§ (1) During the continuance of a General Election of Members to serve in a new Parliament a person registered as a Parliamentary elector in more than one constituency shall not vote as a Parliamentary elector, or ask for a ballot or voting paper for the purpose of so voting, in more than one of the constituencies in which he is so registered.
§ (2) The following question may be asked of any voter at a poll at a General Election of Members to serve in a new Parliament, in addition to those authorised already to be asked: Have you already voted in any constituency during this General Election? And unless there is an answer given in the negative that person shall not vote. In the case of a university election there shall be inserted in the voting paper, after the words "I declare that," the words "I have not already voted in any constituency during this General Election, and that."
§ (3) If a person acts in contravention of this Section, he shall be guilty of a corrupt practice other than personation, within the meaning of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1883, and the expression "corrupt practice" shall be construed accordingly.
§ (4) The expression "constituency" in this Act means any county, borough, or combination of places, or university or combination of universities, returning a Member to serve in Parliament, and where a county or borough is divided for the purpose of parliamentary elections means a Division of the county or borough so divided.
§ (5) This Act shall not apply to a returning officer—
- (a) by reason of having voted during the General Election under the provisions of the Ballot Act, 1872, Section two;
- (b) by reason of having already voted during the General Election and being desirous of voting under the provisions of the Ballot Act, 1872, Section two.
§ Sir HARRY SAMUEL
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words, "continuance of a General Election of Members to serve in a new Parliament," and to insert instead thereof the words "period between the dissolution of any Parliament and the date on which a new Parliament has been summoned, by Royal Proclamation, to meet."
On the Committee stage of this Bill I moved an Amendment in order to define more clearly what is really the time during which a General Election takes place, and I desire now to move this Amendment, because, although we then had an interesting argument from the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill, and although I have refreshed my memory by reading the reply of the Solicitor-General, I am not for a moment persuaded it would not be wise to make clear in this Bill the exact period at which a General Election begins and ends. It requires some little courage to renew the combat seeing that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was a little ironical in his treatment of the remarks in which I endeavoured to approach the question from a common sense point of view. But I return again to the attack showing perhaps a few scars as a result of his rapier play. In a Bill of this kind, when we are dealing with matters in a light in which they have never been dealt with before, I submit it is desirable we should have clear and definite language to describe the period of a General Election. I have looked up the Debate to see what possible excuse the Solicitor-General had for refusing my Amendment on that occasion, and I find he said:—The truth about the matter is that a General Election lasts from the time that the elections begin after one Parliament is ended, and cover every election that takes place until the new Parliament meets." [OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st July, 1913, col.l774, Vol. LIV.]That seems a perfectly accurate description of a General Election, and if the right hon. and learned Gentleman will turn to my Amendment he will find that I have altered the words which I suggested on the Committee stage, and in order to adapt them to his definition of a General Election. We have been reminded by the Solicitor-General that ignorance of the law is no excuse for disobeying it. I agree, but I wish he would recollect that all electors are not gifted with either his legal training or so much common sense as those who have had the training and experience of this House. I ask him to try to put himself in the position not of an elector 769 gifted with the greatest amount of common sense, but of the elector who has the least amount of common sense. In the interests of everything that makes for clearness and definiteness we should be well advised gifted with the greatest amount of common-sense, but of the elector who has the least amount of common-sense. In the interests of eerything that makes for and definiteness we should be well-advised to include the Amendment in the Bill. We ought not to leave anything to chance. The Bill creates two new offences, voting in more than one constituency at any General Election, and asking for a voting paper for the purpose of so voting. Both those actions have up to the present time been looked upon not as crimes but as actions to be commended.
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
I was trying to show that we should look upon this as a Bill which inflicts new penalties, therefore, we ought to make it perfectly definite, not only as regard the particular offences and the penalties to be paid, but also as regards the exact time in which the offences can be committed.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is perfectly right there. There need be no dispute about the fact that the Bill creates new penalties. That proposition is not disputed, and he need not argue it.
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
I will not pursue it further. There ought not to be any ambiguity. If we permit any in the Bill it will be nothing short of a cruel hardship upon the electors of this country. If in the opinion of the Solicitor-General I was wrong in endeavouring to claim for myself and others that we should look at the matter from the common sense point of view, I will agree that we must not look at it from that point of view, but from the legal point of view. I have looked through a large number of legal works and cannot find in any of them a reference to a General Election, simply in the term "General Election." There is one well-known work which defines the period of a General Election almost precisely in the words of the Solicitor-General. If he, as a great legal authority, and other legal authorities all agree as to the exact legal definition of a General Election, I will drop the common sense point of view and adopt the legal aspect. If it is a wise thing to have precise drafting in an Act of Parliament, I 770 would ask him whether he cannot consent to this very simple definition of the period of a General Election. I know that, in regard to this Bill, brevity is desired by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and I understand the reasons for it, but the Solicitor-General is the last man in the world who ought to allow any Bill to be drafted in a slovenly manner. In the interests of the dignity of this House I appeal to him to accept the Amendment, which makes no alteration in the principle, but certainly makes for clearness and definiteness.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. J. A. Pease)
The Government do not, of course, take any special exception to the words which have been suggested by the hon. Member. It is merely a question of drafting, and whether the words he suggests are surplusage or otherwise. I do not think there was any very caustic cleverness in the speech made by the Solicitor-General when he replied to this Amendment in Committee. I have read that speech carefully, and it seems to me that he stated the case so clearly that it is almost unnecessary for the Government to repeat what he then said. We believe that the Courts understand and that everybody understands what a General Election is without the definition the hon. Member proposes to insert in the Bill. There is no ambiguity and no possibility of ambiguity in the words as they appear in the Bill at present—so I am assured by all my advisers responsible for the drafting of the Bill. It has not been drafted in a slovenly way in connection with this particular provision, and the words in the Bill are incapable of any misunderstanding whatsoever. As the proposal of the hon. Member merely means a surplusage of words and will not add to the meaning of the Bill we do not think there is any great advantage in accepting the words, and I think we ought to resist the Amendment.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman does not see his way to accept this Amendment, which he admits makes no change in the substance of the Bill, although it makes the intention of the Government clearer. The reason given by the right hon. Gentleman is the same as was given by the Solicitor-General in Committee, and is that everybody knows what is meant by 771 the phrase "General Election," that it is a phrase "well understanded of the people," and therefore it is not necessary to put in any accurate legal definition in the Bill. That is an unfortunate line for any Government to take as regards a matter of this kind. This Bill is not to be interpreted by the man in the street, but by the Courts. In interpreting any Bill imposing penalties or taxation upon the subject—this Bill certainly imposes penalties on the subject; I might almost say savage and vindictive penalties—the practice of the Courts is to construe it very strictly. The penalties which are to be inflicted by the Court are to be in accordance with the provisions of the Corrupt Practices Acts. One naturally inquires what is the habit of the Court in construing the words "General Election" in relation to the Corrupt Practices Acts. Hon. Members who know anything of election law know perfectly well that if there is one thing which is more indefinite than anything else, it is the construction the Courts apply to the words "General Election in reference to the Corrupt Practices Acts. There have been all sorts of conflicting decisions and conflicting dicta, from the Kensington case on the one side to a Scottish case on the other, and really at present there is no definite decision of the Courts as to when the period of a General Election begins or ends. The Solicitor-General says everyone has a pretty shrewd idea of what is meant by a General Election, but it is precisely over these things about which everyone thinks the man in the street can have no doubt at all that you very frequently have had some of the most difficult and surprising decisions from the Courts. You have had, for instance, the Betting Act of 1 853, which said no place was to be kept or used for the purpose of betting, and everyone thought he knew what "place" meant, and no doubt the Government thought they knew. But the Courts took a very different view from the Government of the day. You had the Workmen's Compensation Act. Everyone thought he knew what it meant when it said that a workmen ought to be compensated for an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, but we have not got to the end yet of how the Courts think that Statute ought to be construed. Everyone thought he knew exactly what the liability of trade unions under the Act of 1871 was. Then came a decision of the Courts which was a great 772 surprise to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway and to the general community. All these are cases of phrases which are apparently understanded of the people, but which, when they come to be construed by a Court, have been given some other meaning than that commonly accepted by the man in the street.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I think not. The words suggested by my hon. Friend are quite specific. If the hon. Member has any suggestion to make as to improved wording, no doubt my hon. Friend will be glad to consider it, but meantime these words are taken for a definition of what the Solicitor-General thought was understood and meant by the phrase "General Election." It adds nothing except in the way of clearness to the Bill, and they take away nothing from what is in the Bill, and I really think the Government would be well advised to consider whether they cannot accept it.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir J. Simon)
The hon. Member has reminded me that these are the words I used in a, debate in the Committee stage. But the expression "General Election" now occurs in this Bill in more places than in, the place which it is now proposed to amend. As the Bill was introduced, the words "General Election" only occurred in this one place, but in order that matters might be perfectly clear and that the most ignorant plural voters, if indeed there are any such persons, should not be misled we accepted the suggestion which was made by an hon. Member opposite, that a man who came to a polling booth should be deliberately asked this question, "Have you already voted in any constituency during this General Election?" I think we have some ground of complaint. Was it right for the party opposite, so anxious in the interests of common sense and clear definition, to ask one of these ambiguous and difficult questions of an otherwise perfectly innocent plural voter? Surely, the least we could expect from hon. Members opposite would be that if we were going to be required to put conundrums to these very worthy citizens they should be expressed in language which a plain man could understand. I hope the hon. Gentleman (Sir H. Samuel) will have it out with the hon. Member (Mr. Staveley-Hill), because it seems monstrous that 773 one man who is anxious to make things perfectly plain, in the name of common sense, should wish to remove this ambiguous expression from the face of the Bill, while another of his colleagues, at the same time, should be introducing it into another part of the same Bill. I concede frankly that the language of the Amendment appears to me to be perfectly apt. I could hardly say otherwise since it is my own language. But while very much flattered, I still have this much of obstinacy in my composition that I think no real advantage is to be gained by changing the words, though I quite agree very little harm would be done.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I think the right hon. Gentleman is right, and under the circumstances my hon. Friend would be well advised not to divide upon the Amendment. At the same time I do not think "General Election" is a very clear phrase. When I first stood for Parliament in May, 1892, my agent asked me if I could find out whether there was likely to be a General Election that summer. I said, "I hope so, but why do you particularly want to know?" He said, "Because it is very doubtful when a General Election really commences, and if you are not very careful you may find that you will be had up for having committed some offence under the Corrupt Practices Act." He was a stranger to me and I to him. I said I did not think there was any risk of my being had up under the Corrupt Practices Act, and, later on, when he knew me better, he never asked me to find out when a General Election was coming. It is evident, however, that many agents are not quite clear what "General Election" means.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I do not think these words would justify the position taken up by the hon. Member opposite. If lawyers tax their ingenuity to interpret various phrases they can do it with any phrase, and there is much more scope in the Amendment than in the mere words "General Election." Even a lawyer would have some difficulty in misinterpreting the phrase "General Election," but amateur lawyers would have no difficulty with regard to this Amendment. It is long-winded and, I should think, can only lead to complications. I will put one before the hon. Gentleman's attention. What about Orkney and Shetland? This House has frequently met without the Member for Orkney and Shetland, and I am told it 774 invaribly does. Hon. Members opposite are so narrow in their views. Are we to have the plural voter waiting to see till the Orkney and Shetland election, and then sail away to record his vote, because it is outside the scope of the Amendment? Surely we ought to know what "General Election" means. It is very simple. I do not think even the plural voter is so illiterate and stupid as the right hon. Gentleman arguing it last was making out last night, and as the hon. Member is making out this morning.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
The point made by the Solicitor-General in resisting the Amendment seems to me a most trivial and unsubstantial debating point. There is nothing in it. His point was that if the Government are wrong in using these loose words the hon. Member for Norwood is wrong also. I do not admit that the hon. Member for Norwood is wrong, but supposing he is, how did he come to use these words? It was after the words which were moved in Committee had been rejected by the Committee. As a matter of fact, Clause 1 Sub-section (2), says that the following question may be asked:
"Have you already voted in any constituency during this General Election?"
That is quite clear, but what is not clear is the meaning of the words,
During the continuance of a General Election…."
How long will a General Election continue? It is to remove that doubt that these words are proposed to be introduced. In the minds of some "the continuance of a General Election" might begin when the Government had announced their intention to dissolve Parliament, and we know the great difficulty there is in finding out when the period of candidature commences. It is one of the most difficult questions in election law. Therefore the words of the Amendment are not mere terms of art, but words which are essential to make the Clause clear. I have heard no argument against the Amendment. The President of the Board of Education has only said that he prefers his own ambiguous drafting.
§ Mr. ROBERT HARCOURT
I think we are entitled to know from the Opposition where they stand. I noticed a very interesting conversation going on, and I 775 think we are entitled to know whether the hon. Member for Norwood will accept the advice given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move, as an Amendment, after the word "Parliament" ["Members to serve in a new Parliament"], to insert the words "of the United Kingdom."
I think the Solicitor-General will see that this is an Amendment of some substance. When it was proposed in Committee the Solicitor-General did not oppose it with any great strength or vehemence. He merely said that the words "new Parliament" would be readily understood to mean the Parliament of the United Kingdom. What possible harm could there be in saying so by inserting these words. If the words are not inserted I do not know whether the Government have realised the consequences that might follow from the ambiguity. Supposing there was within the ambit of the United Kingdom another Parliament set up. When it was proposed in Committee to exempt the House of Keys, I think the Solicitor-General said that the legislation passed by this Parliament did not affect the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands, or any other part of the Empire unless it specifically said so. But undoubtedly this Bill affects all parts of the United Kingdom. Yesterday we had a Debate on the question whether this Bill should apply to Ireland, and it was no answer to refer to the precedents of Canada, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands. It will be in the recollection of the House that proposals have been made for setting up separate Parliaments in Ireland and Scotland. The proposal with regard to Ireland has actually passed through this House. It has not yet become law, and, personally, I hope it will not. If the proposal to set up a Parliament in Scotland is pursued, I hope to oppose it with the same vigour as I have opposed the setting up of a Parliament in Ireland. You cannot say that there is not a possibility of such proposals becoming law, and if you do not insert the words of the Amendment, very curious consequences will follow.
If you admit that the word "Parliament" is ambiguous, you will have this 776 state of things: If there is an election in any part of the United Kingdom—even if it is only an election for Ireland or Scotland—no one will be able to record any more than one vote for any Parliament. Assuming that there is a Parliament set up in Ireland, and a General Election for that is going on at the same time as a General Election for the Imperial Parliament, the result would be—if there is ambiguity about the meaning of the word Parliament—that nobody in any part of the United Kingdom could give more than one vote for any Parliament. If an elector voted for a candidate for the Irish Parliament he could not vote for a candidate for the Imperial Parliament. The same reasons would apply as to Scotland if a Parliament were set up for that country. I do not say it is very likely that there would be simultaneous General Elections for different Parliaments, but there might be overlapping periods. It might be a matter of convenience in Ireland to arrange for a General Election there for the Irish Parliament at the time a General Election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom was going on, and unless the words of the Amendment are inserted in the Clause, very strange effects will follow. What is more likely is that there might be a General Election going on for Ireland or Scotland, and a by-election in England. If an elector voted for a candidate for the Irish Parliament, he would not be able to exercise his right to vote for a candidate for the Imperial Parliament. Certainly the Irish or Scottish courts might have to decide cases arising under the Act, and it would go very much against the grain with them to decide that there was no real Parliament within the meaning of the statute in Ireland or Scotland. If the courts of either country decided that it was a real Parliament, I can imagine the consequences.
There is another and more serious point that arose in connection with the Debate yesterday. In this Bill you are stereotyping the electoral law for Ireland, no matter what in future the Irish Parliament may do. One has to assume for the purpose of argument, that the Bill which this House has passed will become law, and that Bill will make it absolutely necessary to have an amending Bill passed by the Imperial Parliament. I think that that will be so even if this Bill passes before the Government of Ireland Bill; but if the Government of Ireland Bill passes 777 first, there is no doubt that that would be the case. When this point was first raised the President of the Board of Education relied on Section 9 of the Government of Ireland Bill, which gives the Irish Parliament power after three years to alter the qualification and registration of electors and the law relating to elections. I think those words are ambiguous as to whether they would allow the Irish Parliament to legislate in this particular matter of plural voting at all, because this Bill does not prevent a man from voting twice. It only imposes a penalty if he does. Apart from that there is the stronger point that any law of the Irish Parliament must be read subject to any overriding law of the English Parliament, and if this Bill became law, say a year after the Government of Ireland Bill, this Bill would override anything which the Irish Parliament could or would do. Section 41 of the Government of Ireland Bill, in the last Sub-section provides that the Irish Parliament shall not have power to repeal or alter any provision of this Act or any Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the passing of this Act and extending to Ireland, although that provision deals with a matter with respect to which the Irish Parliament have power to make laws. Then the second Sub-section provides—
"where any Act of the Irish Parliament deals with any matter with respect to which the Irish Parliament have power to make laws which is dealt with by any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the passing of this Act and extending to Ireland, the Act of the Irish Parliament shall be read subject to the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and so far as it is repugnant to that Act, but no further, shall be void."
To sum up my argument, the word "Parliament" may be ambiguous. It probably would be held, at any rate in an Irish or Scottish Court, supposing that Scotland also has a Parliament of its own, to apply to the Irish and Scottish Parliaments. Very inconvenient consequences not contemplated by the Government would follow, and in view of that I would ask the Solicitor-General to accept the Amendment. Speaking under post-sealed conditions some days ago, the hon. Gentleman, almost made me blush for my university. May I hope that by his accepting these words I may be made proud of my university once again.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I gather from the concluding sentences of the hon. Gentleman's speech that he blushes very easily, and I would be very glad at the earliest possible moment to relieve him from any inconvenience on that score on this occasion. I still think that the Bill as drafted is perfectly right, and that the language when truly understood and interpreted is not ambiguous. But there is still a great deal of force in what the hon. Gentleman has urged and perhaps all the more force because side by side with this Bill there is the Government of Ireland Bill; and in that Bill undoubtedly you define the expression "the Parliament of the United Kingdom." It is right to put it in there because the Bill naturally suggests a contrast between the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the subordinate Irish Parliament therein created. Though I do not believe myself that any Court which applies true principles of construction could have any doubt as to what is meant by the word "Parliament" yet as the hon. Gentleman has put his argument so strongly and forcibly I do not want to show any unreasonable obstinacy about it. It does not make any difference from our point of view whether we use the one expression or the other, and the only caveat which I ask leave to enter is this that we may have the co-operation of the hon. Gentleman and those who think with him hereafter if we have occasion to insist that if in any Bill in this Imperial Parliament we use the word "Parliament" simpliciter it means this Imperial Parliament and does not mean anything else.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
That would be quite simply arranged if the Government will undertake not to set up any others.
§ Sir J. SIMON
There are various ways in which this desirable consummation may be reached, but so long as we agree about this that we may be at liberty to use that simple word in order to express the Assembly of which we form part, and no other assembly, then I think that a desirable understanding will be arrived at. Having put on record that caveat which I do in the interests of those responsible for drafting Bills hereafter I shall be disposed to recommend the House to make a long story short by accepting this Amendment, and it will be necessary to make a corresponding change in the second Subsection of the Bill where again we have 779 the expression "a General Election of Members to serve in a new Parliament," and if the House accepts this Amendment I shall move to insert there the words "of the United Kingdom" in order to make the two places correspond.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Even if these words be included, would it not be a fact that an Irish elector not voting at an election for the Imperial Parliament would not be able to vote a second time at an election for the Irish Parliament?
§ Sir J. SIMON
This Bill puts beyond all question, if we accept the hon. Gentleman's Amendment, and I think in any case without any Amendment, that it regulates the choice of votes of persons who are entitled to vote for Members of the Imperial House of Commons, and it regulates nothing else on earth. Whether there is any provision in the Home Rule Bill which incidentally reflects upon this Bill is another matter which is proper to to be discussed in connection with that Bill. I do not think that there is any difficulty there either. But as far as this Bill is concerned, it is beyond all question that it is concerned with nothing but regulating the choice which a voter is entitled to exercise in voting for Members of this House in determining which [...]ight he will abandon and which he proposes to retain. In those circumstances, I am prepared to accept the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
I take it that the acceptance of those words now means that the Government are accepting the Clause proposed yesterday excluding Ireland. That is really what it comes to.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member's observations are not in order. He cannot go back on yesterday's decision.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "registered" ["a person registered as"], to insert the words "and qualified."
The insertion of those words will make the Sub-section read: "During the continuance of a General Election of Members to serve in a new Parliament, a person registered and qualified as a Parliamentary elector," and so forth. This looks like a drafting Amendment, but I want to be perfectly frank with the Government: it is not a drafting Amendment; 780 it does make a change in the Bill. I think we are all practically agreed now that the effect of Sub-section (1) constitutes it an offence not only to vote twice during the continuance of the General Election, but to ask twice for a ballot or voting paper for the purpose of voting. Those who were here in Committee will remember that there was a difference of opinion about it, but eventually we got from the Government the statement that that was what the Bill was intended to mean. Accepting the view that it is desirable to penalise a person who, with a guilty intention, asks twice for a ballot or voting paper, being registered in two constituencies, is it not possible, by leaving the words as they stand in the Bill, that a person with a perfectly innocent mind, being registered in two constituencies, may ask for a voting paper and find that, although he is on the register in that constituency, for some reason or other he is not qualified to vote in that constituency? Under these circumstances, if the man is on the register for a constituency and asks for a voting paper there, he is told by the presiding officer that, while it is true he is on the register, he is not qualified to vote there. If I am right in assuming that these things might happen, that man would be unable to go anywhere else without committing the offence of asking for a ballot or voting paper twice. I come to the circumstances under which this may occur. There are two sets of circumstances under which a person may be on the register and yet disqualified to vote. One set may be described as geographical disqualifications, and the other as personal disqualifications. I take the geographical first. Hon. Gentlemen who know a little of election law will remember that the case may frequently occur of a man being on the register in several Divisions—it may be two or more in the same borough. It is provided for in the Registration Act of 1878, Section 28, Sub-section (14):—
"Where the name of any person appears to be entered more than once as a Parliamentary voter on the lists of voters for the same Parliamentary borough, or more than once as a burgess on the burgess lists for the same municipal borough, the revising barrister shall inquire whether such entries relate to the same person, and on proof being made to him that such entries relate to the same person shall retain one of the entries for voting, and place 781 against the other or others a note to the effect that the person is not entitled to vote in respect of the qualification therein contained for the Parliamentary borough or for the municipal borough, as the case may be, he being on the list for voting in respect of another qualification."
Then it proceeds:—
"Any such person may, by notice in writing delivered to the revising barrister at the opening of his first Revision Court, select the entry to be retained for voting, and in making such selection may select one entry to be retained for voting for the Parliamentary borough, and another entry to be retained for voting as a burgess for the municipal borough, but if he does not make any selection the entry to be so retained shall be selected by the revising barrister."
It is quite obvious from what I have said that you may have the case of a man who is on the register in two or even more Divisions of the same borough. It may be through inadvertence on his part that he has not distinctly told the revising barrister—perhaps he has not had the opportunity—the particular Division in which he desires to vote. The revising barrister, in accordance with his duty under the law, has starred his name in one of the Divisions as the only Division in which the man will be allowed to vote. The man approaches the polling both of Division A and ask the presiding officer for a voting paper, and he is told that, while it is true he is on the register, he is disqualified from voting in that Division, and must vote in Division B. Under the Bill as it stands at present, if he goes to Division B and asks for a voting paper and says he wants to vote there he is committing an offence. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] I submit he is. There is only one Division in which he can vote. In the first he was on the register, but not qualified; in the second, he was both registered and qualified, and there he asks a second time for a ballot or voting paper. That is the geographical disqualification. There is another set of disqualifications, the personal or ex-officio disqualifications. There are holders of offices who are disqualified from voting. I quote from Papers on Elections:—By 6 and 7 William IV., cap. 29, sec. 19 (the Dublin Police Act) no justice or receiver appointed under the Act, during the continuance of such appointment, or within six months afterwards, may vote for the counties 782 of Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, or Meath, or for the city of Dublin, or for any city or borough within the Dublin police district, under a penalty of £100.Then I go to my own country, Scotland:—By 19 and 20 Victoria, cap. 58, sec. 8, assessors of Scotch burghs, and by 24 and 25 Victoria, Cap. 83, sec. 13, of Scotch counties (whose duties in the registration of electors are analogous to those of overseers in England), are, while they hold office, disqualified from being registered, or voting, or taking part in any election for such burgh or county.I have given these two sets of circumstances, although I do not attach much importance to the ex-officio disqualifications where they do exist. I submit very respectfully to the Government that the intention of the Bill is to penalise the man who, with a guilty intention, tries to evade the provisions of the Bill. I have done my best as fairly as I can to present the case of a man who with a perfectly innocent intention will contravene the actual provisions of Section 1. I do not believe the Government mean to impose a penalty upon a man under such circumstances. I believe they mean, as the President of the Board of Education said yesterday, to leave the selection open to the plural voter until the last moment, and to give him every chance. As the Bill stands, you are not giving him a chance. If he commits the mistake of happening to go to a place in which he is registered to ask for a voting paper, and finds on arrival he is disqualified, then, if he attempts to vote anywhere else, I suggest he has committed an offence. I do not believe that is the intention of the Government or of the House, and the acceptance of the Amendment would, I believe, effect what is the real wish of the Government and the real feeling of the House.
§ Mr. PEASE
The hon. and learned Member has put one or two imaginary circumstances that, I think, on investigation, will not really be found to be hard cases such as he has represented to the House. First of all, I would point out that we cannot accept such words, "and qualified," because it is quite obvious if a person is not qualified to be placed on the register, and his name does appear on the register, he would then escape the limitations which are placed upon his exercise of the plural vote. That man, although he is not qualified, may have even got on the register fraudulently, and yet, because his name appears on the register, you are going to allow that particular individual to escape the 783 penalty of exercising his plural vote. If anybody ought to be penalised for exercising a plural vote under circumstances of that kind, surely it is the individual who is not qualified to vote and yet whose name happens to be placed on the register. On those grounds alone we would be justified in refusing this Amendment. It is not the duty of the presiding officer to intimate to individuals, who are registered, whether they are qualified or not. If they are on the register the presiding officers accept the vote. I think it is their duty to do so—the vote could be cancelled on a scrutiny. There are a number of individuals who are incapacitated from voting whose names appear on the register, and I am under the impression that it is the duty of the individual who is registered to go into the polling both in the place where he is qualified and to record his vote there. If he goes into a polling both where he is not qualified to record his vote, after all, it is his own look-out, and he must take the consequences. Of all the individuals who have been suggested in the categories mentioned by the hon. and learned Gentleman, not only to-day, but in Committee, I think those are the very sort of individuals who ought to know the law and ought to know where they are entitled to exercise the vote in the place where their names appear on the register. I do not think any hard case can occur, and if a hard case does occur I think the Amendment which I have put down on the Paper later will really deal fairly with it, because in the event of penalties being required, the penalty may be made, in an exceptional case like that, a very trivial one.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I really think the right hon. Gentleman is wrong in saying that this is very unlikely to occur, and I think it is almost certain to occur, and to do so in the very next constituency to his own. In the city of Sheffield there are hundreds of voters, it may be thousands, but certainly hundreds, who are qualified and are on the register for the five Divisions of the city, but they are on the register with a star against them. They are equally registered to vote in any of the Divisions, and it is quite true that they have the option, if they get notice in time, to say which they will vote for. If they do not exercise that option that star is put against their names and very often without their knowledge. Suppose that a General Election takes place a man will say, "I presume I am on the register 784 for (let us say) the Central Division of Sheffield," where his business premises are. Very likely he has his house in my hon. Friend's Division (Ecclesall), and is equally registered for both constituencies. It is very natural and very plausible that when he comes down, say, to vote for me, being on the register and meaning no harm and intending to vote nowhere else, that he is confronted when he gets into the polling both, and I have known it to happen, by the presiding officer, not the returning officer, saying to him, "You know you are not entitled to vote here. Though you are on the register you are starred to vote in the Ecclesall Division." If that happens, and I think it is almost certain to happen in one Division or another, in places like Sheffield or Manchester, he would, by the fact of having asked for a voting paper, however innocently, be disqualified for attempting to vote where he is not only registered but qualified. I speak with a knowledge of one city, but the same practice prevails in many other cities. In the borough of Holborn, for instance, I imagine the same kind of thing would occur. The result of not accepting this Amendment will be that the mere going into the booth by inadvertence—and it may not be inadvertence, because I have known of people who were known partisans being decoyed to the wrong place by emissaries of the other side—and though the man may go perfectly innocently and ask for a paper to vote in a Division for which he is registered, yet because he is not qualified he would thereby be disfranchised for the whole of the rest of the election.
§ Sir ALFRED MOND
I have listened very carefully, but I cannot quite understand the point the hon. Member is trying to make, because it seems to me that they do not at all understand Clause 1. That Clause provides that the elector shall not vote in more than one constituency, and shall not ask for a ballot or voting paper "for the purpose of so voting in more than one of the constituencies in which he is so registered." The gentleman in question has done nothing of the kind. He has not asked for the paper for the purpose of voting in two constituencies. The, question is what is in his mind.
§ Mr. J. HOPE
He goes to the first polling booth, say in Central Sheffield, and he asks for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting, and finds he is not qualified there. Then he goes to the other con- 785 stituency and asks for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting—that is to say, he has twice asked for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting.
§ Sir A. MOND
In the first place, he has not asked for the purpose of voting in more than one constituency. The question is whether he goes deliberately for the purpose of voting in more than one constituency. If he were prosecuted under the Corrupt Practices Act the magistrate would ask what was in the man's mind; did he do it with the intention of exercising a plural vote? In the first case he would have been told by the presiding officer that he had no right to vote there, and he would not have received a ballot paper. I do not know what kind of political organisation they can have in Sheffield. In most constituencies a man gets a polling card informing him where he is entitled to vote. This is a grievance of a most theoretical kind and is not likely to occur in practice.
§ Sir WILLIAM ANSON
I think the hon. Baronet has failed to understand the meaning of the Clause. A man does not go and ask for a ballot paper in a purely experimental frame of mind. He does so for the purpose of voting. In the genuine cases which have been put before us a man is qualified to vote in several Parliamentary Divisions in the same borough. He may try to vote in a Division where he is not entitled to do so. He goes to the polling booth quite innocently for the purpose of voting without any intention of exercising the franchise more than once. He is then told that that is not his Division. But he has asked for a ballot paper, and has been repelled by the person in charge. He then goes to the place where he is entitled to vote, and he is at once liable to the penalties under this measure. Thus you get cases in which persons registered in several constituences, but entitled to vote in only one, may with perfectly innocent minds ask for a voting paper in a constituency where they are not entitled to vote; then, after being told that they are not entitled to vote there, they go and very properly ask to be allowed to exercise the franchise where they are entitled to do so. They can only do that, however, by rendering themselves liable to the penalty. Whatever may be said as to the unlikelihood of that occurring, my impression is that the circumstances are extremely likely to arise.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
The hon. Baronet the Member for Swansea (Sir A. Mond) is an expert in many subjects, but I do not think that electoral law is one of them. So far as I understood, his argument was that a man who asks for a ballot paper under the circumstances which this Amendment would hit would receive the benefit of a lighter penalty under the Amendment to be proposed later on by the President of the Board of Education. He would not receive the full sentence under the law. But the hardship is that a man who is perfectly innocent should be subject to any penalty at all. Take the case of the county of London. The register is particularly complicated. It is the custom for great firms to have shops or places of business in many Divisions in the same Parliamentary borough. Take the borough of Tower Hamlets with seven great Divisions, every one of them equal to a large provincial town. An employer or shopkeeper is starred in four of those Divisions. It is perfectly possible and probable that he will try to exercise the franchise in exactly the way my hon. Friend has described. Matters political are not managed perhaps in London with the same precision as in some other places for electioneering purposes; at any rate, you cannot get quite the same measure of certainty as elsewhere. That man, if he innocently tries to exercise the franchise in two Divisions of Tower Hamlets will be brought within the operation of this Bill. I should like to call the attention of the Solicitor-General to a great case which no doubt he recollects, the Stepney Petition of 1886. The judge there laid down that the law of England did not contemplate any man being punished who innocently attempted to vote where he imagined he had a right. That is exactly the case which ought to be covered by the Amendment of my hon. Friend. The judge could not imagine a case in which the law of England would strike at an innocent person. In the county of London there are many cases which might arise under these circumstances. This is a case which not only might arise, but has arisen. At election times many men who are partners in these vast organisations come down for the purpose of voting. The Solicitor-General knows something of the confusion of election day in a great constituency, and he can perhaps understand the position of these men. Does he wish these men to be brought up and punished with all the rigour of the law, or does he think that 787 they ought to get the benefit of those extenuating circumstances which are supposed to be provided by the subsequent Amendment of the President of the Board of Education? Those who drafted this provision can know nothing of the conditions of electioneering in London. They cannot have contemplated the cases which arise. Surely the judgment which was rightly given in the Stepney Petition case ought to be maintained, and it cannot be maintained unless an Amendment of this is accepted.
§ Captain JESSEL
The hon. Baronet the Member for Swansea told us of a very perfect electoral organisation which obtains in Swansea; but even in that heavenly constituency it perhaps happens that polling cards are sometimes lost and do not arrive at their destination. It is not the asking for a ballot paper the first time that creates an offence If a man, on being refused in the Division where he asks for the first time, goes to a second constituency and gets a ballot paper, that is the offence, and where a man very innocently commits an offence of that kind he is liable to be convicted and disfranchised for seven years. That is altogether too severe a penalty for what the man may have done in ignorance. It very often happens that a man is starred in one constituency one year, and then for some reason, perhaps not having taken the trouble to notify the authorities, he is starred for a different constituency the next year, so that he really does not know for which constituency he is starred. He may not receive a polling card, and very innocently goes to the wrong polling booth. Then on being told that he cannot vote there, and, going somewhere else, he renders himself liable to this very severe penalty. With regard to the reply of the President of the Board of Education, the right hon. Gentleman must know that when a man is on the register and qualified he is entitled to have his vote. In some cases women, perhaps through bearing the name Frances, which is applicable to both men and women, have been placed on the register, and, being on the register, have actually voted. In the same way with aliens, although they are not really qualified, the fact of their being on the register has enabled them to vote. I think the Government will be well advised to accept this Amendment, because I am sure that if some words of this kind are not put in, 788 those who unwittingly commit the offence ought not to be punished in the way the Bill prescribes.
§ Mr. WHYTE
The general answer to the case made by the other side is that "hard cases make bad law." The particular answer is that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has not the clear account of the whole of the facts of the case. A breach of the Act can only be made by a person voting twice, or by entering a polling booth and taking a voting paper—
§ Mr. WHYTE
If hon. Members will take the words of the Clause together they will see that obviously if a magistrate has to decide whether or not a breach of the law has in fact been committed, they will see that the cases put forward are not in fact breaches of this Act at all. As a matter of fact, the difference that it would make in the Bill itself, even if the words were admitted, seems to me to be very small, because I cannot imagine the number of cases in which this would occur, even in London, would be very large. I am perfectly certain that in even a provincial borough the cases would very very rarely arise except where the electoral organisation had been allowed to fall into decay. If the hon. Member for Mile End succeeds in establishing a case as regards London, I am not prepared to suggest to the Government that they should not accept the suggestion of the other side. The general substance of the case put forward by the other side seems to me to be unimportant except in this, that the probable and only certain effect it would have would be to prevent those women who have got on the register from actually voting in the election.
§ Lieut.-Colonel GIBBS
I do not think that the President of the Board of Education thoroughly appreciates the importance of this point. In Bristol, and quite possibly elsewhere, it constantly happens that a large number of men living in one part of the city are starred for another part. It is quite possible that in many cases these men would not know what Division they have been starred for. Under the right hon. Gentleman's Bill, when an elector living in my Division, Bristol West, say, happened to be starred for another Division, he would go to the pooling booth in Bristol West and ask for a ballot paper, and would be told that he 789 was not entitled to vote. In that case he would come under the penalties of this Bill. It is really very necessary for the right hon. Gentleman to accept my hon. Friend's Amendment. I cannot see what his objection is. The hon. Member who spoke last said that the cases were very rare even in provincial towns. Even if the cases are very rare—almost non-existent—we ought in this House to legislate for any case which might arise, and I really think that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education ought seriously to consider the question.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The point which was raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite was obviously raised in a serious spirit, and certainly we desire, so long as the object of this Bill is really secured, to consider any hard case, however unusual that hard case may be. For my part, I draw a very sharp distinction between the two sorts of illustrations which the hon. and learned Gentleman gave. I do not think there is any ground for a special exemption in the case of a man who is registered as an elector in a constituency, and who is not entitled in that election to vote, because of his official employment in connection with the election. That, I think, the hon. and learned Gentleman will consider as a fair-minded man, is quite another point of view. With regard to his other illustration—and if he will allow me to say so—the real point of his subject, this real point was very well illustrated by the hon. Member for Sheffield, I think, and I understand, it is this: It does not arise so much in London, though it might arise in places like Tower Hamlets, and in some other places—when you have a borough, which in the language of the registration laws is divided into divisions, and you have an elector who happens to have a qualification which, standing alone, would give him the right to vote in Division A, and another qualification which, standing alone, would give him the right to vote in Division B, here is the particular difficulty upon which the hon. Member has put his finger. I cannot conceive that there is any real risk in the language as it stands in such a matter, because really the punishment which the Bill prescribes is a punishment for a criminal offence, and, of course, no criminal offence is committed unless there is what lawyers call "a guilty mind" about it. Still, that is no reason why we should not be careful. It may be said that it is better to have it quite clear 790 on the face of the Statute if a case however unusual or far-fetched is reasonably conceivable, so long as we preserve the real object and effect of this Bill. Certainly those of us who are responsible for it have no objection to try and meet a possible case of hardship.
Might I ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to look at the Order Paper. He will there see that later in the Sub-section, it is proposed by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Pease) to put forward an Amendment. The Amendment here is divided into two parts (a) and (b). The one proviso is to deal with the special case of the tendered ballot paper—the pink paper—and the second half of the proviso deals with the other very rare case of a double return. It seems to me that if there is any place where we shall want to deal with this matter, it will be in connection with a proviso of this sort. It is naturally important that we should get proper words. I can imagine it might be done in more ways than one. We shall reach that point very shortly. I shall be prepared to deal with it when we do reach it. Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will give me an opportunity for finding the proper words. The House will observe that before we come to the Amendment to which I refer we have the question of the university elector. I suppose if that question is going to be raised it will take a little time, and I shall, after that, be in a position to suggest a form of words. I can, perhaps, indicate to the hon. Member some language which is running in my own mind without at all pledging myself to the phraseology. I do not think the case that he has urged can arise except in the case of a borough which is divided into divisions. There is a provision in the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, Section 13, Sub-section (4), which begins:—
"In a borough divided into divisions, the election for two or more such divisions shall be deemed to be the same election…."
This deals with the same subject-matter. I think it would be convenient, therefore, if we made this slight change later to meet this possible hard case that refers to persons who are registered as Parliamentary electors in a borough divided into divisions. It seems to me, what we want to provide for is, if such a person asks for a ballot paper in one Division, under circumstances which do not entitle him to vote in that Division, if that circumstance stands alone, it shall not prevent him from 791 voting or asking for a ballot paper in another Division, provided, of course, that he does not vote more than once. I think that would meet the case put forward by the hon. and learned Member, and I make the suggestion with a sincere desire to understand his point and to meet it as far as I fairly can. Perhaps he will take it from me that I will consult a skilled adviser and by the time we come to my right hon. Friend's proviso I shall be able to suggest a form of words which will exactly meet the case.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "elector" ["registered as a Parliamentary elector"], to insert the words "in respect of ownership."
I have been asked to move this Amendment, which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Chelsea. I move it as the lesser of two evils. It raises a broad question of principle and a point which I think ought to be dealt with on Report. It would leave the greater part of the Bill intact and at the same time preserve from the ravages of the Bill a certain number of those who have what is termed the plural vote, but ought not to be brought under its operations. At the present moment out of an electorate of 8,000,000 in the United Kingdom I believe there are 650,000, or, to be accurate, 634,000 ownership voters. It is the exercise of the plural votes in respect of ownership that has been the great subject of denunciation upon platforms by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I want to meet their platform grievances to that extent. I want to meet what has so often formed the subject of their perorations in the country, namely, that hordes of voters, without any concern or interest in a constituency, come down at election times and turn the balance of the election against the local residents and electors. While this Amendment would allow the Bill to do away with the plural vote of the ownership elector, it would leave the free exercise of the franchise by the occupation voter who has more than one qualification. That would be a great advantage from many points of view. The man who exercises a dual franchise in respect of occupation does so by virtue of a real interest in the constituency. Take the case of an employer of labour who, with a large interest in the 792 centre of a town, lives outside. Under this Bill that employer would probably be debarred from exercising his franchise in that part of the town where he has most influence and to which he owes the greater responsibility. I submit that that of itself is a bad thing. Where you have social responsibility and where you have industrial power, it is in the interests even of the hon. Gentlemen who sit on the Labour benches that the vote should be given. The employer feels under such circumstances that he has a common political right and a common political responsibility in his work, and it is to the public interest that the employer should be identified as a citizen with the particular town or district in which his works lie. For that reason I submit that the occupation voter ought to be treated apart from he ownership voter under the Bill.
I cannot say that I want to do away with the plural vote of the ownership elector, because I do not, but granting that the House has adopted that principle of the Bill, it is a smaller part of the electorate with which this Amendment deals. Moreover, it is not of so much, importance from the electioneering point of view, and the Government is looking at this Bill from the electioneering point of view. The President of the Board of Education is well acquainted with the cir-cumstancs which govern the occupation vote, and he knows as well as possible what effect it is likely to have. I submit he could make this concession without losing the political advantage which the Government hope to gain as a result of this measure. I say also, from the higher point of view and from the point of view of social stability and social unity, that you ought not to sever the connection that now exists between this House and the constituencies, localities, or communities which we represent. An employer of labour is usually an active, and I suppose everyone will admit that he is a productive, elector in that part of the country in which his works and premises are situated. Why should he be deprived of the opportunity of voting in that locality? I ask in this Amendment that you should still allow the man who has power and who ought to be identified in every way with these localities still to exercise his franchise. I do not say that that would do away with the broad objection to the Bill which most of us on these benches entertain, but it does something to mitigate the worst 793 features of the Bill. It leaves still the connection between this House and the communities under special circumstances, and for this and the other reasons I have advanced, I hope that since the Committee stage the President of the Board of Education will have considered the question, and that he will see that it is not from his point of view as serious as he imagines. He will still get, as the Government hope to get, a large balance of votes in favour of their party by doing away with the plural vote of the ownership electors; but at the same time he would, by accepting this Amendment, satisfy the legitimate wishes of those who are still anxious to be identified with the constituencies where their greatest interests lie. The intention of the Government later on is to make the elector vote where he resides, for, the resident elector was the person who was made the hero of the Bill which had to be withdrawn at the beginning of this year. Therefore, although it is quite true the elector has an option left him for a time, the intention is to treat him solely as a resident later. I hope the President of the Board of Education will be able to make this concesison which we ask for in this Amendment—it would be a considerable concession, and it is possible that if such a concession is made, it might facilitate the passing of the measure.
§ Colonel GIBBS
I should like to second the Amendment and to endorse all my hon. Friend has said. There is no doubt whatever that many men in a big way of business who live outside the industrial centre where their works are situated, will lose their votes under this Bill for the district in which their work is carried on. Many of these employers of labour hold important positions of social responsibility in the public life of their district. Some are mayors or chairmen of the councils, others are aldermen, and others are leading men in various spheres of the town's life. Under this Bill, if these men live outside the boundaries of the city or town, if they vote in respect of their residence in the country, they will be debarred from voting for the district where their works are situated.
§ Mr. PEASE
I have nothing to add to the views which I expressed when this Amendment was moved in Committee. It is a proposal which is opposed to the very principle of the Bill, and instead of securing one man one vote it would enable plural voting to be exercised all over the 794 Kingdom. This Amendment is directly against the fundamental principle of this Bill. The hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Lawson) said if this Amendment were accepted it would be a considerable concession, and he has indicated that probably the Bill might be regarded by his party—I suppose he means in another place—with favour if we assent to it. We are absolutely unable to accept this Amendment because we think one vote is sufficient for any citizen in this country, and we do not wish any elector to exercise more than one vote.
§ Earl WINTERTON
My hon. Friend said he thought that this Amendment would be a considerable concession, and that remark was cheered by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I do not think "concession" is the right word to use in regard to it, because it is not a concession at all, but an eminently reasonable proposal, and, of course, that is the reason why it is refused. I should be the last person to suggest any Amendment which interferes with the principle of this Bill, or which would "queer" the electoral pitch, and put the Government in the position of losing a few votes at the next General Election. I suggest that this Amendment will not do this at all, and it will not help one party any more than the other, because a very large number of those who vote in respect of occupation are Radicals. One hon. Member yesterday drew attention to the fact that business men in the north were quite as much entitled to consideration as the business men in the City of London. My point is that they would not lose by accepting this Amendment. The Government would not lose by it, in fact they might even gain a few votes. There are a large number of Radical farmers who may own a farm in two constituencies, and I hope that fact will weigh with the right hon. Gentleman. It is because I regard this Amendment not as a concession, but as a perfectly reasonable proposal, that I hope it will be accepted. Although I have heard many speeches poor in argument from the Treasury Bench in opposition to Amendments, I confess that I have never heard one so much below the poverty line as that of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill, because he had no argument to bring against the Amendment except the statement that he had nothing to add to what he said in Committee on this point, and as he did not say anything in Committee he could not add anything.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."796
§ The House divided: Ayes, 95; Noes, 225.797
|Division No. 195.]||AYES.||[1.50 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gibbs, George Abraham||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Walter Raymond||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barnston, Harry||Gretton, John||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Guinness, Hon.W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Haddock, George Bahr||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Helmsley, Viscount||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Blair, Reginald||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hope, Major J. A. Midlothian)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Butcher, John George||Horner, Andrew Long||Stanier, Beville|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerry, Earl of||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Larmor, Sir J.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Locker-Lampson, G, (Salisbury)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fell, Arthur||Magnus, Sir Philip||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. H. Lawson and Earl Winterton.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Gastrell, Major W.||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Cullinan, John||Hodge, John|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hogge, James Myles|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Alden, Percy||Dawes, J. A.||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Delany, William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hughes, S. L.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Devlin, Joseph||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Dillon, John||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Doris, William||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr-Tydvil)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Duffy, William J.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Barton, William||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Bolond, John Pius||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Joyce, Michael|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Esslemont, George Birnie||Keating, Matthew|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Brace, William||Ffrench, Peter||Kelly, Edward|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Field, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Fitzgibbon, John||King, J.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||George. Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Goldstone, Frank||Leach, Charles|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lundon, Thomas|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hackett, John||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Lynch, A. A.|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hancock, J. G.||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||McGhee, Richard|
|Clough, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Hayden, John Patrick||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hazleton, Richard||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Cotton, William Francis||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Cowan, W. H.||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Crooks, William||Higham, John Sharp||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hinds, John||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Meagher, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Meehan, Francis E (Leitrim, N.)||Parry, Thomas H.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Sutton, John E.|
|Molloy, Michael||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Philipps, Col. I vor (Southampton)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Phillips, John (Longford, South)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Mooney, John J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Morgan, George Hay||Pringle, William M. R.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Morrell, Philip||Rattan, Peter Wilson||Wadsworth, John|
|Morison, Hector||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Reddy, Michael||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Muldoon, John||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Munro, R.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Webb, H.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Robinson, Sidney||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Rowlands, James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Rowntree, Arnold||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Dowd, John||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Grady, James||Scott. A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|O'Malley, William||Sheehy, David||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|O'Shee, James John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Palmer, Godfrey Murk||Snowdon, Philip|
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "consistency" ["Parliamentary elector in more than one constituency"], and to insert instead thereof the words "Division of the same county."
The object of this Amendment is to limit the confiscatory character of the Bill, but at the same time to place counties upon the same footing as boroughs. At present, in the case of a borough which is divided into several Parliamentary constituencies, a voter who is registered in more than one Division in that borough can only vote once in the whole borough. If you take, for instance, the divided borough of St. Pancras, a man may be qualified for a shop in West St. Pancras, and he may happen to reside in North St. Pancras, but under the present law he cannot, of course, vote in both Divisions but only once in the whole of the borough of St. Pancras. Moreover, on the register of voters these duplicate entries are marked with an asterisk, and the voter has a right of choice in which Division of the borough he will record his vote. By that means large numbers of men are included in the borough vote who would otherwise be plural voters, and they are limited therefore to one vote. I think that hon. Members will admit that this is an eminently reasonable proposal, because the interests of a borough, unlike the interests of a county, ought to be represented as the 798 whole borough. The Parliamentary interests, for instance, of great boroughs such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, and Birmingham, are more or less single interests, but, of course, the same principle does not apply to the great Metropolitan area where you have an enormous quantity of different kinds of interests. A great many of the interests of the various Metropolitan boroughs are as different from one another as the interests of Manchester are from the interests of Salford, or the interests of Birmingham from those of Aston. In the case of divided counties, such as Middlesex, there is no such limit as in boroughs. A man, for instance, may have a shop in Chiswick in the Ealing Division, and he may reside at Twickenham in the Brentford Division, and under the present law he can vote in both these Middlesex Divisions, but under the Amendment he would be limited to one vote in the whole of the county of Middlesex, so that it is really a considerable concession from this side of the House. If, however, the Chiswick shopkeeper happened to reside at Kew, which is in the Kingston Division of Surrey, the Amendment would permit him to record two county votes. Moreover—and this is rather an important point—the vote in a borough is on the same footing for both Parliamentary and municipal elections, because a man is only able to vote once in that borough. On the other 799 hand, in a county, a Parliamentary vote can be given in each Parliamentary Division and a county council vote can only be given once for the whole area presided over by the county council. The Amendment would therefore equalise the Parliamentary and municipal practice in. the matter, and it is, as I say, really a considerable concession from this side of the House, because it places counties in respect of plural voting on the same basis as boroughs under the existing law. I also submit that, although it is a concession to the Government, it will mitigate the very sweeping and harsh proposals of this Plural Voting Bill, though I hope the Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. H. Baker) or the Under-Secretary of State for India (Mr. Montagu) will not be induced for that reason alone to reject this Amendment. The Amendment would only permit of one vote being given, for instance, throughout the whole county of Sussex, but it would not prevent another vote being given in any other county in which the voter happened to qualify. This would considerably reduce the number of plural voters. I have not been able to ascertain what they represent in numbers, but it would considerably reduce the number of plural voters in the counties, and to that, extent it would be carrying out the wishes of the Government. At the same time it would not deprive the existing electorate of their rights nearly to so great an extent as they are being deprived under the Bill as it stands.
I do hope that the Government will not reject this Amendment. There are a great many reasons to my mind in favour of it. There is no doubt at all that if the Amendment is accepted owners of property will be benefited to a considerable extent. We know very well that owners of property are not particularly in favour of the policy of the present Government. The Liberal party seems to entertain the idea that, because owners of property very often have a plural vote, the possession of property and the possession of the plural vote almost amounts to a criminal offence. They know very well that the vote is an instrument of defence, and, in this Bill, they are trying to take away that power of defence before making a further attack on property itself. After all there is such a thing as a national balance of power as well as an international balance of power, and the extra vote which at the present day is possessed by property owners is so 800 small that it has not, during the last few years, injured democracy in the least. I do not feel that any case has been made out by the Government during the Debate for taking away the existing franchise. The whole of this agitation for the disfranchisement of property owners has been merely organised for party purposes, in order to persuade people who know no better that they are suffering from a grievance of which they were never aware before, and that they are labouring under an oppression which they have never hitherto realised. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rot!"] But for the fact that the hon. Member who used that very unparliamentary expression happened to be sitting on the cross benches, I should have asked that he be called to order.
I do not know from what part the interruption came, but, used in any part of the House, the expression was unparliamentary.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
It is the only contribution which has been made by the hon. Member to the Debate. I submit that this Amendment would go a very long way towards mitigating the severity of this Bill, and that the number of plural voters would be very largely diminished by its acceptance. It might, too, soften the opposition from the point of view of hon. Members on these benches. It might modify the opinion we hold as to the real motives of the Government in introducing this Bill into this House. I hope that the representative of the Government who replies to the Amendment will give it serious consideration, and not merely refuse it because it happens to make the Bill a little more simple than it is at present.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Harold Baker)
The hon. Member who moved this Amendment put it forward as a concession. It is true, as he said, that it extends the disqualification which already exists in Divisions in boroughs to Divisions of counties, but I think he showed a very clear consciousness towards the latter part of his speech that, so far from its being a concession, it was, in fact, an attempt to cut away a very large and necessary part of the Bill itself. The hon. Member recently showed himself very reasonable on the subject of an Irish Parliament, and to-day he wishes 801 to appear reasonable on the subject of plural voting, but I am not so sure that he proves himself so friendly towards the plural voter in the particular form of the Amendment. What would be the consequences of its acceptance? The estimates which have been put forward of the superior qualifications of the plural voter would certainly indicate that he deserved some fairness, of treatment, and that he ought not to be put in an unfavourable position as compared with other voters. But under this Amendment a man who has property on either side of the borders of a county would have two votes, while a man who has property at either end of the same county would only have one vote. What possible reason can there be for giving two votes to a man with property in Lancashire and Yorkshire and only one vote to a man who has property at the extreme end of both the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire?
§ Mr. BAKER
Why increase it? I will not go into the historical origin of the law as it affects boroughs, but I wish to point out that the effect of the Amendment would be to increase the disparities and unfairnesses which undoubtedly exist at the present moment. But that is really of less importance than the fact that, although the Amendment appears to make a concession, it really does nothing of the kind. In form it suggests that we are going to abolish plural voting, but in fact it is going to retain it in a very large part of the country. The hon. Member also said it would go a long way towards mitigating the severity of the Bill, but it goes much too far for the Government or for those who wish to assert the principle of single voting as against plural voting. Even if it were possible to make exceptions from the fundamental principle of this Bill it is not possible to accept this particular proposal. We on this side have laid it down as a cardinal principle that political personality shall not be multiplied, but that each man shall have one vote and one vote only. For that reason, we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not think the hon. Gentleman who spoke on behalf of the Government has brought forward any valid argument except, perhaps, the last one that he advanced, and that was that the Government had discovered a new principle. He says they do not want to 802 depart from that principle, which, apparently, they have only just discovered. Incidentally, I may observe that I have never heard that discovery called a principle before. Clearly, the principle is one of disfranchising people who are opposed to you, so that you may have a better chance of remaining in power. That may be a good party manœuvre, but to call it a principle is, I think, going a little bit too far. That is the only argument of any validity which the hon. Gentleman brought forward. What were his other arguments? The first was that this would be a very unfair thing because it would prevent a person who had a double qualification in the county of Essex voting twice in that county, while if he had a qualification in both Essex and Lancashire he would be entitled to vote in both of those counties. He suggested that that was a very dreadful thing to do. But why have not the Government abolished that practice, which has been in existence since 1885, in the boroughs of London and in other parts of the United Kingdom? When I had the honour to sit as Member for Peckham it was part of the old borough of Camberwell, which was divided into the three Parliamentary Divisions of Dulwich, North Camberwell, and Peckham. A man might live in Dulwich and have a shop in North Camberwell, but he would only be able to vote in one Division. But if he had a shop at Dulwich and another at St. George's, Hanover Square, he would be entitled to vote at both places; therefore there is nothing new in the principle embodied in my hon. Friend's Amendment. It is, as I have said, a principle which has been in existence since 1885, and the Government has been in power certainly on two occasions since that year—in 1892–95, and again from 1906 down to the present year; yet they have never attempted to remedy that anomaly which the hon. Gentleman now denounces so strongly.
I submit that there are very good reasons why the Amendment of my hon. Friend should be accepted. Take the illustration which the hon. Gentleman gave on the Motion. He said a voter qualified in both Lancashire and Yorkshire could vote in both places, and he asked why should he be entitled to do so? My reply is that there is a very good reason, and it is that he has an interest in both places, and, unless he votes in each of the constituencies, he cannot make his opinion effective; he cannot direct the policy of the 803 Members of Parliament returned for Yorkshire and Lancashire, and he has no control over the expenditure of the taxes which, to him, is a very vital matter. Although I would much prefer that a man should have the right to vote wherever he pays rates and taxes, there is a good deal to be said for assimilating the custom in the counties to the custom in the various boroughs. The argument of the hon. Gentleman was not at all valid, and he did not convince me that the Amendment is wrong. We desire that there should be some exceptions made, and that the plural voter should not be destroyed wholesale. Hon. Gentlemen opposite hold the other opinion, and they desire as a matter of expediency to destroy the plural voter. The hon. Gentleman says this is no concession. It is a concession. Concession means conceding part of the whole, and that is what my hon. Friend proposes to do. It is true that he does not accept the whole Bill. We have never done that. We accept to a certain extent, in this Amendment, what the hon. Gentleman calls the principle, but we call expediency, but we say we will only accept it to a limited
§ degree. I suppose it is not very much use addressing arguments to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, because they have made up their minds that they are going to get this Bill by five o'clock, and will not accept any more Amendments. At the same time I think we ought to have some arguments from hon. Gentlemen opposite, other than interruptions and interjections, to show what they really think upon this question. The Amendment is one which easily lends itself to debate. We should like to know from the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) what actuates him in voting against this Amendment, and whether it is for him a question of principle or a question of electoral expediency. Will the hon. Member say that he really believes this is a principle which is innate in the principles which govern electoral matters, or will he admit that although the plural voter has existed for a great number of years, his only reason for destroying him is that he holds the same opinion as we do?
§ Question put, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 225; Noes, 99.805
|Division No. 196.]||AYES.||[2.20 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon.. S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Alden, Percy||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Hinds, John|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Dawes, James Arthur||Hodge, John|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Delany, William||Hogge, James Myles|
|Arnold, Sydney||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Devlin, Joseph||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Dillon, John||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Barnes, George N.||Doris, William||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Duffy, William J.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Boland, John Pius||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)|
|Brace, William||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Brady, P. J.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Joyce, Michael|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Ffrench, Peter||Keating, Matthew|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Field, William||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Bryce, John Annan||Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Kelly, Edward|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Fitzgibbon, John||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Flavin, Michael||King, J.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Ginnell, L.||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Goldstone, Frank||Leach, Charles|
|Chancellor, H. J.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Lundon, Thomas|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Clough, William||Hackett, John||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hancock, John George||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||McGhee, Richard|
|Cotton, William Francis||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hayden, John Patrick||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Crooks, William||Hazleton, Richard||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Crumley, Patrick||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Cullinan, John||Henry, Sir Charles||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Meagher, Michael||Parry, Thomas H.||Sutton, John E.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Thomas, James Henry|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Molloy, Michael||Phillipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Mooney, John J.||Pringle, William M. R.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Morgan, George Hay||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Morrell, Philip||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Morison, Hector||Reddy, Michael||Wardle, George J.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Muldoon. John||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Munro, R.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Webb, H.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil William||Robinson, Sidney||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rowlands, James||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Rowntree, Arnold||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Dowd, John||Sheehy, David||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Grady, James||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|O'Malley, William||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|O'Shee, James John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Snowden, Philip|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Greene, Walter Raymond||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Baird, J. L.||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Guinness, Hon.W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Barnston, Harry||Haddock, George Bahr||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Helmsley, Viscount||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boles, Lieut-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sandys, George John|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Horner, Andrew Long||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kerry, Earl of||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Larmor, Sir J.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lawson, Hon. Harry (Mile End)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Weston, J. W.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Fell, Arthur||Magnus, Sir Philip||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mason. James F. (Windsor)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell. Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Winterton, Earl|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Nield, Herbert||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. G. Locker-Lampson and Mr. Stanier.|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
I beg to move, after the word "constituency" ["in more than one constituency"], to insert the words "other than a university constituency."
This Amendment was moved in Committee by my hon. Friend (Sir P. Magnus), who was supported by the Members for 806 Oxford University and for Edinburgh University. When these hon. Members were approached and asked to put down the Amendment again on the Report stage, from a feeling of delicacy they said they thought it had better come, not from a university Member but from someone else. I am sure the House will not mis- 807 understand the reason why I, not a university Member, am moving this Amendment. It affects six constituencies, three in England and Wales, one in Ireland, and two in Scotland, the two in Scotland taking in the Universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews, and Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Amendment is only asking the Government to except from the operation of this Bill nine seats out of a total of 670. The proposal is not to take away university representation in itself, but to take away the right of a person who is qualified in any constituency and is also a graduate of a university to vote for the university as well as his own constituency. There have been various proposals brought before the House from time to time with respect to university votes. The last proposal was on the Franchise Bill introduced by the Government in the early part of this year. In that Bill it was proposed to abolish the university vote altogether. Therefore, I think we may gather from the action of the Government what their opinion really is—that it is to abolish the university vote altogether, and this is only a temporary expedient to tide over a short time.
There is no doubt that the object of the Government is a party object. They would never have introduced the Bill if plural voting had been in favour of the Government. I am afraid I must also say it leaves them open to this remark in regard to universities that unfortunately these university seats are all held by Members on this side of the House. If you only allow persons to vote either for their residence or for a university, they will vote for the place where they live as a rule. The pressure will be too strong upon them not to do that. It will lead really to voting for universities being very largely left to resident graduates, and it will leave very small constituencies indeed, and the next step will be that the Government will say the constituency is so very small that they must take the representation away. Therefore, I think I am right in arguing this question on the further point of principle whether higher education as such should be specially represented in this House. Is it good for the State and good for this House that we should have brought within our walls a few gentlemen representing higher education? I think that is the point which we must consider. I am quite sure that Members 808 who have sat in this House even for a short period must have been very much struck by the very eminent way Members for the universities have entered into our proceedings. Whenever an education question has come before the House it has been especially prominent how extremely useful their advice has been. I remember very well the long Debates we had on the Education Bill of 1902, and how very valuable was the advice of the university Members at that time. My right hon. Friend (Sir W. Anson) was one of them. There was another who has passed away, and whose name I mention with deep reverence, the late Professor Job, who was certainly an ornament of very great distinction to this House. He was of such a retiring nature that he would not have stood as a candidate at a popular election, and if it had not been for university representation, we should not have had the very great gain of having the benefit of his experience in this House. The university representatives as a class have been men of culture and education, but generally speaking they have been of a retiring nature. I think I am correct when I say that.
§ Mr. S. ROBERTS
Of course, there are exceptions, and perhaps I might except also the junior Member for Oxford University (Lord Hugh Cecil). No doubt there have been exceptional men who would have found seats for other places, but, on the other hand, there is another class of a retiring disposition who would not have consented to stand in popular constituencies for election to Parliament, and run the racket of an election. The late Sir Gabriel Stokes was another Member of the same kind. He would never have consented to stand except for a university constituency. There was also the late Mr. Lecky, who came within the class of men it would be difficult for this House to have, except as university representatives. I am afraid the same remark would apply to some men whom we know, and would like to see Members of this Assembly, but their retiring nature keeps them outside, and we lose the value of their great assistance. There is another question I might mention incidentally, although it does not come within the terms of this Amendment. I should like to keep university representation 809 alive for another reason, namely, there has sprung up in our large cities in recent years, new universities. They are of extreme value in our large centres of industry, and I should like to see them represented in this House by a system of grouping, if it could be done. I think I am in order in putting that forward as a reason why I am anxious to keep university representation alive. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman opposite why is it that an exception has been made with regard to the University of Dublin in the Home Rule Bill? It has been conceded there that university representation is desirable and ought to be continued. Why should we not have the same advantage in England? I do not think that question has been answered. On the last occasion when this question was discussed in Committee, what was the answer of the Government? It practically amounted to this: "The abolition of plural voting is to establish single voting—one man one vote—and on account of that theory we can make no exception. We will make no exception in the strong case put for the City of London, and we will make no exception in the case put for the universities." I should like the right hon. Gentleman, if he can, to give us some better answer this afternoon. The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Harold Baker) replied in Committee:—The main principle already enshrined in the Bill is that the plural vote is an unfair anomaly and must go. To that principle we hold, and no exception must be made. We rely on the simple plan that if yon have a political personality it shall not be divided."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd July, 1913, col. 2021.]That is the theory. But what is the duty of statesmen? The duty of statesmen is to look for what is best for the State, and not to theory, and if it is best for the State that higher education should be specially represented in this House, I say it is the duty of the Government of the day not to go entirely upon theory, but to look for what is best for the general benefit of the community.
§ Mr. SANDERS
I think many of us who heard the Debate on this subject in Committee thought that the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) was unanswered and unanswerable. It is, I believe, largely for that reason that the Members for the universities have not themselves brought this subject forward again. But, if I may so express it, the back benchers from the universities think the question is one of such importance that they do want, even 810 at the eleventh hour, to urge upon the Government that this is a matter in which they might make a concession to us. My hon. Friend (Mr. S. Roberts) is a distinguished Member of Cambridge University. As a humble scion of Oxford, who loves Oxford and all that Oxford means, I ask to be allowed to second the Amendment. I am quite aware that the principal reason that has caused displeasure against the universities is that all the Members returned by university constituencies happen to be opposed to hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite. Of course, I am glad that the universities should return Unionist Members, but I may say that even supposing Oxford was to return two Radicals, it would not induce me to vote for disfranchising Oxford, for such is the respect I have for my Alma Mater that it might make me consider seriously whether I ought not to change my own politics.
It may be said that this Bill does not in so many words disfranchise universities. That is quite true. I think that it would have been more honest if it had, but it does what is even more insidious—it strives to make university representation ridiculous. It may be urged that the system of election at universities can very fairly be criticised. I entirely concur. But that is no reason for doing away with the system altogether. If a man has the toothache it is a rather strong thing to remedy it by cutting off his head. If the university system of voting is wrong a measure should be introduced to alter that system, and I believe that the way to deal with this question would be not only to alter that system but to extend university representation to the new universities, which are such a great feeder of the educational reform of the present time. My hon. Friend has alluded to what we look on as a very strong recommendation for university representation—that is, that it gives an avenue to Parliament to men who are not prepared to stand the rough-and-tumble of a General Election. That is a principle which the country has already adopted with regard to our local Governments and the forming of Committees for varouis purposes. We do on our various Committees co-opt non-elected members. On our county councils we elect as aldermen men who would not be ready to stand for a General Election, but whom we know to be useful men at county administration. It is not necessary to do that in Parliament. Thanks to our historical association with the universities, we have at all events one channel for such men in our 811 university representation; but suppose that we were providing a new Parliament for Britain alone, I can quite conceive that at all events it might be suggested that the warden of All Souls might be ex officio a Member of the British Parliament. It is to keep such men in Parliament and give them an avenue to Parliament that we do urge upon the Government to accept this Amendment to this Bill. We do not think that by doing so they would in any way injure the principle of the Bill, but we believe that they would gain this great advantage of giving this avenue for able and distinguished men to get into Parliament without standing the ordinary turmoil of a General Election, and we believe that they would also do something to mitigate a dislike to this Bill which perhaps is rather sentimental, but at all events is founded on very real grounds.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)
I do not think it necessary to occupy much time in arguing this Amendment. The House will remember that the case for the universities was put very forcibly by the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University on the Second Reading of the Bill, and it was put with great force by the hon. Member for London University during the Committee stage and was argued by the Senior Member for the City of London. Doubtless on the Third Reading the case will be raised again. Though I regret to say that we have not convinced hon. Members opposite, and I do not feel much hope of being able to succeed in doing so when my right hon. Friend beside me (Sir J. Simon) failed in the Committee stage, the fact is that this is just one more of the numerous exceptions to this Bill which have been raised with varying force by different Members of the Opposition. The Junior Member for the City of London and his colleague in the representation of that city would like an exception made for the benefit of those who vote for them. The hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) has just been moving an Amendment to make an exception in favour of those who hold qualifications in different counties. I believe that one hon. Member for Sheffield is anxious to make an exception in favour of those who are fortunate enough to be blessed with three children. Any number of exceptions to the principle of the Bill have been suggested by the ingenuity of hon. Members, and the only question that has to be con- 812 sidered is whether any particular exception presents such differences and peculiar features as to warrant us in departing from the principle of the Bill. All these exceptions are made or suggested by hon. Members who are themselves opponents of the principle of this Bill and would like to see it defeated.
The case that we have contended and argued is that neither the City of London nor the universities, nor any of the other suggested exceptions, present such exceptional features as to justify us in departing from what we believe to be the proper principle of representation in this country, a principle of representation upon which I am afraid we must despair of convincing some hon. Members opposite, the principle of "one man one vote"—[An HON. MEMBER: "On vote one value"]—to be followed in due course and very soon by "one vote one value." I would point out to hon. Members opposite, if I may do so with great regret, that the majority of the arguments advanced to show that exceptions could be made with regard to university representation apply not to this Bill, but to what hon. Members fear will come afterwards—the abolition of university representation. One of the hon. Members for Somerset (Mr. Sanders) said that it would have been more honest if we had directly disfranchised universities. It would have been outside the scope and title of this Bill, and, when a Redistribution Bill comes before the House, then will be the proper time to argue once again that the features of the universities are so peculiar that they deserve special representation in this House. I think that the hon. Member for Sheffield wants to know why, if we believe that universities should not be allowed the peculiar privilege of plural voting, we preserve the university constituency in the Home Rule Bill; but if he turns to the Home Rule Bill he will find that Dublin University ceases to exist as a constituency in this Parliament of the United Kingdom, and that the two universities are preserved for the new Parliament in Ireland simply because, by the express provision of this Bill, the Irish Parliament is allowed at the end of three years, if it wishes, to alter the constituencies as it likes and abolish university representation. Because we believe in Home Rule we have devolved on the Irish Parliament the privilege, if they choose to exercise it, of redistributing the constituencies in their own hope hon. Members opposite will forgive me 813 if I leave the subject where it was left in. the Debate on the Second Reading. There is no necessity for importing into this discussion any such accusation as the hon. Member for Sheffield made. It is the only part of his speech to which I take exception. We are no more animated by party motives in resisting this Amendment than he is animated by party motives in bringing it forward.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
What I said was that the Government have laid themselves open to the allegation.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
If we lay ourselves open to that allegation, the hon. Gentleman also lays himself open to that allegation. We are anxious to pass this Bill giving one man one vote, and no more than one vote. The hon. Gentleman has raised an exception which we do not think is justified on its merits, and, therefore, I hope the House will reject it.
§ Sir W. ANSON
I think in what I say that I shall express the feelings of my colleagues as well as my own in regard to the representation of universities. We are very grateful to our hon. Friends who have moved and seconded this Amendment, and for the forcible and eloquent terms in which they have put it before the House. We do not change in any way our feeling that the universities are not fairly treated in this Bill. We think they should be left out of it altogether, and their case, when the matter comes on for final discussion, is, to some extent, prejudged. We feel that last week we had an opportunity of expressing our views on the subject. Four Members, representing university constituencies, took part in that Debate. My right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) made a speech which we believe to be unanswerable and which was unanswered, for the Debate was closured. Under the circumstances, we do not propose to present our case again to the House. I hope my hon. Friends will not misconstrue our silence as indicating that we are ungrateful for the kind action which they have taken on bahalf of university representation, or that we have in any way changed our feelings on the subject of the inclusion of the universities in this Bill. I believe we shall act in accordance with the wishes of our constituents if we preserve silence during the remainder of this discussion.
§ 3.0 P.M.
Mr. STANLEY WILSON
I must say I quite agree with the remarks which have 814 fallen from my right hon. Friend who has just spoken. The argument in favour of this Amendment upon the last occasion was put with far greater force than we can hope to employ in presenting it on this occasion. No answer has been given by the Government to the arguments then, adduced, and that is the reason we again press the Government to accept the Amendment. I appeal to them to reconsider the decision they have come to, and to leave the university constituencies alone. The qualification for university representation rests upon a different basis from that of any other in the country. The qualification for the vote is exclusively on an educational basis, and it is the only one of the kind we have got in the country. I appeal to the Government, with no great hope of success, for I know that right hon. Gentlemen opposite detest the educational qualification, because they know that the result of persons being well educated is that they become supporters of the Unionist party. The Government cannot resist the opportunity of getting rid of nine Members of the Unionist party in this House. They know that this Bill will have that effect. The President of the Board of Education, when he spoke upon this Amendment in Committee, said that this Bill would not in any way do away with university representation. Everybody knows in this House that the ultimate effect of this measure, and the ultimate object of this measure is to do away with university representation. That is the one object which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to see brought about. I appeal to the Government to look at the university representatives, both in the past and at the present time, for everybody must admit that they are worthy, by their intellectual attainments, to sit in this Assembly. Therefore, I make a last earnest appeal to the Government to leave the university vote alone, and let us retain the university representatives in this House.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I hardly think the Under-Secretary for India met the arguments which were put forward from this side against the exceptional treatment to which university representation is being subjected. One of the main arguments the hon. Gentleman put forward was that demands for exceptions from the Bill came from this side of the House. That of itself was not a very remarkable discovery. I think it very natural that we, who see the advantages in certain cases of 815 allowing special voters to be retained, should put those demands forward. This is a question upon which I feel very strongly, for it is in the interests of education itself and of the country at large that university representation should not be abolished, but should be retained unimpaired. I submit that the case for exceptional treatment of university representation is very strong. It is true that the Government are not abolishing university representation now, but I submit that the Government by this Bill and the inclusion of the university vote in it, are most seriously imperilling that representation, and if this measure is passed into law you will have gone a long way in the direction of destroying university representation. The main reason in support of the Amendment before us is largely this: We live in an age of educational progress, an age when the advantages of the higher education are more and more appreciated throughout the country, and, more than that, when those advantages are becoming more and more accessible, owing to the establishment of new universities, to the great industrial centres and to the masses of the people. The problems of education are daily becoming more urgent and more complicated, and all the more require the assistance of trained and expert advice. Is it not essential that under those conditions we should have in this House the organised voice of education separately represented, and that we should have men sent here from the great educational centres of the country to put forward the latest and the most expert views upon this subject? I believe that can be best done, as has been proved in the past, by getting the representatives of those who are directly connected with higher education in the universities and who have passed through that stage themselves to come here and give their views.
I agree most strongly with what has been said by the hon. Member for Sheffield, that it would be most desirable in any reorganisation of our electoral system that we should have representatives, not-only of the old universities, but of those new and vigorous young universities throughout the country which have sprung up in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol—[An HON. MEMBER: "Order."] I do not understand the interruption. If anyone does not happen to agree, it is open to him to get up, if he likes, in the interests of ignorance. I say I should be glad to see and 816 I think it would be for the benefit of the community that we should have the educational interests of those new universities represented. I put that forward, not on the ground of the interests of the universities, but on the ground of national interests and of the interests of the people. It is quite true that to-day we are not called upon to consider the questions of giving representation to the new universities. What we are asked to do to-day by the Government proposals is to inflict what I consider will be the first, and it may be the fatal, blow to the general principle of the representation of education. It is for that reason that we want to oppose that insidious method of destroying representation of the universities, and I think it is in the interests of the House and of the community at large, and it is in the exercise of our duty as trustees of the great cause of education, that we should ask the House to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. BARNSTON
It is no use telling us that this Bill does not abolish university representation. The result of the Bill must be that eventually it will abolish, university representation. I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman could not see his way to accept this Amendment, though I must confess I am not in the least surprised, because everybody in this House and in the country knows that by this Bill the Government are simply out for votes, and they know also perfectly well that, generally speaking, the majority of educated people in this country are against the Government at the present time. The Government are very fond in their speeches of talking about and telling us of all the advantages of education. Surely, if education is of any use to a man, it tells him what is best for his country and in the government of his country! It is rather comical that, on the one hand, the Government are always ready to praise education, and, on the other side, when they find that the majority of educated people are against them, that they are ready to take away votes from the best educated class in the country.
Another reason why I support this Amendment is for the sake of the House of Commons itself. I believe that university Members here give our Debates and our whole proceedings a tone and advantage, and I believe we should be the losers if those Members were taken away. I suppose that in the case of the majority of Members when we go away no one will miss us, but I put it to hon. and right 817 hon. Members that the university Members we have at present, toy their learning and experience and education, are an ornament to this House, and their absence would be a loss to it. Not only is that the case at present, but when we remember men like the late Mr. Lecky and the late Mr. Butcher, surely we must agree that university Members add tone to our proceedings, and that their absence would be a great loss. There is another reason why I support the Amendment, and that is that university representation gives a chance to a class of man who is highly learned and has great education and experience of the world and of things, but who, probably because he has not got the physical strength, cannot go through the hurly-burly and worry of an ordinary General Election. I say that that class of man must be an advantage to the proceedings of this House. If university education receives this blow, which means that in future it must be done away with, then T say not only will that foe a blow to education, but a great blow to the House of Commons itself.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I should have thought that the reasons which have already been put forward by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on this side were quite sufficient to support this Amendment. There is the one which was put forward by the hon. Member who has just spoken that the men who have sat in this House representing the different universities, by their position, and by their character, and by their learning, have been ornaments to this Assembly. Not only have they been ornaments, but they have been of the very greatest assistance to this House. I am very much afraid if the representation of universities, either directly or indirectly, is by this Plural Voting Bill destroyed, then this House will certainly be seriously injured in its representation. I wish to approach the subject from a rather different point of view. The Under Secretary of State for India said that the Government could not accept this Amendment unless it could be shown that this proposed exemption presented differences, or in his words, "peculiar features" which were absent in the other proposed exemptions. I really think it does present peculiar features. One man one vote may be all very well as a good working principle, but it may be impossible to give proper value to a man's vote. I do not believe that there is anybody in this House who really believes that it is right to have one man 818 one vote. Nobody can suggest that in the case of a man who cannot write and who can only just put his cross on the voting paper, or in that of a man who will not take the trouble to go across the road to vote that the vote is of the same value as, we will say, the vote of the late Mr. Gladstone. It is ridiculous to argue such a thing. On the one hand, you have a man who is really ignorant, who cares nothing whatever about the matters which are interesting the public at the time; on the other hand, you have a man, a great statesman, highly educated, a man of affairs, and one whose vote upon all matters of public concern must be scores of times as valuable as the vote of the other. Here you have an opportunity of putting that right. I submit that a man who has gone through the university, who has succeeded in getting his B.A. degree, who has then taken the trouble—I admit that in many cases it is nothing more than a question of taking the trouble—of taking his M.A. degree, and has made himself a full member of a college of the university, is in all probability more capable of expressing a valuable opinion than a man who perhaps lives in the country, and will not take the trouble to cross the road, or perhaps, cannot even write his name.
The objection might have been taken some time ago that universities were confined to one class. That, however, is no longer true. If you go to the great universities at present you will find scores of men with no money, with no stock-in-trade except their own brains, who, under the Education Act passed by the Unionist Government, have worked themselves up from the lowest rung of the ladder to the university. That being so, surely you ought to give effect to the energies and education of such men as those. This is one means of giving a proper value to the vote of the man who has shown himself to be a good man. You cannot at the present day have an examination for all those who want to get on the register and say that a man who gets so many marks shall have so many votes, or that the man who does not come up to the standard shall not have a vote at all. That is not practicable. But here you have a practicable way of giving a proper value to the vote of the man who has shown himself to be a good man worthy of having a vote. It is impossible to convince the Government to accept this Amendment. It is not in the hope of convincing them that I am speaking. It is because I think it the duty of everybody 819 who takes an interest in these matters to let the people of the country know how absolutely unreasonable the Government are upon a question of this kind. This measure is nothing more nor less than a partisan Bill from start to finish, and the the only object of the Government is to benefit themselves by disfranchising some of their opponents.
§ Sir WILLIAM BULL
The Radical party are very much in love with the empty form of symmetry. In the Insurance Act they have a flat rate which is entirely unsuited to the people. In the Shops Act they legislate for all kinds of shops without the slightest regard to the various trades affected. Here they propose to have a flat rate in regard to votes. It is the same in all republican institutions. It is the same in American cities. Towns are laid out absolutely in squares, and the Americans are only just realising the fact that although it looks very well on paper such a system is not suited to human beings. Laws ought to be made for the good of men and not men for the good of laws. The university vote is distinctly a case which ought to be outside the Plural Voting Bill. There are different classes of minds; there are people whose rotes are essentially far more valuable than those of others, and the Government ought certainly to make an exception in this case. John Stuart Mill, who some forty years ago proposed the extension of the university vote to the smaller universities, would be very much surprised if he were living to-day to find that it is a Radical Government that proposes to sweep away this franchise. I earnestly hope that even at this late hour the Government will reconsider the matter.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The representative of the Government dealt with this Amendment in a way that was hardly respectful to the House. He seemed to brush aside altogether all possible arguments in favour of retaining university representation. It is quite true that both sides approach this question from a party point of view. We are handicapped on this side, when we advocate our case, because the whole of the present university Members are on this side. But even if they were on the other side I should equally desire to retain university representation. The intellectual argument has been put forward. It is really unnecessary to argue that the vote of an educated person is 820 more valuable than that of an uneducated person, and that the representative of a university is certain to be a valuable addition to the House. When we consider the history of university representation, and go through the long line of illustrious men who, by this means, have been able to enter the House and bring to bear on our Debates their peculiar qualities, we find that on almost every occasion that representation has been a benefit to the House. The arguments in support of university representation are really unique. I do not think that they come into the same category as the arguments in favour of granting the plural vote to any other class. There is one feature which must appeal to every Member who quietly considers the matter. Every day we see rigid discipline controlling both sides of the House, and it is in the interests, both of the House and of the country, that as far as possible that discipline should be relaxed. Hon. Gentlemen opposite can look back on the achievement of a great success in that respect. I suppose that, no political party has ever been so susceptible to discipline as the party now on those benches. When it is possible to create an avenue through which independent Members may come to the House, I think every Member in his own mind will be convinced that it is a good thing. The universities, perhaps, have been able to open an avenue to men of independent opinions. These may give the Whips of the party a certain amount of trouble, but still it has been an advantage to the Debates in this House to have independent and isolated opinion brought to bear upon them. I feel that we have very little chance of persuading the Government in this matter. I have not been in a position to listen to the other Debates which have taken place upon this question, but I must say I was astonished at the attitude taken up by the Under-Secretary of State for India. He started his speech by looking at the matter as more or less of a joke. He certainly was not, it appears, going to take the trouble to bring any arguments to bear upon the two speeches of hon. Gentlemen on this side. He brushed those speeches to one side as if they corresponded to the other cases which had been brought forward against granting a plural vote. I can only repeat that I maintain that the university is in an entirely different position, and it will be certainly to the detriment of this House if it is decided to cut out the representatives of the various universities.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."822
§ The House divided: Ayes, 106; Noes, 232.823
|Division No. 197.]||AYES.||[3.31 p.m.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Gardner, Ernest||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gibbs, G. A.||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Baird, J. L.||Goldsmith, Frank||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greene, W. R.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gretton, John||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Guinness, Hon.W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Haddock, George Bahr||Sandys, G. J.|
|Bird, Alfred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Stanier, Beville|
|Blair, Reginald||Helmsley, Viscount||Starkey, John R.|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Boyton, James||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hills, John Waller||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Horner, Andrew Long||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cautley, H. S.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerry, Earl of||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Cralk, Sir Henry||Larmor, Sir J.||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Cripps, Sir Charies Alfred||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Croft, H. P.||Lewisham, Viscount||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Winterton, Earl|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M||Newman, John R. P.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. S. Roberts and Mr. Butcher.|
|Fell, Arthur||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W.G. A.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Cotton, William Francis||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Craig, Herbert J, (Tynemouth)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Crooks, William||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Alden, Percy||Crumley, Patrick||Hazleton, Richard|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Cuillinan, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Armitage, Robert||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Dawes, James Arthur||Hinds, John|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Delany, William||Hodge, John|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Hogge, James Myles|
|Barnes, George N.||Devlin, Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Dillon, John||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Donelan, Captain A.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Doris, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Duffy, William J.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Boland, John Pius||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Brace, William||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Ffrench, Peter||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Field, William||Joyce, Michael|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Fitzgibbon, John||Keating, Matthew|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Kelly, Edward|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Ginnell, L.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W..||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Glanville, Harold James||King, Joseph|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Goldstone, Frank||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Clough, William||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Lawson, Sir W, (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Leach, Charles|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hackett, John||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hancock, John George||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Lundon, Thomas||O'Donnell, Thomas||Sheehy, David|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Dowd, John||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Lynch, A. A.||O'Grady, James||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||O'Malley, William||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|McGhee, Richard||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||O'Shee, James John||Snowden, Philip|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Outhwaite, R. L.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Sutherland, John E.|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Parker, James (Halifax)||Sutton, John E.|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Parry, Thomas H.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Martin, Joseph||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Meagher, Michael||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Pringle, William M. R.||Wardle, George J.|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Molloy, Michael||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sit Alfred||Reddy, Michael||Webb, H.|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Mooney, John J.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Morrell, Philip||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Morison, Hector||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Wilson, John. (Durham, Mid)|
|Muldoon, John||Robinson, Sidney||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Munro, Robert||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Nolan, Joseph||Rowlands, James||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Rowntree, Arnold||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
§ Mr. BARNSTON
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "or ask for a ballot or voting paper for the purpose of so voting."
I do not want to take up the time of the House. I will ask at once if the right hon. Gentleman is going to accept the Amendment. If he will do so, I will not trouble the House to move it. I gather that silence does not mean consent, therefore I very briefly move my Amendment. I venture to say that there are hundreds of people going to a polling booth who will ask for a ballot paper quite innocently, and as a consequence they may have to pay heavy penalties. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to think that everybody knows all about the Plural Voting Bill, and that everybody knows that the Plural Voting Bill is being discussed and passed in this House. I venture to say, however, that there are hundreds of people who pay no attention and who do not in the least know that the Plural Voting Bill is being passed. I do not think it lays in the mouth of a Member of this House to suggest that people are careless in the way they vote, for I do not think I remember hardly a Division in this House when some Member of the party opposite has not by mistake found himself in our Lobby. I know frequently on our side of 824 the House we find ourselves in the other Lobby. We discover we are there owing to the undesirable company, and then we have to come back and go into our own door. Anyone who has had to count at an election and has seen the doubtful votes come before a high sheriff knows that there are a certain number of papers spoilt, and that some are filled up in an extraordinary way, in spite of the fact that every elector is given an exact copy of the paper which shows him what he has to do and where he has to put his cross. Everybody knows that when you come to count at the end you find that some people have voted for both candidates, or that they have put their crosses in the most extraordinary places. The object of this Amendment is to protect people who may ask for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting quite innocently and afterwards may be mulcted in heavy damages. I do not wish to detain the House. Therefore, I beg to move the Amendment.
§ Mr. OLIVER LOCKER - LAMPSON seconded.
§ Sir J. SIMON
We had a substantial discussion on this proposal in the course of the Committee stage of the Bill, and I do not think it will be disputed that the arguments on the one side and the other were put 825 forward then, clearly and fully. The hon. Gentleman still holds the same opinion, and he is quite entitled to it, which he held in the Committee stage; and the same defect, if it be a defect, attaches to those who are responsible for the Bill as it stands. It appears to us that, assuming you are going to make it wrong for a voter to vote more than once, you ought to make it wrong for him to ask for a ballot paper more than once, so long as he is only asking for a ballot paper in constituencies where he is entitled to vote and is registered. There was a flaw in this Bill as introduced. It was pointed out by an hon. Gentleman on the other side that as the Bill was introduced, it would have penalised a man, or at any rate have limited his right as a voter, because he went and asked for a ballot paper at a place where he was not registered at all. That was a just criticism which we met by accepting the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. But having made that provision, it appears to us it would be altogether wrong to accept the Amendment now proposed, assuming you are going to penalise the plural voter by the method of this Bill. There is this further reason: To prove a man has voted as distinguished from his asking for a ballot paper is not always an easy thing to do. He votes of course in an apartment by himself. No one could say whether he marks the paper or puts it in blank. In every election there are a certain number of papers in blank and the prosecution would be put in this position that they would have to prove not only that he went into the booth and asked for a ballot paper, but that he did vote. To ask the prosecution to do that is to ask them to do what is unreasonable. If it could be so arranged, I think some Gentlemen opposite would prefer that these persons who have a choice of votes should exercise their choice in advance of the election Suggestions have been made that it would be well if a list could be made of such persons. This Bill does not take so extreme a measure as that. It leaves the elector the opportunity at the last moment of deciding where he wants to go to vote. If he goes to vote and asks for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting, we suggest he should then be treated as exercising his option, and after that, if he repeats that process elsewhere, that he should be regarded as a person who comes within the penalties of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman has told us of the possibility of a voter making an 826 innocent mistake. Let me assure him that there is nothing in this Bill which would make a man punishable who satisfied the Court that he had done what he had done without any guilty intention. Therefore, the case suggested by the hon. Gentleman clearly does not arise. As to the suggestion that great numbers of persons, plural voters, people of exceptional intelligence, are going to do these things without intention, it is much like saying that a rational man ought to be excused because, after he has already asked one person to marry him, he, without intention, proceeds to go and ask someone else to marry him. People who do that incur penalties. It becomes apparent to the intellect of ordinary people that what they ought to do is not to repeat the process more than once.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I have an Amendment down similar to that moved by my hon. Friend, whose Amendment I propose to alter by adding "a person registered as a Parliamentary voter in more than one constituency and not voting as a Parliamentary elector in more than one of the constituencies in which he is so registered, having voted in one of those constituencies, he shall not ask for a ballot or voting paper for the purpose of voting as a Parliamentary elector in any other constituency." My reason for putting this Amendment down is that this Bill creates a new offence, and it is quite right when you create a new offence that you should make it criminal to commit that offence. What is this new offence? It is that of voting twice. There is no harm in voting once, and, if that is so, the attempt to commit an offence could not arise until after you had voted once. The Bill does not provide for that. A man may perfectly innocently ask for a voting paper before he has voted at all, and yet he may be brought up and charged with a criminal offence on the ground that he intended to vote twice. The Colonial Secretary said the other day:—Where the offence comes in is after you have voted in one constituency with deliberation, knowing you have no right, to travel to another constituency, and again to ask for a voting paper.According to the Colonial Secretary, the offence does not came in until you have voted once. That is what I propose to provide by this Amendment. I propose that it shall be an offence to vote twice, and, having voted once, it shall be an offence to ask for another voting paper. A man quite innocently may ask for a 827 voting paper before he has voted at all, and he may change his mind and vote in another constituency, and this Clause will render him liable to two years' imprisonment and disfranchisement for seven years. The Government ought not to put innocent men on their trial in that way.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
To prevent the possibility of this happening, I support this Amendment, and if it is carried I shall supplement it by moving the Amendment standing in my name lower down on the Paper.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I do not agree that the language of this Bill makes it clear that a man could not be convicted for having innocently asked for a ballot paper. I speak as one who has spent some of his time in construing Acts of Parliament. I ask hon. Members to look at the Bill as it stands and read it carefully, and they will find that it is clear, if a man asks for a ballot paper, when he has already voted in another constituency, he commits an offence under the Bill. It may be that the magistrate would let him off altogether or inflict a small fine if the man can convince him that he has acted innocently. But on the other hand, the magistrate may take the view which I do, and convict the man, because I hold that the magistrate has no option but to convict the man because he has in fact asked for a ballot paper when he has already voted in another constituency. I do not think it is right that we should put any man in that position. He may be a man who has not got the means to appeal against the conviction, and he may not have the time or inclination to do so. He may live in a distant part of the country and might not be inclined to take the trouble to appeal against a decision of the magistrate. It seems perfectly clear that those who have drafted this Bill did not contemplate that a man may make a mistake when he has once voted, of going to another constituency quite innocently and asking for a ballot paper. If that is not so, what is the good of putting in Sub-section (2) that in the polling booth the question may be asked, "Have you already voted in any constituency during this General Election?" The point I wish to make is that the man has already committed an offence if he has asked for the ballot paper before the question is put to him, 828 and if he says, "I am not going to answer the question," or answers "Yes" or "No," even then he gets the ballot paper, although he may not put it into the ballot box. I really think this is a matter which hon. Members opposite ought to help us to alter. We are not discussing the question of the principle of plural voting, because that must be accepted now as the guiding principle, but we are appealing to hon. Members to assist us upon this Amendment in the interests, not of intelligent people who have plenty of opportunity of hearing discussions on this question, but of the people who live in the country and have a very vague idea about a law such as this; people who may get into trouble and cannot put themselves right without the expenditure of a great deal of money. I think we have a good deal of reason on our side, and I hope we shall get some support from hon. Members opposite.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
The full offence in this Bill is voting a second time after having voted once. What ought to be guarded against is asking for a ballet paper after a person has voted once. I am not sure that these words do not mean-more than that. Supposing a man has not voted once and merely asks for a ballot paper, and afterwards changes his mind, it would come under the offence as the Clause now stands. There is no crime in changing your mind, and there is nothing in it in the nature of an offence, but it might make you liable to two years' imprisonment and that is a wrong principle. I quite agree that if a man has voted once, and then takes some step which is an attempt to vote a second time, then the penalty ought to be enforced. I put it that the penalty, that may be a very heavy one, ought not to be enforced merely on the principle of a man changing his mind. That is the point upon which I wish the Solicitor-General to give us some further information.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I speak with the indulgence of the House, but I would like to give an answer in a couple of sentences. To a large extent, I agree with the hon. Member's reading of the Bill, but it is subject to the limitation that even the smallest infraction of this Bill would not arise in the circumstances he put, unless during the continuance of a General Election in a constituency in which the elector is registered, and unless it be that he has asked for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting as a Parliamentary elector; We think that if all these cir- 829 cumstances are satisfied it is right to say, "You have exercised your option, and there is really no justification for giving you what the hon. and learned Gentleman calls the opportunity of changing your mind at that stage." Really, nobody who is entitled to vote during a General Election in a constituency where he is registered goes and asks for a ballot paper except as a portion of the process of voting. It is largely a matter of evidence. It is a comparatively easy thing to prove that an accused person has asked for a ballot paper, but it is a very difficult thing to prove that he has in fact voted. The hon. and learned Gentleman
|Division No. 198.]||AYES.||[3.57 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Alden, Percy||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lundon, Thomas|
|Armitage, Robert||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Arnold, Sydney||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lynch, A. A.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Ffrench, Peter||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Field, William||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Fitzgibbon, John||McGhee, Richard|
|Barnes, George N.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Ginnell, Laurence||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Gladstone, W. G. C.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon Augustine||Glanville, Harold James||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Boland, John Pius||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Goldstone, Frank||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Martin, Joseph|
|Brace, William||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Gulland, John William||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Gwynn, Stephen (Lucius (Galway)||Meagher, Michael|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hackett, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hancock, John George||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hardie, J. Keir||Molloy, Michael|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hayden, John Patrick||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hazleton, Richard||Mooney, John J.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Henry, Sir Charles||Morrell, Philip|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Morison, Hector|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Higham, John Sharp||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hinds, John||Muldoon, John|
|Clough, William||Hodge, John||Munro, Robert|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Hogge, James Myles||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Cotton, William Francis||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Cullinan, John||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Dowd, John|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eiflon)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Grady, James|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Malley, William|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Jowett, Frederick William||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Delany, William||Keating, Matthew||O'Shee, James John|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Devlin, Joseph||Kelly, Edward||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Dillon, John||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kilbride, Denis||Parry, Thomas H|
|Doris, William||King, Joseph||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lardner, James C. R.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
§ has adopted the familiar device of asking us to imagine the mildest infraction of the law, followed by the maximum penalty which the Statute contemplates. That is not really a fair way to test it, more particularly as my right hon. Friend has put down an Amendment which is going to remove all possible cases of hardship, because it is going to remove altogether the automatic disqualification of a man because he has committed a trifling offence.
§ Question put, "That the word 'or' stand part of the Clause."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 237; Noes-106.831
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Sheehy, David||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Sherwell, Arthur James||Webb, H.|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Radford, G. H.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Reddy, Michael||Snowden, Philip||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Sutherland, John E.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Sutton, John E.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Tennant, Harold John||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Thomas, J. H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Robinson, Sidney||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Toulmin, Sir George||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Rowlands, James||Wadsworth, John|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. Geoffrey Howard.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wardle, George J.|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Newman, John R. P.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fell, Arthur||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Fletcher, John Samuel||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gardner, Ernest||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gibbs, G. A.||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Goldsmith, Frank||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rotschild, Lionel de|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Greene, W. R.||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gretton, John||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bird, Alfred||Haddock, George Bahr||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Blair, Reginald||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Starkey, John R.|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Helmsley, Viscount||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Boyton, James||Henry, Sir Charles||Terreil, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Terreil, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Butcher, John George||Hills, John Waller||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Horner, Andrew Long||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Ingleby, Holcombe||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerry, Earl of||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Larmor, Sir J.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Lewisham, Viscount||Winterton, Earl|
|Croft, H. P.||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Barnston and Mr. Stanier.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Newdegate, F. A.|
§ Mr. GIBBS
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "ask," ["or ask for a ballot or voting paper"] to insert the words "if he has already voted."
It seems to me that if these words are not inserted a man might go into a polling booth and, it being summer time, might be affected by the sun and, having asked for a ballot paper, be unable to record his vote. On the other hand, under the stress of excitement, he might, after he has asked for a ballot paper, have some attack of the heart and be rendered incapable thereby 832 of voting. There are, too, some men whose record is not altogether spotless to whom the sight of four men behind a table, with a police-constable standing by, would be sufficient to bring on a heart attack. Again, a man might be in the polling booth and suddenly change his mind as to who he should vote for. Let me put an extreme case. He may look out of a window, see the candidates drive up to the station and notice that he is ill-treating his horses. That voter, being a humanitarian, might at once give up the idea of voting for such a candidate. All 833 these are considerations which should be taken into account, and they are not provided for an the Bill as it stands. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot accept the Amendment the result might be to prevent some men voting at all.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The result of this Amendment appears to be almost exactly the same as the last Amendment. I am afraid we must leave those who are affected by the sun or attacked by heart disease to look after themselves. At any rate, I think we may trust any tribunal before whom they may appear to take all the circumstances into consideration.
§ Question, "That these words be there inserted," put, and negatived.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I beg to move, in the same Sub-section, after the word "ask," to insert the words "the presiding officer at a polling station or other person properly issuing the same."
It is a matter of common knowledge that at the present time an ignorant voter often applies for a voting paper to a person standing outside the polling station, whether it be a policeman or a representative of the different parties, and the object of this Amendment is to deal with a case such as that. I should also like to draw attention to the fact that this Clause as it stands is not English. As the drafting of the Government is notoriously bad, at any rate let us have the grammar approximately accurate. The substance of this Amendment undoubtedly lies in the fact that it is quite possible, for a casual or ignorant person to ask the wrong person for a voting paper, with the result that he may be taken before a magistrate and possibly committed to prison. I venture, in the interests of accuracy as well as of justice, to express the hope that this Amendment will be accepted.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I am sorry I cannot accept the hon. Member's suggestion. It does not appear to me that the addition is in any way necessary. If it is not necessary, then it is better not to have more words in the Clause than we can help. This Bill is going to be posted conspicuously in every polling booth in order to warn intending electors.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Perhaps he may never get there. Before he enters the polling booth where this notice appears he may have asked the wrong person for a voting paper.
§ Sir J. SIMON
So far as it is a matter of legal interpretation, I am prepared to pledge any legal reputation I have that this Sub-section does not mean that if you stop a total stranger in the street and ask him, not for a match, but for a ballot paper, you would be committing an offence. It does not mean that; therefore it is not necessary to put in words to save such a person from the criminal law. The only case which might possbly arise is that which was mentioned by one of the university Members—that in connection with voting papers for universities. That is met by observing that this Sub-section is only in operation during the continuance of a General Election, and, further, that as a matter of fact these voting papers, as a rule, are distributed by the authorities from the university and are not asked for at all. The plain construction of the Subsection is that you have to ask for a voting paper from somebody who has a right to give what you want. I am perfectly satisfied in my own mind, and I ask the House to accept the view, that the Clause as it stands does not put anybody in a possible position of risk.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
My experience of elections is that sometimes there is a great rush and men tear into the polling station and ask anybody, a clerk or policeman, for a voting paper, because they do not know the proper person to approach. The Amendment would protect people from suffering a penalty which is very unjust and unfair. The Government always tell us that the law will be interpreted fairly, but we know that as soon as one of their Bills is passed their action is very different. If these words were inserted they could do no possible harm and would save people from great injustice.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. PEASE
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1) to add:—
I rise with some little trepidation to move this Amendment, because I am going to make what I thought was a short Bill into a comparatively long Bill. I move it with an addition to meet three points which have been raised by Members of the Opposition. The first one deals with the case put before the House by the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Harry Lawson), in which he drew attention to the case of a plural voter who went into a polling booth and there found that somebody had impersonated him, and who, if he then voted upon a pink paper, might possibly find that his vote would not become effective. It seemed to be a very hard case that an individual in such circumstances should not be entitled to exercise his vote in another constituency. Therefore the first paragraph deals with that case. If the individual goes into the polling booth and finds that somebody else has recorded the vote he was expecting to record, and he does not wish to take the pink paper, he will not be committing an offence if he leaves the polling booth and decides to exercise his vote elsewhere. The second deals with an Amendment which has the approval of the hon. Member (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) to meet the case he put before the House earlier this afternoon. The third paragraph deals with the case of an equality of votes where 836 the presiding officer, being on the register, may be entitled to exercise the privilege of giving a casting vote without prejudice to his voting in some other constituency in which he is also an elector.
- "(a) the fact that any such person has asked for a ballot paper in a con-
835 stituency in circumstances which entitle him only to mark a tendered ballot paper in pursuance of Rule 27 of the first part of the First Schedule to the Ballot Act, 1872, shall not, if he does not exercise that right, prevent his voting or asking for a ballot or voting paper in another constituency; and
- (b) the fact that any such person who is registered in more than one Division of a Parliamentary borough has asked for a ballot paper in a Division of the borough in which he has been marked as not entitled to vote shall not prevent his voting or asking for a ballot paper in a Division of the borough in which he is entitled to vote; and
- (c) the giving of a vote by a returning officer in pursuance of Section 2 of the Ballot Act, 1872, in the case of an equality of votes, or the asking for a ballot paper for the purpose of so voting, shall not, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the giving of a vote as a Parliamentary elector, or the asking for a ballot paper for the purpose of so voting."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, at the end of the Sub-section to add the words,
but no such elector shall be debarred from voting or asking for a ballot or voting paper in more than one constituency if, on the day on which he records a vote in any constituency, the candidates for any other constituency in which he may be an elector have not then been duly nominated.I do not propose to press the Amendment to a Division, but I should like to ask the Government whether they realise that under the Bill as it stands a great many people will not even have a choice of which plural vote they are going to give. In boroughs the nomination may take place three days after the receipt of the writ and the polling may be held on the following day, the fourth day. In a county, on the other hand, the fourth day is the earliest day for the nomination and the seventh is the earliest day of the poll, so that very often the person who has a. vote in a borough and in the county does not know when he gives his vote in the borough whether a contest is going to take place in the county, so that really in that case a man is not given, under the Bill, a choice of votes.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The hon. Member, I dare say, is right about the dates and may be right in the result he suggests, but it does not very much distress those of us who support this Bill. We think the plural voter is really a favoured person in any case, though he has not a choice, and we do not propose to extend the privilege beyond the point to which it already goes.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I beg to move, as an Amendment, at the beginning of Sub-section (2), to insert the words, "If required by any candidate or any candidate's polling agent."
The Amendment embodies a principle which was debated at some length in Committee. I do not think the Clause as it stands is at all satisfactory. I venture to think it would be much better carried out 837 if the onus of demanding the question to be asked were put upon the candidate or the candidate's polling agent. I suggest that the leaving of the Clause in its present state would be unsatisfactory from the point of view that some returning officers might be unduly anxious to assert themselves and to put the question to every elector, while other returning officers might not ask the question at all.
§ Sir J. SIMON
We have followed precedent in this matter, and I suggest it would be well that voters should stand on the same level at the different kinds of elections.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 114; Noes, 237.
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lynch, A. A.||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||McGhee, Richard||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Field, William||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Robinson, Sidney|
|Ginnell, Laurence||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rowlands, James|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Martin, J.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Goldstone, Frank||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Gulland, John William||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hackett, John||Molloy, Michael||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sheehy, David|
|Hancock, John George||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Mooney, John J.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, George Hay||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morrell, Philip||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham).||Morison, Hector||Snowden, Philip|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Muldoon, John||Sutherland, John E.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Munro, Robert||Sutton, John E.|
|Hinds, John||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hodge, John||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Nolan, Joseph||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Connor,' John (Kildare, N.)||Wadsworth, John|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wardle, George J.|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Doherty, Philip||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Grady, James||Webb, H.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Malley, William||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Shee, James John||Whyte, Alexander F.|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Outhwaite, R. L.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Kelly, Edward||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Parry, Thomas H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|King, Joseph||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Law, Hugh Alexander||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Leach, Charles||Pringle, William M. R.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Radford, G. H.|
|Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. Geoffrey Howard.|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Reddy, Michael|
|Lyell, Charles Henry|
§ Further Amendment made: In Subsection (2), after the word "Parliament" ["in a new Parliament"], insert the words "of the United Kingdom."—[Sir J. Simon.]
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), to leave out the words "he shall be" ["he shall be guilty"], and to insert instead thereof the words "the onus shall rest upon him of proving that he is not."
The Sub-section will then read: "If a person acts in contravention of this Section the onus shall rest upon him of proving that he is not guilty." The sole object of this Amendment is to assimilate the law regarding the plural voter to the 840 law relating to personation. As the law stands to-day, as interpreted by authority, a person cannot be held guilty of personation even in the case of personating himself, which the right hon. Gentleman knows is possible under the Redistribution Act, unless corrupt motive is proved; that is to say, primâ facie he is guilty of corruption, but the onus rests upon him, as defendant, of showing that his intention was innocent. That was laid down by Mr. Justice Denman in the famous Stepney case, and bearing in mind the fact that there is undoubtedly greater moral turpitude in the case of personation than in simply asking twice for a voting paper, I ask the Government, 841 in order to assimilate the law, to accept the Amendment.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I think I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point, and certainly he put it very clearly, as well as briefly. I can show to him, I think, reasons why this change should not be made, and that it really would not assimilate the law in the sense in which he aims to do it. He has said quite correctly that a man charged with the crime of personation has cast up him as a result of judicial interpretation the onus of proving that he was acting innocently. That is not because the Statute says so, but because it is the judicial effect of what the Statute does say. In the same way, the judicial effect of what we are saying in this Bill will be that the onus will be on the person who really has not committed an offence of showing that though appearances are against him, he has not got a guilty mind in the matter, and is innocent. It is not necessary to pub that in the Statute to secure that result. That result follows, and I hope will always follow from the necessity of showing clearly, in any Criminal Court, that it is to be presumed before a man is guilty of a crime he has got a guilty mind, and that it is always open to him, even though appearances are against him, to accept the burden of proof that he has not got a guilty mind.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
There are conflicting opinions on this point. The text books differ as to whether or not the onus does now rest upon the defendant to show that he was innocent.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I quite understand that in different circumstances there may be different results. In any case I do not think there will be any difference between the hon. Gentleman and myself as to this, that certainly the prosecution has got to make out a case, and they only make a case if there is the presumption of a guilty man. Such a presumption, like most presumptions, can be drawn from the facts, but it is for the accused to accept the burden of showing that appearances are deceptive, and that he was acting bonâ fide, and was not really offending against the law. I am pretty confident it works out in that way, and I regret therefore I cannot see my way to accept this Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. PEASE
I beg to move at the end of Sub-section (3) to insert the words,
"Provided that the Court before whom a person is convicted under this Section may, if they think it just in the special circumstances of the case, mitigate or entirely remit any incapacity imposed by Section 6 of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1883."
The judge may, in the event of conviction on an indictment, impose a fine ranging from £100 to 1s., and this Amendment is to give the Court similar discretion in regard to incapacity, so that everyone will not be subject to incapacity for seven years for what might be a comparatively trivial offence, and to give the Courts full discretion in regard to the amount of incapacity attending conviction.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, after the words last inserted, to add the words,
"Provided also that such contravention shall not be ground in any Petition complaining of an undue return or undue election of a Member to serve in Parliament."
I do not know whether the Government intend that an election should be voided if a Member is returned by votes cast unlawfully under this Bill. If they do they will inflict a great injustice. A candidate will send papers to lots of people without knowing in the least whether they have more votes than one, and it may be construed that in sending papers to plural voters asking them to vote for him after they have voted once he is abetting an illegal and corrupt practice. He would thereupon be subject to a petition, and the election voided.
§ Sir J. SIMON
If a candidate is a party to such an offence as this measure creates it might affect his election. But the election could not be voided merely because a certain voter had incurred the penalty which this Statute imposes. It is only supposing the thing is done and proved to be done with the knowledge and cognisance of the candidate or his authorised agents that such consequences would follow.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
|Division No. 200.]||AYES.||[4.45 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fletcher, John Samuel||Peel, Lieut-Colonel R. F.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Gardner, Ernest||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Goldsmith, Frank||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Walter Raymond||Royds, Edmund|
|Barnston, Harry||Gretton, John||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Bird, Alfred||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Stanier, Beville|
|Blair, Reginald||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Boyton, James||Horner, Andrew Long||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Houston, Robert Paterson||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Butcher, John George||Hunt, Rowland||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Cassel, Felix||Ingleby, Holcombe||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Kerry, Earl of||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cave, George||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Larmor, Sir J.||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Lewisham, Viscount||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Clyde, James Avon||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Craik, Sir Henry||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Magnus, Sir Philip||Winterton, Earl|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Fell, Arthur||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. G. Locker-Lampson and Mr. Newman.|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Ginnell, Laurence|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Glanville, H. J.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Goldstone, Frank|
|Alden, Percy||Cotton, William Francis||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Cowan, William Henry||Griffith, Ellis Jones|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Gulland, John William|
|Arnold, Sydney||Crooks, William||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Crumley, Patrick||Hackett, John|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Cullinan, John||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hancock, John George|
|Barnes, George N.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Dawes, James Arthur||Hazleton, Richard|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Delany, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Boland, John Plus||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Devlin, Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Dillon, John||Higham, John Sharp|
|Brace, William||Donelan, Captain A.||Hinds, John|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Doris, William||Hodge, John|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Duffy, William J.||Hogge, James Myles|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Bryce, John Annan||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Field, William||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Clough, William||Fitzgibbon, John||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Joyce, Michael|
§ The House divided: Ayes, 116; Noes, 234.
|Keating, Matthew||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Kelly, Edward||Nolan, Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|King, Joseph||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sheehy, David|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Lardner, James C. R.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||O'Doherty, Philip||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Leach, Charles Henry||O'Dowd, John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||O'Grady, James||Snowden, Philip|
|Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||O'Malley, William||Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Lundon, Thomas||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sutton, John E.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Shee, James John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lynch, A. A.||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Thomas, James Henry|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Outhwaite, R. L.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|McGhee, Richard||Parry, Thomas H.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wadsworth, John|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Phillips, John (Longford, S,)||Wardle, George J.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Primrose, Han. Neil James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Pringle, William M. R.||Webb, H.|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Radford, George Heynes||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Martin, Joseph||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Meagher, Michael||Reddy, Michael||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Whyte, Alexander F.|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Molloy, Michael||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Mooney, John J.||Robinson, Sidney||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Morrell, Philip||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Morison, Hector||Rowlands, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Wedgwood Benn and Mr. Geoffrey Howard.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Muldoon, John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill to be read the third time upon Monday next, and to be printed. [Bill 256.]
Motion made and Question, "That this House do now adjourn," put, and agreed to.—[Mr. Gulland.]
Adjourned accordingly at Seven minutes before Five o'clock, until Monday next, 14th July.