HL Deb 25 May 1886 vol 306 cc5-24

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


, in rising to move the third reading of the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday (Durham) Bill, said: My Lords, I move that you give a third reading to this Bill. I had hoped that I should not have troubled you again; but as I see that the third reading is to be opposed—a somewhat unusual, but, I confess, a perfectly legitimate course—I hope I may be excused if I add a few words to what I have already said on the subject. The noble Earl (the Earl of Wemyss) who proposes to move the rejection of the Bill drew a picture of the agitations which he supposed had been got up in order to promote the Bill. I was supposed to have sent out my chaplains and emissaries far and wide, and to have summoned my clerical liegemen to the fray. I assure the noble Earl that if he knew the people of Durham as well as I know them, he would at once see that such a state of things was impossible. They are a very sturdy and a very independent race, and anything like episcopal or clerical dictation would be at once resisted by them. It is not alone on the part of the clergy of the Church of England that there has been a movement in favour of this Bill. The Nonconformist ministers are at least as eager as the clergy of the Church of England, and the Roman Catholic priests are at least as eager as the Nonconformist ministers. I assure the noble Earl that he flatters me too much if he supposes that I have such great influence with those two bodies. The noble Earl is, I think, disposed to discount the value of clerical evidence, and some stress has naturally been laid on the experience of Judges and magistrates. Well, they, of course, see much of the working of intemperance; but I venture to say that the clergy and ministers of religion see far more. The magistrates only have to deal with intemperance when it has ripened into crime; and for every case which comes before the magistrates there are perhaps 50 which come under the notice of the clergy, where it goes no further than ruin and desolation to a household. Besides, I would ask you to remember that the Petitions which I have laid upon the Table from time to time represent the most varied interests. One or two came from nearly the whole medical body of the chief town in my diocese—Sunderland—40 out of 44— whilst another has been signed by 60 or 70 of the employés in the engine shops of the North-Eastern Railway. I have brought from time to time Petitions from what we call pit villages, having populations of from 5,000 to 7,000, signed by from 2,000 to 3,000; and this day I have presented three Petitions from the parish of Bishop Auckland, the number of signatures of which amounts altogether to something like 2,700. Public meetings also have been held there—one in the Market Place, within a stone's throw of my own house, and it is reported to me that there were only six or seven dissentient voices. It may be said that this was out of compliment to me; but I assure you, my Lords, it was nothing of the kind. The people of Bishop Auckland are as independent as any in Durham. A predecessor of mine was burned in effigy at the very gates of Auckland Castle because he had displeased the people by an adverse vote on the great Reform Bill. These are signs, and I could bring forward others, which I cannot neglect, and which, to my mind, at all events, are convincing that I am not wrong in saying that the feeling of the working men in Durham is strongly in favour of this Bill. I do not think that anyone who has studied the working of the Act in Scotland can come to any but one conclusion. I believe there has never been an attempt there to repeal the Act, and that no section of the community is discontented with its operation. For what are the facts? In 1852–3 the number of convictions for Sunday drunkenness was 708; in 1884 they had diminished to 194. But if you take the numbers from 8 o'clock in the morning on Sunday to 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, the disproportion is still greater, and that is a fairer test. They were 367 in the one case, and—I am not quite sure about my figures, but either 32 or 52—say 52 in the second case. It was said that shebeens would increase; but the number has diminished by more than half—242 in 1852 to only 101 in 1884. Those are the Edinburgh numbers. The Glasgow statistics are in the same direction. The populations of Glasgow and of Liverpool are nearly the same, but the convictions for Sunday drunkenness in Liverpool are just double what they are in Glasgow; and if I were again to take the statistics from 8 o'clock in the morning of Sunday to 8 o'clock of the morning of Monday, the disproportion would again be still greater. The satisfactory working of the Irish Act, again, will hardly be disputed. There was a general desire, as your Lordships will remember, not only for its continuance, but also for its extension to the exempted districts. At the time there were gloomy forebodings expressed for Ireland, such as are now put forth by the noble Earl with regard to this Bill for Durham, in the event of its being carried. They have not been realized. Ireland has since seen trouble, but not from this cause. Then there is the Welsh Act, where the evidence is more conflicting. I have gone a great deal into the matter—as doubtless many of your Lordships have done—and the conclusion I have come to is, that in a large portion of the country it works very satisfactorily, but that in some of the large towns, especially those on the frontier, some inconvenience has been the result; though even here there has been divers opinions. At the same time, I should not lay so much stress on the instance which the noble and learned Lord gave of travelling between Swansea and the Mumbles. Are we living in a fool's paradise, and do we not know that the same thing is going on everywhere—even under the present law? One of the Petitions I handed in came from the inhabitants of a large village on the Tees, in the neighbourhood of a great town. There was practical unanimity in the signing the Petition, and the special ground urged was that the public-houses of the village were flooded with people on Sundays from the large town, and so had become a scene of riot and revel. Very much has been said about the difficulty of the frontier line of Durham—more especially on the Tyne. I am quite prepared to admit there may be some inconvenience; but what I contend is that, on the whole, the Bill will be for the general advantage of the community. It must be remembered that even now there are different municipal laws on either side of the Tyne. For instance, there was another social nuisance which was attacked much more persistently and more systematically on the South side of the Tyne than on the North, and the consequence was that it was driven over to the North side. The result was that the example of the South side was taken up on the North, and a better state of things has been the consequence. Then something has been said of bogus clubs. I think before long you will have to deal with that subject. May I, in conclusion, say one word on the general question? A generation ago England was going from bad to worse through intemperance, when a noble body of temperance workers arose. By their energetic action the tide has been stemmed, and an appreciable influence has been exerted over the morals of the country. Now, I ask is it generous, is it just, is it consistent that, while every good citizen speaks highly of this achievement, our opponents should use words only of disparagement bordering on contempt towards the workers themselves? I will speak quite freely, for I claim no merit to myself—I am only the spokesman of those who have borne the heat and burden of the day. For myself, I am content, and more than content, to be supposed to be possessed of "a craze" if I can do anything, however little, to mitigate this great evil. History is full of consolations. Far stronger and wiser and better men than myself have been called harder names. Their cause has triumphed in the end, and future ages have enrolled them as their benefactors.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Bishop of Durham.)


, in rising to move the rejection of the Bill, said: I present a Petition from the city of Durham praying that Durham City may be exempted; another from Petitioners in Durham against the Bill; and a third from the Labourers' Association in London, also against the Bill, pointing out that legislation of this kind will lead to the springing up of bogus clubs, and is an unjust and uncalled-for interference with individual liberty. Although your Lordships, in an evil and unguarded hour, passed the second reading of this Bill, yet if you now decide to throw it out you will be acting in perfect consistency with what you have already done in previous Sessions in regard to other measures of a similar character. The right rev. Prelate has referred to the excellent work that has been done during the present generation by temperance reformers, and he insinuated that this work was by the opponents of this Bill derided. But that is not the fact. I contend that there are no men more respected than the teetotallers and Good Templars and others who are striving against the evils of drunkenness; and I think that their having been able to do so much good work renders a Bill of this kind absolutely unnecessary. I object to this Bill on two grounds. I object to it on account of its exceptional character, and on account of the principles which it involves. This exceptional legislation means the thin end of the wedge, for once the law applies to the county of Durham other counties will be obliged to follow suit. I object to the whole principle and basis of this Bill, which enacts that the majority shall enforce the restriction. The city of Durham, for instance, wishes to be execepted from the Bill, the majority being against it, yet it is not proposed to except the city.


said, the noble Earl was misapprehending him. He did not support the Bill merely on that ground. He considered it to be right in itself, but at the same time he believed the majority of the people were in favour of it.


But the right rev. Prelate does not apply this principle generally in legislation. Now, as to the marriage laws. Would, he vote for an alteration of the law which prohibits marriage with a deceased wife's sister if a majority in his division desired it? The majority in Wales, for instance, are supposed to be in favour of getting rid of the Established Church. Would he, in such a case, apply his principle? Then take the Contagious Diseases Acts. The towns which came under the operation of the Contagious Diseases Acts have petitioned against the Acts being done away with. Is the right rev. Prelate prepared to support the view of the majority in that case? No, this principle when tested will not hold water; and I protest against the idea that because in any locality there is a majority in favour of a measure it is the duty of the Legisture to pass that measure. The right rev. Prelate has based his arguments for this Bill on the case of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, With regard to the result of such measures as the one now before us, I venture to think that he result in Wales is fatal to this kind of legislation, regarding it not merely from the point of view of its character, but from that of putting down drunkenness. Here are Home Office figures which have been analyzed for me at the Home Office, and give this result as regards Wales. Allowing for the increase of population since the passing of the Sunday Closing Act in 1881–2, the increase in convictions for Sunday drunkenness in the year 1883–4 was 27 per cent. as compared with the time when the Act was passed. On the other hand, what is the state of things in Durham, in the diocese of the right rev. Prelate? During the same period, whereas in Wales there has been an increase of 27 per cent. in Durham without the Act there has been a decrease of 20 per cent in the number of convictions for Sunday drunkenness. The last Returns further show that in 1883–4 there were 871 convictions for drunkenness in Durham; in the year 1884–5, which is the last, there were 542. There has thus been a decrease in Durham itself, comparing 1883–4 with 1884–5, of no less than 43 per cent; and I say that is a result of the efforts of the good men to whom the right rev. Prelate referred, and it shows that there is no necessity for exceptional and vicious legislation of this character. The right rev. Prelate also referred to the dicta of magistrates. What did Mr. Justice Manisty say after the passing of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act? He said— He could not adequately express the disgust he felt at the state of society in Cardiff, which was shocking. After what he had heard of those terrible dens (bogus clubs) he was beginning to understand the reason of the very heavy calendar he had to dispose of. Here is what the Chairman of a Petty Sessions in Wales says— The Returns made by the police showed that drinking had been very much on the increase since the passing of the Sunday Closing Bill. The Sunday Closing Act was a great mistake, and Sergeant Ward said he could point to a hundred cases of drunkenness in Flint to one before the Act. The illicit drinking had been fearful. At Cardiff there is a Roman Catholic Temperance League; and at a meeting in 1884 Father Robinson expressed his regret at having signed a Petition in favour of this legislation, and said that— No Act would make people sober. If they shut up one place another would be opened, for the people would get it somewhere. There was now more drunkenness, more sin, more iniquity of every kind committed in Cardiff than ever was before. So much for England. Of our Colonies I cannot speak; but in Australia the temperance movement has gone to this extent that barmaids are barred, not being allowed on account of young men visiting the bars and flirting with them, and tippling while so doing, while it was supposed that the presence of the "pot boy" would hold out no such inducement. If we take the case of America, I think that the figures with regard to Sunday Closing will absolutely silence the supporters of this Bill. At a meeting of the Social Science Association at Prince's Hall, London, lately, Mr. Mott stated that in the State of Maine, where the sale of liquor is prohibited, the number of convictions for drunkenness was larger in proportion than in any English town. The death-rate was the exact average of the United States, and was no less, although there are no large towns; the amount of insanity, which was largely attributable to drinking, was very great, and the number of divorces was exceptionally large, showing a bad state of society. "Maine," he said, "has gained nothing by prohibition, but it has lost the habit of obeying the laws." I have said enough upon the exceptional character of the Bill; now let me say a few words about the general principle of the Bill to which I object. The real objection to this Bill is that it is an unwarrantable interference with individual liberty. Will anyone stand up—will any Member of the Episcopal Bench—and dare to say that the moderate use of wine and beer is an offence? The use is not an offence; the offence is in the abuse. What are you going to do? You are going to create offences where there are none, morally or legally, at the present time. You are going in the interests of a few drunkards to bind the great majority of sober Englishmen, to deprive them of their freeman's right to have a glass of beer on Sunday. What is worse, you are going, as is shown by the example of Scotland and Wales, to produce the result of forcing such laws down unwilling throats; to create offences which do not now exist; and, what is worse, you are going to teach men to evade the law, for in countries where prohibition is the law its evasion has become a profession and an art. It is not by repressive legislation of this kind that this evil of drunkenness is to be cured. The suppression of this offence is a matter not for legislation, but for police. If a man gets drunk and is a nuisance to his neighbours in the street, lock him up until he is sober and fine him; if a publican is in the habit of serving a drunkard, warn him the first time, and then fine him and shut up his premises if he continues to offend. Let me sum up my objections to the Bill. (1) I object to the unprecedented principle of legislation; (2) I complain that where such legislation has been tried the proof is against it; (3) its effects are intolerable to the neighbouring counties; (4) it creates offences where there are now none, and leads to contempt of the law; (5) and it interferes with individual rights. I listened with pleasure to the closing passage of the speech of the right rev. Prelate who moved the second reading of the Bill (the Bishop of Durham). He on that occasion, in pathetic tones, spoke of the poor and the temptations to which they were exposed, and called upon your Lordships to remove from the poor weak man—the drunkard—and from those who feared they would fall into it, the temptation at their door in the shape of a public-house open on Sunday. I do not wish to preach; but it strikes me that we are all subject to temptation in this world in various degrees, shapes, and times, and that what we have been taught in our youth is to endeavour to resist temptation, and not pray for Acts of Parliament that it may be taken from us. You should teach the people to resist temptation so that it may flee from them. That would be far better than coming to Parliament for a special Act to take away the temptation, an Act which has failed wherever it has been tried—in Wales, in parts of Ireland, in America. It will not only fail in this case, but it will tend to warp and weaken the moral character of those for whose benefit it is supposed to be enacted.

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


said, he should be very sorry indeed, after the speech of the noble Earl who had just sat down, and the statement that prohibition had failed in Wales, if no one from the Principality of Wales rose to say a word or two on the question. He had had the honour of representing a Welsh constituency in the House of Commons, and had lived a good many years in the Principality. The noble Earl had stated more than once in his speech that the Welsh Sunday Closing Act had been a failure, and he supposed that the noble Earl founded that assertion on the statistics to be gathered from Cardiff and Swansea.


And Wrexham.


Those two towns were certainly the two largest in the Southern part of the Principality, but they did not represent the whole population of the Principality, and he ventured to say that in a case like this the rural districts ought to be taken into consideration just as much as the large and populous towns. In large towns there were people who would, whether the Act were passed or not, get drink, and he was afraid get drunk; but all legislation of the kind proposed by the Bill must not be stopped because such people existed. He himself lived in the county of Pembroke, and in close proximity to where he lived there was a village which was principally inhabited by fishermen. They were good hard-working men afloat, but he was sorry to say a good many of them had the credit of being very thirsty when they were on shore and not at work. But what did the wives and mothers of the village say about Sunday Closing? They said the place had been very different since the public-house had been closed on Sunday; they had now a quiet Sunday without any disturbances and rows. This added to the comfort of the wives and mothers, and he contended that they ought to be considered as well as the men, and the people who lived in the large towns. As to the bonâ fide traveller difficulty, people would always be found to travel out and turn themselves into bonâ fide travellers, and the practice had no doubt become a nuisance; but he thought the noble Earl on the Cross Benches (the Earl of Wemyss) would do better to devote himself to the discovery of some method for suppressing that nuisance than in opposing the measure now before the House. By so doing, he would confer not only a great benefit on his own country, but on the Principality of Wales.


said, that although he agreed with most that had fallen from the noble Earl on the Cross Benches (the Earl of Wemyss), yet, having voted against the second reading of this Bill, he felt bound to vote for the third reading. The question was whether the desire for this Bill was unanimous in the locality, or, at least, the predominant desire of the great majority. The noble Earl on the Cross Benches, when the Bill was in Committee, described the character of the local opponents of the measure as drunkards and rioters, who pelted the supporters with rotten eggs, and put down all discussion by violence.


said, that that was not his description, but the description of the Temperance Party. What he himself said was exactly the reverse.


said, that the description given showed that the decent population were in favour of the Bill. He would therefore appeal from Durham drunk to Durham sober. He did not like to identify himself with the drunken portion of the population. At the same time, he himself condemned the Bill now as much as he had done before. The people of Durham, however, must find out their own mistake. Instead of such a measure as this, an effort should be made to put down drunkenness itself by refusing the renewal of licences to those houses where drunkenness had been permitted. This Bill would only change the place of drunkenness and would not cope with the evil. It was proposed to close public-houses as shops on Sunday; but they were not only places of sale but for sociality, which might be as decent as in restaurants abroad. Closing one set of drinking houses would only open another, and when the public-houses were closed Durham would come to Parliament again for a Bill to shut up clubs set up instead, and so on through endless occasions. To conceal an evil was not to cure it. If the people of the whole county of Durham wished to try this experiment, was it not a strong proceeding to say that they should not be allowed to do so? Durham must learn by experience of false methods how to arrive at the proper use of things in a better way than changing the venue of the abuse.


I have the misfortune to differ from my noble Friend who has just sat down (Lord Norton) in that I shall do what to him seems unreasonable, and vote in the same way on the third reading as I did on the second. At the same time, I am bound to tender my thanks to my noble Friend, for if he is not able to give us a vote he has given us one of the most effective speeches against the Bill. I quite accept the platform of argument on which my noble Friend has placed this discussion. I think the main question, the practical question, which we have to decide is, whether there is sufficient evidence before us that the people of Durham have a paramount desire for this Bill. But before I say a word upon this point I must remind my right rev. Friend who moved the third reading tonight (the Bishop of Durham) that he has entirely mistaken the meaning and purport of the censures which were cast upon the movement by which this Bill has been brought forward. Nobody has meant to censure the heroic workers in favour of temperance who have done so much to improve the condition of this country, and who are so great an honour to it. And even when their admiration of temperance, universally shared, is carried to the extreme point of recommending entire abstinence, those who do not agree with them would still recognize that they held a perfectly defensible position, and that they show, in the advocacy of their opinions, some of the highest qualities of citizenship. It is not those who preach temperance in any form, that are liable to censure; it is those who come to Parliament to ask for the secular arm to effect that which they have not been able to accomplish. I confess it is with great regret that I see that the clergy of all denominations, who, unfortunately, do not agree upon other matters as much as we could wish, are able to agree in this, that they will appeal to the secular arm to help them. It is a sad thing to think that the only point on which the unity of religious bodies can be hoped for is in the desire to make use of the secular and temporal powers to carry into effect that which should certainly be the result of their own high mission and of their persuasive elo- quence. Now, what are we doing? We are enacting that on one day in every week a certain portion of the population in this country shall abstain from one of their accustomed articles of diet because a section of the population say that the temptation to consume too much of that article of diet is too strong for them. That is the gist of this legislation. It is admitted, I think, on all hands that in strictness the principle which is taken up by my noble Friend who moves the rejection of this Bill is a sound one, and that in strictness you have no right to interfere with one man's liberty because another man does not possess the virtue of self-control. But I am not going to argue on that ground. I quite admit, after what has happened in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, that it might be logical but it is not practical to address a Legislative Assembly on that ground. I am willing to meet the right rev. Prelate half way. He would prohibit the opening of public-houses on Sunday, or possibly the opening of public-houses at all, whether the majority liked it or not. I have great doubts whether the majority have the right to legislate for the minority upon the point. But let us meet upon this common ground, that, at all events, in imposing these anomalous and paradoxical restrictions we ought to be quite certain that we shall be acting according to the will of the majority of the people of the district affected; that we shall either provide machinery which will ascertain the existence of that majority, or that in other ways we shall so act that there shall be no doubt upon the point. The result of my consideration has been that it is to me a matter of great doubt whether that preponderance of opinion exists in the county of Durham or not; and I would point out that we are specially bound in this particular kind of legislation to be careful that we know the opinions of those on whose behalf we profess to act. In ordinary matters, in almost all other matters but this, the two Houses of Parliament are representative of the country in the highest sense. They are samples of the country; and whatever they feel and think it is probable that other Englishmen in some degree feel and think. But here you have the very remarkable position of two bodies of men legislating for another class in whose habits they do do not partake, and imposing upon them restrictions which they themselves will not have to undergo. I say that that condition of matters imposes upon you, above all things, the necessity of ascertaining whether the people of the county of Durham by a large majority really wish for this change. What evidence have you of the wishes of the people of Durham? I am told that the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack (Lord Herschell) has represented Durham. But he has been succeeded by a Gentleman who gives an entirely different statement as to the feelings of the constituency which he represented. Then, we are told that the Representatives of the county of Durham in the other House voted for this Bill. Were they elected on this subject? Was this a matter on which the Election turned? Was this the burning question brought before them? We all of us remember what the burning questions were, what was contained in a certain Manifesto, and what were the subjects discussed and examined backwards and forwards in every part of the country. I remember nothing about the passing of such a Bill as this. I remember that the late Government expressed their opinion that the matter ought to be left to the judgment of the localities acting through freely-elected representative bodies, and that that view was generally accepted on all sides of politics throughout the country. But I remember no indication that the Election turned upon the question of this Bill in such a sense as to authorize the Members for Durham to speak absolutely for the people. Then you come to the other modes of representation. What is the state of things in respect to Petitions? The Petition of 60,000 voters has been impugned. It had been found that there was some mistake in one signature, and the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack said that there were many others in the same handwriting. The noble and learned Lord knows how Petitions are drawn up. There is such a thing as the illiterate voter in this country, and there is also the illiterate signer of Petitions. It may be a very wrong way, but the ordinary way in which a man who does not care to confess that he cannot write his signature will act is this—instead of confessing it before the world by put- ting his cross to the Petition, he would say—"Just put my name down for me." My noble Friend (the Earl of Wemyss) has produced more Petitions to-night, signed by extensive numbers in Hartle-pool and elsewhere. There, at all events, there is no proof of any unanimity. Then, with regard to another point. My noble Friend (Lord Norton) was very much impressed by the fact that a public meeting was held on behalf of this Bill, and that great indignation was expressed, and that the occupants of the platform were driven out. Well, of course, it was very wrong of the indignant lovers of freedom to take that course; but we know there has been a great deal of discussion as to the Constitutional right of having recourse to physical force. I do not wish to support such a doctrine as that you have a right to disturb a public meeting; but certainly you cannot cite it as a proof of the unanimity when a public meeting assembled to support the measure is dispersed by force. On the other hand, there was a meeting called to oppose the Bill, and the occupants of the platform were not driven out. I do not say that that proves that Durham is against this Bill, but it is a proof that there is not that overwhelming preponderance of opinion which alone can justify you in asserting that you are the representatives of the people in this matter. I have done what is in my power to ascertain the opinion of those who know the county, and, according to their statement, it is very much divided. For instance, I have here a telegram I have received— Splendid meeting at North Stockton last night; estimated to have been 7,000. Resolutions carried by tremendous majority.—PHILLIPS. Here is another one— Meeting at Stockton. Great success; 6,000. Will write to-night. These resolutions were opposed to the Bill. I think the Resolution of my noble Friend was the resolution carried. I am told that at Hartlepool there was an attempt to pass a Petition in favour of the Bill through a representative body, the Local Board of Health, and the Petition was thrown out. That is not a proof of the unanimity of the people of Durham in favour of this Bill; but I fancy the truth is that opinion is geographically very much divided—that at Sunderland opinion is very strong, that at Hartlepool it is the other way, and that in the city of Durham it is the other way. Unless, therefore, you provide for a much more careful examination and proof than you have done, you have no ground for, and would not be justified in, believing that the people of Durham are in favour of this Bill. If you are going to restrict the liberty of the working classes to this extent, at least ascertain that the working classes wish it. But I am told that the miners are adverse to the Bill. It seems to me very unjust that you should pass this Bill over their heads without ascertaining whether you are really acting according to their wishes. I maintain that before you act in this way you ought to make sure that you are right. What we desired to do was to create machinery by which this fact could be ascertained. I maintain that before you act in this way you are bound to create some such machinery. You are bound to do so for another reason. The very exceptional character of this legislation makes a serious grievance to the neighbourhood. You are taking a strip of country lying between two counties, and are applying this measure to Durham alone. Durham is different from other counties to which such a measure has been applied in this, that it is not separated from the adjoining county by a strong natural barrier. On the contrary, it happens to be a very unfortunate district for this kind of experiment, because there is a river to the North and a river to the South of it, and rivers have naturally attracted the mass of the industrial population, so that the population lies, as it were, in two rows at either frontier. The effect of this Bill will, of course, be simply that the publicans on the one side of the river will be ruined and the publicans on the other side will be enormously enriched, and the consumption of liquor will certainly not be less, but probably greater, than before. What we wish before all is that the real feelings and wishes of the people should be ascertained. It appears to us that the attempt to ascertain that opinion has been made in a prefunctory and almost slovenly manner. Therefore, I do not feel it right to vote for this anomalous and extraordinary restrictive legislation without knowing what the real state of the case is, and I feel bound to vote on the third reading, as on the second reading, against the passing of the Bill.


My Lords, I think I recognize in the arguments to-day a repetition of those employed on the occasion of the second reading of the Bill. I think great injustice has been done to the noble Earl on the Cross Benches (the Earl of Wemyss) and the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) on the Front Bench opposite. I do not think that the promoters of temperance in the county of Durham and the country generally had the slightest notion that they were the objects of the enthusiastic admiration which both these noble Lords expressed for them. I have one remark to make with regard to the speech of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Norton) who spoke third in this debate. Unlike the noble Marquess, I should be glad to hear a great many speeches from a great many Peers, so that they consent to vote on my side of the question. The noble Marquess has omitted one strong argument in favour of the Bill, and it is that the right rev. Prelate has introduced a clause limiting its operation to four years. There is one defect in the speech of the noble Lord (Lord Norton), which is, that he omits the principal argument which entirely justifies the line he takes. He says he has voted against the second reading, but that he intends to vote for the third reading. Well, that seems a most inconsistent course; but the fact is that if you vote against the second reading, and vote for the third reading, you ought to have some facts which justify you. The noble Earl on the Cross Benches (the Earl of Wemyss) is very consistent. If I had come in in the middle of the speech of the noble Earl, I should have thought from his unmingled indignation that the right rev. Prelate had been guilly of bringing in a Bill for the protection of vice in general. But the noble Earl opposite thought it impossible to stand out on strict principle after what had been done by the Legislature with regard to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The gist of the noble Marquess's argument was that it was impossible to ascertain that it was the desire of the people of Durham that the Bill should pass. He said that the noble and learned Lord on the Wool- sack had been succeeded in the representation of Durham by a Gentleman who did not approve the Bill, and that that proved what the opinion of Durham was. But the change which had taken place referred merely to the city of Durham itself. That Durham City thought differently was the ground which the noble Earl gave for proposing to except it from the operation of the Bill, but that ground was rejected by the House the other day. And when we come to the county we find that the 15 Members voted for the Bill. The noble Marquess says that the question was not before the constituency at the last Election, but I am told that there was no other question so fully before it. All the Members were pledged up to the neck to vote for the Bill, as the condition on which they were returned, and when the noble Marquess says—"Do not let us vote against the wish of the lower classes, whose feelings we do not understand," I beg to remind him that nearly all the mass of the population of Durham consists of miners, and that two of the Parliamentary Representatives are miners, and that all the Liberal Members who have been returned owed their return to the support which they got from the miners. The whole of the Roman Catholics, the whole of the Nonconformists, the whole of the clergy of the Church of England are in favour of the Bill, and that is enormous evidence of the fact stated by its supporters. I am told, too, that all the Boards of Guardians are on the same side, and therefore I am glad that the noble Marquess has laid such stress on the feeling of the people of Durham. For these reasons alone I think we are bound to vote for the third reading of the Bill.

On Question, that ("now") stand part of the Motion? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 70; Not-Contents 97: Majority 27.

Canterbury, L. Archp. Annesley, E.
Herschell, L. (L. Chancellor.) Camperdown, E. [Teller.]
York, L. Archp. Derby, E.
Spencer, E. (L. President.) Ducie, E.
Dundonald, E.
Granville, E.
Saint Albans, D. Jersey, E.
Westminster, D. Kimberley, E.
Morley, E.
Northampton, M. Mount Edgcumbe, E.
Ripon, M. Saint Germans, E.
Selborne, E. Granard, L. (E. Granard.)
Tankerville, E.
Gwydir, L.
Halifax, V. Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)
Harlech, L.
Bath and Wells, L. Bp. Herries, L.
Chichester, L. Bp. Hothfield, L.
Durham, L. Bp. Howth, L. (E. Howth.)
Gloucester and Bristol, L. Bp. Kensington, L. [Teller.]
London, L. Bp. Lingen, L.
Newcastle, L. Bp. Lyttleton, L.
Oxford, L. Bp. Monk-Bretton, L.
Rochester, L. Bp. Monson, L.
St. Asaph, L. Bp. Monteagle of Brandon, L.
St. David's, L. Bp.
Southwell, L. Bp. Northbourne, L.
Truro, L. Bp. Northington, L, (L. Henley.)
Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.) (L. Chamberlain.) Norton, L.
O'Neill, L.
Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Belper, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Camoys, L. Sandhurst, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Scarsdale, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Cloncurry, L.
Coleridge, L. Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)
Cottesloe, L. Vernon, L.
Denman, L. Wenlock, L.
Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Wolverton, L.
Beaufort, D. Leven and Melville, E.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Lucan, E.
Macclesfield, E.
Grafton, D. Malmesbury, E.
Leeds, D. Mar, E.
Manchester, D. Nelson, E.
Marlborough, D. Northesk, E.
Richmond, D. Radnor, E.
Ravensworth, E.
Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.) Romney, E.
Rosse, E.
Abergavenny, M. Wilton, E.
Bath, M. Yarborough, E.
Bristol, M.
Exeter, M. Bridport, V.
Hertford, M. Cranbrook, V.
Normanby, M. Hardinge, V.
Salisbury, M. Hawarden, V.
Hood, V.
Ashburnham, E. Sherbrooke, V.
Cadogan, E. Sidmouth, V.
Caledon, E.
Cawdor, E. Ashford, L. (V. Bury.)
Clonmell, E. Auckland, L.
Coventry, E. Bramwell, L.
Dartrey, E. Calthorpe, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Colchester, L.
Deramore, L.
Digby, L.
Fortescue, E. Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Harewood, E. Ellenborough, L.
Iddesleigh, E. Elphinstone, L.
Innes, E. (D. Roxburghe.) Erskine, L.
Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Kilmorey, E.
Lanesborough, E. Gage, L. (V. Gage.)
Lathom, E. Gerard, L.
Grantley, L. Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Halsbury, L.
Harris, L. Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)
Hillingdon, L. Sinclair, L.
Howard of Glossop, L. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Howard de Walden, L.
Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.) Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Ker, L. (M. Lothian.) Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)
Templemore, L.
Lamington, L. Teynham, L.
Leigh, L. Trevor, L.
Lyveden, L. Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.) [Teller.]
Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.)
Wigan, L. (E. Crawford and Balcarres.)
Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)
Wimborne, L.
Poltimore, L. [Teller.] Windsor, L.
Rodney, L. Zouche of Haryngworth, L.
Romilly, L.
Rossmore, L.

Resolved in the negative.

Bill to be read 3a on this day six months.

House adjourned at Seven o'clock, to Thursday next, a quarter past Ten o'clock.