§ (1)Schedules shall be prepared by or under the direction of the Local Government Board for the purpose of being filled up by or on behalf of the several occupiers of dwelling-houses, with the following particulars, and no others, namely, particulars as to—
- (a) the name, sex, age, profession or occupation, condition as to marriage, relation to head of family, birthplace, and (in the case of a person born abroad) nationality, of every living person who abode in every house on the night of the Census day; and
- (b) whether any person who so abode was blind, deaf, dumb, imbecile or lunatic; and
- (c) in the case of any person who so abode being married, the duration of marriage, and the number of children born of the marriage; and
- (d) the number of rooms inhabited; and
- (e) in the case of Wales or the county of Monmouth, whether any person who so abode (being of three years of age or upwards) speaks English only or Welsh only, or both English and Welsh.
§ (2) Every enumerator shall, in the course of the week ending on the Saturday next before the Census day, leave at every dwelling-house within his enumeration 642 district one or more of these schedules for the occupier thereof, or of any part thereof, and on every such schedule shall be plainly expressed that it is to be filled up by the occupier for whom it is left, and that the enumerator will collect all such schedules within his district on the Monday then next following.
§ (3) Every occupier for whom any such schedule has been so left shall fill up or cause to be filled up, the schedule, to the best of his knowledge and belief, so far as relates to all persons dwelling in the house, tenement, or apartment occupied by him, and shall sign his name thereto, and shall deliver the schedule so filled up and signed to the enumerator when required so to do.
§ (4)In this Section the expression "dwelling-house" shall include every building and tenement of which the whole or any part is used for the purpose of human habitation, and where a dwelling-house is let or sub-let in different tenements or apartments and occupied distinctly by different persons or families, a separate schedule shall be left with or for, and shall be filled up by the occupier of each such distinct tenement or apartment.
§ (5)For the purposes of this section, a person who is travelling or at work on the night of the Census day, and who returns to a house in the morning of the following day, shall be treated as abiding in that house on the night of the Census day.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (c), to leave out the words "and the number of children born of the marriage." The subject, I think, was dealt with when the House was in Committee on Tuesday night, and reference was made by the President of the Local Government Board to a certain form which it is proposed shall be issued under this Sub-section for the purpose of ascertaining this information as to the duration of the marriage and the number of children born of the marriage. The right hon. Gentleman kindly consented to lay the form upon the Table of the House so that hon. Members might consider it and see whether or not it really did ask questions which would be of a useful character, and consequently whether or not that form would be objectionable. That form has not been printed and circulated to Members, and the result is that Members have not been able to have it under their consideration at all. Personally, I went and looked at the form on the 643 Table of the House. The place where it is is a great secret which I will not confide to anyone, but I found the document itself this morning duly upon the Table of the House. It is practically useless to lay the form on the Table of the House unless it is printed and circulated, because hardly any Member has any chance of seeing it unless he takes a certain amount of trouble. I have written out, more or less, a copy of it, but it is certainly desirable that it should be in the hands of Members until the Report stage, and it would be a very much quicker way of dealing with the matter if the right hon. Gentleman would consent to some small Amendment to enable the Bill to have a Report stage. Then Members could consider the form. If they think it is objectionable I should not wish to press the Amendment in any way, having no desire to prevent proper statistics being given. The form appears to me not to be very useful, but rather objectionable.
A person is asked to state first whether he or she is married, a widow or widower, single or divorced. Having done that, the next step is to state the ages of the married couple and the number of completed years of the existing marriage, and then the children born of the marriage, born alive, those who are living, and those who are dead. You have not to say the date when they died. I think upon any form like that you would get very misleading returns. The majority of the people who describe themselves as widows or widowers in the first column would probably look upon themselves as being married people, and would return their children. If they do not do that, and I understand it is not the intention of the Government that they should, considerable confusion is likely to occur, because some people will return those children and others will follow the contention of the Government, and not put them in at all. There is in many parts of the country the strongest possible objection to giving this information. It turns upon the question of legitimacy or illegitimacy of the children, who are living with their fathers and mothers, and who are believed to be legitimate, and who, the parents know, were born before the date of the marriage ceremony. They are in England, illegitimate children. To make people make returns of that kind serves no useful object—it is an entire innovation, and I do not think the Government have made out a sufficient case for it.
644 The reason I move the Amendment more especially is that when Papers are laid on the Table of the House, to be of the slightest use they ought to be printed and circulated before the subject comes up for discussion. I deprecate very strongly the effort made by successive Governments to attempt to get Bills of this importance, which require careful consideration, through Committee without any Amendment of any kind, so that the Government may avoid a Report stage. It is of the utmost importance that Bills of this kind should have not only a Committee stage, but a short interval, during which the public can have an opportunity of expressing their opinion. I have had a quantity of correspondence since Tuesday night. As a rule, whenever I oppose the Government I get letters of an uncomplimentary character from gentlemen, including extracts from the "Daily News." On this occasion I have had one or two cuttings from the "Daily News" from enthusiastic people, describing me as a brave person opposing the tyranny of the President of the Local Government Board. That is the only thing which made me nervous as to whether I was right or wrong. But seriously a Report stage should be allowed.
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Burns)
I am sorry I cannot accept the Amendment moved by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Rawlinson). He stated, in moving the Amendment, that he wished to ascertain from me whether there is any probability of a Report stage being allowed on the Bill, and to that I must respond. I notice that there is a sensitive desire, the reason for which I do not altogether appreciate, that there should be a Report stage on this Bill. The hon. and learned Member says that there may be something lurking in the forms, schedules, and so forth which, if a Report stage were granted, would be removed. I can easily satisfy him by stating that I will later on accept an Amendment which will enable a Report stage on this Bill to be secured, and I feel sure that hon. Members, between now and the Report stage, will come to the conclusion that their fears and apprehensions are totally unfounded. Our desire is to settle these matters amicably.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.645
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (c), after the word "marriage" ["the duration of marriage"], to insert the words "the number of such children living and the number domiciled in the United Kingdom."
By this Amendment I seek to add some vital items to the volume of information which the Census will supply. For the first time the Census will include the number of children born of a marriage. We had a discussion on this subject on Tuesday and Wednesday, and some hon. Members objected on certain grounds—delicate and inquisitorial grounds—to this information being supplied, and while I sympathise with that view I consider that the value of the information far outweighs the objections raised. It is for that reason that I advocate the inclusion in the Clause of the words of the Amendment. In considering the whole question it seems to me that one point arises—namely, whether the information sought is complete or incomplete. Looking at the Clause as it is, I do not see that any power will be given whereby the Local Government Board will get the information which it is desirable to get. The right hon. Gentleman asks for the number of births in a particular family, but I do not see that that carries him any further, unless we ascertain the number of survivors. That is to say, the Bill should give power not merely that the Census should record the number of births which take place, but also how many of the children survive at the time of enumeration. If you ascertain that information, then I can understand the value of the statistics with respect to the number of births.
§ Mr. BURNS
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but, with a view to keeping the promise I have just made to the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Rawlinson), I have to say that this is a point where the Government are quite prepared to accept the first half of the hon. Member's Amendment, namely, "the number of such children living." We feel that we cannot possibly accept the latter part of the Amendment. It is impracticable, as I trust the hon. Member will see.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I am exceedingly obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the concession he has made. I should like to emphasise the desirability of getting the information referred to in the second part of the Amendment, although I will 646 not press for a Division on the subject. The whole question of emigration looms very laregly on the public mind at the present moment. We want to know how many really remain in this country and how many go to other countries. We should also like to know who are the people who are leaving the country, and from what classes they are drawn. On this subject we have not complete information. At present we get a certain amount of information from the Emigration Office, but unless we considerably elaborate our system of inquiry, it will not be possible to get the information it is desirable to know.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I beg to move, in Paragraph (d), to leave out the words "the number of rooms inhabited," and to insert instead thereof the words, "where the occupier is in occupation of less than three rooms the number of rooms occupied by him."
I wish the right hon. Gentleman to consider between now and the Report stage whether he can accept this Amendment. The word "inhabited" in the Clause is rather a difficult one and has a certain meaning for certain purposes. It would be difficult in filling up a form in the case of a big house with twenty or thirty rooms to say whether you mean the number of rooms inhabited in the sense of sleeping rooms or whether the word "inhabited" means occupied and includes the whole of the twenty or thirty rooms. There is no necessity in the case of the larger houses to get this information. It is only necessary in the case of the smaller houses, and I suggest that the old form of words, as stated in my Amendment, should be adopted. In the present form the Clause might lead to misunderstanding and put a great burden on the occupiers of large houses or houses where there is a caretaker. It would lead to the getting of an immense amount of information which would be of no use to anybody.
§ Mr. BURNS
I am obliged to the hon. and learned Member for not pressing the Amendment. As to the question whether the word "inhabited" is or is not more applicable in the case of the Census than it is to other conditions with respect to housing, I will be glad to consider the point between now and the Report stage.
§ Amendment negatived.647
§ Mr. CARLILE
had on the Notice Paper the following Amendment: "After paragraph (d) to insert the following new paragraph:—(e) As to whether any person who so abode, being in receipt of weekly wages, is—
- '1. Unemployed.
- '2. Partially employed.
- '3. Wholly employed.'"
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Amendment is not in order, the point which it raises having been settled in a previous discussion
§ Mr. CARLILE
On the point of order. May I say that the Amendments dealt with earlier by the Committee were both in a very complicated form? I put this Amendment in a very simple form, so that the President of the Local Government Board may be able to accept it without trouble. I should like, with your permission, to move the Amendment.
§ Mr. C. E. PRICE
I beg to move, in Section (1) paragraph (e), to leave out the words "in the case of Wales or the county of Monmouth."
The desire is that, instead of having a Census of Welsh, Gaelic, and Irish-speaking in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland respectively, we should have the Census taken of all the Welsh, Gaelic, and Irish-speaking people in England as well as in the other three countries. Accordingly I beg to move the omission of the words which I have read out, and perhaps the President of the Local Government Board will indicate what he proposes doing.
§ Mr. BURNS
The hon. Member has moved the omission of these words with the object of adding words similar to those put down on the Paper by one of the hon. Members for Wales, who is not here. The hon. Member wants the householder to state whether he can speak English or Welsh only, or both languages, and he wants similar information to be given with regard to Irish and Scottish Gaelic; and he desires that this information should be secured not only in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but also in England. There is no need to do that. I am bound to say I consider it is sufficient that the householder should have an 648 opportunity in the three countries, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, of stating whether he speaks English only or the older language of the country, or both languages. With regard to Irishmen, Scotchmen, and Welshmen who are living in parts of the United Kingdom outside the country of their birth their place of birth is recorded, and we think that that is sufficient.
§ Mr. BOLAND
On a point of Order. If this Amendment is disposed of, will the Amendment in my name subsequently come up, or will it be out of order? It raises the same point, only it suggests a new column being inserted in the Census Paper, and in that way it differs from the Amendment now before the House.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The two Amendments can be separated. It is true that they may have a connection with one another, but they seem to me to stand separately, and if the hon. Member wishes to move subsequently I will allow him to do so.
§ Mr. PRICE
I simply moved the Amendment in order to ascertain the intentions of the President of the Local Government Board. With regard to the point of Scotland having a separate Bill, I was not in the House when the question came up, and it was in view of the expressions that I heard in Scotland that I brought this matter forward. I now beg to withdraw the Motion.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I beg to move to add to Sub-section (1) the following new paragraph: "(f) Whether any person who so abode speaks Welsh, Irish, or Gaelic, respectively."
I was sorry to hear the President of the Local Government Board say just now that the Government were not prepared to accept the proposal which was made. I wish to put one more consideration before him, so that he may accept my Amendment if possible. The expense involved would be a very small matter. When this Bill was under discussion a few days ago the President of the Local Government Board said, as regards one particular suggestion which was made, that it was only a matter of a couple of thousand pounds extra. I would suggest to him that if this is merely a matter of a couple of thousand pounds extra he might see his way to accept the Amendment. As far as I can make out it will be the only 649 addition to the Bill as drafted by the Government which will be made by this House. The right hon. Gentleman appreciates that in the United Kingdom there are different nationalities, and he is not one of those who want to see only one nationality in the United Kingdom and have practically no consideration paid to the existence of others. What we wish to bring about is a reform in the linguistic Census by taking the existing nationalities, no matter where they may be living in the United Kingdom at the time of the Census. In addition to being valuable at present, it will be extremely valuable in years to come to find out to what extent the various nationalities in the United Kingdom speaking their own language are distributed at the time that this Census is taken. A few days ago, when the Bill was first under consideration an hon. Member from Wales made a very strong case on the number of Welsh-speaking people in different parts of England, in London, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, and so on. As regards the Gaelic-speaking people from Scotland, possibly their number may not be so great, but there are in England a large number of Irish-speaking people, especially in the North of England. I submit it would be very valuable from the linguistic point of view that we should now be able to find out how many of the different nationalities, speaking their own language, are to be found when the Census is taken. It is not a matter of much expense, but it is of very great value to those who are interested in the survival of the languages of those different nationalities. Further than this I would like to submit to the right hon. Gentleman that if he can cast his mind forward forty years hence he will see Ireland become an Irish-speaking country from sea to sea, English also surviving as a very necessary commercial language in that country. I submit, further, if our national university in Ireland thinks that Irish is of such value that it is now practically by the decision of the Senate of the National University in Dublin, yesterday, to be made a compulsory subject at matriculation in the University, then surely the feelings of the Irish people in this matter, the interest they take in the revival of their language, and the extent to which it is spread in the United Kingdom, should be of sufficient interest to the right hon. Gentleman to induce him to agree to the claim put forward, which, I believe, has the sympathy of every Irish- 650 man interested in the revival of the Irish language, of every Welshman who is proud of the position of the national language of Wales, and every Gael in Scotland who does not wish to see the Gaelic language in Scotland ultimately disappear. I submit that this Bill is practically un-amended by this House, and, considering the small expense which would be involved, I think the Government might at least agree to this proposal. I beg to move.
§ Mr. BURNS
The hon. Member, not for the first time, has given me credit for being anxious that the United Kingdom should not be composed, either in language or ethnologically, of one race. That, I am sure, is demonstrated by the fact that this Bill recognises most clearly and distinctly the different nationalities which are component parts of the United Kingdom. We have met practically all the reasonable requests of Irishmen, Welshmen, and Gaelic-speaking people. We say that there shall be an opportunity for persons, whether they speak English or Irish, or both. More than that I really do not see any justification for. The Bill recognises clearly that a separate language is spoken, and where that is so we afford an opportunity for its being stated, and we see no reason for going further, especially when the hon. Member asks us to say that it is desirable to have a linguistic Census. We cannot get a linguistic Census merely by adopting this suggestion to add one column. What does it mean? It means that another column—and the schedule of the Census is the largest we ever had—would have to be added to seven million copies. I can assure the hon. Member that it would not only be expensive but confusing. Nor would we be altogether keeping our pledge with the House when we practically agreed upon the increase in the number of columns, and we do not see our way to this addition. We have given all that the three nationalities have a right to claim, and I hope my right hon. Friend will not press his Amendment, or if he does we shall be compelled respectfully to resist it. Hon. Members who are interested in the subject of these languages—and I can enter into many of their sentiments and ideals—would better obtain their object of fostering the spirit and sentiment of nationality by teaching the language with the aid of teachers than they would by the mere addition to a Schedule of a cold, statistical column. The addition of the column would give an amount of information which, I think, would be wholly 651 disproportionate to the heavy cost which would be involved. The Government are not inclined to concede what the hon. Gentleman asks, and I urge him not to press his Amendment.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I accept the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion, and I will not press the matter to a Division. I would point out that for many years past in the Irish Census we have always had a distinction made between Irish-speaking and English-speaking, and I submit that the Government are making no addition to the Census taken in Ireland, for it has been taken in the way now proposed for a great many years. I do not recognise that the Government has gone any further towards meeting my suggestion, but there are not many Members present, and I do not propose to go to a Division, and ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. FELL
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (3), to add the words, "every occupier who shall not have received such schedule shall be entitled to obtain one at the nearest post office."
However active the enumerators may be, and however efficient the superintendents may be, there must be cases in which some people will not get the Census paper. In that event, it may be that they will not know to whom to apply, but I think that difficulty would be met if it were known that a paper could be obtained at the nearest post office. I think that would be a most convenient thing. It may be said that they can apply to the overseers, but there are very many who would not know where to apply. I am sure there are many Members of this House who would not know where to find the overseers. If the Census paper could be obtained at the post office. I think there would be greater prospect of obtaining a more accurate and more complete Census.
§ Mr. BURNS
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that every step is being taken by the Registrar-General and his staff to secure that every occupier and every householder entitled to receive the Census paper shall receive it, and the Registrar-General has no apprehension that the condition of things which the hon. Member suggests might happen will occur. On the contrary, he believes that if there is anything that would stimulate carelessness in 652 an occupier, after the paper had been delivered at his house, where it possibly might be mislaid, it would be the knowledge that he could easily get another at the post office. We are under the impression that if we accepted the hon. Gentleman's Amendment it would bring about a certain amount of carelessness which possibly he did not contemplate when he put down his Amendment. We think, from past experience, this is not necessary to the Bill, and I hope my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment.
§ Mr. FELL
I did not put down the Amendment with the idea that schedules might be lost, or anything of that kind, but that the officials themselves might possibly not be able to deliver the schedule at all houses. Persons who have not received the schedule may not be able to get one at the overseers, and, if that be so, I do not know what steps may be taken. I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clauses 5 to 14 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next.