§ (1) If a Money Bill, having been passed by the House of Commons, and sent up to the House of Lords at least one month before the end of the Session, is not passed by the House of Lords without Amendment within one month after it is so sent up to that House, the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty and become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being signified, notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill.
§ (2) A Money Bill means a Bill which in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects—namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration, or regulation of taxation; charges on the Consolidated Fund or the provision of money by Parliament; Supply; the appropriation, control, or regulation of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repayment thereof; or matters incidental to those subjects or any of them.
§ (3) When a Bill to which the House of Lords has not consented is presented to His Majesty for assent as a Money Bill, the Bill shall be accompanied by a certificate of the Speaker of the House of Commons that it is a Money Bill.
§ (4) No amendment shall be allowed to a Money Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons, is such as to prevent the Bill retaining the character of a Money Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment in order is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for North Down (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson).
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
I have an Amendment on the next page, Mr. Emmott, which, if in order, would come before that of the hon. Member for North Down. It is Sub-section (1), after the word "House," ["within one month after it is so sent up to that House"] to insert the words "or if the House of Commons is not then sitting within a week of the meeting of that House."
§ The CHAIRMAN
That Amendment is not in order, as it raises a point which has already been disposed of.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I beg to Move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "House." ["within one month after it is so sent up to that House"] to insert the words "a Motion to be decided without Closure of Debate may be made by a Minister of the Crown in the House of Commons that."
The Amendment, if adopted, would have the effect of making the Sub-section provide that if a Bill was not passed by the House of Lords within a month without Amendment a Motion to be decided without Closure might be made by a Minister of the Crown and the Bill presented to His Majesty and become an Act of Parliament, and so on. Hon. Members who considered the terms of this Amendment will see it involves three propositions. In the first place, and this is the most important, it involves the proposition that whereas under the Bill as it stands, if the House of Lords failed to pass within the meaning of this Bill a Money Bill within the prescribed period, then, automatically, unless the House of Commons takes action to prevent it, the Bill is to be presented to the King for the Royal Assent. The first proposition contained in the Amendment is that whereas this Bill would make that purely automatic, some substantive action, some overt act ought to be taken in this House in circumstances of that kind. The second proposition is that if that course is taken it ought to be taken on the initiative of the Minister of the Crown, and the third proposition is that if action is taken on the initiative of the Crown, it ought to be taken in this House with absolute freedom of Debate.
With regard to the first of these propositions, it is always rather difficult for a comparatively junior Member of the House to dogmatise about constitutional points, but may I say that, of course, Members of the Committee will realise that under existing circumstances no procedure such as this is necessary. It is not only unnecessary, but it is impossible. One of the evils which, I think, will inevitably follow when you begin to write your Constitution is that although you begin and write only half of it you will inevitably have to write the whole of it. Under present circumstances such procedure as contemplated by this Bill is not only unnecessary but it is impossible. It is impossible for this reason—that once both Houses of Parliament 49 has assented to the terms of a Bill, unless points are raised by Amendment in either House while the Bill is under discussion there, no Amendment of the terms of the Bill is possible. If a Bill has been passed by both Houses it is the settled practice that no further amendment is possible before the Bill receives the Royal Assent. I rest that statement not only upon immemorial practice, but upon the express affirmation of this House itself. So long ago as 1678 hon. Members will find this Resolution inscribed in the journals of the House:—It is contrary to the constitutional method and procedure of Parliament to strike out anything in a Bill which has been fully agreed and passed by both Houses.So much has that been the practice that in a case which occurred in 1850, where the Bill had passed from this House and had reached a stage when the Lords' Amendment came to be considered by this House it was found for the first time there was an essential flaw in the drafting of the Act. It was discovered that the period put in made nonsense of the whole Act, and it was actually held, following the terms of the Resolution I have quoted, that it was impossible then and there to amend the Act then, and a fresh amending Act had subsequently to be passed. That is the existing practice which it is now proposed to change. This Bill contemplates an entire change in that salutary idea, and the fact that that change is contemplated proves the necessity for this Amendment. That this is necessary is shown by the fact that the Government have inserted the words "unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." That clearly contemplates that some such action may be necessary and desirable. I submit that if any action is to be taken by this House it should not be action of a negative but of a positive kind. There are many reasons for that course. If such action has ever to be taken, if the circumstances contemplated in this Clause arise, it will be a matter of very great concern and interest to the whole country. Therefore, I submit that, in taking action which, whether for good or for ill, will have the effect of cutting out of our Parliamentary scheme one estate of the realm altogether, such action ought only to be taken by a Member of the Government upon a Motion which this House shall have the fullest opportunity of discussing.
I will give another reason why it is important that this motion should be put in the positive and not in the negative form. 50 Under the Bill there is no guarantee whatever against the possible tyranny of the Government of the day. It is quite possible to imagine circumstances—one docs not need to go far back to find precedents—under which a Money Bill having been passed through this House—and possibly not passed by the other House as contemplated by this Clause—is presented by the Government of the day for the Royal Assent, although, as a matter of fact, the Government may not actually have a majority for that Bill in the House of Commons. In those circumstances, under the Government Bill, there would be no machinery whatever and no opportunity of bringing the Government to book. In the case of a Bill having passed this House and having failed to pass the other House, the Government will have it entirely in their power to say whether the House of Commons shall have a chance at all of declaring it unnecessary to pass the Bill into law. That course lies at the discretion of the Government, and I think that is a very strong reason for the adoption of this Amendment, because it would render it necessary for the Government to take the opinion of the House of Commons as to whether the decision of the other House was to be overruled or not. If that action is to be taken and a Motion of that kind is to be made, it should be made by a Minister of the Crown. All financial resolutions originating in Committee of Ways and Means must be moved by a Minister of the Crown, and I think it is only fit and proper that a Motion of this gravity and importance should come from; the Treasury Bench. As for liberty of Debates I hardly think when one considers the circumstances there will be any necessity for arguing this proposition. I know it is possible that liberty of Debate might be abused, but I do not think that would be the case as a rule. As every hon. Member knows who has had experience of Debate in this House, it is more difficult to oppose a Bill upon the Third Reading than upon the Second Reading. If you had a Fourth Beading of a Bill, which I propose, you would find it still more difficult within the ordinary limits which the procedure of this House allows to oppose a Bill by purely obstructive purposes at any great length. The ordinary sense of the House would prevent the abuse of this privilege, and I am certain that if the Amendment which I commend to the attention of the Government were adopted, and if unhappily an occasion of this kind were to arise, 51 it would ensure that the House of Commons should under circumstances of free discussion have an opportunity of reviewing the proceedings and proposals of the Government which under this Bill would be absolutely impossible except by the goodwill of that Government.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The hon. Member has argued his case with much force, and has given arguments which are certainly entitled to be considered by the Government. I do not think he will be surprised to hear that we cannot recommend the Committee to accept his proposals. I think the contingency against which the Amendment is directed is due to some misconception. The Government think what the hon. Member complains of is sufficiently provided for by the words they themselves have proposed in the Bill. The hon. Member proposes that there should be in the case of all Finance Bills which do not receive the assent of the House of Lords a Fourth Beading in this House. That is an entirely novel proposition, and one which goes beyond the constitutional powers of this House. I do not know whether the hon. Member has worked out the number of stages through which any Money Bill has to pass before it finally proceeds from this House to the House of Lords. Those stages amount to six. There is the Resolution in Committee, the Report stage of the Resolution, the Second Reading, the Committee stage, the Report stage, and then there is the Third Reading. Money Bills have a much wider discussion than any other class of legislation. No Money Bill can go to the House of Lords unless it has passed through these six stages. A measure having gone through all these stages, having ultimately received the assent of this House, and having been rejected by the House of Lords, what reason is there, in accordance not only with precedent, but with constitutional practice, for that Bill to go through a compulsory seventh stage in this House? I can see no reason whatever. This Clause, as I have said, intends to give statutory effect to the recognition of what has been for generations past, with one or two regrettable and wholly exceptional departures, the constitutional usage and practice. The House of Lords, except on these one or two occasions, has invariably accepted a Money Bill. This Clause is merely a reaffirmation and a constitutional recognition of a long-established 52 practice, and for these reasons the Government cannot accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman has not grasped the intention of my hon. Friend in moving this Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman says this proposal is entirely new. May I remind him that the Bill which we are discussing is also entirely new, and it is to meet the new conditions introduced by this Bill that my hon. Friend has moved this Amendment. An Amendment proposing that the sending of these Bills to the House of Lords should be done away with so that there should be no pretence of having a discussion was strongly resisted by the Government two or three nights ago. What is the position? The right hon. Gentleman insists that the House of Lords shall have the right to discuss Money Bills, but the Government have refused to allow this House to discuss their decision in any way. I think my hon. Friend's Amendment is a very reasonable one, because he seeks to secure that the effect of discussion in another place shall be fully realised by allowing this House to take advantage of such discussion to reaffirm its decision with the knowledge of the discussion that has taken place upon it elsewhere. That is the whole point. The right hon. Gentleman says that the universal practice has been that Money Bills should go through the other House without discussion, but I think that is begging the whole question. We have to take this Bill as it stands. We have to take the definition which the Bill gives of a Money Bill, and the Prime Minister cannot deny that under that definition there are many Bills which have gone up to the House of Lords and been considered there in regard to which the House of Commons has accepted Amendments made by the House of Lords. That is our whole case. As the Government is taking this new departure, as they are giving the chief power to the House of Commons over those Bills, as they consider the discussion of those Bills in the House of Lords is of some value, surely it is absurd to say that we shall not take note of such discussions and have no opportunity of dealing with them in this House. This Amendment is an extremely moderate one, and all it claims is that the Government should not use their power to burke discussion by preventing a subject being raised in this House and preventing any new light thrown upon a Bill in the House 53 of Lords from being considered in the House of Commons. Surely it is not unreasonable, when we are making this entirely new departure, that the House of Commons should not be allowed to act as the sole authority on Bills which may not be Money Bills at all.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
I beg to move as an Amendment to the Amendment to leave out the words, "to be decided without Closure of Debate." There are one or two points which I should like the Prime Minister to reconsider. The right hon. Gentleman realises that in this Bill we are making a written Constitution, and therefore the position is somewhat different from the past, when, as the Prime Minister has said, automatically Money Bills passed. Even if it were rejected by the House of Lords, when we are placing on paper a portion of our Constitution, surely it is a dignified and proper thing to register the fact that the House of Lords has taken action upon certain Bills, and that the House of Commons proceeds with becoming dignity and decision to take this action. I do not think it can be said that my hon. Friend's Amendment has been put down for the mere purpose of obstructing this Bill. I think it would be a proper thing to pass his Amendment, but I suggest that he should allow it to be amended by accepting the omission of the words which I have proposed. I agree that no Opposition ought to be allowed to take advantage of what has been proposed by my hon. Friend in order to obstruct the passage of a Bill. That obstruction would be just as undignified as not to put in this particular Amendment. The two things are equally indefensible. It would be infinitely better, however, that the action of the House of Commons should be positive and voiced rather than silent and negative, and I hope my hon. Friend will accept the omission of the words "without Closure of Debate." I do not think it would be at all in keeping with the dignity of the House that it should be done automatically, and, if the Government were assured by this positive declaration that the Opposition would not take advantages of it for the purposes of obstruction in order to produce an effect upon the Government in regard to other issues, then I think the Prime Minister would be well advised to accept an Amendment which would make not only the drafting of the Bill better, but the whole position clearer and more becoming to the dignity of the House and the country.
§ Question, "That the words 'without Closure of Debate' stand part of the proposed Amendment," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, That, after the word "House" ["within one month after it is so sent up to that House "], the words "a Motion, to be decided may be made by a Minister of the Crown in the House of Commons that," be there inserted.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I beg to call the attention of the Prime Minister to the later words of this Clause in their relation to the Amendment. The proposal is that the Bill shall become law unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary. There is the power that the House of Commons may direct to the contrary, and ought not the question to be brought before the House by a Minister of the Crown. Perhaps the Prime Minister will tell us how he imagines this procedure will work out in future under the statutory provision. It is rather difficult and not quite clear. There is this power reserved to the House of Commons, and, according to the view of the Prime Minister, it is a new power given to the House of Commons, because if they direct to the contrary, although the Bill is passed, it is not sent up for Royal Assent. When a Bill is sent up for the Royal Assent it is taken up by the Clerk of the House and handed by Mr. Speaker to the Clerk of the Parliaments. That cannot be done under this new Bill should the House of Commons "direct to the contrary." Is that meant to be a real new power in order to protect our new statutory procedure from falling into a mere pretence? Without such a provision as that proposed by my hon. Friend, the very moment the House met, Black Rod could summon this House up to the House of Lords, and the Bill, which would be in the custody of Mr. Speaker, would be presented to the Royal Commission and the Royal Assent would be obtained. Under these circumstances, is it not right we should lay down procedure so as to secure as far as possible that matters of this kind should be fairly and properly considered. It is quite distinct from the present procedure because under the present procedure this would be impossible.
Perhaps the Prime Minister will explain how the power which he proposes to reserve to the House of Commons could be made effective without some Amendment similar to the present one being adopted. It is not a question in the discretion of 55 the Ministry of the day. The Cabinet does not decide when a Bill is presented at all. Being in the custody of Mr. Speaker, it has to be presented to the House of Lords as soon as this House is summoned to the House of Lords. A Money Bill is in the custody of the Clerk of this House. It is handed to Mr. Speaker when he goes to the Bar of the other House, and it is handed by Mr. Speaker himself to the Clerk of the Parliaments. We want to make certain that the procedure shall not be automatically adopted so as to render nugatory the words of the Bill itself "unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." The only way that can be assured is by some such Amendment as the one proposed. It is not intended to delay the matter. I quite agree with the exclusion of the words "without closure of debate." I do not think we ought to take steps to delay the matter, but we ought to take steps to see that the new procedure shall not be a sham, but shall be a reality. We are departing here from the old procedure, and it is on that ground I would ask the Prime Minister to reconsider the question or to tell us in what form the House of Commons is to direct to the contrary.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The Amendment of the hon. Gentleman leaves this matter in the discretion of the Government of the day. The Motion would only be made by a Minister of the Crown.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
If no such Motion is made, the effect would be that a Bill would not pass into law.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Supposing the procedure contemplated by the Bill stands, in the first place a Bill which has passed the House of Commons and has been rejected by the House of Lords cannot receive the Royal Assent without a Royal Commission, which Royal Commission can only be issued at the instance of the Government. A particular Bill cannot receive the Royal Assent unless it is included in the Royal Commission. Therefore, unless in the opinion of the Government of the day a Royal Commission ought to issue and that Royal Commission ought to include this particular Bill, the Bill cannot be presented by Mr. Speaker for the Royal Assent. It follows, therefore, if there is any reason in the opinion of the Government, if circumstances have 56 changed or a condition of things has arisen, which makes it undesirable that this particular Bill should be further prosecuted, they will have ample opportunity under these words of preventing the Bill from being so presented and so receiving the Royal Assent.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
My point was not quite that. It could no doubt be presented if the Ministry of the day proceeded by Royal Commission without any opportunity of discussion in this House. I quite agree that could be done, and that is the danger.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
My point is that, if in the opinion of the Government of the day it was undesirable a Bill, although passed, should receive the Royal Assent, the Clause would give ample opportunity to prevent it, and I do not know why the hon. Member wishes to provide that there should be some opportunity for the House of Commons to discuss the matter.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
My answer to that is that at the time of the Session when these things happen the Government always has the control of the time of the House, and my very strong impression is that, if an opportunity of that kind was demanded by the responsible leaders of the Opposition, the Government of the day, according to all Parliamentary usage, would be prepared to give that opportunity. If a particular private Member asked for that opportunity and was not supported by the leaders of his party, in all probability the Government would refuse it, in fact, I am quite certain; but, if the responsible leaders of the Opposition demanded such an opportunity, I think it is in the highest degree improbable, if we observe our customary Parliamentary usage, that it would be refused. Therefore, the House would really have every security it ought to have if a change of circumstances arose which made it inadvisable that a Bill should be hurried through and receive the Royal Assent.
We are admittedly dealing with improbabilities. Bills, as a rule, go through, and the House of Lords does not throw them out, and they will not throw them out afterwards any more than before, however the Bill is framed. This Amendment is intended to deal with very exceptional circumstances; but I think the 57 Committee is bound to face the possibility of those exceptional circumstances. The question, therefore, arises how we are to deal with them. The right hon. Gentleman considers there are sufficient safeguards in this machinery and says the Government has it in its power to prevent a Bill going further after the action of the Second Chamber, after having considered the Debates in the Second Chamber, and after having considered a possible change in public opinion while the matter was being debated. The Prime Minister has pointed out, with perfect truth, that if the Government did change their minds they have the power in the Constitution of preventing a Bill going further. Supposing the Government are not clear that a Bill ought to be stopped or are not clear that a Bill ought to go on, the proper thing to do is to consult the representatives in the House. I admit this must be a rare case; but I am avowedly dealing with rare cases. The right hon. Gentleman said it would be in the power of the Leader of the Opposition of the day, under our Parliamentary practice, to demand a day for rediscussion on what may be called a Fourth Beading, and that if such a demand were made, it would be granted by the Government. I suppose, if it were put forward as a distinct Vote of Censure, the Government would be practically bound to grant the request; but they would not be bound to grant the request unless it were put forward as a Vote of Censure, and, as the right hon. Gentleman has pointed out, if a private Member asked for it in all probability the Government, hardly pressed as they usually are at the end of the Session in carrying out necessary business, would refuse to deal with the matter at all. Surely the other side of the case, which was put by the Prime Minister in a way which seemed to be perfectly fair, is a real reason for adopting this Amendment? I should have thought that, in the very improbable event suggested, a sitting and Division of this House might well be devoted to the consideration of the new circumstances. In any case the Government would not lose control of the financial business which Clause 1 of this Bill is intended to give them. All that would be ensured is that the representatives of the people shall have a full opportunity of discussing, in the light of the Debates that have taken place in the Second Chamber, any changes that might occur, and any developments that might ensue with a view to modifying the policy if thought desirable. I confess I should have thought that, with the verbal 58 alterations which have been made, the general substance of my hon. Friend's Amendment might be adopted with considerable advantage to the security of this House, with regard to financial legislation, and without interfering at all with the policy the Government has laid down—namely, absolute control, under all possible circumstances, of purely financial business.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
The Amendment, as amended, seems a very reasonable one, and I cannot understand the Prime Minister's refusal to accept it unless it be due to the fixed determination of the Government to reject all Amendments of substance in this Bill. I venture to think you cannot remould the Constitution without the alteration of a comma. The passing into law of a Statute, and especially a Financial Statute, is a very solemn and serious Act. The Prime Minister missed the point. A discussion in this House before a measure goes up to the House of Lords is one thing. The consideration of a Bill after there has been criticism and discussion in the House of Lords is another thing. The Prime Minister has pointed out that, of course, the Government could withdraw a Bill from the Royal Commission, but he would not give any undertaking that this House should have an opportunity of reviewing the Bill after discussion in another place. Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake that Standing Orders shall be amended so as to provide for an opportunity of this kind Standing Orders are our written law so far as this House is concerned, and, under these Standing Orders, it will depend entirely on the Parliamentary circumstances of the moment, if the Government are very much pressed for time, as they often are at the end of the Session, then no opportunity will be given. Although it may seem rather farfetched, a coalition or combination which might support the Government at the present moment, may vanish during the time the Bill is in the House of Lords, and if the majority is so dissipated the view of the House may be different; yet we have no security other than the goodwill and good faith of the Government, although, no doubt, that will ensure that the Ministry of the day shall bring it again under the consideration of the House. Besides that, as has been pointed out, we are going to do a new thing. We are going to pass the Bill into law presumably against the opposition of the House of Lords which has 59 been up till now a co-ordinate branch of the legislature. Surely, under those circumstances, it is not extravagant or unfair, to ask that the decisions shall be reviewed again in this House. It is only a revival of the old custom which obtained before the procedure of this House was renovoted. There then was another stage after the Third Reading—"that the Bill do now pass." It was the same stage as now exists in the House of Lords. Why should not that stage be revived? If we are passing a Bill into law why should we not be allowed to say so? That stage is not taken here as in the other branch: yet it is exactly to give the House an opportunity of saying whether the Bill shall be passed into law. When the Bill is passed into law it is clear that the assent of the Crown given by the Clerk of Parliament in another House is a mere form and one rather degrading to that other House, because it is assent in spite of the opposition presumably of that House. Looking to this as a matter of substance, and, at the same time, as one of form, the Government wishing to preserve, as they say, the old forms of the Constitution, might have conceded this point. I hope the Government will enable a Debate to be taken on such a Motion as this when made in good faith, as surely something is necessary to affirm the contention of the House in over-riding the will of the House of Lords. It is not too much to ask that an Amendment of this sort be accepted. But if the Government will not accept it, will they tell us what form of words they are willing to accept which will give this House an opportunity of distinctly affirming that a Bill which the House of Lords has discussed and rejected is nevertheless to become part of the Statute Law of the land.
Sir HENRY DALZIEL
I hope the Government will not weaken in any way the position which they have taken up in regard to this House, and I sincerely trust that the speech of the Prime Minister will not be interpreted as meaning that at some future date the House of Commons may anticipate having an opportunity of discussing a Finance Bill when once it has been rejected by the House of Lords. Personally I think that would open the door to very grave delay, and it might to a great extent minimise the importance of the measure we are now discussing. What is the suggestion involved in the Amendment before the Committee, and the much more presentable Amendment 60 moved by the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir Gilbert Parker). No one can say that three hundred Members on the other side of the House, who are violently opposed to any particular measure, might not delay its adoption for a considerable time. What is the suggestion of the Amendment as it now stands? It is that, although the House of Commons declares itself supreme in finance, and that the House of Lords should have no power whatever in regard to any measure which is a Money Bill after it has been adopted by this House, yet Members of the House of Commons are to read up the Debates in the Lords, and delay is to take place in order to draw out on the floor of this House the views of certain individual Members of the other House after they have rejected the Bill. But if we are to carry out the purposes of this Bill the House of Commons should alone be supreme, and we must not allow any Debate to take place after the House of Lords has rejected a Bill.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I think the Prime Minister fell into a mistake when he said it would be open to the Government of the day to withhold a Bill from being presented for the Royal Assent after the proceedings in Parliament were at an end. I find in Sir Erskine May's book it is laid down that no Bill which is ready for the Royal Assent may be withheld from that Royal Assent when there is a Commission or when the Sovereign comes down to Parliament to announce the Royal Assent. There have been some misgivings upon that point, and consequently trouble has always been taken that there never shall be a Bill in a position for receiving the Royal Assent when it is not convenient that it should be given to it. My recollection is that a precedent was created in this way in the reign of King Charles II. Then there was a Bill—I am not sure it was not the first time the Habeus Corpus Act was presented—which was very popular, and the King did not want to refuse his assent, although at the same time he did not want it passed. Consequently the Clerk of the House of Lords was induced to put the Bill in a remote drawer out of the way when the King came down, and it was not presented for assent. That gave rise to a dispute, and it was decided that such a thing should not be allowed to happen in the future, but that all Bills ready for the Royal Assent must be presented. Serious inconvenience might, of course, arise. It might be necessary that some Bill, like the Army (Annual) Bill, which 61 could not be delayed, should have the Royal Assent given to it, and there might be a question as to whether the Bill should or should not be discussed in the House of Commons again. In that case if the Royal Commissioners came down the next day the Bill would have to be sent up for the Royal Assent after the House of Lords had completed its discussion of it. Some amendment is recognised to be necessary in order to meet that difficulty. I cannot help commenting on the view the Prime Minister takes of the position of the House of Commons. He seems to be quite for getting what my right hon. Friend said the other night regarding the independence of the House of Commons, and he apparently thinks that where a point had been settled as between the two Front Benches any other opportunity if granted would not be of much importance. I quite understand the view put forward by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir Henry Dalziel) as to the House of Lords under this Bill having nothing whatever to do with the Finance Bill, and, therefore, the sooner it passes through the House the better. I think he should have voted for an Amendment moved a little bit earlier—
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
But the hon. Gentleman did not use his influence with the Government to induce them to accept it. It is clear, if you are to have a Debate in the House of Lords which is to contribute to the settlement of a question one way or another, you have no procedure whatever, either in this House or in the other House, which will enable you to deal with a difficulty which that Debate may bring to light. I believe the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) has information as to an instance in which a blot was discovered in a Money Bill, after leaving this House, and it could not be remedied. That is very inconvenient. A blot of a very considerable character might be discovered in a discussion in the House of Lords, and it might be really the desire of a considerable section of this House that the matter should be put right, but, according to the Prime Minister's reading, unless that blot is such as to appeal to the occupants of either of the two Front Benches or to the Government, nothing can be or ought to be done. I do not hold that that is the supremacy of the House of Commons: it is the supremacy of the 62 Government qualified by a right of criticism on the part of the Front Opposition Bench—a very different thing to the supreme power of the House of Commons. I think my hon. Friend's Amendment is perfectly consistent for the purpose of making the House of Commons supreme in finance. I believe that, owing to what I conceive to be an oversight on the part of the Government, owing to the constitutional doctrine that Bills must get the Royal Assent if they are ready for it, a serious blot exists in the Bill as it stands now that there ought to be some opportunity, without even the concurrence of the Government, for discussing the matter afresh in the House of Commons.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. EDWARD WOOD
I only want to add one or two remarks, and to put forward one or two reasons why I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman might have seen his way to accept this Amendment. We are not unduly impressed by the force of the arguments of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir Henry Dalziel) as to the result which this Amendment would have because I should have thought it was one of those Amendments which might very well be accepted by even the most extremist Government. We are agreed that we are in a state of transition, and we are engaged in trying to make what are quite obviously important and grave constitutional changes, and would it not, even in the interests of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister himself, be desirable that he and his Government should make that transition as easy as possible. I may also point out that there are some Amendments which deal with the field of principle while others only touch the field of machinery, and I should have thought that this was an Amendment which really only touches the latter. As my Noble Friend who has just spoken remarked, it is argued by the Government that they wish to make this House supreme in the realm of finance, and, for the sake of my argument at this moment, I am prepared to agree with that, and to admit it, and as there is nothing in this Amendment which interferes with the supremacy of this House, the Government might very well assent to it. All that this Amendment would do would be to transfer some of the power and a portion of the position which are at present held by the Second House to this House.
As I understand, it has never been the policy of the Government avowedly to set 63 out to curtail the opportunities of alleviation in regard to any Finance Bill. What they have endeavoured to do is to control the powers of alleviation at present held by the other House, and this Amendment is to transfer certain powers of the House of Lords back to this House. It has been said, on the other side of the House, that there is no need for this Amendment for this reason, that the House of Lords has no power, and therefore this discussion might be more or less put on one side. But irrespective of party, everybody will agree in this, that there might very well be a discussion in the House of Lords, or in any Second Chamber which might turn upon quite different points to those which had been raised in this House, and that the points which emerged there might be quite different to those which emerged from the discussion here. If you had an obstinate Government who were conscious of a weak case, it might well be that they might snap their fingers at what had been found to be the more effective criticism in another place, and would hold that, having run the gauntlet of criticism in this House, they should withdraw their Bill from discussion at once and pass their Act in the way contemplated by this Bill. It is because I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will consider the matter again and will put on one side the speech of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and will see that this Amendment does not touch principle, but only machinery, that I ask him to reconsider it. We are extremely grateful for the way he originally received it, but we should be obliged if he would go a little bit further and say that it is an Amendment which, without any violation of his principles, he can see his way to accept.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Kirkcaldy, in answer to a question put to him by my Noble Friend, the Member for Oxford University (Lord Hugh Cecil) said he did not give his weight and importance to a previous Amendment. May I point out to the hon. Member that he could not have voted for it in the Lobby because it never went to a Division.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
If the hon. Member had given his valuable support we should have been encouraged on this side to go to a Division.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was not aware of that, but I accept his statement. The hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Harry Lawson) suggested that there should be some alteration of the Amendment and that it should be made a Standing Order. I hope the Prime Minister will not accept that suggestion, because a Standing Order is a very dangerous thing, inasmuch as it can be altered at very short notice, and when we are going to revolutionise the procedure between the two Houses, at any rate, let us see it in the shape of a Statute, so that it cannot be altered by the will of a chance majority in this House of Commons without, at any rate, a considerable amount of time and trouble. I hope, therefore, if there is any alteration in the sense indicated by this Amendment, it will be put in in a Statute, and not in the form of a Standing Order. I am informed now that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Kirkcaldy called the Amendment a sham, but I do not know whether that is supporting it.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
That is rather a doubtful kind of support, and I hope when it comes to be my good portion to move an Amendment to this Bill, and I have his support, he will go further than calling the Amendment a sham and not a reality. I listened to the speech of the Prime Minister with great pleasure, and I never heard a clearer argument in favour of accepting the Amendment of my hon. Friend—I mean the substance of the Amendment, and I am not now dealing with its words. After all, what did the Prime Minister say? He said that if the Leader of the Opposition, whoever he might be at the moment, demanded a day, then undoubtedly he would give it. I have not any doubt that if this Bill passes and some such question should arise, that the right hon. Gentleman, notwithstanding the pressure of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy, would carry out his pledge and give a day, but the right hon. Gentleman forgets that we may not always have the great advantage of having him as the Leader of the House of Commons. It might possibly be the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy who might sit on that Bench, and under those circumstances we know what the opinion of the hon. Gentleman is, because he has taken the trouble to get up in his place and has told us what he would do with any proposal of that sort, whether it came from the Leader of the 65 Opposition or a private Member. He would give it a bare negation. He would say, "I do not believe in the House of Lords, and this Bill must go forward." I see he greets my argument with assent, but how does he reconcile that with the statement of the Prime Minister, who said that he would afford debates in the House of Commons, and he hoped they would prove useful. We are dependent, therefore, on the words of the right hon. Gentleman, and if I knew that the right hon. Gentleman was going to live for ever, which I should be most delighted to imagine, I should be content; but as he is not going to live for ever, I think we ought to have it in the Statute. The Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University pointed out that I could give an instance where the House of Lords had revised a Money Bill. That is so. This House had made an error, and the House of Lords found it out. That was on a Scotch Money Bill, and I do not know whether that makes it more palatable to the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy. The Secretary for Scotland had made a mistake and introduced an Amendment on the Report stage, but was told by the Speaker that he could not do so. What did he do? He got it put in in the House of Lords, and owing to my indulgence he actually got it carried in this House without anybody saying a word about it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must point out that the question of Amendments suggested by the House of Lords which the hon. Baronet is discussing has already been debated upon a previous Amendment, and does not arise on this.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was only answering a question put by my Noble Friend, but I will not pursue the question further. I hope that the Prime Minister, in view of his statement, and as he has recognised the importance of this Amendment, will give a pledge that if we withdraw it now he will, on the Report stage, introduce an Amendment which will have something of the same effect.
§ The PRIME MINISTERdissented.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am disappointed, because after his speech, and that of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy, I cannot understand the Prime Minister's statement that it should be done if it was asked for by the Leader of the party sitting on this Front Bench. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy certainly said that he hoped the 66 Committee would not be bound by, or would not agree to the statement of the Prime Minister, and he hoped he would refuse a pledge.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not suppose ho gave a pledge as to the future; it would be impossible for him to do so, but I am quite certain he would not wish to avoid if he was in power and the circumstances arose, the carrying out not only of the spirit but the substance of what he said. Under these circumstances I hope my hon. Friend will press the Amendment to a Division, because it is absolutely necessary that some Amendment of this sort should be put in, and as we are going to have a Report stage there is no need to reject it.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The right hon. Gentleman made two speeches against this Amendment, neither of them were explicit and they were mutually destructive, because the right hon. Gentleman said in his first speech that he could not accept this Amendment because it involved a new and quite in-the-air proposal which he could not admit in the Bill, and in his second speech he gave, not a pledge but an assurance that the principle contained in this Amendment of the Bill would be put in practice by the Government. As regards the first of the right hon. Gentleman's speeches, the suggestion that this involves a new principle—an objection which I am surprised to find coming from him—as a matter of fact the principle is already embodied in his own Bill. The very words which he quoted, "unless the House of Commons determines to the contrary," are an innovation rendered necessary by the provisions, at least so he thinks, of the Act, and all I ask is that the principle comprised in these words should be inverted, and instead of being merely negative should be positive. As to his other answer I do not throw any doubt at all on the right hon. Gentleman's bona fides, but I hope he and his Friends are not going to be sitting on the Treasury Bench for ever; and, while it is quite true that any assurance from him would, no doubt, be received on this side with all the respect to which it is entitled, it may not even be in his power actually to carry out the terms of his own assurance. It is quite possible to imagine circumstances under which you might have a Government which, if the matter were put to a vote, 67 would absolutely find itself in a minority carrying financial proposals through the House by the very fact that, except on their own initiative, it would be impossible for the House to find an opportunity of discussing the proposal. I think this is a reasonable Amendment, and there is a very strong case indeed for it. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has met the case, and I ask him quite seriously and earnestly to reconsider the matter. In the meantime I shall certainly press it to a Division.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
This Amendment is really conceived, not in the interests of the Second Chamber, but in the interests to this House. We have ceased to expect that great consideration will be given by Gentlemen sitting on that bench to the interests of the Second Chamber, but we have not yet given up hope that they may consider the interests of the First Chamber. Is it not reasonable that, after a Finance Bill has been under discussion for a month in the House of Commons, before the extreme step is taken of sending it up for the Royal Assent without obtaining the consent of the Second House, this House should have one opportunity of considering whether or not that step should be taken? We are told, and I quite agree, that a discussion in the Second House would be very valuable, but why should this House deprive itself of the opportunity of considering that discussion and taking action upon it? In point of fact, the Prime Minister has really, in the Bill as drafted, accepted the principle of the Amendment because he says the Bill is not to go to the Sovereign for assent over the head of the Second Chamber if this House otherwise determines. What would be the procedure if the Bill passed in its present form? The
§ Bill is to be presented to His Majesty unless the House of Commons directs to the contrary. Who is to present it? I suppose, in accordance with the usual custom, the Speaker. How soon is he to present it? If he presents it at once the House will have no opportunity of considering it. Is any interval of time to elapse between the expiration of the month and the time when it is to be sent up for the assent of the Crown? If no time is to elapse, the House will have no opportunity of considering, as the Bill contemplated it should have, whether or not the Bill is to be so sent up. Let me put another point. We know that no private Member can move the House of Commons under the circumstances of the case to say that a Bill shall not be sent up to the other House We know also that the Leader of the Opposition cannot take action in the matter unless it takes the form of a vote of censure, and we ask that whether the Government of the day takes the initiative or not there should be an opportunity given to the House of Commons for so considering it. That is really the whole point of the Amendment, and the Amendment is conceived entirely in the interests of the House—not in the interests of the Government, but of independent Members of the House of Commons. I hope that there are some still left. I ask the Prime Minister not to be carried away by that blind hostility to the Second Chamber so far as to neglect the legitimate interests of this House.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 247; Noes, 165.71
|Division No. 124.]||AYES.||[5.25 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Byles, William Pollard|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. Geo.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Bentham, George Jackson||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Bethell, Sir John Henry||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)|
|Alden, Percy||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Chancellor, Henry George|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Black, Arthur W.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Boland, John Pius||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Booth, Frederick Handel||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bowerman, Charles W.||Clough, William|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Brigg, Sir John||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Brocklehurst, William B.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Barnes, George N.||Brunner, John F. L.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Bryce, John Annan||Cotton, William Francis|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Barton, William||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Crooks, William|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Crumley, Patrick|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Kilbride, Denis||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lansbury, George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Reddy, Michael|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Doris, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duffy, William J.||Logan John William||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lundon, Thomas||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robertson, J M. (Tyneside)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robinson, Sydney|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Elverston, Harold||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rowlands, James|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||M'Callum, John M.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Falconer, James||Markham, Arthur Basil||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Marks, George Croydon||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Sheehy, David|
|Ffrench, Peter||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Masterman, C F. G.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Meagher, Michael||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Furness, Stephen||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Snowden, Philip|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Menzies, Sir Walter||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Molloy, Michael||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Molteno, Percy Alport||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hackett, John||Mooney, John L.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hail, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Morgan, George Hay||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Hancock, John George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Muldoon, John||Toulmin, George|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro, Robert||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Needham, Christopher C.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nolan, Joseph||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Norman, Sir Henry||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wardle, George J.|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Doherty, Philip||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Dowd, John||Watt, Henry A.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Ogden, Fred||Webb, H.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Grady, James||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Hinds, John||O'Malley, William||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hudson, Walter||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Johnson, William||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Winfrey, Richard|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pointer, Joseph||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Radford, G. H.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Chambers, James|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Bigland, Alfred||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Bird, Alfred||Clyde, James Avon|
|Ashley, W. W.||Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole|
|Astor, Waldorf||Bull, Sir William James||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Butcher, John George||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Balcarres, Lord||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Carlile, Edward Hildred||Croft, Henry Page|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Castlereagh, Viscount||Dixon, Charles Harvey|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. Guy Victor||Cator, John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Barnston, Harry||Cautley, Henry Strother||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Cave, George||Fell, Arthur|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc, E.)||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Finlay, Sir Robert|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lewisham, Viscount||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Forster, Henry William||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Rothschild, Lionel D.|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lyttelton, Rt. Hn. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Gilmour, Captain J.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Mackinder, Halford J.||Spear, John Ward|
|Gordon, John||Macmaster, Donald||Stanier, Beville|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Mordie, Robert||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Grant, James Augustus||Magnus, Sir Philip||Stanley, HOT. G. F. (Preston)|
|Greene, Walter Raymond||Malcolm, Ian||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Stewart, Gershom|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Swift, Rigby|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toyteth)||Moore, William||Sykes, Alan John|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Morpeth, Viscount||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Mount, William Archer||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Hill, Sir Clement L.||Newdegate, F. A.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Hills, John Waller||Newman, John R. P.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Nield, Herbert||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Horne, William E. (Surrey, Guildford)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||White, Maj. G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Ormsby-Gore, William||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Pretyman, Ernest George||Younger, George|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Quilter, William Eley C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Colonel|
|Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Griffith-Boscawen and Mr. Cassel.|
§ Question put, "That the words 'a Motion, to be decided, may be made by a Minister of the Crown in the House of Commons that,' be there inserted."72
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 169; Noes, 251.75
|Division No. 125.]||AYES.||[5.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Chambers, James||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Clyde, James Avon||Hills, John Waller|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Craik, Sir Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Home, William E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Balcarres, Lord||Croft, H. P.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Dixon, Charles Harvey||Hunt, Rowland|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)|
|Baring, Captain Hon. Guy Victor||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Barnston, H.||Fell, Arthur||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Finlay, Sir Robert||Kerry, Earl of|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Forster, Henry William||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Foster, Philip Staveley||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)|
|Bird, Alfred||Gardner, Ernest||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Gibbs, G. A.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gilmour, Capt. John||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Goldsmith, Frank||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Butcher, John George||Gordon, J.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm, Edgbaston)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Goulding, E. A.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Grant, James Augustus||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Cassel, Felix||Greene, Walter Raymond||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Cator, John||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Macmaster, Donald|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||M'Mordie, Robert|
|Cave, George||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Malcolm, Ian|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hardy, Laurence||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Moore, William||Quilter, William Eley C.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Valentia, Viscount|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Mount, William Arthur||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Rothschild, Lionel D.||Wheler, Granville|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Sanders, Robert A.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Louth)|
|Newman, John R. P.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Nield, Herbert||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Spear, John Ward||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Stanier, Beville||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Paget, Almeric Hugh||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Starkey, John Ralph||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Stewart, Gershom||Younger, George|
|Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Swift, Rigby|
|Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Mitchell-Thomson and Sir Gilbert Parker.|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, N.)|
|Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Dawes, J. A.||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Keating, Matthew|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Dickinson, W. H.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Doris, W.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Alden, Percy||Duffy, William J.||King, J. (Somerset, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lansbury, George|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Elverston, Harold||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Logan John William|
|Barnes, George N.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Essex, Richard Walter||Lundon, T.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Falconer, J.||Lynch, A. A.|
|Barton, William||Farrell, James Patrick||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Ffrench, Peter||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bentham, George Jackson||France, G. A.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Furness, Stephen||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Ginnell, L.||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Black, Arthur W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, G. Croydon|
|Boland, John Pius||Goldstone, Frank||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meagher, Michael|
|Brigg, Sir John||Hackett, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Hancock, John George||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Molloy, M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Mooney, John J.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Muldoon, John|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Munro, R.|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Hayden, John Patrick||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hayward, Evan||Nolan, Joseph|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Helme, Norval Watson||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Clough, William||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hinds, John||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Dowd, John|
|Cotton, William Francis||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ogden, Fred|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hudson, Walter||O'Grady, James|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Crooks, William||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Johnson, W.||O'Malley, William|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Rowlands, James||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wardie, George J.|
|Pointer, Joseph||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Sheehy, David||Webb, H.|
|Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Radford, George Heynes||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Rainy, A. Rolland||Snowden, Philip||Wiles, Thomas|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborouh)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Reddy, M.||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Tennant, Harold John||Winfrey, Richard|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Toulmin, George|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Robinson, Sidney||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I beg to Move, "That in respect of the words of the Clause to the word 'money,' at the beginning of Sub-section (2), ['A Money Bill means a Bill which'] the Chairman be empowered
§ to select the Amendments to be proposed."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 250; Noes, 172.79
|Division No. 126.]||AYES.||[5.41 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Cotton, William Francis||Harvey, W. E (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Alden, Percy||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Crooks, William||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Crumley, Patrick||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Dalziel, Sir lames H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hayward, Evan|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Dawes, J. A.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barnes, G. N||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Hinds, John|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Doris, W.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Duffy, William J.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Barton, W.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Hudson, Walter|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Johnson, W.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Edwards John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Elverston, H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Boland, John Pius||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Essex, Richard Walter||Keating, Matthew|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Esslemont, George Birnie||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Falconer, J.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Brigg, Sir John||Farrell, James Patrick||Kilbride, Denis|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Ferens, Thomas Robinson||King, J. (Somerset, N.)|
|Brunner, J. F L.||Ffrench, Peter||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lansbury, George|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||France, G. A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Furness, Stephen||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ginnell, L.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Byles, William Pollard||Goldstone, Frank||Logan John William|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lundon, T.|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Hackett, John||Lynch, A. A.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hancock, J. G.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Clough, William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Harmsworth, R. L.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Marks, G. Croydon||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Pointer, Joseph||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Tennant, Harold John|
|Meagher, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Pringle, William M. R.||Toulmin, George|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Radford, G. H.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Molloy, M.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Molteno, Percy Alpert||Rainy, A. Rolland||Verney, Sir Henry|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Mooney, John L.||Reddy, M.||Wardle, George J.|
|Morgan, George Hay||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Redmond, William Clare||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Muldoon, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Munro, R.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Watt, Henry A|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Webb, H.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||White, Patrick. (Meath, North)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Robinson, Sydney||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rowlands, James||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|O'Dowd, John||Samuel, J. (Stockton)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Ogden, Fred||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|O'Grady, James||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sheehy, David||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Malley, William||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Snowden, P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. P.||Croft, H. P.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dixon, C. H.||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Kerry, Earl of|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fell, Arthur||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Finlay, Sir Robert||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. V.||Foster, Philip Staveley||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Barnston, H.||Frewen, Moreton||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A, (S. Geo., Han. S.)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Gardner, Ernest||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||MacCaw, W. J. M.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gibbs, G. A.||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gilmour, Captain J.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Goldsmith, Frank||M'Mordie, Robert James|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gordon, J.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bird, Alfred||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Malcolm, Ian|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Grant, James Augustus||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Bull, Sir William James||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Moore, William|
|Burn, Colonel C. E.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Butcher, John George||Haddock, George Bahr||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cassel, Felix||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Cator, John||Hardy, Laurence (Kept, Ashford)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Cautley, H. S.||Harris, Henry Port||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Cave, George||Henderson, Major H. (Berks., Abingdon)||Nicholson, Win. G. (Petersfield)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Nield, Herbert|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hills, John Waller||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Chambers, J.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Horner, Andrew Long||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Craig, Norman (Kent)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Hunt, Rowland||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Cripps, Sir C. A.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Stanier, Beville||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Pretyman, E. G.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Quitter, William Eley C.||Starkey, John R.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Rawson, Colonel R. H.||Stewart, Gershom||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Swift, Rigby||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Sykes, Alan John||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Ronaldshay, Earl of||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Royds, Edmund||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, North)||Younger, George|
|Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Tuillbardine, Marquess of||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount|
|Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.|
|Spear, John Ward||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
§ The CHAIRMAN
In virtue of the Resolution which the Committee has just passed, I call as the first Amendment to be proposed that which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Bridgeman).
§ Sir F. BANBURY
In the absence of the hon. Member for Oswestry, I beg to propose in Sub-section (1) after the word "House" ["to that House"] to leave out the words "the Bill" and insert instead thereof the words "it shall be lawful for His Majesty upon an Address being presented to him in that behalf by the House of Commons to direct by Order in Council, made after notice and summons to all Members of His Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, that the Bill notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented thereto."
This is a very desirable Amendment, because it provides a safeguard. It is necessary that this House should have some check upon it when it seeks to have supreme control in imposing taxes and dealing with Money Bills. We all know perfectly well that Money Bills are used for objects for which they are not intended. In the Licensing Bill certain proposals were brought forward that were undoubtedly a Money Bill, but they were put there not to raise Revenue but to carry out something which the House of Commons two or three Sessions before had declared should not be carried out, then the Government had not the courage to come down to this House and introduce into their Bill. I do not know whether my hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir H. Dalziel) has as strong an antipathy to the Privy Council as he has to the House of Lords. Probably he regards it with favour because so many Members on that side of the House have been promoted, and the majority of the Privy Council does not necessarily mean a majority of the Conservative party. One of the reasons I understand why the Bill is being brought forward 80 is that the majority of the House of Lords belong to the Conservative party, but that does not apply to the Privy Council. It seems to me that this Amendment would be submitting to a tribunal above all party prejudices the question whether or not a Money Bill rejected by the House of Lords should become law. The Prime Minister a short time ago told us that the Debates of the House of Lords should be preserved, because they might lead to some good result. Here is an opportunity for an independent body saying whether or not the Debates in the House of Lords shall not become merely verbiage and waste of time. I am not sure that no hon. Member on the other side of the House desires people to talk unnecessarily. Therefore, again, I think that this Amendment is one which should commend itself to them.
I was not very familiar with the Amendment when I rose, but I find it such a good Amendment that it grows upon me, and the longer I discuss it the more I feel sure it is a sound Amendment, against which no valid argument can be advanced. I hope, therefore, that it will be treated in a serious manner by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and I hope that hon. Members below the Gangway will seriously consider whether there should not be some controlling authority to decide between the House of Lords and this House in reference to Money Bills. Let them remember that within a not very remote period our positions may be reversed. No greater mistake was ever made by any party than to legislate for the immediate question of the moment. You must look forward, and especially in a great Bill like this, which is going to effect a great revolution in the whole procedure of the country. Therefore, I trust I will get some support from the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy. This is not a sham or an unreal Amendment. It should have his support on that ground alone, and I trust it will also have some support from hon. Members below the 81 Gangway, so that we may see something of that independence of which we have heard so much.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)
These are very astonishing Amendments which appear upon the Paper, and I am bound to say that I am not at all surprised that the Members who placed them there should not have been successful in their precautions by not being present in the House; but we have been consoled in their absence by the exhibition which the hon. Member for the City of London has given us of his great and justly esteemed powers of rapid improvisation. Let the Committee consider for one moment what they are asked to do by the Conservative party in accepting this Amendment. If the House of Lords rejects the Budget, by this Amendment the Sovereign has to convene the Privy Council, and he is to ask their advice as to what should be done. Whether he is to follow their advice or not, it is not clear in the Amendment; but I will put the most rational and most reasonable construction upon it possible, and I will presume that it would not be intended to place the Sovereign in the position of rejecting the advice of the Privy Council, and that he would be bound by the advice tendered by that body. What would follow then? The Sovereign would then have to fall back upon the Privy Council, and, backed by the Privy Council, to resist the House of Commons. This Amendment, if it were embodied in the scope of the Bill, would force the Sovereign to take the advice of the Privy Council—which is a body of distinguished persons, but which has absolutely no representative capacity of any kind whatever—against the responsible advisers of the Crown in the House of Commons, and against the majority of the House of Commons. And on what subject of all others is the Crown to embark upon the course of obtaining the advice of a great Council of the State? It is the subject of finance. A more extraordinary proposal never figured on the Notice Paper of the House of Commons. Observe the position in which it is sought to place the Crown.
The Privy Council is a body of great distinction. I should certainly not be inclined to say that the advice they would give to the Soverign would not be valuable, but whether it was good advice or bad advice which they had it in their power to give, they could not provide the 82 Sovereign with a farthing of money to carry on the necessary services of the State. Power would still rest with the House of Commons. The Amendment, if accepted, would undoubtedly lead to involving the Sovereign in violent collision with the House of Commons, and, if made effective on the part of the Crown, would lead to the levying of taxes without the consent of the majority of the House of Commons. The proposal would not be satisfactory even from the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite. As a safeguard from their point of view it would be perfectly valueless, because the Ministry of the day would undoubtedly have the power to advise the Crown to create more Privy Councillors, and there would be no limit to the expansion of that Body in order to secure the return of a verdict which would be favourable to the Government. The proposal has every vice from the point of view of the Constitution of the country, while it really goes outside the bounds or reasonable and ordinary practical discussion. It is a proposal which no serious person would really put forward, and it is one that I do not believe the Leader of the Opposition himself would for one moment support in this House nor the right hon. Gentleman sitting near him. I say from the Constitutional point of view the proposal as a safeguard would be utterly nugatory, and would not achieve the purposes which those who put it forward have at heart. As far as the Government are concerned, if, as a responsible Government, as responsible advisers of the Sovereign, we were to accept an Amendment of this kind, allow it to be embodied in the Bill, and advise the Crown to give assent to it, we should deserve to have our heads cut off.
§ Mr. CAVE
I must say that the taunt which the right hon. Gentleman made against my hon. Friends who were absent when these Amendments were reached was hardly worthy of a Member of the Treasury Bench. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to insinuate that they were absent because they did not desire to move their Amendments. There is a much easier explanation. I doubt whether anybody in this House expected that at so early a stage of the discussion of this Bill the Government would adopt the Resolution which they have just submitted.
§ Mr. CAVE
Then one hardly sees why the Resolution was moved. The interruption of the right hon. Gentleman does not seem to strengthen the reputation of the Government for good judgment in the management of this Debate. The explanation of the absence of my hon. Friends, who had similar Amendments on the Paper, is that no one expected that the Government at this early stage, if they could possibly avoid it, would closure a number of Amendments by means of what we have come to know as the "Kangaroo" Resolution. That is the real explanation of the absence of my hon. Friends. In regard to the Amendment itself, I must say I do not think the manner in which the Home Secretary has treated it involves a very high compliment to the Chair on the selection of the Amendment. The Home Secretary has treated the proposal as if there were something absurd about it. I think the answer is that he has not thoroughly understood the proposition now before the Committee. As I understand the proposal, it is this. The Bill proposes to give to the Government of the day power to pass over the heads of the other House what in this measure is defined as Money Bills, although we can show later that the definition includes many things which are not really Money Bills. The proposal is that where there exists a real doubt whether a Bill is a Money Bill in the true sense, or where a proposal is of such importance that the two Houses disagree, it should be submitted to some independent body. My hon. Friend has chosen the Privy Council, an independent non-political body, containing men who have rendered distinguished service to their country, to give their decision whether a Bill is of such importance and gravity, or whether it falls so truly within the definition of a Money Bill, that the view of the House of Lords ought to be superseded. That may be a right or a wrong proposal, but at all events it is a perfectly reasonable proposal, and I do not think it deserves to be treated as the Home Secretary treated it just now. The right hon. Gentleman says the Privy Council have no money to give the Government. Of course they have not, but the effect of their voting against the passing into law of such a Bill would be that we should be just where we are now. The Government would have the power, as now, of consulting the country, or taking such other steps as they might think fit. But at all events there would be some independent authority for saying whether or 84 not a Bill passed by this House alone should become law.
I do not wish to discuss on this Amendment the whole question of what is a Money Bill, because it must come up for discussion later on. It is a matter of very great importance, and one which we ought to decide. Under this Amendment the point is simple, whether the matter shall be in the hands of the Government alone, or whether there should be some other means of determining, and the suggestion is that it should be submitted to the Privy Council. Another argument of the Secretary of State was, I think, characteristic of the bent of his mind. He said that they might add to the Privy Council, and that it would be easy, if the Privy Council decided against them, to make more Privy Councillors, and so get a majority in that body. That is the argument addressed to us by the Government in this House. They have power, of course, to advise the Crown to deal with this body, as it has been suggested they would advise the Crown to deal with another body; that is to say, finding the independent body against them, they threaten the country that they would advise the Sovereign to create a sufficient number of members of that body to give a majority on their side. I think we ought to take note of the spirit in which that threat is held out. I think at all events this Amendment is one that requires discussion.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I apologise to the House for not being in my place to Move the Amendment which stands on the Paper in my name. I had no idea that the kangaroo would jump to my proposal, or I should have been in my place, with the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Bridgeman), whose Amendment stands first on the Paper. I think the taunt of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary was uncalled for so far as I am concerned, and it is aggravated by the wholly unreason able delay of the Home Secretary in finding a certain friend of his whom he sent to my Constituency, and who, I find, has been at last discovered committing some offence against the law. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."] The Home Secretary, in the case of any Amendment we put before the Committee, will brush it aside as unreasonable, beneath contempt, and not worthy of discussion. That seems to be his attitude with regard to our Amendments. What is the idea of this Amendment. Under this Bill the Government are endeavouring to upset the balance of 85 the Constitution. We wish to offer them something new in order to redress the balance of the old. Rather than call in the Speaker or the judiciary or any other body we suggest that they should call in a body with a great record such as the Privy Council. That is a body absolutely nonparty in character, and which meets in private. You could not have a better body to whom measures of this sort could be referred. We have the greatest difficulty in knowing what is a Money Bill under the provisions of this Bill, and therefore in saying what should be entirely within the control of this House. This Amendment proposes that an Address should be presented to His Majesty asking that the opinion of the Privy Council should be taken before any Bill be treated as purely a financial measure. I submit that the Home Secretary's argument that the Privy Council could always be swamped by Government nominees is an unworthy argument and an unworthy answer. The House of Commons would not refer a Bill unless it had some doubt as to whether it was a Bill that should be left to absolutely unmitigated Single Chamber control. The idea of the Home Secretary that the action of the House of Commons could be swamped in the Privy Council seems to show that his idea is that the prerogative is simply the plaything of the Minister of the day, and that he is ready to swamp anything in order to carry through the intentions of the Government, whether in finance, partly in finance, or in general legislation. I submit that the Amendment is a serious one, and that the taunts of the Home Secretary are quite unworthy.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
We are now approaching for the second time under this Bill what will perhaps come in before the end of the Debate, namely, the question of the dormant Veto of the Sovereign in legislation. It was mentioned once already by the hon. Member for Blackburn who said that it was ridiculous and absurd to suppose that Parliament would ever control its own existence, because, he added, that if it attempted to do so the Crown would veto such an Act. That does not arise under this Clause, but it is more than possible that under the guise of a Money Bill legislation might be proposed which would place the Crown in a position of the utmost possible difficulty. I am not now going into any argument as to what, under the second Sub-section, might be comprised under Money Bill, but I submit that whatever the interpretation of 86 that may be, that it might be a matter for the Sovereign very gravely to consider whether he should give his assent to a Money Bill or not. If it was an ordinary Bill of Ways and Means and Supplies I imagine the constitutional position of the Sovereign would enable him to say, "Those supplies which you have kindly given me are bought too dearly by pressure and taxation on large bodies of my subjects, and for their sake, and because I think that the money might be raised in other ways, I refuse my Assent to this Bill." It is also likely if the second Subsection goes through that we shall have almost all kinds of legislation proposed under the guise of Money Bills, and that we shall not have the two years or the three times passing of the House of Commons and the benefit of all that Debate.
A Bill containing the Budget provisions affecting the future government of the country, even if it were strictly a Money Bill, might be hurried through the House of Commons and thrown at the heads of the Second House in the month of August, and what is to prevent it from becoming law save the Veto of the Sovereign. That Bill might be passed by a very small majority, there might be intense feeling against it all over the country, a feeling which might be indicated by certain signs, and yet it will be within the power of the Government to force that Bill through unless the Sovereign intervened. In what position would the Sovereign be in. He would have to consider: "Which half of my subjects am I to give mortal offence to. A great body of public opinion, backed by my Ministers, say to me, 'Pass this,' while another great body of opinion think it would be destructive of their liberties, and not only destructive of their liberties and of their present rights but destructive of the future of the country." In such a case, unless there were somebody to stand between him and the House of Commons, that momentous decision would be cast upon the Sovereign, and which ever way he would decide he would estrange the affections of half of his people. I say you have no right to put the Sovereign in a position of that kind. Whether this proposal as to the Privy Council is exactly the best way of getting over the difficulty I will not say, but it is a good way, and at any rate it will ease the position and it will give time for deliberation. It will call in the trusted constitutional advisers, for after all the Cabinet is only a Committee of the Privy Council. By this means there will be delay, and the matter will be 87 threshed out. Although I conceive there may be a better means yet, the calling in of the Privy Council is in itself a sound proposal. It would be at any rate a breakwater against the great danger in the future when, if the Veto of the House of Lords be swept away, then there might be opened up the question of agitation against the Crown itself. I hope my hon. Friend will go to a Division.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
It is always a matter of regret to us on this side of the House, and I think ultimately to the Whole House, when the Home Secretary is left in charge of the Bill. I observe that the Home Secretary's arguments are now regarded as commonplaces not requiring notice—
§ The CHAIRMAN
When the Noble Lord rises to take part in the Debate, I hope he will discuss the Amendment and not so frequently indulge in personalities.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
On the point of Order I bow to your ruling. If you are advising me about the propriety of my own conduct, about that matter I am the best judge.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I bow to whatever you rule in the matter of Order, but I am entitled, I should suppose, to comment on the unconciliatory way in which the Home Secretary met this Amendment. It is the manner of the Home Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman treated the Amendment as an absurdity. It is by no means an absurdity. He neither understood it intelligently nor explained it clearly, and then he proceeded to denounce it as if it were an absurdity, and as if it did not deserve the attention of the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman imagined that the suggestion was that the Privy Council would over-rule the House of Commons. There is no such suggestion made. The suggestion is that where the two Houses are in conflict someone must decide. The case to which the Amendment is directed is the case where the House of Commons has passed a Finance Bill, and where the House of Lords has rejected that Bill, or where it fails to pass the House of Lords. Hon. Members opposite always treat this matter as if this Clause was strictly limited to the present House of Lords and was not to deal with the reformed Second 88 Chamber, when, as it is contemplated in the Preamble, that reformed Second Chamber comes into being. As I understand the statement of the Government, they contemplate, when the reformed Second Chamber comes into existence, that this particular restriction will be made to apply.
Supposing you have a reformed Second Chamber in existence, a body having a popular Constitution, there might be two sorts of Budgets, I may submit, of which hon. Members opposite might reasonably be afraid. They might reasonably be afraid of a Budget carrying taxation on different forms of property to an unreasonable length. I think I am right in saying that a great many hon. Members opposite who supported the Budget of 1909 would not have been prepared to support it if the taxation had gone much further than it had. For that reason, therefore, they might fear a Budget of that kind. They might also fear a Tariff Reform Budget, moved and supported by hon. Members on this side. Now, supposing that in either of those cases, and that you had what we shall call, for brevity's sake, a Socialistic Budget as one type, or a Tariff Reform Budget before Parliament, and supposing it passed this House by a very small majority, and supposing that there was every reason to think that the country was against it, as great popular feeling manifested at by-elections and in many other ways indicated, is it not reasonable to say, that before the Second Chamber, and I am contemplating a reformed Second Chamber on a popular basis, is over-ruled, that some third body should be called into consultation. Is that an unreasonable and absurd proposition which deserves the contempt of the Home Secretary? It seems to me that it is an exceedingly reasonable proposal to say that in a case like that the Privy Council should be convoked, the Privy Council not being a hereditary body, not a body sitting merely in virtue of hereditary tenure, but selected on the advice of responsible Ministers from among the most distinguished of the King's subjects to advise the Crown. Is it unreasonable to say that before the judgment of a popular reformed Second Chamber is over-ruled that a body of that kind should be consulted. It seems to me an eminently reasonable proposal. It gives a safeguard of which I think hon. Members opposite no less than hon. Members on this side might ultimately be very glad. It really protects you against the tyranny of a Single Chamber in matter of taxation. 89 I need not remind hon. Members how wide is the scope of taxation and how many things, without any actual tacking, might be brought within its ambit. I do honestly suggest that this is a safeguard which might well be put into the Bill. It would not be undemocratic in character because the Privy Council owes its appointment to the King's responsible Ministers. It would safeguard you against dangerous financial legislation either of a Protective or Socialistic character, and therefore would be an addition to the Bill from the point of view of hon. Members opposite no less than those on this side, and an addition to the Bill the Government might well accept.
§ Mr. CROFT
In regard to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, I must confess I have not the same feelings as some hon. Gentlemen who sit on these benches. The reason is, that whenever the right hon. Gentleman is especially hilarious and dismisses a question with contempt you may be perfectly certain that he sees a red light and that the Amendment is a dangerous one. I think that on this particular point there are a large number of hon. Gentlemen opposite who feel, and who wish they dared to say so, that there must be some check in the future with regard even to Money Bills, and with regard to all kinds of legislation which may be wrapped up in so-called Money Bills. For that reason I support this Amendment. I think you could not select a better body than the Privy Council. Until very recently the whole cry against the House of Lords was that there were hereditary Peers who were not fit to take part in the Government of the country, and that that Assembly contained people who were designated as "robbers of poor-boxes," "idle rich," and "kangaroos." All these imagined abuses are absent from the Privy Council, which consists entirely of persons who are rewarded by the Government of the day for their great services to their party or have rendered great services to their country in different parts of the world. Could
§ there be a more desirable body than that to which questions should be sent for final decision? I believe that in the Privy Council questions would receive consideration such as they could not obtain either in this House or in the House of Lords. The threat of the right hon. Gentleman that they might create more Privy Councillors has unmasked the Government. We always believed in the past that the threats to create puppet-peers owed their origin to the fact that the Government believed they had to deal with a Tory House of Lords; but we are now told that if the Government had not a majority even on the Privy Council, they would create more Privy Councillors. Whatever constitutional methods we may set up, the tyrants on the Treasury Bench are deter mined that their will shall prevail and not that of anybody else. Everybody will admit that the Speaker will be put in a very difficult position. It may be many years before the great traditions of the Speaker in this House are in any way minimised—
§ Mr. CROFT
The point I was endeavouring to make was that the Speaker will be put in such an extremely difficult position that it will be necessary to appeal to some other body to assist him in order to prevent his being put into a false position when having to declare whether or not a Bill is a Money Bill. It is conceivable that in days to come the Speaker may, under these circumstances, become a mere party hack, which would be a disastrous thing for this House. For that reason alone it is most desirable that we should have some body to which we could appeal on question of tacking, and in that way preserve the great traditions of the Speakership of this House.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 257; Noes, 178.93
|Division No. 127.]||AYES.||[6.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Black, Arthur W.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Boland, John Pius|
|Addison, Dr. C||Barnes, G. N.||Booth, Frederick Handel|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Barran, Sir J. N, (Hawick)||Bowerman, C. W.|
|Alden, Percy||Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Brigg, Sir John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Brocklehurst, W. B.|
|Anderson, A. M.||Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Brunner, J. F. L.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bentham, G. J.||Bryce, J. Annan|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Bethell, Sir J. H.||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hodge, John||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hudson, Walter||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Hughes, S. L.||Radford, G. H.|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Johnson, W.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Clough, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Reddy, Michael|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, W. S Glyn- (T. H'mts, stepney)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jowett, F. W.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Keating, M.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Crooks, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Robinson, Sydney|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lewis, John Herbert||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Logan John William||Rowlands, James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lundon, T.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lyell, Charles Henry||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Lynch, A. A.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Dickinson, W H.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Seely, Col., Right Hon. J. E. B.|
|Doris, W.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sheehy, David|
|Duffy, William J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||M'Callum, John M.||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Snowden, P.|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Marks, G. Croydon||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Meagher, Michael||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Falconer, J.||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Menzies, Sir Walter||Tennant, Harold John|
|Ferens, T. R.||Middlebrook, William||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Molloy, M.||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Field, William||Molteno, Percy Alport||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Money, L. G Chiozza||Toulmin, George|
|France, G. A.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Furness, Stephen||Mooney, J. J.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Ginnell, L.||Morgan, George Hay||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Muldoon, John||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Munro, R.||Wardle, George J.|
|Griffith, Ellis J. (Anglesey)||Needham, Christopher T.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Nolan, Joseph||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Norman, Sir Henry||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hackett, J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Webb, H.|
|Hancock, J. G.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Doherty, Philip||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Hardie, J. Keir||O'Dowd, John||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Harmsworth, R. L.||Ogden, Fred||Wiles, Thomas|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||O'Malley, William||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Palmer, Godfrey M.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Parker, James (Halifax)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Hayward, Evan||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Henderson, J. M'D. (Aberdeen, W.)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Pointer, Joseph|
|Hinds, John||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Barnston, H|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Balcarres, Lord||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Baring, Captain Hon. G. V.||Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hardy, Laurence||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Harris, Henry Percy||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Bird, A.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks.)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Bescawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Hills, J. W.||Pole-Care v, Sir R.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hohler, G. F.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Horner, A. L.||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cater, John||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hunt, Rowland||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cave, George||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Royds, Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Chambers, J.||Kerry, Earl of||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kimber, Sir Henry||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent)||Knight, Captain E. A.||Spear, John Ward|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lane-Fox, G. R||Stanier, Beville|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Larmor, Sir J.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cripps, Sir C. A.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Croft, H. P.||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Starkey, John R.|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lewisham, Viscount||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Swift, Rigby|
|Fell, Arthur||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Fisher, W. Hayes||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Fitzrey, Hon. E. A.||Mackinder, H. J.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Macmaster, Donald||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||M'Mordie, Robert||Touche, George Alexander|
|Forster, Henry William||Magnus, Sir Philip||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Malcolm, Ian||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Gastrell, Major W. H.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Gibas, G. A.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Gilmour, Captain J.||Moore, William||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Morpeth, viscount||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Cordon, J.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Grant, J. A.||Mount, William Arthur||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Greene, W. R.||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Gretton, John||Newdegate, F. A.||Yate, Col. C. E. (Leics., Melton)|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Newman, John R. P.||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Younger, George|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Nield, Herbert|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Ormsby-Gore and Mr. Pollock.|
|Hambre, Angus Valdemar||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Hamersley, A. St. George||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "shall" ["the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons"] to insert the words, "unless reserved by the Committee of State as provided by this Act, or."
The Amendment is one of which the words on the White Paper give a very inadequate idea. If hon. Members are good enough to wish to follow me, I would ask them to get the Blue Paper containing the New Clauses. I feel very considerable diffidence in making this proposal to the House. I admit it is an entirely novel one, and one for which I do not think there is any precedent in our Constitution. My proposal is that there shall be an extra Parliamentary Tribunal which shall in special cases suspend the operation of the ordinary process of legislation. I am not 94 going over the old ground as to what are Money Bills, or what may be called Constructive Money Bills in the next Sub-section. I take the case of clear and undoubted Money Bills. For instance, I have received two examples of Bills which are undoubtedly Money Bills, and which would involve great and lasting questions of policy. Hon. Members themselves can give many such examples. Take a measure assigning great revenues to local authorities, or to possible new authorities to be created under some new Bill. It is quite a possible proposal. There are examples of the kind in Germany. When the German Constitution was set going it was indicated that some sources of taxation should be available only for subordinate legislatures in Bavaria and elsewhere. It is quite possible that similar proposals 95 might be made here for the transference of certain revenues to local authorities in different parts of the United Kingdom. That would be a very large question of policy, yet the proposals could be framed entirely as a Money Bill. Once passed, it could hardly be revoked without some very drastic process indeed. The Imperial authority might part practically for ever with huge sources of revenue. That is one example. I think I can give another.
Suppose a proposal was made, say, to cut down the Civil List of the Sovereign! That would be purely a Money Bill. Yet it would arouse intense feeling and passion, especially if it were done for some act of the Sovereign which was distasteful to the majority of the House of Commons of the day. Feeling would run exceedingly high, and it might have a very great and disastrous result. It would be most unfortunate in a case like that that the House of Commons should have the power of carrying a measure of the sort without any appeal to another authority, and that the measure should be sent to the Sovereign himself for his determination within a month of its passing the House of Commons. I take a third instance. Suppose a state of war, or of possible war, and suppose applications were made to us for subsidies by allies, exactly as they were 120, 110, and 100 years ago. A War Loan Bill would be brought forward to meet the charges of our allies and for the prosecution of the war. That would be a Money Bill, but it would involve a transcendant question of policy which might determine the whole of our position with the other nations of the world. I suggest that such a Bill is one that some tribunal such as I suggested should have the opportunity to review. Such a Bill ought not to be dealt with like the Budget of the year, and thrown at the head of the Sovereign. The immense question of the future policy of the country would be raised. I do submit that some tribunal such as I have suggested is necessary if you are going to do away with the House of Lords to guard against Bills of the sort I have given examples of; the more so in the case of Constructive Money Bills.
I propose by this Amendment to set up such a Tribunal, with power to suspend a Money Bill when it has passed the House of Commons from becoming law. But I would only give to that Tribunal, whose composition I will come to in a minute, power to do this on judicial grounds: that 96 is to say, not on their view of the merit or demerits of the Bill. Their power to suspend a Bill would be on what I shall call semi-judicial grounds. There are three grounds in this connection which I select as follows: (1) That a Bill was insufficiently before the electors at the previous election; (2) That is was insufficiently discussed in the House of Commons; (3) That questions or circumstances have arisen since the election which would make its consequences more grave. On these three grounds I would give power to this Tribunal to suspend the operation of this Clause. What would happen if they did suspend it? In my Amendment I call it "reserve." I think the best thing that could happen would be that the Bill should be submitted to a Referendum.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I think, Mr. Emmott, it would be convenient to ask your ruling at this stage. The hon. Member proposes, as part of his Amendment, to refer Bills at a certain stage in their passage to a Referendum. I presume that if any question of the Referendum is raised on this Amendment and debated, it will not be in order to debate it again at a later period?
§ The CHAIRMAN
So far the hon. Member who is moving this Amendment has confined his observations entirely to Finance Bills. His observations in respect to the Referendum have also been confined to a referendum on Finance Bills. This will not prevent the question of the Referendum being raised on Clause 2. If we are going to discuss the matter at large now of course it cannot be raised again.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The new Clause which the hon. Member has on the Paper applies not only to Finance Bills, but to general Parliamentary Bills.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member so far has confined himself to matters of finance. I can stop him if he goes beyond that, so that the ordinary discussion on Clause 2 will not be interfered with.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Joseph Pease)
On a point of Order. If the consequential Amendments—which, as we understand, deal not only with money provisions but with other portions of the Bill—surely it will be incompetent now for the hon. Member to move only a certain portion of his Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
As a matter of fact this new Clause cannot be moved again 97 in this form. The hon. Gentleman will however be able to take out the portion of the Clause dealing with finance, and move it in an altered form in reference to Clause 2.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
In the first place I am only going very briefly to allude to the Referendum, because I do not want to spoil the effect of a subsequent discussion. Apart from that, and in the second place, the Referendum is not an essential part of my new Clause. If the Council of State should reserve a Bill passed by the House of Commons for the Referendum, well and good, but I shall be equally satisfied if they reserve it for the next Parliament. At least I claim they ought to be able to reserve it, and to put it into the category of Clause 2. They will have their two years and their three passings of the House of Commons. On the question of reservation, I may just add this, that there are provisions in at least one of the Constitutions of our Colonies that certain classes of Bills are reserved for a further tribunal, so that the idea of a body having reserved to it certain Bills is not an entirely novel one. That, however, I do not wish to press. My proposal is that this body shall have the power of reserving certain Money Bills from the normal operation of Clause 1. If that be accepted, then exactly what is to become of these Bills can be considered in detail afterwards.
As to the composition of this body, I want as far as possible—I know it is a difficult matter—to combine dignity and impartiality with judicial character, as regards part of the Committee; together with practical experience of administration. Therefore, I propose that this tribunal should be constituted of the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Justice General, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, the Viceroy, the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker, the Governors-General of Canada, of the Commonwealth of Australia, and of India, the High Commissioner of South Africa, with power of co-optating other eminent and suitable persons.
I may say that I am less anxious about the exact composition of this body than about its creation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Some hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway do not seem to appreciate that this is a perfectly serious proposal, which, I think, I may say is perfectly worthy of their attention. Allowing that there is such a body, it should be composed of the best elements to be found in the country, I confess that this question 98 of its exact composition is of far less importance than the question of its powers. Such a body would meet two points urged for on this side of the House and from the other side of the House. On our side—if I say only one word on the Referendum once more, I do not think I shall be out of order—if there is to be a Referendum, it is obvious there must be some Tribunal that shall decide which Bills shall or shall not be referred to it. Therefore, as that forms part of our proposal in regard to this Bill, there is a necessity for some Tribunal determining it. I submit, a Tribunal of this kind would be a very effective one for the purpose. It meets the point, too, urged by hon. Members on the other side. They say that when our party is in power you have practically Single-Chamber Government, because the two Houses agree. That point is met by this Clause, because it provides for this Committee's reservation to act not only when the two Houses differ, but even when they agree. I know hon. Members opposite feel some alarm at the prospect of some possible legislation in the future; for instance, some legislation perhaps of compulsory service passing both Houses against their wish. That would not be a finance measure, but even in a new and reformed House of Lords they might have some finance measure that they strongly object to, and yet it would have no chance of being submitted to the people. This provision would be effectual in a case of that kind. Even where the two Houses agree the Committee would have the power, if they thought a measure was being rushed on the country, to suspend its operation until the wishes of the people had been made to prevail either by the Referendum or by a subsequent election.
Now and then the Government are in this position that they are obliged to legislate upon something which did not come before the electors at the previous General Election. That may be the case with all Governments. Circumstances arise or measures come into prominence not foreseen, or which may not have been recognised at the General Election. Hon. Members are always drawing our attention to the Education Act of 1902. It is true that that was not prominently before the electors of 1900, but the complete collapse of the educational machinery in 1901 made it absolutely essential that an Education Bill should be brought forward and on whatever lines such a measure might have been brought forward it was bound to be 99 objected to, and it was open to the objection that it had not come before the electors at the General Election. What happened in that case may happen to any other Governments in the future? They may be under the absolute necessity to legislate for something that has not come before the electors. If there was a strong feeling against it, even if the House agreed to it it would be open to its opponents to say we have our remedy under this proposal. There is a chance of this thing being reserved by the Committee of State if there is any good ground for believing that the people do not want it, and Governments will escape the chance of having these things thrown in their faces. Although I suppose I have been sometimes guilty of partisan proposals and making partisan speeches, I do not put this forward in any partisan spirit. I am alone responsible for this proposal; no partisan Committee has elaborated it, and I am not quite satisfied that all my friends will agree with this proposal. If you have a Tribunal like this it will operate perfectly fairly as between both parties of the State, and no legislation will be forced upon the people if there is good reason to believe the people do not want it.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Member has made a carefully reasoned speech, and has succeeded in preserving an expression of unbroken gravity throughout the whole of that speech. I have done my very best indeed to look at this Amendment as if it were really a serious proposition which a Committee of the House of Commons ought to take into its consideration at this stage of this important Bill, and with every wish and desire to treat any reasonable proposal with attention and respect and with every desire to keep myself out of the clutches of the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford (Lord Hugh Cecil), I am bound to say I do not feel able, as far as I am concerned and as far as the Government are concerned, to regard this proposal as one which could usefully be incorporated upon the Bill.
Let me in a sentence or two state what the proposal is. It is a proposal to set up a Committeee of State consisting of lawyers and pro-Consuls and persons holding great judicial offices, and these persons, although holding these judicial offices, are to be made the great deciding authorities in great controversial party struggles in this country. Whether that would improve 100 the position or the judicial character of our great legal appointments is open to question. The rest of the Committee is to be composed of pro-Consuls who have laid down their office, and this body, as brought together, will have to take upon itself the powers of deciding controversies which disturb our domestic life in the United Kingdom. What are to be the grounds of their decision? They are to give judicial decisions having regard to three main sets of circumstances or considerations. They have got to decide whether a question has been sufficiently discussed in Parliament. How are they to decide that on purely judicial lines? We differ so much as to what is sufficient discussion, and even as to what is discussion. They have then to decide whether a measure was sufficiently before the minds of the electors at the last election. Great as is the eminence of our judicial authorities, long and varied as has been the experience of our Imperial pro-Consuls, I fancy they will find it very difficult indeed even to formulate a data to guide them to a decision as to whether or not a particular matter was sufficiently before the mind of the electors at the previous election.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, we act in the representative capacity and within the limits assigned to representative action. They have also to consider whether any matters have arisen since the election which increase the gravity of the consequences of the measure becoming law. This also is a very difficult matter to settle by an assembly, even though some very distinguished Members are included in it.
What are the measures on which this party is going to give a decision? They are Finance Bills. The Budgets of the year and other finance measures, and therefore, pending the decision of these authorities, the Budget of the year, absolutely necessary to provide for the finances of the country voted by the elected representatives of the people, with all their responsibilities, for the purpose of imposing taxation, is to be held up whenever this Committee, which, as far as I can make out, has not a single Member of Parliament on it except Mr. Speaker, comes to the conclusion that either of these three perfectly vague and indefinite conditions are present. The hon. Gentleman proposed the Referendum, but he says he is willing 101 to substitute for that a General Election. So that our ordinary finances, having been submitted to this Committee of State upstairs, is liable to be held over to the next General Election. If you assume Parliament to run its normal limits, it is quite certain we should have two or three Budgets moving at given distances in front of us, with no means of converting any of them into an Act until the General Election came to our aid. I do not wish to use any expression which would make it appear that the Government is not grateful for the attention the hon. Gentleman has given us, or that we have not listened with interest and pleasure to his proposal, but it is not a proposal to which a Committee of the House of Commons can at present be asked to accept, though it might well engage the careful attention of the professors of the University of Lapula.
§ Viscount MORPETH
My hon. Friend has brought his genius of mind to bear in this constitutional problem. (Laughter.) It is all very well for hon. Members opposite to laugh, but they have not got to face these problems. Up to now we have lived under a known Constitution, which has existed for centuries. Now, at the dictation of Irish Nationalists, we are going to construct a new Constitution, without any of the checks and balances known to the past. Hon. Members opposite will find they will have to turn their attention more and more to these devices, by which the Constitution will be made to work in the future, and they may find it then quite impossible to laugh at the scheme brought forward. The Home Secretary who professed to maintain his gravity really thought this matter quite humorous. My hon. Friend is not the only person who put such a scheme as this forward. A very eminent gentleman who has written and done more for the Liberal party than many Members opposite, Mr. Frederick Harrison, put forward a scheme extraordinarily like that of my hon. Friend's. He said we must find a check somewhere. There must be somebody to exercise control and to prevent a Single Chamber acting at random and laxly, and he proposed to call in a Committee of the Privy Council selected from the Privy Council, but excluding all Members of the House of Commons.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite really take so light a view of these important things that a proposal put forward by so very eminent a Liberal as Mr. Frederick Harrison excites their derision. He suggested quite seriously that an exercise of veto somewhere 102 will be found to be necessary. There is even a stronger case. I ask pardon for going back so long a time as the 17th Century, when the Constitution was torn up as it is now going to be torn up. The House of Lords was abolished, and as the result of its destruction anarchy and chaos took the place of ordinary Government. What was the inevitable result? The first result was the Restoration, but before that what happened? Having tried Single Chamber Government, and having found it did not answer, there was a serious proposal made that a Committee or body called Conservators of Liberty, should be elected to keep the House of Commons in check, and to preserve the liberties of the English subjects against a Single Chamber. My hon. Friend may very well have chosen that ancient name of this Committee, and have called his body the Conservators' Committee. I think my hon. Friend's proposal is quite serious, not that I support it myself.
It only shows that, having made a void, when you try to fill it you will really find the gravest effects. You are interfering with the natural and proper play of the Constitution which now exists in two Chambers, both having power, and both appealing to the country for support. If you make one Chamber omnipotent you remove all those checks and balances which we have found in the past to be absolutely necessary. It was said on a previous Amendment that the Veto of the Crown would follow the Veto of the Lords. That is incorrect, because the Veto of the Crown is constitutionally supposed to be obsolete. What will happen if you sweep away all these checks? It is far more likely than not that the Veto of the Crown would be revived, because it is sure to be found in the working of the Constitution that some other Chamber or some Committee will have to have a Veto in order to pre serve the necessary balance. If you sweep away the Veto which exists within the walls of Parliament you will have to sub stitute something like the Presidential Veto which exists in America and in other republics. I think you are likely in the future to see the Veto of the Crown re established as the only way of defending the constitutional liberties of this country. Although I do not agree with the whole of my hon. Friend's proposals, I feel sure you will be compelled by the illogical course which the Government is taking to invent some machinery to take the place of that which you are destroying at the present time.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I think it is most unfortunate that the Government take an absolutely non possumus attitude upon every Amendment which is brought forward. This proposal has been moved in no controversial or party spirit, and although the Home Secretary admitted this he refuses to accept it, and regards it as not being a serious proposal. In what sense is this Amendment not serious? Let us look at the position we are in. We are setting up as regards Finance absolute Single Chamber Government. My hon. Friend proposes that in the case of special Finance Bills there should be some power to reserve them, and either compel a dissolution or have a Referendum. What is there which is not serious in that proposition? I think it is a plain, practical proposal, when you remember that there is no other country in the world where you have a Second Chamber with no power over finance, except Greece. Is there any country in the world where a Finance Bill, having passed through the First Chamber, becomes law at once? Surely it is not unreasonable to suggest that in exceptional circumstances there should be some power of reserving the Bill. The matter would be quite simple if we knew what a Finance Bill really is, Under this Bill we have not the slightest idea what a Finance Bill is, because, in the form of a Finance Bill, you could do almost anything. You might nationalise all the land in the country under the guise of a Finance Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] An hon. Member opposite says "Hear, hear," but does he seriously think that a great change of that sort should be carried through in a Finance Bill? That could be done under this Bill if it remains un amended. Under this measure you could disendow the Church under the guise of a Finance Bill. Under this Bill hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies would have no need to ask for a separate Disestablishment and Disendowment Bill, because that could be achieved in the form of a Finance Bill. In this way you could take away every penny of endowment from the Church, and you could confiscate the whole rent of land and houses in this country in that way—
§ The CHAIRMAN
What the hon. Member is saying would be more appropriate when we reach Sub-section (2).
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
When a Finance Bill that can be construed so 104 widely as that, I think there ought to be power to reserve such measures under special circumstances for some other tribunal to decide whether they should go forward or not. I now come to the conditions under which my hon. Friend suggests these Bills ought to be reserved. The first one is the case of a Finance Bill which has not been sufficiently discussed in this House. The Home Secretary poured ridicule upon that suggestion as if Finance Bills had always been sufficiently discussed in this House. Does the Prime Minister think that the Finance Bill left over from last year was sufficiently discussed? Why it was guillotined through after an all night sitting, and half the Amendments on the Paper were never discussed at all. The second condition laid down by my hon. Friend was that of a measure not having been sufficiently discussed in the country. That is a very important point. One of the chief arguments of this Bill which has been repeated over and over again is that the Parliament, after a certain number of years, loses its mandate, and that in the past measures have been passed with no mandate from the country. That was laid down in regard to the Education Act of 1902. Do hon. Members opposite want a repetition of that state of things? If they do they are perfectly right in resisting this Amendment, or any other Amendment which limits the absolute power of the House of Lords in relation to Finance Bills or any other measures. If hon. Members wish to have some safeguard that the wishes of the people shall be consulted then they should support this Amendment. The Homo Secretary, in the course of his reply, repudiated this proposal altogether, because he said that in practice it would prevent Governments carrying through their Budgets. The right hon. Gentleman stated that when a General Election came we might find three Budgets hung up, and the whole of the financial arrangements of the country upset. To put that interpretation upon the proposal of my hon. Friend is using an argument which will not bear investigation. My hon. Friend does not propose that every Finance Bill should be hung up, he only suggests that those financial measures which the Special Committee think ought to be hung up should be so dealt with. If the Government choose to bring in ordinary Finance Bills and not measures like those of two years ago there is no fear of them being hung up by this Special Committee. I think this Amendment is worthy of the consideration of the 105 Committee, and if my hon. Friend presses it to a division I shall support him.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I congratulate the Home Secretary on the answer he has given to this Amendment. I do not think his reply is good, but it is a great deal better in parts than some of his other replies have been. I wish the Front Bench would allow the acceptance even of some verbal alterations in this immaculate Bill. The Home Secretary told us that in the case of the Shops Bill he had altered it three times after receiving 120 deputations because he got new information. I think he has received a great deal of in formation from these benches, and yet he and his colleagues remain perfectly still—
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I was trying to show what an important alteration might be made if the Government would only accept this proposal. It seems to me that in the course of this Debate the Government are really shirking a difficulty which must come in the near future, and that is the question of what is to be substituted for the arbitrament of Mr. Speaker, which I know is raised in another Clause. Be it noted that the Privy Council is to be thrown aside under a previous Amendment, and now the Home Secretary re fuses to accept this Committee of State which has been proposed by my hon. Friend. Very shortly the Government will have to decide whether they are going to make any alteration in the proposal that Money Bills should be left to the sole arbitrament of Mr. Speaker. I think this might be done now just as well as later on when we reach Sub-section (2). Lord Crewe, speaking in November last, is re ported to have said that that proposal is not binding if some other tribunal within Parliament can be found to take its place. Already two well-reasoned Amendments have been suggested—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is really discussing Sub-section (2). That is an important question, but the discussion of that Sub-section must be left until we reach it.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
It may be said that this Committee of State is not perhaps so important with regard to the Money Bills mentioned in Sub-section (1). We are constantly experiencing a difficultly as to 106 what is a Money Bill. We always have before us what I think I may describe as the threat which the right hon. Gentleman made three years ago at Manchester, when he referred to what he calls methods of "tacking" Bills for which there are many precedents. These are the questions which lie at the bottom of our difficulty in discussing this Sub-section. We want to find some check against arbitrary conduct on the part of this House in regard to Money Bills. It is because I feel that my hon. Friend has thought out and made a serious proposition that I shall support him.
Sir H. DALZIEL
I hope the country will take note of the character of the opposition which is being offered to this Bill. Hon. Gentlemen opposite profess to have confidence in the people, and say they can trust the people, and yet the last two Amendments proposed by them endeavour to set up something which will be antagonistic to the representatives of the people. They have deserted their friends in another place, and now they suggest, under the guise of a State Committee, something with no representative authority to deal with these matters. A more ridiculous suggestion was never put before the House of Commons. This State Committee is to be supreme over the elected assembly. This Committee, after six months has been spent over a Budget in the House of Commons, are to be able to destroy in two days the work done by the representatives of the people. The hon. Member suggests that upon this State Committee the quorum should be three. Who might be the three? They might be an ex-Viceroy of India, an ex-Governor-General of Canada, and an ex-Governor of Australia. Those men having vacated their office are to have the power in a single hour to veto all the work of the representatives of the people. I think it is time the Government put an end to this exhibition of bankruptcy of argument and made speedier progress.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The hon. Member says this Amendment is inconsistent with the doctrine advocated on this side of the House, that the people ought to decide these matters. If he read the Clause, he would see it says:—The Committee of State shall as soon as may be take into consideration any Bill, if so desired by not less than one hundred Members of either House of Parliament, within one week from the date of its passing both Houses of Parliament, 107 or of its passing the House of Commons for the third (or in the case of a Money Bill the first) time, and if upon consideration they are of opinion that the Bill was insufficiently discussed in Parliament, or was insufficiently before the minds of the electors at the last preceding general election, or that circumstances have arisen since such election which would increase the gravity of the consequences of its becoming law, they may reserve the Bill for the judgment of the electors.And so on. Whatever else may be said about that, it certainly does not show any disregard of the popular voice. Its object is to reserve it for the decision of the people.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I do not want to go over old controversial ground, but I should violently deny that the House of Commons was representative of the people. I find it difficult enough to believe anyone in their hearts can really think so. Perhaps I may be allowed to say that my hon. Friend has had this Amendment for a long time in his mind. He was kind enough to submit it to me as long ago as last January, and I ventured to say I thought it a very able suggestion, but so considerable an innovation that it was unlikely to be adopted, and I think I say very much the same now as I said to him then in private, though it certainly does not deserve the treatment it received from the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs (Sir Henry Dalziel). It is intended, with perfect sincerity, to be a contribution to this discussion. It is very much easier to find difficulties in the way of positive proposals than to justify the Bill as it stands. There is an immense danger in trusting a House of Commons, by a majority of one, to exercise whole power over finance without any appeal at all, and that is what hon. Gentlemen opposite have to justify. They reject this and that proposal, but they never address themselves to the task of showing how it can be safe to trust an assembly, which is under all the influences we discussed the other day, and which is elected for a number of years, and may get quite out of touch with the people outside, by a majority of one under the guillotine, to exercise full control over the whole fabric of finance in this country. If we are coming to laughing things out of court, that seems to me to deserve to be 108 laughed out of court much more than the proposal of my hon. Friend. A Council of State—my hon. Friend calls it a committee—is, of course, a French institution. It follows a famous institution in France which plays a considerable part in the Constitution of France. It is not an idea familiar to us, but, when we are departing from the old Constitution of the country under which there was the security of two Houses with equal, co-ordinate powers, and when we are embarking on a new Constitution, it is only reasonable we should consider, and in some cases adopt, the institutions of other countries. Therefore, though I see great faults in my hon. Friend's proposal, I shall vote for it as being better than the Bill.
§ Mr. GUINNESS
The Opposition of the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs to this proposal causes us no surprise, because he has been quite consistent all through as an advocate of a Single-Chamber System. This proposal has been brought forward by my hon. Friend to meet the difficulties of an uncontrolled House of Commons, and to secure to the popular assembly a greater amount of power whilst at the same time preventing them from going beyond the mandate of the country. We are not appealing to hon. Members holding the opinions of the only spokesman on the back benches opposite, but to the supporters of the Bill to show they really do intend to have a Second-Chamber System, and when they talk about reforming the House of Lords, they are not doing mere lip service to a principle they never intend to adopt. The Home Secretary in his refusal to consider this matter shows a good deal of short-sightedness. He seems to think the Radical party are always going to sit on that side of the House. He does not seem to realise the day may quite easily come when they may be in Opposition and find it just as necessary to have some check on the uncontrolled power of the House of Commons in finance as we do at the present time. As far as I can see, the Education Act of 1902 might certainly have come under Clause 1. It would have been a Money Bill.
§ Mr. GUINNESS
I will not deal with the Education Act, but I thought it was a Money Act. It is quite possible many Bills may be brought forward by the party 109 opposed to hon. Members opposite in regard to which they will feel and argue it is quite right, if you take away the powers of the Second Chamber, that you should have somebody in the country who will be in a position to see these financial powers are not flagrantly abused. The Home Secretary seemed to forget it was not proposed to set up anything that would take the place of the Second Chamber, but only a Judicial Committee which would only Le empowered to act on three very distinct grounds. I think it a great pity hon. Members opposite always take the party view and never seem able to rise to considerations of general expediency. They never seem to imagine difficulties may
§ arise on all sides in the future. We are not bringing these proposals forward in the interests of a particular party but to prevent the danger, which a Single-Chamber System would allow, of measures being put forward without any support in the country whatever.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 253; Noes, 180.113
|Division No. 128.]||AYES.||[7.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Dickinson, W. H.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Doris, William||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Duffy, William J.||Keating, Matthew|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Alden, Percy||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Kilbride, Denis|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Elverston, Harold||Lawson, Sir W.(Cumb'rlnd., Cockerm'th)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Essex, Richard Walter||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Logan John William|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Falconer, James||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Barnes, George N.||Farrell, James Patrick||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Ffrench, Peter||Lundon, Thomas|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Field, William||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Barton, William||Furness, Stephen||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Gibson, Sir James Puckering||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Benn, W. (T. Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Gill, Alfred Henry||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Bentham, George J.||Ginnell, Laurence||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Callum, John M.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Goldstone, Frank||M'Kean, John|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Boland, John Pius||Hackett, John||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Marks, George Croydon|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hancock, John George||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Brace, William||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Meagher, Michael|
|Brigg, Sir John||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Bryce, John Annan||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Middlebrook, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Molloy, Michael|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, John J.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hayward, Evan||Morgan, George Hay|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Helme, Norval Watson||Morrell, Philip|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Muldoon, John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Munro, Robert|
|Clough, William||Higham, John Sharp||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hinds, John||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hodge, John||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster).|
|Cotton, William Francis||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hudson, Walter||Norton, Captain Cecil William|
|Crooks, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Johnson, William||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Ogden, Fred|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Grady, James|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|O'Malley, William||Roberts, George (Norwich)||Toulmin, George|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Almagh, S.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Robinson, Sidney||Verney, Sir H.|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Wardle, G. J.|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Rowlands, James||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Pikersgill, Edward Hare||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Webb, H.|
|Pointer, Joseph||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Sheehy, David||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Wiles, Thomas|
|Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clithero)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Snowden, Philip||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Rainy, Adam Rolland||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Reddy, Michael||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Richards, Thomas||Tennant, Harold John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Moore, William|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Foster, Philip Staveley||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gardner, Ernest||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Aster, Waldorf||Gibbs, George Abraham||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Goldsmith, Frank||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gordon, John||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Grant, James Augustus||Newman, John R. P.|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. Guy Victor||Greene, Walter Raymond||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Barnston, Harry||Gretton, John||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Nield, Herbert|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hardy, Laurence (Kent. Ashford)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bird, Alfred||Harris, Henry Percy||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Boyton, James||Hills, John Waller||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hohler, Gerald, Fitzroy||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Butcher, John George (York)||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Horner, Andrew Long||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Campion, W. R.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cassel, Felix||Ingleby, Holcombe||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Cator, John||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Kerry, Earl of||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Chambers, James||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Larmor, Sir J.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Clyde, James Avon||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lewisham, Viscount||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Spear, John Ward|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Stanier, Beville|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey (Boston)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Wor., Droitwich)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Stewart, Gershom|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Fell, Arthur||Macmaster, Donald||Swift, Rigby|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||M'Mordie, Robert||Sykes, Alan John|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Magnus, Sir Philip||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Fisher, William Heyes||Malcolm, Ian||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Thynne, Lord Alexander||Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wood, John Stalybridge|
|Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Touche, George Alexander||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Yate, Col. C. E. (Leics., Melton)|
|Tullibardine, Marquess of||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Winterton, Earl|
|Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount Valentia and Mr. Forster.|
|Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."114
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 180; Noes, 252.115
|Division No. 129.]||AYES.||[7.45 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Grant, James Augustus||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Greene, Walter Raymond||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gretton, John||Peel, Hon. William R. W. (Taunton)|
|Ashley, Wilfred W.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Astor, Waldorf||Haddock, George Bahr||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Quitter, William Eley C.|
|Baring, Captain Hon. Guy Victor||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barnston, Harry||Harris, Henry Percy||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Hope, J. Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Royds, Edmund|
|Bigland, Alfred||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Bird, Alfred||Horner, Andrew Long||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Salter, Arthur Claveil|
|Boyton, James||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bull, Sir William James||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Kerry, Earl of||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Butcher, John George (York)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Campion, W. R.||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Spear, John Ward|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Stanler, Beville|
|Cassel, Felix||Lane-Fox, G. R||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Larmor, Sir J.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cator, John||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cave, George||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lewisham, Viscount||Swift, Rigby|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Chambers, James||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Mackinder, Halford J.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Macmaster, Donald||Touche, George Alexander|
|Craik, Sir Henry||M'Mordie, Robert||Tullibardine, Marquess|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Magnus, Sir Philip||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Malcolm, Ian||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey (Boston)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Moore, William||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Morpeth, Viscount||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Fell, Arthur||Morrison-Bell, E. F. (Ashburton)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Mount, William Arthur||Winterton, Earl|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Newdegate, F. A.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Forster, Henry William||Nield, Herbert||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Colonel|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Griffith-Boscawen and Mr. Walter Guinness.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Alden, Percy||Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Barnes, George N.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Ashton, Thomas Gair||Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Hayward, Evan||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Barton, William||Helme, Norval Watson||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Benn, W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Higham, John Sharp||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hinds, John||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Boland, John Plus||Hodge, John||Pointer, Joseph|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Brace, William||Hudson, Walter||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Johnson, William||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Bryce, John Annan||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|Barns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Rea, Waiter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Reddy, Michael|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Jowett, Frederick William||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Keating, Matthew||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Richards, Thomas|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Kilbride, Denis||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, George (Devon, Molton)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Clough, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rl'nd, Cockerm'th)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Robinson, Sydney|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lewis, John Herbert||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Logan John William||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Lundon, Thomas||Rowlands, James|
|Crooks, William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehy, David|
|Dawes, James Arthur||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire)||M'Callum, John M.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clithere)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||M'Kean, John||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Doris, William||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Snowden, Philip|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Marks, George Croydon||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Meagher, Michael||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Taylor, John W, (Durham)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's County)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Elverston, Harold||Menzies, Sir Walter||Tennant, Harold John|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Middlebrook, William||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Molloy, Michael||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Moiteno, Percy Alport||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Falconer, James||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Toulmin, George|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Ffrench, Peter||Mooney, John J.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Field, William||Morgan, George Hay||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morrell, Philip||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Furness, Stephen||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Gibson, Sir James Puckering||Muldoon, John||Wardle, George J.|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Munro, Robert||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Goldstone, Frank||Needham, Christopher T.||Webb, H.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Hackett, John||Nolan, Joseph||Whyte, A. F.|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Norman, Sir Henry||Wiles, Thomas|
|Hancock, John George||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Doherty, Philip||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Donnen, Thomas||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Ogden, Fred||Wilson, W. T. Westhoughton)|
|Harvey, W. E (Derbyshire, N. E.)||O'Grady, James||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Malley, William|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
I had proposed to call on an Amendment providing for the expiration of not less than one week between 116 the failure of the House of Lords to pass a Bill and its presentation for Royal Assent, but I notice the hon. Member who had 117 given notice of it is not in his place. I would like to say, in reference to this point, that, after the discussion we have had, the only question is as to the amount of breathing space which should be allowed.
§ Mr. REMNANT
moved, in Sub-section (1) after the words, "the Bill shall" to insert the words "after the expiration of not less than seven days" ["unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary."]
I hope the substitution of this Amendment for the one fixing the period of twenty-one days—which stands in my name on the paper, will be accepted as showing that I am anxious not to throw any obstacle in the way of the Government's acceptance of an Amendment. There is real substance in this Amendment, and there is no desire to unduly press the Government. But it has been the reasonable and universal practice in this House to allow a breathing space for the passing of a measure between the two Houses, and it seems to me on every ground desirable that when dealing with the passage of Bills under the circumstances proposed by the Government, it should be made clear that it is not proposed to subject the Houses of Parliament to unreasonable treatment. I may perhaps be allowed to remind the Committee that when the subject was first introduced to the House in 1907 the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman particularly called attention to the intention of the Government to afford means of deliberation and of discussion and conference between the two Houses, and if I may recall the statement of the late Prime Minister it was to the following effect that if there was still a difference between the two Houses a Conference was to be summoned.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
Was that in regard to a Money Bill—not only in regard to other measures, but a Money Bill?
§ Mr. REMNANT
My belief is that it was in reference to a Money Bill, and it was a Bill of that character to which he directed attention. He said that after the Bill had been rejected by the other House, even after the third time, there would be an opportunity.
§ Mr. REMNANT
If the Solicitor-General says I am wrong I will not refer to it again. 118 That is what I am told, but I have not referred to it during the last few days, as I did not know that this Amendment would be reached in the time, but there is no doubt that he had in his mind that even after a subsequent rejection of a Money Bill a Conference should take place between the two Houses to see whether they could not agree upon the Bill. If this Clause is allowed to pass as it stands today there will be no opportunity at all after the one month of introducing any Amendment into the Bill. After a financial measure is passed not only drafting amendments, but other amendments which have been agreed to on all sides as being useful amendments to the Bill will not be allowed to be introduced. In regard to the Finance Bill of 1908, the Postmaster-General himself admitted that many Amendments made in the other House were amendments which made the Bill which he was looking after much more workable than it would otherwise have been. I do not want to argue at any length upon this Amendment, because it is one that speaks for itself and without attempting to gain any party advantage out of it, and as it is one which can be entertained by the Government without altering the effect of their Bill in any way, I think they might, with advantage, grant this concession. The object is merely to make a short interval after the month allowed to the Upper House, before the Bill goes up to the Crown for ratification, and although I had fixed upon three weeks, after what the Chairman said just now I gladly accept the alteration to one week, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman who is in charge of the Bill will go out of the way to make at all events one concession in the form of the Amendment which I now submit to the House.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
I think I am correct in assuming that the words to which the hon. Member has referred and which he quoted as being uttered by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had only reference to measures other than Money Bills. I think if the hon. Member will look at the context my impression will be found to be correct. I am sorry, perhaps, that I am not able to accept this particular Amendment because the Government do not see why they should depart more than is necessary from the settled procedure in connection with the Finance Bill. I think without going over the ground which the Prime Minister covered when he spoke on a previous Amendment I might give one 119 illustration which will satisfy the hon. Member that these proposals will be an innovation which will not work to the advantage of this House. Controversial Money Bills no doubt every Government will try in the future to pass through all their stages a month before the end of the financial year or before the end of a Session. But in regard to other Money Bills it is always a convenience to this House to run them up almost to the last moment. If I take the Consolidated Fund Bill in this House I think we ran it to the 30th of March before we were able to secure the assent of this House to that measure. The Appropriation Bill at the end of every Session is what we regard as an uncontroversial Bill and a Bill which the Lords would in the ordinary course assent to, and in regard to other Money Bills of that kind which are run through the House of Commons in a week at the end of the Session it would be a great inconvenience to the House and there is no necessity for giving a certain time to the House of Commons to take action in regard to Money Bills under the provisions of this Bill. The Government of the day can always find opportunity, as the Prime Minister said, for a Motion which is a censure upon the Government, and they can also if necessity arose find time for a proposal of their own, even if they are not going to ask the House of Commons to direct to the contrary in regard to the Royal Assent being given. There is no reason whatever to depart from the procedure which has hitherto existed, and which has worked well between this House and the other in regard to most of the Financial Bills. For these reasons we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I really do not think the right hon. Gentleman has dealt quite sufficiently with this matter, because a very moderate proposal is really necessary in order that the Government may carry out even their own Clause. This is what the Bill says: That the Bill shall "unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary be presented to His Majesty." The House of Commons must have an opportunity of directing to the contrary. Supposing a Bill passes through the House of Lords, at the end of a week, according to this, an opportunity will have been given, but according to the Government there is to be no limit whatsoever, and there will be no opportunity for the House of Commons to direct to the contrary. Even under the Government's own 120 words it is laid down that the House of Commons should really have an opportunity of considering, in view of the disagreement with the House of Lords, whether it was not advisable to reconsider the matter altogether. Seven days is the very least you can allow when you are dealing with a matter of this importance. It is not as if you are dealing with ordinary routine Bills. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the Appropriation Bill, but we know that it is the most improbable thing in the world that the House of Lords will, in connection with that Bill, come under this Clause. It can only be in connection with the custom which I believe this Government introduced for the first time in our memory by introducing things into the Appropriation Bill which had nothing to do whatsoever with things which had gone before.
We had that experience in 1906 when new matter was introduced into the Appropriation Bill. In the event of such a thing as that it might become necessary to review Appropriation Bills at a much greater length than they usually are reviewed, but anybody knows that Appropriation Bills are not likely to be Bills which fall under the liability of this Clause, and with reference to those highly controversial Bills surely no one can deny that if there is to be any consideration at all—if this House is even in the opinion of the Government to have the opportunity of directing to the contrary it must have a stated time in order to do that, and seven days is the very least which we can ask for. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has dealt with the matter. It is not a large point, but it is a necessary one in the machinery of their own Bill, and it should be put in clearly what this House means in connection with this matter of giving the House an opportunity. The Government themselves desire to give some sort of reconsideration to the matter after the House of Lords has rejected the measure. I would say with regard to the right hon. Gentleman's remarks upon the quotation made by the hon. Gentleman below me, I do not think there was any limitation of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's words when he made use of this language. I think his words were general and there was no exception on account of Money Bills, and he again and again emphasised the fact that up to the last moment conference was desirable. Therefore, even upon our Resolutions upon which this Bill was founded, there was laid down, as far as it can be laid down, 121 on the part of the originator of the scheme that up to the very last moment the country should be saved from this very new measure of passing a Bill without the assent of two of the estates of the realm. In view of that I hope the right hon. Gentleman may reconsider the matter and accept this Amendment which, after all, is a very small affair.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
I would also join in the appeal of my hon. Friend behind me to the Government to reconsider this matter. May I put it very shortly indeed by reading three lines from the Sub-section. It provides that: "If a Money Bill is not passed by the House of Lords without Amendment within one month after it is so sent up to that House the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons directs to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty and become an Act of Parliament." That evidently contemplates that the House of Commons should have an opportunity of directing to the contrary. Do the Government contemplate that this House should give its directions in advance before the contingency on which the Bill is going up to the other House has occurred. That contingency is a period of one month expiring, and what the Government propose by the Bill is that, if at the end of the month when the event has happened, if it has not been passed it must be presented to His Majesty for his assent unless the House of Commons otherwise directs. You must, under the circumstances, give time to the House of Commons to exercise the power which you propose to confer upon them.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
In answer to the hon. and learned Gentleman I would point out that it might conceivably happen that if the House of Lords reject the Bill at the beginning of the month, which is allowed for its discussion, as may very often happen, the House of Commons, if it wishes to direct the contrary, may direct immediately afterwards, or it may express its agreement with the House of Lords. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent that, and it is a very possible procedure. Then the hon. and learned Gentleman would say, supposing the decision of the House of Lords were, as it might, properly be postponed to the very end of the month. When a month has elapsed and on the last day the House of Lords has not assented to the Bill, then the right hon. Gentleman says according to our proposal 122 the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty. He assumes that that means that the Bill shall immediately, there and then, be presented to His Majesty. That is not so. There is no need to present the Bill for the Royal Assent until the Commission for giving the Assent to Bills is ready to issue, and it is on the advice of the Government of the day that the Commission is drawn up and the date when the Royal Assent is given to Bills by the Commission in the House of Lords is in practice fixed by the Government of the day. If the House of Commons desires to have an opportunity of directing to the contrary, nothing is simpler than to postpone the necessary period of the issue of the Commission for giving the Royal Assent. We have discussed the question whether any Member of the House of Commons should have the right of making a motion to direct to the contrary and whether time should necessarily be given, and it was understood that it need not necessarily be given, but if it were known that the House of Commons did desire a day—if the Opposition put down a Motion to direct to the contrary and the Government were willing to give time to discuss it—nothing would be simpler than to postpone the Commission giving the Royal Assent and the presentation of the Bill for the Royal Assent until that opportunity had been given. If we put in a compulsory period of seven days which must in all circumstances be given, then in particular contingencies where it was necessary, for financial reasons, that the Act should pass quickly, and when there was no desire on the part of the House of Commons that there should be a direction to the contrary, the gravest inconvenience might arise.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
The Clause states that at the expiration of one month the Bill shall be presented to His Majesty. The right hon. Gentleman, I understand, suggests that the Government should not act upon that. They may at their pleasure postpone the presentation to His Majesty in order that the House of Commons may have an opportunity of signifying its pleasure to the contrary. I respectfully submit that that is not very regular. The Act of Parliament says it shall be done and it ought to be done.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
Surely the right way is to give a decent interval to enable the House of Commons to exercise this novel power.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The right hon. Gentleman's speech is a good example of the way in which the House of Commons is treated by the Government. What is the House of Commons? It is myself—it is the Government of the day. That is the way in which the subject is treated. Here is a very simple Amendment. It only applies to contentious Money Bills. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Pease) spoke of the matter as if it would compel an Appropriation Bill which is put off till the last moment to be sent up a month before the end of the Sesson. If the House of Lords passes it the Section does not apply at all, but if the House of Lords declines to pass it, which is only likely to occur with a contentious Bill, then at the end of the month, under the Act, automatically the Bill shall be presented to the Crown. That therefore does not apply to uncontroversial measures like the Appropriation Bill. All the Amendment asks is that when the House of Lords has differed from the House of Commons on this contentious Money Bill instead of the Bill being automatically presented to the Crown, there shall be an interval of seven days. That has been translated in this way—first, with the approval of the Law Officers I gather, that "shall" in this Section means "shall" at the discretion of the Government as to time, and that it does not mean, as I submit it does, that it is a directory Clause meaning that the person charged with the duty shall do it with all reasonable convenience as to time.
The suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman is that "shall" does not mean immediately, and that the Government if they choose may keep it back for a year or any other time they think right. As it stands "shall" means you shall do it with all convenient speed, and what we are asking for here is seven days in which to give the House of Commons time to consider the matter. The right hon. Gentleman says the Government can, if they choose, keep it back for a fortnight, and give an opportunity to the House of Commons, but they equally need not. I think even if our Front Bench got back at some future date, if such a thing were possible, to the Government side of the House, they are not very likely to exercise these powers with much more mercy than the present 124 occupants of the Front Bench. Things of this kind grow very rapidly.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
When I am only asking for a small thing like this I am entitled to ask whether we on the back benches have any reason to trust them when we simply ask for seven days in which the House of Commons shall have time to consider this very important point. Are we to leave entirely to the discretion of the Government whether or not they shall send up that Bill to the Crown at once, as they certainly would have power to do under this Bill?
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Surely this is a reasonable and a very small request to make whether upon an important constitutional fight, as it necessarily will be, we are to give to the Government of the day the sole discretion as to whether they shall send the Bill up to the Crown. The words "unless the House of Commons otherwise directs" really means that we are to have that discretion. We can have it taken away from us by the action of the Government of the day in simply sending it up at once before we have time to call the attention of anyone to it by question or answer or by agitation in the country. If the Government mean to treat the House of Commons fairly in this matter there cannot be the slightest harm in saying they shall not send it up till after an interval of seven days, in which the House of Commons can take any steps it is entitled to take to protect its interests.
When I read the Amendment I thought the Government would accept it without any hesitation. Although I do not pretend to be an artist in discovering what an Act of Parliament means, at the same time in reading this, when I saw the word "shall," unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, I took it that the House of Commons would have an opportunity of directing to the contrary.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
On the point of Order I very respectfully submit that this point was not dealt with on the preceding 125 Amendment. What we are now upon is the question whether the period of seven days should be allowed to enable the House of Commons to exercise the power proposed to be conferred upon it. I do not think that either was or could be dealt with on the previous Amendment. I respectfully submit that it is in order to discuss the opportunity which the House of Commons is to have to give direction to the contrary.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I understand that the decision of the Committee on the previous Amendment was against anything in the nature of a Fourth Reading of a Bill, or the re-opening of discussion. The only question we have to consider on this Amendment is whether seven days are necessary in order to carry out the provision of the Clause.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
The Clause says, "Unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." The Amendment proposes to give seven days in order that the House of Commons may have the opportunity of directing to the contrary. How is that to be done unless there is a decent interval allowed after the expiration of the month?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That is exactly the question I have answered. The Debate on this Amendment must be limited to the question whether the period of seven days is necessary in order to carry out the provision of the Clause.
Of course, I bow to your ruling. If we back benchers are to obtain the opportunity for discussion it is only fair that the Government should meet us by accepting this Amendment. The argument used by the Postmaster-General seemed to me a very curious one. After all, a week is not a very long time. A Parliamentary week is a very short time indeed. It is only four days and a half, and surely if there is any sense in the wording of this Sub-section it would be only right that the Government should accept the Amendment. After all, they have not been very liberal in accepting Amendments, and we ask them to accept this one which would be for the safety of the conduct of the business of this House.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I should like to make a few observations in support of this Amendment, which seems to me a reasonable one. It is clearly not a controversial Amendment, and it is one which the Government might fairly consider. It does not infringe 126 the principle of the Bill. Let us consider how the Clause would work unless the Amendment is accepted. I take it that the day after the expiration of the month, and without any notice to Members of this House at all, Black Rod may appear here and summon the Speaker to the other place in order that a Bill may there receive the Royal Assent. I think no notice would be necessary. It might happen on the next day without any opportunity for Members of this House expressing their opinion. Under those circumstances, to say that this House had a fair opportunity of expressing its opinions to the contrary is absolutely not in accordance with fact. What is the reason the Government will not give seven days? After all, if the provision in this Clause is to apply, the Money Bill must be brought in before the end of the Session, and if it is brought in a month before the end of the Session it will only apply to large controversial measures. You have anyhow to bring in a measure of that kind before the end of the Session, and what harm can there be in giving the extra days? Surely, in the case of a Bill important enough in principle to make the House of Lords differ from this House, the extra seven days will not matter very much to the Government. It is a matter of very great importance that this House should have seven days to consider the matter. In the ease of big controversial measures thrown out by the House o£ Lords, surely it is not too much to ask the Government to give the House of Commons at least seven days in order that there may be an expression of opinion. This Bill itself says that they are to have the right to express their opinion. Surely that is a most moderate demand. If the Government say they are going to carry this Bill without the alteration of a word or a comma, they will reject this Amendment in the same way as any other. I would ask the Government to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages of accepting the Amendment. I submit that the extra seven days should not weigh in the scale when it is a question of giving this House the opportunity of expressing an opinion as against leaving the matter in the discretion of the Government.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I really think the Government are not sufficiently grateful to us for bringing forward this Amendment. We are endeavouring to make the Bill workable. It is a matter of very great importance to this House. Surely the Government should not object to a reasonable 127 Amendment which is intended to make their own Bill workable. The Bill provides that in certain circumstances if a Money Bill is not accepted in another place it shall, unless the House of Commons otherwise direct, be sent for the Royal Assent. What chance has the House of Commons of otherwise directing? The chances depend on the Postmaster-General's construction of the word "shall." I have always understood that the word "shall" in Acts of Parliament means that something is to be done at once, but "shall" according to the right hon. Gentleman, means the convenience of the Government after considering all the circumstances of the case, and after sounding the views of the House of Commons in the matter. I maintain that that is not the meaning of the word "shall" in relation to the words "unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." As soon as the House of Lords at the end of the month declined to pass a Bill it shall be presented for the Royal Assent. What is to interpose? The Postmaster-General produced another barrier in the way of a Bill becoming law, namely, the issue of a Royal Commission for the Royal Assent to be given to a Bill. Who is to know anything about the Royal Commission? The issue of the patent of a Royal Commission is not a matter known to the House of Commons. What do we know of the action of the Government in these recondite affairs of State? That is a matter for which the Government may ultimately be responsible when the matter comes to the public, but it is one of which we know nothing until it has taken place.
Therefore what happens? A month elapses. Either the House of Lords rejects the Bill or fails to pass it. Under the terms of the Act the Bill shall be presented for the Royal Assent. That is to say, the Government must issue a Commission, and must obtain the Royal Assent at the earliest possible moment; and what chance has the House of Commons then of exercising any discretion in the matter? Then we fall back on the argument of the Chancellor of the Duchy. He takes up the line, too often taken up I think most unbecomingly, on the Front Bench opposite, that is that the House of Lords will interpose every vexatious delay which it has never been known hitherto to do, in the passing of necessary financial measures. Has the House of Lords ever been known to delay an Appropriation Bill? Has it except twice in the last fifty or sixty years 128 been known to meddle with the Finance Bill—that is to say, meddle with the revenue and expenditure of the year? It is idle to bring up these arguments of possible inconvenience brought about by the action of a perverse obstinate House of Lords, which chooses to interpose them in the way of carrying on the work of the financial system of the year. The House of Lords has never been known to do that in the past, and there is no reason to suppose that it will ever do so in the future. Therefore, all these objections are really manufactured for the purpose of meeting reasonable Amendments such as are produced on this side of the House.
Is there anything likely to be lost by the delay of a week? We know from the experience of last year that it is a matter almost of indifference as to the time when a Finance Bill becomes law, and anyone who takes the trouble to look at Sub-section (2) of this Clause knows that the definition of a Money Bill may cause considerable difficulty, that the burden that is laid upon the Speaker, and the Speaker may have some difficulty in determining whether or not this Bill was a Bill which the House of Lords was entitled to consider. Suppose that the House of Lords holds, after the Speaker has delivered his decision that the Bill is a Bill which touches other than financial questions, is no importance to be attached to discussion by the House of Lords? The Prime Minister attached so much importance to it that he argued against an Amendment which would have deprived the House of Lords of all opportunity of considering Money Bills, and said that discussions in the House of Lords might be of great value. If they are of considerable value they may produce some effect upon the minds of the House of Commons. Is the House of Commons to have no locum penitentiœ in this matter? Suppose the Bill, which the Speaker, after much deliberation, has determined to be a Money Bill, has gone up to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords, after discussing the whole matter, has suggested Amendments or otherwise dealt with it in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Clause, is it to be impossible for the House of Commons to direct that a Bill shall not be immediately presented for the Royal Assent? It appears to me that the Government are putting very unnecessary difficulties in the way of the due carrying out of their own provisions under this first Clause, and I cannot help thinking that they would do well to accept Amendments 129 which are offered in no unfriendly spirit from this side of the House, which are practically necessary for the proper carrying out of their own provisions, and which can only be rejected on their side by such arguments as we have heard from the Chancellor of the Duchy and the Postmaster-General, which suggest that they mean to treat this Bill as a matter of verbal inspiration and pass it without any alteration.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
The Amendment under discussion is practically in the terms of an Amendment which I have put down. The object of my Amendment is to protect the House of Commons. It has nothing to do with the House of Lords at all. The Amendment to come into operation after the Bill has been returned from the House of Lords does not affect them at all. Without some interval of this kind being allowed to elapse, the Government, overruling the House of Commons and paying no attention to it, could get their Commission appointed. The Prime Minister pointed out that that is a matter for the Government. As soon as the Commission is appointed it is outside the power of this House or anyone else to prevent the Bill being at one presented for the Royal Assent, because no principle is more fully established as regards procedure than that, that if a Bill has passed all its stages and a Royal Commission has been appointed it cannot be held back. Nay, more than that, so far as a Money Bill is concerned—and it is with a Money Bill we are dealing—it has to be presented before any other Bill. It is bound to be presented first, and presented by Mr. Speaker, as representing this House. An ordinary Bill, as we know, when ready for the Royal Assent goes to the Clerk of Parliaments, but the Money Bill does not go to the Clerk of Parliaments at all. It goes to the Clerk of this House, and he presents it to Mr. Speaker in order that Mr. Speaker may ask for the Royal Assent; and in the old days, when that Assent was given by the King, it was customary for Mr. Speaker to make a speech addressed to His Majesty upon this occasion. What is the objection then to reserving this power against the Ministry of the time being? I do not care whether it is on one side of the House or the other. That is the whole question involved.
If you do not put in some limitation of this kind by which the matter can be brought to the attention of the House of Commons, the result is this, that the very 130 moment we reassemble, if a Government have provided for a Royal Commission in the other House, without any option at all Mr. Speaker will be bound to proceed to the other House and present the Bill for the Assent of the Sovereign. Is that the intention of the Government or not when they introduce these words, "Unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." I imagine that those words are introduced in order to give some power even at that stage to the House of Commons over a Money Bill. It has nothing to do with the House of Lords. It only affects the question whether the House of Commons are to keep the control which they intend to have under the Section or whether they can be superseded at any moment by the action of the Government itself. Take another illustration. Suppose the month ended during vacation time. What happens then if you have not some provision of this sort? I do not know whether it is suggested in this Bill that even during vacation time, so far as the House of Commons is concerned, you can get the Royal Assent. That does not appear. If the statutory provision here is to overrule the present procedure, it could be obtained in vacation time, even when the House of Commons was not sitting, and, so far as the statute is concerned, and I think there is great doubt whether the statute will not overrule the Order. But let us take it at the uttermost, let us assume that the present procedure still remains in force, namely, that no Government can keep any Bill nor can this House keep back any Bill from a Royal Commission, once it is appointed, which has passed through the necessary stages—I do not want to discuss matters of this kind at undue length. This is not a question as regards the House of Lords at all, but as regards procedure in the House of Commons itself; then without an Amendment of this kind, as the Prime Minister pointed out, you are taking away the possibility of the exercise of power which the House ought to have and putting it entirely into the absolute discretion of the Government of the time being. On those grounds I hoped that an Amendment of this kind might have been adopted because undoubtedly it improves the procedure and carries out what I believe to be the intention of the Government.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I should have thought, on the question which has been raised, that right hon. Gentlemen who are sitting on the Front Bench would have been disposed to give some answer, for it is a point of great importance. One of the greatest authorities on the procedure of this House lays down that a Bill cannot be legally withheld from the Royal Assent. The words which are used in Sir Erskine May's work are: "a Bill when it has been finally agreed to by both Houses." To my mind this Amendment which has been moved by my hon. Friend is necessary to the Bill, so that a measure may not be finally disposed of by both Houses until seven days have elapsed. It is perfectly plain that this House may be taken unaware, and the Royal Assent may be on us before we know exactly where we are. Therefore, unless this Amendment be accepted, a Bill may be presented at once for the Royal Assent, and the Government would not have the power to grant a delay, or to carry out the words of the Clause, "unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary." The question raised by this Amendment is one to which we are entitled to an answer from the Front Bench. The Chancellor of the Duchy has not alluded to the point at all.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
I said that I would not repeat the arguments already used by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, that it is in the power of the Government to delay the issue of a Commission.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The statement of the right hon. Gentleman certainly suggests that it rests, not with the House of Commons, but entirely with the Government, or entirely with the Prime Minister, if he is sufficiently autocratic, to delay the issue of the Commission. What is the House of Commons? Does it mean the people of this country, or does it mean the Prime Minister of the day? I should like to see this Amendment inserted in the Bill, for I think if seven days were included in the Clause there would be an opportunity for Members of this House being able to make some representations with respect to the Bill, which may have been rejected by the House of Lords. I do not know what rights are left to us in this House, and I am sorry to say that we have had no answer whatsoever on this very important question.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy I 132 think is mistaken as to what the Prime Minister said. I read his speech, and it is perfectly true that he referred to the Government having the power mentioned, but he never gave any reason for that statement. I think we should have some reason given why this power is said to rest with the Government. There is no question the Prime Minister told us this afternoon that, if the Leader of the Opposition makes a demand for the right to review a discussion in the House of Lords, of course it could be given, but I ask how it is possible that the right hon. Gentleman could give such an undertaking when there would be no opportunity for his doing so. I do not think the Government have answered that point. On what ground do they maintain that the Government have the right to delay the issue of the Commission, and on what ground do they pretend that the Prime Minister could carry out the undertaking he gave this afternoon?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The matter has been very carefully considered, and there is no doubt in the case at all. An hon. Member opposite seemed to think that the House will suddenly find Black Rod knocking, at the door and summoning us to hear the Commission read and Assent given to the Bill. Black Rod does not come of his own motion, nor of the motion of the House of Lords; he comes here by direction of the Commission. The Commission is issued by His Majesty, not of His own motion, but on the advice of His Ministers. After what I have said, it is perfectly clear—
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I think the right hon. Gentleman has said that the Government have the right to leave out some of the Bills.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
What I said was that the Government can delay the issue of a Commission, and, as a matter of fact, in every month of the year the issue of a Commission is delayed. The Royal Assent is not given to a Bill the day after it is passed. There is really no need for the Assent at once. The Bills to be sent to the House of Lords are allowed to accumulate, day after day, week after week, and sometimes months. There is no question of a Bill having to be presented for the Royal Assent immediately it has been passed, or of Black Rod knocking at the door of the House of Commons and disturbing them from their business to 133 hear the Royal Commission read and the Assent given. These Bills accumulate for months, until, in the opinion of His Majesty's advisers, the moment has come when it is convenient, in order to meet the Parliamentary necessities of the day, that the Royal Assent should be given to them by Commission. The Commission is then issued, and it is true that when it is issued it must include all the Bills, so I understand, up to that time to which the Royal Assent is due, having been passed by both Houses. There is no reason, however, unless the matter is one of extreme urgency, why the Royal Assent should be given at a moment which is inconvenient to the House of Commons. The issue of a Commission, therefore, rests entirely in the discretion of His Majesty's advisers, and His Majesty's advisers rest on the confidence of the House of Commons. If the Government, by violent measures, deprive the House of Commons of any opportunity which the majority of the House desires to exercise, they would, of course, be deserving of censure and would receive censure from the House of Commons.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The Prime Minister distinctly said that if the Leader of the Opposition asked for time it could be given, but how could he give the Leader of the Opposition an opportunity such as he asked if the Royal Assent were given to a Bill at once?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The Government would not so far depart from the ordinary practice as to suddenly issue a Royal Commission in order to deprive the Opposition of the day of the opportunity to submit a motion. They would no more then than now deny the Opposition of the day of an opportunity to move a motion of censure should they so desire. We must assume that the Government of the day would observe the ordinary Parliamentary obligations.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
There is the question of Bills which have to be passed by a certain date, such as the Army Annual Bill.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I was fully aware that Black Rod could not appear here without the Government having set things in Motion for him to appear here. My point was, and I do not think the right hon. 134 Gentleman answered it, or that it can be answered, is that this House would have absolutely no notice before Black Rod appeared here; and the Royal Assent could be got that way without this House having any opportunity of discussion.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
On a point of Order. I was suggesting that the Army Bill would have to be passed by a certain day, and if a Finance Bill was passed at that time it means that the Royal Assent would be given to the Finance Bill before this House had any opportunity of discussing it.
§ Sir WILLIAM ANSON
I really think we ought to have the opinion of the Law Officers as to whether the Postmaster-General is right in saying that under the words of this Bill, when a Bill shall, unless the House otherwise directs, be presented to His Majesty that the Government would have the power to postpone indefinitely the issue of the Commission in order to ascertain whether the House of Commons wished to avail itself of a power which otherwise would be a nugatory power. Can the Government postpone the issue of the Commission and the presenting of the Commission under the terms of the Bill as it now stands.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
I am not anxious to reply because, as I have already said, I cannot add anything to what has already fallen from my right hon. Friends, and my anxiety is not to take up time with mere repetition.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Are we to understand that the Law Officer endorses the opinion which has been given that, in an Act of Parliament where "shall" comes in, that it is not a mandatory power and that it is within the absolute discretion of the Prime Minister of the day to postpone the Commission indefinitely for a number of purposes. I venture to submit that the learned Attorney-General cannot have been listening to the Debate.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 150; Noes, 231.137
|Division No. 130.]||AYES.||[9.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Gordon, John||Newman, John R. P.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Grant, James Augustus||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gretton, John||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Haddock, George Bahr||Pease, Herbert. Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barlow, Montagu (Salford, South)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barnston, Harry||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Harris, Henry Percy||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hills, Sir Waller (Durham)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bird, Alfred||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Royds, Edmund|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boyton, James||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Horner, Andrew Long||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Campion, W. R.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Cassel, Felix||Kimber, Sir Henry||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cator, John||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cave, George||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Larmor, Sir J.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chambers, James||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lewisham, Viscount||Touche, George Alexander|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsay)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mackinder, Halford J.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Macmaster, Donald||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||M'Mordie, Robert James||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Fell, Arthur||Magnus, Sir Philip||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Malcolm, Ian||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wood, John Stalybridge|
|Forster, Henry William||Morpeth, Viscount||Yate, Col. C. E. (Leics., Melton)|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Morrison-Bell, E. F. (Ashburton)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Remnant and Sir A. Cripps.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Falconer, James|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Byles, William Pollard||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Alden, Percy||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Field, William|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Clancy, John Joseph||Furness, Stephen|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Cough, William||Gibson, Sir James Puckering|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Gill, Alfred Henry|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Barnes, George N.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Goldstone, Frank|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick, B.)||Crooks, William||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Crumley, Patrick||Hackett, John|
|Barton, William||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hancock, John George|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Benn, W. (T. Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Dawes, James Arthur||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bentham, George J.||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Harmsworth, R. Leicester|
|Boland, John Pius||Dickinson, W. H.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Doris, William||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Duffy, William J.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Brace, William||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Elverston, Harold||Hayward, Evan|
|Bryce, John Annan||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Heime, Norval Watson|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Mooney, John J.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morgan, George Hay||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Morrell, Philip||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Hinds, John||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Muldoon, John||Rowlands, James|
|Hodge, John||Munro, Robert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hudson, Walter||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Needham, Christopher T.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Sheehy, David|
|Johnson, William||Nolan, Joseph||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Norman, Sir Henry||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clithero)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Snowden, Philip|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Doherty, Philip||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Donnell, Thomas||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Ogden, Fred||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Grady, James||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||O'Malley, William||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Lansbury, George||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Toulmin, George|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Verney, Sir H.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Parker, James (Halifax)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Logan John William||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wardle, G. J.|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Webb, H.|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Pointer, Joseph||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wiles, Thomas|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|M'Callum, John M.||Pringle, William M. R.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Rainy, Adam Rolland||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Marks, George Croydon||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Reddy, Michael||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Meagher, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Richards, Thomas||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Middlebrook, William||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Molloy, Michael||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Roberts, George (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment selected is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for South Bucks (Sir Alfred Cripps).
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Have you considered the subject of discriminatory taxation, which is raised by Amendments standing in my name? The point is an important one.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member himself called my attention to the point, and it has been considered.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
May I call your attention to an Amendment standing in my name with reference to a joint Session? It is quite true that the question might be raised on Clause 2 in regard to general legislation, but I submit that the case with regard to Finance Bills is quite distinct, and is an important matter that ought to be discussed by the Committee.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being," and to insert instead thereof the words, "the Royal Assent may be."
As the Bill stands you have Single-Chamber Government in the most direct form, because a proposal which has not received the assent of the Second Chamber is, under this Clause, to become an Act of Parliament. As is well understood, in its present legal sense, an Act of Parliament means an Act which has received the assent of the two Houses as well as the Royal Assent. What is now being enacted is that an Act of Parliament shall no longer have its old meaning, but the term will be applied to a measure which has not received the assent of the House of Lords at all. It is very difficult to follow 139 at this stage what the proposal of the Government really means. As I understand the Clause, unless the House of Commons directs to the contrary, a Bill which has had the Assent of only one Chamber is to be presented to His Majesty and become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being signified. That is going in the teeth of all constitutional practice and constitutional law, and I protest against this proposal to alter the constitutional principle in its very foundation. How does the Attorney-General think the Bill will operate? The Royal Assent, which makes an Act of Parliament, is given at the present time in the House of Lords. Is it the intention of this Bill that that Assent should be given in the same manner in the House of Lords, although the particular Act has not been passed by that House? Or is there to be a new procedure altogether, not indicated in the Bill itself, namely, that if a Bill has not been passed within one month by the House of Lords it shall be presented to His Majesty, not according to ancient practice, but as a positive command under the terms of this Bill itself, and when so presented is to be regarded as an Act of Parliament? If so, that upsets the very foundation of all constitutional practice, and of all that we mean at the present time by an Act of Parliament.
The proposal of my Amendment is twofold. It is to delete the words "become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being," because it certainly would not become an Act of Parliament under those conditions; and the Clause, as amended, would read, "and shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty, and the Royal Assent may be signified, notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill." The meaning of the Government is, I understand, that, although the House of Lords have not assented to the Bill, yet it may be presented to His Majesty and the Royal Assent may be given. That would be in accordance with my Amendment. But I do not understand how it can possibly be said that under these circumstances you get an Act of Parliament. Because Parliament, I hope the House will remember, does not mean the House of Commons, nor the House of Lords. Parliament, as we use the term in legislation, and in its legal significance, means "the King, the Lords, and the Commons." It is perfectly clear that if you omit one of the three bodies 140 whose assent is necessary in order to form a legal Act of Parliament, that you cannot, in the phraseology adopted in this Clause, make an Act, to which the assent of the House of Lords has been refused, an Act of Parliament. I would also like to ask the learned Attorney, while he is dealing with this matter: Does he consider these provisions and powers in Clause 1 as superseding all the existing constitutional conditions, limitations, and safeguards which we know of? The question has been raised before, and is raised directly now. Does he, under these circumstances, suppose that the Royal Commission will have to be given, as in the old days, in the House of Lords, when that House of Lords has not assented?
I believe this Bill as it stands supersedes the old usages, and would oblige the Government, or the persons concerned, after the month's interval, to present this Bill for the Royal Assent, notwithstanding that the assent of the House of Lords has not been given. If, as I understand, the learned Attorney-General agrees with that general principle, then it is quite inconsistent with it to include these words: "become an Act of Parliament." It never becomes an Act of Parliament. It is contrary to the whole constitutional principle of this country to call it an Act of Parliament, because an Act of Parliament needs an assent, which is not given in this case. What is required under those circumstances, what is wanted, is that the Royal Assent "may" be given. It can be given under the terms of my Amendment. Therefore I ask the Government, if they cannot accept an Amendment in these terms? It would be in accordance with constitutional usage and constitutional practice, whereas the Bill, as at present drafted, is not in accordance with either.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. and learned Gentleman who has moved this Amendment quite correctly understands the meaning which the Government give to these words. What is intended by this Bill is that when a Money Bill has been sent up to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords will not pass it, that the Bill should then be presented to His Majesty, "notwithstanding," as the concluding words of the Clause say: "that the House of Lords has not consented to the Bill." That is quite clear. I take it that there is no question as to that intention. The next point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman is: "Do we propose that the Royal Assent shall be given 141 in a certain form"? There is nothing in the Bill to alter the form of Royal Assent. It will be given in the old way. The old and special formula will be used which applies to Money Bills. We are not proposing in this Bill any change whatever. Then the hon. and learned Gentleman says: "You are seeking to make this an Act of Parliament." What is an Act of Parliament? Really what is meant by an Act is that you are seeking to pass something into law which will be recognised by the Judges as a Statutory Enactment. What we do by this Bill is to use words in which you place that beyond doubt. When we say that a Bill is to become an Act of Parliament notwithstanding that the House of Lords has not consented to it, and that a Bill then receives the Royal Assent, when that Bill comes before the Law Courts and is to be construed by the Judges they will have to deal with it notwithstanding that the House of Lords has not assented to it. That is exactly what we have provided by the words which are under discussion. The hon. and learned Gentleman says that he wants to insert different words to leave out the words "become an Act of Parliament "and the Royal Assent being given; and insert "the Royal Assent may be."
I would like to ask him how in that case does he suggest that such a Bill which has received the Royal Assent would be recognised in a Court of Law? What is it if not an Act of Parliament? I do not suppose, in view of the arguments he used just now that the right hon. and learned Gentleman intended that it should be otherwise. If he did it is a very specious way of defeating the whole of our Bill and preventing that taking place which we had in mind when we introduced the Bill. The only way in which we can do what we require done is to say that a Bill shall be an Act of Parliament notwithstanding that the House of Lords has not consented to it. It is necessary that you should have these words at the end of the Clause. If you do not it would be quite rightly said that an Act of Parliament is one that requires the assent of the House of Lords as well as of the Commons and of the King. You have to provide for the Bill becoming law without the assent of the Lords. There is no form that I know, and I have heard none suggested, by which this could be done unless you provide as here that this Bill if it has passed the House of Commons and received the Royal Assent shall be an Act of Parliament, notwithstanding that it has not received the assent of the House of Lords. 142 I submit that there is really no substance to the Amendment, and that the effect of accepting it would be that when you had a Bill which had been presented and received the Royal Assent it would not be an Act of Parliament: it would be recognised nowhere, and would have no force of law under any circumstances. I really cannot think that that is the object of introducing the Amendment, but certainly that would be the effect; and the only way in which you can counteract that is by the use of the words in the Bill.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I would like to ask what is meant by "becoming an Act of Parliament"? It looks like some conjuring trick. A certain thing happens, and a rabbit changes into an orange. This Bill after going through certain vicissitudes hitherto unknown in our Parliamentary practice is to become an Act of Parliament. What is an Act of Parliament? I wonder will the Attorney-General find us a definition. The Interpretation Act of 1889 says that "every Act passed after 1850, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be a public Act." A public Act is what may be called a term of art. It is specified, under the Interpretation Act of 1889, that every measure which has received the assent of the Lords, Commons, and Crown is thenceforth to be a Public Act. What is an Act of Parliament as distinct from a Public Act within the meaning of the Interpretation Act? The intentions of the Government are no doubt that two things should mean the same thing, but if they mean the same thing why should they not say the same thing? The Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend calls attention to the fact that this transformation of a Bill which passes the House of Commons and not passed the House of Lords makes some necessary consideration without which this Bill cannot possible become law. What is the public form of this measure which is to be something different from a public Act and becomes an Act of Parliament under the terms of this measure. What is to be the form of the enacting Clause? That is the problem here. Is it to be by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons.
What is to be the Enacting Clause of a measure which is to become not a Public Act under the Interpretation Act, but an Act of Parliament under this Bill? I really think the legal advisers of the Government will have to go into this question 143 more seriously than the Attorney-General seems to think in his reply to my hon. and learned Friend, because it is not enough to say that we are all aware of the intention of the Government to pass a lot of measures which they otherwise would not pass, and which they think the public do want them to pass without the consent of the Lords. They will have to consider a good many other things, they will have to consider what they mean by an Act of Parliament, and they will have to consider that in reference to the Interpretation Act, which stares them in the face. They ought to say that this creature of their own construction should receive the Royal Assent and should thenceforth have the force of a Statute of the Realm. They must differentiate it from a Public Act with which we are familiar, and I should like to know what the real view of the Government is upon these matters of definition. I should like to know whether they propose to alter the enacting Clause of a Bill henceforth which will be necessary to do if it is to be an honest measure and not profess to have the assent of the three estates of Parliament, the King, Lords, and Commons, when it only happens to have two, and whether any alteration is likely to be made outside the scope of this Amendment. The definition of Money Bills is extremely vague, and the term "Act of Parliament" is one of uncertain significance. With regard to the Interpretation Act the phraseology of the Enacting Clause is wholly in doubt, and I should like to hear something more than we have heard from the Attorney-General on the matter.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I desire to point out that I think the Attorney-General has misunderstood the meaning of the Amendment moved by my hon. and learned Friend. I think the Attorney-General at the commencement is in danger of making a very grave constitutional blunder. My hon. and learned Friend pointed out that neither this House nor Parliament itself can make that to be an Act of Parliament which has not got the incidentals of an Act of Parliament, and if words are to be used which are to effect the purpose it is not very difficult to find words, but they must be found by Amendment to this Clause. As the hon. and learned Member for Oxford University (Sir W. Anson) has stated, you can use the words that "It should be deemed to have the force of a Statute," but I venture to challenge the 144 Attorney-General to assert that he has really given consideration to this matter that it should be an Act of Parliament. How does the matter stand? If you want an Act of Parliament it must be something to which the King, Lords, and Commons assent, and if you take the trouble to look through what are the terms of the Enacting formula used and handed down from time to time, you will be compelled to admit that the formula is—Be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by authority of the same as follows—What is the Attorney-General going to do? Is he going to use the same words for the purposes of assent to these Bills as were always present? Are Money Bills to have one form and other Bills another? The Attorney-General has not met my hon. Friend's point in any way. He says they are still going to use that formula, but it cannot be used correctly because if it was to be used accurately it should be "without the consent or control or advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal," but "by the advice of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled." Some modification of that sort must be given if you are going to keep the existing formula. If you do not adhere to the existing formula you do not get an Act of Parliament at all. In the time of the Commonwealth that difficulty was felt, and for the purpose, in place of that old formula they substituted the formula:—Whereas Parliament has abolished the Kingly office in England and Ireland and in the dominions and territories thereunto belonging and having resolved and declared that the people shall for the future be governed by their own representatives or national meetings in Council chosen and entrusted by thorn for that purpose, hath settled the Government in the way of a Commonwealth and Free State without King or House of Lords, be it enacted by this present Parliament and by the authority of the same," etc.We ask the Attorney-General to tell us what formula he is going to use in respect of this Bill I If he does not use the formula hitherto used he does not make an Act of Parliament; if he does not make an Act of Parliament no words in the Statute will 145 ever make it an Act of Parliament, because there is high authority as the Attorney-General knows and as has often been laid down, that the fact that Parliament declares or states a law does not make it a law. It has been pointed out in many decisions that Parliament may fall into an error, and a mere statement by Parliament as to a law is not binding in the Courts and the Courts will not give effect to it. Many things have very different interpretations when they come into the Courts from what they got in the House of Commons. I remember the case of a statute in which it was declared for the purposes of a particular statute that a widow with nine children was deemed to be an unmarried person not having any child or children. That sort of case must not be overlooked. In this very Bill there is a certain amount of uncertainty indicated by the Government in their own Bill. If you turn to Clause 3 you will see that provision is made to try and prevent the question of the Speaker's certificate being raised in the courts. Why? Because if that question were raised it would be a question as to whether the certificate had been properly given, and whether you had a proper Act of Parliament at all. These words indicate an entirely new constitutional practice, and some words ought to be chosen which would be more apt to safeguard the intention of the Government. We are not pointing out this defect in order to prevent proper words being used. We are simply pointing out that at the present time words are being used which are in danger of being misinterpreted when they come to be called into question. It would be far better for the Government to use words which could not be misinterpreted, and which would have the effect of rendering easy words which are inapt for the purpose for which they have been drawn, and do not necessarily carry with them the force which hon. Members on both sides believe they have. It is for that purpose I support the Amendment, which has been moved by my hon. Friend. You cannot, by virtue of any Resolution of this House, cause something which is not an Act of Parliament to be an Act of Parliament, and suitable words must be chosen, otherwise you will have two different forms of Acts of Parliament, namely, those which have been passed by the King, the Lords, and the Commons, and a different form of statute which has been passed by the King and the Commons alone, and which primâ facie would not be Acts of Parliament. Consequently there is all the 146 greater necessity for using proper and sufficient words, and I hope the Attorney-General will give his attention to this matter. A great many hon. Members on this side of the House have been thinking over what would be the proper term to use and we have been trying to find words which are more apt to carry out the intention on both sides of the House.
§ Mr. GUINNESS
I think the learned speeches which have been made on this side of the House on this Amendment will have convinced the Attorney-General that there is something in this proposal after all. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] Hon. Members opposite seem to think that this Bill is inspired, and that the whole of the drafting skill is on the Government Benches. They have become so accustomed to hearing every Amendment refused that they cannot distinguish whether what is proposed is a matter of principle or one solely intended to make the intention of Parliament clear. The learned Attorney-General, perhaps unconsciously, suggested a way out of this difficulty when he mentioned the words "statutory enactment." Would it not avoid a great deal of confusion if he would adopt those words in case he refuses this Amendment? It is a very valuable admission that, in the opinion of the Government, the Second Chamber is not Parliament at all, and that when you talk of Parliament you only mean a Second Chamber. According to the dictionary Parliament means the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, consisting of the three estates of the realm—the Lords spiritual, the Lords temporal, and the Commons. Of course, it has been held except by their enactment nothing is law. The Government admitted in the Debates on the Budget Resolutions that those Resolutions had not got the necessary legal sanction. Surely it is best to keep the present phrase to its old meaning. You will still have Acts of Parliament in the old sense passed and agreed to by King, Lords, and Commons, and you will also, after the passing of this Bill, have other kinds of Acts known as the preferred Single-Chamber Acts, which include Bills under Clause 1, and the deferred Single-Chamber Acts, which take two years to come into force. I do not see how anybody, however casuistic he may be, can maintain that an Act of Parliament passed against the advice of the House of Commons is passed with the advice of the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and by their 147 authority. The authority will be that of one House of Parliament only, and it should be made quite clear on the face of the statutory enactment that that is the case. If the Government do not intend to change the whole meaning of the English language I think they must admit the force of the ease put forward and adopt some other phraseology.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
I think my hon. and learned Friend has made out a clear case. There is no difference between what the Government intend and what we ask for. What we desire if we are going to have this Clause at all is that we should have clearness upon the part of the Government when they put their intentions upon paper. I am loth to make quotations in this House, but perhaps I may quote Lord Macaulay, who, in his introduction to the Penal Code of india, said:—A legislator must keep two things in view. First that he should be precise, and secondly that he should be easily understood. A loosely worded law is no law, and to the extent that a legislature is loose in its phrases to that extent it abdicate:- its functions to the Courts of Justice.There is not a political difference upon this question, and it is purely a drafting difference. If it is only a drafting difference we have a perfect right as legislators to endeavour to see that the meaning of the Government is made perfectly clear. My own is not a legal mind, and I have not been trained in legal phraseology, but I submit that perhaps the meaning we all desire enacted will be achieved if the Clause reads:—The Bill shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty and the Royal Assent may be signified, notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill.Is not that what the Attorney-General is aiming at? There is a difference between the phraseology which I suggest and the phraseology which the Government is using. The phraseology of the Government, according to my hon. Friends, is a misinterpretation of what is an Act of Parliament. If an Act of Parliament at present means the assent of the two houses and of the Sovereign, it is clearly not an Act of Parliament, in the ordinary sense, if it passes without the assent of one of those Estates of the Realm. It seems to me that if words were added making it clear that this measure shall have the full effect of an Act of Parliament, notwithstanding 148 the Lords had refused to accept it, the difficulty is to some extent cleared away. If an Act of Parliament is what my hon. Friends interpret it to be, then surely this drafting cannot stand, and some such addition must be made to the Clause as I and my Friends have suggested.
§ Mr. HOHLER
This point is really one of substance, and the Attorney-General has made no answer to it. The Amendment is not one which will really affect the Bill, but the Amendment will make that which the Bill intends clear. It is quite clear, and not a soul would dispute that an Act of Parliament must have the assent and be enacted by His Majesty and the other remaining Estates of the Realm, and unquestionably, in the absence of that, whatever you please to call an Act of Parliament would be waste paper. It is quite clear that in regard to an Act of Parliament there are two things which anybody can traverse in a court of law. They can traverse the Preamble of an Act—that is the Recitals—and they can traverse the Enacting Clause, but beyond that there is no traverse possible whatsoever, and, in regard to a particular Act where the House of Lords do not give their assent, I respectfully suggest it is quite clear any court of law would require, if proof were required of the passing of an Act of Parliament, to know whether the House of Lords had not given their assent. Of course, you could not enact they had given their assent if they had not done so. A litigant called upon to prove an Act cannot prove it to be an Act of Parliament by the fact that it is published by the King's printer. The courts would say you will have to prove some other things.
You will have to prove, first, that the Bill went to the House of Lords a month before the close of the Session, and, secondly, that the House of Lords failed to approve of it within that period without Amendment. Therefore, I suggest you will get an Act of Parliament which at the very most will only be proved in a court of law if put in issue by proving in fact the previous conditions—namely, that the House of Lords have assented within a month, and that the Bill was sent to them a month before the termination of the Session. The Attorney-General says "No," but if you have a novel thing and an Enacting Clause hitherto unknown, the courts of law will require proof. As long ago as Lord Coke it was clearly laid down that it was not an Act of Parliament unless enacted by His Majesty and the other two Estates of the 149 Realm. Therefore, with this Clause left as it is, and without adopting some Amendment such as that to which my hon. Friend has drawn attention, you will get something which is not an Act of Parliament, and which in any view of the case will require evidence of proof. How are you going to produce that evidence when in the same Clause you have an Act which may be passed with the assent of the three Estates of the Realm and an Act of Parliament which is passed without the assent of one. I suggest this Clause does require amendment, and I shall therefore support the Amendment moved.
My hon. Friend below me (Sir G. Parker) said he was not a lawyer, and had some diffidence in dealing with a legal question, but this is more a matter of fiction than that of law, and the hon. Member is a great authority, and fully qualified to express an admirable opinion on fiction. Our Constitution is full of legal and constitutional fictions, but these fictions have come about through the lapse of time, and I never heard of anybody who wanted to start with a fiction. When you are beginning a new state of affairs you want to begin on the basis of truth, however much it may be distorted subsequently by change of circumstances and of fact, and however much in future the law may cease to correspond to what actually exists. You are applying the same name to totally different things. You are applying the same name to Acts passed with the assent of the House of Lords and to those passed without the assent of the House of Lords. That, surely, is a gross confusion of nomenclature. We have had the Kangaroo Closure, but this is a Kangaroo Bill, because it skips over the House of Lords and pretends a Bill becomes law without the assent of the Second Chamber. I want separate names for different things, because, after all, in a democratic country everything should be perfectly plain, and the people should know what is the Act to which they owe obedience. You are going to say a Bill is passed with the assent of the Lords Temporal and Spiritual which has not only never had their assent but has actually had their strong dissent. That may be all very well for the Lords Temporal, but, after all, the Lords Spiritual have got consciences. However much temporal persons may shield their consciences under constitutional fictions, I submit you are straining the consciences of the Lords Spiritual when you either compel them to give their assent or assume they have actually given their assent 150 to measures to which they have strongly expressed their dissent. On these grounds—I strongly support the Amendment.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I only want to say one word in answer to the Attorney-General. It is not the object of my Amendment to defeat the intentions of the Clause. Supposing that these words were left out and subsequent words were inserted, it would run in this way:—Notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill then the Royal Assent being signified, the Bill shall have the force of an Act of Parliament.I think those words will give the Attorney-General what he wants, and they certainly are a reply to the suggestion that my object is to defeat the object of the Clause. Unless we are to have some verbal alteration surely this is an occasion which, if this Bill is to be put into practical working form, words should be used which are well understood not only in law but in common parlance. This alteration deals with language which at present is worse than fiction, and without the words you will be passing an Act of Parliament which, according to the constitutional principle of this country, could never be an Act of Parliament at all.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I have listened with great attention to the discussion carried on on this side of the House, and I have come to the conclusion that there is at least a ray of hope open to those who think that this is a bad Bill. I understand that if this Amendment is not pressed, and if the Bill is left in the form in which it now stands, there is a probability that the courts of law would refuse to give effect to it. That is exactly what I want. I was under the delusion that the Law Officers of the Crown prided themselves that it was only necessary to get the Bill through the House as it now stands, but we are told by hon. and learned Gentlemen on this side, to whoso opinion I attach the greatest weight, that if the Bill passes in this form it will be of no effect. Under those circumstances, I suggest that the best thing they can do is to withold their opinion until the Bill has become law, if it should ever unfortunately do so, and then they can argue in the courts of law, where they may succeed in defeating the objects of the Government.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I do not think that that is quite straight advice. At any rate 151 I will not go into the ethics of the City of London. All I would point out is that by the insertion of the words "by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal—"
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 187.153
|Division No. 131.]||AYES.||[10.2 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wrexford, N.)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Essex, Richard Walter||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Esslemont, George Birnie||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Falconer, James||Marks, George Croydon|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Farrell, James Patrick||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Ffrench, Peter||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Alden, Percy||Field, William||Meagher, Michael|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||France, Gerald Ashburner||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Furness, Stephen||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Gibson, James Puckering||Middlebrook, William|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Gill, Alfred Henry||Molloy, Michael|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Goldstone, Frank||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Barnes, George N.||Griffith, Ellis Jones (Anglesey)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Mooney, John J.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hackett, John||Morrell, Philip|
|Barton, William||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Hancock, John George||Muldoon, John|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munre, Robert|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Boland, John Pius||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brace, William||Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Ogden, Fred|
|Bryce, John Annan||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Grady, James|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Hinds, John||O'Malley, William|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hodge, John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hudson, Walter||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Johnson, William||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Clough, William||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jowett, Frederick William||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cotton, William Francis||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Kellaway, Frederick George||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Crooks, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kilbride, Denis||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molten)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lansbury, George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Reddy, Michael|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Richards, Thomas|
|Doris, William||Logan John William||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duffy, William J.||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Eubank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Robinson, Sydney|
|Elverston, Harold||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Taylor, John D. (Durham)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radclie)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rowlands, James||Tennant, Harold John||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Toulmin, George||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Seely, Col., Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Sheehy, David||Verney, Sir Harry||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)||Wardle, George J.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Snowdon, Philip||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Watt, Henry A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Webb, H.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Grant, J. A.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gretton, John||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Ashley, Wilfred W.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Haddock, George Bahr||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Peel, Hon. Wm. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (Montgom'y B'ghs)|
|Barnston, Harry||Harris, Henry Percy||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Barrie, Hugh T. (Londonderry)||Henderson, Major H. (Abingdon)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc. E.)||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Hill, Sir Clement L. Shrewsbury)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hills J. W.||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bigland, Alfred||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bird, Alfred||Horner, Andrew Long||Royds, Edmund|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith -||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boyton, James||Hunt, Rowland||Salter, Arthur Clavtil|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Kerry, Earl of||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campion, W. R.||Kimber, Sir Henry||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Spear, John Ward|
|Cassel, Felix||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cator, John||Knight, Capt. Eric Ayshford||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cave, George||Larmor, Sir J.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Lewisham, Viscount||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chambers, James||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Devon, N.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craik, Sir Henry||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Mackinder, Halford J.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Macmaster, Donald||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||M'Mordie, Robert James||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Magnus, Sir Philip||White, Maj. G. D. (Lanc, Southport)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Malcolm, Ian||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wood, Hon. E. F. G. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Morpeth, Viscount||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Mount, William Arthur||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Cripps and Mr. Pollock.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Gordon, John||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again," put, and agreed to.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment I should call upon is that in the name of the hon. Member for Aston Manor (Mr. Evelyn Cecil), but it proposes to leave out the words, "Money Bill means a Bill which in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons," in order to insert other words with regard to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, but that would practically exclude the Amendment of the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Pollock), to leave out the word "Money." I would suggest, as a matter of convenience to the Committee, that it would be better for the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington to move his Amendment.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I beg to move to leave out the word "Money" ["A Money Bill means a Bill which in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons."]
This is an important Amendment. It originally stood in my name and that of other hon. Members on Sub-section (1), but I am now given an opportunity of moving it on Sub-section (2). The Amendment is to leave out the word "Money" from this collocation in order that we might hereafter put in the words "of aid or supply" a little later, after the second use of the word "Bill." What I desire to point out to the Committee is this, that these words, "A Money Bill," are really Parliamentary slang, because there is no such Bill known to the usages of Parliament. There is no such Bill. There has been indeed a great number of Bills which have been, in very slipshod language, termed Money Bills, but the true word to express what is here intended is "Bill of Aid or Supply." It is a very dangerous practice to use new words which are not terms of art and which have hitherto not been accepted as Parliamentary phrases, and to insert words which have no Parliamentary significance or interpretation. You are starting upon a very important new Clause and you are using a word which at present has no tradition supporting it nor any interpretation derived from a long period during which this House has dealt with money matters. The practice, no doubt, is that in what are called in slang phrase Money Bills it has fallen to the lot of this House to determine whether or not its privileges have been infringed, and it may be that Members have often discussed the question of whether it is a Money Bill, meaning thereby a Bill in which some of the privileges of this House 156 are in danger of infringement. But that does not justify the use of an entirely new term in the Bill, and it is the more unfortunate that a new term should be introduced when we have a Sub-section which is going to deal with such very important matters as will be found in the later portions of the Clause.
May I give an illustration of what may be intended, and what might come in under the word Money Bill? I believe both in the matter of the English Poor Law Act of 1834 and the Irish Poor Law Act of 1848 the question was raised before Mr. Speaker Abercrombie as to whether those Bills infringed the right of the Commons in being Money Bills, and it was held that they did, and therefore, if you are using the term Money Bills, you are bringing within the possible ambit a large number of Bills which, I am quite sure, it is not the intention of either side of the House to include in it. What is intended here—I accept what the Government have said of their Bill—is to include Bills which may be described as the ordinary financial measures of the year. These measures may have a wider or a lesser scope, but the intention of the Government, I think, avowed again and again, is to include only such measures as deal with the current revenue and finance of the year. It has been disclaimed on the part of the Government that they have any ulterior motive of passing Bills which were other than those intended to govern the revenue of the year and the allocation of the revenue for the purpose for which it is required, but you are using now this phrase, "Money Bill," which has a far wider application. It has been used in respect of most, if not all, of those Bills in respect of which it has been from time to time claimed that the privileges of this House have been infringed and you are therefore using an inartistic word, and one which is wholly unnecessary for the purpose, because you have the old phrase, which could be inserted, and which would have due meaning and due purpose according to the intentions of the Government. I desire to ask the Government whether, in order to give precision to their Bill, they will be content to use some phrase which cannot be misconstrued, some phrase which has previously been interpreted and not a phrase which has hitherto not found its place in Acts of Parliament, which may be misconstrued and which is inapt for the purpose of confining the Bills to the provisions of the ordinary revenues of the year.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Pollock), at the introduction of his speech, said this Amendment raised a question of interest and importance. It is a question of language. We had to choose between nicknames. There are two competing Parliamentary nicknames. We have our favourite, and so has the hon. Gentleman. We prefer "Money Bills." He prefers "Bills of Aid or Supply." It is a matter of taste. The arguments in favour of using the expression "Money Bills" are, I think, substantial and reasonable. It is a perfectly well-known term. The hon. Gentleman calls it an inartistic term. I deeply regret that he used such an expression. Why, there is a whole chapter in the "Law and Custom of the Constitution," by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University (Sir W. Anson), headed "Money Bills." I see no reason why the comparatively harmless expression should be placed under the ban of being described as inartistic. I observe in the index of "Sir Thomas Erskine May" that "Money Bills" is a regular heading. It is a perfectly well-known Parliamentary term, and everybody has heard it all through his life in the House of Commons. It is quite true that in the Resolution of 1678 the term was used "Bill for granting Aids and Supply," but in the Bill of 1860 the much wider term was used "Bills relative to Taxation" and expressions of that character. Although I have great reverence in these matters for ancient forms, and although we have no wish to depart from them if it is not absolutely necessary in the interests of the efficient conduct of public business, I am bound to say that we are strongly desirous of adhering to the term we have put in the Bill instead of the archaic phrase "Bills of Aid or Supply." At any rate, our proposal, whatever its other advantages, has the advantage of brevity. It says in two words what the other says in four. I think there is no question of real substance involved in the issue to decide the one way or the other. That being so, let us follow the term which has been familiarised to us by our own experience of the House of Commons, which has been given out on the great authority of the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University, which figures in "Erskine May," and which has the conclusive virtue of being the most compendious expression of what we mean in the legislation we are now proposing.
The right hon. Gentleman has made a very remarkable defence 158 of the Bill, entirely or substantially based, as I understand it, on the preference for using two words instead of four. [An HON. MEMBER: "Five."] He said four, but I will accept the correction of the hon. Member. This attitude shows a regard for the niceties of drafting which I certainly never should have guessed was one of the peculiarities of the present Government. After all, if that were the only difference I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that it would not be worth the while of this Committee to spend more than two minutes or more than five minutes—whichever view you may take—in discussing which of two equivalent phrases was better introduced into this measure. The cost of the additional printers' ink, the cost of the additional paper and the amount of additional time thrown on the reader are so insignificant and the difference between the two cases is so small that it is not worth our while spending an important fraction of our labours upon it. But the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that a far bigger question lies behind this. Ho compares the phrase in this Bill and the phrase in the Act of 1678 and he gives us to understand that one is the modern equivalent of the other, that whereas our ancestors a little more than two centuries ago preferred the phrase "Aid and Supply," we prefer the phrase "Money Bill," but that what we mean by "Money Bill" they meant by "Aid and Supply," and what they meant by "Aid and Supply" we mean by "Money Bill." Everybody knows that that is the real definition of the Subsection. Aid and supply meant taxation, and I imagine that they meant also what we should call the Committee of Supply, and the embodiment of Committee of Supply, so far as it was then embodied in an Appropriation Bill. What they meant was levying money. Does this Clause only apply to levying money? That is the real test. The whole liberties of the country, according to the common view of historians, depends on the fact that in the contest between the Crown and the Commons the Commons gradually used the power of raising money to obtain one concession after another from prerogative. That was raising money, and that was the original claim of this House. Is it the present claim of this House? If so, as I understand the right hon. Gentleman really does base his contention upon broad historic foundations; if it be so, that all this House claims is the right of being supreme in levying money on those whom this House represents, of obtaining money 159 from the taxpayer whose interest this House represents, then I grant that the Government are basing themselves upon ancient historic precedent, and there is a great deal to be said from the constitutional point of view for this Clause with its limitations clearly outlined. But is that the policy of the Government? My hon. and learned friend behind me brought in an Amendment which gave the Government a full opportunity of enabling the Government to explain exactly what they meant. Do they mean what our ancestors called a Bill of levying aid? I do not think they do. I think that the difference is fundamental, and as the right hon. Gentleman knows, more and more this House is taking in its charge, quite rightly, great schemes of social and domestic legislation, in which money is not the main part, but is an essential part, schemes of legislation of a kind never dreamt of even in the eighteenth century, and still less dreamt of in the seventeenth century, when the basis of the Constitution was laid on firmer lines. And what we really want to know from the Government is exactly what their view is of the scope of this Clause? We all know that this House has gradually encroached under the stress of circumstances. It is not worth while going into it now, but more and more they have decided this or that question on the ground that it trenches on money, and because it was out of the purview of the other House. The Speaker, however, pointed out when attention was called to certain Amendments to the Education Bill, that if the contention of the present Prime Minister were carried out, the House of Lords could not touch at all the Army and the Navy, which depend entirely, and almost for their existence, on money voted by this House. Every naval Bill would be a Money Bill, and the Speaker pointed out that this would be carrying the doctrine much too far. How far do you mean to go? That question lies at the root of the discussion of this Sub-section; it is the very centre and core of the whole of this Clause. If you confine your attack on the existing rights and privileges of the House of Lords to the question of Ways and Means, it could be said in your favour that the House of Lords have never claimed for many years the right to move Amendments in Bills which were in the strict sense Money Bills, and their undoubted claim to deal with and reject strictly Money Bills is, from the 160 nature of the case, a privilege which can be only rarely exercised. But if other Bills which involve money are to be called Money Bills, and if they are to be withdrawn from the attention of the other House, and every scheme of legislation which calls upon the taxpayers for a special contribution or tax is to be withdrawn from the attention of the other House, it is perfectly clear that this Clause, though nominally a Money Clause, really touches three-fourths of the whole scope of legislation.
I do not believe that is the policy of the Government; I do not believe that they desire so to extend, so illegitimately extend the true frontiers of the powers of this House. If these frontiers are not to be extended, where are they to be drawn? It is historically accurate to say that our ancestors were concerned entirely with the levying of taxation. What they represented was that they were the guardians of the right to extract money from the taxpayer, the sole guardians, subject to the right of the House of Lords to reject the measure if they chose. It is true historically, I believe, to say that our own view of our own privileges under successive rulings of successive Speakers have extended those original frontiers. How far in the view of the Government will those frontiers now extend? Where is the line of demarcation? Now we have begun this important Subsection we have surely the right to have from the Government a clear and concise statement of what it is they exactly mean by a Money Bill. I am surprised that the speakers on behalf of the Government have allowed this Amendment to be discussed without giving any indication of what the policy of the Government is. The Minister who spoke for the Government has clouded and obscured counsel by trying to make the House be lieve that our ancestors in 1678 took the same view of a Money Bill as, I believe, the Government now take. It took a different view. What we want to learn is what is the modern view. It is perfectly true that the question is treated at great length in books of great authority, in the book of my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University (Sir W. Anson), and in the book, the great but rather obscure authority, to which we so constantly refer at this table, Sir Erskine May's treatise on "Parliamentary Practice and Procedure. "We want to know from the Government what is their definition. I do not think it 161 is possible for the discussion to go on until we have their definition. I am very sorry the Prime Minister is not here to-night. I do not at all discuss the powers of the right hon. Gentleman to take charge, but it happens that the Prime Minister is the Minister in charge of the Bill, and it is all important that on this point we should have a definite statement.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I quite recognise that it is very important we should have a discussion on what is a Money Bill. I was rather deprecating in the few observations I made that the discussion should take place upon an Amendment as to which term should be used. After all, what we want is not to choose whether it should be called a Bill in Aid and Supply or whether Money Bill should be the terms used, but what it means in fact. It is to the fact and not the form that the attention of the House should be directed.
I do not dissent. What we want to get at is the substance. The right hon. Gentleman gave an illustration himself and said that the Poor Law Bill of 1834 was a Money Bill. If that be the view of the Government the whole Clause is preposterous, but I cannot conceive they really would desire so to extend the term Money Bill. I am as anxious as the right hon. Gentleman to get into the heart of the matter. If he can tell us on what matter he thinks this ought to be raised, we might consider whether we would go on with this discussion. When does the right hon. Gentleman think this should be raised, and how should it be raised?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
There are one or two Amendments on which it can be raised. I am informed that the best place where it can be raised is after the second "a" ["a Bill which in the opinion"] insert the words "Finance Bill or Consolidated Fund." That is an Amendment of the hon. Member for East Birmingham (Mr. Steel-Maitland). That is the point on which the subject of what is a Money Bill can best be discussed.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
In reply to the right hon. Gentleman, may I say my Amendment was put down on the Paper to Subsection (1) of Clause 1. The Chairman then ruled it would be more in order to introduce it at the present time. Therefore it was not moved at that time, in order that it might be moved at the present time.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If this question is to be raised later, I think we should not discuss the larger question, whether this Amendment is withdrawn or not.
I should have thought that if my hon. Friend's Amendment were withdrawn, the definition "Money Bill" thereby would be permanently introduced into the Bill. May I ask do we not come to the question of the Speaker—that is, the control of the Speaker over the decision as to what is a Money Bill—before we come to the decision of what is a Money Bill?
§ The CHAIRMAN
If this Amendment were withdrawn it would not prejudice any subsequent Amendment. The next Amendment dealing with the question of definition is one in the name of the hon. Member for Central Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) to put in the word "public," and the next Amendment in order is another one standing in his name, to insert the word "temporary," which I think he defines elsewhere. The next would be to insert the words "Finance Bill or Consolidated Fund," the Amendment to which the right hon. entleman refers,
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
With reference to what has fallen from the Leader of the Opposition, the Government quite agree that there are two very important questions—much more important and pressing than those we have been discussing—which ought to be settled on this Subsection. What is a Money Bill, and what should be the tribunal to decide which are Money Bills, are two really important matters. I hoped that we might select the points on which those two matters could be raised and have a debate worthy of the importance of the subject on each.
§ Mr. CAVE
This does not seem to be quite the right place to raise the former of those two questions. In Sub-section (1) we say that Money Bills shall be dealt with in a certain way. We now come to the definition of a Money Bill, and we must keep in as the first words of the Sub-section "Money Bill," and then proceed to define what that shall mean. I suggest therefore that the better course would be to take the discussion on one of the Amendments to which the Chairman has drawn attention.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The reason I have allowed this Amendment to be moved is 163 that I thought it in Order inasmuch as, even if it were accepted, it would involve only a consequential Amendment in the first Sub-section on Report. Perhaps of all the Amendments on the Paper, that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) would be the best upon which to raise the larger discussion ["which provides for the imposition of taxation or for the appropriation of revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Crown"]. That comes before the question of the authority.
My hon. and learned Friend reminds me that he proposed to substitute these words for the words "Money Bill" in the first Sub-section, but that the Chairman then ruled that they had better be introduced here rather than there. That I must say puts my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment somewhat in a difficulty.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
There is no reason why the Committee should not dispose of this Amendment on the narrow basis of form, and then we could proceed to one of the Amendments dealing definitely with the point and raising in the fullest way the question what is a Money Bill.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
Before the Amendment is withdrawn it is desirable that the Committee should note the facts with regard to the Resolution alluded to by the Home Secretary. It is not advisable that the Committee should pass away from this particular Amendment in view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman distinctly implied that the Resolution passed by this House in 1860 was rather in favour of his view of the question, and that the House took a wider view than we desire to take in regard to Aid and Supply. If the Resolution is carefully looked at it will be seen that it is in favour of an Amendment of this kind. "Supply" has been the term used hitherto in the Resolution of this House in connection with financial matters. If we want a definition of the words "Aid and Supply" you cannot get it better than in the Resolution of 1860. The three paragraphs there state distinctly that what the House meant then is what we desire to mean now—that is, the granting of Supplies and the providing of Ways and Means. This is what the Commons then protested against the House of Lords interfering with, and by their Resolution sought to guard the exercise of and the 164 rights of control over, i.e., Taxation and Supply. Therefore my hon. Friend's definition is a definition of a Money Bill that this House has declared to be its own prerogative, and it is the very best definition that we can adopt in this Clause.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
In response to the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman, I might, if in order, move the second Amendment standing in my name, and it has priority to that of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kingston. "Of aid or supply" would be apt words on which we could discuss the question; and if this were accepted I should be ready to withdraw my first Amendment as to the word "money." If not, I think I shall be right in pressing the matter.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I hope we shall be able to separate the name from the idea; to settle, once and for all, whether it shall be called a "Money Bill "or" Aid and Supply"; then I hope we shall get on to the question of what is a Money Bill? I think it would be a very good thing if the House could get on to the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kingston, which raises the clearest and broadest issue. Its import would be quite understandable outside this House.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move in Sub-section (2) after the word "a" ["means a Bill which"] to insert the word "public." The point must be raised now. I am sorry to come in front of the discussion for which the arrangement has been made. I want to ask the Government whether they really propose to break down the Private Bill system in legislation? The phraseology of this Clause would have that effect. It is an entirely new point and it is a point of importance because if the Clause is passed as it stands it may lead to the ruin of the whole (fabric of Private Bill legislation. What would happen in this case would be that a Bill which was a Private Bill but conforming to the definition in this Clause would be treated under this Clause as a Money Bill and it would pass into law notwithstanding that a Committee of the House of Lords had rejected it. I do not suppose that is the intention of of the Government, but I submit it is the effect of the words of the Clause. You may have a Bill that absolutely conforms to the definition in this Clause—a 165 Bill, for instance, enabling a corporation to raise a loan, or a Bill providing for some fancy differential system of rating.
We can imagine a corporation such as Glasgow asking for special powers for rating, or for the extension of the principle of allotments, or for the purpose of putting a differential rating upon undeveloped land in addition to the taxes put on by the Government. And there might be many other examples of the same kind. All these Bills would be Money Bills and would strictly come under the definition while at the same time they were Private Bills brought in as Private Bills and argued before the Committees of both Houses. Such a Bill as this would be brought into the House of Commons, it would be read a second time and go to a committee where the whole matter would be argued in the ordinary Private Bill course, and would then be reported and discussed on the floor of the House. It would then go to the House of Lords and would come before a Private Bill Committee of the Lords, and would there be threshed out as a Private Bill with the usual apparatus of counsel and witnesses, but before the actual hearing was completed and while the witnesses were still being examined and the whole paraphernalia of Private Bill legislation was being gone through the month might be up, and it might be the duty of the Chairman of the Lords Committee to say, "We need go on no longer with this; the month is up, and this Bill under the procedure goes up to get the Royal Assent." That would be a farce. Not only would it be formal from the point of view of procedure, but a very great question would be involved in regard to the character of the Parliamentary tribunals before which Private Bills go.
What makes the Private Bill tribunal really effective and makes people have confidence in it is that its decision is subject to an appeal. That is the case with our present Private Bill system, in which both promoters and opponents have confidence because they know if the first tribunal upstairs makes a mistake it can be corrected in the other. If, however, the first tribunal, that is the Committee of the House of Commons, is to be practically omnipotent and the proceedings in the House of Lords are to be reduced to a farce, that will necessarily impair the judicial character of the House of Commons tribunal, and those interested will not have the same confidence as promoters 166 of Private Bills have now. Of all our Parliamentary institutions, the one we are most proud of is our Private Bill system, because it is absolutely fair and impartial without any suspicion of corruption. I do not allude to any possibility of corruption in this case, but it must follow that a Private Bill Committee must lose a great deal of its impartial character if it is not kept up to the mark by the knowledge that its judgment will be subjected to revision by another tribunal. Sometimes we hear people say when they see the composition of one of the Private Bill Committees, "We know what the fate of that Bill will be." That is very often unjust, because I believe that when hon. Members on both sides get appointed on a Private Bill Committee they feel themselves called upon to act in a judicial capacity, and they do full justice according to their lights. This Clause must cut at our present Private Bill procedure. The Government cannot mean that, and by inserting the word "public" I think it will be an improvement in the Bill.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Member has made a very weighty and well-argued speech. I have greatly regretted in the course of this Debate that many important points have been blurred over by the fact that they have come out bit by bit instead of being concentrated on a definite issue. The hon. Member asks how are we to distinguish a Private from a public Money Bill. There are many questions of a different kind which ought to be looked at in one general survey. Upon this question the Government are entirely in the hands of the Committee at any point where it is decided to raise this particular point of what is a Money Bill. Then we will do justice to it as far as it is in our power. We do not, however, think this is the right place, and I should prefer to reserve the statement of our attitude on that point until we come to the general Debate upon it. If we are to discuss the general question on the word "public," I think we might have it now and not refer to it again.
§ 11.0 P.M.
What the right hon. Gentleman desires and what we all desire is that there shall be, at a convenient hour, a full Debate upon what is certainly one of the two most important points raised by this particular Clause, and I am sure the House will be very glad to have it brought on at a convenient hour, so that it might be adequately debated and dealt with. My 167 hon. Friend has surely raised a point which cuts across any definition. I will suggest two obvious descriptions of "Money Bills." One is the old description, "Bills raising taxes," and the other is the more modern one, "Bills raising taxes, appropriating taxes, and other Bills dealing with rates." That is one rough account of "Money Bills," as loosely used in common discourse. My hon. Friend's Amendment cuts right across it. He deals with Private Bills which do not follow that general description or appropriation at all, but deal with particular localities or individuals and may touch, and constantly do touch, on questions of rating and therefore come within the wider though not within the narrower definition of "Money Bills." I imagine, and hope and believe, it is the policy of the Government that, whatsoever be their final decision about the definition of a "Money Bill," Private Bills, even if they come under that definition, shall nevertheless remain, as they are now, within the equal jurisdiction of the two Houses; and, if that is the policy of the Government, I cannot understand why the right hon. Gentleman does not at once accept the Amendment.
I believe every Member of the House acquainted with the procedure on Private Bills admits it would be a disaster, from the public point of view, if the House of Lords were not to be allowed to continue their present labours in connection with Private Bills. I do not know whether the rumours which have reached me represent opinion outside, but I always understood that the Committees of the House of Lords, being less burdened than the Committees of this House, do their work at least as well as the Committees of this House, and that there are times when they do their work even better. Everybody must admit it would be a great loss to the public, and to the furtherance of the industry and enterprise of this country if the House of Lords were to be cut off from their judicial duties in Private Bill legislation; and, surely, the right hon. Gentleman will see the advantage of now telling us that, however he defines "Money Bills," he does not mean to exclude from the purview of the House of Lords Private Bills. I venture to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman and the Law Officers that they had better now introduce words making it perfectly clear they mean to leave the constitution in this particular at all events undisturbed. If that 168 is their policy, let them declare it and leave us free to discuss to-morrow the really big question, namely, how we are to define Money Bills. I hope the Government will see the propriety of dealing with this point, or at all events of making a declaration of policy, clear and explicit, which will justify my hon. Friend in withdrawing the Amendment. I hope the Government will meet us on this question and allow us to begin the debate to-morrow on the more important proposition.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman has made a very strong and reasonable appeal to the Government, and the question he has put is one which must be answered. I may say at once that the Government have not contemplated including Private Bill legislation within the scope of the provisions of this Act. We do not believe that the words of Sub-section (2) would include Private Bill legislation. We are very anxious indeed to provide that the main objects of the legislation we have in hand should be effective and we are desirous to seek opportunities for preventing disagreement. If it is wished very strongly by the right hon. Gentleman that the word "public" should be inserted we will not object. The Government have never contemplated passing this Bill through the Committee without Amendment. They have never been manæuvring to avoid a Report Stage, although we reserve to ourselves the right to judge within what limits the Report stage should be conducted. This point is not one of great substance. If it makes clearer what the intentions of the Government are it can do no harm. If it is really the desire of the right hon. Gentleman that the word should be inserted, I say on behalf of the Government that we will accept the Amendment.
Sir H. DALZIEL
I do not blame the right hon. Gentleman for making any slight concession, but I must express my emphatic opinion that at this stage the word "public" is absolutely and entirely unnecessary for the purposes of this Bill. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that the Speaker of the House for the time being would rule that it is absolutely impossible for a Money Bill to relate to a Private Bill. A Private Bill would not deal with the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration, or regulation of taxation. There never has been in the whole history of Parliament a Private Bill which dealt with any of these things. 169 Under our Standing Orders it could not do so. [HON. MEMBER: "Read on."] I know of no Private Bill dealing with "charges on the Consolidated Fund or the provision of money by Parliament; supply; the appropriation, control, or regulation of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repayment thereof; or matters incidental to those subjects or any of them." The words of the latter part of the second Clause must be read in the light of the first part, and Mr. Speaker would obviously, in a matter of that kind, read the Clause as a whole. From the whole purport of the Clause it is obvious it cannot refer to Private Bills, and therefore I repeat that in my opinion this alteration is totally and entirely unnecessary.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The hon. Member who spoke last suggested that this Amendment was unnecessary because this Clause could not possibly include a Private Bill. Let me call his attention, as an example only, to the words "the raising or guaranteeing of any loan or the repayment thereof." Supposing that a railway company were to promote a Private Bill to increase their borrowing powers that would be a Bill which would be absolutely and distinctly within the meaning of the words "raising or guaranteeing any loan or the repayment thereof." It would be a Private Bill coining within the section. I give that as an illustration only, but there are numerous other cases which can be taken. The word "taxation" includes "rating," and there are numerous Private Bills which include Clauses in regard to rating. If the Government are willing to accept the words of course that is another matter. My only reason for rising was to point out that the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy was not correct.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment of the hon. Member for Central Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) is in order, but will be equally well raised at a later stage, and the next Amendment is that of the hon. Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave).
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The point I wished to raise under this Amendment was simply to meet the argument which has come with some force from the Government side that unless there was some provision of the kind I propose the Government would be at the mercy of both Houses at once in regard 170 to its administration as well as its legislation. I was prepared to argue that question, but I would put it to my right hon. Friend below me whether under the circumstances I should move it now or whether the matter should be taken lower down as we have not yet got an intimation from the Government in regard to it. It is admitted that we are on the brink of a very large question, and I am prepared to move it pro forma, but if the acting Leader of the House were prepared to move to report Progress in order that a full discussion may be taken when we are all fresh on the big subject I should be prepared, certainly, to waive my right in order that this may be discussed in a more convenient place.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I hope the hon. Member will not move it at this stage. I think it would be better to take this very important Amendment at a later stage. It would be more saisfactory.
The discussion has been very business-like for the last hour and I would venture to suggest that it would meet the convenience of the Committee, and would not at all delay business if we were to get to-night to the threshold of the big question of what is a Money Bill, and that we should take that as the first business to-morrow. I suggest that to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, but, of course, he can if he likes insist upon our beginning that large subject to-night. It would, however, be a very unsatisfactory, and not perhaps, so temperate a discussion, as that which we have had to-night, and perhaps not so business-like.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The Government are very desirous of concluding Clause I. with the exception of the general question that the Clause stand part, which I quite agree should be the subject of ordered Debate by itself before we go away for our holiday. There are only two really great questions outstanding upon it—what is a Money Bill and what should be the tribunal. The 11 o'clock Rule will be suspended to-morrow, not because we wish to sit late, but really for convenience of the discussion? While we reserve to ourselves all right to deal with any situation as it may arise, if the right hon. Gentleman thinks that would be a convenient method of disposing of our discussions on this, I would suggest that we should devote the afternoon of to-morrow to deciding what is a Money Bill, and the 171 evening to deciding what may be the tribunal, and then the business would be disposed of. The Noble Lord shakes his inexorable head at the idea that there is another Amendment which the Government wish to accept, to omit Sub-section (4) altogether. That is a matter which we have come to the conclusion ought properly to be dealt with under the Standing Orders of the House. It is a matter for the House itself. We wish to get these two questions cleared out of the way, and we certainly do not desire to insist upon the House entering upon the discussion now. It is for the right hon. Gentleman to say on consideration what view he takes.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The suggestion which the right hon. Gentleman has made does not seem to me a very reasonable one. Might I suggest that it would be desirable that they should reserve the question of what they propose to get to-morrow until they have heard the discussion. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that the two very important matters could be dealt with one in the afternoon and other in the evening, the evening under modern conditions being an exceedingly short period and the evening before the Adjournment when many Members would find it more convenient to leave at an early hour. There are, in addition to the words of the Bill, certain provisos which are of importance. I honestly think it is very important that we should decide whether Payment of Members would be a Money Bill or not. There are special categories of Bills which fall under the description of Money Bills which it would be desirable to exclude. I do not think it possible to arrive at the bargain which the right hon. Gentleman suggests now. Does he really think that if we embark on a great discussion now we are likely to make very rapid progress? Assuming the Government intend to be reasonably conciliatory, I should have thought they would gain much more time by discussing the matter to-morrow afternoon, and proceeding as soon as possible to the other matters. I certainly think that the suggestion that we should come to a bargain now that we should pass Clause I to-morrow without having an opportunity of discussing these matters is one that we cannot possibly agree to.
I merely want to urge the same point on the right hon. Gentleman. After all, we might have a discussion on what is meant by a Money Bill, and having decided what that means, we would have to devote a certain amount of time to the provisos. Some of these will require discussion. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will take that into account.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I hope that we on this side of the House will not come to any bargain whatever. We have suffered a good deal in the course of these discussions already, and we are now engaged on the most important question on which this House has entered for two centuries. We are asked to destroy the right of the other House in regard to important matters of finance. I think we should be most untrue to our trust as Members of this House, legislating not for to-day or to-morrow, but, if the Government have their will, for all time, if we did anything to stifle debate and if we came to any bargain. While anxious not to disturb in any way the harmony of this debate, I do urge most strongly that inasmuch as the Government cannot possibly forsee the importance of the points which will arise on the debate to-morrow on the questions "What is a Money Bill?" and "What is to be the tribunal to decide what is a Money Bill?"—the Home Secretary admits that these are most vital matters—we may be able to continue the discussion to-morrow in the full, free, and unfettered manner which this House is entitled to demand and which it would be most unfaithful to its trust if it were to abandon.
May I point out to the Government that after the Amendments have been disposed of there is the important question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill." There are really questions of great importance raised by the suggested provisos. Even since this Bill was drafted the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues must have become aware how difficult are the questions which are raised by the words "Money Bills." All these questions have to be considered by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite and also by my friends on this side. I think that the right hon. Gentleman will feel that to ask us to dispose by bargain first of all of the question of the broad definition of what is a Money Bill, and secondly, of the question who is to decide what is a Money Bill, and to let go all the questions which arise on the 173 provisos is to ask what is impossible to agree to with the best intentions in the world.
I would ask the Committee to look at the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) to insert at the end of Sub-section (2), "and which in its character is in the opinion of the joint committee purely financial: Provided that a Bill shall not be deemed to be purely financial if in the opinion of the joint committee it is in whole or in part political in its character or objects, and in determining that question the joint committee shall have regard to any provision of the Bill which is of such a nature as to bring about social or political changes, or to discriminate unjustly between different classes of persons or property." That does raise a question of very great difficulty and importance. There are other matters of the same kind to be raised. I do not suppose that all the provisos will require great discussion, but I do think that to ask us to dispose of the Clause on the Paper and abandon the provisos tomorrow is throwing an undue burden on the Opposition. In the long run I do not think it would conduce to expeditious progress. I venture to suggest, therefore, to the Government that it would be unwise to ask for anything in the nature of a bargain on this side of the House which would make it a matter of honour that the proviso should be begun, and still less that it should be disposed of before we separate to-morrow night.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
There is no question at all before the Committee of a bargain. We are here to fight as hard as we can on a matter on which we differ profoundly. But there is no reason why we should not regulate our combat. The hon. Member for York (Mr. Butcher) need not, however, think that we are asking for quarter in any way. On the contrary, we only want the full vigour of debate, no more and no less with this discussion. The right hon. Gentleman has indicated certain grounds which might regulate our business. I think that the Government had every hope of discussing the proviso this side of Easter, but if it really would enable us to dispose of the matters we have agreed to without quarrelling and wasting a lot of time in asking how much time we are to give to the discussions, I think it is a matter which the Government should consider. The difficulty is that the proviso comes in at the end of 174 Sub-section (2), therefore we should have left Sub-sections (3) and (4) to be discussed afterwards. As to the general Debate on the Clause this we quite believe is a matter which should stand over till after Easter. I suggest that the provisos should be put down as new Sub-sections. They would come at the end of the Clause and then we could take to the end of the Clause before we separate—the end of Subsection (3) and the omission of Subsection (4).
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The right hon. Gentleman has told us that he proposes to leave out Sub-section (4). He seems to regard that as a concession, but to me it looks like the removal of a concession. What I dislike is coming to an understanding which may tie our hands next week when something quite unforeseen, some new contingency, may arise. As I understand the suggestion is that the Bill as it stands be passed up to the end of Sub-section (3). We do not know in the least what the Government may say, or what Amendments they are going to omit. I can conceive that it may be a very reasonable arrangement which we could easily carry out, but I can also conceive that it might be a very unreasonable arrangement. Therefore I dislike giving no absolute promise. I understood the right hon. Gentleman that he thinks it a most reasonable arrangement of the business to carry over these Sub-sections until to-morrow with such amendments as the Government are able to assent to. I do not dispute at all that that seems a reasonable claim, but I do not want to be put in a position in which I would have the appearance of breaking an arrangement.
The Government have it in their power to take the discussion now, but they can give that away if they wish, and what we desire is that the discussion should be taken at a reasonable hour, for it is the most important discussion of all we have had on the Clause. Personally, I think that what the Government are prepared to give is worth our receiving. They were prepared. They are prepared to give us a discussion on this Amendment, and, instead of the long sitting to-night, we could have it to-morrow instead. I prefer it to-morrow rather than to-day, because to-morrow we shall understand it better. If we take the long discussion to-day we get it at the wrong time, and therefore, personally, I would suggest that the Committee should accept the 175 suggestion, which I take to be this: We begin the discussion of the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend behind me at four o'clock to-morrow. We then go to the question of the Speaker and the Tribunal, and we do not take any of the provisos before we separate for the holidays. I think that is a good arrangement, though I do not know whether others approve it.
Yes; in the form of a Sub-section. On a point of Order, Sir, I understand that there will be no difficulty in moving a proviso in the form of a Subsection?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am in the unfortunate position of not having studied these provisos, but I do not think, speaking generally, that there would be any difficulty about making separate Sub-sections. That is my opinion, after having given the matter, I admit, only very perfunctory examination.
§ Mr. CAVE
I do not want to oppose any arrangement, but I want to know what the arrangement is which has been offered. I apprehend that the suggestion is that these provisos are to be submitted in the form of separate Sub-sections. Some of the words proposed to be added are not in the form of Sub-sections. Take, for example, one Amendment in my own name, one that is in the form of an addition to a Sub-section. I see my way perfectly clearly to putting it down as a separate Sub-section, but would that be departing from the suggestion of my right hon. Friend below me?
§ Committee report Progress, to sit again to-morrow (Tuesday).
§ Adjourned at Seventeen minutes before Twelve o'clock.