§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
I rise for the purpose of moving the Second Reading of this Bill, which the House will have seen is a very short measure, and if I may judge from the tone and temper of the debate on the Home Office Vote I think I shall be justified in assuming that this Bill will receive support on both sides of the House. It is true that two notices of Motion appear on the Paper against the Second Reading of this Bill, but I have the hope that the House will not be unwilling to come to the assistance of a Minister who asks the House for additional powers in order to enable him to carry out his administrative responsibilities in the new set of circumstances which have arisen since the last Act was passed dealing with this matter.
The general responsibilities of the Home Secretary for the administration of the law relating to prisoners are laid down in the Prison Act of 1877, under which the Home Secretary is made the general prison authority. He is responsible for 405 the enforcement of the prison regulations, which are partly contained in various Statutes, and partly consist of statutory rules made by him with the sanction of Parliament. The regulations and rules describe the conditions under which prisoners shall be detained, and, amongst other things, they provide for the care of the prisoners' health and life. Governors and medical officers of prisons, who are appointed by the Home Secretary and may be dismissed by him, are responsible for the due enforcement of the regulations. If a prisoner refuses to take food the officials are not thereby absolved of their responsibility for the care of the prisoner's health and life, as it is their duty, so long as the prisoner remains in prison, to take such effective measures as are in their power to preserve the prisoner's health and life. That is, as briefly as I can state them, a summary of the responsibilities of the Home Secretary and of the officials who act under him and have charge of the prisoners in the various prisons.
We have to-day to deal with an unprecedented set of circumstances. Our former laws we have found quite adequate in dealing with ordinary prisoners in the course of their imprisonment. But a new set of prisoners have come into prison who have taken up as a policy the practice of hunger striking. I do not wish to, and it would be out of order, to enter at this moment into any digression upon the subject of the propaganda in respect of Women Suffrage, but I may say this, that publicity is the keynote of this propaganda, and as part of publicity the prisoners who have been sent to prison for committing various offences, such as window breaking, attempted arson, and other offences, have adopted the hunger strike in the hopes of enlisting the sympathy of the outside public. Alternately they shock us by the violence of their outrages, and attempt to enlist our sympathy by the tales of their sufferings. I mention this perhaps only by the way in order to warn hon. Members against attaching too much credence to the accounts which are being given as to the terrible tortures which are endured in prison under the system of forcible feeding. Those prisoners have declared war on society, and part of their campaign is to carry on war against the Government, be they Liberal or Conservative, not this or that Government, but against all Governments which are responsible to a House 406 of Commons elected by men. It is part of their propaganda to enrage public opinion against the officers of the law, and in executing their purpose they seem to be as neglectful of accuracy of statement as they are disregardful of civil order in their acts. I warn hon. Members against attaching too much credence to statements which are made with a purpose. But it is undeniably true that forcible feeding, whether for those who suffer it or those who administer it, is a most objectionable practice, and means ought to be sought to enable those who are responsible for the administration of the law to take up some alternative methods which would not and could not have the same objections raised against them.
What is it that I propose under this Bill? I do not want to go over old ground which we discussed at some length last week on the Home Office Vote, but the House will bear with me while I remind them of the three courses which are now open to the prison authorities in dealing with hunger strikes. We can either release the prisoner, that is one course; or we can keep the prisoner in prison and forcibly feed the prisoner, and that is the second course; or we can place food in the prisoner's cell and leave the prisoner to die if the hunger strike is continued, and that is the third course. There are advocates for the third course, but I have never found any one of them who, under pressure, would not always conclude with the statement, "Oh, but the prisoner won't die. The prisoner will, in the long run, take food when the prisoner knows that death is the inevitable alternative." That means really that the third course is not a true alternative at all. What is proposed is that the Home Secretary should take the risk—at whose expense? At his own? Not at all, but that he should take the risk at the expense of somebody else's life. I know that in this respect I have been charged, and am accused, of being lacking in courage, but I am bound to say I have never been able to see what evidence of courage there is in taking a risk at the expense of another person's life. If I took the risk at the expense of my own life, I might be charged with being wanting in courage if I refused to take it. But it is not at my expense the risk would be taken, but at the expense of one of these women, many of whom have been convicted of no graver offence than breaking windows. I do not feel justified in taking that risk, and I am quite sure that if I took it, and if by 407 experience we found that in fact several of these prisoners died in prison from starvation, the very Gentlemen who now press me to take this course would be amongst the first to turn round and charge the Government with wanton brutality. There remain the two other courses, namely, to release the prisoner or to feed the prisoner forcibly. To release the prisoner, unless the prisoner is under sentence of penal servitude, means the remission of the sentence. I have no power to release except by remitting the whole of the sentence. Consequently, in those cases where release has to be resorted to, the prisoner escapes the due punishment for the offence committed. I think the House must admit that it is most undesirable that prisoners convicted by due process of law and sent to prison for terms of one month, two months, six months, or a year or longer, should, at the expiration of a few days, be in a position to put an end to their sentence by their own wilful act, by refusing food when in such a condition of health that they cannot be forcibly fed. That appears to me to be inimical to the administration of the law, and I am appealing to the House of Commons to give me power to release a prisoner without remitting the whole of the sentence.
The other alternative of forcible feeding is one which, if I had the power to release without remitting the sentence, I should be must reluctant to adopt. In ordinary cases I should abandon the practice of forcible feeding. There are circumstances in which forcible feeding will still have to be resorted to. Take the case of a prisoner whose offence is of such a kind or whose determination to repeat the offence at every opportunity is so pronounced and declared that it is really unsafe in the public interests to have such a person at large at all, I should have no aternative except to resort to forcible feeding. Take, as an illustration, the case of a murderer, who, after conviction and sentence, appeals, so that the sentence cannot be carried out quickly, and during the interval between sentence and the hearing of the appeal starves himself. What should I have to do? Unless I had the power to feed such a prisoner forcibly I should have to release him. One hon. Member says, "Let him die." But the prisoner still has a right of appeal. He may be innocent, and I have to consider that. It is all very well for those who have no responsibility 408 to say, "Let him die," but I should have the responsibility of saying that a prisoner was to die who might be innocent. Although it is through his misconduct that he would die, still the misconduct would not be of a very serious kind. I ask the House to give me a much simpler alternative—to leave to me the power of forcible feeding where necessary. I assure the House that it would not be my intention to use that power in the case of ordinary offences such as we have in mind at the present time—window breaking, obstruction, and so forth—but only in the case of repeated offences and real danger to the public.
I ask the House to give me power to use the alternative of release without remission of sentence. With regard to persons sentenced to penal servitude, I have that power now. There are some differences, however, between the power for which I ask in this Bill and the present power to release on licence in the case of a prisoner sentenced to penal servitude. Such a prisoner earns a licence by good conduct, and, after he is let out on licence, if his conduct remains good—that is to say, if he is not brought up before the Courts on some new offence—the period of time which he would still have to serve runs out whilst he is at liberty. If, on the other hand, he is charged and convicted on some new offence, the licence would be cancelled, and he might have to serve the whole of his remanent in addition to his new sentence. The House will observe, therefore, that the licence is earned by good conduct, and remains in existence only so long as the conduct remains good. The power to grant a licence asked for in this Bill is not to reward misconduct, but to enable me to deal with bad conduct. Consequently it would not be proper in the case of such a licence, when the prisoner was let out of prison through misconduct, that the remaining period of the sentence should run out unless he committed some new offence. I propose that a person licensed out of prison on account of misconduct shall remain liable to serve the rest of his sentence.
The procedure will be very simple. I do not propose to ask the prisoner to sign any bond or to enter into any undertaking. When the prisoner's state of health becomes such, through starvation or other misconduct, that further detention in prison would be dangerous, he will receive a licence and go out of prison. That licence will be given on certain conditions, 409 and as long as those conditions are fulfilled, the prisoner will not be liable to rearrest until the date on which the licence expires. On the expiration of the licence the prisoner may apply for a continuation of the licence, and the licence may be continued. There is no doubt that after a certain length of time a prisoner might apply, as any prisoner can, for a remission of the sentence, and if the conduct remained good I have no doubt that the Secretary of State might be induced to take a lenient view, and recommend the exercise of the prerogative. But it would depend always on the conduct of the prisoner in and out of prison. We should be saved the spectacle that we see at the present time, which is not a proper spectacle, of women defying the law, saying publicly, "I am going to commit this violent crime; I shall be sent to prison, but I shall be out again in a few days, and then I will repeat the offence." That simply means that the prisoner intends to hunger-strike. I ask the House to give me power to meet a case such as that—to enable me to say to the prisoner, "If through misconduct we cannot retain you any longer in prison you shall be licensed out, but on conditions as to reporting and returning laid down in the licence itself. If you do not comply with those conditions, or if you do not resurrender yourself, you may be rearrested without warrant, and you will have to serve the rest of your sentence."
§ Mr. McKENNA
Ordinary misconduct can be punished in prison in the ordinary way, but the particular misconduct that we have in mind is hunger-striking—refusing to take food. The whole Bill is directed to that particular practice. I think that if the House will extend the powers of the Home Secretary in this direction we shall be able to cope with our present difficulties. It is not a wide power for which I am asking. On the other hand, if the House refuses, I at least have done my duty. I have stated to the House frankly that my powers at the present moment are not sufficient. If the House thinks the contrary, any failure to preserve order, to preserve decorum, or to preserve public respect in the administration of the law, will not be due to default of mine. I say frankly that I have not the necessary powers at the present time, 410 and therefore I ask the House to give a Second Reading to this Bill.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
The object of this Bill is to restrict the liberty of the subject, and to give the Secretary of State power to extend the term of imprisonment imposed upon certain prisoners under his care by the judge who tried them for the offence for which they were sent to prison, and to do so upon any terms or conditions which he in his discretion may think fit, without reference to judge or jury. To put it in another way, the Bill confers upon the Home Secretary the right to try and sentence prisoners for a new offence created by this Bill—the offence of being unwell partly through fault of their own—and to inflict upon them for that offence any punishment which he in his absolute discretion may think fit. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] If hon. Members will wait, I think I shall be able to satisfy them that I am not speaking without the book. There is no limit whatever in the Bill to the number of times the Home Secretary may grant these so-called licences. Each of these licences is a fresh imprisonment, subject to conditions which have never been disclosed to Parliament or the country at large, but which are left to the discretion of the Home Secretary. I am, therefore, perfectly right in my statement. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I can supply hon. Members with the facts, but I cannot supply them with the intelligence to understand them. The class of subject whose liberty it is proposed to affect in this way are unrepresented in this House. Under these circumstances, I think the House will feel that, before passing a measure interfering in a very serious way with their liberties, it should at any rate give a courteous hearing to what may be stated on behalf of the section of the community with whom this Bill proposes to interfere. I noticed that the right hon. Gentleman, in opening his case, was not very friendly to me and the part I have to perform, because quite incidentally I was asked to bear in mind, and these women were asked to bear in mind, that whatever they might say must be discounted on the assumption that they were probably liars, that their motives were obviously unworthy, and that they, in fact, had declared war on society and against the Government. He said their intention was to enrage public opinion against the law, and that too much credence must not be attached to statements made by them. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I do not in the 411 least know what those cheers mean. If hon. Members really think when you are proposing to the House of Commons a penal Statute to interfere with the liberty of a certain class of subjects that it is either profitable or dignified for us to start by saying that it does not really matter what the people most concerned may say about it, that they are unworthy of credence, and that their statements are obviously made with a motive, then I am sorry for the judicial character of this Assembly.
I would also point out incidentally one very curious thing which I do not at present quite understand. I thought that this Bill was introduced for the purpose of dealing with woman suffragist prisoners—to make it unnecessary for the right hon. Gentleman to continue to practise forcible feeding in the case of these women. The right hon. Gentleman says there is a class of case in which forcible feeding will still apply. His defence of this is that these prisoners are determined to repeat the offence on every possible occasion. If that be so, it is perfectly idle to suggest to this House that this Bill is going to render it unnecessary to apply forcible feeding. Because there is no doubt whatever, if there is any class of criminal in this country to whom the right hon. Gentleman's definition applies, and who are determined to repeat their offence on every possible occasion, it is this very class of women among the suffragists. I have said that the House would, I think, desire to hear something of the case for the women before deciding on a measure of this kind. If they take no interest in the statements of the women at any rate, for the sake of that decorum of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke, it would be well that we should give a superficial appearance of listening to the statements which the women have to make so far as it is relevant to this Bill. I am going to lay before the House in the first place some information in regard to two or three of the most recent cases that have come before the country. I take them just as they come and as they were placed before me—four cases received in a large bundle of cases placed before me to consider. The first of them is the case of Mrs. Leigh, who was sentenced to penal servitude for attempting to set fire to the Dublin Theatre. The next one, taken, as I say, in pure accident of date, was a lady who unlawfully endeavoured to injure letters 412 in a letter box at Blackheath. The third case is a similar one; and the last is the case of the burning of the Kew Pavilion.
The pertinent fact that I desire in all these four cases to exhibit is one which I think ought to be of same interest to the House—that is, that the defence put forward by the women in these cases has never been reported in the Press of this country so far as I have been able to verify it by a reference to the "Times" newspaper. If there is nothing in the "Times" newspaper as to the defence put forward which would enable the public to judge of the character of the offence actually committed, I think I am probably correct in saying that other newspapers, with not such an amplitude of pages as the "Times," would probably not be able at all to give the defence. The Home Secretary's speech rests upon the whole basis that you are here not dealing with ordinary criminals, or rather with worse than ordinary criminals. I am going to ask the House to be patient with me for a little while, and to hear in their own language what was the defence of the women in each of these cases. I am going to ask the House, if they can, to put themselves into a judicial frame of mind for once in regard to this suffrage question. I am going to ask hon. Members to say whether the defence of these women was not in substance and in fact a true defence. I first take the case of Mrs. Leigh, who was tried at the Commission Court, Dublin, on 6th August, 1912. There is no report of what was the nature of the defence or what was said by Mrs. Leigh, although she delivered a very long speech—the whole of which I do not propose to read to the House. I will give the salient passages, so that hon. Members may understand the sort of women who are in these cases. The Home Secretary is asking for these exceptional powers of repression. Mrs. Leigh, in her speech, said:—The one thing that I want to bring forth is that we are not given, on the mere justice of our claim, a really constitutional way of bringing forth snore of those points which we have to bring forward to the public, and through the public to their masters, and through their masters to the Government—the powers that be; and we have not been granted, in making our claim, the constitutional means which is within the grasp of every individual if he belongs to the male sex—it is even given to a criminal, and to a lunatic, and to a pauper, and to an alien if he becomes naturalised. But I, because I am born a woman, which is no fault of mine, and it is no credit; to those who constitute the male sex to be born men, but because I am born a woman, that very fact, from my birth to my grave, if we have not won constitutional means, will be a stigma which I have to fight against, and that stigma has been upon the name of all women since they were disfranchised 413 through a legal quibble. My lord, you said that motives were not taken into consideration, but nothing in this world can be done without motive. Your very presence here to-day has a motive behind it—that justice may be done. I want to say as quickly as possible, because I do not want to insult the intelligence of the jury, and to compel many people to go into research upon these matters, but I do want to say that nearly half a century, fifty years—a long time—women have tried by every means in their power to win their way to get within the pale of the Constitution. And they have tried the usual form of petitions, education, propaganda, and all other peaceful means. They have tried by demonstrating, by holding immense meetings, and I might say to some of those people who think that it is only to-day we who are making this stand in the fight; I want to inform them, for many other things may take their interest, and therefore they may lose sight of something that has not troubled them very much.I pass over part of the case which is not quite so interesting, because I do not want to burden the House more than is necessary. My object in reading what I have is merely that I may ask at the conclusion: Is this an insane woman? Or an ordinary criminal? Or is she hysterical? She goes sin to deal with the motives which have led her to enter into the campaign, and continues:—Five and a-half million women workers have to work under conditions over which they have no control. They have to work under laws which have been made for them by men who have no conception of the work that they are doing. I will give you one instance. Some girls are working in Manchester for 4s. 8d. a week, turning out every week thousands of men's shirts. All kinds—from the plain butcher's shirt to the daintiest of frilled shirts, which any dainty popinjay may put upon him at night. Frills and tucks, etc., they are making these things, and no matter how hard they work they could not earn more. I have worked in that factory in Manchester. And the money stopped for steam, hot water, and for patting straps on, has gone to swell the funds of a free library. Money was taken from time workers to pay for this library—although more money was added to it—and to-day not one of these people can enter this library. It is one of the particular grievances which women have to point out that in the rates of wages where men have protection behind them, there is no such thing as sweating, no such thing as taking their wages in illegal fines.I pass over a great deal more to come to the finish of the speech, which is throughout in the same sustained line of reasoning power evidenced by the passages I have read. She concludes:—I want to end with a little quotation, 'To know all is to understand all,' and if you know all, gentlemen of the jury, then you will know why I am an outlaw, and as an outlaw in my rebellion I come face to face with men whose fathers or their grandfathers cannot show a clean slate in any part of their country. You, gentlemen of the jury, have your votes to-day by the wilful murder which your forefathers did in order to bring you the franchise. If you doubt me, spend some of your leisure time in reading up your own history. We have done no wrong in the eyes of any Irishman, or in the eyes of any other man in this country, when you look at it in the aspect of what has been done. 'To know all is to understand all,' and if you understand in my case, as I hope you will, I hope you will take a strong stand of independence, and let each man of you use his own faculties and draw his own conclusions, and having been convinced of doing what he thinks is right, then let him give forth 414 his verdict. If there is any man amongst you that is guiltless of any militant act in his life, let him be the man to say that I shall take my punishment. I put it to you that the whole history of the world has been won by rebellion, and that those people outside the Constitution cannot afford to be constitutional.When we are considering a measure for dealing with a particular class of criminals, I do submit with great confidence, Mr. Speaker, to the Members of this House, that it is only reasonable and judicial that we should make some inquiry as to who and what the criminals are, and what is the nature of their defence. I come to the next case, the case of Miss Billinghurst, who was tried at the Central Criminal Court, London, for unlawfully placing in a letter-box a certain deleterious fluid.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
On a point of Order. I have not intervened yet because I did not wish to raise the question; but in connection with the illustration which the hon. Member has given and the speech that he read out, may I ask whether it would be in order for me subsequently in the Debate to go into the question of the defence of any prisoner whom I am interested in who is a prisoner at the present time?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That would certainly be rather what is commonly called "a tall order." I believe the hon. Member has stated his proposal rather too generally. I waited until the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. M'Curdy) had finished his illustration of the particular case that he gave. It seems to me that it was really hardly necessary to go into the whole of it. The hon. Member is entitled to say, and the House may assume, that the persons for whom he is speaking are reasonable people, who are very well able to state their own case in Court, are perfectly well aware of what they are doing, and are persons of ability. If he says that, he has perhaps said all it is necessary to say. It seems to me to be unnecessary to quote large portions of the defence of these women in order to establish his proposition, which is not disputed.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I understand your ruling to be, Mr. Speaker, that for the purpose of showing the House what is the nature of the crime and the class of criminal to which the proposals in this measure are directed, I am in order in giving my illustrations, but you are suggesting that it is not necessary to multiply the illustration in each case?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Yes, that is so; but it is really not necessary to read portions of the speeches they have made. We all know that the women charged have certain sentiments, and that they are well able to defend themselves, and have done so with great skill. But it is not necessary to read all they have said.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I bow to your ruling, Sir, but the reason I read the extract in full was that in all these sensational cases the facts which I am now placing before the House of Commons for the first time are facts which I think were never before placed before the people of the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] They have never been placed before the people of this country, except partially in the organs circulating amongst the people at this moment and in these organs alone. All I want to show is that these are not statements of ordinary criminals or of insane or hysterical women. The statement I have read is the statement of a woman who has committed a crime, which comes within any definition conveniently framed of what is known as a political crime. I could multiply examples of this kind. I pass on now to the case of the burning of the Pavilion at Kew Gardens, and for that purpose I will only read the conclusion of the prisoner's statement, because I want to adopt the language of that lady to some extent as my own. After demurring to the jurisdiction of the Court for the trial of women on the ground that if she were tried by her peers there would be women on the jury, whereas all women were excluded from the Court, she raised an objection to being called upon to obey the laws without the opportunity of having any voice in the making of the laws, and she says:—For over forty years women have worked to get the vote in a constitutional way. They held endless meetings and demonstrations all over the country, and at the Albert Hall, and again and again they sent petitions to Parliament bearing thousands of signatures, and it is because constitutional efforts have failed that we have adopted the only means in our power to force the Government to listen to our demands, yet you wonder that the women have revolted. The wonder is that they have been patient so long.The plea which is put forward by the women prisoners, if I may summarise it, is this: first, that they are actuated by purely political motives, and that they are neither insane nor hysterical, nor acting, as has been suggested, for the sake of publicity, but in fact they are actuated by political motives, and that they are forced into a very regrettable and illegal propaganda, which they have now adopted by the fact that 416 they have found all avenues of constitutional redress closed to them—not all avenues of obtaining the passage of a Franchise Bill—but all avenues of obtaining a fair discussion of a Woman's Franchise Bill upon its merits, and an opportunity of such a Bill taking its chances like any other measure that might come before this House. I heard an hon. Member say that is a perfectly absurd statement on the part of the women; therefore, I would place before the House a short statement of the facts, and when hon. Members see the facts in order and correlated they will see whether the plea put forward on behalf of women is so absurd as the hon. Gentleman opposite suggests—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think the hon. Member is treating this Bill in too general a way. The point is, how certain prisoners are to be treated if they do certain things in prison. That is really the point. The hon. Member says the Bill should not pass because he does not approve the proposals suggested by the Home Secretary, but I do not think it is open to him now to go into the general question of Women Suffrage, and to go back and trace the whole of the movement, and what has occurred in the House of Commons. That would really not be relevant to this Bill.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I do not propose to say a single word with regard to the merits of Women Suffrage in any shape or form. What I do desire to say a word upon is this: First of all we have the complaint of the women that the Government have closed to them every avenue of constitutional redress, and, as a corollary from that that this measure is wholly unnecessary if the Government and the House of Commons will only extend fair treatment to the question of Women Suffrage, and to that argument I venture to address myself, and I merely wish to summarise the nature of the steps taken by the women, and the result of those steps. I do not think that on those lines I am transgressing your ruling, and certainly not intentionally.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I understand the argument of the hon. Gentleman to be that if this House would immediately grant Women Suffrage, this Bill would not be necessary.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
Of course, one cannot, in anticipation and advance, make clear one's point, but no such suggestion would come from me. I neither argue the merits of Women Suffrage nor am I suggesting that the Government should introduce a Women Suffrage Bill. I am merely dealing with the point as to whether the criminal acts of women in these cases are such as ought to be dealt with by making our Penal Code more oppressive, or whether they are crimes which arise from causes easily within the control of the Government, and which, if properly applied, would render this oppressive measure unnecessary. I was merely going to show this. Up to seven or eight years ago there was no question of the peaceful character of the agitation carried on by these women. Up to that time they held public meetings, presented petitions to Parliament, promoted Bills in Parliament, and got pledges from Members. They started some sixty Suffrage societies in this country, the membership of which has doubled and trebled in the last few years. There were societies representing Conservative, Church people, Welsh people, Scotch people, Free Church people, and every conceivable class of the community, as propagandist societies to advocate Women Suffrage in a perfectly orderly and constitutional manner. In 1908 this House passed, as the result of the propaganda, a Bill, introduced by Mr. Stanier, by a substantial majority, and in that year the very largest political demonstration that was ever held in the whole of this country, with the probable exception of a recent demonstration, was held in Hyde Park in support of this movement. The "Times" said of this meeting, held in June, 1908:—Its organisers counted upon an attendance of a quarter of a million. That expectation was certainly fulfilled, and probably it was doubled.And the "Daily Chronicle" said, "So vast a tournay had never before been gathered in London." This measure in 1908 passed its Second Reading, and no promise of further facilities was obtained from the Government. One Woman Suffrage Society alone held in that year 20,000 meetings. They filled the Albert Hall three times, the Queen's Hall forty times, and St. James' Hall more than forty times, and these 20,000 meetings were ignored by the responsible authorities in this country, as if they had never been held. They then tried the peaceful and constitutional method of sending deputations to wait upon Ministers of the Crown to petition for the redress of their grievances, and the 418 deputations were not received. It was in June, 1909, that one of those ladies wrote on the wall of St. James' Hall:—It is the right of the subject to petition the King, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.She was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. The matter subsequently came before the High Court, where the women found that another constitutional avenue was closed to them by the remarkable decision of the High Court, that there was undoubtedly in the Bill of Rights the right of the subject to petition the King, but there was no obligation on the part of a Minister of the Crown to receive the petition. It was only after all these peaceful methods had been persevered in for a number of years that this phenomenon of the hunger strike, with which we are now asked to deal by this Bill, made its appearance. When the lady chalked up the words that it is the right of the subject to petition the King, and then discovered the decision of the High Court, they adopted the hunger strike. In September, 1909, the Home Office started to deal with these women by methods of forcible feeding, and the right hon. Gentleman says, and I was surprised to hear him say it, that the rumours which appeared in the Press as to forcible feeding are probably untrue, and are put forward by these women. But, as a matter of fact the report which appeared in the "Lancet" of 1912, to which hon. Members can refer, is quite sufficient for my purpose, or for anybody else without taking the statement of the women at all. I will quote one passage:—The nasal mucous membrane was frequently lacerated, as evidenced by bleeding of the nose and swallowing of blood front the back of thy nose. Sometimes the tube had to be pushed up the nostrils three to five times before a passage could be forced. In several such cases bleeding continued for some days; in one case it recurred for ten days. In another case an abscess followed, with intense pain over the frontal region, which lasted for weeks after release. The danger of forcible feeding is increased by the accidents liable to accompany the passage of tubes down the nose or throat, In several instances the œsophageal talk was passed into the larynx.It is a long report, but I have only read those passages which show the true effect of this process which was adopted in September, 1909. It was adopted for the purpose of keeping these women longer in prison, but it has been an utter failure. We now know that they do not remain so long in prison under this operation of forcible feeding as they would if they were allowed to starve. In the year 1909, when the right hon. Gentleman or his predecessor started this method of forcible 419 feeding, the result of it was that in one year the members of the Women's Social and Political union raised subscriptions from £26,000 to £60,000. There were 294 arrests and 110 hunger strikes, and thirty-six people were forcibly fed in that year. In 1910 the Conciliation Bill was introduced, and again the women saw a possibility of having their case fairly dealt with on constitutional lines. The result was that there was an immediate truce to militancy. A monster procession was organised, countless meetings were held, and militancy was very much checked, and practically died out for some time. We all remember what happened to the Conciliation Bill. It passed the House of Commons by a handsome majority, and again the women were puzzled and perplexed by the action of the House of Commons, after passing the Second Reading, in refusing to send it to a Grand Committee which destroyed it as effectually as if the Second Reading had not been passed. The result was another agitation—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have been listening to the hon. Member very carefully, but I confess that I cannot see the relevancy of his remarks, and I cannot follow what he is driving at. He wishes to reject the Bill, but what other system does he propose? Here is a difficulty and how does the hon. Member propose to meet it? Does he propose to meet it at all? Those seem to me to be the points to which the hon. Member ought to address himself, and not to a history of the movement.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I propose to direct my observations in a few moments to the question which you put as to what remedy could be adopted, but the relevancy of my observations is two-fold. In the first place, I think I am entitled in reply to the Home Secretary's statement that these women criminals he proposes to deal with are persons unworthy of credence having declared war against the Government, and, generally speaking, are a very undesirable class of the community. I am showing, so far from being of that kind, they are people who, whenever there has been a glimpse of blue in the sky, or a possibility of conducting a peaceful propaganda have never committed any outrages at all. I say that it is relevant before I come to the question of what would be a reasonable remedy for the Home Secretary to adopt, for me to show that these are reasonable people who would accept a reasonable remedy. What 420 happened next? In November, 1910, 300 women, including Mrs. Fawcett, formed a deputation to the House of Commons and 115 were arrested. Militancy then broke out again. I will not remind the House in detail at all of the subsequent events in Parliamentary history which are fresh in all our memories, but everybody knows that they constituted a series of grievances and disappointments to the women who have the interests of Women Suffrage at heart. In 1912 their hopes were centred in the Conciliation Bill, but they were dashed to the ground on 19th November. The "Times" said that a Motion had been accepted for the so-called Conciliation Bill, but the Press of this country were telling them the real fact was that the whole thing had been exploded. On this question a leading suffragist, Miss Robbins, says in her book:I am certain the Prime Minister did not realise when he made his manhood suffrage pronouncement that he was acting contrary to the spirit of his pledges.I am as sorry as she was, because the effect was that the Conciliation Bill was torpedoed and in three days, on the 21st November, the window smashing occurred in Whitehall, 227 women were arrested and forcible feeding was again resorted to. The Bill came up on the 28th March, and two things happened. The Conciliation Bill was lost by fourteen votes, and £10,000 was subscribed in ten minutes at one meeting towards the funds of the women. I will not say anything in regard to what has happened in this House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I will do hon. Members that favour, at any rate. I only wish to remind them that in March of the following year the Government adopted a new method—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have already given the hon. Member several warnings. I have asked him to come to the point and he declines to do so. I must therefore ask him now to resume his seat.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I beg to move, as an Amendment, to leave out all from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add instead thereof the words—this House declines to proceed with any measure for strengthening the Law against hunger strikers convicted of 421 offences connected with the agitation for the enfranchisement of women until the Prime Minister redeems his pledge that the Government will make itself responsible for the further progress of any Women Suffrage measure which passes its Second Reading by a free vote of the House of Commons.I am sure no one inside or outside the House will have any complaint whatever to make in regard to the tone and temper of the speech which the Home Secretary has made in introducing this Bill. No one will attempt to minimise the difficulties of the position in which the Home Secretary finds himself in connection with this matter. My Amendment, however, gives a reason for the difficulty in which the right hon. Gentleman finds himself, and it also points a way out. I am not going to discuss the wisdom or the unwisdom of the tactics of what are known as the militant suffragists, but I will make this general remark in passing, that in spite of the sneers of hon. Members behind me, if the same degree of courage, the same devotion to a great cause, was being shown on the field of battle, or under other circumstances, those exhibiting it would be held up as heroes for national admiration. Their tactics may be wrong, and they are certainly against the law; but for anyone to assume that these women are acting as they are in order to get money or to obtain notoriety is to take a most unworthy view of the work in which they are engaged. If hon. Members could see what they suffer and understand the high motives which lie behind their action, I am sure they would think twice before agreeing to a measure of this kind. With regard to the measure itself, I want to emphasise the points raised by the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. I thought I gathered from the Home Secretary's speech that the orders under which action proposed by the Bill is to he taken are not to be framed on the ipse dixit of the Home Secretary alone, but, after being framed, I understand they are to lie upon the Table of the House of Commons, and in this way will be subject to consideration and to debate. If I am correct in so interpreting the right hon. Gentleman's remarks that would modify my objection to some extent to Clause 1, which states that the Secretary of State may, by Order, authorise the temporary discharge of a prisoner for such period, and subject to such conditions as may be stated in the Order.
422 5.0 P.M.
I want to know whether the right hon. Gentleman himself and his office staff are to promulgate this Order and put it into operation without the House of Commons having an opportunity of knowing what the Order is or what conditions are being imposed. If that should be the case, it would be entrusting a very dangerous power to the Home Office. In Section 2 we are told that any person so discharged shall comply with any conditions stated in the Order of temporary discharge. Here we have the weak points of this proposal. The Home Secretary has had experience of the resisting power of these women when fighting against the rules in prison, where they have starved themselves literally to the point of death, and have fought, not only for one or two days, but for four and over five weeks every day and every time the attempt was made to forcibly feed them, with all the strength they had left, against having the indignity of forcible feeding put upon them. I ask the Home Secretary and the House whether women who have carried on a campaign of this kind inside prison are likely to be amenable to any rules or regulations which the Home Secretary may frame for their conduct outside whilst on licence. The Bill is a most futile attempt on the part of the Home Office to deal with what is admitted to be a very serious difficulty, and I, for one, at least refuse to give the Home Secretary a blank cheque in regard to a matter of this kind. The scope of the measure might very easily be extended to apply to others, and a possible danger of this kind is best of all checked in the bud. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down was able to show that the militant tactics are due to a loss of faith on the part of a section of the women suffragists of their Bill receiving any fair treatment at the hands of the Government now in office. For the past forty years, or thereabouts, women have been content to allow their cause to come before the House in the form of a Private Member's Measure. Two years ago the Prime Minister, speaking presumably for the Government, gave an undertaking that, if an Amendment to the Franchise Bill were to pass the House of Commons by a free and non-party vote of the Members, the Government would then take that Amendment, incorporate it in the Bill, and become responsible for carrying it through all the rest of its stages until it became law. The militant section of the women's franchise movement, like every other section, accepted that pledge in good faith, 423 and said, "Here at last is a chance for us ending this long, weary struggle for enfranchisement by the Government of the day, following the lead of the House of Commons, taking up our question and making it law."
A few weeks ago circumstances arose which led the Government to drop the Franchise Bill, and certain of us who had accepted the Prime Minister's statement in good faith, and who had advised the women outside to do the same, were a good deal nonplussed when the Government intimated that pledge was to be abandoned, that time was to be given to a private Member to bring forward a Women Suffrage Bill, and that, if it passed its Second Reading, further time would be given for the remaining stages of the Bill, but at no point in its passage through the House of Commons were the Government able to become responsible for it. We have there the real cause for this renewed outbreak of militancy. It is a further betrayal of the cause of Women Suffrage. It is no use saying the pledge was given in regard to an amendment to another Bill. It is a mere matter of detail whether the pledge applied to an amendment or to a Bill. The central point to be kept in mind is that it was the enfranchisement of women for which the Government agreed to make itself responsible under certain conditions, and if even now the Government, instead of trying to pass this futile bit of legislation which is going to add to the horrors of the situation, would revert to its original pledge and give the women outside, not only the militant section, but tens of thousands who belong to the non-militant section, an assurance that they intend to keep faith with them as they keep faith with enfranchised men, the need for this Bill would largely disappear. The change in the situation is not one for which the women are responsible. The Government itself must take the entire responsibility. It is most unjust and unfair that the women who are conducting the agitation should be made to suffer for an act for which the Government itself must accept the responsibility. I hope that Members of the House, whether they are for Women Suffrage or against Women Suffrage, and whether they agree or disagree with the militant tactics, will vote for this Amendment as a protest against the breach of faith committed by the Government in regard to the movement, for the enfranchisement of 424 women. If that be done and this Bill be thereby rejected, the House will have taken a long step forward towards securing peace so far as this agitation is concerned and towards restoring the faith of women of all shades of opinion in the good faith of the Government.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I am afraid I do not take the same view of this Bill as that expressed by either of the two last speakers. If I took the view as expressed by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. M'Curdy) my attitude towards the Bill would be a very different one. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie) spoke as if the Bill only applied to a particular class of prisoners, namely, the suffragists. That is not the case at all.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
It may be, and probably is the case, that the difficulties in connection with the Women Suffrage movement have brought the necessity for a Bill of this kind to the front, but there is no proposal in the Bill of any kind which is specially applicable to the Suffragists. It is applicable to every prisoner, and it is introduced, as I understand, as a reasonable measure of prison discipline. The hon. and learned Member for Northampton is really under a misapprehension. He spoke as if it were a Bill under which you might indefinitely prolong a sentence passed upon a prisoner, and he went on to say that you might in fact prolong a sentence, although the prisoner had not been properly tried either before a jury or a competent judge and had not been properly sentenced. That is a complete misapprehension of the Bill. I ask the Home Secretary to correct me if I am wrong. The sentence, so far as this Bill is concerned, will not be altered one iota either one way or the other. If it were true that you could increase a sentence apart from going through the ordinary legal procedure, and apart from a sentence given by a competent judge, I should oppose the Bill to the utmost, because I should think it was a gross case of interference with the liberty of the subject of the worst kind, but, as a matter of fact, there is not a word in the Bill which gives any ground for a suggestion of that sort
425 This Bill, so far from giving what the hon. and learned Member calls "exceptional powers of repression," really gives exceptional powers of relief in cases where certain matters of prison discipline cause difficulty. No one is more strongly against forcible feeding than I am, but the object, and the right object of this Bill is to prevent the horrors of forcible feeding, and every word that the hon. Member said upon that point appeared to me to be, not an argument against the Bill, but a strong argument in its favour. This is not a party matter. We are dealing with a question of criminal law and of prison regulations, and I believe the whole House would be glad if possible to adopt a Bill of this kind if they thought, as I do, that one of the great objects of it was not to put exceptional repression upon these prisoners, but to assist them, and, above all things, to avoid what to my mind is the horror of forcible feeding. I am strongly in favour of the Second Reading of the Bill and intend myself to support it, but there are certain portions to which I want to call the Home Secretary's attention. I think he himself very clearly shows one difficulty, and I want to know how he is going to deal with it. Suppose you have a person in prison who desires to promote a hunger strike, and that person is offered release on conditions but refuses to accept those conditions, what is the position of the Home Secretary? That, to my mind, is an important point. I do not raise it as a difficulty in one sense but as a matter with which we have got to deal, because, according to my view, if we have a Bill of this kind dealing with a most difficult problem, and which may perhaps become more difficult, we want to see that we make it as complete as possible. I want, therefore, to ask the Home Secretary, in no unfriendly spirit, whether, supposing you offer release to any prisoners in order to prevent a hunger strike and they say, "No, we will not accept your conditions; we will stop in prison," you will not have just the same difficulty as you have now? That is a matter on which I want the Home Secretary's opinion, because it seems to me one of the points in reference to which the Bill is defective. There is another matter in the Bill to which I am bound to admit I am entirely opposed. I think it gives too much power to the Home Secretary in the exercise of his discretion. No one is more opposed than I am to giving undue power to anyone in the posi- 426 tion of Home Secretary in such a matter as this. We want our criminal law laid down by Parliament, and its execution carried out by judges by the ordinary judicial procedure. When we were discussing this question the other day I suggested the licensing principle, and the Home Secretary asked if he could not have, as regarded prisoners sentenced to ordinary imprisonment, powers like those he had in the case of penal servitude prisoners. But let me show that that is not what is done in this Bill. I want the right hon. Gentleman to alter the measure so as bring it into conformity with existing conditions in dealing with persons under sentences of penal servitude. If that is done the Bill may be very much improved.
The principle of licence was started in 1853. In that year the Home Secretary was given a discretion as regards licences very much the same as is contained in this Bill. But it did not operate well, and the consequence was that in 1864 the power was taken away in this form, and the conditions which were attached to licences were made statutory. They are still statutory, and are attached to the Act of 1864. That is a very important protection, both for the prisoner and for the ordinary administration of criminal jurisdiction and justice in this country. We ought to lay down the conditions to be attached to licences when we give privileges of this kind to a prisoner, and it ought not to be left to the discretion or order of the Home Secretary for the time being. I think that is necessary from two points of view: first, to protect the prisoner. It would be a very harsh thing if the advantages of this Bill were given by one Home Secretary and withdrawn by another. Whoever may be Home Secretary for the time being, whatever party may be in power, all prisoners should be treated exactly the same, and should have exactly the same privileges and advantages, quite irrespective of political conditions or of any question of party Government. In order to do that, you must make the conditions statutory. It has been done as regards penal servitude prisoners in the Act of 1864. Surely anyone who understands the ordinary administration of justice realises the importance of not having discrimination and of treating everyone with exact equality. We ought, therefore, to lay down the conditions under which licences should be granted, and we ought to make them statutory conditions applicable to everyone, without any discriminating 427 power so far as the Home Secretary is concerned.
I do not think that any Home Secretary ought to be subject to having to exercise individual discretion in that way. We know that he has not the time to attend to cases of that sort. He may or may not be a man of a harsh tendency or less harsh tendency, but he ought not to be in a position of having to exercise discretion in this matter. No Executive officer ought to have to deal with matters like this merely on his own discretion. It is an important matter as regards our criminal procedure, and as regards the safeguarding of the interests of the prisoners themselves. In dealing with questions of this kind in old days the Home Secretary had great powers with regard to the prerogative of the Crown, but that was a prerogative of mercy. Under this Bill, he is not exercising a prerogative of that kind at all. He is exercising a very disagreeable duty, and he is entitled to the protection of the conditions under which he is going to exercise it by having those conditions laid down by the Legislature itself. That would prevent the discussion in this House of matters with which it is peculiarly unadapted to deal, namely, the particular treatment of some particular prisoners. When matters of that kind come before the House he should be in a position to say that they have been dealt with under the ordinary regime and by the ordinary discipline, and that, therefore, there is no ground for interference. That is the proper way of dealing with matters of this kind. If I may appeal to the Home Secretary, I would say take what has been happening lately, and there you will find one of the reasons for the necessity for this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman told us the other day he had acted unconstitutionally in a certain matter, but he added that he was obliged to do it, for the necessity was such that there was no alternative. We do not want to put the Home Secretary in that position. He ought to have adequate powers laid down by this House under adequate regulations, and he should be free from any suspicion as to the treatment of particular prisoners, either in one direction or the other. That is the modern view of dealing with matters of this kind, and we shall never put ourselves on a sound footing unless we adopt it; we shall be subject to question from time to time why particular prisoners have not been dealt with either more or less 428 leniency because the Home Secretary has full power to so deal with them. I submit he ought not to have it. We should determine how he should exercise this discretion, except in cases of an exceptional character.
There is one other point, and that is that as to the powers of the right hon. Gentleman proposes to take while prisoners are under remand. Is it necessary for him to take the same powers for them as for prisoners under sentence? A prisoner under remand is primâ facic an innocent person, and is entitled to be regarded as innocent in this country until he has been convicted by a competent Court. Consequently, a person under remand is dealt with in a different way from a convicted person. It appears to me that, so far as criminals under remand are concerned, they should be dealt with in a different way under this Bill. I am only throwing out that suggestion at the present moment. It is not necessary to bring this special treatment into force as regards that particular class of prisoner. I approve generally of this Bill. My view is that it is intended to be an advantage to prisoners; it is intended to prevent the horrors of forcible feeding, and to improve prison discipline. Will the Home Secretary take the existing licences in cases of penal servitude, on which this Bill has been framed, and apply them here—making them statutory? Is not the working out of these licences in the hands of the Prison Commissioners? It is not a matter which comes before the right hon. Gentleman personally. They are dealt with on the lines of prison discipline, and are carried out by routine. I want to have exactly the same thing here. I want to eliminate the personal fear of an Executive officer interfering in these matters. Let it be done in the ordinary routine. That is the proper way of dealing with these extremely difficult cases.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The matter of the revocation of a licence always comes before me. The grant of a licence is a matter of ordinary routine.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
Revocation is a different matter. I was dealing with the granting of licences. Under certain conditions a prisoner really gets his licence as a right, and I want it to be so in this case. I agree it is a concession to good behaviour, while we are really dealing with cases of bad behaviour. At the same time, if you 429 are going to allow the principle of the licence, if it is to be temporary, and not to include the time of the sentence, then I think in matters such as forcible feeding you ought to have regulations which substantially bring into force the powers you are asking here in all cases. It ought not to be possible for the Home Secretary to be asked whether, in a particular case, this Bill is going to operate. It should be operative in every case, and it should come into operation substantially as a matter of routine, so that all prisoners may have the benefit of it. Having regard to the extreme difficulty of this case, I think the Home Secretary is to be congratulated upon the main principles of the Bill. I criticise its application, and in Committee I shall carry my criticism further. But do not let it be thought for one moment I should support this Bill if I believed what the hon. and learned Member for Northampton said was his idea of the purport of it. In my opinion he is wholly and absolutely wrong. It is not an increase of sentences; it is a matter of discipline, and it is to prevent the horrors of forcible feeding, against which the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil and the hon. Member for Northampton have so strongly protested. I certainly shall not support the Amendment.
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
In the very few observations I intend to make upon this Bill I shall deal with it from a point of view entirely apart from its immediate object. I am not at all sure but that a measure of this kind, directed against the class of persons against whom it is directed, will be absolutely futile. Although it may succeed, I give my right hon. Friend credit for the object he has in view. But although it may relieve the present position from the odious task of compulsory feeding, still it must necessarily be associated with a great deal of pain and suffering to the prisoner before the provisions of this Bill are put into operation. I am not going to deal with it from a suffragist point of view. I have had some experience of criminal law, and I welcome what fell from the last speaker upon certain points of this Bill. I regret that he gave it general approval. I believe that the Bill, in its general principle, is entirely contrary to the principle of our criminal administration. If there is one characteristic of criminal jurisprudence more marked than another, it is, I think the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South Bucks (Sir A. 430 Cripps) will agree, the recognised established principle that punishment should be certain. It is also a recognised principle that punishment should be the result of judicial proceeding and not of [...] proceeding by the Executive, and if there is one point of view which has been more than any other continuously impressed upon the spirit of our criminal jurisprudence, it is that there should be no interference by the Executive in the limitation of punishments which are meted out to people, except in the direction of mercy. My hon. and learned Friend opposite was perfectly right in pointing out that, in the routine of our prison administration, probably one of the most successful of our penological methods is the letting out of prisoners upon licence. What does this Bill do? It is an entirely new departure. There is no precedent for it, either in the penology of this country or the penology of any European country, so far as I know, and I have taken some care to ascertain the facts. It proposes to indefinitely prolong the imprisonment.
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
It is perfectly true, as my hon. Friend opposite said, that the continuity of confinement is not prolonged. The prisoner has his six months or nine months or twelve months of imprisonment, and he cannot be kept in gaol for more than six months or nine months or twelve months, but he will be a potential prisoner.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend will allow me to say that the prisoner will be let out upon licence for a defined period, and the prisoner will return to prison. The option of returning and serving the sentence will remain with the prisoner and not with me. The Home Secretary will not be able to extend the total period, but the prisoner will.
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
With all due respect to my right hon. Friend, that is somewhat of a quibble. What takes place is that the prisoner is contumacious and injures his health, wisely or unwisely from his point of view, and the Home Secretary then releases him from prison, subject to conditions which may be of a punitive character.
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
I suppose they will be conditions which will impose some restraint on his freedom of action?
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
Therefore I am perfectly right in saying that this prisoner's term of imprisonment, not the continuity of confinement, is indefinitely prolonged. I need not elaborate that. It is a thing which is an absolute violation of a cardinal principle of our law. Next—and again giving the Home Secretary all due credit for the merciful object he has in view—it opens the door—and any lawyer will agree with me, it does not require a prison official to understand that—to intrigue. I have great respect for the prison officials. It is not the Home Secretary who is going to do this, but the Prison Commissioners, and it is going to be the governor of the gaol and the medical officer. Those are the people who are going to administer this Bill. I can conceive nothing worse than that it should be in the power of these humble administrative officers to be able to contrive that a prisoner should be let out from prison if his health suffers, to which suffering he has made some slight contribution. That is a very dangerous principle, and although we have the very highest faith, as we all have, in the integrity of our prison or police officials, at the same time, in these days of security we ought to be most cautious to guard against days of less security. I can quite conceive the Home Secretary being exposed to the very grave reproach of having connived, through his officials, at the release of a prisoner who ought to remain in prison, as a result of a connivance or intrigue between him and the prison officials. Those are my two cardinal objections to the Bill, and they are serious, although I cannot repeat too often that I recognise the purpose the Home Secretary has in view.
My hon. and learned Friend opposite expressed, in the courteous and guarded language which is characteristic of him, his amazement at what I think is the most novel and extraordinary proposition that has ever been placed upon a criminal or penological Statute, again without precedent, that is to say, that the Home Secretary shall be able to interfere with the liberty of the subject in any way that he pleases. So far as I can see, he can impose any conditions he likes. The Home 432 Secretary says that he will lay the rules on the Table of the House. Some young Members of the House may think that a very solemn proceeding, which will enable us to exercise effective control, but the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the laying of Orders of that kind on the Table amounts to nothing more than a mediæval ceremony. I have never known—and I have looked through the precedents—any instance under any Statute, penological or otherwise, where the Home Secretary has had power to frame rules which curtail the liberty of the subject. I shall be quite content, if the Home Secretary will give an assurance that that will be omitted from the Bill in Committee, to waive any further objections on that score, but unless that is done I shall certainly at all its stages meet this Bill with the most stern opposition. The Home Secretary has not even condescended—it is a most extraordinary thing—to inform the House of the nature, quality, or character of the conditions, even in the most general terms. While I quite appreciate the lofty and good purpose the Home Secretary has in view, these are my grounds for opposing this measure. I think that to put people in prison, then to let them out, and then to bring them in again is cruel, not only to them but to their relatives, and the House ought to think once or twice before it consents to that extraordinarily capricious method of dealing with prisoners. My attitude towards this Bill is not influenced by sympathy with the suffragists. I dismiss that consideration altogether; I regard it as a constitutional lawyer. It is a novel departure and a dangerous innovation, and, with all respect to my hon. and learned Friend opposite, I regard it as establishing a very dangerous precedent by giving to the Executive powers which may be, and history informs us too often are, and are too often likely to be used.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I have listened to this Debate and waited in vain to hear any defence put forward for this Bill except that put forward by the Home Secretary. I am not altogether surprised, because the principle of the Bill is of a very surprising character. I understand the idea that when a prisoner has behaved well he or she may be let out of prison, but this Bill establishes the principle that when a prisoner has behaved ill he or she should be let out. That is rather a startling proposition. Then there are the objections put forward by the last speaker, who referred, I thought with extreme 433 felicity of phrase, to the mediæval ceremony of laying rules upon the Table. I quite agree with him that that is no security at all, under the existing conditions of this House, that the rules will ever be examined, debated, or considered by this House. Even that security is not provided in the Bill. The conditions of release are to be enacted by the Home Secretary later on, as he pleases, and all that is said about them is that they are to be such as will depend upon the conduct of the prisoner in and out of prison. That, again, seems to be rather curious. Apparently the idea is that these prisoners are to be let out of prison but are to be put in the same position as the subjects of King Louis XVI., namely, that they can be consigned to the Bastille, or its modern equivalent, at any time by an administrative order of the Home Secretary, or, as I am informed by the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury), who is well-read in these matters, by lettres de cachet. All these seem to be rather strange provisions to be in a Bill which is presented to the House of Commons. They seem the stranger coming from a Liberal Government. I have a sort of dim recollection of eloquent speeches delivered by the late Mr. Bright and the late Mr. Gladstone. I remember a very celebrated phrase used by Mr. Bright thatforce is no remedy.He said that in opposing what is ordinarily called the Coercion Bill. This is a Coercion Bill, and I shall look with great interest to see what action the Irish Nationalist Members take upon it. I have no doubt they will vote for a Coercion Bill or anything else to keep the present Government in office, hut, if they vote for this, they are voting for an extraordinary Coercion Bill.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I shall have a word to say about that in a moment. Liberals have constantly made themselves responsible for coercion Bills, as history points out, and they have been very incompetent and inadequate Bills for the purposes they had in view. That I think will be the fate of this Bill also. I look forward to hearing from the Under-Secretary his view on this matter. I confess I do not envy the Under-Secretary the speech he will have to make, for he is one of the few Members of this House who has openly advocated and approved of mili- 434 tancy, if I remember aright. I shall await with very great interest his eloquent peroration in which he explains that the law must be enforced and that these un-happy, misguided women must be coerced if they will not obey the law without coercion. So much for the general character of the Bill and its authors. The difficulty in which I am personally placed is a considerable one, partly because of the Amendment which has been moved by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie), which lays down this proposition: That no Bill of this kind should be passeduntil the Prime Minister redeems his pledge that the Government will make itself responsible for the further progress of any Women Suffrage measure which passes its Second Reading by a free vote of the House of Commons.I can have no kind of dealing with a proposition of that kind. That is really adopting the position, which I was very sorry to hear the hon. Member also adopt, taken up by the militant suffragettes. I cannot adopt that, and I reject it altogether. I concede to the Home Secretary most fully that some strengthening of the law is required. I agree that you cannot go on with the present system whereby under certain conditions prisoners can put an end to their sentence. I am fully of the Home Secretary's opinion. I think this is a great scandal and is likely to produce very great evils.
I also agree with what the Home Secretary says, that the offence of these women is a very serious offence. It is really and truly anarchism. It is quite true it is modified anarchism. It is subject to certain limitations which they themselves declare they have set to their agitation, but those limitations appear to me to rest on no logical foundation whatever, and it appears to me that if the objects which they have in view are not attained by their present crimes there is no security that they will not proceed to very much more serious crimes in the future. It is anarchism, the object being to hold up the whole machinery of government and to bring the whole of the Government into contempt and into ineffectiveness until some particular political reform is carried. I am quite sure this is an intolerable claim and one which everybody in every quarter of the House must resist, and if that were the question involved—and it does seem to me to be involved—in the Amendment of the hon. Member (Mr. Keir 435 Hardie) I certainly should have to vote against him and in favour of this Bill, but I must say I do not think that is the question involved when we come to this Bill. I could not possibly support this Bill, and, as at present advised, I shall have to vote against the Second Reading. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir Alfred Cripps) says that he regards this Bill as merely a reasonable measure of prison discipline, the object of which is to get rid of forcible feeding. If I thought it was a measure of prison discipline and that it would have the effect of getting rid of forcible feeding, that would be a very desirable thing to do, and I should support it. But I notice, and the Home Secretary made it quite clear in his speech, that it is not to get rid of forcible feeding altogether. I regret that he made that clear because, though I do not think this Bill will do it, I think there ought to be an abandonment of forcible feeding, and that some other method must be found for dealing with these prisoners, and I observe that in Clause 2, Sub-Section (2) apparently there is an express reservation of the power of forcible feeding, and therefore there is something in the nature of a threat that forcible feeding is to go on and is to be resorted to whenever the Home Secretary thinks right, rather than the procedure under the powers of this Bill.
That being so, I ask the House rather carefully to consider what will actually happen under the Bill. Do not let us decide this on the Second Reading merely on the general principle which I have tried to lay down that we must enforce the law, or on the converse general principlpe that we must not do anything hasty to interfere with people's liberty. Let us try and consider what will be the actual practical results of the working of this method. If those actual practical results are likely to be good, let us vote for the Second Reading. Otherwise, let us vote against it. What will be the result? Let us take the case of an ordinary militant prisoner arrested, let us say, for window breaking. She is sent to prison and she refuses food. The Home Secretary says that in such a ease as that, he does not propose to resort to forcible feeding. We have to let her out again in three or four days at the outside. I feel quite sure that no one can go totally without food without some risk to their health for more than three or four days at a time. She will go out. 436 She will take a week to recover, and will break another window. Back she comes. What are you going to do then? Let her out again after four days or resort to forcible feeding? If you resort to forcible feeding, you are just where you are now and the Bill is useless. If you let her out again you reduce the criminal law to the most complete and abject contempt. I do not see any answer to that difficulty. I do not see how the Bill is really going to do any good. It must only increase the contempt into which the criminal law has fallen. It can only result in a series of arresting prisoners, keeping them for a ridiculously short time in prison, letting them out again and, when they have recovered their health, capturing them again, and putting them back and letting them out again. The thing is ridiculous.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
If the Home Secretary will resign and His Majesty will appoint me Home Secretary, I shall be very glad to introduce a Bill expressing exactly my views for the deportation of these women. I do not think it would be in order to go into details on my proposal. It is that power should be given to the Courts to sentence women to deportation.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I think that would be a more convenient course. I have received several very ferocious letters from suffragettes since I made the suggestion, one concluding with an objurgation which I scarcely like to repeat—that I was "just as bad as McKenna." It is no use hon. Members asking me what is my proposal. They have to consider whether this proposal is going to do any good. It is no use voting for this proposal because there is no other. You have to deal with this question—it is a difficult one, I agree—but it is no use making a change in the law and solemnly passing an Act of Parliament if the effect of that Act of Parliament will 437 be to do harm rather than do good, and my submission, and I feel it very strongly, is that this actual proposal will be represented with great truth as what is commonly called a cat-and-mouse proposal, namely, catching the women, then letting them go again; then catching them again and treating them in a way which is certainly exceptional and will be represented as being very unfair. It will therefore create a great deal of indignation and a great deal of sympathy for those against whom it is directed, and it will do no good. It will produce greater contempt for the criminal law, and it will merely aggravate and increase the present difficulties in the administration of the law, and under these circumstances I earnestly hope the House will not give it a Second Reading.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
I approach the examination of this Bill in very much the same spirit as the Noble Lord, and I think I have arrived at a different conclusion. I am not, of course, competent to discuss this Bill on the high grounds of criminology, but I notice that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Atherley-Jones) seemed to advance against the Bill two arguments which are mutually destructive. His two objections were, first, that the Bill extended the period of imprisonment in the sense that it extended the period during which imprisonment might be hanging over the mind of the victim, and, secondly, that by means of it the Home Secretary might connive in future at letting out prisoners who ought to be kept in prison. If you put these two things together they seem to be mutually destructive. They cannot both be true. It cannot be a Bill under which the Home Secretary can shorten the imprisonment at his discretion and at the same time extend the period of imprisonment. It seems to me that so far as that criticism goes the position which the hon. and learned Gentleman, who, of course, is a great authority on the point, took up is quite untenable, and I dismiss that argument as really being founded on two misconceptions, both of them untrue. But to return to the immediate object for which the Bill is proposed, I agree with the Noble Lord in wishing profoundly to dissociate those of us who are in favour of the cause of Women Suffrage from any sympathy with, defence, or palliation of these suffragette outrages, and I should have risen only for the purpose of doing that. I regret very much that some hon. Members on this side 438 of the House think themselves bound to palliate these offences, which are not excusable, and in that palliation to object to this Bill. The motives of the suffragettes may be admirable; they may be heroic; but nothing can excuse these offences, and the Amendment which is being moved by the hon. Member (Mr. Keir Hardie) makes obedience to the law conditional on some points in Parliamentary procedure, because he objects to the Parliamentary facilities which have been accorded to this movement by the Prime Minister. Do you really claim a right to permit arson, and do you defend or palliate arson when it is committed? I think those of us who are in favour of the cause of Women Suffrage are bound to protest against any association with that kind of conduct. We object to it, not merely because these actions, whatever may be the motives, are abominable in themselves, but because they are fatal and destructive to any chance of carrying Women Suffrage. So, on very much lower ground, the mere motive of self-interest and the desire to advance our cause, we have to protest again and again that, if the cause of Women Suffrage does not come to the success which it deserves to have, in my opinion, on its merits, it is just due to the hysterical, wrong-headed action of these women who have lost their chance by losing their heads.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
I do not say they have, but if they have lost it, it is due to these actions. I think some responsibility for these actions also does rest upon the Opposition. You cannot preach disobedience to the law in one part of the United Kingdom without at the same time arousing the forces of disorder in other parts. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about passive resistance?"] I was never a passive resister, and, at all events, the Noble Lord opposite is always very anxious to distinguish the case of Ulster from other cases. I am sure there are distinctions, but I am bound to say that there is a distinction in my mind between passive resistance and arson. I think the Noble Lord's dialectical ingenuity is quite capable of drawing that distinction for himself, and it is not necessary for me to point it out. I do not believe it is true that constitutional methods have failed, and that there is no further chance along constitutional lines to carry through the 439 cause of Women Suffrage, but even if it were true, I would say that the action which has been taken is not excusable, and I hope none of those who favour Women Suffrage will think that their advocacy of that cause need lead them to protest against this Bill. Protest against the Bill on its merits, if you like, but not on that ground. The Noble Lord, with whom I to that extent agree very largely, went on to complain about this Bill that it was a coercion Bill. He says it is a lettre de cachet. I thought the object of a lettre de cachet was to put people into prison without accusation or trial, but the object of this Bill is to let them out.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I did not say that. What I said was that prisoners who were let out were at the mercy of a lettre de cachet, and could be reimprisoned.
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
Their sentences have already been imposed upon them, and if what is proposed is a strengthening of the law to some extent, it is right. I think the Noble Lord does not object to the strengthening of the law. He is in favour of the coercive act of deportation. If the Home Secretary were to introduce a Bill for deporting the prisoners, would not that be a coercion Act? It is only the method of coercion the Noble Lord objects to, and not to further coercive measures. I agree that the law requires strengthening and should be strengthened. The Home Secretary asks for extra power to deal with this very difficult problem. The real question we have to ask ourselves is Will this Bill succeed? I think that in a very limited sphere it may. I am not very hopeful about it. It may succeed in some cases, that is to say, it may avoid the necessity either of imposing forcible feeding or of letting out a prisoner before the full term has been served. Forcible feeding remains at the back of the matter, and I am quite certain that when dealing with a fanatical state of feeling in the minds of the militants you will get some persons who will defy this law, and I do not suppose that the Home Secretary is very sanguine about the success of it in all cases. It may succeed in certain cases, and for that reason I am glad to support it. I do not see how you can give up forcible feeding in all cases, otherwise the doors of the prisons stand open for anyone with certain strength of mind, and you might as well abolish criminal procedure altogether. You talk about the conditions attending forcible feeding. It is called degrading. 440 It is said to be degrading to the doctors, warders, and nurses. What are you going to do with forcible feeding in lunatic asylums? There is certainly occasional resistance by patients in these institutions. If it is torture, and if it is degrading to those who administer forcible feeding, ought you to allow it in lunatic asylums? Have you a right to torture persons because they are lunatics? Have you a right to brutalise the insane, and does the hon. Member advocate torture of the insane?
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
The hon. Member has appealed to me. Obviously you must treat insane people by methods other than those you apply to people who are sane.
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
But if forcible feeding is a thing which decent-minded people cannot contemplate without horror, you ought not to allow those who administer it in the case of lunatics to be degraded in a similar way. I object to it. It is very unpleasant to think that women should come into contact with the police, that they should be put in prison, and that they should be forcibly fed. The whole thing is detestable. But there are crimes which must be punished. Within narrow limits I think this Bill may do some good. I once more get into agreement with the Noble Lord in thinking that if this Bill fails—and it will not succeed altogether—you might try deportation with advantage. The Home Secretary seems to shrink from that, thinking that perhaps the House would not give him power to deal with the matter in that way. It is easy in this question to say what you should not do. It is extremely difficult to say what you should do. It is easy to say that you should not let prisoners out before the sentences are completed and that you should certainly not let them die in prison, but I really do not see what else you can do except try some such experiment as that now proposed. If it fails, there might be some unsuspected place in the far-off seas to which you might deport these women. [An HON. MEMBER: "The Isle of Man."] On the other hand, what I feel is that we had better try to continue the patient administration of the law without hysterical violence, and without any sensational measures, such as the proclamation of meetings which has been suggested. You have got to isolate this strange phenomenon of militant crime. You cannot perhaps exterminate it altogether. You cannot suppress it by due process of law. 441 There are, after all, a considerable number of crimes which continue, despite all the efforts of the police and of treatment in prisons. We may have to put up with them. I regret it. The fact that it is there should make us separate it and treat it quite apart from the question of the advocacy of the political reform with which it is unfortunately connected. The two things have to be kept in separate compartments altogether. I do not for a moment say that, because of these crimes, which emanate from a very small section of the advocates of Women Suffrage, you are to desert your advocacy or turn your back upon your principles, but I say that, without turning back, the law has to be administered and crime has to be punished in this country. I support this Bill as an attempt to suppress these crimes, and I hope it may have some little measure of success, though I do not think it will do very much to that end.
§ Mr. A. F. WHYTE
I think anyone who has been in the House this afternoon, and anyone who reads the Debate to-morrow morning, will claim our proceedings as a symbol of the triumph of the methods of the suffragists. This House has over and over again been forced to take undue notice of certain events, and the consequence of that repeated notice is the measure we are now discussing. I find it very difficult to agree with any speaker in respect of the whole of the speech he has made, and I think that a frank confession on the part of Members this afternoon would probably reveal the fact that they are in considerable doubt as to what the measure really means. I confess I am in that position too, and, therefore, I should like to ask my hon. Friends on the Front Bench one or two questions about it. It is claimed in the main, I believe, that it is a measure for the removal of forcible feeding in most cases, but forcible feeding will remain, possibly in the background and sometimes in the foreground. Must it not necessarily remain in every case where a prisoner does not comply exactly with the conditions of Sub-section (2)? Does Sub-section (3) not bear out the contention of the hon. and learned Member for North-West Durham (Mr. Atherley-Jones)—that is to say, does it not mean that any prisoner sentenced, let us say, to two months' imprisonment, and who is let out at the end of the first week, is let out in a kind of durance which is only not imprisonment because it is not within the four walls of a prison? That prisoner will be let out for 442 a few days and will be brought back, and then, if he or she takes food, the rest of the sentence will be served; but what is more likely than that the prisoner will resort again to the hunger strike? Therefore the Noble Lord opposite was justified in calling this a "cat-and-mouse" measure.
I know that it is the Home Office contention that the number of those who will resolutely stand out and will not give up the method of the hunger strike is very small. I certainly should not be a party to the passing of the measure on that assumption. I do not know that the spirit of those who have endured what they have endured in this matter for some years past is so weak as that. I know it is the fashion to cast doubt upon that, but, as the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie) reminded the House, some personal knowledge of those women and their character is quite sufficient to convince any open-minded man in this House that these women do mean business. Surely we must all admit that these women call themselves outlaws, and not only call themselves so, but are so. They really believe they are so. The consequence is that this law, like any other, will simply be disregarded by them, and it will be only one more confession of the failure that waits upon all such attempts until finally the demand which they make is granted. I think it quite natural that the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin (Lord Robert Cecil) should say that he dissociates himself entirely from the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie), but I was very much surprised to hear my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. C. Roberts) join in that and endorsing the remark of the Noble Lord. After all, in the whole of recent history, no reforming party has been deterred by the excesses which have been committed by its own friends, and at the time, when some of the agrarian outrages were at their very height in Ireland, and when measures of coercion no doubt were passed with great regularity, those in that day who believed in reform were not deterred from pressing them forward, not only from the national but from the British point of view—
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
I said most emphatically that this should not deter us from pressing forward reform, but that these outrages ought to be suppressed, and looking back on history, these outrages always have been suppressed, and the sensible reforming party finally carried the reforms.
§ Mr. WHYTE
I think that it is a good offer, but as my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) says, it is not in the Bill, but it is a matter for discussion. Three measures have been proposed as alternatives for dealing with the situation with which the Bill proposes to deal. The first is proposed by the strong minded school, the let-them-die school. That school have this advantage, that they have logic on their side, and probably in the end it will be the easiest policy to carry out. But I do not think that, looking all round, it is a possible or a justifiable policy for a Home Secretary in a civilised country. It would bring very much worse evils in its train, and I dismiss it as a possible alternative. The Noble Lord proposes deportation. That is simply acting on the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." It is the most cowardly proposal which I have heard in the whole course of these Debates on Women Suffrage. I was very much surprised that the Noble Lord of all people should have suggested it. I see an hon. and learned Member smile at the word "cowardly." Is not it cowardly to remove them from your sight in order to put them out of your mind? For that is the only meaning. You cannot prevent a hunger strike among the deported women. It would simply mean that, for the time being at all events, you would be allowed to forget them. I shall be very much interested to hear what argument the hon. and learned Member has to bring forward en this point. The third and fourth alternative is this method which the Home Secretary proposes. I must say this Bill bears the mark of the particular emergency which has called it forth. That is really the worst criticism that has been brought against it. I believe that, with the probable failure of the authorities to enforce Sub-section (2) of Clause 1, the Bill will be in general futile, but it will remain on the Statute Book to be applied to persons entirely different from those for whom it was intended.
Therefore I support very strongly that part of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) 444 in thinking that ad hoc legislation of this character should be very closely scrutinised, not only from the point of view of the emergency, which created it, but from the point of view of its general effect on the general law. I believe that this Bill must necessarily fail, because it is an inadequate weapon to deal with the spirit of those for whom it is passed. But I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman, if he was going to take an opportunity of this kind, did not have the opportunity of making the proposal which has found its way into more than one official Department, and which I know has found its way into last year's Report of the Scottish Prisons Commission, that a power equivalent to that which is in his hands over the convict should be given to him in the case of minor offences, and that here, for instance, a workman has been convicted of a certain offence, who perhaps has received an excessive sentence, or when during the course of his imprisonment the knowledge has come to the prison authorities that employment can be found for him, and that so far he has served his term with satisfaction to the prison authorities, that it should then be in their power to release him on licence on the understanding that employment could be found. The details of that proposal will be found in last year's Report of the Scottish Prison Commission, and I should have thought that if the opportunity had been taken for the right hon. Gentleman to introduce some reform into the penal code of this country he might have used it to adopt more general powers rather than to devote, as I think he has been doing, a mistaken ingenuity, and an ingenuity which cannot succeed in dealing with the particular instance at the moment.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
If and when I am eighty years of age I am asked by my grandchildren to give them the best political advice that could be given I should warn them to be always against emergency legislation, legislation which is inspired by the panic of the moment, legislation which is based upon expediency and not upon any sound principle, legislation which history tells us always fails in the long run. Anyone who has studied the history of this country during the last hundred years will call to mind countless occasions when this House, just as it is at the present day, inspired by the dread of some particular immediate emergency, passed a particular law. Fortunately, most of them do not 445 survive for five years, but others do survive and are continually creating difficulties. On the whole, most people will agree with me that it wants a very strong case indeed to justify emergency legislation. This piece of law-making which we have before us to-day, this "cat-and-mouse" Bill, is essentially a piece of emergency legislation. It is drafted and going to be pressed through this House in order to deal with one particular form of crime which happens to have occurred at this particular moment? It is not a piece of legislation which is generally applicable or generally necessary for prison discipline, and therefore I think that it is incumbent upon the Government or anybody who supports this Bill to make it a very strong case for the absolute necessity of some such measure being passed.
On the whole, I think that with certain Amendments it might be possible to justify even this piece of exceptional legislation if we can get rid for all time in prison discipline of the forcible feeding of prisoners, which is, in effect, the torture of prisoners, because, when they resist effectively, it is torture. The removal of that blot would be worth a piece of exceptional legislation such as this is. But I do not see in the Bill, nor understand from the speech of the Home Secretary, that we are going to get this useful change in our prison discipline which would make it worth while for us to swallow this measure. I do not know whether, when the Bill is before the Committee, it will not be possible so to amend it as to make forcible feeding impossible. If hon. Members refer to the Bill they will see that there is a Clause which directs that the duties of medical officers of prisons shall not be altered by the passage of this Bill. Sub-section (2) of Clause 2 provides that nothing in this Act shall affect the duties of the medical officer of the prison in respect of prisoners whom the Secretary of State does not think fit to discharge under this Act. It does seem to me that if that Sub-section (2) were excised or modified we might automatically remove from the duties of the medical officer the supervising of these horrible scenes of forcible feeding which they have to carry out at the present time.
I think that it is obviously possible and within the scope of this Bill to lay down definitely that in passing this we get a valuable quid pro quo in the cessation of forcible feeding of women. But I want, 446 first, to make it quite clear, as it is to me, what the passing of this Bill will really do. It does seem to me that it is taking away from the judiciary the power of deciding what the punishment for crime is going to be and imposing that duty upon the Secretary of State. Now I am all against giving additional powers to the bureaucracy. We must rely, for what it is worth, on the Courts of Justice as at present constituted, and I should deprecate the extension of a principle such as this. It is not a question merely of women. This Act when passed might be applied to any political offender who had sufficient strength of mind to undergo the terrible punishment of self-starvation. It may be applied, it is being applied at the present time, to reform of many other kinds. We should be very careful that we are not laying up for ourselves dangers and sufferings by giving additional powers, not to the judiciary of the country, but to the Executive. It means at the present time that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to let out a prisoner after a week's starvation, then he will impose upon that prisoner who is let out certain conditions, the principal among which will be that of residence in a particular locality. Then, so long as that prisoner adheres to those conditions, there will be no rearrest. It may be twenty years afterwards that prisoners changes his or her residence, or may break some of the conditions, but for the whole of the rest of his or her life that prisoner will be liable to be rearrested without warrant and confined again on an old charge long since forgotten, at the whim of the Secretary of State for the time being.
I cannot be quite certain of my facts, but I think that some of the old Members of this House will remember that during the Land League agitation in the early eighties, Michael Davit, who was on ticket of leave as an ex-convict, was rearrested and again sent to prison because he took part in the Land League agitation. That seems to me to be a danger which we are incurring in passing this measure. Any reformer who will stand such starvation, and is liberated, is liable for the rest of his life, if he does anything which is disapproved by the Government, to be rearrested in respect of an offence long since forgotten. I do not know whether hon. Members feel as I do, but I believe that our sympathies are naturally always with the man who is trying to escape from justice. Certainly mine are. I remember 447 years ago reading a book called "Les Miserables." All the way through, as I read it, my sympathies were with the convict who was trying to escape from the police. All through he was being chased by a gendarme, and, at the close, the old charge was still brought against him, and the hand of the police was still on his shoulder, ready to arrest him. There are those of us, I think, who like to see a man given every chance to get away from the law; there are those of us who perhaps feel that, after all, in the position of the prisoner, his crime might have been committed by one of us—who feel that we are not above suspicion ourselves, and that we ought to be the last to throw stones. We like to see a prisoner, whether he comes before an English Court of Justice or before any other form of Court of Law, given the very best possible chance, and not hampered as he will be, I am afraid, if this Bill is passed. If the prisoner gets out through self-starvation, he will be under an indeterminate sentence, just as was Jean Valjean, for the rest of his life. If you got rid of forcible feeding you might have this law which is proposed, but unless we get that quid pro quo it should not be passed; nor should it be passed in any other form except it be purchased by the abolition of forcible feeding.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
If I understood the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) rightly, he said that this Bill confers power on the Executive to alter the sentence of the Court. The hon. Member went further, and said that under the Bill the sentence of the Court need not be carried out; that is to say, that for an unlimited period the prisoner is released—the Bill says to be temporarily released—and that he may be liable to arrest over a very long period of time. That I believe not to be the Bill as it stands. As I understand it, the Bill provides that the prisoner who commits an offence in prison which offence prevents the carrying out of the sentence, will still be made subject to the sentence, and all things falling out as the Home Secretary expects, the sentence will be carried out. The hon. Member has said that under the Bill as proposed, the sentence will be extended indefinitely, and the Home Secretary will have power to rearrest a man as he pleases. On the contrary, the Bill, as I understand it, says that the discharge is temporary and within a period fixed by the Home Secretary, and that when that 448 period is fulfilled, the prisoner shall return and the sentence shall be carried out. Surely the House sees that the position is this: The prisoner receives a penalty; the prisoner, by attempting to commit a fresh crime, that is to say, the crime of suicide, seeks to evade the penalty imposed by the law. As I read this Bill, it is an enabling Bill. It enables the Home Secretary to carry out the sentence provided by the Court originally, a sentence of which the prisoner, by misconduct in prison, as the Home Secretary calls it, by attempting to commit a fresh crime, seeks to prevent the fulfilment.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
The Bill says that the Home Secretary may extend the period—"such extended period as may be fixed by any subsequent Order."
Sir G. PARKER
But surely the hon. Member must be aware that this is only put in by the Home Secretary in order to give himself a certain freedom, because the prisoner may not be sufficiently restored to return.
Sir G. PARKER
The prisoner may not be sufficiently restored to return to prison, and it is in view of that circumstance that the Home Secretary gives himself the power to extend the period. But the conditions which the Home Secretary will lay down are those which he assures me now, across the floor of the House, are the conditions which I have already undertaken. Surely the House must see that the position which I take up in this matter is one of reason. I condemned the Home Secretary in the past for what I thought was weakness. Many of us on this side of the House and on the other side of the House felt strongly that his action was inadequate. The right hon. Gentleman says to the House, "My action was inadequate, unless I preferred to let these people die. My action was inadequate because the law has not given me power." I am supporting this Bill on the ground that I want to see the sentence of the Court carried out; I want to see the law fulfilled; I want to see sufficient power given to the Home Secretary to make this experiment. I agree that it would be a grievous thing to allow these women to die. Some of them, in a condition of exaltation, might choose to die, and you might call it fanaticism or hysteria or anything you like, but that some of them would do it I am certain. My Noble Friend (Lord Robert Cecil) 449 proposed deportation. Deportation seems to me to present unexampled difficulties, quite apart from the intrinsic merits of the proposal itself. Deportation where? We have no penal settlements outside this country. Is it proposed to deport them to some penal settlement belonging to Great Britain or to any of the Oversea Dominions—to some tropical settlement like British West Africa or Fiji? Is it proposed to send them from one prison to another? The right hon. Gentleman would have no power, even in Fiji; he would have no control over these prisoners once they were out of this country. They have their own rights in the West Indian Islands and in the outermost islands of the sea, and the proposal of deportation, from my point of view, is fantastic to a degree.
Deportation to some other country might be suggested, but already the United States have put a stop to that. It seems to me that such an alternative must be absolutely ruled out by those who want to see the law fulfilled. I do not see how it is going to be fulfilled unless some fresh enabling power is given to the Home Secretary. If this does not prove successful, then it will be the duty of the Home Secretary to provide something stronger still to meet the demand of the country and of this House, that no prisoner shall be allowed to commit a fresh crime in prison, the crime of felo de se, in order to escape the fulfilment of the sentence originally imposed upon him by the Court. If I am right in my interpretation of the Debate, and if I have proposed what I believe to be the horns of the dilemma on which we are placed, I see no other course to take than to support the Bill brought in by the Home Secretary. The hon. and learned Member for Durham (Mr. Atherley-Jones) made a very able speech, in which he said that the penalty of the Court ought to be certain and continuous. I agree. I think the Home Secretary agrees that the penalty of the Court ought to be certain and continuous. And this Bill, as I read it, is an attempt to make the penalty of the Court certain, and it will be as near continuous as possible in the circumstances—circumstances which involve the commission of another crime by the prisoner to escape the penalty originally imposed by the Court. I hope I have clearly put the point, which has influenced me very much in coming to a conclusion as to the course I shall pursue, and I am quite certain that, so far, I have 450 heard nothing to convince me that the course I intend to pursue in supporting the right hon. Gentleman is not the best in the circumstances.
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
I rise to oppose this Bill, for I have heard no real reason given in the speeches which have been made this afternoon why it should bring about the result which is expected of it. I do not think it has been shown by any speaker that the object in view, namely, to get rid of disorder and to get the law respected, will be brought about by this measure. Everyone has pointed out that there is doubt about the result, and, in view of that fact, surely the Government might reconsider their position as to proceeding with the Bill. The Home Secretary, in his opening speech, referred to the Prisons Act of 1877, which provides that it was the duty of the officials under that Act to preserve the health and life of prisoners. If that be so, is there any necessity for this Bill, because if the Home Secretary has the power under that Act, if he has discretion in regard to the discharge of prisoners, why ask this House to grant further powers? It seems to me, on that one point, that this Bill is unnecessary, and that the Home Secretary has already sufficient power.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Ellis Griffith)
Sufficient power to do what?
§ Mr. D. MASON
I understand, according to what the right hon. Gentleman said, that under the Prisons Act of 1877 it is the duty of officials of the prison to preserve the health and life of the prisoners. This Bill is to enable the right hon. Gentleman, if in his discretion he thinks it necessary, to temporarily liberate a prisoner in the interests of his or her health. If the Home Secretary has those powers under the Act of 1877, I think that shows that this Bill is unnecessary. Clause 1 provides that the Home Secretary is to have power to release and that the release shall be temporary and conditional. To my mind, letting the prisoners out and bringing them back again is not going to attain the object which the right hon. Gentleman has at heart. His object in this measure is, as I understood from his speech, to crush out and bring to an end this propaganda. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I think that is what he stated. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] He certainly spoke at considerable length with regard 451 to women prisoners, and that, I understand, was the object of the Bill. What, surely, is the object of the Bill. Is it not to bring to an end these foolish proceedings, as he thinks, on their part? I fail to see how letting out the women and bringing them back again will affect the propaganda or the question of disorder. If we oppose this Bill the House is entitled to know, as you, Sir, ruled, what is our remedy and what alternative do we suggest for bringing to an end these deplorable events and all this disorder which is at present in our midst. I propose to address myself to that question. On a former occasion I did express considerable sympathy with the attitude of mind outlined from the other side, that the Home Secretary should provide the prisoners with food and should not engage in forcible feeding, to which I am very much opposed, in sympathy with many Members on this side.
I said on that occasion I sympathised with the attitude that the Home Secretary or the officials should provide the prisoners with food and that his responsibility did end if he did provide them with that food. I was of opinion that those prisoners would not go to extremity of starving themselves to death. I could not conceive of any sane person really going to that extremity. I have been assured since that the doctors of the prison refuse to certify those prisoners as being insane. We must of course assume that the authorities call in mental specialists. Thus, if the prisoners are not held to be mentally deranged and cannot be removed to an institution for people of that kind, I can quite see the dilemma in which the right hon. Gentleman is placed. He has then to deal with sane persons who apparently, through their devotion to a cause, are determined to starve themselves to death or to commit suicide, as the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) suggests. We, as a House, have then surely to consider what is the cause that creates those persons who are undoubtedly determined to starve themselves to death if they are in prison for creating disorder. I think that brings one to the natural conclusion that we must go to the root of the evil. It is no use beating about the bush and thinking that this Bill, or any other Bill, or any number of Bills, will get rid of the trouble. A Noble Lord opposite thought we would get rid of the difficulty by deporting them, but I agree with the hon. Member on this side 452 who interrupted him with the remark that they might hunger strike on the voyage out.
You do not get rid of the trouble by getting rid of the people temporarily. I submit you should go to the root of the cause which creates these martyrs. I think it is self-evident that the cause is that there is a denial of justice to those women, and that until you face that manfully and straightforwardly, and look into the cause of their injustice and of their distrust and of their distress, you will never be able to remedy the situation. Therefore I say that there is and can be only one remedy, and that is to grant the franchise to them. [Laughter.] Some hon. Members may laugh, but if those who laugh so lightly can show any other method we will be very glad to listen to them. I do not think there is any other remedy than by going to the root of the evil, and I think the speeches have shown that you do not get rid of it by letting out on licence the people who are still determined when they get their opportunity to go back into prison, and to engage in further breaking of the law by acts of arson or other damage. You do not destroy the underlying principle which is the motive power behind this movement by a Bill such as this. I contend if we are really fair and consistent in our beliefs in this matter that we must logically be driven to the conclusion that a Bill such as this is futile for the purpose at which it is aimed, and that the only solution is to do justice by these women and to give them the Parliamentary franchise.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I understand from the speech of the hon. Member who has just addressed the House that he admits that short of giving the vote this is the best way to meet the situation.
§ Mr. D. MASON
On the contrary, I do not believe that this Bill or any number of similar Bills can affect the real question.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
That is to say, there is no remedy, and that this Bill takes its place amongst the other no remedies, and that the only remedy is to give the vote. In the meantime does the hon. Member think before the vote has been given that justice ought to be enforced and sentences carried out?
§ Mr. D. MASON
If the hon. Gentleman appeals to me I can only refer him to my remarks in which I ventured to point out that if food was provided for these women 453 and if they purposely refused to take that food, then of course under the Act of 1877 it became the duty of the Home Secretary before they got into an extreme state to discharge them.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
We know where we stand. If a prisoner starves herself or himself long enough and puts him or herself in a dangerous state of health, then the process must be ended, and the prisoner turned out of prison.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
This Bill is one remedy, and let me say one further word to the hon. Member. If he thinks the aim of this Bill is to have any effect on propagandism or any form he is very much mistaken. We do not think it will have that effect, and no Bill proposed ought to have that effect. As the hon. Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) said, this Bill is simply a matter of prison discipline. A great many objections have been taken to the Bill by the hon. Member for New-castle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood). He said that it is an emergency Bill, and that all emergency legislation is wrong. I am rather surprised to hear an argument of that kind from him because of his views. What does emergency mean? Emergency is simply a long word for a condition of urgent necessity. You bring in a Bill because it is necessary, and the more urgent the necessity the more you require the Bill. I should have thought that emergency, so far from being an argument against the Bill, is its best justification. Let me deal with some of the points that have been made against this Bill this afternoon. It has been said that this Bill indefinitely postpones the punishment. Nothing could be really more removed from the facts of the case than that statement. Assume that the prisoner has been sentenced to twenty-four days' imprisonment, and that the prisoner on account of conduct, wilful conduct, on his or her part, is unable, without danger to health, to stay in prison more than three days, and that the prisoner is then released upon conditions. May I say here in reply to the hon. and learned Member that the conditions will not be of a punitive character, and there will no doubt be an opportunity in the Committee stage of going further into this question of conditions. The prisoner is released upon conditions, and the time for which the prisoner is allowed to be at 454 liberty is set down. That time may be extended if the prisoner is not in a fit state of health to go back. In time the twenty-four days' imprisonment will be worked out in either separate instalments of three days each. It is quite true that the sentence has not been extended by a moment as far as the period in prison is concerned, and although it is quite true that it is a hardship upon the prisoner that the sentence is divided into eight portions, still that is not a sentence inflicted by the judge upon the prisoner, but a sentence inflicted by the prisoner on herself or himself.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I think that the hon. Member is so busy with other matters contemplating legislation of the future that he cannot devote the attention that is desirable to the legislation of the present.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
If the hon. Member had been here earlier, this matter was discussed at length by the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps).
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I have said that the conditions will not be of a punitive character, and that the matter can be discussed more properly on the Committee stage. At any rate, it is not a Second Reading matter, and what we have got to discuss now is the principle of the Bill. I think we are entitled to say this, that after a pretty long debate, no other remedy has been suggested except deportation. The remedy of letting them die has been practically given up by the House of Commons. The Noble Lord (Lord R. Cecil) almost stands alone, except he has the support of my hon. Friend, with regard to deportation. Deportation involves forcible feeding ex hypothesi, unless you have got, after the trial takes place, a steamer in the Thames to remove the prisoner, because he or she is going to resist food, since that is the very essence of the problem with which we are dealing.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Then the Noble Lord stands alone. But not only are there difficulties inherent in deportation, but it involves all the difficulties with which we are faced at the present time. The only really new element introduced into the Debate was contributed by the hon. Member for Perth, who referred to the convict system in Scotland, where a prisoner is released on condition that employment is found for him. I never heard a less analogous case put forward. To suggest that suffragist prisoners, who have repeatedly refused food, should be dealt with on the Scottish system of employment being found for them is really very far removed from the practical issues of the case. Therefore, as far as practical politics are concerned, we must really come back to the Bill before the House. The Noble Lord confronted us with the paradox that whereas generally if you behave ill you are imprisoned, under this Bill if you behave ill you are let out of prison. That is very ingenious. He also referred to the measure as a Coercion Bill. All repressive measures may be described as Coercion Bills. The position with which we are confronted is admittedly a difficult one. We are dealing with a set of people who are prepared to undergo the process of starvation. As my right hon. Friend said on a previous occasion, these people have shown great courage and heroism. That is admitted by all parties. The question is, what is to be done?
What are the courses open to us? At present we can either let them die, as the phrase goes, or we can let them out of prison before they have completed their sentence, or we can forcibly feed them. This Bill is not concerned with how a person gets into prison. I do not think that anyone here is enamoured of any one of those three courses. We do not want to let these people die in prison; we do not want to feed them forcibly; and there are very few Members, not more than two or three, who think that when a sentence of six months has been imposed, the prisoner should be able in three or four days to put an end to his or her imprisonment. So far as our present powers are concerned, they are admittedly quite inadequate. Whether we shall solve the difficulty by this Bill I am not in a position to say. This, however, is the only practical measure that has come before the House. We believe that at any rate, it will be a step in the right direction. It will enable us to liberate prisoners from 456 prison after a certain number of days, according to the advice of the doctor; it will enable us to rearrest them and to vindicate the law by compelling them to serve the sentences which have been passed upon them. Whatever our views may be on the subject of Women Suffrage, they are quite irrelevant to this discussion. We are most of us anxious to vindicate the law, and to see that the sentence served by a prisoner shall be the sentence imposed by the judge, and that it shall not be remitted by the prisoner himself. Under these circumstances I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I should like to explain why I for one cannot vote for this Bill. It is not because I desire in any way to defend or to minimise the suffragist outrages. Indeed, I think they are very serious and should be stopped by whatever means we can find to secure that end. I think that the most serious of the outrages are not those committed upon the ordinary public, but the personal attacks to which Ministers have been subjected. It seems to me that Parliament ought certainly to take every step necessary to enable Ministers of the Crown to carry out their duties as they think best, without being molested by any aggrieved section of the community. It is only because I feel that this Bill cannot put an end to suffrage militancy, or really do anything to secure the object for which it is designed, that I am unable to vote for it. Supporters of the Bill seem to think that the spirit of the suffragettes can be broken by a sort of bullying process. The process proposed is to my mind revolting. The Under-Secretary instanced the case of a suffragette sentenced to a short term of imprisonment—twenty-four days. But what is to happen in the case of a woman sentenced to five or ten years' penal servitude? The Home Secretary says that he has the power in regard to those prisoners at the present time. But, at any rate, the power has never been exercised in the manner proposed by this Bill. According to the description given by the Under-Secretary, directly a woman hunger strikes and reduces herself to such a delicate state of health that her life is endangered, she is to be released; then, as soon as she is well enough, she is to be taken back to prison. Then she is to be let out and taken back again, and so on. I do not 457 think that the Home Secretary has this power in the case of a prisoner sent to penal servitude. If he has it, he has not exercised it.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I ask the House to consider the case of a suffragette sentenced to a long term of imprisonment, who hunger strikes, and is brought backwards and forwards to the prison doors in a state of perpetual collapse. It appears to me to be a most disgusting idea. It means that during the whole of the five or ten years of the sentence—and probably much longer, because the time during which a prisoner is out of prison would prolong the period of agony—the woman would be in a state of physical torture; she would be in the position of being tortured by the State. The supporters of the Bill seem to think that treatment of that sort will break the spirit of the suffragettes. I do not believe that it will. If I thought that it would, I do not think that even then I could support the Bill. It seems to me that the spirit of the suffragettes is a sort of religious fanaticism, and, although I utterly disapprove of their actions, I do not think that they can be suppressed by force in the manner proposed by this Bill. The hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir G. Parker) said that if this Bill fails—and the Government themselves do not seem very sanguine as to its success—he will look to the Government to bring forward something stronger. What is to come next? What more hideous torture could be devised by any Government than that of keeping women at the point of starvation until the period of their sentence has expired?
§ Viscount WOLMER
We must look facts in the face. That will be the result of the Bill. These women would be kept in a state of physical torture—for which they would be asking themselves; they want to be martyrs—for a very long period. My hon. Friend says that if this Bill does not succeed something stronger must be tried.
Sir G. PARKER
When I used the word "stronger" I think the House understood me to mean something more effective for the carrying out of the law. It had no reference whatever to forcible feeding.
§ Viscount WOLMER
If my hon. Friend only asks for something more effective I am heartily with him. I should like something more effective at once. [HON. MEMBERS "What?"] I am not in the least ashamed, in spite of the strictures of the Under-Secretary, to confess myself a deportationist. There was a grave misconception on the part of the hon. Member for Gravesend. He says that you cannot deport these people, because it would be unfair to impose a penal settlement on any Crown Colony, and no self-governing Colony would stand one. That surely misses the point. We are not proposing the establishment of a penal settlement, because suffragettes are not criminals in the ordinary sense of the term. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] They are criminals in the technical sense of having committed acts against the law, and therefore crimes; but they are not criminals in the ordinary sense—that is to say, people who commit crimes for their own personal gain. They are only criminals for the sake of what they believe to be a just cause. I do not defend them, but I say that apart from the question of Women Suffrage these women are like any other ordinary people. They are not criminals; they are simply politicians who are prepared to go all lengths to enforce their principles. I would remind those who want to punish suffragettes that, when punishment ceases to be a deterrent, it is no use. There is no virtue in punishing anybody. You only punish a person if you think the punishment will stop him or her from breaking the law—
§ Viscount WOLMER
Or will stop others. The punishment has been quite unable to suppress militancy. I believe it will be quite unable to suppress militancy. I do not associate myself with the hon. Member opposite who advocated putting an end to militancy by giving votes to women. Although a strong woman suffragist, I think that would be a very wrong action indeed.
§ Mr. D. MASON
I said the conclusion that one was driven to logically was that if you want to put an end to this disorder and evil was to do justice to women by giving them the vote.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I submit that is another question altogether. I do think we must put an end to these crimes. It would not be right to do so by acceding to the demands of those who are committing 459 them. I believe the way to put an end to these crimes would be by removing the people who are committing them out of the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where?"] I would deport them to some place like St. Kilda or St. Helena, or other similar place which would be willing to receive them. When they got to St. Kilda I cannot conceive that they would do any damage there, because they would have no grievance against the inhabitants of that island. There are plenty of precedents for deportation. It is the old system of ostracism. When citizens refuse to abide by the Constitution of the country in which they are they must be taken out of the community and either shut up in prison or else taken out of the country altogether. The hon. Member opposite said that deportation really did not get rid of the difficulty of hunger striking. He said they would hunger strike on board ship. That might be so, but I personally say that if women are determined to starve you cannot help them. I think that forcible feeding is disgusting and degrading. It is really torture. But if these women are determined to commit suicide it seems to me impossible to prevent them doing so. You are quite as likely to kill them by forcible feeding as by allowing them to starve. If you have got a set of lunatics who are determined to starve themselves to death you really have no remedy within human power. For these reasons I cannot support this Bill. I do not believe it will check the spirit of the militant suffragists. I do not believe it will be a remedy for the evils with which we are faced.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I confess myself quite unable to understand the real attitude of the Noble Lord who has just spoken. He protests against the inhuman action of the Home Secretary, and calls this a bullying Bill. It seems to me the solution which he himself advocates is an aggravation, by leading to an increase of bullying, of that inhumanity. Let us just look at this question of deportation and see what it means. The Noble Lord has no solution whatever for the problem of these women who refuse to eat. All he says is: "Remove them from our sight, take them away to some desert island, and let them be starved to death there; let them either be forcibly fed or commit suicide there—anywhere except in one of our prisons here." Let it be in some desert island removed from our sight. His policy is practically identical with that of the 460 Home Secretary, save that he would perpetrate it in some desert island, where he would not be subject to further criticism, or public notice or observation. His only qualification of the Home Secretary's policy, that I see, is when he says: "Let them starve." If he were Home Secretary, and if he were to adopt that policy, then we might well apply to him the criticism which some persons have applied to this Bill, when they state that this Bill gives the Home Secretary power to aggravate the sentences and to increase them indeterminately. But this Home Secretary would let the women starve! He would have power, and would exercise that power—to transmute this sentence of imprisonment into the death penalty—for his policy is the death penalty; it is an enormous increase upon the sentences which the courts of law have imposed upon these women.
I do not regard, and I am sure that there are few people in this House who can regard, this Bill as a very satisfactory one. I am sure the Home Secretary does not regard it as a satisfactory Bill. We are dealing with an absolutely abnormal situation, a situation so abnormal that we cannot have any satisfactory solution for this particular aspect of it with which we are dealing. I do not suppose anybody would call lunatic asylums satisfactory institutions. But they are necessary because of the existence of lunacy. It is necessary to find some way of dealing with these abnormal persons, and this adnormal situation. Any system which you may suggest for dealing with it will be open to objection and will be unsatisfactory. The only thing we can do as practical persons is to adopt that policy least objectionable and least hostile to public sense and public sentiment. The present state of affairs is one which we cannot contemplate with satisfaction. It is horrible. I can use no word to describe the horror which I at present feel, horror amounting to revulsion, at the present state of affairs. These women are forcibly fed. They violently resist being forcibly fed. That is not a penalty imposed upon them by the Home Secretary; that is an increase of punishment and of penalty which they impose upon themselves. It is painful. It is horrible. It is revolting to them. But it is not less revolting to the instincts and feelings of the prison officials, who have to prevent them committing suicide, to the Home Secretary, whose duty it is to 461 administer the law, and to this House and the public, who know that these things are done.
Having called attention to the horrible nature of the existing state of affairs I would beg to point out that this Bill is a mitigation of their horror. It enables the Home Secretary in some measure—I do not think in a large measure; I think the scope of the measure is very narrow and very limited—but it does enable the Home Secretary in a number of cases to avoid some part of the horror which is attendant upon forcible feeding. Does this Bill give to the Home Secretary, as has been said, power to increase the sentence of the Courts and to increase that sentence indeterminately? I will put the thing on another level. Does it give the Home Secretary power to increase the sentence at all? I suggest that it does not. The real increase in the penalty and in the sentence which we cannot avoid has been imposed by these women upon themselves. They have by their hunger striking and by their resistance imposed upon themselves an enormous increase of their penalty. They are adopting a kind of political hari-kari. This increase in their sentence was not imposed by the Home Secretary; was not imposed by this House. It was imposed by themselves, and this Bill gives the Home Secretary power, if they are willing, to lessen that increase which they have made. It gives him power to reduces it to some extent; not to increase it. The increase has already been mane before this Act is applied. By the application of this Act the horror that the women have brought upon themselves will be diminshed. The scope of the Bill will, I think, be very narrow. I think the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin put his finger on one of the difficulties. He said: "Supposing a woman is released, and after a few days or weeks, recovers her health and then starts up again, breaks more windows, and is taken back to prison, you have the present state of affairs over again." I think the Noble Lord was wrong in his conclusion, although I think he was right in the point put; for this might arise in many cases—I do not think in all, judging from what we have seen in the past—it might occur in a considerable number of cases. The Home Secretary dealt with that in his speech. He said most distinctly he did not propose to apply this Bill to persons who showed themselves determined to repeat the offence.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
We are left with the present system and the present state of affairs. If a prisoner after being released, shows an absolute determination to continue repeating the offence, then I take it that that person would be taken back to prison, and the Bill will cease to apply to that particular prisoner. That emphasises what I was saying, that the Bill is very narrow and limited in its scope in regard to many, in fact, most persons, and that the present state of affairs would practically continue. Again, it has been pointed out that this Bill leaves much at the discretion of the Home Secretary. That I regard as inevitable. We are dealing with an abnormal state of affairs, a state of affairs for which you cannot lay down any formula which would apply to every case. You are bound to rely upon the individual judgment of some one man. This Bill imposes responsibility of exercising that individual judgment, not on some obscure official far removed from our knowledge, if not from our criticism, but upon the Home Secretary himself, who is directly responsible to this House, who is here to be questioned and to answer any criticism of his exercise of that discretion. Every case must be brought before him personally, and every case must be acted upon as a result of his own personal judgment on the facts. He will be answerable to this House every day the House is sitting. I am not much impressed by the criticism as to the discretion of the Home Secretary. Reference has been made to emergency legislation. Well, we are dealing with an emergency, and with abnormal features. When an emergency arises, are you going to refuse to deal with it and simply say, "This is an emergency, and we will take time to consider it; we will appoint a Royal Commission, and perhaps next Session we will bring in a Bill; we will consider the matter at our leisure and at length"? That might be the policy to adopt if we were dealing with some permanent, settled feature in our social organisation. We are not dealing with that; we are dealing with a perfectly abnormal situation, and in a situation of that kind we are justified in dealing with it by an emergency measure.
Some points have been raised in this Debate which are more suitable for Committee discussion. I myself feel that the Bill will have to be amended to some 463 extent in Committee. I do not propose to discuss any suggestions in detail, but perhaps I might be allowed to indicate two aspects of the Bill on which amendment might be made. Perhaps the Home Secretary would take into account the question that the conditions to be attached to the licence might with advantage be more fully defined in the Bill. I would welcome some amendment of that kind if the Home Secretary could think of any. I think also it would be reasonable to impose some limit of time as to the total period over which this process might be extended. Somebody pointed out the theoretical possibility that the Bill as it stands might enable the Home Secretary and the Government, in the case of some prisoners to whom they were very hostile, to keep the sentence of imprisonment hanging over their heads for years—I think a period of twenty years was mentioned—that, I am sure, is not the intention of the Bill. But it is theoretically possible under the Bill as it stands, and therefore I suggest some amendment might be made. I think a time limit bearing some proportion to the length of the original sentence might be laid down. If the period was twice the length, or three times the length of the original sentence, and if a prisoner had not served the whole of the sentence, the sentence should determine at the end of that time. I hope many of those who criticise the Bill in detail in these respects will support the Second Reading, and will find the Committee stage a more suitable time for giving effect to their views and criticisms.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I am sorry I cannot follow the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin in the suggestions he made for dealing with these prisoners. I suppose I am not sufficiently severe or strict, but I think the idea of torturing any unfortunate people by sending them to Scotland to a island where the sole political pabulum would be the discourses of the Scottish Member for that district would be too severe. To add insult to injury, I am told, on most reliable information, that in the island of St. Kilda no one has a vote because no one pays rates, and that the only occasion on which a rate collector went to the island for rates he was given a number of pebbles in lieu of rates, which were so heavy that he was unable to carry them away. Seriously, I am going to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill, and I am anxious to tell the House why. The 464 position is very serious now. People are breaking the law. I do not care what their motives are; they are sentenced by competent tribunals to terms of imprisonment. Nobody is more in favour of liberty than I am—indeed, it is only the Tories who are in favour of liberty nowadays—but when once persons are sentenced to imprisonment, it is the duty of the State to see that the imprisonment is enforced and carried out. It is the duty of the Home Secretary to see that it is carried out. I have freely criticised the Home Secretary on other occasions in connection with these matters. I went so far as to vote for the reduction of his salary, and anyone who failed to do likewise on that occasion cannot vote against this Bill, and many, who, like myself, voted for a reduction of his salary on that occasion ought to-day to vote in favour of this Bill. I said at that time that the Home Secretary had power enough to carry out the law. I do not want to go back now upon that controversy. I still think there was then some defective management. The instances he gave of a woman who was in the habit of having a warm bath and lying down afterwards, without having anything on, in the hope of catching cold, seemed to me to point to defective prison management. It was quite useless for the Home Secretary to come here and say, "What was I to do?" I say that points to defective prison management. The Under-Secretary told us that there were only three courses open, either to let them die or to forcibly feed them, or to release them. There are more than three courses open, and it is no answer merely to indicate the number of courses. Here we are in this position: The Home Secretary and the Government at the present time are in control of the country, and the duty of enforcing the law is the first duty of any Government in any civilised State, and the Home Secretary, with full knowledge and responsibility, comes down to this House and says, "I want this extra power," and in his optimism he says, "If you give it to me, I think I can get over the difficulty, but if you do not I cannot be responsible." When the Home Secretary says that, then anybody who votes against the Second Reading of this Bill is taking a heavy responsibility. We are told that this is emergency legislation. I am pretty careful about emergency legislation, and I quite agree that this emergency legislation ought to be very carefully scrutinised. The hon. and learned Member for North-West Durham, 465 who is a constitutional lawyer, as we all know, told us the difficulties that are in the way. I really do not think there was anything in his point. His point was that if you give this power to the Home Secretary to interfere with the prisoners, he can release prisoners when he likes; but he can do that now. He can release anybody permanently, and if there is a danger of intrigue, it is fifty times greater at the present time, and so I really do not think there is much in that point.
As regards the constitutional question, all you do is merely to give power to carry out the sentence of the Court. As to the questions of conditions attaching to the licence, I reserve to myself the right to deal with that in Committee. I think the right thing would be to strike out the conditions altogether. You could release the prisoners for a week or a fortnight, and they come back at the end of that time. The Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin declines to vote for this Bill, on the ground that it will do no good at all. I am not so sure about that. The hon. Member for Merthyr agreed with that, and spoke of the stuff the suffragists were made of, and that they are likely to come back more determined than ever. I think that is not quite certain. It is a very different thing to come back on various separate occasions from being let out and having your sentence hanging over you. I do not know whether imprisonment is likely to end this movement or not. I do not think that consideration is relevant for the moment, but if you look at past movements, and I think it is also true of this movement, you will find that the leaders are not so very anxious to remain for any protracted periods in goal. The people who stay for protracted periods in prison are the rank and file, people of eighteen and nineteen years of age, who are carried away by enthusiam, and who are, for the time being, willing to become martyrs to the cause. I might give an illustration of the movement, which is now doing most excellent work, that is the Salvation Army. We remember how in its early days people used to come to the Courts and ask to be sent to gaol, and we remember what difficulties the Home Secretary of the day was confronted with, but after a time, when it came to going for the people having positions in the offices of the society
§ and for the heads of the society, then it was found that it was a much heavier price when these people were detained in gaol. If you take down the leaders of a movement, you are doing serious injury to that movement, and there is not the same anxiety to remain in gaol as there is amongst the rank and file.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I do not quite see the relevance of the interruption of the hon. Member opposite. I am not in the least saying that the Salvation Army were not doing good work.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I am afraid the hon. Member's recollection is not quite accurate. I was in most of the fights we then made to prevent certain persons being sent to gaol, and there was no desire on the part of the leaders of the movement to go to gaol, and I think you would find it the same to-day. It is just conceivable that there may be use for these powers in this particular case. I am not altogether a pessimist in this matter, but even if I did not hold the views I do I should vote for the Second Reading of this Bill. The Home Secretary has a very heavy responsibility, and, in the exercise of that responsibility, when he comes down to the House and asks for further powers, unless there is something exceedingly objectionable in what is asked for, I think we are bound to give him those powers. I have not heard anything in this Debate which satisfies me that it is right to allow a person sentenced to a month's imprisonment to be discharged after a short detention owing to ill-health caused by misconduct in prison.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 253; Noes, 108.469
|Division No. 17.]||AYES.||[7.46 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Arthur A, (Dumbarton)||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry|
|Adamson, William||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Arnold, Sydney||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. F.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Shee, James John|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Higham, John Sharp||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hinds, John||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Bean, W. W. (T. Hamlets, S. George)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hodge, John||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hogge, James Myles||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Boland, John Pius||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Holt, Richard Durning||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Brady, P. J.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hudson, Walter||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hughes, S. L.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||John, Edward Thomas||Radford, G. H.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, Haydn (Merioneth)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Reddy, M.|
|Clough, William||Jones, Leif Stratten (Roshcliffe)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Joyce, Michael||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Keating, Matthew||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Kelly, Edward||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Kilbride, Denis||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Crooks, William||King, J.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Lardner, James C. R.||Rowlands, James|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Leach, Charles||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Delany, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Sheehy, David|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lundon, Thomas||Shortt, Edward|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Doris, W.||Lynch, A. A.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||McGhee, Richard||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Macpherson, James Ian||Sutton, John E.|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary N.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Falconer, J.||Manfield, Harry||Thomas, J. H.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Ffrench, Peter||Meagher, Michael||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Field, William||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Middlebrook, William||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Millar, James Duncan||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Furness, Stephen||Molloy, M.||Wardle, George J.|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Waring, Walter|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Mooney, J. J.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Gill, A. H.||Morgan, George Hay||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Ginnell, L.||Morrell, Philip||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morison, Hector||Watt, Henry A.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Muldoon, John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Munro, R.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Murphy, Martin J.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Needham, Christopher T.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Neilson Francis||Williams, Penny (Middlesbrough)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Norman, Sir Henry||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hackett, J.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Nuttall, Harry||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Donnell Thomas|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Malley, William|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fell, Arthur||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Baird, J. L.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||O'Grady, James|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, John Samuel||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gilmour, Captain John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnes, G. N.||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldsmith, Frank||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Grant, J. A.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bigland, Alfred||Greene, W. R.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Blair, Reginald||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boyton, James||Haddock, George Bahr||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Henderson, Major H. (Berke, Abingdon)||Snowden, Philip|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Stonier, Beville|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Houston, Robert Paterson||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cantley, H. S.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, N.)|
|Cave, George||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Mason James F. (Windsor)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Eyres-Monsell, D. M.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Booth and Mr. Keir Hardie.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Nield, Herbert|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."470
§ The House divided: Ayes, 335; Noes, 8.471
|Division No. 18.]||AYES.||[7.56 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Delany, William|
|Adamson, William||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Butcher, J. G.||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Doris, W.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Duffy, William J.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Campbell, Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Baird, J. L.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Castlereagh, Viscount||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Cautley, H. S.||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Cave, George||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Clancy, John Joseph||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Clough, William||Falconer, J.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Clyde, J. Avon||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Barrie, H. T.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Fell, Arthur|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Cotton, William Francis||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Courthope, G. Loyd||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cowan, W. H.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Bentham, G. J.||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Field, William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Craik, Sir Henry||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Black, Arthur W.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Boland, John Pius||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Crooks, William||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Crumley, Patrick||Fletcher, John Samuel|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dalrymple, Viscount||Furness, Stephen|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Davies, David (Montgomery Co)||Gelder, Sir W. A.|
|Boyton, James||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Brady, P. J.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Ginnell, L.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Dawes, James Arthur||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lynch, A. A.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Goldstone, Frank||McGhee, Richard||Reddy, M.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Greene, W. R.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Macpherson, James Ian||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Manfield, Harry||Robinson, Sidney|
|Hackett, J.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Roch, Walter F.|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Rowlands, James|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meagher, Michael||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Middlebrook, William||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Millar, James Duncan||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molloy, M.||Sheehy, David|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Molteno, Percy Alport||Shortt, Edward|
|Hayward, Evan||Money, L. G. Chlozza||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hazleton, Richard||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Mooney, J. J.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morgan, George Hay||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Morrison-Bell, Capt, E. F. (Ashburton)||Stanler, Seville|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Morison, Hector||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Muldoon, John||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Munro, R.||Sutton, John E.|
|Hinds, John||Murphy, Martin J.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Hodge, John||Needham, Christopher T.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hogue, James Myles||Neilson, Francis||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Nield, Herbert||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Norman, Sir Henry||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Nuttall, Harry||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Donnell, Thomas||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Waring, Walter|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Malley, William||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||O'Shee, James John||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Outhwaite, R. L.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jones, Leif Stratton (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Parry, Thomas H.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Joyce, Michael||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph (Rotherham)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Keating, Matthew||Perkins, Walter||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Kelly, Edward||Peto, Basil Edward||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|King, J.||Pointer, Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Yale, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk E.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Priestley, Sir W. E. (Bradford)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Leach, Charles||Pringle, William M. R.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Radford, G. H.|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Snowden, Philip||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. T. Richardson and Mr. O'Grady.|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Thomas, J. H.|
|Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read a second time."474
§ The House divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 43.475
|Division No. 19.]||AYES.||[8.9 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Leach, Charles|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Ffrench, Peter||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Adamson, William||Field, William||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||London, Thomas|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzgibbon, John||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lynch, A. A.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||France, G. A.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Furness, Stephen||McGhee, Richard|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Macnamara, Rt Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Gilmour, Captain John||MacVeagh, Jeremlah|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Ginnell, L.||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gladstone, W. G. C.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Manfield, Harry|
|Barnes, G. N.||Goldsmith, Frank||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Greene, W. R.||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Griffith, Ellis J.||Meagher, Michael|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Middlebrook, William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Molloy, M.|
|Boland, John Pius||Hackett, J.||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, North)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Brady. P. J.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Morgan, George Hay|
|Bryce, J, Annan||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Burke, E, Haviland-||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Morison, Hector|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hayden, John Patrick||Mount, William Arthur|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hayward, Evan||Muldoon, John|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk)||Hazleton, Richard||Munro, R.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Henry, Sir Charles||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Neilson, Francis|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Cave, George||Higham, John Sharp||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hinds, John||Nuttall, Harry|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Clough, William||Hodge, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Comptom-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hogge, James Myles||O'Connor, J. P. (Liverpool)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Cotton, William Francis||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Malley, William|
|Cowan, W. H.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Crooks, William||Hughes, S. L.||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||John, Edward Thomas||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Delany, William||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Doris, W.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T, H'mts., Stepney)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Duffy, William J.||Joyce, Michael||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Kelly, Edward||Radford, G. H.|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Kilbride, Denis||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||King, J.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Reddy, M.|
|Falconer, J.||Lardner, James C. R.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Ceckerm'th)||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Welgall, Capt. A. G.|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Stanier, Beville||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Sutherland, J. E.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Sutton, John E.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Robinson, Sidney||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Roch, Walter F.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth, N.)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Toulmin, Sir George||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Rowlands, James||Verney, Sir Harry||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wadsworth, J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Walker, Colonel William Hall||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Sanderson, Lancelot||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Walton, Sir Joseph||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Waring, Walter||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Sheehy, David||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Shortt, Edward||Wason, Rt. Hon E. (Clackmannan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Haddock, George Bahr||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Snowden, Philip|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hardie, J. Keir||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hickman, Col. T. E.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Locker-Lampoon, O. (Ramsey)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Craig, E. (Ches., Crewe)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Thomas, James Henry|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Peto, Basil Edward||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Fell, Arthur||Rees, Sir J. D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. T. Richardson and Mr. O'Grady.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
Bill read a second time, and committed to Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow (Thursday).
§ The Clerk at the Table (Sir Courtenay P. Ilbert) informed the House of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker from the remainder of the Sitting.
§ Whereupon Mr. Whitley, the Chairman of Ways and Means, proceeded to the Table, and took the Chair as Deputy-Speaker, pursuant to the Standing Order.