HL Deb 05 July 1883 vol 281 cc398-420

Order of the Day for the Third Beading read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(The Earl of Dalhousie.)


said, he would suggest that the Bill should not be pressed further. It was in such an unfinished and incomplete state that it was not fit to be passed into law, and their Lordships could not possibly amend it sufficiently at this stage. It would, therefore, be better to drop the Bill for the present. To enable their Lordships to express an opinion he would move, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a third time that clay three months.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and add at the end of the Motion ("this day three months.")—(The Earl of Longford.)


said, that the course taken by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Longford) was very unusual, as he had given no Notice of his intention to move the rejection of the Bill. He would only say that he did not concur in the criticisms advanced by the noble Earl.

On Question, "That ('now') stand part of the Motion?"

Resolved in the affirmative; Bill read 3a accordingly.

Moved, "That the Bill do pass."—(The Earl of Dalhousie.)

Clause 2 (Procuring woman under age to be a common prostitute).


said, he rose to propose the omission of the words which permitted the exclusion of the public from certain trials, an exclusion hitherto unknown in this country. If it was desirable, in the interests of public morality, that there should be this power of exclusion, it ought to be given by a general law extending to cases of rape and other offences which were not dealt with by this Bill, and not by a provision tacked on to a Bill which only touched one part of the Criminal Law. The proposal was defended on three grounds—in the first place, that the publication of the evidence was injurious to public morals; secondly, that a certain class attended who gloated over the details of those trials; and, thirdly, that women and children ought to be excluded. He entirely agreed with those who said that there ought to be power to exclude women and children from those trials; but that power had been constantly exercised, and he regretted that its ex- istence should have been called in question in their Lordships' House. But if it was right to exclude women and children, it by no means followed that there ought to be an exclusion of the public and the representatives of the Press. As to the second argument, that a class of persons attended who gloated over the details, that might be true; but those persons were sufficiently contaminated already, and could not be much further injured; whilst there might be present in Court individuals of a less hardened type who might be deterred from crime by the judicious words of a Judge and the punishment which they saw awarded to crime. As to the argument founded on the general contamination of morals from the publication of evidence of the kind in question, he respectfully submitted that justice had not been done to the way in which these matters were dealt with in the newspapers, which, for the most part, merely stated that the details were unfit for publication. The instances of injudicious treatment were few and far between, and the danger to public morals was much overrated. But while the danger was uncertain and remote, the gain of publicity was direct, positive, tangible, and certain. He would give one instance. Not many years ago a man was summoned for an indecent assault, and was tried by three magistrates at petty sessions, who refused the suggestion that the case should be sent to a jury. The accused, vehemently protesting his innocence, was sentenced to a period of imprisonment. But in the local newspaper there appeared an account of the proceedings, from which two things were shown—first, that the evidence against the man was weak; and, secondly, that the senior magistrate—though an excellent man—had examined the defendant's witnesses with an evident bias, and seemed to have given no weight to their evidence. In consequence entirely of that report, public interest was awakened in the case. In the town where it occurred there was a good deal of public excitement, and the attention of another magistrate was directed to the case. That magistrate felt it his duty to bring the case to the notice of the Home Secretary, and asked for an inquiry, which was held, and resulted in the liberation of the man in the course of a few days. That could not have happened if the facts had not been made known to the public; and there could hardly be a doubt that the magistrates, from the best motives possible, had they had the power, would have sat with closed doors. He would be the last man to say a word against county magistrates. He was a county magistrate himself of more than 30 years' standing; but he was bound to say that during his experience he had met with a number of magistrates who upon all matters connected with women were possessed with a strong bias. It was a bias which sprang from a highly creditable feeling—namely, sympathy with the weak against the strong; but it caused them to approach these questions in a frame of mind eminently non-judicial. The great—the only check upon such a bias, was publicity; and he (Lord Brabourne) begged their Lordships to recollect that they were asked to give this power of exclusion, not only to Judges, but to every magistrate throughout the country. It would be an unfortunate thing for the administration of justice to allow magistrates all over England to exclude the public and reporters in those cases. It was a very common thing to have false charges of such a description brought. He remembered a women jumping out of a train at Canterbury, and giving a man in charge. The man left the country; but, in the course of a few years, the woman received a sentence of five years' penal servitude, it having been proved that she had regularly practised the system of making these false charges in order to extort money. But, if such cases had been tried in private, very probably this woman would never have been identified and her wickedness discovered. This was the first time that it had been solemnly proposed to the British Parliament to dissociate a Criminal Court from publicity. When the Divorce Bill was under consideration, a proposal that divorce cases should be heard in private was negatived, and at present the only cases which were tried in camerâ were cases of nullity of marriage. If publicity was desirable in connection with the Divorce Court, which was presided over by a trained Judge specially selected for the purpose, how much more desirable must it be in connection with the cases which would be tried under the present measure, and which would be presided over by magistrates? So much for the Courts; but what should be said as regarded criminals themselves? Did not their Lordships believe that the knowledge that he would be tried for his crime, and his wickedness exposed before the eyes of his fellow men, acted as a deterrent which would no longer exist if this fear of publicity was removed? And let them be under no mistake—this permission to exclude the public would be taken as a direction by the inferior Courts, and these cases would be heard with closed doors all over the country. And what would be the feeling of the public? Would they have the same confidence in Courts which sat in secret as they now had in our open tribunals, and would not the acquittal of persons accused of these crimes—especially if they happened to belong to a better class of society—be regarded with suspicion which the present system prevented? Believing that publicity was the chief, if not the only, safeguard of justice, he begged to move the omission of the words which would enable the administrators of justice to exclude the public from their Courts. He explained, however, that he would not object to the exclusion of women and children.

Amendment moved, In page 1, line 19, to leave out the words ("Any court, justice or justices, or magistrate, by or before whom any charge, trial, or other proceeding of or in relation to an offence under this section is heard or conducted, may, in their or his discretion, during the hearing of such charge, or during such trial or proceeding, cause the public to be excluded from the place where such charge, trial, or proceeding is heard or conducted.")—(The Lord Brabourne.)


said, that the words to which the noble Lord (Lord Brabourne) objected had been placed in the measure for the purpose of saving young persons from the mental pollution which they might suffer if they were permitted to listen to the cases which would be tried under the Bill. It was sad to see how many men, and women also, sometimes attended a Court from a prurient and exciting curiosity in the debasing details of the evidence. He remembered a case at Winchester which the Judge thought ought not to be listened to by the women who were present. In spite, however, of his advice that they should leave the Court, some very well dressed women seemed to have made up their minds to remain. Observing this, the Judge, acting upon a happy inspiration, said—" Now that all the respectable women have left the Court, the case may proceed;" and thereupon the women who had remained quitted the Court, not wishing to avow that they were lacking in respectability. He also approved the exclusion of the public as proposed in the Bill, because it would be well not to give newspapers an opportunity of publishing the cases, and so spreading impure literature about the country.


said, he entirely concurred with the views of the noble Lord on the Cross Benches (Lord Brabourne). The point raised was one of considerable practical importance. Up to the present, publicity had been one of the chief characteristics of the administration of justice in this country, and the great strength and safety of that administration rested on its openness. When upon the Bench himself he had always invited publicity and fair criticism upon the conduct of Judge and jury, and upon the course of the trial. There were six cases contemplated by the framers of the Bill, in which Judges would be enabled to sit with closed doors; but he feared that if the clause were not amended it would become the rule for them to do so. He maintained that Judges already had authority to exclude from their Courts persons—women and children, for example—who ought not to be there on certain occasions. Their authority rested, like the Common Law of the country, upon long and continued usuage acquiesced in by the public. Many cases under this Bill would be punishable with five years' penal servitude or more, and therefore the inquiries should take place in the face of day and before the public. One of the objects sought to be obtained by the administration of the law was the holding up of public examples; but where would be the public example if justice was administered with closed doors? Further, Judges and juries might commit errors, and the object of having justice administered in open Courts was that errors, when committed, might at once be exposed. He did not recollect a case in which the right of admission to a Court of Law had been abused by the publication in the Press of demoralizing reports. According to his experience, a gross case was always dismissed in one short sentence—namely, "the details of the case were unfit for publication." In his opinion, the interests of the public would be more likely to suffer in consequence of the closure of the Courts than in consequence of the publicity that would be given to cases if the Courts were to remain open. He, therefore, hoped the Amendment would be agreed to.


said, he might point out that though the public, in the ordinary sense of the word, would be excluded from the Courts by the Bill, the public would, as a matter of fact, be represented by the jury and the members of the Legal Profession. If the general public were excluded, there would still be in the Court the solicitors concerned and the members of the Bar practising in the different Criminal Courts. From what had come under his notice, he thought that it would be desirable to exclude a number of men with morbid minds who now took pleasure in listening to this class of cases. He was sure there was a great evil attending the admission of such persons, and he trusted that the clause would remain in the Bill. In Scotland, at the present time, preliminary inquiries by the Procurator Fiscal were held in private in all cases, and no harm had been found to result from the practice. With regard to the trials, those persons who would be left in Court would be the best acquainted with legal proceedings, and able to see that no unfairness was done. They would watch the case sufficiently, and would be able to do everything that was necessary in the way of publicity.


said, that one of the most important objects of the Bill was to protect women and young girls. He believed that that object would be defeated, and girls—especially those who might have been in a respectable position previously—would generally be deterred from coming forward to give evidence of the treatment to which they had been subjected, if they had to face the ordeal of a public inquiry, and have their names brought before the public. He trusted the provision of the clause would not be omitted.


said, that the Bill only made it permissive for the Judge or magistrate to exclude the public, and it seemed to him that the main- tenance of that power was essential to the efficiency of the Bill. It was true that the number of the public attending these trials was small; the great mischief arose from the propagation of the evidence given at the trial by means of the Press. The Provincial Press especially gave these cases with great fulness, and it was highly desirable that some means for excluding the Press should be devised. He would like to see it made a misdemeanour under the Act to publish reports of such cases.


said, he thought that the express exclusion of the public by law from these cases might be held to limit the discretion which the Judges and magistrates now freely exercised of excluding women and children from Courts in immoral cases. There were a great many matters coming before Courts of Justice worse than those which would arise under this Bill; and it was desirable that the power of excluding women and children from the hearing of such eases should not be affected. In his opinion, the law should either be left as it was, or special legislation introduced dealing with all cases of an indecent character alike.

On Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill?"

Their Lordships divided:—Contents 118; Not-Contents 36: Majority 82.

Canterbury, L. Archp. Jersey, E.
Selborne, E. (L. Chancellor.) Kilmorey, E.
Kimberley, E.
York, L. Archp. Lathom, E.
Leven and Melville, E.
Richmond, D. Macclesfield, E.
Morley, E.
Hertford, M. Mount Edgcumbe, E.
Northampton, M. Northbrook, E.
Salisbury, M. Pembroke and Montgomery, E.
Amherst, E. Ravensworth, E.
Bradford, E. Rosse, E.
Camperdown, E. Selkirk, E.
Chichester, E. Shaftesbury, E.
Coventry, E. Strafford, E.
Dartmouth, E. Sydney, E.
Denbigh, E. Wilton E.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queens-berry.) Bridport, V.
Cranbrook, V.
Feversham, E. Eversley, V.
Granville, E. Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)
Haddington, E.
Hardwicke, E. Hawarden, V.
Harewood, E. Hill, V.
Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.) Forbes, L.
Gerard, L.
Strathallan, V. Hammond, L.
Harris, L.
Bangor, L. Bp. Hothfield, L.
Chichester, L. Bp. Howard de Walden, L.
Exeter, L. Bp. Inchiquin, L.
Gloucester and Bristol, L. Bp. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Hereford, L. Bp. Leconfield, L.
Lincoln, L. Bp. Leigh, L.
London, L. Bp. Loftus, L. (M. Ely.)
Oxford, L. Bp. Lyveden, L.
Rochester, L. Bp. Manners, L.
St. Albans, L. Bp. Monson, L. [Teller.]
St. David's, L. Bp. Mount-Temple, L.
Winchester, L. Bp. Norton, L.
O'Hagan, L.
Abercromby, L. Ormathwaite, L.
Abinger, L. Penrhyn, L.
Amherst, L. (V. Holmesdale.) Raglan, L.
Ribblesdale, L.
Ampthill, L. Rowton, L.
Auckland, L. Sandhurst, L.
Balfour of Burleigh, L. Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller] Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Bramwell, L. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalbane.) Stanley of Alderley, L.
Carrington, L. Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Castletown, L.
Churchill, L. Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)
Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.) Sudeley, L.
Coleridge, L. Templemore, L.
Colville of Culross, L. Thurlow, L.
Congleton, L. Truro, L.
Crewe, L. Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)
Crofton, L.
De Mauley, L. Winmarleigh, L.
de Ros, L. Wynford, L.
Derwent, L. Zouche of Haryngworth, L.
Digby, L.
Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Grafton, D. Ellenborough, L.
Fitzgerald, L. [Teller.]
Bath, M. Forester, L.
Winchester, M. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Bathurst, E. Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston.)
Caledon, E.
Clarendon, E. Hopetoun, L. (E. Hopetoun.)
Fortescue, E.
Lucan, E. Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)
Manvers, E. Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Minto, E.
Radnor, E. Poltimore, L.
Sandwich, E. Romily, L.
Stanhope, E. Saltoun, L.
Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Sherbrooke, V.
Sidmouth, V. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Belper, L. Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Blantyre, L.
Brabourne, L. [Teller.] Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Clinton, L.
Cottesloe, L. Wentworth, L.

Amendment disagreed to.

Clause 5 (Defilement of girl between twelve and sixteen years of age).


said, he would propose to reduce the age for protection mentioned in this clause from 16 to 14 years. The ago fixed in 1875, by a compromise between the two Houses, was 13; and, though that might seem an insufficient limit, there was no particular reason for so extreme a measure as that which had been adopted in the present Bill, nothing having happened since that time, except the inquiry instituted by their Lordships' House. The Code Napoleon fixed the age at 13; and, therefore, the law of England was at present identical with that of France. As to the consent of the Attorney General or of the Public Prosecutor being necessary to a prosecution, how could either of them come to a conclusion on the merits of a charge unless they had the opportunity of examining the witnesses on oath.

Amendment moved, in page 2, line 30, leave out ("sixteen") and insert ("fourteen.")—(The Earl of Milltown.)


said, he was a little surprised to hear the remark made that nothing had happened since 1875, except an inquiry by a Committee of their Lordships' House, as if that exception was not the most important element in the case. The circumstances that led to it were the mischiefs arising from the corruption of young girls for immoral purposes, both on the Continent and in England. The evil had grown to an extent which had shocked the conscience of the country, and the inquiry was more exhaustive than any that had been previously conducted. As to age, the Committee took a middle course, and recommended that of 16; and he could not but think their Lordships would do wisely to adhere to it. In accordance with suggestions from the Front Opposition Bench, the Government would move a Proviso, under which prosecutions for misdemeanour under this section should not be instituted otherwise than by, or by the authority and direction of, the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney General. It was true that neither the Attorney General nor the Public Prosecutor would try a case; that was not their function; but they would require information which would satisfy them that the case was one of a substantial character. With this safeguard, he believed that frivolous and extortionate cases would not be taken up.


said, that, when it was proposed that the age should be raised from 16 to 17, he voted in favour of 16, believing that was a medium as between divergent opinions that it was desirable to adopt. Of course, their Lordships would regard with horror a state of things in which consent would be common at that age, or could be regarded as sufficiently valid to excuse a seducer; but, as girls of that ago often appeared physically to be of a higher age, it was felt that men would be exposed to undeserved severity if a higher age were fixed. The Government having provided an ample security against frivolous prosecutions, he thought their Lordships could safely adhere to the clause as it stood.

On Question? Amendment disagreed to.

On Motion of The Earl of DALIIOUSIE, the following Proviso was then added at the end of the clause:— Provided that a prosecution for a misdemeanour under this section shall not be instituted, undertaken, or carried on, otherwise than by, or by the authority of, the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney General.

Clause 6 (Consent no defence to charge of indecent assault on girl under sixteen).

On Motion of The Earl of DALHOUSIE, the following Amendment made:—In page 2, line 40, after ("indictment") insert— ("Brought and prosecuted by, or under, the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions or of the Attorney General.")

Clause 9 (Summary proceedings against brothel-keepers, &c.)


said, he proposed to move the omission of this clause; and he intended, subsequently, to move the omission of Clause 10, which gave power to the owner of such a house to summarily determine the tenancy of a convicted occupier, and of Clause 11, which authorized the Court to require security from an owner on a second conviction for keeping a disorderly house. These clauses had, on two former occasions, been sufficiently alluded to; but on the first occasion there had some misunderstanding, and on the latter—when the clauses were only retained by two votes—the Division did not come on until the arrival of that hour which was so much prayed for by Governments with a weak case. He objected to the clauses—first, because he wished the Bill to succeed; and, secondly, because he thought they were bad in themselves. The Bill was originally intended to prevent the carrying of young girls abroad; but neither in the Instructions to the Committee nor in their Report was there any allusion whatever to clauses of this character. Who was responsible for these clauses? They appeared to him to be of a very dubious parentage indeed. The Home Office had been devolving upon Parliament the responsibility of government, by leaving to Parliament the duty of making a selection out of the Bill which they had submitted. There was a class of people who believed that immorality could be put down by Act of Parliament, and, no doubt, they approved of these clauses; but he wanted to know whether the Government were to be numbered amongst that class as the authors of the clauses? His objection to the clauses was fundamental. This legislation was of a perfectly extraordinary character, and was not applied to any other class of Her Majesty's subjects, nor, as far as he was aware, to a similar class in any civilized community. In conclusion, the noble Earl moved the omission of the clause.

Amendment moved, "To leave out Clause 9."—(The Earl of Camperdown.)


said, he hoped their Lordships would not pass either this clause or Clauses 10 and 11. It was not easy to understand those clauses. In order to understand them it was necessary to consider them together and also in connection with the Interpretation Clause. The latter clause said that the expression "owner" meant, in relation to any premises, the person entitled to receive, either on his own account or as mortgagee or other encumbrancer in possession, the rack rent of such premises. Now, the mortgagee in possession was an unfortunate man, who had not been able to get his rent paid to him; and he failed to see why such a person should be made specially responsible for the morality of the country. Clause 10 stated what was to be done on a summary conviction. [Cries of "Order!"]


said, he rose to Order. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Bramwell) was not speaking on Clause 9. The House had not yet entered into the consideration of either Clause 10 or Clause 11.


said, he thought that, where three consecutive clauses were dealt with on the same subject, a speaker might address himself to the general question.


pointed out that Clause 9 was at present the clause under discussion.


in supporting the clause, said, the Bill dealt largely with matters of police, and its provisions had been founded on the evidence of police authorities, and not on that of enthusiasts and people who carried on a crusade in an indiscreet manner. The fact of the superintend-once of the Home Office, which exercised authority over the police, was a guarantee that these clauses would be properly and discreetly carried out. It was quite true that their Lordships' Committee was appointed for a special purpose; but he could not see that there was anything extraordinary in taking advantage of the opportunity of introducing the clauses now under discussion. The Glasgow Local Act, containing provisions very similar to those they were now considering, had been in operation for some time, and with very satisfactory results. It had been said that they in Scotland were stricter in their views than the other parts of the country. He only wished their views were stricter; but he was afraid in these matters they were not much better than their neighbours. There was, moreover, a town in England—Leamington—which had made application for an Act containing a similar power. He denied the likelihood of the Bill being used in such a manner as to cause a re-action, and urged that Clauses 9, 10, and 11 should be passed as they stood, in order to strengthen the hands of the authorities in checking immorality.


wished to know whether the noble Earl was in. Order in discussing the clauses generally?


said, that the noble and learned Lord (Lord Bramwell) had been called to Order, and he did not think that his noble Friend opposite was more in Order than the noble and learned Lord.


said, that his noble Friend (the Earl of Aberdeen) was quite in Order.


in reply to the noble Earl (the Earl of Camper-down), said, these clauses, 9, 10 and 11, came from the Home Office, and had not been proposed without full consideration. The reason why they were introduced was, not because the Government thought that by these or any other clause they could put down all immorality, but because they felt that they should reinforce the existing law so as to diminish those places which were the sources and the focuses of a great deal of immorality resulting in a public nuisance. He had received a letter from the Vestry Clerk of St. George's, Hanover Square, dated June 26, asking him to persevere in carrying this 9th clause, and complaining of the unsatisfactory and cumbrous requirements of the present law. The letter stated that there were several streets in the parish in which houses abounded which were let in the most open way for purposes of prostitution, and were a serious nuisance to their neighbours. The Vestry could do nothing unless two ratepayers appeared to complain; and it was difficult to get inhabitants of the parish to take active steps in the matter, because of the annoyance and expense to which such action would expose them. The present clause was perfectly independent of the 10th and 11th clauses; and, as a point of Order, their Lordships would deal with that clause first.


said, he could not agree with the noble and learned Earl upon the Woolsack that the fact of that Bill having been approved by the Home Office was a sufficient foundation for its appearance in that House. The Home Office might only be asking what was reasonable and just; but it did seem odd that, for a portion of this subject, it was thought necessary to have the deliberations of a Committee of the House, and that for this matter, which touched somewhat closely questions of police and personal liberty, the opinion of the Home Office was thought to be quite enough. On that ground, therefore, although he did not say that the clauses were bad, they came to their Lordships with an insufficient warrant. The clauses dealt with a matter of great delicacy and difficulty, and he would prefer to deal with it on evidence given before a Committee of that House. They were told that the remedy under the Act of George II. was insufficient. But he could not but remember the noble and learned Earl's speech on the second reading, in which the House was told that there had been, in an instance well known to the noble and learned Earl, no difficulty in obtaining the two requisite ratepayers. There was a further consideration which would dispose him to vote against these clauses. Since the Bill had been introduced, he observed that opinion had been strengthening against it, both within and outside the House, and if the Bill had not been supported by the Government, he did not believe it would have reached its present stage. In these circumstances, he was deeply impressed with the consideration that their only chance of carrying that part of the Bill which was the subject of investigation by a Committee of the House was not to overload it with matters which did not belong to that original investigation, and which were not relevant to it. If these clauses were to be the subject of legislation at all, they ought to be embodied in a separate Bill. In his opinion, that was the sound way of dealing with a subject so difficult as this.

On Question, "That Clause 9 stand part of the Bill?"

Their Lordships divided:—Contents 63: Not-Contents 91: Majority 28.

Canterbury, L. Archp. Eversley, V.
Selborne, E. (L. Chancellor.) Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)
York, L. Archp. Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.)
Grafton, D. Sherbrooke, V.
Hertford, M. Bangor, L. Bp.
Northampton, M. Chichester, L. Bp.
Exeter, L. Bp.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Gloucester and Bristol, L. Bp.
Hereford, L. Bp.
Granville, E. Lincoln, L. Bp.
Jersey, E. London, L. Bp.
Kimberley, E. Oxford, L. Bp.
Morley, E. Rochester, L. Bp.
Northbrook, E. St. Albans, L. Bp.
Redesdale, E. St. David's, L. Bp.
Shaftesbury, E. Winchester, L. Bp.
Strafford, E.
Sydney, K. Ampthill, L.
Blantyre, L. Kenmare, L. (E. Ken-mare.)
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller] Leigh, L.
Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalbane.) Monson, L. [Teller.]
Mount-Temple, L.
Carrington, L. Norton, L.
Churchill, L. O'Hagan, L.
Clinton, L. Penryhn, L.
Coleridge, L. Reay, L.
Congleton, L. Ribblesdale, L.
Cottesloe, L. Sandhurst, L.
Crewe, L. Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Denman, L.
Derwent, L. Strafford, L.(V. Enfield.)
Egerton, L. Sudeley, L.
Gerard, L. Thurlow, L.
Hatherton, L. Winmarleigh, L.
Richmond, D. Clermont, L.
Colchester, L.
Bath, M. Colville of Culross, L.
Salisbury, M. Crofton, L.
Winchester, M. De Mauley, L.
de Ros, L.
Ashburnham, E. Digby, L.
Bradford, E. Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Caledon, E. Ellenborough, L.
Camperdown, E. [Teller.] Fitzgerald, L.
Forbes, L.
Clarendon, E. Forester, L.
Coventry, E. Foxford, L. [E. Limerick.)
Dartmouth, E.
Dundonald, E. Hammond, L.
Feversham, E. Harris, L.
Fortescue, E. Hopetoun, L. (E. Hopetoun.)
Haddington, E.
Hardwicke, E. Hothfield, L.
Harewood, E. Howard de Walden, L.
Kilmorey, E. Inchiquin, L.
Lathom, E. Kenlis, L. (M. Head-fort.)
Lucan, E.
Manvers, E. Kintore, L. (E. Kin-tore.)
Milltown, E.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Lamington, L.
Pembroke and Montgomery, E. [Teller.] Leconfield, L.
Loftus, L. (M. Ely.)
Radnor, E. Lyveden, L.
Ravens worth, E. Manners, L.
Rosse, E. Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Selkirk, E.
Stanhope, E. Ormathwaite, L.
Wilton, E. Poltimore, L.
Raglan, L.
Hawarden, V. Romilly, L.
Hill, V. Rowton, L.
Sidmouth, V. Saltoun, L.
Strathallan, V. Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Abercromby, L. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Abinger, L.
Alington, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Auckland, L. Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Balfour of Burleigh, L.
Beaumont, L. Strathspey, L. (E. Sea-field.)
Belper, L.
Brabourne, L. Suffield, L.
Bramwell, L. Templemore, L.
Castletown, L. Truro L.
Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanivilliam.) Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)
Clements, L. [E. Lei-trim.] Tyrone, L. (M. Water-ford.)
Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.) Wynford, L.

Amendment agreed to; Clause struck out accordingly.

On Motion of The Earl of CAMPER-DOWN, Clause 10 (Power to owner of premises to determine tenancy of occupier convicted of keeping brothel); and Clause 11 (Power to court on second conviction in respect of same premises to make owner give security), severally struck out of the Bill.

Clause 12 (Amendment of 2 & 3 Vict. c. 47, s. 54, and 10 & 11 Vict. c. 89, s. 28, as to prostitutes).


said, he would move to restore the clause to its original shape, by making it one offence to "loiter and importune" passengers, instead of the two offences of "loitering for the purpose of prostitution or importuning" passengers, as the clause stood in the amended Bill. If any young woman were found simply "loitering" she might have her character ruined for life.

Amendment moved, in page 6, line 28, leave out ("for the purpose of prostitution or") and insert ("and.")—(The Lord Fitzgerald.)


said, that if the clause stood as at present making "loitering" a separate offence, it was quite possible that the police might commit serious mistakes; and, in his opinion, two or three respectable women had only to be apprehended by mistake to raise such an outcry against the Act as to make it unworkable, and force the Government to suspend its operation, as they had recently been forced to suspend another Act.

On Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill?"

Their Lordships dïvided:—Contents 46; Not Contents 80: Majority 34.

Canterbury, L. Archp. Kimberley, E.
Selborne, E. (L. Chancellor.) Northbrook, E.
Shaftesbury, E.
York, L. Archp. Sydney, E.
Grafton, D. Eversley, V.
Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)
Northampton, M.
Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.)
Granville, E.
Sherbrooke, V. Coleridge, L.
Congleton, L.
Bangor, L. Bp. Denman, L.
Chichester, L Bp. Derwent, L.
Gloucester and Bristol. Hammond, L.
L. Bp. Hatherton, L.
Hereford, L. Bp. Kenmare, L. (E. Ken-mare.)
Lincoln, L. Bp.
London, L. Bp. Leigh, L.
Oxford, L. Bp. Loftus, L. (M. Ely.)
St. Albans, L. Bp. Monson, L. [Teller.]
Winchester, L. Bp. Mount-Temple, L.
Norton, L.
Ampthill, L. O'Hagan, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.] Reay, L.
Ribblesdale, L.
Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalane.) Strafford, L. (V. Enfield)
Carrington, L. Sudeley, L.
Clermont, L. Thurlow, L.
Richmond, D. Colchester, L.
Crofton, L.
Bath, M. [Teller.] De Mauley, L.
Hertford, M. de Ros, L.
Winchester, M. Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Egerton, L.
Ashburnham, E. Ellenborough. L.
Bradford, E. Fitzgerald, L. [Teller.]
Caledon, E. Forbes, L.
Camperdown, E. Forester, L.
Clarendon, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Coventry, E.
Dartmouth, E. Garard, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queens-berry.) Harris, L.
Hopetoun, L. (E. Hoptoun.)
Dundonald, E. Howard de Walden, L.
Feversham, E. Inchiquin, L.
Fortescue, E. Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.)
Hardwicke, E. Leconfield, L.
Harewood, E. Lyveden, L.
Kilmorey, E. Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Lathom, E.
Leven and Melville, E. Ormathvaite, L.
Lucan, E. Penrhyn, L.
Manvers, E. Poltimore, L.
Milltown, E. Raglan, L.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Romilly, L.
Ravensworth, E. Rowton, L.
Rosse, E. Saltoun, L.
Wilton, E. Shute, L. (V. Barring-ton.)
Hawarden, V. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Hill, V.
Sidmouth, V. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Strathallan, V. Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Abinger, L. Strathspey, L. [E. Sea-field.]
Alington, L.
Auckland, L. Templemore, L.
Balfour of Burleigh, L. Truro, L.
Beaumont, L. Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)
Belper, L.
Brabourne, L. Tyrone, L. (M. Water-ford.)
Bramwell, L.
Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.) Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.) Wentworth, L.
Wynford, L.

Amendment agreed to; words struck out accordingly, and the word ("and") substituted.


said, he begged to move an Amendment rendering liable to punishment any man who, in a thoroughfare or public place, habitually or persistently importuned or solicited women or girls for immoral purposes. The chief object of the Amendment, which met all the difficulties stated to exist in his former Amendment on the clause, was that it gave full protection to honest and decent men, and only caught the professional profligates, who were ever loitering about the streets, and at the doors of establishments where women were employed, in order to catch the unwary. The Bill, as it stood, actually legalized male solicitation. He begged the House to observe the position of those women returning home late at night from their work, and quite unprotected. They might be asking their way of some man, or the hour of the night; but the police coming up would arrest the woman, as a matter of course, because, by the law, the man would be committing no statutable offence. For the first time, also, the police would be made the exclusive judges of what was, or was not, solicitation; and, in many instances, the man who was soliciting would escape scot-free; and the poor woman, who was solicited, would be taken up, and brought before a magistrate. He implored their Lordships to contemplute the condition of a young girl, ignorant and timid, thus placed in a Court of Justice, without friends or advisers. Prison or a reformatory school might be the sentence; and then she would be ruined for life.

Amendment moved,

In page 6, line 29, after ("prostitution") insert ("and (2) every man who in any such thoroughfare or public place habitually or persistently importunes or solicits women or girls for immoral purposes.")—(The Earl of Shaftesbury.)

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 46; Not Contents 75: Majority 29.

Canterbury, L. Archp. Northampton, M.
Salisbury, M.
Grafton, D.
Camperdown, E.
Hertford, M. Fortescue, E.
Lathom, E. Clanwilliam, L, (E. Clanwilliam.)
Lucan, E.
Milltown, E. Colchester, L.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Coleridge, L.
Pembroke and Montgomery, E. Congleton, L.
Denman, L.
Redesdale, E. de Ros, L.
Shaftesbury, E. [Teller.] Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Gerard, L.
Hammond, L.
Hawarden, V. Leigh, L.
Leinster, V. (D. Lein-ster.) Loftus, L. (M. Ely.)
Lyveden, L.
Mount-Temple, L. [Teller.]
Bangor, L. Bp.
Chichester, L. Bp. Norton, L. [Teller.]
Gloucester and Bristol, L. Bp. O'Hagan, L.
Raglan, L.
Hereford, L. Bp. Stanley of Alderley.
Lincoln, L. Bp.
London, L. Bp. Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)
Oxford, L. Bp.
St. Albans, L. Bp. Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Winchester, L. Bp.
Wynford, L.
Blantyre, L.
Richmond, D. Brabourne, L.
Bramwell, L.
Bath, M. Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalbane.)
Winchester, M.
Carrington, L.
Ashburnham, E. Clements, L. (E. Lei-trim.)
Bradford, E.
Caledon, E. Clermont, L.
Clarendon, E. Crofton, L.
Coventry, E. De Mauley, L.
Dartmouth, E. Derwent, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queens-berry.) Ellenborough, L.
Fitzgerald, L.
Forbes, L.
Dundonald, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Feversham, E.
Granville, E. Harris, L.
Hardwicke, E. Hatherton, L.
Kilmorey, E. Hopetoun, L. (E. Hope-toun.)
Kimberley, E.
Leven and Melville, E. Howard de Walden, L.
Manvers, E. Inchiquin, L.
Morley, E. Kenlis, L. (M. Head-fort.)
Northbrook, E.
Ravensworth, E. Kenmare, L. (E. Ken-mare.)
Rosse, E.
Sydney, E. Leconfield, L.
Wilton, E. Monson, L. [Teller.]
Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Eversley, V.
Hill, V. Ormathwaite, L.
Sherbrooke, V. Poltimore, L.
Strathallan, V. Reay, L.
Ribblesdale, L.
Abinger, L. Romilly, L.
Alington, L. Saltoun, L.
Auckland, L. Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Aveland, L.
Balfour of Burleigh, L. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Beaumont, L.
Belper, L. Sudeley, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.] Templemore, L.
Thurlow, L.
Truro, L. Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)
Wentworth, L.
Tyrone, L. (M. Water-ford.)

Amendment disagreed to.

Clause 13 (Certified homes for girls under sixteen convicted of prostitution).


said, he must repeat his objections to the proposed provision. In his opinion the clause would not be operative, for no means were provided for supporting the homes to which it referred, nor for their regulation and management. If the clause were allowed to stand, parents, he feared, might incite their children to commit offences in order that they might be relieved of the burden of supporting their offspring. The parents, he observed, would not have to pay anything towards the support of their offending children, when the latter were once in a home. If the Government would not amend so impracticable a clause they could have no real intention of passing the Bill.


said, the Government saw no reason to doubt that a sufficient number of homes would be provided by benevolent persons, who would be willing to spend time and money in benefiting the unfortunate girls who might come under their charge. As the noble Earl (the Earl of Milltown) was under the impression that no provision was made for the regulation of homes, he begged to refer him to the opening lines of the clause, which were— One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit, grant to any person, or to any two or more persons jointly, a certificate authorizing such person or persons to keep a home, for any period not exceeding thirteen months, and may, from time to time, revoke or renew such certificate. In his opinion the clause would be quite workable.

Clause 14 (Prohibition of exclusion from trial, &c. of persons interested).


said, he objected to the latter part of this clause, which entitled any girl or woman who might be concerned as complainant, defendant, or otherwise in a trial under the Bill, to have present at the trial any three persons she might name. He did not know how that part of the clause was to come into practical operation, or that there was any necessity for it, as, generally speaking, the girl would have her mother, or some relative or friend, with her. His objection to the other part of the clause was that it rather left a doubt upon a matter upon which there ought to be no doubt at all. No person could for a moment suppose that the general power of exclusion would go to the extent of excluding such persons as the counsel or solicitor, or any person whose presence was required for the purposes of the defence.

Amendment moved, "To leave out Clause 14."—(The Lord Bramwell.)


said, that words which, to a legal mind, might not seem necessary were often inserted in Acts of Parliament, in order to save all danger of misapprehension or misconstruction. The persons required for the purposes of the defence should, of course, in all cases, be allowed to be present. As to the other part of the clause, he had often seen cases in which a woman standing alone in Court, without any person of her own sex near her, was at a considerable disadvantage. Her right to have some persons to countenance her in the trial might be very useful.


asked the noble and learned Earl on the Woolsack whether, by the first part of the clause, the Judge would be prevented from desiring a witness to leave the Court?


said, that the clause did not take away any power which belonged to the Judge independent of the Act. He did not imagine anyone would think of excluding any person whose presence would be required for the purpose of the defence.

Amendment disagreed to.

On the Motion of The Earl of DALHOUSIE, the following Amendment made in the clause:—In page 8, line 3, after ("otherwise") insert ("or.")

On the Motion of The Earl of DALHOUSIE, the following Amendment made:—In page 8, after Clause 16, insert as a new clause:—

(Application of Act to Scotland.) In the application of this Act to Scotland—The expression 'misdemeanour' shall mean a crime and offence. The expression 'felony' shall mean a high crime and offence. The expression 'a justice of the peace,' and the expression 'two justices,' shall include sheriff and sheriff substitute. The expression 'the Summary Jurisdiction Acts' shall mean the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Acts, 1864 and 1881, and any Acts amending the same. The expression 'enter into a recognizance with or without sureties,' shall mean grant a bond of caution. The expression 'owner' shall mean in relation to any premises the person entitled to receive the rent thereof, either on his own account or as a creditor in possession. The provisions of this Act with respect to serving notices shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provisions of the Citation Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1882.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.