§ Mr. THOMAS DOBSON
In moving the second reading of this Bill, I would remind the House that a very similar Bill has already passed its second reading in this House, and that it was referred to a Select Committee. That Committee met 13 times, and examined 42 witnesses, including, amongst others, Mr. Willett, the originator of this scheme—a gentleman who has spent an amazing amount of time, trouble, and treasure in prosecuting the scheme—representatives of the General Post Office, Chambers of Commerce, large employers of labour in shops and factories, representatives of Trades Unions, besides eminent scientists, physicians, authors, arid philanthropists. A great majority of the witnesses were in favour of the scheme. They did all they could to——
§ Major LESLIE RENTON
I beg, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to call attention to the fact that 40 Members are not present.
House counted; and 40 Members being found present,
§ Mr. DOBSON, resuming his speech, said
I was observing that there was not much opposition by the witnesses before the Select Committee, and the result was that the Committee found that the object of the Bill was to promote the earlier and more extended use and enjoyment of daylight during the summer months, that such object was desirable, and would benefit the community generally if it could be generally attained; that the weight of evidence agreed with and supported this view, though there was divergence of opinion as to the best mode of accomplishing it. The Bill introduced last year dif- 1724 fered in some respect from the Bill which I have now the honour to introduce. That Bill provided that there should be in the difference in the time no less than four alterations in April of 20 minutes each, and four corresponding alterations in September. The Committee were under the impression that that would not work, and was in favour of one alteration of one hour. They recommended that principle, and it is that which I have embodied in the Bill which I have now the pleasure of introducing. I candidly confess that on the first day this scheme was explained to me I regarded it as farcical, unnecessary, and unworkable. That was the opinion I entertained, and which most people entertained, until they began to read the evidence of the many competent witnesses who gave evidence before the Select Committee. If other people who do not believe in the Bill will read that evidence they will find that there is much to be said in its favour.
I suppose the House will be unanimously of opinion that if this is done at all, it can only be done by legislation making it, if not universal, at all events, national. The second objection was that there would be a serious interference with European traffic. If that were so, we might take it for certain that the great railways would most seriously object, whereas we found, according to the evidence of their principal officers, that they were most strongly in favour of the Bill. Nor is that to be wondered at when we bear in mind that, after all, European traffic bears but an infinitesimal proportion to their general traffic of the country, according to the evidence of the witnesses examined. These witnesses admitted there would be no more difficulty in dealing with this question of advancing the time by one hour than there exists in dealing with European time, which is one hour in advance of Greenwich mean time. No wonder that the Committee reported that the interference will European traffic would be inappreciable, and could be easily overcome. The third objection is that it would seriously interfere with the Stock Exchange. New York Stock Exchange opens at 10 o'clock and London closes at 4 o'clock. In consequence in the difference of time between the two countries there is only one hour left for the transaction of business. It should be borne in mind that this alteration in time would give an extra hour to the transaction of the Eastern business. The Committee, having carefully considered this objection, came to the conclusion that there would be no difficulty whatever, and 1725 that the Stock Exchange authorities could adhere to the present time if necessary.
Of the other objections put forward many of them were of a trivial character. I shall not stop to deal with them, but shall proceed to the arguments in favour of the Bill, which are of a very numerous character. This scheme has won the support of many of the great public bodies of the country. The Corporation of London has passed a resolution in its favour, and has resolved to hold a meeting next April at the Guildhall, at which the Lord Mayor will preside, in furtherance of it. The Convention of the Royal Boroughs of Scotland, representing 199 towns and 3,000,000 of people, also passed resolutions in its favour. There were also resolutions in its favour passed by the Corporations of Glasgow, Belfast, Wolverhampton, Derby, and many others. Then the Chamber of Commerce of London called a special meeting to consider this question, and according to the evidence of the deputy-chairman it was the best attended special meeting the Chamber of Commerce ever held. The whole question was considered by a large body of the representative business men present, and a resolution in favour of the scheme was carried unanimously. The Chambers of Commerce of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, and Bristol and others have passed resolutions in its favour, and I notice by the newspapers that only on Wednesday last the Associated Chambers of Commerce at their meeting discussed the subject. When an hon. Gentleman who used to be a Member of this House, and who is much respected by the members of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, moved the previous question he only found six supporters, and the resolution in favour of the Bill was carried practically unanimously. Nor is it to be wondered at that this measure has met with such an enormous amount of favour from the business men of the country, especially if we read the report of the Committee. That report points out the advantages that will accrue if this Bill is passed.
The first effect of the Bill will be to move the usual hours of work and leisure nearer to sunrise; (2) to promote a greater use of daylight for recreative purposes of all kinds; (3) to lessen the use of licensed houses; (4) to facilitate the training of the Territorial Forces; (5) to benefit the general health and welfare of all classes of the community; (6) to reduce the industrial, commercial and domestic expenditure on artificial light. These are some of the advantages that would accrue from the pass- 1726 of this Bill. I venture to submit that seldom has a Bill come before this House with promise of greater utility, and all this is to be obtained by the simple expedient of advancing the clock on the third Sunday in April and making a corresponding retardation in the month of September. There are many other advantages which may be summarised as financial and moral. As to the financial advantages: there would be an enormous saving on the cost of artificial light. From the evidence of Mr. Vickery, deputy-manager of the London and South-Western Railway, a person well qualified to judge, there will be a saving on the part of the railway companies of Great Britain, excluding Ireland, of no less than £92,000 a year. If there be this saving on the part of the railway companies alone, the saving in other directions must amount to many millions. There will be a corresponding saving in thousands of factories, in tens of thousands of shops and in hundreds of thousands of private houses. But even the financial advantages are insignificant as compared with the physical. There is not a single Member who will not admit that natural light is healthier than artificial. Medical men are always impressing upon people the necessity of fresh air, and to carry this into effect we all know that vast sums of money have been spent upon open spaces, parks, recreation grounds, and the like, and to make them more attractive there are swimming baths, gymnasia, and all sorts of provision for athletic sports. I ask hon. Members who bear in mind this fact that great and beneficial though that expenditure may be, it is to a great extent lost upon the great mass of the workpeople of this country. How can working girls or City clerks, for instance, who have to leave their places in the City at seven o'clock or their shops in the suburbs at eight o'clock, reach these recreation grounds in time to avail of these advantages?
We all know that the thing is impossible to many hundreds of thousands of working people in this country. Pass this Bill and thousands and hundreds of thousands will be able to avail themselves of all your useful extent of open spaces or will be able to enjoy themselves by means of some of those facilities for cheap travel, such as tram rides, and so on, which I can assure hon. Members in this House are to many of those poor people as much a source of enjoyment as are the motor rides which the rich are able to take. I have noticed too frequently that the right hon. Gentle- 1727 man who ably fills the position of War Minister has been addressing a considerable number of meetings in this country in order to increase the efficiency of the Territorial Force, but I have looked in vain amongst the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman for any reference to the undoubted assistance which this Bill would afford him in increasing the efficiency of this force. I certainly have been very considerably surprised at that, because I do not hesitate for a moment to say that if efficiency rather than numbers is his object, nothing would tend more to promote efficiency in this force than the passing of this Bill. Many Members of it, workmen who have joined this force, have to walk some miles to the drilling halls, and it is utterly impossible for many of them, except, perhaps, on Saturday afternoon, to have any practice at rifle shooting. Pass this Bill, and another hour's daylight will result, and these men, at all events, will have many more facilities than they have now of becoming efficient soldiers.
Then as to the moral advantages, I do not hesitate to say that they are enormous. Evidence was given before the Committee, and it has been referred to by the Committee, apparently with their approval, to the effect that the passing of this Bill will lessen the use of licensed houses in this country, and I for one, knowing something of the working classes of this country, fully believe that. I believe the more you get people out in the open air the more you will get them away from the public-houses. I notice that last week there was a petition from the Music Hall Federation, I think it was called, and that petition stated that experience had demonstrated beyond the possibility of doubt that light and fresh air prevented a good attendance at the music-halls. If that was meant for an argument against this Bill I am very much obliged to them for putting it forward, because I regard it as one of the strongest arguments you can possibly adduce in favour of it. We want people to enjoy natural scenery, brightened by natural light, and we do not want them to spend their summer evenings in stuffy music-halls gazing at painted canvas, which can only be made to look presentable by the use of glaring artificial light. We read in the good old Book that the first Commandment was "Let there be light," and there was light, and you frequently hear people, especially just lately, lament the grey, dull atmosphere we have now, and pining 1728 for the time when we shall get longer days and bright sunshine.
What will be the result of not passing this Bill? It is when these brighter days come we find the majority of the people of this country will be spending three or four hours after sunrise in bed, and at the end of the day trying to blind themselves by the use of artificial light. Pass this Bill, and at least 30,000,000 of people in this country will enjoy 154 hours of light. There will be 154 more hours granted to them to enjoy healthy, happy, and rational amusement. There will be 154 hours to take away some thousands of people from those single-roomed dwellings which are the curse of our great cities—dwellings in which the people are compelled to live, to sleep, and to work, and where disease, and especially consumption, is bred. I hope the arguments that I have put before the House in favour of this Bill will be such as to induce them to vote for its second reading, which I now beg to move.
§ Sir HENRY NORMAN
The motion for the second reading of this Bill was to have been seconded by the hon. Member for the Hythe Division, but, unhappily, he is confined to his bed, and I have undertaken, therefore, at a few hours' notice, to do so. It is to be regretted that he is not present, because he was the chairman of the Select Committee which considered this Bill, and he is, therefore, perfectly familiar with the matter in all its aspects. If the Bill were one involving a novel and abstruse principle and a mass of technical details, it would, indeed, suffer very much from my hon. Friend's absence, but as it is the principle is so simple and so natural, and its details can be grasped almost at a glance, that it depends very little on the skill of its advocates, and certainly requires very little from me after the exhaustive and convincing speech of my hon. Friend. It is said in a familiar quotation, "To be loved it needs only to be seen," but it certainly can be said of this Bill, that it needs only to be understood and to be regarded with just that touch of imagination which elevates us above our ordinary lazy inclinations to leave things as they are, to be approved and passed into law. In a word, what is it that this Bill proposes to do? It proposes for five summer months to cause the hours of the clock to synchronise more nearly with the hours of daylight. Thus it would after the change be as light at six o'clock in the morning by the clock as it is now at five.
I really think that if the provisions of the Bill were more elaborate and more 1729 complicated it would have been received with greater sympathy in many quarters, because what it proposes to do is so very simple a thing that many superficial students of it believe it cannot be of great value. It is to be accomplished by the simple expedient of putting on the clock one hour on the third Sunday in April at two o'clock in the morning, and back on the third Sunday in September. That will lead people to begin their working day nearer sunrise. Curiously enough, the principle of the Bill is already in universal and natural adoption. People breakfast earlier in Washington for instance than they do here, simply because it is light earlier. In fact, latitude fixes the breakfast hour, and therefore consequently the business hours. We propose to do for ourselves in summer what nature does for many other people all the year round. The Bill may be regarded from two points of view. First, its social effect; and, secondly, its scientific aspect. One may glance at it for a moment from this point of view. Suppose Mr. Wilbur Wright could fly over the country and carry with him an impartial inspector at about five o'clock on a summer morning. He would see what is perhaps the most beautiful country in the whole world in the summer, brilliantly lighted, sweet perfumed, wholesome and exquisite, and he would see practically the whole of the population of the country sleeping behind curtains in their beds. If then he could fly back again between 10 and 11 o'clock at night he would find practically the whole population of the country either at work or at play by artificial light. He would naturally say, "Why in the name of commonsense do not these people go to bed an hour earlier and get up an hour earlier? The social effect would be enormous. Many millions of workers, far more than the figure my hon. Friend mentioned, would for the first time in their lives have an hour more daylight after their work. In fact, very large numbers of them would for the first time in their lives have an hour of daylight for their work. The effect of this upon their health, their education and their happiness would surely be incalculably great. It is a pathetic sight to see young men rushing off as quickly as possible after their work, getting their pastime, their recreation or their exercise as quickly as possible, struggling against the fading light. The Bill simply presents them with an hour of summer daylight. A more precious gift is surely hardly imaginable. The testimony to this effect before the committee was unanimous, and 1730 its effect upon the workers of the country was very well brought out by the searching questions put to every witness by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, West, or, as Professor Rambaut said, the man who rises at six and whose work is not over till six sleeps away in the morning almost exactly half the sunlight hours available for recreation.
I associate myself heartily with what was said by my hon. Friend about the Secretary of State for War. I should have thought there would be no one in the country who would have taken a keener interest in the fortunes of this Bill. From his point of view, and certainly from mine, rifle shooting and marksmanship are certainly a patriotic duty, and also certainly a moral discipline. The Bill will benefit the physique and general health and welfare of all classes of the community. The advantage of it to the women, who are working long hours, in giving them an extra hour of daylight through the summer to attend to their home duties, the effect upon the health of the large numbers of working girls, the effect upon the eye-sight of the younger members of the nation, the fact very strongly urged by representatives of the railways that the Bill would undoubtedly reduce the shunting accidents which are so very deplorable, will be of incalculable benefit. I think it is no exaggeration to say the Bill would do more than any other one measure to check the physical deterioration which has certainly grown among many classes of our population. As regards its economy, it is perfectly evident that the bill of every householder for artificial light would be reduced by the extension of daylight in the manner proposed. I hope I may be permitted to say to hon. Gentlemen who are preparing to do their best to defeat the Bill, in all seriousness a considerable responsibility rests upon them to justify their action in the very unlikely event of its proving successful.
Now a word upon the scientific aspect. Sir Robert Ball, who, I suppose, has done more than any man of our time to popularise scientific conceptions, said to the Committee:—I do not see any scientific objection worthy of weight against the admitted benefits of the scheme, if those who are most concerned in the transit business of the country are disposed to acquiesce in it.The representatives of the great transit business of the country are, on the whole, strongly in its favour. Representatives of great railways gave evidence in its favour. The Post Office sees no difficulty except as regards the Continental mails, and not 1731 very much difficulty in that case. Sir William Ramsay, who might perhaps be regarded as the best representative of the best scientific thought of our time in this country, describes the Bill as eminently rational and perfectly practicable, and says that objections to the scheme are trivial and ill-considered. In the face of these remarks from such a man it will not do for the opponents of the Bill merely to laugh at it and pooh-pooh it. They must bring forward some really serious argument. There is nothing whatever new or difficult about changing time. Every observatory has three times. We change our time every time we go to Paris and every time we come back. We change it two or three times in crossing Europe. We change it crossing the Atlantic or the Pacific. There are two times everywhere in Canada. There are two in Ireland. In a way I change my time in one respect every time I go to my Constituency, because I have a different hour for lighting up, as cyclists and motorists have in different parts of the United Kingdom. The only serious scientific witness against it, Sir David Gill, was abundantly answered by other scientific witnesses, one of whom was an eye-witness of what took place when the change of time was introduced in Cape Colony. He said he could only explain Sir David Gill's evidence by supposing that his memory was at fault in the matter.
With regard to the Continental mails, there are undoubtedly certain difficulties; but the Continental mails in connection with the whole postal business of the country and the welfare of the people really constitute such a very small matter that whatever difficulty there is must be got over if the main contentions of the Bill can be proved. They will be got over in any case by the running of an extra train or two, which some railway representatives thought there was need for, and even then, as regards extra trains, the railway company would make a saving on the illumination of their carriages during the extra hours of daylight. It appears that the chief objection to the Bill is to come from the representatives of agriculture. I am sorry I have not seen in detail what those objections are, but I saw in one of the papers yesterday that one agricultural authority stated that, by this Bill, farmers would lose the best hour of the harvest day, namely, from 5 to 6, when, as he said, the stuff was drying. I do not 1732 follow that entirely. If that Gentleman did not mean that he understood farm labourers would not be able to work at the harvest between five and six I do not know what he did mean.
If he did mean that then there is a complete misapprehension as to the effect of the Bill. The only person that I can see would suffer from this change would be the cow, which would undoubtedly suffer a temporary inconvenience by being milked an hour earlier than it had been accustomed to, but that would be a very temporary inconvenience, because the cow is a very accommodating animal. Even the gas and electric lighting companies did not appear against the Bill, as some might have expected, and for a very good reason. If they appeared to say that the Bill would cause them very heavy loss it would be the best argument that could be used in its favour. If I knew what the arguments against the Bill were, I would meet them, but I know of no valid argument against it. The only comment that I can make upon it is that it is so simple and natural, and its provisions are so obvious, that one can only feel amazed that it was not thought of and introduced into this House and passed into law long ago; and that it will pass into law—this Session I hope, but if not in a subsequent Session—I have not the least doubt; and I feel quite sure that the next generation will erect a statue to Mr. Willett for his labours in this matter. Those who work voluntarily need more daylight for their labours; those who work compulsorily need more daylight in which to play. That is precisely the gift which the Bill has given to both classes. Its general effect may be rendered by a few lines of the old song, though with a very different meaning:—The best of all ways to lengthen our days, Is to steal a few hours from the night.
§ Mr. HOLT
I hope that the House will allow me to state some of the objections to this Bill, and to move the usual motion for its rejection. I served on the Select Committee which considered it last Session. I went on the Committee prejudiced against the measure, and I came away more convinced than ever that the measure was impracticable and absurd. There are a great many people I admit who do not get up as early as they might. There are a great many hon. Members of this House who must confess themselves to be some-what sluggish in their nature; but there are a great many people in this country who are not so sluggish as my hon. Friend would lead us to believe. There are people who have to start work at seven 1733 or six o'clock or even an earlier hour, and they have to rise at anything from an hour to an hour and a half earlier still in order to be at their work in time. I do not gather that those persons are very anxious to start work at a still earlier hour in the morning. I would like to submit to the house the consideration whether in getting workmen an hour earlier out of bed down to factories or docks we are not encouraging them in one of the most disastrous habits of the workman, that is getting their breakfast in a public-house instead of at home. Only a small proportion of dock labourers do it, but some of us who are connected with dock work know that one of the worst snares open to workmen is to take their breakfast in public-houses instead of getting their breakfasts properly cooked by their own wives before they start from their homes. That is one of the most prolific sources of accident and disaster in connection with the work.
Another consideration is that if the hours of labour are to commence earlier in the morning it may increase the tendency on the part of employers to ask for overtime in the evening. One of the greatest objections of employers to overtime is that work has to be carried on in the dark. If there is an hour of daylight extra available for overtime it will increase the disposition on the part of people to try to utilize that daylight not for recreation, but to try to do more work, and thus increase the hours of labour. All of us who have experience of children know that it is not easy to get them to bed by daylight. Everybody who goes about our great towns after dark sees too many of our children out of bed when they ought to be in it. If you are going to have the children rising an hour earlier in the morning, and you think that you are going to get them to bed an hour earlier in the evening, I do not believe it for a moment. I think that the greater enjoyment of daylight by the children would be bought by the curtailment of their hours of sleep.
One hon. Member has spoken of the great advantage of shop girls getting out of shops an hour earlier and of having an opportunity of recreation in the summer evenings. I agree with him on the subject. But why not have them allowed out of the shops an hour earlier in the evening? That is a simple, direct and straightforward matter. Pass an Act compelling the shops to close at 7 o'clock, instead of passing an Act compelling them to call 7 o'clock 8 1734 o'clock. There was a rather striking bit of evidence given by one of those who appeared before the Committee and spoke about shops, and with regard to his own shop in the suburbs of London pointed out that it was kept open an hour later in summer because he found that customers took advantage of the daylight in order to shop; and the extension of daylight to shops like that is likely to have the effect of increasing the hours of the shop-workers and not of increasing their recreation.
And now a word with regard to domestic servants. The object of hon. Members is to get persons up early in the morning to give them more time for recreation in the evening. When the gentleman who gets up early has had his three hours walking or cricket, instead of two hours, will not he still want to go home and have his supper? Is he really going to curtail the hours between the finishing of his recreation and his going to bed? The sub-manager of the London and North-Western Railway Company, in his evidence before the Committee, said that undoubtedly the railway companies would have to run additional trains from places of recreative resort. That may be a very good transaction from the railway company's point of view, but how is the railway servant going to benefit. Surely the railway servant will be required to work longer hours, and the only compensation he will get will be that during some hours of the day he will be very slack. When a man once starts work he prefers to go at it and finish it off. I am not going to deal with the agricultural aspect of the case myself, but I understand that the promoters say that agriculturists will not be affected by it. I think the trains which take farmers' produce to the market will have to start an hour earlier, and the cows will have to arrange to give their milk earlier in the morning. The idea put forward in such eloquent language by the hon. Member who moved this Bill that all these great moral reforms and financial savings are going to be accomplished by this simple expedient is almost incredible. Surely we are agreed that twelve o'clock means the time when the sun is over the meridian, and I cannot see how hon. Members can expect to get any advantage from altering the meaning of those words. Hon. Members who support this measure believe the effect of it will be to add one hour more daylight to each day, and that in future a day will consist of 25 hours. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] In the North, where you have daylight in the summer time almost during the whole 24 hours, the 1735 effect of this Bill will make things very inconvenient.
I would like to suggest to the House that it would be a great mistake to try and set up this uncertainty with regard to the relationship of our time to that of other countries in the world. The world is getting a smaller place every year, and we are getting more and more closely connected with the different peoples of the earth. Under these circumstances, I submit it would be a real inconvenience to all people who have dealings with other parts of the world that there should be any change made which is likely to produce doubt and uncertainty as to the difference of our time in this country and the other countries of the world. I do not know whether hon. Members have read the evidence from the Secretary to the Post Office given before the Select Committee in opposition to this Bill. It is clear from that evidence that the whole of our postal service with the Continent of Europe would be entirely upset during the summer months by this Bill, and we should get our letters later than we do now. That is the position of affairs, which would be extremely unfortunate for the commercial interests of this country. Another witness, Lord Avebury, was most emphatic upon this point. The later arrival of Continental mails would be a most serious injury to those engaged in the trade of the City of London. It would also be a great inconvenience to the commercial classes in the North of England.
I would like the House to consider also the effect this early rising will have upon our interests and trade in America. Those interested in our great American business in cotton, grain, and finance do manage on their existing hours to keep open one hour per day to transact business by telegram with America. As regards New York, the difficulty might be got over, but there are places of importance, such as New Orleans, Chicago, Memphis, and other places where the inhabitants always commence business at nine o'clock for the express purpose of being able to do business with the people of this country during the day.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Would the hon. Member allow me? I understood him to say that the difficulty with New York could be got over. He might say how, because I fail to see it.
§ Mr. HOLT
What I wished to say was that at any rate there would be a few minutes, 30, left; whereas for those places 1736 further west, transactions the same day would be utterly impossible unless you could get the inhabitants of those towns to start business at eight o'clock in the morning. They are hardly likely to do that if we try this extraordinary freak on the part of the people of this country. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton said that there was apparently no serious scientific objection to the Bill.
§ Mr. HOLT
The observation is not very complimentary to the Astronomer-Royal, who is one of the foremost scientists in the country. The Astronomer-Royal and the Chief of the Meteorological Department have testified strongly against the Bill. The effect of it, they said, would be to produce uncertainty as to the hour at which observations were taken, expressly the very desirable observations that are frequently taken by amateur observers, and sent up to be of assistance to the official staff.
Might I ask the hon. Members supporting this Bill if they will answer me one little question? In the event of this Bill becoming law, what hour of the day will be noon—12 o'clock or 1 o'clock? Somebody suggested 11 o'clock!
The object of this Bill may be accomplished without legislation. Hon. Members, in speaking of the enormous advantages of this Bill, spoke of the great number of people, the Chambers of Commerce, and others who were in favour of it. Do they really ask us to believe that all these tremendous improvements and advantages are going to be obtained by starting work an hour earlier in the morning? The Stock Exchange and trade unions, with their great powers over their members, these influential, powerful bodies—they want us to believe that these bodies honestly believe that these great benefits, financial, moral, and social, whatever you like, are going to be obtained by starting business an hour earlier? Are we really asked to believe that they have not enough strength between them to insist upon business commencing an hour earlier in winter? It seems to me perfectly ridiculous to suggest that these people are not capable of insisting upon an hour's earlier rising if they wish it. Legislation will have no effect apparently except to confuse the time. The report of the Committee intimates—referring to the suggested dislocation of American business—that if anybody does not like the Bill he pays no attention to it. It will 1737 thus affect no one if they make up their minds to pay no attention to it.
I submit that the only effect of this Bill will be that it takes the onus of altering the nominal hour of starting work from the shoulders of those who are dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs, and places it upon the shoulders of the people perfectly satisfied with things as they are. These proposals are exactly as the hon. Member who moved the Bill told us his first impressions of them were—"fantastical and absurd." His first thoughts were very much better than his second. To pass this Bill would be to turn us into the laughing stock of Europe. I move that the Bill be read a second time this day six months.
§ Mr. G. LOYD COURTHOPE
I second the rejection of the Bill. I do not do so as an individual, but as representative of the Associated Chambers of Agriculture, composed of about 150 different agricultural organisations scattered all over the country. Amongst these there is complete unanimity as to the great interference that this Bill would cause to the agricultural community, without any compensating advantages whatever. I claim that the difficulties are completely insuperable. Last year, when the proposal was first made, I was rather attracted by it. But on mature consideration I realise what the difficulties would be.
I am not going to argue against the Bill on behalf of the "docile and accommodating cow," to which the hon. Member for Wolverhampton alluded. I do not know whether he has ever tried to milk a cow? If he has, and found the cow "docile and accommodating" the first time, then he has been more fortunate than I was. Before I go on to speak on behalf of the people who own and milk cows, I want to draw attention to a fact: that, when the Committee was sitting last year, absolutely no evidence at all was called for the agricultural community. It may be said that they should have been requested to be heard. But I really do not think the agricultural community, or any section of it, have taken the Bill seriously. I do not even think the House of Commons has taken it seriously, for the hon. Member only just succeeded in securing a House for his Motion. The agricultural community must conform to the general hours recognised and used by the rest of the industrial population.
§ Mr. COURTHOPE
The hours of markets will move with the Bill, and with the 1738 hours of railway trains; and the whole question of the supply not only of dairy produce, but of agricultural and horticultural produce, in towns will have to conform to the time set up by this Bill. Then in the summer season, as it is going to be called, it is manifestly impossible that on the same farm two different times could exist for the getting ready of produce for the market. It is impossible that one time should be adopted for the getting ready of produce for market, and that the tillage of the ground should go on by Greenwich time. Anyone who considers the matter at all must see that if this proposed change takes place the agricultural community must conform to it. It would be impossible for them to continue doing their work by Greenwich time as they do now. The disadvantages they would suffer would be many. All the big dairy associations say that they will find it absolutely impossible in the majority of cases to provide the towns with fresh milk nearer sunrise than at present. Of course, it would not really matter to us if the townspeople chose to drink last night's milk at breakfast, but it is quite clear, according to the defintely expressed view of dairy farmers, that fresh milk cannot be supplied at an earlier hour. But that is not the only argument. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Bill told us that he had been a farmer himself. Has he used a reaping and binding machine?
§ Mr. COURTHOPE
Then the hon. Gentleman has not used a reaping and binding machine. These machines are now used on a great number of farms, and anyone who has seen the machine used knows that it will not work unless the straw is dry, and it is the same with regard to grass. The work has to wait until the dew has to a certain extent dried off the grass or straw.
§ Mr. COURTHOPE
I repeat in reply to my hon. Friend that the reaper and binder will not work until the grass or straw is dry. I know, from personal experience, that in harvesting operations and haymaking operations you have to wait until the dew has to some extent disappeared, arid, in some cases, entirely dried. In cutting hay, I quite admit that it cuts better when it is a little damp, but it does not cut well when it is wet.
§ Sir HENRY NORMAN
Is it not the case that harvesting operations are conducted during abnormal hours, very long and excessive hours, quite the longest and most irregular hours?
§ Mr. COURTHOPE
That is the very fact to which I was going to refer, and it is one of the arguments against the Bill. You cannot start the harvesting operations nearer sunrise than you do, and you will not persuade the agricultural community to curtail them at the other end of the day. They go on until it is dark. They cannot begin until the hay or straw is dry, and they work as long as there is light. It would be impossible for them to finish work relatively an hour later than all the rest of the community employed in other pursuits. It would be for a very considerable period of the year that they would be required to work relatively an hour later, and they would be put to great disadvantage in respect of the social life of the villages and rural towns, in fact in every relation with those of the rural districts who are engaged in other pursuits. Then there is the difficulty connected with shepherds and stockmen, who have to get through their work at an early hour in order to get their stock to market. In the height of the summer they have got a large district to cover, and they have to start their work as soon as it is light in order to get through in time for the local market. If you put the local market an hour earlier you make it impossible for the shepherds and stockmen to do this work at all. They would have to employ a man to take the stock to market, a duty which is now invariably performed by the shepherd or stockman himself. I really believe that a serious hardship would be imposed upon them if you compelled them to start work earlier than they do now. Perhaps the greatest inconvenience would be as to the time of day it was. I think hon. Members would be astonished how small a proportion of labourers in the rural districts have watches. They take their time by the sun, and this Bill would take away their only time-piece. ["Oh."] Yes, the only time-piece they have got. Nor have they any public clock to which they can look from where they are working in the fields. They would experience difficulty in keeping the same time as their wives at home and the children at school, and they would have difficulty in arranging their meals. They would be quite justified in doing what the unfortunate man who had pawned his watch did, and 1740 who kept knocking at the pawnbroker's door at various hours of the night to inquire the time because the pawnbroker had got his watch. Like the pawnbroker, this Bill will take away the agricultural labourer's only timepiece. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton remarked that haymaking is conducted at abnormal hours. That is perfectly true to a certain extent. It is also true that harvesting is paid by piecework, but there is also a very large district in the country where the harvesting is not paid by piece, and where the work begins at a fixed hour. There would inevitably be a difficulty between the farmers and their labourers on the question of overtime.
The hon. Member said that the change was so beneficial, so natural, and so obvious that he felt certain everyone would support the Bill. I should like to borrow his words, and if the thing is so natural, obvious, and beneficial I wonder the people do not do it without an Act of Parliament. The hon. Member for Plymouth said it was going to promote the efficiency of the Territorial Forces. If it is going to provide us with an effective and efficient home defence I wonder we do not see all the representatives of the War Office present. It does not look as if they agreed with his statement. I will tell him my experience of the auxiliary forces, probably shorter and less varied than his own. I have been 18 years in the auxiliary forces, and part of the time I have been adjutant of a battalion which comprises both town and country. One of the great difficulties in training our men is that they will not come before dark.
§ Mr. COURTHOPE
I will deal with that. In the towns they remain at their various avocations and go to the drill hall in the evening. In the rural districts they have their cottage gardens, where they work as long as it is light. In the haymaking and harvest time they are working on the farm during the day, after which they get into uniform to go to drill. At present it is impossible to get a rural company together for drill before about 8.30 o'clock until ten o'clock almost any fine night. You are going by this Bill to make those people drill from 9.30 o'clock to 11 o'clock. That, I think, will not be in the interests of their work the following day or in the interests of the community at large. It certainly will not promote the efficiency of the forces.
As to the rifle shooting, the hon. Member 1741 knows perfectly well that the corps in the towns have to go so far for their shooting—I am not speaking of miniature ranges—that it is quite impossible for them to do it after doing a day's work. Even if you stopped that work much earlier it would not be possible. They have to go out on a half-day on Saturdays or Wednesdays. This Bill will not facilitate rifle shooting in their case at all. In the rural districts where the ranges are more or less on the spot we do not want the extra hour. They come between six and seven o'clock, which in June, July, and August is the very best hour for rifle shooting. So that I think the argument of the hon. Member for Plymouth as to rifle shooting breaks down. I do not think the hon. Member strengthened his case by quoting a Commandment from an imaginary Decalogue. I might as well quote as the Eleventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not be found out," and I think one argument would be as indefensible as the other.
It has been said, and with great emphasis, that no scientific people oppose this Bill. How on earth can that be maintained when the whole force of the Meteorological Office is against the Bill, and the whole weight of the Royal Meteorological Society as well? I have a letter from the President asking me and those with me to do our very best to defeat the measure, which would entirely upset the whole system of meteorology and cause the gravest inconvenience not only to the scientific world, but to the community at large, owing to the publication of the reports, which, as everyone knows, are used by every class. What are you going to do as to bills of exchange and the fixed hour for payment, and what is to happen as to the hours fixed in our Acts? Are you going to let the whole thing change to summer mean time and ignore scientific time altogether? How are you going to enforce the Act? I see nothing in the Bill about that, and I would like the President of the Board of Trade to tell us by what machinery the Act will be enforced. I hope when he is speaking on behalf of the trade of the country he will also remember the agricultural industry as well as the rest, and how His Majesty's Government consider this Bill will affect the rural districts, if passed. I beg leave to second the Motion that this Bill be read a second time this day six months.
Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question."
§ Sir BRAMPTON GURDON
There is no one in this House more in favour of early rising than I am, and it has been for many years a source of great sorrow to me that we throw away the best hours of daylight. Everybody who gets up early or goes to bed very late knows that in the summer the hours between four and seven in the morning are almost invariably fine. Moreover, it is quite natural to wake at sunrise, and we feel inclined to go to sleep at sunset: that is why we are sleepy between half-past eight and nine o'clock in the evening, and are obliged to take coffee after dinner. We ought to take all the advantage we can of the daylight, but the one hour proposed in this Bill is miserably insufficient. People will get up at seven, instead of at eight; but they ought to get up at six or five, or even four o'clock in the summer. I once reproached the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil because hon. Members with whom he acts were desirous that the House should adopt usual offical hours, and I pointed out certain disadvantages. He replied, "But I would make a change all round. We should get up at four, get breakfast at five, go out, ride, or whatever your exercise may be till eight, have early dinner at 10, attend the House at 11, have tea in the afternoon, work on till seven or eight, and then go home straight to bed." If he could introduce that reform it would be worth doing. But are we so miserably weak in will that we cannot get up in the morning without an Act of Parliament to compel us? I have a plan which I will unfold. It has been adopted in my own country for a great many years, and it leads to no inconvenience whatever. We simply go to bed early and get up early. That is all. It is the simplest plan in the world; the merest child can understand it. If everybody would follow that plan there would be no difficulty or inconvenience. It is a much less expensive plan than that in the Bill, and, in addition, we tell the truth. We are not ashamed at getting up early. If I get up at six I am rather proud of it; I do not want to go round saying that I did not get up till seven. There is no object in that. You always get into a mess when you begin lying. Mr. Willett has been good enough to send me a pamphlet containing the opinions of various people on the proposals of the Bill, from which I find that the hon. Member for Bootle says:—In no assembly in the world would the benefit of this be greater than in the British House of Commons—both to its Members individually in health and power of work, and to the assembly generally in the result thereof.1743 I am not an old Member of the House, but even within my experience the hours of meeting have been changed over and over again, and if we want to meet an hour earlier all we have to do is to pass a Standing Order, and it is done. Mr. Crossfield—I do not know whether he is the Member of this House of that name—says:—My firm most cordially welcome Mr. Willett's proposal … Our office hours formerly were from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. … A few summers ago we arranged to open the office at 8.30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. … This arrangement was only intended for the summer months, but at the urgent request of the staff, it was made permanent.Of course that is all right if you tell the truth about it; but it seems to me that the statement is rather an argument against the Bill. Mr. Macfayden, of Jugra, Federated Malay States, points out that in the Malay States they have adopted Singapore time, and therefore at Selangor they get now 20 minutes extra daylight.
There has been a count taken not long ago; I do not consider it necessary to take another at this point.
§ Sir BRAMPTON GURDON
As to that 20 minutes extra daylight, I rather doubt it. My experience is that the Federated Malay States, as in most places in the tropics, everybody gets up directly it is light, regardless of the clock; otherwise they would not get any exercise, as they cannot go out after nine o'clock. The hon. Member opposite spoke about the advantage to the Territorial Army. I am only an ornamental Territorial now; but many years ago, when I was an active Volunteer, we used to drill from half-past seven to half-past eight in the morning, and I think that many clerks and others in the Territorial Army would find those hours very convenient indeed. As to shop girls, if people of that class would get up early they would find the morning hours very much better than the evening hours. When a clerk at the Treasury I used often to be on the river sculling at 5 o'clock in the morning. Having had two or three hours exercise before breakfast, I was able, when at the office, to settle down to work until 7 or 8 in the evening. Then with regard to domestic servants. In most well-regulated houses the domestic servants are up at 6 or possibly 5 o'clock in the summer, and 1744 I do not think you can make them get up any earlier. Mr. Willett has sent me a list of some 150 Members of this House who are in favour of this Bill, but I do not see them on the benches at present. I object to the Bill, moreover, because it seems to be class legislation. It is not wanted for the working man. He gets up early; he is obliged to do so. The Bill is simply wanted for a few bloated millionaires who cannot be got out of bed. We heard a good deal the other night about a Mr. Murphy having been obliged to get up at 6 o'clock, but I do not think he was really so very much troubled at having to get up at that hour, unless he is a regular old woman.
§ Sir BRAMPTON GURDON
Really, Sir, I cannot support the Bill, because, although I am a great partisan of early rising, I feel that we should be ashamed of ourselves as a nation if we could only be got up early by being treated in the same way as a child when it takes a powder—that is, with jam.
§ Mr. ROBERT PEARCE
The hon. Member for North Norfolk and the hon. Member for Rye, both of whom are agriculturalists, or interested in agriculture, have opposed the Bill because they think that what is proposed can be done without legislation. I am not surprised that Members with agricultural tastes and pursuits are of that opinion, because they do already what this measure seeks to accomplish for the rest of the community. The argument about the hours in connection with agriculture do not in the least apply to this Bill, because what is wished is that people engaged in other callings should keep the time which agriculturalists now keep. The hon. Member explained to us very pleasantly the advantages of rising early in the morning and having a delightful time rowing or indulging in amusements in the country, but the fact is that this Bill is intended to benefit the town-dweller. It is not intended to alter the time at which agricultural work is done at all. Agricultural work must, for the most part, be done between the rising and the setting of the sun. That work is done when it is fittest, best and most convenient to do it. We are anxious that the system of working at the most suitable time should be applied in a similar way to the rest of the community. It should be remembered that two-thirds, perhaps three-fourths, of the population of this country live in 1745 towns, and that it is the town population that suffers from the lack of attention to summer daylight. Reference has been made to the milking of cows in the morning for town supplies, but the passing of this Bill would not make any alteration necessary in regard to that. There might be some trifling alterations to make as to timing of trains and milk vans in the morning, but these would follow naturally if the Bill were passed.
My sympathies in this matter are wholly with the town people who are wage-earners. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton stated in a most admirable way what the effect of the Bill would be in relation to the vast mass of the population of the country. We have them in our minds when we look at the objections which have been made. I do not think that the objections of the hon. Member for North Norfolk are real. The hon. Member for Hexham began by expressing his prejudice against the Bill, and that was not surprisnig in view of the position which he took up in Committee last year when this measure was under consideration. The hon. Member asked Sir Robert Ball when he was before the committee whether there was not already too much daylight. His objections to the measure were practically on a level with the queries which are sometimes put by small children.
I venture to speak purely of this measure as an Early Shop Hours Bill. Why not have this Bill, which would avoid the necessity of having a separate Shop Hours Bill, while it would do many other things in regard to which, under the present system, it is necessary to proceed by legislation? The Committee took pains to ascertain all the references there are in existing Statutes to the clock, and I wish to refer to some of these Statutes. There were altogether 140 enumerated. These Statutes relate to every description of town life, amongst the subjects being Sunday observance, sale of hay in the metropolis, lighting and watching, and births, deaths, and marriages. All these are regulated by the clock. Then in connection with Parliamentary representation there are Statutes which state the hours for publishing lists in relation to voting and the hours of polling. In regard to the polling at Parliamentary elections the Act of Parliament states that the poll shall be open from eight o'clock in the morning till eight o'clock at night. If you want to have the poll open earlier in the morning so as to take advantage of summer daylight the only way that could be done 1746 would be to pass an Act of Parliament relating to that particular subject. But that and many other matters where questions of hours are involved would be dealt with by the measure now before the House, and special Statutes would not be necessary. The Acts of Parliament relating to factories and workshops refer to hours, and it is impossible to deal with such matters satisfactorily unless a change is made which will operate automatically in all trades. These Acts are full of references to the clock, and the right way to alter any of them is not to pass a special Act for a particular class, but to pass such a Bill as this which will operate not only in all these cases, but will bring the rest of our social relations into harmony with the new time.
It is impossible to alter a statute at present in regard to hours without special legislation, although an alteration may be absolutely necessary. Some attempt at fun has been made by asking about noon. I think it was the hon. Member for Hexham who asked "What does noon mean?" Noon is the time when the sun crosses the Meridian, and that varies in England so far as clock time is concerned from a quarter to twelve to a quarter to one. Twelve o'clock is not noon. These are two essentially distinct things, and they create confusion in the public mind. We are entire slaves to the clock. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton has given us a description of a great city in the early morning. I have seen dawn here on the Terrace, and I have gone home in the early morning and in the glorious sunlight and have found London looking like a stony desert. All that light is absolute waste under the present state of things, and that the light is wasted in the towns is a sufficient justification for this Bill.
The only question left to us is—What is the best way of accomplishing the change? And it is when we begin to tackle our ordinary habits that we find the necessity of this Bill. The objections of the hon. Member for Hexham are trivial, and ought not to stand in the way of granting the great boon of natural daylight which we waste. It is objected against the Bill that it only applies to this latitude. That is the object of the Bill.
I am glad to see the Member for the City of London in his place; and I appeal to him to back up this Bill, which follows the example of the Stock Exchange. We have heard of the difference in the hours between New York and London. The Stock Exchange here shuts up at four 1747 o'clock. Why should not all of our businesses shut up all over the country at the hour when the Stock Exchange shuts up? At four o'clock the Stock Exchange turns the American market into "the street," and lets the speculators do their business there.
§ Mr. ROBERT PEARCE
If this Bill should pass, the Stock Exchange will not need to depart one hair's-breadth from its present action.
§ Mr. ROBERT PEARCE
I am speaking of the present time. It can shut up at four o'clock, and it can settle all its transactions with New York as it does now. The hon. Member for Hexham, before the Committee, often spoke of the opinion of the Cotton Exchange, Liverpool; but Liverpool is one of the great towns which has given its adhesion to this Bill. The remark that applies to the Stock Exchange here, applies to the Cotton Exchange of Liverpool. It is quite true that some occupations would be shut up an hour earlier. That inconvenience may arise, but they will be doing the same thing that they are doing now.
This Bill does not affect the agricultural world. It does not affect the provision world. It causes no kind of inconvenience in the Exchanges, and all the difficulties about Continental time variations vanish. Surely it is forgotten what the evidence of the Post Office was. Sir Henry Babington Smith gave very valuable evidence with reference to that particular point. He said:—As regards the home mail service the change of the clock would not produce any serious dislocation at all, but as far the foreign mails are concerned there would he a difficulty.
And when we came to inquire what the proportion of the foreign mail service was to the whole we found that it was not more than one-sixth. The difficulty about the postal service all disappears in the light of the examination made by the Committee. I claim on behalf of this Bill that it is a scientific mode of dealing with this matter, and that it is framed with the utmost care. The plan proposed is that Greenwich meantime should be most carefully preserved and safeguarded, and should be the foundation not only of our home time but of all the time round the world which is reckoned from Greenwich, 1748 but that in the summer we should from the third Sunday in April to the third Sunday in September keep our daily lives and our clocks one hour in advance of Greenwich time, and that for the rest of the year we should advert to our usual winter-time, and that we should recognise what was universally recognised 150 years ago that we should have at our disposal the morning hours, which are of incalculable value. It appears to me that those who oppose this Bill love the darkness rather than the light.
§ Major RENTON
The last sentence of the speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down is one which I think had better be left unsaid. I have listened with the greatest interest and some amazement to this debate. We have had many assertions, but certainly no proof that the country would benefit to any great extent by this Bill. To my mind this Bill means the creation of more overtime. The great objection employers of labour now have to overtime is that it has to be carried on in the dark. It is all very well for the hon. Member to pass over the arguments used by my hon. Friend the Member for Rye as to agriculture. He told us agricultural interests would not be affected in the least degree. Does he mean to tell the House that the Central Chamber of Agriculture, representing, as it does, 200 bodies all over England, has not a right to speak for the name of agriculture? I can assure the hon. Member that the Chambers of Agriculture and the farmers' clubs have considered this Bill most carefully from the point of view of the agricultural interest, and they are one and all in favour of its rejection for this very simple reason, that all farmers and agriculturists already get up as early in the morning as is possible. We do not want the clock so much put on as we want it put back. I should like very much to hear the views of the Board of Agriculture upon this Bill, and I think the aspect of the Government Benches at this moment is typical of the utter indifference with which the country views this Bill which, by an accident last year, was laughed through a second reading after 11 o'clock at night, and was sent to a Select Committee. There is no demand for this Bill in the country. The people of the country recognise that if they want to get up early they have a perfect right to do so, and if certain business industries wish to begin earlier there is nothing to prevent them doing so. My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton drew a picture of Mr. Wilbur 1749 Wright floating over this country at 5 o'clock in the morning, and he assures us that Mr. Wilbur Wright would find the whole community asleep. I assure him he would find every farm in the country alive and all the labourers at work, and I think if Mr. Wilbur Wright could look down the chimneys in the towns he would find thousands upon thousands of people getting ready for their daily work. We all recognise the great services Mr. Willett has rendered to this cause, and I confess that when he first favoured me, 18 months ago, with his views upon the subject I was greatly attracted to them, because I am very much enamoured of early rising. I only wish these efforts of his had been applied to a better cause. Mr. Willett has no knowledge of agriculture, and I think if he had been better acquainted with the life of the country he would not have brought in this Bill. I have no desire to repeat what my hon. Friend the Member for Rye has said. I maintain it would do a great injury to the agricultural community if this Bill were passed. I remember two years ago when the Lights on Vehicles Bill was before us that I was interested to find that our greatest opposition came from the agricultural interest, who maintained that they did such a lot of work after the sun went down—for instance during the hay harvest—that unless a clause was put in the Bill exempting them they would oppose it. The clause was inserted, and apropos of that I should like to say we were told just now by the hon. Member for Leith that we did everything by the clock—polling hours and so on; but there is one thing which is not governed by the clock, and that is the lighting of vehicles. The Act lays down that you are to light up one hour after sunset, and if this Bill becomes law I ask the House to consider the dire confusion that would prevail in this country. I would ask my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, who gave me great support in regard to the Lighting of Vehicles Bill, how he would get over that?
§ Sir HENRY NORMAN
I may point out that we do not know what is lighting-up time in relation to the sun. We do not now know what is an hour after sundown, but we look up a time-table which gives the hour of lighting up for each day, and 1750 for different places. We should do precisely the same after the Bill passed. I see no difficulty whatever.
§ Major RENTON
I see great difficulty because it has always been laid down in the Act of Parliament it was to be done by the sun and not by the clock, and this Bill does lay down that it should be done by the clock. Then the hon. Gentleman says that all these references to children are trivial and puerile, but I do not think there are many hon. Members who will agree with that. I come back to this: that the aspect of this House to-day shows that it is not desired by the community, and that if we want to get up earlier there is nothing to prevent us. I hope this House, small as it is to-day, will reject this fantastic measure by a large majority.
§ Mr. G. H. ROBERTS
I have observed one thing on the part of the supporters of this measure, and that is that they spend the whole of their time in assuring the opposing interests that it would not affect them at all. The agricultural interest, the building interest, and others, are already outside the purview of the Bill, and that seems to be the only argument that can be advanced in support of it. Personally, I wish to express my regret that Parliamentary time is occupied by a trivial measure of this sort at all; there are so many other important questions which may be introduced for the consideration of this House, especially on the part of those who represent industrial constituencies, that, furthermore, I intend to oppose this Bill because I do not want to see the Standing Committees blocked by it. There are other measures for the life and well-being of the nation which will be placed before this House, and I desire to see our way on those Committees for these Bills, so that they should secure a better position. We are assured that this Bill will not effect great ill to the community. It does not seem to me a sufficient justification for a Bill being pushed through this House to say that it will not effect ill. We want to have some satisfaction and knowledge that it is going to bring great advantage to the toiling masses of the nation.
I have not known until to-day of the great claims which are advanced in support of this Bill. As I listened to the eloquent speeches of the Mover and Seconder—and, by the way, I may be allowed to say that I never contemplated before that such fine speeches could be made out of such narrow material—as I listened to those speeches, I found that it was claimed 1751 almost that this Bill would solve the problem of a conscriptive Army, that if it had been passed into law, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War would have experienced less difficulty in securing recruits for the Territorial Army Furthermore, I learned it was strongly supporting temperance reform, and I wondered why it was that the promoters of this Bill had never invited the Cabinet to consider this matter, because then it might have been that the Cabinet would have avoided the introduction of the ill-fated Licensing Bill of last year, and thereby obviated the great unpopularity that they have incurred.
Then it is claimed that, by giving an hour extra daylight to the denizens of the one-roomed tenements of the nation, they would confer some benefaction upon them. In my opinion, the only solution of the housing problem is the extirpation of those one-roomed tenements, and that any more adaptation of daylight will have no value in that respect. Furthermore, it was advanced that the Bill would have the effect of reducing railway accidents, because of the fact that there would be more daylight for the performance of railway duties. I contemplate that my Friends who are acquainted with railway servants will be able to inform the House that railway work is now carried on throughout the whole 24 hours of the day, during darkness and daylight. We have suggested that perhaps the more effective method of decreasing accidents would be the adoption of a system of automatic couplings, which would be more effective than any adjustment of daylight would be. I fail to see that great advantage is going to ensue to any section of the community. It is stated that this will have the effect of inducing the people to use more daylight, that it will extend their opportunities of recreation and that it will tend to promote the physique and betterment of our people. I respectfully suggest to this House that it is questionable as to whether these advantages will accrue from this Bill, but I am sure of this: that those advantages may be placed within the reach of the whole people by a much better method, and that is, by the reduction of the hours of labour.
I have looked at this matter from the Labour standpoint, and although it might be on the part of fairly organised labour that no danger would eventuate from the passage of this Bill, I have great apprehension when we are dealing with unskilled 1752 labour. It may be that some employers would take advantage of the extra hour, and in the event of the Bill passing their workpeople would work longer hours than even is the case at the present time. One of the hon. Gentleman who has participated in this debate pointed out it is the habit of our people that they will shop as much as possible during daylight hours. Therefore, if we put an extra hour on the services of shop assistants in the morning we have no assurance that they will secure the desired reduction at the other end of the day, but that the shopping habits of the people and the necessary desire on the part of their employers to avail themselves of trade, may have the effect of rather worsening the condition of shop assistants than bringing any benefit thereto. I quite agree that this Bill would be of no great advantage unless it was capable of general application. It is not enough to say that different trades contract out of it, and that it does not affect them at all. As a matter of fact, the habits of all classes of the people are dovetailed into each other. By custom and usage the habits of one class undoubtedly accord with the habits of another class to-day. This Bill must effect grave dislocation and I cannot see that any compensating advantage will follow as the result of its adoption. Furthermore, it has been inquired what machinery is to be used for the purpose of enforcing the enactment of the measure. Is it to be a penal offence if one section of workmen is not willing to adapt their conditions to it; and, if not, how are you going to provide against a refractory body of trade unionists who are not prepared to obey the behests of their employers? I fear the promoters of the measure have not considered all the eventualities which may arise, and I feel that the House of Commons would not be justified in passing it into law.
Another characteristic tendency of trade is the abolition of work before breakfast. A number of the large employers realise that an hour or an hour and a half before breakfast is not, after all, economically profitable to them, and they are now adjusting their working arrangements so that a man may breakfast with his family, and their experience goes to prove that the result, after a man has had that advantage, is more productive to him and certainly more congenial to the domestic amenities. I have lived in London and worked at my trade, and at 5 o'clock in the morning I had to be on the move to get from a suburb into London in order 1753 to be at work at half-past 7 or 8 o'clock. The fact is that the people in our large centres are already on the move as soon as it is daylight; in fact, the exigencies of their trade compel them to move very often before daylight. Having regard to what we have heard to-day and to the literature which has been distributed in support of the measure, I fail to see that any advantage will ensue to the people of the nation. I am particularly speaking of the working people—the other interests have been represented very well. On the other hand, I have grave apprehensions that in some directions it may have a tendency to mitigate some of the benefits they already enjoy, and probably accentuate the already arduous labour of considerable sections of unorganised workers. Having regard to the further fact that I should desire that Parliamentary time should be utilised in a way which would bring benefit to the whole of the common people, and also that I have no desire to see one of the Standing Committees blocked by the passage of this Bill, but rather that we should be clear for the progress of more substantial measures, it is personally my intention to vote against the second reading.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I should like to associate myself with what has been said by the last speaker, and I regret that time has been taken up by such a measure as this when there are far more pressing questions. But, apart from that, I should like to say a few words on its merits or, rather, demerits, which are considerable. I certainly sympathise with any plan which would, speaking generally, have the effect of making our waking hours fit more closely to the hours of daylight. Those who support the Bill tell us a great many wonderful things will happen. They have entirely failed to show how these things will happen and how these things would be the result of this Bill.
Attention called to the fact that 40 Members were not present. House counted; and, forty Members being found present,
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
Those who have been supporting the Bill have altogether failed to show that a change of the hands of the clock would in any way change the habits of the people. It seems to me that it is forgotten that a large section of those who work have already to get up at a very early hour in the morning. Anyone who has lived in the neighbourhood of a large factory or workshop, or shipbuilding establishment, will know from the sound of the hooter or the syren at half-past five 1754 or six that a great number of his fellow creatures get up at that early hour and begin work. One very important consideration in many industrial centres is the cost of artificial light, and the desire to avoid that unnecessary expense itself operates very strongly to keep the hours more or less fitting to the hours of daylight, and, of course, there are a number of occupations, such as building, draughtsmanship, and various other things, for which daylight is absolutely necessary if the work is to go on at all. In fact, the promoters of this Bill have not faced the fundamental question—Do you mean to make this change compulsory or do you not? If there is any talk about shop hours they say this is a splendid alternative to the Shop Hours Act. Then it is not proposed to be compulsory, as the Shop Hours Act would be. Then, if objection is brought from the agricultural community, the answer is that it would not apply to them or anyone who did not like to adopt it. Under these circumstances, how that can be called making the thing efficient by Act of Parliament I really do not know. As for those people who already rise later than they need, there is a very simple remedy. They can rise earlier. Unquestionably we have been sleeping later and later. I think we recognise the disadvantage of the fact. The natural disinclination to rising early in the morning has called forth the censure of the wise since the days of Solomon. The tendency to rise late has increased with the development of artificial light. We in this House are among the worst sinners. We all know that late sittings are the deadly foe to early rising. I would like to quote from Mr. Willett's book. This is what Sir Theodore Martin says:—I wish all possible success to Mr. Willett, having for many years acted on the principle of making active use of the morning light.In fact, Sir Theodore Martin has found that early rising is a thing which we can practice by ourselves. Mr. Crossfield writes:—My firm most cordially welcome Mr. Willett's proposal. We have done something in that direction already. Our office hours formerly were from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. with the usual interval for lunch. Some summers ago we arranged to open the office at 8.30 a.m. and to close it at 5 p.m in order to give the staff, over 100 in number, as long a summer evening as possible. This arrangement was intended for the summer months, but at the urgent request of the staff it was made permanent.That is open to every other firm and every other employer to do. If they wish to encourage early rising in that way it can be done voluntarily, It needs no compulsion. 1755 I know that there have been suggestions made that it should be begun by agencies such as the Post Office and the railway companies. These distributing agencies have to suit their time to the needs of the community. If the railway companies were to begin running trains at this earlier hour then unless the habits of the community changed they would be running their trains at a loss. As the hon. Member who has just spoken on the other side of the House has said, the habits of the community are interwoven one with the other, and this sort of change, instead of adding to the convenience of anyone, would simply cause the utmost confusion to everyone. Take the case of the shops. If the Bill passed—which I do not believe it will—then unless there were an alteration in the habits of the people the shops would have to remain open just the same time as now. In fact, one thing that the promoters do not seem to have realised is, that the hours are simply named, and that, in fact, the community do individually adapt their habits more or less to the natural phenomena. The fact that we use Greenwich time is entirely a matter of convenience. There is no Act of Parliament compelling us to use Greenwich mean time, or any other time.
§ Mr. ROBERT PEARCE
There is the Act of 1880, which establishes Greenwich mean time and Dublin mean time.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I think the hon. Member means the Statutes (Definition of Time) Act, 1880. If he looks at that Act he will see that it does not enforce Greenwich mean time at all. It only says that where a time is named in any Act of Parliament or Bill it should be presumed that Greenwich mean time is meant. In other words, it should be interpreted to mean Greenwich mean time in the absence of a contrary intention. But there is no regulation whatever that we should use Greenwich mean time. The use of it depends merely upon convenience, and that has been confirmed by Act of Parliament, so far as the interpretation of Acts of Parliament is concerned. It is quite open to any person to use New York time, or any other fancy time that he likes. It is said by some that if you do not change the habits of the community, yet if the Bill does no good at all events it will do no harm. That is an argument which always gives pause to me because I have found various cases in which it has been a sort of catchword of quackery. 1756 I believe that the proposal made would cause much inconvenience to the community. If it comes into operation at all it will be a voluntary matter. You would have one set of hours called by two different names. Surely it is of the utmost importance that we should know whether 4 o'clock is to mean 4 o'clock or 5. I do not much mind which time you call it. The important thing is that we should use one term for the same thing. If we depart from that simple rule we should have intolerable confusion, and we should have to say in every case whether we mean Greenwich mean time or summer season time. I notice that clause 3 of the measure says that it is not to affect Greenwich mean time as used for the purposes of navigation or astronomy. I suppose that means that it is not to affect the nautical almanack on which we rely and the nations of the world rely, and is not to affect the time tables of boats. It would be very difficult to set out time in this variable summer season if the Bill came into operation when you would have trains going by one set of hours and steamers going out by another, and everything would have to be labelled to tell which time was meant.
Section 2, establishing the time, would incidentally work a repeal of the Measurement of Time Act to which my hon. Friend has referred. I venture to think that when a Bill of this kind is brought in a second year, if it is intended to repeal an Act of that character, it should state so in so many words. That repeal would be of very great importance. I have looked into the list of Acts in which time is specially referred to. Over 70 Acts are included in the list, so that the effect of the repeal would be very great. These Acts set out various hours for doing various things. The importance of this comes in when we remember that in many of these cases the last hour is the busiest hour of the day. Take for instance the effect of this new interpretation of existing Acts of Parliament on licensed houses, because it is proposed that the interpretation should be not merely as regards future Acts, but should be retrospective as regards existing Acts as well.
It would mean that licensed houses are to be closed one hour earlier than now. I shall not discuss the merits of that question at the present moment. The experience of Glasgow in that matter has not been altogether satisfactory. If a step like that is to be taken it should be done by Parliament direct, and not incidentally in a Bill of this kind. The same argument 1757 applies to the hours of polling. The effect of this Bill would be to close the polls an hour earlier, and I would like to ask the House if it is prepared to do that.
Let me for a moment take the Cheap Trains Act. Under that Act you have workmen's cheap trains running, and this Bill would alter the hours of cheap trains in such a way as would make them begin an hour earlier and stop an hour earlier, and those who use them know how important the last hour is. This is a carefully-considered Bill, which is brought here a second time, and we are asked to make all these sweeping changes. It may be said in Committee we may relax this Act so as to prevent it applying to existing Acts of Parliament. If it is not applied to existing Acts then you weaken the case very much, and lessen the influence of the Bill in altering the habits of the people. The case of the Cape, where they have adopted a new time, has been mentioned, and it has been argued that there is no difficulty there. If it were a question of merely making some fixed changes, it would be comparatively easy, but that is not what the promoters are asking for. They desire that the times should be changed every half-year, that during one half of the year the clock should be put forward one hour, and during the other half that it should be put back one hour. I think that would work very great inconvenience. It would not be quite so bad if we were to have the clock put forward an hour and leave it there. That would be adopting European time instead of Greenwich time, and it would be a much simpler proposition than the one which this Bill puts forward. The Committee say that this change is eminently undesirable. It has been suggested that the amount of correspondence in the mail service from abroad is not so important as our own mail service, because the number of letters is much fewer. I wish to point out, however, that although the letters may be fewer the foreign correspondence in many cases is more important, because our internal trade feeds our external trade. Those factors might to be borne in mind.
May I point out that Greenwich time does not apply here alone, but is the standard practically for the whole world? It prevails in Spain, Holland, and Belgium, and in most parts of the Continent of Europe they have adopted Greenwich mean time as the absolute standard, although they have various other times for convenience, differing by an hour or even multiples of an hour. Mid-European time 1758 as you go East is an hour earlier than Greenwich time, East European time is two hours earlier, Calcutta six hours, and Japan nine hours earlier than Greenwich time. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to the world's commerce and to our own international communication that we should not weaken the basis of Greenwich time, upon which the whole system rests. Proposals of a wide character for international time on the basis that the hours should be called by the same name all through the world have been made under which the time adopted would be regulated by sunrise and sunset, and that will become increasingly important in the growth of the world's commerce. The matter immediately before us, however, is this particular Bill, and it seems to me that no case whatever has been made out to show that this measure is desired by the country or that it would do any good. It would certainly have a bad effect upon our home and international trade, and however excellent the objects of the promoters may be, the Bill itself is one which, in my opinion, is not deserving of the support of this House.
§ Mr. A. H. CROSFIELD
In the course of the debate reference has been made to the evidence given by my firm, and to the experiment which they successfully carried out, as constituting in fact an argument in opposition to the Bill.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
Not an argument against the Bill, but as showing that firms can do this thing for themselves.
§ Mr. CROSFIELD
Quite so. The hon. Member quoted the experience of Messrs. Crosfield as showing what could be done by individual action. If, as the result of the experiment, the firm had thought that individual action was sufficient, they would hardly have taken the trouble to come and give evidence in support of the Bill. They were convinced, in fact, that individual action of itself was not sufficient. The last speaker, the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire, did not attach sufficient weight to considerations as to the inter-dependence of different parts of the community in relation both to different branches of industry and to different forms of recreation. This was why my firm, although they found the earlier hours were of the greatest possible benefit, and although they were asked to adopt the system in the winter as well as in the summer months, felt that in a town like Warrington, for instance, individual action was wholly insufficient. 1759 The ground has already been so well covered that I need not detain the House for more than a few minutes; but I do wish to emphasise the point to which I have alluded. It seems to me the arguments in favour of the Bill are altogether overwhelming. The objections that have been raised certainly deserve consideration—objections such as those stated by the hon. Member for Rye, speaking from the agricultural standpoint. What the House really has to deal with is the very difficult question of altering a custom, and the question is how we could best do so. If the custom is altered I submit it will be to the immense advantage of the great majority of the people; while as regards the minority have not the slightest doubt that the conditions of labour and work, as in the case of the agricultural population, could be readjusted to meet their case. I hold strongly that for the working-class population more particularly, and the great mass of the urban population, representing perhaps three-fourths of the whole country, the advantages of this Bill from the physical, mental, and moral point of view can hardly be overstated. I might give just one illustration, and that is in reference to a recreation, which is perhaps the most important of all the recreations we have in some districts of Lancashire and Cheshire. It is quite astonishing to what an extent of late years the old English game of bowls has been developed in Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, the Midlands, and other districts of England. Instead of thousands, there are now actually hundreds of thousands of people in the United Kingdom who enjoy that game of a summer evening. If this Bill becomes law, not only during the middle of the summer, but in the early and latter part of the season, they will be able to pursue that pastime to a much greater extent. It will be a vast boon, especially to the working classes, to be able to remain in the open air and enjoy that game for an hour longer at the end of their day's work. It has been said in the course of this debate that people could take their recreation early in the day instead of late, but I am afraid the working classes would hardly find that practicable. Men have their work to do first, and recreation comes afterwards. Besides the members of the Bowling Association, there are many other sections of the community who would be only too glad to enjoy a similar boon—in particular, and in a very special degree, the vast army of clerks and of 1760 many salaried officials. I have heard of people who allege that you can have too much sunshine. Indeed, one occasionally comes across those who say that they suffer from a surfeit of sunshine and are bored with the blue sky. Since I came to dwell in London I have not met with anybody who was afflicted with boredom of that description. I think, indeed, that most of us in London, as well as in Lancashire, would be very glad to take whatever was going in the way of sunshine and blue sky. As regards the London climate, they will probably agree with Byron's description, written a century ago, where he complained of—That sort of farthing-candle light which glimmers Where reeking London's smoking cauldron simmers.
§ Sir FREDERICK G. BANBURY
The hon. Member has found the experiment so successful that he would like other people to be compelled to carry it out. I understand from the hon. Member that he has found the experiment in no way detrimental to himself or his staff, and so he has done it. Others can do the same.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was only going to say that if he got this satisfaction from voluntary effort on his part, why cannot he leave other people alone to be their own judges? If they like to go on in the way that they have done for a great number of years they should be allowed to continue. It would hardly be possible to emphasise the arguments of the very powerful speech of the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire. ["No."] Well, I think so. I think it was an extremely well-reasoned speech. I wish I could make such a speech. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "So do we."] I cannot conceive any unprejudiced person who heard that speech who will not have been influenced by it. I am glad to see the hon. Member for Leek present. He hoped hon. Members would support him on this Bill. May I make an appeal to him to support his Member in going into the Lobby in rejection of the Bill. I should only be too delighted to support him as a Member for my Constituency if I could have done so with any satisfaction to myself.
But my belief is—I do not wish to say it in any offensive manner—that this is the most absurd Bill that has been brought into the House of Commons during the last 20 or 30 years. I hope to be able to show very good grounds for that statement. With regard to the Stock Exchange, 1761 the hon. Member said that it closes at 4 o'clock. He apparently considers that this is a very good arrangement. He said they set a very good example, that ought to be followed by other people. Supposing—as I agree—that that is a very good example. Why should not other people follow it without any Act of Parliament? The Stock Exchange had no Act of Parliament to compel them to close at 4 o'clock. They closed because consideration and experience showed them that that was the best time to close, not only in the interests of their own members, but in the general interests of the City of London. The hon. Member wants to make them close at 3 o'clock. Therefore he is going absolutely against the well-considered experience that has enabled the Stock Exchange to choose the proper time for closing. The secretary to the Stock Exchange gave evidence before the Committee, and strongly opposed the alteration. I believe his real reason was the effect it would have upon the American market—which at the present moment is the largest on the Stock Exchange. It has grown during the last 30 years in an extraordinary manner. I remember when it consisted of five jobbers, and now there are certainly three or four hundred. The American market, in all the bad times, has certainly been the most prosperous and done the most business. London is now almost the largest centre in Europe for American dealings. It is quite true, as the hon. Member said, that a great many of these dealings take place after the official time, 4 o'clock. The hon. Member must be perfectly well aware New York prices begin to come in at 3 o'clock or 3.10 p.m., and it has been a matter of very grave complaint amongst dealers in the American market that the hour has not been extended, because they say it is to some extent inconvenient for them to deal outside in the street, nor is it very dignified that they should be compelled to do so. But now the hon. Member wants to compel them by this Bill to do the whole of their business in the street, thus adding to the block in Throgmorton-street during two or three hours. The result would be, if this proposed change took effect, that the most prosperous market on the Stock Exchange would be seriously impeded, and the hours of clerks would be very much lengthened. It must be seen that if this Bill became law banks and commercial and business houses in all the provincial towns in England would have to open an hour earlier. I think the proposers of the Bill themselves are not aware 1762 of what the effect of it is going to be, and I am inclined to think that the measure will not be in every respect so advantageous as they think. In regard to the City of London and foreign business, a very large number of people receive foreign orders and foreign correspondence in the morning, and if the clerks open the offices earlier what are they to do while waiting for that correspondence?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am not conversant with that particular game, but the hon. Member who spoke last said one of the advantages of the Bill would be to improve the moral tone,and probably "push halfpenny," as well as bowls, will receive a considerable amount of encouragement among the community. An hon. Member said that this measure has been brought forward in a manner not well considered, and he pointed to the empty benches to show that Members of the House of Commons, who have knowledge of what business is to come on, take a very moderate interest in it. I received yesterday a letter, which is not signed, and which my correspondent begins by saying:—As I believe you are the champion and opponent of Private Bill legislation, I take the liberty of appealing to you to save the country from a foolish, vexatious and uncalled-for Bill.Then he goes on to say that only a small percentage of the community have ever even heard of it, and those who have "regard it as a stupid joke. Surely a Bill which involves such a dislocation of national life should be fully submitted to the nation and to the Constituencies instead of being smuggled through Parliament by a rich and influential faction with a hobby. The verdict of the country would be dead against it irrespective of Parliament." I think these words give an absolutely accurate description of the position of the country at the present moment with regard to this Bill. Apart from the question whether it is a good or bad Bill, I believe the vast majority of the people know nothing whatever about it, and would be very much astonished if they woke up one morning and found that the House of Commons had passed this Bill. I would venture to ask the right hon. Gentleman, who has considerable influence in the councils of his party, whether he does not consider that the Liberal party are running very serious risk if this measure becomes law, because the result will be that the vast majority of the people will turn to that other place 1763 and say, "Thank God there is a House of Lords, who will again rescue us from the foolish legislation of the House of Commons." The hon. Member for Wolverhampton said that no man of science was against the Bill; at any rate, he had not come forward and given his evidence before the Committee. I am informed on excellent authority that Sir David Gill, the late Astronomer-Royal at the Cape of Good Hope, regards this Bill as absolutely ruinous to science. He is a person of some consideration, and ought to know something about this question. The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill spoke of domestic servants, a class who administer greatly to our material comfort.
This Bill would increase the hours of domestic servants, as it would diminish the time during which they could sleep, and they would have to get up at whatever time the clock was arranged by the hon. Member for Leek. They would not go to bed until the master or mistress of the house had gone to bed and all the household duties were over. The hon. Member may be able to alter the clock, but he cannot alter the habits of the ordinary person in this country. It is evident that restaurants, where so many people dine, must be opened an hour later, and the result will be that the waiters and everybody connected with a vast industry will have an additional hour to work. It may be said that this is only a question which relates to the well-to-do, and that they will have to pay more for it. It relates to the vast number of shopkeepers and shopkeepers' assistants, because people always put off their shopping to the last moment. The hon. Member talked of a game of bowls, but may I ask if beer is supplied where bowls are going on. My recollection of the old English game is that it was always close to a public-house, and that was always an excuse for quenching your thirst when you had played a game. That will not commend it to the temperance party. As people do their shopping late those shops that close early will lose custom, and the result will be that all the shops will keep open an hour longer than they did before.
We were told that certain harvesting operations could only be done when the dew is on the ground, and an hon. Member said you could cut grass better if it is rather wet. That is in the case of a grass mower, but that is only one of many operations. The Member for Rye went on to say that portion of the harvesting opera- 1764 tions is done by piece. In my part of the country the cutting is always done by piece, but the actual making of the hay is done by time. The result will be that the agricultural labourer would have to be paid extra time for longer hours, and the farmer would lose in consequence. Farming is not at present in such a prosperous condition that that could be done. We were told the agricultural man gets up at daybreak, but by this Bill he would have to get up an hour before daybreak, and there is the question of the cows being ready an hour earlier for milking than now. No doubt the hon. Member for Leek will bring in a clause to compel the cows to be ready an hour earlier in summer and an hour later in winter.
We come to the railway companies, and all the comments which have been made as to the effects of this Bill on the railway companies are absolutely correct. Work goes on on the railways during the whole of the 24 hours. In the passenger trains the men would have to work an hour longer in the evening, and in the middle of the day they would stand about the station. Railway companies, although inclined to sacrifice their own interests for the good of the community, still have a little instinct of self-preservation left, and they would not run empty trams in the middle of the day when they knew they would not pay, and that the proper time to run them was later in the evening. I see by Clause 3, alluded to by the hon. Member for Dumbarton, Greenwich time is to be left unaltered, and that therefore the time of sailing steamers will be as it is now. The result will be that you will have, if you want to use those steamers, to make an abstruse calculation as to the difference in time between the arrival of the train at the seaport and the time of the departure of the steamer. I should like to see the hon. Member for Leek close by on the landing-stage, to a passenger who had arrived forty minutes late for the departure of the steamer.
Then, what is to happen to the sundials? How does the hon. Member propose to set back the sundials in summer and advance them in winter? In rural districts, I understand, sundials still exist, and people are accustomed to take their time by them; but they will be rendered useless, and will remain merely as relics of a bygone age, which existed before an enlightened House of Commons passed this extremely peculiar Bill. There is a very much simpler way of bringing about the desired result to a certain extent. The 1765 elementary schools under the control of the County Council open at nine o'clock. When the hon. Member is going home to-night, possibly rather dejected at the loss of his Bill, let him lay the unction to his soul that there still remains a field of operations open to him, namely, to induce the County Council to have the schools opened at eight instead of at nine o'clock, and thereby take a considerable step in the desired direction. In the very interesting pamphlet which Mr. Willett has sent round, it is stated that on Sunday, at the hour at which the clocks are altered, there will be very few trains running, and that those trains will simply arrive 20 minutes late. As though one would be pleased at arriving 20 minutes late! I do not know what would happen to the driver, especially on the line of which I am a director, where we pride ourselves on our punctuality. And what an excuse it will give to the railways which do not keep good time. Mr. Willett's pamphlet concludes by saying:—Since writing the above, I hear that His Majesty the King causes his clocks at Sandringham to be advanced 30 minutes in the summer.That is a simple solution of the matter. We can all do that if we want to. There would then be no need to devote a Friday afternoon to such a measure as this, thereby depriving Members below the Gangway of an opportunity of bringing in one of their very useful Bills. Personally, I do not, from that point of view, regret the introduction of the Bill, because, although I do not approve of it, there might be something even more dangerous. Mr. Willett says:—The objections which have been raised to the Bill are as follows:—'That the milk trade will be disorganised, and that cows will not yield milk 20 minutes earlier than they had been accustomed to'That is absolutely correct, and it would be a serious thing for the community if such a state of things were brought about. Further:—That the American market on the Stock Exchange will be prejudicially affected.That also is a serious objection. Then, after referring to the railway companies and the cotton market, Mr. Willett says that he will be glad to hear any further objections to the Bill. If the Galleries had been open and Mr. Willett had been present he would have heard further objections urged—objections which, I think, are unanswerable. I do not know if the Secretary to the Admiralty is to reply, but, if so, he will be in the position of being able to say, "I do not care twopence about the Bill, because so far as the Admiralty is concerned, Greenwich mean time remains." But, seriously, I ask the House 1766 not to pass the Bill; it can do no good, and it may do a great deal of harm; and everybody who wishes to do so can on their own initiative can effect all that this Bill proposes.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER CROSS
I hope the House will seriously consider before it rejects this Bill. Having heard the arguments advanced against it, I incline to the opinion that those who advanced those arguments have not seriously and reasonably considered the Bill on its merits. They have fastened on the proposal to rise an hour earlier in the morning, and have proceeded on the assumption that we shall still go to bed at the same hour as now. That is an entire misapprehension of what is proposed. On behalf of persons whose lives are spent in hard toil, but might be spent under better conditions, it is proposed that the day shall not be prolonged in the evening so long as it is now, but that it should open an hour earlier and close an hour sooner. If we get up at seven now, we shall then get up at six; if we go to bed at 10 now, we shall then go at nine. Nobody will observe the change at all. It will be a change not in what you are actually doing, but in the name of the hour at which you do it. What is the division of time that we are accustomed to regard as the time of our clocks? It is not an actual truthful state of affairs. Reference has been made to sundials. What is their position? They are a fraud and a delusion. ["Oh."] I bow to the profound scientific knowledge of my hon. Friends, but, unless it happens to be in the meridian of Greenwich, when a sundial says twelve o'clock it is nothing of the kind. In some parts of the country I know it is all sorts of hours. A sundial is a wholly unreliable method of measuring time, and so is a clock. We call the day 24 hours, but it is not so at all. It is 24 hours and some seconds. Our whole system of time reckoning is artificial. I was not here, but many of my seniors were here, when Parliament for the first time made Greenwich time the standard time. Therefore, the House can deal with the question of the standard time. The plea which is now being urged by the supporters of the Bill is that the standard time is not good, and that it may be improved. I say that the House, which has ordained the standard time, may now reasonably listen to that plea. The meridian has been talked about. We begin work five or six hours before twelve o'clock, and we go on working till six, seven, eight, or nine o'clock, and I am ashamed to say that this House goes on later. Day- 1767 light is not dispensed in that way; daylight is the same in amount before and after twelve o'clock, although it may not seem so by our present system of reckoning. The question for us to consider is whether we get the best use of the daylight. If you say that your conservatism is such that you cannot improve it, then I cannot argue with you. I can only regard you with despair, and you must be left in that position. I am not of that way of thinking: it may be that at present the voice of those who are calling for this change is like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, but the change will come. Our contention is that you are wasting the early hours of sunshine in the summer. Is it possible or desirable to alter that condition of things? The debate has been disappointing. The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, says: "You can alter it if you choose to do it." You cannot do it by resolution privately. In order to be of the least use it is necessary that the change should be made by everybody. If I am going to the city from a place where there are two railways, it might be that one railway company had adopted the change and the other had not, and, therefore, unless the change is brought about by Act of Parliament, inconvenience would be caused, and you would never know what you were doing. The hon Baronet was hardly fair in his criticism of Mr. Willett's pamphlet. One of the arguments against the Bill is that it will have some dislocating effect. Admitted at once, but will the dislocating effect be so serious that it is impossible to carry out the change? Not a single witness before the Committee who opposed the scheme said that it was impossible. They only asked—Is the advantage worth the trouble? I submit that advantage would be easily got after we had passed the initial trouble. The change is one that can reasonably be made. I am bound to say that I do not regard the agricultural argument as a serious one. At present agricultural and farm work is largely carried on in accordance with requirements so far as daylight is concerned. I have run a farm, and I can state that the girls do not always go out to milk the cows according to the clock time. The hours are more or less flexible. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not always."] Not always, but generally. Farm labourers have to work from sunrise to sundown in order to secure the crops. I do not think the agricultural argument is one of very great account. There have been one or two Chambers of 1768 Agriculture passing resolutions against the Bill, because they are startled at the idea of playing hanky-panky with the clock time. But they have not had placed before them the intentions of those who are moving for the change.
I pass by the agricultural argument. Is it contended with regard to shipping that ships will sail at other hours than they do now? When a ship goes to sea it sails by meridian time; but when a vessel starts at 2 o'clock the mere alteration proposed by the Bill will not affect that. As regards the Stock Exchange, its members are ingenious and resourceful. The Stock Exchange cannot put the convenience of two or three thousand members against a measure which will benefit hundreds of thousands of people. With reference to railways and the General Post Office, the whole objection rests on a total fallacy as to what is to be done. The hours of the time tables will remain the same, and other times will be the same. The inconvenience will not be very serious. It has been said that it is not possible to obtain sunlight by Act of Parliament. The changes are small, and are, I think, somewhat misunderstood. But this House has been well occupied in giving its attention to a measure when it is intended to ameliorate the condition of a vast mass of the people.
§ Mr. GEORGE NICHOLLS
I want to say a word of what seems to me the agricultural difficulty. It is said that the objections are trivial. What I want to state to the House is that some of the difficulties connected with agriculture are real. A good deal has been said about the cow; but I plead not so much for the cow as for the man who milks the cow. I want hon. Members to realise that all the milk trade is not done in connection with railways. You have a large number of small towns that are supplied direct from the small farmers round about them. If you are going to have breakfast one hour earlier in the towns the milk carriers must have the milk into the towns one hour earlier than they do at present. The milkman is now at work in the summertime between four and five o'clock. If you make this change he must be at work between three and four. I am saying for these people what they cannot say here for themselves—namely, that they do not want to be at work that hour earlier. As to the harvest all we heard about it in this debate had reference to grass-cutting. Anyone who knows anything about hay knows that the grass-cutting can be best done when it is a little damp. 1769 The cutters like the grass with the dew upon it; but that only applies to the cutting. Everything else in connection with the hay has to be done under fine weather conditions. Now when you come to the corn the binders can only get to work when the corn is dry. Everyone admits if this Bill comes into operation the agricultural labourers during five months of the summer will be asked to go out one hour earlier. What does that mean, for instance, to the women engaged in the weeding of the corn? They have now to be in the fields between half-past six and seven o'clock in the morning. The corn is not dry until nine o'clock. They are there working in what are little rivers of water during two hours, and they have to let their clothes dry on them in the course of the day. If this Bill is passed it will mean that these women and girls and boys will have to go into this water an hour earlier. I did it not once or twice, but days and weeks and years, for I started when I was eight and a half years old, and I often stood up to my knees in water. Beginning work of that kind an hour earlier means a great deal to these workers, because you are putting them into the water at the coldest period of the day. Then with regard to the potatoes. When they get any height the men who work amongst them are often soaked through, because it is the dew that holds on more than the rain. I have been digging potatoes for 13 weeks at a time. During the first five weeks the tops run to 2ft. and more, and if you put a man into them one hour earlier it will mean that he will be soaked through one hour earlier in the morning. These are considerations which I think ought not to be overlooked.
Some hon. Members think that this Bill is only a bit of fun, but I can assure them that from the agricultural labourers' point of view it is very serious. If anyone will give me a guarantee that it will not apply to agriculture, then I say nothing about it; but if it is to apply all round then you have all these difficulties to face. Let me say one word about the fruit crop. You cannot gather fruit for keeping with dew on it. It must be gathered in fine weather and dry before it is gathered. It means to all the small cultivators that you fix your time at their best hours in the evening. And I want to say one further word with regard to our agricultural workers. They do not want more exercise; they want rest, so you need not be so anxious about them as about those who are talked for in this House who want more time to 1770 play golf and bowls and games of that kind. It does not affect our labourers therefore from that point of view. Then, with regard to the temperance point of view, some people really think that if you can give to people more fresh air you can make them more sober. Our labourers do not suffer from the lack of fresh air, but I know there are a great proportion of them once they get within sight of the "pub." fresh air does not hinder them from wanting a drink. I have not much faith in the man who says that fresh air will save us from the drinking habit. In conclusion, I would say that I have honestly and straightforwardly put before the House what I think are serious objections to this Bill from the workmen's point of view.
§ Mr. T. HART-DAVIES (who was indistinctly heard) was understood to say
The hon. Member for Dumbartonshire laid considerable stress on the effect of changing the time, but I think he has rather exaggerated it. I know in India a change of time was introduced for the purpose of the railways, and it became the universal time all over India. In the particular part of India where I was there was a difference of about an hour, but we settled down to it in a very short space of time, and the change was introduced without any friction. There was only one place, the city of Bombay, where there was considerable trouble; they insisted upon having their own time as well, and the consequence was that there were two standards of time in Bombay and one was often half an hour too late or too early for an engagement. But there was no difficulty of introducing central time all over India. I was not much impressed by one argument used by the hon. Member for the City of London. He dwelt upon the Stock Exchange difficulty in regard to American returns, but I venture to think that is rather a good thing. I think the less you have to do with the American market the better.
I should have thought the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London would have thought so too. It is quite obvious that if it has anything whatever to do with the American market it would be a considerable check on the export of British capital, which I thought was viewed with disfavour by the party opposite. There is a very strong volume of opinion in the country in favour of this. I have been requested in many private letters and by the borough council which I represent to vote for it. From my own point of view the strongest argument is that if we had this Bill we should be able to enjoy the beautiful early summer mornings.
§ Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN (Barrow-in-Furness)
I have listened with very great care to many of the speeches which have been delivered, and I heard with considerable astonishment the last speaker above the Gangway on this side. He told us this Bill was going to be of great advantage to great masses of the working people of the country. When did the great masses of the workpeople of the country ask for it? I have been among great gatherings of workpeople both at Trade Union Congresses and at Liberal Congresses. There was a conference at Portsmouth in January representing nearly 1¼ millions of workpeople, and not a single word with regard to this Bill was ever mentioned. There is not a gathering of workmen, not a representative organisation in this country which would spend a halfpenny stamp to push this particular Bill on the attention of the country. It seems to me, further, that the House of Commons itself is practically the worst offender in this direction, and it seems to me further that it would be much more reasonable if a Bill were introduced to alter the sittings of the House so that we might set an example to the people outside first. We hear a good deal at times about mandates. I should like to ask whether this House of Commons has a mandate to pass a Bill to jerrymander the clock. A great deal of the argument has been considerably away from the subject because, after all, whatever alterations are made in the time by this Bill, they do not amount to a very great deal. If a man gets up an hour earlier, he would be assumed to go to bed an hour sooner, so that all these arguments have very little weight with me.
But what we have to consider is: what is the use of passing an Act of Parliament unless the State can enforce it. Our hours are fixed by the custom of the people, of their own free will. We cannot call this by any manner of means a large measure of social reform. We cannot by an Act of Parliament alter the whole custom of the people of the country before the people of the country are themselves ready for it, and ask for it. It seems to me that, outside Gilbert and Sullivan's opera, there has never been anything, in my judgment, that represents more of the broadest kind of farce than this particular Bill.
Never in my wildest dreams when I came into this House did I imagine that its time would be wasted considering a Bill of this description. It is not so much a 1772 question of daylight. It is a question of time. The time of this House should be considered of some value. It seems to me that the discussion to-day on this Bill is an absolute and sheer waste of time. The time might have been spent considering other matters that would have been at least of some value and importance to the people of the country. This Bill will effect no improvement in the condition of the people. The people have never yet asked for it. No one can get up here and give us the name of any trades union or working-class organisation that has ever yet made any demand for a Bill of this description. Until the working classes of the country have considered the matter, and sent in such a request, no one man has a right to represent them as being in favour of it. Judging by my experience, the people of this country are not in favour of this Bill. They have not even considered it. Wherever the matter is discussed, either by the Press or by the people, the whole thing is considered more in the nature of a farce than that of a serious Act of Parliament.
§ Mr. SHACKLETON
I should not have taken part in the debate but for the speech of the hon. Member for Barrow. I agree that this was not a burning topic at the last general election. At the same time, I think it is a little bit too strong to say that it is an absolute waste of time. The excellent pamphlet sent us by the author of this scheme is well worth reading. If the hon. Member had devoted his time to pulling that pamphlet to pieces probably he would not have wasted as much time as he has done. There was one statement made that I cannot allow to pass without question—that the Bill would not in any way be an improvement to the working people of this country. I take myself back about 30 years, when as a young fellow I wanted to do a little cricket. I spent all my day in a cotton factory in humidity averaging 70 to 80 degrees day after day.
It was only for a few weeks—not more than two months—that I could get from home to the cricket field a mile away to get some cricket. I had to walk two miles every night to get to the cricket field and back, and sometimes I could not get a turn of the bat. The same applies to hundreds of thousands. If this Bill does nothing more than give the cotton operative lad the opportunity of 154 hours of sunshine or light, so that they can have an extra hour of cricket each evening, I am going to support this Bill. That to 1773 my mind is a sufficient reason unless you have sound reasons which are vital in other directions. But none have been shown. The one good point that was made was in regard to the milk trade. I agree it would be necessary to get the milk off in time, but I do not follow his argument with regard to the other occupations. All the agricultural labourer would need to do would be to start an hour later, and he would get all the conditions he is getting to-day. The agricultural population, the farmer, and the labourer will be able to accommodate themselves to that particular part of their industry, and instead of getting up at four o'clock all they have to do will be to get up at five o'clock. I do not think it is fair for the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness to come to this House and talk about wasting time and mandates. We have a proposition put before us not as a farce, but put forward seriously, and I think we ought to treat it in that light. If we can show that the opportunities of sunlight and enjoyment in the ordinary factory life will be increased, what is there so serious which is of overwhelming weight against this proposal. I can see great possibilities in our manufacturing towns of our lads and girls being able to enjoy themselves a little longer. I believe the change is 20 minutes each time. All you have got to do is to set your watch right before you go to sleep, and you do not know that you have altered the time when you waken in the morning. As to robbing people of their sleep, there may be a danger that the young lads of 14 may not get quite as much sleep, because they have to go to work early in the morning, but so far as the school children are concerned they will be able to remain in bed much longer. On general lines I am inclined to give this Bill a second reading, and if the dangers referred to have any existence they can be dealt with in Committee. I think it is in the public interest that this Bill should be read a second time.
§ Mr. BYLES
I have received a communication from the town clerk of the borough which I represent forwarding a resolution passed yesterday by the borough council approving of the principle of the Daylight Saving Bill as recommended by the report of the Select Committee. I think that is a complete answer to the argument of the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness, who asked for a mandate in favour of this Bill. The borough council in my division consists of representative men, and these men, know- 1774 ing all the needs of the inhabitants of the borough, have solemnly passed this resolution, and they have sent a mandate to their representative to vote for the second reading.
Mr. T. F. RICHARDS
I support this Bill because I have had some experience as an operative in working a similar idea. I belong to a particular trade where our working hours are from 8 o'clock till 7 o'clock in the winter months, whilst we commence at 6.30 on 1st April and go on for the five months following. Those operatives who belong to my industry prefer the summer months as being beneficial to operatives generally, and I believe in the old adage that says:—Early to bed, early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
But I want to make a proviso in supporting this Bill, and that is, that if the operative commences earlier in the morning he should leave at a corresponding earlier time at night. I should not have given this measure any support if I had thought it was going to lengthen the hours of operatives or domestic servants. [Cries of "Oh."] With all due respect to those who have never been a domestic servant, I have. [Renewed cries of "Oh."] Well, I see that some hon. Members do not understand the term "domestic," and that there are male, as well as female, domestic servants. I have been a domestic servant, and my employers had all the hours that I kept awake. They could not have had any more under this Bill. I have fallen asleep from weariness before I had time to undress. Under circumstances of that kind the Bill is not going to make it any worse for domestic servants.
So far as agriculture is concerned, I have not been an agricultural labourer, but I had nine years on a sewage farm committee, and we there suited our work to the atmosphere and the sunshine. It does not follow because the dew is on the grass at 5 a.m. that farmers allow the labourers to sit down and wait for it to go off. Oh dear, no. They find something else for him to do in the meantime. It has been argued that we have no mandate for this Bill. There is no mandate, but I must further say that if any Member of the House brings forward a measure that every intelligent person has a right to give it some consideration, and, whatever view I might take, I should have the power of the expression of that particular view. I was a Member of the Daylight Bill Committee. 1775 I went on the Select Committee, and gave some time and attention to the matter. The Members there looked on the matter as one of humour. I do not. I want, if possible, to make the life of the operative brighter and better, and this, I say, we shall do by getting factories to start earlier in the morning and stop earlier at night. I want this especially for operatives in one of the fiercest time industries, the boot and shoe making. There is no work in which the men work harder and quicker. Their hours are not too long, but the pace is hot, being set by machinery. Men cannot sleep at nights owing to the vibration of machinery and the constant pressure that is brought to bear upon them. We ourselves are opposed to overtime, and if employers of labour think for a moment that they are going to get us to start earlier in the morning and to work later at night they will find all the organised strength of the trade unions against them. I myself have worked from six in the morning until five at night, but under this new measure we would get an extra hour in which our factory lads could play cricket every night instead of being confined to the Saturday afternoon. Why should they not? The suggestion has been made that we ought to voluntarily get up earlier in the morning, but if that argument is to hold good, why not suggest it from this House, because any suggestion coming from this House is regarded seriously? To those who suggest that it should be done voluntarily I would remark that those who want to adopt Tariff Reform should go to Germany, and stop there. But they would not accept that as an argument. Neither is it an argument to say that those who want to get up earlier in the morning should do it voluntarily. I know in the case of a good many operatives with families of five, six, or seven, boys and girls, meals have to be cooked at twelve, half-past twelve, one, and even two o'clock, but if we could have a uniform hour of rising in the morning it would be better for the nation as a whole. No right hon. or hon. Gentleman will say that rising early is bad for anyone. From a political and social standpoint we know quite well that it is better for our health and well-being, and I hope the Bill will have a second reading. Children, we know, are nearly always up before their parents, and if they rise earlier in the morning they will retire earlier in the evening, and there will be more peace for the mother and father. And this ought 1776 to be the last assembly to complain about early rising. There is no employer of labour who would allow his men to meet at three o'clock in the afternoon. I hope the House will make up its mind to meet at nine o'clock in the morning, when the brain is fresh, and that Members will not come here after having done their own business and suffering from brain fag. Let the House set the example of rising earlier, and let us separate earlier in the evening.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Churchill)
I agree with the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down and the hon. Member for Leek, that the first thing the House of Commons has to do about this Bill is not to laugh at it. When we consider that this measure has the support of a great number of boroughs and of corporations, and a very large number of important societies, of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, of a great number of individual chambers of commerce—in fact, some of the most important in the country,—when it is vouched for by many eminent men of all shades of political opinion, and of all walks in life, and that it has been examined and recommended by a Select Committee of this House, practically unanimously, I say: whatever opinions we may have about the merits of the Bill, whatever misgivings we may have about its effects on this section or that, we cannot but feel it is a subject which deserves, and will, I believe, command, the respectful and laborious consideration of the House of Commons.
What is the position of the Government with regard to this measure. It is essentially one of those subjects on which it is not for the Executive to dictate to the country; it is essentially one of those changes which ought not to be forced by the Executive upon the people. It is one of those subjects on which a representative assembly ought to guide opinion, and upon which opinion must be allowed to form gradually and slowly. And, therefore, the attitude of the Government is at present one of benevolent neutrality towards the Bill. So far as I am concerned, and speaking as the President of the Board of Trade, I am a strong supporter of this Bill. I certainly propose to give my vote for the second reading.
I have thought very carefully over some of the arguments used in the debate. There is, first of all, the moral aspect—are we not in danger of adopting a hypocritical time, are we not in danger of departing from truth in matter of time? 1777 I venture to think anyone who has examined the matter will say the evil is done already.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Norfolk, speaking early in the debate, said we should not begin lying in these matters. In these matters the country had begun lying a long time ago. When the local time, which varies in different parts of the country, was made a uniform time for the whole country, a great departure from the truth was undoubtedly made. You created a standard of artificial time, and we have long lived under that standard. Sidereal time is not solar time. Natural time is not solar time, solar time is not Greenwich time. Clock time never corresponds with the sun time, except on the meridian and on particular days in the year. National time is not local time, and when those who are in favour of this Bill are represented with departing from the true time, I am bound to say we may naturally ask not only what is truth but what is time? I venture to think that it is not very easy to discover ultimate sanction for any human or temporal arrangement. It is probable our arrangements about time have been fixed in the past mainly with regard to supposed convenience, and that they are conventional arrangements, to be governed by what we think is convenient for our general habits. Therefore, this Bill does not propose a change from natural time to artificial time, but only to substitute a convenient standard of artificial time for an inconvenient standard of artificial time.
My right hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk raised a very pertinent point. He asked, "Why should we be such miserably weak creatures as to require an Act of Parliament to make us get up early." I gathered that he himself was accustomed to get up early, especially in the summer months. But my right hon. Friend is no doubt master in his own house. If he determines to adopt a system of early rising in the summer he can be the embodiment of the Daylight Saving Bill to all who are dependent upon him for the shelter of his house. But what would happen to my right hon. Friend if, without changing the hours of any others in his dwelling, he were himself to get up an hour or an hour and a half earlier than the rest of the household? He would find himself in chill and fireless rooms, without breakfast, without attendance of any kind; and not only would he suffer inconvenience himself, but he would, I think, seriously obstruct the 1778 housemaid in the discharge of her domestic duties. ["In the summer?"] It is quite impossible for an individual to make alterations in the clock hours at which he discharges particular duties while every one else remains unchanged without subjecting himself to a great deal of inconvenience. The fact that particular firms have already adopted this early rising system in spite of the enormous inconveniences which attend an alteration from the regular hours of the community as a whole is not, as the hon. Member for Rye suggested, an argument against the necessity of the Bill, but in my judgment a good evidence of the real pressure behind a measure of this character.
How far will the change be perceptible? Changes in human action in regard to sun-time involve questions of heat, light, density of the atmosphere, and so forth; changes of action in relation to clock-time involve only nominal effects if they are universal. If all the world were to change clock-time together nobody would be cognisant, from the point of view of clock-time, that any change had occurred, except at the moment of change. An extra yawn some morning in April, an extra snooze some morning in September, otherwise the great mass of the human race would be quite unconscious that a change had occurred except that the evenings appeared to be unexpectedly and pleasantly longer. But the changes here proposed cannot be universal; they can only be national; and it is quite true to say that where the areas of change in clock-time come into contact with the unchanged areas, as in the case of the American markets or the despatch of Continental mails or steamers, there undoubtedly you get friction and discordance. I am not at all sure that the friction and discordance bear any sensible proportion to the areas which might be beneficially affected by the Bill nor that it could not be adjusted without any very serious inconvenience. But I believe that any such change as this must be done by legislation, or it cannot be done at all.
When I am asked how is such a change to be enforced by legislation, I can only answer, How is the existing Greenwich time enforced? How are places situated at 20 minutes difference from the meridian of Greenwich forced to tell untruths about the time, and to declare it is 12 o'clock when the sun is 20 minutes from the meridian? As a matter of fact, the enforcement of this measure would be perfectly simple and automatic. There are 1779 140 Acts of Parliament which my hon. Friend behind me has referred to, and which would all change together. They would require no special alteration, because the whole system would swing harmoniously together with the new system if the House thought right to decide upon it. There can be no natural disharmony in trying to make the waking hours correspond as closely as possible with the hours of daylight, and the hours of sleep with the hours of darkness. In countries further north than ours the hours of daylight are so long that there is no necessity for the introduction of such a measure as this. In countries further south there is so little difference between the winter and the summer hours that no such measure is called for, but in these latitudes this fact prevails—an immense difference between the hours of winter and summer daylight, and there is immense variation between the extreme seasons of the year. In spite of that variation there is practically no variation in the hours of work and leisure. I cannot help thinking from that point of view alone that there can be no question that general advantage should result, although incidental disadvantages might attend the change from making the hours of work and leisure correspond more closely to the seasons of the year. Of course, a measure of this character must produce particular effects on particular industries. There is the question of railways, and whether the work on railways would be increased, or whether the safety of those concerned in the handling of traffic on the railways might not also be increased by the greater correspondence of their work with the hours of daylight. There is the question of whether fine work does not now impose a great strain on the eyesight of those engaged in it, and whether in so far as this fine work is done in daylight there may not be a saving of the eyesight of the workers. No one can possibly dispute the clear and obvious advantage there is in avoiding the use of artificial light. These are some of the considerations of a favourable character. I frankly admit that there are considerations of an unfavourable or doubtful character which ought to be most carefully borne in mind. There is the question of harvest time, but I am bound to say that I think it is well known that harvest hours are always irregular hours, and that agricultural hours generally at present correspond with the na- 1780 tural hours of sunlight. There was an argument used by the hon. Member for Rye that agricultural people have no watches, but that they are so shrewd and skilled that when they give an upward glance at the sun and without any instrument whatever they can tell the time with great accuracy. Yet in spite of these very complex operations which they are able to discharge, we are told that the mere addition or subtraction of an hour would be a task wholly beyond their powers. Then there is the difficulty of the Stock Exchange. We are told of the inconvenience which would result to those who wish to gamble in stocks; and we are also told of restaurants by the Member for the City of London—that ladies like to dine by artificial light. We are also told that children will object to going to bed in consequence of the undue prevalence of light. How that difficulty is solved in Norway I do not know, but these are points that should receive due and proper weight, and be examined by a Committee of the House.
There is one serious objection which is worthy of consideration. Assuming that this extra hour would be a great boon to the working classes, yet we are told that it might lead to excessive overtime. But I think that that overtime is not regulated now by the sun. Overtime is regulated by the strength of the working classes and the strength of the workers' organisation. When we turn from these special points to the general effect, I trust that the House will do justice to the proposal, to the earnestness and public spirit of men like Mr. Willett, who have given their time and money to bring before the public and the House that which they really believe would be to the benefit of their fellow-countrymen. I hope that the House will consider kindly, indulgently, and seriously this proposal. A hundred and fifty hours more daylight must be an immense boon to the working classes. Then hon. Member who spoke on behalf of agriculture used some real arguments which I have not the slightest idea of disparaging. The agricultural classes, whatever the hardships of their existence, have one great advantage—they are in close contact with nature from day to day and from night to night. Such is not the case with urban populations. They live under artificial conditions, whether they are miners or servants in shops, or workers in mills and factories, and it does seem to me that 150 hours of more daylight would give swarms of people opportunities of visiting parks and cultivating gardens to an extent which they are now unable to do. Surely there 1781 is nothing better than that a factory or a mill hand should have the opportunity of cultivating a garden plot or of enjoying some form of recreation. But it is not only a question of an increase in the hours of daylight leisure. It is a question of the increase in the block of leisure that will be secured by the working classes. With two hours a man may do something, but not very much, to get out of the town into the country, to get to the cricket field or the rifle range, or whatever it may be, but there is practically no time when you arrive there for amusement or pleasure after the journey has been effected. But with three hours or three hours and a half much good can be done. I do feel most strongly, and I speak to the House with the most absolute sincerity upon this subject, having approached it with the ordinary prejudices of the ordinary Member at first, having approached it with an air of incredulity and a disposition to scoff, I do firmly believe that a measure of this character—I do not say in this particular form—might easily have the effect of greatly enlarging the opportunities for the pursuit of health and pleasure and happiness, and may have the effect of prolonging the lives of millions of the people who live in this country, and that, so far from pandering to the lassitude and inertia of bloated millionaires, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid-Norfolk suggested, if it would have any effect at all, it would undoubtedly give a share of the better life to the largest number of the people of this country. In many measures you have to sacrifice, so I am told, the economic argument to the political; the philanthropic argument to the economic, or some other sacrifice of one kind or another has to be made. In this case I venture to think all legitimate interests are safeguarded, and although no doubt the House must carefully measure the steps and consider all the interests affected, I do most sincerely and honestly think it would be a very great pity if we lightly dismissed this proposal. I am going to vote for the second reading because, amongst other reasons, all the arguments for and against it show it is an experiment. If we find it inconvenient or insupportable it can easily be dropped, and no great injury or harm would have been done, but I do not think this Bill is ripe for consideration by a Grand Committee. I make no reflection on the Committee that examined this Bill last year, but I think it is quite clear when the Bill was examined last year the subject was not 1782 considered seriously enough in the country. Many important interests—the agricultural interest, for instance, which we heard so well stated to-day, and many labour interests—did not bestir themselves to make their objections or protests. Therefore, while I shall vote for the second reading, I must certainly oppose the sending of it to a Grand Committee, and I counsel those who are in charge of it to take the course of again placing it before a Select Committee, where all the available evidence will be taken, where all parties can be heard, and by which process we may satisfy ourselves that there is a great advantage, as many of us earnestly believe, in this proposal, and that we have not, through levity or without full consideration, cut off the working classes of this country from a fair share of its advantages.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
I desire in a very few sentences to express, speaking only for myself, my agreement with the course which has been suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. I believe myself that many urban inhabitants of this country, clerks in insurance companies, in banks, and in the Civil or municipal services—I believe that hundreds of thousands of these men, if this Bill were possible, would secure a very substantial boon. Nobody could possibly hear the speech of the hon. Member for Clitheroe without recognising, as I believe every sportsman in this House does, that 150 hours of daylight in the summer months in this country would be an enormous boon to the factory operatives of this country. I do not think that anybody either can doubt that the time standard is a purely conventional standard, and is capable of alteration. I myself have lived under conditions in which it has been altered with no inconvenience at all. While I am, therefore, prepared to give this Bill a second reading so far as my own vote is concerned, I do feel seriously the objection which has been raised by some hon. Members behind me in regard to the agricultural industry, which I think ought to be further investigated by a Select Committee.
I see also a very serious objection by those men of business who have foreign correspondence and foreign connections, and who depend upon foreign mails, and are dependent, in other words, upon those countries whose habits might not be altered to correspond. I think these objections are very serious, and I do not see an answer to them at present, but I hope 1783 that a Select Committee, when they have considered them in the light of further experience brought to bear on this subject, may see their way to dispose of them. At any rate, I do not think that we should be right to resist further investigation in view of the very strong and solid body of opinion that has been pronounced in its favour.
§ Mr. STEADMAN
I have listened to a very interesting speech from the President of the Board of Trade, and had I been a little bit younger I might have imagined it was a kind of fairy tale, but as I am one of the industrial army of this country I am prepared to say that had the right hon. Gentleman my experience for 26 years as a starter at my employment at 6 o'clock in the morning, weather like it is now—hail, rain, blow or snow—the right hon. Gentleman would come to a very different conclusion than he has come to this afternoon. The right hon. Gentleman, in a speech delivered a few days back dealing with labour bureaux, congratulated himself on the fact that he had two excellent representatives of labour in his Department. There I agree with him. I wonder whether he has consulted them on this fad, because their views are very different from his own. I have had the pleasure of seeing both of them. I represent a portion of the industrial army who have to be at their employment at six o'clock in the morning. I did 26 years of that kind of work, and it did me good, and it would do a great many more good, and I have had to get up at half-past four to be at my employment at six. We are told we are going to get the benefit of that
hour in the afternoon. Perhaps I have been 35 years in the trade union movement, and my experience has taught me that employers of labour will fight more bitterly on a reduction of hours than on a question of wages. I can foresee what is going to happen if this Bill becomes law. You have to start at five instead of six. You knock off at four in the afternoon instead of five. What will follow? Employers of labour will very soon begin to grumble at seeing their men go home in what they term the afternoon. Hence they will leave no stone unturned to increase the hours of labour by compelling the workmen to work to the old time for the same wages. They are not so generous as some would have us believe. You get all out of them that you can force, by strong organisation—no more and no less. In my judgment it will do us more harm than good, and if I wanted converting against it there are too many large employers and capitalists in favour of it. I will give some of them credit for being good men, but as a rule—judging from my own experience, with the exception of my last employer, who was a good old-fashioned Tory, the best man ever I did a day's work for—employers are not so very generous after all. The working classes know nothing whatever about the Bill. If you make it law they will know something about it, and they will soon let you know something. Some people say I am a Conservative in some of my views. Perhaps I am, I am an Englishman.
§ The House divided: Ayes 173, Noes 86.1785
|Division No. 24.]||AYES.||[4.59 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Clough William||Findlay, Alexander|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Cooper, G. J.||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Barnes, G. N.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John|
|Beale, W. P.||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Cowan. W. H.||Gulland, John W.|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Gurdon, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Brampton|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Crooks, William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Crosfield, A. H.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cross, Alexander||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex. Romford)||Curran, Peter Francis||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)|
|Boland, John||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hart-Davies, T.|
|Bright, J. A.||Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hazleton, Richard|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Dillon, John||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Henry, Charles S.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Higham, John Sharp|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Everett, R. Lacey||Hodge, John|
|Cleland, J. W.||Falconer, J.||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Fenwick, Charles||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Morrell, Philip||Shipman, Dr. John D.|
|Hudson, Walter||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Napier, T. B.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Jackson, R. S.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||O'Grady, J.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Pirie, Duncan V.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Raphael, Herbert H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Toulmin, George|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lupton, Arnold||Redmond, William (Clare)||Verney, F. W.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Waring, Walter|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Robinson, S.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Hoch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|M'Arthur, Charles||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wiles, Thomas|
|M'Callum, John M.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Williamson, A.|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rutherford. W. W. (Liverpool)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Meagher, Michael||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Menzies, Walter||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Sears, J. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Montgomery, H. G.||Seddon, J.||Dobson and Sir Henry Norman.|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Shackleton, David James|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Duffy, William J.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Fletcher, J. S.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Gardner, Ernest||Reddy, M.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Rees, J. D.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gretton, John||Renton, Leslie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hamilton, Marquess of||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hill, Sir Clement||Rose, Charles Day|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hills, J. W.||Rowlands, J.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hogan, Michael||Seely, Colonel|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Stanier, Beville|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Kilbride, Denis||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cave. George||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lamont, Norman||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire),|
|Clark, George Smith||M'Calmont, Colonel James||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Maddison, Frederick||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Markham, Arthur Basil||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Younger, George|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Delany, William||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Viscount Helmsley and Mr. Godfrey|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Baring.|
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the question"1786
§ The House divided: Ayes, 141; Noes, 1081787
|Division No. 25.]||AYES.||[5.10 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cave, George||Dillon, John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Duffy, William J.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Clark, George Smith||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Clive, Percy Archer||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)|
|Beale, W. P.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Evans, Sir Samuel T.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Falconer, J.|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Fenwick, Charles|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Fletcher, J. S.|
|Boland, John||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Bright, J. A.||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Crosfield, A. H.||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Cross, Alexander||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Gulland, Joh W.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hart-Davies, T.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||M'Arthur, Charles||Sears, J. E.|
|Hazleton, Richard||M'Callum, John M.||Seddon, J.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||M'Micking, Major G.||Shackleton, David James|
|Henry, Charles S.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Sheehy, David|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Masterman. C. F. G.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Meagher, Michael||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Menzies, Walter||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Hodge, John||Montgomery, H. G.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hudson, Walter||Morrell, Philip||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Napier, T. B.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Jackson, R. S.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Tennant. H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Toulmin. George|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Trevelyan, Charles Phliips|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.)||Verney, F. W.|
|Kerry, Earl of||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Waring, Walter|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Lambert, George||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Williamson, A.|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rees, J. D.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Lupton, Arnold||Robinson, S.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Roe, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Dobson and Sir Henry Norman.|
|Abraham. W. (Cork, N.E.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Everett, R. Lacey||Reddy, M.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Findlay, Alexander||Renton, Leslie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gardner, Ernest||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Gretton, John||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hedges, A. Paget||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Beaumont, Hon. Herbert||Helmsley, Viscount||Rose, Charles Day|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hill, Sir Clement||Rowlands, J.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hills, J. W.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Stanier, Beville|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hogan Michael||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hope James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Kilbride, Denis||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Lamont, Norman||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Cleland, J. W.||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Clough, William||Maddison, Frederick||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Markham, Arthur Basil||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Crooks, William||O'Grady, J.||Younger, George|
|Curran, Peter Francis||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Delany, William||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Holt and Sir Brampton Gurdon.|
§ The House divided: Ayes, 130; Noes, 94.1789
|Division No. 26.]||AYES.||[5.20 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cave, George|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Clark, George Smith|
|Beale, W. P.||Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Clive, Percy Archer|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Byles, William Pollard||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Kekewich, Sir George||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kerry, Earl of||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Rees, J. D.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lambert, George||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Robinson, S.|
|Cross, Alexander||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Dillon, John||Lewis, John Herbert||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lupton, Arnold||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Falconer, J.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Sears, J. E.|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Seddon, J.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shackleton, David James|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||M'Arthur, Charles||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Gulland, John W.||M'Callum, John M.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||M'Micking, Major G.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Hart-Davies. T.||Meagher, Michael||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Menzies, Walter||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Montgomery, H. G.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Toulmin, George|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morrell, Philip||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Henry, Charles S.||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Verney, F. W.|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Napier, T. B.||Waring, Walter|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Hodge, John||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wiles, Thomas|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Williamson, A.|
|Hudson, Walter||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Jackson, R. S.||Pirie, Duncan V.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Dobson and Sir Henry Norman.|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Everett, R. Lacey||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Reddy, M.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Gretton, John||Renton, Leslie|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Hedges, A. Paget||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Helmsley, Viscount||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hill, Sir Clement||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hills, J. W.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hogan, Michael||Rowlands, J.|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Holt, Richard Durning||Smyth, Tohmas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanier, Beville|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Bowermen, C. W.||Kilbride, Denis||Steadman, W. C.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Lamont, Norman||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Cleland, J. W.||Maddison, Frederick||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Clough, William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Craik, Sir Henry||O'Grady, J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Delany, William||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Younger, George|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||F. Banbury and Mr. Ashley.|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward|
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE (seated)
If this Motion is negatived, will it be in order to move that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee?
I think if this Motion is negatived, it will be in order to move that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee.
§ Sir F. BANBURY (seated)
I beg to ask whether, under the Standing Orders, 1791 at half-past five on Friday afternoon, Mr. Speaker has not to declare the House stands adjourned without question put?
|Division No. 27.]||AYES.||[5.25 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Fletcher, J. S.||Reddy, M.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Rees, J. D.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Ashley, W. W.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Renton, Leslie|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hedges, A. Paget||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Helmsley, Viscount||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Hill, Sir Clement||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hills, J. W.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Barnes, G. N.||Holt, Richard Durning||Rose, Charles Day|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rowlands, J.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Kilbride, Denis||Stanier, Beville|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Lamont, Norman||Steadman, W. C.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Toulmin, George|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Maddison, Frederick||Walters, John Tudor|
|Cleland, J. W.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Clough, William||Meysey-Thompson. E. C.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Cooper, G. J.||O'Grady, J.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Delany, William||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Younger, George|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hayden, John Patrick||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Beale, W. P.||Henry, Charles S.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Higham, John Sharp||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hobart, Sir Robert||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bethel, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Hodge, John||Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Hogan, Michael||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hudson, Walter||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Cave, George||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jackson, R. S.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Clark, George Smith||Jardine, Sir J.||Robinson, S.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Kekewich, Sir George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Kerry, Earl of||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, George||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lewis, John Herbert||Sears, J. E.|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Seely, Colonel|
|Cross, Alexander||Lupton, Arnold||Shackleton, David James|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Dillon, John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Duffy, William J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||M'Arthur, Charles||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Falconer, J.||M'Callum, John M.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Micking, Major G.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Masterman, C. F. G.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Meagher, Michael||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Menzies, Walter||Verney, F. W.|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Montgomery, H. G.||Waring, Walter|
|Gulland, John W.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Brampton||Morrell, Philip||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Williamson, A.|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Napier, T. B.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
§ The House divided: Ayes, 91; Noes, 124.1793
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On the point of order, I wish to call your attention to Standing Order No. 3, which reads as follows: ("Termination of Friday Sittings") "When such business has been disposed of, or at half-past 5 o'clock precisely, notwithstanding there may be business under discussion, Mr. Speaker shall adjourn the House without putting any question." Under that rule, I claim that the House ought now to stand adjourned.
I am sorry that this question, which is a new question, and which has not been actually decided in this form before, has to be decided by myself and unexpectedly. I have given the matter my most careful consideration, and, reading the other Standing Orders which deal with this question, I think it is contemplated that the business before the House should come to a conclusion, and I have decided that this motion shall be put.
Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before Six o'clock till Monday next.