paid to the President of the Board of Trade. The Bill now before the House proposes that that salary should be unlimited, or, in other words, the words of the Bill: "There shall be paid out of the moneys of Parliament such annual salary as the Treasury shall determine." I do not like these blank cheques—these unlimited powers given to the Treasury. It is quite true we often hear about parsimony or the strict manner in which the Treasury looks after the purse-strings, but, at the same time, I do not think that they should spend what they like on the Board of Trade or on any other Department. In spite of what the Patronage Secretary has said, the House knows very well that this Bill also actually involves an increase in the salary of the President of the Local Government Board and many other increases. I understand there is to be a proposal presently that we should have a deputy Postmaster-General. All these new officers of State require a staff of clerks, of salaried men with a pension at the end of their service, and this all puts burdens upon the State. The salaries may be well spent or ill spent, but they come largely out of the pocket of the very poor, and I think it is the business of those who represent the poor in this House to watch carefully the increase in the outflow of public money. It has been estimated that all the increases in the Ministerial salaries and in the consequential increases in the staff of permanent officials and others may perhaps cost the country a matter of £30,000 a year before they are finished. The Prime Minister was good enough to give us some figures in regard to the Board of Trade and of the Local Government Board. But I do not think they quite exhausted the expenditure in which we may be involved. I think it is unnecessary for me to assure the House that I have no desire to underpay, and certainly no desire to show feeling of criticism or unfriendliness towards the present incumbents of the offices of the President of the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade. It is purely on public grounds that I offer these remarks. I think, indeed, that the status of the Presidents of these two great De- 121 partments ought to be raised. One question which I would like to see put to the House is this: Should we not rather look at the total expenditure of the Government of this expenditure, the total salaries which we pay to the office holders? It was estimated the other night by my hon. Friend that the salaries paid to the Front Bench amounted to £180,000 a year. What I would like to ask the House to consider is whether we ought not to look at that expenditure as a whole and not in detail? Do we pay enough altogether for the salaries of Ministers or do we not? I am inclined to think that £180,000 is adequate, and even a handsome reward for the services of these Gentlemen. One of the duties, as I understand it, is for hon. Gentlemen or right hon. Gentlemen who get the honour of sitting on that Bench and a great many other consequential honours, to be present in the event of a Governmental division. The other night we had a long Debate, a Debate of very great importance concerning the defences of the country. A great many of us are absolutely unpaid. We do not get a penny for our services. We make great sacrifices. [Hear, hear.] I do not know whether those cheers are ironical or not, but some of us do make great sacrifices, and we are animated solely by a sense of public duty. Some of us are old men. When I presented myself at the door of the House at 12.30 at night in the hope that I might get my last train the Government Whip told me that I must stay. Why? Because, he said, we must keep 100 men here in order to enforce the closure. But there are nearly 100 men in receipt of pay from the Government. Where were they?
Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member to confine his remarks to the Bill instead of dealing with the general conduct of the Government.
§ Mr. BYLES
I am properly reproved. I do feel a little warmly that these high-salaried gentlemen should go quietly home to bed and let us do their work. We pay these salaries, not in the sense in which great railway companies pay their managers, offering the place to the best men they can get at a competitive price. We pay these salaries in order to give a reasonable and proper livelihood to gentlemen whom we desire to honour. Money is not their motive in entering the Government any more than it is our motive in serving our country here below the Gangway for nothing. The spirit of 122 public service is such that we have a succession of men who are willing to undertake this great responsibility and honourable office not for pay at all, but for honour. I would venture respectfully to suggest to the House that if some of these salaries paid are too small, as I daresay they are, others are too large in proportion to the duties which attach to them, and my suggestion would be that the House should decide not upon an individual salary like that of the President of the Board of Trade, but in the aggregate how much that bench is worth to the country. Then I would say that the House having fixed the gross sum, £180,000 or £200,000, let these gentlemen pool it, and let them divide the money themselves. They know best what is the real value of A, B, and C. They know better than we do, and I suggest that they pool their money and pay one another what they think fit. It is very easy for this House to vote public money, but hon. Members should remember out of whose pockets the money comes. I have many poor people in my Constituency, and it is my business jealously to watch the outgo of their money. I do not propose to vote against this Bill, but I think these criticisms are fair and properly offered. I think some observations made by my hon. Friend the Member for West Bradford, and my hon. Friend for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow, are such as to suggest to the Government that the whole Question, not of the Board of Trade salary only, but of the duties of the Local Government Board and the Home Office, should be all carefully elaborated and collated, and a complete scheme should be prepared and put before us rather than having these single and individual proposals for the increase of the salary of one of the public officers.
§ Mr. WALTER REA
I am in entire sympathy with the remarks which have fallen from my hon. Friends below the Gangway on the other side of the House, but I am satisfied that they are not taking the right steps to secure the end at which they and we on this side of the House aim. We are anxious that both the Departments of Labour and of Commerce should be more efficiently organised than they are at present, and we look forward to the time when there shall be a Minister of Labour and of Commerce. But we are not satisfied to fold our arms and say nothing shall be done until this House can find time to reorganise the whole of these two great Departments. I trust my right hon. 123 Friends the political heads of those Departments will forgive me when I say that so far as they are concerned I regard this Question as one of minor importance, but the real difficulty, to my mind, is that, so long as the political heads of these Departments are paid a comparatively small or less salary than the heads of other Departments, their permanent officials are paid less than others, and, therefore, in these two supreme Departments of the State we do not permanently get the services of the best men. We have had a very striking illustration of this in the last few years. I will not mention names of individuals, but it must be within the recollection of this House that one of the most brilliant men that this country has ever had in its service was transferred to another Department, where he was not equally required, merely because it was not possible for the Department from which he rose to pay him an adequate salary, and there was a better opportunity of paying him in another Department. Therefore this Department lost the services of an able man. That is a blot upon the system of this country, and I would put it to my hon. Friends on the other side of the House whether they are altogether forwarding what they desire if they encourage able men to leave the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade to go to other Departments? That will be stopped if this Bill is passed, and if the political heads are put on a level with the heads of other Departments the permanent heads will also be put upon a level. It is, therefore, for that that I am heartily in favour of this change, and I am glad that something should be done to equalise the salaries of the Government. I am not prepared to sacrifice the efficiency of the Government in these supremely important Departments for a matter, as the Prime Minister said a few moments ago, of £10,000. I claim to be as zealous a guardian of the public money as the hon. Member for Salford, but, after all, in the administration of this country £10,000 a year is not a great matter for having the right men in the right places. Of this I can see some prospect in the next few months when there is a reorganisation of these Departments. I, at any rate, am glad to welcome this Bill as an effort to level up a Department which deals with commerce and labour to something like an equality with those great Imperial and spending Depart- 124 ments, which, to my mind, occupy far too much of the attention of this House.
§ Mr. THOMAS LOUGH
While I agree with every word that is to be said from the standpoint of economy as a question of principle, I do not feel that the economical question is the great one which should influence us in the discussion of this question. So far as that I agree with the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. But there is cropping up in the mind of everyone who has listened to this discussion that the House is not being treated with entire candour in this matter. We are asked to consider one Bill, and my right hon. Friend in charge of the Bill said we are really only dealing with the Board of Trade. I would ask him to explain the words the Prime Minister used, which are the pivot on which the debate turns.I cannot agree that it is possible to treat that department by itself and separate from other departments.Are we treating it separately? There is a feeling that we are treating it in a piecemeal and incomplete fashion—a matter of the gravest public importance. I am not influenced by the feeling of economy. I do not intend to vote against the Bill, but I wish to put in a strong plea in favour of the Government showing its hand entirely and telling us what is going to be done with all the Departments, if not at this stage, certainly before we approach the Committee stage—in fact, I think a promise of this kind has been given. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman one question which presents a difficulty to me. The Committee to which the Prime Minister alluded when he explained this Bill a few nights ago recommended that the salary of the President of the Local Government Board should be increased, but not so much as the President of the Board of Trade. He is only to get £3,000 a year, and the President of the Board of Trade is to get £5,000 a year. Are they going to accept the recommendation of the Committee and make this distinction? If they are I would protest against it. I do not think we ought to have more distinctions of this kind made. Yet the Committee has made that recommendation. I wish the Government to give this matter, as they promised, a little more consideration, and they ought to put before the House the results of their deliberations before they ask us to arrive at a decision. The Prime Minister himself said the time had come when a full inquiry should be made into all the emoluments and all the duties, and then upstarted an 125 hon. Member opposite, who said, "Will that inquiry be by a Committee of the House of Commons?" The Prime Minister immediately replied, "No; it shall be in the first instance by a Departmental Committee." Where is the Departmental Committee, and what does the first instance mean? It meant that we should have first a recommendation from a Departmental Committee dealing with the whole subject in a particular way which the Prime Minister described, and then, also, it should be laid fully before the House before a decision was arrived at. That is the feeling that I have in regard to this Bill. It is not a feeling of hostility on the ground of the small amount of expense incurred, because we are dealing with very great matters, but it is because the subject has not been handled in a perfectly complete way.
I desire to speak with perfect plainness about this single proposal which is embodied in the Bill. This is a Bill brought in first by the late Government, and they attached great importance to it. They brought it forward because they were tainted with Protectionist principles. They thought trade was a matter of great importance, and that we should soon have a President of the Board of Trade dealing with tariffs, and that as he would have these difficult duties to discharge he should receive a large salary. The Bill itself contains a reference to the year 1826. In 1826 there were many reasons why the President of the Board of Trade should be paid a larger salary than he ought to receive to-day. Then this country was a Protectionist country. The President of the Board of Trade then had to deal with all those clever gentlemen who come along where tariffs exists. There were 2,000 duties levied in this country then, and therefore the duties in many respects were of a much more difficult and complicated character than they are to-day. But now this is a Free Trade country, and one of the theories of Free Trade is that commerce is not a thing carried on by the State, but by the individuals in the State, and what these individuals ought to get is fair play in the conduct of their business; and the object of the Department is merely to supply them with statistics, and not to busy itself too much in the intricate details of commercial affairs. I am not sure that the very Department with which we are dealing in the Bill has not already entangled itself, at great cost to the nation, in some of these questionable commercial enterprises. What is the origin of the continuance of the Sugar Convention while 126 this Free Trade Government is in power? It is a proof that these Departments are growing in their power, and in their pretensions to an extent which makes it difficult for this House and even the Ministers who have to deal with the Departments to grapple with. The feeling I have in regard to this matter is that we ought to take advantage of the opportunity which is presented to us, and look into the question of the relation between the House of Commons and these various departments. There is not a week that passes now but some great affair is relegated for settlement to some Committee that can take charge of the safety of the nation. There is only one Committee which can take charge of the safety of the nation, and that is this House of Commons, freely elected by the people in the country. We have recently had the occasion to call the attention of the President of the Board of Trade to attempts that he was making to tyrannise the House of Commons. He has told us with regard to questions that he asked us that if he answered the questions he would be interfering with those secret and confidential relations which exist between the Board of Trade and the railway companies. There ought not to be any such. This House is the responsible authority, and this House is well fitted to act with a full sense of responsibility with regard to these matters.
I do not intend, certainly at this stage, to vote against the Bill, but it presents many most difficult questions. What are the Departments which are to be dealt with as a consequence of this Bill? There is only one Department mentioned in it. It has been explained that the other Departments need not be referred to because the salary can be changed without a Bill. We ought to be told definitely what the whole scheme is. Why should the Board of Education be left out? Education is just as important as Trade or as the Local Government Board, and it is growing in importance every year. Since the Board was set up great new duties, involving expenditure as much as that on the Army and Navy, have been thrown on it, but no one mentions that Board. It is to be left still the unhappy handmaiden of those Gentlemen who are conducting affairs that they think more important. I think that is a strange decision, and I should be very glad if my right hon. Friend would tell us, the whole scheme of the Government. I should be better pleased still if he will promise that a Select Committee, or some body fully representative of the House, would 127 be occupied in considering the whole question. I do not believe in a decision by the Cabinet. It is too delicate a task for one Member of the Cabinet to fix the salary of another. Let it be left to the House of Commons, and let the House, with sufficient information given to it, consider the whole of these large questions, and I believe they would be settled in a way which would be satisfactory to the nation. It must be borne in mind that if the matter is touched now we cannot reopen it again for 10 or 20 years, but do not let us deal with it in a hasty fashion. I entreat the Government to give the House of Commons an opportunity of fully considering these great issues and settling them in a manner which will tend to a more effective discharge of the duties of the State.
§ Mr. H. BELLOC
There is one aspect of the Bill which I desire to put before the House very briefly. It seems to me that in the tone of the discussion, especially on these benches, we have in this Debate, as in so many others, drifted more and more away from the public opinion of the country and from the opinion of our constituents. That has been true of many Bills which we have debated recently in this House, and I think it is true on this occasion. I think when it is known to the artisan population which attempted to effect, but failed in effecting, a great democratic change in the first days of 1906 that one of our principal concerns has been to pay a man who is getting £40 a week an additional £60 a week, and when they find that that change is advocated by men who by a vast majority are men who have never to give a serious thought to the smaller sums of money, I think these artisans will think, and rightly think, that in our attitude many of us on this Question are out of touch with them and the general opinion of England. It is to be remembered—I shall endeavour to say nothing extreme in discussing this matter—that where salaries are paid in this way, those to whom they are paid and the method of their selection are something unique in the world. I do not say anything worse than that. It depends on a great historical tradition. It is part of an organisation which has never been broken, but it forms an anomaly of a most striking kind in the modern world. Almost everywhere else an effort is made to make it possible for people to select the ablest men to represent them in Parliament, and 128 to have them there and in almost every Parliament of the world men of the highest possible ability, men commanding the greatest salaries are willing to work in administrative offices for comparatively small sums in order to emphasise the necessity of the democracy being represented by free bodies—conomically free as well as politically free. The men who are doing the work of the German Empire, of Italy, and of other States are working for salaries which are infinitesimal as compared with what many of them can earn outside. That is true also of our public life when such a sacrifice is demanded. Take the particular case of the gentleman who is now President of the Board of Trade. I know enough of the publishing and of journalistic world to be able to state that he could earn double by writing were he to give the time and energy to that particular thing in which he is an expert which he now gets for the office which he holds for the sake of the public interest. These salaries are enormous, and side by side with them you have men nominally freely elected, but whose election costs something like in the aggregate £1,000, and yet these men do give a great deal of time and energy to public work. There are two arguments which are used, and I think wrongly used, in connection with this matter—two arguments which have been acted upon traditionally with regard to those great salaries. They are both false. The first is that you must pay a good salary to get a good man. To begin with, in the political world, that is not true. It is not even true in commerce or in the productive efforts of the State. Mr. Swinburne died the other day; I wonder how much he earned by his pen. Who of us have not seen men who have made great fortunes and of whom we have said, "I would not know where to put that man if I had to pay him £200 a year." When we read of men who have made great fortunes we find that sometimes they have intelligence and sometimes they have not. You do not get your good man by paying a high salary. I do not stop to inquire into what happens in administrative circles. I imagine that some lady says when an office is to be filled, "Do you think that Tom is good enough for it?" And the answer is, "Tom is good enough, but he does, not go down with the House." It is needless to pretend that these offices are held by reason of the merits and abilities of the men who hold them when we find that an office is held in succession by men differing 129 wholly in character, and, if not in ability, certainly differing in the experience required for that particular office. It is ludicrous to pretend that these high salaries are what draw these men to these posts. There is a second argument used—that where large salaries are paid you avoid corruption. In the modern world you never avoid the taint of corruption, and you avoid it just as well where you test men by the standard of honour as by the standard of salary. You get work just as well done by the unpaid magistrates at Quarter Sessions as by the man who is paid a high salary. You get the work as well done in the Committees of this House, by the Members of those Committees, as by the heads of the great Departments. It is certainly not a good argument to say that these salaries are given for either of the two purposes for which they are paid. What can be said in favour of them is this. This is an ancient State, and it is a State which is justly proud of never having broken with this tradition. There is hardly an institution which has come down to us from the past which, however much a man attacks it he does not also feel in regard to it his patriotism pulsating if he has anything in him. That is an argument and a strong one, but it would be an argument for a very much larger scheme of reform than the particular scheme of reform produced to-night. Personally I shall vote against this Bill, and in voting against it I believe I shall be satisfying the opinion of my Constituents. I recognise the anomaly. I see the difficulty. To the holder of one legal post there goes five or six times the amount that goes to the holder of another post. That is an anomaly, but I suspect that too great facility for a change of this kind can be given. I shall vote against the second reading of the Bill as a protest against the proposal it contains.
§ Mr. E. A. RIDSDALE
My hon. Friend takes a pessimistic view in regard to many matters, and I do not often agree with him, but, on the present occasion, I am in entire agreement with him, and I shall follow his lead and vote against this Bill. I look upon this House as the trustees of the public in regard to all matters of expenditure, and before we are called on to increase the salary of any Minister, we must have a clear case made out to this House that a good man cannot be obtained for less money. I do not know whether any hon. Member will contend that the right hon. Gentleman who 130 now holds the position of President of the Board of Trade or the late holder, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer were not capable men for the post, and if they could be obtained for the salary and performed the duties of that office why should we add to the amount of money to be taken from the ratepayers of the country in order to increase their salary? I think we have no right whatever to do that. I quite agree that there is a certain anomaly in having so important a post as the President of the Board of Trade with a smaller salary attached to it than to the other offices of the Crown; but if it needs a remedy I would say it would be by some rearrangement of salary among the Ministers themselves. That no doubt is the correct way of dealing with it. At any rate, as long as we can obtain men willing to take the place at the salary I think we should be entirely surpassing the rights we have of dealing with the public money to increase the amount to be paid when no case has been made out for it.
§ Mr. E. H. PICKERSGILL
We are asked to-night to take the first step in a series of transactions which will largely increase the salaries of Ministers and bring entirely new political offices into effect without a full and public inquiry into the present distribution of offices and duties and to ascertain whether or not a more effective arrangement might be made. We were told the other night that an inquiry has been made by a Committee of the Cabinet. That is not the kind of inquiry that is called for, that this House expects, and that this House ought to demand. An inquiry by a Cabinet Committee may be satisfactory for the Cabinet, but, by its constitution, a Cabinet Committee seems to me, to a certain extent, disqualified for an inquiry of this nature, because it is composed of Gentlemen who either are or have been the political heads of Departments, and it seems to me that to inquire into a question of this kind you want men who come, of course, with great experience of public affairs, but entirely detached from any association whatever with the Department into which they are to inquire. They would, of course, receive evidence from the permanent heads of Departments, and upon that evidence they would come to the conclusion. What I feel is this, that the mere announcement of the conclusion of a secret Committee, without the evidence upon which the con- 131 clusion is based, without even a statement of the reason upon which it proceeds, is not calculated to inspire public confidence. This seems to me to be emphatically a case for inquiry by a Parliamentary Committee. I notice that the Prime Minister seemed to resent the suggestion of a Parliamentary Committee, as if a Committee of this kind would be like, say, Mr. Roebuck's Committee upon the conduct of the Crimean War by the Ministry of Lord Aberdeen. But, of course, there is no analogy whatever between the two cases. No one impugns the action of Ministers in this case. What we suggest is that the system might be improved. I have been looking into the matter, and it does seem to me that the precedents are all in favour of an inquiry by a Committee of this House. I may add one further word. There is a strong feeling in this House, which often finds expression, that the House has not sufficient power, especially with regard to Government Departments. Now I should be the last person to desire to do anything which would encroach upon the responsibility of Ministers, but here is a case not whether the action of individual Ministers is concerned at all, but a question with regard to the distribution of offices, and in a case of this kind it does seem to me not only right and proper, but strictly in accordance with precedents that a Parliamentary Committee should be appointed.
§ Mr. T. SUMMERBELL
I offer no apology whatever to the House for the statement that I am opposed to this Bill being passed into law. I have been struck with the fact that several Members on the other side have severely criticised the Bill, yet finished up by declaring that they cannot oppose it at the present stage. And on this side of the House above the Gangway we have had no speaker either approving or disapproving of the Bill. This is a question of the expenditure of public money, and it seems to me that these Gentlemen above the Gangway are always ready, especially if it is a case of old age pensions or unemployment, to talk about the taxpayers not being able to find the money. The hon. Member for Salford made a very severe criticism of the Bill, but wound up by saying he would not vote against it. He was followed by the hon. Member for Scarborough, who said that we on this side were not taking the right steps, but he did not tell us what the right steps were. We consider we have taken the right step 132 to-night by telling the Government that so far as we are concerned this Bill is not going to get a second reading, because we see that behind this Bill there is much more than is in this particular Bill, and we say that the time is not an opportune one for the Government to come forward with any scheme of this particular character, at the very moment when this House is watching anxiously for a few days hence as to how the money is going to be raised to meet the necessary expenditure for next year.
Yet in spite of all this anxiety and all this speculation as to where the money is to come from for next year, whether it is going to be taxation of the people's food or other things, in spite of all this, we have this Bill to give an increase of several thousands a year to Ministers, besides an increase in the establishment of their Departments, which will mean that their clerical staff are going to have their salaries increased. This will be followed by the Board of Agriculture, which will also mean an increase, and by the Post Office, and then we have got the Local Government Board. Taking the whole of these schemes into consideration, there is before the House a substantial increase in the expenditure of this country. As a party who are determined to put the interests of the people first, and not the salaries of any Minister of State, we are determined to resist the passing of this Bill as far as possible. The Prime Minister the other night, addressing the House, spoke to the following effect. He said:—As time has gone these two Departments(the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board)had collected and aggregated an enormous amount of multifarious functions, not, perhaps, very scientifically arranged or digested.If they have not been very scientifically arranged or digested, is now the time to say to this House that we are going to increase the salaries of this particular Department? I say that we want them scientifically arranged and digested before we are going to consent to the passing of this particular Bill. Again the Prime Minister distinctly made the following statement, that the time had come when the general allocation of the functions and the redistribution of the duties should be made more scientific between the various Departments. In the face of that we are justified in our opposition to this particular Bill. It is right that the inquiry should take place, and we 133 ought to be in a position to know exactly what it is going to mean to the Government when the whole of these Departments have been dealt with, as indicated on the notice paper before the House. On every possible occasion, while I am a Member of the House, I am going to resist this expenditure on highly paid officials. So long as I have the honour to represent a town where the people are starving for the mere necessaries of life, I shall do my utmost to prevent these people having to pay towards an increased expenditure on Ministers who have very handsome salaries. It is argued that it is a question of money in order to get the best man, but that I submit is to put a Cabinet Minister on a lower plane than ever we have heard him put on before. I thought that to occupy a high position in a Government, Tory or Liberal, was sufficient in itself, and that it was not a question of money. But if you are going to put Ministers on a lower plane, then I am sorry for them, so far as the Government of this country is concerned. The time is not opportune for this expenditure; but even if it were opportune, this increase ought not to be given until the whole scheme has been laid before the House, and until an inquiry has been held which would prevent overlapping and bring about arrangements that will make for, at all events, something like economy and greater efficiency than we have at the present time. I hope that Members who have criticised this Bill will have the courage of their convictions, and go into the Division Lobby, and so let the Government know that they personally are not going to vote for this increased expenditure. I hope that my hon. Friends of the Labour party will vote against this Bill, in order to demonstrate, so far as they are personally concerned, they are going to put their foot down on this increased expenditure.
§ Mr. GEORGE RENWICK
For some years in connection with Chambers of Commerce I have taken part in the agitation to raise the status of the President of the Board of Trade, but I am rather surprised that this Bill in no way mentions any improvement of the status of the President of the Board of Trade or the transfer of his duties. It is simply a Bill to give a blank cheque to the Treasury, or, in other words, to pay any salary that they think proper to the President of the Board of Trade. On these grounds I most strongly object to the Bill, and I shall do my best to oppose it. We have heard 134 during the Debate a demand for inquiry. During the last Parliament, in 1903 I perfectly well remember that a Committee was appointed to inquire into this subject. I have here the Report of the Committee. I find they recommended an increase of the salary of the President of the Board of Trade, but at the same time the Report contained a very important passage about the transfer of duties. I cannot imagine how the Government, having this fact in mind, could have brought in a Bill of this skeleton character and expect the House simply to swallow it because it is recommended by the Treasury Bench. I should like to remind the House of one or two points in connection with the Board of Trade. The commercial community are strongly of opinion that at the present time the Board of Trade has too much to do. Its duties have increased enormously. It is a very ancient body, as probably the House knows. We have been told it has been established for two hundred years. It has been abolished during that period several times. The last time it was abolished a well-known statesman, Edmund Burke, called ita solid imposture and imposition to delude the people.I am strongly of opinion it is no better at the present time. It was reconstituted in 1786. Those who were responsible to Parliament at that time did what the present Government has not proposed to do; they did at any rate, as stated in this Report, appoint a practical Board. I will read, an extract from the first page of the Report:—The present constitution of the Board dates from 1786. In that year a Committee of Council was created for the consideration of matters relating to trade and foreign plantation, and the following were members of it.Then were mentioned the Archbishop of Canterbury, the First Lord of the Treasury, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the principal Secretaries of State, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Speaker of the House of Commons, such Privy Councillors as held any of the following offices, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Treasurer, the Master of the Mint, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, such holders of office in Ireland as are Privy Councillors in England, and ten other members specified by name. We may smile at the constitution of the Board, yet the important fact is that the Government of the day did recognise that it was necessary to have a Board of Trade in name. The present holder of the office addressed a meeting in Newcastle a short 135 time ago, and he had to speak in regard to this very matter. He said to the Chamber of Commerce in Newcastle, at their annual meeting:—I am the Board of Trade.L'Etat c'est moi. I do think in connection with important matters connected with the Board of Trade we want something more than one man sitting; we want a real Board. We want—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The matter to which the hon. Member is referring does not appertain to this Bill at all. He is raising a wholly different point. The Bill does not deal with the constitution of the Board.
§ Mr. RENWICK
To the best of my ability I was calling attention to what was not in the Bill and what ought to have been in the Bill.
§ Mr. RENWICK
I would like to bring in a Bill dealing with this question, and if I brought in a Bill dealing with an important matter of this description I certainly would bring in a very different Bill from this. I do maintain, considering the important matters that the Board of Trade are called upon to deal with at the present time, that it is absolutely necessary that before we consent to give the Government the powers they ask for in this Bill we ought to demand from the Government what they are going to give us in return for this power they are asking to give an increased salary to this Minister. We have the greatest confidence in the present holder of that office. We believe he is a man of enormous ability, and we believe—although it is not mentioned in the Bill—that very likely the Government intend to deal upon the lines of the Report I have already referred to. In that Report it was recommended, with certain conditions of procedure, that a salary of £5,000 should be paid to the President of the Board of Trade, that £1,500 should be paid to the Parliamentary Secretary, and £2,000 to the Permanent Secretary. That is an increase over the present salary from £2,000 to £5,000. We cannot believe that the influence of the President of the Board of Trade will be increased in the same ratio. We are told that the present holder of the office wields an enormous influence in the Cabinet. If that influence were increased in the same ratio that 2,000 bears to 5,000, I am afraid 136 that certain Members would have a very unhappy time. I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister will tell the House what amount the Government propose to pay in salaries, what they are going to do in regard to the transfer of duties, and, above all, why they ask the House to agree to this proposal. These are important questions which the House and the commercial community of the country are entitled to have answered. For many years they have been agitating not merely for an increase of salary, but for a Ministry of Commerce. We shall not get that in connection with this Bill, and if we are not careful we shall find that while we have agreed to the payment of a larger salary, all our cry for a transfer of duties and an improved status has gone by the board. It is beyond the power of one man to deal with all the various duties connected with the Board of Trade. Shipping itself is an important matter; but the Board of Trade has to deal with harbours, lighthouses, consular services, public companies, trade disputes, bankruptcies, patents, and trade statistics; and, in addition, there are railways, tramways, electric lighting, water and gas companies, inspection of boilers, motor traction, and so on. It is impossible for any one man to deal with all these various matters, and I am not surprised that the Prime Minister, remembering the varied duties of the President of the Board of Trade, asks for power to give a larger salary in the expectation that they will get a better man. But I think that if the Government consult the President of the Board of Trade he will soon let them know that no matter what salary they fix, it is impossible to get a better man than they have at present. There is something else behind this Bill. I agree with the hon. Member for Sunderland that it is inopportune to give the Government a blank cheque of this description at a time when there is a great deficiency, of which we shall hear more on Thursday. I hope the House will consider very carefully before they consent to expend this extra sum of money. These are not days for centralisation; we want decentralisation, a transfer of duties, and a general reorganisation, and if the Prime Minister had come before the House with a scheme which commended itself to the commercial element in the country he would not have been in the position that I am certain he is now in, or have met with an opposition which I believe will lead to the defeat of this Bill.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
We have listened to a good many arguments against this Bill, and I candidly admit that there have not been many speeches in its favour. But when hon. Members realise the character of most of the arguments which have been brought against the provisions of the Bill, I think they will agree that they are not really relevant to the issue before the House. The hon. Member for Sunderland, for instance, stated that more expenditure on highly paid officials would be objected to by him on every possible occasion, and the hon. Member for Newcastle has condemned the proposal on the ground that the time is inopportune. Well, there is no proposal in the Bill that the present occupant should receive any increase whatever. The main object of this Bill, if I may say so, is to enable the status of the particular Department to be raised. I am not going to dwell upon the constitution of the Board of Trade, although very many points have been raised in connection with it. I am not going to defend the right of the Archbishop of Canterbury to sit upon the Board, or to allude to the various points which have been raised in regard to grievances, and which ought to be raised in Committee of Supply rather than in connection with this Bill. We have had questions connected with the load line, the Trinity Brethren, railway rates, and the Sugar Convention, all subjects connected with the administrative work of the President of the Board of Trade. Well, if there have been defects in the administration of the President of the Board of Trade during the course of the financial year, it is open to hon. Members to challenge that administration when the Votes come before the House, and especially when the Vote for the Board of Trade salary comes before the House. The proposals under this Bill really relate to the increase of the staff of the President of the Board of Trade. The Prime Minister has stated that the increase of the annual contribution which will be required from the taxpayer as the result of the passage of this Bill will be £2,800 per annum. In the event of the House insisting upon the salary of the present occupant of the position being increased—it will be, of course, to £5,000 a year—it will make £5,800. That is the maximum, so far as the inquiry at present has gone into the total expenditure, that will be involved in the future under the provisions of this Bill. One hon. Member alluded to the salaries of Ministers, I think he 138 said, sitting upon this Bench. He placed the figure at £180,000. Well, that is, I believe, a great exaggeration; but even with all the Government Ministers in both Houses it is possible that that sum may be reached. I have not gone into the figures. What I would point out to hon. Members is that the cost of the administrative salaries of Ministers on this Bench is about £65,000 per year. They may be paid too high. They may be considered too little. That is not the question that we have got to discuss. The question of their salaries will come up when the Votes come before Parliament in the Estimates. They do not occur in the provisions of the present Bill. If hon. Members confine their attention to the present Bill they will see that the first section merely repeals the old Act, which prevents the House from raising the status of this Department, whilst other Departments may have their status raised. The second portion of the first clause prevents the present occupant receiving any increased emoluments so long as he holds that particular office.
Now there is another point: it is alleged against the Prime Minister that he has not carried out accurately the pledge he gave to the House of Commons last year. It was when the hon. Member for Rotherham moved the Amendment to the Address. In this he pointed out that the Chambers of Commerce, and all the great industrial representatives of the country, believed that the status of the Board of Trade ought to be raised, and the feeling expressed in this House was almost unanimous in that direction. The hon. Member for Dulwich seconded that Amendment, and said his experience of the Board of Trade showed him that it was absolutely essential in the interests of the trade of this country that that status should be increased. Those sentiments were cheered to the echo by all the hon. Members who were then sitting behind him. The same view was taken upon this side of the House, and even the Labour Members who spoke upon that occasion pointed out the importance, at any rate, of having further improvement in that direction, and they advocated, if not additional remuneration for the President of the Board of Trade, that there should be a new Minister, with a new salary, no doubt, who was to be a Minister of Labour. The present Prime Minister, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, promised an inquiry. The Report of the proceedings of that Debate of last year says he promised a 139 Departmental inquiry. The Prime Minister has no recollection of having used those words. He believes, and he stated so to the House the other day, that he carried out the spirit of the undertaking he gave to the House. There was an inquiry; it was a Cabinet inquiry, and consisted of the Postmaster-General, the President of the Local Government Board, and the President of the Board of Trade. These three individuals, no doubt, were all interested and partial to the interests of their departments, and hon. Members opposite no doubt think that savours rather like a certain individual being called upon to inquire into a question relating to himself But in order that they should not get their way five other members of the Government were appointed on the committee. They were the Home Secretary, the President of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Board of Education, and the First Commissioner of Works. That Committee went into the matter and made certain recommendations. They did not see their way to make any radical alteration so as to prevent overlapping and duplication and complication to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean and others have alluded. What they did find was that it was a matter of real importance at the present moment to deal with four Departments, viz., the Board of Agriculture, the Post Office, the Local Government Board, and the Board of Trade.
Having been interested in trade more than in any other Department, I, at any rate, welcome very strongly the recommendation that the Board of Trade should be one of those Departments that should have its status raised. The trade of this country has enormously increased, whether it has increased as much as it would under the system of Tariff Reform I must leave to hon. Members opposite to say. We think it has increased very largely owing to our system of Free Trade; but whatever be the cause, there is no doubt that for a series of years the trade of this country has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and the Board of Trade is not able, with its present staff, to deal adequately with the increased amount of work. Finally, I would point out this to the House: that the Board of Trade is not only called upon to look after the trade of the greatest commercial trading country which the 140 world has ever seen, but it has also increased duties to perform. The Board of Trade has very difficult duties to carry out in connection with arbitration, conciliation, and negotiation between employers and employed, and such duties are every day becoming more necessary. It is not, therefore, merely a question whether the President of the Board of Trade should have his salary raised or not, because that will come up on the Estimates when his salary will be before the House, but it means also that the permanent officials, who are the advisers of the Board of Trade, who have to look into these matters, and sift all the questions connected with our great industries, should be well paid. It is upon these grounds that I submit this Bill to the House, and I trust it will be given a second reading.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I rise to support the second reading of this Bill, but upon grounds which have not up to the present been stated in the course of the Debate. One of my hon. Friends behind me objected to these proposals on the ground of their indefiniteness, and he pointed out that in clause 1, sub-section (1), there was an unlimited discretion given to the Treasury as to the amount of salary to be paid to the President of the Board of Trade. I may point out to the hon. Member who made that criticism that it would be perfectly competent to him to move a very simple Amendment after the words "such annual salary" the words "not exceeding £5,000, as the Treasury determine." But that criticism is a Committee point, and not a second reading matter.
Now, what is the position as far as the second reading is concerned? Perhaps I may make an observation with regard to the suggestion that there is a desire to decry the present occupant of the post. Either it is right that the status of the Board of Trade should be raised to this extent, and the salary should be £5,000, or it is right that it should remain at £2,000. If it is right that the salary of the President in future years should be £5,000 it must of course be clear that it is right that the present occupant of the office should receive £5,000. Either one of these propositions is right or the other is. I for one decline to believe that the House of Commons would ever be guilty of the meanness of providing for future occupants to enjoy £5,000 a year whilst imposing upon the present occupant the inferior salary. Is it right or wrong that 141 the office of the Board of Trade should be increased in importance and the emolument raised from £2,000 to £5,000? I have listened to the arguments addressed to the House from below the Gangway, and I should like to ask the Members of the Labour party a very simple question. Is it their view that the Cabinet Ministers who at present are paid £5,000 a year do not deserve that sum, and ought to be paid less? We all know that is not the view of anyone who has had a successful commercial or professional life, and it is not the view of any of us that those who are fit to serve in the most important positions in the Cabinet are not worth £5,000 a year. It is folly to put that argument forward, because we have passed beyond the stage of saying that no man is worth more than £500 a year. There is no one in this House who does not know that many Members of the present Government made very large pecuniary sacrifices when they accepted £5,000 a year, which some people seem to think is an excessive emolument for their services. The question before the House ought not to be an invidious distinction between the President of the Board of Trade and the President of the Local Government Board with reference to their respective salaries. For Members of the Labour party to suggest that the representatives of the two belligerent services ought to be paid larger salaries than the representatives of the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade is somewhat remarkable. There is nobody in the House who has ever proposed that the Minister for War and the First Lord of the Admiralty, who receive £5,000 a year, should receive less. Success in commerce and professions very often means more than that to individuals. There are many members of the Junior Bar who are making more than the Prime Minister. If a comparison is to be made between the two belligerent services and those of the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board, then I would venture to remind hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway that all the great social problems of the future will have to be solved by the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board. Almost all the great social problems which will interest the democracy in future will have to be solved by these two Departments; and I would ask hon. Members below the Gangway and hon. Members as a whole whether it is in the interests of democracy and in the interest of the effective solution of these great problems that you should say to ambitious men 142 —men with Parliamentary ambitions—that service men should receive the greatest and highest rewards, and that the representatives of the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board should be regarded as representing inferior Departments by reason of their smaller salaries? That is not a lesson in the interests of the democracy, for whom the Labour party claim to speak. I hope that the House of Commons will see that the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board enjoy the position to which the importance of their duties entitle them; and believing that no ground exists for making a distinction between those two offices and others, I have no hesitation in recording my vote for the second reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. P. CURRAN
The Labour party are not so much concerned with the expenditure proposed by the Bill as with the principles contained in it. I believe that Cabinet Ministers should be paid trade union rates. There is a difference as to what trade union rates are. It is perfectly obvious to the majority of the Members of this House that the manner in which this proposal has been brought forward is not likely to recommend it to democratic feeling. In the first place, we are informed by several gentlemen on the Treasury Bench who have spoken for the Government that three of a Committee were appointed by the Cabinet. The three gentlemen occupied posts that are under consideration. Well, I venture to say that if you set any of our artisan classes, which we claim to represent in this House, to make inquiries as to why their wages should be increased they will discover reasons without the slightest difficulty. Therefore I think the Government have not taken quite a democratic view of the question before the House. I venture to say that no corporation in this country would attempt to increase the salary of its highest paid official by a private committee. The matter would have to come before the whole corporation, and a vote taken. In my judgment—and this is the chief point of the opposition, so far as the Labour party is concerned—this is not a question of increase of salary but a question of giving the House an opportunity of having something to say on a Report which should have been placed on the Table of the House by impartial persons. If that had been done, I do not think the Labour party would have taken up the attitude they have done in this matter. 143 Then it has been advocated not only from these Benches but from others that it would be advisable in a company of this description to have a separate Department to carry out a certain amount of work now under the control of the Board of Trade. I submit that the Board of Trade is endeavouring, as one Department, to do more than any one Department can do. It has multifarious duties, as the Prime Minister put it, and in order to relieve it of some of these duties, we have advocated that a Minister of Labour should be appointed, which would relieve the Board of Trade of a great deal of the detail work that it now has in hand. It will be said that that means still further expenditure; but if it gave greater satisfaction, and if matters were adequately dealt with under a new staff of that description, in my judgment the money would be better spent than in raising the status of the Department under consideration in this measure. During my short experience in this House I have acquired knowledge as to how Departments are overlapping each other. I have one or two questions which I have interviewed Ministers upon in relation to grievances felt by some of my own Constituents—industrial grievances. I have been sent from one Minister to another, and the other Minister has sent me back again, and I have been obliged in despair to put a question across the floor of the House, and then have not got a satisfactory answer. The overlapping of Departments is another reason why a Minister of Labour should be appointed. I have no objection to raising the status of a Department; but, on the whole, I am to a great extent in agreement with the closing words of my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland. At this present juncture the expenditure out of the Treasury of a sum of money for already fairly well-paid officials is bound to create an outcry of indignation in the country, especially amongst the impoverished artisan class. I do not say that is a strong argument, but, of course, the artisan who is starving and who helps to contribute to the wealth of the country is likely to consider a man with £5,000 a year well paid, when he is only able to get a pound a week for his wife and family. Whether that is sound argument or not it is a criticism which the Government will have to bear. My closing words are that the Government should give proper consideration to this measure, 144 and should appoint a Committee to give consideration to the question whether the salaries and status of the Department should be increased, and if they do so they will get the confidence of the House, which I feel they have not so far as the Debate has gone.
§ Sir WILLIAM HOLLAND
I should like to express the gratitude which I know a very large number of business men throughout the country feel towards the Prime Minister for having sanctioned the introduction of the measure. Organised commercial opinion has been working at this subject for the last 15 or 20 years. Scores of hundreds of resolutions have been passed calling upon the Government to raise the status of the Board of Trade. This is the first serious attempt to take any step forward in that dirtection, and I think the services the Government are rendering towards giving effect to this view should be heartily acknowledged by those who have entertained that opinion for so many years. I thoroughly agree with the remarks which have just fallen from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Liverpool. It is against this discrimination against the office of the Board of Trade that we most indignantly protest. Why should this brand of inferiority be put upon the representative of our great and growing commerce? This question I have heard asked at scores of meetings of Chambers of Commerce, and I have not heard it answered on the present occasion. I do not think it will retard the formation of a Ministry of Labour later on; I do not think it will retard the revision, if necessary, of the amounts which are allowed for the payment of Secretaries of State, but I think this inequality which at the present time exists undoubtedly ought to be remedied. The Board of Trade is adding new departments every year. It is organising its machinery so as to compete more successfully with our great foreign competitors. Commercial missions, for instance, are being sent abroad from time to time, and different departments are being formed for the production of more elaborate statistics than hitherto, and we want to encourage the Board of Trade to make its machinery more in harmony with the demands of modern commerce. Therefore I, for one, cordially support the Bill.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 173; Noes, 77.147
|Division No. 72.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Agnew, George William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Harwood, George||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Robinson, S.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Beale, W. P.||Hedges, A. Paget||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Bell, Richard||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Higham, John Sharp||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Holt, Richard Durning||Seely, Colonel|
|Brigg, John||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Bright, J. A.||Horniman, Emslie John||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Brooke, Stopford||Illingworth, Percy H.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Kekewich, Sir George||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Lambert, George||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Lamont, Norman||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Causton, Rt Hon. Richard Knight||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Tomkinson, James|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Lewis, John Herbert||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Chance, Frederick William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Maclean, Donald||Verney, F. W.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Vivian, Henry|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||M'Callum, John M.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Clough, William||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||M'Micking, Major G.||Waring, Walter|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Maddison, Frederick||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Crossley, William J.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Marnham, F. J.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Meagher, Michael||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Menzies, Walter||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Micklem, Nathaniel||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Molteno, Percy Alport||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Mond, A.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Erskine, David C.||Mooney, J. J.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Falconer, J.||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Williamson, A.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Ferens, T. R.||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Gibson, J. P.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Gulland, John W.||Radford, G. H.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hudson, Walter|
|Ashley, W. W||Doughty, Sir George||Jowett, F. W.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Barnes, G. N.||Fell, Arthur||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Ffrench, Peter||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Fletcher, J. S.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bull, Sir William James||Forster, Henry William||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Cave, George||Gretton, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Haddock, George B.||Oddy, John James|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hall, Frederick||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tdyvil)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Crooks, William||Hayden, John Patrick||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Helmsley, Viscount||Renton, Leslie|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Renwick, George|
|Delany, William||Hill, Sir Clement||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Summerbell, T.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Younger, George|
|Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Snowden, P.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Captain Craig and Sir F. Banbury.|
|Stanier, Beville||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Starkey, John R.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
§ Question put accordingly: "That this Bill be now read a second time."148
§ The House divided: Ayes, 152; Noes, 76.149
|Division No. 73.]||AYES.||[11.8 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Agnew, George William||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Radford, G. H.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Gulland, John W.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Robinson, S.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Harwood, George||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Beauchamp, E.||Haworth, Arthur A.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Bell, Richard||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Hedges, A. Paget||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Brigg, John||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Bright, J. A.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Seely, Colonel|
|Brooke, Stopford||Holt, Richard Durning||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Horniman, Emslie John||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Joynson-Hicks, William||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Byles, William Pollard||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Kekewich, Sir George||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lambert, George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Chance, Frederick William||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Tomkinson, James|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Lewis, John Herbert||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Vivian, Henry|
|Clough, William||Maclean, Donald||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||M'Callum, John M.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Cowan, W. H.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Crossley, William J.||M'Micking, Major G.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Maddison, Frederick||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Marnham, F. J.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Menzies, Walter||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Erskine, David C.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Wiles, Thomas|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Mond, A.||Williamson, A.|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Falconer, J.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Findlay, Alexander||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Partington, Oswald|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Gibson, J. p.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Crooks, William||Hall, Frederick|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Curran, Peter Francis||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Dalrymple, Viscount||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Delany, William||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Doughty, Sir George||Hill, Sir Clement|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Cave, George||Fell, Arthur||Hudson, Walter|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Ffrench, Peter||Jowett, F. W.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Fletcher, J. s.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Gretton, John||Lamont, Norman|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Haddock, George B.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Waring, Walter|
|Meagher, Michael||Rowlands, J.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Mooney, J. J.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Snowden, P.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Oddy, John James||Stanier, Beville||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Starkey, John R.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Peel, Hon. W. R. w.||Summerbell, T.||Younger, George|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Thorne, William (West Ham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. G. Roberts and Mr. C. Duncan.|
|Renton, Leslie||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Renwick, George||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
§ Bill read second time.
§ Motion made and Question put: "That the Bill be committed to Committee of the Whole House."—[Mr. Renwick.]150
§ The House divided: Ayes, 69; Noes, 124.151
|Division No. 74.]||AYES.||[11.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Fell, Arthur||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Ashley, W. W||Ffrench, Peter||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fletcher, J. S.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Renton, Leslie|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gretton, John||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Haddock, George B.||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hayden, John Patrick||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Helmsley, Viscount||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Stanier, Beville|
|Cave, George||Hill, Sir Clement||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Summerbell, T.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hudson, Walter||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jowett, F. W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Crooks, William||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Meagher, Michael||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Delany, William||Mooney, J. J.||Younger, George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Oddy, John James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Renwick and Captain Craig.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Findlay, Alexander||Manfield, Harry (Northants)|
|Agnew, George William||Fuller, John Michael F.||Marnham, F. J.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Gibson, J. P.||Mond, A.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Beale, W. P.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Bennett, E. N.||Gulland, John W.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Partington, Oswald|
|Brigg, John||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Bright, J. A.||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Brooke, Stopford||Haworth, Arthur A.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hedges, A. Paget||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Higham, John Sharp||Radford, G. H.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Holland, Sir William Henry||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Holt, Richard Durning||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Clough, William||Horniman, Emslie John||Robinson, S.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Crossley, William J.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Kekewich, Sir George||Rowlands, J.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Lambert, George||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lamont, Norman||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Erskine, David C.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Seely, Colonel|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lewis, John Herbert||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lyell, Charles Henry||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Falconer, J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Callum, John M.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Ferens, T. R.||Maddison, Frederick||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Williamson, A.|
|Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Waterlow, D. S.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Tomkinson, James||Watt, Henry A.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Waring, Walter||Wiles, Thomas|
Bill committed to a Standing Committee.
§ The House adjourned at Twenty-eight minutes after Eleven of the clock.