HC Deb 28 February 1912 vol 34 cc1446-91

I beg to move, "That, in the opinion of this House, any measure providing for the delegation of Parliamentary powers to Ireland should be followed in this Parliament by the granting of similar powers of self-government to Scotland as part of a general scheme of devolution."

In moving this Resolution I would like to say that my support of Home Rule for Ireland is not conditional on any promise by the Government to support this Motion. I am prepared to support Home Rule for Ireland upon its merits, in the full belief that, if Ireland gets the measure of Home Rule for which she has so long and so courageously fought, and a similar measure of self-government is denied to Scotland, such a wave of indignation will spread over that country as will shake every Liberal seat to its foundations. In the second place, I believe that the practical difficulties in endeavouring to establish Home Rule for Ireland without extending it to the other elements in the Kingdom will be such that it would be forced upon statesmen that there is no half-way house in a scheme of devolution. There has been an unbroken policy in Scotland ever since the Union in favour of self-government. No doubt it has ebbed and flowed, but its leading statesmen have continually advocated this policy, and, though now and then they were quiescent, there was never any relaxation in the efforts of many of her leading men to keep this policy to the front. No unitary form of government has ever had sufficient cohesive force to harmonise the conflicting interests of two diverse peoples under different conditions, with different traditions, and different political ideals. It has never been done in history. It could not be done under Roman sway. It could not be done under Russian sway. It was a failure when the effort was made to unite in a unitary system Ontario, predominantly Protestant and English, with Quebec, predominantly French and Catholic. It is a conspicuous failure in Ireland to-day, and, if less conspicuous in Scotland, it is no less a failure.

No confederate system of government has ever yet succeeded from the days of the Achæian League, to the days of the attempt to unite the thirteen American Colonies. It was a failure in America. It was a failure in the German Confederacy of 1815. It was a failure for two reasons: First, there was no superior sovereign power that was able to speak finally for the common interests of all the constituent States, and, in the second place, there were tariff walls that made for repulsion, disunion, friction, and bitterness. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is what the Irish want."] That is what the Irish are not going to get. I want to emphasise this point, because Customs always has been and still is a federal function. The Confederacy in America failed largely because of the absence of a sovereign power representing the common interest of all the constituent States, and partly because each of these individual States had its own Customs tariff and its tariff wall. The system failed in the German Confederacy for the same reasons. Each of those constituent States also had its own tariff system and its own tariff wall. Some of the single States had numerous tariff divisions. Prussia had no fewer than sixty-seven. All confederate forms of government have failed. It was not until the federal idea evolved itself in the minds of American statesmen and found practical application in the American Federal Constitution that the great problem was solved. These statesmen discovered that you could classify political functions into two great divisions; those functions that were common to all the States and those functions that were special to each; and having made that classification they set up a sovereign power to represent the common interest of all States, while retaining for each of the thirteen individual States a sovereign power in its particular sphere. Thus they solved this problem, and we have what we know to-day as the triumphant Federal Union of the American States.

Whenever this classification of political action was brought about and statesmen saw that there was need for a common defence, that there was need for unitary action with regard to foreign affairs, that there was a necessity for unitary action with regard to Customs and tariffs, and that there was a necessity for inter-State Free Trade, for a common patent right and copyright, and all those functions which are common to all the States, they surrendered to this new sovereign power all these functions, but jealously maintained for each of the States that amount of sovereign power which was necessary in its own sphere of action. This, then, was a true union, a true evolutionary political union, a union in all those interests that were common, a separation in all those interests that were special. So successful was the Federal Union of the United States of America, that it was followed by a Federal Union in Canada in 1867, by a Federal Union in Germany in 1871, by one in Switzerland in 1874, in Brazil in 1891, in Australia in 1901, and in South Africa in 1908. This, then, has been the march of Federal Union: it has been the accepted system of government wherever you have diverse peoples with different traditions and different political ideals and aspirations. Let us for a moment glance at the Union with Scotland in the light of these fundamental and evolutionary facts. The Union of 1707 was not a union in the true political sense. It was a political absorption. There was a country party in Scotland, who with the Scottish Commissioners themselves were in favour of a Federal Union, a Union in all things common to Scotland and England, and a complete separation in all things special to each of the two countries; but they were overruled. England was determined to have an incorporating Union and the country party, the protagonists of the Federal Union, Andrew Fletcher and others, and the Scottish Commissioners, were defeated partly by the insistence of England and largely by the aid of her purse.

If we had been given true political union, Scotland would have retained her authority over all those matters which were special to Scotland. To use the admirable phrase of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, Scotland would have had a Parliament in Edinburgh, with an Executive responsible to it, charged with the management of purely Scottish affairs, and subject to the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament. That is what we want now, and it is the mistake of 1707 we wish to correct. You cannot withdraw political independence from a country without injuring it, and Scotland has suffered ever since 1707. She has seen her Church split by patronage, and she has seen her country depopulated by an outward stream of emigration owing to her iniquitous land laws. I am one of those who believe that people ought to be free to migrate as they will and where they will, but I believe, also, that no people should be forced to leave their country because of the injustice of the laws under which they live. There has been an unwilling and a reluctant emigration from the country districts of Scotland. She has seen depopulation going on, but she has been powerless to stop it. She has seen deer take the place of men. She has seen her education system, which is her pride, hampered by a bureaucratic control in London instead of being controlled by a local Parliament in Edinburgh. She has seen her liquor traffic flourish and extend its pernicious influences to hamlets and cities and homes, and she has been powerless to stop it. She has been forced, not only to run the gauntlet of the liquor trade in her own country, but to come to London and submit any temperance reform dear to her heart to English brewers and Irish distillers. She has seen many of her people taxed to support a Church in which they have no interest or concern, and she has been powerless to redress that injustice, an injustice that has often led to civil war in the history of nations. She sees time and again Bills introduced into this House originally designed to cover both countries, but ultimately found impossible to adapt, because of her legal terminology; or complicated application clauses found difficult of interpretation, and requiring that they should be abandoned altogether and separate legislation introduced. Within eleven years 523 Bills have been passed by this Parliament, and only forty-four of that number applied exclusively to Scotland. That would at first sight not appear to be a great injustice, but there are so many separate departments of public activity in Scotland to be considered which are essentially distinct from similar departments in England. Scotland has her own Local Government Board, she has a separate Church, she has a separate judiciary, she has a separate licensing system, she has a separate banking system, she has a separate paper currency, a separate public health system, a separate rating and housing system, and separate education. All these require separate legislation. You have a large amount of devolution in that way without the control and the legislation that should attend it.

Having all these separate public activities and public institutions in Scotland, it is obvious that if you have to legislate separately for them the passing of only forty-four Bills out of 523 in eleven years, is a very inadequate share of legislation. What is the complaint of Scotland? The complaint of Scotland is that her legislation is delayed or denied, that she is ripe for reform half or a quarter of a century before England, and that she cannot take a step forward until she has converted England to her way of thinking. She holds a peculiar position in regard to education. She established compulsory education in 1496, and her educational system has been growing and spreading ever since, so that her people have the cumulative advantage of that education. Within my own experience of the workshops of England, when a newspaper was sent round among the workmen, the cry was "Where's Scottie." None of the other workmen could read, and the Scotchman was the only one able to make them acquainted with the contents of the newspaper. Scotland is ripe for democratic reform a quarter of a century or more before England, and she asks why she should wait till England sees eye-to-eye with her before she is allowed to take a step forward.

Westminster's reply is, "We cannot attend to your local business; we have business infinitely more important." The machine is breaking down; the Parliamentary machine is overloaded; foreign affairs are becoming more and more complex, requiring more and more care and attention; the people demand more information, and ask leave to play a larger part in our foreign relationships. New Colonies have arisen. The Colonies send representatives periodically to Britain with new schemes, new demands, and new suggestions, and although we fill them up from our bounteous table, in all other respects we send them empty away. We have no time to consider, far less to thresh out, their suggestions and their schemes. Not only that, but there is more Commonwealth activity here than ever. We have old age pensions and national insurance; we have party antagonisms, which obstruct legislation in this House. There is no objection to discussion, but it is necessary to use such devices as the Closure, the guillotine, and the kangaroo in order to stifle, not discussion but obstruction in the interests of party. Not only has the work of Parliament enormously increased, but the work of local government, the demands of localities, have increased. In two years, from 1908–9, there were numerous local Acts applying to a number of different towns in Scotland—Water Acts, Tramway Acts, Gas Acts, Electricity Acts, Burgh Extension Acts, Harbour Acts, Railway Acts, and Acts relating to building and regulations in various places. All these had to pass through the complicated machinery of these two Houses of Parliament.


The Private Bill Legislation Act.


Even that is a failure and is condemned. In Australia they have fourteen Houses of Parliament and seven Legislatures, and they are busy legislating all the time. If we had as many legislatures here in proportion to population we would have sixty and no less than 120 Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom, and Scotland would have fourteen Houses of Parliament. Yet Australia has no foreign affairs, no colonial affairs, no army and navy occupying her time, and she relegates such industrial disputes as are now occupying the time of our Prime Minister and half the Cabinet, to boards of conciliation and arbitration. The facts we have to face are these: If there were no political bigotry, no religious rancour, no demand by Ireland, from sentimental or other reasons, for self-government, Westminster would still be forced to establish a legislative and administrative division of labour, and relegate to the periphery those functions which are local, and retain at the centre those matters which essentially affect the whole of the localities in common. No composite country then has ever succeeded under a unitary system or under a confederate system of government. The federal system is the only one which solves the problem which faces us to-day. Mr. Gladstone said in 1889 on the Scottish Home Rule Bill:— If I am to suppose a case in which Scotland unanimously, or by clearly preponderating views, were to make a demand on the united Parliament, to be treated not only on the same principle but in the same manner as Ireland, I cannot deny the title of Scotland to urge such a claim. … I hold that all judicious devolution which hands over to subordinate bodies duties for which they are better qualified by local knowledge, and which at the same time sets free the hands of Parliament for the pursuit of its proper business, does not weaken it, but strengthens it, gives vitality to it, and makes the people more than ever disposed to support the supremacy of Parliament. That time has arrived, for Scotland has already, through the Liberal Association, pronounced in favour of self-government, and her Liberal Members have unanimously passed a resolution in its favour. A Resolution was carried in this House in 1894, and the Second Reading of a Home Rule Bill for Scotland was passed only last year. [An HON. MEMBER: "The First Reading."] Lord Rosebery, speaking at Cardiff, in 1895, said:— The more I see of our political system, the more I am convinced of this that in a large measure of devolution, subject always to Imperial control, lies the secret of the future working of our Empire. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman used these words in an address to his constituents:— The excessive burden of work now imposed upon Parliament can only be relieved by a large measure of devolution. It is for this reason, as well as from a sense of right and justice to the nationalities concerned, that I regard as urgently necessary the creation for the three kingdoms of subordinate legislative assemblies dealing with the distinctive affairs of each. The Prime Minister, speaking at Earls-ton on the 3rd October 1908, said:— I have always held the view, and hold it still more strongly with each year of increasing experience at Westminster, that there is no other solution of the congestion of the Parliamentary machine, in which it may be Scotland suffers more than any other part of the United Kingdom, than by some form of delegation of Parliamentary business in regard to local matters to local authorities with local knowledge and local responsibilities. Again, at Manchester the Prime Minister said:— The Liberal policy seems to me to be clear. First of all we have got to settle the relations between our two Chambers. We have then to see to the delegation of local affairs to the localities which they really concern. The Home Rule which we demand for Scotland is not the Home Rule that Canada enjoys or Newfoundland enjoys; nor the Home Rule that New Zealand, or Australia, or South Africa enjoys. The Home Rule we demand for Scotland and the Home Rule which is demanded for Ireland, is that which is enjoyed by every one of the constituent States of the Canadian Union, and no more. Canada to-day has the right to separate. It is not proposed to give that power to Ireland or to Scotland. Canada has the power to put a duty on our products, and she does. It is not proposed to give to Scotland or Ireland that power. Customs is a federal function, always has been, and must remain a federal function. Canada to-day can sign International agreements, within certain limits. It is not proposed to give Scotland or Ireland that power. The words of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford will equally apply if spoken of British Columbia. British Columbia has a Parliament at Victoria, with an executive responsible to it, charged with the management of purely British Columbian affairs, and subject to the supremacy of the Canadian Parliament. There is no danger, therefore, of separation. It would be as impossible for Ireland or Scotland under this scheme of devolution to separate as it was for the Southern States to separate from the American Union.


What about Sweden and Norway?


They had not a Federal Union. They had a Regal union, which is quite a different thing. There is no danger of separation; there is no danger of disloyalty. Britain learned in the infancy of her Empire building that to give freedom was to gain loyalty; to release a people was to bind them tightly; to bestow power was to have it more abundantly. She found Canada and set her free; she peopled Australia and gave her liberty; she subdued New Zealand and sent her on her way rejoicing; she conquered South Africa and then returned her to her foes. With every extension of freedom to these great young nations by the mother of them all the tie that binds became stronger and more enduring, and in this triumphant strength and unity to-day they rise up and call her blessed. A lesser liberty, for that is all that is sought, granted to Scotland and to Ireland, and, when demanded, to England and to Wales, will produce no less happy results.


I beg to second the Motion. The Mover of this Resolution and I have come to the same conclusion from opposite ends of the Empire. My hon. Friend, untainted by our insular controversies, has dealt with the broad aspects of federation, aspects which were urged with much force by Sir Joseph Ward on behalf of New Zealand at the recent Colonial Conference, and if Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who at that time represented the views of Canada, did not take a precisely similar view, yet our present Parliamentary system is no object of admiration in Canada, as the late Governor-General can inform his hon. Friends if they wish to know about it. In short, this Resolution represents the growing general opinion in the Empire from Scotland to New Zealand in favour of disentanglement of all local and national from Imperial affairs. On the eve of a third effort to deal with the case of Ireland in this House we invite the House to resolve that the delegation of powers from this House to subordinate legislatures is essential to the good government of each division of the United Kingdom, as well as to the unity and security of the Empire as a whole. We ask the Government to definitely recognise that in dealing with Ireland, as they are bound to do in this Session, and as we are going to back them in doing, that they are taking the first step in a policy which they have to complete if they can in this Parliament, at least so far as Scotland is concerned, when like provision for England and Wales must automatically follow. No doubt it seems less simple here than it does in the Oversea Dominions to effect a delegation of powers, yet in 1880 Mr. Gladstone struck the keynote of our policy when he said that: We have an over-weighted Parliament, and if in time any part of the United Kingdom was so able to re-arrange its affairs as to withdraw the local part of its transactions from the hands of Parliament, which would liberate and strengthen the Parliament for Imperial concerns, he would zealously support that policy.

Since then we have tried many devices towards that end. In 1884 Scotland combined upon the Scottish Office policy as a possible solution. Its failure through twenty-five years is alone a strong reason in favour of Scottish national self-government. Throughout our heated Irish controversies of that time the need for devolution was recognised by nearly all parties. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Mr. J. Chamberlain) urged National Councils all round. Lord Salisbury proposed a Provincial Council for Ireland. Lord Randolph Churchill brought to an end Lord Spencer's Administration in Ireland. Lord Carnarvon conducted his private negotiations there. Men of all parties approved of Imperial Federation. The letters of "Pacificus" have been the most recent contribution from the Unionist party towards the same end. These various proposals were supported by various arguments; yet, looking back over past years, it is apparent that one dominant purpose runs through them all, namely, to relieve the overloaded Parliamentary machine and to disentangle local and national affairs from those which naturally fall within the sphere of an Imperial Parliament. If there was need then, there is tenfold greater need now. I admit that definite proposals, giving legislative effect to a policy so widely received, were limited to a Bill dealing with Ireland alone. But at the Home Rule elections in Scotland in 1866, 1893, and 1895, while Scotland stood firm by Mr. Gladstone and the Irish cause, she insisted steadfastly on the retention of the Irish representation in this House. And why? Because she instinctively felt that it insured federal development, in which she claimed a share.

Therefore it cannot be said that this revolution is inopportune or that it is an attempt to take advantage of Ireland's claim to press an inconsequent development. Nationalist Members have expressed their sympathy with us in return for the sympathy which we have given and shall continue to give to them. We as frankly accord their claim for priority as they will accord us our right of succession. We have also the support of the Labour party, while no more powerful plea has been advanced for the federal principle than those letters to which I have referred, signed by "Pacificus," in the "Times," addressed to his brother Unionists when the question of devolution by agreement hung in the balance at the Constitutional Conference. The fact is that no statesman can be satisfied with the existing Parliamentary machinery as we find it here. The evils of congestion are patent to us all—the condition under which free representative control over public administration becomes a fiction, the representative becomes a cypher, all authority is absorbed by Government, caucus, and bureaucracy, and progress depends on the closure, the guillotine, and the "kangaroo." We recognise that there is opposition to Home Rule from three causes, apart from any prejudice excited by the term and by its past associations. There is the conception in England of the Empire as a greater England controlled by an English Parliament. That is similar to Bismarck's view of Germany as a greater Prussia. But is it not clear that in the British, as in the German Empire, unity and efficiency are attainable only on federal lines? There is the opposition of property. I do not know whether there is any place where to-day property is safer than it is in Ireland. How would it be endangered under an English Legislature through the elimination of the Celtic fringe? As for Scotland, free enterprise and private rights are as well understood there as anywhere else, and would be no less safe under a local legislature than under this overdriven Assembly.

There is also the Ulster difficulty, in which, as a Scotsman and a Presbyterian, I have some interest, but on which exaggerated stress seems often to be laid. When the Scottish race is fairly treated it seldom fails to get on with other people, and the Presbyterian form of faith, whatever its faults, certainly does not come into conflict as a rule with other forms of religion. The Ulster difficulty cannot be allowed to shelve devolution, but it should be most equitably adjusted under a scheme based on Imperial policy and the Parliamentary situation, as well as upon national needs. Ulster has no more right to claim that the House of Commons should be continued as it is, than that the House of Lords should have been continued as it was. As to the position of the Government, we stand here in the Liberal interest as well as in the Scottish interest. This Resolution does not force the hand of the Government, it leads the Government on to the safest ground. For unless devolution be thus approached we shall find ourselves again, as we were in 1894, faced with the insoluble conundrum of the Irish in or the Irish out, or the Irish in and out in this House. That difficulty disappears once it is definitely agreed that Irish Home Rule is a part of Parliamentary necessity, and the first part of a general scheme of devolution of powers to be consecutively implemented by the same Government. Subsequent delegations should be simple enough, since powers for subordinate legislatures have to be similar in whatever variety of form they may be given, else there can be no federal basis, and there must be continuous confusion in the House itself. Surely if we have learnt anything from Ireland, from Scotland, from Colonial conferences, from the constitutional struggle, or from the conduct of affairs in this House, it is that the Constitution has to be adapted to the needs of the Empire, and that representative self-government has to be made effective throughout the United Kingdom. In conclusion, I have to ask my countrymen opposite what cause for satisfaction they can have over the existing Scottish machinery of Government? They cannot unload all their causes of dissatisfaction upon us, because the seventeen or eighteen years that they had control of the Scottish Office were barren years. They brought in one great and good Bill—the Education Bill—and it remained a pious aspiration. It was brought in in two consecutive Sessions of Parliament, and never passed.


What about the Licensing Bill?


I said one great and good Bill. The Licensing Bill may have been a "good" Bill, but it was not a "great" Bill. They cannot defend the existing conditions of Parliamentary service, under which no Scottish Member of Parliament can keep in touch with the ordinary life of Scotland, and be able to discharge his Parliamentary obligations. One of the best Scottish representatives, one whom we sorely miss, and one who will be missed on all sides of the House, Sir James Gibson, tried to do both. He overtaxed his strength, as it must overtax the strength of any man who tries to accomplish both. Some hon. Members believe in bureaucracy. Can they defend the conduct of our educational interests, however ably conducted under the present system? On paper a case for government by Departments may be made out, but in practice it means stagnation. You get "no furrader." Take the case of vagrancy. This has been reported on by fifteen Commissions and inquiries within the last seventeen years. The representative bodies concerned waited on the Secretary for Scotland the other day and invited him to act. With what result? They were exhorted to continue to diagnose the situation. That is a fair example of the state of paralysis brought about by a combination of centralisation and bureaucracy. Bureaucracy has no enthusiasm. It destroys it. Great reforms are carried by a living administration, are secured for the country through the dogged, persistent zeal of the representative individual whose place is found mainly under a free system of representative Government. That free system we have not got. Ours is no impractical ideal. It is that which we pursue, and shall pursue with all our energy until it is attained.

9.0 P.M.


The two speeches to which we have listened with great interest on every side of the House exhibited, it seems to me, one very interesting contrast. The right hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion, with his great experience of Parliamentary business, appealed to the federal majority which supports the Government. He scratched the back of the Irish party opposite, and he drew applause. He scratched the back—a more convenient back for the purpose—of the Labour party immediately beneath him, and they purred contentedly. But I noticed the hon. Gentlman became guiltily conscious presently that he must refer to the English Radicals. He is about to desert them, if he can get his way. His reference to them, I noticed, drew no cheers from them. They, provided he and his friends can be satisfied, are to be left to the tender mercies of the Unionist majority in England. I do not know whether the federal majority would work perfectly if it came to the Government proposing a measure for the purpose of carrying, not these general platitudes in regard to the advantages of local self-government, but, the practical division of Scottish from English government. On the other hand, the hon. Gentleman, the Mover, was, I noticed, less tactful. If I may venture to say so—and he will perhaps excuse me for so doing—he lectured the party below the Gangway as to precisely how much Home Rule he would give them. I noticed there was no cheer, and no purring content there in response to his utterances. The hon. Gentleman who proposed the Resolution comes, I believe, from the great Dominion of New Zealand. If there is an example of the success of unitary government he will admit it is there. In New Zealand they used to have some seven, eight, or nine separate Provinces. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin were more or less on a Home Rule basis of their own. I believe that the relatively recent history of New Zealand is that those distinctions have been abolished, and that you now have a map of New Zealand which is cut up into counties precisely as is the map of these islands. I venture to state that the hon. Member, with his experience, is the last man who should speak of the failure of unitary government.


I said unitary government amongst diverse peoples.


The question of diverse peoples I will deal with when I come to deal with my next point. The hon. Member's two main points, apart from the question of general political philosophy, as I gather, were that the Union of England and Scotland had been a failure: and on the other hand that there was a march of Federal Union—I think that was his expression—all the world over. I suppose we must throw ourselves in with this general tendency.

I have the honour to represent one of the Divisions of the great city of Glasgow. I do not think that city can hold that the Union with England has been a failure. If there is one thing which Scotland has achieved as the result of unity with England, it is the magnificent prosperity of Glasgow. If you want any indication of the early proofs of that fact I will ask hon. Members to remember the statue of William III., set up at Glasgow Cross on a site given by the City Elders between the '15 and the '45. They were Whigs then. Glasgow was then in favour of Union with England, and that statue was given by James M'Crae, a Scot who was already President of Madras. The Scots of Glasgow at that time proudly recognised—they were on the side of the Union with England—the opportunities which they had derived from it in sharing the rule of the Empire. The hon. Member says that there is a march of Federal Union all the world over. I am not so sure of that. I notice that his history ran in rather considerable periods which got telescoped into one another. He spoke of the Federal Union of Canada as following immediately after the Union of the United States. The Union of the United States, as the hon. Gentleman must know, was achieved as the result of their great difficulties. Any advance towards government in Washington was an advance towards union, such were the antagonisms of the thirteen colonies. The hon. Member must also bear in mind that as a result of the failure to get closer union in these early stages of the constitution of the United States, the United States had subsequently to fight the greatest civil war in history at a cost of a million men. The hon. Member who spoke of this general tendency must bear in mind that it was not after the original organisation of the United States, but directly after the Civil War in the United States that the federation of Canada was achieved. When that federation came to be achieved, it was not the looser federation that prevailed in the United States, but a closer federation which was achieved. In other words, the trend of the federal system, whether you look at the history of the United States or of Canada, is at the root towards something more adaptable to these days of railways and telegraphs.

You may support this demand from Scotland either on the basis of sentiment or on the basis of business. I do not know what your authority is for speaking in regard to sentiment. I received yesterday morning a paper illustrated and sent out by an organisation with a Noble Lord at the head of it. The chief grievance of that organisation was that in Scotland the Royal Arms are placed upon the Scottish heralds as three leopards passant in the first and fourth quarter, and not the lion rampant. If that is an example of the kind of sentiment with which we are asked to deal, I think we had better be more business like. What is the authority for representing this Committee as the National committee? I am not quite sure that it includes all the Liberal Members on the other side. I notice hon. Members opposite do not reply to that.


I will reply if I get a chance.


The right hon. Gentleman cannot give me a short reply in an interjection. Members have to explain that the national committee either does consist of all the Liberal Members opposite or it does not. If it does not they can easily say so, without any lengthy reply; but I notice they are still silent. The question is, What is your authority for this demand? You say the Liberal Members are a considerable majority from Scotland, and because a portion of them have united for the purpose of demanding Home Rule for Scotland, therefore Scottish sentiment is in favour of it. Of course, Scotland is misrepresented in this House.




Hon. Gentlemen refer to my own Constituency. Such instances as that of my own do something to correct the grave injustice which is represented by hon. Members opposite. May I remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that each of them, if you take the whole of Scotland at the last Election, and if Scotland had proportionate representation, each of them represents some eight or ten thousand constituents, while each of the Gentlemen from Scotland sitting upon these benches, including myself, represent something like twenty-five or thirty thousand? You have no right to mention your numbers. We admit you have a majority, but you have no right in your present proportion to represent the sentiment of Scotland. This is a question of Scottish sentiment. There are not a few hon. Gentlemen opposite—I am not quite certain it is not the majority of them—who hold their seats at present by virtue of the Irish sentiment in Scotland, and not Scotch sentiment at all. This is a question of Scottish sentiment. You are satisfied that this is a question of nationality and sentiment, but, if it is, let it be genuine Scottish sentiment. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are in this House by virtue in part of Irish sentiment, and not Scotch sentiment at all.

The position may be one of business. Is it a question of business then? You have learned a little bit of what a small instalment of Home Rule means under the Insurance Act. You have one law for Ireland and another law for Great Britain. You have no medical benefits in Ireland, and you have in Scotland. You have shipbuilding in Belfast and shipbuilding on the Clyde. You are opposed to Tariff Reform as giving an economic advantage to one country. What about the economic advantage that inequality of laws has given to shipbuilding in Belfast as compared with the Clyde. I venture to say that Harland and Wolff are really saving by several thousands a year in the matter of Irish charges as compared with the shipbuilders in Scotland. I am not for the moment complaining that the shipbuilders in Scotland should have to pay. I am not arguing at this moment the question of the Insurance Act. I am simply pointing out that already, by a small instalment of separate laws for the two countries, you are setting up economic inequalities and inequalities against Scotland. What practical advantage do hon. Gentlemen opposite hope to achieve by this scheme of Home Rule. In the Bill they put before us last Session they enumerated a number of subjects they wished to have reserved for Scottish discussion and decision. Amongst them, for instance, the criminal law. Do you contemplate a system of extradition as between England and Scotland? Take the case of divorce. Surely there are enough difficulties on account of the difference of the marriage laws already. You want a commercial law, but surely the general tendency is to assimulate it, and if you wish for assimilation, what better method than a single legislative organisation to attain it?

Hon. Gentlemen tell us it is not a case of Scotland solely, but it is because they are thinking of this much over-burdened Chamber in Westminster. Have they worked out that idea? Take such a form of Home Rule as was sketched by the First Lord of the Admirally in Belfast. He enumerated the safeguards which will bear apparently on that Parliament. Can it be believed that with these safeguards this House would be relieved of the discussions which have taken place hitherto? Will not hon. Gentlemen who will still be here from the other side of the Channel have plenty to discuss in regard to these limits put upon legislation by the Privy Council? That practically is Poynings' law again. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Wait and see until the Bill is produced. That practically means that if you do not take care you will have questions discussed here again which were previously discussed in the Minor legislatures. What sort of Federal scheme are we presented with? I hear it suggested that the House of Lords cannot be reformed until you have settled this question of federation, because this is to determine the question of the reform of the House of Lords. How is it possible that England, with its thirty-five or thirty-six millions of people, is to be represented in the Senate on the same principle or in anything like the same proportionate number of representatives as will come from Scotland or Ireland. You are attempting something that is unprecedented in the world. In Canada you have two provinces, Quebec and Ontario; they are much of a size; there you can have federation in which they balance one another in the general Assembly. In Australia you have the same thing, for there you find New South Wales and Victoria balancing one another. In Germany you have Prussia, and perhaps you would like to have the same kind of federal Government as we find there. This is a bogus and a sham agitation. You put this question up as a stalking horse, but what you want to do is to help Irish Home Rule. In this way you want to throw dust in the eyes of the people of Scotland who do not know Ireland, and you use these words "Home Rule" with separate Scotch and Irish meanings. In Scotland you say it means devolution, but in Ireland it means that there are two separate races, and you want one of those races to dominate the other. For those reasons I am opposed to this Motion.


Perhaps the hon. Member who has just sat down will pardon me if I remind him and the House that I believe the majority of his own constituency are Home Rulers. While this Motion refers to the necessity of self-government under a federal scheme, may I remind the Committee that it was my duty on this very day, the 28th February, six years ago, in 1906, to call the attention of the House to the neglect of Scotland and to the neglect more than all of the representation of organised workers in Scotland. It may be within the recollection of a number of hon. Members here that the question I complained of was the Poor Law Commission, and I think the result proves my contention, because we had not a single representative of organised or unorganised workers of Scotland on that body. From then till now strong representations have been made to me, and I have continually had to complain of the action of Government Departments in this matter, and to the want of Scottish representation on the different Boards. On the Trade Boards, the Industrial Commission on which even now we have not a single representative workman resident in Scotland. Besides the question about the Quartery of Arms, raised by the St. Andrews Society, they also complain that the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition was promised £3,000 last April, but it has not yet been paid, although £136,000 has already been paid over to Antarctic expeditions organised in England. Complaints have come down to us, not merely in regard to the question of federal government, but also on questions affecting our everyday existence. There is the question of education, in regard to which it is admitted in this House that Scotland has led the way, and yet we have been starved in certain requirements. Now we gather that the long overdue pensions to Scottish teachers which the English teachers have already received are again to be postponed because the English Treasury will not rearrange the financial requirements of the Scottish Education authorities. I think we have good reason for complaining of the way we have been treated in these matters. Then there is the inferior treatment of the Police in Scotland by the Treasury as compared with England. With regard to Home Rule, may I remind the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Mackinder) who asked what authority we had for urging this reform, that in my Election address in 1900 I stated:— With regard to Home Rule for Ireland, I am in favour of granting to the Irish people the fullest measure of autonomy in the administration of their internal affairs. I am, however, prepared to go further and would be in favour of granting autonomy to all parts of the Empire, with one central or Imperial Parliament over all in which all our Colonies would be equally represented, thus tending to the homogenity of the whole Empire and rendering the further existence of the House of Lords as a legislative body unnecessary. When we come to the year 1906 Home Rule was not made a burning question, but then I said:— I am in favour of a legislative assembly for the management of purely Irish affairs. We have endeavoured to govern Ireland by almost every means except that of allowing them to govern themselves. In January, 1910, I practically repeated my former pledges, and in December, 1910, I added to my former declaration:— This in time might lead to a federation of all English speaking peoples and ultimately be a centre for a league of peace for all countries in the world. The question of Private Bill procedure has been referred to. Let me point out that something like 120 Private Bills were introduced last year. There was the Dundee Harbour Bill affecting my own constituency which cost the town £4,400, and the Harbour authorities a somewhat similar amount. I think the expenditure in connection with Private bill procedure is a useless waste of public money. All that could be done by devolution if we had, as we ought to have, an authority in the district where it is required, and which would know far better the necessities of the district than a Private Bill Committee upstairs. Of course, we have got what was going to be the panacea for all Scotch grievances, the Scotch Grand Committee. I have sat for six years on that Committee, and I remember the long months we sat on the Land Bill. But even on that Committee we have been distinctly told by an English Member we have no right to legislate according to the opinions of the majority of the representatives of the people of Scotland. If that is so, then it is nothing but a farce, and it does not carry out the idea which suggested its institution. Both the Mover and Seconder dealt mostly with the advantages to Scotland, but I think it would be equally as great an advantage to this Parliament. What have we been doing all this week? We have been discussing details, necessary details, but not details for an Imperial Parliament. This House wants more time to discuss the Estimates, Civil Service, Army, Navy, and Post Office. No town council with its varying committees considering estimates, passes them through in the same slipshod manner as does this House, I speak with experience of a very important council.

This House sets itself an impossible task when it attempts to transact in detail both local and Imperial business. More time must be devoted to the control of finance. It must not be left merely to permanent officials, no matter how capable they may be. Then we have the great and vital question of foreign policy. That matter has not received that attention in this House which it requires and deserves. On foreign policy hangs more or less peace or war, and in a democratic country we ought to give more consideration to it than we do in this House. It is true the recent visit of our respected King and Queen brought the Indian Empire more prominently before the people of this country, but how many Members of this House have the knowledge which they ought to possess for dealing with the teeming millions of people in India. I hope the House will devote more attention to India and bring its Government more in accordance with the wishes of the Indian people. This one Parliament is endeavouring to do the impossible by attempting the work of five. Federal Home Rule solves many of the difficulties that came up when the previous Home Rule Bills were before this House. It relieves the question of the ins and the outs and the comings and the goings. We are, in fact, already a Home Rule Empire. Our different Colonies have adopted the method of devolution. We appear to be like a wheel. At the outer end of the spokes we have our self-governing Colonies. Then let us have at the inner end of the spokes self-government for the four countries comprising the United Kingdom, leaving the hub, the centre of all, to the Imperial Government for the whole Empire. Scotland is by Nature's laws designed to be the northern part of this Kingdom, but that is no reason why we should be subject to neglect, or why the wishes of the majority of the people should be ignored. Therefore, I hope the Government will take its courage in both hands and will make Irish Home Rule the beginning for all the other four round the hub, so that we can have Home Rule at the extreme end of the spokes and at the inner end, with one central Parliament of the whole Empire at the hub in the centre.


I must congratulate the hon. Member who moved the Resolution on the fact that it has fallen upon a very distinguished Member from New Zealand to move a Home Rule Resolution for Scotland in the British Parliament. I congratulate him that the mantle of Elijah has at all events fallen upon him, but I think he will find that with the mantle the simile ends. I do not think he will find any ravens are going to bring him any meat or bread from his political chief or from the Cabinet. He will find there is a great deal less sympathy for his Resolution in Scotland than he imagines. I am prepared to challenge a Division if hon. Members will have the whole of the Scottish Members here. I am particularly anxious to see the way Scottish Members, in spite of what they say at election times, are prepared to vote in this House. Hon. Members opposite have started this campaign of Home Rule to-night with an obvious sense of their own weakness, and there is a great deal of want of confidence about it. That is very clear when we take the reading of the Motion:— That, in the opinion of this House, any measure providing for the delegation of Parliamentary powers to Ireland should be followed in this Parliament by the granting of similar powers of self-government to Scotland as part of a general scheme of devolution. It is rather a curious fact that Scottish Members, and probably others, have been inundated with resolutions from a body called, "The Young Scots." I notice those who are "Young Scots" in the country are older Scots and a little more sensible and careful when they come to this House. The Resolution of the "Young Scots," which is the parent of this Resolution, and which some hon. Members here have moved themselves, declared, "That no scheme of Home Rule will be satisfactory which does not as an immediate result secure self-government for Scotland, and the other national divisions of the United Kingdom," and calls upon the Government to introduce and pass during the present Parliament a Bill establishing a legislative body for Scotland. Is the hon. Member prepared to put that Resolution instead of the present one? There is this difference between them. They say that no scheme of Home Rule (Irish Home Rule) will be satisfactory which does not, as an immediate result, secure self-government for Scotland. They are extremely warlike up in Scotland, but very dove-like when they come down here, for in this House they express a sort of pious hope that the Government, before it goes out, may bring in some measure of Home Rule for Scotland, whereas in the country they say, "We are not going to vote for Home Rule for Ireland unless the rights of Scotland to it are also conceded."


The hon. Member referred to me. May I—


The hon. Member will have an opportunity of replying later on. It would be better not to interrupt the speaker.


I understand from the argument of hon. Members opposite that if this Scotch Home Rule Bill is not tacked on to the Irish Home Rule Bill they will think the latter is unsatisfactory, and will vote against it. But I cannot understand how the majority of Liberal Members can come to this House and vote for Home Rule or devolution, or whatever they may choose to call it, when they have never mentioned it in their election addresses, when it has hardly ever been mentioned in Scotland, and certainly has never been mentioned officially since the movement first started. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I will prove my words. I undertook a very tedious business yesterday, and hon. Members opposite will, I think, sympathise with me, for I read through forty-eight Radical addresses. Of these forty-eight addresses there were only twenty-two which mentioned Home Rule, either for Scotland or Ireland, in any way. None of the rest even mentioned it, and, surely, if it was so important a subject as is suggested, they would have done so. But they neither put it in their addresses nor talked about it. It is a curious fact that the election addresses of all the Front Bench politicians in Scotland were to be found in the bundle of those which contained no mention of Home Rule. That, surely, is hardly a coincidence. It means, whatever you may say in the country, you know perfectly well that the Cabinet is not in favour of Home Rule for Scotland.

The Prime Minister never mentioned it. Is he nobody? Would he not be the very first person to mention it? Yet no reference to it appeared either in his last election address or in the one before. The Lord Advocate usually knows what is good electioneering, and what is not. He never mentioned it in his last election address or in the one before—in fact, he never mentioned any Home Rule at all. Then I come to the Secretary of State for War, a man whom the Scottish people trusted because they said he was a staid man and a good man to follow, and was not likely to lead them into a mess. He did not put it in his election address. Neither did the Patronage Secretary, and, in fact, from Sutherland to Berwick the great majority of the Liberal addresses did not contain any mention of Home Rule. Perhaps the most interesting, in view of recent events in the St. Rollox Division of Glasgow, will be the case of the Secretary for Scotland on this matter. I think I am correct in saying that in his address at the General Election before last the right hon. Gentleman did not mention Scottish Home Rule, and he was then returned with a majority of nearly 4,000 votes. At the last General Election again he failed to mention it in his address, but he spoke of it in the constituency, and the result was that his majority was reduced to 1,900 votes. Then, at the by-election, which has just occurred, he came out into the open; he went the whole hog, and his majority dropped to 469. Thus in one constituency alone we find at least 10,000 people are against Scottish Home Rule. There are some still stranger cases. First, there is the hon. Member for Inverness-shire, who said:— The old bogey of Home "Rule, deserted by the Tory Press till a month ago, is being now furbished up. He tells the electors that Home Rule was a bogey. I wonder if he is going to vote for that bogey now, or whether he will be afraid of the spook. Are hon. Members going to chase the supernatural throughout the Lobbies? At any rate, I do not think that was a fair way of putting the matter to the electors. I come to a still more curious aspect of Liberal tactics on Home Rule, and I will take the case of the hon. Member for South Lanark (Sir Walter Menzies), and I propose to read, if he will permit me, an extract from his election address with regard to Home Rule. This was at the Election of December, 1910, and the hon. Member, speaking of Home Rule, said:— Fear of Irish legislation in this direction need not have any deterrent effect upon electors of Liberal or Free Trade tendencies at this Election. If that meant anything it meant that the electors need not be in the least afraid that there was any chance of Home Rule coming up on this occasion, and he, at any rate, was going to discuss the "big loaf" and the "little loaf" and matters of that sort. But later on he said:— I will pledge myself, on the other hand, if returned as your member, not to support any measure which would give Ireland any power that could in any way, now or at any time, or under any circumstances, weaken the unity of the British Empire. The hon. Member talks of the "unity of the British Empire." Does he intend to divide up this country and Ireland into different Governments? It is rubbish on the face of it.


Did I not also say, in my Election address, that I thought the time would come for Scotland.


No. I do not think there is one word about Home Rule for Scotland. If I have made a mistake I should be quite prepared to withdraw, but I do not think I have done so. So far as the right hon. Member for Leith Burghs, who seconded this Motion, is concerned, I find it extraordinarily difficult to follow what he meant. It is difficult indeed to follow a right hon. Gentleman with such a kaleidoscopic mind as he possesses. And when he talks about the question of Home Rule, at all events the right hon. Gentleman ought to be consistent. What has been his conduct with regard to the Board of Agriculture. He once pleaded strongly, and brought in a Bill for a single and undivided control over both countries, and a few weeks afterwards he spoke strongly in favour of exactly the opposite of what he had previously said. Now the right hon. Gentleman has come back again, and is an English Forestry Commissioner. He is rather difficult to follow. I must qualify what I said with regard to the address of the hon. Member for South Lanarkshire. I find that in his address he said, "I have been always in favour of relieving the congestion of the Imperial Parliament by devolving upon the various parts of the United Kingdom more power over their local or domestic affairs." But that is not Home Rule, and then he went on to say that they need not fear legislation in this direction, and that it need not have a deterrent effect upon electors of Liberal or Free Trade tendency in this election. Why did he say "in this election"? Now to get down to solid facts, and away from the Parliamentary side of it, the hon. Member for Stirlingshire says that Scotland has suffered since 1707. Does the right hon. Gentleman really mean to say that Scotland is not in an infinitely better position now than it was at the time of the Union. He gave us to understand that the state of Scotland was better at that time. If you compare the state of Scotland at the time of the Union with what it is now you will find that at that time we had not the help of England or the help of the Union or the help of the-Empire as we have at the present moment. You will find that we were poor, that we were torn by faction, and that there was absolutely no scope for the inhabitants to get away to something better, and that they were absolutely at the mercy of every sort of clique and every sort of faction. I say we were poorest at the time of the Union.

Does the hon. Member not know that the revenue of the country was only £160,000? What is the revenue to-day, since we have had the Union? That revenue of £160,000 compared with the revenue in England of £5,691,803 3s. 4½d., to be exact. We allied ourselves to that great rich country, and does anyone mean to say that we have not had some benefit from it. At that time there were very few Scotsmen employed to any extent in England. There was no case of "Where is Scotty," as the hon. Member put it at that time. There is a good deal of "Where is Scotty" at the present time, and there are many thousands who are taking part in the development of this country and of the Oversea Dominion and of all our Dependencies. Does the hon. Member mean to deny that the building of the Empire only began after the Union with Scotland, and it was not until the confirmation of the Union with Ireland that the Empire really became established. Whilst we had separate Parliaments there was always a conflict of political and commercial ideas, which absolutely throttled the whole colonising genius of our country. Then it is said that Home Rule would not deprive Scotland and its sons of their place in the Empire. That is always argued, although it is not the point. Are they prepared to say how, in the federal system, Scotsmen will fare in respect to positions in England and the Empire? How many appointments do Scotsmen get now, not only in these islands, but also in other parts of the Empire. How many do New Zealanders and Canadians get? Do you believe that under a federal system we should fare any better?


What sort of appointment?


I might call it jobs. I do not mean it in an offensive sense. I mean posts in the Government Departments. How many would they get other than in their own particular part of the country. I am perfectly certain that if you are going to try Federal Home Rule all round a great many appointments and much of the scope which is open for young men would be closed to them. They would not have the chance of spreading themselves abroad in the way they do at present. I am quite certain the result would be to drift back on the whole stream of progress which has been flowing ever since the time of the Union, and to put us back into the small backwater of Scotland, if you put us back into the position of separation in which we were before the Union. I am sure the Scottish Members would do far more good if, instead of trying to cut their country up on a question of Home Rule, as Ireland has been cut up, and kept at a standstill very often, it would be far better for us to work together and try to get the existing Department to work properly, to let a little daylight in, with the assistance of the Secretary for Scotland, and to get into more touch with the Department, and get that Department more into touch with us, but we do not want a separate Parliament in order to do that.


I think some words of sympathy should be spoken from these benches in support of the claim which have often been supported by the leader of this party, and which will be supported by him were it not that he is inevitably kept away. It is a claim which is on the same line and the same idea of Home Rule since the phrase "Home Rule" was first put forward by Isaac Butt. Home Rule has meant in political history the tendency towards the federal idea. I have always held that in working for Home Rule for Ireland we were working in the best way to get Home Rule for Scotland, and that it would be easier to carry Home Rule for Scotland after we had got Home Rule for Ireland than it would be, in the first instance, to carry Home Rule all round, because by Home Rule all round we would unite the oppositions of people who may be opposed to such a change on a large scale, which has not yet been widely discussed in this country, and with the popular mind has not become familiarised, whereas the real opposition to Home Rule for Ireland is what I may call the Imperial and religious feeling. If you could once get such a system established in Ireland, I believe that if Scotland did not ask for Home Rule, it would be forced on Scotland; but I believe it will be the general desire of the Scottish people to get Home Rule, because they are conscious of their capacity. The people of Scotland, if they had autonomy, would be pretty much like Switzerland: they would be twenty-five to fifty years ahead of the rest of Europe. I could not better illustrate that than by the speech of the hon. Member below the Gangway (Mr. Wilkie), who stands for the representation of the Scotch capacity for local government, which has not up to the present moment had full play. After all, no sane man denies the existence of Scottish nationality, but Scottish nationality is a nationality which has not found its most adequate and natural means of expression, that is to say, in a national system of government. The Noble Lord, who has just spoken, said that he did not hear of many Canadians and New Zealanders getting jobs in this country. I do not think anyone will assert that there is a prejudice against Canadians or New Zealanders in this country. He has only to look at his own Front Bench.


The hon. Member has no right to say that. I said the federal system would work so as to keep people in their own localities and not to come here.


I understood the Noble Lord to say that if they got Home Rule Scotsmen would be prejudiced in the application for jobs in this country, and that New Zealanders and Canadians did not get them at the present moment. I ask him to look at his own Front Bench and to recall the attitude of the Tory party towards a distinguished Canadian. After all, Scotland is what Ireland is, a country without a capital. I never can understand how there can be a shopkeeper in Edinburgh or Dublin who is not passionately in favour of Home Rule. At present the centralising forces of telegraphs and railways have been at work, and Edinburgh to-day is a pensioner on the memory of its past greatness. If you make a city the real national centre of self-government the decentralising tendency immediately begins to operate and you have what you find in Germany, which is at once, I suppose, the most united State and the most solidly organised and the best decentralised country in Europe, where you have perhaps a dozen small centres, each with a strong individuality and a national spirit of its own. I know very well what Scotland has done for the world, but I think Scotland has done less for the world within the last fifty or seventy or eighty years, since the days when Edinburgh was really one of the great centres of the world's thought. It is, in my opinion, the small countries which have done the great things in the world—that is to say, the small countries which were really organised as national communities—and it is in that larger interest, and apart from the political aspect of the thing, that I support this idea of Scottish Home Rule.


The Noble Lord poured a good deal of ridicule on the Young Scots for their attitude towards Home Rule in Scotland.


It was on the attitude of Members here in regard to the Young Scots.

10.0 P.M.


The Noble Lord treated the "Young Scots" with levity. Long before he was in this House, twenty odd years ago, a Motion by the hon. Member (Sir Henry Dalziel) was carried, and the majority included the present Lord Chancellor. This is no new question for Scotland. It has been going on from day to day, and gaining in strength. The hon. Member (Mr. Mackinder) represents a minority vote in Camlachie. The majority of the electors there are undoubtedly in favour of Home Rule, both for Ireland and for Scotland. I do not quite know what the hon. Member's nationality is. I believe he was born in Lincolnshire. I was born in Scotland, but I am only what they call in Scotland an improved Englishman. I am only half-and-half. I have lived in Scotland all my life, but a leading Scottish paper says I am not a Scotchman because I was educated in England. That is ridiculous. We in Scotland welcome people from England who come and reside among us and adapt themselves to Scottish customs and live among us in peace and quietness and amity. We have many distinguished Englishmen who represent Scottish seats, from the Prime Minister downwards, of whom we are all sincerely proud. The hon. Member (Mr. Mackinder) asked whether it was not a question of sentiment. Of course sentiment enters into it. I agree entirely that sentiment enters into everything that is worth having in this world. Any Englishman who goes up to contest his seat and begins talking about England very soon finds the mistake he has made and is told to speak about Britain at once. We hear just too much about England in Scotland. Everyone knows the story told by Dean Ramsay, that when Nelson ran up the signal at Trafalgar, "England expects that every man this day will do his duty," a Scotchman said he did not require to ask the Scotch, because he knew they would do theirs.

I could give another instance. There is a society which is working for peace between this country and Germany, and a more deserving society does not exist in the United Kingdom, because we really desire peace with Germany. It was called the Anglo-German Friendship Society, and only last week, at the instigation of Sir Francis Lascelles, our Ambassador for so many years at Berlin, they changed it from the Anglo-German to the British-German Friendship Society. That may be a small point, but I think it is worth while bringing to the notice of hon. Members. Then it is said Scotland is, to all intents and purposes, a part of England so far as legislation is concerned. The late Mr. Justice Gainsford Bruce, in a considered judgment which was reversed by the House of Lords in 1894, declared that Scotland in that particular case was a foreign country. The decision was reversed, but their lordships held that if, instead of a bank, it had been a railway company with which they were dealing, Mr. Justice Bruce would have been right and Scotland would have been a foreign country. The hon. Member (Mr. Mackinder) asked whether anyone here could speak for the whole of the Scottish Liberals. I am reminded of the saying of another Glasgow Member, that no Scottish Member had any right whatever in this House or anywhere else to speak for anyone but himself. I happen to be chairman of the Scottish Liberal unofficial Members. We have no quarrel of any sort or kind with Members who have advanced this cause of Scottish nationality to its present point. So far as we are concerned we stand shoulder to shoulder with them. We stand by them. We say that the claim we are making is a fair, a reasonable, a just and an equitable claim. The Noble Lord (Lord Robert Cecil) denied that Scotchmen were permanently qualified to manage their own affairs. We say that we know much better what is required for the management of our own affairs than any noble English lord. Notwithstanding what my hon. Friend said, I may say that there is not a single Scottish Liberal Member who will not go into the Lobby to-night in support of the Motion so ably moved and so admirably seconded.


I need hardly say that I am entirely in sympathy with the affirmative part of the Resolution we are considering. We have had the subject brought before us many times in my Parliamentary experience, and I have always supported my hon. Friends who come from Scotland. I most respectfully congratulate the hon. Member who moved the Resolution tonight, and also my right hon. Friend who seconded it on the remarkably good speeches they made in very brief compass. I rise to call attention to two or three words in the centre of the Resolution which I think require more examination from the House. These words are that powers similar to those which are to be granted to Ireland should be granted to Scotland. I venture with great respect to point out to my hon. Friends that this is no necessary part of their Resolution, and that they do not gain any particular advantage by drawing attention to that subject to-night. We are on the eve of a great discussion of the question of Home Rule for Ireland, and there is scarcely any doubt that the discussion will take a wide range, and that the question will be brought forward in very different form from any form which has been discussed before. On the eve of that great discussion I do not think we get any advantage by putting any restraints forward as to the Bill. My hon. Friend who moved the Resolution told us of things that would not be asked for Ireland at all. I want to give him high authority as to what Ireland may possibly ask. Certain words were used by the Prime Minister a year ago on the question of Irish Home Rule to the effect that it had been applied in Canada seventy years ago, that it had been applied over again in every part of our Empire, that in our own time it had been applied in South Africa, and that everywhere it had been successful. That was the definition given by the Prime Minister of the policy he proposes to apply to Ireland, and if there is anything we rely upon the Prime Minister for it is close and accurate definition. He always gives that in respect of any policy he intends to introduce to the House. I could quote no higher authority than that of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who repeatedly told us that the description of Home Rule which would be conceded to Ireland would be that kind of Home Rule enjoyed by our Colonies.

That brings me to the interesting speeches of the Mover and Seconder of the Resolution. They spoke of federation, and recalled to our minds many great countries where the system of federation has been tried, but they did not speak of the British Empire—the greatest and most successful of them all. It did not enter the mind of the Mover of the Resolution that there is a larger kind of federation than that of federating the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland. I agree with what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee (Mr. Wilkie) in his excellent speech. He spoke of the day when a federal Parliament would be constructed, not only for these two islands, but for all parts of the Empire, and in which Ireland would be represented. That represents federation of the Empire, and presents a contrast to the somewhat limited federation which has been outlined to us to-night. I am not at all against the federation, if you like, of Great Britain and Ireland. If, instead of the word "Ireland" in the Resolution, the words "England and Wales" had occurred, I would not have found any objection to the proposal. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not Ireland?"] An hon. Member asks if these three countries are included, why not Ireland. These three are situated in one of the most splendid islands in the world, where there is a boundless stream of wealth and where there is strength to undertake the duties falling upon an Imperial State. These advantages are shared in equal measure in the countries I have named, but they do not extend to Ireland at all. Although Ireland is only a few miles away, the difference between that country and Great Britain cannot be measured by distance. If you take the difference in the social, economic, and political conditions, you will see that she is removed more from this rich country than any part in the Dominions of the Crown.

I propose to give one or two illustrations of why similar powers to those which are asked for Scotland may not be sufficient for Ireland. There is a great deal more self-government in Scotland than in Ireland. The political differences between the two islands are great. Let me glance briefly at the condition of Scotland. My hon. Friends say that the Scottish Union has not been a success. What they mean is that it has not been a great success. They mean that they could improve it and invent a better system. I am heartily with them in that, and I hope to render any little service to them I can when they bring a measure forward. But I ask the House to compare the Union of Scotland with the Union of Ireland. I say that to do so is to compare a glowing and triumphant success with a union which has been a most miserable failure, and which has brought infinite injury on the country to which it was applied. Scotland has always been governed by Scotsmen. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Not only has Scotland generally been governed by Scotsmen, but we know that England has been governed by Scotsmen. The present Prime Minister is a representative of a Scottish constituency, and there are no less than four Scotsmen in the Cabinet. Is there any such comparison as that possible in the case of Ireland? Scotland governs herself in a sense, though not in a complete sense. Ireland cannot say at present that she has self-government in the sense that Scotland has it. Scotland not only governs her own country, but England, Wales, and Ireland too. Ireland has not got a single power to contrast with those enjoyed by Scotland. Ireland wants power to control her police. Scotland has that power at present. If you take any question with respect to which Ireland wishes to have powers conferred upon her, you will find that there is no similar want of power to be dealt with as regards Scotland at all.

Let me look at the general economic situation of the two countries. There was a most interesting contrast presented to us in days gone by. It was worked on the basis of the Census taken in the two countries, and the effect was to show that the wealth of Scotland is practically as much, although not quite as much, as the wealth of England per head of the population. Comparing wealth and population, you find that Scotland has progressed with England in both. Turn to Ireland, and you find that the population is diminishing, and the only thing that is increasing is the taxation piled on by this House. Therefore, in the social conditions of the two countries, you find Ireland and Scotland presenting the greatest contrast, while England and Scotland march very much together. A claim has been brought forward from Ireland with which my hon. Friend who moved the Resolution dealt—that Ireland should be given control in the Bill of her own Customs. My hon. Friend said that nothing of the kind could be allowed, and in the Scottish Bill there is no demand made even for a control of the Customs. But hon. Members should know that if Ireland gets this conceded she will only be put in the same position which Scotland holds at present. Scotland now has the most perfect Custom House in the world. She knows her exports and imports. She can trace the whole flow of her wealth from wherever it comes, and she knows everything she sends and wherever it is sent. Ireland has none of this knowledge. The subterranean, subtle, cruel arrangements made by this House for Ireland deprived her of all that vital information on which her progress must depend, but which Scotland and every other country in the world enjoy. I was going to suggest at the end of the Resolution the following words to save the special case of Ireland, "due regard being had to the political, social, and economic differences between the two countries." I showed these words to my hon. Friend who seconded the Resolution, and he said, "Do not move them." I asked my right hon. Friend who is going to reply (Mr. McKinnon Wood), and he said that I had better leave the matter entirely to his own wisdom. I do not wish to strike a jarring note.


You have done that already.


I do not think so. I have put, as far as my conscience would allow, with the greatest kindness to Scottish Members, one or two points in the case of Ireland. That need not annoy my hon. Friend. Supposing they get a larger measure for Ireland and my Scottish Friends change their mind and say, "Let us have the same for Scotland," I will heartily support them.


I am by no means certain that the speech to which we have just listened, and which has been heard with some impatience by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, is not the most interesting speech we have heard in this discussion. It is the first rift in the lute which has been charming us from the other side of the House for the rest of the evening. It shows very clearly that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down is terrified at the idea of Home Rule which the House is being asked to support in the Resolution to-night, because he knows uncommonly well that in the end it will put him in a different position from that which he is in now.


There is no terror for me in the proposal at all; the measure would not be large enough to satisfy me.


The burden of the right hon. Gentleman's song was what I have described, and certainly that was the impression created on this side of the House. Is it necessary to regard this Resolution as a serious one? One has only to read it to see that it is a complete sham. To ask for the passage in this Parliament of a Home Rule measure for Scotland similar to what is going, we are told, to be given to Ireland, as part of a general scheme of devolution, is a ludicrous proposal in the circumstances, in which we are placed. I shall be very much surprised indeed if the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland accepts the Resolution. If he does, he will be giving an additional pledge which will be extremely uncomfortable to those with whom he is associated.

Everybody knows that this is purely a window-dressing Resolution—a Resolution intended, if at all possible, to establish a claim for consistency on the part of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who are going this Session to support a Home Rule Bill for Ireland containing, no doubt, provisions which will not be very satisfactory to their Scottish constituents, and who propose to content themselves by saying, "We tried," knowing perfectly well that they never meant to get it and never shall get it, and that the Government has no intention whatever of proposing to apply to Scotland the same class of measure which it is going to try to apply to Ireland. What is even more important, it is intended to cover the shortcomings of hon. Gentlemen opposite since they came into power in 1906. Have they done all that they ought to have done for Scotland in those years? Have they not been acting more or less throughout that period as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Government? Have they ever been known to take an independent attitude on any question which was inconvenient to the Government? Why, on a paltry detail like an Amendment on the House Letting Bill last year they implored that the Government Whips should be taken off so that they might exercise an independent judgment for once. Hon. Gentlemen opposite go to their constituents and say that this House is overladen with business, that it is no fault of theirs, and that they ought not to be blamed in the matter. I have no doubt that the demonstration to-night is arranged chiefly for those reasons. It is also intended by hon. Gentlemen opposite to welcome the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland back to this House—a Gentleman to whom I wish to offer my congratulations—who was expected no doubt to make a triumphal progress through his constituency, but who has had an extremely stormy passage. In that respect I do not know that the opportunity is good and well-timed, at all events from our point of view. We are quite ready to generally discuss this question, but I very much doubt whether the right hon. Gentleman himself is very grateful for the opportunity of reviving some of the declarations he has made within the last few days. I should think he would probably prefer to bury them in oblivion, or, perhaps, what comes to much the same thing, to inter them in the new "Preamble Cemetery" which the Government have created as a storehouse for uncomfortable pledges. The Secretary for Scotland's declarations at the recent election did not find favour with the hard-headed electors of St. Rollox. They very nearly wrecked him in that constituency, a constituency thought to be thoroughly safe in support of the Government, and more particularly for any Cabinet Minister with his new honours, fresh upon him, and with all the expectations of favours to come which constituencies usually hope to get from Cabinet Ministers. At least, the desire to avoid the thorny question of Irish Home Rule tempted the right hon. Gentleman to say a good deal on Home Rule for Scotland, and in avoiding the Scylla of the Irish difficulty he very nearly met with disaster on the Charybdis of the Scottish difficulty. He got a short and sharp and, I hope, salutary warning against accepting this policy, which appears to me to be run by nobody in particular, except the Young Scots' Society in Scotland, a society of youthful—I do not want to use the word offensively—political prigs, who for some time have been dictating to every sort of candidate and Member of Parliament for Scotland, with overweening sense of their own superiority, and who have made themselves the laughing-stock of every serious and grown-up politician. I should strongly recommend, with all respect, the right hon. Gentleman to avoid in future adopting his policy from the nursery.

With regard to the speeches of the Mover and Seconder, I do not know that I can at this hour enter into an answer to the arguments; or, rather, I do not know that they were arguments. There were astounding statements made by the hon. Member for Stirling (Dr. Chapple). As the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Munro-Ferguson) very truly says, the hon. Member approached the consideration of this question from the Colonial point of view. He made very astonishing statements about the unfortunate position Scotland occupied and the great amount it had lost from the Union. He certainly told us a good many interesting facts, if they were facts, which were new to me at all events, and appeared to be received with a good deal of doubt and question by the Gentlemen sitting alongside of him. When I come to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leith I am dealing with a bird of quite another feather. The right hon. Gentleman is, I know, truly sincere on this question. I am quite satisfied that he is a convinced believer in the policy of devolution for Scotland, and entertains a good many grievances against the existing system. He does not approve of the bureaucratic Government in Scotland as Scotland is governed, and he has a good deal to say against the administration of the Scottish Office. No doubt he thinks the easiest way to satisfy those grievances and to settle the whole question is to carry a measure of this kind and to make of course, if necessary, and as you would have to make, very great changes in Scottish administration. In the Bill last year it was proposed to set up a Scottish Parliament, with a Lord High Commissioner and all the rest of it. I am bound to say that I should lose all confidence in the good sense of my fellow countrymen if they followed the right hon. Gentleman in this respect.

Apart from the objections to the nature of the scheme, what proof have we as to the sincerity of the Government's desire to confer on Scotland a measure of self-government? The proof is all the other way. I admit at once, and frankly, that there has been for some time a certain feeling of irritation against certain aspects of the administration of the Scottish Office. There are certain things in the Private Legislation Act, for example, which ought to have been attended to and amended long ago. But I say it is impossible for a Government, tied and hampered by this extreme policy of Home Rule, which practically means separation, to deal satisfactorily with local self-government. There has been a strange discrepancy between the professions of the Government and their practice on this question. Whenever there has been an opportunity of trusting localities in Scotland, have they ever taken it? Why have they refused to allow the House Letting Bill, for example, to be dealt with by local town councils? Why did they refuse to allow the Shops Bill to be undertaken by these bodies? Why did the Secretary to the Treasury force upon the Scottish mine-owners and miners a policy which they unanimously objected to, and would not have? Why do they do these things if they are really sincere in their desire to promote local self-government? If they intend devolution, why have they persistently refused to transfer the Education Department to Edinburgh? I am dead against that myself; I think it would be a great mistake. But it is not consistent with the professions of the Government that they should refuse to do it. If extension of local self-government is really their policy it would be much easier to start their scheme in Scotland than in Ireland. They would not have the same difficulties to face. But I do not think they are sincere. I believe that the whole thing is a question of window-dressing. What has been the support of Scotland to this scheme? Where do you find any financial support coming from Scotland? Since hon. Gentlemen opposite appealed for money to carry on the propaganda, how much have they got? How many pennies are there in the bag? [An HON. MEMBER: "More than we want."] Tell us what it is.


The money is in the hon. Gentleman's bank. He had better ask the cashier.


And much of it has been sent by Scottish Conservatives, whom I take the opportunity of thanking.


I am not in a position to take advantage of the suggestion of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy; it is not the I sort of thing that directors of banks do. I venture to say, however, that he would not get a ¼d. a head out of the people of Scotland for the purpose of Scottish Home Rule. I do not believe that financial support, if it were required in any large measure, would be forthcoming. It is too late for me to go on now; I should be sorry to stand between the Secretary for Scotland and his right of reply. I have referred to one or two minor considerations, but the major considerations to my mind make the objections to this scheme overwhelming. I do not know whether the Mover and Seconder have taken into their consideration the vast risk that might arise to the great commercial and financial institutions of Scotland from any kind of measure which would in any kind of way endanger the connection between the two countries. Do they think that if a separate Parliament were established for Scotland, with all the powers that they are asking, it would not tend to that very kind of separatism which every one of us would deplore and which would put back the clock in Scotland many a long day? They are deliberately running that risk. I have sat here for six or seven years amongst English Members of Parliament who resent the fact that the domination of Scotland and Wales prevents them from being masters in their own house. I say to you hon. Gentlemen opposite that if you think you are going to get a measure of Home Rule for Scotland such as you want you are making a mistake. When the hon. Member raises ancient difficulties as he has to-day, and asserts that this question has been a living issue for years, he knows far better; it is nothing of the kind. To say so is to talk arrant nonsense. To say, as some have said, that there is a general demand for this is to say what is the veriest and rankest, absurdity.

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

The Noble Lord the Member for Perthshire (the Marquess of Tullibardine) and the hon. Baronet the Member for Ayr (Sir George Younger) have done me the honour of taking a great interest in the recent Election. The hon. Baronet has twitted me on the result, but may I remind him that my return was twice as good as his own.


The right hon. Gentleman has got 20,000 constituents and I have 8,000. His majority was 400; mine was 200.


But in the more important remarks of the hon. Baronet to which I shall call the attention of the House was included one to the effect that in my Election speeches I had avoided the question of Irish Home Rule. I devoted one whole speech to the question. I did not make a single speech in the Election in which I did not refer to it. It is perfectly true that I referred to Scottish Home Rule at the same time, because I think they are closely connected subjects—for an obvious reason, that they are both connected with the question of increasing at the same time local and central efficiency. As a matter of fact it was not necessary to refer to these subjects at the same length as other subjects. They were not, at the recent Election, questions of acute controversy or persistent misrepresentation. The hon. Baronet spoke of the barrenness of Scottish legislature. That surely is an argument from his point of view, but rather from ours. In defence of the Government I must point out that that legislation has certainly been retarded, not by any unwillingness on the part of the Government to Scottish legislation, but from the fact that in another place there is a very large majority of English and Irish peers, and that the Scottish peers are selected upon a peculiar principle which is not consistent with that of Scottish Members in the House of Commons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Reform it."] No wonder therefore that there has been some considerable delays. I think the Scottish Small Holdings Bill was twice rejected, and the House Letting Bill was destroyed by it for one Session. If there is, as the hon. Baronet says, barrenness in Scottish legislation, surely that is an argument for Scottish Home Rule.

The hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Mackinder) had two arguments. One was that England and Scotland were two ends of one island. I do not think there is any Scotchman on either side of the House who would admit that England and Scotland are nothing more than two ends of one island. The hon. Gentleman held up to ridicule the idea that you should have a Scottish Parliament legislating upon criminal law in Scotland. Is the hon. Member not aware that the systems of criminal law in the two countries are entirely different; and, if that is so, what is there ridiculous in the idea of a Scottish Parliament dealing with Scottish criminal law? The Noble Lord the Member for Perthshire mentioned the fact that I had made very clear declarations both as to Irish and Scottish Home Rule in my election address. That, perhaps, will render it unnecessary that I should speak at great length on this subject to-night. I did declare myself very definitely upon the subject, and I cannot help thinking there is not much to add to the extremely able yet temperate speeches in which this Motion was moved and seconded in the House tonight. The hon. Baronet the Member for Ayr Burghs, who did not speak with his usual great courtesy—


I am very sorry.


Talked about my taking this doctrine from the nursery. My right hon. Friend the Member for Leith Burghs is not an infant in politics.


What I meant was the Young Scots.


Yes, but this Resolution was seconded by my right hon. Friend.


By order of the Young Scots.


The hon. Member for Warrington is not very closely connected with Scotland. [HON. MEMBEHS: "And not very old either."] I cannot help thinking that the House must have observed that in those two speeches there was a double argument. The argument for devolution in regard to Scotland is an argument which is not merely based upon local interest, it is equally based upon Imperial interest. I do not believe there is any Member on either side of the House who is prepared to deny that there is too much work cast upon the House of Commons. It is the argument of hon. Members opposite that we sit here too long, that we use procedure which they in their time used. [HON. MEMBERS.: "No, no."] The virtue of hon. Members in Opposition is as remarkable as the readiness with which they used the Closure and other instruments when in power. But the very fact that all sides are agreed that the Imperial Parliament is overburdened is one of the strongest arguments for devolution, and I cannot help thinking that both the Mover and Seconder of this Motion put their case upon a very strong foundation when they based it upon the necessity for increasing Imperial as well as local efficiency. Hon. Members opposite tried to treat this as if it were a question of sham agitation, a question of trying to use Scottish Home Rule in order to give support to Irish Home Rule. I do not believe it is anything of the kind. If you look at the addresses of Unionist candidates recently you do not find any attack upon Scottish Home Rule. Take the hon. Member for North Ayrshire. He said:— There was no reason in the world why local powers of administration should not be extended, where necessary, to any integral part of the United Kingdom.


May I say—


The hon. Member is not entitled to interrupt in this way, and he will have an opportunity of replying if time permit.


I will give the hon. Member the opportunity. The hon. Member declared himself in favour of purely local self-government, the same as they might have in Scotland if the Scottish people desired it. My opponent at the last Election said that the federal system was at least logical, and that is our case. We think it is both logical and necessary. Although I am not in a position to pledge the Government as to time and priority, I am entirely in sympathy with the speeches of the Mover and Seconder of this Resolution, and I cannot help thinking that in 1910 a great many hon. Members opposite were very much of the same opinion judging from their most distinguished representatives in the Press. I read a great many articles in which it was pointed out that it would be a great mistake for the Unionist party to set itself against the principle of devolution. They did not agree that it was a sham, for they were playing up to it and trying to educate their followers. Hon. Members opposite are even more fully acquainted with these facts than I am, and everybody in the country knows that it is true. This is an agitation which I think thoughtful people in Scotland will support. I do not think that there is any real opposition to the devolving of local government upon all parts of the United Kingdom on the part of the electors in any part of the Kingdom. The Scotch people are eminently reasonable, and they are prepared to give England self-government too. For my part, I should place the claim of Scotland on three grounds: (1) that it would increase Imperial efficiency; (2) local efficiency; and (3) it would enable recognise that it is a feeling of long fought for but which the preponderance of other interests in other countries, not only in this House, but also in another place, has prevented us from obtaining. Scotland has been in advance of England in temperance legislation and land legislation, and there is no reason in the world why Scotland should be kept back in these matters and in education because other parts of the Kingdom desire to move more slowly. I shall certainly vote for the Resolution.


Perhaps I may be permitted to occupy the time of the House for a very few minutes on the ground that, though I am no longer a Scotch Member, I have a very considerable interest in that country. In that respect I think I have changed places with the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. What interested me most in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was the suggestion that there is any real desire for any change of this kind among any section of the population in Scotland. I think I am as well able as most people to judge the views of the man in the street upon this subject, and I say, without the slightest hesitation, that while in regard to Ireland I thoroughly understand the feeling and recognise that is is a feeling of long growth, which has a real force in the minds of the people, this agitation in Scotland is of a purely hothouse breed, and if it were to become necessary to give Home Rule to Ireland, which I hope it never will, surely it would be a great misfortune to inflict it on Scotland simply to create an excuse for giving it to another island. What can Scotland possibly gain by a change of this kind? We can gain nothing from the point of view of national characteristics, or love of national traditions. There is no one who will deny that Scotch character or Scotch nationality is as firmly rooted as that of any people in the world, and that after two centuries of the closest connection with England. It proves beyond a shadow of doubt that whatever is good in nationality can continue and even increase, in spite of union with a larger country. I can quite understand that England might gain a good deal by this arrangement, but what can Scotland gain? Is there anybody engaged in politics who would like to feel that his sphere is to be limited to that of the northern part of the island? I should say the experience in this House goes to show that from that point of view at least Scotland is a gainer, and nothing less by her connection, with England in the closest possible union. I would like to ask another question. When hon. Gentlemen talk so fluently of the desire for Home Rule and the advisability of it, do they realise how many Englishmen, especially of the party opposite, sit for a Scotch constituency? Surely it cannot be for the interest of Scotland that the business of Scotland should be done by an inferior set of men. That cannot be for the interest of Scotland, and I should have said one of the first things you ought to establish is that there are more Scotchmen wanting positions in Parliament than can be found before you say you should set up a Parliament for them specially. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken a great deal about the desire for devolution based on nationality. I am bound to say, from the point of view of the integrity of the country as a whole, the very worst way in which you can set up devolution is by putting it on a national basis. I think that has been carried to considerable length. I remember at the time of the Kilmarnock election, the Patronage Secretary to the Treasury, who is a complete Scotchman, and who would not, I think, like to lose the connection with the English Parliament, brought forward this question of nationality in a way which seemed to me rather dangerous. That body to which my hon. Friend has alluded, the Young Scots, had taken exception to the candidature of the hon. Gentleman who is now the Member for Kilmarnock. They did not like him because he was not Scotch enough. The Patronage Secretary to the Treasury wrote a Letter in which he tried to satisfy them that it was all right. What does the House think was the substance of it? He pointed out, quite correctly, how large a part of the blood of the hon. Member was Scotch, and then he went on to say: whatever is not Scotch is Welsh, there is not a drop of English blood in him. It was a clear indication to the electors of the Kilmarnock Burghs and other Scottish constituencies that no English need apply. I do think—and I say this with all respect to my Scottish friends on both sides of the House—that an arrangement of that kind would be far worse for Scotland than for England. It is quite obvious it cannot be entirely one-sided, and if it comes to be expected that Scotland is to be entirely for the Scotch, with a little Welsh thrown in, then it will end that England will be for the English. That is an arrangement which I am quite free to confess—recognising the cheers of the hon. Gentlemen opposite—would not at all suit me. I do not think it would suit a great many people on the other side. It would be very awkward, I am sure, for some of the distinguished ornaments of that Front Bench, who, having found England not a suitable place for winning by-elections, have taken refuge in Scotland, and it would be equally disadvantageous for those thrown out in Scotland who have to find refuge in England. I do not think we could make a swap. I do not suppose the electors for Dundee would select me, or that those of the Constituency for which I sit would select the First Lord of the Admiralty. From whatever point of view you look at it, if you look at it from the point of view of the interests of Scotland you will find that Scotland stands to lose by any weakening of the arrangement by which the countries are now linked together. It stands to lose far more, whether it be a trade interest or a personal interest, and I say, without the slightest hesitation, that so far as I am able to judge there is

Division No. 26.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) King, J. (Somerset, N.)
Acland, Francis Dyke Farrell, James Patrick Lamb, Ernest Henry
Adamson, William Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Ffrench, Peter Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Flavin, Michael Joseph Lansbury, George
Alden, Percy Gelder, Sir W. A. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)
Armitage, R. George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Lewis, John Herbert
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Gilhooly, James Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Gill, A. H. Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)
Barnes, George N. Gladstone, W. G. C. Lundon, T.
Barton, A. W. Glanville, Harold James Lyell, Charles Henry
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George) Goldstone, Frank Lynch, A. A.
Bentham, George J. Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Boland, John Pius Griffith, Ellis J. (Anglesey) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Booth, Frederick Handel Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Maclean, Donald
Bowerman, Charles W. Gulland, John W. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. J. T.
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)
Brace, William Hackett, J. Macpherson, James Ian
Brady, P. J. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Brocklehurst, William B. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Bryce, John Annan Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.) M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)
Burke, E. Haviland- Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Markham, Sir Arthur Basil
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Marshall, Arthur Harold
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Martin, Joseph
Byles, Sir William Pollard Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.) Masterman, C. F. G.
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Meagher, Michael
Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Clough, William Hayward, Evan Menzies, Sir Walter
Clynes, J. R. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Millar, James Duncan
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Henry, Sir Charles S. Molloy, M.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Higham, John Sharp Molteno, Percy Alport
Cotton, William Francis Hinds, John Money, L. G. Chiozza
Cowan, William Henry Hodge, John Mooney, John J.
Crean, Eugene Hogge, James Myles Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Crumley, Patrick Holmes, Daniel Thomas Muldoon, John
Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Munro, Robert
Davies, E. William (Eifion) Hudson, Walter Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Hughes, S. L. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Illingworth, Percy H. Needham, Christopher T.
Delany, William Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh) Neilson, Francis
Devlin, Joseph John, Edward Thomas Nolan, Joseph
Dewar, Sir J. A. Johnson, W. Norman, Sir Henry
Dillon, John Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Nuttall, Harry
Donelan, Captain A. Jones, H. Hadyn (Merioneth) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Doris, William Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushclitfe) O'Brien, William (Cork)
Duffy, William J. Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. Hmts., Stepney) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) Jowett, Frederick William O'Donnell, Thomas
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Joyce, Michael O'Dowd, John
Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of Keating, M. Ogden, Fred
Elverston, Sir Harold Kilbride, Denis O'Grady, James

not the smallest desire for this change in Scotland. It may be asked why are the majority of Scottish Members in favour of it? It is because the Liberal party at this moment pretend to be in favour of it. But does any one suggest that the votes of any single constituency in Scotland would be altered by a declaration one way or the other with regard to this matter? The right hon. Gentleman who last spoke told us he put Scottish Home Rule in the forefront of his programme. Did he do it at any previous Election? It was never suggested to me when I was a candidate for Scotland. If this is the first time he has made it a standing feature of the Election then the result is rather a lesson that Scotland is not specially in favour of it.

Question put,

The House divided, Ayes, 226; Noes, 128.

O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Robertson, John M. (Tyneside) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
O'Malley, William Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Robinson, Sidney Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Walton, Sir Joseph
O'Sullivan, Timothy Roche, Augustine (Louth) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Parker, James (Halifax) Roe, Sir Thomas Waring, Walter
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Rose, Sir Charles Day Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Rowlands, James Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Pirie, Duncan V. Samuel, J. (Stockton) Watt, Henry A.
Pointer, Joseph Scanlan, Thomas Webb, H.
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton) White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Power, Patrick Joseph Seely, Rt. Hon. Col. J. E. B. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Primrose, Hon. Neil James Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Whitehouse, John Howard
Pringle, William M. R. Sheehy, David Wiles, Thomas
Radford, G. H. Shortt, Edward Wilkie, Alexander
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) Simon, Sir John Allsebrook Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Reddy, M. Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)
Redmond, William (Clare) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.) Williamson, Sir Archibald
Rendall, Athelstan Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Richards, Thomas Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Young, William (Perth, East)
Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Tennant, Harold John
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Thomas, James Henry (Derby) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Dr. Chapple and Mr. Munro-Ferguson.
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Aitken, Sir William Max Foster, Philip Staveley Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)
Amery L. C. M. S. Gastrell, Major W. H. Mount, William Arthur
Anstruther-Gray, Major William Gibbs, George Abraham Neville, Reginald J. N.
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Gilmour, Captain John Newton, Harry Kottingham
Ashley, Wilfrid W. Goldman, C. S. Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Baird, John Lawrence Goldsmith, Frank Paget, Almeric Hugh
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Gordon, John (Londonderry, South) Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)
Balcarres, Lord Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Perkins, Walter F.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Peto, Basil Edward
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward Pollock, Ernest Murray
Barlow, Montagu (Salford, South) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Pretyman, E. G.
Barnston, H. Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Ratcliff, R. F.
Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.) Helmsley, Viscount Rawson, Col. R. H.
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) Remnant, James Farquharson
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Hickman, Col. Thomas E. Royds, Edmund
Benn, I. H. (Greenwich) Hill, Sir Clement L. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Hill-Wood, Samuel Sanders, Robert A.
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish Hoare, S. J. G. Sanderson, Lancelot
Bird, Alfred Hohler, G. F. Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)
Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue Hope, Harry (Bute) Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pl, Walton)
Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Boyton, James Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford) Spear, Sir John Ward
Bridgeman, W. Clive Horner, Andrew Long Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Houston, Robert Paterson Stewart, Gershom
Burn, Col. C. R. Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.) Kerry, Earl or Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Campion, W. R. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Talbot, Lord Edmund
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Knight, Captain E. A. Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Lane-Fox, G. R. Thynne, Lord Alexander
Cautley, Henry Strother Larmor, Sir J. Tullibardine, Marquess of
Cave, George Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Valentia, Viscount
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mlts, Mile End) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Lloyd, George Ambrose Wheler, Granville C. H.
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R. Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.) Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Craik, Sir Henry MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Croft, Henry Page Macmaster, Donald Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas M'Calmont, Colonel James Yate, Col. C. E.
Denniss, E. R. B. Magnus, Sir Philip
Duke, Henry Edward Mildmay, Francis Bingham TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir G. Younger and Mr. Mackinder.
Fell, Arthur Moore, William
Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)