§ (1) Before the twenty-eighth day of May next after the passing of this Act every holder of a certificate, as defined by this Act, shall constitute himself a member of a mutual insurance association (hereinafter called "an association"), which must be an association not carried on for profit, registered under the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, or under the Friendly Societies Acts, whose affairs are subject to the absolute control of its members and one of whose objects is the insuring of a member against the loss of his certificate by reason of any resolution carried under this Act.
§ (2) The application to become insured in an association under this Act shall be in writing, signed by the applicant, and shall contain a declaration of the value (hereinafter called the "declared value") of the certificate to be insured and such further particulars as the association may require.
§ (3) The premium payable in respect of the insurance of a certificate under this Act shall be an annual premium payable in advance, and, inclusive of the expenses of administration, shall be at such rate, not exceeding one-half per cent, of the declared value, as the central board may from time to time determine.
§ (4) The holder of a certificate who has paid the premium or levy payable in respect of the insurance of the certificate shall be entitled to deduct from the interest on any loan advanced to him under any agreement, undertaking, or covenant, binding him to obtain a supply of exciseable liquor from the lender, a sum bearing such proportion to the said premium or levy as the loan bears to the declared value of the said certificate, and in default of agreement the amount of premium or levy to be deducted shall be determined by the sheriff.
§ (5) In each year the secretary of an association shall, on the payment by the insured person of the premium then payable, give him a receipt therefor, and the receipt shall be evidence that the applicant is insured for the year to which it relates; provided that, if in any year the association shall have imposed any additional levy on its members in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the secretary shall withhold the receipt for the premium from any member who has not paid the amount of the levy due from him.184
§ (6) No excise licence for the sale by retail of exciseable liquor shall be granted by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, or by any officer of Customs and Excise, except upon production by the person authorised to hold the licence of a receipt for the insurance of his certificate for the year to which the licence relates.
§ (7) As soon as may be after the passing of this Act there shall be constituted a central board, hereinafter referred to as the central board, consisting of not more than nine members, of whom four shall be on-licence holders, two off-licence holders, and the remaining members a brewer, distiller, and wholesale dealer, respectively, elected by the holders of certificates, and the central board shall elect a chairman from their own number.
§ (8) The central board may act with a quorum of five and shall, within twelve months after the passing of this Act, make rules prescribing amongst other things—
- (a) The principles on which the declared value of certificates is to be ascertained and conditions on which these may be modified or readjusted;
- (b) The manner of subsequent election of members of the board and the duration of their office;
- (c) Any matters incidental to the proper conduct of the affairs of the board and to carrying out the provisions of this Act.
§ (9) On or before the thirtieth day of June in every year every association insuring certificates under this Act shall pay over to the central board the amount of the premiums received by the association under the provisions of this Act, after payment of necessary expenses which must not exceed fifteen per cent, of the annual premiums, exclusive of levies, and shall at the same time send to the central board full particulars of all insurances effected with the association, together with such observations on the declared value to which each insurance relates as the association may think fit.
§ (10) The amounts received in respect of premiums or levies paid by holders of certificates for on-licences and by holders of certificates for off-licences, respectively, 185 shall be carried by the central board to two separate accounts to be called respectively "The On-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund" and "The Off-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund." No part of the "On-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund" shall be applied to the payment of any claim relating to an off-licence, and no part of the "Off-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund" shall be applied to the payment of any claim relating to an on-licence.
§ (11) The central board shall have the management of the said funds and the investment thereof, and, subject to the payment of necessary office and administration expenses which may include fees to members of the board of an aggregate amount not exceeding seven hundred and fifty pounds a year, the whole of the said funds shall be applied to the payment of claims as provided by this Act.
§ (12) The claims payable by the central board to an association shall in no case exceed the declared values of certificates insured, or an amount (hereinafter called the maximum subsidy) which is double the amount which such association could claim if the appropriate fund were divided in proportion to their declared values among all the respective existing contributing certificate-holders of each separate association.
§ (13) If the available funds of the central board are insufficient to pay the maximum subsidy, the aggregate claim of the members of each association against each fund shall be proportionately abated.
§ (14) A claim upon the funds of the central board shall not be valid except in respect of the year in which a certificate in respect of which, a claim is made has been withdrawn under the provisions of this Act.
§ (15) Where in any year the respective amounts paid over by the central board are insufficient to enable an association to pay in full the respective claims of its "off" and "on" members arising in that year, the directors of an association shall impose upon the on-licence holders or off-licence holders (as the case may require) who are members of the association a levy not exceeding one and a-half per cent, of the declared value in respect of which each member is insured.
§ (16) If the proceeds of the levy are insufficient to pay in full the claims in respect of which it was made, the unpaid balance of the claims shall be carried forward for the two following years; and in 186 each of these years the like levy shall be made and the proceeds thereof shall be applied to the payment of all outstanding claims referable to the fund in respect of which the deficiency has arisen.
§ (17) After the distribution in the third year all claims in respect of the insurance of a certificate against the association shall be deemed to have been discharged.
§ (18) The holder of any new certificate for premises not certificated at the time of the application for such certificate, and not being premises in substitution for certificated premises from which a certificate is being withdrawn, shall pay to "The On-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund," or "The Off-Licence Holders' Insurance Fund," as the case may be, a sum equal to one-third of the declared value of such certificate in two half-yearly payments, on 28th May and 28th November, in addition to the foresaid premium or levy, and the Excise Licence Duty in respect of said certificate.
§ (19) The clerk of a licensing Court shall on request furnish to the central board or to any association formed under the provisions of this Act, or, before the constitution of the central board, to the secretary of the Licensed Trade Defence Association of Scotland, a list of all the persons who have obtained certificates for the sale by retail of exciseable liquor in the district within the jurisdiction of the Court for the current year, together with such information contained in the register of certificates for the district as may be required under the provisions of this Act. Such list as aforesaid shall be prepared by the clerk to the licensing Court in conformity with the conditions set out in Section twenty-five of The Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903, and the clerk shall be entitled to remuneration as prescribed in that Section.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to move "That the Clause be read a second time."
We are dealing with this Bill under rather unfortunate conditions, because the only attempt to consider the interests of the dispossessed licence holders is made in Clause? by providing a period of five years before any of the options in this Bill can be brought into effect, and therefore we have to deal, in the shape of a new Clause, with a scheme of compensation without knowing what view the House will take of the proposed length of time as threatened in the Bill. This course entails-very great difficulty, because one cannot 187 move to postpone a Clause on the Report stage of a Bill, and it is essential to take the new Clauses first, and unless the Secretary for Scotland makes some declaration about Clause 1 and the time limit there granted, the House will have to decide this question without knowing precisely what is going to be done later on. There has been a great deal of discussion about this question of mutual insurance. We had a scheme submitted by the hon. Member for Blackfriars (Mr. Barnes) before the Standing Committee which, for one reason or another, the Secretary for Scotland did not see his way to accept, and effect has been given to some of these criticisms, if not to all of them, in the scheme now before us in this new Clause. Under ordinary circumstances I should consider it my duty to apologise to the House for the fact that this scheme only appears upon the Paper this morning, but if any apology is due it is due from the Liberal Whips, and not from me, because I only knew on the last day of the earlier portion of the Session that this Bill was to be taken to-day, and there was no opportunity until yesterday of calling together those interested in this question to ascertain their views. Therefore, any apology due to the House should come, I suppose, from the Scottish Whip, and not from me.
The House is asked to deal with this very complicated situation on far too short notice. It is a very complicated Clause and a very long Clause, and it would take a very long time to explain it even shortly. Of course, time is of no object to-day; we may be sitting here until nine o'clock tomorrow morning. I do not intend to take up any length of time explaining the Clause, but I will say something about it in order to meet, by way of anticipation, some of the criticisms which may be applied to it from the Government Front Bench. In the first place, I wish to say it is not pretended in any shape or kind to be a scheme of full insurance. That in the circumstances of the case is quite impossible; it is not possible to predict beforehand with what circumstances this particular insurance fund may have to deal. The whole situation is complicated by the licence options, so that it is impossible to arrive at a reasonable suggestion as to what particular licences may be taken away or as to what may be the effect of the options. Therefore, the scheme is only a partial scheme; it is nothing better 188 than a solatium to what promises to be absolute ruin to a great number of people under the Option Clauses of the Bill. It is the best we could do, and when I said a while ago that I did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take any great interest in the Bill I said so because it is impossible to propose anything but a partial scheme since the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his own Bill imposed such obligations upon the licence holders that it is impossible to place upon them now anything more than an obligation to meet partial insurance. It is an astonishing thing to me, although really nothing astonishes me in the case of the present Government. When the Government took this Bill out of the waste-paper basket they did not realise that what was considered unjust in 1908 would be equally unjust in 1912. With the five years' time notice it is impossible to do much in the way of insurance. My proposal in the first place is to make the scheme compulsory, for without compulsion it is of no use. There are a good many areas in Scotland in which it is very improbable that either a limiting resolution or a local veto resoluton will be carried, and under these circumstances the licence holders will have no inducement to insure, and they will rather run the risk. They will benefit by the possibility of one or other of those resolutions being carried in a contiguous area, because they will get an immense accretion of business, and therefore it is only right that they should pay something to those who are being dispossessed, and whose businesses they are going to acquire.
The scheme is shortly as follows: That an approved society, or as many approved societies as the licence holders choose, may form themselves into associations for the purpose of mutual insurance under the Act. The retailers of the societies as a whole and as a group shall constitute a central board of nine, who are to be the administrators of a central fund. That fund is derived from the payment in respect of each member of an association of 8s. 6d. per head. They pay 10s. each, but 1s. 6d. is for management expenses. When licences are withdrawn under the Clause an insured person has sources of compensation, first, from the central fund, and secondly, from the members of his own association. The claims of any association against the central fund are not absolute, and they are restricted to double the amount of its proportional interest in that fund. That is to say, 189 supposing the central fund amounts to £1,000,000 at the end of a certain period of years, and the share of a particular association, taking its membership into account, is £50,000 in the event of its being divided up equally according to the interests insured, the extremest claim of an association upon that fund is £100,000 if the members lost their licences to an extent in excess of the available fund. It is essential to limit it, otherwise the fund would be depleted straight away, and that is why insurance can only be partial. The members of an association who do not secure full compensation from the central fund are entitled to a three years' levy of 30s. per cent, on declared value from the other members of their own association within their own district who would naturally be left in possession, and would benefit from the fact that the other licences had been withdrawn.
I have had provided for me by a thoroughly capable and thoroughly accurate person one or two figures to show what the central fund would amount to under certain circumstances. If the time notice is five years, at the end of that period there will be £238,402 in the central fund; if the time notice is ten years, the amount will be £514,777; if the period is twenty years, the amount will be £1,206,597. In five years the insurance a man has paid will be £2 2s. 6d. per cent., in ten years £4 5s., and in twenty years £8 10s. By the above figures he would receive on the basis of a double share in five years, for his 8s. 6d. per £100, £4 15s., in ten years £10 6s., and in twenty years £22 15s.; and in addition, without further contribution, he would be entitled to receive the share of the 30s. levy which members of his own association would be obliged to meet. That is limited to three years. Polls are allowed to be taken every third year, and it is essential to limit the claim upon the association during which there would be a period of rest before another poll was taken. It is not at all probable that at first 25 per cent, of all the licence holders would be blotted out, and by every fraction less the available funds for the dispossessed would be increased. Under the Temperance Bill the risks are unknown and undeterminable. Therefore the members are prepared to group themselves for insurance with their eyes open to the fact that in certain contingencies they may only receive something over 20 per cent., or 4s. per £ of their declared value. Even then 190 each individual will only have subscribed five and one-fifth pence. We hear a good deal at the present time about giving ninepence for fourpence in connection with another Bill, but in this case you get 3s. for fourpence, with an off-chance of 20s. for fourpence. So that they are better off than the unfortunate insured person under the Insurance Act.
I do not want to go very fully into the question of all these funds, because they are complicated and would take a very long time, but I wish to point out to the Secretary for Scotland that he made an entire misstatement in Committee when he talked about the unfortunate publican having to pay a flat rate in the same way as the insured person under the Insurance Act. The publican does not pay a flat rate, but a percentage on the amount insured. If he insures for £1,000, he pays the same percentage as for £400, but not the same amount, and therefore the Secretary for Scotland is entirely wrong. One of the Lord Advocate's other objections was that there was no evidence that Members of the trade were in favour of a mutual insurance scheme. A postcard has been sent out to all the licence holders in Scotland within the last few weeks, and I have the latest figures with regard to the replies given to the question as to whether they were in favour of a compulsory insurance scheme or not. If there happened to be any very active opposition or any very serious objection on the part of members of the trade to a compulsory scheme, one would naturally imagine that they would sign their postcard and send them in at once. Out of 10,000 postcards which have been issued only 4,300 have been returned. Of these, 3,900 are in favour of compulsory insurance, whilst only 433 are against it. There have been some answers received to-day, in which forty-two people are for and only one against it. Of these, twenty-eight came from Caithness, ten of them publicans, seven hotels, and eleven grocers, and all of them are in favour of this proposal.
I think it may be assumed that there is no active opposition in the trade to this scheme of compulsory insurance, and that those who have thought it necessary not to reply are content to leave the matter in the hands of their leaders, who have unanimously agreed to back up this scheme. The percentage of those replying is as follows: There are in favour of a compulsory scheme 93.7 per cent, publicans, 83.6 per cent, grocers, and 81.6 per 191 cent, hotel keepers. Although there was an agitation in Glasgow against the scheme, 98 per cent, of the voters there were in favour of it, and only fifteen, or 2 per cent., against it. So I think it is pretty clear that the trade as a whole is in favour of a scheme of this kind, not because they believe in any kind of way it is going to insure them anything like fully, but because naturally they regard half a loaf as better than no bread. They see in front of them in the Bill now before the House nothing but the direst ruin, and naturally they are anxious to go out with something to start afresh, and that they will secure under this proposal. When this scheme was first suggested in the Committee it had no more beneficent supporter than the Lord Advocate, and he said that a scheme of this kind must have certain distinctive features. One of them was that it should in no way interfere with the machinery of the Bill or the carrying out of the Bill's proposals. The scheme I have suggested in no way whatever interferes with that principle. It does not prevent polls being taken every three years, or options being adopted. Therefore it fulfils the essential principles which the Lord Advocate demanded. It does not interfere with the discretion of the justices. It creates no new vested interest of any sort or kind, and therefore I am entitled to claim that the Lord Advocate ought to support this scheme as he did in the Committee two years ago, although he did not do it on the last occasion. The right hon. Gentleman has supported it in the country over and over again.
I cannot for the life of me understand why it is that the extreme teetotalers have been making such desperate efforts to prevent the Government from accepting some scheme of this kind which is to be entirely carried out and paid for by the funds of the trade itself. Why in the world this House should in any way desire to prevent these unfortunate people palliating as far as they can the extremely uncomfortable position in which some of them are likely to be placed after the passing of this Bill I cannot understand. What arguments there are against this course I cannot conceive; in fact there can be no arguments against it. We had a declaration that there was no evidence that the trade favoured it, and I have tried to show that there is a very small minority of the 192 trade against it. It does not matter whether the time limit is five or ten years, although I hope it may be fifteen years, but in any of these cases you still require an insurance scheme. It is impossible that any voluntary scheme can insure a man even within a fifteen years' time limit. I had hoped that the Government would have taken up this question in quite a different spirit. They have taken up a Bill which I understand was pieced together in a backroom by two or three hon. Gentlemen opposite, simply with a view of testing the House of Commons on this question in 1907 without the serious hope that it would ever become law. The Government picks up this practically derelict scheme which the last Secretary for Scotland never found any time in this House to give a Report stage to, and he would have found it very difficult to explain how in the end the Government had come to adopt this Bill.
The Government ought to have taken a comprehensive view of the situation, for they had an opportunity of dealing with the matter in a comprehensive and final way. If the State wishes to resume the control of the licences in Scotland, it is perfectly entitled to do so, and I see no reason why it should not do so on fair terms. I have not suggested that it should pay out the licence holders, I have only suggested that they should have sufficient breathing space to ensure their capital interest, and not run the risk of going out with the loss of all their money. When I come to his own Government's record in the matter, what do I find? In the Licensing Bill of 1908 the Government was infinitely more generous to the English licence holders than it is going to be to the Scotch licence holders. At that time the bitterest tears were wept over the unfortunate position of the free licence holders. They are all free licence holders in Scotland. The licence holder of Scotland is a free man who owns the place, it is his sole means of subsistence, and you give him five years' notice, and call that reasonable. It is monstrous. It is ruthless cruelty. In England, where the licences are held in great blocks by wholesale people, you proposed to take away a third of them in fourteen years, and compensation was to be given for those taken away. Two-thirds were left those people, but nothing is left to the Scotch licence holders. If this House is ruthless enough to pass this Bill, I do not believe the people 193 of Scotland will adopt it. You will begin by putting the greatest possible difficulty in the way of your Bill becoming a workable measure at all. It is essential, if you desire to attempt this experiment in Scotland, and if you desire to attempt to try on the Statute Book the principle of local option, that you should make the Bill so fair and justly reasonable that the people of Scotland will feel they can take advantage of the privileges of local option without bringing blue ruin to people who have embarked in a trade under the ægis of the law in a perfectly honourable and straightforward manner. It is for that reason that, in addition to any time limit which may be granted, the traders desire to be permitted to have a compulsory insurance scheme, which, while not giving them anything like the value of their premises, will give them something to start afresh in the world when they are turned out.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I desire to second the Motion for the Second Beading of this Clause. We wish to know what is the reason the Government are opposed to this scheme. It is felt not merely on this side of the House, but in certain parts, at any rate, on the other side of the House that if you desire to try this experiment and try it with some chance of success, then you must have common British fairness. You must not penalise these unfortunate individuals because the State wishes to alter its policy. That will be felt from end to end of Scotland, and you will have to face an opposition of your own raising if you insist on refusing that which practically the whole trade is asking for, namely, not State compensation, but simply State compulsion placed behind the organisation which they themselves have set up. That is the position, and we can hardly understand the opposition to it; but, without dealing with the matter at length, I merely desire at this stage to second the Motion for the Second Reading of the Clause in order that we may obtain a statement of the reasons which can possibly induce the Government and their extreme teetotal supporters, though not all their supporters, to insist on their objection to compensation.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
It will be in the recollection of hon. Members that when this Bill was before the Committee last Session an Amendment of this nature was moved by my hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow (Mr. Barnes). It was debated at some length, 194 but it went perhaps a little too much into detail, and the Secretary for Scotland found it was practically an unworkable scheme, and would not hold water. I then myself had the honour of moving an Amendment which I think was so elastic that it would have met all the desires of the gentlemen on whose behalf the right hon. Baronet (Sir G. Younger) has just spoken; but, not being in the confidence of the trade of Scotland, my Amendment did not receive that support which I think it was worthy of receiving. I make no claim to speak at all on behalf of the trade of Scotland, but I do claim the right to speak on behalf of the people of Scotland apart altogether from the trade and the temperance party. They have some right to be considered in this matter. They have some right to say, "We are not going to be driven by the temperance party or by the public-house party into a corner, one way or another, and we wish our case to be fairly and squarely put before the House of Commons," as it has already been put in most eloquent language by my right hon. Friend the Lord Advocate. No one spoke with such eloquence as he did upon the necessity of doing something for the moderate men in Scotland. The moderate men and women in Scotland have some claim to be heard before the Bar of the House of Commons.
What is the position in which we find ourselves now? Those people who are neither connected with the trade nor with the temperance party directly, those people who form the vast majority of the Scotch people, are strongly in favour of a measure of temperance reform. They see the evils of drink, the devastation and ruin it brings upon homes, every day of their lives, notably in the great towns. The position of the country districts is a little different. There in almost every village—outside my own district of Orkney and Shetland, which is specially favoured in this matter—there are two or three houses where one would be ample. I know many villages in the South infinitely overstocked with public-houses. The result of an overplus of public-houses upon the people at large is excessively mischievous, as anyone, like myself, who has gone among the people and know how they talk and feel about the matter, is aware. It results in this: Farmers coming into a local village or a small town go into one house to have a little meat and refreshment. If there was only one house they would walk out and have no more 195 to drink, but they feel they must go to the next house in order to show there is no ill-feeling. I am speaking of what I have heard myself and seen. They go, not because they want a drink, but because they want to show a kindly spirit towards their neighbour. Perhaps they go to a third, and the state in which they go home to their wives is very much to be deplored, and we should very much rejoice if something could be done to alleviate some of these distressing circumstances.
What is to be the position of those who live in the country districts of Scotland? I do not think it makes very much difference in a town like Glasgow, though the representatives of that city will speak for themselves, but in the country districts we are exceedingly desirous that two at least of those three houses should be closed, and we should carry closing resolutions with very little difficulty. We are face to face, however, with this: When we go canvassing we shall be told, "You are going to ruin that poor widow who has the next house, and that old man whose family have been there for time immemorial, and you are going to make the one that is left infinitely richer and better off than he was before." That will not appeal to the common sense or the kindly feeling and honesty of the people of Scotland. They will feel you have passed a measure which it is absolutely impossible to put into practical working effect, and we shall not be able to get the houses in the country districts closed, though we are exceedingly desirous they should be closed. I therefore in Committee moved the Amendment I did, and I regret to say it was not accepted by the Government.
I sincerely trust something in this line will be done. We have all been deluged by the appeals of the temperance societies to vote for the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill, and to take it line for line. I hope the House of Commons will not do that, and I hope the Secretary for Scotland will not do that. He has already given us a very good instance of the manner in which he can meet a critical situation, and I hope before the Debate closes he will show some consideration and feeling for his supporters, not in this House, because that is of very little importance, but in the country, who are exceedingly desirous of having a temperance measure passed for Scotland. I have discussed this matter with many of my Friends in the House, and in Committee 196 there was not a single objection made to the principle of this suggestion of mutual insurance except by the Secretary for Scotland, who said the scheme was not watertight, and the Member for Greenock (Mr. G. P. Collins), who also thought it was not watertight. Other Members for Scotland said, "Oh, yes, let them have a separate Bill of their own, and we will all vote for it." Is the trade to be put in that position? What chance will they have of getting a Bill of their own through the House of Commons at this stage, or, in fact, at any at all, in view of the attitude assumed by certain hon. Members? We have to make it perfectly clear to the House of Commons and to the country that there is no responsibility taken by the Government in respect of this Clause. There is no charge upon the National Exchequer for it. There is no charge upon the people of the country. It is simply a proposal, as far as I understand it—I hope I shall be corrected if I am wrong, because it is of great importance to many of us—that the trade shall be allowed to compulsorily insure themselves so that they shall not be met with absolute ruin should the closing of a house, which many of them know to be absolutely necessary, be required. I shall therefore have very great pleasure in supporting the proposed new Clause.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir W. MENZIES
I am what my hon. Friend calls a moderate man, but I would like to tell the hon. Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir G. Younger) that if I were an ardent and earnest supporter of his scheme for compensation I am afraid the tone and temper of the speech which we have heard from him would make me, as a Liberal Member, vote against him. The bearing of the hon. Member is usually very suave but to-day his style, I suppose because of certain recent elections in Scotland, has been one of hectoring and bullying the Government. He gains nothing whatever by adopting that style of speech. We are endeavouring to be as fair as possible in this Bill. The hon. Baronet says that five years' notice would mean blue ruin to the trade.
§ Sir W. MENZIES
It is thirty years since I first entered into politics, and at that time a Local Veto Bill was one of the measures before the constituencies. I stood for Parliament in the year 1892 and 197 reduced the Conservative majority very greatly indeed at that time. I then advocated local option and local veto, and, therefore, it is utterly absurd and indeed untrue to suggest that we are only giving the publicans five years' notice. The licensing interest in Scotland has, in fact, had from twenty to thirty years' notice. The Scottish Licensing trade recently issued a circular to the trade and in about 10,000 circulars issued there were only 4,300 replies; less than one-half of the licensing trade condescended to reply to the circular. Yet it is suggested that 95 per cent. of the trade are in favour of this scheme.
§ Sir W. MENZIES
At any rate, the licensed trade sent out 10,000 of these postcards and only got replies from 4,300. It cannot, therefore, fairly be said that 95 per cent. of the trade are in favour of compulsory insurance. I suggest that 6,000 out of the 10,000 are totally against it.
§ Sir W. MENZIES
I shall be glad to hear how I am wrong in making that statement. At any rate it shows that 6,000 members of the trade are indifferent upon the subject. We have no right to impose a tax upon the licence holders or to superadd another burden to those they already have to bear. For these and many other reasons, and because of the hectoring and bullying style adopted by the hon. Baronet opposite, I shall vote against the scheme.
§ Mr. BARNES
I supported a scheme upstairs very similar to the one now under discussion, and on that occasion I was induced to believe that the trade in Scotland, to the extent of 80 per cent. or 85 per cent., were in favour of it. It was on that ground that I became responsible for the scheme. But I am not altogether satisfied that so large a percentage are in favour, neither am I disposed to accept the statement of the hon. Member who has just spoken that because 4,000 odd only have replied to the circular sent out, therefore the remainder of the members of the trade are not in favour of compulsory insurance. A large number of those 6,000 who failed to reply probably did so for reasons best known to themselves, and hon. Members who have had experience in these matters must be well aware that there are many reasons why replies are 198 not sent in even by those who may be in favour of a given proposal. But I do suggest that the fact that 90 per cent. of the replies actually received were found to be in favour of this scheme may be taken as a fair indication that a very large proportion indeed of the licence trade in Scotland are in favour of some such proposal. Notwithstanding the failure of the trade to satisfy me as to the proportion in favour, I am going to vote for this scheme. Like the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland, I want this Bill to be operative. I do not want it to be a plaything in the hands of temperance people in Scotland. I want, when it once becomes law, that it shall really be effective in reducing the number of public-houses, and thereby reducing the temptations to drink.
If the people of Scotland are asked to vote in favour of depriving a large number of people of their living, I am sure they will be very chary in supporting this Bill. But even supposing the people were inclined to vote in this direction, I should still be in favour of some scheme of compulsory insurance. I am not disposed to regard the publican as beyond the pale of ordinary consideration. It is perfectly true that they are only granted licences to sell drink for one year, but we know that in these matters there should be something like common sense and the exercise of a fellow feeling. I had a talk recently with a gentleman at Hamilton, who told me that he and his father and his grandfather before him, had been in the licensed trade in the town of Hamilton all their lives. It was perfectly true that they had only held yearly licenses, but, surely, regard must be had to this state of affairs from the point of view of common sense. We cannot get away from facts like that, and they should have some bearing on the consideration of a Bill of this character. That is the reason why I am in favour of it. I want the Bill to become operative and without involving any deprivation of a man of his living, or even without giving opportunities to the publican to go round pitching harrowing tales of what will happen in the event of a measure of this character passing.
I did not hear the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for Ayr Burghs. I am sorry he adopted a hectoring tone. I do not think such a policy is likely to ensure success. I have heard it suggested that this proposal will have the effect of preventing the Bill becoming operative, because the funds will be insufficient, and 199 because there will not be enough money to pay out to publicans. I would like to suggest to hon. Members who hold that view, that surely it would be more likely to be the case if there were no funds at all. The operation of this Bill, as a matter of fact, is not dependent on the sufficiency or otherwise of the fund under this scheme. The publicans, so far as I understand it, know perfectly well that if this Bill operated to any great extent this scheme would not produce anything like 20s. in the £. But they say that if they are going to stand the risk of being deprived of their living, they ought to be sure of something out of the wreck. I think that that is a very fair position to take up. We are not asking the State to pay anything. We are not asking that the State should have any association with the working of the scheme beyond requiring the production of a certificate of a premium having been paid, which is a necessary condition of the granting of the license. I repeat that the operation of the Bill is not dependent on the sufficiency of the fund, and for these, among other reasons, I do not see why I should alter the opinion to which I gave expression upstairs in favour of the adoption of some scheme of this nature. Just a last word in regard to the suggestion that the publicans might do this for themselves. I suppose that in Scotland there are a large number of publicans who believe that they are perfectly safe and who, in the event of a voluntary scheme being put forward, would not pay the premium. We must face such a fact as that, and I, for one, have no objection to imposing a tax on these men. They are in the same boat as the rest of their trade. I believe the great bulk of them recognise that fact. They recognise that they have common duties and obligations to one another. I therefore hope that the scheme will be adopted.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I should like to congratulate the hon. Gentleman on having delivered a speech full of good, sound, and fair argument, although I fear it may not have the effect it should upon the Lord Advocate. I cannot congratulate the hon. Member for South Lanark (Sir W. Menzies) on the argument he brought forward against the proposal of my hon. Friend. May I point out that those arguments were not directed at all against the Second Beading of the Clause, but were directed against the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs, it being sug- 200 gested that he had moved the Clause in a hectoring and bullying manner. I differ from that view; but even had the hon. Member adopted that tone, surely it had nothing at all to do with the merits of the Clause itself, and hon. Members opposite should discuss the merits of the Clause rather than the faults and errors of those who may be supporting it. It is on the merits of the Clause that I propose to make a few remarks. The hon. Member for Orkney drew attention to the chief point when he told us that he had visited a great many public-houses in his constituency and found there was very considerable feeling against one particular public-house benefiting under the Act while two-other public-houses might practically be ruined. That is a sensible, sound, common-sense point of view to take, and any one who is going to vote against this Clause should endeavour to bring forward arguments to show that the Bill will not have that effect. If it does, it will only tend to lead people who are affected to combine together for their own defence, and that is all that the Clause of my hon. Friend does. The Secretary for Scotland has not given any indication of the action he proposes to take m regard to this-Clause. Unfortunately I was not on the Committee, and do not know what occurred there, but I sincerely trust that, in his own interest, the right hon. Gentleman will accept this Clause. It is going to done harm whatever to the cause of temperance; it cannot in any way injure that cause so far as temperance itself is concerned, but it may possibly render this Bill a little less unpopular in Scotland. From an electioneering point of view it would be rather foolish of me to support my hon. Friend, because unless a Clause of this sort is put in I believe the Bill will be so unpopular that there will be a great reaction against the people who have brought it forward.
I should like to congratulate the hon. Member for Orkney (Mr. Cathcart Wason) upon having freed himself from the trammels and shackles of the temperance party. I am glad he made that observation, because he has shown that there are Members on that side of the House who are really actuated by the merits of the case, and not merely by a desire to advance the nostrums and fads of the temperance party. I do not know what view the hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division (Mr. Leif Jones) is going to take of this matter. It would be interesting to 201 the House to know what his views are. I think the general fairness which actuates him would compel him to say that he must follow the views of the hon. Member for Orkney, and support this Clause. If that is so, I hope that he will get up and tell the House what he thinks. I have looked in vain at the countenances of the Lord Advocate and of the Secretary of State to see whether or not there was a glimmer of hope to be gained from those countenances. They are like sphinxes. I do not know exactly what they are going to do. Therefore, the best thing that can be done would be for two or three hon. Members behind them, who, like the hon. Member for Blackfriars, are desirous that people should not be altogether ruined, to get up and point out that the Clause is of a harmless character, and necessary if the Bill is to become law. I am quite sure that pressure from behind will induce the right hon. Gentleman to make up his mind to accept the Clause. The only difficulty I see about the Clause is that it is extremely long, and it is difficult to see whether it requires any amendment. At any rate, we might read it a second time, then we could spend time upon it afterwards to see if Amendments are required. The principle, I am quite sure, is sound; it is that, so far as possible, ruin should not be brought upon the heads of those unfortunate holders of licences, for whom, as the hon. Member for Blackfriars said, there is still hope.
§ Colonel GREIG
Before we proceed further with the examination of the details of this Clause, I think we might clear our minds as to what is the state of the law in Scotland at the present time and what are the principles which this Clause introduces. I hope the Government will not admit this Clause. The reasons why I take that view are, these: According to the law of Scotland—nobody opposite will deny it—at the present time a licence is a licence for one year. The justices at the present time are a body of men in the county, appointed partly from the county authorities and partly by the justices. They have uncontrolled discretion to refuse any licence or to renew any licence they like. That is exercised at the present moment, for last year in Glasgow twelve or more licences were refused without a single penny of compensation being paid. Therefore, licence holders in Scotland know very well what is the state of the law in Scotland as regards the position of men who hold licences under that law. 202 What does the Bill propose to do? It affects two classes of persons, those who are licence holders at the present moment and those who will become licence holders after the Bill has become law. The interests of these two classes of persons in regard to compensation are entirely different. As regards those who are licence holders now, they may possibly have some claim to consideration. The Bill gives it them. It gives them five years to consider and adjust their position before the Bill comes into operation. If I am not wrong, the Bill cannot operate on them until 28th May, 1918. Not only does it give them a five years' time limit, but by a Clause in the Bill it prevents the justices ordering any alteration in premises or putting additional expense upon them by ordering them to alter their premises. Therefore, to my mind, and to the mind of those who take a fair point of view, these licence holders will have had ample time to put their house in order. An hon. Member has pointed out that this question of temperance legislation on these lines has been before Scotland for thirty years, therefore all the men who have come under the law since then have known perfectly well that some alteration was going to be introduced, and they still have five years in which to do it.
Take the other class of men, who become licence holders after the Act becomes operative. How can they have any claim to compensation? They come under a system under which they know that licences can be reduced by 25 per cent, or abolished altogether in an area, or the justices' powers can be left as they are. In their case they will come into the trade with their eyes open to the conditions under which they will carry on that trade. Where is their claim to any compensation at all? What will be the effect of adopting the principle of compensation? It will introduce into the law of Scotland a principle which has never been there, which was introduced into the law of England in recent years, and which in its operation has failed in England. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Everyone knows that the amount of compensation put aside under the Licensing Act in England has been very small and inadequate, and that it has prevented justices from exercising the powers and the discretion they already had of putting an end to licences. What are we asked to do? To introduce, first of all, a new principle of law, the principle of compensation; secondly—and this is to my mind the insidious part of the 203 Clause—we are asked to adopt that principle under the ægis of the State. You will have licence holders, if anything goes wrong with the compensation fund, coming to the State and saying, "You sanctioned this scheme, and you must support it." They did not hesitate to say it at their big meeting in Glasgow, when the chairman read a letter which said:—We are all agreed that if it were possible to get compensation from the public, who by their, vote deprive us of our property, we would endeavour to get such a principle of compensation established.That is the principle embodied in this Clause. If anyone suggests that it will not bring in the State to guarantee the compensation he has only to look at Subsection (8), which says:—The central board may act with a quorum of five and shall, within twelve months after the passing of this Act, make rules prescribing amongst other things—(a) The principles on which the declared value of certificates is to be ascertained;—That is the whole principle of compensation—and the conditions on which these may be modified or readjusted;(b) The manner of subsequent election of members of the board and the duration of their office;—there you have the whole of the machinery for putting the principle of compensation into operation—(c) Any matters incidental to the proper conduct of the affairs of the board and to carrying out the provisions of this Act.Mark the next provision!Provided always that the rules shall not be contrary to anything in this Act contained and shall be approved by the Secretary for Scotland.The Secretary of State will be responsible for the rules for the Board, and, in the long run, will have to make up the fund if it is deficient. For these reasons I hope the Government will refuse to accept the Clause.
§ Mr. WHYTE
I cannot follow my hon. Friend who has just sat down in his argument. I approach the scheme put down on the Paper by the Hon. Baronet (Sir G. Younger) in the spirit which we were invited to approach it by the Lord Advocate. I ask myself in what respect does the scheme on the Paper in any way in- 204 troduce the principle of State compensation? I cannot find the thinnest thread by which the scheme proposed by the hon. Baronet could be drawn into any State compensation without further definite legislation. My hon. Friend (Colonel Greig) says we have the principle. We have not got the principle established. It would be arguable that the principle had been established if this Bill did not set up an entirely new state of affairs. On that point I should like to observe that the Scottish publican has taken his licence from the beginning of one year to the end of that year, and that, therefore, the risk he undergoes of losing his licence may be theoretically great. Yet we must remember that it is practically small, and that, in consequence, that risk has been, up to recent years, at all events, and still is for the greater part, an insurable risk. Here we are overturning that insurable risk, or we are so supplementing the risk as to make it a totally different risk altogether.
I am perfectly persuaded that the argument put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason) is absolutely sound in this, that the average moderate man in Scotland, who in this matter will be the balance in the election, will have in his mind considerations of the position of a particular individual or particular individuals who will be affected by this legislation, and that his vote, which will probably turn the referendum on this point in any given district, will be largely dictated by the fact of the presence or absence of some form of insurance. If he knows that the majority of the trade have accepted the insurance scheme it is proposed to put into this measure, his vote will be much more willingly given to an object which, other things being equal, he very greatly favours, but he will shrink—I am not speaking in the air, but with a full knowledge of such men in Scotland—from giving his vote unless he knows that at least the edge of the danger is blunted by such a scheme as this. I am not at all influenced by what has been described as the hectoring style of the hon. Baronet. He, of course, is out for a different purpose in regard to this measure than we are, and no doubt that is his way, but, as has been pointed out on both sides, the intrinsic merit of a particular proposal is what we are here bound to examine, especially when we are dealing with one of 205 the later stages of the Bill, and when it will soon have passed from our hands. We are asked why then make it compulsory. That brings me back again to the point which I raised earlier in my remarks, that we must make it compulsory, because you have upset all the conditions under which licenced insurance is carried on at this moment in Scotland. You have thrust in a factor which is practically incalculable or rather is only calculable in this sense, that there are certainly certain districts in Scotland which could not for many years adopt local veto, and that therefore publicans in those districts will say, "We are free from that danger, or it is so far off that we will not need to insure against it, and we are not going to step in to help our more seriously threatened brethren." Therefore in order to make the scheme of this Bill satisfactory to public opinion generally in Scotland, some compulsion is necessary, and the only compulsion which can be applied is that of an Act of Parliament. Finally, I would repeat that this Amendment will act powerfully as a facilitating measure for local veto, and I would earnestly plead with those who are the most stalwart friends of advanced temperance reform in Scotland to consider very carefully whether there is not far more weight in the argument that has been adduced in favour of this insurance measure than they commonly suppose, and before they brush it aside altogether to try to put themselves in the position of the average elector in Scotland when he is brought face to face with a requisition for a poll, and I am perfectly persuaded that if he is able to put himself in that position he can only come to one decision upon this point, and that is that this Clause deserves a Second Reading.
MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
I congratulate the hon. Member on the line that he has taken over this Bill, because I do not think it is really a question of temperance or non-temperance, but merely a question of equity. I cannot see why any man who is interested in temperance should not vote for this particular Clause. The hon. Member said he advocated this Clause for a different purpose from that of the hon. Baronet. I do not know what purpose lie was urging, but I know that the hon. Baronet is most anxious in the cause of temperance. I know that when he was in my Constituency the other day he was lamenting that there was too much taxation upon whisky. I do not know if that is the point of view which he is taking.
MARQUESS Of TULLIBARDINE
The hon. Member knows his speech, and we know the speech he made, and I do not think I need enter into the question of that speech at present. I think he knows to what I was referring. Certainly my Constituency does. I should also like to say a word with regard to what the hon. Gentleman (Sir W. Menzies) had to say. He made the extraordinary statement that all those who had not answered the circular that the hon. Baronet (Sir G. Younger) stated had been sent out must in consequence be in favour of the Bill. He might just as well have said that the 200 odd Members of the Radical party who are not here now, if we had a Division, were against this Bill. Of course, that is not an argument which will hold water for a moment. It is certain on the law of averages that if forty out of 400 vote one way and the rest vote the other way, the predominance of opinion, at all events, must be in favour of the whole lot of those who voted on the side of the 400. With regard to this Clause it will obviously cause very great distress among a certain section of people in this country who are engaged in a perfectly legitimate trade if in future they are not to be allowed to get compensation in some way or another, but hold their licences absolutely according to the whim of the popular vote, and possibly an excited vote, of the moment. In Scotland, in spite of what the hon. Member (Colonel Greig) said, there is a reasonable chance of security at present if a man conducts his licence properly. But if this Bill passes there will be no security. If you have prohibition, for instance, the whole of the licences, whether well or badly conducted, will go, and therefore a man has no security at all. I think the result will be that you will make the existing public-houses very much worse places than they are at present, because a man will find that he has only got five years and no insurance at all, and there is a chance of it being taken away at any moment, and he will try to make as much money as possible in order to cut any possible loss. It will simply make the houses worse conducted and drive men to making hay while 207 the sun shines. But if they are insured and they know they will not lose money, at all events when the licence is taken away that gives them some incentive to take a pride in their house and to conduct it properly, and they will know that there is a chance of being able to continue possibly in the same premises, and possibly under the same landlord, and will gradually put up a fund which will enable them to make their houses more consonant with the ideas of public temperance than they are at present.
Then I think it is obvious that if this insurance is not made compulsory you will probably have bankruptcies ail over the place, the premiums will be very much higher than is proposed now, and you will not find the strong supporting the weak. Certainly, I should think the Labour party would support us in this, because I should think they would be the last people in the world who wished to support what they are pleased to call blacklegs. So far as the Clause itself is concerned, the control is surely extremely democratic. It is left in the hands of the trade itself, and the way it has been drafted is that the licence holders themselves have the predominant control, and I should say that financially it is as sound as a scheme of that sort can possibly be, and the trade itself—I mean the brewers' interests and the distillers' interests—are certainly not predominant, but rather less than those of the retail holders. So it has everything to make it popular in Scotland, and I am certain, if we do not put some scheme of this sort in, you will do away with exactly what you want. I do not say the Chancellor of the Exchequer wishes it, but some hon. Members profess that they wish to do away with public-houses in Scotland. The difficulty might be removed in that way, but once the people see that the publicans have some grievance they will never vote for your prohibition, because they will say, "It is very hard luck on the man; he has no insurance and he has only five years. We have known him all these years and he will be hit by it." Take away that excuse and you will be far more likely to have prohibition or what I might at all events call an honest vote at the election. Of course, if the right hon. Gentleman opposite does not really want to have prohibition, to a certain extent I am with him. But, as it is, I am quite certain that this Clause is a fair one, and I cannot see why any hon. Member here should not 208 vote for it, whether he is interested in temperance or not. It is a mere question of equity. Why is a man not to insure himself? Because hon. Members opposite, or the Secretary for Scotland certainly is in shackles, from which he cannot get away.
§ Sir FREDERICK LOW
I trust an English Member may be permitted to say a word or two on this subject. Before the Government state what their views may be, I, speaking for myself, should like to say I think it is one which requires a very great deal of consideration before it is rejected. I do not agree with the suggestions which have been put forward by some speakers upon this side of the House that this is a compensation scheme. It appears to me to have nothing to do with compensation at all. It is an insurance scheme, and the only question that really seems to me to be relevant to the inquiry upon which we have entered is whether or not the trade desires this scheme. If the Committee is satisfied that this is a scheme which meets the views of the trade in Scotland I, for one, am entirely unable to see why the trade should not be allowed to adopt it. It is perfectly clear that under an enactment of this kind, if it is to be carried out, an enormous amount of loss and consequent distress must fall upon individuals, and I do not see why, however keen one may be for principles which are ordinarily called principles of temperance, one should oppose a combination for that purpose, and therefore I do not wish to pledge myself in any way to the details of the scheme. At the moment I am only referring to the principle of it. I would suggest that before this scheme is met by an absolute negative the Government should consider whether it is not possible to introduce into this Bill a scheme which may have, and which I think will have, if its details are somewhat amended and adjusted, the effect of doing away with a great deal of the loss and distress which must arise from the vigorous application of a measure of this sort. Therefore I hope that on this side of the House this scheme, which appears to be perfectly fairly put forward in the interests of the trade, may receive a fair consideration.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I must recall to the House what the practical proposition which is put before the Government really is, because the hon. Gentleman (Sir F. Low) safeguarded himself by saying that he would express no opinion about the scheme, and speaker after speaker on both 209 sides of the House has been very careful to utter no words of strong commendation of the scheme. So eminent a financial expert as the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) made a speech on the subject in which he was very careful to say not a single word about the scheme. The hon. Baronet who moved the Amendment said of the scheme that he had not had time to consider it, and he quoted figures which he said had been supplied to him for which he could not vouch. The hon. Member for the Camlachie Division of Glasgow (Mr. Mackinder) said that the scheme had been so well explained by his predecessor that he would not talk about it at all. It is no use putting a general proposition before us, as you have done, before the licence holders. You are asking the Government to assume a grave responsibility. My hon. Friend the Member for the Black-friars Division (Mr. Barnes) said he did not think the Government should assume any responsibility. My hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason) took the same line. I want to put this to the House, how is it possible for the Government to insert a provision in an Act of Parliament that every member of the trade shall compulsorily pay substantial contributions to an insurance fund unless that Government is to take some responsibility for the adequacy, security, management, and the general stability and probity of the fund? Is anyone on the other side of the House prepared to deny that the proposition is that we are asked to compel people to contribute to the fund, some of whom are admittedly unwilling, and then say, "We have nothing to do with this fund, for we have no responsibility for it." What is the position in regard to this fund? There have been a series of stages of this scheme. They vary enormously, and the last scheme to which we are asked to pledge ourselves as a Government and House of Commons is one which even the Gentleman who proposes it tells us that he has not had time to consider it. It is a scheme which we have only seen on the Paper this morning, and yet we are asked to compel the publicans of Scotland to adopt the scheme.
Nobody has defended the scheme proposed to-day. We had a scheme in Committee which was quite different. In fact, we have had several schemes, but the one put down to-day differs from them in essential principles. This proposes that new people should contribute. It may be quite proper, but supposing we put this scheme in the Bill this afternoon, what may these 210 people say to us? They may say, "You have put us in as compulsory contributors to the scheme. We have never been asked about it. We have not considered it, and it is a monstrous thing that a burden should be put upon mortgagees"—that is how they describe themselves—"without our ever having had an opportunity of making representations to Parliament on the subject." That is the proposition put to the Government by the party opposite, and it is one to which on behalf of the Government I could not agree. Let us look at the evidence as regards the position of the trade as to approval or disapproval of the scheme. We are told sometimes that the whole trade approve of the scheme. It is a fair thing to say that if the whole trade, or nearly the whole trade, approve of the scheme, there is no obstacle under the sun in the way of their having a scheme of insurance. I wish them to have a scheme of insurance. I agree that it would facilitate the operation and working of this measure. What I object to is having a scheme of insurance put in this Bill as a condition of the reduction of licences. That is a principle I cannot concede. If they are right in saying, as the hon. Baronet and many people have said, that they are assured of the assent of the trade to the scheme, what are 1,000 licence holders in Glasgow doing at the present day? Insuring themselves.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Why cannot it be done if they are agreed? What is the other alternative? If there is a great deal of difference of opinion in the trade—it is my opinion that there is—and the Government says to those people who do not want to be compulsorily insured that they shall be insured, what will they turn round and say to us? They will say, "You compel me to be insured; you have accepted the scheme which was put before you the very day it was discussed, and which you confess there was no chance of considering. That is not fair. Make the scheme adequate and ample." That is what is behind the whole agitation, This is not an attempt to get this scheme into the Bill. Nobody believes in the scheme in my opinion. It is an attempt to get the Government committed to the principle of compensation before a licence can be taken away. I have always felt that, and every deputation I have received has confirmed me in that opinion. I was present at a deputation to-day, and the first thing they said was, "Why should 211 Scottish licence holders be worse off than English licence holders? They have the same vested rights as the English trade." They have not. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite know perfectly well that they have not the same rights. The English right was largely created by the Act of 1904. It does not exist in Scotland, and, in my opinion, I would be betraying my trust if I accepted that principle, and admitted a vested interest in licences in Scotland. I am reminded that they could not carry a proposition like that for Scotland. By whom was it opposed? It was opposed by the then Conservative Secretary for Scotland (Lord Balfour of Burleigh).
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I quoted the speech of Lord Balfour of Burleigh in my speech on the Second Heading of this Bill.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Precisely; that is what I am saying. The Secretary for Scotland would not hear of it.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Then how does the hon. Member explain Lord Balfour's speech which is on record. He said:—I am apprehensive that an attempt may be made to extend the general principle of this Bill to Scotland, and I wish to take this opportunity of saying there is such a difference in the circumstances of the two countries that it would be an act of gross injustice to apply the principle of this Bill to the country north of the Tweed.When a deputation comes to me and says "We have got the same vested interests as the English trade," I quote Lord Balfour of Burleigh in denying it. What did Lord Balfour say further? Hon. Members opposite do not appear to be acquainted with the Noble Lord's language. He said:—My objection to the Bill is that it closes, and does not pave the way to a final and permanent solution of this question. I go further and say that I believe it will be an obstacle, an absolute obstacle, in the way of that complete reform.I am not going to set up that obstacle. I agree with Lord Balfour in thinking that the position of Scotland should be maintained. I say that what we have before us is not a practical proposition. We are asked to commit the Government to a 212 compulsory scheme of insurance. I say it would be wrong for the Government to adopt such responsibility. We should be told, "You have accepted the scheme, and therefore you must in honour take the responsibility of it." I do not see how the Government could divest themselves of that.
§ Mr. SCOTT DICKSON
The right hon. Gentleman has quoted some observations made by Lord Balfour of Burleigh which were no doubt quite relevant and pertinent to the Bill he was discussing, but it was totally different from that which is now before the House. The basis of the right hon. Gentleman's whole speech was an argumentum ad homincm. Lord Balfour was dealing with a measure which was different from this toto cœlo. We on this side of the House, and indeed all the Gentlemen on the other side who have spoken on the question, except one, are agreed in thinking that this Amendment should be put in the Bill. I would ask the House to remember that during the whole of the discussion this afternoon, there have only been found two Members on the other side of the House who had a word to say against the principle of the Amendment apart from the Secretary for Scotland who, if I may respectfully say so, has not said a word against the principle of it. We are not discussing the details of the proposal. Everyone is agreed that there may be room for amendment. As I understood, the hon. Baronet the Member for the Ayr Burghs (Sir G. Younger), has not had time to consider the details, of the Amendment, but he has made himself responsible for the details by putting the Amendment on the Paper in his name. He has not had time to consider it, because those who order the arrangement of Government business, only stated on the last day before the adjournment what business was to be taken when the House reassembled. I cannot see how anyone could more thoroughly identify himself with a scheme than by putting it down on the Paper in his name. The hon. Member for Renfrewshire spoke against the proposal, but his argument was not in the least relevant. The hon. Member for Lanarkshire discovered some hectoring and bullying qualities in the speech of the hon. Baronet. I think hon. Members on both sides of the House would be surprised to hear that there was anything of that sort in my hon. Friend's speech. It is not the tone in which he usually addresses the House.
213 6.0 P.M.
I confess I am surprised to find, after the majority of those who have spoken tonight on the Government side have said that they are entirely in favour of this Clause, that the Secretary of Scotland should brush all aside and say it is going to introduce a principle which no one can support. As I understood his argument, it was that it would introduce the principle of compensation. If there could be a more gross misunderstanding of the Amendment I do not know what it is. It simply says that the trade shall insure themselves. I hold that is a matter in which the Government will not be held responsible. Here is a proposal which the trade say, through their representatives in the House of Commons, they are willing to take. I do not say that the trade are unanimous, but by a large majority they are willing to accept the proposal. And if the scheme, subject to any reasonable amendment, is one which the hon. Member for Orkney, the hon. Member for Perth, the hon. Member for Blackfriars, and the hon. Member for Norwich say is likely to commend the general policy of the Act to the elector, and give it a better chance of being carried into effect, why in the world do not the Government accept it? They will be able to say, "Why we took that scheme because it was put before us by those who spoke for the trade as being reasonable and fair, and by moderate men who support temperance principles as being one which will enable the Bill to get bettor and fairer play in the country."
To my mind this scheme differs toto cœlo from what was brought in under the English Bill. The English Bill, as I understand, says that you cannot take away licences beyond what the fund provided for enables you to do. There is nothing of that kind in this Bill. That I agree was compensation, and that was the kind of Bill that Lord Balfour of Burleigh was referring to. But this Bill is completely different, and it is a perversion of the fact to represent that this is the same as the English scheme of compensation. I am quite certain that many hon. Members on both sides who are thoroughly identified with temperance reform quite appreciate that, while they might have opposed the principle of the English Act of 1904, just because it limited the amount of restriction to the amount of money contributed—there is nothing like that under this Clause. We are here asking the Government to recognise the principle that 214 the members of the trade, a large proportion of whom wish to be brought into that condition, shall have an insurance scheme which will enable them to mitigate any of the evils which might arise from too drastic an application of this measure. I cannot find any answer in what the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland said to the arguments advanced by his own supporters, all of them except one professing to be supporters of temperance, as indeed we all profess to be, though we have different ways of getting at it. I have not heard any reply by the right hon. Gentleman to these arguments advanced by his own supporters. I cannot understand how the principle of this Clause can be objected to. Certainly it has not been objected to in any argument either by the hon. Member for Lanark, who spoke against it, or the hon. Member for Perthshire, or the right hon. Gentleman himself, and, so far as I am concerned, I shall vote for the principle of this Clause.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The hon. Member for West Renfrewshire (Colonel Greig) said the compensation in England had broken down—and he used this as an argument against this Amendment—because it would be impossible to obtain the money for it. A more ludicrous misstatement of the fact it is impossible to imagine. Between the years 1905 and 1911 an average of over a million pounds per year has been paid in compensation to licence holders. To say, therefore, that compensation has broken down in England because it was impossible to obtain the amount of money is absolutely untrue, and so far as any argument upon that statement can be pressed in reference to the present Clause proposed by my hon. Friend the facts are all in favour of the Clause. It is all on a par with the statement made by opponents of this Clause opposite in Debate and the statement made by the Secretary for Scotland, in which he described as a proposal to put Scotland into the Licensing Bill a passing reference by the Secretary of State for Scotland in his speech.
§ Earl WINTERTON
No. What the right hon. Gentleman said was there was a proposal to put Scotland in the Bill. No such proposal was ever made, and it is obvious from the right hon. Gentleman's attitude that he was quite aware of that when he got up.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure)
In differing from some of my hon. Friends behind me, I take no exception whatever to the tone and temper in which this proposed Clause was spoken to by hon. Members opposite or to the argument advanced by my right hon. and learned Friend and by the hon. Baronet. I cannot say that I have changed my mind since this Bill was in Committee two years ago or during the present Session. If I had changed my mind I should certainly not feel ashamed to say I had. It is no disgrace at all for a man to change his mind and honestly to explain his reasons. When I laid down some conditions which I thought ought to be complied with if a scheme such as this were to be accepted by the promoters of a Temperance Bill such as the House is now considering, I quite agree with the hon. Baronet opposite that the first condition which I laid down is complied with by this Clause: that is to say, it is not made conditional upon their being a sufficient fund in the insurance scheme that any of the Resolutions suggested or allowed by this Bill should come into operation. I agree that this Clause, if it were embodied in the Bill, would not in any way affect the discretionary powers now confided to the magistrates, nor would it affect the carrying into operation of any of the Resolutions proposed in the Bill. In that respect certainly it differs from the provisions of the English Bill, because, as we all know, the reduction and extinction of licences was made conditional upon their being an aggregate sum to indemnify the licence holder for the loss which he might suffer. The first condition, I agree, is complied with, but I think that the hon. Baronet will bear with me when I say that if a scheme such as this is put forward and is pressed upon the Government to embody it in the Bill, it ought to be, and necessarily must be, to a great extent a scheme which will offer, I do not say complete, but substantial indemnity to the licence holder, and a scheme also which in all its conditions is put forward as a sound and temperance scheme, because there cannot be the smallest doubt that if the Government were to accept such 216 a scheme they would be bound to guarantee its soundness, its solvency, and its fitness to afford substantial compensation to the licensed holder.
I would quite understand the hon. Baronet coming down to the House and saying: "Here is a scheme which I assure you has been carefully examined by actuarial experts and others, who say that it is perfectly sound. I myself have examined it and find it so. I put it before you as a sound, healthy scheme, which will give substantial indemnity to all those licence holders who may conceivably be injured in their practice by the carrying of some of these Resolutions, and I have to ask the Government to embody this scheme in their Bill." That is not the position which the hon. Baronet has taken or which any of those supporting him take. Not one Member of this House has said one single word in support of the soundness and solvency, and the substantial financial character of this scheme to which we are asked to assent. Is not the argument of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary for Scotland, absolutely unanswerable when he says that if we were to accept this scheme we should be bound to make it thoroughly fit to afford substantial indemnity to every license holder who conceives himself to be injured? Any scheme which we did accept we should have to guarantee. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I cannot conceive any Government compelling licence holders to insure themselves, and at the same time divesting themselves of all responsibility for the solvency and soundness of the scheme. That is a position which no Government could accept, and certainly, I think, that the hon. Baronet will find in the observations which I have ventured to make in Committee and outside, and which are quite familiar to the House, that I was speaking all through of a scheme which would provide a substantial indemnity to the licence holders and be a sound and healthy scheme. I think that the hon. Baronet will also agree when I say that I was thinkng of a scheme which I would not say was accepted unanimously by the trade, because it would be impossible to have absolute unanimity, but a scheme which really was accepted by the overwhelming majority of the trade. I am not complaining of the method which the trade have taken in order to ascertain the views of its members on this scheme. I know quite well the difficulty of ascertaining the views of a large trade, scattered 217 about the country. But I ask the House seriously, have we had any figures put before us to show that there is really any substantial majority of the trade who have considered this question and have decided that this scheme ought to be accepted?
I may have my own impression, but I could not honestly say to any man that it is quite clearly shown that there was that substantial majority in this trade quite ready to accept the scheme. But you have to go a little further than that. I think that the trade might have done a little more than they have done to satisfy the House that it was impossible for them to frame and agree to a voluntary scheme. There again we do not ask them to show that every man would not agree. But surely the trade should satisfy the House that they have not among their numbers such an overwhelming majority who are quite ready to enter into a voluntary scheme. If they had satisfied us that it was impossible to secure any substantial number of members who would enter into a voluntary scheme, that, again, would be a matter for consideration. I can quite easily see that the very object which I have in view most as a temperance reformer would be defeated if this scheme were accepted. It appears to me that people who were eager to carry a resolution to have no licence in any district would be met by very strenuous opposition on the part of the members of the trade and their friends, who would say, "We have been forced against out will to enter into a scheme which affords us no sort of substantial indemnity against the wrong which you are going to do us. If we had been left to ourselves, with no scheme at all, we would have done ourselves justice and have prevented this resolution being carried. But here we are hampered by the Government, which compels substantial contribution from us under a scheme which affords nothing like an indemnity as will meet our loss." These are considerations which press upon my mind. I entirely assent to what my hon. Friend the Member for West Renfrewshire said, that if the Government accepted this Amendment they would have to guarantee the soundness and solvency of the fund. I do not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Perth, however, that further legislative enactment would be required. It would need to be done in this Bill. If we are not in a position to say that it is a sound and solvent scheme which would give 218 such an indemnity as would be required, then there is no alternative but the course proposed by the Secretary for Scotland.
§ Mr. CLYDE
I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the unflinching attitude which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ure) has just taken up—an unflinching attitude which means that this proposal, for which there is support not from one side of the House only, is to be flung aside, and the working of this Bill will be to make out of the area of its operations a battlefield, and out of the operations on that battlefield there will, if I am not mistaken, be little benefit to the cause of temperance, to the promotion of which this measure is directed. I cannot pretend, and I do not stand here to pretend, to be enamoured of the principles of this Bill. So far as I am concerned, I vastly prefer the rule of liberty to the modern Radical attitude of constant restriction and interference, but I acknowledge that the Bill has passed the Second Reading and gone to a Committee upstairs, and if we are to get any good out of it at all I am convinced that we can only do it on the footing that there are some means or other whereby the public opinion of a locality, where there is an appeal to its judgment, can be saved from the distraction and perplexities of the appeals which will inevitably be made by members of the trade who are about to be ruined either by prohibition or by a resolution restricting the granting of licences. That is an appeal which would certainly be listened to by moderate men. whether temperance reformers or not, and it is an appeal which will certainly prevent this measure, which is provided to obtain the true index of local opinion, from allowing that local opinion to have its way. There is only one way in which the local public control of the traffic can succeed, and that is by making that control consistent with a fair measure of justice to those whose business is destroyed. If you do not do that, then public opinion in Scotland and anywhere else will refuse to have anything to do with a measure that is going to destroy the business of people and give them nothing in its place.
Observe what the reasons are which the right hon. Gentleman has advanced! He went so far as to say, in the concluding part of his speech, that he thought the provision of an insurance scheme would prove an obstacle to the free working of local option. It is exactly the other way, unless I am completely mistaken. Does the right hon. Gentleman imagine that 219 appeals of the publicans threatened with wrong will be less or will be greater according as there is at least some partial insurance fund, or none at all? The charge against the scheme is that it does not provide complete and substantial indemnity to the publican whose business is taken away. Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the appeal of the publican whose business is on the verge of destruction, or who thinks it is on the verge of destruction, to the moderate man will have less effect if there is no remedy for him at all, or when, on the other hand, there is a remedy, though only a partial one? The right hon. Gentleman says the indemnity must be substantial and complete. I do not know what he means. If you are going to lay down the provision that the indemnity must be substantially complete on the one hand, and, on the other hand, you are going to establish a double risk for every publican every three years after the first five years, when he may have his licence taken away under a no-licence resolution, or under a restricting resolution—if you say, on the one hand, the indemnity must be complete, and, on the other hand, you establish risks as wide and comprehensive as those, then you cannot have any indemnity at all, because you are applying the rule of all or none to a situation in which it is not business to establish an insurance fund against all risks when you make those risks so large and wide.
If the right hon. Gentleman says the indemnity should be complete, I am very willing to yield to him if he tells us from what source he knows that that is actuarily possible, or is anywhere within range of being actuarily possible. If he says it is possible, I dispute it, and my foundation for that is those very voluntary insurance corporations to which he has referred. He says, "I am not satisfied that publicans could not be voluntarily insured." Does he not think that those large insurance corporations which deal with this kind of risk ought to know something about that? What they say is, "We cannot on a voluntarily established basis—in fact within the limits of our actuarial experience—provide a fund to give substantial and complete indemnity against risks as wide as these." If the right hon. Gentleman was in a position to say that he would have nothing to do with any insurance scheme which did not provide complete indemnity, a little re- 220 flection might have put him on the right way, namely, that he was against all insurance schemes whatsoever. What I understood from my reading this morning to have been the real argument on the Second Reading was not this at all. The line taken on the Second Reading Debate was this: That an insurance scheme would be objectionable because it was going to make the operation of local option introduced by the Bill dependent on the presence of money enough to enable complete indemnity to be given. That was a very strong argument, but the right hon. Gentleman himself admits that that argument is powerless against this Clause, which professes to put by compulsion on the trade as large a contribution for insurance as the trade themselves like to stand. We acknowledge that the insurance fund which will be formed by means of this levy will not be a fund adequate to provide against all risks. What we say is this: That so far as that levy does go, proportionately as the risks are actually felt, there will be indemnity given. It is an exact carrying out of the spirit of what the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow (Mr. Barnes) himself expressed as being something which, if not complete, at any rate was in accordance with common sense and with the ordinary sense of justice of mankind.
The other objection, the last, I think, which the right hon. Gentleman advanced against this proposal, is that the Government must guarantee this indemnity. I wonder what in all the world that means? I do not want to raise a highly controversial point, but we have a great national insurance scheme, and will the right hon. Gentleman say that the Government is to guarantee the solvency of that scheme. I do not make a party point, but I ask where is the necessity, if you establish under State sanction and State regulations an insurance scheme, that therefore the State must guarantee that scheme? What is the meaning of that principle, to which certainly effect was not given in the National Insurance Act? What in the world is there in the nature of the thing to make it necessary? If you will go so far as compulsion, we shall be able to provide a fund which at least will partially enable us to meet the difficulty. What is there in the nature of the thing which requires the State to say, "Oh, no, we cannot give those powers, because if we did then the State would be called upon to guarantee the fund against all risks"? I 221 do think that this really is as complete a non sequitur for the right hon. Gentleman or myself as we ever found ourselves committed to. When we look to the objections to the scheme, with great respect I do not think they hold water, and I revert to the point of view which I have already stated. But if you are to get anything out of the Bill in Scotland, it is the height of folly to convert the area of its operations into a battlefield, which would be the inevitable result of a refusal of this measure of compensation.
§ Mr. SHERWELL
As one who has consistently opposed the principle of the English Act of 1904, and who proposes without a shadow of hesitation to vote for the present Clause, I do not wish to give a vote without explanation, and without frankly stating the reasons which lead me to give that vote. I confess I have listened with considerable disappointment to the speeches both of the Secretary for Scotland and of the Lord Advocate. The real grievance which English licensing reformers have against the Act of 1904 is that it does limit the measure of progress by the amount of the Compensation Fund. We have the perfectly frank avowal of the Lord Advocate that there is nothing in this proposed scheme of compulsory insurance which will in any way militate against the operation of the options under this Bill. When we are assured that a Bill of a particularly drastic character—and I say nothing as to whether the extreme drasticity of the proposals is legitimate or not—but when a Bill with proposals of a severely drastic character admittedly comes into operation without the least hindrance from this proposed scheme of compensation, then it does seem to me that the fundamental ground is cut away from all those who oppose a reasonable scheme of this kind. I listened with considerable disappointment to the Lord Advocate's speech. I tried to follow his reasoning, which I understood was that unless you can have an admittedly impossible scheme of insurance therefore you can have no scheme, and because you cannot protect the unfortunate licensee from the whole of his loss therefore you are not to protect him against a part or any proportionate measure. That does not seem to me to be a line which any reasonable reformer should take up in this House. I increasingly abhor all attempts at social reform which inflict unnecessary hardship or suffering on the individual, and I do not be- 222 lieve, further, that in licensing reforms or in any other branch of social reform it ultimately pays to inflict unnecessary hardship for the good of the community on the particular individual. I listened with some surprise to the Lord Advocate's speech, because it seems to me to run entirely counter to the frank statement he made on the occasion of the Second Reading. The Lord Advocate then said, referring to his previous statements:—I stand by it here to-night, as I have stood by it in the country. The question of compulsory insurance has always presented itself to me in two aspects: firstly, as an indispensable act of justice to a dispossessed publican, and secondly as a method of smoothing the path to proposing a no-licence resolution.The House will observe that in his Second Heading speech, the Lord Advcoate supported a compulsory insurance scheme on the ground that it was an indispensable part of a Licensing Bill such as this, while the Lord Advocate is to-night giving his support to a Bill which admittedly includes no proposal for a compulsory insurance scheme. Because I believe strongly, as one who has worked for some long time in connection with licensing reform, that the reforms aimed at in this particular Bill will be facilitated and greatly strengthened in their progress by the inclusion in the Bill of a proposal such as that of the hon. Baronet, I shall to-night unhesitatingly give my vote in favour of the Motion.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I understand by the Rules of the House, and with your permission, I am entitled as Mover of this Motion to reply on the Debate. I regret very much that I was summoned out of the House at the opening of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Scotland and that I did not therefore hear what he said. I am informed that the right hon. Gentleman told the House that I had put this scheme on the Paper, and that I had told him that I had not read it and did not understand it and knew nothing about it.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I did not say so. I repeated what the hon. Member himself said in the House, that he had not had time to go into the scheme.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I did not. I understood that it was a kind of obligation that what was said in the Lobby was sacred.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I have not quoted words said in the Lobby, I am referring to what the hon. Member said in a speech in the House.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I said nothing of the kind, but I did say in the Lobby last night, when I had come from a Committee meeting at half-past seven o'clock, or, rather, after eight o'clock, with the scheme in my hand, that I had not had time fully to consider it. That was true then—[An HON. MEMBER: "You said it to-day."]—it is not true now. I have been considering it ever since. I was considering it at three o'clock this morning. The right hon. Gentleman has got no right whatever to make that statement which is not correct. I shall take very good care that all my conversations with the right hon. Gentleman in the Lobby in future are carefully guarded. May I say, as far as I am concerned, I am extremely satisfied and pleased with the manner in which this proposal has been received on both sides of the House. Only two hon. Members opposite found fault with the scheme or criticised it severely. I think one of the hon. Members founded his criticism rather on a misunderstanding as to the position of licence holders, and there was then the criticism by the hon. Member for Lanark. I am frankly disappointed with the attitude of the Lord Advocate on this question. I do not need to say anything more about that after the criticisms passed by my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, and by my learned Friend below me. I had certainly hoped he would have taken a different view of the situation, and would have helped us to smooth the passage of this Bill by embodying in its proposals some reasonable scheme of compulsory insurance. I am bound to say that I despair, myself, of any very great concession being made in this Bill now after the speech of the Lord Advocate and the tone in which the right hon. Gentleman
§ the Secretary for Scotland addressed the House on this particular proposal.
§ As to the point about Lord Balfour of Burleigh's speech in the House of Lords, I should only like to say that I think the right hon. Gentleman might have taken the trouble to inform himself what the position was before he made the statement. There never was any proposal, as far as I know, to apply the Act of 1904 to Scotland, not that I do not think it would not have been fair and reasonable to do so. The House must know, and ought to know, that there is no difference whatever, and was no difference then, between the position of English and Scottish licence-holders. They are both in exactly the same position under the law. If hon. Members will look into the matter they will find they are in the same position, and even the words which are often referred to no longer appear in one of those Acts. If the 1904 Act was a legitimate Act to apply to England and I do not say it was—it was equally legitimate to apply it to Scotland. I never heard of any proposal being made, and I know that no official Amendment and no Amendment of any kind was moved in the course of the discussion to apply that Act to Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman distinctly misled the House in making the statement in the manner in which he did, because he led us to assume that Lord Balfour of Burleigh was dealing with a specific proposal, whereas he was only safeguarding himself against any proposal to apply the Bill to Scotland afterwards, which is a very different thing altogether. I have no more to say, except that I think in other quarters notice will be taken of the fact that this Debate has been entirely favourable to this proposal except in the case of the two Members of the Government and two hon. Members opposite.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 108; Noes, 249.227
|Division No. 215.]||AYES.||[6.40 p.m.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Clyde, James Avon|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Bridgeman, William Clive||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bull, Sir William James||Cooper, Richard Ashmole|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Courthope, George Loyd|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Butcher, John George||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Campion, W. R.||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)|
|Barnston, Harry||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Barrie, H. T.||Cassel, Felix||Croft, Henry Page|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Cator, John||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cautley, Henry Strother||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Cave, George E.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Boyton, James||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Fell, Arthur||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Forster, Henry William||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Stanier, Beville|
|Gardner, Ernest||Kerry, Earl of||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stewart, Gershom|
|Goldman, Charles Sydney||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Sykes, Alan John (Chess., Knutsford)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Magnus, Sir Philip||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Gretton, John||Newman, John R. P.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Nield, Herbert||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Peto, Basil Edward||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Winterton, Earl|
|Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Randles, Sir John S.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hills, J. W.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Remnant, James Farquharson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir G. Younger and Mr. Mackinder.|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rcyds, Edmund|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Adamson, William||Elverston, Sir Harold||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Joyce, Michael|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Keating, Matthew|
|Armitage, Robert||Essex, Richard Walter||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Arnold, Sydney||Esslemont, George Birnie||Kelly, Edward|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Falconer, James||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Farrell, James Patrick||King, Joseph|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Ffrench, Peter||Lansbury, George|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Field, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Bentham, G. J.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Furness, Stephen||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockermth)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Leach, Charles|
|Black, Arthur W.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Boland, John Pius||Gill, A. H.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Logan, John William|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Glanville, Harold James||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lundon, Thomas|
|Brace, William||Goldstone, Frank||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Greig, Col. James William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||McGhee, Richard|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hackett, John||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Hancock, John George||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossendale)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Byles, Sir Wiliam Pollard||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Manfield, Harry|
|Cawley, H. T. (Heywood)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Havelock-Allen, Sir Henry||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Cough, William||Hayward, Evan||Meagher, Michael|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hazieton, Richard||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Henry, Sir Charles||Molloy, Michael|
|Cotton, William Francis||Higham, John Sharp||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Cowan, W. H.||Hinds, John||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hodge, John||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Cullinan, John||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Mooney, John J.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Morison, Hector|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Delany, William||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Muldoon, John|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||Munro, R.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||John, Edward Thomas||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Doris, William||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Needham, Christopher|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Nolan, Joseph|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Sutton, John E.|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Richards, Thomas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Tennant, Harold John|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|O'Dowd, John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|O'shee, James John||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Wadsworth, J.|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Robinson, Sidney||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Webb, H.|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Rowlands, James||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Sheehy, David||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Radford, George Heynes||Simon, Sir John Alisebrook||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Reddy, Michael||Sutherland, John E.|