HC Deb 09 October 1912 vol 42 cc473-92

We, the subscribers hereto, being electors in [here insert area for which the poll is demanded], do hereby demand a poll under the terms of the Temperance (Scotland) Act, 1912.

Signature. Name in Full. Address. Number on Register.
Sir J. D. REES

On behalf of the Noble Lord the Member for West Perthshire, I beg to move, after the word "demanded" ["here insert area for which the poll is demanded"], to insert the words "and being desirous of seeing a resolution for [here insert the resolution or resolutions desired] carried."

When Clause 5, Sub-section (1), was under discussion the Noble Lord gave the reasons for this Amendment and urged upon the House the importance of making the Schedule perfectly clear, and it is for the reasons he then stated that I now move the Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.


This Amendment was put down by the Noble Marquess under entirely different circumstances. These words were intended to be consequential on certain Amendments which had been proposed, but which were not carried, and, as the Bill now stands, the adoption of the Amendment would make it simply ridiculous.

Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


I will detain the House but a few minutes in moving the Third Reading of the Bill. I have been accused of being a very hard and unbending person. The Member for Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees), in fact, described me as an Oriental despot, a class of person with whom he is better acquainted than I am. It may be true that the Government have not accepted a large number of Amendments. But then we were dealing with a Bill which has had a peculiar history. This is not the first time the Bill has passed its Second Beading in the House of Commons, and it is not the first time it has passed through the ordeal of the Committee, and a Bill which has been discussed and rediseussed, and with regard to which the promoters have made concession after concession, is not a Bill which, however pliable the Minister in charge may be, will admit of many Amendments. That has not been recognised by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I propose to say nothing more on that point, but there is one subject on which I wish to offer a few observations and that is the question of compulsory insurance. Very strong language has been used on that question, because, I think, the exact position has not always been completely understood. There were many reasons why it was quite impossible to put the proposed scheme in the Bill and why it was not desirable to do so. It was perfectly impossible to put the scheme as proposed in the Bill, because it was a choice of one out of some four or five schemes placed before us; it was put on the Paper on the first day of the Report stage, and not a single person from first to last on either side of the House gave a whole-hearted support to any one of the schemes; they were all damned with frank praise. With regard to this particular scheme there was no one prepared to put forward, on his own personal responsibility, any statement as to its financial effect. Could it be supposed, then, the Government would put a scheme like that in the Bill and make itself responsible for it? It would have been a Government with a very feeble sense of responsibility, and the consequences of such a policy would have been disastrous and would have exposed us to criticism from no quarter more strong than the trade.

But that is one thing. When it is said that we are vindictive people, who desire nothing but the destruction of the publican, then I deny the charge altogether. I am not opposed to insurance, but what I say is this: Let us have a scheme put before the trade. We heard yesterday from the hon. Baronet (Sir. G. Younger) of a plebiscite. We were told that the large percentage of those who voted, voted in favour of what? Of the scheme that he presented to the House? Of course not. That scheme had never been presented to the trade; they had never seen it; it had only been set up in type a few hours. We had the general proposition that if compulsory insurance is desirable it would be a very good thing if the Government would undertake it. I daresay it would, from the point of view of some people, but what a very foolish Government this would be to undertake it in the circumstances. That is just the evil of all referendums—the difficulty of putting the question. There was no scheme before the trade, and these votes cannot be quoted in favour of the scheme. More than half of the people who were applied to, and who were pressed to vote, did not vote. Why? They were sensible Scotchmen, and were not going to vote for the unknown. Evidence is plentiful that the trade is entirely divided on the subject, and that there is no unanimity of opinion. There is some criticism of the scheme and of the manner in which this plebiscite has been conducted so forcible that I should not care to repeat it, but which has come from the trade itself, or from the representatives of the trade. I cannot see any justification for the censure that was lavished on the Government yesterday for not having adopted a scheme, to the approval of which nobody on the other side of the House would personally commit himself, a scheme which the trade had not seen, and introducing a principle upon which the trade itself was divided.

If it is the case that the trade desire compulsory insurance, if they can show to Parliament that notwithstanding the fact that it was alleged that the large majority was in favour of it, they could not do it by voluntary agreement, if they can prove to Parliament that compulsion is necessary to its introduction, and if they can also prove to Parliament that if not the whole trade, a large majority of the trade are in favour of compulsory insurance—it must not be a general proposition—I not only would not view that with hostility, but I would view it with a very benevolent eye. It must not be said, then, that I am hostile to the trade insuring itself. It is not for me to suggest ways and means. There is plenty of time to bring in a private Bill this Session of Parliament if notice is given next month. I have had a good deal to do with private Bills, and I know they have two advantages. One is that they are always heard and discussed by the House. The Government neither would desire to nor could interfere with them. They have another advantage—I do not know whether it is desired, but from my point of view it is a great advantage—that anyone who objects to the scheme can appear before a Committee of Parliament and state his objections. Perhaps the promoters of this scheme would not like that so well. But if this is a scheme desired by the trade, as we have been told with great emphasis, but no evidence, if they are almost unanimous about it, let them introduce a Bill, and no one will object. We cannot consent that the question of the reduction of licences should be, bound up and made interdependent with a scheme of that sort. I would be only too glad if the trade would table their scheme, find out what the opinion of the trade is upon it, and then Parliament would give its decision. I do not think anyone can say any injustice or unfairness is contained in that proposal. I hope people will not say that our object in this Bill is, as hon. Members opposite say, to punish the trade.


The speech of the right hon. Gentleman, in moving the Third Reading of this Bill, is the most extraordinary speech I have ever heard. He has not said a word in support of the Bill, but has spent ten minutes in apologising for things he would not allow to come into it. He began by saying that this was an old Bill, that there had been several Bills of the kind discussed in Parliament before, and therefore we ought not to accuse him of having shown unwillingness to accept Amendments, because they had been often discussed before. Nobody ever took it seriously before. Nobody ever thought that the House of Commons would be so unwise as to allow a Bill of this kind to be passed. He then spoke of the insurance proposal that was put forward. I confess I cannot reconcile his attitude with that of the Lord Advocate yesterday, because the Lord Advocate said that a scheme of insurance must be adequate, and must involve a guarantee by the Government. The right hon. Gentleman now says that if a separate Bill is proposed he will offer no objection to it, but that, on the contrary, he will welcome it. But will he give facilities.


was understood to assent.


I should have thought the Government had enough to do with their own programme without saying that they would give facilities for anymore. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that in saying he will welcome it he is using a mere phrase. There is no possibility of any Bill brought in by a private Member getting any discussion in this House at all. I am not going to-follow the right hon. Gentleman in discussing what is not in the Bill. I believe it is a bad Bill. I believe it is a Bill that will not work; that it is a Bill that will have no practical effect in promoting temperance. I will conclude what I have to say on this subject by remarking that I am in entire accord with the hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) who said yesterday it was a dead horse, and with the hon. Member for the Blackfrairs Division (Mr. Barnes), who said to-day that it was waste paper. That is exactly the view I take about this Bill. That is how I think the Bill will work in practice, and I do not believe temperance reformers will have any reason to congratulate themselves on having a measure like this on the Statute Book, if it ever reaches it.


I should not have spoken if it had not been for one sentence uttered by the last speaker. He criticised the speech of the Secretary for Scotland as most extraordinary, as perhaps it was, but I think he made a statement which was still more extraordinary, and as extraordinary as any statement I have ever heard from a Scottish representative yet. He stated that the Bill had never been taken seriously by anyone in Scotland. That shows what hon. Members opposite think of the unwavering demand of twenty-eight years of the Scottish people for a measure of this sort. On two occasions in the last few years the Bill aroused more feeling in Scotland than perhaps any other Bill has ever aroused, and on an average something like ten Scotch votes to one have been repeatedly given in favour of the measure. The people of Scotland ought to remember that statement of his and remember that hon. Members opposite flout the demands of their electors and countrymen and treat them with contempt and derision. I trust that in another place they will think more seriously of it than Scottish Members opposite, and that they will remember that there is no measure, in my belief, more dear to the heart of the Scottish people than this measure of much-needed and long-delayed reform.


I sympathise with the warmth with which the hon. Member has replied to my right hon. Friend, because everyone knows he takes this quite seriously, but one swallow does not make a summer. Even three swallows do not make a summer, and I believe there were three swallows in the making of this Bill. I do not know that my right hon. Friend was very far wrong when he said, as I think truly enough, that the Bill has not in the past been taken very seriously even by those who supported it through the Committee stage. I propose to take up a point which has been dealt with by the Secretary for Scotland in what I may call his whitewashing speech—whitewashing himself. He knows perfectly well the criticism that awaits him for his attitude and action in connection with the Bill, and there is no one who has done more to wreck the chances of the measure than himself. He has not shown the smallest desire to meet in any reasonable kind of way the criticisms which have been passed on this Bill, and the proposals, mostly from his own side, which have been made for the amendment of the Bill. He has met everything with a non possumus. He has been, if possible, more angry with hon. Gentlemen behind him—and I am not surprised, because he has had a good lot to stand from them—than he has been at bur criticisms, and for him to stand up in a white sheet, as he did to-night, and attempt to suggest that he is not unfavourable to insurance, that he is not against the publican, that he does not for a moment desire to do anything unfair, does not entitle him to expect that we should believe him. I do not say he is against the publican at all. I say he is one of those who get hold of a theory and exalt it almost into a fetish. He has got hold of this Bill and I suppose he is going to build a political reputation on carrying it. I am afraid he has besmirched it very seriously at the outset from the fact that he has not shown any desire to carry out in the Bill when he had the chance the feelings and principles which he has expressed in the speech he has just made.

He said the people in the trade had never seen this scheme. In one sense that is true, but they saw the scheme which was discussed in Committee. It has been in front of them for a very long time, and the scheme which was submitted yesterday had only one or two alterations made in it from the time when it was rejected by the Committee at the instance of the right hon. Gentleman. The main alteration in the scheme was a Clause placing a certain burden, like Clause 46 of the Budget of 1909, upon the wholesale trade. It had nothing to do with the retail trade at all except that it relieved them from the burden imposed on them by the former scheme, and to that extent it was a better scheme for the people who signed the plebiscite than the one in Committee, which they believed they were supporting when they sent in their postcards. That is how the House of Commons can be misled, I do not think intentionally, in a matter of this kind. To hear the right hon. Gentleman speak, one would think there were drastic alterations in the scheme as against the retailer. That is not the fact. I put it to him that the only alteration of any consequence whatever in the scheme was the one which imposed a burden on the wholesale trade, and for the right hon. Gentleman to say now that no one is responsible for the scheme is to say what is not correct. He said:— The hon. Baronet who moved the Amendment said of the scheme that he had not had time to consider it— If you search the pages of the OFFICIAL REPORT you will not find I said that at all. I made no such remark. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say— and he quoted figures which he said had been supplied to him for which he could not vouch."—[OFFICIAL Report, 8th October, 1912, col. 209.] If you look through my speech you will not find that I made such a statement. What I actually said was:— 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."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th October, col. 189.] That is the only remark I made with respect to the figures. I said so for this reason: that working under the pressure which unfortunately one had to do on Monday, I had not had time to calculate what the amount of the fund would be under certain circumstances, and I asked a competent person to do so. I wished to be perfectly frank with the House when I made that remark, and the right hon. Gentleman no doubt misunderstood me. If he had not repeated to-night the statement which he made about myself I should not have minded. He says that no one takes responsibility for these figures, and in reply I ask—having got the figures accurately calculated for me—was not that taking responsibility? Surely, when I put the scheme on the Paper, it might be assumed that I accepted responsibility for it! Of course I accept responsibility. One surely does not require to be so specific as the right hon. Gentleman seems to think. He knows perfectly well that he had no right to repeat that statement tonight. I thought we had that matter cleared up yesterday. I say it rested with those proposing this measure, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer honestly believed that there should be some way of protecting these people, to propose some sort of scheme and not leave it to the people themselves.


That is my case.


Well, it is a very poor case. The right hon. Gentleman stands up here as a saint and says, "I want to be kind and considerate to these people." How does he do it? By rejecting everything they propose in their own interest, and proposing nothing in its place. You have the Lord Advocate blessing an insurance scheme and cursing every proposal put before him. He says that every scheme proposed is inadequate. How is it inadequate? It is because hon. and right, hon. Gentlemen opposite, by the Budget of 1909–10, made it impossbile for these unfortunate people to insure themselves. There is no money left in the till. You are the people who are responsible if you are not able to bring up a scheme to meet their views. They are content, and have stated it through their responsible leaders, and I am here responsible stating it for them, to accept at all events the only solatium in their power left to them to accept, namely, something like 5s. or 6s. in the £ by this partial scheme of insurance. I made no secret about the fact that it was partial. I never claimed that they were expecting 20s. in the £, and to suggest, as the right hon. Gentleman did, and I am not sure also as to whether the Lord Advocate did not also suggest it, that the fact that there was not 20s. in the £ would enable them to make a demand upon the Government that the insurance should be made good is a claim that is not well founded, and should never have been made. No such demand was made or is made. It is useless for the right hon. Gentleman to say, "it is no fault of mine; it is the fault of these wretched people in the trade who did not bring forward a scheme which was suitable or which was perfect." If it was not suitable the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues are responsible for that and not the trade. It the Government had intended to deal with the licensing question in Scotland they have gone the wrong way about it. I recognise the perfectly reasonable desire of the Government to restore its freedom in the matter of licence in Scotland, and I think if I had anything to do with it I should have been inclined to sweep away the whole system by offering a reasonable time limit in which these people could insure their interests, and that at the expiry of that time Parliament would then decide in what form these licences should be issued; whether they should continue to be issued at all, and what public opinion would have demanded at the time. It would have restored your freedom of action. Parliament would again have had authority without interfering with or hurting anyone to deal with the whole system, and we should not then have been foolishly legislating for a period of five or six years ahead, when, please goodness, it will not be the present Government that will be sitting on that bench, and when perhaps others who take a different view of the situation will be able to deal more satisfactorily with the question than the right hon. Gentleman.


The hon. Baronet conveyed to the House a wrong impression a little while ago in a speech which he made. I had not an opportunity of correcting that impression, because the hon. Baronet was ruled out of order. He said that when this Bill was in Committee I had admitted that the consumption of liquor had increased in New Zealand owing to the no-licence system.


No, I did not say that; I said you had admitted that notwithstanding the fact that no-licences had been adopted for many years in New Zealand, the consumption of liquor itself per head in New Zealand had increased.


I certainly admitted that, but I qualified it by saying that while the consumption per head over the whole country had no doubt increased, it had decreased enormously in the no-licence area. I said that the slight increase over the whole population was due to the abounding prosperity in New Zealand, but that in the licence area the consumption per head during the year 1910 was £4 3s. 1d., while in the no-licence areas the consumption per head was ouly 18s.


We have certainly had a most excellent argument from the hon. Member for Stirlingshire (Dr. Chapple) in favour of prohibition, which he says is likely to increase the consumption of liquor, apparently in places where there is no prohibition. He says that where there is prohibition the consumption has gone down. Of course it has gone down. It is obvious that the people have gone to another area, where consequently the drinking has increased. It simply means that they have gone out of a small prohibition area into another part. It is admitted in New Zealand that drinking there has enormously increased since prohibition. It is obvious from this Bill that the temperance party in this country have no idea of what true temperance is. They think they can drive temperance into the people instead of trying to educate them up to it. They are simply so many doctrinaires with their nostrums, and they show no appreciation of human nature in dealing with this question. If they really wanted to put the cause of temperance on a sound basis, they would have done something to educate the people to realise the value of temperance. All they have done is to fix in Scotland the present class of public-houses, which are likely to remain there for the rest of our time in this House. Their own Bill shows that they have no sense at all of fairness and justice to the people whom they seek to dispossess of their property. And they absolutely refuse to allow compensation, though the money would come out of the pockets of those to be compensated. Was it anything incompatible with Liberalism or teetotalism to allow the trade to compensate itself with its own money? If it is a question of compulsory insurance, and the Lord Advocate dislikes it, I do not see at all why he should, after the compulsory insurance which he supported under another Bill last year. But circumstances apparently alter cases. Hon. Members talk about trusting the people, and the Liberal party say that we must trust the people after giving local option. But are they trusting the people? They are only trusting the people to do those things which they want them to do, and they refuse to trust the people to do those things which they might want to do. The people may be trusted with prohibition, but when it comes to the question of keeping the house to the subject of disinterested management, and to seeing that the public-house is properly conducted, then the people are not to be trusted. That is what the Lord Advocate calls trusting the people.

They have done absolutely nothing in this Bill, and I think many people interested in temperance hoped they would, with regard to the spirits that are drunk, in trying to see that there should be a better class of spirits, of pure spirits, or I might say weaker spirits. They have done nothing to try and teach the people, by taxation, which is one of the best ways probably, that there are many better classes of drink than spirits. They might have done something in separating the consumption of beer and the consumption of spirits in different places. They could have done something by lowering the Licence Duty on those houses where, what I may call, decent liquor is sold. An hon. Member laughs at that. I suppose he wishes to see the people of Scotland drink the liquid fire which this Bill is still going to force them to do. I know hon. Members opposite treat the whole question of temperance in Scotland as a sort of joke. Teetotalers, and I see it with regret, to a great extent support the party opposite because they protest that they are the only people of temperance, although they have not passed any temperance Bill before now except to license grocers. [Hon. MEMBERS: "Why?"] For their votes, of course. I am absolutely certain of that. This is supposed to be a prohibition Bill, so that the teetotalers, or rather the prohibitioners, and they are different, may go about and say that at last they have prohibition. They have not dared to go the logical length by having big areas, and by having prohibition on a proper scale. Instead of that they have gone to small areas in order that by some lucky chance on one occasion, and probably never afterwards, they may have prohibition in one area and say what a success the Bill is. That is all that is going to happen about this Bill if it is going to come off. The clubs are a very good example of what is being done. Personally I am perfectly consistent. I voted with the Government in favour of the Amendment removing clubs out of the Bill, because the whole way through I have consistently opposed many of the Clauses of the Bill, and I should have opposed that measure whether in or out of it. I certainly do support some parts of the Bill. I do not think whatever happens that the Liberals of Scotland have any right to say that we have not been friends of temperance. I should like to ask, when they talk about this Bill, will they also say that I voted personally against disinterested management, that I voted against compensation, that I voted against having any idea of improving the character of the drink sold in those houses and so improving the houses, that I voted in favour of small areas rather than big ones? I think the Bill, as a temperance Bill, is a lamentable failure. I only wish it had been a good one and a real temperance Bill, and I would have backed it up whether it was popular or not. It is a perfect farce, and will not work in Scotland.


I desire to thank the Government for bringing in this Bill. I think they have conducted the different stages of the Bill in a masterly way. They have shown great adroitness in the manner in which they have tackled the question, and, although they have been fighting against tremendous odds, they have done it with credit and honour to themselves. Lord Balfour of Burleigh's Act was admirable in many respects, and has tended greatly to reduce drunkenness in Scotland. Nevertheless, we have a sore which neither England, Wales, nor Ireland has—the Saturday night drunkenness, which we wish to avoid. We have been working hard during the last eight years, using drastic measures, with the result that our liquor bill is now 13s. 4d. per head under that of England. In eight years we have reduced it by over £1. But we have a canker worm which we are anxious to destroy. For fifty-four years social reformers in Scotland have been working in this direction, and they now see the triumph of their cause. The measure passed by Lord Balfour of Burleigh was supported by the Liberal party. It was because Liberals and Tories united they were able to achieve a reform for which we give due credit. But what has been our experience during the last, few months? We have had to fight every inch of the ground. We have had no support from our Friends opposite. The Government have carried out the mandate which every part of Scotland has given them by ten or twelve to one. During the last twenty-eight years we have returned an overwhelming majority in favour of the principle of this Bill. That principle has triumphed in the Colonies and in America; why should it not succeed in Scotland? We believe that we are now within measurable distance of bringing about changes in Scotland which will not only make the country more thoughtful and sober, but accomplish possibilities of which England, Wales, and Ireland will be envious. In spite of the croaking Jeremiahs that we have heard—


Is the hon. Member in order in referring to my hon. Friends as croaking Jeremiahs?


I am referring to several Members opposite who have been prophesying evil to-night. They are only doing what their predecessors have done ever since 1832 in regard to every Liberal measure. Yet we find that this is now the best country in the world to live in, because we have had progressive legislation. Members opposite have opposed it root and branch, but I believe that their prophecies will be falsified, and that this will be one of the finest pieces of legislation ever brought into this House.


I do not intend to detain the House for more than a very few minutes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I quite understand that cheer on the other side, for hon. Members there do not want to hear anything. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side have declared that this is not a Temperance Bill, and that it will do no good. Why then do they oppose it if it will not interfere with their trade? I quite agree that there are many hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who are as much in favour of stopping excessive drinking as I am. But there is an awkward corner. They always have two difficulties before them. They know very well that if they do not keep the interests of their election supporters in the drink trade at heart that there would hardly be a solitary Tory Member returned. I pity and sympathise with them in their wretched position. We have another class of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who are financially interested in the trade. They know very well that to get rid of excessive drinking would be to get rid altogether of their illgotten gains. I am aware that out of these gains, they build churches and hospitals, and that they get into the House of Lords. But I am exceedingly sorry that they have not got a better occupation. We in Scotland axe anxious to help them to reform. People in England and Scotland have been for many years trying to do something to stop excessive drinking. Some people may say that all drinking of alcohol is excessive. But everyone knows except those interested from an electioneering point of view, that the drinking of liquor is unnecessary to anyone, and that we are all the better without it. They know that a large percentage of the crime, distress and trouble in this world is brought about by excessive drinking. Therefore that is what we want to put a stop to. Everyone admits that there is a difficulty to deal with, yet hon. Gentlemen opposite say we depend upon this for electioneering purposes and profit, and we will not allow a stop to be put to excessive drinking and the profits we make out of it. Note what this extract from the "Times" says in this connection and in relation to the construction of the Panama Canal: "Crime is infrequent because of the prohibition of liquor by the Canal Commission." You read of the wonderfully good health of those engaged on the work in an infectious district owing to this prohibition.


May I ask the hon. Member where else a man can get liquor if it is prohibited on the Canal?




They prohibit it being brought into the country at all, and there is therefore no place to get it. The result is that crime has been done away with, and the health of the workers in that unhealthy district is good.


I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but I have had several whiskies and sodas in that district.


Then let me tell the hon. Member that he has had several whiskies and sodas too many. I am going to read to the House the opinion of a great authority upon this question—that is the present Bishop of London. Referring to the great forward movement which was to be commenced in the autumn of 1909, his lordship gave reasons why it was necessary. In the first place, he said:— He was not going to sit down under a drink bill of £166,000,000. And I want to point out that that is mostly spent by the industrial classes in this country, the very people who cannot afford it. His lordship said;— They heard talk about the cost of 'Dreadnoughts'; let any school child reckon up how many 'Dreadnoughts' they were drinking every year. Sixty thousand of their fellow countrymen and women perished annually from strong drink. Statistics showed crime was due to this cause alone. Ninety out of every hundred cases of neglect of children was due to drink. Children of alcoholic parents were consumptive—ten in every hundred. I have the opinion of a doctor, who says it is dangerous to health and shortens life. [An HON. Member: "Name."] At this time of night, and with these constant interruptions, I will not read all I have got, but I want to say we all know the evil effects of the drink habit in this country. It has been described as a curse, and it has been described by a Tory leader as an accursed trade. We, the Liberals, are trying to do something to mitigate this great evil; we get no assistance from the other side. They use it for electioneering purposes and for profit. Let us bear in mind that every shilling of that ill-gotten gain is covered with the blood and tears of women and children that have suffered and have been ruined through it. I hope, at any rate, the people of this country will never support the Tory party in their drink traffic. I dare say a good many of them do not drink too much. What I say is that they should have the courage to help us to put a stop to this excessive drinking and drunkenness. These ill-gotten gains are not got from the moderate drinker, but from the drunkard. We have done something in Scotland to-deal with this evil. Fifty or sixty years ago we got Sunday Closing, and is there a Tory Member who dare suggest we should now repeal that Act? Is there a publican, even in Scotland, who would ask to have that Act repealed. No; they are all satisfied with the law as it stands, and we want the assistance of all good people to help us to put a stop to what is admitted to be the greatest curse in the country. I trust that, in another place, we shall have the assistance of all the Members of that House in helping us to do something, if only a trifle, towards removing this great curse that always hangs over the country.


I have kept silent for two days, and I did not really wish to speak now. I am not going over the old ground, the arguments for and against this Bill, and against each other used during the whole time we sat in the Standing Committee, nor over what we have been saying during these two days Debate. As the Bill will soon be going to another place, I think we have done very well. On the eve of this Bill passing the Third Reading, there is one consideration which I think ought to be seriously borne in mind. I join quite heartily with my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Sir J. McCallum) in the thanks he has given the Government for their conduct of this measure. What we ought to be thinking about now, and what ought to be thought seriously about in another place, is what will be the opinion of Scotland about this measure, which I hope will pass this House to-night. I had an opportunity not long ago of going through a part of Scotland which I looked to for light and leading, namely, the county of Roxburgh. I had an opportunity of judging what the people there believed was required and what was demanded. I find that for the last ten years, ever since I came from India, the keenest interest has been taken in this measure. The more intelligent and thoughtful the people are, the keener is the interest which

they express. I am referring to those gentlemen who occupy a high position in our parishes and on the county council. I am referring to many engaged in the education of the youth, and to many excellent and devoted women who make a continual study of children, and I find what I might say a unanimous consensus of opinion among them that something was wanted, and that they were satisfied with it. It is a question which has been frequently before the House. I do not think it is necessary to touch upon the question of compulsory insurance and other important matters now, but I feel satisfied that what we are doing to-night will be highly appreciated by the people of Scotland.

Question put, "That the Bill be now read the third time."

The House divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 104.

Division No. 230.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Acland, Francis Dyke Dawes, James A. Henry, Sir Charles
Adamson, William Delany, William Higham, John Sharp
Addison, Dr. Christopher Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Hinds, John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Dickinson, W. H. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Doris, William Hodge, John
Armitage, Robert Duffy, William J. Hogge, James Myles
Arnold, Sydney Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Hclmes, Daniel Turner
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Hughes, S. L.
Barnes, George N. Elverston, Sir Harold Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) John, Edward Thomas
Beck, Arthur Cecil Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George) Essex, Richard Walter Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Bentham, G. J. Esslemont, George Birnio Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)
Bethell, Sir J. H. Falconer, James Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Farrell, James Patrick Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Black, Arthur W. Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)
Boland, John Plus Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Jowett, F. W.
Booth, Frederick Handel Ffrench, Peter Joyce, Michael
Bowerman, C. W. Field, William Keating, M.
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Kellaway, Frederick George
Brace, William Flavin, Michael Joseph Kelly, Edward
Brady, Patrick Joseph Furness, Stephen Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Brunner, J. F. L. Gelder, Sir W. A. King, Joseph
Bryce, J. Annan George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Lamb, Ernest Henry
Burke, E. Haviland- Gill, A. H. Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Gladstone, W. G. C. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Glanville, H. J. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)
Byles, Sir William Pollard Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Levy, Sir Maurice
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Goldstone, Frank Lewis, John Herbert
Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Logan, John William
Chancellor, H. G. Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Chapple, Dr. W. A. Greig, Col. James William Low, Sir F. (Norwich)
Clancy, John Joseph Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lundon, T.
Clough, William Griffith, Ellis J. Lyell, Charles Henry
Clynes, J. R. Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Lynch, A. A.
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hackett, John Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hall, Frederick (Normanton) McGhee, Richard
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hancock, J, G. Maclean, Donald
Cory, Sir Clifford John Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Cotton, William Francis Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Macpherson, James
Cowan, W. H. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) M'Callum, Sir John M.
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Crumley, Patrick Haslam, James (Derbyshire) M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)
Cullinan, John Hayden, John Patrick M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Hayward, Evan Marks, Sir George Croydon
Davies, E. William (Eifion) Hazleton, Richard Marshall, Arthur Harold
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Helme, Sir Norval Watson Mason, David M. (Coventry)
Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M. Sheehy, David
Meagher, Michael Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Simon, Sir John Ailsebrook
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Pirie, Duncan V. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Menzies, Sir Walter Pollard, Sir George H. Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Millar, James Duncan Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)
Molloy, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph Sutherland, J. E.
Molteno, Percy Alport Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Sutton, John E.
Mond, Sir Alfred M. Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Mooney, John J. Pringle, William M. R. Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)
Morgan, George Hay Radford, George Heynes Tennant, Harold John
Morison, Hector Rattan, Peter Wilson Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Raphael, Sir Herbert H. Toulmin, Sir George
Muldoon, John Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Munro, Robert Reddy, Michael Verney, Sir Harry
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wadsworth, J.
Nannetti, Joseph P. Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Needham, Christopher T. Rendall, Athelstan Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Nolan, Joseph Richards, Thomas Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Norman, Sir Henry Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Watt, Henry A.
Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Webb, H.
Nuttall, Harry Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Roberts, George H. (Norwich) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Whitehouse, John Howard
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
O'Doherty, Philip Robinson, Sidney Wilkie, Alexander
O'Donnell, Thomas Roche, Augustine (Louth) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
O'Dowd, John Roe, Sir Thomas Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Rose, Sir Charles Day Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh) Rowlands, James Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Wood. Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
O'Shee, James John Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)
O'Sullivan, Timothy Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Outhwaite, R. L. Scanlan, Thomas
Parker, James (Halifax) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fletcher, John Samuel Nield, Herbert
Ashley, W. W. Foster, Philip Staveley Norton-Griffiths, John
Baird, J. L. Goldman, C. S. Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Peto, Basil Edward
Balcarres, Lord Greene, Walter Raymond Pollock, Ernest Murray
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Pryce-Jones, Col. E.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex. S. E.) Randies, Sir John S.
Barlow, Montague (Saltord, South) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Rees, Sir J. D.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Ronaldshay, Earl of
Bird, Alfred Harris, Henry Percy Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Henderson, Major H. (Berks) Stanier, Beville
Boyton, James Hewins, William Albert Samuel Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Burn, Col. C. R. Hickman, Col. Thomas E. Starkey, John Ralph
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hill, Sir Clement L. Staveley-Hill, Henry
Cassel, Felix Hills, John Waller Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Cator, John Hill-Wood, Samuel Stewart, Gershom
Cave, George Hohler, G. F. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwalk, West)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hope, Harry (Bute) Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Talbot, Lord E.
Ceil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Houston, Robert Paterson Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Ingleby, Holcombe Touche, George Alexander
Clyde, J. Avon Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.) Tullibardine, Marquess of
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Kebty-Fletcher, J. R. Walker, Colonel William Hall
Courthope, George Loyd Kimber, Sir Henry Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)
Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe) Lane-Fox, G. R. Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Lewisham, Viscount Wolmer, Viscount
Craik, Sir Henry Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Croft, H. P. Lockwood, Rt. Hon, Lt.-Col. A. R. Yate, Col. C. E.
Denniss, E. R. B. Mackinder, H. J. Younger, Sir George
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Malcolm, Ian
Duke, Henry Edward Mason, James F. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Bridgeman and Mr Sanders.
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Mount, William Arthur
Fell, Arthur Newton, Harry Kottingham

Bill read the third time, and passed.

Adjournment.—Resolved, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Gulland.]

Adjourned accordingly at Ten minutes past Eleven of the clock