said, that it now became his duty to state to the House the general nature of this measure. The bill, although the title of it was not very inviting, was one which would materially affect the wellbeing and the comfort of a large and important portion of the labouring classes. He admitted that, as a general principle, the Legislature should not interfere with labour, but there were prima facie and strong reasons why the House should sanction this bill. It might be doubtful whether the interference proposed in this bill would be effective; but he would state to the House the reasons which influenced him in bringing the measure forward, and which induced him to believe that it would answer the object which he had in view. There were two questions which the House had to consider—namely, whether the evils which the bill was intended to meet were of such a magnitude as to require legislative interference: and secondly, supposing the first principle to be adopted, whether the means provided in this bill were the best that could be adopted for the removal of these evils. The House was aware that coalwhippers were men employed to discharge vessels laden with coal in the port of London. The practice in engaging these men was, not that each man should be engaged individually, but that a gang should be engaged through the medium of some third party, and in nine cases out of ten they were engaged, through the medium of some person in a station higher than themselves. The gang was sometimes engaged by the leader of it, who was called the basket-man, but this was by no means general. He believed he might say that two-thirds of the men employed were engaged by publicans or beer- 79 house-keepers. In adverting to the system, he had no reproach or stigma to cast on this class of tradesmen. He believed that many of the publicans were sensible of the mischief of the system, and that they would if they could improve the moral condition of the working men at the part of the town, chiefly inhabited by coalwhippers, and with this view he knew that some of them had voluntarily closed their houses on the Sunday. The right hon. Gentleman read a long extract from the London journal of Commerce to show the nature of the employment of the coalwhippers, and of the mode in which they were engaged by the publicans and others. It appeared that these men were engaged in public-houses, and that the publicans, in order to increase their business, furnished the men with the implements of their calling. Naturally the men who drank the most would be considered the best customers to the publican. By this system, then, a premium was held out to the habit of drinking in public-houses, and the obvious tendency of the mode of employment was to produce habits of drunkenness. The result of this was that great reductions were made in the wages of the men for the drink they consumed in the public-houses, where they were engaged, to the great injury of their families, and to the moral degradation of the workmen themselves. This system had always proved most expensive to the coal trade, for the amount of percentage for transhipping coal was very great. It sometimes happened that there was a superabundance of labour in this branch, and then in consequence of the competition of the workmen at the various public houses for employ, they had to submit to the most enormous reduction in their wages, often he believed to the amount of from 40 to 50 per cent. These facts were proved before a committee of the House of Lords in 1828, before a committee of the House of Commons in 1828, and in a committee of common council of the City of London in 1839. It was a matter of the utmost notoriety that the present system of employing coalwhippers was constantly causing disturbances in the neighbourhood where they were employed, and he had had several representations from the heads of the police in these districts, who assured him that, although the workmen, generally speaking, were a well-disposed body, yet that the system itself almost inevitably gave rise to disturbances from week to week. The question then 80 arose, whether a remedy could be applied to this state of things, which in itself would not be intolerable. In the year 1797 an application was made to Parliament on the subject; but nothing effectual was done. In 1803 an act was passed prohibiting the keepers of public houses from being engaged in employing coal gangs. If this act had been operative it might in a great extent have been effectual in putting a stop to some of the most prominent evils; but it became a perfect dead letter, for although nominally other parties engaged the gangs of coal-whippers, they were really hired at the various public houses by the publicans. In 1807 a strict monopoly in the employment of these men was tried, and the whole power of engaging them and fixing the amount of their wages was placed in the Court of Aldermen? but this proved no remedy to the evils complained of. In 1830 a committee of the House of Commons recommended that the Legislature should try a plan of free trade as regards this description of labour, and that there should be no legislative interference at all, but that the men might make the best bargain they could with those who employed him. A law to this effect was enacted in the following year, but this plan likewise failed after the trial of a few years. In 1838 another committee of that House recommended that the wages of the coal-whippers should be paid on board the coal ships from day to day, and that the trade should be left free in other respects. For five years this system had been tried, and the result was that it had proved as great a failure as any of the previous ones. If there could be shown to be any reasonable hope of escape from those evils which pressed so heavily upon this industrious class, he would not have interfered, but he confessed that he anticipated nothing of the kind could be done. He had received much valuable information on this subject from a gentleman of the name of Barter. Two-thirds of the coal-ships which were unladen in this port came under the cognizance of this gentleman, who, therefore, was well able to obtain information as to the situation of the coal-whippers employed on board them. From returns kept by that gentleman, it appeared that, in 1841, there were 3,690 coal-ships unladen by gangs engaged from public-houses and beer-shops, while in 1842, the number was 4,000. Again, he found that in 1841, the number of ships unladen by gangs under basket-men, and 81 by other means, was 2,069, and in 1842, the number was 2,101. It appeared, therefore, that there had been a great increase in the number of ships unladen by the gangs engaged at public-houses, and little or no increase from other sources. It had been asked, why interfere with the coal-whippers any more than any other description of workmen? Why attempt to abridge the power of a man to employ whom he pleased as workmen? Why not allow the system to work out a remedy for itself, as you have in other matters? Now he contended that this bill was a measure to emancipate labour, for if the House considered the evils that flowed from the present system, it would appear that no inconveniences that could arise from the present measure were at all commensurate with the mischief which was now experienced. He might be told of the truck-system of Staffordshire, and other places, and he might be asked why not bring in a bill to put a stop to it; but his reply was, that the evils which flowed from it were as nothing in comparison to the vices of this system. On consulting many who were well acquainted with the coal-trade he found their opinions almost entirely in favour of this bill, and he knew that nearly all the men engaged in this employment were favourable to it, because he had received petitions to this effect from them. He denied that this was an attempt to fix the rate of wages, for several persons in the trade said, that the effect of the bill would be to increase wages, while others, with equal certainty, contended that it would reduce them materially. The great body of the coal-whippers knew that this measure would not increase their wages. They were aware that the object of the bill was only to give them fair play, by removing an overwhelming evil which oppressed them, but that when this was done the case would be left to be determined by the supply and demand for labour, as it was in every other matter. In addition to this, the House should recollect that the bankers and merchants of London had petitioned the House to interfere, and that all the evidence of the police was confirmatory of the state of degradation, both moral and social, to which this system had reduced the coal-whippers. A petition had also been presented, to a similar effect, by the guardians of Stepney Union Workhouse, and he thought this ought to be looked upon with much consideration by the House, owing to the opportunities which 82 they had of becoming acquainted with coal-whippers. The only opposition to this bill originated with the shipowners, who seemed altogether mistaken as to the object of the bill. He doubted whether the publicans were not urging on the opposition of the shipowners, and endeavoured to make the latter body believe that the intervention of the middlemen to employ the workmen to unload the ship was necessary. He did not understand how this bill could make any difference to the shipowner. In former times the coal-whippers enjoyed a practical monopoly, and received enormously high wages, although the work in which they were engaged could not be called "skilled labour." He believed those wages amounted to as much as 3l. a week; and under those circumstances a deduction of 2s.a day, to be expended in liquor at the public-house, might not be felt as a very serious evil to their families. But the monopoly was now broken down; and wages were reduced on the average by at least one-half; so that the deduction of even a shilling a day would be a very serious loss. The essential feature of his plan was, that it would establish a public office where these men would be registered, and at which a person wishing to have his ship discharged must apply for a body of coal-whippers; and if he could obtain men from this public office on as reasonable terms as elsewhere, he would be bound to employ them. The bill would, to a certain extent, interfere with the freedom of trade; but if higher wages were asked at the public office than elsewhere, they might decline to employ the registered men; and the inconvenience, if any, thus created, would, he thought, be amply compensated by the peculiar necessities of the case. He contended that this bill would prove the real emancipation of the labourers affected by it; and although he was aware that it might be objected to on economical grounds, still, on social considerations, it was absolutely necessary, and the enactment of this measure, if attended with inconvenience, would be of such a character as to be utterly insignificant in comparison with the evils to be removed. Among other persons who had taken an active part in support of this bill, he might mention that Mr. Buxton, who had great interest in public-houses in the locality which this bill would affect, and whose property might be somewhat injured by the measure, had written to him in favour of it, and no one 83 would doubt but that Mr. Buxton was the warm advocate of free-trade. He had only to say, in conclusion, that the greatest care had been taken to avoid the possibility of creating anything like jobbing-offices, and to ensure the lowest possible rate of expenditure in the working of the measure. Arrangements would be made in every way conformable with the experimental character of the bill; and, looking at the bill as an experiment—but an experiment recommended by the most imperative considerations of justice, of humanity, and he believed, of true wisdom—he not only ventured to hope, but he entertained a confident expectation and belief, that the bill would receive the favourable attention and the deliberate sanction of the House. Under these circumstances he should now move that the Speaker do leave the Chair.
§ Mr. Hawes
Before the House went into committee, he wished to say a few words upon a point of form, which he believed was a complete objection to their proceeding with the bill. The act, the 1st and 2nd of William 4th, c. 76, and 1st and 2nd Vict., c. 101, allowed the corporation of London to raise a duty of 1d. per ton upon coals for certain purposes, the duty to determine when those purposes should be accomplished. That duty was not applicable to any other purpose whatever, except those specified in the act. If the corporation continued the duty after those purposes were completed, they would act in violation of the law. By clause 15 of this bill, it was proposed to enable the corporation of London to raise a sum of 1,000l., which was to be paid by the corporation out of the 1d. duty. It is stated in this 15th clause,—That for the purpose of providing and fitting up stations for coal-whippers under this act, it shall be lawful for the said mayor, aldermen, and commons, in common council assembled, to borrow or raise on the credit of the duty of 1d. per ton on coals, cinders, and culm, imposed by the first hereinbefore mentioned act of the first and second years of King William the Fourth, any sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole 1,000l., in addition to the sums required for the purposes of the said first hereinbefore mentioned act, and thereby authorised to be raised.Now, the whole amount of the duty to be raised under the former act was appropriated. The right hon. Gentleman, therefore, was raising a new tax under his clause. This charge also was directly at variance with the allegation in the pream- 84 ble of the bill. No one could suppose, from reading the preamble, that it was intended that an additional tax should be imposed on coals, but, as he had shown, the provisions of clause 15 were directly against the statement in the preamble. He looked upon the borrowing of this 1,000l. as a new tax, and he contended that this could not be proceeded with, because it was contrary to the standing orders of the House.
§ Mr. W. Gladstone
said, that the object of raising this sum was to obtain the means of fitting up an office, and of obtaining a supply of books, and pens, and paper, for which future provision would be made. He denied that the loan was the main feature of the bill. As to the point of form, he must admit, that if there had been an intention to impose a new tax, it ought to be mentioned in the preamble. The loan was to be raised upon a terminable tax, which would not accomplish its purpose for several years, and in the meantime, the whole of this loan, which was not to be advanced out of the tax, but only on the security of the tax, would be repaid with the interest out of the means provided in the bill for carrying the provisions into effect, after the preliminary arrangements were completed, and the bill brought into operation. There was no intention whatever of imposing a tax of 1d. on the public.
§ Mr. F. T. Baring
said, that the answer of the right hon. Gentleman had not satisfied him that this was not a new tax, and that it ought not to have been mentioned in the preamble. The bill had already been read a second time and committed pro forma. But it was admitted on all hands, that they could not vote a new tax without going into a committee of the whole House, and obtaining a resolution. But even the continuance of a tax by this arrangement, for a longer time than it would otherwise continue, was to all intents a new tax. The right hon. Gentleman said that the loan would be repaid before the purposes of the tax were completed. But there was a possibility that it might not be, and it was the duty of the House not to disregard that possibility. He believed, under the circumstances, it was necessary to have a committee of the whole House, in which they must recommence proceedings.
§ The Speaker
said, that his attention had been called to the subject by the hon. 85 Member for Lambeth. He did not feel that objection on the point of form which had been mooted by that hon. Member, if the right hon. Gentleman (the President of the Board of Trade) were right, that the tax in question would not be increased, or diverted from the purpose for which it was intended by Parliament. Whether it did so or not, was a question of law which he was not competent to decide. The clause gave the commissioner power to raise a loan, to be repaid with interest from the fund provided by the bill. By a subsequent clause, a deduction was to be made of a farthing in each shilling from the wages of each coal-whipper, for the expenses that would be incurred. By the 42nd clause, also, it was provided that the monies received under this act should be paid into the City Chamber, and constitute a fund for the payment of the passing of this act; secondly, for defraying the salaries of officers; and thirdly, in discharge of any principal money which shall have been raised on the credit of the coal duty of 1d. per ton, for the purposes of this act. This clause clearly indicated that provision was thus to be made for the repayment of the 1,000l. He apprehended that the power to borrow under this act did not empower any one to continue the tax longer than was directed by Parliament. If the bill went into committee, and it was found that the clause would have the effect supposed by the hon. Member for Lambeth, they might throw out the clause, and direct the money to be borrowed in another way. He did not think that the objection was fatal.
§ The Speaker
observed, that undoubtedly an additional duty ought to be imposed in a committee of the whole House, and it could not be imposed by indirect enactment. But the question whether or not it was a tax, was not so much one of form as of law. There was nothing informal in the present clause, inasmuch as it empowered certain commissioners appointed by the bill to borrow money out of a particular fund. The objection was not one which would delay the progress of the bill.
§ Mr. W. Gladstone
said, if the object- 86 tions were good, he supposed they must begin the bill de novo.
§ Mr. Hawes
said, the right hon. Gentleman could hardly proceed in the face of he declaration of the Chair. The decision of the Speaker was, that an additional duty could only be proposed in a committee of the whole House. He apprehended there could be no doubt that the bill did impose an additional tax.
§ Question again put that the Speaker leave the Chair.
§ Mr. Hume
remarked that the right hon. Gentleman had laid it down as a general principle, that there should be no interference with labour, and that he would not do so in this case unless he could make out a strong case. Now, he was at a loss to understand what case the right hon. Gentleman had made out, unless it was one which showed the impropriety of any interference at all. The right hon. Gentleman virtually admitted that the interference of the Legislature had created a monopoly, and it had therefore been productive of all the evils that had been complained of. So long as the Legislature interfered with labour—for any attempt of this kind to keep up wages was an interference with labour—failure must take place. He believed, that the great evil which the coal-whippers had to complain of was, that there was a superabundance of labour in that branch of industry. Why not, on the same ground that you interfered with the coal-whippers, interfere with those who were employed in unloading ships laden with timber or sugar, or other produce, from different quarters? The persons thus employed were never in such a state of distress as the coal-whippers, because the Legislature had not interfered with their employment. If, by enactment, a coal-whipper could, according to a fixed rule of payment, earn as much money in three or four hours as another workman could only earn in double the time, it was evident many would flock to a trade so profitable, and hence it became overstocked. The system of paying the coal-whippers at public-houses had ceased, and they were now all paid at the capstan of the ship on board of which they were employed. They ought not to attempt any more legislation on the subject, but leave the coal-whippers in their natural state. This bill would also enable these coal-whippers to form combinations, which were always product- 87 ive of greater evil to the men than to their employers, and he feared that the result would be to place again on the statute book some of those objectionable combination laws. The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech, had laid down the principle of the inexpediency of interfering with labour so clearly and distinctly, that he was quite at a loss to account for the conclusions at which the right hon. Gentleman had arrived. If the House would give him a committee, he would undertake to bring forward evidence to rebut every allegation made by the right hon. Gentleman as to the hope of relief from his plan, and he would prove, from what passed in every other branch of labour, that interference would be mischievous, and would entail evil not only on the coal consumer, but on the coal-whipper himself. The provisions also of this bill were most absurd—it was monstrous to appoint nine commissioners to register a few hundred coal-whippers. The true humanity towards those men was not to hold out any false and fallacious hopes for them. He believed the coal-whippers signed the petition which was presented to the House under the belief, that it would increase the wages of labour. He had no desire, that labour should not be highly paid, but he wished that they should be natural wages, and not forced by legislation. 9d. a ton was given to the coal-whippers when less than 6d. would be sufficient, if competition was left free. The freight per ton was 6s. or 7s., and if 9d. a ton was exacted, the charge on the trade was 14 or 15 per cent. He asked the right hon. Gentleman if he could maintain this bill as a fit and proper regulation, whether he would carry it out with regard to all other trades? If the principle was sound as regarded one trade, it should be extended to all others. He thought, that they ought to hear evidence as to the general effect of this bill, and he wished to go before a committee, when the coal-owners, the coal-merchants, the ship-owners, and the coal-whippers might be heard. He therefore moved, as an amendment, that before proceeding with this bill, a select committee be appointed to inquire into the condition of the coal - whippers since the passing of the act of 1st and 2nd Victoria, c. 101.
§ Dr. Bowring
seconded the amendment. He thought the proposition of his hon. 88 Friend was of so reasonable a character, that the House could not with propriety refuse to give its consent to it. The bill was founded on ignorance of the powers of legislation. There was scarcely any branch of trade which had not at some time or other suffered from distress and poverty. Whenever this was the case, an appeal was made to the House of Commons for relief, in the shape of regulating the price of labour. The result was, that our statute-book was thus crowded with acts of the most absurd nature, having for their object an attempt to regulate wages. Most of these had fortunately fallen into desuetude. This meddling legislature had been constantly holding out expectations which never could be realised; for the result of experience was to show, that all such interference was objectionable, and injurious to those whom it was intended to serve. He had hoped that, at the present day, the principle of the freedom of labour had been unanimously adopted in that House. He believed that many of the grievances under which the coal-whippers laboured had been occasioned by parliamentary interference. For his own part, he believed that the state of intemperance of these men was occasioned by the interference of Parliament. Instead of an act of Parliament, they should send the Apostle of Temperance among them. He was sorry to see the right hon. Gentleman departing from the sound principles of political economy, and he believed, that by this bill they would be inflicting a greater mischief than that which they professed to remove.
§ Sir W. Clay
said, that if he could agree in the premises laid down by his hon. Friend, the Member for Montrose, he would vote for the amendment. If it was true that the bill established monopoly, promoted combination, or attempted to regulate the rate of wages, he would oppose it; but the bill did none of these things. Any person who chose might demand to be registered as a coal-whipper, so that there was no monopoly. There was not the slightest attempt in any part of the bill to regulate the rate of wages. He agreed with the general proposition laid down by his hon. Friend, that the rate of wages should be left to be regulated by supply and demand, but there were cases which were exceptions. The law interfered with labour in the case of hackney-carriages, for the benefit of the 89 middle and upper classes, and it ought to interfere in the present case for the protection of the humbler classes. Under the present system the greatest suffering was inflicted, and by the mode in which these men were engaged there was an almost irresistible inducement to resort to drink. The bill merely established a labour mart to which the coal-whippers and the persons who wanted their services might resort, instead of being forced to go to public-houses. At present the whole agency was through the public-houses, and the only mode of payment for agency to the keepers of these places was by making the coal-whippers expend a certain portion of their earnings every week. He had presented a petition in favour of this bill from the guardians of the union of Stepney, in the parishes constituting which nearly all the coal-whippers resided, and those gentlemen, who must have had extensive experience of the working of the system, were unanimous in favour of the bill. He admitted that the burthen of proof laid with those who called for a departure from the rule regarding the employment of labour, but the evidence repeatedly given before committees of both Houses of Parliament on the subject clearly pointed out the great evils which now existed, and also that it was the duty of the Legislature, if possible, to ged rid of them. The present bill was an attempt to remove some of these evils. It was merely an experiment, and its duration was limited to only three years, when the subject must again come under the attention of Parliament.
§ Mr. F. T. Baring
regretted that this bill, which involved such an important departure from sound principle, had been brought forward. The principle of this bill was fairly stated in the preamble, viz:—Whereas the employment of such labourers, called coal-whippers, would be better regulated, and the interests of the said labourers and of the public at large would be promoted if the same were carried on under the superintendence of commissioners, &c." That was, that there was to be a particular set of commissioners to regulate a particular trade. That was the principle of this bill; and that was the principle to which he objected. Every gentleman who supported the bill admitted that the course about to be pursued in respect to the 90 measure was an exception. It was said that that was a peculiar case. Well, then, his hon. Friend asked them, before they admitted the exception, to inquire into the circumstances of the matter. He thought it was but reasonable that they should ascertain whether there were circumstances which should induce them to make that exception to the general rule. It was said, however, that it would then be too late to postpone any further the progress of the bill, and that there was no time for such postponement. But it did not appear to him that that was a case of any sudden emergency. But this was no answer to the objections, for the facts of the case had been brought under the notice of the right hon. Gentleman long since. The right hon. Gentleman relied upon the evidence taken before a former committee, and the conclusions of that committee. But why had not the bill been brought in at an earlier period of the Session? If it were for the convenience of the right hon. Gentleman and of the Government to have postponed the measure until then, that was no reason why it should be passed without a deliberate inquiry. Were there any peculiar reasons why the measure should hastily be passed into a law? None of the committees which had sat upon the subject had recommended the particular measure before the House. And would it then be advisable to pass that measure, and to reverse the principle followed in all other cases? Before the House of Commons proceeded, they should examine and see what was the effect of former acts. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the bill had received the approval, not only of the coal-whippers, but disinterested parties, who supported it on the grounds of humanity. He (Mr. Baring) admitted that to be the case; and he had the greatest respect for persons who, for purposes of humanity, interfered in such questions. But he would tell the House if they were to pass the bill upon that account, they would have worthy and excellent persons entreating them to enact all kinds of artificial measures. There was nothing in the world which was so meddling as humanity. It is the natural tendency of the human mind. It sees an evil, and thinks that by some law of its own it can prevent it. It was a strong lesson—and it was long before even men in office knew it, that the best humanity was to leave people to take 91 care of themselves. But they were told in this case that the parties—that is, the coal-whippers—were anxious for the measure. Was not the hon. Gentleman aware that there was not a trade in England, if once it was known that the Board of Trade was disposed to interfere, but would ask them to interfere and make legal regulations? Every trade when in distress, the moment it knew you would interfere, would call upon you to do so, and there would be no end to such demands. But it was said that there was something peculiar in the trade in question. What was the peculiarity? Was it that the men worked in gangs? Why, all along the river they worked in gangs, and he could name twenty trades that worked in gangs. Was the peculiarity that they worked in coal? No, for that House never interfered with the coal-porters. But if they once began to legislate for every small case where some peculiarity appeared, they would be perpetually called upon to abandon their principles—those principles respecting trade which can never be departed from without injury to the trade itself. He thought he saw in the bill that which would prevent its working; the bill would not do what it proposed. Having tried three times, and in every instance failed, the House was now called upon, at the end of the Session, to pass a bill that was one of the strongest interferences with trade they had ever had to deal with. Upon those grounds, therefore, he should not only oppose the principle, but the details of the bill.
§ The House divided on the question that the words propose to be left out stand part of the question—Ayes 53; Noes 17: Majority 36.
|List of the AYES.|
|Antrobus, E.||Flower, Sir J.|
|Arkwright, G.||Ffolliott, J.|
|Beckett, W.||Forman, T. S.|
|Blackburne, J. I.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Gaskell, J. Milnes|
|Bramston, T. W.||Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.|
|Brotherton, J.||Gladstone, Capt.|
|Christopher, R. A.||Gordon, hon. Capt.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Greene, T.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Hodgson, R.|
|Cripps, W.||Howard, P. H.|
|Damer, hon. Col.||Hutt, W.|
|Darby, G.||Kemble, H.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Lockhart, W.|
|Estcourt, T. G. B.||Mackenzie, T.|
|Fielden, J.||Mackinnon, W. A.|
|Fitzmaurice, hon. W||Mc Geachy, F. A.|
|Marsham, Visct.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Masterman, J.||Sutton, hon. H. M.|
|Meynell, Capt.||Thornhill, G.|
|Mundy, E. M.||Trench, Sir F. W.|
|Nicholl, rt. hon. J.||Trotter, J.|
|Polhill, F.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Rendlesham, Lord||Wood, B.|
|Round, J.||Young, J.|
|Rous, hon. Capt.||TELLERS.|
|Rushbrooke, Col.||Freemantle, Sir T.|
|Sibthorp, Col.||Pringle, A.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Barclay, D.||Morris, D.|
|Baring, rt. hn. F. T.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Bowes, J.||Vane, Lord H,|
|Duncan, G.||Wallace, R.|
|Ewart, W.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Forster, M.||Williams, W.|
|Henley, J. W.||Hume, J.|
|Mitcalfe, H.||Bowring, Dr.|
§ House went into committee, but resumed. Committee to sit again.