§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
moved, in page 15, line 30, to leave out "Seven," and insert "Five." The hon. Member said, he did not bring forward the Amendment with any hope of success; but he moved it more as a protest against the mode in which the Bill had been prepared than with any hope that the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would accept it. On a late occasion, when he proposed an Amendment to limit the number of Members of that House to 658, he was taunted by the right hon. Gentleman opposite with not having proposed some method by which on the present occasion the 12 additional Members would be supplied. He quite admitted that Scotland well deserved additional Representatives, and he was prepared to propose Amendments by which 12 additional Members would be supplied without increasing the number of the House. The object of the present Amendment was to reduce the number of Members proposed for the borough of Birmingham from seven to five. He entertained great objection to the inordinate power given by the Bill to the Metropolis, and also to the large towns. He thought, judging from had occurred 295 in other countries, that there was great danger in giving largely increased power to the Metropolis and to great cities, because in turbulent times it might occasion great trouble. That, however, was not the main reason which induced him to propose an alteration in the Government scheme in regard to Birmingham from seven to five. His reason was that the town of Birmingham did not really require so many Members as seven. He was a Warwickshire man himself, and he had an opportunity of hearing everything that went on in that part of the country. What was now stated was that with seven Members Birmingham would not be able to find gentlemen to fill the seats. The argument was that while the Bill would increase the quantity it would reduce the quality of the Members. He need not remind right hon. Gentlemen who sat on the Treasury Bench that when the supply exceeded the demand the value of the article necessarily went down. He, therefore, maintained that by increasing the quantity and lowering the quality of the representation they were running the risk of having men returned who would enter Parliament for what they could get out of the country rather than what they might bring to it. If the Committee would consent to reduce the number of Members proposed to be given to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and some other boroughs, they would obtain eight seats, and four more could readily be obtained from other boroughs of the United Kingdom, which would give Scotland all the additional representation she required, and would prevent that which almost every Member of the House regarded as a great grievance— namely, the proposed increased in the number of the House itself. The Amendment he had proposed the other day was not largely supported in the Lobby, but it was, nevertheless, supported by many men of thought and intelligence; and he happened to know that many who voted against him fully shared the views which he entertained. There would, he thought, be a difficulty in finding proper men for these large towns, according to the scale of representation laid down in the Schedule, and the splitting up of a constituency into wards would lead to a great deal of extra expense. This was not a case in which the Conservative interests were concerned, as under the 296 present system there was no chance of those interests being represented at all. The right hon. Baronet had to deal with the anomaly that notwithstanding recent legislation for the purpose of reducing the expenditure at elections the expenses of candidates on both sides would be largely increased, inasmuch as the candidate would have to fight the battle single-handed. The right hon. Baronet would say that the area of representation would be diminished. Granted; but what diminished the expenses at elections was not reduction of area, but the union of candidates, who agreed to share the expenses between them, which enabled them to come to the House of Commons at much less expense than would otherwise be the case. He said that it would be far better to give Birmingham five Members as a whole than to divide it into many parts, which would amount, under the present scheme, to the representation of seven single wards in that great city. Finally, he protested strongly, and he should take every opportunity of making his protest against action on the part of the Government, the principle of which he believed to be fraught with danger to the Constitution. As there was little chance of his Amendment being accepted by the Government, he did not propose to divide the Committee upon it. He should, however, move the Amendment, to give the right hon. Baronet an opportunity of making a statement on the subject.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 15, line 30, to leave out the word "Seven," and insert the word "Five,"—(Sir Eardley Wilmot,)—instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Seven' stand part of the Schedule."
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, the hon. Baronet had addressed some observations to the Committee on the subject of the single-Member system, into which he should not follow him, inasmuch as that matter had been decided by the House itself. The hon. Baronet proposed to reduce large boroughs in such a way as would only allow them one Member to about every 100,000 inhabitants; but he made no proposal to re-duce the county representation. In the hon. Baronet's own county of Warwick the proportion of Members to population was one to 47,000. [Sir EARDLEY 297 WILMOT: I repudiated numbers altogether in this matter.] The main principle of the Bill was to rectify the disproportion between the representation of boroughs and of counties; and as the Amendment of the hon. Baronet was opposed to that principle he was unable to agree to it.
§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
said, although he did not admit the argument of the right hon. Baronet, he would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ SIR EDWARD J. REED
said, he felt it his duty to call the attention of the Committee to the omission of the name of Cardiff from the Schedule of boroughs to have an additional Member. The case of Cardiff differed greatly from that of many other boroughs for which an additional Member was claimed; for whereas those boroughs for which the claim was preferred were almost stationary in respect of population, the claim which he ventured to urge on the Committee arose entirely out of the rapid growth of the town of Cardiff. If the Committee would allow him, he would show what that growth had been during the last 70 years in respect of the town of Cardiff alone. In 1811 the population was 2,557; in 1821, 3,521; in 1831, 6,187; in 1841, 10,007; in 1851, 18,351; in 1861, 32,954; in 1871, 56,911; and in 1881, 82,761. Adding-the small contributory boroughs of Cowbridge and Llantrissant, the population amounted to 85,862 for the Parliamentary borough. But, besides that, there was the population of Llandough, Cogan, and Penarth, which had to be taken into account. He considered that the question of boundaries had been very unsatisfactorily dealt with in cases of this kind; because here was a town of 82,761 inhabitants with a number of places having a large and similar population adjacent to it—places which one would have supposed in any Reform Bill worthy of the name would have been included in the Parliamentary borough —and yet this Bill did nothing to bring those places into the Parliamentary borough of Cardiff. He thought that the system of limiting the representation of such towns to one Member an unfair one, and that the requirement that in order to 298 entitle the borough to two Members the population must have increased to 100,000 was also unfair; because, while he could understand some representation of ancient towns being maintained notwithstanding their small populations, he was at a loss to understand why one town of 50,000 inhabitants should be represented by one Member, and another with a prospective population of 100,000 should also be represented by one Member. But the case of Cardiff rested upon its extraordinary development, of which the Bill took no account. In 1881 there were in Cardiff 12,185 inhabited houses; at present there were considerably over 16,000 inhabited houses in the town. So that since the last Census the population of Cardiff had increased from 82,761 in 1881 to the present estimated population of 109,067; and adding to that the present estimated population of Cowbridge and Llantrissant, 3,101, even without adding 8,150 for the population of Llandough, Cogan, and Penarth, this fact resulted—that at the present moment the Parliamentary borough of Cardiff contained a population of 112,168. And the Bill proposed to leave that borough with a single Representative. But there were circumstances which made it not only probable, but certain, that the population would go on increasing for some time to come, and that, at least, at the rate it had increased at hitherto; and he did not know what his right hon. Friend (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would think if, when the next Census was taken, he found that this town, with its 160,000 inhabitants —to which he ventured to say it would attain in 1891—was still represented by one Member. He had said that the town would go on increasing, and that statement was based upon facts well known to the Committee. In the first place, Cardiff was the outlet of a very large coal-mining area, from which about 10,000,000 tons of coal were exported every year; and this town, with an enormous export and a considerable import trade besides, was to remain under this measure represented by one Member. But there were other circumstances which strongly invited the attention of the Government in considering the claims of Cardiff to due Parliamentary representation. In the first place, Cardiff was by all acknowledged 299 the principal town in South Wales. Recently there had been great competition between Swansea and Cardiff; and when the question as to the University College was under consideration it was decided by the arbitrators that the proper position for the College was Cardiff. He believed his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn), and his hon. Friend the Member for Glamorganshire (Sir Hussey Vivian), would admit that in the time which had elapsed since the College was established there the town had done everything that could possibly be done for its development. Again, the questions with regard to the Clerk of the Peace and the County Treasurer had been decided in favour of the town. In addition to that, he would mention the large internal trade of Cardiff, the fact that it was the place of residence of three Consuls and 14 Vice Consuls; and, finally, that the colliery meetings and the Government examinations were held there. Now, he thought that all those things went to show that for a town so circumstanced and selected by the Government and by persons of high standing for such distinctions as he had described, with a present population of 112,000, and with the near prospect of having 50,000 added, representation by a single Member was not a very satisfactory arrangement. The population of Wales in 1881 was 1,359,895; it had 30 Representatives, which gave one Member for every 45,296 inhabitants. As he had shown, in 1881 the population of the Parliamentary borough almost touched that figure which, on the basis of the whole population of Wales, entitled it to a second Member; and if the population of additional areas, which might be taken into account for the purpose of giving homogeneity to the whole area represented, were added, it was then fully entitled to two Members. Looking at the figures, he was bound to express his belief that if this most reasonable and moderate proposal to give two Members to Cardiff were adopted by the Government, it would be found that before the Bill, when it became law, had been very long in operation, those two Members would represent a larger population than any other two Members in the county of Glamorganshire. That was his conviction, although the right hon. 300 Baronet might, perhaps, take a different view of the case. He believed the House was not entirely satisfied with being bound hand and foot by the compact entered into by the Leaders of the two Parties, and that if they had had the opportunity of taking the case of Cardiff into consideration they would have found that the proposed arrangement with regard to its representation constituted a great blot and anomaly in the Bill. If his Amendment, which the right hon. Baronet had given him very little encouragement to think would be accepted, were not adopted, he felt sure that, in the course of four or five years, at any rate, it would be discovered that a great mistake had been made. He would, having thanked the Committee for their attention to his statement, only say that if this Bill was to leave populous towns that were in a state of vigorous growth and progress, as was the case with Cardiff, in the hopeless position in which that great town would remain if the Government proposal were carried out, then he thought the Bill ought to have gone beyond its present provisions. He thought the Bill ought to have contained some provision, at any rate, for increasing the representation of growing towns. True, in his opinion, it was highly probable that after the great and valuable change which would be brought about by the Representation of the People Act and the present measure, minor Reform Bills would be much more frequently brought forward than they had been in the past. But whether his Amendment were agreed to or not, he had felt it his duty to call attention to an evil which existed, and which he trusted before long would be remedied. He earnestly hoped, however, that his Amendment would be accepted.
In Schedule 3, page 15, column 1, after the words"Bristol—Four"(line 32), to insert the words"Cardiff—Two."—(Sir Edward J. Reed.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he must admit that the figures quoted by his hon. Friend showed a large increase in the population of Cardiff; but he had not discussed the scheme developed by his Amendment. He had left them rather in the dark as to whether he in- 301 tended the Committee to take his scheme as a whole or not. In the one case, he (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would have to discuss it a little; in the other, he should have to ask the hon. Member where he proposed to get his Member from? The hon. Member proposed to re-divide Glamorganshire; and he (Sir Charles W. Dilke) should assume, unless they were told that it was not so, that the hon. Member intended to adhere to that proposal. The hon. Member had pointed out that Cardiff was a town which was increasing very rapidly indeed, and had told them that the population was somewhere about 100,000. The hon. Member proposed to take from it the contributory boroughs of Cowbridge and Llantrissant, and add to the Census population of 82,000 a district containing 6,000, which would bring Cardiff up to 88,000. The hon. Member and himself (Sir Charles W. Dilke) were rather fellow-sufferers in this matter, because the borough for the representation of which he had declared his intention of becoming a candidate was a borough of the same population—namely, 88,000— and was rapidly increasing, like Cardiff. The hon. Member had spoken very strongly indeed about the increase of the town of Cardiff, but had told them nothing about the increase of the county of Glamorgan, his object being to decrease the representation of the county for the benefit of the town. He (Sir Charles W. Dilke) must ask the hon. Member to turn his attention to the extraordinary increase which had taken place in the population of the county. The population was now estimated at 270,000, and the rate of increase had, for a good many years, been greater than that of the borough. The increase which had taken place in Swansea, for instance, had been considerable, and in the Rhondda Valley it had gone on at an extraordinary pace; in fact, he should think that the rate of increase in the county was from 2 to 4 per cent higher than that of Cardiff. Therefore, he thought that for the purposes of this discussion they could very well afford to ignore the point of the increase of population. This question of increase was very doubtful, calculations based upon the number of inhabited houses being very liable to error. The proportion of people to houses varied in towns, even in the same places, from time to time, 302 and the difference as between town and town was sometimes very remarkable. From what he could gather, the increase of population in Glamorganshire had been very rapid; in fact, he believed that, with the exception of the increase in the proposed new borough of Fulham, the increase in Glamorganshire had been more rapid than anywhere else. There could be no doubt that the increase of population in Fulham, Glamorganshire, and Cardiff had been more rapid than in any other place affected by the Bill. The hon. Member had proposed a re-division of the county, in order to gain a seat for Cardiff from Glamorganshire; but, by the figures of the Census, that proposal was not justified, nor was it justified by any of the general principles by which they were guided. The county of Glamorgan was a little more favourably treated than some other counties; still, it was treated on the same principle, and it was but a mere accident that its treatment was a little more favourable than that of other places. If they took away one Member from the county its treatment would then be less favourable than that of other counties of the same size. He certainly could not be a party to the taking away of one Member from that county. He should be glad if he could see his way, and he was sure the Committee would be glad if it could see its way, to increase the representation of Cardiff in the manner proposed by the hon. Member. There was no doubt in the world that it was one of the most rapidly increasing seaport towns in the country. It was certain to continue to increase for a great number of years, and it must be considered as one of those places to which the Committee would gladly give a larger representation if it were possible. Whenever they left the line of population, and began to speculate, they got upon very uncertain and unsafe grounds, and his own belief was that they were justified in going upon the line of the Census population, rather than going upon fancy as to the future. The scheme his hon. Friend had placed upon the Paper did not appear to be one which had been entirely worked out in detail. He would call the hon. Member's attention to a fact which he dared say had not escaped the attention of the county Member—namely, that one Petty Sessional Division, that of Kibbor, though 303 it was shown in the map prepared by the Mends of the hon. Member, was not included in the hon. Member's Amendment; so that, should the hon. Member succeed in defeating the Government on this occasion, he would have to amend his Amendment by providing for the Petty Sessional Division, which he had entirely left out in the calculation. However, he (Sir Charles W. Dilke) trusted the Committee would support the Government in the proposal made in the Bill, and would leave the representation of Glamorgan and Cardiff untouched. The Committee would, he was sure, be glad to give a larger representation to the latter place if it could; but they must, all round, go by the Census as a basis of representation. The bringing in of a large population into the Cardiff district was a thing which might be approved of in principle. It was easy to extend a boundary, and bring in a large urban population in some cases, where only a small amount of such population stretched into adjoining urban districts across a county. But in densely populated counties, such as the county of Glamorgan, it was often difficult to extend boundaries, for the reason that when they once commenced they did not know where to stop. It was impossible to lay down a general principle in the matter. There were cases where Parliament had already created districts out of boroughs adjoining one another. They had done this, for instance, in the Potteries; but, on the whole, they had thought it desirable in the case of large, densely populated, urban districts, like the county of Glamorgan, to deal with a large portion of the population on the single-Member principle. That was why Glamorgan had been deal with in this way under the Bill. He was sorry that it appeared to press hardly upon Cardiff; but he did not see his way to diminish the representation of Glamorgan in order to increase that of Cardiff.
§ MR. R. N. FOWLER
said, he had listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Member opposite (Sir Edward J. Reed), and he thought that a very strong case had been made out for the increase in the representation of the borough of Cardiff; but, at the same time, he could not support the hon. Member if he carried his Amendment to a division. He would make the hon. 304 Member a promise, however. Some hon. Members thought that the measure which had been passed by the Attorney General dealing with elections would put an end to corruption. He was not quite so sure about that, because he believed that boroughs would, in the future as in the past, be disfranchised for corruption. If he had the privilege of being a Member of the next Parliament, and if any borough was disfranchised for corruption, and if the hon. Member would bring in a Bill to transfer that seat to Cardiff, he would have the greatest pleasure in supporting that proposal.
§ SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN
said, that the case had been so strongly put by the right hon. Baronet who had charge of the Bill (Sir Charles W. Dilke) that there was no necessity for him to say much about it. He should have been delighted to support the proposal of his hon. Friend for giving another Member to Cardiff, for he thought that Cardiff was fully entitled to a second Member. He believed that in a very short time it would be found a great anomaly that a place which was increasing as rapidly as Cardiff should not have a second Member. But he was constrained to vote against his hon. Friend, because of the proposition put forward of reducing the representation of Glamorganshire in order to effect the operation. The hon. Member had not stated the case upon which he based his attack upon Glamorganshire; and why had he not stated it? Why, for a very good reason—because he had no case to state. The case stood in the simplest possible manner, and he (Sir Hussey Vivian) would venture to give it to the Committee in two or three words. If Cardiff had two Members, each one would represent 43,000 inhabitants, while Glamorgan, which had a population of 235,000, and five Members, had one Member for each 47,000. On what ground was a borough which would have 43,000 inhabitants per Member to take away a Member from a county that had 47,000 per Member? If they did accept the hon. Member's proposal, the result would be that Cardiff would have one Member for every 43,000 inhabitants, whilst Glamorgan would only have one for every 59,000. What justice would there be in that? Then, again, a great deal had been said by his hon. Friend in reference to the 305 increase of the population of Cardiff; but how did the matter stand? Cardiff between 1871 and 1881 increased at the rate of 42.9 per cent—no doubt a very great increase—but the county of Glamorgan, outside the boroughs, had increased at the rate of 45.41 per cent; therefore, the county of Glamorgan had increased 5 per cent more than the borough of Cardiff. Of course, the hon. Member had no case, and therefore he had completely failed to show any justification for asking the Committee to take away a Member from the county of Glamorgan. If the hon. Member had attacked some of the other anomalies in the Bill, such as the small constituencies—there were five in England with a population of under 16,000 possessing a Representative—on the ground that Cardiff should have one Member for 43,000 population, it would have been perfectly right, and he (Sir Hussey Vivian) would have been able to support him. Or, again, if the hon. Member had taken some smaller Welsh constituency, supposing Wales to be limited to its 30 Members, and had proposed to hand over its seat to Cardiff, he (Sir Hussey Vivian) might have been satisfied. There was, for instance, the county of Denbigh, with a population of 88,800 and its two Members. That county had a Member for each 44,400, and it was only increasing in population at the rate of 4½ per cent, against the 43 per cent at Cardiff; and there might, therefore, have been some case made out for giving one of the seats of that county to the town in question. The hon. Member, however, had not proposed that, but had made an attack upon probably one of the strongest constituencies in the whole of Wales; and it was quite impossible for him (Sir Hussey Vivian), much as he desired to see Cardiff with another Member, to support the Amendment.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, he had no personal interest in Glamorganshire, although he had considerable interest in the adjoining county of Monmouthshire; but he could not help thinking that the Committee would do well to pause before they rejected the Amendment which had been moved by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff (Sir Edward J. Reed). The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had made 306 what appeared to him (Mr. Raikes) a somewhat confused statement with regard to the boundaries between borough and county. The right hon. Gentleman had said that if they divided the Census population of Cardiff by two, they would get one Member for 42,000; and if they divided the Census population of the county by five, they would get one Member for 47,000; and the right hon. Gentleman argued that those figures did not entitle the borough of Cardiff to a better position. But if the county population were divided by four, they would get one Member for 69,000; while the right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) seemed to forget that by the existing state of things they perpetuated the system under which the county had one Member for every 47,000 people, and the borough of Cardiff had only one Member for 85,000. That made all the difference with regard to the comparative claims of the county of Glamorgan and the town of Cardiff. It appeared to him that the difficulty might be met in a way different from that which was suggested by the hon. Member for Cardiff (Sir Edward J. Reed) in a subsequent Amendment he had upon the Paper. He (Mr. Raikes) did not approve of that Amendment; and if the hon. Gentleman carried this Amendment to a division he (Mr. Raikes) should vote with him on this occasion, but vote against him on the next occasion. Now, the county of Glamorgan contained 235,000 people, and by the Bill it was proposed to divide the county into five districts. There was the borough of Swansea, with a population of 73,000; but two or three minor boroughs which were connected with Swansea brought the population of the constituency to just over 100,000. Then there was a curious mining district composed of a series of mining villages—in this district there was nothing that could be called a large town—which enjoyed the status of a Parliamentary borough under the name of Merthyr Tydvil, with 90,000 inhabitants; and also the great town of Cardiff, with 93,000 inhabitants. It seemed unfair that in an important and populous county like Glamorgan there should be three considerable urban constituencies, and that the largest should return only one Member, and the other two return two each, simply because they were associated 307 with some neighbouring town or borough which brought them up to the population entitled to two Representatives in Parliament. It appeared to him that the true solution of the difficulty of finding an additional Member for Cardiff was not by taking one of the Members away from Swansea, not by confusing the districts which had been provided by the Boundary Commissioners, but simply by throwing the mining district known as the Rhondda Valley into the borough of Merthyr Tydvil. If that course were adopted, the borough of Merthyr Tydvil would be the largest in the county of Glamorgan; it would contain 134,000 inhabitants, but it would not be larger than Leicester, not much larger than Portsmouth or larger than Brighton. A second Member could be given to Cardiff by allotting to it the Member which the Bill proposed to give to the Rhondda Valley. They would thus have Merthyr Tydvil, with 134,000 inhabitants, returning two Members; Swansea, with 105,000 inhabitants, returning two Members, and Cardiff, with about 100,000 inhabitants, returning two Members—a system far more just as between those large towns and the representation of the county than that which the Bill proposed. If his suggestion were agreed to, the representation of the boroughs would amount to one Member for every 50,000 people, while the representation of the county would still remain one Member for every 47,000 people. With regard to the Rhondda Valley itself, he should say that, although marked in the county district, it was considerably smaller in area than the existing borough of Merthyr Tydvil. It was inhabited by a population absolutely homogeneous with that constituency; and by adopting his suggestion they would simply be extending somewhat the area of a district which at present, as he had already stated to the Committee, was composed largely of a number of industrial populations scattered over a very wide district of country, and creating or extending a constituency which would in every way be precisely the sort of constituency which the Boundary Commissioners were instructed to form where they were told to have regard to the pursuits and classes of the inhabitants. He maintained that, without increasing the representation of Wales, which, he admitted, was somewhat large, without 308 doing any injustice to the rival town of Swansea, without doing any injustice to the mining population, whom he would prefer to group together, and without disturbing the arrangements of the Boundary Commissioners, it would be possible, by the adoption of the course he proposed, to give to Cardiff that which was only its due—namely, a second Representative. Cardiff had wealth, intelligence, and importance; it was a place which was growing, and it certainly deserved every consideration from the Committee. He ventured to believe that in the suggestion he had made a real solution of the difficulty would be found; and if his hon. Friend (Sir Edward J. Reed) was fortunate enough to carry his present Amendment, he (Mr. Raikes) would be happy to bring forward the Amendment of which he had given Notice.
§ MR. PULESTON
considered that his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes) had shown how very easily an additional Member for Cardiff could be obtained; but that, after all, was not the question they were now called upon to discuss. All the Committee had now to determine was whether they should insert after "Bristol—Four" the words "Cardiff—Two. "They might differ as to how the additional Member was to be found; but at present they were not required to enter into the matter. Now, it appeared to him that if the hon. Baronet the Member for Glamorganshire (Sir Hussey Vivian) wished to be consistent and logical, he must go into the Lobby with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff (Sir Edward J. Reed). The anomalies of the Bill were very glaring; but he (Mr. Puleston) thought that none was more glaring than the one with reference to Cardiff. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Stafford Northcote) who led the Opposition would be able to tell the Committee that if they voted for the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman (Sir Edward J. Reed) they would not be voting against anything which was considered vital. If it was intended that the Bill should stand the test of any considerable time, the sooner they did away with such anomalies as the one which had been exposed the better. He hoped hon. Members on both sides of the House would have no difficulty in going into 309 the Lobby with the hon. Gentleman (Sir Edward J. Reed).
§ MR. MORGAN LLOYD
said, that, as an abstract proposition, he should be quite prepared to agree with his hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff (Sir Edward J. Reed), because he thought that Cardiff was entitled to two Representatives; but the proposition could not be taken by itself. Before adopting this Amendment it was necessary they should determine where the additional Member was to come from. He had already expressed his opinion that Wales was entitled to retain its 30 Members; but he was afraid that if it was proposed to give an additional Member to Wales, and to take that Member from another part of the United Kingdom, great opposition would be raised. There was no doubt, therefore, that they were confined to Wales to find the Member which was to be given to Cardiff. Now, where was the Member to come from? It had been suggested that one Member should be taken from Glamorganshire and added to Cardiff. The objection to that was quite evident; because the population of Glamorganshire increased as rapidly, if not more rapidly, than the population of Cardiff itself. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes) suggested that the Rhondda Valley ought not to have a Representative of its own. He did not know whether his right hon. Friend (Mr. Raikes) had been through the Rhondda Valley. If he had not, he had something yet to see. He (Mr. Morgan Lloyd) had been through that Valley, and he was convinced that a more populous district that was not actually a town could not be found in any part of the Kingdom. The population was large now, and it was increasing very rapidly; it was, indeed, increasing much more rapidly than the population of Cardiff; and therefore it was absurd to propose that the Member for the Rhondda Valley should be taken away in order that an additional Member should be given to Cardiff. It might be said that a Member might be taken from some other part of Wales. But where from? Breconshire had now two Members; but in future it was only to have one, and that Member would represent about 55,000 inhabitants. If they took one Member from Carmar- 310 thenshire they would create a greater anomaly than the one which existed now with regard to Cardiff. If they took a Member from Pembrokeshire they would create an equally great anomaly. Cardiganshire had already a grievance, because, since the borough had lost their Member, there would be a population of over 70,000 with one Member only. Therefore, there was no means of getting a second Member for Cardiff unless they were to disfranchise the county of Radnor. That, he admitted, was a very small constituency; but they had already taken away one Member, and it would be an extraordinary anomaly if they were to leave a county, either in England or Wales, without a single Member. It therefore amounted to this—that unless a Member could be brought into Wales from some other part of the United Kingdom a second Member could not be given to Cardiff. Although in the abstract he was in favour of the proposal, he was driven to vote against it, simply because it was impossible to find the Member to give to Cardiff. Under the circumstances, he did not think the Bill in this respect could be improved. There was this to be said with regard to Cardiff— that the area within the Parliamentary limits of the borough was not large. If the town increased, it would very soon extend beyond the boundary of the borough, and in the county itself, where it would be represented by the Member for that division of the county. He felt bound to oppose the Amendment for the reasons he had given.
§ SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN
said, he could not allow the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes) to pass without a word. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be under some misapprehension in regard to the number of population. If the proposal to add the parish of Ystradyfodwg to Merthyr were to be carried out, the population, according to the Census, would be 134,113. According to the present existing population of the Rhondda Valley, which was increasing more rapidly than that of any other part of the United Kingdom, the population of the borough would be 150,564. Moreover, the right hon. Gentleman forgot that there was a high mountain between the borough of Merthyr and the Rhondda Valley, and that 311 the inhabitants of the Rhondda Valley had to go round this for some 15 or 20 miles to get to Merthyr. The right hon. Gentleman was entirely mistaken in his description of Merthyr. It consisted of two dense populations — the town of Merthyr and the town of Aberdare. He (Sir Hussey Vivian) protested against such an arrangement as the right hon. Gentleman proposed; for, in his opinion, it was the most extraordinary conception that had ever entered into the mind of anyone.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, he held in his hand a Return which was the latest authority on the subject of the population of the two constituencies. The hon. Baronet (Sir Hussey Vivian) corrected him because he said the united population of Merthyr and the Rhondda Valley — he could pronounce the name of the parish, Ystradyfodwg, quite as well as the hon. Baronet—was 151,000. He had made up the total of 134,000 thus— Merthyr, 01,373; and the Rhondda Valley, 44,046; together, 185,000.
§ MR. ELTON
said, he was acquainted with the neighbourhood of Cardiff, and he was glad to give his support to his right hon. Friend (Mr. Raikes). He did not imagine the inhabitants of the Rhondda Valley would find any difficulty in climbing the high mountain between them and Cardiff; but he would support a proposal to climb a mountain twice as high to get over the enormous anomaly which had been exposed by the discussion. Whether on the ground of historical position or of commercial importance, Cardiff being at the head of the steam coal trade; or whether, in the face of the remarkable fact that Cardiff was increasing rapidly on every side, quite as rapidly as any part of the county of Glamorgan, he would be glad to support the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes).
§ SIR EDWARD J. REED
desired to say a few words in reply to his hon. Friend (Sir Hussey Vivian) before going to a division. He could not assent to the statement of that hon. Gentleman as to the proportionate improvement of Glamorganshire and the town of Cardiff. The hon. Gentleman was ingenious in the use of his figures, for what he had done was that, while his (Sir Edward J. Reed's) statement was based on the 312 actual growth of Cardiff, the hon. Gentleman had based his on the growth of the Parliamentary borough, knowing well that Cardiff was mated with two unprogressive towns a considerable distance from it—namely, Cowbridge and Llantrissant. He (Sir Edward J. Reed) spoke of the actual growth of Cardiff; and, upon re-examination of his figures, he could say that, with less than a fourth of the population of the county, the growth of Cardiff was equal to more than a third of the county increase in the period to which he had referred. The right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) was very moderate in his statements, and seemed well-disposed towards Cardiff; but he was not fair in one phrase he used. He had spoken of "fancies" in regard to the future. Not wishing to detain the Committee by going into the whole question, he (Sir Edward J. Reed) ventured to say that if there was anything like certainty in relation to increase, it was so in the case of Cardiff, owing to all the circumstances connected with the town. The right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) spoke of the difficulty with regard to the proposed additions to the borough; but there could be no sort of difficulty, for there were populations lying most unreasonably outside the Parliamentary borough, and practically belonging to the town, and in no way differing in character. Finding his proposal had met with a considerable measure of support, and as this was the only Amendment raised in regard to Cardiff, he would carry his Amendment to a vote. He would leave the question of finding a Member untouched, and hoped he might claim the vote of his hon. Friend (Sir Hussey Vivian), who promised that if he (Sir Edward J. Reed) would not confine himself to his own particular mode of finding a Member he (Sir Hussey Vivian) would be prepared to vote for him.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 50; Noes 113: Majority 63.—(Div. List, No. 75.)
§ MR. RAIKES
now ventured to submit to the Committee the first of a series of Amendments which were directed towards, as he thought, improving the scheme of the Government as regarded the Metropolis. The scheme of the Government, which the Committee was 313 upon, aimed at dividing the Metropolis into a very great number of comparatively small constituencies. It was proposed to abolish those large Metropolitan boroughs, with which they were all familiar, or at least to reduce them, as far as their names were concerned, to very shrunken dimensions, and it was proposed to establish over the whole Metropolitan area a very large number of comparatively small constituencies, returning, in many cases, only one Member each. Now, he had no desire to interfere with the system of single-Member districts; but when he put his Amendment on the Paper he aimed at the preservation of the existing structure of the Metropolitan boroughs, so far as the nomenclature and limits of the present constituencies were concerned, and then dividing these large communities in precisely the same way as the Bill proposed with reference to Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Birmingham. They were all of them acquainted with the names of the Metropolitan boroughs, most of which, from their first institution, had been represented by very distinguished men. He need not go further in proof of this than mention the right hon. Gentleman who was in charge of this Bill (Sir Charles W. Dilke), and the Prime Minister himself, who, throughout two Parliaments, represented in that House the Metropolitan borough of Greenwich. He thought they might say that the Metropolitan boroughs had justified their existence by returning eminent men in almost every case. There was also this reason for retaining them— they formed the area of election for the London School Board; and if they were broken up into smaller areas for Parliamentary purposes, a new distinction of area would be created for which there was no justification or excuse. He did not see why a number of Members should not be known as representing different divisions of the same place, and preserving the name of the constituency by making it common to all the Members, rather than cutting the constituency up and introducing such new boroughs as "Clerken well," "Newington," and other places of that sort. He did not see any advantage to be gained from this new class of names. There were two of these Metropolitan boroughs which were constituencies of consider- 314 able antiquity. He referred to the City of Westminster and the borough of Southwark. Westminster, he presumed, was as ancient a constituency as any in the Realm, and Southwark was closely connected with the history of mediaeval England. If the Government would not consent to give all the Metropolitan boroughs the same treatment as they gave Liverpool and Manchester, stronger claims could be made out for Westminster and Southwark than for the other constituencies. At the same time he thought that a very strong case could be shown for some of the others. Let them take, for instance, the borough of Fins-bury. There might be good reason for dissociating the great parish of Islington from Finsbury, just as there was some time ago for dissociating the great parish of Hackney from the Tower Hamlets; but why should not the borough of Finsbury remain otherwise unaltered? It might be desirable that great districts like some of those in the Metropolis, which had to return more than one Member, should be separated from the existing constituencies. He recognized this also in the case of St. Pancras, and also in regard to the great parish of Camberwell; but why could not the existing constituencies remain otherwise unaltered? They divided what was left of Finsbury into three constituencies, and called the two new creations respectively Clerkenwell and Holborn; but he could not understand that any special advantage would be gained by returning Members for Clerkenwell and Holborn. Coming to the case of the Tower Hamlets, he would point out that it contained a population who were proud of their connection with the Tower, and who would sooner be constituents of the existing borough than of a new creation such as Limehouse and Mile End Old Town. His Amendment had, in a special degree, reference to the City of Westminster. That constituency which, under the Bill, was to be cut up into three divisions, each returning one Member, had a population of from 220,000 to 230,000 inhabitants, and was, consequently, entitled to four Members. Therefore, if the ancient condition of the constituencies were reverted to, it would be fairly entitled to another Member, which, by the artificial arrangement proposed by the Bill, it was likely to lose. He knew, however, that 315 he should not appeal in vain in the case of Westminster. He did not wish to press that part of his Amendment which related to Chelsea, Hackney, and Lambeth; but he would still ask the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board if he could not see his way to do something in the cases of Westminster, Southwark, Finsbury, and the Tower Hamlets, which had been associated with so many distinguished men, to keep them, as far as practicable, in their old position. In conclusion, he begged to move, as a matter of form at the present moment, the Amendment which stood on the Paper in his name.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule 3, page 15, column 1, after "Bristol—four" (line 32), insert "Chelsea."— (Mr. Raikes.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Chelsea' be there inserted."
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, the right hon. Gentleman had appealed to him to make a statement in regard to the general Metropolitan scheme of the Government, and it might be for the convenience of the Committee if he did so. He might not be in Order; but with the leave of the Committee he would make a statement. Now, the Metropolitan scheme of the Bill had been attacked from two different quarters. There had been a certain amount of hostile criticism from those who, like the right hon. Member opposite, wished to retain the existing Parliamentary boroughs of the Metropolis and then to divide them, and it was also attacked by those who wished to divide the whole of the Metropolitan constituencies into districts of equal size. Those two sets of criticisms to some extent answered each other. The Bill showed a middle course between those two views, and was, therefore, attacked from both extremes. Still, there were certain points in which he thought it would be possible to improve the scheme embodied in the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had made out a strong case with regard to the retention of the unity of two of the existing constituencies — namely, the City of Westminster and the borough of Southwark. Those were two boroughs which were exceedingly ancient constituencies with their present boundaries; and he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that there was a greater case for 316 retaining the unity of Westminster and Southwark than there was in any of the other cases he had mentioned. Those were really the only two Metropolitan constituencies who could boast of antiquity in their present shape. Some of the Metropolitan boroughs—for instance, his own (Chelsea)—were completely modern creations, and had not existed long enough for the different parts to have grown together. In the case of Chelsea also there was no desire on the part of anybody to preserve the identity and unity of the present constituency. He did not think, however, that much weight could be attached to the School Board argument which had been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman, because the School Board electoral boundaries could easily be altered at any time. But the City of Westminster, no doubt, was a very large constituency, and as ancient as any in the country. It had great claims upon them, and as an ancient borough with its old boundary it was a constituency which he thought the Committee would be desirous to preserve. Therefore, he hoped he should be able to see his way to retain it as one borough, and divide it into electoral districts. The scheme of the Bill had been the grouping of local government districts where they had a population of under 40,000, and by dividing them and giving them separate representation where they had a population over 50,000. If they were to adopt a different plan for the Metropolis from the general plan of the Bill they would have one difficulty which he did not see his way to meet. There would, for instance, be the difficulty of having no constituted authority to prepare the Registers, and that would create great confusion, especially in the present year. According to the scheme of the Bill as it stood, out of the 59 Metropolitan seats, no fewer than 55 would have the Registers made up by only one authority. In considering what they should do in regard to retaining the old constituencies of Westminster and Southwark, he thought it desirable that they should not attempt to put the boundaries of those boroughs in the Bill at present, but should refer the matter to those gentlemen whose services had been retained to give advice on the subject—namely, Sir John Lambert and Sir Francis Sandford, with Colonel Owen Jones to assist them in 317 this matter. Those Gentlemen would report in time for the Government to place Amendments on the Paper for consideration at the stage of Report. It would then be open to the House to discuss the matter with a full scheme before them. This proposal, however, involved the Government in one difficulty. As the right hon. Gentleman had very fairly stated, Westminster, as divided by the Bill, would have only three Members; but if treated as one constituency it would become, on account of its population, entitled to four Members instead of three. He had considered this matter very carefully, and had taken into consideration the various parts of London in reference to one another in order to see if there was any possibility of meeting this difficulty. With regard to Finsbury, the right hon. Gentleman had proposed to treat the southern end of that constituency exceptionally; but he thought Finsbury would, under any scheme, be entitled to the proposed representation; and he did not suppose that the right hon. Gentleman would suggest any change there. But there were a number of small districts South of Clerkenwell which might be considered, and he would confer with Sir John Lambert and Sir Francis Sandford with the object of throwing those districts into St. Luke's rather than leave them with Holborn. Such a proceeding, however, would offer no help in the case of Westminster. With regard to the Tower Hamlets, the unity of which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to retain, he would rather not commit himself to any proposals which the Government might find it advisable to suggest on the Report. What was commonly known as the "West End" of the Metropolis was, by the mere accident of numbers, under-represented according to the Bill, as compared with what was commonly called the "East End." The City of Westminster, and the parishes of Kensington and Chelsea, contained almost all of what was commonly called the "West End," and they had six Members by this Bill for a population of 480,000. On the other hand, what was commonly called the East End —namely, Bethnal Green, the Tower Hamlets, St. George's-in-the-East, Mile End Old Town, and Limehouse, altogether had seven Members for 410,000 population; so that what was commonly called the East End was over-represented 318 as compared with what was commonly called the West End. If they took the East End in the wider sense of the word— that was, containing the whole of Hackney, the Tower Hamlets and Poplar, as well as the districts he had mentioned— the representation of that district under the Bill was also rather high—namely, one Member to 63,000 of the population, which was above the Metropolitan average, of one for every 65,000. If one Member could be saved from that portion of London, its representation would then be a little below the average, as it was now considerably above it, and it would be still more favourably represented than the average of Metropolitan boroughs. The West End in the wider sense, including the whole of the extreme West, Hammersmith and Fulham, and in the North West, Hampstead and Paddington, was also under-represented as compared with the East End in the wider sense, having only one Member to every 69,000 of its population. Having looked at this matter over and over again, and worked it out in every possible way, he had come to the conclusion that the mere accident of figures had led them to over-represent the East End as compared with the West End. Accordingly he proposed to accept the view of the right hon. Gentleman who had made the Motion, and insert Westminster and Southwark in the Schedule as boroughs to be divided; and he would consider between this and the Report stage, with the assistance of Sir John Lambert and Sir Francis Sandford, what suggestions could be made in regard to the representation of the East End in order to meet the case of the City of Westminster.
§ Mr. W. M. TORRENS
said, he thought it in many respects preferable that the present borough of Finsbury should be divided into two portions, one of them being that which was created in 1832, and which was properly called Finsbury. The borough had borne that name ever since, and he should be sorry to see it obliterated. He had been asked by the inhabitants of that portion of the borough of Finsbury called Bloomsbury, which contained within itself a wealthy and highly educated population, to put forward a claim to distinct representation. He would remind the Committee that Bloomsbury contained within its area Lincoln's Inn 319 and the British Museum, and some of the greatest Institutions in the Kingdom; and, that being so, it was not unreasonable that the inhabitants should have a voice in that House.
§ LORD ALGERNON PERCY
said, as he had himself placed a Notice on the Paper with the view of preserving the City of Westminster intact, and giving it increased representation, he had much satisfaction on hearing the statement of the right hon. Baronet. There had been a strong feeling in Westminster amongst both political Parties that under this Bill the City of Westminster was not receiving justice. Setting aside its antiquity and the historical position of the City of Westminster, and taking the basis of population, and having regard to its voting power or rating value, it was under this Bill greatly under-represented by comparison with other portions of the Metropolis; and he was glad that the right hon. Baronet had seen the justice of the claim for increasing its representation, and was ready to grant it.
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, he must congratulate the City of Westminster on obtaining four Members, to which it was absolutely entitled. With regard to the Tower Hamlets, although he did not think there was any very strong feeling in the remoter parts of the Tower Hamlets, yet he felt sure that the inhabitants of those nearer town would be glad to retain the ancient designation rather than have the new title, which, however respectable it might be in itself, did not suggest the ancient traditions which were conveyed by its association with the Tower. Whilst approving of that, and also the addition to the representation of Westminster, he was bound to say that he had listened with some amount of dissatisfaction to the suggestion made by the right hon. Baronet as to the place from which he was to get the additional Member to be given to Westminster. When they were discussing in Committee an Amendment on a previous portion of this Bill, and he (Mr. Ritchie) was charging the right hon. Baronet with not having agreed to any Amendments, the right hon. Baronet replied that when they came to the Schedule he would not be so rigid as he had been with respect to the clauses of the Bill; but he (Mr. Ritchie) little thought that the first Amendment which 320 the right hon. Baronet proposed to make in the Schedules of the Bill would be directed against the constituency which he (Mr. Ritchie) represented. Now, he did not at all admire the justice of taking a Member from the Tower Hamlets in any shape or form; on the contrary, he contended that there was not the slightest ground or justification for anything of the kind. The right hon. Baronet had spoken of a portion of the Tower Hamlets— Mile End Old Town, Whitechapel, Limehouse, St. George's-in-the-East—and said it might be considered that they were a little over-represented; but he forgot altogether to include in his estimate of numbers that rising portion of the Tower Hamlets, the borough of Poplar.
§ MR. RITCHIE
But surely the right hon. Baronet would admit that Poplar, taken by itself, was much more underestimated than over-estimated. It was a borough of 156,500 inhabitants, and that would give 78,000 inhabitants to each Member. The borough was, therefore, under-represented. He contended that for the purpose of this Bill they must consider the Tower Hamlets as a whole; and, taking them as a whole, the borough had a population of 437,000, which would give 63,000 inhabitants to each of the seven Members it was proposed that it should have. The right hon. Baronet would find that there were a great many other boroughs which were very considerably below the lowest borough in the Tower Hamlets—he referred to St. George's-in-the-East; all those boroughs had populations under 40,000 inhabitants; and, therefore, he thought that the right hon. Baronet would admit that, taking the Tower Hamlets as a whole, it was not over-represented by having one Member to 63,000 inhabitants. If, as the right hon. Baronet hinted, he should take away that one Member, there would remain six Members with 73.000 inhabitants for each Member, which he contended would be distinctly an under-representation. If the right hon. Baronet wanted to get a Member from London and from the Eastern parts of London, he would recommend that his attention should be directed to the borough of Hackney. It was proposed to 321 give to the borough of Hackney, which had a population of 417,000 inhabitants, seven Members, which would be at the rate of 60,000 inhabitants to each Member, whereas the Tower Hamlets had under the Bill as it stood 63,000 inhabitants to each Member. But if one Member were taken away, there would result the anomaly that Hackney would have one Member for every 60,000 inhabitants, and the Tower Hamlets would only have one Member for every 73,000 inhabitants. He was sure the right hon. Baronet was not the man to say that, because a district was a comparatively poor district, it ought to be imposed on. He should contend that the poverty which existed in some parts of the Tower Hamlets, together with the bad condition of things there, showed the necessity for more representation, in order that the grievances of the inhabitants might be laid before the House of Commons. He regretted that the right hon. Baronet had not told them at that stage of the Bill what he proposed to do in this matter, because he had really had plenty of time to consider the question; and it seemed to him to be essentially a question to be dealt with in Committee, and not on the Report. He would not further detain the Committee on the speech of the right hon. Baronet, be-cause they did not know what his proposals might be; and he would, therefore, simply repeat his hope that the extra Member to be given to West minster would not be taken away from the Tower Hamlets, and that the attention of the right hon. Baronet would be directed rather to increasing than diminishing their proposed representation.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he hoped the hon. Member opposite would not press him to make a definite statement on the subject at that moment. He might, however, remind the hon. Member that one portion of the Tower Hamlets was more over-represented than the borough of Hackney. He had promised to give the subject his closest attention. He had stated that he would ask Sir John Lambert and Sir Francis Sandford to look into the question, and form an opinion between then and the Report, the result of which he would frankly state to the House, together with his reasons for dissenting or otherwise from the view taken. He might, however, again remind the hon. Member 322 that one portion of the Tower Hamlets was more over-represented than the borough of Hackney; and even on the hon. Member's own showing the Tower Hamlets were over-represented as compared with the West End.
§ MR. ARTHUR COHEN
said, he was obliged to take objection to the political division described in the Schedule with regard to the borough of Southwark, because it united St. Saviour's with Rotherhithe, and St. Saviour's had always been united from time immemorial with the borough of Southwark. On the whole, he must admit that the great majority of his constituents were rather unfavourable to the divisions proposed in the Bill than in favour of them. He expressed his pleasure at the arrangement which had been made by the right hon. Baronet, as he believed that the able Commissioners who had been appointed would report to the satisfaction of his constituents.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, he desired to express his satisfaction with the statement of the right hon. Baronet. With respect to the City of Westminster, it had a population of 229,740 according to the last Census. The right hon. Baronet the President of the Local Government Board had said there had been some reduction; but he thought he would find that had not been the case, for the number of workmen's dwellings erected during the last four years had, in his opinion, more than balanced the removals caused by the action of the Metropolitan Board of Works. But the City of Westminster was certainly entitled, on any scale that was carried out in the Bill, to four Members instead of three, and it was also entitled, in his opinion, to retain its ancient authority. There was a strong feeling in Westminster that it ought not to be divided, which would be the case if the scheme in the Bill with regard to Westminster were carried out. The City of Westminster was rated to a larger amount for the area it covered, and the population which it included than any other borough of the Metropolis except the City of London, or any other portion of the United Kingdom. Its rating mounted to £3,800,000, which was more than double that of any other constituency in the Metropolis except the City of London. He would not pursue that subject; the justice of the claim 323 had been admitted in a handsome manner, and he felt convinced that the ultimate arrangement made would be satisfactory.
§ MR. FIRTH
said, he could not agree with all the opinions expressed by the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. The rating of Westminster was between £3,000,000 and £4,000,000, and the rating of Chelsea was also between £3,000,000 and £4,000,000. He understood that certain boroughs — namely, those of Westminster, Southwark, possibly Finsbury, and perhaps the Tower Hamlets, were to retain their old names, which would, no doubt, be satisfactory to the inhabitants of those districts. The people in Chelsea were not anxious, however, to retain the name of Chelsea, which included Kensington as well as Fulham and Hammersmith. There was no historical or other continuity which it was useful for them to preserve. The only suggestion made with regard to them was that made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes) with respect to the School Board area. This discussion had shown clearly the under-representation which the Bill proposed to give to London. They were accustomed to hear Members from various parts of London complaining of under-representation. The hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ritchie) complained that if one Member was taken away from that constituency the inhabitants would only be represented in the proportion of one Member for every 73,000. His own opinion was, that the East End of London should be more fully represented than the West, because it was necessary and right that the interests of the poor should be thoroughly represented, and the rich could get abundant representation in every way. Therefore, to that extent he agreed with what had fallen from the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ritchie). He regretted that nothing had been said in the course of these discussions with regard to increasing populations, although he remembered that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge did exact a pledge from the Government that this would be taken into account. If the borough of Chelsea was to have five Members there would be an average of more than 80,000 inhabitants for each 324 Member, and in the particular district of North Kensington there were now no less than 95,000 people. Therefore, whilst he gladly accepted this measure as applicable to London, it could not be expected that it should be looked upon as final. He did not grudge Westminster an additional Member; but he pointed out that in giving it four Members for 229,740 people it would have a representation of something like one Member to every 57,000 inhabitants, whereas Chelsea was only to have five Members, although if they had six they would not have less than 57,000 inhabitants for each Member. The longer this debate went on the more forcibly was the conclusion thrust upon them that London must have a larger representation than it had at the present time.
§ MR. LEWIS
said, that on a former occasion he had taken the liberty of calling attention to anomalies in the Bill with respect to the representation of the Metropolis. He was bound to say that the alterations suggested by the right hon. Baronet removed some of the most glaring of these anomalies, such, for instance, as those pointed out with regard to Holborn, Finsbury, Hanover Square, and St. George's-in-the-East. Unfortunately, however, the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet did not cover the whole of the ground. He thought it was to be regretted that, in making this new departure with regard to the representation of London, they should not have made representation on the basis of population somewhat more even than was proposed. The borough of Lewis-ham had a population of 86,000, and Hampstead a population of 45,000. They were both new constituencies taken out of the counties. What could be said of Lewisham could be said of Hampstead—that they were both largely increasing in population, and that they were very similar in character. It appeared to him that in these cases they were creating a great anomaly which was not likely to rectify itself, and which would be a blot on the representation of London as constructed by this Bill. He could not help expressing regret that when the Government had taken the subject of the representation of London in hand they did not make some more detailed and refined effort to create something like a real proportional representation of the Metropolis.
§ MR. FRANCIS BUXTON
said, he believed that the announcement that the Government would become responsible for the due representation of Westminster would give general satisfaction. There had already been a considerable feeling expressed in Westminster that the constituency would be greatly under-represented, especially as compared with the City of London. In one of the new divisions of the City of Westminster— namely, St. George's Hanover Square, there would be a population of 90,000 returning one Member, whereas another part of London returned two Members for 60,000 inhabitants. The right hon. Baronet would find it no easy task to decide whence the additional Member for Westminster was to come. Whatever might be the decision of the Government, he could only express the pleasure he felt at the intimation given by the right hon. Baronet; and he hoped that the new arrangement under the scheme proposed by the right hon. Gentleman would be satisfactory.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, he merely rose to tender his acknowledgments to the right hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill. Though the right hon. Baronet had not given him quite all he wished, he had given him almost more than he had hoped for—at least, quite as much, he was sure, as the right hon. Baronet felt it was possible for him to concede. The Committee, he thought, was indebted to the right hon. Baronet for the very frank and considerate way in which he had met the Amendment. He (Mr. Raikes) would now withdraw the Amendment immediately before the Committee; and, in doing so, would ask the right hon. Baronet whether it would be in accordance with his convenience if it were now moved to insert in the Schedule the words "Southwark 3, Westminster 4,"and leave the other question to be dealt with on Report? [Sir CHARLES W. DILKE: Yes.] Then I will do it.
§ MR. EDWARD CLARKE
said, that before the Amendment was withdrawn he should like to say a word. He quite appreciated the desire that the names Southwark and Finsbury should be retained in the same divisions which were to be constituted; and he confessed he thought that in both cases it would be desirable that these names should belong each to two divisions only. As regarded 326 Southwark, it would be well to have a Rotherhithe division, and then two divisions of Southwark—East and West; and, as regarded Finsbury, there should be two divisions of that name, and one Holborn division. There were two matters he should like to understand. Southwark was to retain its present boundary, and to be divided into three districts. That was what had been done already. The division had been agreed upon by the Boundary Commissioners.
§ MR. EDWARD CLARKE
said, the division had been specified in the Bill, and had been discussed by the different bodies of persons interested in the matter. If any new arrangement was proposed, he thought ample notice should be given of it to suit the convenience of the Southwark people.
§ MR. R. N. FOWLER
said, he should not have taken part in the discussion if it had not been for the speech of the hon. Member for Andover (Mr. Francis Buxton), who was an active Member of the Liberal Party in the City of London. He should think the Liberal Party in the City would be surprised to hear that the hon. Member had come down to tell the Committee that the City was over-represented.
§ MR. FRANCIS BUXTON
What I said was that my experience in Westminster was that there was a certain feeling there that they were under-represented still, whilst other parts of the City of London were over-represented.
§ MR. R. N. FOWLER
At all events, the hon. Member used the term "over-represented." I want to know who represents the Liberal Party in the City of London? Is it the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of London (Sir John Lubbock), who, I believe, is President of the Liberal Association in the City? Is it the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. R. Biddulph Martin), who was a candidate for the City at the last election, or is it the hon. Member for Andover, who is going about using all his exertions to get up a contest in the City at the next election? I trust that what has transpired during this debate will become known outside the House, and that the Liberals of the City will know that one of their most active Members, the hon. Member for Andover, comes down and tells us, in defiance of 327 what I believe to be the feeling of the Liberal part of the constituency, that the City is over-represented.
MR. THOROLD ROGERS
said, he did not think the question of the City of London, and the utterances of the hon. Member for Andover (Mr. Francis Buxton), worth considering. In consequence of some words which had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Charles W. Dilke) but which, unfortunately, he (Mr. Thorold Rogers) had not heard, having been prevented from attending until that moment, he was obliged to say a word or two. The point he was about to explain had not, he thought, been considered in relation to the question which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth (Mr. E. Clarke) had referred to. Southwark and Westminster were, no doubt, two of the ancient boroughs of the Metropolis. Southwark had existed in its present form, so to speak, since the Reformation. In the arrangement of 1549 the City of London were bidden to elect Aldermen for Southwark, and they did not do it. They put in a Member of their body as Alderman for the Bridge Without, or some rubbish of that kind. They excluded this district of Southwark, and in default of anything like a legitimate municipal government the local government of Southwark had been carried on by bodies of men whose labour and intelligence, he would venture to say, were as praiseworthy as those of any men who could be found elsewhere. He said that with the greatest confidence, and, no doubt, it would be credited, because he believed that the greater part of the gentlemen who carried on the local government of the several parishes of Southwark were not, politically speaking, very particular friends of his. The services these gentlemen had rendered the district were very great—in fact, in the absence of anything like legitimate municipal institutions in Southwark a very good substitute had been set up there; and he could not help hoping that when the right hon. Baronet the President of the Local Government Board dealt—as he understood he intended to do—with the reconsideration of the boundaries, he would bear in mind that the unity and the reality of local government had been carried on in this particular district. With regard to the arrangement made in 328 the first draft of the Bill, it was to be regretted that in the volume of plans the Government had not given them plans showing the boundaries of the boroughs of London. They had not been given in the Blue Books which had been circulated amongst Members, and it was therefore difficult to make out the geographical lines of the new arrangement. He apprehended, from what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, that the original proposal would be modified. He ventured to think that these two boroughs of Southwark and Westminster stood on a different footing to the other boroughs, and consideration should be had for them. What had happened in Southwark was this. The Vestry of Bermondsey had memorialized the right hon. Baronet—it certainly had himself (Mr. Thorold Rogers)—in favour of the details laid down in the Bill, and that district had been extremely self-denying in the matter, as its population of 86,000 would make it one of the largest districts in the United Kingdom—especially when they compared the case of Southwark with the charming arrangement of giving two Members to a county with only 50,000 inhabitants in it. He was speaking of the county of Huntingdon, to his mind one of the most scandalous anomalies in that Bill. Southwark contained a population of some 230,000, and had an assessment of £7,000,000 sterling; and yet, on the whole, it was satisfied with the proposed arrangement. There were, no doubt, small districts which were dissatisfied, such as St. Olave's and St. Saviour's. Some consideration, he maintained, should be shown for Local Bodies which had existed for centuries, and which had conducted their business in a way which was above praise.
§ MR. WARTON
wished to know whether it was intended, on Report, to persevere with the 3rd sub-section of the 8th clause? It would be recollected that by an unfortunate accident the question was not raised in time; and he, therefore, wished now to ask whether the 8th clause would take effect in Westminster and Southwark as it did in other parts of the Metropolis? When the Parliamentary boroughs were divided, would persons be registered as entitled to vote in each division if they possessed duplicate qualifications? He wished to know whether the right hon. Baronet 329 was going to take advantage of the fact that Westminster would still he called the City of Westminster, though divided, and that persons who had two businesses or more in the two parts of that wealthy district would not be able to vote for the respective parts? If that were so there would be a singular difference made between this part of the Metropolis and other parts.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, that the sub-section to which the hon. and learned Member referred was a subject upon which the House would be free to adopt what course it chose on Report. The matter had nothing to do with the agreement between the two Parties, and was entirely for the consideration of the House. His own impression was favourable to continuing the duplicate qualifications; but many of the voters would still have residential qualifications in Middlesex and elsewhere, and the change would be an enfranchising operation in one direction as well as a disfranchising operation in another.
§ MR. BRYCE
said, that considering what had been said with regard to the representation of the West End of London he felt bound to say a few words on behalf of the East End. Whatever might be the claims of Westminster, and wherever else it might look for additional representation, at any rate it ought not to look to the East End—certainly not to the Tower Hamlets. The Tower Hamlets was not over-represented. If there was to be any difference between one part of London and another it was reasonable that those parts of London which brought the least influence to bear directly on Parliament should enjoy a larger representation in the House than districts more favourably circumstanced in this respect. They all knew that the Prime Minister, when giving the outlines of the Bill last year, had used most copiously the argument that those parts most remote from the centre of Government were entitled to a proportionately larger share of representation. The districts around Hyde Park Corner could bring a large amount of influence to bear upon the House— in fact, four-fifths of the Members of the House lived in Westminster, and were affected by its opinion; whereas the Tower Hamlets was less known to, and less capable of affecting, Members than a district in Lancashire or Scotland. 330 The district of Westminster had a population of 229,000, and, as the Bill stood, would have one Member for every 76,000 persons. If, however, it had four Members, it would have one for every 57,000. The Tower Hamlets would have an average, on the present scale, of one Member to each 63,000; but if its number of Members were reduced to six the population would be 72,000 per Member. That figure would give a much larger average than London generally, which was one Member for each 65,000; whereas, under the Bill as it at present stood, it would have a trifle below the average number. The injustice to the Tower Hamlets, if a Member were taken from it for Westminster, would be very gross, for Westminster, with its more influential population, would have one Member for every 55,000 persons—a very low number (for London) to receive a Member— whilst, as he had said, the Tower Hamlets would only have one for each 72,000, or 17,000 more than Westminster. It would, therefore, be a serious and substantial injustice to the East End, with its constantly increasing population, to deprive it of a Member. If a Member was wanted for the West End there were many boroughs—there were even Metropolitan boroughs, although London was, as a whole, under-represented—better able to spare it than the Tower Hamlets. He hoped the Committee would reject any suggestion such as that proposed, and to which he regretted to see the Government giving any countenance.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. RAIKES
said he did not propose to move any Amendment until he came to the one, "Schedule 3, page 15, column 1, after 'Sheffield' (line 39), insert 'Southwark three.'"
§ MR. WARTON
said, he should like to know what the right hon. Baronet's reason was for inserting line 39?
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
Yes; in the 5th Schedule; and there is a Re-turn before the House showing the increase. It has been enormous.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule 3, page 15, column 1, after "Sheffield" (line 39), insert"Southwark—Three."—[Mr. Raikes.]
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
I agree to that, and also to the Amendment in line 40, after "Swansea District," to insert "Westminster—Four."
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule 3, page 15, column 1, after "Swansea District"(line 40), insert"Westminster— Four."—(Mr. Raikes.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
MR. LYULPH STANLEY
said, it should be thoroughly understood that the extra Member from Westminster must not come from the rest of the Metropolis.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
This is a portion of the offer I made to the Committee, and which was accepted.
MR. LYULPH STANLEY
said, that if another Member were given to Westminster it should be taken from some small county or town like Ipswich. They should disfranchise some small town of 16,000 inhabitants, or take a second Member from some town of 50,000, or a second Member from some small county. They certainly should not take it from a place returning a Member for 60,000, reducing the representation to 78,000 per Member. Hon. Members ought to be free to vote against any special disfranchisement, and to propose any other special disfranchisement they preferred.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
Wolverhampton is the smallest constituency possessing three Members. The line has been drawn just between these two places.
said, he had an Amendment on the Paper to leave out, from Schedule 3, page 15, column 2, sub-head "Scotland," after "Glasgow," the word "seven," and insert "ten." Some of his hon. Friends, when they saw his Notice on the Paper, had said it was rather a "large order;" but it was not so in reality. The Members were there, and the districts were there; and all he wanted was that, instead of calling them districts of counties, they should call them districts of Glasgow. They were really suburban districts, and he wished them to be districts of the city, and not of the county. They were districts contiguous to Glasgow, and contained a population of 160,000. All Glasgow wished to have these districts united to it; and with regard to the inhabitants, many, at least, of the inhabitants of the surrounding boroughs were of the same way of thinking. When the Boundary Commissioners were at Glasgow they were pressed to receive evidence as to whether it was expedient to unite those boroughs with Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes; but they held that they were precluded by the terms of their Commission from accepting evidence of that character. All the other large towns in the Kingdom of anything like the importance of Glasgow were embraced in Schedule 5, and were to have increased representation with enlarged boundaries. But Glasgow had not been placed in that Schedule, and the reason assigned by the Prime Minister for dealing exceptionally with it was contained in his speech in moving for leave to bring in the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had said—The addition in the case of Glasgow will be four Members, which, added to the three it now possesses, will make a total of seven. The House is probably aware that the case of Glasgow, with reference to its suburban districts, is rather peculiar. There are many parts of those suburban districts which, though parts of Glasgow, for many purposes, are not ambitious—at least, they have not hitherto been ambitious— to be included in the Municipality."—(3 Hansard,  376.)That was the impression of the right hon. Gentleman. When the Commissioners had gone down they held that they were precluded by the terms of 333 their Commission from inquiring into the matter. The reason, he ventured to say, given by the Prime Minister for removing Glasgow from the possibility of having the question of the extension of its boundaries considered was founded entirely upon a misapprehension. In 1868, when a proposal was made by the Conservative Government to extend the boundaries of Glasgow, it was opposed by the Liberal Party and defeated. But a great many things had happened since then, and they had now to deal with a very different state of affairs. It made a great difference when a different franchise existed in the counties from that which existed in the towns, and when it was of importance whether a constituency was urban or rural, town or country. It made a difference to the political Parties in those days. But now both the political Parties entertained the same views on the subject. The lion and the lamb were lying down together for the first time, he supposed, in the history of Glasgow. The Liberal Association of Glasgow and the Conservative Association had both petitioned Parliament to allow the boundary of Glasgow, for Parliamentary purposes, to be extended. There was an objection urged, for, as he had said, opinion was not unanimous in the outside burghs. The magistrates and the officials in those burghs did not like the idea of annexation for Parliamentary purposes; but if anyone would take the trouble to read the literature they had circulated on the point it was evident that their objection was to municipal annexation. He was not arguing the question of municipal annexation, and he maintained that municipal extension and Parliamentary extension were perfectly distinct. At the present moment the municipal boundary of Glasgow was considerably larger than the Parliamentary boundary; and in the case of London the Government was committed to a proposal to unite a great number of district Parliamentary boundaries and constituencies into one great Municipality. It was complained that Glasgow was exceptionally treated in this matter. Liverpool had had its boundaries enormously increased, and Bristol was another example of the extreme increase of the boundaries for Parliamentary purposes. They in Glasgow wished to be dealt with similarly. His 334 proposal was that the two districts of Lanarkshire, Partick and Govan, which were purely urban districts, and which by a stranger would be taken for parts of the City of Glasgow, should be for Parliamentary purposes districts of Glasgow, and not of the county of Lanarkshire, and that the portion of Renfrewshire in respect of which a third Member had been allotted, and which was constituted to a large extent of burghs contiguous to Glasgow — should also be united to Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes. He had no doubt that an objection would be raised to the boundaries he proposed for those districts in a subsequent Amendment; but everything except the first Question that the Chairman would put was purely a skeleton proposal on his part. He had placed this Amendment on the Paper simply for the purpose of showing that he proposed an increase of Membership for Glasgow, not on account of any under-representation of his constituency —although it was probably the most hardly dealt with constituency in that respect in the entire Kingdom—but he asked for increased representation with the intention of embracing the three districts he had mentioned. The Question that the Chairman would have to put would be that the word "seven" stand part of the Schedule; and if hon. Members who intended to speak on the matter would confine themselves to that, he thought it would greatly simplify the issue before the Committee. He merely raised the question of the expediency of extending the Parliamentary boundaries of Glasgow, and accompanying the extension with a proportional increase in the city representation. If his Motion were rejected all the subsequent Amendments would fall to the ground. Even if this Amendment were carried, he did not propose to shove the subsequent ones down the throat of the Government. He merely asked the Government to grant an inquiry—to send down Commissioners, as they proposed to do in Westminster and the Metropolitan constituencies, to take evidence on that portion of the case on which they felt themselves precluded from entering by the terms of their Commission. He was authorized by all the different parties in Glasgow concerned to say they would be satisfied with the result of such an investigation. It might be said there 335 would be some difficulty in joining to Glasgow, for example, a portion of Renfrewshire. Well, that would be for the Commissioners to judge. There could be no difficulty about joining the two portions of Lanarkshire which he asked to have annexed to Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes. The change he proposed would have no political effect. The Liberal and Conservative Associations in Glasgow had petitioned in favour of what he proposed; but there had been Petitions against it from two Liberal and Conservative Associations in the country. Meetings of the inhabitants had been held in the districts proposed to be annexed in favour of the scheme, and Memorials had been presented and deputations had been sent up, though he was bound to say those expressions of opinion on the part of the inhabitants had been repudiated by the authorities of those districts. What he wanted, and what the people wanted, was simple inquiry. It might be asked, what difference did it make whether the people of those districts voted in the burghs or in the counties? It made to the political situation no difference whatever. To 157,000 out of the 160,000 persons proposed to be annexed to the Parliamentary burgh of Glasgow it would make no difference. They would have their votes in the one case as in the other. To 3,000 out of the 160,000 who, in the case of their dwelling places being included in the county, would have a vote in the city and one in the county, it would make a difference; they would be reduced to one vote; but a large number had expressed their perfect willingness to forego the exceptional privilege of a second vote for the sake of what they considered a more equitable arrangement. As to Glasgow, the question was, whether they were to control their own representation, or whether one-seventh of the representation was to be handed over to outsiders. The communities concerned were urban and not rural. They had a community of interests for Parliamentary purposes with Glasgow, and not with the county. Their natural base as districts was to be found in Glasgow. When this matter was discussed in Glasgow they heard a good deal about the laudable and natural ambition they had to rank as the second city of the Empire. But he was not going to argue the case to the Committee on sentimental grounds. The 336 ground he took up was the gross injustice proposed to be inflicted upon Glasgow by the present arrangement—a gross and substantial injustice. The object of this Bill was to secure bonâ fide representation of localities. With that object seven seats had been allotted to Glasgow. The right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had just told the Committee that the unit of representation in the Metropolitan district was one Member to 65,000; in Birmingham it was one to 62,000; in Liverpool one to 64,000; in Manchester it was one to 70,000. In Glasgow it was one to 73,000. Well, that was bad enough; but if they were to be swamped so far as one-seventh of their representation was concerned by outsiders, the case became a very hard one indeed. It was proposed to divide Glasgow into districts. One of them would be the Central or business district. That district comprised five municipal wards, three of them chiefly business wards, and in those wards 3,768 persons were enrolled as voters in respect of the occupancy of business premises, against 1,700 enrolled in respect of being householders. The disparity between householders and occupiers of business premises was annually increasing. Since 1875 the number of persons enrolled in respect of the occupancy of business premises had increased 13 per cent, whilst the number of those enrolled in respect of being householders had diminished by 27 per cent. Now, of the 4,000 persons who in this Central District were enrolled as voters in respect of the occupation of business premises, about one-fourth resided in other parts of Glasgow. They resided mostly in the West End or College District. Now, those people would vote either in the College or Central District. They took their choice, because they would only be entitled to one single vote. But the 3,000 persons who lived outside would be entitled to a second vote. Now, in the Central District there were 2,800 electors living outside the Municipality and in the burghs which he wished to annex for Parliamentary purposes, and who were enrolled in the Central District in respect of the occupancy of business premises. The residential part of the constituency was only 10,500; but the outside voters enrolled in respect of the occupancy of business premises was each year increas- 337 ing. For many years past that portion of the electorate had been increasing at the rate of 5 per cent per annum. If the arrangement laid down by the Bill was authorized, the first election which took place in Glasgow would find in this Central District 3,000 outside voters who would be able to control the representation of the district, not on account of superior wealth and intelligence, because the 1,000 persons, of precisely the same position in the community, who lived in Glasgow would not have a second vote in respect of their business premises, but because the districts for whose annexation he contended were arbitrarily classed as county districts instead of as districts of Glasgow. This state would arise simply because, on imperfect information, the Prime Minister thought fit to treat Glasgow exceptionally when constructing his scheme. If, on the other hand, those districts which were purely urban, which consisted of residential burghs, were constituted districts of Glasgow—a position they would naturally fall into—the injustice he complained of would be entirely obviated. But if the Bill were allowed to remain as it stood, a phalanx of 8,000 outsiders would, as he had said, control one-seventh of the entire representation of Glasgow. From the sympathy the right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had expressed in favour of the "one-man one-vote" principle, he thought the right hon. Gentleman ought to support his (Dr. Cameron's) proposal. All he asked was that Commissioners should be sent down to take evidence as to the expediency of extending for Parliamentary purposes the boundaries of the city—a duty which the last Commissioners were precluded by the terms of their Commission from undertaking. The Leader of the Opposition (Sir Stafford Northcote) was a citizen of Glasgow, and on that ground he claimed that right hon. Gentleman's sympathy. The Conservative Party in Glasgow had been making tremendous capital out of the fact that when the Bill of 1868 was before the House they were entirely in favour of extension. If the right hon. Gentleman declared against this proposal, he would certainly deal to them a heavy blow and sore discouragement. He (Dr. Cameron) did not want anything unreasonable; all he wanted was that the right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles 338 W. Dilke) should do in the case of Glasgow what he had just promised to do in the case of London constituencies—institute an inquiry. He begged to move his Amendment.
In page 15, column 2, line 34, after the word "Glasgow," to leave out the word "seven," in order to insert the word"ten,"—[Dr. Cameron,]
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'seven' stand part of the Schedule."
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he did not know what might be the effect on the mind of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote) of the hon. Gentleman's observation as to his being a citizen of Glasgow; but he (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would like to state to the Committee that his mind in respect to this matter was very largely affected by the question of convenience. His hon. Friend had told them they were dealing exceptionally in the case of Glasgow. He (Sir Charles W. Dilke) could not admit that that was the case. As a general rule the Bill did not deal with very large cities by extending their boundaries, but by dividing them into single-Member constituencies. The Bill dealt in that respect with Glasgow as it dealt with London. They did not by this Bill extend the boundaries of the Metropolis so as to bring in all the urban population; but they created single-Member county districts of small areas. As he had told the Committee several times in the course of those discussions, it was very difficult in many cases to include suburban populations within the limits of the towns. The urban populations frequently stretched along roads, so that to include them in the towns or cities would involve boundaries of very singular form; there were dense populations in the immediate neighbourhood of the City of Glasgow, but there was a good deal of doubt as to what was the wish of the inhabitants of the districts with regard to their inclusion in the city. It must be admitted there was a considerable difference of opinion as to their inclusion or non-inclusion. Possibly, if the inhabitants thought that the Parliamentary question would be settled without any reference to the municipal question, and 339 that the settlement would not afterwards be used as a ground for the extension of the municipal limits so as to include them within the municipal boundaries, they might be more inclined to be included then they were at present. Be that as it might, there was no doubt there was a very considerable difference of opinion amongst those outside communities with respect to the proposal now made by his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron). His hon. Friend had held out the bait that if the Government granted inquiry in regard to the matter the inhabitants of Glasgow would be satisfied. They only demanded an inquiry. Well, there was an inquiry, and an inquiry. If the Government were to have a full inquiry at Glasgow into such a matter as this by a Commission sent down for the purpose it would be a very formidable affair. He had no doubt that all these police burghs would have to be heard, not only in the person of their magistrates or their official representatives, but by individuals of different shades of opinion. Judging from the great mass of evidence one way and the other, he ventured to assert that any inquiry would interrupt the proceedings in connection with the progress of the Bill in the House. Then it would be impossible to limit inquiries of that character to Glasgow, or to any single case; while in respect to Glasgow itself, it would only raise false hopes as to the possibility of doing that which perhaps could not be done. It might, no doubt, be possible to have an inquiry of a less elaborate character than the one he had described. They might, for instance, ask Sir John Lambert and Sir Francis Sandford to give the House their opinion on the subject; and if it were the general desire of the House that that should be done, no doubt it could very easily and very properly be done. But even then that would be open to the objection of raising expectations which perhaps could not be realized, and of creating a great deal of unnecessary irritation, in addition to the very considerable amount which already existed on the subject. He had thought it right to state these considerations. On the whole, he thought it would be undesirable to hold an inquiry; but he should be glad to hear the views of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Stafford Northcote) upon the question.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Charles W. Dilke) wished that he should express his opinion on this subject; and of course, after the reference made to him by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) he was doubly bound to do so. He was afraid he was not able to concur with the views taken by the hon. Gentleman in the matter. He had heard a great deal on the subject, and had had a great many representations from different classes of persons who were interested in the question; and he was bound to say that, although the evidence was rather conflicting, the impression left on his mind was that it would be wiser and better to stand by the decision which had been arrived at by the Boundary Commissioners, and which had been embodied in the Bill. [Dr. CAMERON: The Commissioners did not take evidence.] He quite understood the objection of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Charles W. Dilke) to instituting an inquiry into the whole subject. No doubt, if they were to send down Commissioners they would undo a great deal of work, and lead themselves into what would really be a very large and elaborate inquiry. If they did in the case of Glasgow what was proposed, they would probably have to do the same thing in the case of a great many other places, for there were certainly several important places in regard to which similar suggestions to the present had been made. Personally, he was not of opinion that it was desirable to disturb the arrangement before them, because to do so would lead to great delay. Even the modified suggestion of the right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would, he thought, be open to very much the same objection. He had, therefore, though not without some hesitation, arrived at the same conclusion as the right hon. Baronet with respect to this Amendment.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, he could not give an opinion upon any form of inquiry without knowing what the scope of the inquiry would be. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) had said that his only desire was that the Parliamentary boundaries'of the city should be extended; but in regard to that matter he (Sir Edward Colebrooke) did not think the hon. Gentleman spoke 341 for the city which he represented, for the authorities who appeared before the Commissioners stated their objection to an extension of the boundaries. It would be quite impossible to hold the proposed inquiry without raising the whole question of municipal government. This was not a new question; it had been before the country for nearly than 20 years. It was very true, as stated by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), that in the year 1867, when the Reform Bill was brought in, there was a vote taken upon this subject; but in the following year the question was brought forward in a form in which the city desired—namely, an extension of the municipal boundaries. The latter proposal was thrown out upon his (Sir Edward Colebrooke's) Motion; and though the question had since been argued again and again, it had never been raised in a definite form. In spite of what his hon. Friend said, he (Sir Edward Colebrooke) did not think, if this Amendment were adopted, that six months would elapse before a Bill was introduced into Parliament for the purpose of extending the municipal boundaries of the city. That certainly was the belief of his constituents. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had said there was considerable difference of opinion upon this subject in the urban districts it was proposed should be annexed to Glasgow. That, no doubt, was the case. The burghs which had been mentioned were, he admitted, part of the overflow of the City. When they were first formed they were not; 20 years ago they were distinct communities, and had their existence in their proximity to a great navigable river and great mineral fields. In the burgh of Govan there was a population of 60,000, and 11,000 rateable persons. The feeling there was most decidedly adverse to the present proposal, for the meeting at which a resolution in favour of the proposed annexation was adopted was only attended by 753 people. No doubt, there was considerable apathy on the subject throughout the different districts concerned; but that was owing to the belief that the Government would stand by the decision of the Commissioners. He deprecated very strongly the raising of this question under the present Bill. If 342 the inquiry asked for were granted, the door would be opened for a very wide discussion, and in all probability the end of that discussion would not be seen by the time the Bill was ready to receive the Royal Assent. Moreover, there was another and proper tribunal for dealing with questions affecting the extension of boundaries; and so long as that tribunal was open he objected in the name of his constituents to the subject being raised in the present manner. The division of the county was very satisfactory, and it ought not to be upset unless very strong reason was shown.
§ MR. T. RUSSELL
said, he would like to say just one word as to what had fallen from the hon. Member for North Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) as to the municipal extension of Glasgow, being involved in its Parliamentary extension. He denied that that would be so. The question now before the Committee had really nothing to do with municipal extension. It was simply a question of Parliamentary extension; and although there was a feeling that municipal extension would be acceptable, there was at present no general movement in that direction. The districts proposed to be comprised within the constituency included nine police burghs and several other districts not yet constituted. Several public meetings had been held in these burghs; and they had universally, by a majority, expressed a desire to be included within the City of Glasgow. The population proposed to be included was 160,000, of which 80,000 was wholly residential— that was to say, the residents came to Glasgow daily. The shipbuilding districts of Govan and Partick were urban in their nature, and quite homogeneous. As one who was present at the public meeting held by the Commissioner, he could testify to the serious feeling of disappointment which was entertained at the Commissioner being limited so in his inquiry. That feeling was shared by men of both political Parties, and by those outside as well as inside the burgh. They were universally agreed that the inclusion within the city of certain outlying districts would be a very desirable thing. To show the inconvenience of this, he need only mention one circumstance. In one case the electors belonging to a population of over 5,000 would have to walk two miles 343 through the City of Glasgow in order to reach their own polling place. In another district, in. which he resided himself, 9,000 people had signified then-wish to be included within Glasgow. He thought that perhaps there would be a little difficulty about further inquiry; but that difficulty had been greatly magnified. In fact, inquiry had been made already. Investigations had been going on for some time; and information was now in the hands of the citizens, and ready to be submitted to a Commissioner, if one should be sent down. He therefore submitted that the inquiry asked for would be very acceptable to the City of Glasgow and the surrounding districts; and he was sure that whatever decision the Commissioner might come to would be acquiesced in.
§ SIR JOHN HAY
said, he was sorry that his right hon. Friend (Sir Stafford Northcote) agreed with the proposal of the Government. The shipbuilding interest was represented on both sides of the City of Glasgow; and in his opinion they ought to be either boroughs by themselves, or united to Glasgow, with which all their business was connected. All the shipbuilding firms had their houses in Glasgow. They were, in fact, entirely connected with Glasgow, and not with the county. It seemed to him, therefore, that the same rule ought to be extended to Glasgow by including its industries, as had been adopted in Liverpool and other cities which had had their boundaries enlarged for that very purpose. The population of Glasgow was almost identical with that of Liverpool; but the number of Members given to Glasgow was only seven, whereas Liverpool had nine. That seemed to him to be putting one of those marks of inferiority on Scotland which were elsewhere to be found in the Bill. He was certain that, so far as Scotland was concerned, that could not be considered a lasting settlement.
§ MR. CRUM
said, that after the expression of opinion from both Front Benches, and the speech of the hon. Member for North Lanarkshire, it was unnecessary for him to detain the Committee at so late an hour by any further argument against the Amendment. He need only say that the position taken by the President of the Local Government Board, which showed that the Govern- 344 ment would adhere to the recommendation of the Boundary Commissioners in regard to the County of Renfrew, would be entirely satisfactory to his constituents, both burghal and rural.
§ MR. ORR-EWING
said, he hoped the Government would see their way to granting the inquiry. There seemed to be some doubt in the minds of some hon. Members who were not familiar with the circumstances of the case. He was not present at the Commission during the time it sat; but from what he knew of the feelings of the inhabitants he thought the Amendment of his hon. Friend (Dr. Cameron) would enable them to carry out their wishes. The proposed inquiry was only for the purposes of Parliamentary elections. The hon. Member for North Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) had persistently and consistently opposed the junction of the populous places around Glasgow with the Municipality of Glasgow. But this Amendment did not touch the municipality question at all. In fact, the municipal boundaries could not be altered without the assent of the inhabitants of these burghs. But perhaps the hon. Baronet (Sir Edward Colebrooke) was not familiar with the fact that there had been meetings in almost all the burghs around Glasgow, expressing a wish to be united to Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes. The hon. Baronet said that since 1868 there had been no attempt to combine those burghs with the Municipality of Glasgow. If he was not mistaken, the Police Bill introduced by the Lord Advocate in 1883 provided for the amalgamation of these burghs with the City of Glasgow; but he was sorry to say that Bill did not pass. The contiguity to Glasgow was an advantage to the burghs of Govan and Partick, and why should they be exempt from municipal taxation? However, that question was not before the Committee that night. The question now was the extension of Glasgow by the combination of those burghs for Parliamentary purposes. It was obvious that in a few years they would be joined and form a portion of the city. Yet Glasgow would then have only seven Members, when she would be entitled to ten. It was a great pity that Glasgow, which was generally acknowledged to be the second city of the Empire, should by this legislation be put down in the eyes of the world to be 345 only the fifth or sixth city of the Empire. All he wished was that the Government should do what he thought they seemed inclined to do—namely, to send down a Commission to make a thorough inquiry as to the necessity and fairness of the proposed extension.
§ MR. TENNANT
regretted very much that the President of the Local Government Board had not conceded the inquiry, especially as he believed that the materials for that inquiry would be brought before him without loss of time. Both parties wore prepared to state a case, and he thought they ought to have something in the shape of an investigation before the House did what he believed would be a permanent wrong to the City of Glasgow. They were all pretty well agreed that those outlying burghs were really the overflow of Glasgow. Their interests were purely urban; they had no interests connected with the county. Their prosperity and progress depended on the prosperity and progress of the City of Glasgow; and when they were in distress—as lately they all knew they had been unfortunately—they did not go to the landed proprietors and farmers of Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, but appealed to their own brethren in the City of Glasgow, and he was glad to say they rarely asked in vain Therefore, on the ground of their urban character, the inhabitants of those burghs were entitled to be citizens of Glasgow. If the granting of this Commission, and the extension of the boundaries of Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes, should be necessarily followed by an extension of the municipal boundaries, he was prepared to argue that on both grounds it would be an advantage. What was the condition of Glasgow in a municipal point of view? There were more employers of labour and heads of mercantile firms living without the boundary than within the Municipality. Of the 118,000 houses in the City of Glasgow, only 6,000 were rated above £5; the remaining 112,000 were below; thus leaving the responsibility of municipal government, not on the wealthy merchants and employers of labour, but on the artizans and poorer classes. If the present arrangement wore continued, the whole burden of the City of Glasgow would be thrown on the poor, who were rated at £1, £2, £3, and £4; because the number of houses rated at £5 and 346 upwards was gradually diminishing, while the number of smaller houses was proportionately increasing. At the present moment, about 70,000 people in Glasgow were living in single rooms. That was an exceedingly regrettable state of things, and ought to be remedied. This was not at all a political question. It was a question of what was just and safe for the city, and he thought they were doing a great injustice by continuing the municipal boundaries of Glasgow as they were. The fact was that the boundaries of Glasgow to-day were as they were in 1832. They were slightly increased in 1868; but, for all practical purposes, they were the same as in 1832. And what took place then? There were four burghs—Gorbals, Anderton, Bridgeton, and Calton—which were in exactly the same position as the burghs with regard to which reference had been made that night. They were included within Glasgow for Parliamentary purposes; but for municipal purposes they were not included till 1846— 14 years afterwards. It did not at all follow, therefore, that if they now extended the Parliamentary boundaries, the municipal boundaries must be at once similarly extended. For those reasons, he thought it would be a wise thing for the Government to grant the inquiry, and so prevent a great injustice being done to the second city of the Empire.
§ MR. J. A. CAMPBELL
said, he thought the question was not why the districts immediately surrounding Glasgow should be included within the Parliamentary boundaries of that city, but why they should not. If the right hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would grant the inquiry, which he expressed himself as in some measure willing to do, it would be a great satisfaction both to the City of Glasgow and the suburban districts, and he should be surprised if the Commissioners did not recommend the extension now asked for.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 110; Noes 35: Majority 75.—(Div. List, No. 76.)
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he would now move that the Chairman be directed to report Progress, for though the Government would have been very glad indeed to have finished this Schedule that night, it was understood that 347 considerable importance was attached to the next point which would be raised upon it. He hoped, however, that the remainder of the Schedule would not occupy much time to-morrow night.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Sir Charles W. Dilke,)—put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.