HC Deb 20 November 1917 vol 99 cc1085-115

(1) Every person registered as a Parliamentary elector for any constituency shall, while so registered (and in the case of a woman notwithstanding sex or marriage), be entitled to vote at an election of a member to serve in Parliament for that constituency; but a man shall not vote at a General Election for more than one constituency for which he is registered by virtue of a residence qualification on for more than one constituency for which he is registered by virtue of other qualifications of whatever kind, and a woman shall not vote at a General Election for more than one constituency for which she is registered by virtue of her own or her husband's local government qualification, or for more than one constituency for which she is registered by virtue of any other qualification.

(2) A person registered as a local government elector for any local government electoral area shall while so registered (and in the case of a woman notwithstanding sex or marriage) be entitled to vote at a local government election for that area, but where, for the purposes of election, any such area is divided into into more than one ward or electoral division, by whatever name called, a person shall not be entitled to vote for more than one such ward or electoral division.


I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words " her own or her husband's local government qualification," and to insert instead thereof the words,

  1. " (a) her own local government qualification occupied by her as a dwelling-house;
  2. 1086
  3. (b) her husband's local government qualification occupied by him as a dwelling-house."
My object is to place the woman voter in the position recommended by the Conference. The original Bill gave the woman a rather larger right than a man, but in Committee a change was made which gave her a rather smaller right. What I now propose is intended to restore to the woman the position which was recommended, and I hope the right hop. Gentleman will see his way to accept it.


I beg to second the Amendment.


The Bill gives the woman the right of a local government qualification which is derived from any land or premises. This proposal seems to me to be distinctly restrictive.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, at the end, to insert, (3) Unless and until provision is made as respects Parliamentary boroughs returning three or more members that any election of the full number of members is to be according to the principle of proportional representation, a person shall not vote at a general election in more than one division of a Parliamentary borough which is divided into divisions. I raised this question on the Committee stage, and I did so on the Schedule because at that time there was no other opportunity of my doing so. The existing law as set out in the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, Section 8, Sub-section (3), provides, Where any Parliamentary borough is divided into divisions in pursuance of this Section a person shall not be registered as entitled to vote and shall not vote in more than one such division. By Schedule 7 of this Bill that Clause is repealed, and if the Bill passes as it now stands this method of plural voting, which now does not obtain, and has not obtained since 1885, would come into full force. I do not desire in the slightest degree to go back on the report of the Conference, and my Amendment, as I understand the matter, is an attempt to make the Bill accord with the report of the Conference. As I have understood the Speaker's Conference was a balanced compromise, and this was acceded to, by many members of the Conference, at any rate, because they understood that proportional representation would form a definite part of our legislative proposals. I am supported in that view by the fact that on my Amendment in Committee no less than four members of that Conference spoke and represented that view. I could have no better evidence than from the members themselves that that was the view they took. I approached this question as one on the merits absolutely. I am opposed to plural voting altogether; I do not believe in plural voting. I believe that the voter, whether a man or a woman, should have one vote and one vote only at a general election. But, notwithstanding that very strong view, and desiring that the report of the Conference should be carried into effect, I have subordinated my own views to carry out entirely what the Conference Report carries through. But the change which comes about by the refusal of what the Conference proposed in the direction of proportional representation is so great that it is absolutely vital to bring the question to the notice of the House. When I brought this forward on the Schedule, it was pointed out by the President of the Local Government Board that it was a very inconvenient time and place to bring it forward. That I fully recognized, and did not desire in the slightest degree to take a snatch vote upon it. It was moved then simply because it could not be moved on Clause 7 in the Committee stage, because at that time proportional representation formed part of the Bill. It is because proportional representation for the time being has gone out of the Bill that I was forced to the only alternative of moving on the Schedule. Now that it is out of the Bill, and that we are on Clause 7 as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, I bring forward my Amendment.

I put this question purely on the ground that, proportional representation being eliminated from the Bill, the balance of the compromise is broken, and if proportional representation goes out, then plural voting in the divided boroughs should go out as well. It was proposed, as I understand it, as a quid pro quo, and if one goes the other goes. But if proportional representation, as I personally sincerely hope, is introduced into the Bill, then I have no desire in the slightest degree to oppose this method of plural voting. Consequently, my words are " unless and until provision is made " in regard to proportional representation. The difference is perfectly manifest. Under proportional representation this method of plural voting would have a very slight and limited effect. It would not apply to any divided borough with three divisions, or four divisions, or even five divisions, and it would have no effect whatever in any such case because in such cases there would be only one constituency. Even in the very large boroughs up to thirteen or fourteen divisions there would be only three constituencies, and the application of it would be so small that it did not require any serious consideration. But with the removal of proportional representation the position is entirely altered. Now, in all the divided boroughs, it would apply and a most serious change and revolution would take place as compared with the existing law, and consequently I felt it to be my duty to bring the matter to the very serious attention of the House. We had a long discussion in Committee, and among the members who took part were also members of the Conference, one of them the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. M. Healy) saw the situation in a most illuminating way, and I venture with his permission to quote a few words from his speech, because they put very clearly what the present position is. On that occasion he said: I have had occasion to make a calculation for another purpose as to the effect of this proposal, and I find that this Amendment affects 127 constituencies in the United Kingdom, for that is the number of cities with divided boroughs. Therefore it is idle to say that the Speaker's Conference in agreeing to the dual vote ever intended that it should apply to 127 constituencies. As the Bill was introduced, and as the Speaker's Conference recommended, only some seventeen constituencies were affected. There at once you see the difference in the change that takes place if the proposal of proportional representation is not further introduced. This is so manifest that I sincerely trust that it may appeal to the sense of justice of the House. This matter having been discussed before, I do not wish to elaborate it, but simply to say that I am not seeking in any way to depart from the Conference and am only trying to bring the House back to what the Conference proposed. If proportional representation goes in, then my Amendment will have no effect whatever; but if it does not go in, then it applies, and the existing law is carried still into effect. In view of the importance of this matter, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman may see his way to accept it, as it is only a fair way of carrying out the Report of the Speaker's Conference.

7.0 P.M.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so because in my view the Clause .as it stands is a grave departure from the agreement that was come to by the Conference. Let me tell the House what happened in the Conference. When it was proposed that there should be a business vote, we who were objecting to plural voting altogether in every form raised the point that the business vote would enable a man to vote in two divisions in the same city, a thing which has never been allowed hitherto, and that, therefore, we were being asked to consent to an actual extension of plural voting in that sense. Our Unionist Friends desired, and, indeed, made the stipulation, that the business vote should be applied. We had, therefore, to consider whether we would accept that or not. I myself prepared some figures, and called my Friends together and laid them before them, and we quite distinctly took into account the fact that with proportional representation the effect of the business vote in extending the plural vote in the same city would be very small indeed, because, where the town was not too big for three, four, or five members, of course there would only be one division, and therefore no plural voting in that town or city. There would be very few towns large enough to be divided into two divisions, and very few indeed large enough to be divided into three. Moreover,besides there being very few towns in which it would have any effect whatever, the effect would be comparatively slight in those towns where it did apply. For this reason: In the single-member constituency, where the candidate has to get a majority of the whole constituency, a single vote, or two or three votes, may very likely turn the result, and a few dozen very often does; whereas in the proportional representation constituency it cannot possibly affect more than one out of the three, four or five seats, and is very unlikely to affect even that one unless the plural vote amounts to a considerable proportion of the whole vote. Therefore, we felt that with proportional representation in, we could agree to this extension of plural voting. When it came to the House, the House struck out proportional representation, and thereby extended enormously the amount of plural voting, because it allowed it in every town in the country big enough to have three members. What is more, even in the very large towns like Glasgow, where it would have existed to a small extent even under proportional representation, it will now exist to a very much larger extent; instead of having three divisions there you will have fifteen. I say, therefore, if the Clause stands as it is, there is a very grave departure from the proposals which were agreed to in the Conference. I do not believe the House meant, or desires, to go back upon that agreement, therefore I think we ought to accept my hon. Friend's Amendment, which will put back the compromise to where it was left at the Speaker's Conference. That is to say, if there is proportional representation, then there is the plural vote within the towns to a small extent; if there is not, there is no plural vote within the same town.


I very muck regret that I was not present in the House during the Committee stage of this Bill, when the hon. Gentleman who has just moved this Amendment raised the question. Frankly, I did not see at that time how the question could be raised on the Schedule; therefore I was not present in my place, which I should have been had I known. To my regret I feel I must completely join issue with the Mover and Seconder of this Amendment. It is well-known to hon. Members that the result of the Speaker's Conference was a give-and-take between the members of the various political parties. The question of proportional representation had absolutely nothing to do with the parties. There was a complete cleavage, if I may say so, through all parties in regard to proportional representation. The hon. Members who moved and seconded this Amendment will bear me out, I am quite sure, when 1 say that there were members of their party who objected to proportional representation quite as much as there were those in favour, and members of the party to which I have the honour to belong were placed in precisely the same position. I think my hon. Friends opposite will also concede this—that the party to which I have the honour to belong had, if we were coming to any arrangement at to make concessions which to us would appear to be of great magnitude. For these concessions we naturally expected, and we naturally obtained, concessions from the party to which the hon. Members belong.

At the Conference I moved in regard to the particular subject which is now under discussion in this Amendment, and I have myself a perfect recollection of what occurred. I know that the very objections raised by both the hon. Members who have just spoken were raised there. Eventually they gave way upon this point, and there was never one word more mentioned of proportional representation at any time. It was never suggested by any hon. Members of the party to which my hon. Friends belong that it was on proportional representation that they had conceded to us our point; there was never one word of any kind or sort said about the subject. The hon. Member who seconded the Amendment mentioned just now that he called a meeting of his friends to consider something. I have no knowledge whatever of any kind of meeting called by the hon. Member on the question of proportional representation. But it has nothing whatever to do with me. Therefore, I cannot for the moment allow that the question of proportional representation at the Conference had any bearing whatever upon the concession, and the only concession given, for the very large quid pro quos by us.


We only got one—the business vote concession.


The hon. Baronet on my right says we only got one concession. I am not going into that; but I know perfectly well that in a grave desire to effect the settlement of outstanding questions of great difficulty one has to give-and-take, and those of us representing our party did so. We attained something at all events. The hon. Baronet refers to what he describes as the only concession we got. At all events we did get it, and it was not given to us on account of the reason alleged. I have no knowledge of any meetings. My Friends held no meetings on the subject. We had no idea that hon. Friends of the party were holding meetings on the subject. I do know this, that after the business vote was conceded to us, hon. and right hon. Gentlemen, members of the party to which my hon. Friends opposite belong, used their best endeavours to get proportional representation set on one side.

I hold in my hand a pressing request from the London Liberal Federation, urging me in the strongest possible language to vote against proportional representation. It seems a very curious thing that it should be put forward in this House that the concession in regard to business votes was only given because the Conference had accepted proportional representation. It seems odd that the party to which my hon. Friend belongs should urge me, who do not even belong to the party, by all means to vote against the very thing which caused them to make this concession! I desire to be absolutely honest. I do not desire to travesty one single thing that took place at this Conference. I do not in any degree desire to upset the harmony which existed during the whole of that Conference, which, considering the differences we had to discuss, to my mind was one that was most praiseworthy to the members of the various parties taking part in it, and which, in my opinion, has resulted in a reform which will be of the very greatest value to the country. But I must remain perfectly firm in saying that, if this Amendment is carried, it is a breach of the agreement between the two parties, which I seriously trust the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will not depart from one iota. I hold it to be a sacred agreement


There is evidently a conflict of opinion as to what occurred, and what was intended by the Conference. When the matter was before the House on a previous occasion I understood that four members of the Conference supported the view that has been expressed to-day by one of them, my hon. Friend behind me. I think I am right in, saying that my right hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow was one of the members, and the other was the Member for North-West Lanark (Mr. Pringle), the hon. Member who has just spoken (Mr. A. Williams), and another whom for the moment I forget. As to the conflict Of opinion, I look at the matter from the. point of view of one who was not a member of the Conference, of one who views it from the outside. It presents itself in this. way—and this is the view I should venture to press upon the House: We have a Bill introduced by the Government which was supposed to represent the recommenda- tions of the Conference. That Bill contained two provisions which are, in my opinion, indissolubly related to one another. One was the provision creating the great new constituencies in the boroughs. All the larger boroughs with now three, four, or five members became single-member constituencies. Boroughs with more members than that became divided into two constituencies, or at most into three. No borough was to have more than three constituencies. That was one proposal in the Bill. Another proposal in the Bill was to repeal the provision which has been the law of the land ever since 1885—that is for thirty years—the provision that no one should exercise more than one vote in one borough, whether divided into constituencies or not. Let me take an example, the City of Bradford. Bradford is divided into four constituencies. The Bill as introduced by the Government would have made that one constituency. No person now can vote twice in Bradford. If a business man has a house in which he lives in one part of Bradford and he has a shop or business offices in another part of Bradford he cannot vote twice. That is at present the law of the land, and has been for thirty years

Under the Bill, as introduced by the Government, he still would not have been able to vote twice, because Bradford would have been one constituency. As the Bill now is, however, in its present form, proportional representation having been struck out, he will for the first time be able to vote twice. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] If the Bill as introduced represented the recommendations of the Conference, and I believe it did—no one can say it represents the recommendations of the Conference now; it cannot. The things are inconsistent with one another. This Amendment is one of very great importance indeed. It affects a very large number of great boroughs, Bradford, Bristol, Hull, Leicester, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Salford, Stoke-on-Trent, West Ham, Wolverhampton, Cardiff and Edinburgh. These are all the constituencies, all boroughs, which would be single constituencies returning three, four or five members under the Bill as introduced, and as recommended by the Conference. In future these will all be divided boroughs in which persons who are qualified will be able to vote more than once. There are a few larger boroughs, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, and Glasgow where there is a further complication. Under the Conference proposals these larger boroughs would have been divided. Birmingham, for example, would have been divided into three constituencies. It is true that a man who had a house in one of these three constituencies and an office in another would have been able to vote twice, if it so happened; but under the Bill as it now stands Birmingham will have twelve divisions, and a man who has a voting qualification in any one of the twelve, and another qualification in any other of the twelve, would be able to vote twice. Consequently, plural voting is immensely extended even in those cases beyond the recommendations of the Conference.

Let us see how this question of plural voting really stands. For thirty years or more the party with whom I am associated has advocated the complete abolition of plural voting. We have logic and justice in support of it. We passed, in those distant days, which seem so long ago, when party controversies raged, a Bill twice to abolish plural voting altogether, and it was twice rejected by the House of Lords, and is now awaiting its third passage under the Parliament Act. If that had been passed into law, plural voting would have disappeared altogether. The party to which I belong agreed that we would no longer persist, in view of the compromise come to, in pressing for the complete abolition of plural voting, and we acquiesced in a dual vote, by which persons should not have more than two votes. That is a very great concession in itself, because what some right hon. and hon. Members are asking now is something which has never yet existed, and consequently it cannot be suggested that it is a concession to create for the first time a new plural voter. The concession is that we should surrender our opposition to the existing plural voter. Furthermore, it has always been one of the principles of the party with which we are associated to abolish university representation. As a part of this compromise, university representation is maintained, and, indeed, increased, a large number of additional university voters having been created.

I can say with absolute sincerity that I have no desire whatever to use this Bill as a means of snatching any unfair party advantage. I think I can say quite truly that, throughout the many Debates on this Bill, we have quite loyally supported the compromise arrived at in your Conference, Mr. Speaker, and that whenever points of difficulty have, arisen, and the Home Secretary has had to resist proposals that have come from hon. Friends of mine, which appeared to be in some conflict with the Speaker's Conference, he has appealed to us not to insist on them, on the ground of the compromise arrived at, and on every occasion we have responded to that appeal. I am sure he will do us the justice of believing that we have endeavoured loyally to maintain that position all through. All we ask is that those who represent the point of view of the Unionist party should not seek now to press upon us a proposal which we contend is not included in the Conference Report, which was not included in the Bill as introduced into the House, and which represents what we regard as a retrograde step on what has been the law for the last thirty years.

The present Government consists of Members of all parties. It consists of Unionists, Liberals, and Labour representatives. As it happens, the two representatives of the Government who are in charge of this Bill both belong to the Unionist party. I do not for a moment raise any complaint as to that. I think that those right hon. Gentlemen have conducted the Bill, if I may be allowed respectfully to say so, with the utmost fairness as well as courtesy, and the manner in which they have conducted the Bill has won the confidence and approval of every section of the House. And I am sure, feeling as they do that they represent one section of a Government which consists of members of three parties, that where a matter which has been long a question of party controversy comes before the House they will recognise the obligation which rests upon them in a very high degree of maintaining impartiality to the utmost. I would urge the Government very strongly to accept this Amendment. But, in any case, I cannot for a moment believe that the Government would oppose this Amendment, for that would be regarded by my hon. Friends and myself as very unfair treatment, and as departing from the spirit and the principle on which this Bill has been founded, and on which these Debates have been conducted.


I do not think this question can really be very satisfactorily debated on the footing taken by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. As regards the question how far the arrangement is fair as between parties, we do not know sufficiently what is going to be the fate of parties after this Bill passes to make it possible to form an estimate for the future, and, in any case, that is not a satisfactory argument in an assembly of this kind, which ought to consider the question from a more elevated point of view, and in the interests of the whole country. I venture to point out that all these difficulties arise from the fact that our system of representation rests on two different theories. It partly rests on the theory that we are elected by a great number of different communities, each of which has the right to send a Member to Parliament. It is coming more and more to rest on a quite different theory, namely, that every elector has an equal share in the election, and on the principle of one vote one value, that each man, therefore, ought to have an equal voice in electing to the representative House. Those are quite different principles. According to the first principle, the plurol vote is quite reasonable. Because a man belongs to two different communities it is quite reasonable that he should have a voice in both those communities. According to the second principle—it is, of course, quite unreasonable—the only way to make that operative is by adopting proportional representation.

Therefore, when we find that the rejection of proportional representation has enlarged the scope of the concession to plural voting, we do not find, as I think the right hon. Gentleman thinks we do, something quite accidental, and therefore quite unreasonable. We find what is a quite natural and logical consequence of rejecting proportional representation. If you reject proportional representation you are adhering—I think mistakingly—to the theory that each community, as a separate body, has a right to send its representative to Parliament, and you drop for the moment the theory that each elector throughout the whole country is entitled to an equal voice in electing to the representative House. But, if that is so, then it is quite reasonable that a man who has two qualifications in two different constituencies should have two votes, so long as he genuinely takes part in the life of the two constituencies. Nothing could be more absurd than the contrary, that a man should have a vote if he happens to live just outside the boundary of Bradford and a second business vote, as the right hon. Gentlemen would suggest; but, on the other hand, another man who lives just inside the boundary of Bradford should not have a residential vote as well as a business vote. You might have two friends, each having a villa, one just within the boundary of the borough and the other just outside the boundary of the borough, and, under the system the right hon. Gentleman recommends one man would have two votes and the other only one vote.


It has been the law for thirty years.


It does not make it wise. We are now seeking to improve the law. My point is this: That it is not an accident that the rejection of proportional representation increases the plural vote. It is a reasonable and natural consequence. I prefer proportional representation; but if you drop proportional representation do let us have what additional security you can give by following out the logical consequence of dropping proportional representation, and give a dual vote to persons who live in two different divisions of a great city. That is the natural, the logical, the reasonable consequence of dropping proportional representation, and if you do drop it—which I hope you will not—then by all means let us adopt the consequences, too.


It will be within the recollection of the House that when this doubt first arose, in Committee, I rose at once and protested against the interpretation placed upon it by the Mover of this Amendment. I want to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Sir H. Samuel) in his recollection of what took place at the Speaker's Conference. At that Conference this matter was debated at various times; but on no occasion did one depend on the other. On no occasion at all was it mentioned at any time that proportional representation depended in the least on the plural vote.


Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to say that he is denying what I did not assert. I did not assert that there was any bargain in the matter. Hon. Members opposite did not give us the reasons why they made certain concessions. Consequently we did not give them the reasons why we made certain concessions. I was speaking of the reason why we made a concession, and the extent of the concession as we understand it.


We, as representing our party, on the other hand, thought we were giving up a great deal in giving up various kinds of franchise which had been in existence not for thirty years but for centuries. There were various kinds of franchise of a valuable description, all of which we swept away. We deliberately chose the local government franchise as being the best one on which to build a sure foundation. A basis was sought in various directions, and finally we came to the conclusion that the local government franchise was the best one to suit our purposes, and so we chose that. The plural vote has not been swept away. The vote was there, and in many cases men had six, seven, eight and nine votes, and we thought it would be a fair thing for the vote to remain where the man had his residence and where he had his business, and if by accident it increased the plural vote we were satisfied that was part of the bargain.

I do not wish to go now into the subject of proportional representation because that will come on later, but I will say this, that one member of the Conference said, "We are giving up a great deal, because we are parting with one of our great grievances, the man with eight or nine votes. It is a splendid cry on election platforms. Think what a valuable concession we are making on that account." Surely a great deal of value was attached to the fact that we were clearing away every kind of franchise and dealing only with one. I only wish to support what my right hon. Friend said with regard to his recollection of what took place at the Conference. Our party never had one meeting at all. I did not even know that the other side had private meetings. We thought it was not fair or right to act as a party, and we did not so act. We came there without any predilections in that respect, but tried, as far as we could, to arrive at something we considered to be fair. My right hon. Friend said this was the only valuable concession we had obtained. That shows we were trying to do our best for the Conference. But I am afraid it will be a very serious matter if this is swept away. It will be considered, at any rate, by our party that the agreement come to at the Conference has been departed from.


This is a question which interests men of business. As I intervened during the Committee stage on this question, perhaps the House will permit me to say a word or two on the general argument. The hon. Member who spoke last, in entering into the controversy as to what took place in Committee, has contradicted statements which were never made. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Norwood (Sir H. Samuel) argued as if we agreed that there was a bargain at the Speaker's Conference to the effect that one side wanted proportional representation, and in lieu of that it was conceded that we were to give as a quid pro quo this dual vote in boroughs. Nobody said that in Committee. That was a subject upon which there was a clear inter-party cleavage. It would have been no concession at all to say, "If you give us proportional representation we will give you this dual vote." That would have been no bargain at all. I think the right hon. Gentleman will not deny that this precise question of the dual vote in boroughs was raised as quite a distinct question from the granting of the business vote. The bargain at the Conference was, "You give us the business vote and we will give you certain concessions in the way of the property vote and other matters"; and that was the bargain. It will not be denied that when those in favour of one man one vote conceded the business vote they never agreed to concede a double vote in boroughs.


I assert most emphatically that it was conceded.


If the right hon. Gentleman will attend to my argument, I do not think he will differ from me on the facts. He will not deny that hon. Members in favour of one man one vote, in conceding the business vote, at first at any rate, strongly objected to conceding the dual vote in boroughs. The two things are quite different. The principle that you shall not vote in two divisions in a borough has existed since 1885, and ever since there were boroughs. I do not think the right hon Gentleman the Member for Norwood will deny that those who thought as I did at the Conference, when we conceded the business vote, we reserved this question of the double vote to boroughs. When the Conference came to its final conclusion, we did concede the double vote, but why? Because of the proposal embodying proportional repre- sentation, and for no other reason. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Norwood will deny that, when we were having some very earnest discussions on this double vote, the argument was that once you adopt proportional representation this question becomes an unimportant one, because then it will only affect some fifteen or sixteen boroughs, and that was the argument which carried the double vote in boroughs. The Noble Lord opposite (Lord H. Cecil) has argued this as a matter of first principles, but with great respect I would urge that we are not now considering questions of first principles, and this Bill is not framed on that basis; it is framed as a compromise, and will anybody deny that the balance of the compromise has been most gravely affected by the striking out of proportional representation? With proportional representation in the Bill the double vote only affected fifteen seats, and my hon. Friend has told the House that in Committee I stated that with proportional representation out the Bill would affect 127 seats. The case is much stronger. When I made that statement the Redistribution Schedule was not in the Bill, but now under the new Schedule this question will affect 213 constituencies in Great Britain alone. Its operation in Ireland is confined to Dublin and Belfast. As these proposals left the Speaker's Conference this was a matter affecting at most some sixteen seats, but after dropping out proportional representation it affects 213 seats. Treating the matter as a compromise, can it be denied that so profound and large a change as that most seriously affects the balance that was struck by that compromise? That seems to me to be beyond argument, and if you pass from compromise to principles, as the Noble Lord opposite did, then the balance is the other way. The Noble Lord said that the existing theory of the English Constitution is that boroughs and counties are represented, and that is quite true. The unit is the borough, and that has always been the unit.


I would like to ask whether the hon. and learned Gentleman, in his calculation, has taken into account the fact that there are a great many extended boroughs?


In any borough which encroaches on the surrounding county and takes in an additional area, it is quite true that in the case of a man who formerly had two votes, one for the county outside and one for the borough inside, he would lose his vote, but that has always been the consequence of extending municipal boundaries. I do not think I have ever heard it suggested in any discussions I have taken part in that when you are .extending the municipal bounds of the borough you preserve the right of voting .as if part of the borough taken in remained in the county. It is a natural and normal consequence that the part taken into the borough becomes part of it, and carries with it the consequences of residence in .that borough. I do not think there is anything in the point which the hon. Baronet has made. However you regard this question, whether on principle or on the basis of a compromise, nothing can be plainer than this, that the striking out of proportional representation has changed the nature and consequence of this question of plural voting in boroughs. The borough in the past has always been a unit for Parliamentary purposes, and it is the unit for municipal purposes.

If the argument of the Noble Lord is to be adopted it ought to follow that if you had property in two wards in a borough you ought to have two municipal votes in a borough, but such has never been the case. Similarly, up to this time, no matter in how many divisions you have property, you vote as the inhabitant of the borough as a whole, and you have no right to a double vote. The importance of this question has been radically changed by the rejection of the plan of proportional representation. The way to set the matter right would be to go back to the proposals of the Conference. A change so great as that which has been made has the inevitable effect of maiming and disfiguring the whole proposal of the Bill. The proper solution would be to put proportional representation into the Bill, and if that is not done the compromise on this question will become a lop-sided thing. Its whole nature will be changed, and though in form it would have the appearance of going no further than what the Speaker's Conference decided, the actual results will go a good deal further.


I am very glad that, this subject, which has aroused a good deal of feeling—more than is generally aroused on most of the subjects—has had the advantage of being discussed after very full notice and in a, fairly full House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Cleveland Division (Mr. R. Samuel) claimed for himself that he was in no way desirous of snatching a party advantage from any discussion in which he took part, and I think the same may be said of the party to which I belong. Those who have followed the whole proceedings with regard to the Bill will be aware that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and I have never weighed our words from the point of view of the effect they may have on the fortunes of our party, but we have all along been solely desirous of guiding the House to decisions which are strictly in conformity with the actual decisions of Mr. Speaker's Conference. I intend to keep that view in my mind in the few remarks I am about to address to the House now. After all, what was the general decision of Mr. Speaker's Conference? It was that any man might be registered in one constituency for a certain qualification and in another constituency for another qualification, and, so far as by-elections were concerned, he would be able to use either qualification for which he was registered. He, therefore, became a dual voter, and that was to be pretty extensively the case so far as by-elections are concerned. Then Mr. Speaker's Conference went on to decide that, so far as general elections were concerned, he might vote in no more than one constituency in respect of his residential qualification and bin one constituency in respect of his business qualification. Mr. Speaker's Conference went on to define what was a constituency, and the words are quite clear. In Article 11 (b) they say: For the purpose of this Resolution the expression 'constituency' means any county, borough, or combination of places, or a university or combination of universities, returning a member or members 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. In view of the recommendations of Mr. Speaker's Conference, it is clear that the Bill ought to be drafted on lines which would give to anyone having a residence in one division, say, of Battersea, and an occupation qualification in another division, the right to vote in one of the divisions of Battersea as regards the residential qualification, and in the other division as regards the business qualification. Those who frame the Bill had to look to the decisions of Mr. Speaker's Conference, and those decisions give the plainest and clearest directions to the draftsman, who had consequently to take the only course of so framing the Bill that it be possible for anyone who has a' residential qualification in one division of either a borough or a county, and who has an occupation qualification in another division of the same borough or county, to be able to exercise both those qualifications at a General Election and to give two votes, one in one division and one in the other. Now my right hon. Friend says, "You are importing into this Bill something which never yet existed: you are giving now a dual vote which never existed before." That is a very strange argument to come from my right hon. Friend, in view of what took place earlier in the afternoon, when he made an eloquent appeal to the House to throw over Mr. Speaker's Conference and to put into the Bill something which certainly never existed before, and which would give a qualification to something like 5,000,000 women in respect of the same premises which qualify their husbands for a local government vote. The right hon. Gentleman asked us to import into the Bill something absolutely and directly opposed to the recommendations of Mr. Speaker's Conference, to import into our local franchise something like 5,000,000 women on a qualification which has never yet given anybody, either man or woman, a vote.


I also said that if the Government persisted in their objection on the ground that it was opposed to Mr. Speaker's Conference, I would not press it.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think he would have had any very large following in such a case? He put forward a very powerful plea, and he threw over Mr. Speaker's Conference. One of the arguments which has been made use of to-day is that we are importing something into the Bill which never yet existed. But the Bill is full of things which never yet existed, and I am very glad of it. Then there is an argument which has been used by my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Durham (Mr. A. Williams), to the effect that this thing would never have been put into the Bill if it had not been that those who were opposed to it felt that they would get an equivalent by the adoption of proportional representation.


My argument was that it was thought that proportional representation would very narrowly limit the effect of this proposal, and consequently some of those who agreed to it did so because they realised that proportional representation, to which they were opposed in principle, would very narrowly limit the effect of this concession.


I think I understand the argument. It is that this would never have been allowed—this form of dual voting would never have been allowed by Mr. Speaker's Conference—had the hon. Gentlemen speaking in favour of the Amendment not been given to understand, or had they not had the expectation, that proportional representation would, in some form or other, find its way into the Bill. We are told that four members of the Conference spoke in support, and I have heard three speeches from members of the Conference in which it has been denied that a bargain of some sort was come to.


I never said there was a bargain.


Other hon. Gentlemen have. At least three hon. Members have denied that there was anything in the nature of a bargain.


I did not say there was a bargain.


However that may be, I do understand that while the whole Liberal party have very strong views on plural voting and are solid in their advocacy of their views on that point, they have never been solid as regards their support of proportional representation. I have in my pocket at the present moment a most earnest appeal from the Liberal organisation, from the chief party managers in London, asking me to do all I can to defeat proportional representation. That shows that the Liberal party in London are not fond of this new arrangement.


Only in London!


Yes; but London has a big population, and when the matter of proportional representation comes to be argued, if those in favour of it as a principle are not willing to take their courage in their hands and apply it to London, they will hardly be allowed to apply it to Lancashire. I repeat it does not seem, to me a matter on which the Liberal party are solid. I come now to the question of the limitation of dual voting from the point of view of principle. The hon. Member for East Lanark (Mr. Duncan Millar) said he did not regard this matter of the residential vote and the business vote applied to two divisions of the same borough, as in any way involving a principle, and he added that if proportional representation was established he would be perfectly willing that, as regards adjoining constituencies, there should be a residential vote in one constituency and an occupation vote in the next. I take it that if proportional representation were to be applied to London, it would only apply to boroughs which under the Bill will be entitled to three or more members. Under the Bill the borough of Wandsworth, which is to be split up into five divisions, it will be possible for a man to have a residential vote in any one of those divisions But if proportional representation is applied then he will only have one vote, although if he lives in Wandsworth and has an occupation vote in Battersea, he will still have the two votes, one for his residential qualification, and the other for his occupation qualification. Therefore you will have this anomaly, that as applied to London you will have an entirely different law governing London as regards votes given in respect of the residential qualification and those given in respect of the business qualification.


Under the Clause the administrative county of London will be one Parliamentary borough.

8.0 P.M.


I think my hon. Friend is quite wrong in that. What I say is, that the opponents of this particular form of voting do not ground their opposition to it on principle, and therefore the real difference between those who are arguing this thing on the one side or the other is what amount of plural voting you are going to apply. It is not a matter of principle. It is really a matter of degree, and it is not for us who are in charge of this Bill to take one side or the other in this very contentious question. For our part we see nothing for it but to abide by the Bill, because we believe the Bill has been framed upon the only possible interpretation we can put on the decision at which the Speaker's Conference arrived. We believe we are adhering not only to the words but to the spirit of the decision of that Conference on this subject, and in so doing we ask the House to support us. We believe we are rightly interpreting the decision of the Speaker's Conference on. this very debatable question, and that in. doing so we are taking a course consistent with that which we have hitherto, followed in all contentious subjects, and. we ask the House to support us in adhering to the Bill which is framed on the Speaker's Conference.


I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hayes Fisher), when he said he stands by the Bill, which Bill? The whole question is. whether he is going to stand by the Bill which was introduced, and which I suppose was the Government's idea of a fair representation of the Report of the Speaker's Conference, or whether he is going to stand by something quite different. The Government bring in a Bill with the principle of proportional representation as part of that Bill.


With the assent of the House.


Certainly. No doubt they brought in the Bill in that form because the Speaker's Conference had included proportional representation among its recommendations, and what we complain of is this. The Speaker's Conference having recommended proportional representation and thereby limited the number of plural voters the Government feel themselves entitled to allow the House to throw over the Speaker's Conference on proportional representation, thereby multiplying enormously the number of plural voters. It seems to me that the speech which the right hon. Gentle man has addressed to the House does not meet the argument in the very least. It may be a question of degree, but almost every compromise is a question of degree, not of principle, and that argument does not meet the case at all. I must say I am amazed on an occasion like this, especially after the challenge thrown rout by the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil), that labour has no voice at all in a matter of this sort. Perhaps it will have; but I was surprised it has not hitherto had, because the Noble Lord threw out the most challenging observations on plural voting, of which I should like to say something in a moment. It seems to me no answer at all to say that somebody recognises that it is not a question of principle, but a question of degree, when you are, by throwing over, or letting the House throw over, one of the cardinal principles of the Speaker's Conference,. going to raise the plural voting question in such an extended form. I do not believe: the Speaker's Conference ever intended to raise the plural vote question in that magnitude. We are told that certain points were not definitely discussed; but we have the fact that the ultimate form of the recommendations of the Conference included proportional representation, and thereby limited this number of plural voters. By striking that out, as you have now done, you have an unlimited creation of plural voters, raising the most thorny and controversial questions, as the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. M. Healy) said, in some two hundred and thirty constituencies. It cannot possibly be right to say that the Bill as introduced represented the Speaker's Conference, and that the Bill as amended represents any conference by which we are bound.

Let me say, with regard to the whole principle of plural voting, that I have never been able to understand—especially in war time—how any body of men can have come to the conclusion that you could give to business men two votes and to the soldier one vote. It has always struck me as incomprehensible; and if we are to double, and treble, and quadruple the number of plural votes of men of business, it seems to be a most objectionable scheme, which we ought not to be called upon to support. When this House had the question before it on the Resolution, we always understood— I am sure every Member on these Benches understood—that there was this strict limitation on plural voting; and that there was to be a new plural vote created that never existed before in the divided boroughs never seemed to occur to anybody until, when proportional representation was struck out of the Bill, some few Members of the House realised that a vast number of new plural voters were thereby created. The hon. Member for Hammersmith (Sir William Bull) says that if the Government gives way the most serious situation will have arisen. I do not know what he means by that. Does he mean that a serious situation would have arisen if the Government's Bill with proportional representation in it had been carried, because that is the only situation we are contending for? We say, by all means keep the same number of plural voters that we conceded in the original Bill as a compromise, but if the compro- mise is to be departed from, and you are to create a large number of plural voters, that cannot possibly stand. The Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University raised an ingenious argument on the question of Conservatism with a small "c" as he expressed it, although I do not know quite what he meant by that. He developed an argument on the position of the man who has a vote in one constituency for his residence and one in another for his business. It never seems to occur to the Noble Lord what an extremely objectionable feature there is in this business vote, or why we were only prepared to accept it in very small doses as a compromise. A man may have worked in Bradford for fifty years in the same place, but because he is a workman he has no business vote, whereas if a man has a small shop, or is an employer; he gets a vote. That is why I say this extension of the plural vote is absolutely outside the scheme, and the complete recommendations of the Speaker's Conference, and why it ought to be, and I should have imagined would have been, resisted tooth and nail by the Labour party.

We have here an attempt to set up a business vote of enormous dimensions, giving to the employer and propertied classes two votes, whereas men who have worked and had interests in a constituency for the whole of their working lives are left out of the calculation. Many of us consider that the whole principle of this business vote is objectionable, but I regard this extension of it to some 230 constituencies as so objectionable that I should certainly divide the House if I were the only person to go into the Lobby on the question. It seems to me to be absolutely vital to the Bill to keep the plural voting within reasonable limits, and I think that unless this Amendment is carried it gets altogether out of hand, except on the assumption that plural voting is carried. I cannot imagine that any course that the Government could have taken would have tended more to get proportional representation restored to the Bill than the course now taken by the Government representatives. Any lingering doubt that I might ever have had in supporting proportional representation will certainly be thrown aside at once when I find that we have to choose between an enormous increase of property voters on the register, never considered or determined before, and never in the mind of the Speaker's Conference at all, and a new system in which I may not feel confidence. I can only say that the Government ought not to persist in the course which they are now taking, which on the face of it is clearly contrary to the. Speaker's Conference, which included proportional representation, and that they ought, directly proportional representation was taken out of the Bill, to have limited plural voting in a fair way and in accordance with the compromise arrived at between the parties. This Amendment seems to meet the case, and I shall support it.


The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down has referred to what he considers to be our .duty. I can assure him and the House that we have no sympathy with plural voting in any shape or form, and that we stand for its total abolition so far as the power within us lies. With regard to the Amendment which is before the House, I may say that not only those who are associated with me, but I also am in hearty agreement with the hon. and learned Gentleman, and I will support him, as this does create a new position. Whatever might have been said as to what the Speaker's Conference decided or did not decide upon this point, there is one thing certain, that this creates a new fundamental principle in regard to the franchise The Noble Lord (Lord H. Cecil) talked about some fundamental principles existing in the franchise, and what happened with regard to certain sections, but this is entirely new. Taking the whole boroughs, the large double-member constituencies are now divided into three, four, or more small constituencies. Where a plural voter was never known before he now comes into existence. Take my own Constituency. I suppose as long as it has been known in history Newcastle-on-Tyne has never allowed anyone to give more than one vote within that constituency, but, under the Bill it is now four, and, consequently, the occupation vote can now be used within that constituency where it could never be used before. Listening very carefully to the two sides of this controversy with regard to the original Bill and what was intended by the Speaker's Conference, it appears to me that a certain amount of power was retained to the plural voter in certain circumstances in the original Bill, and that that carried with it the consequence adopted in those circumstances. Had the Government stood as rigidly by the original circumstances in connection with proportional representation as they are doing by this particular position now, it would have altered the whole circumstances of the Bill so far as the plural voter is concerned. I do say that even if the Government at the present time cannot see its way to withdraw it should at least leave this an open question to the House, and allow us to settle it. I think that would be very fair. I, personally, and I think the party for whom I speak, do not wish to trespass at all upon the compromise effected by the Speaker's Conference in this matter. I say that we have stood for the total abolition of plural voting, but seeing that this was a compromise we are prepared to take the compromise as it originally stood but not as it has now developed. We think it is quite fair, under all the altered circumstances, for the Government not to be too rigid upon this particular point. It does alter the basis of the franchise, no matter what anyone may argue. It is not in accordance with the original intention, and it will have effects of a very far-reaching character in all the large constituencies that are now divided up. From this point of view, I would urge the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill at least to give the House a chance of deciding this matter by a free vote without the Whips being put on.


I have been very much struck with the conflict of opinion why this was conceded. I have in my hand an extract from a speech on 6th June by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) in which he gave a reason totally different from that given by anybody else. He said: I do not know whether hon. Members have realised the extent to which the duplicate vote has been enlarged. At the present time in the city of Liverpool no man has a duplicate vote. but by the Resolutions which the Conference agreed to a man with different premises in different parts of Liverpool will be entitled to exercise a duplicate vote. The man who lives in the suburbs of a big city will be able to vote for his residence and for somewhere else in the city, and in return for this— This is the point that I wanted to make— we thought it was justifiable to say that the masses of people who are moving from the suburbs to the city or vice versâ should have the advantage of successive occupation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th June, 1917, col. 261.] Here is a member who gives another totally different reason for having conceded this .particular duplicate vote, and among this conflict of views it appears to me that the Government are quite right in the attitude that they have taken up. I have said before that this is the only concession of any value that my party has got, and I still think so. Where are the other concessions to be found? I certainly do not find them. We regard this as a very important concession. We have given away the ownership vote, the livery votes, and all these fancy franchises, and this is the only return that we get for having taken up that attitude and for having agreed to the very wide extension of the franchise that we have all agreed should take place. Indeed, we agreed that it should take place on the distinct understanding that this vote should be conceded. I do not see that it is fair to press the matter now, and certainly the right hon. Gentleman who has created 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 new local government voters has no right to advance the argument that this is a new thing. It is no doubt new to many towns or cities, but it is not new to the extent that hon. Members seem to think. It is quite another matter what the House may do about proportional representation. That is still in the hangs of the gods. We do not come to it until we get to Clause 17. We lay very great stress on the retention of this vote, as recommended by the Speaker's Conference, and the very grave difference of opinion which has been shown entitles us to say at all events that the recollection of members of the Conference as to why this was granted, or under what conditions it was granted, is not very clear. The hon. Member for North-West Durham (Mr. A, Williams), who has interrupted pretty often, has said that there was no bargain in the end. We now know for the first time that the understanding to which he alluded, that proportional representation was to follow as a matter of course and as a corollary to granting the other, was a private understanding among members of his own party outside the Conference That certainly was not the impression conveyed to me on the Committee Stage. It alters absolutely the whole situation, and that plea cannot be advanced now with fairness or justice. I am very glad that my right hon. Friend has taken the stand that he has done. It is a stand that has been taken far more often against us than against hon. Members opposite. I said the other day that the general assent of this House which the late Home Secretary (Mr. H. Samuel) mentioned meant an Amendment to which he had got the Home Secretary to agree and to which we objected. That has been going on all through the Committee, and I hope we have accepted the position. We have certainly thought that our Friends have been rather hard on us on more than one occasion, and I hope that as we agree with them on this occasion we shall have the general assent of the House in leaving the Bill as it stands.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 142; Noes, 163.

Division No. 115] AYES. [8,23 p.m.
Adamson, William Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hayward, Major Evan
Agnew, Sir George William Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Healy, Maurice (Cork)
Ainsworth, Sir John Stirling Dougherty, Rt. Hon. Sir J. B. Helme, Sir Norval Watson
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire) Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Hemmerde, Edward George
Armitage, Robert Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan,Mid.) Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Durham)
Arnold, Sydney Elverston. Sir Harold Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Essex, Sir Richard Walter Higham, John Sharp
Bentham. George Jackson Falconer, James Hinds, John
Bothell. Sir J. H. Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Hogge, James Myles
Billing, Pemberton Field, William Holt. Richard Durning
Black, Sir Arthur W. Finney, Samuel Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Fitzpatrick, John Lalor Jacobsen, Thomas Owen
Boland, John Pius Fleming, Sir J. (Aberdeen, S.) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Bewerman, Rt. Hon. C. W. France, Gerald Ashburner Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)
Brady, Patrick Joseph Galbraith, Samuel Jowett, Frederick William
Brunner, John F. L. Gelder, Sir W. A. Joyce, Michael
Bryce, J. Annan Gilbert, J. D. Keating, Matthew
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Glanviile, Harold James Kenyon, Barnet
Buxton, Noel Greenwood, Sir G. G. (Peterborough) Kiiey, James Daniel
Byrne, Alfred Greenwood, Sir Hamar (Sunderland) King, Joseph
Chancellor, Henry George Gulland, Rt. Hon. John William Lamb, Sir Ernest Henry
Clough, William Hackett, John Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Lundon, Thomas
Crumley, Patrick Harris, Percy A, (Leicester, S.) Macdonald, Rt. Hon. J. M. (Falk.B'ghs)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)
Davies, Ellis William (Eiflon) Haslam, Lewis McMicking, Major Gilbert
Maden, Sir John Henry Pringle, William M. R. Toulmin, Sir George
Mallalieu, Frederick William Raffan, Peter Wilson Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Marks, Sir George Croydon Reddy, Michael Walton, Sir Joseph
Mason, David M. (Coventry) Rees, G. C. (Carnarvonshire, Arton) Watson, John Bertrand (Stockton)
Middlebrook, Sir William Rendall, Athelstan White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)
Millar, James Duncan Richardson, Arthur (Rotherham) Whitehouse, John Howard
Molloy, Michael Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Morison, Hector (Hackney, S.) Robinson, Sidney White, Alexander F.
Nolan, Joseph Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Wiles, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Norman, Sir Henry Rowlands, James Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)
Nugent, John Dillon (Dublin, Coll. Gn.) Runciman, Sir Walter (Hartlepool) Williams, John (Glamorgan)
Nuttall, Harry Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Seely, Lt.-Col. Sir C. H. (Mansfield) Williams, Thomas J. (Swansea)
O'Dowd, John Shaw, Hon. A. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wing, Thomas Edward
Outhwaite, R. L. Sherwell, Arthur James Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)
Palmer, Godfrey Mark Smallwood, Edward Yeo, Alfred William
Parrott, Sir James Edward Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Young, William (Perthshire, East)
Pearce, Sir Robert (Staffs, Leek) Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Peel, Major Hon. G. Smith, Sir Swine (Keighley, Yorks)
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Sutton, John E. G. Thorne and Mr. Hudson.
Price Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, Sir A. G. (Monmouth, S.)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Parker, James (Halifax)
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord C.J. (Kens.,S.) Pearce, Sir William (Limehouse)
Astor, Major Hon. Waldorf Hanson, Charles Augustin Pennefather, De Fonblangue
Baird, John Lawrence Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Perkins, Walter F.
Baldwin, Stanley Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds) Peto, Basil Edward
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray
Barnett, Capt. R. W. Harris, Henry Percy (Paddington, S.) Pratt, J. W.
Barnston, Capt. Harry Hewins, William Albert Samuel Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest George
Beck, Arthur Cecil Hickman Brig.-Gen. Thomas E. Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.
Bellairs, Commander C. W. Hills, Major John Waller Quilter, Major Sir Cuthbert
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Randles, Sir John S.
Benn, Com. Ian Hamilton Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)
Bird, Alfred Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Roberts, Rt. Hon. George H. (Norwich)
Blair, Reginald Hope. Lieut.-Col. J. A. (Midlothian) Russell, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W.
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Houston. Robert Paterson Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Boyton, James Hunt, Major Rowland Samuels, Arthur W.
Brace, Rt. Hon. William Hunter, Major Sir Charles Rodk. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry (Norwood)
Bridgeman, William Clive Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H. Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)
Bull, Sir William James Ingleby, Holcombe Sanders, Col. Robert Arthur
Burdett-Coutts, W. Jackson, Lt.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)
Carew, C. R. S. Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir F. E. (Liverpool)
Cater, John Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Cautley, H. S. Jones, W. Kennedy (Hornsey) Spear, Sir John Ward
Cave, Rt. Hon. Sir George Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney) Stanton, Charles Butt
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Aston Manor) Joynson-Hicks, William Starkey, John Ralph
Cheyne, Sir W. W. Kellaway, Frederick George Staveley-Hill, Lieut.-Col. Henry
Clive, Col. Percy Archer Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr Stewart, Gershom
Coates, Major Sir E. F. (Lewisham) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Stirling, Lieut.-Colonel A.
Coats, Sir Stuart A. (Wimbledon) Lane-Fox, Major G. R. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Cochrane, Cecil Algernon Lardner, James C. R. Swift, Rigby
Colvin, Col. Richard Beale Law, Rt. Hon. A. Honor (Bootle) Sykes, Col. Sir Alan John (Knutsford)
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Layland-Barratt, Sir F. Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Coote, William Levy, Sir Maurice Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert Thomas-Stanford, Charles
Cory, James Herbert (Cardiff) Lindsay, William Arthur Tickler, T. G.
Courthope, Major George Loyd Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Touche, Sir George Alexander
Craig, Colonel James (Down, E.) Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee Tryon, Captain George Clement
Craik, Sir Henry Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston) Walker, Colonel William Hall
Croft, Brigadier-Genral Henry Page Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Currie, George W. McCalmont, Brig.-Gen. Robert C. A. Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Dalrymple, Hon. H. H. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Denniss, E. R. B. Mackinder, Halford J. Weston, J. W.
Dixon, C. H. Macmaster, Donald White, Col. G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Duke, Rt. Hon. Henry Edward McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Whiteley, Herbert James
Du Pre, Major W. Baring Macpherson, James Ian Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Fell, Arthur Malcolm, Ian Wilson, Col. Leslie C. (Reading)
Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes (Fulham) Meux, Adml. Hon. Sir Hedworth Wilson-Fox, Henry (Tamworth)
Fletcher, John Samuel Middlemore, John Throgmorton Winfrey, Slr Richard
Foster, Philip Staveley Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Ganzoni, Francis John C. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Worthington Evans, Major Sir L.
Gardner, Ernest Neville, Reginald J. N. Yate, Colonel Charles Edward
Goldsmith, Frank Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Younger. Sir George
Goulding, Sir Edward Alfred Nield, Herbert
Greig, Colonel J. W. Orde-Powlett, Hen. W. G. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Captain
Gretton, Col. John Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William F. Guest and Lord E. Talbot.
Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)

Victory for the mercenaries!