- (1) If the Secretary of State is satisfied that by reason of the condition of a prisoner's health it is undesirable to detain him in prison, but that, such condition of health being due in whole or in part to the prisoner's own conduct in prison, it is desirable that his release should be temporary and conditional only, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, by order authorise the temporary discharge of the prisoner for such period and subject to such conditions as may be stated in the order.
- (2) Any prisoner so discharged shall comply with any conditions stated in the order of temporary discharge and shall return to prison at the expiration of the period stated in the order, or of such extended period as may be fixed by any subsequent order of the Secretary of State, and if the prisoner fails so to comply or return he may be arrested without warrant and taken back to prison.
- (3) Where a prisoner under sentence is discharged in pursuance of an order of temporary discharge the currency of the sentence shall be suspended from the day on which he is discharged from prison under the order to the day on which he is received back into prison, so that the former day shall be reckoned and the latter shall not be reckoned as part of the sentence.
- (4) Where an order of temporary discharge is made in the case of a prisoner not under sentence, the order shall contain conditions requiring the attendance of the prisoner at any further proceedings on his case at which his presence may be required.
§ Amendment proposed [9th April]: In Sub-section (1), after the word "prisoner" ["authorise the temporary discharge of the prisoner"], to insert the words "on licence."—[Sir Alfred Cripps.]
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted." Debate resumed.106
§ Sir GODFREY BARING
The question at issue between those who support the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member and the Government is whether the terms on which a prisoner is to be temporarily released shall be put into the Act of Parliament or left to the discretion of the Home Secretary for the time being. The hon. Members who supported the Amendment on the last occasion, pointed out that this is very exceptional legislation, and that the House should be very jealous of allowing any unnecessary discretion to the Home Secretary for the time being to settle the terms of the licence to be granted to the prisoner, and they urged, that the terms should be inserted in the Act of Parliament itself. I submit that this is a very important issue. If it were a question of trusting the present Home Secretary, I should certainly be ready to trust him to draw up the terms of the licence, but it must be remembered that the right hon. Gentleman's term of office will not be interminable,, and if the House were to leave to him, because we have so much confidence in him, the settlement of the terms, it would be possible for a future Home Secretary so to vary the terms as to make them very onerous and unacceptable to the House of Commons and perhaps to public opinion. In the discussion a fortnight ago, the question was raised as to the insertion of a provision in the Bill making it necessary, if the Home Secretary for the time being, made any variation in the terms of the licence, that the altered terms should lie on the Table of the House for forty days, so that if anyone took exception to it, he would have the opportunity of moving that the Home Secretary's variation of the licence should be set aside. I submit that the proposal presents a reasonable compromise which the right hon. Gentleman might see fit to accept. The hon. and learned Member for Wick Burghs (Mr. Munro), in the previous Debate, made an admirable speech against this Amendment, but there was one remark of his with which I disagreed. He compared an ordinary licence to a prisoner with the licence for temporary release which we are now considering. But a licence given to an ordinary prisoner is either for remission or shortening of his imprisonment, and it is of considerable advantage to the prisoner himself. It is a reward for their good conduct in prison, and the term of imprisonment may be very materially shortened. That is a very great advantage.
107 But in the cases to which this proposed legislation is directed the prisoner receives no shortening of sentence at all. Directly he (or she) is restored to health, after having been temporarily released, he is liable to be rearrested and to serve every day and hour of the term of imprisonment originally inflicted. It seems to me there is no analogy between a licence for shortening the term of imprisonment as a reward for good behaviour, and the granting of a licence for temporary release owing to the condition of the prisoner's health. It may be quite true that the prisoner's release is caused through ill-health brought on by his own conduct, but the House must remember that however foolish these persons may be, they have put themselves to a great deal of suffering and inconvenience, and directly they are restored to health, after having been out of prison temporarily under licence, they will have to go back to prison to serve the whole of their original sentence, and perhaps undergo all the pain and suffering of what would amount to almost too prolonged starvation. I repeat that this is very exceptional legislation to deal with a particular set of circumstances, and I do hope that the House will retain full control over the terms in which licence is to be granted, and not leave them to be settled merely at the discretion of the Government of the day.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
It is some time since this Amendment was moved, and it is desirable perhaps to state that the question we are really discussing, is whether the terms of the licence are to be incorporated in the Statute itself, or whether they are to be left practically to the discretion of the particular Home Secretary for the time being. I urged on the last occasion that conditions of this character—whether people were harsh or not harsh—ought at least to be in the Statute itself. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil from his point of view surely would desire that the conditions should be introduced into the Statute, and that they should not be a matter left for the discretion of the particular Home Secretary for the time being. We are not discussing the nature of the terms; what we are discussing is whether those terms, whatever they are, should be statutory or not. I admit that the Home Secretary read out the terms, and undertook that any alteration which he proposed to make in them 108 should be laid on the Table of the House, so that hon. Members might have an opportunity of discussing whether they desired the alteration or not. I think I am correctly representing what the right hon. Gentleman said. I agree that it is an improvement on the Bill as it stands.
But does it go sufficiently far when you are dealing with a matter of this kind, and when you are introducing this very exceptional legislation. I submit that if you are going to allow people out on licence, owing to difficulty through the starvation strike, you ought to say in this House, "We ought to be responsible that those conditions are not too harsh on the one side and that they will fairly carry out our purpose on the other." Another question which was raised in the previous discussion was that when you are dealing with the licence under the Penal Servitude Act you have the statutory conditions laid down. They were not laid down originally in 1857, and it was not until a later Act was introduced that power was given to vary the terms of imprisonment, but attached to that power of variation was the condition that the Home Secretary had to lay upon the Table of the House the terms of the proposed valuation. I think that the precautions which are taken when granting a licence to an ordinary prisoner under penal servitude Act should also be taken when granting a licence for the purposes of this Act. We ought to take the responsibility in this House and lay down what the proper conditions are. They ought not to be left to the discretion of any Home Secretary for the time being, whether he be a sentimentalist or a harsh individual. I hope the Committee will vote in favour of having the conditions laid down in the Act.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
On a point of Order. I desire to ask your guidance, Sir, as to whether in your view this Amendment which we are now discussing covers two Amendments which appear further down the Paper—on which Amendments I desire to raise the question whether the release ought not to be free from any conditions at all?
§ The CHAIRMAN
With reference to those two Amendments they have already been disposed of by the Committee, because we have passed the words in the Clause that the release of the prisoner shall be temporary and conditional. The present Amendment does not rule out two 109 further Amendments adding a proviso at the end of the first Sub-section (1).
§ Sir F. BANBURY
This seems to me an extremely important question, and though I always attach very great value to anything my hon. and learned Friend (Sir A. Cripps) may say, I am rather inclined to differ from him in regard to the effect of the assurance given by the Home Secretary. I think everyone will admit that if the Home Secretary is to give the licence that licence should be put in a statutory form. I should have thought that every Home Secretary would have been of that opinion, as it is a most invidious position to put him in to have to say that in the case of Mr. A. or Mrs. A. the licence shall take a certain form, and that in the case of Mr. B. or Mrs. B. it will take another form. I should have thought it would be far better that the licence should take a statutory form. The Home Secretary has already read out the form in which he proposes to issue the licence, and has told us that if he proposes a variation he shall lay it on the Table. I venture to say that that procedure is of no use whatever. I did not understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that the House of Commons may propose an Address to His Majesty to vary the condition. Under those circumstances he might just as well lay it on the table in his own private room in the Home Office, as there will be no opportunity of raising the question save on the Half-hour Adjournment Motion at eleven o'clock, and at half-past eleven o'clock even that Question cannot be put, as Mr. Speaker leaves the Chair. What is to be the result of giving this power to the Home Secretary? That entirely depends on who the Home Secretary may be, but I, personally, do not like to give a blank cheque to any Home Secretary to put any conditions in a licence which may seem good to him at the particular moment. I do not even know, supposing we were unfortunate enough to lose the present Home Secretary, that the Gentleman who would succeed him would be bound by the undertaking he has given. If we were to have a General Election, and the electorate were to exercise a wise discretion in their votes with the result that we appeared on the other side of the Speaker, I do not know that the new Home Secretary would be bound in any way by the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has made. I have shown, therefore, that the safe- 110 guard of the right hon. Gentleman is perfectly illusory. I myself am an anti-suffragist, but that does not blind me to a sense of justice and of prudence, and I do not think it matters whether you are for or against Women Suffrage in the view that you take upon this particular question. I think I have shown, too, that it is not wise to give to any Home Secretary, whether Conservative or Liberal, the power of varying licences in the way that will be given unless this Amendment is inserted. Because I regard this matter as a very serious matter, I thought it was my duty to put the question to the Committee as it appears to me.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
In view of your ruling just now this Amendment assumes additional importance. I take it that conditions will have to be laid down either by the Home Secretary or by this House. The Home Secretary, on the last occasion we discussed this Amendment, read out the conditions he proposed to apply, but as the hon. Baronet has just remarked, that carries with it no more weight or importance than the words of the right hon. Gentleman himself and cannot in any way be binding on his successor. Since the present Home Secretary has set forth the condition, I cannot for the life of me see why he can object to incorporating those conditions in a Schedule in this Bill. It is a fortnight since the Amendment was last before the House, and in view of the additional facts and that I believe no speech has been made by any private Member of this House in opposition to this Amendment, I would like to ask if the Home Office has given further consideration to this matter, and, if they have, I hope that as the result of that further consideration they have decided to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I hope that the Home Secretary will see his way to accept this Amendment, which seems to me to raise a rather important point. As I understand it, this Bill proposes, in the event of certain offenders rendering themselves unwell, and rendering it undesirable that they should be retained in prison owing to ill-health brought on as the result of their own conduct while in prison, that in the case of such prisoners the term of imprisonment should from time to time be suspended without being in any way curtailed, and that during those periods of suspension he or she should be subject to 111 what is called an order of temporary discharge. If I could for one moment regard the order of temporary discharge as the conferring of liberty upon the prisoner for such period as is necessary for the purpose of convalescence, I should not have anything to say against these provisions. I do not think, however, after what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman, and after the example in a recent case of a licence for similar reasons granted by the Home Secretary in the case of a prisoner undergoing a term of penal servitude, that it is possible for anybody to contend that the temporary discharge which would be granted under this Bill will be liberty in any sense of the word, and will be anything but a further period of imprisonment. What is imprisonment in the eyes of the English law? Imprisonment does not mean necessarily confinement within the four walls of a prison. Imprisonment means any restriction imposed on the personal liberty of the subject. If it is open to the Home Secretary to consent to the release of a prisoner on the condition that during the period of that release the prisoner is to remain within the four walls of a nursing home, and to place police at the back and front of that nursing home, then I say with some confidence that that is imprisonment within the ordinary meaning of the word and of the English law. What is the offence for which this new kind of imprisonment is created by this Bill? It is the case of a prisoner who brings her ill-health upon herself or himself by abstaining from food. Is it a new offence created by the Bill, or old? It has been suggested in the course of this Debate, and very properly, that it is an old offence, inasmuch as in nearly every case it could be shown it was an abstention from food in pursuance of a conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice.
It is obviously also an old offence inasmuch as deliberate and wilful abstention from food up to the point reached in some cases mentioned in this House by the right hon. Gentleman where the person so abstaining is placed in a condition in which life and death no longer depends on his or her volition, amounts to an act which, wilfully persisted in, would support a charge of attempted suicide. But, whether it is an offence which falls within the two classes of offence well known to the law, and for which the right hon. Gentleman has all the machinery of the law at his disposal with which to deal 112 with them, without coming to this House for these very arbitrary powers, or, if it be a new offence, that is, the offence of making oneself unwell by abstaining from food in prison without attempting to commit suicide or any intent to defeat the ends of justice, then in any one of the three cases this Bill, as drafted, places in the power of the Home Secretary for the time being to impose on persons who commit this offence a new kind of imprisonment, hitherto unknown to the law, imprisonment within a place which is not a recognised gaol or place of detention, and an imprisonment which is to be safeguarded, or may be safeguarded, by pickets and police. While I am not in what I am saying actuated for one moment by the interests or supposed interests of any persons who may make themselves subjects for this legislation it does seem to me before we place in the hands of the Home Secretary powers of that description, we should recognise what we are doing in this matter. It was one of the conditions of Magna Charta, and before Magna Charta it had been a plain principle of English law, that no man should be imprisoned for any offence without his being tried and properly convicted of that offence, and that no man should be imprisoned by the will of the Sovereign, whether expressed to the Privy Council or through the Minister of State, and that no man should be imprisoned except on the verdict of a judge and jury and a jury properly sworn to try the issue between the King and the prisoner.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The question before the Committee is whether the terms of the licence should be inserted in the Bill or left to the Home Secretary. I think that the hon. Member is rather approaching the consideration of the whole Bill.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I submit with all respect that what I am saying is strictly in order. I am submitting that the leaving of the conditions to the discretion of the Home Secretary is for the reasons I have explained—a repeal of certain principles of English law, and places in the hands of a Secretary of State arbitrary powers of imprisonment of the subject which at present no Secretary of State possesses.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
On the question whether these conditions amount to imprisonment or liberty, it is interesting to look at an analogous case which has arisen under the Penal Servitude Acts. Under those Acts the power of the Home Secretary is clearly to release a prisoner, and the licence concludes with the words that "His Majesty the King is graciously pleased to grant liberty to the prisoner upon the terms aforesaid," or words to that effect. Therefore, when we find that the Home Secretary is, by the terms of the Penal Servitude Acts, empowered to release a prisoner upon condition that she shall remain within the four walls of a nursing home and be subject to the surveillance of a police picket, it is obvious that there is nothing which could limit the discretion of the Home Secretary in the matter of the conditions imposed upon prisoners released under this Bill. It was suggested at a former sitting of this Committee that it would be better to leave the terms of the release in the discretion of the Home Secretary, because the Home Secretary is subject to the criticism of this House, whereas a judge and jury are not. That is a most interesting argument, but it is an entire reversal of the principles written large in Magna Charta, in the Petition of Rights, and in a whole series of Habeas Corpus Acts. It is the doctrine that in future a man shall be imprisoned not upon the finding of a judge and jury, but only at the discretion of the Home Secretary, because then the imprisonment will be subject to the criticism of this House. This Bill, in effect, gloss it how you will, creates either a new punishment for an old offence or a new punishment for a new offence, and introduces into the English law a novel, and I should have thought to every constitutionalist and democrat an entirely repugnant doctrine. I submit that troublesome and annoying as may be the experiences which the right hon. Gentleman is undoubtedly undergoing at the present time in face of the deplorable agitation in the country, it is a somewhat heavy price to pay that we should suspend the ordinary constitutional safeguards of the country in order to enable the right hon. Gentleman to deal with matters in regard to which, if my view of the law be right, he has ample legal powers at the present time.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I hope I shall not stray beyond the limits of your ruling if I remark that my attitude towards this 114 Amendment necessarily flows from my conviction that the whole Bill will be utterly futile. It is only because I desire to see the Bill made as futile as possible that I am prepared to support this Amendment. I feel convinced that, whatever conditions may be imposed, they will be ineffective. The women aimed at by this Bill will certainly refuse to comply with the conditions, whether they are imposed in the manner proposed by this Amendment or by the method proposed in the Bill. That being so, there will be a great temptation to the Home Secretary, whoever he may be, to attempt, by changing from time to time the terms upon which temporary releases are made, to get over the ingenuity of the female prisoners and to devise new conditions more effective than those in existence. In other words, the Home Secretary will be greatly tempted to adopt a bullying policy towards the prisoners affected by the Bill. It is true that that would be of no great consequence if there was any substantial security in the promise of the right hon. Gentleman to lay the conditions upon the Table of the House, in order that there might be an opportunity for consideration before changes were made. The answer to that, given by my hon. Friend, was complete. The security which used to lie in that procedure exists no longer, because under the present procedure of the House, no matter how long a Paper of that sort might lie upon the Table, there would be no real opportunity for the House to take it into consideration and discuss its terms. Unless there is a real, genuine opportunity for Members to discuss, not merely for half an hour on the Motion for Adjournment, but in a substantial way, whether or not the proposed new terms are such as fit the case or are such as the House would approve, it really rests with the discretion, or, indeed, the whim of the Home Secretary to release a prisoner upon any conditions that he may think fit at the moment. That appears to me to be a power which the House ought to be very reluctant to place in the hands of any Minister. The terms upon which these special prisoners are to be treated introduce entirely new conditions into the penal law of this country, and when we are embarking upon purely experimental legislation of this sort the House ought to be very careful to retain in its own hands complete control over all the developments that may occur. In these circumstances, I think the conditions ought to appear in the Statute itself.
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
I understand by your ruling that the subject-matter of my Amendment is in substance covered by the Amendment now under discussion. Although I am not permitted in any way to deal with the general aspects of the Bill, let me say at once that the way in which this measure has so far been dealt with by the House of Commons is a very forcible illustration of a process with which we are familiar. When there is any undue strain of a temporary character upon the existing law, there is always a cry for fresh legislation to strengthen the law, and to do so at the expense of the principles which governed the former law. If this Bill had the deliberate judgment of this House—which it will not have—it would not pass in its present form. Unfortunately, those who take no part in the Debate, and do not consider the subject-matter under Debate, will flock into the Lobbies and outvote those of us who are trying to give the matter proper consideration. I do not understand the attitude of the Home Secretary. There is no precedent whatever for this novel provision. It is perfectly true that under the Penal Servitude Acts power is given to the Home Secretary to licence a prisoner and to impose certain conditions over which he undoubtedly exercises some discretion, but those conditions must be submitted to the judgment of the House of Commons. Although the procedure of laying Papers on the Table of the House is now more or less ornamental and has no real value, still at the same time, if there be any strong feeling in the House that the proposed conditions are improper conditions, the House has the opportunity of dealing with them. But the conditions under this Bill are to be made by the Home Secretary subject to no control whatever, to no direction whatever, and to no influence whatever except that of his subordinates.
I am the last man in the world to impute to my right hon. Friend any desire to act harshly in this matter. I am not speaking now as one in sympathy with the Women Suffrage movement. Far from it. I am speaking in a humble way as a constitutional lawyer, and I repeat that there is no precedent for this proposal. The release of a prisoner undergoing penal servitude on licence is a totally different matter. It is then an indulgence. The prisoner is given his liberty; his sentence is reduced; the term of his imprisonment is 116 curtailed. There is all the difference in the world. It is for the benefit of the man that the licence is issued. Therefore any conditions which the Home Secretary may impose must be regarded in a totally different light. Here it is no curtailment of the term of imprisonment. It is continuation of the imprisonment; nay, something more, it is an increase of the imprisonment, because, as my hon. Friend pointed out, although some of the attributes of imprisonment do not continue while the man or woman is residing in his own house, still he is under confinement, under surveillance, and liable at any moment to be taken to the place from whence he came. I hope I have made that distinction clear. We have conceded this measure because we naturally revolt against this very cruel way—I never blame the Home Secretary in relation to this matter, because he is in a very difficult position—against the very unpleasant, degrading, and cruel treatment which forcible feeding involves. Therefore the House passed this measure actuated by a spirit of humanity. I should like to know from the Home Secretary this: When we are giving him this unconditional power of imposing conditions will he still retain not only the power, but the intention of applying forcible feeding? If so, the purpose of this Bill——
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
I am obliged, Mr. Chairman. I was not going to pursue the point, but I may say that this is the first time I have been called to order over many years, though I admit that my remarks are not apposite to this particular Amendment. What I want to ask my right hon. Friend is this: Why does he allocate to himself the unfettered right to impose these conditions? It is an unfettered right, and the conditions may even be cruel. I think the condition which was imposed by him in the case of that unfortunate lady, Mrs. Pankhurst, under the present Act—I doubt if it is legal, but no doubt the right hon. Gentleman has been well advised—the condition that she should not leave the house she went into without special leave from the Home Secretary, or the Prison Commissioners, a cruel one—unnecessarily cruel upon that lady. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I think so. However, opinions may differ. It was an obligation upon her to remain within those premises without 117 any opportunity of going outside. That struck me as very oppressive. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Very well, I deprecate panic legislation in matters of this kind. There is no limit to the right hon. Gentleman in his imposition of conditions. You are really vesting—and I appeal to hon. Members who have had as much or more experience than myself whether it is not so—in a Minister of the Crown the unfettered power of allowing prisoners out, letting them come in again, and allowing them to go out again—a power which might be abused. I do not suggest that my right hon. Friend will abuse it. We should take care never to vest in a Minister of the Crown unfettered power over the liberty of the subject. I speak as a constitutional lawyer, and not on the basis of a sympathiser with the Women Suffrage movement. I say this is a most dangerous innovation, and I hope my right hon. Friend will, at any rate, go as far as to say, "I will be content to allow the conditions which I make to lie upon the Table of the House." No conditions ought to be in obscurity. What are the conditions which the right hon. Gentleman wishes to reserve to himself to make? The only conditions that he should impose are that a prisoner released on licence should remain within reach of the law, and not violate the existing law. If the prisoner violated the existing law he or she could be prosecuted. If they did not, let the police, or whatever the authority may be, know their whereabouts—that is good reason for the licence being dealt with. I speak on this subject with a great deal of feeling, remote altogether from my sympathy with the Women Suffrage movement. I can see the difficulties of the right hon. Gentleman. I know that provocative methods have been employed. It is no reason, however bad the conduct of these people may be, for our setting up a precedent which is quite unknown in the history of general jurisprudence in this country, and which I cannot help thinking may at some future time be abused. I do, therefore, entreat the Members of the Committee who join with us, and take this view, to put some restraint upon this extraordinary power which we are vesting, or proposing to vest, in the Home Secretary.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
Some hon. Members have not been present on previous occasions of debating this Bill; 118 therefore, though it is undesirable to repeat some of the arguments which I addressed to the House on earlier occasions, I must do so to a certain, extent. The speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken can be met at every point. There is a great distinction to be drawn between a permission or licence issued under this Bill, and a licence issued under the Penal Servitude Acts. All analogies drawn from the actual licence issued in the case of Mrs. Pankhurst and licences under this Bill are false in substance. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] I will explain why. During the currency of Mrs. Pankhurst's licence her sentence is expiring. She ought to be in prison, not under my order, or in breach of the Habeas Corpus Act, but because she has been committed to prison by a sentence of the judge on a verdict of the jury. By reason of her state of health, consequent upon her conduct, it has been considered desirable to let her out of prison. In such circumstances, seeing that while she is out of prison, her sentence is expiring, if I may use the expression, she is defrauding the judge and jury of the sentence which has been passed. During the time she is out of prison she is not serving the sentence the law inflicted upon her. I am bound, therefore, to exercise such power as the law has placed in my hands in order to make her complete her sentence. What have I done? I have taken the necessary precautions to prevent her escaping during the time of the currency of the sentence, and while she is comparatively free. The conditions imposed in Mrs. Pankhurst's licence have nothing to do with the licence under this Bill. The fundamental difference under this Bill is that during the currency of the licence the sentence will not be running; and, secondly, in any licence imposed under this Bill in my judgment—and I believe in the judgment of the Committee—there ought to be no punitive conditions. The prisoner is still liable to serve the whole amount of the sentence, and I am, for reasons that any Home Secretary may feel himself bound to consider, for reasons of health, bound to release the prisoner because failure to release the prisoner might be followed by a far greater punishment than any imprisonment, that is by death. At present I can only release by complete discharge. I ask for conditional power to release upon licence. That licence, as I say, should contain no punitive conditions, because the prisoner still remains liable to serve the whole length of the sentence for which the 119 prisoner was sentenced. I read in an earlier stage of the discussion, the draft licence—the conditions—which I propose to impose upon a prisoner who starves herself in prison. These conditions are not as the hon. Member for St. Augustine's conceived, conditions which a prisoner has to assent to. They are not the terms upon which she is let out. Let me remind hon. Members what the conditions—they are four in number—are. The first is that the prisoner shall return to prison on the prescribed day. If the prisoner does not then the powers of the police are to be used to attach her and bring her back. The second condition is that the prisoner shall be entitled, on her own application, to have the period of the licence extended if her state of health is such that it would be undesirable for her to return to prison.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, will she be under what the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite has called surveillance during the time she is out of prison?
§ Mr. McKENNA
She would not be under surveillance in the same sense as Mrs. Pankhurst is under surveillance, nor would she be under any observation of an inconvenient or punitive kind at all.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have read the conditions. The second condition is that the prisoner shall be entitled to apply for a continuation of her extension of licence, but if she so applies before she can get that extension she must submit herself to a medical examination. That is a condition, I quite agree, in which the prisoner has to submit to something, but it is a condition which can only arise if a prisoner on her application has received or is receiving an extension of licence. The third condition—and now I come to the point raised by the subject-matter of the speech of my hon. Friend—is that she shall notify to the police any change of residence. If she does not notify any change of her residence she has broken the licence, and I should be justified in finding out where she was, and, having found her, I should be justified in picketing the house to prevent her escape. Upon her failing to notify her 120 change of residence the conditions have been broken, and I am at liberty to have her arrested and brought back to prison at any moment.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
Would she be perfectly free to live where she pleases; and would there be no surveillance until she had broken the conditions of the licence?
§ Mr. McKENNA
That is so. She would be perfectly free to go to what residence she pleases on leaving prison. [An HON. MEMBER: "She would be free to go away."] Oh, no!
§ Mr. McKENNA
I do not think we are quite on the same point at the moment. I quite admit it may be of considerable difficulty to see that a prisoner does not escape out of the country. All I am dealing with now is a Bill to enable me to release a prisoner from prison without giving an absolute remission of the sentence. I want to keep the sentence alive. If I have to release a prisoner upon her own misconduct, I do not think she should have unconditional release or a remission of the sentence, and I ask for such powers as will enable me, as far as I can, to compel the service of the remainder of the sentence. I come now to the fourth condition. My hon. Friend (Mr. Snowden) asks me, "Can a prisoner go to any residence she likes?" The answer is certainly. When leaving the prison she will be taken to whatever residence she chooses, and if she leaves that residence and takes up another she is under an obligation to inform the police; and if she fails she has broken the conditions of the licence, and when the police discover her, of course we should keep an eye upon her to prevent her escape.
§ Mr. HAROLD SMITH
Assuming the prisoner leaves the jurisdiction, what is then the position of the right hon. Gentleman?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I hope it is not improper to say so, but I am afraid I should be very tempted to leave her out of the jurisdiction.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
What has all this got to do with the question whether these prisoners comply with the licence?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am coming to that. My hon. Friend said that if the conditions were conformed to he would be satisfied, and I am explaining to him that the conditions are what his foresight has seen them to be in a licence of this sort. The fourth condition, subject to what my hon. Friend said, is that she shall abstain from any violation of the law. I hope I am not over sanguine when I say I believe I shall have the whole Committee with me in insisting that these conditions are the right kind of conditions for a Bill of this kind. They ought not to be punitive and ought only be directed to secure the final conditions of the sentence. I am asked, "Why not incorporate them in the Bill?" As I explained before, if the Bill had been conceived in that direction I should not hesitate for a moment, but I am stating the facts fully and frankly to the Committee that this Bill is very urgent. So long as I have not got this Bill I feel it my duty to subject a certain number of these prisoners who will not take their food to forcible feeding. I conceive it is not my duty to restrict any prisoner's sentence to such period as she herself chooses by refusing to take food. Personally, I should be very glad, and I am most anxious as soon as I can to get rid of this necessity for forcible feeding, and unless I am to disregard my duty I can only do that by getting powers of this kind. If I inserted this draft licence in the Bill it would inevitably delay the Bill.
§ Mr. McKENNA
At least a week. What is the difference in substance? I stated to the Committee quite frankly what is the difference in substance as to whether this draft licence should be in the Bill. It is how far you trust the Home Secretary of the day and how far you find it necessary to put limitations upon his discussion by inserting these terms in the Bill. The Home Secretary to-day has got an absolutely unfettered discretion, by any Statute or by any limitation of Parliament, to remit the sentence of every prisoner now in every one of His Majesty's prisons. Why does he not exercise that discretion, and why does he not do the wicked and foolish things which, for the purposes of Debate, it is suggested in this Committee that I or some future Home Secretary might do?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am dealing with the Home Secretary's discretion. If the Home Secretary were anxious, as no Home Secretary would be, to commit all these follies, he knows that Parliament would instantly call him to book. It is all very well to talk about the House of Commons not having control over the Executive. It may be so—I am not prepared to argue with regard to most Ministers—but it is not so in the case of the Home Secretary. Everything he does he does in the full light of day, and he is subject to the criticism of the majority of this House. It would be absolutely impossible for any Home Secretary to vary these conditions which have been submitted to this House in asking the House to pass this Bill, without being instantly called to account by a majority of the House. That is the reason why I submit that this is not the real danger we are discussing. It is a pure argumentative danger. I ask the Committee, in view of the real need for this Bill—it is understood we are to get this stage of the Bill to-day—in view of the real need of letting this Bill through, both on the arguments of those who defend what I may call the severity of the administration of the law and of those who are greatly shocked in their feelings by the practice of forcible feeding, to let us have it. Both sections of the Committee must know that the Bill is urgent, and on the ground of urgency, and on the ground of the express pledge I gave to the House that the conditions shall be such as I have read to the House, I ask the Committee to allow me to have it in this form.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I think that the Home Secretary told the Committee that when these conditions are laid upon the Table the House will be able to revise any action which he or his successors may take in relation to this matter. But he entirely loses sight of the fact that when these matters are brought under review Members will follow the party Whips without any regard to the issues involved therein. When we saw, only three nights ago, the Under—Secretary of State for the Home Department telling us that the majority of the House of Commons and the country were entirely against the abolition of the censorship, and that he would not get one vote in the House without the party Whips to support his view we know how much importance ought to attach to statements of this kind.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Ellis Griffith)
Was the hon. Baronet in the House at the time?
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I understood the hon. Gentleman to have made the strongest possible speech against the Motion, saying that public opinion was in his favour, but when it came to the point he would not have got a single vote, but if the party Whips were put on the majority of the House would have taken his view. It would be exactly the same with the party opposite. I contend that the conditions of the proposed licence are mean, cruel, and unworthy of the House of Commons, and that these proposals of the Government will bring the House of Commons into ridicule and will not make one step further in the direction in which we all wish to go, namely, upholding the law. This Bill has been called the "Cat-and-Mouse Bill," and I think it is a cat-and-mouse Bill in the worst sense. Let me put this to the Home Secretary. We have all seen at some time in our lives the process of the cat and the mouse. It is the most cruel, I always thought, to see the actual killing of the mouse, because after the cat has caught the mouse he lets it run away at times and proceeds to deliberately torture it. That is what is to be done under this licence. You are going to take the prisoners out of prison after their health has given way, and then you are going to bring them back again. The women are determined in this matter to fight the Home Secretary, and I think they are not going to be deterred by any body of permanent officials of the Home Office or by the Home Secretary. I was told by a Member of the Cabinet that this Bill was the decision of the Cabinet. All I can say is that the Cabinet have a very little sense if this is the kind of Bill they are proposing.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On the last occasion I asked the hon. Baronet not to discuss the whole Bill on an Amendment.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I was only dealing with the conditions of the licence. I think the language of the Home Secretary was very unfortunate when he said that the prisoners would be defrauding the judge and the jury by escape. I think a state- 124 ment of that kind shows the frivolous way in which the House of Commons is dealing with a subject of immense importance involving the whole system of our criminal law. Hon. Members opposite join hands with the Government in making the Bill worthless. After the conditions of this licence have been placed upon the Table we shall have no opportunity of discussing this question, and are we to understand that forcible feeding will not then be insisted upon?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have already pointed out that that question is covered by an Amendment we shall reach shortly, and I cannot allow a debate upon it in advance.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I wish to know what will happen. Under the proposed licence, any prisoner who chooses to go on strike and refuses to take food may be let out on licence. That would apply not only to suffragists, but to any other prisoner, and they would be let out under this licence. If the discharge applies to all prisoners, then it means that any prisoner who goes on hunger strike may be released by virtue of this Clause.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That may be an argument against the Bill, but it is not relevant to this particular Amendment.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
If you hold that my question is out of order, I must reserve my point to a later stage. I hope the hon. Member who moved this Amendment will proceed to a Division, because at the present time we are too much hide-bound by Ministers and permanent officials.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I would like to suggest, after the speech which has been made by the Home Secretary, that this Amendment might very well be left to the free judgment of the House. The right hon. Gentleman told the Committee quite frankly that he attached no great importance to the matter one way or the other, and the only point he had in mind was that inserting the terms of this licence in the Bill might delay getting it through. I do not think the acceptance of this Amendment would have that tendency, and under these circumstances I ask the right hon. Gentleman to agree to leave the matter an open question for the decision of the Committee. All those who have spoken on this side of the House have supported the Amendment—[An HON. 125 MEMBER: "Including the Home Secretary."]—and as no question of principle is involved, and as the opinion of the Committee appears to be in favour of the Amendment, it seems to me essentially a question in which the House might be allowed to exercise its own free judgment, and that can only be arrived at by leaving off the Government Whips.
§ Sir W. BYLES
The question is whether these conditions should be put into the Bill, and become a part of the Statute, or whether they should be left to the discretion of the Home Secretary. All the speeches on both sides, with the exception of the Home Secretary, have been in favour of putting those conditions into the Bill. The arguments have entirely convinced me, and on this matter I do not wish to give a silent vote against the
§ Home Secretary, whom I am most anxious to support in his endeavour to cope with one of the most serious difficulties with which a Minister can be confronted. I hope on this matter we shall be allowed to vote freely. The only argument advanced, against the proposal to put these conditions into the Bill is that it would delay the passing of the measure. I should be sorry to delay the passing of this measure even for an hour, but it seems to me we are doing a very serious thing, and we ought not to abstain from doing what we think is right because it will take a little longer.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 117; Noes, 222.127
|Division No. 62.]||AYES.||[7.39 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Nield, Herbert|
|Astor, Waldorf||Forster, Henry William||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gardner, Ernest||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Gibbs, G. A.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gilmour, Captain John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnes, G. N.||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barnston, Harry||Goldsmith, Frank||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldstone, Frank||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gretton, John||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bird, Alfred||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitherce)|
|Boyton, James||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hardie, J. Keir||Snowden, Philip|
|Butcher, John George||Harris, Henry Percy||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Campion, W. R.||Hills, John Waller||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Swift, Rigby|
|Cave, George||Hoare, S. J. G.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Belfast, North)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hudson, Walter||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Jowett, F. W.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kinioch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Crooks, William||Lewisham, Viscount||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Curdy, C. A.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Malcolm, Ian||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir A. Cripps and Mr. Atherley-Jones.|
|Fell, Arthur||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Brunner, John F. L.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Bryce, J. Annan|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Bethell, Sir J. H.||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Arnold, Sydney||Black, Arthur W||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Boland, John Plus||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Booth, Frederick Handel||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Brady, Patrick Joesph||Cawley, Sir Frederick (prestwich)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Chancellor H. G.||John, Edward Thomas||Parry, Thomas|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Clough, William||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Joyce, Michael||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Kelly, Edward||Radford, G. H.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Cullinan, John||Kilbride, Denis||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||King, J.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Reddy, M.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lardner, James C. R.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Delany, William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Leach, Charles||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Doris, William||Lundon, Thomas||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lynch, A. A.||Rowlands, James|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on Tees)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Faiconer, James||Macpherson, James Ian||Sheehy, David|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Shortt, Edward|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Kean, John||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Field, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Manfield, Harry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Sutherland, John E.|
|Furness, Stephen||Meagher, Michael||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Glanville, H. J.||Millar, James Duncan||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Molloy, Michael||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Mooney, John J.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morgan, George Hay||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Morrell, Philip||Waring, Walter|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Morison, Hector||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Hackett, John||Muldoon, John||Webb, H.|
|Hancock, J. G.||Munro, R.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Norman, Sir Henry||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wiles, Thomas|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, Lleweiyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Winfrey, Richard|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Dowd, John||Wing, Thomas|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wood, Rt Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Hinds, John||O'Malley, William||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the words:—Provided always that the provisions of this Act shall not apply in the case of any female prisoner who may have been subjected to forcible or artificial feeding while in prison unless such artificial feeding has been administered with the consent of the prisoner given in writing or upon an occasion or occasions when the prisoner by reason of unconscious- 128 ness or infirmity was unable to consent as aforesaid.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
May I ask whether the Amendment preceding the one which the hon. Member has moved is in order, because, if he does not desire to move it, I should like to do so.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment preceding the one which the hon. Member for Northampton has moved is in order, but the hon. Member came to the Table and 129 informed me that he did not desire to move it. The hon. Member having another Amendment in the same place, and having caught my eye, has precedence.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
Not knowing that, I did not rise, but I desire to ask whether it is in order or not?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment is not out of order, and therefore it will be competent for the hon. Member to move it afterwards.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I move this Amendment, because I hope the Home Secretary will see his way to accept it. It, in effect, merely carries out the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, as expressed to this Committee or more than one occasion, to make use of this Bill, to enable him to do away with what I think he wrongly regards as the duty or the necessity of forcible feeding. If there is any justification for this Bill at all in the minds of the great majority of this House, so far as I am in a position to gauge the minds of hon. Members, and I think in the minds of a very great majority of the people of the country outside, it is that the Bill is demanded by the Government as an alternative to the practice of forcible feeding. I know the supposed law with regard to forcible feeding under which the right hon. Gentleman is at present carrying out the prison administration is, that it is the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to forcibly feed prisoners who refuse to take nourishment. It has been put so high in this House, in the presence of the Home Secretary and without contradiction by him, that if a person refuses food and forcible feeding is not proceeded with and death results, then the Home Secretary may become liable to indictment for manslaughter. I venture to submit for the consideration of the Home Secretary whether he is really under any obligation to forcibly feed prisoners and whether it is in fact his duty to forcibly feed prisoners at all. I am aware the Home Secretary has stated in this House that he places reliance upon the case of Leigh v.Gladstone in which it was 130 decided some two or three years ago, that it is his duty to forcibly feed prisoners who go on hunger strike. I am not aware of any legal authority for the doctrine. I think, if the right hon. Gentleman will look closely into that case he will come to the conclusion that it is very doubtful whether the practice of forcible feeding as carried on in His Majesty's Prison is not wholly illegal, and whether, if proceedings were now brought against the right hon. Gentleman by any prisoner who had been subjected to that barbarous treatment, he would not be cast and properly cast in damages by a British jury.
The case of Leigh v. Gladstone came up in September, 1909. Three months after, this phenomenon of the hunger strike, previously only known among Nihilists in Russian prisons, made its unwelcome presence known in this country. It was in June, 1909, that the hunger strike first appeared in His Majesty's Prisons, and in September, 1909, the prison authorities resorted to this practice of forcible feeding. In September, 1909, Mrs. Leigh, who had been subjected to this treatment, brought an action against the then Home Secretary claiming that this treatment was illegal and asking for damages. At that time we had no experience of what forcible feeding means and what results may reasonably be expected from it, and all the Court decided in that case as a proposition of law was that it is the duty of the prison authorities to take all reasonable means within their power for preserving the lives of prisoners committed to their charge. A number of doctors were called and gave their opinion that forcible feeding was an ancient practice common in lunatic asylums and that it could be applied with most beneficial results to the health and life of the patient. Upon that evidence, the jury found a verdict for the Home Secretary of that day. We know a great deal more now about the facts than were known to the jury in the case of Leigh v. Gladstone. The case did not pretend to decide that forcible feeding was legal or illegal. It merely decided that the Home Secretary ought to take reasonable means for preserving the life of the prisoner.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I really do not see how this arises. The Amendment which the hon. Member is going to move is simply to provide that the provisions of this Section shall not apply in the case of a female prisoner who has been subjected to forcible feeding.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I will not pursue the argument further. I want, if I can, to get quite clearly from the right hon. Gentleman a statement whether after this Bill is passed he will at his discretion continue to forcibly feed prisoners, or whether he will regard the provisions of this measure as an alternative to forcible feeding between which it becomes his duty to elect when a female prisoner—because this Amendment is limited to female prisoners,—adopts the hunger strike. I submit that upon a matter of this importance the House is entitled to have something more than mere assurances that we are safeguarded by unlimited discretion of the Home Secretary. We are entitled to have it made perfectly plain on the face of the Bill that this is in truth and fact intended as an alternative measure and not as a weapon in the hands of the Home Secretary in addition to the weapon of forcible feeding which is being already employed. There is a very obvious reason why a prisoner who has been subjected to forcible feeding while in prison ought not to be subjected to any further penalties of this Act, and that is the very painful nature of the process. I am sure that it is the desire of the country, an anxiety in which I myself entirely join, that militancy should be put an end to, and that the law should be upheld. They are most anxious that this Bill should operate, as they have been led to suppose it will operate, as an alternative to the weapon of forcible feeding.
We cannot disguise from ourselves the fact, now we have had details placed before us through the medical Press of the country and through other channels, that there is no doubt that the view taken by the medical profession some three or four years ago, based upon the effects of forcible feeding as applied to apathetic persons in lunatic asylums, is one which has to be considerably modified when forcible feeding is, on a larger scale, applied to persons in full possession of their mental and physical faculties and against their will. Forcible feeding is just as much in essence a torture as flogging. The House recently expressed consideration for the feelings of that very degraded class of criminal to whom we applied flogging under the recent Criminal Law Amendment Act, and it is only a natural corollary to the very proper feelings of humanitarianism expressed in these Debates that when the first opportunity arises we should do something to put an end to a form of torture, just as painful as 132 flogging, being applied to female prisoners. The Bill, in my judgment, would be most materially improved if this Amendment were included, because we should then, at any rate, have this justification for passing the Act, that we were ensuring that in future, as regards female prisoners in our gaols, the provisions of this Act would be applied in substitution for the barbarous practice of forcible feeding, and not as an additional penalty.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I rather gather that the hon. Member is under the impression that some time in the course of the Debates on this Bill I have stated that if this Bill passes I shall on no occasion avail myself of the power or practice of forcible feeding. If he is under any such impression, I can assure him that he is entirely mistaken. I have given no pledge of any sort of that kind. On the contrary, my recollection is perfectly clear that, when I have been questioned upon this point, I have stated quite clearly and definitely that, while I hope that in many cases this power will enable me to get rid of the necessity of forcible feeding, still in any case in which it becomes apparent from experience that the liberty of a particular prisoner is only going to be used in such a way as to be a serious danger to the public, I shall not feel myself justified in liberating a prisoner of that kind upon any terms. I hope that this Bill in practice will be found, in the great majority of cases, to get rid of the necessity of forcible feeding. But I cannot undertake, responsible as I am for the administration of the prisons, to place myself under an absolute pledge to discharge every prisoner who, at some time or other, has refused to take food. There must be a discretion to be exercised with regard to that particular person. We can all conceive of cases in which it would be most improper to release a prisoner whose declared intention was to break the law, not in a trivial way, but in some serious way, to the great destruction of property or even life. Under these circumstances, I hope the Committee will agree with me it is most undesirable to accept an Amendment of this kind, which would seriously restrict the powers of the prison authorities.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I must say the conditions under which we are discussing this Bill illustrate more vividly than any Bill I can recollect the extreme disadvantage of our present procedure. Here we are discussing a Bill which affects the 133 liberty of the subject—a serious discussion in all its details. Here is an Amendment which, I believe, in a full House, even in its present, I will not say degenerate, but peculiar condition, would have commanded a very large amount of support, but it is now moved necessarily in a very small House, it being the dinner hour, and there is no possibility that the Committee will form a reasonable judgment on it. It will be decided, without the slightest doubt, by a vast majority of Members who have not heard the discussion or the arguments.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
That only strengthens my argument. I think that the definite statement of the Home Secretary, that he is not prepared to abandon forcible feeding, ought to have been heard by a very much larger number of hon. Members on his own side of the House.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Noble Lord is not doing me justice. I made the very same statement, I think it was on the Second Reading, but it certainly was on an occasion when the House was very full.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
There has been an impression, and it has gained ground, that the right hon. Gentleman had changed his mind to this extent, that he really put this Bill forward as an alternative to forcible feeding. He said, in the remarks he made a few minutes ago, that it was an alternative to forcible feeding. I am not charging him with breach of faith or anything of that kind, but I believe the definite terms in which he made his declaration a moment ago would have come with great surprise to a considerable number of his own supporters had they been present. However, that is a matter for him and his supporters. I rose to say that I did not think the right hon. Gentleman had understood the effect of the Amendment in the least. He appears to imagine that the effect is to deprive him of the power of forcibly feeding any female after the Bill has passed. That, of course, is not the effect of the Amendment at all. The effect is that where this Bill is in operation, and where the right hon. Gentleman elects to proceed under the powers conferred by it, then he shall not at the same time forcibly feed the same prisoner. That is a very different proposition from the one the right hon. Gentleman put forward.
134 I confess, and I have made no secret of it to the House, that I have a profound dislike of this practice of forcible feeding. I do not believe that that can be the right solution of the difficulty, whatever other solution there may be. I cannot believe you are justified in the case of a trivial offence, or even in the case of a serious offence, in submitting any prisoner to treatment which in a very considerable proportion of cases result in serious risk to their health and sometimes to their reason. It may be that some new method of dealing with this particular kind of prisoner must be found. I think it should. But you cannot go on with forcible feeding; public opinion will not submit to it, and you are not discharging the duty which a Minister owes to the House of Commons and to the electorate in a matter of this kind if you attempt to carry on a process which certainly does not meet with the assent of the great mass of public opinion. I am satisfied that this Amendment ought to be added to the Bill. I also recognise there is no chance of that being done. The Home Secretary told us a few minutes ago that he does not mean to accept any Amendment. Therefore we are merely wasting our time in discussing Amendments. He has said, perhaps not in so many words, but in effect, "I will not accept any Amendment because that will necessitate a Report stage, which means delay. Therefore I intend to put this Bill through by my majority, by the Whips of the party machine, and I intend to put it through whatever arguments may be put forward."
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
That is what we have come to, and it is the kind of thing which we and hon. Members opposite now have to submit to. That is what legislation really means in the House of Commons to-day. I submit it is a very striking declaration by the Home Secretary, and I trust, though I do not expect this Committee to deal the reproof which ought to be administered to a Minister who makes such a declaration—I trust that the House, in another capacity, will bear that declaration in mind when it comes to consider its own procedure.
§ Sir WILLIAM BEALE
I cannot agree with the Noble Lord that the House, how- 135 ever full, would have been profitably employed in discussing this Amendment. But I do agree with him in apprehending that the Home Secretary did not exactly understand what its effect would be if passed. At all events, he did not show that he would act upon it in any way. Neither do I think that the hon. Member who moved the Amendment gave any very clear interpretation of what it really means. If one looks at the words carefully it will be seen that it reads, "That this Act shall not apply." It does not mean that the Home Secretary shall not forcibly feed, it means that he shall not be able under the Bill to let out a woman if that woman has once been forcibly fed in the way described in the Amendment. He will be prohibited dealing with her under the Act; he will not be able to let her out and so, I suppose, he must go on forcibly feeding her. So far as I can see the Amendment has no other meaning; it is not an Amendment which ought to be recommended to the House, nor is it one which, with a clear understanding, the House would be inclined to spend much time upon.
§ Mr. BARNES
The Noble Lord has covered much of the ground which I intended to take, and, indeed, a good deal more besides. But I should like to say that, in my judgment, the Home Secretary was not quite fair either to the Amendment or to the hon. Member who moved it. I happened to have been in the House some weeks ago when the right hon. Gentleman made the statement to which he has alluded. He not only made the statement that he was going to reserve to himself a certain discretion in regard to certain prisoners, but, unfortunately, he gave an illustration how that discretion was to be used and why it was necessary it should be left to him. The illustration entirely disposed of any idea that this Amendment would deprive him of that discretion. What was it he said? He said it was necessary that the Home Secretary should have some discretion left to him as to what prisoners should come and what should not come under a Bill of this sort, because it might be conceivable that the Bill, if not protected in the way of leaving him some discretion, might apply to a murderer after he had been convicted and had applied leave to appeal, with the result that that murderer might get out and have an opportunity of committing another murder. That was the illustration given by the right hon. Gentleman to prove the need 136 for leaving him discretion. I agree with him, it is absolutely necessary that discretion should be left to him in such cases. But that does not apply in this case at all. In the first place the Amendment is limited strictly to female prisoners. It is conceivable, of course, that a female prisoner might be a murderer, but if the right hon. Gentleman will look at this Amendment sympathetically, perhaps, after consideration, he will be able to give the Committee some assurance at this stage that the power he seeks here is only a power to let prisoners out and take them back again in lieu of forcibly feeding them. So far as I am concerned, I would like a declaration to that effect as soon as possible. I want the right hon. Gentleman to clear the point up, and say that he does not intend that this Bill shall, as regards suffrage prisoners alone, be an addition to his existing powers. I want him to tell us that he looks upon it rather as an alternative to the power of forcibly feeding, and if he will do that I, for one, shall be disposed to help him get it through its remaining stages.
I, like the Noble Lord, and most hon. Members on both sides of the House, look with abhorrence on this forcible feeding. I agree with many who have spoken in these Debates that it is a revolting business altogether, and I believe that more and more as public opinion outside begins to understand it, more and more you will have a volume of public feeling against it. We ought to endeavour, in this House, to rather anticipate public opinion, and, having regard to that fact, we should look on this Bill as an opportunity given to us to do away with forcible feeding altogether and to substitute this procedure for it. Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that he does not intend to use this Bill as an addition to his existing powers so far, at any rate, as female suffrage prisoners are concerned? That is all I ask for. If he will give that assurance in regard to that particular type of prisoner, I repeat that I, for my part, will help him to get the Bill through its subsequent stages.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
The hon. Baronet who spoke a few moments ago began by suggesting that neither the Home Secretary nor the Mover of the Amendment understood its exact purport. But before he had finished he seemed to me to have placed himself in the same category, and to show that he too did not 137 understand the real meaning. He said the effect would be that no female prisoner who had once been forcibly fed could be released under this Bill, and that the only possible alternative was to go on forcibly feeding her. That now is not the only alternative. All the Amendment says is that prisoners who have been forcibly fed shall not be released under the provisions of this Bill, and consequently such a prisoner would be under the same conditions as such prisoners are at the present moment. It will be open to the Home Secretary to release her by the exercise of the Royal prerogative in the ordinary course, therefore the alternative presented by the hon. Member does not arise under the Amendment. I confess that I, for one, was extremely disappointed to hear the declaration made by the Home Secretary upon this Amendment. I absolutely accept his statement that he said on the former occasion in a full House that this Bill was not intended to be an alternative to forcible feeding.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I did not mean to misrepresent the right hon. Gentleman. He has told us that he has never said that the passage of this Bill would preclude from forcibly feeding.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I understood that it was going to have that effect. I remember vividly, as probably can most hon. Members, the speech in which the right hon. Gentleman introduced the Bill, and I recollect his saying there were three alternatives open to the Home Secretary. One was to let the prisoner die, another to forcibly feed her, and the third was the Bill he presented to the House. I certainly thought that implied, if the right hon. Gentleman did not directly state it, that if the House were induced to pass this Bill they would thereby get rid of the two other alternatives of letting the prisoner die or forcibly feeding her. It now appears that the extraordinary procedure, and, as I think, the futile procedure, of this Bill is not to be an alternative, but is to be added to the disgusting outrage of forcible feeding. That will be a great disappointment to many hon. Members among my hon. Friends who are supporting this Bill as a sort of disagreeable necessity, and for no other reason. I believe there are many Members whose 138 support to this Bill would be withdrawn if they understood that by passing it we are not to get rid of this horrible procedure. The hon. Member who proposed the Amendment spoke of forcible feeding as a kind of torture. I have no doubt that it is a kind of torture when it is inflicted against the active resistance of the patient, but I would rather describe it, not so much as an act of torture, as in the nature of a surgical operation.
I must not discuss the question of the actual legality of forcible feeding, but I have always understood that, whether in prison or out of prison, it was not admissible to inflict a surgical operation, even if the operation were necessary to save life, against the will of the patient. I entirely agree with the opinion expressed by the Mover of the Amendment that if the whole question could be thoroughly argued and carried to a higher Court than that which has already decided the question, it would be found that to inflict forcible feeding in these circumstances was wholly illegal. We are now confronted with a much smaller question. Whether it is legal or illegal, this House is going to place for a longer period in the hands of the Home Secretary the discretion of resorting to this torture or operation. I feel very strongly that when we are placing this power in the hands of the Home Secretary for the purpose of getting rid of the outrages which have been attracting so much attention and disgust in the country, and without, which we should not have heard of this Bill at all, it is extremely disappointing to find that after the Bill is passed it will be purely within the discretion of the Home Secretary to continue this proceeding. I do not believe that this Bill will have any practical effect; it will be resisted, the conditions the Home Secretary has read out will be resisted, the women will exercise all their ingenuity to escape from the procedure which this Bill will inflict upon them, and I feel certain that with the discretion the Home Secretary has expressly reserved to himself to continue forcible feeding, it will be just as common an incident in these imprisonments after the Bill is passed as it was before. In these circumstances the whole purpose for which this Bill was brought forward will be defeated, and many hon. Members who were influenced to support it will be disappointed.
§ Mr. MUNRO
I do not intend to discuss the alleged illegality or impropriety of 139 forcible feeding, but to deal with the exact terms of the Amendment. The Amendment is really founded upon what is known to lawyers as the doctrine of election. In other words it is said—you have two remedies as Home Secretary, and if you elect to take one remedy you shall not have the other. That postulates that these are true alternatives, and it seems rather a technical view to adopt in dealing with the very difficult problem that you should argue in that fashion. The proper point of view from which to approach the question is that the Home Secretary is confronted at the present time with an abnormal, indeed, a unique situation, and when he comes to ask for powers to deal with that situation one ought to remember the difficulties with which he is confronted, and be more willing to give him powers in these circumstances than might be the case if the situation were normal. So approaching it, I submit that the power the Home Secretary asks here is a reasonable power, especially when one remembers that he does not propose to exercise it generally, but sparingly. I happen to have here the precise words the Home Secretary used on the occasion which has been several times referred to in this Debate, and I should like to read what he said:—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—May I interpolate here that the illustration is not limited, as the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) suggested, to cases of murder. What my right hon. Friend said was this:—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 alternative except to resort to forcible feeding.Later on the Home Secretary said:—I ask the House to give me a much simpler alternative, and to give me the power of forcible feeding when necessary."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd April, 1913, cols 407–8., Vol. LI.]What he claimed was a right to adopt either course according to the circumstances as they emerged, with the assurance, however, that in a normal ease he would not adopt forcible feeding but would adopt the provisions of this Bill. May I suggest the kind of case which the Home Secretary figured at that time? Suppose militant suffragism goes further than it has yet done. Suppose attacks on property become more pronounced and 140 become attacks upon the person—not an impossible hypothesis, I fear. Suppose one of the exponents of that doctrine is in prison, having declared repeatedly in public, and possibly in private, that the very first act which she will do if released will be an act of personal violence. What is the Home Secretary's alternative? He may release unconditionally or he may forcibly feed the prisoner, or he may allow her to die. Surely in such circumstances as these, if these are his alternatives, to forcibly feed, to release, or to allow her to die, forcible feeding, however unpleasant—and we all admit it is—would be the least repugnant alternative of the three. Suppose forcible feeding is then resorted to. Suppose the health of the prisoner suffers in consequence. Then arises the dilemma presented by this Amendment. What is the Home Secretary's position then? If he is not to apply the provisions of this Bill to the case as it then emerges he must either let the prisoner die on his hands or release her unconditionally. Surely, in the case I am putting, it is more desirable that, instead of letting her die or instead of letting her go forth without any conditions to fetter her movements or her actions, he should have the power to apply the provisions of this Bill, namely, to let her go forth, but subject to such conditions that her residence and her movements and her conduct would be within the knowledge and within the cognisance of the police, and that the most violent extremities to which she might threaten to resort might be very probably frustrated. In these circumstances, I suggest, especially seeing that the Home Secretary is subject to constant and effective surveillance himself in the House of Commons in regard to all the actions which he takes in these matters, that the power which he asks on this occasion is a most reasonable one and should be granted.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
It has been said this Bill is intended to deal with an abnormal situation, but the abnormal situation will pass away and the Bill will remain. The prosecutions which are now going on of the leaders of the women's movement are being conducted under a Bill passed to meet an abnormal situation 600 years ago. The situation has long passed away, but the law remains, and therefore it is most desirable that in this departure of the law under an emergency every effort shall be made to limit the 141 new powers conferred upon the Home Office within the narrowest limits. The question has been raised about the case of some desperado who gets a sentence, refuses to take food, is liberated on conditions, and whose life is thereby saved. The assumption is, however, that this particular prisoner would take food under conditions. What guarantee is there that the hunger strike would not be continued against the conditions just as much as against the imprisonment itself, and where then is the Home Secretary and his new Bill and his new power? If it be a crime on the part of the Home Secretary to allow a prisoner to die in prison just now during a hunger strike, it would be equally a crime to allow a prisoner to die in a nursing home under the same conditions, and therefore the Bill does not relieve him in the least from that dilemma. What this new Clause proposes is that forcible feeding and the alternative of this Bill should not be powers concurrently possessed by the Home Secretary. He should make his choice of one or the other, and if he resorted to forcible feeding against the woman prisoner with the powers this Bill gives him, should not they be operative in the case of that prisoner, and surely it is not too much to ask, when the law is being amended to meet an abnormal set of circumstances, that the Home Secretary should not be given power to choose which line of action he should pursue in regard to these prisoners whose offence in every case is the same, the offence of refusing to take food after sentence has been passed. Let hon. Members conceive what this means to hunger strikers. Under the Bill as it stands, the presumption is that the woman prisoner who has refused food until her life becomes endangered may then be liberated. As soon as she has acquired sufficient strength to again fight with the warder and the wardresses and the prison doctor she is to be returned to prison. The weakening hunger process has to go on until her life again becomes in danger and she is once more to be let loose, not to liberty, not to freedom, but to give her an opportunity to recoup her strength to go back and continue the process within the prison walls. That is the proposal of the Bill.
The Amendment says that when a prisoner has been forcibly fed, where torture has been undergone—for it is torture, there is no getting away from that; it is torture of a horrible kind—this power of the Home Secretary to let loose and 142 bring back shall not be operative. Suppose it is operative. Take the case of Miss Emerson, who was liberated the other day. For some six or seven weeks this young girl carried on a daily warfare against being fed by force. Finally, when her sentence of two months was nearly expired she was liberated. Since then she has been literally at the point of death through internal complications due to the treatment received and troubles arising therefrom. Supposing in the case of that girl, at the end of three or four weeks of this kind of fighting, the prison doctor comes to the conclusion that it would be unsafe to go on any longer and he advised the Home Secretary to liberate her on licence. She is liberated, she is nursed and doctored and cared for and attended until her strength is once more restored in whole or in part. As soon as she is thought to be in a condition to go back to once more right the wardresses and the doctors she is taken back. Can anything more inhuman and more barbarous be conceived? We talk of the brutality and the cruelty of the Middle Ages. Was any torture ever devised in those days more horrible than a proposal of this kind? By accepting this Amendment you get rid of that. You say to the Home Secretary, go on with your forcible feeding as long as you can, but when the prisoner has defeated you, as they have done hitherto, recognise courage and bravery. If that kind of courage had been displayed by men on the field of battle, they would have been eulogised to all the corners of the earth. We talk of the bulldog breed of our soldiers. The endurance and heroism that these women are showing in prison equals, if it does not excel, anything we have witnessed on the field of battle or elsewhere. When they have fought for their freedom give them a chance, and do not say that you are going to torture them in prison, and let them out and feed them as you would a half-worried rat in a cockpit, and then take them back once more to prison to undergo all those horrors and tortures. I hope the Under-Secretary will recognise that his chief, in so ruthlessly shutting the door in the face of those who moved the Amendment, has made a mistake. If this Bill was confined, as has been said several times, to those who have not been forcibly fed, and if it was a real and genuine alternative to forcible feeding, it would be a matter for consideration, but when it is 143 "cat and mouse" plus forcible feeding, I express the hope, though I have small chance of seeing it realised, that the Committee, when they come to give their decision, will not confer this double power on the Home Secretary.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The hon. Member (Mr. Keir Hardie) has properly and truly said that there is very little chance of the Amendment being accepted, and that, of course, is owing to the party system under which the Government works. I agree with the hon. Member that the method which the Committee are now asked to reject is barbaric to a degree. We talk of the heroism of soldiers, but there is no heroism that I can conceive which is greater than that of a person in cold blood, day by day, submitting himself or herself to this horrible process, and fighting successfully, as women have done, against the efforts to forcibly feed them. The whole principle of this Bill is wrong. The whole idea of forcible feeding is repugnant to all decent-minded people, and
§ I cannot conceive that the House of Commons, in the exercise of its real common sense, can be a party to a proceeding of this kind. The whole matter is so repugnant to my personal feeling that I do not think any sane person ought to be forcibly fed. When prisoners have suffered that process, I think the least the Government can do is not to resort to it again or say, "We will now wait until you have additional strength, and when you have additional strength the strong arm of the law will take you back to prison to undergo the same process." Can anything be more humiliating than a process of this kind? There is only one other method of dealing with these people, if you do not give women the vote, and that is to feed the prisoner or to put food before her, and, if she does not take it, let her take the consequences.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 49; Noes, 229.145
|Division No. 63.]||AYES.||[8.40 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Hudson, Walter||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Barrie, H. T.||John, Edward Thomas||Snowden, Philip|
|Cassel, Felix||Jowett, Frederick William||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Crooks, William||Lewisham, Viscount||Thomas, J. H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, N.)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Perkins, Walter F.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gretton, John||Pointer, Joseph||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr M'Curdy and Sir A. Markham|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Delany, William|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Campion, W. R.||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Devlin, Joseph|
|Baird, J. L.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Doris, William|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Du Cros, Arthur Philip|
|Barnston, Harry||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Duffy, William J.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Chancellor H. G.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Clancy, John Joseph||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Clough, William||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Black, Arthur W.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Farrell, Joseph Patrick|
|Boland, John Plus||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Fell, Arthur|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Cotton, William Francis||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, North)||Cowan, W. H.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Brady, P. J.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Field, William|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Crumley, Patrick||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Cullinan, John||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||France, G. A.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Furness, Stephen|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dawes, James Arthur||Gardner, Ernest|
|Gilmour, Captain John||McGhee, Richard||Reddy, M.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Macpherson, James Ian||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||M'Callum, Sir John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Kean, John||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. R.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecciesall)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Manfield, Harry||Robinson, Sidney|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Rowlands, James|
|Gulland, John William||Meagher, Michael||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hackett, J.||Millar, James Duncan||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Molloy, M.||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Hancock, John George||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Sheehy, David|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mooney, J. J.||Shortt, Edward|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Morgan, George Hay||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Harrison-Broadley H. B.||Morrell, Philip||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Morison, Hector||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hayward, Evan||Muidoon, John||Swift, Rigby|
|Hazleton, Richard||Munro, R.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Nicholson, Sir C. N. (Doncaster)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hinds, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Dowd, John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Waring, Walter|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Malley, William||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Webb, H.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||O'Shee, James John||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Sullivan, Timothy||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Keating, Matthew||Outhwaite, R. L.||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Parry, Thomas H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kelly, Edward||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Kilbride, Denis||Peto, Basil Edward||Wiles, Thomas|
|King, J.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wing, Thomas|
|Leach, Charles||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pringle, William M. R.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Radford, G. H.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Lynch, A. A.||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Wedgwood Bonn and Mr. W. Jones.|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words:—Provided that the provisions of this Section shall not apply in the case of any prisoner whose condition of health is due in whole or in part to flogging administered to such prisoner while in prison.What this Amendment says is that where flogging in prison has reduced the prisoner to a condition of health in which his life is in danger, the Clause of this Bill shall not apply. Otherwise a man might be flogged for a week or ten days, then turned out to recuperate, and then brought back and the flogging process resumed. There is no limit of any kind to the class of prisoner or the reasons given for liberating the prisoner to whom this Bill would apply if it becomes an Act. 146 What this Amendment says is that where the prison authorities are forced to release a prisoner whose health they themselves have broken by flogging, who has not brought upon himself the ill-health that causes his liberation, then such prisoner when released shall not be liable to recall. I hope that this is so much in accord with the common sense of the House that it will not be necessary to say any more in support of the Amendment.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
My hon. Friend is somewhat unduly sanguine in the concluding note of his speech. As he knows, this Bill only applies where the ill-health is due in whole or in part to the prisoner's own conduct. If the ill-health is due entirely to the flogging, that cannot possibly apply, and therefore my hon. Friend cannot refer to such a case. The only case 147 that may occur is where ill-health is due partly to flogging and partly to the prisoner's own health. I wish very much that my hon. Friend, instead of expressing hope at the end of his speech, had given us some case of that kind. It would have been infinitely more apposite and made the matter much more clear to the House. What is the case that anyone, including the hon. Baronet, can think of which is due partly to flogging and partly to the prisoner's own conduct? I make a present of the only case that would occur to anyone, the case where the man has been flogged and then abstains from food, and where the ill-health is due partly to flogging and partly to abstention from food. It seems to me that the hon. Gentleman's speech is based upon the assumption that the Bill is very harsh. Assume that the man has been flogged and abstains from food, what is to be done? Is he to be allowed to go without food and to die?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The hon. Baronet assents to that course. He never lacks courage, but it is very easy to be brave at the expense of other people. That is the hon. Baronet's position. I do not think that my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment takes that course. In those circumstances, what is to be done? I submit that it is no harm to make the Bill apply in such a case. I think that it is the lesser of the two consequences that may follow. Suppose there is a case of a man imprisoned for highway robbery, or a man imprisoned for the white slave traffic, and suppose, either of these two directly after they were sentenced, abstained from food and jeopardised his life, does my hon. Friend who moved, or the hon. Baronet behind him, say that we ought to let either of those men abstain from food until he dies in prison. If the answer is in the negative, then I submit that this Bill provides the only remedy so far devised. I have said quite frankly before, and I repeat, that I do not think this Bill will stop the movement. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear.] I never said it would, and it is no argument against the Bill. We do not pass Bills to stop political movements; we pass Bills in the House of Commons to vindicate the law, and, if any prisoner takes the responsibility of disobeying the law, he must be made to submit to the sentence of the law. 148 If anyone by abstaining from food or otherwise tries to evade the consequences of his conduct, then I submit that the Act of Parliament must make the sentence which has been passed an actual and substantial sentence. I hope my hon. Friend will not proceed with the Amendment.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The Under-Secretary has asked me what I should do in such circumstances. I have said time after time in the House that if a prisoner is sentenced by a Court of Law, and he enters into a conspiracy to refuse to take food, he must do so at his own risk. My point is that the prisoner is sentenced according to the law. If the law is bad it is for this House to alter the law, but if the prisoner takes the law into his own hands he must bear the consequences. The question which has been raised as to the brutality of flogging is a logical one. Where a prisoner has been flogged you are going to release him, and then bring him back and flog him again under the provisions of this Act. Under the Bill which was passed last year the House gave wide powers of flogging, and to flog on more than one occasion. The effect of that power would be that a man might be taken and flogged, and, after having been released for a certain period, brought back and flogged again. The Under-Secretary said that under this Bill we are not dealing with those cases for which flogging is part of the punishment; but I would point out that that is what might happen in the future, though not with the present Government. The Government at the present time are applying a Statute which was passed 500 years ago, and it might easily be that at some future day we would have this Statute made use of in a manner which is not contemplated now—a system of flogging a man and releasing him, and then taking him back and again flogging him, would in my opinion be most brutal. If a prisoner refuses to take food, then the only logical thing is that he should take the consequences of his own act, even if it should mean death. For that reason I will support the Amendment if my hon. Friend goes to a Division.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MUNRO
There are two things perfectly clear about this Amendment. The first is that it applies only to men, because women are not flogged. Secondly it only applies to men who have committed atrocious offences; otherwise they would not be sentenced to be flogged. In those circumstances, I respectfully inquire why the provisions of this Bill should not apply 149 to men who have committed these atrocious offences. It seems to me the consequences would be most anomalous if the Bill were not to apply to cases of that kind. Assume for a moment that the health of two prisoners is such that they cannot without danger to their lives be detained any longer in prison. I ask the Committee to observe the anomalous consequences that would follow if the Amendment were carried. In the case of one prisoner, a woman, the state of whose health is the result of one form of prison discipline, namely, captivity, she could be dealt with under the Bill, and compelled, after a certain time of liberty to go back to prison and serve the rest of her sentence. In the case of a man whose state of health is the result of another form of prison discipline, namely, flogging—that being a part of the prison discipline of our time—the authorities could not, after they had released him, bring him back to serve the remainder of his sentence. I am taking a case which I think is a perfectly fair one. The man would not have to go back to prison, while the woman, who had been imprisoned for a light offence and released would have to go back Take the case of a man engaged in the white slave traffic, sentenced to be flogged under the Act which was recently passed. If this Amendment were carried, and he were released, he could not be recalled to serve the rest of his sentence, whereas in the case of the woman who had been released, after having been sentenced to imprisonment, perhaps for breaking a half-crown window, she would have to go back to serve the rest of her sentence. Would that be a fair or proper result? I submit it would be the inevitable result of the Amendment now under consideration, and I do not think it is a result which the Committee would approve of. If flogging has contributed in the slightest degree to the state of health of the prisoner, then, if released, he would not be compelled to go back to serve the rest of his sentence. Take another case. The prisoner may be all right in the course of a few days after his release from prison; he might be perfectly restored to health. Is it to be said that a man who has been sentenced for an atrocious crime and since flogged should be able to get out at the end of two or three days, recover his health rapidly, and then snap his fingers at the prison authorities, saying, "I was flogged, and I got out and you cannot bring me back"? That 150 would be the result of adopting this Amendment, and that is not a result to be lightly arrived at. With all respect to my hon. Friend and to the hon. Baronet, I think this is really an ill-timed and irrelevant attack on the system of flogging, which really has nothing whatever to do with this Bill, and on that ground the Amendment should be discountenanced and rejected.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I am no friend of this Bill, and, indeed, I voted against it, but I do suggest that the hon. Member who brought forward this particular Amendment does not realise that it will not carry out what I am quite sure he has in view. I cannot help thinking that his idea was that there was some present procedure by which a man, if his conduct in prison was bad, could be flogged. So far as I know the prison law, there is no provision of that kind, and the whole of the Bill has reference to the prisoner's own misconduct in prison. If he cannot be flogged for that, then it does not seem to me that it is a question which has very much to do with this Bill at all. The hon. Member for Mansfield seemed to think that the man in that case after a flogging would be brought back and flogged again. If the man has been sentenced to a flogging and has had it, and is released, he can only be brought back if that release is caused by his own conduct, for that is the basis of this Bill. There seems to be a misapprehension by the hon. Baronet that there can be flogging for breaches of the prison laws.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Some judges, and it depends on who happens to be the judge, may order a man to receive so many lashes at one time, and after so many months of the sentence to receive a further number of lashes. That was the case I was referring to.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I rather gathered from the hon. Baronet's speech that he was under the impression that a man would be released and then brought back and a second flogging administered for having done what he had done in prison. I hope the hon. Member will withdraw his Amendment.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
As the Member responsible for the drafting of the Amendment, I should like to say a word in reply to the criticism of the hon. and learned Member about the purpose of the Amendment and its utility. With regard to its utility, it 151 has, I think, served its purpose, because we now know the attitude of the Government to this Amendment, and have had an object lesson which hon. Members would do well to take to heart of what has always happened, of the method by which constitutional safeguards are frittered away as soon as you allow exceptional legislation to meet exceptional circumstances. This Bill is introduced and is rushed through this House upon one ground, and one ground alone, that it is necessary to strengthen the hands of the Executive authority to meet an entirely new set of circumstances and a new kind of prisoner against whom the ordinary weapons of the law had proved insufficient. In order to test whether that be in deed and in truth the purpose, and the sufficing purpose of this Bill so far as the Government is concerned I put down this Amendment to ensure that, at any rate, a measure introduced on the ground of the necessity of dealing with militancy shall not be used as a weapon to further infringe on the liberties of classes of subjects that have nothing whatever to do with the disturbances that this measure is designed to meet. You start by asking the House of Commons to pass with great rapidity and without reasonable discussion a measure which interferes with the liberty of the subject and, in effect repeals the provisions of Magna Charta so far as imprisonment is concerned, upon the ground that it is necessary to meet a case of emergency. Before that matter leaves the Chamber we find that the Executive have now discovered that there are other cases in which this is urgent and desirable, and that it is necessary that the Executive should be armed with these arbitrary powers which were never thought necessary before.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
The hon. Member appears to be making a Third Reading speech. His remarks do not apply to the Amendment.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I bow to your ruling, and merely say that nothing has been said by the hon. Member who represents the Government with regard to this Amendment, or by any other hon. Members, to show that any exceptional set of circumstances have arisen in connection with cases of flogging and prison discipline which would make it necessary to pass an exceptional Act, or to extend the provisions of this Act to cover cases like that. 152 This is precisely analogous to other measures which are being taken. You deny the right of free speech to the suffragists to-day, and to-morrow the Executive will find abundant reason for denying free speech in a dozen instances.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I do not desire to press the matter to a Division and to trouble the Committee, I therefore ask leave to withdraw.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words "Provided always, that such conditions shall not include a prohibition to take part in any public speaking or writing which would otherwise not be in contravention of the law." In this ridiculous Bill if this particular Amendment were inserted it would make it still more ridiculous.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I said the Bill was so full of nonsense that in a Bill drawn on such lines an Amendment of this character was suitable. It must be in order to add an absurdity to an absurdity. I do not think I should be in order in using arguments in support of this Amendment of which I do not approve; therefore I merely content myself with moving it.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I must say with great respect that I am sorry to have heard the speech just delivered, which was not marked by the courtesy which usually distinguishes Gentlemen of the hon. Baronet's position. He said that the Bill was full of nonsense. That, I suppose, is the reason he has spoken so often upon it. I do not know whether the hon. Baronet has read the Amendment. It has been explained more than once that the conditions are not to be punitive, and it has been decided also after a long Debate extending over several hours that they are 153 not to be inserted in the Bill. If positive conditions are not to be inserted, I submit that negative conditions ought not to be inserted either. This is clearly a punitive condition, and therefore would come within the statement of my right hon. Friend that such conditions would not be imposed on the licence.
§ Mr. WHYTE
Are we to take that as an undertaking that such a condition will not be imposed? The refusal of the Home Secretary to insert the conditions in the Bill only leads Members to prolong the Debate with regard to negative provisions, because they are never really certain what conditions will or will not be imposed.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I take it from the Under-Secretary's statement that if there be no prohibition, a prisoner will be at liberty during his temporary absence from prison to do the things referred to in the Amendment.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I am sure my hon. Friend will not think that I am giving an undertaking. My right hon. Friend said that the conditions would not be punitive. I, speaking entirely for myself, would have thought that this was a punitive condition, and would therefore come within that statement of my right hon. Friend.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The hon. Gentleman has left the matter in a very unsatisfactory position. He simply says that probably such a thing would be or such a thing would not be. An Amendment having been moved, I submit that we are entitled to an answer. Can the hon. Gentleman say whether or not these prisoners will be allowed to take part in meetings? I understand that probably they will.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
This matter really arises out of the unfortunate question as to what is the exact meaning of the undertaking or statement of the Home Secretary earlier in the evening. I certainly was under the impression that the right hon. Gentleman informed the House that he had produced the precise conditions of release which he proposed to impose in the case of suffrage prisoners, and that Members might rely that, so long as he was Home Secretary, those conditions would not be added to without the House having an opportunity for further considering the matter. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman assents to that state- 154 ment. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that this Amendment is thoroughly unnecessary, and rather implies a lack of confidence in the pledge given by the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I suggest that, whether he can accept the Amendment or not, the Home Secretary might at any rate give an undertaking in the sense of the Amendment. He has stated quite clearly that the conditions will not be in any sense punitive. But a condition as that embodied in the Amendment would not be punitive in view of its limited form. All that it would do would be to prohibit the person concerned from public speaking or writing in contravention of the law. I doubt very much whether the Home Secretary would have any power to impose a condition of that kind. In a free country you cannot impose conditions prohibiting people from doing things which the law says they can do. That being so, although after his statement the Home Secretary will hardly include an Amendment of this kind in the Bill, he might give an undertaking that he will not impose any conditions which would prohibit persons temporarily discharged from doing that which the law now permits them to do.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I can certainly give the hon. and learned Member the assurance for which he asks. It is not intended to insert any condition of this kind. All the conditions set out on the Paper are of a punitive character, and I have definitely given an undertaking, which, although not legally binding on my successors at the Home Office, would, I believe, be respected by them, that the conditions shall be of the kind that I have actually read to the House. May I make an appeal to hon. Members? To move a series of Amendments providing for every possible contingency which the conditions shall not include, is really to bring a debate of this kind into public contempt. I would suggest to my hon. Friend that he should not persist in moving Amendments of this kind. If we really go on to consider them one by one there can be no possible end, for it is obvious that you can go on moving the putting in of many provisos that the conditions shall "not" include certain things. My hon. Friend is very ingenious, though I think in this case he has borrowed his ingenuity from another hon. Member.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I do not wish to detain the Committee, but I would like a 155 clear understanding from the Under-Secretary. He said that I had spoken longer on this Bill than on any other question. I believe I have spoken on this Bill at the most for about an hour. I remember that when the Under-Secretary was on the opposite side of the House below the Gangway he spoke hour after hour obstructing Bills of which he did not altogether approve. This is the only form of Parliamentary opposition of which a Member in the minority who is against a Bill can avail himself of. If the hon. Member wishes to use strong language I can tell him that I can use language a great deal stronger.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (2). I want to draw the attention of the Committee first to the Preamble of the Bill as it affects this Clause. It is impossible in this Bill to move Amendments of a substantial character, and therefore the only way is to move Amendments to strike out the Sub-sections altogether. The Bill has been framed—and I congratulate the Home Secretary on the fact—with what I may term diabolical ingenuity. I never saw a Bill drawn which enabled the Government to grasp the matter so tightly as does this Bill. I grant that the Home Secretary has been very clever in the way in which he has presented the Bill in this form to the House with a view to preventing any form of obstruction. On the merits of the Clause itself, as distinguished from the Preamble, on the question of the temporary discharge of prisoners, the people who have been either suffragettes or persons who do not conform to the law, I can only again repeat that these proposals are entirely repugnant to my ideas of common sense. I believe this procedure is perfectly ludicrous. If the prisoner fails to comply, and prisoners will fail to comply—because the suffragist people have already definitely stated that their intention is to set this Act of Parliament at defiance—with the order of the Secretary of State, he may be arrested and taken back to prison. I contend that that is merely bringing the law into contempt, and it is the wrong method by which the Government ought to proceed. In my opinion the Government ought to proceed by an entirely different method. They ought to strike out the Sub-section, and in place of it read into the Bill a Sub- 156 section under which people who fail to comply with the law, as on the Statute Book for so many hundred years, must take the consequences of their wrong acts. All questions of temporary discharge are perfectly futile. They cannot succeed in the long run, and they are, in my opinion, barbaric and cruel, and opposed, I believe, to the general feeling of the British public, who do not like to have torture of prisoners.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Baronet is now making remarks on this Sub-section which are applicable to a Second Reading Debate. May I point out to him that most of the points which he is raising have already been dealt with by the Committee, so the field for the exercise of his debating powers in the leaving out of this Sub-section is a somewhat limited one. I must ask him not to deal with arguments which are more relevant to the Second or the Third Reading Debate.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I am not going to dispute with the Chair as to what are and what are not my debating powers, but I would like to know what particular argument advanced by me was out of order, because a mere general statement that I am repeating arguments which have been used before, I submit to you, does not give me much information. I submit, with all deference and respect to you, that I am perfectly in order in dealing with what I have been dealing with, and that the basis of my remarks are contained in the Sub-section itself. I was proceeding on the line of argument permitted by the Chair to be used, and I submit to you, Mr. Maclean, that I am in order, and I would ask you, Sir, where I am not in order?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
If it will assist the hon. Baronet in his speech I may say that particularly the last sentence that he used, referring to the barbaric methods which the Bill sought to impose was the kind of argument that I referred to. He used almost entirely that kind of argument which I suggest that he should reserve for the Third Reading. I had some doubt as to whether I should allow the hon. Baronet at all to move the omission of this Sub-section, because the Amendment really to some extent goes against the principle of the Bill; but I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and I hope he will not give me occasion again for reminding him that discussion in Committee is limited.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order, Mr. Maclean. I understand that the hon. Baronet is moving to omit Sub-section (2). If so, am I not right in thinking that any Member of this House can move to omit any Sub-section?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Baronet will excuse me if I say that I am rather surprised at him, with his great knowledge of the rules and procedure of the House, taking exception to the ruling. He must know—I think he has temporally forgotten the fact—that where a Sub-section of a Clause is obviously vital to the Bill, to move to omit it is to move to negative the Bill, and over and over again that has been so ruled from the Chair.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
On a point of Order. My contention is that the Sub-section is not essential to the Bill.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That is why I permitted the hon. Baronet to move the Amendment. As I say, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and I am simply asking him to confine himself as well as he can to the somewhat narrow limits laid down from the Chair.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
In view of your ruling, Sir, I do not wish to trespass further or in any way to run counter to it, and I shall reserve what I have to say to a later Amendment upon the Paper.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I hope my hon. Friend will not press this Amendment. Surely he does not wish, apart from his objection to the Bill as a whole, Sub-section (1) having once been passed, that any prisoner who was discharged should not comply with its conditions stated in the order! Surely he does not complain that one of the conditions is that the prisoner should return to prison on a certain date, and that if the prisoner fails to comply with the order that the licence should be considered as cancelled! I am sure the hon. Baronet will agree that these conditions are necessary.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I disapprove of the whole system of bringing prisoners backwards and forwards to prison.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
You stated, Mr. Maclean, that you had some doubt as to whether the hon. Baronet was in order in moving the rejection of this Sub-section on the ground that it was almost vital to the measure. I would be inclined to sup- 158 port the Amendment on the ground that the Sub-section is mere surplusage, and not needed in the Bill. The first Sub-section states that the release of the prisoners in the circumstances contemplated in this Bill should be conditional. It obviously follows that these conditions should be complied with. What power does this Sub-section put into the hands of the Home Secretary which he will not have in any case? There is no use saying the prisoner must comply with the conditions.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I have read the whole of it: "Arrested without warrant and taken back to prison." I say it obviously follows, if a prisoner is released conditionally, that on a breach of the condition the prisoner may be brought back. I submit that is the ordinary meaning of language. It is perfectly clear that these women will not comply with the conditions. What is the use of deliberately putting into a Section of an Act of Parliament, first that they may be released conditionally, and then going on to say in this otiose way that they shall comply with the conditions and return to prison. Of course they will only return when they are rearrested. You do not suppose those suffragists, having gone to a nursing home, will come back to prison after they have recovered for another period of forcible feeding or starvation. You do not suppose they are going to take a taxi-cab and drive back to prison. Obviously the Home Secretary will have to have a policeman or somebody in a similar position watching those ladies to see that they stay in their abode and do not escape. When you have discovered that they have sufficiently recovered to be able to return to prison again, you will have to rearrest them and bring them back. This elaborate provision, imposing upon them duties which you know they will not comply with, and which you are perfectly well able to dispense with, appears to me to be quite unnecessary.
§ Question put, "That the words, 'any prisoner so discharged shall comply with any conditions stated in the order of temporary discharge and,' proposed to be left out stand part of the Sub-section."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 240; Noes, 36.161
|Division No. 64.]||AYES.||[9.41 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Dowd, John|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||O'Malley, William|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gulland, John William||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Shee, James John|
|Arnold, Sydney||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Astor, Waldorf||Hancock, John George||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Baird, J. L.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hayden, John Patrick||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Hazleton, Richard||Pointer, Joseph|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Henry, Sir Charles||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Bird, Alfred||Higham, John Sharp||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hinds, John||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Boland, John Pius||Hohler, G. F.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, North)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Radford, G. H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell, (South Shields)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Reddy, M.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||John, Edward Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cassel, Felix||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cave, George||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Keating, Matthew||Robinson, Sidney|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kelly, Edward||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Kilbride, Denis||Rowlands, James|
|Clancy, John Joseph||King, J.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Clough, William||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lardner, James C. R.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Sheehy, David|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Shortt, Edward|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lewis, John Herbert||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lewisham, Viscount||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Crooks, William||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lundon, Thomas||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lynch, A. A.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Davies, E. William (Eiflon)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Dreitwich)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||McGhee, Richard||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Delany, William||Macpherson, James Ian||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Devlin, Joseph||M'Kean, John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Doris, W.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Duffy, William J.||Manfield, Harry||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Waring, Walter|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Falconer, J.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Meagher, Michael||Webb, H.|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Millar, James Duncan||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Field, William||Molloy, M.||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Morgan, George Hay||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Morrell, Philip||Wiles, Thomas|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|France, G. A.||Morison, Hector||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Furness, Stephen||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Muldoon, John||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Munro, R.||Wing, Thomas|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnen (Glas.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. W. Jones.|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Adamson, William||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Snowden, Philip|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Grant, J. A.||Swift, Rigby|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hardie, J. Keir||Thomas, J. H.|
|Barnston, Harry||Harris, Henry Percy||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, N.)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Down, North)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Houston, Robert Paterson||Wheler, Granvilie C. H.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hudson, Walter||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Jowett, Frederick William||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Martin, Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Fell, Arthur||Parker, James (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Markham and Mr. Ronald M'Neill.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Rutherlord, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "discharge" ["temporary discharge"], to insert the words "and shall be under the supervision of a person to be named in the Order, whose duty it shall be to report to the Secretary of State as provided in the said Order."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I only see one Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member. He proposes to leave out the word "discharged" in Sub-section (2) down to the word "shall." That appears to me to be a matter which the Committee has already settled, and to move that Amendment now would be going against the decision which the Committee has already arrived at.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
May I submit that all my Amendment seems to do is to make the return of the prisoner only conditional in the licence. The prisoners are liberated temporarily on licence and the licence is to contain certain provisions. What my Amendment does is to make the return to prison, the only condition in the licence, and with all respect I suggest that it is in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member will look at the Clause he will find that it relates to temporary discharge and therefore we must have something to correspond. To leave out the words suggested by the hon. Member would not make the Clause read.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
May I point out to you, Mr. Chairman, how the Clause would read if my Amendment were inserted? It would read as follows:—Any prisoner so discharged shall return to prison at the expiration of the 162 period stated in the Order, or of such extended period as may be fixed by any subsequent Order of the Secretary of State.I submit that that would be in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
We have already passed the words, "for such period and subject to such conditions as may be stated in the Order." I do not think it is competent for us now to leave out the words which the hon. Member desires, and at the same time comply with such conditions.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
We have not decided what the conditions shall be. We have decided that there shall be conditions, but I submit that the licence contains a condition that the prisoner must return at the end of the period for which the licence is granted. That is a condition, and it complies with the words in the previous Section.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Are not the words which my hon. Friend proposes to leave out really the conditions referred to in the previous Section, and therefore it is in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I find also that the question has already been put to the Committee that the words of Sub-section (2) down to the word "and" ["and shall return to prison"] stand part.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I submit that in putting the last Amendment from the Chair, it should have been put down to the word "discharged."
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Question put to the Committee just now, as I understand, was that the words, "Any prisoner so discharged shall comply with any conditions stated in the Order of temporary discharge and," stand part of the Clause, so that the Committee has decided the matter so far as those words are concerned.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
May I ask if you have power to go back upon that decision, inasmuch as it is customary to save words so that an hon. Member who has an Amendment may be able to move it. The only words that should have been put are those down to the words "discharged" ["Any prisoner so discharged"].
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not in my power to go back upon that decision. The matter should have been raised before the Question was put to the Committee. The view of the Deputy-Chairman was that the matter had already been decided.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I have handed in an Amendment, and it has been altered by the Clerks at the Table. If it had not been altered I should have been able to move it, and I beg to protest against it having been altered.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
Might I ask you to consult the Clerks at the Table as to the words that have been inserted, because I am advised that the Clause is put down to the word "discharged."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have consulted the record, and the words put were down to the word "and" ["temporary discharge and"]. With regard to the point of the hon. Baronet, no such Amendment has reached me, and I do not know to what he refers.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The same thing will apply to that as applies to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Keir Hardie).
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
There are no means of enforcing the Order other than such as are taken in the Bill, and they seem to be totally inadequate. You release a prisoner for a term, presumably specified by the prison doctor, and that person is allowed to go to his or her home. The only condition which is imposed is that at the end of the term, say a week, he or she returns to the prison. There have been a good many interjections during the Debate, asking, "Will she go?" I think it is extremely probable that she will not. At the end of two or three days the prisoner will probably recover her health, 164 and it will not be altogether surprising if within the remaining four days there are a certain number of offences committed as to which the police may or may not succeed in apprehending the prisoner. Apparently the only remedy which the Home Secretary-suggests is that the house in which the unfortunate prisoner is kept is to be surrounded by detectives. "Picketed," I think was the word he used, and I presume it wil be peaceful picketing. The friendly eye of the policeman is to be kept on a prisoner to see that she does not escape and go and repeat the offence in respect of which she has been convicted. This is an instance of the beautiful trust of the Home Secretary. Last week the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to say that he looked forward with hope to the time in the immediate future when hunger striking would cease altogether. That is another example of that attractive, child-like simplicity which is incident to a beautiful disposition. I think within five days of that speech a lady then in prison, Mrs. Pankhurst, having gone on hunger strike, was released. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman is still of the hope that these ladies are going to give up hunger striking—Sanctus simplicitas. I only hope that in time his hope will find full realisation, but at the present moment it does not seem probable. Then the right hon. Gentleman says, "Oh, but we are going to put drastic conditions into this order of discharge." When Mrs. Pankhurst was discharged, drastic conditions were duly written on the back of the licence, and I believe she tore it up in the cab on the way and distributed the pieces to her faithful followers. If that is an example of the kind of thing that is going to happen in the future, I think it is obvious that you do require some real, practical, common-sense means of seeing that these conditions are going to be fulfilled. There is at present in existence a system which works very well. There is the power in the criminal judges to make orders not altogether unlike the order which is the subject of this Bill. If a first offender, a person of hitherto good character, has committed some offence, and it, appears desirable to the Court, he is released on what is called a Probation Order, and there are terms inserted in it not at all unlike those which this Bill suggests should be inserted in this temporary order of discharge. There is the power given to place the 165 prisoner who is discharged under the supervision of an officer attached to the Court. There is a twofold advantage in that. If the person who is discharged knows that somebody has been put in authority over him to see that the orders are fulfilled, and that the conditions into which he has entered will be obeyed, I think that would offer a strong inducement to obedience. On the other hand, you would have an officer attached to the Court who is sympathetic, and knows the ways of the Court, employed, not only in supervision, but in the relief of distress, to see that the conditions of the orders of discharge are obeyed, with instructions to report to the Court if they are not. I suggest you must have something of that kind in this Bill. What is the alternative? You are going to discharge people under this Bill for a period of ten or fourteen days. They are to go home into a species of fortress, surrounded by detectives, and at the end of the period, the Home Secretary nourishes the pious hope they will return to prison. Surely it would be much better to place a person who has entered into these conditions under the supervision of somebody whose duty it should be to see that the conditions are fulfilled and to report there-on. If you adopt some kind of procedure of that sort it seems to me you would meet the principal objection which has come from all sides of the House that when these ladies are discharged they will not obey the conditions, but will tear them up. If they do that, if they disobey the order, if they laugh at the Government, and if the public laugh with them, as they are doing at the present time, it is a bad thing for the administration of law in this country. You ought to have something of this kind in operation in order to see that your conditions are rendered effective. I am not pledged to the particular form of the officer to be appointed. It will not be a particularly enviable task, and I should not think that anyone would care to be appointed to the duty. But you must have someone to see that the conditions are fulfilled, and I move this Amendment, not only in the interests of the Bill, which I confess I have deeply at heart because it applies to all prisoners for all time, but in the interests of these ladies themselves, and I hope the Home Secretary will see his way to accept some suggestion of the kind and appoint some officer to see that these people obey the conditions under which they are released.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The hon. and learned Gentleman has from the first been a most consistent supporter of every argument and every opinion which would tend towards enforcing the law. I recognise in his Amendment one more evidence of his desire that the law should be fairly and fully enforced against offenders of all kinds. I think, however, that the hon. and learned Gentleman, in proposing this Amendment, has really gone a little outside what I regard as the scope and intention of the Bill. If I were to accept this Amendment I should be committing the vice of adding to the sentence imposed on the prisoner by the Court. I should regard that as a vice, and there is not one of my hon. Friends on this side who quotes the Habeas Corpus Act who would object to punishment being inflicted by the arbitrary act of a Minister more strongly than I would. Even if I accepted this Amendment I could not carry it into operation without really in some degree inflicting a term of imprisonment or punishment on the prisoner whilst he or she was out of prison. Inasmuch as under the Bill the prisoner remains liable to serve the whole balance of the sentence, I should be inflicting a period of punishment beyond the period imposed by the Court. I agree with the hon. Member that under this Bill any system is going to be full of very great difficulty in dealing with this particular class of offender. The hon. Member thinks I am so sanguine a person as to believe that this measure is going to be a panacea for all evils. I think nothing of the sort, but I cannot believe, and I do not believe, that this mania for hunger striking is likely to have anything more than a temporary life, and I believe that this Bill will materially assist in shortening the life of the hunger strike. I certainly take that view. I do not think in this Bill I ought to add to the punishment of these offenders, and, therefore, I hope the hon. Member will not deem it necessary to press his Amendment.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I support him not for the purpose of strengthening his hands, but of saving the sanity of any individual who may be appointed to supervise these prisoners. The position of warders and wardresses in our gaols is already sufficiently unpleasant. But if 167 anyone wants to realise the uttermost limits of human tolerance I think he should imagine a supervisor, or a Court missionary, it may be, being put inside a house with half a dozen suffragettes in order to keep an eye on them. It is perfectly obvious what the result of that would be. Although I want to oppose the Bill, I am afraid I shall have to vote against this Amendment if it goes to a Division.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "and if the prisoner fails so to comply or return he may be arrested without warrant and taken back to prison."
My desire is that the Clause should end with the word "State." It is proposed, in the event of a prisoner not returning according to the conditions of her discharge, that the Home Office shall have power to issue a warrant without legal trial of any kind for her rearrest. The point I submit to legal minds is that a prisoner's violation of such an Order is a new offence, and that the power to issue a warrant in respect of that new offence should rest with the judge—that before the power of arrest is put into execution the matter should go before a Court of Law in some shape or form. I do not profess to be learned in the law, but I understand this is the case at the present time. Supposing Mrs. Pankhurst, when the term of her licence expires, refuses to return to prison. What action will the Home Secretary then take? Will the Home Secretary tell us whether he has power to issue a warrant from the Home Office for her arrest, or whether he will not be compelled to apply to a Court of Law for a warrant to secure that arrest. We have given the Home Office under this Bill a great many too large powers, which conceivably may one day be used very injuriously and harshly. I want, as far as possible, to put a curb and check upon the execution of those powers, and to say that if a prisoner who is out on licence does not return to the prison when the period for which the licence is granted has expired, the Home Office must apply to a Court of Law for a warrant to arrest the prisoner and take her—it should be "her" and not "he" in all these Clauses—back to prison. I am not arguing the legal point, but I submit that the violation of the licence is a fresh offence, and should only be dealt with in and by a Court of Law.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I understand that what the hon. Member objects to is that in the event of a breach of the licence, this Bill proposes to give power to arrest the prisoner without warrant. I do not understand that he objects to the prisoner being arrested upon a warrant and taken back to prison. In that case he should move to make the Sub-section read:—and if the prisoner fails so to comply or return he may be arrested and taken back to prison.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
If the Sub-section ended at the word "State," the ordinary process of law would come into operation without any further words being inserted.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Then the prisoner could only be rearrested upon proof of a new offence. That would not do at all. I very much doubt whether we could issue a warrant for a new offence of itself. Unless we take powder under this Bill, I am not at all sure that we should succeed. Clearly we ought not to be under that liability. If there has been a breach of the conditions of a licence by a prisoner who ought to be in prison, and who is only out of prison in consequence of the prisoner's own misconduct, clearly the prisoner ought to be brought back to prison upon the original offence. I understood from the hon. Member's argument that the only difference between us was whether the arrest should be with or without warrant. Upon that point the hon. Member based his argument upon an alleged statement of the law with regard to prisoners who are now out of prison under penal servitude licence, and who can only be arrested, as he thinks, upon a warrant.
§ Mr. McKENNA
No, she is under the ordinary ticket-of-leave conditions, which are contained in the Statute. The Home Secretary has power to issue a ticket-of-leave with special conditions, and Mrs. Pankhurst is now on ticket-of-leave under special conditions. Upon a breach of those conditions she can be rearrested 169 without warrant, and I see no reason why the same power should not be given in this Bill as already exists in the case of a prisoner who breaks the conditions of an existing licence. I really think the hon. Member misapprehends the present law. Some provision, he must agree with me, is necessary, and I think the provision proposed in this Bill is the proper provision.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I think for once the Home Secretary has failed to show that humanity which hitherto has marked his conduct in the very difficult position which he occupies in respect to militant suffragist offences. I really think he is failing to consider for the moment what is the underlying condition that applies to all the cases with which this Bill has to deal. It is that the person in question is in such a state of health that her further detention in prison would be actually dangerous to life. The person in question, who it is understood will generally be a female, is to be released for such a period as in the opinion of the medical advisers of the Home Secretary is sufficient to recuperate her to a condition to come back. She is let out upon conditions, and we now have got from the Home Secretary a perfectly clear statement as to what the conditions are going to be, at any rate until further notice. Condition No. 3 is as follows:—The prisoner shall inform the Commissioner of Police of the place of residence to which she goes on her discharge, she shall not change her residence without giving one clear day's previous notice in writing to the Commissioner, specifying the residence to which she goes, and she shall not be temporarily absent from her place of residence for more than twelve hours without giving like notice.Let us look the facts in the face. The class of woman that is imprisoned in respect of these offences is very often a wealthy woman. She has been discharged from prison under the advice of the right hon. Gentleman's medical advisers because her condition of health is such that it is unsafe to keep her there, and she is removed to a nursing house in the Westend. She takes a trip in a Rolls-Boyce to Brighton or Eastbourne.
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman has quite appreciated which Amendment it is. It is to leave out the words, "if the prisoner fails to comply she may be arrested without warrant and taken back to prison." We have passed away from the question what the conditions are on which the release may be granted.
§ Mr. M'CURDY
I am pointing out what are the conditions under which the prisoner will be arrested without a warrant under this Clause, and I am taking the case of a lady who travels in her Rolls-Boyce and suffers a breakdown, to which the best of motor cars are still liable, and she will immediately become liable, in a condition of health in which it is not safe, in the opinion of the medical advisers of the Home Office, that she should be put in prison, to immediate imprisonment and practically to sentence of death under the provisions of this Sub-section because the Rolls-Boyce breaks down and she is unable to return in the twelve hours specified. This is another new offence created by this somewhat remarkable piece of legislation.
It seems to me that there is a distinction between those who go on single tickets and those who go on return tickets. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil suggested that those to whom this Bill should apply should go on single tickets, and that before they are compelled to return they should have a second trial. The Home Secretary seems to me to have made out a good case in this connection. My hon. Friend suggested that he should have consulted those who advise him on matters of law about the return ticket as part of the licence. If those who are let out on licence obey the conditions of the licence there is no reason why they should be put to expense, but if they break the conditions of the licence why put them to the ignominy of a further trial? Why not, under these circumstances, leave the Home Secretary to return them to a place of detention, because they have broken the conditions of the licence? [An HON. MEMBER: "How is it to be proved?"] I agree that there may be difficulty in a particular case, but we are not legislating for a particular case. We are laying down the conditions on which the licence should be given. In nine cases out of ten there will be no difficulty in proving that the licence has been broken. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil will still be in the House of Commons, and if that is so the House will not fail to hear of the tenth case. That being so, why should the persons concerned in the nine cases be put to the trouble, ignominy, and expense of a further police-court persecution? If toy this process of licensing a large number may be saved in life and health from the consequences of 171 their own mistaken action, then at least this Bill should be made effective in order that the whole thing may not be set aside because some of the offenders set at defiance what Parliament has indicated.
§ Mr. A. F. WHYTE
It seems to me that there is a point here with respect to the interpretation of what is meant by failure to comply with the conditions of the licence. How is the Home Secretary to satisfy himself that there has been a violation of the licence, especially in the case of these women on whom suspicion falls so easily just now? Many instances could be imagined in which a woman let out on licence might fall under such suspicion. I think there is a good deal in the point raised by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil as to the enforcing of the conditions read out by the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
There is a great deal more in this than seems to be appreciated by the Committee as to the meaning of failure to comply with the conditions of the licence. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans) argued that it would be unfair to put prisoners in future to the expense of Police Court procedure when an application was made for a warrant. It is scarcely probable that a prisoner would have to bear the expense. The real danger of the present procedure is this: Who is to prove to the prison authorities or the Home Secretary that one of the conditions has not been complied with? Of course, if a prisoner does not return, it is simple enough. You can go and find him and arrest him. But if a prisoner has been released for five or six weeks, someone may say that one of the conditions of the licence has been broken. The Clause does not say whether it is the Home Secretary or a police officer who is to say that a person has broken one of the conditions. One person may say that a woman has left her house, and another may say, "I saw her go out and break a window," and without any authorisation by the Home Secretary she is to be brought back to prison. Surely there ought to be some provision inserted in the Bill, that before a man or woman is rearrested, there should be some authorisation by the Home Secretary or some officer of police, for bringing the person back to prison. As it stands now the Bill says that he may be arrested without warrant and taken back to prison. 172 It does not say on whose application, by whose authority or by whom. Surely that is not satisfactory.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The Home Secretary should give some answer to the arguments advanced by the last speaker. It seems to me that the common informer, whoever he may be, may go to the Home Office and say that a certain prisoner who has been let out on licence should be arrested and taken back to prison because she, in his opinion, has committed a certain offence. On whose authority is this woman going to be arrested? This is an entirely new procedure in law. My hon. and learned Friend says that it is entirely opposed to the principles of Magna Charta. I submit that this Amendment is a good one and should be accepted.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
Has the Home Secretary anything in his mind as to how these conditions are to be proved? Suppose that a prisoner has made application on the advice of a medical attendant to have the period of licence extended and the medical officer of the Home Office says that she is not entitled to the extension, then if she does not turn up at the prison she can be arrested immediately and without a warrant. Surely, that is a case for investigation. The arrest may be such as to endanger the life of the prisoner. Take the fourth condition—to abstain from violation of the law. That is a very wide and vague phrase. Suppose a wrong charge was brought against one of these unfortunate licensees, is she to have no opportunity of having the charge tried before she is arrested? Has the Home Secretary in his mind any rules or regulations as to the procedure in a case like this? Such cases are bound to arise and especially in the class of case which we are considering, and on perhaps a vague word or sentence to place in the hands of the Home Office unlimited powers of arresting prisoners on licence is a thing that should not be permitted. I hope that the Home Secretary will, even now, reconsider his decision, and if he cannot accept the whole of this Amendment that he will at least accept such modifications as to prevent what might possibly be a very serious wrong being done.
§ Mr. McKENNA
As I understand the difficulty which some hon. Members have 173 it is that this prisoner is lawfully out upon licence for a particular period. During the currency of that period the prisoner is wrongfully rearrested without warrant, the prisoner having committed no breach of the conditions. That is, I understand, the case put. The answer to that case would be that the prisoner would have all the rights of the Habeas Corpus Act, and better still, would have the right to bring an action for false imprisonment.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Against the person who arrested him, or who gave the order for arrest. Unless the conditions of the Act of Parliament are broken, there is no right to rearrest without a warrant. Where they have been broken, then the person who rearrests without a warrant is liable to an action for false imprisonment. [An HON. MEMBER: "On the Order of the Home Office?"] This has nothing to do with the Order of the Home Office, it has reference to the Habeas Corpus Act, and the fact that it was an Order of the Home Office would not be the least answer if a released prisoner were wrongly rearrested during the licensed period.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
The right hon. Gentleman said that if a released prisoner was wrongfully rearrested there would be private right of action for false imprisonment. Against whom?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Against the person who made the rearrest or the person who gave the order for it. It is nothing new. Whoever wrongfully arrests or gives a wrongful order for arrest is liable to action. The only case we have to contemplate is that of a prisoner who wishes to escape the conditions laid down by the law. The prisoner who has been wrongfully rearrested has precisely the same remedy as any other person who has been wrongfully arrested—he has his right of action. I really think my hon. Friend, in pressing this point, is under some misapprehension, both as to the construction of the existing law and as to the possible effect of this Bill.
§ Mr. MARTIN
The Bill gives power to rearrest the prisoner if he does not return, or if he fails to fulfil the conditions of his release. It has been shown very clearly that the provision—to which my hon. Friend objects—for the arrest of a released prisoner who does not return to prison at the end of the licensed period is entirely unnecessary. That seems very clear to me, and for this reason that the prisoner is only allowed out temporarily, and when the time expires the prisoner should be in gaol, and is in the same position as if he had escaped from gaol, and, of course, any officer of the law can go and take him back. It requires no provision of the Statute to allow the officer to do so.
That particular provision is utterly useless to the Bill, and therefore should not be there. It has been alleged, and the right hon. Gentleman did not dispute it, that the Order contained in the first part of this Clause, that the prisoner shall comply with the conditions of the licence, creates a statutory offence, and the right hon. Gentleman proposes by this Clause to arrest that person for violating this statutory offence. He says that does not matter at all because there is always protection if the person arrested has not violated the law, as he can sue for wrongful arrest. That means he would have to prove his innocence, and it is against the foundations of British law that any person should be called on with regard to criminal law on indictment to prove his innocence. For instance, the prisoner might easily be twelve hours away from her residence, and therefore break the conditions, and yet it might be most unreasonable for the Government to press that. I personally do protest against this, that we are called on to make an offence by Statute which would not otherwise be so. An hon. Member said, what good would it be to sue the policemen? If the right hon. Gentleman would alter the Clause to make the Home Secretary personally liable, then there might be some satisfaction in suing the author of legislation of this kind. The right hon. Gentleman told us that there was Habeas Corpus, and, if that did not work, a writ could be issued for damages against the police officer who happened to arrest the prisoner. I do submit, in dealing with this very difficult subject, because we all admit it is so, it is certainly a great mistake, in the presence of the opinion of the suffragette mind, to 175 introduce legislation of this kind. I submit that the right hon. Gentleman cannot produce a single Statute similar to this Bill, where an offence is created by the Statute, where the Government are then allowed to determine whether the prisoner has violated the conditions—which is a matter of fact upon which a mistake might well be made—and arrest him or her without warrant. I submit that it is unnecessary. It is an absurd proposition in any event, because the prisoner is let out for a certain definite time which in the opinion of the medical adviser of the Home Secretary is required for the person to recuperate her health, and if during that period she violates the law in any respect whatever any police officer can arrest her, take her back to gaol, and probably kill her. What satisfaction would it be to that woman after she was dead to know that her representatives—assuming that her right of action would pass to her representatives—could sue the police officer, go to the expense of £500 or £600 in costs, and then find that the police officer had no goods, chattels, or land to satisfy the claim? If my hon. Friend goes to a Division I shall have great pleasure in supporting him.
§ Mr. HOHLER
I cannot understand how an action for false imprisonment would lie. If in fact the period for which the prisoner was released did not count as part of her sentence. The moment she was rearrested she would be serving her original sentence. But I oppose the Amendment on quite another ground. It seems to me that it proceeds upon an entire misapprehension of the purpose of the Bill. The Bill is in the interests of humanity. That, at any rate, is my view. These misguided women think that they can defeat the law by hunger-striking. To enable the Home Secretary to do what he cannot otherwise do they are to be released on licence. What is the object of the licence. While the prisoner is out the time does not count, but the moment the woman is rearrested it counts as part of the sentence. I can see no danger or anxiety about it. In substance it is provided that the prisoner shall be of good conduct; the moment she ceases to be of good conduct she will go back to prison. That is the whole purport of the Clause. Therefore I shall oppose the Amendment.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
We have had no answer from the Home Secretary to the question of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Colchester as to what happens when a prisoner is wrongfully rearrested by a police officer on the order of someone unknown. The House has not had the information as to who the person is supplied to it. This Clause alters the whole system of criminal law in this country. The prisoner may be absolutely innocent, but he or she may be brought back to prison on the word of a common informer who may or may not be wrong. It may be a Government or other official who, not knowing exactly what has happened, may issue an order saying that the prisoner may be rearrested. The rearrested prisoner, committed again to prison, starts a hunger strike, and the Home Secretary proceeds under the powers of the Bill to forcibly feed him. Does the Home Secretary say that under those conditions there should be no safeguard against a prisoner being, without a warrant, wrongfully arrested and brought back to prison? We ought to have the Law Officers of the Crown here! It has always been the practice when Bills of this sort, altering the criminal law of the country, were put forward, that the Law Officers should be present to state the effect of the change. I think the Amendment is one of substance. I am opposed to the whole Bill, and shall take what steps I may to defeat it. It is admittedly a cruel Bill. Does the Home Secretary seriously say that a person wrongfully rearrested can sue the policeman? If the policeman acts upon authority under the thumb-screw methods of torture of the provisions of this Bill—does the right hon. Gentleman say the prisoner's only remedy is a right of action against the policeman? It is perfectly ludicrous. We should have the Law Officers of the Crown here to advise us as to what the state of the law really is.
§ Question put, that the words, "(2) Any prisoner so discharged shall comply with any conditions stated in the Order of temporary discharge, and shall return to prison at the expiration of the period stated in the Order, or of such extended period as may be fixed by any subsequent Order of the Secretary of State, and if the prisoner fails so to comply," stand part of the Clause.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 257; Noes, 37.179
|Division No. 65.]||AYES.||[10.54 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Morison, Hector|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Greig, Colonel J W.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Gretton, John||Muldoon, John|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Griffith, Ellis J.||Munro, R.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Murray, Captain A. C.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Nicholson, Sir G. (Doncaster)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Gulland, John William||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Hackett, J.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barnston, Harry||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||O'Dowd, John|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hancock, John George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Malley, William|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harris, Henry Percy||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Shee, James John|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hayden, John Patrick||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Bird, A.||Hazleton, Richard||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Boland, John Pius||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Henry, Sir Charles||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Brady, P. J.||Higham, John Sharp||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hinds, John||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Houston, Robert Paterson||Radford, G. H.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Illingworth, Percy H.||Reddy, M.|
|Campion, W. R.||John, Edward Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Cassel, Felix||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Cave, George||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joyce, Michael||Robinson, Sidney|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Keating Matthew||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kelly, Edward||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Clough, William||Kilbride, Denis||Rowlands, James|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||King, J.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lardner, James C. R.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Crooks, William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E B.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Levy, Sir Maurice||Sheehy, David|
|Cullinan, John||Lewis, John Herbert||Shortt, Edward|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Lewisham, Viscount||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lundon, Thomas||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lyell, Charles Henry||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Delany, William||Lynch, A. A.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Doris, William||McGhee, Richard||Swift, Rigby|
|Duffy, William J.||Maclean, Donald||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macpherson, James Ian||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Falconer, J.||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Farrell, James Patrick||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Fell, Arthur||Manfield, Harry||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Waring, Walter|
|Field, William||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Meagher, Michael||Webb, H.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|France, G. A.||Middlebrook, William||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Furness, Stephen||Millar, James Duncan||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Molloy, M.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morgan, George Hay||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Morrell, Philip||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Wing, Thomas||Young, W. (Perth, East)|
|Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Wills, Sir Gilbert||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. W. Jones.|
|Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.W.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Adamson, William||Grant, J. A.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Baird, J. L.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hudson, Walter||Royds, Edmund|
|Barnes, George N.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Jowett, Frederick William||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Thomas, J. H.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Malcolm, Ian||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Markham, Sir Arhur Basil||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Martin, Joseph|
|Gardner, Ernest||Parker, James (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Snowden.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot accept that Motion. It has been decided to suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule for the consideration of this Bill, and therefore I cannot accept the Motion.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
On a point of Order. You have not ruled my Amendment with regard to deportation out of order. I therefore ask if it is in Order?
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is entirely outside the scope of the Bill as passed in Second Reading, and I could not accept an Amendment of that kind.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Would it be in order if I amended it to provide that after deportation the prisoner would have to return to prison?
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member sought to move it in that amended form, I should have to refer him to the Rule we have against Amendments tendered in a spirit of mockery.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
Hon. Members will be aware that the period during which a licence exists is not reckoned as part of the sentence passed upon a prisoner, but if, as I propose, Sub-section (3) were left out, it would be reckoned as part of the sentence itself. I submit that under all the circumstances of the case the ends of justice would be amply served if the Sub-section were left out altogether. I am quite aware of the fact that there is a great difference between an ordinary 180 ticket-of-leave for a convict and the licence proposed to be granted under this Bill. But when one remembers the circumstances under which the licence is granted, and what may be implied if this Sub-section remains, I hope that both the Government and the Committee will see the wisdom of agreeing to the deletion of this Section.
Let me remind the Committee what happens when one of these militant women is convicted of an offence. Bear in mind, first, the reason for committing that offence. It was to protest against the withholding from her of the vote. She is convicted and sent to prison, and maintains her protest by refusing to recognise the laws under which she was convicted, because she had no voice in making them. She goes on fighting, and resists being fed by force, and finally her condition of health becomes such that the Home Secretary, under the powers given him by this Bill releases her for, it may be, a period of ten days or a fortnight. At the end of that time she is required to go back and renew the struggle, the period she is out on licence not being counted in reckoning her sentence. If she were an ordinary criminal there would be a justification for this Sub-section, but I submit that you cannot consider the case of these women offenders without taking into account the reason for their being in prison. They are not there because they are criminals of the ordinary type or because they are breaking the law for their personal gain.
Their tactics and their methods may be mistaken, but it cannot be disputed that the end they have in view—the securing of votes for the women of the country—takes them out of the category of the ordinary criminal, and the fight they 181 make in refusing food and the time they spend in recovering their health ought to be taken into account when reckoning the extent of the sentence which has been imposed on them. It appears to me that, both from the point of view of ordinary humanity and from that of not inflicting a double punishment upon those women who are fighting for what they believe to be their right, this Committee would be well advised to accept the Amendment, so that the time spent in recovery from the illness caused by hunger striking shall be reckoned as part of the sentence, as otherwise a sentence of six months might extend itself indeterminately. The women will not accept this Bill lightly. It is no use expecting to break down their spirit. That simply cannot be done. Call them fanatics or what you will, you must reckon on the fact that their spirit cannot be broken. Therefore the Committee should recognise the motive behind their action. Punish them for their offence, but do not make the punishment vindictive, as it will be if this Sub-section remains in the Bill.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I wish to say one word with regard to an Amendment which was called a mockery. I put it down with no intention of moving it as a mockery. It was in a form advocated by the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin (Lord Robert Cecil) and many other public men.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Baronet will observe that I was referring to the amended form of the Amendment.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
It was put down in the amended form in order to bring it within the scope of the Bill. If there is any mockery, this Bill is a mockery, because it will never be worth the paper upon which it is written. I can take some satisfaction to myself in knowing that the House of Commons is making itself ridiculous, as events will prove. With reference to the Amendment before the Committee, I support it on the ground that this Bill is put forward for the purpose of dealing with people who are fighting for what I believe to be a just cause—obtaining the franchise for women. This Bill is not aimed at ordinary criminals, and these people cannot be classed as ordinary criminals. Hon. Members on the Irish benches who have come in seem to be impatient. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] When any measure for giving strong powers to the police in Ireland was 182 brought forward, they were always the first to resist any violation of the rights and liberties of the subject. Seeing that this Bill makes very strong inroads on the liberty of the subject, I should have thought we should have had some support from the Irish party, particularly in regard to this Amendment. This Bill will apply only to political prisoners, and gives the Home Secretary sufficient powers without this Sub-section. A prisoner who has been forcibly fed has gone through struggles with the warders and doctors. The time she spends in a nursing home recovering from the pain and torture the Government propose to inflict upon her might reasonably be counted as part of the sentence. This is a Bill for the purpose of torturing prisoners to prevent them arriving at their just rights. I therefore support the Amendment, and hope that the Committee will accept it as being reasonable in view of all the circumstances.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I do not think the Government are making a fair allowance on this Question for the suffering which has been undergone. In former days when the Tory party were in office, and it used to be alleged that many prosecutions were futile, that juries either acquitted or disagreed, I always pointed out that any bringing of a person to trial involves pain, suffering, loss, trouble, and concern in the family and to the accused himself. Here it is a fortiori. Let us take this case. Is there any Member of the House who would undergo, not a fast for seven or ten days, but who would go without his dinner for one day if he could help it? Here are these women undergoing fasting for three, four, five, six, or seven days, and thereby they are reduced to a condition which compels the Government to discharge them. In other words, they have subjected themselves to a punishment far greater than if they had served the entire month or six weeks to which they have been sentenced. It is a most reasonable suggestion that the amount of release that they have obtained shall at least count as part of their sentence. I have always admitted that the Government are in a position of considerable difficulty. I have never joined in the attacks on the Home Secretary. On the contrary I think he has discharged a most difficult duty with humanity and consideration. I have never appealed to him on behalf of these ladies, for consideration 183 in vain. I do not say this in any spirit of attack on the Government, but I think the view taken by the hon Member (Mr. Keir Hardie) is the correct one, and if double the amount of time was given it would not be too much. I therefore think the Under-Secretary, who is himself a sympathiser with the cause of Women Suffrage, might take this occasion, with the general sense of the House. I do not think there is a single Member of the House who from a party or any other reason would find it necessary to oppose this proposal. It is a moderate and just proposal, and I hope it may be accepted.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I am sure the Committee have listened to the hon. and learned Gentleman with very great interest. Of course, it is easy to talk about balancing and adjusting sentences, but it is not so easy in fact. What the prisoner has to undergo is the sentence the Court has passed upon him. The argument on the other side is that although the prisoner has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, yet in the first six, seven, or eight days of the imprisonment he chose to take a certain action that brought a punishment upon himself—not a sentence of the Court but a sentence inflicted by the prisoner by himself upon himself. The hon. and learned Member says, "Although that is the fault of the prisoner, yet as the result of that misconduct is that the prisoner has got into such a state of ill-health that the Home Secretary thinks it right to discharge him from prison, the least you can do is to count all these days as part of the current sentence. It is a balance and a just thing." I do not think any Government could accept the responsibility of balancing sentences. All these are sentences of the Court, and it all depends on how grave the ill-health is, whether the offender is to remain out of prison. There are a number of circumstances to be taken into account. I think I can point out one objection which is fatal to the Amendment. The hon. Member for the Mansfield Division says this is torture. That is his main objection to the Bill, but he wants to let the prisoners die. We want to allow people in a certain state of health to go out without dying in prison. The Committee can decide which is the torturing process. I do not think there is another Member of the Committee who would support him to-night. That is the difference of opinion. Supposing this Sub-section is omitted, and a prisoner is dis- 184 charged through ill-health. She escapes and manages to keep in hiding for the duration of the sentence.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The Sub-section says:—Where a prisoner under sentence is discharged in pursuance of an order of temporary discharge the currency of the sentence shall be suspended from the day on which he is discharged from prison under the order to the day on which he is received back into prison, so that the former day shall be reckoned and the latter shall not be reckoned as part of the sentence.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I do argue the matter seriously. At the end of seven days the prisoner has escaped from justice——
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
No, I do not think I will. I did not interrupt my hon. Friend. I think it is a serious matter. I do not know any reason at all why my hon. Friend should suppose that I do not think that it is a serious matter. I have been thinking very seriously of this matter, and I hope he will understand that whoever has any anxiety about the matter, it is we who are responsible for the administration of the law who are anxious to end the present condition of affairs. I think that is a point of substance. When the hon. Member asks us to say that this period of enforced absence shall count as part of the sentence, I do not think that it is possible for us to take that request into account. My hon. Friend knows perfectly well that the law has to be enforced. It does not necessarily follow that a sentence of six months shall be worked out in prison. A certain amount must be left to the discretion of the Home Secretary, who advises with respect to the exercise of the prerogative of pardon. I think it would not only be difficult, but impossible to accept the Amendment. If a prisoner after spending a week or two in prison were to be let out for two or three months through ill-health caused by her own conduct, I do not think you could seriously say that is carrying out the sentence of the Court.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I think that the Under-Secretary is under a complete misapprehension. The whole point of my argument is not that if a prisoner escapes, but that if she is out on licence the period during which she is out on licence should count as part of the sentence. Therefore the escape argument does not apply at all. I do not know whether the Government are in a position to reconsider this matter on the report stage, and whether they will not be able to make some change. If not I shall press this matter to a division.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
If there is to be a Report stage, I would suggest that the hon. Member should not press the matter to a division now, because if he does the Government may be hardened, with the result that he will get no concession on the Report stage. I would suggest that this is a matter which requires some consideration. I do not think that the answer of the hon. Member (Mr. Ellis Griffith) meets the entire matter. Let us leave the matter over for the present, and let an undertaking be given by the Home Office that between this and then they will consider the matter, so that the Government may bring a fresh mind to the matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Baronet will address his remarks to me, it will conduce better to the maintenance of order.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The hon. Member for Cork appealed to the Government to reconsider the matter. No Amendments are being accepted under this Bill. Therefore how is it possible under the procedure of this House to follow the suggestion of the hon. Member and not to go to a division, because the attitude of the
§ Government will prevent us from having any report stage at all?
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I think this is the most important part of the whole Bill. A woman is sentenced to six months' imprisonment. She has been arrested. She has been tried, which is a serious matter, and she is sentenced, which is an infinitely more serious matter, and in all this a great amount of pain and suffering is involved. If she is released after three weeks for a week, what would that mean? It would mean that the woman would be rearrested six times during the six months, and she would be practically starved almost to death. She would take three weeks each time to recover, and I cannot help feeling that six starvations of that description, and five arrests in addition to the first arrest, would be a terrible punishment. It is far more punishment mentally and physically in every respect than if the women were six months in gaol in the ordinary course. I cannot help feeling that it would be very unjust and unfair. The Under-Secretary, in his reply, rather indicated that the Secretary of State would be prepared to meet such cases so as to mitigate the terrible severity of the punishment to some extent by exercising the prerogative of the Home Office; but if we pass the Bill as it is it will inflict a terrible punishment upon these poor misguided women—a punishment out of proportion to the crime committed. I appeal to the Home Secretary to see whether he cannot promise to do something to mitigate the effect of this terrible clause, something which will have the effect of inflicting not too terrible punishments, which, whenever inflicted, either by legislation or in the ordinary course of the law, defeat the ends in view. Sentences will not be inflicted because of the terrible consequences that might ensue. I join with the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork in asking, is there no possible way of meeting the feeling that something ought to be done upon this very important question?
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 31.187
|Division No. 66.]||AYES.||[11.41 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baird, J. L.||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Barrie, H. T.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Barnston, Harry||Beck, Arthur Cecil|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Shee, James John|
|Bird, A.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Boland, John Plus||Higham, John Sharp||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hinds, John||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Cave, George||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Reddy, M.|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Keating, Matthew||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kellaway, Frederick George||Robinson, Sidney|
|Clough, William||Kelly, Edward||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Kilbride, Denis||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||King, J.||Rowlands, James|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Crooks, William||Lardner, James C. R.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Davies, E. William (Eiflon)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lewis, John Herbert||Sheehy, David|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lewisham, Viscount||Shortt, Edward|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Delany, William||Lundon, Thomas||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lyeli, Charles Henry||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lynch, A. A.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Doris, W.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Duffy, William J.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||McGhee, Richard||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Tennant, Harold John|
|Falconer, J.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macpherson, James Ian||Toulmin, Sir George|
|French, Peter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Trevelyan, Charles Philip|
|Field, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Malcolm, Ian||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Manfield, Harry||Waring, Walter|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|France, G. A.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Webb, H.|
|Furness, Stephen||Meagher, Michael||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Millar, James Duncan||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Molloy, Michael||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Morgan, George Hay||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Morrell, Philip||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Gretton, John||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Mount, William Arthur||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Muldoon, John||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury, S. Edmunds)||Munro, R.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N)|
|Gulland, John William||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wing, Thomas|
|Hackett, John||Nicholson, Sir C. N. (Doncaster)||Wood. John (Stalybridge)|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Hancock, John George||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Younger, Sir George|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Dowd, John|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. William Jones.|
|Hay ward, Evan||O'Malley, William|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Adamson, William||Hudson, Walter||Rutherford, Watson (L'pcol, W. Derby).|
|Bigland, Alfred||John, Edward Thomas||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Snowden, Philip|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||M'Crudy, Charles Albert||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Martin, Joseph||Touche, George Alexander|
|Goldstone, Frank||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Grant, J. A.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Markham and Mr. C. Duncan.|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Roach, Walter F.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
§ Mr. McKENNA
claimed to move, "That the Question 'That the Clause stand part of the Bill' be now put." [HON. MEMBERS: "Gag."]
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 191; Noes, 49.191
|Division No. 67.]||AYES.||[11.50 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Malley, William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Shee, James John|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Hayward, Evan||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hazleton, Richard||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Henry, Sir Charles||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Higham, John Sharp||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hinds, John||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pointer, Joseph|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Bird, A.||Hudson, Walter||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Boland, John Pius||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||John, Edward Thomas||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, North)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Reddy, Michael|
|Brady, P. J.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Keating, Matthew||Robinson, Sidney|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Kelly, Edward||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Kilbride, Denis||Rowlands, James|
|Chancellor, H. G.||King, J.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Clough, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Lardner, James C. R.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Sheehy, David|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lewis, John Herbert||Shortt, Edward|
|Crooks, William||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lundon, Thomas||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leltrim, S.)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lynch, A. A.||Sutherland, John E.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Delany, William||McGhee, Richard||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Maclean, Donald||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Devlin, Joseph||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Doris, W.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Duffy, William J.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Waring, Walter|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Manfield, Harry||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Falconer, J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Webb, H.|
|Ferrell, James Patrick||Meagher, Michael||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Field, William||Millar, James Duncan||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Molloy, M.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Morgan, George Hay||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morrell, Philip||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|France, G. A.||Muldoon, John||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Furness, Stephen||Munro, R.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wing, Thomas|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Nicholson, Sir C. N. (Doncaster)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Younger, Sir George|
|Gulland, John William||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Donnell, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Hackett, J.||O'Dowd, John|
|Hancock, John George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Adamson, William||Bigland, Alfred||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Baird, J. L.||Booth, Frederick Handel||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Barnston, Harry||Butcher, J. G.||Glanville, Harold James|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cave, George||Goldstone, Frank|
|Grant, J. A.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Snowden, Philip|
|Gretton, John||Macpherson, James Ian||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Malcolm, Ian||Thomas, J. H.|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Martin, Joseph||Touche, George Alexander|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Roch, Walter F.|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Royds, Edmund||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Markham and C. Duncan.|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Ciltheroe)|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."192
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 208; Noes, 30.193
|Division No. 68.]||AYES.||[12.0 m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Morrell, Philip|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Muldoon, John|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Munro, R.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gulland, John W.||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Baird, J. L.||Hackett, J.||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Barnston, Harry||Hancock, John George||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Barrie, Hugh T.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Dowd, John|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hayward, Evan||O'Malley, William|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hazleton, Richard||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Boland, John Pius||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Shee, James John|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hinds, John||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Brady, P. J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bryce, John Annan||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Butcher, J. G.||John Edward Thomas||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pollard, Sir George K.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cave, George||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joyce, Michael||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Keating, Matthew||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Reddy, Michael|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kelly, Edward||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kilbride, Denis||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Clough, William||King, J.||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lardner, James C. R.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Crooks, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lewis, John Herbert||Rowlands, James|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Lewisham, Viscount||Royds, Edmund|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lundon, Thomas||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lyell, Charles Henry||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Delany, William||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Sheehy, David|
|Doris, William||McGhee, Richard||Shortt, Edward|
|Duffy, William J.||Maclean, Donald||Simon, Rt Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macpherson, James Ian||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Falconer, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Malcolm, Ian||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Field, William||Manfield, Harry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meagher, Michael||Toulmin, Sir George|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Furness, Stephen||Millar, James Duncan||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Molloy, Michael||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morgan, George Hay||Waring, Walter|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Worthington-Evans. L.|
|Webb, H.||Wills, Sir Gilbert||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Younger, Sir George|
|White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)||Wing, Thomas|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Adamson, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Snowden, Philip|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Houston, Robert Paterson||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hudson, Walter||Thomas, James Henry|
|Glanville, H. J.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Touche, George Alexander|
|Goldstone, Frank||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Grant, James Augustus||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Gretton, John||Martin, Joseph|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Parker, James (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Markham and Mr. C. Duncan.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|