§ Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question on consideration of Question, "That a sum, not exceeding £33,900, be granted to His Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1910, for the 1097 Salaries and Expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, including a Grant in Aid of certain expenses connected with Emigration:"
§ Which Question was, "That Item A (Salaries, Ways, and Allowances) be reduced by £100 in respect of the Salary of the Secretary of State."—[Mr. H. J. Wilson.]
§ Question again proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £33,800, be granted to the said Service." Debate resumed.
§ Mr. BENNETT (resuming)
I should like to refer to the question of the opium traffic, with special reference to our Colonies of Hong Kong and Ceylon. Since the last Debate in this House an International Opium Conference at Shanghai passed a series of resolutions. Although those resolutions do not reach the high level which are desired by opium reformers both inside and outside this House, yet we must remember that only unanimous resolutions were accepted. The Conference was spared the irritation of minority reports. At the same time, of course, it suffered the loss of value attaching to these expressions of opinion. Two things were settled by this opium conference once and for all. The first was the unquestionably evil character of the opium traffic, and the second was the absolute sincerity of the Chinese Government in the matter. The resolution of the conference justified the sincerity of the Chinese Government, which has been backed up by the words of Sir Alexander Hosie, one of the commercial attaches of the Pekin Legation. He uses these words?—That the central Government continues to be sincere and zealous in its crusade is beyond question. Although China considers the abandonment of its revenue from opium of no account in comparison with the eradication of the evil, the sacrifice is a heavy one.The Chinese edict of this year contained the following words:—Though the Government is in straitened circumstances, it will not seek to satisfy its hunger or quench its thirst through this harmful poison, if perchance it may rid its people of a great curse.I trust, therefore, that for the future, at any rate, we shall have no more of that grotesque argument that our efforts for the reform of the opium traffic must depend on the efforts made by the Chinese. We have had the British Parliament declaring emphatically time after time that the sale and consumption of opium is morally indefensible, and that steps should be taken to minimise that evil. We have 1098 been told that we will advance along the path of progress provided the Chinese are sincere and will meet us along that path. We have conclusive proof that the Chinese have advanced to meet us. Even if China had not, I maintain what has been maintained over and over again in these Debates: that it is not a matter of Chinese ethics, but a matter of our own ethics. As regards Hong Kong, some measure of progress has been reached, but it has been with the utmost difficulty and in spite of opposition in quarters where it ought not to be expected, that is from our own Government servants. The Government's telegram was sent last May. Strong resentment was expressed in the Legislative Assembly of Hong Kong, and violent speeches were made against the Government's action. Only one Member, so far as I know, and he a Chinaman, stood up for the policy contained in that telegram, and he described the opium traffic as a blot on the fair fame of the Colony. A year after, one small step we find had been made by crushing out 26 of the opium divans out of a total of 191, and, for these, 11,613 dollars were paid as compensation. At the same time it was stated that no more suppression of opium divans would take place until the year 1910. It is true that since that some progress has been made. Lately, I think last June, we had a new ordinance, which states that next March, that is in two years from the receipt of the Governor's telegram, all divans in Hong Kong will be closed. So far so good, but I should like to ask the Under-Secretary: What about the sale of opium in the Colony 1—that may exist after the closing of the whole of the divans. Unless the sale of opium is restricted and gradually reduced, the evil will still continue to flourish. There is one important statement made by the Governor of Hong Kong, which has a pretty wide bearing from the Imperial point of view. It is this: that Lord Crewe —the Governor (Sir F. Lugard) stated— I do not know with what authority—that Lord Crewe had promised to ask the Imperial Government to grant a sum of money in order to pay for the loss caused by the suppression of the opium dens at Hong Kong. This meant that the British taxpayer was to be called upon to pay money for compensation. I do sincerely hope that Lord Crewe did not make that statement. If he did, and if it ever comes before this House, I sincerely trust that the Members on this side of the House, and the Members of the Labour party, 1099 will effectually resist any attempt to extract money from the British tax-payer to make up for the suppression of the opium dens and the loss of revenue.
Here is a Colony deriving from one-ninth to one-fifth of its revenue from the use and sale of this poisonous and degrading drug, and when public opinion comes to the front, and Imperial action is taken, and certain divans are closed, then forsooth the British taxpayer is asked to make good the loss. There are other means in Hong Kong of finding more revenue. It might very well be found, for instance, by higher income tax, by taxation of site values, and by higher customs duties upon the importation of wine and spirits. I throw that out merely as a possibility of getting fresh revenue, but there, as elsewhere, the idea is that the basis of taxation is to be broadened, and that revenue is to be got from the Chinese labourer, who degrades himself by smoking opium, and none of it is to be got by higher income tax, and by the taxation of site value. May I say this? It seems to me that the position of the British Government, owing to the action of our Imperial Governors in the Colonies, is often made very difficult. Here is Sir F. Lugard, in a memorandum addressed to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, defending the farming system, and stating that the abolition of 191 divans would be likely to extend rather than diminish the habits of opium consumption. That is a form of argument with which we are rather familiar, and that is the recommendation of the Governor to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. He goes on to say—The substitution of alcohol for opium is a source of real danger.There is to my mind a suspicion of real cant about that kind of statement. I say that these Imperial officials and these officers of the Imperial Government ought not to be permitted to openly thwart the efforts made to better the condition of things in our Colonies. That they should be allowed to do so is really intolerable. It is bad enough to have the work of our Government thwarted by political opponents at home; but, of course, that is the normal procedure, and is above board, but that paid officials in the Colonies or at home should thwart the action of their own Government is an intolerable state of things, and I think that some very sharp reprimand should be administered to officials of this type.
1100 I should like to say something about the condition of affairs of Ceylon. There, instead of making progress with regard to the suppression of opium, I am sorry to say, as far as I can judge, we appear to have gone backward instead of forward. The Ordinance introduced by the Governor last year was withdrawn; we have gone back to where we were before. The main difficulty in Ceylon, of which I know a little, having been born there, is that the native doctors prescribe opium very largely in their more or less quack remedies for rheumatism, malarial fever, etc. I am told many of the victims of this habit in Ceylon mentioned the fact that they procured their opium through the prescriptions of those doctors. It is well to remember that 50 years ago, until the British introduced licences for opium in Colombo and elsewhere, the consumption of opium there was practically non-existent, but since that time no less than 20,000 lb. weight of opium year by year is consumed. I need not waste time to show that opium as a phrophylaotic against malarial fever has no medical sanction. I say that not only are some steps necessary in Hong Kong to prevent the traffic in opium, but they are necessary more especially, I think, in Ceylon. We might adopt, for instance, the same methods which have been so singularly successful in the case of the Philippine Islands and Formosa, namely, the registering of the traders and the Philippine Islands and Formosa, of opium, both of which are prevalent vices in Ceylon. Let us sec how successful Japan has been in her efforts to cope with the opium evil in the island of Formosa. Japan suffered more than any other country from the evils of opium. The opium committee appointed by the American Government in the case of the Philippines stated that—China's curse has been Japan's warning, and a warning indeed. No surer testimony to the reality of the evil effects of opium can be found than the horror with which China's next-door neighbour views it.In Formosa Japan insisted on a system of registration, and after a certain date no more registration was to be permitted. Meanwhile the number of people consuming opium was very materially reduced. American effort was still more successful in the Philippines than in Japan. In the Philippine Islands the Philippinos were prevented, ipso facto, from any further consumption of opium, but in the case of the Chinese population of 70,000 they were allowed a respite of three years, and during that time the consumers were 1101 thoroughly registered. The result has been perfectly marvellous. At the end of the three years the consumption appears to have disappeared altogether from the Philippine Islands, and the only people who now consume it are the few Chinese inveterate smokers who are treated in hospital as incurable invalids. I venture to say these few words with regard to the necessity of still further work in the case of our Colonies of Hong Kong and Ceylon. Other hon. Members will speak more fully upon the subject, especially the hon. Member for Renfrew, whose work upon the Opium Commission was exceedingly useful. I want to refer now to a subject that comes before this House very little, and in touching on that I want to refer to a vexed question which has been the subject of smouldering discontent for years. I mean the question of the Gilbert and Ellice group of islands. I am very glad to see that the administrator of these islands, Mr. Telfer Campbell, has recently been removed. I think the words used are "has been promoted." Why he should have been promoted passes the wit of man, because, without being in any way unjust or without attempting to try a man in his absence, I defy any man to read the accounts of the islands without coming to the conclusion that Mr. Campbell has behaved in a high-handed and outrageous manner in his Government of these islands. Serious charges have been brought against this official time and again. One was that of a native whom he had cruelly flogged; in order to escape, the man, it is said, climbed a tree and was then, by the orders of the Governor, fired at. These are only some of the many alleged outrages on the part of this local Satrap in the Pacific. Unquestionably all these repeated charges against this Resident led the Government to order or to outline in 1903 the appointment of a Commission to investigate the charges. I think it was in 1905 that the High Commissioner of the Fiji visited this island. It was the first inspectorial visit that took place in 12 years. The Report did not reach the Colonial Office till 1906, and it has never been made public. All attempts made for access to it have been refused, and I do protest as a Member of this House that Members should not have access to a Report of the Commissioner sent out to investigate for the Government certain charges made against the officials in one of our dependencies. We are not allowed to see the Report, and for the life of me I cannot understand why we should 1102 not have access to the Report sent by the Commissioner. So many things might be cleared up if that Report was accessible, but from the year 1906 onward it has not seen the light of day. One does get certain side lights into the theory and practice of Mr. Campbell's policy in these islands in the Pacific. He says, e.g., that:—Imprisonment is not followed by social ostracism but on the contrary tends to increase their social position. When prisoners return to their homes they are regarded as travelled and experienced individuals.One is sorry that all the chiefs and all the islanders who live there have not been to gaol to get a little more experience before they were swindled out of their rights by the company to which I am going to allude. This gentleman exacted a month's hard labour from the people of two villages because they danced upon the Queen's Birthday. Fancy exacting hard labour from people for celebrating their own Queen's birthday! This is on Mr. Campbell's own showing, and do you wonder the natives do not show appreciation of his rule? The sort of spirit which prevails in these islands is very well illustrated by the conversation with a Fijian planter, which Lord Stanmore quoted, in which it was said:—We want the natives to be ill-off, because where they are ill-off they will come and work for you, but when they are well-off they will not.That is the kind of spirit in which a dependency of the British Crown is being ruled at the present time. I should like to ask the Under-Secretary whether the forced labour admitted to be going on in this island, where flogging is practised, is really legal? Is it a legal practice to flog British subjects in a British Protectorate? If the natives are put to forced labour, what is that particular form of labour Is it forced labour for public works? Surely there cannot be much labour required for public works in this island. Is the forced labour being employed for the benefit of the company which extracts the wealth from those islands? That is what I should like to know. I do not know whether hon. Members are acquainted with the doings of the great Phosphate Company in the Pacific, but the formation of that company has a very interesting history. It was formed about the year 1901, and it was granted a concession by the natives of these islands. One would like to know the facts of that concession. We have heard some talk of a bargain between the financiers who organised this great movement and the inhabitants of these Polynesian Islands. We all know that the type of natives in those islands is incapable of 1103 making anything in the nature of a bargain. What consideration was paid to these chiefs for that immense concession? To talk of it as a bargain is grotesque and absurd. Where were the British officials when the bargain was made? Is it not the duty of British officials to look after the natives and protect them against exploiting financiers? The officials in this case made no attempt to get a good bargain for the natives because they were otherwise occupied in taking shares in this company. [An HON. MEMBER: "Taking the 'swag.'"] Possibly there was a box of cigars or bottle of gin paid for the original concession. It was arranged that £50 per annum should be the rent charged to this company for the extraction of this untold wealth from the island. The company admit having made £85,000 profit in four years, and they only paid £50 a year in rent. Since that there has been a royalty of 6d. per ton. The company was floated with a nominal capital of £250,000, but only £50,000 of the capital was subscribed, and they have recently proceeded to water their capital. I was astonished, when I heard somebody in this House ask the Under-Secretary whether or not this company was registered in London, to hear the reply given that he did not know. Anybody who goes to Somerset House can easily find that it is registered in London. The total value of the phosphates are estimated at £18,000,000. The total profit in 1907, after paying 40 per cent, on the shares left a balance of £134,000, and in 1908 the profit was £370,000. They are watering their capital, and instead of £250,000 the capital is now £500,000. Why was this inadequate rent exacted from these people for this concession? When this question was asked in the House of Commons the reason given was that the company had told the officials of the Colonial Office that they valued their phosphate at 10s. a ton, and the Colonial Secretary said he had no means of checking the estimate. If he had taken the trouble to go to the City he would hare found out the real state of the case. A quantity of this phosphate comes from Ocean Island to Australia, and through a series of years, from 1902 to 1907, the average price has been £2 10s. per ton. On the strength of that statement we extract this miserable sum out of these concessionnaires. Surely, if the officials had done their duty, they would have secured this immense wealth for the good of the community. Just think of the immense bene- 1104 fits which might have been conferred upon the islands. I feel very strongly on this question of the exploitation of natives under the British Crown. Side by side with these immense profits which go into the pockets of shareholdei s—and I regret very much to see that Lord Stanmore is chairman of the company, for I do not think it is a desirable tiling that a former high official of the Pacific should utilise his experience to take that position—you have the fact that taxes are levied on the cocoanuts of the people. I hope our Free Trade friends will note that. The taxes of the islands, to secure, I presume, the working of the islands, are levied on the food of the natives, whereas no taxation, barring a miserable 6d, a ton, is levied on this immense wealth proceeding from the islands. I hope the Under-Secretary will look into this matter, and that he will let us see the Report of this High Commissioner, who went round to investigate the subject. The Commissioner was accompanied by one of the officials who was inculpated in the charges. That is a nice sort of Commission! I hope we may see the Report and judge for ourselves, and that sooner or later, the sooner the better, the Colonial Office will appoint a Commission to go into the whole question and see whether justice has been done.
§ Mr. R. LAIDLAW
I rise to call the attention of the Committee and of the hon. and gallant Gentleman to the findings of the International Opium Commission. The resolutions passed by that Commission relate to our foreign relations, to our India Office, and to the Colonial Office. On Thursday last, when the Foreign Office Vote was under discussion, I intended to present the international aspects of this question, but, unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity. I much prefer discussing questions of this kind when the Vote is before the House rather than asking questions across the floor, because in this way we have an opportunity of imparting a little information as well as of asking for some. I would like at this stage to remove what I find is a very common misconception in this House and in the country with regard to the object of the Commission. It was not appointed to discover whether the use of opium was a good or a bad thing for the Chinese, but to ascertain in what way the countries interested in the Far East could assist China in carrying out a great reform. The whole of the countries represented have interests in and 1105 around China, and the resolutions which were come to from the standpoint of the desire to assist China in her reforms were almost unanimously agreed upon. These resolutions call upon the various delegates to move their Governments in certain directions with a view to our coming to some uniform policy in our Colonies with regard to the trade in opium, and I feel I should be altogether lacking in my duty as one of the Commissioners if I did not take every opportunity to urge our Government in the direction that we think will be beneficial. The first resolution passed was one recognising that China was entirely in earnest in her efforts to eradicate the opium trade, to suppress the traffic, and to reduce and extinguish the cultivation of the drug in her own country. We also recognise China's ability to carry out the programme she has put before herself. It is from that standpoint that I wish to review our position in our own Colonies in the East. The last speaker has dealt with the question of Hong Kong. It is now over a year since the Colonial Secretary sent out instructions that the opium-smoking dens should be forthwith closed. A certain amount of progress has been made in that direction, but not very much, and the time, I think, has come when a little more pressure should be brought to bear upon the Government of Hong Kong to proceed a little more rapidly. I was greatly surprised to find that at the present moment tenders are being invited for the renewal of the farm at Hong Kong from March next for three years. If the smoking dens are to be extinguished, the time has come, in my estimation — and I am quite sure I share this view with the majority of those who attended the Commission at Shanghai—that the farm system should be abandoned as an utterly bad one. It has been abandoned by a great many of our neighbours in the Far East; it has been abandoned by the Germans in Shantung, and by the Dutch in Java, the Straits Settlements Commissioners condemned it as a bad policy in the Straits Settlements. If it is bad there, it is certainly bad in Hong Kong. The farm system opens the door to all kinds of irregularities. When there is direct Government control we have far more active control over the trade, and there is far less temptation for its being pushed. I hope the Colonial Secretary will take steps to bring this objectionable system to a termination, not only in the Straits Settlements, 1106 but also in Hong Kong. Of course, the great difficulty is the amount of revenue we have been deriving from the trade in Hong Kong. It should never have been allowed to become such a large proportion of the total revenue. I think it is something like one-third of the total—that is a far larger proportion than any other of the foreign countries who have possessions in the East derive from the trade. When the Germans went to Shantung some ten years ago they found a large part of the province was under the cultivation of opium. They took the thing entirely into their own hands, and gradually made reductions. The revenue from opium was about one-seventh of the total revenue, and they gradually reduced it, until to-day it is only about? per cent. That is a very good example for us, and I think the time has now come for pressure to be put upon the Hong Kong officials to look to some other sources for revenue rather than depend upon opium for such a large proportion. The Opium Revenue Tax is altogether unfair in its incidence in Hong Kong. We are told it would be entirely unfair to have this taxation transferred to other sections of the community. It is a controversial question as to how many of the population of Hong Kong use opium, but it is probably 10 or 12 per cent, of the adults, and presumably these bear their full share of the two-thirds raised from other sources, and the whole of the third derived from opium. As an alternative I would suggest that if we raise the Tobacco Tax to a figure which would produce something approximating the opium revenue it would be equitable to all sections of the community. I would like, before proceeding further, to quote a resolution passed at Shanghai which brings home to us the duty of putting our own house in order. The resolution is to the effect that, in view of the action taken by the Government of China in the suppression of the tax on opium smoking, the International Opium Commission recommend that each delegation shall move its own Government to take measures for the gradual suppression of the practice of opium smoking in its own possessions, with due regard to the varying circumstances of each country concerned. It is from that standpoint I press the hon. and gallant Gentleman to take further action in Hong Kong. The question is how far we ought to move in the direction indicated by that resolution. Let me refer again to what has been done by some of 1107 our neighbours. The Americans inquired into the question in the territory over which they have control, and, after most thorough and searching investigation, they condemned entirely, root and branch, the whole traffic, and they prohibited the import of any more opium into the Philippines. Japan has taken very effective measures in Formosa. There they have adopted a registry system, and in Java they have adopted a similar system. The result in these places is that they are gradually extinguishing the traffic, and the number of smokers registered is being reduced. If these systems are found workable and beneficial in Java and similar places there is no reason why they should not be adopted in the Straits Settlements and in Hong Kong. In the Straits Settlements the revenue from opium is no less than one-half of the total, and I would like to ask the Under-Secretary what steps the Government are taking to carry out the recommendations of the Straits Commission in that Colony. With respect to the Federated Malay States I may say the trade there is not so deeply rooted and the Government are not so dependent on it for revenue as in the Straits Settlements. Therefore, now is the time to suppress it before it spreads beyond its present dimensions. One of the great obstacles our Colonial Office has had to face in dealing with this subject is the fact that the officials are determined to stick to the revenue, and I would like our Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary to impress upon those officials the fact that the sentiment expressed is no mere Liberal fad, that it is not merely advocated by the Liberal party, but that it is a British, a National, and even an International sentiment. We joined this International Commission on the invitation of America. The time has come when we should take the lead in this matter, in view of our dominating influence and our dominating trade in the East—in view of the fact that we have more Colonies, and more important Colonies, than any of our neighbours. Therefore, I say the time has come when we should take the lead in the matter instead of waiting on the initiative of China or America. We ought to endeavour to live up to the resolutions passed at Shanghai, and to take steps to put ourselves on an equality with them. The hon. Member who last spoke referred to the case of Ceylon, and said the opium trade was not so deeply rooted there. The 1108 Committee which sat last May made certain recommendations for more stringent supervision there, looking ultimately to the prohibition of the trade in the island, and soon afterwards measures were introduced into the Colony in order to carry out the recommendations of the Committee. When it was announced that a commission was to assemble at Shanghai, for some reason or other, those measures which were before the Ceylon Government were withdrawn, and I should like to ask the Under-Secretary what has become of them? Have they been re-introduced, and is it the intention of the Colony to carry through the measures that were before them last year, but which were suspended? Now is the time for action. This Commission investigated affairs in Ceylon, and found that natives of India were going into that Colony in great numbers, and that the consumption of opium was increasing very rapidly. In order that we may protect our Indian fellow-subjects against this vice when they go to that Colony, I think it is most important that drastic steps should be taken to suppress the traffic. I should also like to ask what policy is to be carried out with regard to the Colonies which we have taken over from Siam as regards opium? I do not know what policy has been in force there, or what policy is in force there at the present time, but I am bound to say that if there are better regulations in those Colonies now than we have in our Federated Colonies, I hope the Colonial Office will not take any backward steps, and that they will not be at a disadvantage by being placed on the same footing with our own Colonies. A question was asked a few weeks ago with regard to notices that appeared in North Borneo inviting tenders for opium, and the Under-Secretary at that time rather disclaimed having any authority over North Borneo. It is true that a chartered company have control in North Borneo, but surely that does not mean that our Colonial Office has no authority? I sincerely hope that that is not the case, and that our Colonial Department may be able to control matters of this kind in Borneo. I should like to have some statement from the Under-Secretary on that point.
I wish for a few moments to refer to a totally different, although kindred subject, and that is, the licensed gambling in the Federated Malay States. About two years ago I asked the Under-Secretary a question on that point, and was then informed that it was the policy of the Government 1109 to suppress the gambling licences and to restrict the area over which they extended. My information is that a certain amount of restriction has taken place, and that the area so licensed is not quite so large as formerly. That is to say, in the outlying districts where there was no demand, the licences have been withdrawn, but the system prevails in the large towns, just as much as it did two years ago. To test that question and to ascertain whether them has been any real reduction, I would ask the Under-Secretary how much the revenue has suffered in consequence of the reduction which has been made; that is-to say how much less revenue has been derived this year than last? In visiting these Colonies 18 months ago I was very much shocked and surprised that under the British flag this vice of open daylight gambling should be more in evidence than it is at Monte Carlo, and it is a great deal more harmful. At Monte Carlo we have a great many people who go there with a certain amount of money which they can well afford to lose, but in the large towns of the Federated Malay States the gambling is done almost exclusively by Chinese coolies, who work hard for their earnings and who crowd into the two or three large towns for the purpose of gambling. In these places there are no less than 20 or 30 gambling dens, and they are not hidden away in back streets, but occupy the corner sites and the very best positions in the finest towns in those States. Not only that, but they are frequented by small children; boys of from 12 or 13 years of age assemble in large numbers, and the school children—the children of the more respectable residents, including those of the European residents—have to pass these places on their way to school.
I am sure that anyone who has visited those places must be impressed with the fact that this is a sight which should not be seen in any of our Colonies. I would like, too, to ask what policy is to be pursued with regard to the native Colonies ceded from Siam in this connection1? I believe the province of Johore, which is under the Sultan of Johore, abolished the gambling dens some years ago, as was also the case in Siam, and I believe in these new Colonies no gambling has been allowed for the last two years. I should like to know whether now that they have come under our protection they will have the same regulations as hitherto, or will they have temptations to this vice imposed upon them? In regard to both these matters of gambling in Eastern Colo- 1110 nies and the opium trade, I trust that the Colonial Office will exert itself to take more active measures and that the time will soon come when we shall lead and not follow at the heels of other countries who are introducing great reforms. The representatives of the International Commission have a unanimous view with regard to what should be done in our Eastern Colonies; they are all agreed that opium should be entirely confined to medical use, and if we are to give any real and effective help to China in this great enterprise which she has undertaken we must eradicate the evil from our own Colonies.
§ Colonel SEELY
With regard to the question of Dinizulu, it is true the Prime Minister of Natal is here, and he will no doubt make himself acquainted with what has fallen from my hon. Friend, but I think the moment is now opportune to reopen this question, in view of the closer union that we hope to see come about when the Central Government will be able to review the whole situation. The hon. Member for Lanarkshire (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) raised several technical points. I think my best plan would be to send him a full precis with regard to sleeping sickness, the extension of the railway in Nigeria, and with regard to Trinidad oil. All these matters I will communicate to him. With regard to the Noble Lord's (Earl Winterton) question about game, of course, we realise the importance of seeing that game is not exterminated in Africa, but we must be careful not to allow it to stray into those parts where cultivation is going on. Difficulties of that kind have arisen, but on the whole I think the matter is now on a good basis, and there is no reason at present, so far as we can foresee, for any large extinction of game in the places under our own control, in spite of the deplorable episode to which he referred, which was not under the Colonial Office.
With regard to the point put by the hon. Member for Woodstock (Mr. Bennett) about Ocean Island, I do not think he quite understands what took place. He wants to know what we meant by allowing this company to secure this immense profit while our officials were looking on and doing nothing. Such an accusation is entirely wide of the truth, because, of course, the company made the agreement long before we had anything to do with the island, and they made an uncommonly good bargain. But after they began working we came along and 1111 annexed the island. If we had been there for a start, no doubt a very different state of affairs would have prevailed. I come now to the important point of opium and gambling, and its allied evils. With regard to opium, we are glad to welcome back here the hon. Member for Renfrewshire (Mr. Laidlaw). He was one of our delegates at the conference at Shanghai to consider the opium question, and speaks with peculiar knowledge and authority upon the subject. He asked me definitely about Hong Kong. The situation in Hong Kong is that by the end of February, 1910, all the opium divans will have been closed. There are those who may say it is unnecessary to close opium divans, and that the effect of so doing will be to drive the smoking of opium into other quarters. All I can say is that the Conference was in favour of the closing of the divans, and that the best information that we can get leads us to believe that it is a good plan to close them, and we propose, therefore, to pursue the policy which I outlined a year and a quarter ago. It is true that farming continues, but it is a fact that legislation is being introduced to restrict the amount of importation, and it is intended to continue and restrict the amount of importation, and it is intended to continue to restrict the amount imported. With regard to the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States, the Government is about to set up a State monopoly of opium, which, I think, meets with the general approval of those who wish to see the diminution in the use of the drug. In the case of Ceylon the difficulty that has arisen there is that it is plain that you must allow opium to be sold by properly-qualified doctors, because there are occasions when it is a most valuable drug, but in Ceylon there is a class of native doctors who cannot be described otherwise than as doctors, but yet have been in the habit very often of prescribing opium for every kind of ailment, so that those who desire it can get it in this way. How are you to get round this difficulty? How are you to stop this loophole of improper consumption of opium? I think the best plan will be to have a further inquiry on this one point alone, and we can then proceed with the policy which we have laid down, and which we have no intention of departing from in the smallest possible degree.
With regard to gambling, I stated a year ago that it is our policy to discourage gambling, but I was not so much 1112 shocked as I ought to have been at the description of daylight gambling in the public streets. I have roamed about the world a bit—I hope I did not frequent gambling dens—but from what I have seen. I should have thought the more gambling dens were brought into the light of day the better. However, that is a matter of opinion. What we want to do is to check this habit, which does cause a great deal of harm in this country, because people gamble who lose the whole of their week's earnings in a very short time. I do not think the system is defended by anyone in the world. The only thing is that they will gamble, and we thought it better to keep an eye upon gambling and try to keep it within due limits. Our policy there, also, has been the policy of our predecessors, and I am sure it will be the policy of our successors, to restrict it within the narrowest possible limits, with a view to its ultimate prohibition altogether. My hon. Friend asks me whether I can say what was the view of the Government on the general question of opium. Did we take the view that after all there was not much harm in it, as has been suggested in many quarters, or did we adhere to our previous decision that it was really a bad thing for a race? We adhere to our view that it is a bad thing for a race, and the more you can stop it, the better for all concerned, and we base ourselves on the broad and simple ground that the people who ought to know most about it, the great Eastern race of the Japanese, have set us an example in stamping it out by savage penalties—a thing which they certainly would not do if there was no harm in the use of the drug. We are also forced, knowing this, to do our best, by the fact that China, with the good will of all who care for the regeneration of that country, is trying to shake herself free from a habit which all the best men in China believe is the cause why she cannot attain to a higher state of civilisation. For the reason that we know the thing is bad from the Japanese example, and because we are determined not to thwart China in her efforts to rid herself of what she regards as a national curse, we will not cease to do our best to assist China to make what reduction she can, and to diminish, as far as possible, and as soon as posible, the consumption of opium in all places where the Colonial Office has rule.
Only a word in reply to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lyttelton). There was much force in what the right hon. Gentleman said. I am not quite clear 1113 how far it was true that on all previous occasions in the Colonial Office more drastic action would have been taken. I cannot be taken as assenting to that view, nor do I absolutely deny it. All I can and do say is that now that warning has been given, now that all and sundry have been told by the Secretary of State and the Government—with the concurrence, as we know from the course of this Debate, of the party opposite, with the concurrence undoubtedly of smaller parties such as the Labour party and the Irish party, with the concurrence practically of all parties in this House—that the practices referred to are condemned, I would say at once and without hesitation—and I say no more than I said before, but I am saying it in plainer language—that if such a case as this is brought to our notice in future, so far as we have the power, if all the attendant circumstances are as bad as they have been represented to be in the course of this Debate, if the story is as deplorable a one as is understood to have been the case here, such an officer will be dismissed the service.
§ Mr. H. J. WILSON
I have only a word to say on the question I raised some time ago. I did not ask the retrial of this man, nor did I desire to have the punishment increased, but I expressly stated that I wanted to draw the attention of the Committee to what I thought was the unsatisfactory action of the Colonial Office in regard to this matter. I am extremely glad at what has taken place, and especially at the impressive speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lyttelton), which produced the impression that this House and the country will not tolerate such things as have been going on. That being so and my object having been entirely achieved, I would ask the leave of the Committee to withdraw the Amendment.
Leave to withdraw Amendment withheld.
§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
I wish to say in regard to the matter which has been discussed to-day that for acts of immorality there is a partial cure. From what I know of several of our Colonies, I am rather inclined to believe that the cure is for the Government to provide in every case proper and reasonable accommodation, and every facility for a man to have his wife, if he be a married man, whenever he goes away for a long period. I do not know that there are many men in the Colonial service who, if proper accommodation were 1114 provided, would object to have their wives with them. I suggest to the Under-Secretary that if he wants to put a stop to the practices which have been described to-day, that is one of the best methods of procedure.
With regard to the question raised by the hon. Member for North-West Lanarkshire (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) as to the finding of petroleum in Trinidad, I would express the hope that, in view of the experiments as to oil fuel which are being made in the British Navy, the attention of the Government will be given to this matter. I have reason to believe that an oil syndicate are trying to get hold of these wells. I hope they will not get an entire monopoly, and that the wells will be retained. As to the question of indentured coolie labour, in view of the fact that there is a Committee sitting, before which I have expressed my views, I do not mean to go into the merits of the question, whether it is right or wrong to introduce indentured labour, but I want to raise my voice against the people of Trinidad being penalised or taxed to the extent they are in order that certain employers there may have this cheap indentured coolie labour. If they want to get indentured labour they ought to be compelled, as other employers are compelled, to pay for it themselves. A tax should not be levied in order to get this coolie labour for them at a low price. I wish also to refer to the question of local government in the West Indies. In view of what has taken place in the Transvaal, I do think that the time has arrived, now that we have for 250 years governed these islands, when we ought to give them a more democratic franchise than prevails at the present time. I think I am correct in saying that in order to exercise the franchise in several towns you require a property qualification of £20 per annum. The average yearly rental is £4 in the West Indies, and therefore the Committee will readily realise that practically the population of the West Indies have no say whatever in their municipal government.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
Do I understand the hon. Member to say that the average rental in the Port of Spain is £4?
§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
I have not mentioned the Port of Spain yet. I will come to that. In Trinidad it works out at something like £4 per annum. I find that in Georgetown and one or two other places they have wards where the voters number seven, nine, and ten. That is the system of municipal government which prevails in 1115 the West Indies at the present time. I would appeal to the Under-Secretary to try to get a more democratic franchise in order that the people there may have a greater voice in the management of their own internal affairs. In 1898, when the Unionist Government were in power, they took away the municipal power from the Port of Spain on the ground that there had been misdemeanours which were followed by riots. If there were misdemeanours of any kind, I wish to point out that the municipal government was elected by voters having the £20 qualification. It was an authority elected purely by the middle and upper classes of the town5 and I think, inasmuch as that was taken away in 1898, the people of that town have been sufficiently long penalised, and that it is time the municipal government was restored to them. The late Governor was in favour of the restoration of the municipal government to the town. I appeal, therefore, to the Government to give the town the municipal government it had before, if not a more democratic government. There is now in the Port of Spain a nominated board in regard to which the people have no say whatever—a board entirely governed by the permanent officials of this country. That form of government, in view of what has taken place in the Transvaal, ought to be altered at the earliest possible moment. So far as the cost of government in the West Indies is concerned, I think the time has arrived for some economy. I have on previous occasions given figures showing that in some of the self-governing Colonies high officials are actually receiving less than the Governors of West Indian Islands. The cost of administration ought to be considerably reduced, because, while it is maintained at its present level, there exists a condition of things which ought not to exist, at any rate under the present Government, namely, that the people are taxed to an enormous extent to obtain the necessary revenue. Under the Customs Tariff in Jamaica, bacon is taxed equivalent to 20 per cent., beef from 20 to 30 per cent., bread 33 per cent., butter 29 per cent., cheese 33 per cent., flour 45 per cent., sugar 50 per cent., domestic oil 70 per cent., and so on. When a confessedly Free Trade Government are in power they should see to it that some alteration is made. Speaking in all sincerity, though not knowing the country—I do not profess to have been there, but I 1116 am in touch with those who are concerned in its welfare—I say that the taxation is entirely out of proportion to what it ought to be, and that it is time the Government stepped in and declared that there should be a substantial reduction in the Customs charges now made.
§ Mr. W. W. ASHLEY
I do not wish to go into the merits or demerits of the particular case in connection with British East Africa to which attention has been drawn to-night, nor to discuss whether the Government themselves are not, to a large extent, responsible for it, owing to the laxity of administration which it shows does exist in that Colony; but I hope hon. Members will not carry away with them a wrong impression as to the officials in British East Africa and Uganda. Taken on the whole, I can say from personal experience that those officials are a very hard-working and honourable class of men, and because one of them has been found to depart from the ordinary code of morality, which in all our Colonies is so high among our officials, and in regard to which we may claim to stand out honourably in comparison with the officials of other nations, I hope hon. Members will not go away with the idea that the sort of thing referred to occurs frequently in British East Africa or has occurred perhaps more than once in the history of the Protectorate.
I desire to ask the Under-Secretary if he can now give us any further information with regard to affairs in Somaliland. It will be within the recollection of the Committee that we had a Debate of some length on the Supplementary Estimates in March last, and though the Under-Secretary to the Colonies made a very conciliatory and able speech, yet his statement of the Government policy did not carry us much farther. He said we were not going to have a big expedition, or stand entirely on the defensive, or build a railway, or go in for small expeditions. It rather seemed that the Government, like Mr. Micawber, were waiting for something to turn up. It is reported in the papers that the Government have, through the Governor out there, practically sent an ultimatum to the Mullah. I should like the Under-Secretary to tell us what this ultimatum is, or whether any communication has been made. It is commonly stated that the last word of the Government is that if the Mullah will agree to remain peaceably and quietly within his sphere of influence in the Italian portion of the country, and promise on his word as a Prophet not to raid 1117 the tribes under our protection, we shall be prepared to make him a monetary allowance. If that is true, I do not think it is a very fortunate way to carry on business in Africa or in any other part of our Colonial Empire. It has not had very happy results on the North-West frontier of India, where it has been going on for a great number of years. It has not prevented numerous costly wars there. I suppose it is only continued there because it is a time-honoured custom which, once started, we did not like to break off; but we ought to think not once or twice, but at least thrice, before we enter into the same entanglement in Somaliland. What guarantee have we that the Mullah would keep his agreement? He might take a year's salary and proceed to raid our tribes directly afterwards. But that some arrangement is urgently necessary will not be denied by those who listened to the Debate of March last, because at the present moment we are spending about £8,000 a month on defensive measures in Somaliland. Surely the time has come when we must make a decision one way or the other. We have got to make up our minds whether Somaliland is worth retaining, and worth spending money on to bring to a peaceful state and to develop, and, if not worth spending money on, surely it is not worth retaining at all. But to remain in this undecided state, in which we are spending substantial sums of money each year, in these expensive operations, and getting no further than having to spend every year more and more, surely is not a satisfactory state of affairs. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman has some later information to give us, because I understand that the Sirdar has arrived back in India about a fortnight ago. He has been spending some weeks or months in the country in order to find out exactly what the military situation is, and I imagine also what the political situation is. Therefore, probably by now he has been able to impart to the Government what information he possesses, and the Government perhaps might let us know something of what their opinion is; because any departure from the existing policy of wearing out the Mullah by a blockade, except it be a regular forward policy, is one to be deprecated From letters which I have received from officers out there, it appears, that they hold very strongly the opinion that the wearing-out policy, which has been applied during the last three or four years, to the Mullah, has had a good effect upon 1118 them, and has weakened its position perceptibly, and if this pressure is continued—stopping his supplies and stopping arms going in—we may have a position in which the Mullah, from sheer inability to carry on his provinces, will come in and accept any conditions. Now, if we enter into some agreement with him—if it means paying a money tribute to him—the Whole good effect of the work of the last few years would be done away with, and we shall have to go back to the position of 1905, when he gaily entered into an agreement with us and broke it as soon as it was convenient to him. I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman, when he answers, will tell us what Sir Reginald Wingate advises, because I think it is information-which this Committee ought to have.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
I dare say some surprise was felt in some quarters of the House when the hon. Member for the Holmfirth Division (Mr. H. J. Wilson) asked leave to withdraw his Motion and the leave was refused. If anyone feels surprised, I may be in a position to give some enlightenment on the subject. To get enlightenment I must ask any Members, experienced in the proceedings of the House, what would be the situation supposing a Division had been taken at the end of the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for St. George's Hanover-square (Mr. A. Lyttelton). I may ask some hon. Members who were Members of the last Parliament to tax their imaginations further, and ask themselves what would the situation of the hon. Gentlemen opposite then sitting upon these benches have been in the conduct of a Motion in the last Parliament, such as that of the hon. Member for the Holmfirth Division? What was the situation in which that Motion stood when leave was asked to withdraw it? The hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies made two speeches. If anything stands out perfectly clearly, it is that the second speech was an absolute condemnation of the first. In the first speech lie took a point which had not been raised at all. The point he took was whether a certain gentleman, whose name I have forgotten, holding an official position on the East Coast of Africa should be tried a second time. Nobody asked him that. What never seemed to dawn on him was that it was he who was on his trial and not the officials on the East Coast of Africa—and that he was on his trial for undue leniency in a case which he himself in his second speech described as a terrible story.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
The phrase "terrible story" was used in the second speech, not in the first. The first speech was all extenuation; the second was in a very different style. I think that the House has some reason to pause before it allows this subject to die down on the easy terms of the withdrawal of the Motion by the hon. Member for the Holmfirth division. For my part, the subject should stand exactly where it did on the very significant utterance of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Lyttelton), who, speaking with the experience that he had, was able to tell the House with what seemed to be universal acceptance, said that the conduct of the Government in this case showed an undue amount of leniency towards what was an extremely serious case. I do not think these things ought to be got rid of quite so easily. It was for that reason that leave was not given to withdraw his Motion. Here is the case of a man using his official position to obtain a gratification which it does not need any acumen to see is absolutely condemned as a criminal offence by the Penal Code in the country in which he was living. There is no question of consent. Consent is a matter that is immaterial. Yet the utmost that seems to have been done is the deprivation of official promotion for the period of a year. I think my right hon. Friend the Member for St. George's Hanover-square Division was no more than right when he charged the Government with showing an undue amount of leniency in this case. I only want to draw attention to the extraordinary way in which this case was handled to-night by hon. Gentlemen opposite, compared with the way in which much less serious cases were handled when they had it in their power to make themselves disagreeable to the Government of the day in pressing home charges at the time. The whole thing is in a most unsatisfactory position. Whether we shall get a Division on anything like satisfactory terms I do not know, but whether the consciences of hon. Gentlemen opposite will be satisfied if they give a vote in favour of the Government, and against the facts of this particular case, remains to be seen. It would not have been right if this question had been allowed to die down in the second speech of the hon. Gentleman, who always poses as an extremely high authority on morals of all kinds in this House, and I cannot say 1120 that his speech to-night has added anything very much to his claims on this subject.
§ Colonel SEELY
I find myself constrained to reply to the remark which has just been made, and ask to be allowed to say as regards the discrepancies alleged to exist between the first and second speeches that I am not aware that there is any discrepancy between the two statements. I think that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Stuart-Wortley), when he recovers his temper to-morrow, will probably see that there is no discrepancy between my two statements. [Cries of "Withdraw."] I do not wish to say anything offensive, nor to go beyond the ordinary courtesies of debate, but merely to explain the actual position of affairs.
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman quite appreciates either the point of view stated by my right hon. Friend the late Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Lyttelton) or the point raised by my right hon. Friend who has just sat down (Mr. Stuart-Wortley). We do not desire in the least that the Government should go back on this case. Whether the gentleman who has been the subject of this Debate has, or has not, escaped too easily from the net of the criminal law is a matter which no doubt may be discussed. We do not want his case and his offence to be reopened. We think it unfortunate, but we want to put him altogether on one side. A year ago his fate was decided, and decided on the responsibility of the Government, and it is the Government, and the Government only, who are now in question. What defence have the Government made to the action they are pursuing? They have really made no defence at all. They have said, as I understand, that if anybody else offends, as the gentleman in question has offended, the future offender will be punished by a far more rigorous penalty than has been meted out to his predecessor. That literally is the whole defence that the Government up to the present moment have made. That defence is, I think, or might be, quite adequate if the matter dealt with was one in which a different code of morals was brought into play, or if it had not been clear, in the case of the original offender, to the Government, who were his superior, what the offence was he had committed. Then I think it might be just and fair and proper to say that the first offender should be let off with a relatively easy penalty, but that anybody who offended in the same way in future should 1121 have meted out to him a far severer measure of justice. But surely that is not the case. It is not the case which has been made by the hon. Member. He has not suggested a further consideration and review of the circumstances. No new fact whatever has been brought to light which should put offenders in future in a different position from offenders in the past.
§ Colonel SEELY
Oh, yes. A circular was issued. The right hon. Gentleman will forgive my interrupting him to explain that we issued a circular, and that circumstance changed the whole situation. We considered that no sufficient warning had previously been given; and we intimated that any future offender would be more severely punished. We did take the view that a sufficient warning had not previously been given of the terrible consequences that would follow such an offence as this. We therefore issued a circular, and the moment we did so, a new situation arose, and that is why I made the announcement.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I was here when the hon. Gentleman made that statement, which really brought out in the most definite and concrete form the point I was endeavouring to make. He and the Government appear to think that the offence committed by this gentleman was of a kind which they did not consider, had no ground for considering, was of so serious a character that either criminal proceedings might be taken against him or dismissal from his employment would follow. And it required a circular to bring home to British officers in East Africa and other Colonies similarly situated the character of the offence which had been committed and the nature of the punishment which was to follow. That is really the point. Am I wrong t I listened with great attention, I think, to the most important speeches which have been delivered on the subject, and I agree that I knew nothing of the case before I came down to the House. I need not go further than what did take place. The Government admit not merely that one of their officials was living in this sort of intercourse with native women, but against one particular official there were two indictments to be made. The first indictment was to the effect that he had used his position of authority—his position of judicial authority in the country, remember—to induce against her will a girl of 13 or 14 to leave her natural protectors and come to cohabit with him. That is the first charge.
1122 I hope the House will believe me that I am really not trying to impose upon officials elsewhere a code of morality and purity, whatever it may be called, which, no doubt, is violated in our own country and in our own society. I am not putting up a special standard for these people. On the contrary, I admit the fact of their isolated life and all the rest of it. We know there are special difficulties. But what I am trying to press upon the Committee is the particular complexion put upon this whole case owing to the fact that he was a man of judicial authority, that he used that judicial authority as the instrument and the means by which he might induce this girl, willingly or unwillingly, to become his mistress.
I do think that goes quite outside anything that in this country is recognised as immorality. It is quite a different order of offence, and has nothing whatever to do with purity in the sense in which that word is used in these ethical discussions. It is quite different; it is a gross abuse of administrative power, and such a matter as that ought not to be lightly passed over by the Colonial Office. May I ask another question? Am I wrong in gathering from this Debate that the offence was one which directly came within the purview of the criminal law obtaining in that particular part of His Majesty's dominions? I understand the hon. Gentleman says there is some doubt as to whether it did. Has he explained to us in what that doubt consists? There was no doubt as to the age of the girl, and there is equally no doubt that the age mentioned in the Indian Code is 16. The girl was not 16; she was 13 or 14. Then where is the doubt? I am, of course, no lawyer, but I have read these articles in the Indian criminal code to which our attention has been called, and it seems to me on the face of it that this gentleman was plainly open to a criminal indictment. I think there is no doubt of that. The code uses the word "seduce," and says, "Whoever buys or otherwise obtains possession of." These words are of the widest character. There is no question about the age of the victim, and if this gentleman did not come within the operation of the criminal law, on what words in these sections of the code can the Government think he would be likely to escape? That point has never been cleared up; never referred to by the Under-Secretary of State, or by any other gentleman taking part in this Debate. But that is not all. My right hon. Friend the late Colonial 1123 Secretary (Mr. Lyttelton) told us that a civilian not connected in any way with the Government in any official capacity had been sentenced to six months' imprisonment for a precisely similar offence. I do not understand that that statement was contradicted by the Under-Secretary. If that allegation is true, is not the light which it throws on the action of the Colonial Office of the most lurid description. Here you have a man who was in no position of responsibility and who violates the letter of this Indian law; you take him and try him and sentence him. Another man, as we are told, commits a precisely similar offence and he commits it with the profoundest indecent aggravation, an aggravation which moves me far more than the fact that there was immorality committed with this girl of 16.
The influence which moves me is not that the immorality was committed, but that it was committed by a man with judicial authority, who used that judicial authority in order to enable him to commit it. I am not raising myself into a censor of morals, even of human weakness. I am not taking up that position. My position is quite a different one. It is that all human sentiment and all human morality profoundly condemn the man who uses his authority in order to commit these acts of immorality. That can be paralleled from history. Only too many of them are recorded in the ages of mankind, and all have met with either condign moral punishment or have been blasted in the pages of history. I am amazed at the position exhibited by the Government in this case. Their view was that the offence was only one which you might expect ordinary weak human nature to perform, and only a severe warning and relatively light punishment is to be inflicted on the offender, and it is only as regards the future offenders that they lay down a certain code of ethics, which is now rather late when adopted by the Colonial Government. I leave that first part of the story, and I come to the second. Am I wrong in saying that according to the second story the same official—judicial official—actually got into conflict with a man who was his own subordinate about that man's own wife, and that this discreditable and sordid scene ended in a scuffle, and that the man was actually sent to prison by the judicial person who had appropriated to his own immoral purposes the woman who was living with the other 1124 man? I do not know how this Committee feels about that story. Again, I say I am most anxious not to be too nice as to the purity of this matter.
Here again is the case of the man using his authority over his subordinate to induce the woman living with that subordinate to live with him, and punishing the subordinate by imprisonment when the subordinate resists the transaction. I could scarcely think of anything worse. Does not the present Committee feel that some defence is required from the Government on this matter? The hon. Member for Holmfirth (Mr. H. J. Wilson) is so satisfied with the punishment which is going to be meted out to other officials who offend in this way that he desires to withdraw his Amendment. If he had not been a supporter of the Government, and if he had been an opponent would he have withdrawn that Amendment? If hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway instead of having in addition to their ethical interests political interests in supporting the present Colonial Office, if they had been in the position anxious not merely to spread a high sentiment of morality throughout the British Empire, but anxious also to turn out the Government, would they have been so very tolerant as they have towards this tonight. I confess that I listened with amazement to what has occurred to-night, an amazement which grows the more I think over the details of this story. As I told the House, I knew nothing about it except what I have heard in the Debate to-nighxt. Uncontradicted speeches have been made, admitted facts have been mentioned which have moved, I do not deny, my great indignation. The Government have made no defence. They have not even attempted to make any defence. I venture to think that those who were so anxious to prove themselves, even in the last few weeks, so deeply anxious to see that the moral code, the moral political code, carried out in other countries in which we have no concern have conducted themselves amazingly strangely when there is brought to their notice one of the most discreditable passages, so far as I know, which has ever tarnished the administrative fame of this country.
§ Colonel SEELY
The right hon. Gentleman said just now he was amazed. I confess I was amazed, too, because he said that this was the first he had heard of this case, and that he had only heard of it tonight. Is he aware that the last of the 1125 offences to which he refers took place nearly eighteen months ago—February, 1908?
§ Colonel SEELY
I know how absolutely truthful the right hon. Gentleman is. He is reported once to have said that he never reads the newspapers. Now we know he does not. In every newspaper in this country this case has been referred to. There were leading articles in the "Spectator" and in "The Times," and, as well, it was reproduced in the Press throughout the length and breadth of the land. More than that, there was a full-dress Debate on the subject last November. Where was the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bal four)? I think it is a little hard, when you consider what has happened, and when you consider this man who, after all—
§ Colonel SEELY
I was wrong. Questions on the subject were answered by the score. It was a full-dress question and answer. I do not know how far it has been debated, but the questions and answers have been innumerable, and after those I was requested to receive a deputation of some hon. Gentlemen opposite as well as hon. Gentlemen on this side. I am sorry the hon. Member for Shrews bury is not in his place; he would bear me out in saying that this was a vehement controversy. I see the hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench who was also present, after there being a controversy in this House which he will not dispute. I met the deputation. I explained the action of the Government so far as I understood it at that time; the action that the Government proposed to take. For the right hon. Gentleman to come down here now, and tell us, 18 months after the event, after all there has been in the Press, after the scene in this House, when this matter was first brought up, that he has not heard of it—well, it is really for us to be amazed! He tells us that through the action of this man the whole public service is tarnished—
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I never said so. If I had there would be very good reason for passing a vote of censure on me. I never suggested that the general public service was tarnished. I said that I condemned, and do condemn, vehemently, from the facts laid before me, the action of the Colonial Office in dealing with this particular case, which I hope and believe to be unique.
§ Colonel SEELY
"The whole service was tarnished." Those were the right hon. Gentleman's last words.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I beg your pardon. What I said was that the action of this single man had tarnished the service.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
Is that not so? The action of one single Member of a Governmen may tarnish the whole Government.
§ Colonel SEELY
We were told that the public service is tarnished because of this offence which took place a year and a half ago. Those most interested expressed their satisfaction at the action taken by the Government. The right hon. Gentleman raises two specific points to which I should like to reply, although I have replied to them both already, perhaps in not sufficiently precise terms. First as to the indictment against the officer: it was a grave one. It was for that reason that punishment—heavy punishment—was awarded to him, a punishment which must involve him in little chance of ultimate success in the Colonial service, and a punishment far more heavy than seemed to be the case on the face of it. The right hon. Gentleman asked also as to why these proceedings were not taken under the Indian Penal Code. I do not think I put it precisely before. I put it precisely now: That both the Governor and the judge who investigated the case say that no action would, in their opinion, lie under the Indian Penal Code; if brought, it would be unsuccessful.
§ Colonel SEELY
I presume that it would be impossible to say what the age of the girl was. In a case of this sort you would have to be absolutely sure of the age of the girl. Anyone who knows these countries—the hon. Member for Blackpool will bear me out—knows that you cannot get positive proof that a girl supposed to be 13 or 14 is in point of fact 17. It is really impossible to get positive proof in a matter of that gravity which may condemn a man to death. That is the answer to the gravamen of the charge which the right hon. Gentleman brought against me.
It has been asked why was not this man tried under the penal code? He was not tried because he could not have been, and because the Governor and the judge said that no action would lie, and that if an action were brought it would not be successful. I think I have now dealt with all the points. It is a very old story, and a 1127 very sad story, and I do not think I can usefully add anything to it. I withdraw unreservedly any suggestion that I made with regard to the action of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, or that he took the action he did take, because of a Division coming on. We do not deny that this was a shocking case, but in the circumstances, and assuming that this man was only guilty of what he states in his own confession, I do not think you would have been justified in ordering his dismissal, because he had no warning from us or from our predecessors.
Mr. PIKE PEASE
I should like to say a few words with reference to this question, because I have taken a great interest in it for some time. It is perfectly true that at the invitation of the hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies I had the privilege of going to his room and talking the matter over with him. The circumstances put forward by the hon. Member who brought this case before the Committee were, in my opinion, no exaggeration whatever. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason) told us there was some exaggeration, but he did not say in what direction it lay. It is perfectly true, as has been said, that this question has exercised the public mind in a considerable degree for some time, and that there have been leading articles in "The Times" and in the "Spectator" in reference to it. Mr. Rout-ledge, who brought the matter before the Governor, and who went to this man's house and took away from him those two black girls living with him at the time, is a friend of mine. It is perfectly true also, as far as the case is concerned, that there has been no trial whatever in reference to this man. It was stated over and over again that this man was to be put upon his trial. Anyone who takes the trouble to examine the facts in reference to this matter, which took place upon the initiative of Mr. Routledge, and which was investigated by Judge Barth, will see what happens. There were no witnesses called upon oath, and there was no trial in the ordinary sense of the word. What we complain of is this: this officer took advantage of his official position to procure these women. There is no doubt whatever, as far as the policeman is concerned, of his having gone to the house and complained about his wife, as he called her, being taken from him. The point I want to make is that it was absolutely the duty of the Government to put this man upon his 1128 trial. If he had been put upon his trial in an ordinary court we should then have known whether he was guilty of the charge against him as found by Judge Barth. Anyone who takes the trouble to read the notes of Mr. Justice Barth will see that it is perfectly plain that one of these girls was 13 and the other 12. Of course, I make no great point in regard to that, because age in that part of the world is different to similar age in this, but I think it is perfectly plain to anyone listening to the Debate to-day that the action of the Government in reference to this matter has been fundamentally unsound.
I think the Committee will agree, after the discussion we have had on this wretched and deplorable case, that a duty rests upon this official, and it is that for the sake of the service he should tender without delay his resignation. I think the Colonial Office would be well advised to notify him after the nature of this discussion and the depth of feeling aroused that that is the only way out of a deplorable situation. The hon. Member for Blackpool raised the question of Somaliland. As far as I could understand the hon. Member, he complains of the policy of the Government in that portion of the Empire. I should like the hon. Member to tell the House his alternative policy. The policy of the Government is one of peaceful persuasion to the Mullah if he behaves himself. Is the alternative policy of the hon. Member the policy of the late Government, which meant war, the loss of life, and the sacrifice of treasure. I sincerely trust the Government will not listen for a single moment to the view of the hon. Members opposite, but continue their policy of peaceful persuasion in Somaliland. Might I remind the hon. Member opposite that the other day we were told we should not intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. I think after that it would be a great mistake and a serious injustice for us to unnecessarily, and unwisely, and unjustly intervene in the affairs of the Mullah and his people. I should like to appeal to the Under-Secretary with regard to a problem that has taxed his predecessors, and in which they have unfortunately failed. I wish to make a direct appeal to the Under-Secretary for the Colonies on this matter, because his predecessors failed to do justice to the British Indians in South Africa. That is a very serious grievance which has its reflex in India, and causes and excites immense indignation 1129 there. I think the Under-Secretary ought to use his best endeavours at the present time to rectify this serious situation in the Transvaal. The British Indians there complain of the Asiatic Registration Acts, because these Acts put indignities upon their countrymen, and there have been a large number of passive resisters, as many as 2,500 of them having gone to prison. This is really a very serious matter, and I want the Under-Secretary to take the opportunity of the presence of General Botha and General Smuts in this country to see what he can do to remedy this state of things. He will have their ear, and can make a direct appeal to them and explain that the matter has been discussed in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and that the general sentiment is in favour of more reasonable and equitable justice being meted out to British Indians. I know the difficulties of the situation. We dislike, when self-government has been given, to interfere unnecessarily, but as the Imperial Parliament we are directly responsible for justice to natives and to Indians in every portion of the Empire. I trust sincerely the Under-Secretary will seize this opportunity to see General Botha, capture him, and bring him to see the wisdom of advocating and carrying out a better, a more reasonable, and a more just policy, and so bring contentment to British Indians as well as to those in our Empire of India.
§ Mr. F. W. VERNEY
I was not quite satisfied with what my hon. Friend (Colonel Seely) said, if I heard him correctly, on the question of opium smoking and gambling dens. I think he said that the intention was to create a Government monopoly in the Federated Malay States, and I should like to quote the case of the Government monopoly in a country with which I was connected for many years, which has been by degrees destroyed by enlightened Government. There was a Government monopoly of gambling and opium smoking in Siam, and the Siamese Government was so obsessed of the idea of the tremendous harm to that country done by the gambling den that, little by little, with a determination and a patience which is beyond all praise, they gradually extirpated the gambling dens in the country districts, to the immense advantage of the natives. I appeal to my hon. Friend not to be satisfied with turning gambling dens into a Government monopoly. The Siamese Government got a large revenue out of the monopoly, but they forfeited it for the sake of 1130 their own people, and I hope the same moral courage will be found to exist in our own Colonial Government as has been shown in that distant and small Eastern country. I should also like to refer for a moment to a much larger country, where a much more drastic remedy was taken—I mean Japan. I have had the privilege of acquaintance with several Japanese who have occupied high positions under the Government, and I have spoken to them constantly about the drastic means taken absolutely to exclude opium from Japan. I have never heard but one opinion, and that was that it was to the immense advantage of Japan that opium had been excluded. We have all followed the history of Japan with the greatest interest in recent years. I am one of those who hope our alliance with that country will long continue. I think the character of the Japanese people has been quite as remarkable in the peaceful administration of the country and the extraordinary improvement which has taken place in the internal administration of Japan as it has been with regard to the administration of their fleet and the marvellous victories they have secured both on land and on sea. I would ask my hon. Friend to take the case of Japan into consideration, and not to leave entirely out of account the case of Siam. The climate of Siam much more nearly resembles the climate of many parts of India and the climate of Japan much more nearly resembles our own, and in both countries it has been found that the restriction of opium-smoking is of enormous importance to the population. I am quite aware of the difficulties which surround the opium question in India, and of the difficulties with which the Chinese Government are now gallantly grappling to restrict or absolutely stop the sale of opium in their own country; but I hope everything our own Government does will be in advance, and not behind these Eastern Governments. This is a matter of the greatest importance and I sincerely hope they will take it into account. I do not think a Government monopoly is harmless or can be harmless if a very large revenue is attached to it. After all, this is very much a financial question, and if you create a monopoly you may create a financial difficulty from which you may find it extremely hard to extricate yourselves. In India it has become a financial question of the first importance. If there had been no financial side to it we might have got rid of the traffic many years ago. I hope that the united opinion of 1131 independent witnesses will prevail in this matter, and, although it is known to those who have been in Eastern countries that opium-smoking may go on for years and years in moderation, without apparently very great harm, yet no one who has been through the hospitals in the East and has seen the wrecks of opium-smoking stretched out upon the beds can forget the scene and can apologise for the introduction or even the permission of a trade which carries with it such effects. It is a trade we can safely condemn without in any way trespassing beyond the bounds of strict truth or exaggerating the evils connected with it.
§ Mr. A. RENDALL
I desire first to criticise the views of the Leader of the Opposition with regard to the question raised with respect to East Africa. We are told that we ought to trust the man on the spot and to take his advice, but it has been my experience that the Opposition, for the sake of a small party advantage, are willing to throw over the man on the spot. This matter has been discussed in the Press for many months, and it seems to me that the idea of censuring the Government is to throw the man on the spot overboard. I rise, however, for the purpose mainly of drawing attention to a matter affecting the management of the Barotseland police force. It will be remembered that after the Raid the control of the police force in Barotseland was taken from the Chartered Company and placed with the High Commissioner, and, as the result of that, a certain gentleman named Colonel Harding was made Commandant of it in 1901. In that capacity he had most difficult duties to perform, and his salary was £800 a year. He was paid by the Chartered Company, but was told by the High Commissioner, Lord Milner or Lord Selborne, that he was an official of the Colonial Office. Colonel Harding had the difficult duty of creating a police force out of poor material. He was asked to be economical and to make his subordinate officers out of the natives. He accomplished that work, and was constantly praised by the Chartered Company. In the course of his duties he had to collect certain hut taxes on behalf of the Chartered Company. About that time the Home Government seemed to have been somewhat nervous about any native rising that should take place. Towards the end of 1905 Colonel Harding was asked by the Administrator, whose name for the moment I forget, to collect certain hut taxes. Colonel 1132 Harding went with a force of police into Barotseland and endeavoured to collect the taxes. He found that the natives were not unwilling to pay, but were unable, as they had not sufficient money. Thereupon he reported to his superior, and asked for further instructions. He was practically told to collect the hut tax, and if he could not do it, to burn the huts. He declined, and reported to the High Commissioner, and asked for his advice. The High Commissioner telegraphed home to the Colonial Secretary, and the right hon. Gentleman telegraphed to Lord Milner that there was on no account to be any raid, that the natives were to be treated leniently, and were not to be pressed if they could not pay, and on no account was the High Commissioner to allow any warlike preparation to take place, unless he had the permission of the Colonial Secretary.
Colonel Harding was in possession of these facts and of the letter of the Colonial Secretary, and having got these instructions he did his duty, and tried to carry them out. He declined to burn the huts, and he came back to the head office. The Administrator strongly disapproved of his conduct, and unfavourably reported Colonel Harding to the Chartered Company. A little while afterwards Colonel Harding was informed that owing to economies proposed by the Chartered Company the police force was going to be reduced, and the most important official in the police force, the commandant (Colonel Harding), was to be reduced. Colonel Harding, believing what he was told, at once offered his assistance to re-organise the police on the new lines, although this would mean his withdrawal from the police force. He believed that the Chartered Company had the permission of the Colonial Office and the High Commissioner to make the reduction, and he took the advice of his friends, and of the Administrator, and sent his resignation in, in the belief, and as the result of a statement made by the Administrator, that another appointment of at least equal value would be found for him. He sent in his resignation in order to assist the administrator in making arrangements for the alteration of the police force in Barotseland. Lord Selborne then writes to him, and tells him he is very sorry he has to go, and that the reduction of the police force has become necessary, and telling Colonel Harding that he hopes to be able to find him some other billet. An impor- 1133 tant thing here happens. The Adminis trator and the Chartered Company apparently never really wanted a reduction of the police force, and never wanted further economy in running it. What the Administrator wanted was to get rid of Colonel Harding, who was a great friend of the natives, presumably in the belief that if he was out of the way the hut tax would be collected in a much more thorough manner. The Administrator, having got his letter of resignation by false pretences out of Colonel Harding, writes to Lord Selborne a letter in which he throws doubt upon Colonel Harding's loyalty. Fortunately this came to Colonel Harding's knowledge, and he immediately complained to Lord Selborne and asked him whether he accepted his resignation on that ground? Lord Selborne replied that he accepted it simply on the ground of the reduction which was proposed, and which he had approved, and that he personally asserted nothing against Colonel Harding, who, he said, had been a loyal officer, and had done his work thoroughly well. Colonel Harding had to be satisfied with this letter. Shortly afterwards he resigned, but before that he saw, or heard, from Lord Selborne, who told him that in a very short while indeed there would be no difficulty in finding him a post. He sacrified £800 simply because he endeavoured to carry out the instructions of the right hon. Gentleman oppo site—
§ Mr. RENDALL
I always regret, when I hear the hon. Member make a remark, that there is not a Standing Order in favour of good manners. Colonel Harding came home and asked the Colonial Office what they were going to do? They told him and the world that they had never approved of this reduction, which Lord Selborne thought they did approve of; and, in fact, the reduction has never taken place, and there is now a man occupying Colonel Harding's post at the same salary. I ask that Colonel Harding should at least receive fair and just treatment from the Colonial Office. I have worried my hon. and gallant Friend for months past on this subject, and I think in doing so I have had the sympathy of hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House and of the right hon. Gentleman the late Colonial Secretary. This gallant Gentleman, who has served us 1134 faithful has been done out of hisplace by a trick—I use the word advisedly and after full consideration—and I ask the Under-Secretary whether he can find a post for him where his extraordinary abilities could be employed. His abilities were extraordinary, for I suppose no man ever gained the confidence of the native more than he did.
§ Colonel SEELY
It would not be courteous not to reply to several of the questions which have been asked, though only a few minutes are available to do so. The hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Summerbell) was good enough to give me notice of the questions he was going to raise affecting the West Indies. He raised the question of the municipalities in the West Indian islands, and especially the case of Trinidad. He referred to the riots which took place there some years ago, and he assumed that the abolition of the municipality was due to that. I think, historically speaking, that is not entirely the case. I agree that it is not desirable that this municipality should permanently remain abolished. The Secretary of State has said before now that it is a matter which does require consideration sooner or later. I can assure my hon. Friend that we are not losing sight of the matter. The question of giving more self-government to places like Trinidad is receiving the most careful consideration. The hon. Member gave a most formidable list of taxes imposed in the West Indian Islands, and said that they resembled a protective tariff. These taxes are not imposed with protective intentions. I have never heard them defended on that ground. If the hon. Member says to me that the amount of taxation imposed on the poorer classes in the West Indian Islands is rather bigger than it should be I think there is something to be said for that view. The hon. Member appealed to me as a Free Trader to take them off. That is a question which is rightly raised, and I can assure the hon. Member that it is receiving our careful consideration. If he will put a question to me later on I may be able to give him some information as to the intentions of the Government. As to indentured labour the hon. Member did not press for further information in view of the fact that a Committee is sitting.
Wih regard to the question which was asked by an hon. Member, in regard to the treatment of British Indians in the Transvaal, I think we may look forward to some amelioration of their lot especially in view 1135 of the approaching Union. The Union Government is certain to be anxious to give fairest possible treatment to our British fellow subjects. The Union has been commended to the House on the ground that the larger the body is the more impartial it is likely to be. The hon. Member asked us to make definite representations to the Government of the Transvaal. I can assure him that that has been done and will be done. I can assure him also that the Prime Minister of the Transvaal is sincerely anxious to find a solution for what is a very difficult matter. There is a good deal to be said on both sides. The hon. Member for Thornbury was vehement on the subject of Colonel Harding. I find it difficult to reply to him, because I am entirely at one with him in regard to almost all that he said. When he tells us that Colonel Harding is an excellent officer and ought to be re-employed, I entirely agree. The difficulty is that it is very hard to find places for officers of his seniority. Most of the posts in our gift are suitable for men from 18 to 25 years of age. Indeed, in most cases the age is limited to 30 or 35 years. Colonel Harding, although he is younger than I thought when I last spoke on the subject, is above that age, and that makes it difficult to deal with his case. I have conveyed to the Secretary of State the strong representations which have been made, and the general sense in the Department seems to be that, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, a special effort ought to be made to secure an appointment for this officer.
§ I will now turn to Somaliland. The hon. Member for Blackpool (Mr. W. W. Ashley) asked where we were going and what we were going to do. It seems to me that this is one of those cases in which there is not any best course, and we have to be content with the second best, third best, or fourth best course. All we can say is that the situation in Somaliland has sensibly improved. At the time I last spoke the Mullah was somewhat active. He is now much less active, and the reason is, I think, that he has received a rather severe blow. I think this will be of interest to the House, and especially to those who have sometimes thought that the Mullah is a person who deserves our sympathy and support because he is really a kindly hearted fellow.
§ Mr. STANLEY WILSON rose in his place and claimed to move "That the Question be now put."
§ Colonel SEELY
I can assure the hon. Member that I have no desire to delay the Division. I am endeavouring, in the face of considerable difficulty, to get through the points which have been raised. The Mullah has received a letter from his religious chief. [Colonel SHELY read two or three passages from the letter, but they could not be heard by the Official Reporter.] The Committee will therefore see that the Mullah has been denounced by his religious chief, and the situation is more peaceful than when I last addressed the Committee.
§ Question put, "That Item A be reduced by £100 in respect of the salary of the Secretary of State."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 47; Noes, 142.1137
|Division No. 368]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Forster, Henry William||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Foster, P. S.||Renwick, George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gretton, John||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B'y St. Edm'ds)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hills, J. W.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Clark, George Smith||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Hunt, Rowland||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kerry, Earl of||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. Charles Scott-||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Markham, Arthur Basll||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir W. Bull and Mr. W. W. Ashley.|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gevan)||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Fell, Arthur||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bennett, E. N.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Berridge, T. H. D.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Beale, W. P.||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Bramsdon, Sir T. A.||Hodge, John||Richardson, A.|
|Brigg, John||Holt, Richard Durning||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hooper, A. G.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Robinson, S.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Horniman, Emslie John||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hudson, Walter||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Byles, William Pollard||Jenkins, J.||Rowlands, J.|
|Cameron, Robert||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Kelley, George D.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Clough, William||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E, Grinstead)||Laidlaw, Robert||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, George||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Lehmann, R. C.||Seddon, J.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Seely, Colonel|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Shackleton, David James|
|Crossley, William J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Summerbell, T.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Tomkinson, James|
|Essex, R. W.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Toulmin, Geerge|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Maddison, Frederick||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Marnham, F. J.||Verney, F. W.|
|Findlay, Alexander||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Vivian, Henry|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Masterman, C. F. G.||Walsh, Stephen|
|GilI, A. H.||Middlebrook, William||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Mond, A.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Glover, Thomas||Morse, L. L.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Gulland, John W.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Napier, T. B.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Hall, Frederick||Nussey, Sir Willans||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)||Nuttall, Harry||Wiles, Thomas|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Hazel, Dr. A E. W.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Pointer, J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Winfrey, R.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Radford, G. H.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Rainy, A. Holland||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Rendall, Athelstan|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ And it being after Eleven of the clock, the Chairman left the chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Resolution to be reported to-morrow (Wednesday); Committee to sit again to-morrow.