§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd-George)
moved, "That, when the Development and Road Improvement Funds Bill is under consideration, Standing Committee C have leave to sit while the House is sitting, and after Four of the clock."
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I wish to ask you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, whether the Motion standing in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is in order or in accordance with the Standing Orders? As I read Standing Order No. 47, the only authority that has power to give a Standing Committee leave to sit during the earlier part of our sittings is the Committee itself. Standing Order No. 47 says, "and the said Committee shall not sit, whilst the House is sitting, except in pursuance of a Resolution of the Committee, moved by the Member in charge of the Bill before the Committee, and decided without Amendment or Debate."
Consequently the first part of this Resolution can only be decided by the Committee when it is sitting and when it sees that it is necessary in order to carry on its business beyond a certain hour. The second proceeding arises when the Committee finds it necessary to sit still later, and then it is given an opportunity of coming down to this House and asking for a Motion. It seems to me that in the first place this Motion is not in order in accordance with the Standing Order, and, secondly, it is quite contrary to the intention of the House when the Standing Order was passed.
The hon. Member has not given me any notice of this matter, but as I understand his complaint, it is that the Committee has not yet sat and asked for leave. Is that the substance of the hon. Member's complaint?
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I am afraid I did not make my point quite clear. My complaint is that the Committee must necessarily ask for leave, because the initiative must come from them. According to the Standing Order which I have quoted the first part of this Motion can only be done by the Proceedings of the Committee itself, and we are being asked to pass a Resolution granting leave to the' Committee to sit while the House is sittings My point is that the Committee itself has-not sanctioned that in any way.
As I have already stated, the hon. Member has not given me any notice of this question. As I read the Standing Order, in such time as I have been able to give to the matter, it says that the Committee "shall not sit after 4 p.m. without the Order of the House." The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now moving for an Order of the House, and therefore I cannot see there is anything out of order in this Resolution.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
May I direct your attention, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to the exact terms of the Resolution of which notice has been given? The Resolution is as follows:—
"That, when the Development and Road Improvement Funds Bill is under consideration, Standing Committee C have leave to sit while the House is sitting, and after Four of the clock."
The Standing Order provides for two things. In the first place, it says, "the said Committee shall not sit whilst the House is sitting"; and the other thing is that the Standing Order lays down that the only way out of that is "in pursuance of a Resolution of the Committee moved by the Member in charge of the Bill before the Committee." Therefore if it is desired that the Committee shall sit whilst the House is sitting you have first to get a Resolution passed by the Committee. This is a matter of some importance, because this is an entirely novel Resolution, of which notice was only given this morning. Then comes the second question, that the Committee shall not sit after 4 p.m. without an Order of the House. I submit that the clear intention of the Standing Order is first that you shall ascertain from the Committee upstairs whether they desire to sit after the sittings of the House, and then, when the Committee has decided that point, you are to come down to the House itself to ask whether the House is willing to extend the permission already given by the Committee upstairs in order that the Committee can sit after four o'clock. In this case there has been no Resolution of the Committee, and therefore I submit that this Motion is out of Order.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
In confirmation of what my Noble Friend has said, may I point out that on every previous occasion when the Grand Committee has sat during the sittings of the House it has been in pursuance of a statement made at the Grand Committee that leave was going to be asked from the House? I have never 1934 known in the history of Grand Committees a Motion of this sort being made until it has been resolved by the Grand Committee to send down to the House and ask leave to continue its sittings. I respectfully submit that the custom of the Committee follows the interpretation which has been put upon it by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford and my Noble Friend the Member for East Marylebone.
I think that the power given to the Committee does not deprive the House of its own power to give leave to the Committee. The only question is whether the request in the first place must come from the Committee to the House to give that permission. I do not read the Standing Order as directing that the Resolution must first come from the Committee, and, therefore, I rule that the Motion is in order.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I think it will be found that the Government in this matter are really meeting the convenience of hon. Members in submitting this Resolution to the House. A question was put last week by the Leader of the Opposition to the Prime Minister as to whether arrangements could be made so that Members in attendance on the Finance Bill up to a late hour should not be called upon to attend the Committee on the Development Bill at 11 or 12 o'clock next day. Recognising the reasonableness of that request the Prime Minister promised to do his best to meet the wishes of the Leader of the Opposition and the House generally, and really this Resolution is the most effective way of complying with that request. There will be three days this week when the Finance Bill will not be on, and during those days the sittings of the Committee may be extended to three o'clock or four o'clock at the outside. It might be necessary to have sittings next week whilst the Finance Bill is on. I think it is the desire of the Members of the Development Bill Committee that they should sit two or three hours longer in the Committee in order to get through the Bill whilst the House is not considering the Finance Bill. It is really to meet the conveniences of the Members of this Committee that this Motion has been put on the Paper. I do not know that there are any precedents for a Motion before a Bill has been considered at all by the Committee, but I will tell the House why we depart to that extent from the precedents. There are undoubtedly precedents for Motions of this kind. There 1935 are two provided by clerical Bills, and I find I opposed both of them. I am not sure that the conditions with regard to one, the Clergy Discipline (Immorality) Bill of 1892, when we sat very late hours, were not similar. The minority against the Bill was very small and very pertinacious, and it used every legitimate weapon in order to thwart the wishes of the promoters. The Chairman came and asked leave to sit. The circumstances are really very similar to these. This is not a contentious Bill, in the sense of being contested between the two parties in the State. The minority on the second reading was a minority of 17. It expressed its feelings with considerable passion, but it was at any rate a small minority, and a considerable number of Members sitting on that side of the House supported the Bill on that occasion.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I certainly think I saw one or two. I could not tell who they were at the present moment; but it shows that this is not as between the parties a highly contentious measure. I cannot imagine that, if it was really resisted by the Opposition, they would only muster 17 to vote against the second reading, and that minority dwindled to six. The second precedent is also a clerical one—the Benefices Bill, 23rd April, 1896. That was Lord Cranborne's Bill, and I think Lord Cranborne moved the Resolution. Then there is the Companies Bill. Mr. Ritchie, in moving the Resolution, used these words, and I am quite prepared to adopt them:—There is no intention to ask the Committee to suffer any undue strain either of time or attention, but when a heavy Bill has to be dealt with and having regard to the late period of the Session, and the universal desire that this Bill or something like it should be, passed, I hope the House will assent to the Motion.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
That was in July. My case is very much stronger. If Mr. Ritchie and the Government, in July, because it was so late in the Session, found it necessary to move a Resolution of this kind, surely there is tenfold justification for my moving one. This can surely be described as rather late in the Session. I am really moving this in the general interest and convenience of Members. Members would infinitely prefer that we should dispose of this Bill. There may be a real desire to amend the Bill, even on the part 1936 of those who do not oppose it in principle; and I think they would really like to sit, if necessary, two or three hours later than the usual time rather than, after the late sittings we may possibly have next week, resume business at eleven o'clock in the morning "on the Development Bill. For that reason I move the Resolution which stands in my name.
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman who has moved this Resolution really appreciates the precise character of the objection; and, by the way, it is somewhat unusual for the Chancellor of the Exchequer rather than the Leader of the House to move it.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon for interrupting. One of the Motions I quoted was in the name of Sir William Walrond and the other was in the name of Mr. Ritchie, who was in charge of the Bill. So I really think I have followed precedents.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I think it will be found that was one of the ordinary Resolutions which come down from Grand Committee. I will not contest that with the right hon. Gentleman, who may have got the references; and, after all, between two Gentlemen equally competent to move the Resolution I am not going to quarrel as to the fortunate individual on whom the lot has fallen. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman's precedents are very apposite. I have not been able to study them all, but an hon. Member on this Bench during the speech of the right hon. Gentleman got "Hansard," which deals with one of the precedents he has quoted, namely, the Benefices Bill, and I notice the Motion then was:—
"Until the conclusion of the consideration of the Benefices Bill, the Standing Committee on Law have leave to sit every day until Four of the clock, notwithstanding the sittings of the House."
It is a most extraordinary thing that that should be brought forward seriously as a precedent for a Motion, which, by the admission of the Minister who moves it, is intended to enable the Committee to sit for many hours, not before, but after 4 o'clock. The right hon. Gentleman has told us this Motion is for the convenience of the House. I think it is a practical illustration of the condition to which the House has been brought by the methods with which the Government persist in doing their business. We are now working here in September on Bills of abso- 1937 lutely first-class importance with a House which has only a half or a quarter of its Members. That is not the time on which you ought to bring forward new and difficult business, nor a time when you ought to pass special Resolutions to enable that business to be rammed through under conditions which make proper and adequate discussion difficult. We all have to admit the inevitable results of the exhausting process which the Government have forced upon us. The Government themselves are only able to do their business by working in relays. Their followers come up here. They are led by Ministers in various fragments. One fraction of Ministers goes out, and another comes in, and it occurs in most unexpected ways. First we have Ministers engaged in military operations, then we have those interested in local government, and finally we get some engaged in no operations at all. I mention that as an illustration. I do not blame the Government. I do not believe that any Minister in the world could conduct the whole of the tremendous duties which, in ordinary circumstances, naturally devolve on the Chancellor of the Exchequer in connection with the Budget work of the year. I have made many accusations against the right hon. Gentleman. I have brought many charges against him and I am likely to bring more; but I shall never suggest that he does not work hard in this House. I think he does. It is beyond the capacity of flesh and blood for the same Minister—guiding the same Bill, sitting up night after night conducting it against a critical Opposition, and spending his days in revising the very numerous Amendments which it is found necessary to accept—I say it is impossible for this to long continue. And that is a proof that the Government are not behaving properly to the House when they ask us at this stage of the Session and of the year to begin on another new and very controversial Bill.
The right hon. Gentleman says that it is not controversial as between the two sides of the House. But there are many proposals which are not the less controversial even if they are not disputed on strict party lines, and you cannot have these properly and thoroughly examined if you are going to impose—if, in addition to the tremendous burden borne during the last nine months, you are going to ask hon. Members to sit eight or nine hours a day on Grand Committee—I believe this was the view of the Prime Minister. It is fresh 1938 in the recollection of the House that when the right hon. Gentleman went through the operation known as the "slaughter of the innocents" he gave, as he was bound to give, a general description of the prospects of the Bills that remained on the Paper. He will probably remember the words he used. I will give the substance, and I do not think he will quarrel with it. He certainly indicated that this Bill had very little prospect of passing if it turned out to be a controversial Bill, and by controversial he did not mean controversial as between the two sides of the House, but he undoubtedly meant a Bill exciting interests requiring debate and discussion.
I am sure my right hon. Friend will not deny that the whole framework of his speech on that occasion gave us reason to believe that if the Bill did turn out to be controversial it had very little prospect of passing. He said he hoped the Bill would receive the assent of Parliament, but "about that I do not profess to speak in very sanguine terms." And then, speaking in that happy, disengaged manner which he adopts in dealing with certain sections of his colleagues, he said, "I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer regards it as non-controversial." I fancy, too, he concluded by saying that he hesitated to pronounce judgment on the prospects until the Bill had been printed and its reception was more clear. The Bill was printed rather late in the day. It was promised in the Budget speech of the right hon. Gentleman so far back in the dim and historic past that I have but the vaguest recollection of the language used. But undoubtedly he did promise in April that this Bill should be printed. Then why on earth was it not printed until after the massacre of the innocents—an event which did not take place until an abnormal period of the Session? That is a puzzle which I fail to solve.
The Government, I think, have treated, and are treating, the House ill. They promised the Bill in April, and they print it for the first time in September. The massacre of the innocents took place on 28th August. It was clearly indicated that if the Bill proved to be controversial it was not likely it would pass. The Bill has been printed and read a first time, and the Debate on the second reading clearly indicated that it is controversial, though the Debate and Division showed that it was not disputed on party lines. It is clearly disputed because of the variety of subjects which it contains and the extraordi- 1939 nary complexity of the general propositions it suggests. Is it not too late to begin its discussion here in September in a House which everybody knows is exhausted? Everybody can see that hon. Members are tired. [HON. MEMBERS "Oh, oh."] These cries are from Gentlemen who have just come back from their holidays. But everybody admits that when you are discussing a Bill which excites such intense interest as the Finance Bill, and when you find that the aggregate number of Members taking part in the Divisions does not exceed 260, it must be clear that if hon. Members are not tired they are very fond of taking their holidays. But as a matter of fact the Government is tired, Ministers are tired, the House is tired, the officers are tired, and everybody is tired, and to ask a Grand Committee to take into consideration at the end of September, in abnormal hours, a Bill of this character appears to me to be reducing our whole Parliamentary procedure to an even lower level than that which it has recently obtained. I most earnestly protest against this whole proceeding. It is not fair to those who are going to work on the Grand Committee; it is not fair to those who wish to see a workmanlike job produced by the Grand Committee; and it is not fair in the interests of the country, who are looking on at the fate and fortunes of the particular measure. For these reasons, I shall certainly oppose the Resolution, which in form is quite unprecedented, which in substance, if you take it in connection with the time at which we are sitting and the circumstances of the Bill on which we are sitting, is quite unprecedented, and, whether it has precedent behind it or not, is certainly not in conformity with the best Parliamentary traditions or workmanship, or the only possible conditions under which Members of these Grand Committees can carry out the task which the Prime Minister intends—indeed, which the House has already entrusted them with. The only way in which you can do it is to allow that Committee to expand the time on particular days, for particular reasons, but do not tell them, as in effect you are telling them, that they have got to get this Bill through Grand Committee, working overtime on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. That is not fair to the Committee, it is not the kind of consideration which this House ought to give to any Grand Committee, and I think it will do much to bring Grand Committees, to which many Members of this 1940 House are gradually being reconciled—I think it will do much to bring that system, into contempt. I shall certainly vote against the Resolution.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The right hon. Gentleman attacked this Motion on two-grounds, the first, that it is a departure from precedent; and the next, that it is in some sense a departure from some assurances, which I am alleged to have given at the time of the annual ceremony of the "massacre of the innocents." In regard to the departure from precedent, in the first place, it is not the case that Motions, of this kind have been habitually or are ever made by the Leader of the House. As far as precedents go, I think it will be found that in nearly all cases the Motion has been made, as a rule, by the Member in charge of the Bill, and I think on one occasion by the Chief Government Whip; so that, in that respect, I am not guilty of disrespect to the House, as has been alleged, in not myself bringing the Motion forward. As regards the second alleged departure from precedent, the right hon. Gentleman has quoted one case, and one case only, in which it is quite true the Resolution was confined to four o'clock. In the two other cases cited by the right hon. Gentleman they were both cases in which the Committee was empowered to sit longer.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Can the right hon. Gentleman give us the dates of the others? That is the only one we have the date of.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The Clergy Discipline Bill was May, 1892; the second case, the Benefices Bill, was April, 1896; and the third, the Companies Bill, was July, 1900. They were all Conservative precedents, and are exact precedents, and in the case of the last, the precedent of 1900, the substantial Resolution proposed was in substance identical with that which is now before the House, namely, the Committee were empowered to sit up to any hour. At the same time, Mr. Ritchie said what my right hon. Friend has said to-day, that there is no intention of unduly prolonging the sittings of the Committee. So much for precedent. Now as to this particular measure. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to some expressions of mine on the occasion when the final survey of the business of the House is undertaken. My recollection is that it was not I who said that I was not very sanguine of the Bill being treated as a 1941 non-controversial measure, but that my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer was sanguine that it would be so treated. I am not quite certain about it, and I have not had time to refresh my memory, but that is very immaterial, because the real question is, When this Bill was introduced before the House, and when it was presented for second reading, what was the attitude taken by the Opposition? Every definition that I have ever heard of a non-controversial measure, was satisfied, so far as this measure is concerned, by what then took place. What happened? The Bill was read a second time by a majority of 137 to 17. [An HON. MEMBER: "The normal Government majority."] That is about six to one, and therefore it is larger than the normal majority—it is eight to one. On the question that the Bill be referred to a Committee of the whole House, only 21 voted in favour of that Motion and 128 against it. That, I think, is six to one. And, finally, on the question of the Financial Resolution, the numbers were 105 to six. A small sum in division will show the proportion there. I take these three divisions, and I certainly have never known a measure which at its critical stage of second reading was exposed three times to the ordeal of a Division, and which received more overwhelming majorities.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not know whether it was so, but if a Bill which on the second reading only receives the opposition first of 17, then of 21, and then on the question of the Financial Resolution only six, cannot be described to all intents and purposes as a non-controversial Bill, I do not know what kind of Bill it would be possible to describe as non-controversial. I think we have satisfied the pledges we gave in that respect. The right hon. Gentleman is not in the least to suppose that this Grand Committee will sit for any considerable or undue length of time, or that its labours will make an excessive tax upon the strength and patience of Members, but if the House is really disposed, as I believe the vast majority is, that the Bill should go through with the minimum of public inconvenience, this is the only way in which it can be done.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I think, as we have had precedents quoted both by the right hon. Gentleman and the Prima Minister, it ought to be stated in this House that every one of those precedents was, under a Standing Order of an entirely different character to that which is now in force. The Standing Order which, was in existence up to the time the Government came into office was as follows:—"And the said Committee shall not sit after a Quarter-past Two of the clock whilst the House is sitting without the leave of the House." It was necessary, therefore, on every occasion to bring down, a Resolution of this sort to the House, so that the Committee might sit whilst the House was sitting, and they might fix a Bill at four o'clock or, in other cases, an unlimited hour, and it must be remembered that this Standing Order was altered by the Government themselves into another shape, giving the Committee power first of all to decide whether it should go on and then to come down to the House for confirmation of the further sitting. I was on the Committee which sat in the first year of this Parliament, when this matter was very considerably debated in this House, and it was very much hoped that the old Rule would be altered and that the Committee should have some fair field in connection with these matters to settle for themselves the procedure. Therefore these precedents which are given were in accordance with the old Standing Order, and have nothing to do whatever with the Standing Order as altered by the Government themselves. But if the Government really have the desire in their hearts of improving the position of Grand Committees, they ought to consider seriously whether this is a wise precedent to establish. It is well known that there can be nothing so unsatisfactory as a Standing Committee sitting at the same hour when legislative business is being conducted in this House. The Divisions of the sittings are entirely different. In the Standing Committee Members are not summoned to Divisions in this House as they are from outside, and therefore it is impossible for Members to take part both in the business upstairs and the business downstairs without entirely disorganising the business in Grand Committee. For the Grand Committee periodically to adjourn whilst the Members go to a Division downstairs, which may be very necessary on a Bill of such importance as the Irish Land Bill, 1943 disorganises business upstairs, makes consecutive argument almost impossible, and ruins the good work which these Committees have been doing. That is why, no doubt, this special provision was put into the new Standing Order, which implies that it is very undesirable to go beyond four of the clock for the sitting of a Grand Committee, and that it should only be sanctioned when it is brought formally down to the House in order that it may judge on a particular day whether this should be or not. I urge on behalf of the good conduct of Grand Committees that the Government should hesitate to destroy the work which they themselves have set up.
The Prime Minister said he could not discover any better test of a non-controversial Bill than the figures he gave us. I was very glad to see that the Leader of the Opposition interpolated "the Aliens Bill," because I do not think any of us who sat in the last Parliament can forget the Debates that took place on the proposal to send that Bill to a Grand Committee, when hon. Members, and, I think, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, protested most strongly against the Bill being considered as non-controversial, although it had passed second reading without a Division. If the action of the Opposition is to be a test of controversy, there is another Bill in which I was personally interested in the hope that the Government would pursue it, namely, the Hops Bill, about which there was no controversy on this side of the House, and the only possible controversy that could have existed was on the Government Benches. Controversy from the Opposition point of view seems to be the only requisite to make a Bill controversial in the view of the Government. The arguments, either from precedents or from actual reference to the Bill, are not so satisfactory as to persuade us to establish a precedent of this sort, and I hope the House will reject it.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Prime Minister tells us that this Bill must be regarded as non-controversial because yesterday week it passed its second reading by 127 to 17. That means that there were something like 145 Members in the House altogether out of 670. That alone is an extraordinary coincidence, because one does not know what would have happened if the absent Members had been in the House and listened to the arguments which were 1944 brought forward against the Bill. May I point out one of the reasons why the minority was so small, and why in my opinion it is no evidence that the Bill was of a non-controversial character? The Debate was taken on a Monday, therefore a great number of Members had not returned from the country. At this late period of the Session Members go away from Friday to Monday, and if they go any distance in the country they do not come back until late in the evening, and do not come here until Tuesday. The Chancellor of the Exchequer argued that the Finance Bill would not be on. Apparently he thinks that when the Finance Bill is not on most Members go away, and then it is no hardship to get a certain number to sit to any hour. On Monday week the Finance Bill was not on, and a great number of Members had gone away for that very reason, therefore the actual numbers of the minority are not to be considered in any kind of way as indicating whether or not the Bill was controversial. The Debate began I think about 3.30, and it went on till 12.30, and then the Debate had to be closured. That shows that there was a very strong feeling in the House on all sides that this was a measure which requires great consideration. On the Aliens Bill there was no Division at all on the second reading, and if there had been no Division on the second reading of this Bill the Prime Minister might have claimed that that showed that at any rate the principle of the Bill was not controversial. The vast majority of Members of the House did not understand the Bill. There had been no explanation, and nothing but a Memorandum was circulated. The Bill was controversial, and the Debate and Division which took place proved that it was. Mr. Ritchie's motion has also been cited. That was on the Companies Bill, and to the best of my recollection there was no division on the second reading. It was not made till the Bill had been three days in Committee, and Mr. Ritchie in making the Motion stated, what the right hon. Gentleman omitted to read, that it was at the unanimous wish of the House that the Motion was made, and that was not contradicted. That is a very different thing from the Motion now before us, though the general principle of the Development Bill might have been regarded by a certain number of Members as non-controversial. I do not believe in any quarter of the House, except perhaps below the Gangway on both sides, there is a Member who would 1945 deny that many of the provisions and details of the Bill are highly controversial, and it is the details that we are now going to discuss in this extraordinary manner.
This Bill was presented without the slightest word from the Minister in charge of it. I believe that has never been done before with an important Bill of this sort. It was done because, under the abolition of the 11 o'clock Rule, no Bill can be brought in under the 10 minutes Rule. When this Motion is made at the end of the Session it has always been the custom, whatever Government was in power, to regard the making of that Motion as a sign of the closing of the Session, and as an indication that no important Bill will be introduced. Therefore the right hon. Gentleman was unable to take the ordinary course and to explain the Bill. After that there was this one day's discussion, which is all that the Bill has had, and then, after the Closure, the right hon. Gentleman makes this Motion before the Committee has sat. He says the reason of it is that it suits the convenience of Members. It does nothing of the sort. He says it suits the convenience of Members because the Leader of the Opposition suggested that the Committee should not sit during the Finance Bill. That was a very reasonable suggestion. It would be impossible for the Committee to meet during the sitting of the Finance Bill. But the Finance Bill is not the only Bill before the House, and the Irish Land Bill is one of the most controversial Bills which could possibly have been introduced, and it has been fought with great determination, notwithstanding the difficulties which we have to meet, because so many Members are wearied with the Finance Bill and go away. I happen to be a Member of Committee C. I have also taken a very great interest in the Irish Land Bill. I have not been away from the House for a single moment, and I think I have not missed a single Division while the Irish Land Bill was in course of Debate. I take a great interest in the financial part, and offered some words of advice to the Irish Secretary, and I believe he put in a new Clause, more or less founded on the suggestions I made. Am I to be deprived of the advantage of listening to the Irish Land Debate, or am I to be deprived of my shave in the Debate on the Development Bill, which I strongly oppose, and in the Division against which I took part?
I hope the right hon. Gentleman can give me some consolation with regard to 1946 that. I do not see how he can, and I am not at all sure from the look on his face whether he does not regard the situation, with some satisfaction. It struck me, from the look on his face, that he was not sorry to find the difficult position in which I am. If he deprives me of my right to be in the House and take part in the Debate on the Irish Land Bill, will he allow me to divide against the Clauses or the Amendments which are put while Committee C is sitting? If he will not do that we come to this position, that a Member of this House now is not allowed either to speak or to listen to a Debate; he is not even allowed to divide because he cannot be in two places at once. If we are allowed to divide against it, is he going to allow the Committee to adjourn when a Division is called down here, because unless he will do that either the Members of the Committee will be deprived of the right of dividing on any Amendment on the Irish Land Bill, or if they come down they will not know when they go back into the Committee what has taken place. They may miss a Division in the Committee or they may lose the thread of the argument, and consequently they may be put in a very impossible position if they desire to do their duty to their constituents. I would also point out to the right hon. Gentleman that the Motion on the Companies Bill was made on 10th July, 1900. In answer to an interruption of mine when I asked the date on which the Motion on behalf of the Companies Bill was made, the right hon. Gentleman said it was an argument in his favour because it was made in July, while the Motion now before the House is made in September. Surely the right hon. Gentleman was not serious in advancing that argument? But if he was, see what it means. All that he has to do is to postpone all the important measures until after the "massacre of the innocents," and then come forward and closure the second reading of a Bill which has not been discussed on the first reading and say, "It is late in the Session, and therefore we will push it through upstairs." Consequently Parliament would be entirely in the hands of any tyrannical Minister who was regardless of all precedent and indifferent to the customs of the House of Commons. I venture to say that there have been very few Ministers on the other side of the House who have disregarded the customs of the House in the way they are disregarded now. Such a Minister would be able to force any measure through the House without any 1947 discussion at all. Therefore my interruption was to the point, for certainly not after June or July should any step of this kind be taken. Earlier in the Session we have time to consider Bills, but at present we have neither time nor vitality to consider important measures of this sort. I suppose it is hopeless to appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman has brought forward the Development Bill for some reason known to himself, and he is desirous of getting it through. Whether the House of Commons approves of it, and whether they are able to discuss or to understand it, does not matter to the right hon. Gentleman. All he wants is to be able to say, "See what a generous man I am; see how I am going to distribute other people's money, regardless of discussion in this House." That is what he wants to say to the electorate, and in view of possible contingencies the advantages from the electoral point of view of this Bill are so great that they out weigh any minor considerations as to the precedents, habits and customs of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The Prime Minister in reply to the Leader of the Opposition showed, I think, an altogether inadequate appreciation of the case which my right hon. Friend laid before the House. The expediency of sending a Bill of this kind to the Grand Committee, and the expediency of allowing the Grand Committee to sit without limit of time, even if the House be sitting, is not to be measured by the Members who take part in the Division on the second reading of the Bill. There are many of us who had no desire to vote against the second reading of the Bill, but who feel the keenest interest in its provisions, and who must regret that a Bill of this importance, forming part of the Budget statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and introduced as an essential part of the finance scheme of the year, should have been divorced from the control of the whole House at any stage of its proceedings; and, though I for one would not vote against the second reading of the Bill, I regret that the strain which the Budget work has placed upon myself, like so many others, makes it impossible for me to take my part in the Committee stage of the Development Bill or to offer the Amendments or criticism in the Committee stage which the Bill certainly calls for in a degree not less than in the case of many Bills which have been fought with 1948 great persistence both in the Committee stage and on their second and third readings. I do not rise only to join in the general protest which has been made against the proceedings of the Government or to reinforce the case stated so admirably by my right hon. Friend; I rise for the purpose of moving an Amendment to the Resolution proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When the Prime Minister was speaking I asked him to give us the dates of the other precedents on which the Government rely, and he seemed surprised and rather annoyed that I should make such a demand. I think it was not unreasonable to ask for the dates.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I think it was rather due to an observation made by the right hon. Gentleman that we had only furnished him with the date of one precedent. I think the Prime Minister had the impression that the right hon. Gentleman complained that we had not given other precedents. His observation was confined to that, and he did not object to being asked for the precedents.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I do not think he objected to give the dates, but I think he appeared annoyed at my asking for them. But that is a small matter. It is true that up to that time we had only been told the date of one precedent relied upon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That had been given, and my right hon. Friend has had an opportunity of hurriedly consulting it. That as a precedent for this Motion broke down the moment we saw what the terms of the Motion were, and I must observe that, in citing the precedent, the Government were not very candid with the House.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Joseph Pease)
The Procedure Rules at that time were different.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
They were very different, and, on the whole, I think they were better. But the right hon. Gentleman will find nothing in the alterations which have since been made to strengthen the case of himself and his colleagues. It is quite the other way. The Prime Minister did give us the other precedents. Let us see what they were. I 1949 take first the Clergy Discipline Bill in 1892. The Motion was made by my right hon. Friend, who was then Leader of the House, and he introduced it with these words, "The House will see that the Motion is not without justification when I state that, whereas, according to ordinary precedent and the teaching of experience, a Bill of this kind might be expected to go through Grand Committee in the course of two sittings, yet, as a matter of fact, three sittings have already taken place and only 19 lines of the first Clause have been dealt with, while the Clause itself has not yet been passed." Nothing of the kind has occurred in connection with this Bill. The Committee has not even met. No representations have been received from the Committee or from Members sitting on it, as has, I believe, been the universal practice in previous cases, and there is no possibility of excuse for alleging that the Bill would take any more than the usual or natural time when the Committee enters on its labours. The next precedent cited was the Motion made in 1896 on the Benefices Bill. It asked leave to the Committee to sit every day until Four of the clock. That is the Motion which the right hon. Gentleman opposite cites, without mentioning its terms, but by giving a vague description, as a precedent for asking that the Committee on the Development Bill should be allowed to sit for an unlimited time after four o'clock. Let us see what was said there. The Motion was not made on that occasion by a Member of the Government, but by the Chairman of the Grand Committee, the late Sir James Fergusson. He said that the Bill under the consideration of the Committee had occupied a great deal of time, and that he had obtained the assent of the Committee to ask the House to give them more time. Have you followed the precedent in that respect? Then he observed further that an hon. Member who was, perhaps, the most prominent opponent of the Benefices Bill in Committee had told him that although he would object to an unlimited extension of the Committee he would not object to an extension of one hour. It was not proposed that the Committee should sit until four o'clock every day, but only that it should have power to sit after three o'clock if any matter was before them which could be finished in a short time. That is precedent No. 2 on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer relied. Now let us look at precedent No. 3. It is interesting to find out what the real 1950 facts of the cases were on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer relied. Precedent No. 3 was in regard to the Companies Bill in 1900. In that case the Motion was made by Mr. Ritchie, who said that the Committee would not be invited to meet any day or hour which would be inconvenient for the great bulk of the Members, but that it might sometimes sit until four or five o'clock, and, perhaps, on one or two extra days so that it might get through its work. These are the precedents on which the Government rely. It is a pity that the Government did not say what the precedents were, and that they did not draw their Motion in the form of the precedents. I propose to help in that matter. I beg to move that the Motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer be amended by leaving out the words "and after four of the clock," and inserting the words "but not after five of the clock." If the Government accept that Motion, they will have done something to show that they propose to exercise the powers of this Resolution in the way explained when the other Resolutions were moved, and they will do something at this late hour to justify the use they have attempted to make of the precedents they cited without stating what they were.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The right hon. Gentleman has made a very excited speech about an extraordinary small Amendment on the question whether the Grand Committee should sit till four, five, six, or seven o'clock. He has imported a good deal of passion into the matter. Let us take the precedents with which he has dealt. In regard to the Clergy Discipline Bill first of all, the sittings then were very late at night. They went on to seven, or eight, or nine o'clock. I think the right hon. Gentleman has rather strengthened my ease by going into these precedents. He said that before the Motion only 19 lines of the Bill had been carried in three days; the moment the Motion was carried the whole Bill was through in a single sitting. What greater justification than that could there be for the proposal now made? The second precedent I agree was limited to four o'clock, but as the right hon. Gentleman complains that I did not state the whole of the facts, may I also point out that he did not state the whole of the fact. The four o'clock included Fridays, which is a very considerable exception. It meant an addition of four hours on Friday when the House was sitting.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I quite agree. I quite forgot that those were the old Wednesday days. I think the first precedent is best of all in a case where you have got two or three men who are very violently opposed to a Bill which the vast majority of Members are rather in favour of. The Members opposed to it might have considerable powers of protracting the discussion by the exercise of ingenuity and of some considerable resource, and I cannot conceive any Minister in charge of a Bill assenting to a proposition which will really encourage them by saying, "All you have got to do is to keep it up to five o'clock, and then automatically the thing comes to an end." The mere fact that you have not a limit of this kind enables you to get it through. That is what enabled the Clerical Discipline Bill to get through, in spite of the resources of my hon. Friend (Sir Samuel Evans) and myself.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I think the right hon. Gentleman and the learned Gentleman sitting next to him (Sir S. Evans) retired, and the obstruction died with them, and the matter went through the next day.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I agree that if I charge anybody else with obstruction it would be against the Rules of the House, but I do not think it is against the Rules of the House to charge myself with obstruction, which I frankly admit on that occasion. What stopped it was a Motion of this kind. That is the only way. There is nothing better to get a Bill of this kind through than to fix a limit such as we propose. If there was no limit of this kind it might not be got through. It is the mere knowledge that nothing is to be gained by keeping up the thing to a certain hour that prevents obstruction from being continued. It has often been said, as regards the Eleven o'clock Rule, that if it had not been for the Eleven o'clock Rule the guillotine and closure would not be necessary. Old Parliamentarians often tell me so. It was always the knowledge that it might go on to an unlimited time that had the effect of curtailing discussion. It is not that I am anxious to sit after five o'clock. I think very likely it will not be necessary; but merely that if it is known that at five 1952 o'clock it automatically comes to an end it is an encouragement for these exceedingly ingenious Gentlemen, of whom the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) is one. I cannot conceive a greater incentive to the hon. Baronet than the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman to work up to five o'clock. He is quite capable of doing it. It would be the worst thing in the world for the purpose of getting through a Bill. If there is a desire that a Bill should not be got through limits of this kind would be very useful, but I do not think the right hon. Gentleman takes that view. It may be desirable to have Amendments, but it is also desirable to have a Bill, I will not say exactly on these lines, but a Bill based on these principles. Therefore I cannot accept this Amendment. The hon. Baronet asked me about Divisions. I understand that is purely in the discretion of the Chair. That discretion, I believe, is always exercised, as probably the majority of the Committee would be desirous of attending the Division. However, that is in the discretion of the Committee, and I should simply deal with the Vote as one of the Committee.
§ Mr. W. P. BYLES
No one, after all, is so efficient as the poacher who has turned gamekeeper. I think the arguments of my right hon. Friend about the time limit of five o'clock are absolutely conclusive. I only wish he would make a proposition in regard to the Eleven o'clock Rule which automatically stops our proceedings every night. It does seem to me that there has been a great deal of unnecessary party warmth generated by this Debate. I do not propose to deal with that side of it or with anything which would elicit warmth, but I wish to point out that the real question put is purely a domestic question as to the regulation of our proceedings, and from that point of view I wish to speak. I shall not oppose the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman, but I shall give it a reluctant support, because I believe with him that he is proposing it for the general benefit of the House, in accordance with what I believe to be the general wish of the large majority, but, nevertheless, I do desire to utter a mild remonstrance against a proposal of this kind. I am a strong believer in the usefulness of the Grand Committee system. I desire to see it extended; I desire to see a great deal of our work carried on in the useful, friendly, non-party manner, in which the proceedings of the Grand Committee are carried on. But I do not want that to be 1953 done at the expense of our duties in this House. I have always opposed when I have been on Grand Committee the Motion made for the Committee to sit after the assembling of this House, and I shall continue to do so solely on the ground that it imposes on us a double duty, and that, In such a case, we must neglect one of our duties. I want to see the maximum output of Government work while this Government is in power.
The Question is whether the words "and after four of the clock" do remain in, or the words "not after five" be inserted. The hon. Member is dealing with the whole question.
§ Mr. BYLES
It is quite true, I was falling back on the original Motion, which I thought, perhaps, might be allowed in this Debate; but I desire to say that I am afraid of our creating a precedent which, in our history, would be gradually broadened down to the injury of the Grand Committee system. But for the reasons which have been given by the right hon. Gentleman, I hope that the Amendment will be rejected.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The hon. Gentleman, who has just sat down, gave us some excellent reasons for supporting the Amendment, and concluded by saying that he would vote against it. I understood the hon. Gentleman to say that he deplored the whole of this Motion, because it interfered with the proper working of Grand Committee. The Amendment proposes to limit the operation of the proposals, so that it shall not, at any rate, extend beyond five o'clock. The hon. Gentleman having explained his objection to the proposal, then says he will vote against the Amendment. I will vote in favour of the Amendment, because it is reasonable in itself, and because the reasons which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave for opposing it to me would be conclusive in its favour. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has many great qualities, as we ail know, but he belongs to a type of men who love tyranny for its own sake. He regards power as only useful in order to enforce his own will without respect to the justice or equity of his opinions.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
And the speech of the right hon. Gentleman will give an admirable illustration of what I mean. Like the hon. Gentleman who has just 1954 spoken, I am a strong supporter of Grand Committees. I desire to see their use extended, and the reason is because I think they afford opportunity which unfortunately our proceedings in the House at large do not afford for fair, unfettered discussion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer regards the Grand Committees as a means of enabling him to force Government measures through. He makes no answer to my right hon. Friend's Amendment, except this: "If we grant you that, we shall not be able to force the Bill through." That is the whole of his reason, and a very characteristic reason, coming from that quarter of the House. He wishes to use the procedure of Grand Committees as another weapon of the executive Government in order to tyrannise over the House of Commons. That is the reason why I shall support my right hon. Friend's Amendment, and why I shall certainly oppose the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman. The Chancellor of the Exchequer opposes the Amendment because, he said, this is a non-controversial Bill which ought to become law, and ought to be forced through, without regard to the opinions and feelings of the minority. This is a non-controversial Bill: Does anyone know what it contains? I am not going to argue the measure, but does anyone say that a Bill is non-controversial which is going to make free grants to anyone, for anything, anywhere? That is literally true, and this is to be done at the discretion of the Government of the day. The Bill supersedes the Light Railways Act and the Small Holdings Act, it interferes with highway authorities, and it proposes to drive gigantic roads through the length and breadth of this country. And the right hon. Gentleman calls that a non-controversial measure. [Cries of "Question."] I am perfectly in order in pointing that out. I am not going to argue whether it is right or wrong, but the measure proposes to drive these gigantic roads right through the length and breadth of the country.
§ Lord R. CECIL
It is not only my opinion, but this Bill has been described by one of the leaders of the Labour party, the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie), as the most revolutionary measure that has ever been introduced into Parliament, embodying the principles of the Right to Work Bill. It is absurd 1955 to call that a non-controversial measure. The only ground the right hon. Gentleman gives for the Motion is that a small minority voted against the second reading. It is a small minority; but, after all, you must consider the conditions under which we are carrying on our work, and you cannot expect Members to attend every day, and night and day, from the end of January to the end of September, under those conditions. I shall oppose the Motion and support the Amendment. I believe it is a Motion without precedent, and, though I agree that I am not capable of arguing the point, I do think that it introduces a most unfortunate precedent for the future. I do hope that next Session, or in the near future, we shall really establish Grand Committees on a sound basis. [Cries of "Order."] I am quite aware that some of my observations are not pleasant to hon. Members opposite; but if Grand Committees are to be used merely as an instrument to oppress the minority; then it will be perfectly impossible that they will ever have that great future before them which is desired, and the last opportunity for the regeneration of the procedure of the House of Commons will have disappeared.
I wish to point out that many hon. Members on these benches are interested in the discussion of the Irish Land Bill, and therefore are intensely desirous of being in attendance in the House when that particular measure comes on for debate. I am one of the Members of Committee C, which must sit upstairs, and I really wish to urge on the more fortunate Members opposite that very great hardship is being and has been inflicted upon the occupants of these benches, especially in regard to the attitude which has been taken up on the Amendment moved by the right hon. Gentleman to limit the time during which the Committee upstairs can sit. An hon. Member opposite told me yesterday that he had been away for a month, and that he had come back ready to stay here for a few weeks. That 1956 is what happens on the other side. On this side it is quite different. I really think that hon. Members hardly conceive the amount of work which private Members on these benches have to undertake, especially if they interest themselves in the legislation which is going on. The reason why I think it is particularly hard on Irish Members is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "After all, it is not necessary for Members to come down here." What is the Bill we have to discuss on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? It is a measure in which £80,000,000 is at stake, yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is supposed to control the finances of the country, says that it is not necessary for Members to come down to the House at all. We have been allowed a most miserable pittance of time for the discussion of that great measure, and then we are told that we need not even come down for a couple of days on the Report stage of a Bill that under ordinary circumstances would have been a first-class measure in any Session of Parliament. Piled on top of the duty to watch Amendments, to meet deputations from Ireland, to take charge of all the difficult negotiations with those who wish Amendments to be moved, the right hon. Gentleman says we are to sit on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in a Committee upstairs as long as he desires to keep us there. I say that is quite unfair, and if we are to take any part whatever in legislation we should be released from the Committee at five o'clock at the latest, in order that we may be able to come down here to take our legitimate part in the discussion on the Irish Land Bill. I do not think it is fair on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-press us to this extraordinary extent. Discussion is to be stifled in the House, while we have to sit to any length in Committee upstairs; that is what it amounts to. The right hon. Gentleman does not wait until the Committee had sat and then say that he could not get on with the work, or that it had been obstructed, or anything of that kind. What he does is to take for granted what he has no right to take for granted, that there will be obstructions, and in order to get the Bill he uses the same method in Committee upstairs that he uses in the House. I complain, not merely for myself, but for my colleagues who have had a fairly long and arduous Session, and I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman or any of the Members behind him have any idea of the effects of the present method under which 1957 we are working. The Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) (Mr. T. W. Russell) says that this is a non-controversial measure, and as a Member of the Government he is stumping Ireland and saying what the Bill will do, and actually promising grants under this measure. If the Bill is to be used by Ministers in Ire land for the purpose of catering for sup port, then I say—[Cries of "Order."]—
§ Mr. HAMAR GREENWOOD
I wish to know if the hon. and gallant Gentleman is in Order in discussing the whole Bill on the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite?
The hon. and gallant Gentleman would not be in Order in discussing the Bill, but he is in Order in referring to it while arguing in support of the Amendments as to "five o'clock." The hon. and gallant Gentleman, however, is repeating himself a good deal.
I read in the newspapers the speech of the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture, and I ask the Chief Secretary whether he can get up and deny my statement. This is first of all called a non-controversial measure, and the right hon. Gentleman thinks that, being non-controversial, it ought to be got through at a single sitting of the Committee. [Cries of "No."] The right hon. Gentleman does not deny what he said, that he hoped it would be got through by this system perhaps in one sitting, because it is a non-controversial measure. It is doubtless non-controversial in the country, where the Government themselves are using it, because of this method of popularising it, but in this House what is done is to absolutely stifle discussion. It is said that Members of the Opposition were not here to vote on the second reading. If they had been here the right hon. Gentleman would have moved the Closure. I have sat on these Grand Committees many times, and we have got through all the business in the ordinary way and without the adoption of extraordinary methods of this kind, which reduce not only the work of the House but the work of Grand Committees upstairs to a perfect scandal.
§ Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN
I am one of the Members who has the misfortune to sit upon this Committee, and I ask leave to say just a few words, because I am anxious that there should be no mistake as to my attitude with regard to the Bill. I stated on the second reading of the measure that with some of the objects in Part I. 1958 I was, in the main, in agreement; but having regard to the methods which are now being pursued by the Government I must say I am so totally and entirely opposed to them that I will alter my whole attitude in reference to the progress of this Bill. My right hon. Friend called attention very directly to the statement made by the Prime Minister when he announced what was and was not to be the future business of this Session. I have the book in my hand containing that statement, and I am bound to say that—having sat in this House for Heaven knows how many years, and having heard that statement made by the Leader of the House with regard to the future business to be transacted at a late period of the Session—that never in the whole course of my career have I known what I should call so complete a departure from a statement such as was made on that occasion, when the right hon. Gentleman put before the House what business he thought might be completed before the end of this Session. The right hon. Gentleman began by pointing out that there were three Bills distinctly controversial which must be proceeded with. He then went on to name them, and to name eight more, which he hoped were not controversial, and which he said it was essential they should pass. Then he came to three others, among them the Development Bill. He said:—There are three other Bills which have not yet been introduced, but which we should hope will receive the assent of Parliament, but about which I do not speak in very sanguine terms.He went on to name the Development Bill:which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised, andand he added:which I believe he regards as of a non-controversial character.Is not the Debate to-day, and the cheers with which the speech of my right hon. Friend was received in the earlier part of the evening, complete and conclusive, an unanswerable answer to the absurd statement that this Bill is not by any means controversial? I am content to point to the Debate this evening, not to talk of anything else, to show that that plea will not serve him for a single instant. I repeat again, and I regard this as the gravest part of the whole transaction, I am not justified, and I should not be justified in saying, and I will not say, that it is a breach of faith, but I do 1959 remember this, that when statements of that character and importance have been made by every other Minister I remember, whether he was a Tory Minister or a liberal or Radical Minister, those statements have always been regarded and treated as statements to be observed in the spirit as well as the letter. It is with profound regret I say that, in my humble judgment, the action of the Government with regard to this measure is the most complete and the most regrettable departure from the spirit of the statement of that kind that has ever been known before in the records of this House.
§ Mr. E. B. BARNARD
I have been present throughout the discussions on this Bill, and I do not think there is any breach of faith on the part of the Government. I am bound to say it is very sad for those who are interested in agriculture to find
§ the way in which a matter vitally affecting that interest is contemplated here. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Chaplin) has reminded us that he said with perfect frankness that he was in favour of the first part of this Bill, which, in my opinion, affects agriculture so enormously, and now he has told us that he recedes from that position, having regard to the action of the Government. That is the worst part of it, that whenever there is anything proposed here that touches the rural and the agricultural interest in any form invariably it gets "side-tracked."
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 213; Noes, 91.1961
|Division No. 648.]||AYES.||[5.5 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Dillon, John||Joyce, Michael|
|Agnew, George William||Duckworth, Sir James||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Duffy, William J.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||King, Alfred John (Knutsferd)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Erskine, David C.||Lambert, George|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lamont, Norman|
|Barker, Sir John||Evans, Sir S. T.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Everett, R. Lacey||Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis|
|Barnard, E. B.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Falconer, J.||Lever, W. N. (Cheshire, Wirral)|
|Bern, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Fenwick, Charles||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Flynn, James Christopher||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bothell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Fuller, John Michael F.||Lupton, Arnold|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Fullerton, Hugh||Lynch, A. (Clare, W.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Brace, William||Gilhooly, James||Maclean, Donald|
|Branch, James||Gill, A. H.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Bright, J. A.||Glover, Thomas||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Maddison, Frederick|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hart-Davies, T.||Marnham, F. J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Massie, J.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Harwood, George||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Haworth, Arthur A.||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Helme, Norval Watson||Middlebrook, William|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Clough, William||Higham, John Sharp||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Morrell, Philip|
|Cobbold, Fellx Thornley||Hogan, Michael||Muldoon, John|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Holland, Sir William Henry||Murphy, John (Kerry, E.)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Holt, Richard Durning||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hooper, A. G.||Myer, Horatio|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Nicholls, George|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Horniman, Emslie John||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nussey, Sir Willans|
|Cullinan, J.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Nuttall, Harry|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Jardine, Sir J.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Grady, J.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Jowett, F. W.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Verney, F. W.|
|Partington, Oswald||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Seely, Colonel||Wardle, George J.|
|Perks, Sir Robert William||Shackleton, David James||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Pointer, J.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Snowden, P.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Stanger, H. Y.||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Radford, G. H.||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Raphael, Herbert H.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Rees, J. D.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Strachey, Sir Edward||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Summerbell, T.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Robinson, S.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)||Winfrey, R.|
|Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Young, Samuel|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Rogers, F. E. (Newman)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fell, Arthur||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fletcher, J. S.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Forster, Henry William||Percy, Earl|
|Balcarres, Lord||Foster, P. S.||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Renton, Leslie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, J.||Renwick, George|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edm'ds)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Haddock, George B.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hamilton, Marquess of||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Stanier, Beville|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Heaton, John Henniker||Starkey, John R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hills, J. W.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Cave, George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hunt, Rowland||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r)||Kerry, Earl of||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kimber, Sir Henry||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Clark, George Smith||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lambton, Hon. Frederick William||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Winterton, Earl|
|Craik, Sir Henry||M'Arthur, Charles||Wyndham, Rt. Hon George|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Younger, George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Moore, William|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Morpeth, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
§ Sir E. CARSON
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lloyd-George) if, in fairness, he will give an undertaking that the Committee will not sit past four o'clock to-morrow and the next day, when we are in the Report stage of the Irish Land Bill? On any of the previous days, when we had Committee, and even without this Committee upstairs, there was seldom a quorum of us in the House. Some of the Amendments are in the names of Irish Members who are on the Standing Committee, and it would be very unfair that on these two days the Committee should sit after four o'clock.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I should be delighted to respond to the very reasonable appeal of the right hon. Gentleman, but it is a matter for the Committee itself. This Motion merely gives the Committee authority to proceed. I hope we shall make such progress with the Bill that it will be quite unnecessary to sit after four o'clock.
§ Main question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 221; Noes, 92.1965
|Division No. 649.]||AYES.||[5.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Hart-Davies, T.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Agnew, George William||Harwood, George||Perks, Sir Robert William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haworth, Arthur A.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Helme, Norval Watson||Pointer, J.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Higham, John Sharp||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Radford, G. H.|
|Barker, Sir John||Hogan, Michael||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Holland, Sir William Henry||Rees, J. D.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Holt, Richard Durning||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Hooper, A. G.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Horniman, Emslie John||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Robinson, S.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Brace, William||Jardine, Sir J.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Branch, James||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Bright, J. A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Brodie, H. C.||Jowett, F. W.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Joyce, Michael||Rowlands, J.|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Kekewich, Sir George||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Kilbride, Denis||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Laidlaw, Robert||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Lambert, George||Seely, Colonel|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Lamont, Norman||Shackleton, David James|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Snowden, P.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Clough, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Lupton, Arnold||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lynch, A. (Clare, W.)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Maclean, Donald||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Summerbell, T.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Macpherson, J. T.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Curran, Peter Francis||M'Micking, Major G.||Thomas Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Maddison, Frederick||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Mallett, Charles E.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Marnham, F. J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dillon, John||Massie, J.||Verney, F. W.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Masterman, C. F. G.||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Duffy, William J.||Menzies, Sir Walter||Walsh, Stephen|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Middlebrook, William||Wardle, George J.|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Erskine, David C.||Mooney, J. J.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Essex, R. W.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morrell, Philip||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Morse, L. L.||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Muldoon, John||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Murphy, John (Kerry, E.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Falconer, James||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Myer, Horatio||Wiles, Thomas|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nicholls, George||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Norman, Sir Henry||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Nussey, Sir Willans||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Nuttall, Harry||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gill, A. H.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Winfrey, R.|
|Glover, Thomas||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Young, Samuel|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||O'Grady, J.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||O'Kelley, Conor (Mayo, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Partington, Oswald|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Balcarres, Lord||Banbury, Sir Frederick George|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Baldwin, Stanley||Baring, Capt. Hon. (Winchester)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gerdon, J.||Percy, Earl|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gretton, John||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edm'ds)||Renton, Leslie|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Haddock, George B.||Renwick, George|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cave, George||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Stanier, Beville|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hills, J. W.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John R.|
|Clark, George Smith||Hunt, Rowland||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Kerry, Earl of||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick William||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lowe. Sir Francis William||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Doughty, Sir George||M'Arthur, Charles||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Winterton, Earl|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Moore, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fell, Arthur||Morpeth, Viscount||Younger, George|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Forster, Henry William||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Foster, P. S.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, W.)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|