- (1) If any Bill other than a Money Bill is passed by the House of Commons in three successive Sessions (whether of the same Parliament or not), and, having been sent up to the House of Lords at least one month before the end of the Session, is rejected by the House of Lords in each of those Sessions, that Bill shall, on its rejection for the third time by the House of Lords, 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 thereto, notwithstanding that the House of Lords has not consented to the Bill; Provided that this provision shall not take effect unless two years have elapsed between the date of the first introduction of the Bill in the House of Commons and the date on which it passes the House of Commons for the third time.
- (2) A Bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the House of Lords if it is not passed by the House of Lords either without amendment or with such amendments only as may be agreed to by both Houses.
- (3) A Bill shall be deemed to be the same Bill as a former Bill sent up to the House of Lords in the preceding Session if, when it is sent up to the House of Lords, it is identical with the former Bill or contains only such alterations as are certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons to be necessary owing to the time which has elapsed since the date of the former Bill, or to represent amendments which have been made by the House of Lords in the former Bill in the preceding Session.
§ Provided that the House of Commons may, if they think fit, on the passage of such a Bill through the House in the 48 second or third Session, suggest any further amendments without inserting the Amendments in the Bill, and any such suggested amendments shall be considered by the House of Lords, and if agreed to by that House, shall be treated as amendments made by the House of Lords and agreed to by the House of Commons; but the exercise of this power by the House of Commons shall not affect the operation of this section in the event of the Bill being rejected by the House of Lords.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment I select is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Goldman).
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
On a point of Order. I understood from your ruling on the last occasion that you would allow a discussion to take place on the Amendment standing in my name to leave out the words "first introduction" and to insert "Second Reading."
§ The CHAIRMAN
That would have been an equally good Amendment from my point of view upon which to raise this question, but I call upon the hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth on request made to me.
§ Mr. IAN MALCOLM
On last Tuesday there was a discussion on an Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Central Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) to leave out the word "Session" in Sub-section (1) ["in three successive Sessions"] and to insert instead thereof the word "years." You suggested, Mr. Emmott, that that Amendment should be withdrawn and the discussion might be taken on my Amendment at the bottom of page 31 of the White Paper, and you said if my hon. Friend's Amendment was withdrawn it would not interfere with my Amendment or another Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. Peel). The Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister both made speeches upon the point, but now I fear that arrangement has been very much interfered with.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I explained to the hon. Member for Croydon when I made that remark the other night that I would keep an open mind. I think his Amendment is not in the right place and that it should come on line 30, and so far as it is not cut out by the Debate upon the Amendment of the hon. Member (Mr. Goldman), which is now about to take place, my present intention is to allow the Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Yes; if the hon. Member will kindly hand it in commencing with the words "provided also," unless I find that it is covered by the discussion on the Amendment upon which we are now about to enter, I shall call upon the hon. Member.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1) to leave out the word "introduction" ["between the date of the first introduction of the Bill"] and to insert instead thereof the word "passing."
I respectfully invite the attention of the Committee to this Amendment, believing as I do that in most respects it is less contentious than some of the Amendments already moved. I am sanguine enough to hope that the Government will accept it. I desire to substitute the word "passing" for the word "introduction" with the object of ensuring that a minimum period of two years shall elapse from the passing of a Bill before the drastic provisions contemplated if the present Clause comes into effect. In every Bill that passes the House of Commons considerable alterations are effected. Indeed, it would be a very rare occurrence if an important Bill such as the machinery of this Bill is intended to meet did not undergo very drastic changes during its various stages in this House. I might give a few examples from the experience of recent years to show that Amendments have been introduced on Committee and Report stage which have transformed the whole form and scope of the character of the Bill. I need only refer to the Education Bill which was introduced by the present Chief Secretary for Ireland, to the Licensing Bill introduced by the Prime Minister, to the Old Age Pensions Bill, and also to the Budget Bill.
It has been said upon several occasions during the Debates upon the Parliament Bill that this House is a representative Assembly. I say it is more than a representative Assembly. It is a deliberative 50 Assembly, and one of the functions of a deliberative Assembly is that it should bring to bear upon all measures that come up for its consideration all the experience and knowledge and statesmanship and all the foresight of which it is capable. It is as a result of such process and operation that we find Amendments being introduced into a, Bill which in many cases change the whole scope and character of the measure. Under these circumstances I contend it would be unfair to accept as the starting point the embryonic condition of the Bill, rather than on the final stage which it will reach by the time the imprint will have been given to it by the House of Commons on Third Reading. I contend that a minimum interval of two years from that date ought to elapse to ensure adequate discussion of the Bill under consideration. At the present moment we have no procedure which is to secure that we shall have adequate and complete discussion of a Bill. A Bill might be introduced on the first day of the Session, and we might not hear of it again until the closing days. Under the existing system there is no need for a Bill to be published until the Second Reading, and when it has reached that particular stage it would be competent for the Government to try and squeeze a Bill through which had hardly been discussed at all, under the operation of the closure and the guillotine. The House at that late period of the Session being fatigued and weary, would only be too ready to submit to any motion which came from the Government which would have the effect of allocating the time to be given to the measures of the Government under consideration.
The effect of this Amendment would be that if a Bill is to be introduced which it is supposed would be rejected by the House of Lords, its Third Reading would be brought forward in the first Session as early as possible. That would have a very useful effect in giving greater publicity to the Bill under consideration. I also lay particular stress upon the whole question of publicity. I believe that the effect of this Amendment would be to give as wide a publicity sooner than we otherwise would get it, because the Second Reading of the Bill would be accelerated. I think no one will decline to acknowledge the value and assistance we get in these matters both from the public and from the Press. Many hon. Members will be ready, I am sure, to acknowledge that many valuable points made in their 51 speeches, and some of the most effective points, are those which they have received from their constituencies. As a deliberative assembly we are greatly assisted by the information and comments made by the public and in the Press. I do not wish to see this valuable asset lost to us, and for this reason I am anxious to see that we should have the greatest publicity, which a measure cannot receive if it is left to the last moment. At the present moment there is no provision whatever that gives us early information; in my opinion there is a good deal of justification for suggesting that the two years shall begin not on the introduction but upon the passing of the Bill. It would be just as reasonable for the Prime Minister to say that the period shall begin at the time a measure is accepted by the Government or when a measure is conceived by the Cabinet Minister in charge of it, as to say that the date should commence from the first introduction of the Bill. The date of introduction of a Bill has no inherent relation whatever to our proceedings. The provisions of the Bill need not be divulged and they may remain unpublished for months. The Prime Minister deprecated the suggestion that any Government would be so unreasonable as to introduce or make use of machinery of this character to introduce Bills of the kind I have mentioned. I agree that so long as we are living and working under an unwritten Constitution that course is unthinkable; but seeing that the Government are bent upon giving us a written Constitution, the whole position will be changed. The provisions of this Clause might be an actual encouragement to unreasonableness. I believe if this Amendment is accepted it will at least counteract and modify to some extent the characteristics of the evils which might arise from the acceptance of this Clause, which says that the time limit shall begin from the introduction and not from the passing of the Bill.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
May I suggest that the words "first introduction" should be kept in before we pass on to the insertion of this word "passing"? It will be possible then to discuss as an Amendment to my hon. Friend's Amendment the introduction of the words "second reading." If the word "first" is left in, we shall then be able to discuss that question.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
May I move as an Amendment that the words "Second Reading" should be substituted in my hon. Friend's Amendment for the word "passing."
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member cannot move that as an Amendment until the word "introduction" has been left out, but he can speak to that point upon this Amendment.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I understood that the Prime Minister was very favourable to some such Amendment as that which stands on the Paper in my name. I agree largely with what has fallen from my hon. Friend; in fact, I think his arguments are very strong indeed. One has, however, to look at the question of practicability as well as of reason, and I understand that it is probable the Government are not likely to go so far as to agree with my hon. Friend's proposal, although I do not think they can resist the reasonableness of my Amendment. I will advance one or two arguments which apply to my hon. Friend's case and also to my Amendment, if it is considered later on. The one thing the Prime Minister had in mind was that it was necessary that the public should be aware of the contents of a Bill, and the argument which my Noble Friend the Member for Thirsk (Viscount Helmsley) addressed to him was the one which appears to me to have had the greatest effect upon him. Perhaps I may call attention to the fact that sometimes a considerable time may elapse between the first introduction and the Second Reading of the Bill. In the case of the Finance Bill of 1910 the First Reading took place on 25th July and it was "ordered for Second Reading to-morrow." As a matter of fact, it was not read a second time until 22nd November. Therefore the attention of the public had not been called to it, and in that case it would be obviously unfair to include in those two years those four months which elapsed between July and November. Even when a Bill is printed it does not necessarily appeal very much to the public until it has been read a second time in this House. I can give as an instance the Welsh Disestablishment Bill of 1909, which was printed before we had our discussion on the First Reading. That fact escaped the notice of a good many people, and I observe that in the election of Barnstaple the Liberal candidate, who was a Member of this House at the time I refer to, does not seem to be aware that the Bill I have mentioned had been 53 printed, judging from a remark made by him at one of his meetings. Therefore it is perfectly clear that if an hon. Member of this House was not aware of that fact, there must be a very large number of the public outside whose attention has not been drawn to it. If the time dates from the first introduction of the Bill, it would become the habit to introduce Bills at the best possible moment in the Session; they would all be introduced immediately after the King's Speech, and many of them would not be thought of again probably until the Autumn Session. If in the second year, some Bill of overshadowing importance occupied the whole attention of the public, the Bill introduced earlier in the previous year, and passed at the end of that year, would be put in the shade entirely by some important measure passed in a short time under the guillotine, and at the beginning of the third year it could be introduced again and passed, and probably the public would not become aware of it. For these reasons I think if the Prime Minister will not accept the proposal of my hon. Friend he will, at any rate, look with favour, as he did the other night, upon some more modified suggestion, and I hope he will consider my suggestion worthy of consideration.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
This point was raised the first time by the Noble Lord below the Gangway, and I was so far impressed by it, that I agreed on the part of the Government to give the matter careful consideration. I cannot accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Penryn, which goes too far, and would really mean an abridgement from two years to eighteen months. I think there is possibly some point in the argument which has been introduced by the hon. Member who has just sat down (Mr. Bridgeman), although I confess I think Bills of the character which will come under the operation of this Clause will be of so much importance and of such a class that their introduction must necessarily be more or less a full-dress affair, and the contents of such measures would be well known to the public on the very first day. I agree there is a possibility that a Bill might be introduced, printed and circulated, and for reasons which were not anticipated by those who introduced it, there might be considerable delay before it was read a second time, and in fact it might not be read a second time at all. I should therefore be prepared to accept the modified Amendment proposed by the hon. Member 54 for Oswestry and let the two years run from the date of the Second Reading which will ensure not only that the Bill shall have been printed and circulated, but also that it will have had all the advantage to be derived from a full Second Reading Debate before the provision takes effect. But while I agree to the omission of the word "introduction," and the substitution of the words "Second Reading," I confess that "the first Second Reading" does not read very well, although it is quite intelligible, and we may require to modify it to make it read "the date of the Second Reading in the first of those Sessions," which meets the further point which has been raised by the hon. Member. Therefore, while I accept for the moment the words "Second Reading" in place of "introduction," I do so on the understanding that on the Report stage we shall modify those words in order to carry out our intentions.
I am very glad the Prime Minister has taken the course he has just announced to the House. As far as I am able to judge, we have to thank the right hon. Gentleman not only for accepting the modified form of the Amendment, but also for suggesting the form of words which seem to meet another possible danger which the original form of the Bill did not meet. I frankly say that in strict logic I think the hon. Member for Penryn (Mr. Goldman), who moved this Amendment, really made a proper suggestion. What the Government desire in their Bill is that from the time this House has declared its intention with regard to a Bill, there should be a certain length of time elapse and no longer. The declaration of the intention of this House with regard to a Bill is not really made on its Second but on its Third Reading. One could mention great Bills, the very sort of Bills on which there might be a dispute between the two Houses, which in the experience or in the memory of some hon. Gentlemen in this House were so modified Us Committee or on Report that when they were finally passed they were quite different Bills from what they were not merely when they were read a first time but also when they were second time. Take Mr. Disraeli's Reform Bill of 1867. That came out of the Committee stage au entirely different Bill from what it was when it entered. Take Mr. Forster's Education Bill of 1870. That came out of the Committee Stage an entirely different Bill, profoundly modified in all its controversial features. Therefore, if we are to 55 consult logic, there is not the least doubt the hon. Member for Falmouth (Mr. Goldman) is right and whether it be eighteen months or two years the logical time from which this period is to run in which the House are to consider in the first place the settled determination of the House of Commons, and in the second place the arguments brought in another place against the proposal, ought to be the Third Reading and not the Second Reading. I recognise, however, the Government have made a great concession in the matter, and I do not press what I still think is the true logic to its extreme limits, seeing the Government have met us as far as they have.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I do not see what provision there is in this Clause that the two years shall count from the first of those Sessions, and I do not think, so far as I understand the words which the right hon. Gentleman has suggested should be introduced on Report, they would meet the case. If those words were inserted, is there anything to prevent a Second Reading taking place in a previous Parliament, it might be four of five years before the first series of these Sessions began? I am aware, of course, the three Sessions would have to take place in succession, but there might be a fourth Session three or four years before, when the Second Reading took place. That would be the date from which those two years would commence to run, and, although the three successive Sessions might equally take place, yet, as a matter of fact, there would not be two years between the time when the Bill was actually taken up and finally passed.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am bound to admit there is a hole here, although a very small one. I have stopped it to a large extent by the words "In the first of those Sessions," but it would, I think, be completely stopped and all the apprehensions of the Noble Lord allayed, if at the end of the Sub-section we added the words "in the third of those Sessions." I will not, of course, move them now, but I will consider them between now and the Report Stage.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
On this new point, I would suggest that the discussion might also be more conveniently taken on my Amendment to insert at the end of the Sub-section the words: "Provided further that this provision shall not take effect in the case of any Bill which has not 56 passed its second reading in the House of Commons before the first day of July in two successive years."
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
It is obvious a Bill might be so transformed as to become from a comparatively uncontroversial to a highly controversial Bill. A Bill might be introduced in such a form as to be perfectly acceptable to the House of Lords or to public opinion generally, and then might be changed in consequence of pressure being brought to bear upon the Government by their supporters just, for example, as the Trades Disputes Bill was modified so as to make it in contradiction to the opinions of many distinguished Members of the Government itself.
And the Agricultural Holdings Bill.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Yes, the Agricultural Holdings Bill is another case in which a Bill was in an important degree transformed. This might make the provision of two years an unreal provision. The whole thing and the whole process of t his waiting is nonsense, but, if you are to take the Government seriously, you must imagine something is going to happen during the two years which will not happen equally well in a year or a month. That is the Government's theory. If that is so, you certainly ought to begin your period from the passing of the Bill, if you do not begin it from the rejection by the House of Lords. It would not then, at any rate, be possible for the House of Commons to modify the Bill. It would he in its final shape, as if it was proposed to pass it over the heads of the House of Lords. Therefore, on the logic of the provision they ought to accept the proposal as it stands in the name of my hon. Friend (Mr. Goldman).
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not wish to argue on the assumption of the Noble Lord that the whole thing is nonsense. I do not think language of that kind contributes to the usefulness of Debate, but, from the point of view of substance, my reply is that in the first place cases of Bills being transformed after the Second Reading are extremely rare. As a rule, changes of that kind are announced on the Second Reading. I believe in the most extreme cases—if my memory serves me rightly, in the case of Mr. Disraeli's Reform Bill of 1867, cited by the right hon. Gentleman opposite—large transformations have been announced on the Second Reading. In that case Mr. Disraeli announced on the 57 Second Reading the vital transformations the Government were prepared to accept. Let me point out that these Bills will have to pass this House a second and third time in their new transformed shape. I think the Government have gone a very fair length to meet the objections in this case, and I hope the Committee will be content to accept the words "Second Reading."
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
On a point of Order. I should not wish to trouble you, but I would suggest that the Debate on that point might militate against the Debate on my Amendment.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
If it will be any satisfaction to the hon. Member I will move the words, not now, but when the time comes, of course, reserving the right to consider on Report whether they will be apt words.
§ Mr. MORRELL
Considering the way in which this concession has been received by the Noble Lord below the Gangway (Lord Hugh Cecil), I think the Government might think a little longer before they make any more concessions. There may be good reasons for making this alteration, but I must say, with all respect, the Prime Minister has not given those good reasons to the Committee. He is making the very large extension of three months to the time it will take to pass a Bill into law. Instead of the two years given to the country we are now to have practically two years and three months. We very often get three months between the introduction of a Bill and a Second Reading. Surely if a Bill passes this House in three successive Sessions within a period of two years from its introduction, it is long enough. I sincerely hope we shall not have any more concessions to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway who receive them so ungraciously.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
May I point out that as recently as 1906 very extensive alterations were made in the Agricultural Holdings Act. It was brought in as a private Member's Bill. It was afterwards given facilities by the Government. It was altered in the Committee Stage, and on Report in this House, and then it was altered in the House of Lords. I can see now in my mind's eye the two learned Law Officers of the Crown constructing a new Bill on that bench, whilst we on this side of the House sat and waited until the Clauses were put in order. None of those Amendments were foreshadowed on the Second Reading.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
That is true; but my point is that it is not a very exceptional thing for a Bill to be so altered in Committee or on Report as to assume a shape quite different from that which it had on Second Reading, without any statement being made on the Second Reading by the promoters that they are prepared to alter the Bill.
The Prime Minister tried to console us by saying there is the second and third Session, but we have no assurance there will be a full discussion in the second Session, and as for the third occasion it is admittedly a purely formal one. The third time of passing is when it goes straight up for the Royal Assent, and obviously public opinion has no opportunity then of making itself felt. It is the first time that a Bill is brought in when public opinion is really concentrated upon it.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The Prime Minister has met us to some extent and has a little disarmed us on this point, but I am bound to say that not only logic, but also experience, is really against him. The Education Bill of 1870 has been referred to. As far as my reading serves me, that Bill on Second Reading was laid aside for something like four months, and at the end of that time Amendments were brought in that absolutely transformed it on many vital points—the constitution of the authority in particular. The Education Bill of 1902 as it was brought in was an optional Bill, and it was not until the Bill got well into Committee that its character was transformed, and no hint was given as to that transformation on Second Reading. If one had the time, one could find that the same thing took place with regard to a number of other important Bills. Therefore, I do not think the concession really meets the gravamen of the point raised by my hon. Friend (Mr. Goldman), and, if he goes to a Division, I shall certainly support him.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I do not think the reply given by the Prime Minister answers the point I really raised by my Amendment, but, at the same time, in view of what has fallen from the Leader of the Opposition, I am prepared to withdraw the Amendment on the understanding, of course, that the right hon. Gentleman will introduce his Amendment on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.59
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Perhaps I had better move now in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "first introduction" ["of the Bill"] in order to insert instead thereof the words "Second Reading in the first of those Sessions."
Question, "That the words "first introduction' stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
Question, "That the words 'Second Reading in the first of those Sessions' be inserted instead thereof," put, and agreed to.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I now beg to move, to leave out at the end of Subsection (1) the words "for the third time" in order to insert instead thereof the words "in the third of those Sessions." The object of this is to meet the point raised by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) and also by the Noble Lord below the Gangway (Viscount Helmsley). I reserve liberty, of course, to reconsider the words on the Report stage.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Why is it proposed to leave out the words "for the third time"? I take them to mean the Third Reading?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
No; this has nothing to do with the Third Reading. It refers to the Bill passing the third time.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I think the Prime Minister has met one point I raised, and I thank him for it. I understand now that two years are to run from the date of the Second Reading. Say that is in March, 1912, the third passing cannot be taken before the corresponding day of the same month in 1914. Is that so?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The right hon. Gentleman has not met my point about rushing Bills through short Sessions.
§ Question, "That the words 'for the third time' stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
moved to add at the end of Sub-section (1) the words "nor unless in each Session in which the Bill is dealt with in the House of Commons 60 under this Section the House meets for the despatch of business on at least 120 days."
I am not particularly wedded to the number of days. I am informed, taking the last fifteen years, that the average Session has extended to 125 days. It is obvious to the Committee that we all want to avoid anything like a bogus Session, or a very short Session, which might count as a Session for the passing of a very important Bill. We want a very substantial Session in that regard. I am quite sure that neither the Prime Minister nor the Home Secretary will think that this is meretricious criticism. If we can have two Dissolutions in the course of one year there is no reason why we should not have two or three Sessions in a period of twelve months. We want, if possible, to avoid that, and we want to do so all the more since we heard the speech of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir Henry Dalziel), in which he said that we might have three Sessions in one year. According to him, those Sessions might count as coming within the meaning of this Bill. Realising the great importance which attaches to this measure in the country, I think hon. Members will say there ought to be no power to rush a Bill through under such circumstances. We ought not to be dependent too much upon technical expressions, and therefore I suggest that a Session should be taken to mean a substantial number of days. We want to know, in fact, in tennis of working days, what the Government mean by the expression "Session"? It would not be a bad thing for our purposes if a statutory meaning were given to the word. The Prime Minister the other clay, in the course of a conversation across the floor of this House, referred to an Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) dealing practically with this very subject. It was an Amendment as to the meaning of the word "year," and the right hon. Gentleman's reply indicated that he was really very nearly in agreement with us, because he said he would undertake, between now and the Report stage, to consider whether some words might be introduced to avoid what he admitted would be wholly improper—namely, an idea that there should be bogus Sessions for the purpose of rushing a particular Bill through. I should like to know from those now in charge of the Bill whether consideration has been given by the Government to this point, and 61 whether words have been decided upon which will avoid altogether the possibility of the very absurd position arising of having exceptionally short Sessions, with a view to counting them as Sessions for the purposes of this Bill. We are anxious to know what decision the Government have arrived at in regard to this very important point. We think it should be declared in unmistakeable terms that a Session should be really a substantial Session for the purposes of this Bill. I therefore move my proviso, more, however, for the purpose of eliciting from right hon. Gentlemen opposite what is to be done to carry out the undertaking of the Prime Minister to consider the advisability of introducing words to avoid what would probably be a Parliamentary absurdity.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
The hon. Member did not give any argument why it should be compulsory that each of the three Sessions should have the length he suggests. Let me point out, in the first place, what a Session of 120 working days would mean. Taking five days to the week, that is equivalent to twenty-four weeks, practically a period of six months without allowing intervals of any kind. Therefore a Session could not count for the purposes of this Bill unless it lasted for from six and a half to seven months, and if the House sat from the middle of February, with the usual intervals, until the middle of August, that would not be long enough to satisfy the hon. Member's proposal, and this House might sometimes be placed in the inconvenient position of having to prolong its Session when it had no business in hand, in order to put in the 120 days which the hon. Member desires. There are two important objects aimed at by this Clause. One is that the country should have adequate time to consider any Bill which is to be passed without the assent of the House of Lords, and that, I suggest, is effected by insisting upon the period of two years which is now to elapse between the time of the first Second Reading and the time of the third passing of the Bill in the House of Commons. The second matter of importance is that the House of Commons, if it should so desire, shall have full opportunity to reconsider the measure, and that is secured by the requirement that the Bill must be passed three times by the House of Commons. The length of the Session in which these three passages shall take place, I venture to say, is really irrelevant. It is no 62 guarantee of full discussion to provide that the Session shall last 120 days or eighty days, or any other period. The House of Commons, although sitting for a period of 120 days, might pass a particular Bill if it so desired in one, two, or three days, or whatever other time it chose to give to it. Therefore let me suggest to the Committee that the Amendment of the hon. Member does not really effect the purpose he has in view, and he has shown no adequate grounds for its acceptance.
§ Mr. LONG
I have heard the reply of the Postmaster-General with the greatest possible regret. He has contented himself with suggesting that the Amendment of my hon. Friend does not meet the case. But he has not thought it necessary to make any suggestion to the Committee following up the statement made by the Prime Minister with regard to the whole question. The reception given by the Prime Minister to the Amendment just disposed of was of so essentially reasonable and fair a character that we had good reason to hope there would be a similar acceptance for the Amendment of my hon. Friend. I do not suppose my hon. Friend attaches importance to the 120 days.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. LONG
My hon. Friend said so in his speech. He does not desire, nor is it desired by anybody here, to lay down a hard and fast rule as to what the length of a Session should be. My hon. Friend suggested that it might be possible to make a period for the length of the Session, but I do not think that that would at all meet the case, in which there are circumstances under which the House has to meet for a special Session which is of a very short duration. But what we do want is that you should lay down a definite procedure to the country. You are going to pass legislation of a very drastic character, and as your Clause lays it down as part of your procedure that there should be three Sessions, what we want to know is what is the intention of the Government in respect of them. The Postmaster-General as to that has not said a word, but he cannot complain of our making our point because it does not arise out of any suspicion on our part.
We do not suspect the present Government at all. The Prime Minister and other Ministers have assured us that they have no evil intention, and we do not suggest that they are likely to make an 63 improper use of their power. But what we ask is that they should clear up the doubts which are raised by their own supporters. It is not we who are given reasons for this Amendment. But my hon. Friend has reminded the Committee of the fact that in a leading paper a short time ago a suggestion was made by a distinguished member of the Press who is believed to have singularly accurate information as to the intentions of the Government, and it is therefore important that we should know what is the meaning of a Session. The Postmaster-General says you may have to sit for a lesser period than the figure named by my hon. Friend, but it is news to me to learn that 120 days is a shorter time than is required for our business. There are very few years in which we have to sit for less than 120 days, whether the Session is completed in August or July. But what we want to know is whether we are to have a short Session of a few days in order to make use of this Bill and to pass a measure through Parliament, or is the matter to be left open. The Postmaster-General says that if you lay it down that it shall only be 120 days or ninety days or eighty days, you are not going to prevent the Government of the day from pressing their measure through under drastic rules of procedure, and nothing can prevent that. Of course, we cannot prevent any Government from passing a Bill under a procedure rule in four or five days. We cannot protect ourselves against that. But we are entitled to be told what the Government means by these three Sessions. Do they mean two Sessions in one year, one of these Sessions to be a short Session, so as to enable them to pass a Bill in a period which will rank as a Session when it is nothing of the kind? I think we are entitled to have some assurance from the Government on that point, and if the Government cannot accept the Amendment they ought to use language which will make the Bill perfectly clear, and make it impossible for anybody to do what they think they do not intend to do themselves.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
The Committee seems to be in a more reasonable mood this afternoon, and I must say that I am not in much love with the Amendment of my hon. Friend. The real point at issue is not the number of days that a Session lasts, but is the duration of the interval between Session and Session. What we want is to secure that public opinion 64 should be heard. That is the object of my hon. Friend, and I have no doubt that he would be satisfied, or we should be satisfied, if two or three months were laid down as the interval between the two Sessions.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
Public opinion under changed conditions is likely to be modified and the arguments in the different Sessions may gather force as they go on. The argument is that there should be time, and the object of our procedure to enable public opinion to take form and shape. What we want is that the cool and deliberate sense of the community, as it is expressed on the platform and in the Press, should have due weight. It is impossible to ensure that unless there is a proper interval between the Sessions. I am not in the least able to say definitely, but I should think my hon. Friend would be satisfied with a proper assurance that there should be that interval without attaching special importance to the special number of days in a Session as to which I confess it is difficult to lay down any definition. If the Government could make a suggestion of that sort, or if they showed that they were in any way ready to accept such an Amendment, I think it might aid the solution of the difficulty which has arisen.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Really this Amendment is a much more important one than the Postmaster-General seemed to think. The question rests at present entirely upon the two years' interval before the Bill is passed. That is the part of the Government scheme, the effect of which has been advertised most in the country, namely, the fact that the Bill has to pass three times in two years. We want some assurance that it shall pass three times in a bonâ fide manner. Not that the Bill should be passed once in an ordinary way, and then twice through Sessions being short Sessions with the extensive aid of the guillotine. We want some assurance that the Bill is bonâ fide put through its three passages through this House after proper discussion, and in a Session of the ordinary length. The Postmaster-General must realise that under normal circumstances one Session a year is the ordinary thing in our House. Therefore if you are going to get three Sessions into two years, you must have one in one year and two in the other year, and what we want to 65 know is whether the Bill is on the second occasion going to pass through an ordinary Session, and is the House to be prorogued for one day, and then to meet again for a fortnight when the Bill will be rushed through again. If that is the intention of the Government, I venture to say that from the point of view of the country to talk about three passings of the Bill through this House is absolutely fraudulent. We were given to understand all over the country that there will be three separate Sessions of ordinary length, and that an ordinary postponement of the Bill would take place.
The Postmaster-General said there must be full opportunity of discussing the Bill, and I fully admit that the question of the length of the Sessions would not matter so much if we had some guarantee from the Government that on the second or third occasions the Bill would not be subject to rigorous closure and guillotine. But we have had no such guarantee from the Government. On the contrary, on every single occasion that this matter has been brought forward, the Government have refused even to consider the Amendments proposed. We are brought back therefore to this. We have this two years' interval in which the first, second, and third passings of the Bill in this House must take place, and as the time in which it must be passed over the heads of the House of Lords. But in that two years the Government may do anything. They may pass it through an ordinary Session, and they may then pass it through two absurdly short Sessions of a fortnight each with only one or two days elapsing between them. My hon. Friend behind me suggested that this Amendment might be withdrawn if instead of suggesting the number of days for the length of the Session there was some provision as to the interval between the Sessions? I quite agree, but though I think the interval between the Sessions is necessary, I think the length of the Sessions also ought to be defined. I think my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon has mentioned a rather lengthy period, but I daresay he would not be averse to a shorter one. I think, however, it should be laid down in some words or another that the Session should be of a particular length, so that it should be a real Sessions and not a Session ad hoc for the purpose of rushing the Bill through.
§ Mr. W. R. PEEL
I had an Amendment down on this point about a certain time 66 which should elapse between the end of one Session and the commencement of another. Perhaps I may read it, although it was passed over. It runs:—Provided that at least three months shall have elapsed between the end of each such Session and the commencement of the next Session.I understand, from the ejaculations of the Attorney-General, that he rather approved, or thought that an Amendment of that kind was better than the one brought forward.
§ Mr. PEEL
I thought from his condemnation of the Amendment of my hon. Friend that he inferentially supported mine. I will only suggest as you, Sir, left over my Amendment, that it is still, in a. sense, alive as it has not been discussed, and it would be possible to move my Amendment on line 30 as a proviso. It now stands at line 26, but it would be perfectly possible to insert it later on. It was, therefore, beneficial action on the part of the kangaroo closure if I am allowed to move it upon line 30, and then I think the Government would accept it.
Mr. STANLEY WILSON
I quite agree that one or the other of these Amendments should be accepted by the Government. But the only thing the Postmaster-General did was to speak against the 120 days in the Amendment of my hon. Friend. What we want to know is whether the Government will do anything of any sort in the direction suggested by this Amendment, or the Amendment of my hon. Friend who has just spoken, or also in the direction which the Prime Minister promised should receive the consideration of the Government. This important point has been raised from our Front Bench, and I do not think the Postmaster-General has really understood the importance of this Amendment. I think, therefore, we ought to press upon him to give us some sort of an answer, and I should like to put to him this deliberate question: Do the Government refuse to accept any sort of Amendment which will definitely state what the duration of a Session is to be?
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
It seems to me that the proposal to create a minimum length for the Session might be a very illusory safeguard, because if a Government was already disposed and was evil-minded enough—I use the phrase in no offensive sense, but I am making a suggestion which we are bound to make—if the Government were so evilly minded as to be inclined to pass a measure by perfunctory means under this Bill, it would probably not be stopped by the Parliamentary device of prolonging the Session. They might use the Royal Prerogative. They might advise the Sovereign not to prorogue, and this House might adjourn and it might still be in Session. Then my hon. Friend behind me suggests that we want a safeguard in the way of a minimum interval between the Sessions. That again may be illusory, because it might be at a time when it is not possible to organise public opinion. My experience is that it is easiest to organise public opinion and bring pressure to bear upon Members when the House is in Session. What we have to guard against is what takes place in this very short Session. It is very likely on the first occasion of the passing of the Bill that public attention may not be directed to the scheme. So likewise in the second of the two years. On the second occasion that it passes public opinion might be diverted to something else. It is on the third occasion that you want to be quite certain that public opinion is awake and alive, and has its attention drawn to the thing. What I suggest is that there should be a minimum limit between the First Reading and the Third Reading in this House on the third of the three occasions; that seems to me to be the only safeguard which is really substantial enough to be what we require. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite are always telling us that the true gospel really is that the whole text of this Bill, word, Clause and line, were fully and consciously present to every elector of this Kingdom at the last election; if that be so—and we have a right to assume that they mean what they say—this country, if it assented to anything, assented to a scheme in which there were two substantial safeguards: firstly, that there should be a minimum limit of two years at least between the two terminal stages, and secondly, that there should be three Sessions, and the country must be taken to have understood that that second safeguard should be a reality and a substantial thing, and that the third of the three Sessions should not be a bogus thing 68 and a House brought together in a perfunctory way for what I may call a scintilla, a punctum temporis, a thing which in the days of our geometrical studies we were taught to regard as a thing with no parts and no magnitude, a thing of no Parliamentary value and no worth to anyone as a constitutional safeguard. The real solution of the question is the requiring of a minimum limit of time between the initial and the final stages of the consideration of the Bill in the House on the third of the three Sessions.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The Postmaster-General's argument seems to lead to this conclusion, that three successive Sessions are not a safeguard at all, and might just as well be left out, and that the only real safeguard is in the two years. I very greatly dissent from that. I believe the only real security against a Bill being passed under this Bill is that some accident may intervene, and, of course, with the long lapse of time there will be opportunities for the operation of accidents, and, therefore, it is the two years that is the substantial safeguard. But the Government cannot take that view, because they deliberately put in three Sessions, too. If three Sessions is a safeguard, they must be in some sense or another substantial Sessions. It is absurd to put forward three Sessions as a safeguard and then to allow one or two of those Sessions to be illusory Sessions. I agree with my right hon. Friend that some other interval might have been suggested than that which has been suggested by the Postmaster-General, but he is mistaken in the calculation that he hastily made as to the length of time that 120 days represents. One hundred and thirty days represents twenty-six weeks, which is half the year. One hundred and twenty days is just under half the year. That is a normal Session. It is generally recognised as a normal Session. It was suggested in Debate—I am not sure it was not put down as an Amendment ten years ago when there was a question of suspending Members for disorder for the whole period of a Session—and 120 days was mentioned as the normal time a Session lasted. There have been a good many Sessions longer and a small number shorter, but the normal time is about 120 days. It will be easy to say 100 days, or any smaller time, if that would suit the Government's view. The real thing is that it should be a substantial Session, and that Parliament should not be in the position of having three successive Sessions as a 69 safeguard when one or two of those Sessions might be unreal Sessions altogether, not representing anything that in the ordinary sense is regarded as a Parliamentary Session.
§ Mr. BIGLAND
Will the Postmaster-General reply to this question? Suppose there was a probability of a Government going out of power within twelve months, would it be in his judgment a correct passing of three Sessions if three hurried Sessions were held and twelve months elapsed between passing it the third time and its becoming law? That is to say, the Bill, having passed three times in this House, might remain over one whole year. Would it become law at the expiration of the time? That is the point the Committee is in doubt about as to what advantage might be taken, seeing that we are to have a five years' Parliament instead of seven. Suppose towards the end of that Parliament the Government is exceedingly anxious to pass a measure and they must have a third Session. Would it be possible for them to have the three Sessions within a twelvemonth?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
If the hon. Gentleman will look at the terms of the Clause he will see it says:—Provided this provision shall not take effect unless two years have elapsedbetween two dates, the date of the first passing of the Second Reading and the date at which it passes the House of Commons for the third time.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Postmaster-General says he will not accept any Amendments defining the length of a Session, and I am rather inclined to think there is some reason for his making that statement. It would be highly inconvenient if we had it laid down in an Act of Parliament that unless a Session lasted a certain number of days no legislation should result. But he has not, I think, answered the point put by the hon. Member (Colonel Griffith-Boscawen), which I take it is the basis of all our fears. What we are afraid of is this. A Government might come in and pass a Bill in February. In April it might prorogue, and meet again in May and pass the Bill under the Closure, prorogue again in June, and pass the Bill for the third time under the Closure in July. Having done that, it cannot go for the Royal Assent until two years have elapsed. But what we want is that 70 the public shall be able to understand what is going on.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Two years must have elapsed before it passes the House of Commons for the third time.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Do I understand that what I fear cannot be carried out because two years must have elapsed between the passing of the first introduction and the passing of the Third Reading?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not read the Clause in that way, but if that is so it takes away my objection.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move, to amend the proposed Amendment by leaving out the words "meets for the despatch of business on at least 120 days," and to insert instead thereof the words "shall have met not later than the thirty-first day of March."
I agree there is some difficulty in defining a Session by the number of days that it lasts, but what we are afraid of is special Sessions later than the ordinary Session of the year in which a Bill may he passed in order to get a period of two years running from the earlier date, perhaps at a time of the year when public opinion cannot be directed to the character of the Bill. A possible way to meet that, though not an entirely satisfactory way, would be to provide that the Bill shall be passed in the ordinary, regular Sessions of the year. There must be an ordinary, regular Session of the year in the late winter, or early spring, because of the needs of finance and of the Army and Navy Votes. My Amendment would prevent special Sessions in August or some time like that, after the ordinary Session is over, and we should, in practice at any rate, though not perhaps on the literal construction of the words, secure that the Bill should pass the House of Commons in a regular Session of every year, and that there would be a reasonable interval for the public to discuss it and for public ventilation in the constituencies.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
A rigid limitation of this kind might easily cause the gravest inconvenience. Hon. Members opposite have frequently urged that this Clause should only apply where a General 71 Election intervenes between the various stages through which the Bill has to go on its way according to the directions of this Clause. Let us suppose that a Bill was passed through this House after prolonged debate in the ordinary course of the Session, and that it passed through by July. Let us suppose further, for reasons which are adequate at the time, that there is a General Election in the middle of the year, and the same Government is returned to power. They would again meet Parliament in the same year and proceed to business. According to the hon. Member's Amendment, though a General Election had intervened which might have been fought upon the merits of the very Bill to which the Clause is intended to apply, nevertheless that second Session of the same year was not to be counted as one of the three for the purpose of this Clause, merely because it began after 31st March. I fail to see that the hon. Member has given any reason whatever for making such an alteration in the Bill. The argument seems to me quite conclusive of the views which have been advanced that the House of Commons will have three opportunities of considering the Bill if it wishes to have them all in full. The length of the Session is no guarantee that a prolonged period will be spent upon the Bill. The second point is that the country will have two years in which the Bill shall be before it, and the length of the Session to elapse between those two years has no relevance to the discussion.
§ Sir WILLIAM ANSON
I think the Postmaster-General has rather taken advantage of certain technical difficulties attending on the Amendment, and I admit it might be found a substantial difficulty to limit the duration of the Session, but what he has failed to discover in the course of this discussion, and what we really want to know, is whether the three successive Sessions are meant to be a reality or not. The Government have put in two years and three successive Sessions. We want to know whether the second and the third Session may follow so closely one upon the other that the Bill in question will be dealt with so drastically that there will be no time between the second and the third Session for either this House or the public at large to have an opportunity of knowing what was going on, or discussing the Bill fully. It must be borne in mind that a Government might introduce two important Bills in the same 72 Session. There may be two different measures, each very important, going through contemporaneously. They may be fully discussed in one Session, discussed not so fully in. the second Session, and the third Session may follow so closely on the second Session that the public will have no opportunity of digesting the different subjects and ascertaining what is really passing as to two measures, both of first-class importance. I venture to say that the Amendments of my hon. Friends are eminently reasonable. One is that a certain period of time should be allowed to elapse between the different stages of a Bill, which would give this House and the country the opportunity of knowing what was happening in the course of the third Session, and the other is to allow such an interval between the second and third Sessions as to assure us that the three successive Sessions are a reality, and that the country between the second and third Sessions will know really all that is to be said, whether of one measure or of two measures; and, in any event, of one measure of the highest importance. What we want is to get some assurance from the Government as to what they mean by three successive Sessions, and that there will be something more than the two-years limit, Do the Government mean the Sessions to be a reality? If so, let them make them a reality by providing for that in the Bill, or by giving a time limit between the second and third Sessions. I venture to say that these are very reasonable proposals, which are not likely to cause inconvenience to the Government, but which are likely to give opportunity for the instruction of the country as to a measure which would be under discussion. I hope the Government will give some assurance that the three successive Sessions are to be a reality.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I think the real object of the Amendment is to ensure that there shall be real and not sham discussions in each of the three successive Sessions, and that a Bill which is to go through the House under the extraordinary conditions provided for in this part of the Bill shall be properly discussed. I think the Government will admit that on each of the three occasions there should be real and not sham discussion. I take it, therefore, that I have the assent of the Postmaster-General and the Attorney-General to the proposition that there should be real and not sham discussion on the three occasions. If that be so, the first condition to having 73 real discussion is that there shall be real Sessions in which to discuss a Bill. The object of my hon. Friend's Amendment is to ensure that we shall have real Sessions and not sham Sessions in each of the three years. What is the answer of the Postmaster-General? He says that my hon. Friend's Amendment does not go far enough, because you may have a real Session and the Government of the day may not give time for real discussion. That is no answer at all. On the contrary, it emphasises the danger which we wish to guard against. I hope the Government will accept my hon. Friend's Amendment, or a similar one, which will ensure that we shall have real Sessions. Let the Government then propose a third Amendment which will ensure that there shall be real discussion. When I say a real Session I mean a Session of a substantial number of days. Perhaps the Government will say that 100 days are not too many. That is a very modest request. I ask the Postmaster-General to give attention to this point, if, as he admits, there is a danger of having sham discussion upon one or more of the three occasions on which a Bill is going through the House, then the least he can do is to accept the Amendment and ensure that we shall have real Sessions. And, having accepted that, I ask him to propose an Amendment to ensure that we shall have real discussion.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I am disappointed at the rigidity of the Postmaster-General's attitude. I can assure him that he could do a great deal better than he has done if he likes. It really is quite absurd to take exception to my Amendment because I mentioned 120 days. That does not appear in the Amendment, and I have not pinned myself to that number of days. He cannot halve been listening to my opening remarks, because I said that I am not wedded to 120 Parliamentary days. I said that I am wedded to a substantial definition of what the Government mean by "Session." The country will not understand why the Government is shuffling out of this. If they mean to have a substantial Session, why should they not say so? In 1899 we had a War Session of sixteen days. That would not be a substantial Session for the purpose of passing a Bill through all its stages in the House of Commons in the second or third Session under the "kangaroo" Closure which we have in operation at the present time. I am sure that my hon. Friends will be satisfied if the Government will say that anything 74 between eighty and 120 days will be considered a substantial Session. The Postmaster-General really does not settle the question by telling us that we have got three opportunities, because he is only altering the word "Sessions" to the word "opportunities." We want to know what the opportunity is going to be. Is it going to be a real or a sham opportuirity? A real opportunity is all we ask for—an opportunity which will give the House of Commons a reasonable means for discussing a serious Bill in a serious length of time. All this discussion is largely due to the speech of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy Burghs (Sir H. Dalziel), who is in the position of a poacher who has become gamekeeper at last. He has let the cat out of the bag by saying that there could be three Sessions in two years. That is what we want to avoid.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
The Home Secretary almost stereotyped that an Autumn Session is to be the procedure when a Liberal Government is in power to pass first-class measures in the House of Commons. I am sorry that I cannot withdraw this Amendment. We have no desire for obstruction, but we desire to get real information, and I am sure that desire is shared in all parts of the House. There is no hon. Member on the other side who, if he has to go down to his constituents, will not be glad to be in a position to say how long these Sessions are to be. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I can only say that the hon. Gentlemen's constituents are less curious than those I know. I regret very much the attitude of the Government, and that they cannot answer the questions put to them in the spirit in which they are asked. Cannot the Government take the same attitude on this Amendment as the Prime Minister took on a previous Amendment, and state that before the Report stage something will be done to prevent such an absurdity as has been pointed out appearing on the face of an Act of Parliament?
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 254; Noes, 170.47
|Division No. 193.]||AYES.||[3.55 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Clough, William||Hancock, J. G.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Collins Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L (Rossendale)|
|Adamson, William||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Corbett, A. Cameron||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Alden, Percy||Cotton, William Francis||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Crumley, Patrick||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Cullinan John||Henry, Sir Charles S.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hinds, John|
|Barnes, George N.||Dawes, J. A.||Hodge, John|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Devlin, Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Beale, W. P.||Dickinson, W. H.||Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Doris, William||Isaacs Sir Rufus Daniel|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||John, Edward Thomas|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Johnson, W.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Boland, John Plus||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Essex, Richard Walter||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts. Stepney)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Falconer, James||Joyce, Michael|
|Brace, William||Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Keating, Matthew|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Fitzgibbon, John||Kelly, Edward|
|Brunner, John F. L.||France, Gerald Ashburner||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gill, A. H.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Ginnell, Laurence||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Goldstone, Frank||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Greenwood, Granvile G. (Peterborough)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Greig, Colonel James William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Leach, Charles|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Gulland, John William||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hackett, John||Logan, John William|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Lundon, Thomas|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Ogden, Fred||Sheehy, David|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||O'Malley, William||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||O'Shaughnesssy, P. J.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Maclean, Donald||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Parker, James Halifax||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|M'Callum, John M.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|M'Laren, F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Pollard, Sir George H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Manfield, Harry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Toulmin, George|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Martin, Joseph||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Pringle, William M. R.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Radford, George Heynes||Ward, John (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Rainy, Adam Rolland||Wardle, George J.|
|Millar, Duncan||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Molloy, Michael||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Reddy, Michael||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Money, L. G. Chlozza||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Mooney, John J.||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Morrell, Philip||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Roberts, Geeorge H. (Norwich)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Muldoon, John||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Munro, Robert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Robinson, Sidney||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Neilson, Francis||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster||Runciman Rt. Hon. Walter||Winfrey, Richard|
|Nolan, Joseph||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|O'Connor, T. P. Liverpool)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Percy Illingworth and Mr. Dudley|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Ward.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Aitken, William Max||Clive, Percy Archer||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Clyde, James Avon||Jackson, Sir John|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Craik, Sir Henry||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Jeynson-Hicks, William|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Croft, Henry Page||Kerry, Earl of|
|Astor, Waldorf||Dalrymple, Viscount||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Begot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Daiziel, Davison, (Brixton)||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Baker, Sir Randolph L. (Dorset, N.)||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dixon, Charles Harvey||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Doughty, Sir George||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lend.)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lee, Arthur Hamilton|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Baring, Captain Hon. Guy Victor||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Long, Rt Hon. Walter|
|Barnston, H.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lansdale, John Brownlee|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fleming, Valentine||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc., E.)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han S.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts., Wilton)||Forster, Henry William||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Beach Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gardner, Ernest||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gibbs, George Abraham||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gilmour, Captain John||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Goldsmith, Frank||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bigland, Alfred||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bird, Alfred||Grant, J. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Boscawen, Col. A. S. T. Griffith-||Greene, Walter Raymond||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Boyton, James||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Orde-Pewlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bull, Sir William James||Haddock, George Bahr||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hardy, Laurence||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Harris, Henry Percy||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Helmsley, Viscount||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Eccieshall)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worcr.)||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Stewart, Gershom||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Royds, Edmund||Sykes, Alan John||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Talbot, Lord Edmund||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Sanders, Robert Arthur||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Sanderson, Lancelot||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Stanier, Beville||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Younger, George|
|Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Earl|
|Starkey, John Ralph||Weigell, Captain A. G.||Winterton and Mr. Fell.|
Question, "That the words 'in the third of those Sessions' be inserted instead thereof," put, and agreed to.
|Division No. 194.]||AYES.||[5.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublia Harbour)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Greig, Colonel James William||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Adamson, William||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Nannettl, Joseph P.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Neilson, Francis|
|Alden, Percy||Hackett, John||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hancock, John George||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Dowd, John|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Ogden, Fred|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Malley, William|
|Barton, William||Haslam, L. (Monmouth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Beale, W. P.||Hayden, John Patrick||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Hayward Evan||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecll||Helme, Norval Watson||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Henry, Sir Charles S.||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Higham, John Sharp||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Boland, John Plus||Hinds, John||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hodge, John||Price, Sir Robert J.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Primrose, Hon. Nell James|
|Brace, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Radford, George Heynes|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Brunner, John F. L.||John, Edward Thomas||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Johnson, William||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Burke, E. Havlland-||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Reddy, Michael|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Richards, Thomas|
|Bytes, William Pollard||Joyce, Michael||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Keating, Matthew||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Kelly, Edward||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Kilbride, Denis||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Clough, William||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Clynes, John R.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Leach, Charles||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron||Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Logan, John William||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Crawshay, Williams, Eliot||Lundon, Thomas||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lyell, C. H.||Seely, Colonel, Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Cullinan John||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Sheehy, David|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Ciltheroe)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Maclean, Donald||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Snowden, Philip|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||M'Callum, John M.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Devlin, Joseph||M'Laren, F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Doris, William||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)||Manfield, Harry||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Marks, George Croydon||Tennant, Harold John|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Toulmin, George|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Meehan, Francis, E. (Leitrim, N.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Falconer, James||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Fenwick, Charles||Menzies, Sir Walter||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Middlebrook, William||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Millar, James Duncan||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Molloy, Michael||Wardle, George J.|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Molteno, Percy Alport||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Gelder, Sir W. H.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Mooney, John J.||Wason, George Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Morrell, Phillip||Watt, Henry A.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Muldoon, John||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Munro, Robert||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wilson, J. (Durham, Mid.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Williams, John (Glamorgan)||Winfrey, Richard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Falle, Bertram Godfrey||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Aitken, William Max||Fell, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Mount, William Arthur|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Fleming, Valentine||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Astor, Waldort||Forster, Henry William||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Begot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gardner, Ernest||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baker, Sir Randolph L. (Dorset, N.)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Nield, Herbert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, George Abraham||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gilmour, Captain John||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Baring, Captain Hon. Guy Victor||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Grant, J. A.||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc., E.)||Greene, W. R.||Peel, Hon. William R. W. (Taunton)|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pryce-Jones, Cal. E.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Ratcliff, R, F.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beresford, Lard Charles||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hardy, Laurence||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bird, Alfred||Harris, Henry Percy||Royds, Edmund|
|Boscawen, Col. Sackville T. Griffith-||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyton, James||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Stanier, Beville|
|Butcher, John George||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Horner, Andrew Long||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cator, John||Hunt, Rowland||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Cave, George||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Devon, N.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerry, Earl of||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worcr.)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Law, Andrew Boner (Bootle, Lancs.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Winterton, Earl|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Croft, Henry Page||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Mackinder, Halford J.||Younger, George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Du cros, Arthur Philip||Magnus, Sir Philip||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Malcolm, Ian||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment," put, and negatived.
§ Proposed words there inserted in the proposed Amendment.78
§ Question put, "That those words, as amended, be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 179; Noes, 263.81
|Division No. 195.]||AYES.||[5.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Ashley, W. W.||Baring, Captain Hon. G. V.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Astor, Waldorf||Barnston, H.|
|Aitken, William Max.||Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Balcarres, Lord||Beckett, Hon. W. Gervase|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Goldsmith, Frank||Nield, Herbert|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Goulding, E. A.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Grant, J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Greene, W. R.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Bigiand, Alfred||Gretton, John||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bird, A.||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boscawen, Col. Sackville T. Griffith-||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Haddock, George Bahr||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Boyton, James||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hamersley, A. St. George||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Campion, W. R.||Harris, Henry Percy||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Helmsley, Viscount||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks., Abingdon)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cassel, Felix||Hickman, Col. T. E.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cater, John||Hillier, Dr. A. P.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Cautley, Henry Strothey||Hoare, S. J. G.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cave, George||Hohler, G. F.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Stanier, Beville|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G W.||Horner, A. L.||Starkey, John R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hunt, Rowland||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Kerry, Earl of||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cripps, Sir C. A.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinal|
|Croft, H. P.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Touche, George Alexander|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dalzlel, D. (Brixton)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lee, Arthur H.||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. Akers-||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lansdale, John Brownlee||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A (Hanover So)||Winterton, Earl|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fell, Arthur||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fleming, Valentine||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Forster, Heny William||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur||Younger, George|
|Gastrell, Major W. H.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Gilmour, Captain J.||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Malcolm and Mr. Mills.|
|Goldman, C. S.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Crumley, Patrick|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brace, William||Cullinan, J.|
|Adamson, William||Brady, P. J.||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Brunner, J. F. L.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Alden, Percy||Burke, E. Haviland-||Dawes, J. A.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Devlin, Joseph|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Byles, William Pollard||Doris, W.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Chancellor, H. G.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid.)|
|Barton, William||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Beale, W. P.||Clough, William||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Clynes, J. R.||Falconer, J.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Fenwick, Charles|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Ferens, T. R.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Black, Arthur W.||Corbett, A. Cameron||France, G. A.|
|Boland, John Pius||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gelder, Sir W. A.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Cotton, William Francis||Gill, A. H.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Ginnell, L.|
|Glanville, H. J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Goldstone, Frank||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Greenwood Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Laren, F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Manfield, Harry||Robinson, Sidney|
|Hackett, J.||Marks, G. Croydon||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Harmsworth, R. L.||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Middlebrook, William||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Millar, James Duncan||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Haslam, Jaws (Derbyshire)||Molloy, M.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouthshire)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Money, L. G. Chlozza||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Hayward, Evan||Mooney, J. J.||Sheehy, David|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Morrell, Philip||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Muldoon, John||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||Munro, R.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Snowden, P.|
|Hinds, John||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hodge, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Neilson, Francis||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hughes, S. L.||Nolan, Joseph||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hunter, W. (Govan)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Johnson, W.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Toulmin, George|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Doherty, Philip||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John||Ure, Rt, Hon. Alexander|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ogden, Fred||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Malley, William||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Keating, M.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wardle, George J.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Kelly, Edward||Parker, James (Hallfax)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Watt, Henry A.|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Leach, Charles||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Primrose, Hon. Nell James||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Logan, John William||Pringle, William M. R.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Radford, George Heynes||Wilson, John (Durham, Mld)|
|Lundon, T.||Rainy, A. Rolland||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Lynch, A. A.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Reddy, M.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Maclean, Donald||Redmond, William (Clare)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Richards, Thomas||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
I wish to ask you, Sir, whether you will accept a substantial Amendment, as an attempt to settle the difficulty, and which may prove acceptable. I will only read the Amendment and hand it in:—"Provided also that a period of not less than twenty days upon which the House sits for public business shall elapse between the introduction of a Bill for the third time, and its passing the House of Commons."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not think, after the discussion we have had, I can accept that Amendment. Before going into the Amendment on the Paper in the name of 82 the hon. Member for North Down (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) there is an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Peel): "Provided also that this Section shall only apply to one Bill in each Session." I should like to hear what the hon. Gentleman has to say upon this Amendment before taking the Amendment of the hon. Member for North Down.
§ Mr. PEEL
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), at the end, to add the words: "Provided also that this Section shall only apply to one Bill in each Session." This Amendment touches upon a point which has not been dealt with in any pre- 83 vious Amendment that has been discussed. Certain Amendments have been moved with a view to exempting particular classes of measures, and certain specific measures. We have had Amendments distinguishing between constitutional and other Bills. We have also had a variety of Amendments exempting specific measures such as Home Rule, Welsh Disestablishment, and Payment of Members from the operation of Clause 2. This Amendment is directed to a different point. It suggests that the procedure under Clause 2 should be applied to one large measure only in each Session. First of all, the Government would have absolute power to select the particular measure they wanted in each Session, and they would naturally, of course, select the largest and most controversial measure with which they wished to deal, and thus, in each Session they would have one first-class controversial measure which they would be able to pass in the three years over the heads of the House of Lords. Surely the Government do not think it necessary, however, to apply this very drastic procedure to all their Bills. The secondary Bills which are brought in during the Session are very often not highly controversial like Bills on which the two great parties are equally divided. I could give a number of examples, even from this Session, of secondary Bills. There is, first of all, the Copyright Bill; then there is the Insurance Bill, on which there will no doubt be much discussion, many Amendments, and possibly a good deal of inter-sectional divisions and Debates, but the great parties will not be ranged against each other. To Bills of that kind it is unnecessary to apply procedure of the description provided for by Clause 2. The Government need not assume that the House of Lords will show constant and malignant hostility to all the Bills brought in by a Liberal Government. The House of Lords presumably will still apply the same method of procedure to secondary business that they have applied in the past. The right hon. Gentleman himself has stated that the object of delay under this Clause is that public opinion may become thoroughly formed upon a Bill. Public opinion may show itself hostile to a Bill, and in that case it might be withdrawn in the second or third Session of the House of Commons.
But how is that to happen if the public is confused by having a number of first-class measures thrown before it, and 84 which are to be passed under a provision of this kind. It is quite impossible, as everybody knows, that public opinion can be thoroughly formed in such circumstances. At elections attention is usually concentrated on one great measure to the exclusion of all others. It is complained by many people that this should be so, because they cannot have special attention given to their own particular measures. I think this Amendment should be accepted, not only for the sake of limiting as little as possible the rights of the Second Chamber in regard to smaller measures, but in order to enable the desire and intention of the right hon. Gentleman to be carried out, there should be no doubt or question in regard to the great measure on which public opinion is able to concentrate itself. That I quite understand and appreciate. There would be delay, of course, of some measure, but it would not be very great, because, after all, under this Bill, the Sessions are to be limited to five years. When the Government is returned again, after having passed large controversial measures successfully, without the House of Lords, it can begin again and pass two more large controversial measures, so that in nine years, say, the Government would have exempted from the action of the House of Lords no less than six controversial measures. Surely that ought to satisfy the appetite of the most revolutionary Government. The right hon. Gentleman may say that they would not use this procedure to pile up a great mass of Bills upon the electorate, but we have got to look to the future, and it might well be that a Government, flushed with power, and returning to office after long absence from it, might in the first two or three years of its tenure of power, deluge the country and overwork the House of Commons by endeavouring to push through very large controversial Bills. If this Amendment were adopted that would not occur, and there would be one big controversial measure, which surely is enough for a single Session. Under this Amendment, if the Government are ready to accept it, they would deal with one large controversial measure, and they would have the completest power of selection as to the measure they would take. I submit that my Amendment is useful and necessary in the interests of a Bill itself.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
This is obviously an Amendment which cannot be accepted. It is to limit the operation of this Clause in a manner for which 85 the hon. Member has not assigned any ground whatsoever. The hon. Member has instanced the Copyright Bill and other measures. But the Copyright Bill is not the kind of measure which would come under the operation of this Clause, and it is a kind of Bill which the House of Lords would accept. It is only where there are acute and lasting differences between the two Houses on matters of principle that the Clause would apply. The hon. Member has drawn an alarming picture of a future Government trying to carry through in a single Session a number of first-class controversial measures; but there are limits to the powers of human and Parliamentary endurance which I think form a very adequate safeguard against anything of the kind suggested by the hon. Gentleman. It is difficult enough to pass a single controversial measure, and nobody knows that better than the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir F. Banbury), in the course of one Session. There is not the least fear or prospect of the difficulty to which the hon. Member refers being realised. As to the duration of Parliament, if there were quinquennial Parliaments, I have always said that a Parliament would not last more than four out of the five years. In that case you would satisfy the requirements of this Clause as proposed by the hon. Gentleman by having two measures, one in the first Session, and one in the second Session. The hon. Gentleman is seeking to reduce the operation of the Clause to very narrow limits, quite apart from that, and assuming that my calculation is wrong it would only be possible to have three successive Sessions, and two years before the Clause would come into operation. We cannot accept any artificial limit on the powers which we think the House of Commons ought to have.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
I am not surprised at the decision of the Government which the Prime Minister has announced. It is quite obvious, situated as the present Government are, and as the Prime Minister is, that a limitation of this kind would be an impossible one, because if this machinery is to answer the purpose for which it is being intended, three measures in one Sesison would, I imagine, be the minimum to meet the requirements of the Government in order to give satisfaction to each section which supports them. I support this Amendment, and very strongly, on the grounds to which reference has been made by the Prime Minister. It is quite obvious there could not be more 86 than three measures passed under this proposal in a Parliament which was limited to five years. I do not view that prospect with the same horror which seems to appeal to the Prime Minister's mind, not because I do not want to see this House proceed with useful, progressive legislation, but as my hon. Friend pointed out, and as the Prime Minister himself remembers as well, in the old days it was rarely ever the practice of the Government to attempt to carry through more than one highly controversial measure in the one Session. To my mind it would be enormously to the benefit, not only of the House, but of the country, if an inducement were given to the Government of the day to limit their highly controversial measures to a small number, because there would be at once a special justification for the introduction and consideration and passage by this House of those measures which, although they divide parties, do not always divide them strictly on party lines. Even when they divide parties they are not controversial in the sense used by the Prime Minister when he tells us that these new powers which we are now forging are only likely to be applicable to measures of a very particular and special kind.
I do not think anybody, in whatever part of the House he may sit, will dispute the fact that party controversy in recent years has become acuter than it used to be, and a desire to force a crowd of party measures through Parliament is becoming stronger and stronger. The result is that prospects are being held out that this Bill will be used immediately for the passing of measures of a most controversial character, such as the Home Rule Bill, and others. We say if the power were limited to passing through two or three measures, that there would be a special inducement to the Government, and just as much credit to the Government and advantage to their supporters, for passing other legislation which does not come under this description, and which, in my opinion, is much more important and would be of much more benefit to the country if passed. For those reasons I support this Amendment. Not only does it give the Government, possessed of these new powers, quite-sufficient opportunity for carrying their own special projects, but it would tend also to improve our business, and would give a special inducement to the Government to give a greater share of time to that class of measure which we used to hear a great deal more of, but which in 87 these days is being pushed more and more on the one side from the desire of particular parties to force their own particular schemes through. In my humble judgment that has more to do with what is called the blocking of public business than any other reasons given for it. I believe if the old and better practice, in which the amount of highly controversial business was limited was adopted, that the business of a less controversial character would be much greater, and that there would be far less blocking of business than there is at the present time, and that the complaints of the amount of work of this House would disappear. Therefore, for the reasons I have mentioned, I think the suggestion is a wholly excellent one, and I very much regret the Government are unable to accept it.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
I desire to call attention to one statement made by the Prime Minister. I think it is a very dangerous thing to view the Bill not in the form in which it is expressed, but merely as it might be interpreted by the Prime Minister if he happened to be in power for the time being. I think that is specially exemplified in the statement the Prime Minister has just made. There is nothing which limits the operation of this Act to what he calls acute cases as between the two Houses. If he will look at Sub-section (2) of this particular Clause he will see that it applies to cases where the Bills might pass their second reading, but with Amendments to which this House did not assent. The Copyright Bill was mentioned by the hon. Member who Moved the Amendment. Suppose that Bill received a second reading in the Second Chamber and that Amendments were introduced, as they might properly be introduced in a Bill of the kind, and suppose that those Amendments were not assented to by this House, then this Bill we are discussing immediately comes into operation, and that Copyright Bill would be passed into an Act of Parliament without the assent of the Second Chamber. That appears to be a very important consideration and really is one of the bases on which the hon. Member proposed his Amendment. Surely, and I say this without using words at all derogatory to the Prime Minister, we cannot accept what he says would be his method of dealing with the Bill as against the actual terms of the Bill itself. So long as the Bill remains in its present form it is applicable not only 88 to those measures which may create acute differences of political opinion, but to every measure passed by the House of Commons, although the difference may arise not on the question of principle, but on the question of Amendments only. The Prime Minister shakes his head, but that is the effect of the Bill as it stands. By Sub-section (2) he will see that although a Bill passes the Second Reading in the Second Chamber, yet if Amendments are introduced to which this House does not assent, then the Bill can be passed by a Single Chamber only.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
It may be after three Sessions, but that was not what the right hon. Gentleman said. His answer was that this Bill would not affect such Bills as the Copyright Bill.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
And that it will only affect Bills where there was an acute political controversy. If he will alter Subsection (2) to carry out what he stated then I would agree this Amendment would not be necessary, but if the Bill stands as it is, and has to be interpreted as it is, and not in reference to what the Prime Minister says, then it is quite clear it will have reference to all those second class measures. Surely nothing could be worse as regards legislation in this House of Parliament, when it is to be Single-Chamber legislation, than to try the powers and capacity of this House by producing a large number of controversial measures in a single Session. I do not want to emphasise what my right hon. Friend the Member for the Strand (Mr. Walter Long) has said, but if we are going to contemplate Single-Chamber legislation, then surely as people of sense we ought to bear this in mind, that such legislation can only be properly carried on with effective discussion, and if the power of this House is not overtaxed and overwrought, as it always is when too many measures are attempted to be carried.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
The Prime Minister said it would be very unlikely that this House would be able to pass more than one highly controversial measure in a Session.
§ Mr. S. ROBERTS
Let me put it in this way. Suppose the guillotine is pressed on in a more highly developed condition than at present, and there is every temptation to the Government to do this, since there are parties in this House asking for precedence on Bills which are to be passed under pressure. Under such circumstances there is very great temptation to the Government to develop the operation of the guillotine and to make it, if I may put it so, more swiftly effective than at present. If the guillotine were applied in a highly developed manner, which at present we do not know, it will be quite possible for the Government to pass more than one highly contentious measure during the Session. For this reason I think the Committee and the Government would be well advised to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. CROFT
The Amendment proposed seems to me to be one which ought to be accepted by the Government for this reason. I think that it is very directly felt by a large section of the electorate that the Government intend in the machinery which they are setting up to force through several contentious measures at the same time. In fact, the back-stair method is going to be employed to get unpopular measures through. For that very reason in order that the public might be reassured, I should have thought that the Government would be only too ready to make it perfectly clear that they do not wish to take unfair advantage under the Parliament Bill. Everybody will, I think, agree that it is most desirable that several contentious measures should not be forced through this House at the one time. I think that some provision of this kind is specially necessary when we remember that the Prime Minister has told us, not once, but frequently, that we should be able to see from the state of the country whether a Bill is wanted or whether it is not. If two or three contentious measures are introduced at the same time it will be absolutely impossible to know what the opinion of the country is upon a particular Bill. I presume the Prime Minister will not deny that next Session the Government will introduce a Home Rule Bill, a Scottish Land Bill, and a Welsh Disestablishment Bill. He has got to do so. An hon. Gentleman says a Licensing Bill also, and I think that is perfectly true.
One thing is perfectly certain—that if he does not introduce his Home Rule Bill he will very soon find that he no longer 90 remains on the Treasury Bench, and if he does not introduce a Welsh Disestablishment Bill he will have the whole of the Welsh party opposing him. A Licensing Bill has also been mentioned, and a very large body in this House will also be against him if he does not do that. It is not a question of what he desires to do, but it is what he is forced to do, and there is no doubt he will introduce these three or four great measures during next Session. That being so, I would suggest it is absolutely essential that greater consideration should be given to this proposal. In these days, when private Members' time is obliterated, and when the "gag" the guillotine, and the "kangaroo" are used as they were never used before, it is perfectly evident that the tyrants sitting on the Front Bench are not likely to consider this country, but are likely to introduce as many measures as are necessary to please the Coalition, on which their tottering power still remains. For that reason I have the greatest pleasure in supporting the Amendment.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The Prime Minister said that this was an artificial restriction. I do not understand why "artificial." One would suppose that the Prime Minister imagined there was a law of nature by which a measure having passed this House three times should necessarily become law. The whole Bill is artificial. You might as well say that the Constitution which the Bill proposes to amend is artificial. It is just as natural to require that there should be only one Bill in each Session as to make any of the other requirements in the Bill. Still more amazing is the Prime Minister's argument that he regards it as absolutely conclusive against the proposal that it would force him to wait for the judgment of the people. Nothing is more striking in all the attitude of the Government than the view they take with regard to proposals that a General Election should intervene before their Bills pass into law. They are apparently convinced that they will never be returned to office a second time, and that their Bills are certain to be condemned as soon as the people have an opportunity of pronouncing upon them. Otherwise the right hon. Gentleman's case breaks down.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The Prime Minister's argument was that the later years 91 of a Parliament would be of no value so far as this procedure is concerned, because the Parliament would be dissolved before the section operated. But if the Bills were approved by the country they would go through in the first or second Session of the new Parliament. Therefore, in resisting this Amendment it is clear that the Government are resisting, not the power of the House of Lords, but the verdict of the people. The later years of a Parliament will be just as good as the earlier years, except for a Government that is afraid of the people. The only distinction between the two sets of years is the nearness of the General Election. That in itself is enough to condemn the Prime Minister's proposal. As it seems to lacerate the right hon. Gentleman's feelings if I say that his Bill is a silly Bill, it will be sufficient for me to say that if the Government will explain how they really think their supposed safeguard will work, we shall be better able to understand why they resist the Amendment. I understood that the safeguard would operate through the expression of public opinion; but there can be no effective expression of opinion on a lot of issues at once. If there is to be the operation of public opinion there must be a single issue. Therefore, if the safeguard really depends on the gradual expression of public opinion, you must have a single issue. Hence let us have one Bill a Session on which the country can pronounce, even though it be in a clumsy and irregular fashion.
The right hon. Gentleman says that he conceived the country to have already pronounced on the proposals he is going to submit to the House. He told us the other day, with the utmost warmth of feeling, that we could not have a subsequent pronouncement by a Referendum on proposals which have been put before the House of Commons, because that would destroy the sense of responsibility of Parliament. Now he tells us that he holds the country to have already pronounced on the proposals put before the House of Commons. Therefore, the sense of responsibility of the House of Commons is of a somewhat odd character. It does not destroy that sense of responsibility for the House to do what it has been told to do; but it does destroy it for the House to do something which may afterwards be overruled. The truth is the Government do not really give serious attention either to the proposed 92 Amendments or to their own Bill. They know quite will what they want. They want, as an hon. Member said, to get as much out of the Parliament Bill as possible. Anything which stands in the way is to be resisted. How it is resisted matters very little. Everybody will vote in exactly the same way, whatever the Prime Minister says. Therefore, he says, whatever comes into his head, and after a certain number of speeches which he does not attempt to answer, a Division is taken, and the Government obtain their majority.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
I think that some such Amendment as this ought to be accepted. I do not agree with the Prime Minister that a five-year Parliament would ordinarily consist of only four years. I am quite aware that in his Midlothian campaign Mr. Gladstone complained of the prolongation of the Parliament of 1874, but when Mr. Gladstone came into power he proceeded to put off for so long the Representation of the People Bill of 1884 that it became practically certain that he was going to prolong the existence of that Parliament to its full limit. My view is that if you take a short maximum period such as five years, the maximum period will tend to become the minimum. Especially will that be so when you have a new set of motives brought into play, as you will have under this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman's plea is that you have already a sufficient safeguard in the existence of something which I may describe as "Ministerial inertia." I do not mean by "inertia" anything conveying reproach or disparagement. I mean the "limit of human endurance" argument. Are we likely to hear of the practical application of anything like the limit of human endurance argument in the present case? Endurance or no endurance, the forces behind the Ministry will drive them to pass many more of those controversial measures than will be represented by one in each succeeding Session. That would be because the Bill will bring into existence new motives, the main one being what I might call the motive of a Ministry in a hurry—a Ministry that wants to ram its Bills through the House before the public becomes alive to what is being done in its name. The more Bills of that kind can be started, the easier will be the opportunity of evading public criticism.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
The whole idea of having more than one controversial Bill in a Session is contrary to the tenor of the Section itself. When we were 93 discussing the earlier part of the Section, in reference to the amount of time that the House of Lords should have for the consideration of a measure, the discussion was clearly founded on the idea that the month allowed was to be for one great Bill. But in view of the rejection of Amendments by the Government, it is now absolutely possible for several controversial measures to be massed together and thrown at the Lords a month before the end of the Session. The Government secured the rejection of an Amendment proposing to limit this procedure to Bills which had been discussed in Committee of the whole House. Therefore the Bills sent up may include measures which have been considered by Grand Committees, of which the Government will have two or three sitting. During recent years highly controversial Bills have been sent to Grand Committees, and, when they came back to this House, have been drastically guillotined. Therefore, from the point of view that the procedure laid down by the Government, which contemplated sufficient time being given to the House of Lords to consider measures before they were subjected to such drastic treatment, I maintain that the Government ought to accept this very reasonable Amendment. There is no provision made against such a massing of Bills at the end of a Session. The Sub-section provides that Bills shall come under the operation of this Section if they are not passed by the House of Lords in any form whatsover. Therefore, I think there is every reason to press upon the Government the acceptance of an Amendment of this nature, in order that there shall be ample time given to the House of Lords to consider every controversial Bill to which this new procedure would apply.
§ Mr. LANE-FOX
The main objection against the Amendment is that there is no machinery for carrying it out. There is nothing whatever to prevent the Government from making the Amendment absolutely useless by merely selecting some non-controversial Bill, and leaving all the others to be dealt with in the ordinary way. When the Prime Minister says that only controversial measures are to be affected by this proposal, we have to remember that in course of time we shall probably become accustomed to the procedure of this Bill, and any Government in a hurry, anxious to get its measures through quickly, will persistently ignore the criticism of the House of Lords, know- 94 ing that in time it can pass its measures without further trouble. In that way the power of revision on the part of the House of Lords, of which we have heard so much will, in the course of years, be entirely done away with. It will be the same with this procedure as it has been with other measures such as the guillotine closure. As we go on, so the appetite grows, and I am certain that in course of time this procedure will become so much a part of our normal methods that there will be very little attention paid to the action of the House of Lords and their power of revision. I agree that under a system of five-year Parliaments the average life of a Parliament is not likely to be very high, because the average since the Reform Bill under the Septennial Act has been only four years. But in these days of automatic majorities, working under the absolute tyranny of their Leaders and Whips, Parliaments can be prolonged more than used to be the case. Therefore, I do not think the argument as to the shortness of Parliaments has much weight.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
If the Government accepted this Amendment it would mean the destruction of their Bill. The object of the Government is to introduce as many measures as they can and to pass them as quickly as possible. If this Amendment were carried the object of the Bill would be defeated. Therefore, it is obvious that the Government could not accept it. Their supporters will compel them to pass any number of Bills, so that the issue put to the public will be so confused that the people will not be able to understand what they have to decide upon. There will be four or five large measures passed. In all probability the people will be in favour of one or two, and against the others, and they will not know exactly what to do. Therefore, the Government think that the people, not wishing to reject all the measures, will succumb to the temptation and vote for the Radical party. That is what the right hon. Gentleman desires. If the country were not confused they would not return him to power. I can quite understand, therefore, that the Prime Minister finds it impossible to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The Prime Minister said it was impossible to pass three controversial Bills in one Session. Does he not consider that the Plural Voting Bill, the Trades Disputes Bill, and the Education Bill of 1906 were controversial measures? They were all passed through 95 in the one Session. Then, in 1907, we had the Irish Councils Bill and the short Education Bill of that year, which might have passed but for the fact that they failed to please the Government's own supporters. In addition to that, the Land Tenure Bill was passed. Nothing is easier than for the Government to get a Bill introduced in Grand Committee as a private Members' Bill, and then to take it up in its later stages, when it has not gone through the racket of this House, and adopt it. That is one way of doing it. That is what they did with the Bill to which I have just referred. Even as things are at present it is perfectly possible for the Government to pass a number of highly controversial Bills in one Session. It may happen that a controversial Bill will be in a very small compass. We have seen what has happened in these last two years, in what I have described as the green tree; and if these things are likely to happen in the green tree what, if this Bill is passed, may be done in the dry?
§ Mr. MALCOLM
If the Prime Minister is going to refuse this Amendment absolutely, I must say that I think his reputation as a House of Commons man stands very seriously in jeopardy. [A laugh.] It does not require the musical laughter of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds (Mr. O'Grady) to convince me of that, because I have been in the House very much longer than he has, and I know a little. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to use the Parliament Bill simply as a piece of machinery to make hay while the sun shines, while he has a majority to drive through the House of Commons a number of Bills which would not otherwise get through except by the machinery of the Parliament Bill, then I do think that he will have done a good deal to loosen the ties of dignity which the House of Commons holds upon the people of the country. I heard the right hon. Gentleman say, in answer to the interruption of my hon. Friend below me, that he was starting on the proposition that all his Bills had the approval of the country before he started to produce them. That is
§ a very strange proposition. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the Home Rule Bill which is going to be produced next year the people of this country know nothing whatever about. The right hon. Gentleman knows something more: he does not know himself yet. He has lately had to appoint a committee to decide whether or not the financial position of Ireland and of England will stand a Home Rule Bill at all. Similarly with the Payment of Members Bill. I believe the right hon. Gentleman does not know, and I am sure we do not know, what the Payment of Members Bill will be. Certainly the country does not know. I think it is quite alien to say in relation to the principles in either of these Bills that he will be able to start with this proposition, that he has the approval even of a small majority of the country. Whatever has been done before is absolutely nothing to what the right hon. Gentleman proposes to do under the conditions of this Bill if he does not accept my hon. Friend's Amendment. The position and possibilities are, I think, quite illimitable. It all comes of having Government by coalition. Every section has to be placated. The Nationalist party have to be placated with a Home Rule Bill. The Welsh Disestablishment party have to be placated with their Bill. Then there is Plural Voting and Payment of Members, and the rest of it, and everybody rushes off to the Prime Minister to get first place. The simple way out of that is for them all to have first place under this Bill; for all their Bills to be introduced in the first Session, and then, of course, there is two blessed years for them to get through. These things may happen, and I venture to say to the Prime Minister and to this Committee that it will result in the absolute collapse of the Parliamentary system as we know it now, and as it has been known before, and altogether it is, I think, a great derogation from the dignity and usefulness of the House of Commons.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 187; Noes, 270.99
|Division No. 196.]||AYES.||[6.50 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Astor, Waldorf||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Barnston, H.|
|Aitken, William Max.||Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Balcarres, Lord||Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Baring, Captain Hon. Guy Victor||Beckett, Hon. W. Gervase|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Nield, Herbert|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Gretton, John||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Haddock, George B.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Boyton, James||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hardy, Laurence||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Harris, Henry Percy||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Helmsley, Viscount||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Butcher, John George||Henderson, Major H. (Berks., Abingdon)||Royds, Edmund|
|Campion, W. R.||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cassel, Felix||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hoare, S. J. G.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Cator, John||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Cave, George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manot)||Horner, Andrew Long||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Kerry, Earl of||Sykes, Alan John|
|Clyde, James Avon||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Croft, H. P.||Larmor, Sir J.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||Lee, Arthur H.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walker, Col William Hall|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm. Edgbaston)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Louth)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Falls, Bertram Godfray||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Fell, Arthur||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Winterton, Earl|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Malcolm, Ian||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Forster, Henry William||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Mount, William Arthur||Younger, George|
|Gilmour, Capt. John||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Goldman, C S.||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Goulding, E. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Peel and Sir H. Craik.|
|Grant, James Augustus||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Black, Arthur W.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Boland, John Plus||Corbett, A. Cameron|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Booth, Frederick Handel||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A|
|Adamson, William||Bowerman, C. W.||Cotton, William Francis|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Brace, William||Crumley, Patrick|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Cullinan, John|
|Alden, Percy||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Brunner, J. F L.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Armitage, Robert||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dawes, J. A.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Devlin, Joseph|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Byles, William Pollard||Dewar, Sir J. A.|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Dillon, John|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Doris, W.|
|Barton, William||Chancellor, H. G.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)|
|Beale, W. P.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Clough, William||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Clynes, John R.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Falconer, J.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Fenwick, Charles|
|Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Lynch, A. A.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Field, William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Macdonald, J M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Maclean, Donald||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|France, G. A.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robinson, Sidney|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||M'Callum, John M.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Ginnell, L.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Glanville, H. J.||M'Laren, F. W. S. (Lincs. Spalding)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Goldstone, Frank||Manfield, Harry||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Marks, G. Croydon||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hackett, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Hancock, John George||Menzies, Sir Walter||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Middlebrook, William||Sheehy, David|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Millar, James Duncan||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Harmsworth, R. L.||Molloy, M.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Money, L. G. Chlozza||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Mooney, John J.||Snowden, Philip|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morrell, Philip||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Muldoon, John||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Munro, R.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hayward, Evan||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Nolan, Joseph||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Toulmin, George|
|Hinds, John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hodge, John||O'Doherty, Philip||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Dowd, John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ogden, Fred||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Grady, James||Walters, John Tudor|
|Hunter, W. (Govan)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Malley, William||Wardle, George J.|
|Johnson, W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parker, James (Hallfax)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Keating, Matthew||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Kelly, Edward||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Kilbride, Denis||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Primrose, Hon. Nell James||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pringle, William M. R.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Radford, George Heynes||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Leach, Charles||Rainy, A. Rolland||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Logan, John William||Reddy, M.||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Lundon, T.||Richards, Thomas||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I beg to move in Sub-section (2), to add at the end the words, "When a Bill is presented to His Majesty for assent in pursuance of the provisions of this Section, the Bill shall be accompanied by a certificate of the Speaker of the House of Commons that the provisions of this Act have been duly complied with."
The Committee will see that the words of the Amendment are slightly different from those which are on the Paper, but the 100 alteration is only to make the Amendment more water-tight from the point of view of drafting. I hope the Government may be able to see their way to accept it. It is the natural corollary to the provision adopted in Clause 1. Under Clause 1 a Money Bill has to be certified by Mr. Speaker to be a Money Bill within the meaning of the Act, and by an obvious flaw in the drafting of the Bill no analogous certificate is required under Clause 2. I cannot imagine any argument against a similar provision in Clause 2. The only comment I make is this 101 that, althogh in my Amendment I copy the words that appear in the first section, which says that a Money Bill shall be accompanied by a certificate of Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure that from a strictly constitutional point of view the practice of communcation between the two Houses is in an entirely satisfactory form of words. If the Government see their way to accept the suggestion I am making, I venture to ask whether they will not consider in both of these sections that the certificate should be given, not as a separate document, but as an endorsement of the original Bill. It is a small point, but from the historical point of view it is somewhat material. Such a thing as a certificate, as mentioned in this Act, is an entire innovation. All certificates given by the clerks are endorsed on the back of Bills, and, although the matter is a small one, I venture to suggest that on Report stage some alteration may he made in the words. In the meantime I hope the Government may accept my Amendment, which touches the point of substance.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I followed what the hon. Member said in submitting his Amendment, and although I do not for one moment admit that there was an obvious flaw in not having such a Clause in the Bill, I agree that the Amendment carries out in respect of Clause 2 the same policy we have already provided for in Clause L Therefore I accept the Amendment as moved by the hon. Member. The hon. Member has also asked us to consider whether this certificate should be endorsed on the Bill both in regard to the first and second Clauses. I cannot say more about that than that I certainly will undertake to give it very careful consideration. The hon. and learned Member must not take me as saying that we shall accept it, but he has achieved something, or I hope he will think he has achieved something when I tell him that it will be very carefully considered.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Should not there be a form or schedule setting out the Speaker's certificate. Should there not be an Amendment to the effect as set forth upon the schedule of the Act.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
Surely this Amendment would come in better on Subsection (3), when the name of Mr. Speaker is introduced, than in Sub-section (2). It would be better to have the introduction of Mr. Speaker first which comes in in Sub-section (3).
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Will the Government consider the suggestion of my hon. Friend (Mr. James Hope)? A certificate may mean anything. It may mean a note in handwriting or some words addressed to the Throne from the Bar.
§ Mr. MILDMAY
I understand you to rule Mr. Emmott if we wish to adopt the provision of Sub-section (3), it must be upon this Amendment, and that my Amendment to omit Sub-section (3) will not be looked upon as substantial. I understand you to rule that any discussion on Sub-section (3) must take place upon the Amendment we are about to discuss, and that after the discussion of this Amendment my Amendment to admit Sub-section (3) will not be looked upon as substantial, and then we would have no opportunity of discussing Sub-section (3).
§ The CHAIRMAN
My impression is that if hon. Members desire to amend Sub-section (3) they can bring forward their Amendment in the proper form. I am now taking a discussion upon the omission of Subsection (2), because there is no Amendment down upon the Paper which raises the point in an adequate and more reasonable way than the leaving out of the Sub-section. As the matter does seem to be a substance I am allowing a discussion upon the omission of the Sub-section.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Do I understand you to rule that it is not in Order to have a discussion upon a Sub-section and to discuss Amendments in detail. Surely that is not usual?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I move to leave out Sub-section (2).
Sub-section (1) of Clause 2 already provides that if a Bill sent up to the House of Lords after being passed by the House of Commons in two successive Sessions, and then rejected by the House of Lords, that Bill becomes law, but Section 2 adds very greatly to the powers given in Subsection (1), because it says a Bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the House of 103 Lords, if not passed by the House of Lords, either without Amendment or with such Amendments only as may be agreed to by both Houses. I was listening some time ago to a very excellent speech by an hon. Friend of mine on this side in which he pointed out if the Copyright Bill was sent up to the House of Lords and not rejected, but if Amendments were made by the House of Lords, and then it came down to this House, and if for some reason or another this House did not agree with the Amendments the Lords had put in that this Bill if passed in three successive Sessions will become law without the assent of the House of Lords. That very much amplifies and enlarges the powers which the Government claim for this House. I do not believe the country or any individual elector ever understood that what they voted for was for giving power to this House to pass a Bill without the consent of the Lords only because the Lords had made a single Amendment in it to which this House did not agree.
The general idea of the country, if there was any idea at all, was that the House of Lords should reject Bills, and it was never contemplated that because they put in one Amendment with which this House did not agree that forthwith that Bill was to become law. The Prime Minister told us that it was very difficult to pass large controversial measures through this House, and he said one of the safeguards of this Bill was that it would be impossible for any Government to rush serious controversial Bills through the House, and, therefore, the functions of the House of Lords would still be preserved. I am not quite sure I agree with the Prime Minister, but there might be some slight foundation for his statement if this Sub-section was omitted. If it is kept in the Bill the House of Lords will be practically abolished, because no matter how small a Bill may be, even if it is the Bill of a private Member brought in on a Friday and passed through in a hurry and then sent up to the Lords, no reasonable Amendment will be allowed, because it does not suit hon. Members opposite, and the Bill may become law notwithstanding anything the Lords would have to say. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] An hon. Member opposite says "Why not?" Because we on this side of the House believe in a Second Chamber and desire that there shall be an effective Second Chamber. I always understood that the majority of the Members in the Government were of that 104 opinion. The hon. Member opposite and his friends in the Labour party do not hold that opinion, and they wish that the Second Chamber shall be abolished. I do not think the country desires that. I do not think a large number of hon. Members quite realise what the effect of this Clause might be. I have never understood that the Bill is rejected because it is amended. Is it to be held that a Bill brought forward here, sent up to a Committee, and amended, is rejected simply because it has been amended. This Clause sets forth that any Amendment shall be "deemed" to be rejected. I do not like phrases which convey that something is deemed to be something because that has never been the habit of this country. We have always preferred something of a practical nature, and we prefer that a thing shall be what it is, and not what it is deemed to be. That seems to me to be the most sensible way. I may not have sufficient good luck to influence the Prime Minister to accept this proposal, but may I point out that this sub-section goes very much further than anybody can possibly contemplate.
There may possibly be an Amendment upon a Home Rule Bill which the Prime Minister cannot accept, but surely he does not mean that, on the strength of one Amendment, he is not going to pay the slightest attention to all the learning and experience of the House of Lords. The Prime Minister is now putting this House in the position of a Single Chamber, and, in addition, he is making the Government dictators over the country. From one point of view, I should be glad to see my Amendment rejected, because when the country realise what they are doing under this Bill they will soon change their opinion. On the other hand, I recognise that it is not the duty of a Member of Parliament to come down here and take part in the proceedings merely in order to allow something to go through because good may result to his party. Unless my Amendment is carried, I believe the result will be that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will become the dictators of the country. I am sorry my hon. and learned Friend (Sir Alfred Cripps) has given way to me, because he would have put forward this proposal in a way that would have appealed more strongly to the Prime Minister. I have always found that when an hon. Member learned in the law makes a speech and states an opinion another hon. Member learned in the law rises to contradict it. As the Prime Minister was a Member of the Bar, perhaps that is a reason why the 105 hon. and learned Member has given way to me. I have much pleasure in moving this Amendment.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The effect of this Amendment would be that the operation of Clause 2 would only be operative in the case of Bills rejected out and out by the House of Lords. The hon. Baronet who has moved this Amendment, who has had a long experience, and possesses minute knowledge of Parliamentary procedure, is well aware that a Bill may be as effectively killed by a vital Amendment as by rejection on the First, Second, or Third Reading. On many occasions within the knowledge of all of us the hon. Baronet opposite has acted upon that principle, in reference to Bills which he disliked. I believe that in China, the ordinary method of putting malefactors to death is by beheading them. There is also another method adopted for grave offences, and it is the method known as death by a thousand cuts, which is more lingering but just as certain as the other. Those who remember what happened to the Education Bill of 1906, when it reached the House of Lords will realise that the ordinary method of beheading on the Second Reading is not the only way in which an objectionable Bill may be put to death. The hon. Baronet has conjured up a picture of the Government of the day brushing aside almost without discussion Amendments which may be of small importance and in themselves reasonable merely because they have in their hands the weapon which Clause 2 will give them.
No Government will desire to have Session after Session Bills accumulated to be passed through in a series of Sessions in two years under the provisions of Clause 2. No Government will wish to have in each Session an accumulation of suspended Bills to be carried forward to take up year after year the time of the House of Commons. Unquestionably, after this Bill is passed the Government of the day will be ready to meet reasonable suggestions from the other House so long as those Amendments are not vital to the principles of the Bill. Under this Clause Amendments can be made by the House of Lords so long as the House of Commons is of opinion that they do not injure the main purpose of the Bill. The object of this Clause is to deal with cases of persistent disagreement between the two Houses, and as every Parliamentarian is aware that disagreement may take place not merely on the Bill as a whole, but on 106 important portions, and upon Amendments which touch its essential purpose. Therefore the Government cannot assent to an Amendment which would enable the House of Lords to defeat the whole purpose of this Bill, not by rejection and Second Reading, but by inserting proposals which would be fatal to the main purpose of those measures.
I think it is necessary that the Government should provide some definition or description of what rejection by the House of Lords means. I agree that there are some Amendments which if passed would be regarded as tantamount to rejection. I can hardly imagine a less happy comparison than the illustration chosen by the right hon. Gentleman about deaths by a thousand cuts inflicted by the Chinese executioner in the case of the Education Bill of 1906. In the first place, those cuts were few, and in the second place the Government eighteen months later themselves brought in a Bill in which they adopted objections which previously they regarded as absolutely insurmountable. While I agree that there are certain Amendments which are equivalent to rejection—and if you are to have Clause 2 at all, those vital Amendments must be counted as being tantamount to rejection—I cannot agree with the rest of the right hon Gentleman's speech. He appears always to think that when in future under this Bill some dispute arises between the two Houses all the conciliation and all the common sense is to be displayed by the Government, and all the unreasonableness and all the absolute determination not to come to any compromise, however moderate or reasonable, is to be shown by the Second Chamber.
I think we had better assume, for the sake of argument, that the Second Chamber and the Government would be equally reasonable. Do not let us attribute all the merits to one side and all the demerits to the other side. What I am afraid may happen under this Clause, as at present drafted, is this: A Bill comes down within the month; it comes down with Amendments, some of which the Government of the day are ready to accept at once, and some of which they are not prepared to accept. A month is not a very long time to discuss a Bill, read it a first time in the House of Lords, discuss it on the Second Reading, through the Committee stage, through the Report stage, and on the Third Reading, and if after that you 107 are going to have a movement of the Bill between the two Houses in an attempt to arrange some Amendment which may be acceptable to both parties, you will find that most of the time is taken up, and your month will be too small. I fancy it would not be in order to discuss the question of the month, but I wish the Government would consider, if not now, at all events on the Report stage, whether a month really is sufficient.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I was under the impression that the Government promised to take that point into consideration on the Report stage.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That promise was only in regard to certain days. I never promised it in regard to the month.
I know it is not in order to discuss the time in detail, but perhaps it will be regarded as being in order to point out that a month is rather short shrift. Take a case in which a Bill goes up and is read a second time. There is the ordinary interval, then the Committee stage and the Report stage. You may find some holiday intervening during the month, or delay may arise in some other cause. Do you not think that it is running it too fine when you may find there is some possibility of an arrangement between the two Houses which requires time to make it into an actuality to fix the period at four weeks. It may not be convenient for the Government to discuss the Lords Amendments when a Bill is returned to this House, and they may put off the discussion. In such a case you would allow no time at all; this may not be done maliciously to embarrass the House of Lords or to prevent an arrangement between the two Houses being arrived at. In the case of simple rejection it is quite clear, and in the case of an Amendment which goes to the very heart of the Bill and which practically makes the measure of no effect at all, that is clearly provided for. The case, however, which is not clear and which deserves the most serious consideration of the House is that of Amendments of importance on which it is perhaps not easy for either House to give way completely, but between them, if time is allowed, a compromise may be found. Unless the Government allow for all the stages of a Bill in the other House some small margin for accidents, they will find that they cannot do common justice either to themselves or the House, and there is 108 no hope of any compromise within the narrow limits they are applying to this Bill. I hope it will be possible to make some such Amendment as I have indicated in this Sub-section during the Report stage.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The right hon. Gentleman has looked at the matter from a Committee point of view, and the object of the Government in Committee is, of course, to make the Clause a workable Clause. Upon that assumption it is perfectly clear you could not have a Clause of this kind without some definition of what you mean by rejection. Rejection, as my right hon. Friend has pointed out, may take the crude and simple form of not passing a Bill on the Second Reading, or it may take the more subtle form of one House inserting Amendments which it is clear the other House is not likely to accept. As the right hon. Gentleman well knows, according to our present Parliamentary law and practice, a Bill—I will not use the word "rejected"—dies or falls to the ground and does not receive the Royal Assent or become operative in law if the two Houses do not agree. That was so in the case of the Education Bill. Even if there is only one Amendment outstanding, and although in the opinion of dispassionate people that Amendment may not be of very great importance, yet if the Houses cannot come to an agreement upon it the Bill drops. Our statutory definition of "rejection" therefore is merely an expression of the state of facts which exist. Whenever there is a disagreement between the two Houses on a Bill proposed to be passed by one House, and which perhaps has passed its Second and Third Reading in the other House, the Bill cannot come into law because there is a point of detail on which they cannot agree.
I do not, however, think the right hon. Gentleman's criticism was really directed against the drafting of the sub-section. On the contrary, I do not think he or anybody else could provide a more satisfactory definition of what "rejection" means. The whole point of his criticism, as far as I was able to appreciate it, was that you may be crowding this operation into too short a space of time, and if you somewhat extended the limits of the operation there would at any rate be a better chance, through conference and interchange of opinion, of an agreement being arrived at. I took that to be really the point of the right hon. Gentleman's objection. I think he has assumed rather too readily that because in the earlier 109 part of the Clause a minimum time of one month is given before the end of the Session for the consideration of a measure by the House of Lords, that is the maximum. That is not at all likely to be the case. Hon. Members are not to assume the House of Lords will never have more than one month to go through the various stages the right hon. Gentleman has described. It is a matter of experience the House of Lords do take habitually less time for the discussion of measures than this House. I am making a perfectly colourless statement when I say that, and, as a matter of fact, it will be found that is the case. This operation has to be gone through, not once, but in three successive Sessions, in each of which a minimum time of one month must be allowed the House of Lords for the consideration of a Bill. I confess if there was a real possibility of an agreement or compromise being arrived at, that prescription of minimum time affords a reasonable margin, and, as at present advised, I do not think the Government could extend it.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
There are two points with reference to what has been said by the Prime Minister and the Postmaster-General on which I should like to speak. First of all, on the question of the limit of time, there is no guarantee as the Clause stands of a greater time than one month. It is quite true that is the minimum time, but it may also be the maximum time. If the Prime Minister thinks, as I understand he does, it would be an advantage in the case of a Bill not rejected, but in respect of which there may be disagreement as to certain Amendments between the two Houses, that there should be some longer period than one month, surely as a matter of drafting a provision should be introduced for that purpose. We have really got to take the Bill as it stands, and, so long as one month is given, although negotiations may be going on in order to possibly come to an agreement, yet it would he competent for the party in power, instead of allowing those negotiations to be carried out, to press the provisions of this Bill and actually present the Bill for the Royal Assent while negotiations were going on dealing with the Bill. I know the Prime Minister does not think that would be reasonable, and it should not be outside the limits of drafting when you really know what you want to express it in apt words. Of course, when you are not agreed as to what is wanted, you may have any amount of distinctions as 110 regards drafting. There would be no difficulty whatever in introducing the provision that the period of one month should not run while negotiations are going on between the two Houses in order if possible to come to an agreement. While negotiations are actually going on a Bill should not be presented for the Royal Assent. That would be reasonable, having regard to what the Prime Minister said.
I am perfectly aware the hon. Baronet (Sir Frederick Banbury) took a more extreme view than. I do. I am perfectly aware some such provision as Sub-section (2) must be inserted. You must have an Interpretation Clause, showing what you mean by "rejection by the House of Lords." The Postmaster - General talked about Amendments inconsistent with the principle of the Bill. I quite agree an Amendment of that character will have the same effect as the rejection of the Bill itself, and, if the Clause were limited to Amendments of that kind, I think there would be no objection to it whatever under this head. That is not the Bill, however, as it stands. The Postmaster-General said what, in my opinion, would be perfectly right and reasonable, but it is not the Clause as it stands. The Clause as it stands is that, whatever may be the nature of the Amendment—whether it is a small or large Amendment, unless it is agreed to by both Houses, the Bill is to be deemed to be rejected. That makes this House the absolute dictator, even in matters which are of small moment, and which might and ought to be adjusted between the two Houses. If the Sub-section had the word "vital" in it, or if it said "Amendments inconsistent with the principle of the Bill," I do not think there would be any objection to it. My objection is to the Clause as it stands. If there were a reasonable provision introduced as regards time, so as to allow negotiations to proceed, and if there were some reasonable limitation to Amendments of a vital character, then I agree there must be a Clause of this kind in order to carry out the provisions of Sub-section (1). If the Prime Minister will consider these two points, I think he will see it is not beyond the limits of a draftsman's power to meet what we say on the one hand and what the Postmaster-General has said on the other hand.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I understand this Clause is merely the draftsman's way of expressing the ease of a Bill dropped by the rule of Parliament, where the two 111 Houses cannot agree, and on the face of it the Clause does not seem to be a reasonable one. It certainly is a strange proposition that you should deal with Amendments in the same way as with rejections. If you were starting to build a new Constitution, you would not adopt the same procedure in the case of rejection as you would in the case of Amendment. The answer to that is the Bill may drop by disagreement. Let me say Bills very seldom drop strictly by the operation of Parliamentary law, if the Houses disagree. One House or the other, or perhaps of the Government of the day, suddenly becomes impatient of the process, and cuts the matter short. From the point of view of coming to an agreement, that is a very undesirable frame of mind. I am quite sure the Education Bill itself, with regard to which I think the Prime Minister will agree, I have some means of knowing what was going on, would have passed if the Government and the majority of the House of Commons had followed the strict custom of Parliament and had considered each Amendment separately in both Houses. I do not say I should have liked the result. I should not, but, as a matter of fact, I feel sure the opposition, in one House or the other, to accepting or insisting on Amendments, as the case might be, would have broken down, and an understanding would have been arrived at. What really killed the Bill was Christmas Day. It was the necessity, or the supposed necessity, of bringing the proceedings of Parliament to a rapid conclusion because of the near approach of the Christmas holidays that forced the Government, or they conceived themselves to be forced, to treat the Amendments en bloc. That was a great departure, adopted then for the first time, and it was a most unwise departure from their own point of view.
If you treat the Amendment of a Bill the same as you treat the rejection of it, you put the Government themselves in a position in which they do not like to be put. You put them at the mercy of their more advanced supporters. If the procedure in respect to an Amendment is different from the procedure in respect to rejection, you give them an advantage in two ways. You put a premium on the House of Lords amending a Bill rather than rejecting it, because, if they have a better chance of getting terms by amending than by rejecting, they are more likely to amend. In the second place, you put the 112 moderate party in the House of Commons in a better position as against the extreme party. If the extreme party know they have only to insist and sooner or later the Bill will pass, they will always insist, and they will force the Government to be rigid, and there will, therefore, be no compromise. Arguing on the basis of the Bill, I quite understand you do not want to give the House of Lords all the power in respect to an Amendment it has now; but I do think the Government in their ingenuity might think of something between the two extremes of not having any remedy against the Amendments of the House of Lords, and having exactly the same remedy as against the rejection. Joint Sessions obviously provide one remedy and one peculiarly appropriate for dealing with Amendments rather than with the main principle of the Bill. There is another course which, at any rate, would be a certain safeguard. If the House of Commons before this "deeming to be rejected" came into effect were required to affirm the Amendments were inconsistent with the principle of the Bill, and made it valueless, that would be an extra safeguard; but, as the thing stands, the Clause is really against all tendency to compromise between the two Houses. I am sure that is not the thing we should desire. I am persuaded that the old theory of negotiation between the two Houses, with the sending of Bills backwards and forwards and discussing each Amendment separately, affords a far better machinery which constantly operates on the side of moderation, and which, I think, the Government would do well not lightly to disturb.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
This discussion has turned on the point whether an Amendment is going to be vital or not. That is the word at any rate which the Postmaster-General used. If the Amendment on the paper which immediately preceded this had been called upon by the Chairman it would have entirely met the point under discussion, and I believe the Government would have accepted the provision. The Amendment reads:—A Bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the House of Lords if it is not passed by the House of Lords, or if it is passed with such Amendments as materially alter the character of the Bill or defeat its main object.The Prime Minister has more than once admitted that there are certain functions the House of Lords can usefully and 113 honourably discharge, and I maintain that the House of Lords or the Second Chamber ought to be allowed to revise Bills sent up by this House if we are not to have Single-Chamber Government. My hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) is entirely justified in claiming that it would amount to Single-Chamber Government absolutely to forbid the House of Lords to make alterations in any Bill sent up, and I would venture to press the Prime Minister, if he cannot accept the words of this Amendment, to at any rate consider before the Report stage the possibility of meeting the point covered by my own Amendment.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
I wish to appeal to the Prime Minister as a man of the world whether, in rejecting the safeguards proposed by this Amendment, he is making sufficient allowance for human weakness in this House in desiring to hurry away for the holidays. When we get near the end of the Session it is certain that great pressure will be brought to bear upon this Government, or any other Government, to terminate the Session as soon as possible, even at the risk of over-riding the will of the House of Lords. There will be very small consideration for the feelings of another place. If the Lords have no right to consider Amendments, and if open conferences are brought to naught simply because of the ignorant impatience of the majority behind the Government, it will be a very serious matter. There is some hope of a reasonable spirit of accommodation even under this Bill between the two Houses, but it depends on this House listening to the House of Lords when they are acting, as Lord John Russell once said, as "the exponents of the grave and thoughtful opinion of this country." But when it comes near the end of a Session even the Government might not be the arbiter of their own destinies. They might be forced by the pressure behind them to hurry on, and that would only produce a state of mutual exasperation, which any one who thinks the matter over must wish to avoid, in the relations between the two Houses. I will ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will not give us some such safeguard as that suggested by the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University, that this House shall be forced to pass a positive Resolution in reference to the Lord's Amendments. Unless the two Houses are in real conference, and not the barren conference of recent years—unless they are in real effective conference, then, I think, it 114 would be a sin against the spirit of Parliamentary Government if, owing to the pressure of Members anxious to get away, and careless, perhaps, of the real interests of the country as they might be, the negotiations were brought to a sudden and premature conclusion. There is no safeguard of any sort in the Bill; no time definition Certainly it would be a satisfaction to those who still hope that our Parliamentary institutions will work in the old British spirit, if some safeguard could be inserted, so that when the Lords, in trying to assist in drafting a Bill, shall not be forced by the impatience of this House into a degrading and impossible position.
§ Mr. HAMERSLEY
It appears to me that it would be possible under this Section to send two or three Bills up to the House of Lords in rapid succession at such a period as to render it impossible for that Chamber to consider them, and send down Amendments to this place in time for them to be debated. There is no, doubt that if this Clause is allowed to remain as it stands we shall be reduced to Single-Chamber Government. I would ask the Committee whether they think it right that the Postmaster-General should tell the public that this Government are providing for an efficient Second Chamber when he must know and the Government must know that if this Clause remains unaltered it absolutely provides Single-Chamber Government. I hope the Prime Minister will consider this point before the Report stage, and will arrange that Bills shall be sent up to the other House so as to give fair and reasonable time for them to be considered, and for any Amendment which may be suggested to be returned to this House for Debate, without plunging the country into Single-Chamber Government, with all its faults and troubles.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I hope the country will take note of the manner in which this Amendment is being treated by the Government. Undoubtedly, if this Sub-section stands as it is you are making the House of Commons absolutely paramount. It will be open for this. House to send to the House of Lords Bill after Bill, and simply say, "Take them or leave them, no Amendment will be permitted, and if any Amendment is made we can refuse to agree to it; we can insist on our Bill being taken exactly as we send it." I hope the country will note-this as setting up absolute Single-Chamber Government without any check what- 115 soever. There is this further point: Are we now legislating for all time? I know the Government state that they propose at some future date to set up a Reformed Second Chamber. But we do not know whether that reformed Second Chamber is to be restricted in this extraordinary way, or whether these restrictions are intended only to apply to the present House of Lords. So far as we know we are apparently legislating so that in the future the Second Chamber is to have no power whatsoever, not even to make the smallest Amendment if the Government of the day chooses to object to it. True, the Prime Minister said there will be conferences, but if there are going to be conferences, why did he not agree to the Amendment of one of my hon. and learned Friends making conferences a statutory part of the system set up under this Bill? If there are to be conferences it should be so stated in the Bill, and then we should know where we are.
A most remarkable statement was made by the Postmaster-General. He said that the Amendment would be dealt with in a spirit of reasonable compromise. I am sure that it is very nice to hear Members of the Government saying they are going to deal with the House of Lords in a spirit of reasonable compromise. When have they done that in the past? Did they do it in the case of the Education Bill of 1906? If I remember aright, they proposed to reject the Lords Amendments on that occasion en bloc, and that is not exactly a spirit of reasonable compromise. Did they do it in the case of the Old Age Pensions Act? Again, if I remember rightly, a particular Amendment was made in the House of Lords, and although it was admitted that it was a great improvement on the Bill, although many Members opposite were very anxious to have it accepted, and although, since then the Government have put the Amendment in, they on that occasion refused to accept it simply and solely because it had been made by the House of Lords. If we are going to rely for the working of this Clause on a spirit of reasonable compromise the Government might at all events exhibit that spirit before they ask us to build on such a foundation. When we are told it is to be a spirit of reasonable compromise, we remember that at all events we are dealing with a Government which professes to be in favour of a Second Chamber. But hereafter we may have a Government which does not believe in a Second Chamber at all. We 116 might have an even worse Government than the present. At any rate this Government declares itself to be in favour of a Second Chamber, and therefore it might conceivably be expected to deal with Amendments made by that Second Chamber in a spirit of reasonable compromise. But suppose we had a Government constituted of hon. Members below the Gangway. Such a thing is possible. Then the Prime Minister and his Friends might be in Opposition, and hon. Gentlemen who do not believe in a Second Chamber would undoubtedly not deal with its amendments in a spirit of reasonable compromise. They might be expected, in fact, to refuse to accept the smallest Amendment carried by the House of Lords, and there would be no compromise and no conference at all between the two Houses. I venture to think, therefore, unless there are included in this Section words more specifically defining what is meant by it, a great mistake will be cornmitted. We are bound on this side of the House to support this Amendment, and to resist any proposal which would enable the Government to throw any Bill at the House of Lords and say, "Take it or leave it without any Amendment whatsoever." I shall certainly support this Amendment, and I think we shall be able to point out through the country that the rejection of it means that the Government intend to have Single-Chamber Government, and nothing else whatever.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I desire to make a remark or two upon what I think is a question of interpretation. It seems to me that the draftsmanship of this Bill is at fault. Providing that it is desired to carry out the spirit of the Act, I submit that the words of this Sub-section (2) do nothing of the kind. When is the period of rejection by the House of Lords to be reached? Suppose a Bill goes up to a House of Lords reformed, and consequently strengthened, which is desirous of adding its quantum to the useful legislation of the country. That House debates and passes certain Amendments. It is quite obvious that if in the long run one of them is not accepted by this House it means the rejection of the Bill. That is not a very encouraging aspect of affairs for other people in this House who desire to pass other equally useful Amendments which they have discussed. But the Bill comes back, I suppose into the House of Commons, and it may be with 117 some of the Amendments suggested by the House of Lords, the House of Commons may agree and desire to accept them. What are they to do? They have no power, because if they accept half and reject the remainder then I presume the Bill is to be taken as rejected by the House of Lords, and it comes again for the second time oefore the House of Commons without there being any power in the House of Commons to add the Amendment which they may have been anxious to accept from the House of Lords. The procedure at the end of Sub-section (3) with reference to Amendments that may be in the Second Session desired to be introduced in the House of Commons for the acceptance of the House of Lords is apparently cleared away.
That Sub-section provides that the House of Commons may in the second or third Session suggest any further Amendments without inserting them in the Bill, and that any such suggested Amendments shall be considered by the House of Lords, and if agreed to by that House shall be treated as Amendments made by the House of Lords and agreed to by the House of Commons. If they accept them, then I suppose the Bill is to be presumed to have been passed with the Amendments agreed to between the two Houses, but why cannot the Government suggest some such procedure in the House of Lords and adopt it when the Bill comes down again for Second Reading in the House of Commons. As it at present stands it leaves it possible for there to be a perfect impasse, and if the Members on the Front Bench find it impossible to answer these objections and to say when the rejection of the House of Lords is to be deemed to take place I think they ought to agree to the Amendment. When is the rejection of the House of Lords to take place? If it is to take place at the time when an Amendment is introduced by them and passed, then I can understand it. But I do not think the draftsmen of the Bill means that. I suggest that the procedure should be that when a Bill comes down from the House of Lords with Amendments passed by that House these Amendments should be considered in this House, and such Amendments as may be accepted by this House with the Amendments which this House suggests to the House of Lords should go up Co the Lords, and if they are not then accepted the Bill should be rejected. By that you are not putting upon the House of Lords the onus of having refused entirely reasonable 118 Amendments. As the matter stands it is not clear, it is not intelligible. No man can tell when the House of Lords has rejected a Bill or not, and I suggest that as a matter of drafting there should be a verbal alteration of Sub-section (2) by which you will apply the same machinery which is in Sub-section (3), so that a Bill shall only be deemed to be rejected when the Amendments coming down from the House of Lords have been considered in this House, and the House of Lords having had the Bill back with the Amendments which the House of Commons have accepted, and then the House of Lords has rejected those Amendments. For these reasons I support the Amendment and I hope the Bill will be cleared up on this point.
§ Mr. STARKEY
I desire to say a few words in support of this Amendment, because there perhaps lingers in the minds of some people the belief that this Bill will not introduce Single-Chamber Government. If that be so, the result of the Debate this evening will clear up all. doubt on this point that this Sub-section contains the very germ of Single-Chamber Government because the House of Lords—the Second Chamber—would not be allowed to make any Amendment unless that Amendment was accepted by this House. That practically takes away from them all initiative, and what responsible body of men would deliberately and carefully examine a Bill and Debate it if they knew that the result of that deliberation and the amendments they might make would carry no weight. Therefore the function of a Second Chamber as a legislative assembly is altogether destroyed. It may be said that if the House of Lords were to retain the power of making amendments they might make amendments which might be objectionable to this House and which would destroy the principle of the Bill, but if you take away from them all power of making Amendments that does not get you out of the difficulty of making Single-Chamber Government. The Debates that we have heard upon this Bill show that hon. Members opposite have delegated their powers to a few Members of the Government. They have not taken any serious part in these Debates and they have not been able to say a good word in favour of the Bill which presumably they support. I think, under the circumstances, that if in the future tactics such as these should be adopted it would make it doubly necessary to insist upon having a Second 119 Chamber which can seriously debate a measure and the Amendments to it. For these reasons I beg to support this Amendment.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I desire simply to point out that if a Bill as passed by the House of Commons goes up to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords make one or two Amendments in it, they may be important, they may go to the whole root of the matter, or they may not, or they may be upon minor points—then the Clause seems to contemplate that these Amendments would then come before the House of Commons, and the House of Commons might or might not agree to them. That is the way the Clause reads. If the House of Commons does not agree to either of the two Amendments which the House of Lords have made, I take it upon that disagreement being notified the Bill itself is treated as rejected under this Clause. I should like to ask the hon. and learned Attorney-General whether I am right in my interpretation of the meaning of the Clause stated in that way, because there is no time-limit mentioned in this Sub-section. The Clause does not say if it is not passed or passed without Amendment within six weeks or a month, or anything of that sort; there is no time-limit mentioned in the Clause. Therefore, we have to look at Sub-section (1) for any mention of time, and that is a month before the end of the Session. I presume that I am right in my interpretation of the Sub-section which is now before the Committee, and that it really means this that a Bill must be passed in the House of Commons and go to the House of Lords at least a month before the end of the Session. The House of Lords can either reject it, pass it, or amend it. If they pass it, of course, caveat questio, and if they reject it it is quite clear, but we are dealing with here the intermediate stage, the occasion on which
§ they make Amendments. If you look at the Sub-section, if they make Amendments, and the House of Commons agrees to them, the whole matter drops; but the difficulty arises the moment the House of Commons disagrees with an Amendment. What has been pointed out by hon. Members on this side is this, that you would, immediately have what is deemed to be a rejection of the Bill at the point when the House of Commons rejected one of the Amendments which came from the House of Lords. I say that is contrary to the explanation given by the Prime Minister at the beginning of this discussion, and it is contrary to the speech of the Postmaster-General, because, although the Prime Minister and the Postmaster-General told us that there would be opportunities of conferences, as I read the Clause, there will be no such opportunities, as the fact of rejection immediately takes place and operates the instant that the House of Commons disagrees with one of the Amendments which the House of Lords has made. If I have made my point clear it is quite evident that this Subsection which we are now seeking to leave out of the Bill is inconsistent with what the Government really means. It is certainly inconsistent with what the Prime Minister explained, and it is inconsistent with what the Postmaster-General has also explained. As we have had no speeches whatever from the other side, where there is a conspiracy of silence, we have to take the exact words of the Subsection as we find them, all I can say is that, in my opinion, the words are inconsistent with both of the speeches which have been made in support of the Clause from the front Government Bench.
§ Question put, "That the words "A Bill" ["A Bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the House of Lords"] stand part of the Clause.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 224; Noes, 123.123
|Division No. 197.]||AYES.||[8.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Bytes, William Pollard|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Bann, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, Slr John Henry||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)|
|Adamson, William||Black, Arthur W.||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)|
|Addison, Dr. C||Boland, John Pius||Clough, William|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Booth, Frederick Handel||Clynes, John R.|
|Alden, Perry||Bowerman, C. W.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Armitage, Robert||Brace, William||Cotton, William Francis|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crumley, Patrick|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Brunner, J. F. L.||Cullinan, John|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Bryce, J. Annan||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Barton, William||Burt, Rt. Hon Thomas||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Buxton, Neel (Norfolk, N.)||Dawes, J. A.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lundon, T.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lynch, A. A.||Richards, Thomas|
|Dillon, John||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Doris, W.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Maclean, Donald||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Callum, John M.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Falconer, J.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Fenwick, Charles||Manfield, Harry||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Field, William||Marks, G. Croydon||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|France, G. A.||Martin, Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Gill, A. H.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sheehy, David|
|Goldstone, Frank||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Millar, James Duncan||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset E.)||Molloy, M.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Snowden, P.|
|Hackett, J.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Mooney, J. J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Morrell, Philip||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harvey, A. G C. (Rochdale)||Muldoon, John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harvey, T E. (Leeds, W.)||Munro, R.||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nannettl, Joseph P.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Neilson, Francis||Toulmin, George|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hayward, Evan||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Hinds, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hodge, John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Doherty, Philip||Wardle, George J.|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Dawd, John||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Hunter, W. (Govan)||Ogden, Fred||Watt, Henry A.|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Grady, James||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Malley, William||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Keating, M.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Kelly, Edward||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Kilbride, Deni||Pollard, Sir George H.||Winfrey, Richard|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wood, T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Radford, G. H.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Leach, Charles||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Reddy, Michael||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Logan, John William||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Cautley, Henry Strother||Gardner, Ernest|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cave, George||Gastrell, Major W. H.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gibbs, G. A.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Goldman, C. S.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Clay. Captain H. Spender||Goldsmith, Frank|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Clyde, J. Avon||Grant, J. A.|
|Barnston, H.||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Greene, W. R.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Dairymple, Viscount||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Haddock, George B.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Dixon, Charles Harvey||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Doughty, Sir George||Hamersley, A. St. George|
|Bigland, Alfred||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.|
|Boyton, James||Duke, Henry Edward||Hillier, Dr. A. P.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Fell, Arthur||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Fitzroy, Hon Edward A.||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Fleming, Valentine||Horner, A. L.|
|Cassel, Felix||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Cator, John||Forster, Henry William||Hume-Williams, William Ellis|
|Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Nield, Herbert||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Perkins, Walter F.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Lee, Arthur H.||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Rothschild, Lionel de||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Macmaster, Donald||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|M'Calmont, Colonel James||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Sanders, Robert A.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Sanderson, Lancelot||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Stewart, Gershom||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Colonel|
|Newman, John R. P.||Sykes, Alan John||Griffith-Boscawen and Mr. S. Roberts.|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
There is no other Amendment that I select before the first word, "Bill" ["(3) A Bill shall be deemed"].
§ Question put, "That in respect of the124
§ remaining words of the Clause, the Chair be empowered to select the Amendments to be proposed."—[Mr. Joseph Pease.]
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 221; Noes, 111.125
|Division No. 198.]||AYES.||[8.20 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Essex, Richard Walter||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Falconer, J.||Lynch, A. A.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Fenwick, Charles||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Adamson, William||Field, William||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Fitzgibbon, John||Maclean, Donald|
|Alden, Percy||France, G. A.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Gelder, Sir W. A.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Armitage, R.||Gill, A. H.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Goldstone, Frank||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Manfield, Harry|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Marks, G. Croydon|
|Barton, W.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Gwynn, Stephen Luclus (Galway)||Martin, J.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Hackett, J.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hancock, J. G.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Boland, John Pius||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Harvey, W. E (Derbyshire, N.E)||Molloy, M.|
|Brace, William||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Brady, P. J.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Haworth, Arthur A.||Mooney, J. J.|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Hayden, John Patrick||Morrell, Philip|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hayward, Evan||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||Muldoon, John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hinds, John||Munro, R.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Hodge, John||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nannettl, Joseph P.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hughes, S. L.||Neilson, Francis|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hunter, W. (Govan)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Nolan, Joseph|
|Clough, William||John, Edward Thomas||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Clynes, J. R||Johnson, W.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Dowd, John|
|Crumley, Patrick||Joyce, Michael||Ogden, Fred|
|Cullinan, J.||Keating, M.||O'Grady, James|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kelly, Edward||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Malley, William|
|Dawes, J. A.||Kilbride, Denis||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Dillon, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Doris, W.||Leach, Charles||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Logan, John William||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lundon, T.||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Radford, G. H.||Sheehy, David||Watt, Henry A|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Reddy, Michael||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Snowden, P.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wiles, Thomas|
|Richards, Thomas||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Roberston, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Tennant, Harold John||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W)|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Robinson, Sydney||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Toulmin, George||Winfrey, Richard|
|Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wood, T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Verney, Sir Harry||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Wardle, George J.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Fleming, Valentine||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Nield, Herbert|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gardner, Ernest||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, G. A.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gilmour, Captain John||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Barnston, H.||Goldman, C. S.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Goldsmith, Frank||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Grant, J. A.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Greene, W. R.||Rawson, Col. R. H.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gretton, John||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bigland, Alfred||Haddock, George Bahr||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boscawen, Col. Sackville T. Griffith-||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Hamersley, A. St. George||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Boyton, James||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hickman, Col. T. E.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Hillier, Dr. A. P.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cave, George||Horner, A. L.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Clay, Captain H. Spender||Kimber, Sir Henry||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clyde, J. Avon||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lee, Arthur H.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Dixon, C. H.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Doughty, Sir George||Macmaster, Donald||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Magnus, Sir Philip||Younger, George|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Fell, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mrs.|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Newman, John R. P.||H. W. Forster and Mr. Ashley.|
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
The Amendment which I select, to be moved next is one standing in the name of the hon. Member for Hythe (Sir Edward Sassoon) to add after the words "former Bill in the preceding Session" in Subsection (3) the words:—But the Speaker of the House of Commons shall not certify any alteration as necessary owing to the time which has elapsed if such alteration imposes any retrospective duty or liability upon any person which would not have been imposed if such alteration had not been made.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I have not selected any of the other Amendments preceding that of which the hon. Member for Hythe has given notice.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It is left to my judgment to select the Amendments, and in the exercise of my judgment I consider that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Hythe should come next.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
Have you cut out the Amendment standing in my name to leave out Sub-section (3)?
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
I have called upon the hon. Member for Hythe to move his Amendment, which is to add certain words to the Sub-section.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I am aware that this is entirely left to your discretion, but I wish to ask whether your attention has has been called to an Amendment standing in my name—to leave out the words "certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons to be" ["such alterations as are certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons to be necessary."] I wish to move that Amendment for the purpose of putting in another Amendment to provide that a Joint Committee should decide whether it is the same Bill. The House has decided as regards Money Bills that the Speaker is to decide. I submit that the Speaker's certificate might as well say that a Joint Committee has come to the decision as to whether a Bill is identical with the former Bill, or contains only such alterations as are necessary owing to the time which has elapsed since the date of the former Bill. I submit that that is an entirely new point which has not been covered by any discussion before.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I understand the hon. Gentleman's point, but I do not think that he has said anything to make me alter my decision as to the next Amendment to be moved.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I beg to move the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Hythe (Sir Edward Sassoon), to insert in Sub-section (3) the words: "But the Speaker of the House of Commons shall not certify any alteration as necessary owing to the time which has elapsed if such alteration imposes any retrospective duty or liability upon any person which would not have been imposed if such alteration had not been made."
We have now reached the third Subsection, and if I appreciate the intention of the framers of the Bill in drawing this Sub-section, it is that they have to meet the case which arises by reason of the lapse of time when a Bill is passing through three successive Sessions during 128 a period of two years from its first introduction in this House. The Amendment is moved in no hostile spirit, but from the point of view of obtaining information whether the Sub-section as it stands effects the purpose which I assume to be the purpose of the Government. I assume that what they mean to do is to provide that the provisions of a Bill which has been delayed two years in the course of its transit three times through the House of Commons, shall have incorporated such Amendments as are rendered necessary through the lapse of time. As I conceive this Sub-clause affects a great deal more than this. Suppose you have a Bill introduced into this House, naming a certain day on which it is to come into operation, and from which date certain powers are to be transferred, and various other times have to be fixed in the Bill in relation to the transfer of these powers, it is obvious that some such power such as is contained in the Sub-clause would be necessary, and that the Government should have power in the course of the transit of the Bill, on the three successive occasions through this House, to bring the Bill up to date so that the insertion of particular dates, which by that time have become historically inaccurate, should be amended and that the Bill would still be the same Bill although you have, as a matter of convenience, and in reference to the almanack, altered the Bill so as to make it as it originally was, but had ceased to be by reason of the fact that a certain time had elapsed.
But the important question now arises, are you going to allow the alterations that are to be made in a Bill for the purpose of the almanack to be inserted in that Bill so as to make the liabilities accruing under the Bill date from the first inception of the Bill in this House? Are you going to say that the Bill is to become an effective Act of Parliament when it has gone through this House three times and at the end of two years allow all the liabilities that have grown up in the interval to be enforced so that the effective operation of the Bill will date from the time when it was first introduced into this House? I feel confident that the Committee will say that I have touched an important point, because if the intention of the Government is merely to bring the Bill up to date and to make it the same Bill relatively as it was on the first introduction, the powers at present in the third Clause are sufficient to enable such dates to be put into the Bill as to in effect ante-date the operation of the Bill to the time when it was first 129 introduced into the House and not to limit it to the time it became an Act of Parliament after the lapse of the two years which are necessary. I do not think that is the intention of the Government. I think it is their intention merely to introduce what I may call unimportant alterations of dates. But the wide words of the Clause are sufficient to enable a great deal more to be done. As an illustration I may quote the case of the Budget of 1909–10. Alterations were made in order that its effect should be retrospective. In that case alterations were made so that when ultimately it passed, as in 1910, it spoke as from a date 1909 when it was originally intended to come into operation. And for that purpose I daresay quite rightly, the Bill was held to be operative as from its original introduction into the House, and by virtue of an Act passed in 1910 it became the Budget of 1909–10. The whole scheme and method of this Parliament Bill I conceive to be different.
The intention here is that there should be a delay, a pause, an opportunity for this House to consider its first and second decisions, and an opportunity for the country at large to see what the Bill exactly is. The only safeguard that is relied on is against ill-considered and hasty legislation is this delay. The Government give us no other safeguards. They merely say "You have a sufficient safeguard by means of delay." If that be so, if delay is to be the safeguard, and is to be operative, we ought to be abundantly sure that by no circumstances can the Bill which ultimately will become an Act of Parliament have an anterior effect, so as to date from the time that it was originally introduced into this House. We should have the safeguard of delay made effective and sufficient by preventing any alterations of dates so as to make the Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament effective from any anterior date. If you do not have that you are really having a sort of snowball of liability, because you have liabilities, which are intended to be introduced into this Bill when first brought into this House, but not passed into an Act of Parliament, added to and maintained when it passes the second time through this House, and which are still held over and maintained in the third Session, so that ultimately when the Bill comes to be an Act of Parliament you would have liabilities rolled up during that period of three years which might be most inconvenient and most unsatisfactory, and which would alter in effect, but not in actual word terms, the Act of Parliament 130 as originally introduced. In order to have a safeguard against that possibility, to have the really effective safeguard of delay, and to prevent the possibility of alterations in date that may carry forward liabilities, we propose this Amendment, and we ask the Committee to make sure that the Act of Parliament, when it does become an Act of Parliament, shall operate, and operate only from the date when it becomes an Act of Parliament, without having brought forward liabilities from its original introduction into this House. In that way only can a truly effective safeguard be provided in this new procedure between the two Houses. I quite know that in my illustration of the Budget I was dealing with a Money Bill, but there are many other measures in which similar liabilities and duties might be imposed. And it is to prevent those liabilities from being carried forward that I think the words of the Amendment are necessary. I submit to the Committee that the words which I propose are apt to effect that purpose. I introduce them to make clear what I believe to be the intention of the Government.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. and learned Member has quite correctly summarised from one point of view the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Clause 2; but I cannot help thinking when he comes to consider what is the effect of the Amendment which he proposes, that both he and the Committee will come to the conclusion that it would do the very opposite of what the hon. Gentleman desires. There are three particular points to be dealt with, as will be seen if you look at the Bill. The first is that the Bill is identical with the former Bill sent to the House of Lords. Then it is to be deemed the same Bill if it only contains such alterations as are certified by the Speaker of the House as necessary owing to the time that has elapsed since the date of the former Bill. Then there is the third condition, if it represents Amendments made by the House of Lords in the former Bill in the preceding Session. As I understand my hon. and learned Friend's proposal, what he desires is to introduce an Amendment which would prevent the Speaker from certifying, something which, if not certified, will be, according to the hon. and learned Member, a retrospective liability. I am sure the hon. and learned Member will be the first to see, if he considers again, that what he really desires, if I were to give full effect to the argument he has put before the 131 Committee, is that there should be power to alter the date, whereas what the Amendment does is to prevent the Speaker of the House of Commons from altering the date. Take the instance suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman. Suppose, on a date like 1st April, 1911, a Bill is introduced. We will assume that the two years elapse, and that the Bill actually does not become law until 1st May, 1914. According to the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Speaker is not to certify any alteration as necessary "owing to the time which has elapsed if such alteration imposes any retrospective duty or liability upon any person which would not have been imposed if such alteration had not been made." What we want to do is to provide, as I think the Government have by their provision, that there shall be alterations made, but only such as are certified to be necessary owing to the lapse of time. That is the power given to the Speaker. Of course, the alteration in a date which the Speaker thinks necessary owing to the lapse of time, is to he certified, but notwithstanding that the alteration is made, the Bill still remains the same when sent up again for the second or third time, as the case may be, to the House of Lords.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
The Attorney-General has not quite appreciated my point. I will give a concrete case. Supposing we are dealing with a Bill now, and it provides that a liability shall accrue on 1st July. Then the next Session it would be necessary to alter that date. But if the intention of the Government was that the liability should still accrue from 1st July, 1911, although in other portions of the Bill the Speaker might say, "Very well, we will adjust those dates accordingly, "it might well be that the Government might say that "the intention was to commence the liability on 1st July, 1911—to that date we hold," and so on through two successive years, the liability is still to be held to date from 1st July, 1911. That is carrying forward the liability. I hope I have made myself plain?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
And I trust I have made myself plain to the hon. and learned Member. He has put to me an illustration which exactly bears out what I have been saying. It is quite clear that the Amendment which is being proposed does not carry out what he desires, but the very opposite. I took down his words when he 132 interrupted me in order to put this point against me, thinking that I did not quite appreciate it. But the words he used made abundantly clear what I had been putting before the Committee. His illustration was 1st July, 1911, and the next Session it would be necessary to alter that date. He says then, "If you do not want to do that you preserve the liability, it may be, from the anterior date, 1st July." But what he really requires is that the date should be altered. Let me turn to his Amendment, which says, "But the Speaker of the House of Commons shall not certify any alteration as necessary owing to the time which has elapsed if such alteration imposes any retrospective duty or liability upon any persons which would not have been imposed if such alteration had not been made." If the words proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman were introduced into the Bill they would not carry out the object which he has put before the Committee. What he wants is that the Speaker shall have the power, not that he shall not have the power, to certify an alteration of date. The only effect of carrying this Amendment would be to prevent the alteration from being made. What is wanted is that there should be the power to make the alteration which is necessary and which is required to make the Bill identical. In most cases, however, I think there will be no question of dates, because, presumably, the draftsman in dealing with a Bill would anticipate a question of this kind—indeed, most draftsmen would do so—by avoiding the introduction of a date, and by saying "on and after such and such a time from the passing of this Act," or words of that character, in order to meet any question of this description that might arise; otherwise the date might be stated too early or too late. What we want to do is to impose a liability either immediately on the Act having received the Royal Assent or within certain time thereafter, and there is no difficulty in introducing words to meet that object. I think it would be only in rare or infrequent cases that an alteration would have to be made. I agree there will be occasions when you will have to insert a date, and therefore it may be necessary to alter the date owing to the lapse of time, and Mr. Speaker has to certify so as to preserve that the Bill which shall be sent up from the House of Commons shall be the same Bill, with only those alterations necessary to bring it up to date. That is all you want to do. If 133 you give greater power than that, and allow greater latitude to the Speaker to certify alterations of the character suggested, then you will be increasing very largely the power of the Speaker, and enabling the House of Commons to send up a Bill on the second or third Session which was not the same Bill as had been introduced, and therefore would not be carrying out the object of this Bill. My submission to the Committee is that really what we have done is to carry out almost exactly what the hon. and learned Member desires; there would be a difficulty in that if this Amendment were accepted in the terms in which it is proposed, and therefore I ask the Committee not to accept it.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
This illustrates the difficulty under which we are working by this method of procedure, as a great deal turns on the meaning of the words "identical" and "necessary." If the Bill is identical, and certified to be necessary, I take it the meaning of the Government is that they do not want their Bill to lapse and fall in the course of this procedure simply because it has to keep to the exact terms, lines, and dates and figures in which it was first brought in. For instance, if they brought in a Bill which said that on and after the 31st January, 1913, that certain provisions should have effect, that would make nonsense of the Bill if you came to the middle of 1913. Therefore the word "identical" is not necessary.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I can understand that in order to make a Bill work at all certain changes would be necessary, and would be certified by the Speaker to be necessary, but as I take it the point of my hon. and learned Friend is that there might be alterations which would be necessary to make the Bill work, and yet would impose substantial injustice. The Speaker could not certify those alterations, and although not necessary for the purpose of the Bill working, they might really be necessary to avoid injustice. Whether the exact words of the Amendment deal with the point, I submit that it has not been met by the Attorney-General. A tax might probably be in a Money Bill, but valuation or duty might be in another Bill, and might have serious effects. Supposing you brought in a Bill that a man should declare the value of his property 134 as from the 1st April, 1912, and if that Bill were brought in the following and subsequent years, then when that Bill became an Act the man would have to throw his mind back two years to ascertain the value of his property two years back. It is that accumulation of date which my hon. Friend wishes to avoid. You might have a case of return of income and expenditure in which the unfortunate man would have to charge his memory or search his records for some two years back. The putting on him of this labour would naturally arise unless some words were inserted, because all Mr. Speaker would have to look at would be, not the working of the Bill, but whether the change would be necessary to make the Bill work at all. Therefore, I submit that the word "necessary," which we have not been able to discuss at all, does involve this matter.
The Postmaster-General would probably remember Form LL., which was issued to the public, I think, the year before last. I am not quite sure whether it was withdrawn, but I think it was modified in the case of Ireland. That form compelled the publican to fill up all sorts of particulars as to barrelage, as to his profits, as to the assistance with which his house was conducted, the number of rooms, and other minute particulars which involved a great amount of labour. Suppose any future Licensing Bill had such a Clause, and something of the kind would probably be in it, and suppose that Bill was tossed to and fro for three Sessions; then when it became an Act the wretched licence holder would have to fill up this form for the previous two years, and try to remember what his barrelage was in those years, what assistants he had, what his stock was, and all sorts of other particulars. Surely that would be a burden, and it would come within the terms of this Amendment. Perhaps these words do not meet the case intended to be met; but neither do the words of the Government. I submit that the Attorney-General ought to admit the difficulty, and to agree that the word "necessary" is not sufficient. We have, however, gone past the word "necessary," and cannot make an Amendment on that point. This is our only opportunity of making a protest, and, therefore, we shall have to carry the Amendment to a Division.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The Committee will be placed in a somewhat peculiar position if hon. Members opposite press to a Division an Amendment which would 135 have precisely the opposite effect to that which they desire. What hon. Members opposite desire is that when a Bill comes back from the House of Lords in the second or third Session there should be an obligation cast on the House of Commons to insert Amendments preventing that Bill from having a retrospective effect. Alterations must be made to bring the dates up to date, and to prevent the Bill from having unintentionally a retrospective effect. But what the Amendment proposes is that an alteration shall not be made, which is precisely the opposite effect to that desired.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
The right hon. Gentleman fails to appreciate that the words in the Amendment are explanatory of the words in the Bill. The Speaker is to certify words to be necessary. It all turns on the word "necessary," and the Amendment says that the Speaker within that power of defining what is within the meaning of the Clause shall not certify any alteration as necessary owing to lapse of time if such alteration imposes any retrospective burden. I am certain that neither the Attorney - General nor the Postmaster-General has appreciated the point of the Amendment.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I think that almost every other Member of the Committee sees clearly that by this Amendment you would impose upon the Speaker the duty of refusing to allow an alteration in the Bill, although it is admitted that an alteration is necessary to effect the desired purpose. If the date 1908 is in the Bill, and the Bill does not pass till 1910, you must take out the "1908" and insert "1910," otherwise the Bill will have a retrospective effect. You must make an alteration in the Bill, but the Amendment says that the Speaker shall not allow such an alteration. What hon. Members really desire is to impose an obligation on the House of Commons to make an alteration, and to empower the Speaker to certify that alteration. If the hon. Member thinks the matter over in the stilly hours of the night, he will see that the Amendment would defeat the purpose he has in view.
I rose, however, to reply to the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. James Hope), who said that there were cases where a date ought to be altered from say 1908 to 1910, where it could not be said that the alteration was really necessary to effect 136 the purpose of the Bill, but where, if the date were left at 1908, it would impose great inconvenience, and perhaps injustice. But the hon. Member is assuming that the only Amendments to be made in a Bill are Amendments under this Subsection, which are to be held to be necessary within the meaning of the Subsection. I would direct his attention to the proviso, which says that other Amendments may be made by the House of Commons and inserted in the Bill if the House of Lords agree to them, without the identity of the Bill being lost. That is the course which would be taken if injustice would be done by keeping in a particular date. It would not be requisite for the Speaker to certify the alteration. The Amendment would go to the House of Lords, and if it was intended to remedy an injustice, which ex-hypothesi is the case, we may assume that the House of Lords would not reject it. The House of Lords could still reject the whole Bill, but if it did not reject the Amendment the Bill might be passed under the provisions of this Clause. The hon. Member says that the House of Lords might be willing to commit an injustice. You cannot avoid that by any provision of this Bill. You must leave the House of Commons to deal with each particular case according to the requirements of that particular case. I challenge the hon. Member to bring up any form of words which would effect the purpose he has in view. You would have to create some extra tribunal to judge whether the retrospective effect of a particular provision was unjust or not. You might have a retrospective provision which was perfectly just. If you impose the obligation you must have a tribunal to decide which Amendments are unjust and which are just. That tribunal must be the House of Commons itself, and we give power to the House of Commons to effect the changes which are necessary in that respect.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
It seems to me that this Amendment has a meaning which has not yet been met. The point of the Amendment is, I think, that unless the Speaker gives his certificate a Bill must be counted as having passed for the first time in the new Session. It counts from the second year, and not from the first. The object is simply that if the Speaker does not certify an alteration the Bill is not to be retrospective beyond the second year. Is not that the obvious meaning of it?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The Amendment, as I understand it, is this: If the Bill has been altered and the Speaker certifies that for practical purposes this is the same date, then this date so far as duties or liabilities are imposed upon the subject shall be the date of the then Session. That is the object of the Amendment, it seems to me.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I understand under this Clause there are three conditions. The first is that the Bill is really identical. There is no difficulty I understand that arises about that. Then, in order to avoid certain difficulties which may meet the Government they have to provide for two other conditions. First of all, I think certain alterations have to be made by reason of the lack of time. That is the second; and, thirdly, if alterations have to be made in order to represent Amendments which have been made in the House of Lords. This Amendment proposes to deal with these. I put it to the learned Attorney-General that it is worth his serious consideration. Supposing the second state or condition arises, and the Bill is not really identical, and that it becomes necessary by reason of the lapse of time to make certain alterations. These alterations are not to be made to make the Bill identical, unless the Speaker will certify that these alterations are necessary for the purpose of making the Bill identical by reason of the lapse of time. The effect of my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment is: "The Speaker shall not certify that such alterations are necessary by reason merely of the lapse of time if by reason of such alterations the duty or liability imposed by the Act becomes retrospective."
I cannot understand the learned Attorney-General's objection to that Amendment being put in. I quite agree there are certain words in the Amendment that are not very aptly chosen. If I had been drafting the Amendment I would possibly have drafted it in different words, but I did not draft it. The object of the Amendment is perfectly clear, and I am perfectly certain, knowing as I do that the learned Attorney-General is not a man 138 who will quibble about mere words, but will deal with the substance of the Amendment, if I can satisfy him, as I hope I have done, that the Amendment is really one of substance that he will consider it.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
One effect of this discussion has been to drive the Postmaster-General, in despair, out of the House. The change that is suggested by the Amendment is one which would appear to be necessary to make the Bill work. This Amendment does not deal with all the points concerned. On the other hand there are cases in which the making of the alteration suggested will impose liability, and it is his second series of cases that this Amendment is designed to meet. It is quite true that a difficulty will remain which we will have to consider on Report. If the object of the Government is not to impose a retrospective liability, surely this Amendment might be accepted for what it is worth. The whole discussion illustrates the difficulty of throwing upon Mr. Speaker matters of this sort to decide. I take it, after what the Postmaster-General has said that all Mr. Speaker can look at in the wording of this Section is as to whether a change is or is not necessary in order to make the Bill work? Under this wording he cannot consider whether any injustice is done retrospectively to individuals. That was acknowledged by the Postmaster-General, I think, when he said that the matter might be solved by some suggested Amendments in the next Section. That, I take it, to be his argument. It shows the extreme difficulty of this kind of procedure. The Speaker has to look at a Bill and see that it is brought up to date in order to make it work, in order not to make nonsense of it. In doing that he may bring about a change which will impose a very heavy retrospective burden, but he cannot alter the effect of that. I say in future although some such words are necessary, they will not cover the whole field. I hope my hon. and learned Friend will carry the matter to a Division. I ask the learned Attorney-General to reply on the point, admitting, as I do, that these words will not carry out the whole purpose in our minds—to apply himself to the point as to whether they can do any harm if passed as they stand, and as to whether there are not certain cases that they will meet.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I think it is possible to meet the point we are endeavouring to deal with. I am not in the least wedded to particular words. I think it would be much 139 better if the learned Attorney-General would endeavour to meet us by some words which would prevent the difficulty arising. The point is a clear one. There may be a Certain date which becomes a matter of policy, and is not merely a matter of the almanack. We desire to insert words which are apt to our purpose. As neither
§ the Postmaster-General nor the Attorney-General will give any undertaking that they will deal with the matter, I shall ask my Friends to follow me into the Lobby.
§ Question put, "That those words he there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 130; Noes, 234.141
|Division No. 199.]||AYES.||[9.25 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Forster, Henry William||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gardner, Ernest||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Newman, John R. P.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gibbs, George Abraham||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Begot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gilmour, Captain John||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfleld)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goldman, C. S||Nield, Herbert|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Goldsmith, Frank||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Grant, J. A.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barnston, Harry||Greene, Walter Raymond||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Giouc., E.)||Gretton, John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Bathurst Charles (Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Hamilton Marquess of (Londonderry)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Salter, Arthur Clevell|
|Boscawen, Col. Sackville T. Griffith-||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Nowood)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Hillier, Dr. A. P.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Boyton, J.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hoare, S. J. G||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Hohler, G. F.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Carille, Edward Hildred||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Horner, A. L.||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cave, George||Houston, Robert Paterson||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Chaloner, Col R. G. W.||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kimber, Sir Henry||Touche, George Alexander|
|Courthope, George Loyd||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Norman (Kent)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Law, Andrew Boner (Bootle, Lancs.)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||White, Maj. G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Dickson Rt. Hon. C. S.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lowther, Claude (Cumberland, Eskdale)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Douglas Rt Hon. A. Akers-||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Mackinder, H. J.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Macmaster, Donald||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Fell, Arthur||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Younger, George|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Fleming, Valentine||Malcolm, Ian||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Pollock and Mr. Rawlinson.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Brace, William||Crumley, Patrick|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brady, J. P.||Cullinan, J.|
|Adamson, William||Brigg, Sir John||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Davies, Timothy, (Lincs., Louth)|
|Alden, Percy||Brunner, J. F. L.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Bryce, J. Annan||Dawes, J. A.|
|Armitage, R.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Atherley-Jones, Liewellyn A.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Devlin, Joseph|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Dillon, John|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawlck)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Doris, W.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Byles, William Pollard||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duncan, J. Hastings (York Otley)|
|Barton, William||Cawley, Sr Frederick (Prestwich)||Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets)||Clough, William||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Clynes, J. R.||Falconer, J.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Fenwick, Charles|
|Boland, John Plus||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Field, William|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Cotton, William Francis||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Mlcking, Major Gilbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Manfleld, Harry||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Marks, G. Croydon||Robinson, Sidney|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mcehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hackett, John||Menzies, Sir Walter||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Millar, James Duncan||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hancock, J. G.||Molloy, Michael||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Harmsworth, R. L.||Money, L. G. Chlozza||Sheehy, David|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Mooney, J. J.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Morrell, Philip||Smith, Albert (Lanes, Clitheroe)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Munro, R.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Snowden, Philip|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Spicer Sir Albert|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Neilson, Francis||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hayward, Evan||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nolan, Joseph||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hinds, John||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hodge, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N,)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Doherty, Philip||Toulmin, George|
|Hunter, W. (Govan)||O'Dowd, John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Ogden, Fred||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Grady, James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvll)||O'Malley, William||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Warner, Sir S. C. T.|
|Joyce, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Keating, M.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Kelly, Edward||Pease Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rl'nd,Cockerm'th)||Radford, G. H||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Leach, Charles||Raphael, Sir Herbert H||Williams, Llewellyn (Carmarthen)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Williams, P. (Middlesborough)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Logan, John William||Reddy, M.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lundon, T.||Redmond John E. (Waterford)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Lynch, A. A.||Rendall, Atheistan||Wood, T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richards, Thomas||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Richarson, Albion (Peckham)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Maclean, Donald||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I have two Amendments handed in by the hon. Member for Central Sheffield; the second of them is not one I could accept, and the first one I do not understand.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
What I wish to add at the end of Sub-section (3) are the words "and which involves no further consequences by reason of the passing of any penal enactment or other legislation in the interval." Supposing an Amendment was made making a certain act an offence at the end of one Session, and in the following year the same Bill comes on with that Amendment. In the meantime the consequences of that Amendment have been met from a different cause, and an extra new penalty has been created by other legislation for 142 that offence. The penalty might be one to be met by a fine, but it might by reason of other legislation be made liable to imprisonment. Therefore, an Amendment actually in the same words might have a different effect. It might be caused by repeal of legislation or lapse of temporary legislation or new legislation passed by agreement, or the effect of this particular Bill not having been known at the time. Although it may be the same Amendment literally, it may not be the same in substance. That is the effect of the Amendment, I wish to propose, and I submit that this is a point of substance not covered by previous Amendments. My Amendment is really that the tenor and effect of the same words will be very different by other Acts having been passed.
§ Mr. CAVE
moved, in Sub-section (3), after the words "in the preceding Session," to add the words:—
"the House of Lords may, when any Bill subject to the provisions of this Section is before that House in the second or third Session, return the Bill to the House of Commons, requesting by message the Amendment of provisions therein, and the House of Commons may, if it thinks fit, make any of such Amendments, with or without modifications, and such Amendments, if agreed to by the House of Lords, shall be treated as Amendments agreed to by both Houses within the meaning of this Section.'
This Amendment is to provide for an event which may very easily occur. A Bill may have passed this House, and still not be absolutely perfect. That fact is recognised by the Bill itself. The House of Commons may have Amendments to make in the second or third Sessions. Under the Bill as it stands those Amendments cannot be made by this House, therefore there is a proviso on page 3 enabling the House of Commons to suggest Amendments in the Bill. Those suggestions, if accepted by the Lords, are embodied as Amendments in the Bill and become agreed Amendments; but if they are rejected by the Lords they come to nothing. The Lords may have useful Amendments to make, but under the Bill as it stands they cannot make them or insist upon them without, according to the definition of this Bill, rejecting the measure. That they may not desire to do. They may be unwilling to be placed in a position of setting themselves against this House and rejecting a Bill, and yet they may desire an Amendment to be made. This Amendment provides that in such a case the Lords may take the course allowed by the Bill as drafted to the Commons. Under my Amendment the Lords may put those Amendments in the form of suggestions in a message to this House, and if those Amendments are agreed to by this House then they are embodied in the Bill, and although there is a change in the Bill in that way it is not a change so as to make it within the meaning of this provision no longer the same Bill. I think that is a proposal which might reasonably be accepted in some form or other by both sides.
144 If Amendments may be suggested by this House there ought to be equal power given to the other House to suggest Amendments. We ought to be able to accept changes which are useful and desirable. It seems to me that that is a matter worthy of consideration because it puts the two Houses on the same footing in this respect, and it opens the door for this House in a case where the Lords have some useful suggestion to make to accept that suggestion. Sometimes Amendments come from the other House entirely suggested by the Government themselves. There was more than one instance of that kind in the last Parliament and the Parliament before, where a suggestion has been made too late to embody in an Amendment in this House and the Government have asked one of their supporters to move its insertion in the Bill in the other House. That will prove to be a useful. common-sense course to take in the case of a Bill coming under this Parliament Bill, and that could not be done unless you make some provision of this kind. This House could not accept the Amendments coming from the other place unless they leave the other place free. This Amendment would leave them free to make those suggestions. This proviso of mine would, I think, tend towards agreement between the two Houses, and it is quite possible that the effect might be to pass a Bill through in two Sessions rather than three. Let me put that proposition in a concrete form. Supposing a Bill has passed this House once and been rejected, and then this House has passed it again. Supposing the other House is satisfied that a change in really desirable. They cannot amend it without running the danger of throwing it over another year. Under my proposal they might take the alternative course and suggest Amendments by message to this House. That does not imperil the Hill. If this House does not agree with those suggestions, the Lords have, nevertheless, passed the Bill, but subject to those suggestions which are rejected; and so the Bill passes in two years instead of being thrown over to the third year. I do not suggest that the form of my Amendment is incapable of alteration or improvement, but I am satisfied that something of this kind ought to be done, and I think it will tend, not only to the possibility of agreement, but towards putting Bills in a better and a more perfect form. I hope my Amendment will receive favourable consideration.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)
Everyone will notice again on this Amendment the care and attention with which the hon. and learned Gentleman always studies the subject on which he addresses the House of Commons, but, excepting in the case of the third Session we venture to think his Amendment is an over-refinement. All the existing procedure for arriving at a settlement of differences between the House of Commons and the House of Lords will be fully offered under this Bill. In the case of the first two passages of a measure through the House of Commons, the whole of the higgling of the two political parties will be possible as it always has been possible in the past. There will be nothing to prevent the House of Lords making Amendments, those Amendments coming down to the House of Commons, the House considering them making alterations in them, and returning them to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords then being in the position to accept them as modified or to insist on their original Amendments.
It is only when the whole of that process under which we have hitherto lived and settled many differences of a minor character has been completely exhausted that such a deadlock will arise as will constitute a breakdown which will nceessitate the carrying over of a Bill. The argument is complete, so far as the first and second Sessions are concerned, but the Government admit that, so far as the third Session is concerned, the argument may not be wholly complete. It might be possible the House of Lords might have Amendments they wished to suggest as the final conditions on which they would be willing to agree to the Bill and become parties to the Act, and it might be convenient they should have the power of suggesting in the third Session to enable them at the last moment to state the final terms on which their assent would be procured. We wish to make this procedure as complete as possible and as flexible as possible, and we wish, so far as human ingenuity can reach, to make sure no possibility of agreement and co-operation between the two branches of the Legislature has been lost or neglected. We cannot say at the present moment whether we can introduce words to meet this point of the third Session, but we will consider it with attention and care, and, if we find ourselves in a position to do so, we will put down words on the Report stage, 146 which will make it possible for the House of Lords to make suggestions at the last moment which may possibly have the effect of securing their agreement and of preventing the overriding provisions of this Bill taking effect.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I think my Amendment to leave out the proviso and the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Cave) really come under the one head, and perhaps I may be allowed to deal with them at the same time. There is, I think, a mistake in the Home Secretary's logic. He talks about the higgling there was in the old days. You were higgling then between two bodies which had equal powers, but the higgling under this Bill would be be between two bodies, one of which had all the power to pass the Bill whether the other agreed or not. If you admit a provision of this kind is necessary in order to bring about compromising agreements and to prevent either undue friction between the two Houses or the bringing into operation of a Single Chamber system, why is it not applicable to the second as well as to the third Session? Why should you keep the matter in suspense, for an additional Session if it can be dealt with in the second Session?
If when the second Session has advanced for some time, the House of Lords were in a position to make proposals which this House were willing to accept, why should not that be carried out at that time? What is the difference between the second and third Session? If the Home Secretary is right that in the second Session you could make these Amendments without losing the identity of the Bill, then the same holds true of the third Session. Whether it is the second or third Session, you lose the chance of no longer maintaining what is called the identity of the Bill, and if you do not maintain the identity of the Bill, you lose the advantage of the procedure which this Bill proposes to give you. Every argument which the Home Secretary has used applies equally to the second as to the third Session. You either want it in both or it is useless in both. The Home Secretary shakes his head, but I cannot see any distinction whatever between the second and third Session except that by limiting it only to the third Session you may suspend a Bill for a third Session, although both parties may be willing to settle it in the second. If I am wrong, then a provision of this kind is not necessary in the third Session any more than in the second Session. There is no 147 difference in this respect between the second and third Session. This procedure applies equally to the procedure of the third as to the procedure of the second Session. It is necessary for both, or you do not want it for either.
The proviso at the end of this Clause, which applies both to the second and third Session, really does not deal with the alteration proposed and brought forward by my hon. Friend. Take the Home Rule Bill, and suppose the House of Lords has rejected it on principle on the first occasion. Then suppose in the second or third Session, although the Bill has been rejected on principle, this House, having ascertained in the meantime that the Bill either is not in accordance with popular opinion, or that it is not in its best form, and may be improved in some of its financial proposals, wants to make suggestions for further Amendment. Of course, the House of Lords, having rejected it on principle, are not likely to adopt suggestions for its Amendment. You therefore have the Bill passed in a form acceptable neither to the Second Chamber nor to this Chamber. That is the effect of the proviso. You will actually have a Bill passed in a form contrary to what is considered right by this Chamber, and contrary, of course, to the opinion of the Second Chamber, because they have rejected the Bill altogether. How can that be justified? The real answer to it is that this proviso is wrong in form. You want an Amendment in the nature of that proposed by my hon. and learned Friend, so that suggestions which may bring about a compromise and a settlement between the two Houses may be discussed, and you may get an Act which, as finally passed, at any rate has the approval of one of the two Houses, and if possible of both. Everyone agrees, whether Single Chamber advocates or not, it is very desirable to get compromises as between both Chambers, and I cannot understand the principle of the proviso at all. Perhaps I may put my point to the Prime Minister. I will take the case of the Home Rule Bill, merely for the purpose of illustration. There are two branches of this subject, and two Amendments, both of which are attempts to settle the difficulty. The form adopted in the proviso is wholly unsatisfactory, but I do not think I need say anything more about the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend, because I am cordially in favour 148 of it. What I want to point out is that the alternative proposal is also unsatisfactory. The Home Rule Bill is rejected on its Second Reading by the House of Lords. During the second and third years it is ascertained that the Bill as it stands is unsatisfactory, and this House wants to introduce some Amendment. Of course the Second Chamber will not agree, because it is opposed to the whole principle of the Bill, and as a result you have this position: that you finally pass a Bill which is objected to on principle by the Second Chamber, and which as far as this House is concerned is unsatisfactory. Would that be a really satisfactory constitutional solution of a difficulty of this kind? I say it would not. It is a solution which should not be adopted, because it leads to a great absurdity. I agree with my hon. and learned Friend that there should be some method by which suggestions by either House shall be considered by either House in the second or third Session, in order that, if possible, we may have a compromise arrangement, and get as large a measure of assent as is possible for the proposed legislation. It must be remembered that it is because our legislation has in the past received so large a measure of assent that it has commended itself to the people of this country.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I listened with very great attention to the point submitted by my hon. and learned Friend. I agree that this is rather a complex matter, although, as to the purposes in view, there can be, I imagine, no real difference of opinion. Let me point out how, as I read it, the matter stands. According to the Second Proviso, if Amendments are accepted by both Houses the Bill is not rejected in the meaning of the Clause. With that we shall all agree. But I now come to the case contemplated by the concluding lines of Sub-section (3), which deals with a different matter. The last two lines of that Sub-section speak of "Amendments which have been made by the House of Lords in the former Bill in the preceding Session." How will that work out? In the first Session no question arises. In the second Session, if the House of Commons accepts an Amendment made by the House of Lords in the first Session the proviso will still apply, and if, in the third Session, the House of Commons accepts an Amendment made by the House of Lords then again the proviso would apply. The difficulty arises, however, in 149 the third Session. In the case of the first two Sessions the Clause is amply sufficient. But I admit that the last words of this Sub-section do not apply to a case where the House of Lords, having made an Amendment in the third Session, the Bill, in the form in which it is ultimately presented, does not represent the Amendments made by the House of Lords in the former Bill in the preceding Session. That being so, although I think the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman goes a great deal too far, and I cannot accept it in the form in which it stands, we are quite prepared to consider on the Report stage additional words to make it clear that, in the third Session also, if the Bill represents Amendments made by the House of Lords in that Session accepted by the House of Commons it is to be treated as identical.
But the hon. and learned Gentleman made another point which, although is not perhaps germane to the Amendment, was germane to the construction of the proviso embodied in the second paragraph of Subsection (3). I understood the hon. and learned Member to say that we might have a Bill like the Home Rule Bill regarded as so objectionable by the House of Lords that, even although a desirable Amendment might be sent up by the House of Commons, the House of Lords would not look upon it, but would still persist in simply rejecting the Bill itself. I would like to measure the degree of reasonableness or unreasonableness which might characterise the conduct of a legislative body. I think it would be a very irrational attitude on the part of the Second Chamber if they were to refuse to insert an Amendment under such circumstances. Surely they would consider it their duty in the first place to accept an Amendment which, ex hypothesi, was a fair improvement in the provisions of the Bill, and then, when they came to the third reading of the measure, even as amended, it would still be open to them to declare that the Bill was so objectionable in principle they felt bound to reject. Is not that the course which would be taken by the House of Lords.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I do not think so in the case of a Home Rule Bill, involving important financial proposals.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
If the House of Lords prefer to pass a Bill in an imperfect, mutilated, or incomplete form, rather than pass it as amended by the better judgment of the House of Commons, I quite 150 agree it would be within their power under this Clause to insist on doing so. But I do not believe that that is a course which any rational Second Chamber would take. I think they would say, as reasonable men, "we object to the Bill, even as amended, but if it is to be passed into law and we know it must do so in spite of all our opposition, we should prefer to pass it as amended in its less objectionable form, although we would rather not have it at all." I cannot conceive any Second Chamber, with any sense of responsibility, not accepting an Amendment under such circumstances, and at the same time saying, "While we amend the Bill we wash our hands of all responsibility for passing it," I, therefore, do not think the objection to the proviso can stand; but I do agree that the hon. and learned Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) has raised a point which deserves consideration, and I will undertake upon the Report stage to make some provision to meet it.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I do not think that the Prime Minister or the Committee at large can count altogether upon what a Second Chamber will do, or on its following a course which it seems reasonable that it should take. The cases which were put by my hon. and learned Friend were cases in which the Second Chamber considers a Bill so inherently bad in itself and so incapable of being made a good Bill that they may argue fairly and reasonably in those cases, though they could not argue in others, that the only reasonable chance for the country is that the Bill should be repealed. The worse it is the more likely it is to be repealed, and the mere Amendment of it may in some way disguise its real character and affect and delay its final and perfect operation, and, therefore, there would be less chance of the Bill being repealed. In such a case as that I can conceive that it would not only be likely, but a perfectly fair and reasonable and highly arguable course for any Second Chamber to take to say that under the circumstances this Bill, being incurably bad, they would not attempt to disguise its badness from the constituencies, and the more its badness is made patent to the constituencies the more likely it is that they will repeal it and put it on one side. I am reminded of a friend of mine who on one occasion complained that the medicines which his doctor supplied produced no effect. I, as the friend of both parties, took upon myself to repeat to the doctor what had been said. The doctor 151 said, "Oh, he thinks so? I will give him something else," and he sat down to prescribe, but said, on second thoughts, "No, we will not disguise its naked beastliness; he shall know all about it." The opponents of the Bill I will assume desire that the full horrors of it shall be made known, and that is the case which my hon. and learned friend has put. On that case it is arguable that by the means I have suggested alone you will work out any remedy.
I therefore do not think the Prime Minister is sound in his conclusion that a wise Second Chamber would always accept an Amendment which, although it will not alleviate the evil, will disguise its effects for some time. I think that is one point which the Government should consider. Another point I had in my mind is in relation to the draftsmanship only, and it is in reference to the earlier words. The Subsection talks about Amendments which "represent" Amendments of the House of Lords. I do not know what the Prime Minister or the Government mean by the word "represent," but it seems to me a very indefinite word and to throw a very invidious task upon the Speaker to say, "Is this an Amendment which represents an Amendment, of the House of Lords." If you ask him to say, "Is this an Amendment which is made by the House of Lords," that is an issue which you can ask him to determine, but I think the word "represent" introduces some difficulty, and when you are putting such a task upon a single individual I think you ought to make his task as light as possible. I do not at this moment press this matter, but I am content if the Prime Minister will consider it.
§ Sir PHILIP MAGNUS
I put an Amendment on the Paper which is so nearly allied to the Amendment of my hon. Friend that perhaps the Prime Minister will consider it in connection with the other Amendment, so that we may not occupy the time of the House by discussing it. I am not quite certain whether it, is covered or is not covered by the Amendment of my hon. Friend. It is an Amendment to Subsection (3), which makes it clear that the suggested Amendments of the Commons can be further considered by both Houses. I propose to insert the words:—And such Amendments may be further amended by the House of Lords, and shall be considered by the House of Commons when referred to that House in the third Session.152 It deals, therefore, with the particular point raised by the Prime Minister, whether these further Amendments will be considered in the third Session. It will be noticed, of course, that the House of Lords has the power of proposing Amendments to any Bill that may be sent up to them. The Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend proposes that in the Second or Third Session the House of Lords may suggest further Amendments to the House of Commons, but a very important provision is contained in the second paragraph of Sub-section (3) which states that the House of Commons being desirous in the third Session to make certain improvements in the Bill, may, in consequence of the terms of this paragraph, not make Amendments in the Bill itself or it would be a new Bill different from that previously sent to the House of Lords. What they can do is to make suggestions to the House of Lords which shall be considered by that Chamber and, if approved, shall be treated as Amendments made by them and agreed to by the House of Commons.
What I want to point out particularly is this, that these suggestions of the House of Commons will on that occasion be brought before the notice of the House of Lords for the first time. They will contain absolutely new matter, which the House of Lords will never have had the opportunity previously of considering, and therefore I think it would only be in accordance with what I may call the intention of the Bill that the House of Lords should have the same opportunity of amending these new proposals which are submitted to it by the House of Commons as it had of amending the Bill when brought under its notice. Therefore, I have proposed that these suggestions may not only be considered, but, if necessary, amended by the House of Lords and referred to the House of Commons for their adoption. If the Lords then adopted the modified suggestion of the House of Commons the Bill, of course, would become law in the ordinary way, but supposing the House of Lords does not adopt the Amendment suggested by the House of Commons, and is not able to make any further suggestion, what would happen? The Bill may have passed through the House of Commons without containing the very Amendments which the House of Commons desires it should contain. That is to say, the House of Commons will be compelled to ask the Royal Assent to a Bill which they themselves do not approve. I 153 cannot help thinking this is an omission which has escaped the notice of the framers of the Bill, and I earnestly ask the attention of the Prime Minister to the suggestion.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
As far as I understand it, I think the Amendment, without committing myself to its terms, comes within the scope of what I have already said. I agree that where there is an opportunity of accommodation it ought to be kept open till the latest possible moment, but I think the actual language of the Clause will be sufficient in that respect. With reference to what fell from the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain)—and I am sure every Member of the Committee is delighted to see him back in his place—as to the use of the word "represent," the object and use of that word is not to confine the test of identity to the actual verbal reproduction of the Amendments which may have been made in the House, but, to enable the identity to be so far extended as to include anything which substantially embodies the same principle. I will consider whether it is the best way or not.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I have read the Sub-section with attention and listened to the Prime Minister's exposition of it, but I still think there is a defect which seems a very strange one. The position is very like that of "Alice in Wonderland, or Through the Looking-Glass." The House of Commons can always accept what the House of Lords suggested in the Session before, but never what the House of Lords suggests in the current Session. Take the case of the first Session. If the two Houses perfectly agree, the Bill goes through just as it would now. But supposing the House of Lords puts in a number of Amendments, and some of those are acceptable to the House and some are not, the acceptable ones cannot be put in in that Session, because if they are the Bill loses its identity, and that Session does not count. If the House of Commons rejects some and accepts some, when they begin next Session the Bill has to be brought in without the Amendments which the House of Commons was willing to accept at the time. They may then be put in as having been put in in the preceding Session. The same thing happens in the second Session in respect of any new Amendment which the House of Lords puts in. In the second Session the thing becomes more absurd. The House of Lords thinks of a new Amend 154 ment and puts it in, and the House of Commons cannot put it in however good it is. They are pledged to postpone the operation of the Bill for another year, however much they wish to put it in because it is not an Amendment of the preceding Session, but a new Amendment. Out of a comic opera there has never been such a provision accepted. The truth is this effort to try and pretend you have a Second Chamber when you do not mean really to have a Second Chamber lands you in a series of absurdities. If the Government will make up their mind and say, "We will not have a House of Lords at all," or "We will not give it any real power," they might make a Bill which would not have these absurdities in it, but if they are obliged at every turn to continue the pretence of giving the House of Lords a say, though not an effective say, you have results as grotesque as this. The Government are strangely out of touch with the feeling of their opponents when they say the House of Lords or any Second Chamber which disapproves of Home Rule would rather assent to the principle of it with Amendments which they approve than adhere to the end to their refusal. I am sure in respect to a measure like Home Rule the contest over the principle would be continued to the end. It is the intention of a large number of Unionists in Great Britain and in Ireland to offer resistance to the Bill if it is passed. [An HON. MEMBER: "Appeal to arms.] A great many things come before an appeal to arms, which might be effectively used against a Home Rule Bill. It is an illustration of how surprisingly the Government are ignorant of the problems with which they have to deal. They conceive that hon. Members on this side are merely engaged in a party battle. We are engaged in maintaining great principles, for which we are prepared to go great lengths.
§ Mr. HAROLD CAWLEY
If the argument of the Noble Lord is sound the Amendment is of no use. I venture to say that the Noble Lord has not quite grasped the meaning of the Sub-section. All that it says is that a Bill must be the same as when it was last sent up to the House of Lords, with such alterations as are necessary owing to the lapse of time.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The explanation of the Prime Minister was not absolutely clear. I am not quite certain if I understood properly what is to occur in the third 155 Session. As I understand in the third Session the House of Commons can accept the ten Amendments, and the Bill becomes law, but if the House of Commons desires to accept 5 and reject 5, it cannot do so because the Bill would not be identical with the Bill sent up in the previous Session. I presume that is the reason why the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary say they will consider whether some words can be inserted on the Report stage dealing with the third Session. That agrees with the description given by my Noble Friend. The Subsection in its present form leaves this House in the position of having to reject Amendments which it desires to accept or lose the Bill. I think the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend is an exceeding bad one, because the effect of it would be to expedite business. In the second Session the House of Lords, instead of putting in Amendments and sending the Bill down here so amended, would ask this House whether it would kindly accept the Amendments which they proposed to put in. If this House said "No," my hon. and learned Friend contemplates the submission of the House of Lords and the passing of the Bill. I do not approve of that, I think the House of Lords is put in a position of coming down to us and saying, "Please will you accept some Amendments which we venture very humbly to propose." My hon. and learned Friend says that there may be agreement between the two Houses if the House of Commons says "We will not accept your Amendments," and that the Bill will become law in the second Session. My belief is that the House of Lords ought to have the courage of its opinions, and that when a Bill goes up in the second Session it ought to say, "Are these Amendments of sufficient importance to involve the risking of the Bill? If we think they are then they ought to be put in and sent down to the House of Commons. It will then be for the House of Commons to consider whether or not they prefer to reject the Bill or accept the Amendments." That is the proper course if we are to have two Chambers, and are really to act on our opinions after deliberation and Debate, which. I venture to say, they have in the House of Lords but they have not here. Now my hon. and learned Friend says, in order to facilitate matters and avoid any chance of the Bill being rejected, "I would suggest on the House of Lords Amendments being sent 156 down here they should ask whether or not any of them will be accepted." The only effect of that, to my mind, is to expedite business, and to put the House of Lords in a humiliating position. Under those circumstances I was under the impression that the Government would have accepted the Amendment. With great pleasure I learned that they were not going to do so. From their point of view I think they have made a mistake.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not think that there is anything good in it. I hope that the Prime Minister sees very little good in it, because that would, to a certain extent, meet my objection. I would suggest to my hon. and learned Friend that he might withdraw his Amendment.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Take the case of a Bill sent up to the House of Lords in which there were ten Amendments, of five of which the Government approved, while on the other five the Bill falls through. In the next Session what happens? Do they bring in the Bill with the five Amendments of which they have approved incorporated, or do they not? If they do bring it in with those five incorporated I submit that the identity of the Bill is lost. I cannot help thinking that under these words it will be necessary to bring the same Bill in again. Otherwise I fancy that under the strict letter of this Bill the Bill would lose its identity. I would be glad if the Prime Minister would explain that point. Another peculiarity arises out of the discussion. If either House makes a mistake the other House can bind them to it. The House of Lords may make Amendments in the first Session, and owing to other circumstances having transpired or other legislation having been passed or repealed, they may disapprove of them next Session, but they can be bound by their action of the previous Session. That is a curious result—that they can be forced to take the Bill as amended in the last Session rather than the Bill as originally brought in. In the same way the House of Lords can bind the House of Commons. It seems to me that the whole result of all this procedure will be to produce very remarkable legislation. There is one other point. We have heard to-day that a number of Bills may be dealt with in one Session under this procedure, and come on again in the second and third Sessions. Surely if that is so 157 it is perfectly absurd to think that one month is sufficient for the House of Lords to deal with all these matters. Undoubtedly it will be necessary on Report to move to insert two months instead of one month. I should like to have a definite pronouncement from the Prime Minister.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I apologise to the Committee for not having this Amendment upon the Paper. It was drafted last week, and I sent it to a friend, but somehow it was not handed in. I beg to move at the end of Sub-section (3) to add the words: "It shall be lawful for His Majesty, by Order in Council, to suspend for such time as may be stated in the Order the operation of any Bill presented to him under the provisions of this Section, but no such Order shall have effect later than four months after the date of the Dissolution of Parliament following the date of its presentation."
My object in moving this Amendment is to protect the Crown from what may be a serious dilemma. A Bill may be presented to the Crown which causes the greatest possible feeling of excitement in the country owing to the fact that the House of Lords will no longer be able to postpone the operation of the Bill after the Dissolution of Parliament has taken place, the whole onus of the situation will fall upon the Crown and upon the Crown alone. I quite agree that the actual Veto of the Crown has fallen into desuetude; it has not been used for 200 years; still, if the technical power remains, there may be a question whether the Government may not revive that power. It has lapsed because of all the safeguards of the Constitution. But this Bill is going to destroy all the former safeguards; it is going to create an entirely new Constitution, and all the old constitutional safeguards will have disappeared. Therefore, the Crown will be confronted by the responsibility that will follow upon the passing or the rejection of a Bill. Without forcing the Crown to the rejection or the passing of a Bill, I want some middle course to be adopted under these circumstances. Of course, there are other courses which might be open to the Crown, such as a dissolution or the dis- 158 missal of Ministers, which no doubt would ultimately lead to a dissolution. I want a middle course to be adopted.
I am thinking of the case of a Bill against which the feeling of the country is constantly and steadily rising, and whether the Bill becomes law or whether it is rejected by the Crown, immense feeling will arise. In the case of the rejection of a Bill by the Crown, you might have an agitation against the very existence of the Prerogative of the Crown. In the case of a Bill being passed, on the other hand, it might be loudly and widely represented, that the Bill was not really approved by the people, and that if a dissolution had taken place before the assent was given, that Bill would be found to be rejected by the people, and strong appeals would be made to the Crown on the revival of its ancient prerogative of veto. I say that might involve the Crown in a very serious position from which it ought to be guarded. Therefore I suggest that it shall be lawful to suspend the operation of the Bill, and the result would be that as soon as the suspension was made it would operate for such time as might enable the wishes of the country to be made known, whether at a General Election or otherwise. The onus, of course, would be upon the opponents of the Bill to show that the country was against it. If there were no strong feeling against it and if there were no obvious reason, the Bill would, under the language of the Order, become law. I have not made the Order run indefinitely, and have put in a limit of four months after the date of dissolution, which would allow plenty of time for fresh discussion, and for the Bill to be repealed if necessary. I think something of the kind is wanted unless you are to start a controversy far exceeding in importance and bitterness the controversy we are now engaged on. Hitherto a Bill was presented with the full force of both Houses, but now it will be on the authority of one House. That authority may be a declining authority, it may be a decaying authority, it may be obvious to all impartial observers as an authority which has lapsed owing to circumstances which have arisen, and which is not really derived from the strength of the people behind that House. Under these circumstances I do submit that there should be some kind of delay so that you should not put the Crown itself in this difficult and, it may be, very dangerous position, and it is with the hope of finding a middle way that I now move.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No one can deny that the hon. Gentleman has exercised a great deal of ingenuity in contributing towards our discussions on this Bill, and his ingenuity has never been restrained by any lack of courage. He has certainly shown that it is thoroughly consistent, and he now proposes to revive in the most direct form the personal Veto of the Crown. Our view on this subject is that the Crown acts on the advice of responsible Ministers, and does not act except on the advice of responsible Ministers. We cannot contemplate the position of an Order in Council being passed under the authority of the Sovereign without the support of the Government, without the responsibility of Ministers enjoying the support of a Parliamentary majority. Such an assumption is so exceptional that it cannot be brought within the ordinary limitations of our political experience or imagination. The question we have to consider is not the personal Veto of the Crown, whether exercised in Council or not, but we have now to consider the question of the advice of Ministers tendered to the Crown. The hon. Gentleman seeks to suspend the operation of this Parliament Bill in certain circumstances. When those circumstances have arisen, either the Government which passed the Bill will have changed, or it will be the same Government. If the Government has not changed it is not easy to see why it should immediately wish to suspend the operation of a measure which it has only recently passed into law. If the Government has changed and a new Government has come in then it is to be presumed that that Government will be in command of a Parliamentary majority in the House of Commons. What is to prevent that Government from repealing a measure if it is found to be no longer supported by a majority of the representatives who have been returned? We take our position upon the broad and simple principle that Ministers are chosen by the Crown because they command a majority in the House of Commons, and that the Crown acts on the advice of those Ministers so long and only so long as they retain the authority and the support of a majority in the House of Commons. For these reasons we can never assent to the proviso so ingeniously put forward by the hon. Member.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The right hon. Gentleman has not foreseen all the circumstances which might arise. My hon. Friend is perfectly right in saying that as 160 a matter of history the desuetude of the Veto of the Crown only arises from the circumstance that the Crown can resist the passage of Bills in other ways than by the direct exercise of the Veto. King George III. hoped that the Crown would always be able to reject a Bill through the House of Lords, but he was not prepared to say that the Veto would not be used. As a matter of fact the Veto only fell out of use because it was superfluous. It is quite a modern doctrine that the Crown is not entitled to use its strict constitutional Prerogative on its own initiative. Indeed, at so late a period as that of the Duke of Wellington in 1846 you find the Crown put forward as a separate authority, different from the Government and different from the two Houses of Parliament, because in a passage which I heard quoted from the other side of the House the Duke of Wellington laid it down that the House of Lords should not resist the Crown and the House of Commons, meaning that the Crown was an independent authority. Therefore as a matter of history my hon. Friend is quite right.
We cannot tell how the new Constitution will work. We do not know how the supremacy of the House of Commons will work, nor what difficulties may arise under it. I will purposely put an extreme case. Supposing you found the House of Commons with a strong partisan majority intent on carrying through its programme. Time was running out, and the Government passed a Bill to prolong the existence of that Parliament for a year or two longer. It was notorious that the House of Commons had lost the confidence of the constituencies. It would be within the power of the Crown to dismiss the Ministry. But to dismiss the Ministry would not be an adequate remedy, because though a Ministry may be dismissed, the House of Commons may still go on with its other legislation. The Crown might dissolve Parliament, but circumstances might be such as to make dissolution, I do not say impossible, but exceedingly inconvenient. It might be that Supply was just expiring, or that the Army Act had not been re-enacted. There might be a variety of conditions making dissolution extremely inconvenient. In these circumstances the Crown would be driven either to use the Veto in the old form or to adopt some such remedy as that of suspending the action of Parliament, which would be a much more constitutional course, and would not set the authority of the Crown against the authority of Parlia- 161 ment, but would simply provide that Parliament had further time to consider when the new House of Commons was assembled. Time would be given for voting the necessary Supply, dissolution would take place in the ordinary course, and in that way the true constitutional principle of the control of the House of Commons would be maintained. Therefore I do not think my hon. Friend's Amendment is incapable of defence on that ground. Of course, it may be said that these things are very unlikely to happen. So they are under existing circumstances. But we constantly have to face this difficulty in these Debates: that sometimes we are only discussing this existing Parliament Bill, and that nobody is looking beyond what is to happen in the next two or three years. I quite agree that from any point of view of that kind that within the next two years, no case, except perhaps that suggested by my hon. Friend could arise. If you are really making, as I hope you are not, a Constitution to last for all time, it would not be necessary to allow for such extreme cases. If the Government would really make it clear to the House that they are going to enter upon the further task of constitutional reform within the lifetime of the present Parliament such Amendments as suggested would be unnecessary.
The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has criticised my hon. Friend the Mover of this Amendment, apparently on the ground that he has started an innovation. I have heard that argument before from the front Government Bench, and I cannot imagine mouths from which it comes worse. For you cannot, in framing an entirely new Constitution, alter the traditions of the old Constitution, and then whatever further alterations are made, in order to make the Constitution work, say that those are contrary to the old Constitution? How is it possible to suggest great constitutional changes on those principles? If you insist upon a great breach in the traditions of the country, you must expect that those who are criticising your policy will say, "Granting that you must make some great change you must modify and control it by other great changes." I do not want on the present occasion to discuss the constitutional position of the Crown. I take it under the Constitution under which we have lived up till the present that the Crown has a right to choose its own advisers, and having chosen its advisers, so long as they are its advisers, the Crown 162 acts upon their advice. I do not know whether or not that view commends itself to the constitutional mind of the Home Secretary. At all events that is the view that I take of the existing Constitution. The question is whether, if you are going to substitute a Single Chamber for a Double Chamber, you ought not here to provide some transitional machinery, not, indeed, for requiring that the Crown shall select a certain set of advisers, or even make it possible for the Crown, either permanently or in the meantime, to have advisers apart from those who have a majority in this House to support them. I do not know that my hon. Friend's scheme would work. I think it extremely possible that it would not work. I do not think that those who take that view so clearly and decisively have for themselves forecasted what is to be the exact future of this country under the new system which the Government propose to set up. I cannot contemplate with equanimity the possibilities of the Crown acting permanently on the advice of any Ministers except those who have the confidence of this House. It is quite clear from the precedents of history that the Crown may choose those who have not momentarily the confidence of the House in the belief that the House does not represent the people, and that the people will return in a majority to this House those of the same political complexion as the Ministry which the Crown has chosen. That is a perfectly sound and pure constitutional doctrine. But that is the suggestion of my hon. Friend. I think he is justified under the conditions in which we now find ourselves to make this suggestion, but I doubt whether this Committee would be wise to make the Privy Council, as a whole, the great organ of opinion in the State. We have long since abandoned that, and there has been no attempt to carry out that system for many centuries. We have done it, not through the Privy Council as a whole, but through Committees of the Privy Council, and I venture to suggest to my hon. Friend that though his suggestion is ingenious, and that in times of revolution something like it might be desirable, it is too great a change to substitute the Privy Council as a whole for the Committee of the Privy Council, which now governs us. I must not be taken as suggesting that the Crown must always be bound to take the advice of those who happen to be the Ministers, but I think the Crown cannot be allowed to govern, even for four months, which is the 163 suggestion of my hon. Friend, on the advice of any Ministers who do not possess the confidence of a majority within these walls.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I listened with very great attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and for a long time I was in doubt whether he was going to oppose or support the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman behind him. I doubt very much whether the right hon. Gentleman read the Amendment. There is nothing in it about the revival of the Privy Council. I will refresh his memory. "It shall be lawful for His Majesty, by Order in Council, to suspend for such time as may be stated in the Order the operation of any Bill presented to him under the provisions of this Section, but no such Order in Council shall have effect later than four months after the date of the Dissolution of Parliament following the date of its presentation." If the Amendment means the Crown is to act, as it always does, upon the advice of responsible Ministers, it is perfectly meaningless, because Ministers of the Crown are not in the least degree likely to advise the Sovereign by Order in Council to suspend the operations of their measures. If it means that it means nothing at all. I am always willing to credit hon. Gentlemen opposite with the best intellectual intentions, and therefore I presume they mean something. If he meant anything by it, he meant that the Crown, by its own personal act, the occupant of the Throne on his own personal initiative and authority, against the advice of his Ministers, was to revive the Veto which has been extinct for nearly three hundred years in order to prevent the suspension of the Veto of the House of Lords. That is the proposition, stated in plain English. I was anxious to see whether among the many revolutionary proposals espoused by the party opposite, the Leader of the Opposition was going to support this last culmination of their revolutionary proposals. I hope the hon. Gentleman will persist in his Amendment, and give the Committee an opportunity of expressing its opinion upon it.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
May I ask the Prime Minister to consider a case that is not historical, but is quite possible in the future. The self-governing Dominions may rise into perfect equality with our own country. They each have Governments which may advise in the future, under some conditions, steps to be taken 164 by the Monarch that would interfere with the advice tendered by the Government of the Home Country. That is perfectly possible. It is perfectly possible that this country may occupy a different position in the British Empire to what it does now. The monarch would be acting on the advice of responsible Governments in the Dominions across the seas. It is quite easy to imagine that in half a century Canada may be more important in the organisation of the British than the Mother Country, and under those circumstances there will be a conflict between the responsible Governments. I submit that it is not so absurd to imagine, under those circumstances, that the personal prerogative of the Crown might be exercised, not on the initiative of the Sovereign himself, but on the advice of the self-governing Dominions and their responsible Governments abroad. In that case, there might be an instance of divided power and divided duty which it is quite well worthy of the House to consider while it is legislating not only for the present, but for all future time.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
In spite of the remarks of the Prime Minister I see nothing in this Amendment to be ashamed of or to blush for. The point I contemplate is that the Sovereign might find himself in sharp antagonism with the Ministry of the day in regard to some measure presented under the provisions of this section. It has been stated by my right hon. Friend and the Government that in such a case he has two constitutional remedies. Dissolution and the dismissal of Ministers. Dismissal was employed not very long ago, and a single Minister was dismissed much later. I do not think it is denied that the Monarch has the Prerogative of Dissolution, and not only that, but there have been examples of a Ministry surviving under the Royal favour for some considerable time. Those are admitted constitutional remedies for such a state of things as I have suggested, and they might be exceedingly inconvenient to the Sovereign of the country. There might be some great national crisis at hand. There might be a war and a Dissolution under the circumstances might be extremely inconvenient to the Government of the country as a whole. The same would hold good as to the dismissal of Ministers, and the Ministry of the day might rely on the circumstances of the moment to prevent the Sovereign dissolving. That is the possibility which I 165 contemplate, and it is against that contingency that my Amendment is directed. I submit that circumstances may easily arise in the future which hon. Members opposite have not foreseen. This is a very large constitutional change, and I am not surprised that my right hon. Friend does not wish the Committee to adopt a proposal of this kind. I ask leave to with draw my Amendment.
§ 11.0 P.M.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
As hon. Members do not want the Amendment withdrawn, I presume we may continue the discussion. I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether he and the Government commit themselves to the opinion that the Veto of the Crown is under all circumstances extinct; because it seems to me, if you adopt the constitutional doctrine put forward by the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister, which is one we all accept, that the Crown acts on the advice of responsible Ministers, then it seems to me such a part of the constitutional machinery should not be thrown away by the speeches of the Prime Minister and the Government of the day when we are discussing these constitutional points, because no doubt those speeches will ultimately be raised as a precedent if ever such a course were thought advisable, and occasions might arise when it might be advisable. Supposing a Bill like Welsh Disestablishment were passed in this House by a slender majority, owing to a conbination of votes, and concurrently with that there was another large measure going through this House which did not command that same majority, and in regard to which the Government were overthrown, you would have one Bill which had gone through the House of Commons only by a slender majority, but had not received the Royal Assent, and another Bill for which the Government had not got the support of the House of Commons. New advisers would be called upon by the Crown, and meanwhile the House of Commons would be carried on in order to get through the necessary business. What then would become of the first Bill passed by that slender majority; You would have no means of stopping that Bill if this Bill is passed except by the exercise of that prerogative which the Prime Minister is asking us to believe is extinct, and it would be exercised on the advice of responsible Ministers, because, even though they would not have the support of this House 166 in order to carry matters of serious legislation, yet they might conceivably, and as has often been the case before, have the support of this House to carry through the necessary business of Supply, and they might conceivably still more at the next General Election gain greater support. Therefore, I think a case might very well arise when this exercise of the Veto of the Crown on the advice of responsible Ministers would be a very valuable part of our constitutional machinery, and it is a great pity the Prime Minister should have given it out as a precedent, when we are making this constitutional change, that in his opinion the Veto of the Crown is under all circumstances extinct. The question of the independent exercise of the Veto does not arise. I am talking of the Prerogative of the Crown as a part of our constitutional machinery. I presume it might perfectly well be exercised under such conditions as I have mentioned on the advice of the Ministers of the day. It would be perfectly constitutional so to do. In the same way it is desirable that the Crown should have the suspensory Veto contemplated by my hon. Friend. I am not in the least deterred by the dilemma which the Home Secretary put before us, that is, that the advice of the responsible Minister might not be the advice of the Minister responsible for the legislation. I shall certainly vote with my hon. Friend, although, like the Prime Minister, I am not sure how the proposal will work out.
§ Question, "That those words be there added," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Of course it would he improper to make any reflection on the action of the Chairman; but I wish to point out that hon. Members on this side of the House are not responsible for the way in which the business has been conducted during this sitting. We think that the attention which has been given to some portions of the Bill is wholly insufficient, and we believe that our proceedings have been a travesty all through the Debate.
§ Committee Report Progress, to sit again to-morrow (Tuesday).
§ Adjourned at Nine minutes past Eleven o'clock.