- (1) If a Money Bill, having been passed by the House of Commons, and sent up to the House of Lords at least one month before the end of the Session, is not passed by the House of Lords without amendment within one month after it is so sent up Lo that House, the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to His Majesty and become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being signified, notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill.
- (2) A Money Bill means a public Bill which in the opinion of the Speaker
1064 of the House of Commons contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects, namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration, or regulation of taxation; charges on the Consolidated Fund or the provision of money by Parliament; supply; the appropriation, control, or regulation of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repayment thereof; or subordinate matters incidental to those subjects or any of them. In this Sub-section the expressions "taxation," "public money," and "loan" respectively do not include any taxation, money, or loan raised by local authorities or bodies for local purposes.
- (3) Every Money Bill when it is sent up to the House of Lords and when it is presented to His Majesty for assent shall be accompanied by a certificate of the Speaker of the House of Commons that it is a Money Bill.
§ Mr. NIELD
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "Commons" ["passed by the House of Commons and sent up"], to insert the words "by majorities of not less than fifty on the Second and Third Readings.
We have heard from no less an authority than the Prime Minister something about the danger of bare majorities. The object of my Amendment is, after a Bill has been discussed and amended in Committee, that on the Third, as well as upon the Second Reading it shall have, at any rate, a substantial majority of this House before it is sent forward to be dealt with under the drastic machinery of this Bill. We know from experience in this House how dangerous bare majorities are. We know how difficult it is to get a bare majority, even with the House constituted as it is, and our object is to ensure that measures to which the drastic procedure of this Bill is to apply shall not be sent to the other place by bare or snatch majorities. Another phrase has been used by the Prime Minister, namely, "Subservient. Majorities." Most of us before entering this House hear of its traditions, how we were to pass laws for the benefits of our fellow creatures, and to devote ourselves to the progress of the country. But after we enter, the scales fall from our eyes, and we see the mechanism by which Bills are forced through. We have had subservient majorities here, and I was going to say that we hale one now. We know perfectly well how, a year ago, what would have been a hostile majority was turned into a subservient one. I submit that what is good for municipal authorities must be far more necessary when we are dealing with vital constitutional questions. Again and again by statute we have prescribed that for municipal authorities a two-thirds majority shall be necessary, and an absolute majority of the whole body, and not a mere majority of those present and voting. Is it not a comment upon the proceedings of the Government that when we are face to face with the greatest change that this country has ever had to face in the history of its Parliamentary institutions, that we should be 1066 relegated to a position infinitely worse than that of the municipal authorities under the ordinary laws of the country. I submit that that is an abundant and overwhelming reason why this Amendment should be accepted. Surely the Government are not afraid of a fifty majority before a Bill receives this kind of drastic treatment. One also must bear in mind the constitution of this House. The question of the will of the people is that of the will of the actual voter. I can well understand the derision with which that is received from small boroughs, like Pontefract, with a small electorate; but when one comes from an electorate of 26,000, as, I do, one is entitled to call the attention of the House to that fact. When you come to aggregate the electors as a whole then you find how vastly different that is from the representation in this House. I say that that is a matter which ought to weigh with the Government in considering this Amendment. My four Unionist colleagues and myself in Middlesex had 20,000 votes to spare in our majorities the last time we polled the elector, yet our vote is considered just the same as that of six other Members of the House whose electorates may not average more than 5,000 or 6,000 each.
I am sure that the Postmaster-General must admit that there is something in the cry that there should be a substantial majority in this House when I point out that the total present electorate of the county of Middlesex is equal to twenty-nine Irish seats, chosen not on the question of smallness of representation, but chosen on account of the distinction which the Members of those seats occupy in the party below the Gangway. When those glaring anomalies exist with regard to representation to this House, then I say we are entitled to ask, and the country is entitled to insist, that there should be something more than a mere bare majority on Bills which are to be sent forward and to be dealt with in this unconstitutional manner. Those are considerations which I say cannot be disregarded by the Government, and if they value the credit of their own Bill they must put in some-ting to secure against a bare snap majority on Bills to be dealt with as is proposed in this Bill. What one desires to do in this matter is to serve one's Constituency, and to prevent mischievous legislation passing through without any proper discussion, and to endeavour at any rate to force upon a reluctant Government a proposal which 1067 will compel them to require those measures to pass this House on Second and Third Reading by a substantial majority.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I desire to second the Amendment. I am sorry the Prime Minister, who was here a minute ago, thought fit to leave this Assembly, because, although he has had two opportunities already of answering the question which has been put forward from this side of the House, in his speeches he has no more than touched the fringe of the subject. He has not alluded to the principle which we tried to put forward in this Amendment, which is in different form from the Amendment moved in Committee, because it was not there laid clown definitely, and the proposal then was that there should be a two-thirds majority. This Amendment, that measures involving enormous proposals should be carried by a majority of fifty, is a definite proposal, and one to which we are entitled to receive a definite answer from the Government. When we consider the questions which may arise under the provisions of this Bill, it is obvious matters involving great financial proposals and placing on the people of this country enormous financial liabilities might be passed by a bare majority of one, which could not be said to represent the wishes of the people of this country. The gist of this Amendment is that on Second and Third Readings there should be majorities of fifty. I do not think anyone on the other side can claim that that is too large a number to put in this Amendment. This question has been discussed on the first Clause, and also on the second Clause, but that is no reason why it should not be discussed again on Report stage, for the simple reason that we have not received any answer from the Front Bench. As long as we have the opportunity of putting forward questions in the hope of eliciting information, I can assure the hon. Member for Pontefract, who is only too ready to detain the House with as long a speech as possible, that we shall continue to ask for the information which we are entitled to receive. I may also tell the hon. Member I put forward this proposition before in the hope that the Government would be able to give us some reason why they are resisting the principle. On the first occasion when we put it forward the Prime Minister applied himself entirely to the two-thirds majority, and he endeavoured to do so in that way in which 1068 so eloquent a Member of the House as he is, could do with great success, to heap ridicule on the manner in which it Was moved. That is not the duty of a Prime Minister. We expect him to apply himself to the principle underlying the Amendment. Here is an Amendment in black and white, and we say no measure involving great financial liability should to passed without at least a majority of fifty. It is for that reason that. I have great pleasure in seconding the Amendment that has been moved by my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
When this Motion was before the House in a slightly different form during the Committee stage both the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General made full replies to the arguments, such as they were, which were advanced in its favour. We are now discussing the first Clause of the Bill, that Clause dealing with the powers of this House over finance, and what we regard as the ancient rights of this House to control matters of finance. The Leader of the Opposition himself, in words that have been frequently quoted, said, not many months ago: —It is the House of Commons, not the House of Lords, that settles uncontrolled our national finances.Those are his very words. Now, when we seek legislation to give statutory validity to what we claim as being an ancient constitutional practice, hon. Members opposite come forward and say, "Yes, the powers of the House of Commons over finance shall be established, but only when the Government of the day has a majority of 50 or more." In other words, in the Parliament of 1892–5, according to them the House of Lords should have been free to take whatever action they chose in the management of public finance. The great Budget of 1894, now acknowledged to be a masterpiece of public finance, was at that time most bitterly resented and opposed, but accepted by the other House. If this Amendment had been carried, and if it represented the law of the Constitution at, that time, then the other House No mild have been justified in rejecting the Budget of 1894. In those days the other House was under wiser leadership and the Budget of 1894 passed. But if this Amendment were by some chance to be inserted in the Parliament Bill the very provision which is intended to assert the rights of this House would be the means of limiting those rights, for if we were to say in the first Clause that the House of Commons should have complete power over finance 1069 when it has a majority of fifty votes in favour of a Finance Bill, that would be equivalent to saying that if there was not a majority of fifty votes in favour of a Money Bill, then the House of Commons did not assert any rights over financial legislation, and the other House should be free to interfere. The hon. Member does not, of course, for a moment expect that this Amendment can be accepted by the Government, or even, if accepted by the Government, that it would be accepted by the House. It is obvious that the Government of the day, whether its majority be large or small, so long as it is the Government of the day, and so long as it has the support of the House of Commons of the day, must have power to carry on the business of the country. If the other House is to be free, on the plea that the Government's majority is fifty or less in this House, to reject the Finance Bill of the year, that means that it can force a Dissolution whenever it pleases, and the fact that the House of Commons supports the Government will be of no avail. That is a constitutional proposition which neither the Government nor the House would he prepared to endorse.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The right hon. Gentleman made one remark on which I think he is not to be congratulated; he spoke about the "wiser leadership" which conducted the House of Lords. I am not going to indulge in strong language, but I should say that if the Leader of the House of Lords were here, and able to answer him, he would be much slower in making observations of that kind. The right hon. Gentleman, it seems to me, is looking at this question entirely from a new and, I think, wrong point of view. He says the House of Commons always has had admittedly control of finance. That is perfectly true, but the House of Lords has always had nominally the right to interfere in finance, and more than nominally, it has had, by the admission of Lord Morley himself, the right to interfere effectively if the occasion ever arose. That is the whole point of difference between us. I should like to put this to hon. Members opposite: suppose a Budget such as that of 1909, which the authors of it admitted contained new principles, and suppose that after the fight of that Budget that that Government had come back with a majority and had carried that Budget by a majority of one in this House. Does any reasonable man say that under those conditions such a 1070 Budget ought to become the law of the land in this country? Surely only to state the case in that way is to show the absurdity of it. We do not claim for the House of Lords power to interfere with ordinary financial measures, but this first Clause admittedly includes a great many measures which are not purely Money Bills. Take one question—that of the payment of Members. We were told by the Prime Minister that that is a question which is purely a Money Bill, and in regard to which the House of Commons only ought to decide. But can anybody pretend that it is not much more a constitutional change than it is a Money Bill, and a constitutional change which really goes far deeper in our political life than many constitutional changes which are described as revolutions?
I put it to the House: If a majority of one were in favour of payment of Members, would that be a reason why we should ask the Government to give us our salaries? The Amendment is based on what seems to me perfectly clear grounds. We do not claim that the House of Lords should exercise any more power than it has done in the past. It has exercised that power, as we contend, reasonably, and it is likely to exercise it reasonably in the future. We say, however, that when you are altering by statute the relations between the two Houses you should make your statute reasonable, and not let it be possible for a majority of one to make great financial changes in our national life.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
For the very reasons urged by the Postmaster-General, we believe that there ought to be special safeguards in regard to finance. The right hon. Gentleman says that finance can do a great deal. It is just because, as the Prime Minister has often stated, finance is so flexible an instrument and can do so much, that we ought to have special safeguards. There is nothing that finance does not touch, and there is nothing which finance in the future will not be used to effect. We have only to refer to what the Prime Minister has often said as to the possibilities of the use of finance to see why safeguards are necessary. Speaking at Birmingham in September, 1909, in reference to the Land Taxes, the Prime Minister said:—I have spoken of the equity of these taxes, but we justify them not only on the ground of equity, but also upon grounds of policy. What do I mean in that connection by policy? I mean that while their primary purpose is fiscal, while they are intended to bring 1071 revenue—not at first a very large sum, but, as we believe, a growing and increasingly productive sum—into the national exchequer, while their primary purpose is fiscal, we hold, at the same time, that they will bring in their train a number of attendant social consequences of a most beneficent kind.We know it to be true that in future the social revolution will depend on finance for its enactment, and we believe that it is a very grave danger to remove the safeguards provided by the power which resided in the House of Lords, though it was not used, but which undoubtedly had a very restraining effect upon the Chancellors of the Exchequer in making them frame their Budgets for the purposes of revenue only, and not, as we are now accustomed to see them framed, for so-called purposes of social reform. I admit this is a matter of degree. All fiscal measures must have their social effect, but they should not be framed primarily, as they have been lately, and as they may be again, for purposes of social reform. Under these circumstances I think it is not unfair to ask that, as in other legislatures, there should be some safe-guard that the fiscal measures are supported in this House by a large majority of Members, representing a substantial preponderance of public opinion. Finance may be used for purposes which it might not be possible to effect by direct legislation in the direction of confiscation. If it is not actually carried out we know that such a course will be proposed, and for that reason I submit that safeguards are necessary in the place of those which we are doing away with. The Prime Minister says that we are merely stereotyping the ancient practice of Parliament. He knows perfectly well that it is not the exercise of power that counts. It has been the fear that there might be a breakdown in another place which has had a beneficial influence here. A great deal in Parliamentary practice in the past has depended on that sort of understanding between the two Houses. Mr. Gladstone, who so long led the party opposite, said that more than any other Parliamentary system our system demands good sense and good faith on the part of those who work it. I do not think we can be blamed if we rather doubt whether good sense will prevail in regard to financial efforts in the future. Although I have no particular love for this Amendment, I say it is a very serious thing to abolish all safeguards in regard to financial legislation, as we are doing now, leaving it to depend solely on a bare majority of this House. We cannot 1072 exaggerate the effect of financial legislation; social conditions depend upon it, and I believe my hon. Friend was well justified in again bringing forward this proposal.
The Postmaster-General used a very curious argument, which seemed to show that he had not properly considered or remembered the Clauses of the Bill. He said that if the Amendment were passed it would be equivalent to saying that the House of Commons were giving up some of its rights over finance. But Clause 4 says that "nothing in this Act shall diminish or qualify existing rights and privileges of the House of Commons." Therefore any nervous fears of that kind are quite unnecessary, and if that is the only reason why he refuses the Amendment the right hon. Gentleman ought to reconsider his position. He also referred in very contemptuous terms to what happened in regard to the Finance Bill of 1909. I am one of those who think that that measure was very lucky indeed to pass under the old procedure. I am certain that if it had been submitted under the procedure of this Bill, with the provisions against tacking, the Speaker would probably have been prepared to cut out a very large portion of that measure. As to whether measures will be passed by very small majorities, it is true that in the old Parliamentary days if a measure of great importance passed its Second Reading by a majority of, say, one, the general feeling in the House would have made it absolutely impossible to proceed with the measure. That would have been the case twenty or thirty years ago. But those constitutional dogmas and maxims have no longer any force in. this House. In these days parties are divided by very sharp lines indeed. Not a single Member opposite dares to vote against his party on any matter except, perhaps, some small Bill upstairs. The lack of the sense of compromise, the rigidity of view which now prevails, the determination to carry one's own view at all costs and at any price—these considerations make it absolutely necessary that that old sense of compromise and of constitutional doctrine which has disappeared should be replaced by some figure, rigid though it may be, which will afford some protection against great measures being forced through the House by small and unrepresentative majorities.
Mr. STANLEY WILSON
At the last election hon. Members opposite were 1073 always talking about it being their desire that the will of the people should be given expression to. In our opinion this Amendment will secure that end. As the Bill stands there might be a substantial majority of the electors upon the side of the minority in this House. In the interests of their own party the Government ought to see to it that such a position was made absolutely impossible. One cannot help referring to the remarkable absence of hon. Members opposite. I hope they are absent in a good cause. If they are at the other end of the passage listening to sensible proposals for reform, their absence
§ is excusable. We maintain that some such safeguard as is proposed in the Amendment should be included in the Bill. Although I am not very fond of the Amendment in this particular place, I would ask the Postmaster-General to reconsider his decision, as it is really essential that such a safeguard should be inserted, if not in Clause 1, at any rate in Clause 2.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 178; Noes, 307.1077
|Division No. 230.]||AYES.||[5.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Aitken, William Max.||Forster, Henry William||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gardner, Ernest||Newman, John R. P.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gibbs, G. A.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gilmour, Captain John||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid.)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Or-de-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Grant, J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Haddock, George Bahr||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Peel, Hon. William R. W. (Taunton)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnston, Harry||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Barrie, Hugh T. (Londonderry)||Harris, Henry Percy||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (Montqam'y B'ghs)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Henn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Mohler, Gerald Fitzrey||Rice, Hon. Waiter Fitz-Uryan|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Horne, Wm. E (Surrey, Guildford)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bigland, Alfred||Horner, Andrew Long||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bird, Alfred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boscawen, Col. A. S. T. Griffith-||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Boyton, James||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Spear, John Ward|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Burn, Colonel C. E.||Kerry, Earl of||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Butcher, John George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Staveley-H ill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cassel, Felix||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stewart, Gershom|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cater, John||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Larmor, Sir J.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cave, George||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lewisham, Viscount||Tryon, Capt. George Clement|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Locker-Lampoon, G. (Salisbury)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lockwood. Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lowther, Claude (Cumberland, Eskdale)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Cripps, Sir C. A.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Mackinder, Malford J.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Magnus, Sir Philip||Welmer, Viscount|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Middlemore, John Throgmortan||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Younger, George|
|Fell, Arthur||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Moore, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.—|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Mount, William Arthur||Nield and Mr. Stanley Wilson.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Essex, Richard Walter||Maclean, Donald|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Falconer, James||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Farrell, James Patrick||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Adamson, William||Fenwick, Charles||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Ferens, Thomas Robinson||M'Callum, John M.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Firench, Peter||M'Kean, John|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Field, William||M'Laren, H. D. (Leices.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Alden, Percy||Furness, Stephen||Manfield, Harry|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Marks, George Croydon|
|Armitage, Robert||Gill, Alfred Henry||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Ginnell, L.||Martin, Joseph|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Glanville, Harold James||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Goldstone, Frank||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Griffith, Ellis Jones (Anglesey)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Barnes, George N.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Molloy, Michael|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N)||Hackett, John||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Barton, William||Hancock, John George||Morrell, Philip|
|Beale, William Phipson||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro, Robert|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr-Tydvil)||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Harmsworth, R. (Leicester)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harwood, George||Nolan, Joseph|
|Black, Arthur W.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Boland, John Pius||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Brace, William||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Hayward, Evan||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Dowd, John|
|Bryce, John Annan||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Ogden, Fred|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Higham, John Sharp||O'Grady, James|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hinds, John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hodge, John||O'Malley, William|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John|
|Chancellor, Herry George||Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Clough, William||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Clynes, John R.||John Edward Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Johnson, William||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cullinan, John||Jowett, Frederick William||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Joyce, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kelly, Edward||Primrose, Hon, Neil James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Kilbrlde, Denis||Radford, George Heynes|
|Delany, William||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Dickinson. W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Dillon, John||Lansbury, George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Doris, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Leach, Charles||Richards, Thomas|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Logan, John William||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||London, Thomas||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Elverston, Harold||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Summers, James Woolley||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Sutton, John E.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rowlands, James||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rowintree, Arnold||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Tennant, Harold John||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Toulmin, George||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Sheehy, David||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wardle, George J.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Snowden, Philip||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Watt, Henry A.|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Webb, H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Strauss, Edward A. Southwark, West)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
Question, "That the words 'one month stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. NIELD
I beg to move to leave out the words "one month" ["sent up to the House of Lords at least one month before the end of the Session"] and to insert thereof the words "two months." This Amendment is meant to meet the case where at the end of the Session a number of measures are sent to the other place at a time when it is impossible for them to be properly considered. If the other place is to be denied any right at. all of amending Finance Bills, it is right that they should at least have the opportunity which two months would give them to consider the provisions of these Bills, especially as we are threatened with double proposals in matters of finance; in matters which have hitherto not formed part of the activities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Therefore there is all the more reason, after the experience of 1909, that we should give to the other place ample opportunity to consider fully proposals which are contained even in the Money Bills which come from this House. You cannot claim at the time that this Chamber arrogates to itself entire control, or hopes to do so, in financial matters that it is always capable of expressing itself intelligently. Bills which have left this House have been amended again and again. The Old Age Pensions Bill was a very notable instance. There is no doubt that much of the window dressing legislation of these modern days takes place for the purpose of catching the attention of the electorate. It is only when you get into the other Chamber that legislation can be seriously considered from a truly drafting point of view. The learned Attorney-General is not here, but I do not think he would challenge the statement that the Acts of fifty years ago have borne criticism far better than modern statutes, and the answer to that is that they were drafted under very different conditions. 1078 This House then worked under very different conditions to what it does now. It did not have its eyes perpetually on the Electoral clock. It legislated then for the benefit of the nation. It legislates now for the benefit of party. I ask that this alteration may be made so that the other House may have financial proposals sent two months in advance for consideration, and that any comment which may take place in that House may be considered. Surely the Government are not going to say that they are not open to have mistakes pointed out to them; that they will not consider criticism that the other House may venture to pass upon measures sent to them so that desirable suggestions may be engrafted upon a Bill? Not only is it necessary that the other House should have the opportunity which the time I propose would give them, before the Session closes, but before a Bill is sent forward for the assent of His Majesty under this Clause, that this House should have this interval.
We have also to have regard to the taxpaying public. I do not suppose the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after his experience of two years ago, will be very well able to deny that he can derive some very valuable suggestions from the criticisms in this House which come from the outside tax-paying public through the members of this House as their mouthpiece. Attention was then called to the imperfections of the Budget of 1909. Therefore the extra month is most necessary in order that the public may have the opportunity of calling attention to obvious hardships, or errors, or other things which are not foreseen in the working of the Act before it has actually become law. In view of all these considerations I venture to submit to the Government that this very small conces- 1079 sion, so far as they are concerned, but a very important concession not only from the point of view of this House, but of the point of view of the tax-paying public, should be granted, and that ample opportunity shall be given for the other place to consider the Bills sent to them. This is a possibility which may occur. A Bill may be sent up to the other place within a month of the adjournment of this House, and by reason of the stress of business there or a variety of reasons the consideration of the Bill may be delayed. Then at the expiration of the present suggested month, when nobody expects it, the Bill may be presented to His Majesty and become a Statute without the other House having had a real opportunity, owing to a reasonable pressure of business and other reasons, to really consider the proposal. I do think, having regard to the immense importance of the great issues which are involved, the Government should accede to the suggestion I make that the one month of the Clause should be enlarged to two months. I do not move the Amendment for the sake of moving it., but because I believe it to be an Amendment of substance. Surely twenty-eight or thirty-one days extra is not too much under these exceptional circumstances to ask that we should give the other place for that mature consideration which that other place alone gives legislation under modern exigencies?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to second the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend, and I think it is a very reasonable one. Unless this Amendment is accepted 'the following position will be created. Towards the end of June, the Government having brought forward a very momentous Budget, will have just succeeded in passing it through this House. I do not think it is at all unlikely, for apparently now we are always going to have late Budgets. I believe we are to -have the Budget of this year not introduced until the 15th, and next Session the Budget may not be introduced until June according to the exigencies of the Government demands. Therefore it is not unlikely that the Third Reading of the Budget might not pass until the end of June. Then we may have an enormously important Bill, for instance, the Home Rule Bill, and it may be brought into the House at the end of June, and might pass at the beginning of July, with the result that two Bills, a Money Bill in the shape of a very important Budget, 1080 containing great proposals for fresh taxation probably upon one class of the community and only upon one class, and a Home Rule Bill, might be thrown at the House of Lords, say at the beginning of July, and the Government might then say, "Unless you pass these Bills within one month such and such things will occur." In fact, the Government could not help saying it unless this Amendment is accepted. Look at what that might lead to.
Clauses in Budgets have sometimes been amended in the past in the House of Lords, and the Amendments have been accepted in this House. If you are going to preclude any possibility of any Amendment being accepted, if Ministers do not choose to accept them because the time is very short, and because there is not sufficient time to consider it, then I think you will find that you are dealing a very great blow at the finances of this country. Unless the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General is prepared to get up and say, no, Money Bill passed by this House requires any Amendment of any kind, I do not see how he can reject this Amendment. Of course, if he thinks the sending up of a Budget or a Money Bill to the House of Lords is merely to be a matter of form, and is just sent up to the House of Lords so that the House of Lords may take half an hour on Second Reading and a half an hour for another stage, and that it is all merely for form's sake and to keep up appearances, I do not see how he can refuse to accept this Amendment.
We think if the House of Lords is only to be kept up for that form and purpose we are not only wasting our own time but the time of the House of Lords also, if we send up Bills without giving them a reasonable and sufficient time to discuss them. While my hon. Friend was speaking I have been thinking what arguments the right hon. Gentleman opposite could bring forward against the Amendment, and I have not been able to conceive any argument which might be advanced against it. I shall be very interested to hear what the right hon. Gentleman has to say, because this Amendmen does not in any way alter the principle the right hon. Gentleman and the Radical Government have at heart. It. does not for a moment say that the House of Lords is to have any control over Money Bills. All it asks is, if they are to consider Money Bills give them at any rate a reasonable amount of time. I do not see why the time should be limited to such a short period as to that at present in the Bill.
1081 I know it is almost hopeless to expect the Government to accept any Amendment, but as we are now within two or three days of the time when we shall part with this Bill for ever, I ask the Government to consider, before it is too late, whether it would not be wise in their own interests to accept some such Amendment as this. Does it not seem probable that the Government themselves may have made errors which they will require to alter in another place. Over and over again we have heard the Government get up on Third Reading of a Bill and say that on consideration they have come to the conclusion that there should be some Amendment and that they will have it made in another place. If you do not give the House of Lords such an opportunity it means that you do not want any Amendment at all. I do not know whether the Government intend that under no circumstances whatever shall discussion in the House of Lords be of any use, but unless they do intend that they ought to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend. I shall listen with some interest to the arguments which may be advanced from the Government Bench if they refuse this Amendment.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I am, of course, not entitled to comment upon the Amendments which the Opposition desire to move, and have no wish whatever to criticise them. But I think it is necessary and justifiable to point out that as in the case of this Amendment so in the case of previous Amendments moved upon the Report stage, the points at issue have already been discussed in the Committee stage. The Leader of the Opposition has said it is not the purpose of the Report stage, as is well known to all Parliamentarians, to go over again precisely the same ground covered in the Committee stage, and the fact that all Amendments hitherto discussed upon the Report stage are Amendments in precisely the same form, or almost the same form, as were discussed in the Committee stage, is a clear justification of the closure under which we are now proceeding.
The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) said that while his hon. Friend was speaking he was wondering what argument the Government would advance in answer to the Amendment. He might have taken a very easy course of ascertaining, if he so desired. He need only have turned up the Reports of the Debates in 1082 Committee, for this precise Amendment, in these very words, was fully discussed, and there he would have found in the speech of the Home Secretary the arguments which the Government advanced then, and which the Government advanced now against this Amendment. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment said that Bills were amended again and again with advantage in the other House, but he will find it difficult to point to any precedent where any Bill falling within the category of Bills under this Clause has been amended by the other House. The other House by common consent has not the power to amend Money Bills, and the period of one month is amply sufficient for them to consider and, if necessary, discuss the general principle of measures dealing with finance.
The reason against this Amendment are in the first place it is unnecessary, and it might cause, and frequently would cause, great inconvenience if this House was pledged to pass the final stages of Money Bills two months before the end of the Session. Assuming the Session to end in the normal course in the middle of August., such Bills would have to be passed in this House as early as the middle of June, and if a Bill was not through all its stages in that time the House would have to choose one of three courses. Ono would be to press Bills forward through Parliament with undue haste; the second would be to allow the powers of the House of Lords to revive in respect of a Bill because it was not sent to them more than two months before the end of the Session; and the third course would be to prolong the Session in order to enable two months to be made up at the other end, and thereby cause great inconvenience to Members of both Houses. In view of the fact that by consent there is no Committee on Finance Bills in the Upper House, the period of one month is sufficient. The Committee thought that one month was not only sufficient under this Clause, but also under Clause 2, which deals with Bills which are subject to amendment in the other House, and I am convinced the House will not now on this occasion, consent to accept the Amendment of hon. Members opposite extending that period.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
It is indeed hopeless to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman when we consider the position the Government is taking up. But I wish to make one or two observations. The right hon. Gentle- 1083 man stated he had no desire to criticise the proposals put forward by the Opposition in regard to this Bill. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that anything in the nature of criticism from him would be welcome, if only on account of its novelty. Time after time when Amendments were moved on the Report stage, the Government have got up and repeated the same line of argument, namely, that this matter was considered before on the Committee stage, without having the least regard to the question as to whether any adequate answer was given on the Committee stage. According to the right hon. Gentleman the Report stage might be abolished altogether. I venture to say that this proposal requires a very much more serious answer than the right hon. Gentleman has given to it. The period of one month is obviously too short if there is to be any discussion in the House of Lords at all. Everyone knows that during the last month of the Session the House of Lords is a very great deal occupied with the number of Bills sent up from this House late in the Session. Their time is necessarily employed, it may be, on very important matters, urgently requiring attention. Just at that time when the House of Lords is so engaged you propose to provide that if a Bill is sent up to them a month before the end of the Session it automatically becomes law unless passed by the House of Lords. I say such a proposal as that can be justified only upon the theory that no discussion upon finance measures is possible in the House of Lords. That is really the only theory upon which this Clause, as it stands, can be justified.
It has been asserted over and over again from the Treasury Bench that this Clause merely embodies the existing practice of the Constitution. It does nothing of the kind. It has been proved a hundred times that this statement is unfounded, but that does not prevent right hon. Gentlemen opposite going on steadily repeating that statement. It is no sooner upset in argument than it is repeated from the Treasury Bench as if it was a platitude or truth which was recognised by everyone. I say that the only justification for the proposal which the Government have embodied in this Clause would be that no discussion whatever of financial measures was legitimate in the House of Lords. If such discussion is to be permitted, is it tolerable that a measure which may have had some three or four 1084 months of Parliamentary time in the Lower House should be sent to the House of Lords only one month before the end of the Session, when the House of Lords may have their hands full of other and; most important business. I do protest against the manner in which this Amendment has been treated by the Government. At the same time, as there are other Amendments upon the Paper, and as it is coming very near to six o'clock, when the guillotine falls, and some of thorn ought to receive some consideration—I trust a little more than this has received from the Government—we do not propose to occupy time by dividing upon this Amendment.
§ Sir PHILIP MAGNUS
I have an Amendment on the Paper to add at the end of Sub-section (1) the following proviso:—
"Provided that the House of Lords may at any stage return to the House of Commons any Money Bill requesting by message the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein; and the House of Commons may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments with or without modifications."
As this Amendment would not be considered in order having regard to the terms of Clause 1, I shall not move it. The Amendment. I wish to move is: —
In Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "without Amendment" — ["without Amendment within one month after it is so sent up to that House"]—and to insert instead thereof the words, "or with such Amendment only as shall have been approved by the House of Commons."
The Clause as I propose to amend it would then read:—
"(1) If a Money Bill, having been passed by the House of Commons, and sent up to the House of Lords at least one month before the end of the Session, is not passed by the House of Lords, or with such Amendment only as shall have been approved by the House of Commons within one month after it is so sent up to that House."
It will be seen at once that this Amendment does not propose to alter the existing practice, if it be a practice, that the House of Lords should not make Amendments in Money Bills. It does not attempt, 1085 to alter any other part of Clause 1 which has for its object the withdrawal from the House of Lords of all power whatever over Finance Bills. This Amendment if passed would not give to the House of Lords the power of making Amendments, and all it would do would be to give the House of Lords the power of suggesting, drafting, or other alterations in a Money Bill which might be sent up to the House of Lords for consideration. The Prime Minister said at one time, even as regards Money Bills, that this House would always be glad to have suggestions and advice from the House of Lords. One month is to be allowed to the House of Lords for the consideration and discussion of a Money Bill, and I cannot conceive that even that limited period of time would be of any use to the House of Lords or to the country unless the Upper Chamber has some means of making known to the House of Commons omissions or imperfections in the Money Bills sent up to the other Chamber. For what reason are you giving the House of Lords a month's hard labour on a Bill which they are unable to alter in any way whatever?
I wish to impress upon the Government the fact that this Amendment does not propose to empower the House of Lords to make any Amendments; it merely provides such means as are indicated in the Amendment, which I am not able to move, and it will enable the House of Lords to send by message to the House of Commons suggestions for the improvement of a Money Bill which the House of Commons will be at liberty to accept or not. The House of Commons cannot consider itself so infallible even in respect of Money Bills as to suppose that it cannot accept any improvement in the drafting of a measure. Some similar Clause to this is contained in the Australian Constitution—in fact, the words which I intended to propose, and which carry out the substance of my present Amendment, are, I believe, contained in the fifty-third section of the Australian Commonwealth Constitution. If a Clause of that kind was necessary in the Constitution of one of our overseas Dominions, I cannot see any reason why it should not be good enough for the Mother Country. This Amendment will need to be seconded and I am extremely anxious to hear what the Government have to say upon it. As this is the last Amendment, we shall move, under the guillotine on Clause 1 I hope the Government will be able to accept my proposal.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I have much pleasure in, seconding this Amendment. I cannot conceive any ground on which the Government can object to it other than sheer obstinacy and vanity. It is recognised that this proviso is utterly unjust and unreasonable, and the Government are going to insist upon this injustice being inflicted, merely because it is pointed out to them by the House of Lords. There was a clear example of this in the Wrigglesworth case under the late Budget. The Bill was passed, and contained a provision that a new Licence Duty of half the annual value-has to be paid. It was provided that the annual value should be ascertained without reference to the new duties, but the new duties diminished the annual value, and so duty was charged higher than the actual value. The court said the provisions of the Act were so obviously unjust that no body of honest men could have deliberately intended them, and as soon as the judgment was brought to the attention of the Government they introduced an amending provision. I will put this point to the Postmaster-General: Assuming that injustice had been pointed out to them by the House of Lords would they, just because it had been pointed out by the House of Lords, be so obstinate and so vain that they would have insisted upon inflicting that grievous injustice upon His. Majesty's subjects?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Joseph Pease)
This is an Amendment in rather different terms to that moved during the Committee stage, but its object is almost identical with the object of the Amendment which was proposed on 5th April last. On this side of the House we have not departed from the attitude we took up, and we are not prepared to accept this Amendment, because we do not intend to change the practice and traditions of this House in regard to finance. We dissent entirely from the view laid down by the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (air H. Finlay). We believe the constitutional practice of this House has been to retain absolute control over all Money Bills for centuries past. I need not go into the case of 1886 which has been fully debated. The House of Lords have asserted that they have a legal right not only to amend, but also to reject Money Bills, and they exercised that right in the year 1909. We intend that they shall never be able to exercise that right again, and to that extent I admit we are changing the practice with 1087 regard to Money Bills. We are not prepared to depart from what has been the constitutional practice established in this House to maintain absolute control over the finances of the country.
§ Sir PHILIP MAGNUS
Really, I would like the right hon. Gentleman to make his speech with some reference to my Amendment.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
I will point out in a few minutes how relevant my remarks are. The hon. Member seems to think that he is not proposing anything fresh, but he is. He is proposing that the House of Lords shall for the first time have an opportunity of suggesting to this House alterations to Money Bills, and we are not prepared to give the other House that power. We think the supreme control over finance ought to remain in this House as it has done for centuries. This Amendment will encourage the House of Lords to suggest to every one of our proposals relating to the raising of taxes how those taxes ought to be imposed. We are not going to give to the other House that power, and for these reasons we are not prepared to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman opposite was present when my right hon. Friend pointed out what has become the universal practice of those sitting on the Treasury Bench, namely, to assert in regard to constitutional history that which is precisely contrary to what everybody who has studied the question knows to be the case. I am not going to answer that point now because it has been quite sufficiently replied to already. I should like to deal with the Amendment, which has not been attended to very much by the right hon. Gentleman opposite in his reply.
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy says the Government are not going to allow the House of Lords to interfere even by way of suggestion. I ask any hon. Member in this House who listened to the speech of the Prime Minister—in which he told us that it was a great advantage for the House of Lords to have the right to debate Money Bills—what sense can there be in saying after the House of Lords have debated those measures the House of Commons Will refuse to consider their suggestions. Why there never was a more striking instance of petty childishness than the course the Government have adopted. I should like to contrast the reasonable spirit which the House of Lords is expected to show with the spirit to be shown by the House of Commons in this matter. If an ordinary measure had gone from this House, and afterwards the House of Commons find that some mistake has been made, elaborate arrangements are made at the end of the Bill by which the House of Lords may correct such a mistake. It is assumed that the House of Lords will act in a reasonable spirit, while the House of Commons is acting in this way. I was not surprised that the Postmaster-General did not get up to answer this Amendment for a very good reason. In a speech which the right hon. Gentleman made last week he made the discovery, which has also been made by Lord Haldane, that if there was only one Chamber the electors would be more concerned—
§ And, it being Six of the clock, Mr. Speaker proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 8th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That the words 'without Amendment' stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 319; Noes, 200.1091
|Division No. 231.]||AYES||[6.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Barton, William||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Adamson, William||Beale, William Phipson||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Beauchamp, Fdward||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Byles, William Pollard|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Bentham, George J.||Cameron, Robert|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bethell, Sir John Henry||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Alden, Percy||Birrell, Rt. Hon Augustine||Chancellor, Henry George|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Black, Arthur W.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Boland, John Plus||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Armitage, Robert||Booth, Frederick Handel||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bowerman, Charles W.||Clough, William|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Brace, William||Clynes, John R.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Brigg, Sir John||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Brocklehurst, William B.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Brunner, John F. L.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Bryce, John Annan||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Corbett, A. Cameron||John, Edward Thomas||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Johnson, William||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pickersgill, Edward Mare|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, Leif Stratton (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Cullinan, John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Jewett, Frederick William||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Joyce, Michael||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Keating, Matthew||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan. (Cardigan)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Kelly, Edward||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Delany, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Kilbride, Denis||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Devlin, Joseph||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Radford, G. H.|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dillon, John||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Doris, William||Lansbury, George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Leach, Charles||Rendail, Athelstan|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richards, Thomas|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lewis, John Herbert||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Logan, John William||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Elverston, Harold||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Falconer, James||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Fenwick, Charles||McGhee, Richard||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Maclean, Donald||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|French, Peter||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Field, William||Mac Neill, John Gordon Swift||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rowlands, James|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||M'Callum, John M.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Furness, Stephen||M'Kean, John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||M'Laren, H. D. (Lelees.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|George. Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||M'Laren, F. W. S. (Linc., Spalding)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Glnnell, Laurence||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Glanville, Harold James||Manfieid, Harry||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Markham, Arthur Basil||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Marks, George Croydon||Sheehy, David|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Martin, Joseph||Simon, Sir John Alisebrook|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Masterman, C. F. G.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Corset, E.)||Meagher, Michael||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Gulland, John William||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Snowden, Philip|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hackett, John||Menzies, Sir Walter||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Millar, James Duncan||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Molloy, Michael||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Molteno, Percy Alpert||Summers, James Woolley|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Sutton, John E.|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Morrell, Philip||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Munro, Robert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harwood, George||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Needham, Christopher T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Toulmin, George|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nolan, Joseph||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Verney, Sir H.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||O'Doherty, Philip||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wardle, G. J.|
|Hinds, John||O'Dowd, John||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Hodge, John||Ogden, Fred||Wason, Rt. Hon E. (Clackmannan)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Grady, James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Malley, William||Webb, H.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Shee, James John||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Wilkie, Alexander||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Williams, John (Glamorgan)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Winfrey, Richard||Dudley Ward and Mr. Wedgwood|
|Wilson, Hon. G G. (Hull, W.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)||Benn.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Gardner, Ernest||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Aitken, William Max.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newman, John R. P.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Gibbs, George Abraham||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gilmour, Captain John||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Grant, James Augustus||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Greene, Walter Raymond||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gretton, John||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Pease, Herbrt Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Haddock, George Bahr||Peel, Hon. William R. W. (Taunton)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barnston, Harry||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Harris, Henry Percy||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hills, John Waller||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bird, Alfred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boscawen, Col. A. S. T. Griffith-||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Horner, Andrew Long||Smith, F. E. Liverpool, Walton)|
|Boyton, James||Houston, Robert Paterson||Spear, John Ward|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Stanier, Beville|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hunt, Rowland||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Butcher, John George||Joynson-Hicks, William||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cator, John||Kerry, Earl of||Swift, Rigby|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Keswick, William||Sykes, Alan John|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Larmor, Sir J||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Law, Andrew Boner (Bootle, Lancs.)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Captain James (Down. E.)||Lewisham, Viscount||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsay)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Croft, Henry Page||Lowther, Claude (Cumberland, Eskdale)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset. W.)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey (Boston)||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Douglas. Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Mason, Jam s F. (Windsor)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Wortley. Rt. Hon. C. B. Steart-|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Fell, Arthur||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Moore, William||Younger, George|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Morrison-Bell, E. F. (Ashburton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Mount, William Arthur||Philip Magnus and Mr. F. Cassel.|
|Forster, Henry William||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
§ Mr. CARLILE
I beg to move, in Subsection (2), to leave out the words "Speaker of the House of Commons" ["which in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons"], and to insert 1092 instead thereof the words "Joint Committee."
The object of the Amendment is to substitute for the Speaker of the House of Commons a Joint Committee, composed of 1093 the Lord Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords and two other Lords, and the Speaker and the Chairman and Deputy-Chairman of Ways and Means of the House of Commons. There would by substituting this body be much less chance of putting the Speaker of the House of Commons in a difficult and invidious position than would obtain if the draft of the Bill was confirmed in its present condition. There is every desire in the minds of hon. Members in every part of the House that there should be no possible chance of bringing the Speaker into any possible temptation to become in any way the supporter of any particular party, or groups of parties, from time to time in this House. His position, however, would be extremely difficult unless some such Committee as that proposed was set up. It is proposed, if the numbers are equal on either side, that the Chairman for the time being, who would be the Speaker, should have an additional and casting vote.
§ Colonel BURN
I beg to Second the Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend, and I do so on general principles as well as in the interests of Mr. Speaker himself. It seems to me that the Parliament Bill places far too great a burden on the shoulders of the Speaker. It seeks to constitute bins as a kind of amalgamated society of legal learning and judicial responsibility, and I think that even for one whom we all respect as we do the present occupant of the Chair, it is a burden he might very well shy at. If the Joint Committee was set up as suggested by this Amendment, and if there was a joint responsibility for deciding what is a Money Bill or what is not, I feel certain this measure would gain the confidence of the nation while it would remove from the shoulders of Mr. Speaker a responsibility which no individual ought to be asked to bear. We are embarking, for the first time in the history of our nation, on something in the nature of a written Constitution. We on this side of the House may think it is perhaps too meagre a written Constitution. None the less, it is a written Constitution, and I maintain we ought to consider not alone this generation but we ought to think of those upon whom we are placing this responsibility by our present legislation. I fear generations to come and the historian of the future may have something very unkind to say about this present Parliament supporting this measure. That great democracy, the people of the United States, are well pleased with the efforts that have 1094 been made in their country to transfer these duties to a judicial committee. Such a Committee has done good work in that country, it has been thoroughly successful, and no one has ever discredited the idea of placing these great questions outside the House in which they arise. I feel sure that this alteration would be for the benefit of the country, and would constitute a most satisfactory solution of this great and pressing question.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)
This proposal, like a good many others which we have discussed this afternoon, was fully dealt with when the. Bill was in Committee, and, although I am quite ready to recognise that both the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment have made workmanlike and reasonable speeches in favour of it, I am bound to say that the Government are still at a loss to know what new circumstances have arisen or what new facts have been adduced to lead them to recommend the House to come to a different decision on this point to that which they have already reached after full Debate in Committee of the whole House. When the Bill was passing through the Committee stage the Prime Minister pointed out that while there would be associated with Mr. Speaker persons representative of the opposite parties in the State that would not in the ultimate issue relieve the occupant of the Chair of the House of Commons from the burden of decision which is placed on him under the Bill, because his casting vote would be just as much a final decision of the point as the original decision would be under the measure which we now propose. It is quite true some burden is thrown on the occupant of the Chair, but whatever arguments may be used against that burden being placed on him would equally apply in the case where he would have to exercise the casting vote as suggested by the Amendment.
The hon. Member has pointed out that the further duties which we now seek to place on the occupant of the Chair in respect of Clause 1, which deals purely with finance, are in the main already substantially discharged by the Chair at the present time in regard to questions as to what are or are not privileges, and the House of Commons has always looked to the occupant of the Chair as the authority to decide finally these points. I am not aware that this decision has ever been effectually challenged in another place. That is all we 1095 ask of the Speaker at the present time. The advantages which are claimed for the Amendment appear to be illusory, and they are set off by one disadvantage which outweighs all the others—I mean the fact that we should invite Members of the Peerage to come and sit with Members of the House of Commons, under the presidency of Mr. Speaker, to decide questions which fundamentally affect the privileges of the House of Commons. I do not think we need at this stage of our proceedings lend a very indulgent ear to a proposal of that character. No doubt hon. Gentlemen hope the Government will have changed their mind between Committee and Report stage on this point. I regret to have to inform them that not only has there been no change, but that there is no prospect of any change.
§ Sir WILLIAM ANSON
I admit there are difficulties in regard to any tribunal which has to determine whether or not a Bill is really a Money Bill in the meaning and intentions of the terms of this Clause and I quite admit that it is impossible to constitute any tribunal which is not open to objection. Our contention, which we have urged before and which we repeat now, is that the proposal of the Government places Mr. Speaker in a position which he ought not to be asked to assume, and that, of all the various proposals which have been made for the interpretation of this difficult problem, this is probably the worst. The right hon. Gentleman said we were not assisting the Speaker in the determination on this matter by making him one of a Committee in which the votes might be equal and on which consequently he might be called upon to give the casting vote. There seems to run through this discussion, and through all the discussions, on the other side of the House the assumption that, if any difference of opinion should arise on any question between the two Houses, the representatives of each House will be strictly partisan; that they will cast aside the merits of the question and will adopt a strictly party attitude.
I submit that if the question whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not is submitted to a Committee of three Members chosen from each House, or three officials from each House, such a Committee might be trusted to do their best to give an impartial opinion, and if there was a division in which the Speaker had to give a casting vote, he would not do so as between one 1096 party and another but he would give his vote strictly on the merits of the case. We should not be inviting Members of the other House to define our privileges or to interfere with the exercise by us of the privileges which we justly claim. The question which would be submitted to a Committee such as that proposed by the hon. Member would be whether, as a matter of fact, a Bill was outside the privileges of the House; whether, as a matter of fact, it contained matter which was not proper to a Money Bill. It is not asking for a definition of our privileges; it is asking whether, as a, matter of fact, a Bill contained something which is not within the well-recognised privileges of this House. I cannot see, difficult as the problem before such a Committee might undoubtedly be, that a Committee such as that suggested by my hon. Friend would not work, that it would not be capable of forming a just conclusion on the matter and would not relieve Mr. Speaker, even though he had to give a casting vote, of the difficult task of giving a decision which these proposals of the Government now cast upon him. I would urge that we owe something to the great office of the Speaker. We ought not to burden him with the duty of giving a strictly party decision, and I would ask hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite whether, supposing the Budget of 1909 had been submitted to the Speaker, and he had been asked to say if it was a Money Bill within the meaning of this Clause, his decision if it had been that it was not a Money Bill, would not have been regarded as a great blow to their party, and whether it would not have done more than involve the Speaker in a decision on a question of privilege or order or arbitrament between the two parties, such as he is called upon to hold, when he decides the question of the propriety of the closure. I say it would involve the Speaker in decisions on questions of a character altogether contrary to those he has hitherto had to deal with. The Speaker is the spokesman of this House; he is the guardian of our privileges; he has to maintain order, and we have made him the arbiter in the difficult question of closure.
We must bear in mind how slowly the position of Mr. Speaker has grown to its present great eminence. There was a time when he was the representative of the Crown in this House, and the Crown exercised a dominating voice in the selection of Mr. Speaker. Then personal Government passed away, and the Speaker became 1097 a Member of the Government of the day. Since then the position has gradually developed, and now he is associated with no party; he rises above the atmosphere of party, and can be absolutely trusted by all parties to defend their privileges. What we are going to do is to involve his great office in the deciding of party questions, and I would urge the House to consider before it so deals with an office the atmosphere surrounding which has taken centuries to grow — an office on which we pride ourselves, and which is, I believe, the pride of every representative assembly in the world.
§ Mr. HICKS BEACH
I wish we could persuade the Government to reconsider their decision on this particular Amendment. I am afraid the Home Secretary and his supporters have not given much time to it since the point was discussed in Committee, but I would strongly urge the Government, even at this late hour, to reconsider their decision. Hon. Members on both sides of the House, I believe, feel very strongly that we may be placing the Speaker in a very invidious position by making him the sole arbiter of what is a Money Bill. I very much wish that I could be in order, Sir, in moving that you step down from your Chair, and give us your unbiassed opinion upon the subject, because I feel that every Member would be only too glad to have it, and it might modify the opinion of myself and a great many others. I understand, however, that I should not be in order in moving that, and I have only to say that we on this side do feel very strongly on this point, and think that you will be placed in a very unfair position. This must be the case, because you are called upon as the servant of this House to decide upon a matter which affects not only our privileges, but the privileges of the other House as well, and we feel that you will have nobody to put before you the arguments on the other side. It is quite true that there may be Members in this House representing the two parties who will put before you submissions as to whether a particular Bill is a Money Bill or not, but even that is doubtful. I do not know on what particular stage it can be done, but, however that may be, no opportunity will be given to anybody representing the other House to put before you their views in regard to the particular Bill. That being so, you will be placed in the position of being somewhat biassed as a servant of this 1098 House in favour of the privileges of this Assembly, and you will not in consequence be able to give such an absolutely impartial and fair decision on this point as you would have been if you were called upon to preside over a Joint Committee composed of certain Members and officers of this House, and also certain Members and officers of the other House.
If that method were pursued the representatives of both Houses could be before you submitting their respective claims, and you would he able to give your unfettered judgment on the arguments put before you. I think, although this provision has been put in the Bill and kept there, it does demand a considerable amount of reconsideration now, because undoubtedly the position of the Government has very much changed since the Preamble of the Bill was framed. That Preamble says that the House of Lords is going to be reconstituted upon a popular basis, and all that this Bill does is to enact certain things until the other Chamber is reconstituted. That is to say, that this Bill, in the opinion of its authors, was when first introduced, only a temporary measure, and it was only to apply to the powers of the House of Lords as long as that House was constituted as it is now. During the last few weeks, however, we have been told that the Government have changed their minds in that respect, and that this Parliament Bill is to apply not only to the present House of Lords but to any future House of Lords constituted upon an elective basis. It may be very wrong for the present House of Lords to have anything to do with a Finance Bill, but it is a different thing to say that any Second Chamber which may be produced in future years, composed entirely upon an elective basis, shall have nothing whatever to do with finance, and it is a very strong order to say that a reformed Second Chamber, composed on an elective basis, should have no opportunities or voice at all in what is or is not a Money Bill, and for stating what their opinion is in regard to the constitutional rights under a reformed Constitution. I do think the Government's attitude in regard to this Bill during the last few weeks has materially changed, and I think, through that change of attitude on the part of the Government, a very considerable case has been made out for their reconsideration of this particular point. Therefore, I do ask them, not only in the interests of themselves, but; in the interests of you, Mr. Speaker, that they should see if they 1099 cannot, even at this eleventh hour, accept some Amendment which will place you in a less invidious position.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
If we urge this Amendment, it is really because of our intense jealousy of the honour and reputation of the Chair of this House. It is almost a tradition of worship in this House, and we do not like to think that under the new system, for the first time, you, Sir, would have to say, with Crom-well, "Give me something to stand between me and the House of Commons." But let me press upon right hon. Gentlemen opposite this point—that ours is not the tradition elsewhere. In other countries the impartiality of the Chair is frequently called into question, and in America the Speaker is openly accused of favouritism in the grossest way. But you have, under the present system, the common confidence of this House and of the other House. In the old days it may be said there were constant rows between the two Houses as to what was a Money Bill, and Mr. Gladstone himself said that we claimed everything and the Lords conceded nothing. That is perfectly true, and before that that system led up to the position on Land Tax and Irish Forfeiture of the House of Lords about tacking in 1700, in regard to which it was said:—For by this means things of the last ill consequence to the nation may be brought into Money Bills, and yet neither the Lords nor the Crown can give their negative without hazarding the public peace and security.How can we say that there may not be the same disputes again. You will then, Sir, champion the decisions of this House, and your decisions will be likely to be called into question, and you will be told that you are stretching the privileges of the House of Commons too far. I believe your duties will be very delicate, because I do not think that there will be the open tacking that there was in the old days and as there was in 1807 when the Lords rejected a Bill for abolishing fees in the Irish Customs, and also the Malt Duties Bill, on account of its containing multifarious matter foreign to and different from a Bill of Aid. I do not believe that there will be an open attempt to tack in the old manner and therefore I do not think that your decisions will be in the least simple.
We have to be guided by the light of experience elsewhere and we have got the best light from our own Colonies. Take the case of Victoria, in which this question 1100 of tacking was a very burning one for many years. By an Appropriation Bill thirty years ago the Assembly tried to provide for an outgoing Governor and his wife. By the Opposition that was held to be tacking, and in the end they had to withdraw it. In the second case, I think it was at the time when Mr. Service was Premier, there it was attempted to get rid of a great part of the Civil Service under an Appropriation Bill. These things are really in the nature of finance as growing out of supply for the services and the money was in aid of the supply of the year, and yet it was held to he tacking, because the provisions were introduced into an Appropriation Bill. That caused a long dispute between the two Houses and great friction in the Colony of Victoria, and I submit that these questions will and must arise constantly between the two Houses. I cannot, therefore, take it as a wise thing to put the Speaker in the position of having the confidence of this House and yet, in the knowledge of the whole country, not having the confidence of the other House. I believe that perhaps it may be said roughly, without respect to any particular Government, that perhaps we have always claimed a little more than we were entitled to. Mr. Fox said:—I am of opinion that the order of the House respecting finance is often too strictly construed. It would be very absurd to send a Loan Bill to the House of Lords for their concurrence, and the same time to deprive them of all right of deliberation.He was the lineal ancestor, from the intellectual point of view, of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and I hold that we should always try not to construe our rights too strictly. Then I think your sense of duty to this House might be a weakness which you and your successors might he likely to show. I do not think it is a fair thing to ask the Chair to do, and I fancy it will make your position, like that of Damiens' bed of steel, a very uncomfortable one in the future. For these reasons I am heartily in favour of the Amendment.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
In my opinion this question is worthy of a little more reply than we have had from the Front Bench opposite. The Prime Minister, in a speech he made outside this House on Saturday, praised the loyalty of his followers as shown in their judicious silence. But he went on to say that when a question of moment arose we were engaged in debate on both sides of the House. I cannot, imagine that anybody who is attached to the traditions of the House of Commons can conceive anything of more importance 1101 than this question which has been treated in this perfunctory way by the Home Secretary. In fact, I cannot conceive any duty which is easier, having regard to the way the Debate has been conducted, than that of Gentlemen who sit on the Front Bench opposite, who seem to think that all they have to do is to get up and say the same subject has been discussed before, and then sit down, relying upon the silence of their followers behind them.
This subject has been discussed before, and although every argument was put forward in favour of some such Amendment as this, no attempt was made to meet the case, and now all the arguments which the Home Secretary used were the same arguments as those used opposite on former occasions, with the sole difference that they were brought forward in a more slovenly way. In the first place the right hon. Gentleman said that this Joint Committee would not relieve you, Sir, from responsibility; but I do not pretend for a moment that the new duties put upon you, Sir, even if the Amendment is accepted, would not make an alteration. But I cannot imagine how anybody can pretend that the plea of invidiousness would not be broken down if the duty were divided between the Speaker and a Committee of both Houses. In this Committee the pros and cons of the matter would be debated, and you, Sir, or whoever occupied that Chair, would have the means of going into the subject on its merits, which would not apply in the other case. But the Home Secretary said that all that we ask you to do is what is done now by the Speaker. But they are asking nothing of the kind. All that you do now is to declare in your judgment what are the privileges of this House. But in future you will have to declare, and the country will have to accept your decision, what are the privileges of the House of Lords as well as the privileges of the Commons.
The best answer to the argument of the Home Secretary that this Amendment makes no difference is that if that, were the case he would adopt it, because if he thought it would get his Bill through easier, and it made no difference, I think we know His Majesty's Government well enough to understand that they would at once assent to this proposal. It is because they know that, it will not work in the same way that they refuse to accept this Amendment, and I cannot believe that anyone for a moment can hold the opinion sincerely that if this great change is made the position of the Speaker as we have 1102 known it in the House of Commons will continue. It cannot be done. There is no legislature in the world where the Speaker is regarded as so impartial as ours, and that result has been obtained with great difficulty in this country. I do not say that if this Bill passes the immediate effect would be that the credit of the Speaker for impartiality would disappear, but I do say that in process of time the Speaker would become just as much partisan as anybody who sits on those benches opposite. Hon. Members opposite think that that is not the case, but I am sure it is so. An hon. Member behind me made a suggestion which rather amused the Committee. The hon. Member suggested that you, Sir, should be asked to express your opinion on this point. I wonder what would happen if you did. If any occupant of that Chair were to give a decision which was vital to either party, these Gentlemen who say "whatever the Spe4er does we will accept his decision as absolutely impartial," would cease to regard him as impartial. My right hon. Friend (Sir William Anson) instanced the Budget of 1909. It is a very good illustration, because it was a question on which the fate of the Government depended. But I remember when that illustration was given by the Leader of the Opposition the answer was that the Speaker now will declare, if the House of Lords interferes with it, whether or not it exceeded its privilege. Yes, he would declare it, but what would be the different effect of his decision under the two circumstances? If he declares it now the fight goes on between the two Houses. His decision affects only the House of Commons. But if you give him this power the Government itself cannot proceed with their Bill, and I ask anyone who was present when the Budget was going through the House of Commons to say if that happened, and if similar things happened again and again, whether inevitably the result would not be that the Speaker would be chosen as a partisan.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I think the Government are doing a very ill-service to the great office which the Speaker of this House holds when they are for the first time endeavouring to impose upon him duties which he has never up to the present been called upon to perform. In many cases I can well imagine that the task of deciding whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not would be an easy one, but undoubtedly many cases will arise when that task will be a difficult one, and when it 1103 will be exceedingly difficult to say whether a Bill is strictly a Money Bill or not, and what is more, the decision of that question will involve great issues, it may be to the Government of the day or the country, because upon the decision of that question will turn the question whether the Second Chamber is or is not to have a voice in dealing with the Bill. If that be so, to meet a case of that sort surely you ought to have a Tribunal which, is absolutely impartial as between the two Houses of Parliament. Not only would not the Speaker of the House of Commons he impartial as between the two Houses, but he ought not to be impartial as between the two Houses. The Speaker of this House is the assertor of the privileges of this House. He is the spokesman of this House, and to put him in the position of judge as between the privileges of this House and of the House of Lords is to place him in a position which he has never occupied and which I think he ought not to occupy. Look at the matter historically. The Speaker has from time to time for many generations advised this House as to its privileges, and I think he has borne no small part in building up the privileges which this House enjoys in the constant assertions of those privileges, and in that way he has established those privileges which this House now indefeasibly asserts. The Home Secretary tells us that there is to be no difference in his duties now and those duties which he has discharged in the past. Can anything be more misleading? In the past I will not say he has been the advocate, but he has been in the position of asserting the privileges of this House against the privileges of the other House. Now you put him in the position of a judge. Can anything be more different than those two duties? So far from doing a service to this House, I think we would be doing a dis-service to this House, as well as to the Speaker, because the Speaker, by the character of his office, if he is put in the position of a judge, would have to think sometimes less of the privileges of the House of Commons, and sometimes more of the privileges of the House of Lords.
Up to now his first thought has been to maintain and, where necessary, to extend the privileges of this House. We do not on this side of the House claim to be the sole custodians of the traditions of this House. But it is curious that hon. Members opposite have no words to say 1104 either in defence or in support of this proposal. Do they think this is the best possible tribunal to set up in cases of difference in regard to Money Bills? If they do they might possibly be able to give us some better reason for converting us to their opinion than the Home Secretary has given. He has produced in a perfunctory manner—in a somewhat worse manner, if possible, than in Committee—the arguments which he uses in Committee. Is there no Member on that side of the House who can produce some better argument? Until I hear some better argument for degrading the great office of Speaker and bringing it into the sphere, it may be, of party controversy in the future, I shall believe there is no answer to this proposal, and that we ought to go into the Lobby unhesitatingly in order to find another Tribunal better adapted to decide questions in dispute.
§ Mr. HOARE
I regret that even this Amendment should be necessary. I myself should have desired that Mr. Speaker should be kept entirely independent of the controversies of this House. But as between this Amendment and the Government proposal there seems to be no choice whatever. Probably in the unfortunate circumstances some kind of judicial body, such as this, is necessary. I for one though I regret that the Speaker should be brought into it at all, will certainly support the Amendment, which at any rate mitigates that evil by allowing him to be reinforced by a representative Committee of this House. To my mind that makes a great deal of difference, a difference that will not only be brought up in the future but which has been brought up on several occasions in the past. I find, in studying the history of the Speakership in this country, that problems of this kind have been considered in the past. I have the authority, for instance, of the judicious Hooker who, in dealing with the Speakership, alludes to the specific point and in such appropriate words that I will quote them. Hooker, writing at the end of the sixteenth century, uses these words:—During the time of the Parliament the Speaker ought to sequester himself from dealing or intermeddling in any of the Parliament matters also be ought not to resort to any nobleman counsellor or other person to deal in any of the Parliament matters, but must and ought to have with him a competent number of some of that House who may be witness of his doing.That seems to me to describe in a few sentences exactly what we intend and desire by this Amendment. We desire that when the Speaker represents this House in any difficulties which may arise 1105 he should have a representative body of Members of the House, not only to supervise his action, but to lend force to his decision. After listening to the extremely brief answer with which the Home Secretary favoured the House I was surprised at his reading of the history of the Speakership. He seemed to be under the impression that in the past it has been a not uncommon practice of the Speaker of this House to give final decisions of great importance. If I have read history rightly I have come to an entirely different conclusion. It seems to me that the whole weight of historical authority is against the Speaker ever giving a final decision at all. Hon. Members who have studied the question will have examples of what I mean brought to I heir mind. They will remember that on several occasions it has been explicitly declared that it is the duty and the privilege of the Speaker not to end the discussion but to give such a decision as to leave the discussion open in the future. Not only to allow the Speaker to give a final decision but to insist upon his giving a final decision, as he will have to if this Clause goes through, is to act in exact contrariety to the practice and procedure of the Speakership in the last three or four centuries. I go further and say if you study the history of the Speakership in detail you will come to the conclusion that the only manner in which the institution has become impartial is by having made it absolutely independent of the controversies which have taken place on the floor of this House.
Hon. Members have already alluded to the unique position of the English Speakership, but what they are apt to forget is that this unique position is one of very modern date. The impartiality of the Speakership is a very honoured possession of this House that we have only enjoyed during comparatively recent times. I need not go into the personal side of the question, though, of course, it is well known that not a little of it is due to the fine character of the Sneakers who have presided over this House, particularly during the last 100 years. But, quite apart from that, this impartiality would never have been obtained, and could never have been obtained, if the Speaker had been brought into the arena of party politics. You will find, if you take the most ignominous periods of our constitutional history, t hat without exception in those periods the Speaker has had no authority in this House for this very good reason, that lie has been regarded as the nominee and the 1106 agent of some power outside. It seems to me that at the present moment the Cabinet is in exactly the same position as the Crown was under the Tudors or under the Stuarts. It was of the utmost importance to keep this House independent and free of the interference of the Crown in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Crown was altogether too powerful, but it was extremely difficult for this House to maintain its independence because the Speaker was acknowledged to be the agent of the Crown in this House. It seems to me, looking into the future, that exactly the same thing will happen again. The independence of the Speaker will be undermined because, may the time be far distant, but it is well within the bounds of probability, that he will come to be regarded simply as the agent of the Cabinet of the day. I can imagine no greater misfortune which can happen to our representative institutions than that. I do not believe it is au imaginary danger, and I say if you look back to the history of the past you will have ample opportunity of finding examples to prove what I say I find that no less experienced a Parliamentarian than Sir Robert Walpole spoke of the Speaker of the eighteenth century in these contemptuous words. He said:—The road to that station lay through St. James.7.0 P.M.
I am very much afraid that if this becomes law in its present form what will be said of the Speakership in the future will be that the road to that station lay through Downing Street. With that real fear in my mind I shall certainly support this Amendment, at the same time feeling regret that it should be necessary to bring Mr. Speaker into the controversy.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
When these, various Amendments were moved in the Committee stage the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Chancellor of the Duchy, and myself did our best, imperfect though it may have been, to give adequate replies to the arguments advanced, and yet we hear from the hon. Member for the Bootle Division (Mr. Bonar Law) that on no occasion was any valid answer advanced, and that, every reply given was knocked to pieces by himself.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The right hon. Gentleman has made two inaccuracies. I was referring to this Amendment specially, and I never said that the replies were knocked to pieces by myself.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I am sure if they were knocked to pieces by anyone they were more likely to be knocked to pieces by the hon. Member than by any other speaker on the other side of the House. We are told that, although our answers were given in the Committee stage, and again to-day, on each occasion these answers were overthrown, and that the replies given on behalf of the Government were wholly inadequate. I can only say that we have on this bench been exceedingly unfortunate in our utterances, and I assure the hon. Gentleman that we have done our best, however imperfect that may have been. On this occasion what more can be done than to repeat the arguments given at full length by the Prime Minister and myself when this Amendment was moved in the Committee stage. We then expressed our most earnest desire, hope, and belief that nothing in this Bill would in any degree impair the position of the Speaker or affect his impartiality. We pointed out to the House that, though increased responsibilities would be laid on the occupant s of the Chair, there was no reason to doubt that the occupants of the Chair would rise to those responsibilities to the universal satisfaction of the Members of the House. We pointed out then, and we point out again to-day, that if it is necessary to have an authority to decide questions as to what is and what is not finance, we ought to have an authority available and easily accessible.
When Money Bills are going through the question can he put to the Speaker whether particular proposals are properly to be regarded as rightly included in a Bill, so that his opinion may be taken for the guidance of the House, and, in order that progress may not be impeded in such a way as to justify the other House in rejecting a Bill on the ground that it is not a Money Bill. We pointed out then, and we point out again to-day, that the Speaker is the existing authority for doing this very thing. For generations past Speaker after Speaker from that Chair, when Amendments have come down from the other House on Money Bills, has decided whether the Amendments inserted have been legitimate or not. If these new proposals would affect his impartiality, his old functions would have affected his impartiality. But they have not done so. True it is that in future the effect will be different. In future this Bill will have the effect that the House of Lords must not 1108 carry Amendments which the Speaker declares to be improper. In the past the House of Lords always have acquiesced in the decisions of the Speaker. The practical effect will not be different, but the legal effect will be different, because in the past the House of Lords could have rejected the decisions of the Speaker, and their decisions would have been final in the matter. In future the decisions of the Speaker will be final, and not those of the House of Lords, but the points to be placed before the Speaker will be precisely the same as in the past. Therefore, we say that the authority we propose is the existing authority for doing this very thing.
Finally, we say that the authority which the hon. Member proposes is in essence not different from that we propose Hon. Members opposite propose by all their suggestions to place in the hands of the Speaker a casting vote. Therefore the Speaker is the authority, and, where vexed questions are at issue between the two Houses the Speaker will be required to step in and to give the final voice. All the arguments, therefore, you adduce against our proposal can, in effect, be adduced against your own proposal. If it will lead to partiality on the part of the Speaker, if the Government of the day will be tempted to make the Speakership a partisan office, they will equally be tempted if you give the Speaker a casting vote in the matter at issue between the two Houses. It is no use saying that we do not advance further arguments, because further arguments can only be a repetition of those already adduced. I venture respect fully to suggest that the argument from the other side of the House that our proposal will impair the impartiality of the Speaker was urged with much force from various quarters in the Committee stage, and the House is fully seised of it. No further elaboration of that argument can affect the position. What more is to be said? The issue is quite clear, and as there are several Amendments standing in the name of the Prime Minister, which are put down iii response to requests by the Leader of the Opposition, and in the name of the Attorney-General, which are put down in response to requests by Members of the Opposition, we should, as speedily as may be, proceed to these Amendments in order that the House may decide whether they are adequate to meet the requirements. I trust that the House will, without further delay, arrive at a decision on this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
The right hon. Gentleman has complained that the answers to the arguments used against imposing this duty upon Mr. Speaker were regarded as wholly unsatisfactory on this side of the House. I can understand that, because his previous arguments were very much of the nature of those we have heard this afternoon. Anything more unsatisfactory than what fell from the right hon. Gentleman just now on a question of this gravity and importance I think it would be absolutely impossible to imagine. The right hon. Gentleman thinks that he has said sufficient when he tells us that the arguments we have used against imposing upon the Speaker what he is called upon to do under this Bill are only repetitions. The right hon. Gentleman says that the duty imposed by this Bill is the same as the duty the Speaker has had to perform before. I make to the right hon. Gentleman the admission that the functions may be the same—I have no doubt they are the same—but what he ignores altogether is that the consequences which will follow from them, the effects of his decisions in future cases, under this Bill will and must be entirely different, and yet that is supposed to be a sufficient reply to the arguments used over and over again from this side of the House.
I say that no adequate answer whatever has been given. The extraordinary thing is that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House should really have the face to get up and make the speeches they do when they are not prepared to deny a single allegation made by hon. Members on this side as to the enormous risks this Chamber is running in regard to the position of the Speaker in future. It is admitted that the position of the Speaker has been unique throughout the world, but if you impose upon him the duty which you desire to impose under this Bill, his position will be impaired. My hon. Friend pointed out in that future the fate of a Government will depend on the decision of the Speaker. I remember one afternoon I pointed out the same thing myself, and no answer was ever given. Do you think that is a risk which the House is justified in undertaking? There is hardly an assembly in the world where the Speaker occupies the position he does in the British House of Commons. Will you take upon yourselves this enormous risk, while you are unable to put before the House of Commons a single argument more satisfying than those you have put before us?
1110 As one of the oldest Members of this House, who all through a long career which I am able to look back upon with pleasure and satisfaction, I can state that never has there been in the whole course of my experience the faintest whisper of anything like partiality on the part of the occupant of the Chair. But supposing that in future the fate of a Government depends on the exercise of those functions which are to be imposed upon him, will lie not be liable to incur the suspicion of having acted with partiality? The right hon. Gentleman will not pretend for a moment that the same enormous consequences have hung upon the decisions which he has given in the past as must hang upon the decisions he will give in the future. I should not be afraid of the present occupant of the Chair. Nothing would induce me to depart one iota from the opinion I have formed as to the impartiality of the Speakers in this House. But we have to consider the years to come, and in looking forward, and with the example of other nations before us, I say that unless you can tell us that there is no other means of solving this difficulty you are not justified in imposing this burden on the occupant of the Chair.
You tell us you are not afraid. On what ground do you form that opinion? Do you form it from history, experience, or knowledge, or anything you can judge from in the past? You have no means of judging anything of the kind in this country, and if you look to other countries all experience is against it. If it were of the slightest use, even at this last moment, I would make a most humble and earnest appeal to the House on these grounds. I think it unwise and wrong on the part of the House itself to take upon it those un necessary risks, for there are other means of solving the difficulty if you will only give your minds to the question, and before all and above all I hold the opinion that it is a monstrously unfair duty you are imposing on the Speaker.
§ Mr. BURDETT-COUTTS
As one who has been in the House twenty-five years, I should not like to give an inarticulate vote on a subject like this, which touches so nearly its tradition and its high position in the world, by touching so seriously the position of the Speaker. I have seen, as anyone that length of time in the House must have seen, many changes, of which many have not been for the best. But there is one thing that has always remained, and that has been the high, pure and 1111 almost sacrosanct position of the Speaker, which has been really owing to his impartiality. To my mind that has been one of the great safeguards and one of the great sources of honour and authority to this House, and I think no one could have listened to the speeches this afternoon on this side of the House without being forced to admit that the operation of this Clause, to which an Amendment has been moved, will he absolutely incompatible with the preservation of that impartiality. You are bound to drag the Speaker down into the vortex of party contentions.
The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General said that all the arguments had been put forward on the other side in favour of this Clause that could be put forward, and he summarised them. One argument he took was that the Speaker now has the same responsibility in his hands by having to decide upon Amendments that come down from the House of Lords, and that he would have under this Amendment the tame responsibility which he now had by having to give a casting vote between the two parties. I ask hon. Members to consider for a moment, is not there an enormous difference between that function attaching to the Speaker and his having to take a great Bill brought forward by the Government—a Bill like the great Budget Bill—and having to say to the Government, "This is not finance, and that is not finance." and so to exclude from the great Act of the Session, the Act to which they look forward for their popularity in the country, exactly the things that they consider most important for that purpose? That is not a position that you ought to put the Speaker into. It is a new responsibility to lay on his shoulders.
To my mind it is quite impossible, without lasting injury to what has been the best guardian of this House and of its liberties and privileges, to leave this Clause as it is. It seems to me that the Government have looked to the state of things which exists in other legislative assemblies, where the Speakers are far less trusted and less efficient in the sense in which we consider Speakers efficient, than is the Speaker with us. The standing of Speakers in other countries has already been referred to. The Government, in framing their Bill, and in destroying an effective Second Chamber, have rejected the judgment and experience of every 1112 other great country. And then, in making this change in the Speaker's position, they have with a strange perversity turned for guidance to the United States, where the party position of the Speaker—a position very much like that to which the Speaker must come under this Clause—has really done more to discredit Parliamentary institutions in America than any other cause. They adopt that unfortunate example, and propose to Joe-Cannonise the Speaker's Chair.
We are conducting these discussions under the most stringent and most drastic guillotine. I protested on Monday as strongly as I could against the position of tins guillotine, but when a Minister now comes and says, "I have divided up your time as I chose, and not only that, but I am now going to make an appeal to you to divide it up further," I consider that a most impertinent suggestion. I am absolutely unmoved by it, and shall pay no attention to it whatever. His argument proceeds really on the assumption that because you have got a particular post and a particular official upon whom you impose certain duties, you can go on ad infinitum imposing on that same official similar or analogous duties. There is a rather common tendency in this country when we have got a good thing to try to overwork it and to destroy it by piling on to it every possible conceivable duty you can. The position of the Speaker has been tremendously altered even within the last twenty-five years by the additional duties cast upon him. During that time far more delicate business has been cast on the Speaker by the closure rules. I am not going into the history of these rules, but my hon. Friend (Mr. Burdett-Coutts), who spoke just now, will easily recall the great changes that have been made in the procedure of the House in those years, and the additional duties cast on the Speaker. Are we, then, to be asked at once to say that we will cast special and additional and weightier burdens than ever upon the Speaker of this House, and is it to be supposed that in consequence of imposing these additional duties the result must necessarily be that there must not be some change in his position?
I think we have been looking at this question rather too much from the point of view of Members of this House. It is a very natural thing that we should do so as Members of the House of Commons but I would ask the House to look upon it for a moment from the point of view of 1113 people outside. I may put it in this way, You say that now we are going to settle these questions in dispute between the two Houses, and to settle them by Statute. They would say, "Who is to decide these delicate questions between the two Houses?" You would reply, "The Speaker of the House of Commons." I am assuming, of course, ignorance of this on the part of the gentlemen outside, though not even Macaulay's New Zealander would be unaware of it now. These gentlemen might fairly say, "Is not the Speaker of the House of Commons the official of one of these two Houses?" You will answer "Yes." Would not it appear a most astounding thing to anybody not in the atmosphere of the House of Commons that the individual who is called upon to decide the great issues between the two Houses should be an official of one of these two Houses? I cordially agree—I think it has been suggested already—that it is not so much a question of more or of analogous duties being piled on the Speaker. The point is you are putting on this very individual as regards the same duties and the same Chamber totally different positions.
On one side of his duties he has, in the fullest manlier, to maintain the rights and privileges of the House of Commons. As regards another side of his duties, which may have to be performed or pronounced on from the Chair perhaps in five minutes afterwards, he has got to put himself into the position of a Constitutional judge. You cannot impose on the one person two wholly different duties without making a great alteration in the position of the Chair which has to discharge those duties. In fact, you are putting the Speaker of the House of Commons into the position of a Constitutional judge. I was rather amused to see the indignation with which it was said by the Home Secretary, "What! You are going to bring three Members of the House of Lords into a Committee to decide on questions of the rights and privileges of the House of Commons." It showed a great lack of imagination on that Gentleman's part that he did not consider what might be the feelings of another House, if their rights and privileges and procedure are to be settled by this great official or by Members in another House. In fact, what you are doing is, you are making the Speaker of the House of Commons also the Speaker of the House of Lords, and when the Lord Chancellor himself is going to take his 1114 place upon the woolsack, he will find that his position there is impossible because it is already occupied by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. SPEAR
I rise to point out one reason which has not yet been mentioned why we should vote for this Amendment. Hitherto a change of Government has not always meant a change of Speaker, and the continuation of the Speaker who has won the respect of a previous House of Commons is a course often adopted by the new House. That is a most valuable procedure, as it secures continuity and helps very largely to maintain that respect for the Chair which is so important for the right government of this Mouse. I cannot speak with the long experience of many who have preceded me, but it has been my privilege to sit under two Speakers, and I am bound to say that I have felt, as an Englishman, that the impartiality and fairness displayed by Speakers in this House are among the proudest possessions of our country. I have no fear but that the Speakers in the future will continue to act impartially, but will they have the credit of having acted impartially? That is the danger.
I think hon. Members opposite do not realise what is to be the effect as between parties if this Parliament Bill becomes law. The Speaker would then be placed in the position of an arbiter, not only between parties but between the two Houses, and I am afraid that instead of a good Speaker being continued on a change of Government, we should probably, whichever side was in power, have a Speaker who was most likely to promote the interests of the party of which the majority were Members. That is a position of affairs which I think would be little short of a calamity in this country. It is useless to deny that we are drifting in this House largely into government by the Cabinet and private Members' privileges, and I might almost say their rights, are disappearing; and therefore we shall want in the future even more than in the past, that the Speaker shall be strictly free from any allegiance to party and free to maintain the liberties of minorities in this House as well as those of the Government. From that point of view I hold that it would be far wiser to put the decision of a difficult question of what is a Money Bill into the hands of a Committee rather than that it should rest alone with the Speaker. Everyone of us has confidence in the impartiality of the Speaker, but do repeat, and I am satisfied from my 1115 knowledge of this House, that under the altered conditions which would be brought about if this Parliament Bill become law, there would be sections of this House, however great may be the impartiality of the Speaker, who would still question it, and so would undermine the dignity of the Chair. I am afraid that the great respect that we have hitherto had for the high office of the Speaker would, under the altered conditions which would ensue upon this Bill becoming the law of the land, be greatly affected, and there would be brought upon the occupant of that office undeserved criticisms, that would tend to weaken altogether the dignity of his position in this House. The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General used the argument that if we had a Committee the Speaker would still have the casting vote. Surely the right hon. Gentleman cannot consider that the Speaker, in giving his casting vote after a conference in Committee, would be at all placing himself in the invidious position which he would occupy under the altered circumstances that would be brought about by this Parliament Bill, in which he would have to decide, by his own voice, and by his own decision, a question which must necessarily be acutely felt by one party or the other. I shall have no hesitation in voting for the Amendment, which I believe is in the interests of the Speaker, for whose splendid services in this House we are all deeply grateful. In the interests of the maintenance of peace between the two conflicting parties it would be far better that a Committee should decide what is a Money Bill than that the duty should be left in the hands of the Speaker.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
The Postmaster-General, replying for the Government, said that in the Committee stage there were used what he called adequate arguments to meet the proposal now submitted at this stage, but that we were still undeterred from making the same proposal again. All I can say is that if the arguments used on the previous occasion were, no more adequate than those he used this evening I am not surprised that this proposal is made a second time. The Postmaster-General did not attempt to meet the arguments used on this side—he never attempted to meet the line which has been adopted by us as to the great danger of interfering with the impartiality of the Speakership. The right hon. Gentleman, 1116 in his reply, used the most extraordinary reasons I ever heard. First of all, he said that what was wanted was a readily accessible authority, and the only explanation of that argument would seem to he that the Government want to have a partisan Speaker who at any moment might be got to say that an important Bill of policy is a Money Bill. Then the right hon. Gentleman said that the Speaker does precisely the same things now as he would be called upon to do under the Bill. Can the Government really pretend that the case of individual Amendments, often very small Amendments, sent down from the Lords, on which the Speaker gives his decision as to whether they affect the money question or not, is the same thing as ruling that an entire Bill affecting policy is a Money Bill? The position is absolutely different, especially when it is remembered that the whole fate of the Government and its policy may depend upon whether the Speaker can be got to rule that a Bill is a Money Bill or not.
Another point of the right hon. Gentleman was that our proposal is practically the same as the proposal of the Government, because the Speaker would be the Chairman of this Committee, and on his casting vote would depend the decision of the Committee. Surely the Government must see that under their proposal the Speaker is the sole authority; the decision given is that of the Speaker, whereas, if he is Chairman of a Committee, the decision is not that of the Speaker but that of the Committee. It must make all the difference in the eyes of the country whether on import ant matters of this sort the decision is the solitary opinion of the Speaker, and the Speaker alone, or is that of the Speaker given as Chairman of the Committee. I really think that it is an extraordinary thing that the Government should refuse to meet us on this question, which in no way affects the Bill as a whole. The proposal we make is not submitted in any party sense. The question as to what is a Money Bill makes no difference whatever to the working of the Parliament Bill. Money Bills go through under Clause 1, and other Bills are dealt with under Clause 2. Though there might be differences of opinion, they would not be in the least on party lines. I can give an example to the House on the point. The "Daily News," writing on 23rd May last year, upon this very point, said:—Even within the Veto Resolutions before the country there are some openings for accommodation. Take 1117 for example the provision which makes the Speaker sole arbiter as to what is or is not a Money Bill. That arrangement is certainly not ideal, and we have pointed out that there are certain risks in it ourselves. We should have no scruple about our entertaining reasonable suggestions as to an alternative. There is at least room on both sides for an exchange of views.We do not get much exchange of view, because the Debate is entirely confined to this side of the House. Hon. Members opposite are still continuing their policy of silence, and they will not even consider an Amendment of this sort, although it affects the question who is to decide what is a Clause 1 or a Clause 2 Bill. I would venture at even this very late hour to make a further appeal to the Government. They are avowedly destroying by this Bill the Second Chamber as we know it now; but are they prepared also to destroy what is probably the greatest and most brilliant asset we possess in the Constitution, namely, the impartiality of the Speaker. It has been very eloquently shown to-night how from the past the Speaker has become the impartial authority he is at the present time. May I recall to the House what is within quite recent memory, and what has occurred even since I had the honour of becoming a Member of this Assembly? I can remember when your predecessor, Mr. Speaker, was chosen. He was chosen by the party opposite, being himself a Liberal. He was elected on a contest by the small majority of 12 or 14. Within three months there was a change of Government, and the Government of the party to which I belong came into power. The Speaker was re-elected by the Conservative and Unionist party, because it was felt, even though the then Speaker had only occupied the position for three months, that it would be striking a blow at the impartial character of the Speakership not to re-appoint him. As everybody in the House knows, you, Mr. Speaker, having been originally chosen by the party on this side of the House, have been three times re-elected by the party opposite. That spirit which has prevailed on both sides in regards to the Speakership will probably be destroyed if the plan of the Government is carried out. The Speaker, under the proposals of this Bill, will have to decide what is a Money Bill. The matter might be all-important to the Government, whose fate might depend upon rushing through a very important measure as a Money Bill. It might be absolutely necessary, owing to the effluxion of time, for the Government to get a Speaker who might decide that an important bill of policy was a Money Bill. Under these conditions it would be im- 1118 possible for the same spirit to animate parties in the future, as in the past, with regard to the selection of the Speaker. Whatever we may do about the Second Chamber, and putting that question aside altogether, I myself think it is most important that we should preserve the priceless heritage of an impartial Speakership, and on these grounds I make one last appeal to the Government to meet us, if not in the way suggested by this Amendment, at all events in some way or another in order that we may keep the Speakership out of party politics.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
This matter, to my mind, is one which vitally affects this House in the present, and which may affect it still more vitally in the future. The arguments that we have heard from the Treasury Bench, if they may be termed arguments, have been two. The first was that the Speaker, in the past, has discharged substantially the same duties that this Bill would put upon him. The second was that if the Speaker has the assistance of a Joint Committee, the responsibility and the danger would be just as great as under the Government proposal. With regard to the first of these arguments, surely it must, be obvious to the occupants of the Treasury Bench that what the Speaker has clone in the past in ruling on matters of privilege is vitally different from the functions which it is proposed to impose upon him by this Bill. In the past the Speaker had ruled, so far as this House is concerned, and his decision has been accepted by the House. But the Speaker has never had the function put upon him of deciding as between this House and the House of Lords on any matter in controversy between those two Assemblies. Do the Government not see the difference between the two functions— the function of deciding as President of this House, and for the purpose of the proceedings of this House, and the function of being made arbiter as between this House and the other House, and deciding finally as between the two Houses—in one of which he is the Chairman—on matters that may affect the fate of the Government.
The second argument was that the Speaker had the assistance of a Committee with a casting vote, his responsibility would be just the same. I utterly deny that. If you have a strong Committee on which men in both Houses would be proud to serve, or if you had a Committee framed, according to another Amendment, very largely of officials of this and of the 1119 other House, the Speaker would occupy a very different position and a much less invidious position. He would have the assistance of that Committee, who would be able to discuss the question. I do not accept for one moment the suggestion that those who might be appointed to the Committee would approach the subject in a partisan spirit, so that they would vote blindfold for one House and the other, and that the whole responsibility would be thrown on the Speaker. I say I do not accept that suggestion for one moment. I believe that any Committee such as is proposed in these Amendments would deal with the subject in a fair and impartial spirit. I think it is little short of a gross reflection upon the Members of either this House or the other, or upon the officials, to suggest that they would approach the consideration of such questions in a merely partisan spirit. If the proposal which we submit were adopted how different would be the position of the Speaker in presiding over a Committee. I do not believe that the casting vote would be very often required, and if it were required it would be after he had received the assistance and had had the advantage of the mature deliberation of colleagues qualified to deal with these matters. The Postmaster-General, passing from these arguments, ventured into the region of prophecy. It has been pointed out that there were serious risks inherent in the Government proposals, but the Postmaster-General, with regard to them, saw no reason to doubt that the position of the Chair would not suffer from the discharge of the functions which the Government propose to cast upon it. I think the House will want some better security than the conviction which the Postmaster-General tells us he entertains that the position of the Chair would not suffer. I am afraid that it is only too certain that it would suffer. It is said that the impartiality of the Chair has always been above suspicion. So it has, but would it he above suspicion in the future if this disastrous experiment is persevered in. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] When decisions are given which would cut hon. Members opposite to the quick, which might turn out the Government to whom they have sworn allegiance, would they then regard the Chair as so absolutely impartial as it has always in the past been regarded?
I think it requires very little knowledge of human nature, and as it exists among 1120 keen partisans, and among partisans, may I say, as keen as the hon. Gentleman who interrupted me just now, to know that, however impartial the Speaker might be in point of fact, that things would be said with regard to decisions which would vitally affect the authority of the Chair and the respect in which the Chair is held. But more than that, I do not think that the Postmaster-General has at all appreciated what the effect would, in course of time, inevitably be on the selection of those who are to fill the Chair. We are speaking of what is in the future, and I trust in the distant future. While those who have come to occupy the Chair under the traditions that have always ruled in this House would, we may depend upon it, be absolutely impartial, although as I have just said, they might not escape suspicion of impartiality when they decided on such critical matters, yet how would the thing work in the distant future? We are legislating, not for a mere temporary expedient. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] We are, and the sentiment is cheered opposite, creating legislation which is to be permanent as affecting the relations between the two Houses. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I do not pause to point out that hon. Gentlemen cheer, although it is in flagrant contradiction to the very terms of the Preamble of this Bill. The Government have now repudiated their Preamble and have told us, although the Preamble says that this legislation is merely provisional that it is really to be permanent. As things go on, and as it is vital to the Government to have decisions in their favour on such points as will arise under this Bill, what will the effect be en the choice of the Speaker? I do not believe, and I say it with regret, that the action of the House in the choice of Speakers can escape the contagion of the slow stain which this Bill proposes to inflict. I do not make any appeal to the Government. I know they have closed their ears to all arguments on this point and that they are determined to adhere to the course on which they have embarked. I do appeal from the Government and from the majority in this House to the country, and I ask the electors to appreciate the nature of the action which this House is taking.
§ Question put, "That the words 'Speaker of the House of Commons' stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 249; Noes, 134.1123
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Harwood, George||O'Shee, James John|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Haworth, Arthur A.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Adamson, William||Hayden, John Patrick||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Hayward, Evan||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Alden, Percy||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Allen Charles Peter (Stroud)||Henry, Sir Charles||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Armitage, Robert||Higham, John Sharp||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Hinds, John||Pointer, Joseph|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Hodge, John||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Holt, Richard Durning||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Barton, William||Hudson, Walter||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Beale, W. P.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Bentham, George J.||Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Stack, Arthur W.||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Radford, George Haynes|
|Boland, John Pius||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||John, Edward Thomas||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Johnson, William||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Brace, William||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Brigg, Sir John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Richards, Thomas|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Bryce, John Annan||Joyce, Michael||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Keating, Matthew||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roberts, George (Norwich)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Kelly, Edward||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Klibride, Denis||Robinson, Sidney|
|Cameron, Robert||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rowlands, James|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Clough, William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Clynes, John R||Leach, Charles||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Colluins, Stphen (Lambeth)||Lewis, John Herbert||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Logan, John William||Sheehy, David|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lundon, Thomas||Shortt, Edward|
|Corbett, A. Cameron||Lyell, Charles Henry||Simon, Sir John Alisebrook|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lynch, A. A.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Macdonald, J. Ramsey (Leicester)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||McGhee, Richard||Snowden, Philip|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Maclean, Donald||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Crumley, Patrick||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)|
|Cullinan, J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sutton, John E.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||M'Callum, John M.||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Delany, William||M'Kean, John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Dillon, John||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Manfield, Harry||Toulmin, George|
|Doris, William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Duffy, William J.||Marks, George Croydon||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Meagher, Michael||Wardle, G. J.|
|Ellbank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Elverston, Harold||Menzies, Sir Walter||Watt, Henry A.|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Millar, James Duncan||Webb, H.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Molloy, Michael||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Molteno, Percy Alport||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Morrell, Philip||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|French, Peter||Munro, Robert||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Field, William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Needham, Christophr T.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Nolan, Joseph||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Goldstone, Frank||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||O'Doherty, Philip||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hackett, John||O'Dswd, John||Winfrey, Richard|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Ogden, Fred||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Malley, William|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Gulland and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Aitken, William Max.||Gardner, Ernest||O'Neill, Hen. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gilmour, Captain J.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Ashley, W. W.||Goldsmith, Frank||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Astor, Waldorf||Grant, James Augustine||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gretton, John||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, J. L.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Haddock, George Bahr||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barnston, Harry||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Remnant, lames Farquharson|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Hohler, G. F.||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bennett-Goldney Francis||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bird, Alfred||Horner, A. L.||Royds, Edmund|
|Boscawen, Col. Sackville T. Griffith-||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boyton, James||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bull, Sir William James||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Spear, John Ward|
|Butcher, John George||Kerry, Earl of||Stanier, Beville|
|Carlile, Edward Hildred||Keswick, William||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cassel, Felix||Kimber, Sir Henry||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cator, John||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Stewart, Gershom)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Larmor, Sir J.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Locker-Lampson G. (Salisbury)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Craik, Sir Herry||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Malcolm, Ian||Williams. Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Mildmay Francis Bingham||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mills Hon. Charles Thomas||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Moore, William||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Younger, George|
|Fell, Arthur||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Finlay, Sir R.||Newton, Harry Kottingham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Nield, Herbert||Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.|
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move in Sub-section (2), after the word "Commons" ["A Money Bill means a public Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons"], to insert the words, "announced on the Order being called for the Second and Third Reading."
My object in moving the Amendment is to ensure that the House of Commons may know exactly and authoritatively what kind of Bill it is called upon to discuss. There is no provision whatever in the Bill as to when the decision as to whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not shall be given, or as to how it shall be given, or as to any representations being made to the Speaker before the decision is given. Before the House is called upon to discuss any Bill it ought to know whether or not it is a Money Bill, as obviously a Money Bill would be approached front a very different frame of mind from that in which an ordinary Bill would be approached. In the case of a Money Bill the decision of this House is to be irreversible, except in the very unlikely event of the Government deciding 1124 that the Bill should not be sent forward for the approval of His Majesty. The responsibilities of the House are very much greater in the case of a Money Bill than in the case of an ordinary Bill subject to the revision of another Chamber. The House might easily approach the Second Reading of a Bill not knowing whether it was a Money Bill or not. The question is a very difficult one. For instance, the question whether certain provisions which are not money provisions are subordinate to such provisions is one about which ordinary Members cannot be certain. The House might easily conclude that they were not discussing a Money Bill, and then in the end find that it was a Money Bill, and the final decision of Mr. Speaker might come as a great surprise to a large number of Members. The proper moment for the opinion of Mr. Speaker to be given in the first place is, I suggest, when the Order for Second Reading has been called. Presumably the Bill will have been printed for some time, and Mr. Speaker will have 1125 had every opportunity of making up his mind on the point.
It is even more necessary that the decision should be given when the Third Reading comes on, because the Bill will then have taken its final form. It is obviously necessary that at that stage Mr. Speaker should declare for the information of the House whether the Bill is receiving its final consideration or whether it will be subject to the revision of the Second Chamber. Between the Second Reading and the Third Reading of a Bill changes may take place. In the original draft of this measure it was provided that no Amendment should be allowed which would have the effect of turning a Money Bill into a non-Money Bill. That provision has been struck out, and it will now be possible to move Amendments having that effect. In that case it would be necessary for Mr. Speaker to give a second and final opinion on the Third Reading. The contrary may also happen. A Bill which on Second Reading was a non-Money Bill may be so amended in Committee as to become a Money Bill. There again Mr. Speaker's decision should be given before the discussion on the Third Reading begins, in order that there might be an opportunity of moving to recommit the Bill. The whole of the previous discussions may have taken place on the supposition that it was an ordinary Bill, and that the Second Chamber would take cognisance of any mistakes there might he. Under the present procedure the Government frequently announce on the Report. stage, rather than accept an Amendment., that an alteration will be made in another place; but under the procedure of this Bill, in the very process of Report or Committee a Bill which would have been subject to revision in the other House may suddenly become a Money Bill, and be no longer subject to such revision. Hence the necessity for Mr. Speaker to announce his decision on the Order for the Third Reading being called.
It would be particularly necessary to have some provision of this kind during the last two years of a Parliament. During those years the Government of the day may know that the Second Chamber is hostile to a certain measure, and will not pass it if it is not a Money Bill. They may find themselves under pressure from their followers to pass some Bill which would be rejected if it were an ordinary Bill, but which it is necessary, from the point of view of their prestige as a party, should be passed. Under those circum- 1126 stances it is very likely that a Bill would be amended in such a way as to make it a Money Bill. In such a case the Speaker's decision ought to be given, so that the House might know exactly where they stood. The Amendment is congruous to the Bill, it is not hostile in any way to the principle of the measure, but it does protect the House of Commons against a Bill being passed without Members being properly apprised of its nature. That being so, I hope the Attorney-General will accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I beg to second the Amendment. If this Bill is passed, for the first time in the history of this House there will be two distinct forms of procedure with regard to Bills. Hitherto every Bill has had to go through first reading, second reading, committee, report, and third reading, and then to the other House. If differences arose there was a further opportunity of discussing them. Under this Bill there will be one class of Bills which, when finished with in this House, will be in their final form, and there will be no opportunity for them to he considered in another place in such an effective manlier as at present, or in such a way as to enable subsequent Amendments to be made. The suggestion of the Amendment, which is a very important one, is that Members of this House should know at an early and convenient stage to which class the Bill they are about to consider belongs. That is a perfectly reasonable request. Such a knowledge might make all the difference with regard to the way in which a Bill would be treated in this House.
It might make a great deal of difference in regard to the way in which a measure was discussed on second reading; it would certainly make a great difference with regard to the way in which it would be discussed in Committee. I am also confident that if, in Committee, a Motion were made for the closure, or for the "kangaroo," or for the guillotine, it would make all the difference in the exercise of discretion of the Chair whether that Motion should be accepted; if the Chair knew that the Committee were dealing with a Bill in regard to which there would be no opportunity for further consideration and revision. I cannot conceive of any stage at which it would not be of vital importance that we should know to which category a Bill belongs. I take it that this Amendment is that at an early stage of the Second Reading we 1127 should be informed that in the opinion of Mr. Speaker this is or is not a Money Bill. If we do not get his certificate, or his opinion is not expressed, then we ought to know whether we are dealing with a Bill that will require to go to the other House in the ordinary way to be dealt with under Clause 2. I do not suggest that it might not be possible, nay, that it might not be convenient, that at some later stage that the opinion given might have to be altered. It is possible that the complexion of a Bill in the course of its passing through this House might be so altered by the omission or inclusion of something as to put it into the other category. As my hon. Friend has already pointed out, it would be possible if the Bill were in Committee to move to re-commit if it appeared to be of sufficient importance to find out the new category in which the Bill stood. I do urge upon the House and upon the Government the extreme importance of considering this question, and of laying down some definite point. If they do not accept this Amendment, we ought to know whether or not the Bill we are dealing with at the time is or is not a Money Bill. I have great satisfaction in seconding this Amendment. I had Amendments on these lines in Committee. I was not able to move them for reasons I have stated. I think that this is an extremely important point, and one which well deserves the attention of the Government, and I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman who is in charge of the Bill will see his way to give us some satisfaction.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
The hon. Gentleman who has moved this Amendment has, if I may express the view, made, as he usually does, a very forcible and closely reasoned speech upon it. But on behalf of the Government I have to say that we cannot see our way to accept it. It would, if adopted, place the Speaker in a position of considerable difficulty. It is quite unnecessary, because the answer which the hon. Member seeks to obtain, desires to empower the House to obtain, from the Speaker, could be obtained in an informal way when the Speaker, or the Chairman of Committees, as the case might be, was asked a question during Debate as to what his view might be upon the particular question. In the vast majority of cases I do not apprehend that there should be any possible doubt or dif- 1128 ficulty in the position. We are familiar with what are called Money Bills. There is no Member in the House at the present time who in most cases would have any doubt whatever in determining a Money Bill. More particularly would he have no doubt when he has the definition which the will have in this Bill. If the Speaker had to give his ruling—because that is what it would amount to if the Amendment were carried—he would on the Second Reading have to make a pronouncement. Then, as I understand the Amendment, he would have to make a pronouncement again on the Third Reading as to whether or not the Bill is a Money Bill. I submit to the House that it is quite unnecessary to introduce the Amendment into this Bill, because there is nothing which the hon. Member is seeking to obtain by the Amendment which he cannot get without the Amendment—with this great advantage, that it seems to me that you have to consider the bearing that the opinion of the Speaker would have upon the Debate. The Speaker can choose his own time. You will not have a hard and fast rule that the Speaker must give his opinion on the Second or Third Reading? There is nothing in the Bill that prevents the Speaker expressing his opinion at any time during the discussion in Committee in a manner quite familiar to us all, or on the Debates on the Second or Third Readings. If you were to pass this Amendment you would impose upon Mr. Speaker the statutory obligation of stating it at a particular moment when it might be very inconveninet to ask him to make his pronouncement. I can understand Mr. Speaker saying before making his pronouncement that he would like to hear the Debate; that he would not be in a hurry to pronounce until he had heard the arguments for and against. In that case he would not be bound as by the Amendment to pronounce an opinion before he heard the argument, a course which I do not suppose the Committee would think desirable.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
We raised the point in Committee that the arguments should be heard before pronouncement, and the Government refused to accept our Amendments.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am not now arguing in favour of discussion as to whether or not a Bill would be a Money Bill. What I was saying was that the Speaker might find it inconvenient to have to pronounce an opinion before he had on the Second Reading of the Bill heard the 1129 arguments. Our view is that it must be left entirely to the Speaker. He will, as he usually does, inform the House when it is convenient to do so. It might be very inconvenient for the Speaker to pronounce his opinion on the Second Reading, on the Committee, or the Report stage.
You may have Amendments, new clauses, provisos, and all these are matters which would have to be discussed in the House. The Speaker might very well and very properly have one opinion at one time and another opinion at another stage. If he expresses an informal opinion during the course of the Debates there is no difficulty, but if he expresses an opinion under a statutory rule I am not at all sure that it would not place him in a great difficulty. If he had to announce on the Second Reading that this was a Money Bill, and then following later Amendments he had to say, "Well, now, I have changed the view I have already expressed," it would be undesirable. Our idea is that the right moment for the Speaker to give his formal decision is that indicated by the Bill, and that is when he gives his certificate, which is his final and conclusive opinion. The only thing which would have force would be the certificate which he would give at the end. Moreover, there is no necessity for introducing this Amendment into the Bill, because if the House thought it was desirable to have some form of order and resolution which would make it incumbent upon the Speaker to give a ruling at a particular stage, the House could arrange it by Standing Order. But the last thing this House would, I think, desire to do would be to introduce a stated Resolution or Standing Order for the purpose of regulating its own procedure. Still, that can always be done by this House. It is in our own hands. If hon. Members thought it desirable they could after this Bill becomes law introduce into the House a Standing Order to the effect that they desire. There would be no difficulty in that; it would be quite binding on the Speaker, and it could be framed from the experience of things after this Bill had been worked for a while. I submit that this Amendment ought not to be accepted.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I cannot help thinking that the Attorney-General hardly apprehends the difficulties which arise from putting part of our procedure into statutory form and leaving the rest of it in the air. It is perfectly true that most of us are familiar with the character of a Money Bill which involves founding a Bill upon 1130 a Resolution of the House in Committee; but that is not final as to what is a Money Bill, because a Bill may be originally founded upon a Resolution of this House in Committee and yet may not be in its character a Money Bill. At what moment are we to know whether the Speaker regards a Bill as a Money Bill or when a Bill is regarded as primâ facie a Money Bill by the Government? If I understood the Attorney-General rightly, the Speaker was not to express any opinion on the matter until he issued his certificate, which was to be final and binding, that is to say, he is to express no opinion until he has to express an opinion beyond recall.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I said the very opposite. I said we followed the practice of this House when the Speaker could be asked his opinion in the ordinary course, and could, in the ordinary course, give it. What I objected to was fixing the time of his opinion by statute.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I am sorry if I misunderstood the Attorney-General. I quite agree it is possible that the words selected by my hon. Friend for embodying a very reasonable demand may not be the most apt in terms. But what is really wanted is whether a Bill is primâ facie in the opinion of Mr. Speaker or in the view of the Government a Money Bill, because unless we understand that we are not made aware when the matter becomes one for argument and discussion Members on one side of the House, perhaps upon the Government side, may be satisfied that the Government is right in introducing a Bill and maintaining it as a Money Bill. We cannot ask the Speaker whether this, in the view of the Government, and in the view of the Speaker, is prima facie a Money Bill. It would be impossible for those on the other side of the House from the Government, whether Liberals or Unionists, to address the Speaker and to endeavour to satisfy him that the Bill was not a Money Bill or that a Bill primâ facie a Money Bill, might, as the Attorney-General points out, in the course of its passage through the House have provisions incorporated in it which would take it out of the category of Money Bills. It is very desirable we should know a Bill was primâ facie a Money Bill, and so regarded by the Government and the Speaker, so that hon. Members would have an opportunity of addressing the Speaker to ascertain whether the provisions incorporated in the Bill had altered its 1131 character and taken it out of the category of Money Bills within the meaning of this Clause.
The real truth is, the Government in incorporating part of the procedure of this House in its relations to the other House in a statute have not nearly thought out all the conditions in which that would work. We are asking that a simple reasonable provision should be put into the Bill, but we are told this is a matter of Standing Order. If we ask that some provision should be made in the Bill we are told that a matter of this nature should be dealt with by Standing Order hereafter, and that it is undesirable to make any allusion to Standing Orders in an Act of Parliament, or words to that effect, or that Standing Orders are matters for the entire discretion of the House and should not be put into a statute. Therefore we are putting a portion of our procedure in a way that may be extremely inconvenient hereafter. The Speaker may certify a Bill is a Money Bill, but not until it is passed and is going up to the House of Lords, and this House will have no intimation in the course of the passing of the Bill, except through the forms of the House, as regards Bills which commence by Resolution of the House in Committee but which is not conclusive. Beyond that the House is to have no information whether a Bill is regarded as a Money Bill by the Government or the Speaker.
My hon. Friend wants to know as to a Bill which is regarded by the Opposition or by a number of Members of the House as not possessing the character of a Money Bill when the time is come, and what the time is, to argue the case with Mr. Speaker, and to put reasons before him as to why they think the matter under discussion should not be regarded as a Money Bill. I do not think my hon. Friend's demand is unreasonable. I think there ought to he some provision in this or some other Bill, winch would signify the ultimate view of the House. The Government have put us and its own supporters in a difficulty by the way in which they deal with a Money Bill by putting part of the Constitution in a statutory form, and leaving the rest to be settled in a way that may produce infinite difficulty and perplexity.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I think the only part of the Attorney-General's speech that was satisfactory was that in which he professed regard for the feelings of Mr. 1132 Speaker. There is nothing, I think, more obvious than the amount of trouble and inconvenience that will be put upon the shoulders of Mr. Speaker when he is called upon to deliver an opinion upon these matters. We are told by the Attorney-General that we must consider his convenience, and that it might be most inconvenient for him to give his opinion at a particular moment. The Attorney-General said everybody knew what a Money Bill was, and could pretty well determine for himself, without Mr. Speaker's opinion being taken. But if the Attorney-General throws his mind back to last year and the year before he will remember Money Bills on which there was a very sharp conflict of opinion as to whether they were Money Bills or not. I suppose it would be desirable to get Mr. Speaker's opinion as to whether the Budget of 1909–10 might be held to be a Money Bill or otherwise. The Attorney-General says, "If you cannot tell that for yourself you could at least get an informal opinion from Mr. Speaker on the point." I am not quite sure I apprehended exactly what the Attorney-General meant. I do not know whether he meant going to the side of the Chair.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I should hardly call that an informal opinion myself. I should certainly think it a formal and considered opinion in reply to a considered question.
If at some stage when an ex-Minister rises to ask Mr. Speaker if such and such a Bill is a Money Bill, and he should reply, "Yes," or "No," I should say that is sufficient for the purposes of my hon. Friend's Amendment. I agree that the Second Reading is pre-eminently the moment when that question should be asked and answered. On the Second Reading of a measure we divide upon the principle, and we ought to be able to divide with a clear conscience, knowing whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not. In one sense my hon. Friend's Amendment may be unnecessary because the question suggested by the Attorney-General could be put to Mr. Speaker and answered before the Second or Third Reading takes place. I think it would be as well that that should be put into the Bill, because it is absolutely necessary before we divide on the principle of a Bill of any magnitude that the utmost publicity should be given to Mr. Speaker's opinion, to which such importance is attached in Sub-section 2 of this Clause. 1133 We might get the answer from Mr. Speaker by putting an informal question to which he would give an informal answer. As we can get that, I do not understand why the Attorney-General should object to us adding this Amendment, simply to state in black and white what he knows we shall be able to get by the method suggested.
§ Mr. HARMOOD-BANNER
I regret that the hon. and learned Gentleman has not given us some better reason for not accepting this Amendment. It always appears to me that when you discuss a matter you should always have all the cards on the table. In the case of many of these questions it is of very great importance that we should know whether a Bill is to have the supervision of the House of Lords or not. We all recognise how reckless we are on money matters when we think there is somebody behind us to check and control and take the responsibility. We have often heard hon. Members on both sides state when they have voted for a certain measure that they have done so because they know they had the House of Lords behind them to revise and correct legislation. Now we are passing a measure under which we shall not know whether we are to have the supervision of the House of Lords to look into various Bills, or whether we shall pass them on our own responsibility. I take it as an acknowledged fact that there would be a great many matters dealt with much more carefully in this House if it were known that there would he no supervision by a Second Chamber. There are matters occurring every day in relation to the feeding of school children and all sorts of expenses hon. Members will vote for without hesitation, when they know there is a House of Lords to supervise their action, but if they knew when they passed such charges that they would fall upon the taxes and would not be subject to any revision they would look upon them in a very different way. We are all too eager and keen to give away money which costs us nothing in order to obtain votes—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Emmott)
The question is that an Amendment should be added that the Speaker's opinion should he given as to whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not on the Second or the Third Reading. The hon. Member is not addressing himself to that point.
§ Mr. HARMOOD-BANNER
I was trying to show that the responsibility should be 1134 known to us as to whether a measure we may be dealing with will go for supervision to the Upper House or not. It is advisable that we should know the Speaker's opinion as to whether a Bill is one which we can accept of our own volition, understanding or appreciation, or whether it is one for which we are only partly responsible and which goes to the House of Lords to be completed. I cannot understand the Government taking the stand that they will not allow us to learn before we come to a decision what are the effects of a measure with which we are dealing. If we had this information there would be no excuse for us saying afterwards that we took a Bill, discussed it and passed it in ignorance of the fact that we were solely responsible, and we should do so knowing that we should not have the advantage of the supervision of the House of Lords to correct any mistake. I appeal to the Government to insert these words so that, we may have an absolute and clear understanding as to whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not.
§ Mr. BAIRD
The manner in which the learned Attorney-General received this Amendment is quite on a par with the treatment meted out to all the Amendments which have been proposed from this side of the House. We have put forward Amendments with the object of drawing out the real meaning of what the Government desire to effect by this Bill. This Amendment involves a very important principle. The essential difference in the treatment accorded to Bills which come before this House under the Parliament Bill lies in the fact that some Bills will be passed after being two years before this House, and others will be passed after the Third Reading in one year. It is important that, we should know precisely which are the measures that are going to be dealt with on these different occasions. The learned Attorney-General pointed out one of the great defects of this Bill when he showed how difficult it was to decide what was a Money Bill and what was not, and how easy it would be in the event of its suiting the Government—and in case the Government's masters in various parts of the House issued their orders to that effect after becoming impatient—to insist upon having their desires at the end of one year instead of two years. It would be an easy thing for any section of this House to insist on a Bill being so altered as to turn it into a Money Bill.
1135 We ought to know clearly before we enter upon the discussion of the Second Reading whether a measure is a Money Bill or not, and we should not hand over the whole power to the Government to decide on their own responsibility in deference to the dictates of those parties on whose votes they depend whether a Bill is to become law at the end of a year or whether it is going to drag on and become law at the end of two years. When is the Speaker going to give his decision, and in what form is he going to give it? That is not laid down at all in the Bill. Surely it is desirable in a matter of such vital importance as the decision of the Speaker as to the character of a Bill, and consequently as to the nature of its discussion in this House, and the treatment it, will receive in the remnant of Parliament left under the Parliament Bill that there should be some fixed formula with regard to the time when and the manner in which that decision is to be announced. No provision is made for that at all. This portion of the Bill is of the same designedly slip-shod nature as the Government have insisted on retaining throughout the Bill. There is not the slightest, chance of the Government accepting this or any other Amendment, but we should like to express our sense of the importance of the functions going to be cast upon Mr. Speaker. A small degree of sympathy for Mr. Speaker in his difficult position was expressed by the learned Attorney-General, but no inclination was shown on his part to minimise in any way the difficulties of his situation. If the Government could see their way to accept this Amendment the Speaker, at any rate, would then know where he stood. He would know when he would have to make up his mind as to the nature of a Bill coming before the House and he would know in what form and when he would have to give his decision. Of course, the Government cannot see their way to accept it. They have given no reason at all except that it was not in the Bill in its original form, and they cannot see their way to agree to any alteration. That is the stock answer always given to every Amendment, however important it may be.
When is the Speaker to give his decision? Surely we are entitled to some information on that, subject. There are hon. Gentlemen opposite who have said it varies. They have said a Bill may start as a Money Bill, and in the course of discussion be so amended as to cease to be a 1136 Money Bill. Surely if that is so, the sooner we make it impossible the better it will be for the course of the discussion in this House. Nothing could be more unsatisfactory than an element of uncertainty pervading the discussion on measures before the House. There will be no finality apparently at all. A Bill introduced as a Money Bill may be so altered at the dictation of hon. Gentlemen, whose votes are of importance to the Government as to cease to be a Money Bill, and unless some provision is inserted such as is contained in the Amendment I do not see how this position is to be met. It must be admitted by everyone who is not a rank partisan the position requires to be met. If this provision is required to improve the machinery of Government then some provision as to the time when and the manner in which the Speaker should give his decision is surely necessary. Judging by the attitude adopted by the right hon. Gentleman at present in charge of the Bill, I should say there is no prospect whatever of the Governmen accepting any sort of Amendment of this kind; but I must say if the Clause is left in the incomplete form in which it stands at present there is great danger in prospect, as indicated by the learned Attorney-General, that the character of a Bill may be altered at the very last moment. Apparently it is neither on the Committee stage, the Report stage, or the Third Reading that we are to know whether we are discussing a Money Bill or not. That will leave a loophole of which the Government may avail themselves but it cannot be in the interests of good legislation.
§ Mr. CROFT
I was sorry to hear the answer which the learned Attorney gave to my hon. Friend, because it seems to me the Amendment could be accepted without in any way altering the character of the Bill, and it is, I think, from every point of view a reasonable suggestion. The Home Secretary, who I see has been consulting with the hon. and learned Gentleman, will perhaps be able to give us some different answer after he has heard the most eloquent arguments of my hon. Friends. It will be admitted that the right hon. Gentleman, at any rate before midnight, is extremely reasonable and open to argument. The House of Commons is really being treated in the most extraordinary manner. It is being denied knowledge which is absolutely necessary for the proper consideration of these measures. We have not been told whether we are dealing finally with 1137 these Bills or whether they are going to the House of Lords to be discussed. I think that is an important point. If this Amendment is not accepted it seems to me the Government will be pursuing the same policy they have displayed all through this Bill, and they will be treating the House of Commons with the utmost contempt. What is a Money Bill? I presume the Insurance Bill which was introduced so recently will be a Money Bill. If it is a Money Bill we in this House ought to know at the very opening of our discussion. Presumably the Members of any reformed Second Chamber proposed by right hon. Gentlemen opposite will be paid, and consequently we shall have to consider whether nearly every one of the measures which come before this House—certainly every measure which will enamate from those Benches—is a Money Bill or not, and we ought to know what is the character of a Bill when we are debating it in this House.
It has been frequently asked when it will be decided whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not. Surely to leave that question until a Bill has been finally passed through this House is a very sloppy arrangement, which cannot commend itself to anybody. It seems absolutely essential we should know what is going to be the future treatment, of a Bill. The learned Attorney-General said this Amendment, if adopted, would place Mr. Speaker in an awkward position. How about the House of Commons? He seems to have no consideration for this House. It seems to me the House of Commons is put in an exceptionally awkward position. The framers of the Bill have not shown much consideration for Mr. Speaker up to now, and I suppose it is a kind of death-bed repentance to begin to study the feelings of the Chair now. Another point mentioned is that Mr. Speaker will send up his certificate when a Bill has been passed. Surely that is conclusive proof that it would be very difficult even for Mr. Speaker to know whether it is a Money Bill or not till it has been passed. If that is so, it is all the more essential t hat this House should have guidance, and that it, should be laid down definitely, in the earlier proceedings, whether or not it is a Money Bill. The Attorney-General, in discussing this question, seemed to base his whole position on the fact that it was an inconvenience for Mr. Speaker, but I think it will be generally agreed that it is better to study the convenience of Members of this House. If the Amend 1138 ment is not accepted, the House of Commons will be placed in an extremely awkward position, by the introduction of this innovation in regard to Money Bills. Members will have to vote in the dark, because they will not know what checks or restrictions will be applicable, and, consequently, the House will be in a very different position to any it has hitherto occupied.
§ Mr. ARTHUR STRAUSS
I am afraid that the Government are refusing to accept this Amendment simply from a Parliamentary point of view, because they are perfectly well aware that many of their followers will blindly follow them as long as the nature of a Bill is in question. In fact, the Government are simply adopting this attitude in order to make sure of their own supporters. They are adopting it for tactical purposes. They prefer to leave their followers in ignorance, in order that they may make sure of their support under the impression that a Bill may go to the House of Lords when, as a matter of fact, they know, in their own hearts, that it will ultimately be decided to be a Money Bill. The Attorney-General told us we could always enquire when the Bill was in Committee, whether or not it was a Money Bill. But it must not, be forgotten that, in Committee, we have not the advantage of Mr. Speaker's presence. How then can we ascertain whether or not it is a Money Bill? I think the House should be under no misapprehension in a matter of this kind. It may be said there can be a special Resolution asking the House to declare whether or not it is a Money Bill. But although I have been a Member of this House for a good many years, I do not know of a single Standing Order which would enable the Leader of the Opposition, or any Member of that party, to move a Resolution to that effect. I do not, know of any opportunity afforded to any private Member of the House to move such a Resolution. It is quite true the Government could do so, but that last refuge is taken away from private Members, and we shall be condemned to discuss Bills in absolute ignorance of the point, whether or not they are Money Bills. It will no doubt suit the Government to keep their followers in ignorance. They always have power to use the "kangaroo" and other tortures in which they are such great adepts. But we believe the House should have an opportunity of discussing these questions 1139 with the knowledge whether or not the Bill will go to another House. They will then be able to debate it with greater equanimity and more justice would consequently be clone to the subject matter of the measure. Hon. Members ought certainly to be in a position to know whether or not the decision of this House may possibly be reversed in another place.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. RIGBY SWIFT
I regret that the Government, cannot see their way to accept this Amendment. I hope that even now it is not too late for the Home Secretary to fall in with the views of hon. Members on this side. The Amendment does not in the slightest degree affect the principle of this measure. It has not the slightest effect on the determination of the Government to limit the powers of the House of Lords in regard to Money Bills. It in no way minimises the effect of the work they have set themselves to do, and the only result of the Amendment is to make provision for the convenience of the Members of this House when they consider here what course they ought to adopt with regard to a particular measure. It must be obvious that, in approaching the consideration of Bills, Members must desire to know into which category to be created under this Parliament Bill they are to fall. It, can only be ascertained into which of these two categories a Bill may fall by getting a decision from Mr. Speaker as to whether or not the Bill is a Money Bill, and until the House knows whether it is a Money Bill it cannot tell what stages it has to go through, or what is likely to be its fate when it leaves the House. Obviously then its attitude must be decided by the fact whether or not the Bill is a Money Bill.
What reason is there that Members of this House should not know whether or not it is a Money Bill The learned Attorney-General suggested that it might be an inconvenience to Mr. Speaker to announce at so early a stage the description of the class into which the Bill would fall. But although it might be inconvenient, to Mr. Speaker at that stage to make up his mind, the fact remains that sometimes or of her he will have to make it up, and presumably it will be equally inconvenient to hon. Members that he should defer his decision until a later period. Surely it would be better that the decision should be given at the earliest possible stage it was further said by the Attorney-General that sometimes a Bill would be a Money 1140 Bill, that at a later stage it might not be so, and that at a still later stage it might again assume the characteristics of a Money Bill. If that is so it is the easiest thing in the world for Mr. Speaker to declare at each point in its history whether it has changed its character. There is no reason in the world why he should not announce when some Clause is added to the Bill which makes it a Money Bill that that which before was not a Money Bill has become one. If there is any alteration in the character of a Bill and that which was a Money Bill ceases to retain that character, there is no reason why Mr. Speaker should not inform the House of this fact. All that this Amendment does is to give to the Members of this House the advantage of knowing whether the Bill which they are discussing is or is not a Money Bill. There is no reason suggested why they should not have that advantage. It does not weaken the position of the Government, and I hope now that the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite has the advantage of being able to confer with the Home Secretary on this point, we shall have from that combination of wisdom and good counsel some modification of the somewhat stern attitude which has been hitherto adopted. Some of my hon. Friends think that that position will not be relaxed, but I hope that it will be, and that the Government will accept this Amendment for the sake of the Members of the House of Commons if for no other reason.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Coming events cast their shadows before them. We are now discussing whether this House shall, in discussing a Bill, be apprised beforehand that the decision of this House will be final and that, therefore, extra pains and trouble should be taken because it will be in this House, and this House alone, that the decision will rest as to whether the Bill becomes law or not. Until the hon. Gentleman who is seated in solitude below the Gangway opposite came in there was not a single Member on those benches opposite, and for a moment there was not even a single Member on the front Government Bench. We have now the pleasure of the presence of two Members of the Government, but until a moment ago the great Liberal and Radical Government showed that what they intended to do in the future was to leave that front Bench in the possession and occupation possibly of one or two Members, and that those one or two Members should drive through this House, knowing that the other 1141 place had no voice in the matter, legislation which the country did not understand and never expected would be brought forward. I commenced my remarks, therefore, by saying that coming events cast their shadows before them, and they show that if unfortunately this Bill becomes law this House will be the bound slaves of whoever happens to sit on that bench, and every attempt at debate—even the idea of discussing a Bill—will be deprecated by hon. Members opposite.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was endeavouring to approach the Amendment by saying that this was a proposal which would put upon this House the advantage of knowing whether the sole duty of deciding upon the Bill before them was to be left to them, and that the sole arbitrament of it was to be left to his House. The Amendment provides that Mr. Speaker shall say on the Second or Third Reading whether a certain measure is a Money Bill which will become law within a month after leaving this House, even if the other House rejects it, and I was pointing out that it was very important that this House should know whether or not it was a Bill which would become law without the intervention of another place within two years. That being so, I was venturing to draw the attention of the House and of the country to this fact, that on an important Amendment like this there was nobody here to listen to the arguments brought forward in this House, and to discuss whether or not an Amendment should be accepted.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Despair has probably filled our breasts, and we know perfectly well that reasoning advanced from this side of the House is treated with contempt, and no argument is brought forward in reply to it. The guillotine is moved, and there is an end of the matter. I only rose to call the attention of the House to what. I consider a most important fact, namely, that the opposite side do not appear to attach any importance to any Amendment which would preserve at any rate to this House the knowledge that a Bill which they are going to debate will be decided solely by their votes and their opinions. I venture to say that it only shows what will happen in the future, when the benches opposite are now so empty. I trust that 1142 everyone who is in this House will listen to my remarks, although they are few in number, and I hope that there are some Members of the Press present who will chronicle them, so that the country may see what are the methods of this House in regard to forcing through a Government Bill.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I do not rise with any hope of convincing the Front Bench opposite, I only rise to ascertain what the Government's own view is as to when the decision will be given. As I understand it at present, Mr. Speaker will only give his decision when a Bill has left this House, and then and then only shall we know anything about it. I am told that the hon. and learned Member said it would be open for anyone to ask Mr. Speaker whether it was or was not a Money Bill, but I think if hon. Members will look at the Bill they will see that in that event Mr. Speaker is entitled to reply, "I sin not called upon to answer that question until the Bill has left this House." Is it the intention of the Government that the Bill should be discussed and should leave this House without our knowing whether it is or is not a Money Bill?
§ Mr. CASSEL
I only rise to call attention to one fact, and that is that the Government originally, in their own Bill had a Sub-section which they cut out in Committee, and it was to the effect chat no Amendment should be allowed to a Money Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, was such as to prevent the Bill retaining that character. I think the hon. and learned Attorney-General will agree with me that there was a Sub-section to that effect. That shows that the Government themselves must have contemplated hat the decision of the Speaker must be given at an early stage, and that it must be given before the stage arose for Amendment, that is before Second Reading or before the Bill went to a Committee. Otherwise a question could not arise under that Sub-section as to whether by an Amendment the character of the Bill was altered from being that of a Money Bill. Therefore even the Government themselves, by that Sub-section, show that they intended the decision of the Speaker should come at an early stage, so that Members moving Amendments might know whether they were altering the character of the Bill so as to bring it tinder the description of a Money Bill. I quite agree to this, that the final certificate of the Speaker must be given on 1143 the Bill in its final form, but even if the Speaker gives a preliminary decision on the Second Reading, and any Amendment, however small it may be, is made in the Bill subsequently, he will have to give another decision, which will be the final certificate. But that does not prevent his giving a decision in the first instance before it goes into Committee which will enable hon. Members to know, when they are moving Amendments, whether they are dealing with a Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, is in its then form a Money Bill.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I will relieve the anxiety of the hon. Gentleman at once. The important matter for the House to know is whether the Bill under discussion is a Money Bill or not, and, if it is a Money Bill, at what point, in consequence of the acceptance of any Amendment, it will cease to be a Money Bill and pass out of the scope of Clause 1 into the scope of Clause 2. That is indeed a very important point. But it will be in the interests of the House to secure from the Chair information on that subject, and it will be especially to the interests of the Government in charge of the measure, because otherwise they might find their legislation subjected to a far more severe check of delay and restraint in another place, and, of course, the House would have no difficulty in ascertaining the opinion of Mr. Speaker on that, as on any other subject connected with the order or with the privileges of the House. In the event of any difficulty arising, nothing would prevent the House and the Government, specially interested as it is in the matter, from enacting new Standing Orders or amending the present Standing Orders to give full effect to the needs of the occasion however they may be revealed. And after all the Standing Orders are obviously the proper method and the proper place in which to deal with a question of this character, which affects only the procedure of the House of Commons, which affects only the convenience of the House of Commons, which affects only the efficient working of legislative processes in the House of Commons. What do we want with an Act of Parliament for that purpose? We can do it at any time we like under our own Standing Orders. Why do we want an Act of Parliament which shall proclaim the precise moment when we shall be informed by Mr. Speaker from the Chair of a matter which it is our interest to ascertain on a 1144 proper occasion, at our own time and in our own way, and upon which it is perfectly proper for us to obtain such information under rules which we ourselves at any time have power to make?
For what do we want to embody this upon this statute book? Why should we put such an arrangement into an Act of Parliament which could not be altered in any respect, even the most petty, except by the consent of the House of Lords, who have no concern whatever in our procedure, who are not concerned at all in this matter, and who might conceivably, if they chose to be vexatious, delay us for more than three Sessions or two years in making an alteration upon a subject which obviously should be settled by Members of the House of Commons for the use of the House of Commons alone? And, of course, when a measure leaves the House of Commons, when it passes out of the scope of this Assembly, when it moves into the area of another body, for whose convenience we are not responsible at the present juncture, it will go with a certificate from the Speaker which will leave them in absolutely no doubt whatever as to whether the Bill falls in the first or the second category of measures under this Act. The hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) has spoken of the emptiness of these benches. He did not dwell on the fact that but seven Members of the Conservative party were in their places to stem the tide of revolution, but I cannot wonder that so few were present when such a very lengthy period of the discussion has been occupied in debating an Amendment which, I am perfectly certain, every single person who read the Debate outside the House of Commons would agree was not worth five minutes of Parliamentary time. At any rate, whatever else the discussion on this point may or may not have proved, it has shown at least that the limits of time permitted by the House under the Closure Resolution which they have assented to are not only sufficient but more than ample for the purpose.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I had not an opportunity of hearing the whole of the Debate because it is necessary that we should all dine, and that partly accounts for the emptiness of the benches to which reference has been made. So far as the Home Secretary's rebuke to my hon. Friend goes, I really think it is not the business of the Government to decide how the criticism of the Opposition is to be conducted. This Amendment has been moved in a very 1145 empty House, but that was inevitable, because it came on at a very empty time, when the House is empty in every sense. No one could be blamed for that, either the Government or the Opposition. It is one of the inevitable incidents of Parliamentary life. It is quite true we used to have half an hour, and we ought to have it now. The importance of the point is really substantial. I quite agree it is possible to discuss any point too long, but it is untrue to represent this as an unsubstantial Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman says the House of Lords has no concern with our procedure. We live in changing times. A few months or years ago I should quite have agreed to that general proposition, but when you come to this state of things, that the minority in this House counts for nothing and that the majority regulates the procedure precisely as suits it, and that everything is arranged just as is most convenient for the party interests of the majority, it is rather desirable to give some security to the minority by regulating matters by Act of Parliament. It is very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say the House of Commons can settle this by a Standing Order. The House of Commons means, of course, the majority of the House of Commons. What reason have hon. Gentlemen on this side to have any confidence that they will be fairly treated by the majority in this or any other matter? Have we ever been fairly treated? Has the slightest consideration ever been paid to us?
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Not necessarily; and I am afraid I think the majority would choose to have the information when they liked, and not when they did not like. But it might very well be the case that on that particular occasion they would wish to keep it back. I could easily imagine cases in which it might be to their interest to represent that a thing was not a Money Bill when, as a matter of fact, it was, and it would not be necessary, observe, for the Speaker to make up his mind till the last moment. Unless he was pressed he would not do so. We are obliged to assume the possibility of a Speaker appointed by the majority for their own purposes. Such a Speaker would delay making up his mind as long as there was any seemliness or decorum in his doing so. The matter would, therefore, be genuinely open during the greater part of the discussion. That might serve the purpose 1146 of the majority. What comfort is it to be told that the House of Commons could adjust the matter when the majority would only adjust it to suit its own purposes?
I do not myself think this Amendment is one which, if the Government accept it, will make any very substantial difference to the Bill. I am only surprised that they did not accept it immediately, and get on to other matters. That is one of the great disadvantages of proceeding under the guillotine. The Government have no motive for accepting Amendments. This is just the sort of Amendment which in old times, when the Opposition had a hold on the time of the House, the Government would have accepted to save time. It would make no difference to their Bill. This question of whether a Standing Order regulates the matter or an Act of Parliament, is a very trumpery one, and the Government would lose nothing from any of the substantial objects of the Bill. That is precisely an illustration of the enormous change it makes in the working of the House of Commons to place the Government in a position of absolute despotism over the House. In the old House of Commons the minority had rights, and could vindicate them. In the modern House of Commons we have the Home Secretary and a perfunctory speech, and that is all the consolation we get.
§ Mr. GRETTON
I listened to the speech of the Home Secretary, and I did not hear one single argument against the Amendment. In fact, so far as the speech went, it was an admission that there was great reason in the Amendment, and that the only reason which was advanced against accepting it was that there was an alternative course — namely, the Standing Order. If that is all the reason which can be advanced for resisting tile Amendment, the House will come to the conclusion, however it may vote, that this is a perfectly reasonable Amendment, that it is some protection to the minority, and that there is no adequate reason why it should not be inserted. We should remember that the position of the Speaker is going to be altered by the decision come to on a previous stage of the Bill. We cannot rely any longer that the position of the Speaker will be what it has been. It would be so obviously to the interest of the party in power—the party that controls the majority of the House of Commons for the time being—to take care that the decisions come to by the Chair will not be contrary to their interest, that there will be every inducement to obtain a 1147 Speaker who will not be unfavourable to the views which they put forward. It appears to me that there is every reason why there should be safeguards in the Bill itself to protect the minority, and to secure that due intimation is given—the Second Reading is obviously the right stage, and subsequently on the Third Reading—as to whether any Amendment inserted in the
§ Bill either in Committee or in the Report stage has altered the character of the Bill from that which it possessed when read a second time. There is every reason for inserting this Amendment in the Bill.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes. 119; Noes, 241.1149
|Division No. 233.]||AYES||[9.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Finlay, Sir Robert||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fleming, Valentine||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Forster, Henry William||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gardner, Ernest||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gibbs, George Abraham||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gilmour, Captain John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Goldsmith, Frank||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Baker, Sir Randalf L. (Dorset, N.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Ratcliff, R F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Grant, James Augustine||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gretton, John||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Banner, John S. Harmood||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan|
|Barnston, Harry||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Royds, Edmund|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Harris, Henry Percy||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bird, Alfred||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Boscawen, Col Sackville T. Griffith-||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hope, Hairy (Bute)||Spear, John Ward|
|Boyton, James||Hope James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanier, Beville|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Horner, A. L.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Houston, Robert Paterson||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Butcher, John George||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Stewart, Gershom|
|Campion, W. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Carilie, Edward Hildred||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cassel, Felix||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Kerry, Earl of||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Larmor, Sir J.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Law, Andrew Boner (Bootle, Lancs.)||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Macmaster, Donald||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Malcolm, Ian||Yate, Col. C. E. (Leics., Melton)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Younger, George|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Moore, William|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Newdegate, F. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir F.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Newton. Harry Kottingham||Banbury and Mr. Rigby Swift.|
|Fell, Arthur||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Brocklehurst, William B.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bryce, John Annan||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Adamson, William||Burke, E. Haviland||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dawes, James Arthur|
|Alden, Percy||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Delany, William|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Byles, William Pollard||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Dillon, John|
|Armitage, Robert||Chancellor, Henry George||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Doris, William|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Duffy, William J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Clancy, John Joseph||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Barnes, George N.||Clough, William||Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Clynes, John R.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Elibank, Rt. Han. Master of|
|Barton, William||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Elverston, Harold|
|Beale, William Phipson||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon, Sir J.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Bentham, George J.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Boland, John Pius||Cotton, William Francis||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Cowan, William Henry||Fenwick, Charles|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Ffrench, Peter|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Crumley, Patrick||Field, William|
|Brigg, Sir John||Cullinan, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roberts, George (Norwich)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Callum, John M.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Goldstone, Frank||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Manfield, Harry||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Marks, George Croydon||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Martin, Joseph||Rowlands, James|
|Hackett, John||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim N.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Millar, James Duncan||Sheehy, David|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Molloy, Michael||Shortt, Edward|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Smith, Aleut (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Munro, Robert||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Hayward, Evan||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Snowden, Philip|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Needham, Christopher T.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nolan, Joseph||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hinds, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Summers, James Woolley|
|Hodge, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Doherty, Philip||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Donnell, Thomas||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Dowd, John||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Ogden, Fred||Toulmin, George|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Malley, William||Verney, Sir H.|
|Johnson, William||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Shea, James John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wardle, G. J.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Joyce, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Keating, Matthew||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Webb, H.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Kelly, Edward||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Pointer, Joseph||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Leach, Charles||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pringle, William M. R.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Logan, John William||Radford, George Heynes||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Winfrey, Richard|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Lynch, A. A.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rendall, Athelstan||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|McGhee, Richard||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Gulland and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Maclean, Donald||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I beg to move in Sub-section (2) to leave out the words "contains only provisions dealing" and to insert instead thereof the words "deals only."
This may appear to be merely a drafting Amendment, but it raises an important point. The Bill as printed says: "a Money Bill means a Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons, contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects." The "following subjects" are, of course, financial subjects. I know that the Government—the Prime Minister said so in dealing with the question at an earlier stage—intend bonâ fide confine this definition, and therefore to confine the Clause, strictly to matters of finance, 1150 and it is a question of the greatest importance that this intention should be carried out. What we want is to have a perfectly clear and definite indication of what are financial measures. I venture to think that the words of the Bill do not carry out the intention of the Government. What they say is that these Bills must contain only provisions dealing with financial subjects, but if they contain only provisions dealing with financial subjects these provisions may deal not only with financial subjects but also with ether subjects.
I take it that the word "provisions" means clauses, sections, or sub-sections. It would be quite possible in the words of the Bill that these clauses or sections, in addition to finance, should contain other 1151 objects which were not strictly financial. I believe that that is not the intention of the Government. I believe that they intend, under Clause 1, that we should deal solely with financial matters, and that there should be no tacking, either openly or by the inclusion of other measures in the form of a Finance Bill. And in order to carry out that intention, I move this Amendment to make the Sub-section read: "A Money Bill means a Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Commons, deals only with all or any of the following subjects," which are financial matters. That makes the matter perfectly clear. The limiting adverb is "only." It is put down in the wrong place in the Bill before the word "provisions," and the Amendment suggested will make it perfectly certain that the subjects of the Bill are purely financial. The Speaker of the House of Commons is to be the authority to decide what is or what is not a Money Bill.
We object to that tribunal on grounds which were entered into fully earlier in the evening. That being so we want, at all events, to lay down for the guidance of the Speaker a formula which is perfectly clear that what we have got to deal with is not a Bill containing only provisions dealing with finance, but possibly also with other matters, but that it shall deal exclusively with financial consideration. When this matter was before the 'Committee I moved to insert the word "exclusively" after the word dealing. But the Home Secretary objected to insert the word "exclusively" on the ground that the word "only" was already in the line before, and that there was no object in having a redundancy of limiting adverbs. We get rid of that objection in drafting by leaving out the words "contains only provisions," and in that way we avoid this redundancy of limiting adverbs, while by putting the limiting word in the right place we make perfectly clear what is intended by the Clause.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I have much pleasure in -seconding this Amendment. It does seem that the words "only provisions dealing with," might mean provisions not only dealing with finance, but dealing also with other subjects. The correct way of putting it is the way my hon. Friend proposes, and I cannot conceive that the Government can have any legitimate objection to accepting the Amendment.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I may congratulate the House on this subject, which has been so long under discussion, we are at last reduced to this extremely fine point of disputation. I compliment the hon. Gentlemen who moved and who seconded the Amendment on their extraordinary dialectical subtlety, and on the minute and miscroscopic attention with which they have searched the sections, subsections, lines and words of this Bill to find some means of making it, if possible, more perfectly in tune with their inmost sensibility. But I venture to think that they have in this case gone further than is really necessary, and I am advised by those on whom the Government relies, and others who have been consulted in drafting this Bill, that there is absolutely no difference whatever between the words which the hon. Gentleman proposes, and those which stand in the Bill. I have been endeavouring to address my lay mind to a nice balancing of the two propositions, and to ascertain the difference between the words "contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects," and the words "deals only with all or any of the following subjects," and I am bound to confess that after considerable exertion I am unable to arrive at any sense of difference or distinction between the two. If there be any distinction I am advised, if it is possible to draw a distinction where no distinction exists, that the words used by the Government would be a little more restrictive than the words which the hon. Member proposes to apply. What is the Bill? It is a Bill which contains "provisions which deal only with any or all of the following subjects." [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] The words are, "Containing only provisions which deal with all or any of the following subjects." If they deal with subjects other than those, they cease to deal only with those subjects. Since the days when people discussed how many angels could dance on the point of a pin, a more difficult attempt at over-refinement I do not think was ever attempted by the House of Commons than that for which the lion. Gentlemen have made themselves responsible. We are advised that the words which are incorporated in the Bill effectually sustain the practice of this House, and we are trying to give full effect to the intention of the Government that measures which come under the first Clause shall be financial in their character. In these circumstances, while we 1153 offer our compliments and congratulations to hon. Members opposite in regard to their proposals, we see no reason to depart from the words included in the Bill, and a departure in this respect would be an endeavour at perfection far beyond the range of human capacity.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I congratulate the Home Secretary on the acuity of his lay mind. I do not want to labour the point which has been raised: it is a small one, but, inasmuch as a definition of what is a Money Bill is of importance under this Clause, it is very desirable that we should get the most accurate one. The Home Secretary very nearly gave us a definition, but he ran away from it, and did not show the usual courage of his opinions. His first thoughts were better than his second. The phraseology of the Bill which "contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects" means provisions which deal with those subjects, but need not prevent provisions dealing with other subjects as well. The Home Secretary, with his acuteness, suggested an Amendment which is just what we want. He suggested that we might have the words "contains provisions dealing only with all or any of the following subjects." If the Government are not prepared to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend they might accept the Amendment suggested by the Home Secretary. I really think that the Government are as anxious as we are to get a precise definition of what is a Money Bill, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will not allow his first thoughts to be overridden by his second thoughts.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
It is perfectly clear that the words "contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects" are perfectly distinct from the words "deals only with those subjects," under the words of the Government they might deal with all sorts of subjects as well as financial subjects. If the right hon. Gentleman will consent to the words "only provisions which deal only with any or all of the following subjects" we would be perfectly content. But if he leaves out the second "only," he makes it possible to introduce other subjects; they may by extension apply to all sorts of cognate or irrelevant subjects.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
This discussion only proves once again that there is nothing so technical in the world as a layman discussing a question of law. No 1154 lawyer could possibly touch this point in the way it has been dealt with by hon. Members. Let me say in one word what is the position, if any Member of the House still requires it. A Money Bill contains only provisions dealing with certain subjects. If it contains other provisions dealing with other subjects, then it does not contain only provisions dealing with those subjects. If it "contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following subjects" how can you make it contain other provisions? I have, perhaps, had very little training in this kind of discussions across the floor of the House, but I have had some experience of discussions of this kind in the Courts of Law. Let me put it in this way. Supposing your Bill contains only provisions of a certain character, and the provisions you are dealing with are apples. If you introduce into it pears, then it does not contain only apples. And that is the whole point which we are discussing.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
I think the Home Secretary, with the singular acuteness of his lay mind, has reached a conclusion better than that which the, most skilled lawyer could arrive at. The Home Secretary, quite unconsciously, following his natural instincts, read out the words as being "containing provisions dealing only with all or any of the following subjects." That is perfectly satisfactory, and I am quite certain that my hon. Friend would accept the Home Secretary's words. They perfectly 'dispel the ambiguity contained in the wording of the Bill. It is quite clear that there is a certain amount of ambiguity about it. The words proposed by my hon. Friend behind me are perfectly clear, the words proposed by the Home Secretary are perfectly clear, but the words of the Bill are doubtful. Under these circumstances, as the only desire of the Home Secretary is that the Bill shall be clear, I respectfully suggest that the opinion of the Home Secretary ought to be allowed to prevail rather than that of the Law Officers.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Either the words of my hon. Friend's Amendment and those of the Government have the same meaning or they have not. If they have the same meaning, why in the world should the Government not accept them. We say there is a real distinction, which may be of great importance, and I will illustrate it by a rather extreme example. Suppose that, in a Budget or Finance Bill provision was 1155 made that everybody was to send in some return of income within a certain number of days, that would undoubtedly be a subordinate provision incidental to the provisions of the Bill. But suppose you had added to that that the people were to do that subject to the pains and penalties of high treason, that would equally come under the Bill, but would make a revolution in the criminal law. There you would have a provision which dealt with finance, but which would deal with something else at the same time, and would make a real difference in the law. I submit there is a point of substance, and I would ask the Government if they could not put the word "exclusively" after "dealing."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
My lay mind has led me to form this opinion. I understand, as the Clause is, that "only" is governed by "contained." That means that if the Clause passes as it is now that a Bill which "contains only provisions," etc., will be a Money Bill, that it may contain twenty provisions and each of these must deal with the subjects mentioned later in the Clause. If the Bill contains twenty-one provisions, and the twenty-first provision has nothing to do with money, then it is not a Money Bill. If all those twenty provisions dealt with money and something else, then it is a Money Bill according to the provisions of this Bill. If the Attorney - General will only take out "only" after "contains" and put it after "provisions" it will meet our point.
§ Mr. MACMASTER
I must protest, after hearing the arguments on both sides, that I cannot discern any great difference between the provisions of the Bill and the Amendment, but I agree that greater clarity might be imparted to the Section without removing any of the words from
§ it, but by simply moving forward the word "only" from the place in which it stands after "contains," and inserting it not after "provisions," but after the word "dealing," so that the Clause would read, "contains provisions dealing only."
EARL of RONALDSHAY
I really think there is a difference between the words as proposed by the Government and those proposed by my hon. Friend. The Attorney-General suggested the analogy of a sack containing apples and a sack containing apples and pears. Let me illustrate the difference of the words to my mind. I might say this, "I went to a warehouse only containing boxes in which were apples." That is the Government wording. Then I might say, "I went to a warehouse containing boxes, in which were only apples." I maintain that the wording in the second case would necessitate that there were nothing but apples in the boxes, whereas the wording in the first case would admit of there being pears in the boxes.
§ Mr. PETO
I think many Members who have no claim to go into these nice legal distinctions, can see that it makes all the difference in the world where "only" is placed. The one place in which it ought not to be placed is the place where it is placed. To take in this virtuous word "only," place it among others, and as far as possible to smother it up and make it perfectly indistinct as to whether they mean apples or pears, or boxes containing partly apples and partly pears—that is indeed exactly the wording of this Bill.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 256; Noes, 159.1159
|Division No. 234.]||AYES.||[10.2 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Bentham, G. J.||Clough, William|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Black, Arthur W.||Clynes, John R.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Boland, John Plus||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Adamson, William||Booth, Frederick Handel||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bowerman, C. W.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Alden, Percy||Brace, William||Corbett, A. Cameron|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Bragg, Sir John||Cotton, William Francis|
|Armitage, Robert||Brocklehurst, William B.||Cowan, W. H.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, J. Annan||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Crumley, Patrick|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmett (Somerset)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Cullinan, John|
|Barnes, George N.||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Byles, William Pollard||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Barton, William||Chancellor, Henry George||Dawes, J. A.|
|Beale, W. P.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Delany, William|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Clancy, John Joseph||Dillon, John|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Deris, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Richards, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Logan, John William||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lundon, Thomas||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Eiverston, Harold||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burgh)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Falconer, James||McGhee, Richard||Rowlands, James|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Maclean, Donald||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Fenwick, Charles||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|French, Peter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Field, William||M'Callum, John M.||Scanian, Thomas|
|Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Manfield, Harry||Sheehy, David|
|Furness, Stephen||Marks, George Croydon||Shortt, David|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Gill, A. H.||Martin, Joseph||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Masterman, C. F. G.||Snowden, Philip|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meagher, Michael||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Menzies, Sir Walter||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Millar, James Duncan||Summers, James Woolley|
|Hackett, John||Molloy, Michael||Sutton, John E.|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Munro, Robert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Needham, Christopher T.||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nolan, Joseph||Toulmin, George|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Doherty, Philip||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Walters, John Tudor|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||O'Dowd, John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Ogden, Fred||Wardle, George J.|
|Hinds, John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Hodge, John||O'Malley, William||Watt, Henry A.|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Webb, H.|
|Hope, john Deans (Haddington)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Shee, James John||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Sullivan, Timothy||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whyte, A. F.|
|John, Edward Thomas||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Johnson, W.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pirie, Duncan Vernon||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pointer, Joseph||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Joyce, Michael||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Kelly, Edward||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Radford, George Heynes|
|Kilbride, Denis||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Gulland and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bridgeman, W. Clive|
|Aitken, William Max||Banner, John S. Harmood-||Bull, Sir William James|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Barnston, H.||Burdett-Coutts, William|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Butcher, John George|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Campion, W. R.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Carlile, Edward Hildred|
|Astor, Waldorf||Beckett, H on. William Gervase||Cator, John|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Bennett, Goldney, Francis||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Baker, Sir Randall L. (Dorset, N.)||Bigland, Alfred||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bird, Alfred||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Clive, Captain Percy Archer|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Boyton, James||Courthope, George Loyd|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Kerry, Earl of||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Kimber, Sir Henry||Royds, Edmund|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Rutherford, William (W. Derby)|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Larmor, Sir J.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Eyres-Mansell, Bolton M.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Fell, Arthur||Lewisham, Viscount||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Spear, John Ward|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Stonier, Beville|
|Forster, Henry William||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Gardner, Ernest||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Mackinder, Halford J.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Macmaster, Donald||Stewart, Gershom|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Malcolm, Ian||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Swift, Rigby|
|Grant, J. A.||Moore, William||Sykes, Alan John|
|Gretton, John||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Talbot, Lord Edmond|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mount, William Arthur||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Newdegate, F. A.||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Harris, Henry Percy||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hill, Sir Clement L.||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Hills, John Waller||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Perkins, Walter Frank||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Peto, Basil Edward||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hope, James Fitzaian (Sheffield)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Horner, Arthur Long||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Quilter, W. E. C.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Ratcliff, R. F.||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Hunt, Rowland||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Younger, George|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Colonel|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Rolleston, Sir John||Griffith-Boscawen and Mr. Cassel.|
Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "taxation" ["or regulation of taxation"] to insert the words "the imposition of new."
The object of the Amendment is to prevent charges now on the Consolidated Fund being taken off that fund for political purposes under the Guise of a Money Bill. Certain charges have been deliberately put on the Consolidated Fund in order to keep them out of the ordinary Parliamentary procedure and the turmoil of party politics. The most noticeable instance is the Civil List of His Majesty. Other instances are the salary of Mr. Speaker and the salaries of the judges. Under the wording of the Bill it would be possible to bring in a measure reducing the Civil List, or taking the salaries of judges off the Consolidated Fund, with the object of making judges amenable to this House by their salaries being on the Votes. The purpose of the Amendment is to prevent that. The next Amendment on the Paper, in the name of the Prime Minister, is also intended to prevent such results, but there is an ambiguity, because that Amendment refers to "the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on the Consolidated Fund.. or the variation or repeal of any such charges.
1160 Any charge on the Consolidated Fund—say, the giving of £5,000 a year to a judge —might be argued to be a charge for a financial purpose; therefore, taking that charge off the Fund would be making a charge for a financial purpose. Hence I submit that, though the object is the same, the words of the Prime Minister's Amendment are ambiguous, and I move my Amendment in order that the Attorney-General may make a statement which I have every reason to hope will be satisfactory.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
A Bill such as we had last year for the creation of two new judges would not be a Money Bill, because its main governing purpose was the creation of two new judges.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
What I had in my mind was rather a measure taking the salaries of the judges off the Consolidated Fund and putting them upon the Annual Votes. Such a measure as that would be strictly a Money Bill.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not know whether the hon. Member has noticed the 1161 words coming hereafter in the Amendment of the Prime Minister, which seems to meet every possible point raised by the hon. Gentleman? They meet the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, and are almost the identical words that the hon. Gentleman himself proposed in the course of the discussion.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The Attorney-General has courteously answered my hon. Friend, but I am not sure whether he apprehended the point. It would be a very substantial change of policy to take the salaries of the judges off the Consolidated Fund and put them on the Annual Votes in Supply. There are a certain number of non-controversial charges that it is very important should remain non-controversial, such as the salaries of the judges, the Civil List, and the salary of the Speaker. It is very important that these should not be under the year to year control of the Debates in this House. A Bill transferring these charges from the Consolidated Fund to Supply would raise at once a very grave question, and would really not be financial, though financial in form. The question of my hon. Friend was: Could these charges be transferred from one head to the other by a Money Bill within the Session?
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I beg, in the absence of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to move in Sub-section (2) to leave out the words "charges on the Consolidated Fund, or the provision of money by Parliament," and to insert instead thereof the words "the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on the Consolidated Fund, or on money provided by Parliament, or the variation or repeal of any such charges."
The Amendment is intended to meet the views expressed on the other side by hon. Gentlemen, and specially quoted and explained by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. The question has been put as to what is a Money Bill. When the Bill that is now before the House was presented in Committee we had certain words inserted which were designed to describe a Money Bill. Our object was to make it quite clear. We wished only to confirm the existing views, traditions, and practice of the House of Commons, in the first Clause of the Bill. 1162 During the course of the intricate and valuable discussion which took place upon this point in Committee certain objections were taken to our wording. It was suggested that in some respects our words were too wide and too vague, and that they not only achieved all the purposes which we had in view, but they opened up other issues wider than those which we seek in this Bill to bring within the scope, of Clause 1 and amenable to the authority of the House of Commons alone. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition was very precise and clear in drawing attention to the points to which he objected in the wording of our Clause. He took exception first of all to the expression:—Charges upon the Consolidated Fund.He said you ought to put in words to make it quite clear, such as'Charges for the payment of debt or other financial purposes.He then went further and said:—I do not see why you want the words 'or the provision of money by Parliament.' I believe it will be found that the clause without these words would carry out the intention of the Government, while the words themselves seem to be full of peril and ambiguity.The next sentence to which he drew attention was:—The appropriation, control or regulation of public money.There again he said:—I think you will have to put in the qualification, public money other than rates.'And he went on to say:—It would be a great convenience to leave out 'control or regulation.' I believe all you want is 'appropriation,' and I think you will see there is real peril in leaving in the words control or regulation.'He then said:—The raising of or guaranteeing any loan or repayments thereof is quite right.We have endeavoured, in accordance with the intimation given in the Committee discussion, to meet all these effectively. In the first place, during the progress of the Bill through Committee, we made it perfectly clear that this measure would not apply to rates, and that it would only be applied to public funds; and we introduced an Amendment giving effect to our intention and to the wishes of hon. Gentlemen opposite. The Amendment which I have the honour to move at this moment gives effect to the other pledges that were entered into by the Government. First of all, the words "charges on the Consolidated Fund," which the right hon. Gentleman thought were so wide as to include other Bills which put a charge upon 1163 the Consolidated Fund for carrying out any project whatsoever, are to be restricted, and we add the very words proposed by the Leader of the Opposition:—For the payment of debt or other financial purposes.These were the words which the right hon. Gentleman wished inserted, and we have put them in in order that it might be quite clear that a charge upon the Consolidated Fund would cease to be a money provision within the meaning of this Section if its governing purpose were other than financial. If, for instance, as was quoted at the time, the purpose was to provide two new judges; that would not be a charge upon the Consolidated Fund having the virtue of a money provision within the intention of the Act. It would be a political measure of which the financial provision was merely incidental. Our words exclude that, and limit the immunity enjoyed by charges on the Consolidated Fund to charges "for the payment of debt or other financial purposes." Then I come to "the provision of money by Parliament," which the right hon. Gentleman described as ambiguous and unnecessary. Those words, if this Amendment is accepted, will no longer figure in the text of the Bill, and they are replaced by other words of a more limited and restricted character which figure in the Amendment. In the next place there is the question which the Leader of the Opposition drew attention to of "control, or regulation," which he objected to.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The purpose is to secure that the provision in regard to money provided by Parliament shall be purely financial in character and shall not have a main or governing political object. The right hon. Gentleman went on to draw attention to the words "control, or regulation," to which he took particular exception, and it was explained, on behalf of the Government, that the reason those words figured in the Bill was that we wished to safeguard and preserve the Parliamentary machinery established for the regulation of the financial proceedings of this House and the country under the Exchequer and Audit Act of 1866. The right hon. Gentleman, accepting that general view of our intentions, pointed out that those words might carry us a great deal further, and might be held to 1164 cover matters extraneous to that almost technical purpose for which we had introduced them. We have, therefore, substituted for the words "control, or regulation" words taken from the title of the Exchequer and Audit Act of 1866, and we have adopted the words "receipt, custody, issue, or audit of accounts," instead of "control, or regulation." The new words are much narrower and limited to the payment of money into and out of the Exchequer under the control of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. These are the provisions covered by the Amendment which I now propose and seek the assent of the House to, and we bring them forward as the result of pledges given during the Committee discussion in order to endeavour as far as possible, by a more accurate definition, to meet the reasonable arguments and strong wishes expressed by hon. Members opposite.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I think we all recognise that the Prime Minister has endeavoured to meet the views expressed by the Leader of the Opposition very carefully and fully. What is doubtful in many of our minds is the meaning of the phrase "charges on the Consolidated Fund." There are certain salaries charged on the Consolidated Fund for officers who are paid for their services, and we were afraid that Bills might fall under the definition of a Money Bill the object of which might be to remove from the Consolidated Fund other charges which would bring the salaries under the influence of a political and a party atmosphere. That anxiety is, I may say, almost entirely removed by the Amendment of the Prime Minister. There is only one other point. I do not think we have really any cause for anxiety in the matter, but I will just call the attention of the Attorney-General to it. I take it the words "or the variation or repeal of any-such charges" are governed by the words "the payment of debt or other financial purposes," and that consequently they could not be construed to deal with the salaries of those officers whom it is important to keep out of ordinary political discussions in this House. That would remove some anxiety which we first felt when we read the wording of the Bill. I hope the Attorney-General will tell us exactly whether I am right or not in that supposition. We recognise that the words "control or regulation," which were very dangerous in the Bill as it stood, are very satisfactorily modified by the words "receipt, custody, issue, or audit of 1165 accounts," but I would further ask whether I am right in supposing the words "or on money provided by Parliament," which the Home Secretary, I think, was not easily prepared to explain, refer to the devotion to local authorities of money raised by taxation which otherwise would go into the National Exchequer.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The last point raised by the right hon. Gentleman is answered, I think, by the suggestion he himself makes. That is one instance, but, of course, you may have others. You may have money provided by Parliament for a certain purpose and ear-marked for that particular purpose, and it is in order to meet that the words are proposed. With regard to the other point put to me as to "the variation or repeal of any such charges," I read those words to mean the variation or repeal of any charges on the Consolidated Fund for the payment of debt or other financial purposes.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will inform the House whether these words will make it impossible to place the salaries of the judges on the Estimates?
§ Sir R. FINLAY
I think the words proposed are a very considerable improvement on the language of the Bill, without saying they are entirely free from all ambiguity. I may say I accept with very great satisfaction the lucid statement of the Attorney-General that these words would make it impossible under the Bill to take the salaries of the judges off the Consolidated Fund and put them on the Annual Estimates. The Home Secretary repeated what has been said so often from the Treasury Bench in the course of this Debate, that the only object of this Clause was to embody in it the existing law with regard to the relations between the two Houses in financial matters. I have often protested against that statement, and I desire to protest against it again, perhaps for the last time. I happened to take up a volume which lies on the Table, a Manual of Procedure on Public Business of the House of Commons, 1908 edition, prepared by the Clerk of the House for the use of Members and laid by Mr. Speaker, and I find, with regard to the relations between the two Houses on financial matters, that the main conclusions to be drawn from the course of practice may be stated as follows:—First, that the Lords 1166 ought not to initiate any financial legislation. That, of course, is well understood. Secondly, that the Lords ought not to amend any such legislative proposal. Then comes the third statement "that the Lords may reject the whole of the Bill embodying any such legislative proposal and. forming part of the Bill which they are otherwise entitled to amend, when such Amendment so rejected forms a distinct and separate subject." It is extraordinary that over and over again from the Treasury Bench we should have a statement made in direct contradiction to the Manual on Procedure of this House.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Will the Government consent to add at the end of the Amendment the words "for the like purposes?" While that would not alter the intention of the Amendment it would make it perfectly clear. I will move that.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause" put, and negatived.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I move to add, at the end of the proposed Amendment, the words "for the like purposes." I think that would make the matter perfectly clear.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We think the words in our Amendment "any such charges" cover the point brought forward by the Noble Lord. The words were carefully considered with a view to giving effect to pledges in the Committee stage, and we hesitate to add anything.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I think there is some doubt as to the meaning of the words in Sub-section (2) as to imposition and repeal. It is true the sentences are divided only by semicolons; but the point is would these come under the description of financial purposes charged on the Consolidated Fund. Evidently the words "the imposition" are governed by the words relating "to the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on the Consolidated Fund," or on money provided by the Bill. These charges may not necessarily be for financial purposes, and evidently the words "the imposition" are governed by the words "for the payment of debt for other financial purposes on the Consolidated Fund or on money provided by Parliament, or the variation or repeal of any such charges." I will not press my Amendment to the Amendment.
1167 Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
I think there are certain difficulties which I should like to point out. These new words are to take the place of "charges on the Consolidated Fund or the provision of money by Parliament," and is it quite clear that charges upon the Consolidated Fund are represented by the new words, "the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on the Consolidated Fund." I suppose I am right in thinking that these rather more elaborate words express the first words of the Bill, which are to be left out. The next words are, "or the provision of money by Parliament," and how can the words which are proposed to be substituted bear the least relation to those words? These words were either nonsense as originally introduced or you are introducing in the Clause of the Bill something entirely different, and which has a different purpose. Then the learned Attorney-General tells us it would not be possible under Clause 1 to bring in a Money Bill to alter charges on the Consolidated Fund, and to vary those charges in regard to the payment of the salary of Mr. Speaker, or the salary of the judges from the Consolidated Fund, or money otherwise provided by Parliament. Am I to understand that these words do not provide it, and if that is the case what is the meaning of the words, if you may include in a Bill coming under Clause 1 provision for the "variation or repeal of any such charges." Surely that means if these words mean anything in the English language—apart from all subtleties of drafting—that you may vary the charges. They now fall upon the Consolidated Fund, but you may put them upon money provided by Parliament, and on the other hand, you may take charges which are provided for out of money provided by Parliament, and put them on the Consolidated Fund. If these words mean anything I do not see how they do not mean that, and I think the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General should explain. If these words do not mean that Bills of that character are to be subject to no revision by the Second Chamber at all, I do not see how they can explain it.
§ Amendment made, leave out the words "control or regulation" ["the appro- 1168 priation, control, or regulation of public money"], and to insert instead thereof the words "receipt, custody, issue, or audit of accounts."—[The Prime Minister.]
§ Mr. BAIRD
I beg to move to leave out the words "incidental to those subjects or any of them," and to insert instead thereof the words "required to give effect to a Money Bill as defined in this Section."
The importance of the Amendment lies in this, that unless these words are inserted it will be possible for a measure to be introduced which may be incidental to any matters contained in the Clause or any part of the Clause, but they may be incidental to the extent of being part of the machinery of the Bill but not necessarily designed primarily for the purpose of giving effect to the alterations which they embody. It may be possible, for instance, to bring in a measure to alter the constitution of the Board of Inland Revenue. That undoubtedly would come under the head of the regulation of public money. It would equally be possible to bring in a Bill to provide for a retiring age for judges. That would come under the head of charges on the Consolidated Fund. I do not suppose it is the intention of the Government, however anxious they may be, to broaden the scope which will be afforded to them by this Clause. I suppose it is their intention to keep within reasonable limits and make this Clause really do what they have said they want to do, namely, to recognise legally the state of affairs as existing between the two Houses which have obtained hitherto. Unless the words of my Amendment are inserted that will not be achieved, and it will be quite possible for the Government to make use of the phraseology of this Clause for the purpose of bringing in, in the shape of a finance measure, a measure which is not primarily a Finance Bill, but which could colourably be presented as such, and possibly obtain Mr. Speaker's certificate as a Finance Bill, and be withdrawn from the purview of the House of Lords. It is for the purpose of preventing that that I submit with rather more confidence than probably otherwise I should have done, this Amendment to the attention of the Government. We cannot pretend that they have been unduly anxious or ready to meet the Amendments which have been moved from this side, however important they may be, but I hope they may see their way to accept this. If I have read the Bill rightly, it is not an 1169 Amendment which alters the intention of the Government so far as it has been possible to understand their intention from the few speeches that have been made on that side of the House, but it is an Amendment to clear up a point which would remain in doubt unless the words are inserted which I propose. The danger of leaving the Clause in its present form is precisely that it would be possible to bring in a measure incidental to any of these matters referred to—Supply, appropriation, control, or regulation of public money or the raising or guaranteeing of any loan—and it would be quite possible to bring in a measure incidental to any of these points, though they would not be the principal part of the measure. It is to ensure that the measure brought forward shall in fact be a finance measure primarily and above all things, and not a measure incidental to any of those subjects, that the Amendment is proposed. I hope the Government will see their way to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The dangers which the hon. Gentleman has adumbrated are, I think, fully guarded against by the category of subjects contained in the definition of what is a Money Bill, but in so far as there can be any possible doubt the Government, in order to make sure that their intention and the intention of the House will be given effect to, have introduced the word "subordinate" in the middle of the same line which the hon. Gentleman desires to amend, so that the sentence reads, "or subordinate matters incidental to those subjects or any of them." Surely that is a sufficiently clear and precise definition to meet the object we have in view. There is first of all a description of the financial provisions which are to have the immunity of a Money Bill. Then we have the provision that "subordinate matters incidental to those subjects or any of them" are also included. We think that our words are preferable to those which the hon. Gentleman proposes to insert. We were of opinion, when the subject was discussed in Committee, that with the word "subordinate" in the Clause no serious difficulty would arise. I would regret any alteration in the words.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
From what has fallen from the Home Secretary it would appear that the Government do not understand what is meant by the Amendment. I must say it seems to me that the words of the Amendment are more decisive than the 1170 words in the Bill. I do not think that the addition of the adjective "subordinate" can be said to meet the case. As I understand the intention of the Government in this Clause was to provide that a Bill should be a Money Bill if it dealt with any of the financial subjects specified, or in some way dealt with subordinate matters which were necessary for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions in regard to purely financial matters. It seems to me that the words which the Government have selected are ambiguous, because it would be perfectly open to them on those words to say that a Bill might be deemed to be a Money Bill because it dealt with such a subject as valuation, which might be regarded as subordinate to a measure of taxation which was going to be embodied in another Bill. That I am sure is not the intention of the Government. The intention of the Government is that this Clause is to cover only subordinate matters embodied in the same Bill for the purpose of giving effect to proposals involving taxation. If that is their intention the words proposed by my hon. Friend seem a great deal clearer than those of the Government.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
In reply to the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Finlay) who has just addressed the House and who suggested that valuation would be scarcely a matter dealing with finance, even though some of the taxes in the Finance Bill were to be based on the valuation, I wish he had consulted his right hon. Friend next him (Sir William Anson) before he made such a suggestion. When the Budget of 1909 was introduced, but before it was printed, though the Land Taxes had been adumbrated, the right hon. Baronet made a speech upon the suggested Land Taxes and at page 1200 of volume 5, for the year 1909, he made the following observations with reference to Land Taxes: "If these taxes are to he imposed without hardship and uncertainty, and possible inequality, they must be imposed upon a clear and satisfactory scheme of valuation," and he went on to say that it would not be very satisfactory, after the taxes were imposed, that a scheme of valuation should follow. Therefore it is clear that he believed that valuation was one of the most necessary elements to be dealt with in a matter of that kind.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
The hon. Gentleman entirely misunderstood me. What I referred to was a separate scheme dealing 1171 with valuation. The intention of the Government, I am sure from what the Home Secretary said, was with regard to the provisions only contained in the financial measure itself and subordinate to the provisions of that financial measure.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Here is a case which might possibly arise. Supposing during the present Parliament the Government were anxious to deal with a subject, and suppose they dealt with it in the first instance under Clause 2, and differences arose betewen the two Houses, and supposing they were not able to approach the question during the next following Session and that the Parliament was coming to an end before they could deal with the matter under Clause 2 in that Parliament, it is not at all inconceivable that they would be pressed by their supporters to deal with it otherwise, and they would be obliged to do it under the terms of Clause 1.
§ Suppose they proposed that no teacher should have his salary voted according to the Vote in Supply they might insert a Clause to that effect in the Appropriation Bill, and they might bring the whole Voluntary School system of the country to the ground by a restriction strictly incidental to the appropriation of Supply for the purposes of education, and they could in this way carry out a political object of the highest possible importance. Under my hon. Friend's Amendment that would not be so.
§ And, it being Eleven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 8th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 272; Noes, 185.1175
|Division No. 235.]||AYES||[11.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Cowan, W. H.||Harmsworth, R. L.|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Adamson, William||Crumley, Patrick||Harwood, George|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cullinan, J.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Alden, Percy||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Armitage, R.||Dawes, J. A.||Hayward, Evan|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Delany, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henry, Sir Charles S.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Dillon, John||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Donelan, Captain A.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Doris, W.||Hinds, John|
|Barnes, G. N.||Duffy, William J.||Hodge, John|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Hope, John Deans (Haddingtan)|
|Barton, W.||Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Hudson, Walter|
|Beale, W P.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Hughes, S. L.|
|Beauchamp, Edward||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Hunter, W. (Govan)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel|
|Bentham, G. J.||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Elverston, H.||John, Edward Thomas|
|Boland, John Pius||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Johnson, W.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Essex, Richard Walter||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brace, William||Falconer, J.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushclifte)|
|Brady, P. J.||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Fenwick, Charles||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Ferens, T. R.||Jowett, F. W.|
|Brunner. J. F. L.||French, Peter||Joyce, Michael|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Field, William||Keating, M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Kelly, Edward|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||France, G. A.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Byles, William Pollard||Furness, Stephen||Kilbride, Denis|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Gelder, Sir W. A.||King, J. (Somerset, N.)|
|Chancellor, Henry G.||Gill, A. H.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lansbury, George|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Goldstone, Frank||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Clough, William||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld,Cockerm'th)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Griffith, Ellis J.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Gwynne, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Logan, John William|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hackett, J.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Corbett, A. Cameron||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Lundon, T.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hardie, J. Keir||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Lynch, A. A.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West).|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Summers, James Woolley|
|McGhee, Richard||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Maclean, Donald||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Pixie, Duncan V.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Pollard, Sir George H.||Tennant, Harold John|
|M'Callum, John M.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|M'Laren, F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Toulmln, George|
|Manfield, Harry||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Marks, G. Croydon||Pringle, William M. R.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Radford, G. H.||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Martin, J.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Masan, David M. (Coventry)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Meagher, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wardle, George J.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Rendall, Athelstan||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Millar, James Duncan||Richards, Thomas||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Molloy, M.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Webb, H.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleaphas||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Munro, R.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Robinson, Sidney||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Roche, John (Galway. E.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Nolan, Joseph||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Rowlands, James||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rowntree, Arnold||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|O'Dowd, John||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Ogden, Fred||Sheehy, David||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Shortt, Edward||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|O'Malley, William||Simon, Sir John Ailsebrook||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr|
|O'Shee, James John||Spicer, Sir Albert||Gulland and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Cautley, M. S.||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Aitken, William Max.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks., Abingdon)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hill, Sir Clement|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hillier, Dr. A. P.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hills, John Waller|
|Astor, Waldorf||Courthope, G. Loyd||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hoare, S. J. G.|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Mohier, G. F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Craik, Sir Henry||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Dairymple, Viscount||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Dickson, Rt. Hon, C. Scott||Horner, A. L.|
|Banner, John S. Hammond-||Dixon, C. H.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hume-Williams W. E.|
|Barnston, H.||Duke, Henry Edward||Hunt, Rowland|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Faber, Capt. W V. (Hants, W.)||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fell, Arthur||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.|
|Beckett, Hon. W. Gervase||Finlay, Sir Robert||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Fisher, W. Hayes||Kerry, Earl of|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Kirkwood, J. H. M.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish||Fleming, Valentine||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Bird, A.||Forster, Henry William||Law, Andrew Bonar (Bootle, Lancs.)|
|Boscawen, Col. A. S. T. Griffith-||Gardner, Ernest||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Gibbs, G. A.||Lee, Arthur H.|
|Boyton, James||Gilmour, Captain John||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Goldsmith, Frank||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Grant, J. A.||Lyttelton, Pt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Gretton, John||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Campion, W. R.||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hall, C. B. (Isle of Wight)||Macmaster, Donald|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Cator, John||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Rice, Hon. W. Fitz-Uryan||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Rolleston, Sir John||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Moore, William||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Rothschild, Lionel de||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Royds, Edmund||Touche, George Alexander|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool., W. Derby)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Sanders, Robert A.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Sanderson, Lancelot||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Paget, Almeric Hugh||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Spear, John Ward||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Stanier, Beville||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Perkins, Walter Frank||Starkey, John R.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Peto, Basil Edward||Staveley-Hill, Henry||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Stewart, Gershom||Tate, Colonel C. E.|
|Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Quilter, William Eley C.||Swift, Rigby|
|Ratcliff, R. F.||Sykes, Alan John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Talbot, Lord E.||Baird and Mr. Mount.|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
§ Mr. SPEAKER
then proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 8th May, to put forthwith the Questions to any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given, necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Eleven of the clock this day.
§ Amendments made:—
§ In Sub-section (3), at beginning, insert the words, "There shall be endorsed on."
§ Leave out the words "shall be accompanied by a," and insert instead thereof the word "the."
§ After the word "Commons" ["certificate of the Speaker of the House of Commons"] insert the words "signed by him."—[The Attorney-General.]
§ Bill, as amended, to be further considered to-morrow (Wednesday.]
Adjourned at Eighteen minutes after Eleven o'clock.