§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ *MR. LECKY (Dublin University)
moved, "That the Bill be now read a Second time." He said that the Measure provided that the Sunday Closing (Ireland) Act 1878, should be made perpetual, that it should be extended to the five Irish cities which, had been hitherto exempted from its operation, that public-houses should be closed on Saturdays at 9 o'clock at night, and that the bonâ fide traveller limit should be increased to six miles. The House was doubtless aware that Sunday closing was much more popular outside England than within it. There were several reasons for this. One was that there was a real difference of opinion between England on the one hand and Scotland, Ireland, and the Colonies. In some cases also the difference was due to the fact that it was much easier to work such legislation in a spirit-drinking than in a beer-drinking country. Beer must be drank fresh, whereas, as had been truly and wittily said, if spirits did not keep it was not the fault of the spirits. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] Sunday closing had spread through nearly every colony of the British Empire, and had fully passed into the habits of the people. It had been adopted in all parts of Scotland as early as 1854, and no one had the least intention of repealing or modifying it. It had been adopted in the whole of Wales in 1882, and a Royal Commission in 1889 had attested its success. As far as regarded Ireland, in May 1876, a Resolution in favour of entire Sunday closing for all Ireland was carried in the House of Commons against the Government of the day by a majority of 57. In the following year a Select Committee of that House reported in favour of entire Sunday closing for all Ireland. In. 1878 the Irish Sunday Closing Act, which provided for entire Sunday Closing in Ireland except in the cities of Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, was passed as a tentative Measure for four years, being supported by a large majority of the Irish Members. It was soon found that it was a success. In 1880 a deputation waited upon the then Chief Secretary, Mr. Forster, to ask him, as representing the Government, to 267 endeavour to have the Act made permanent. On, that occasion Mr. Forster said:—There can scarcely be any doubt that the Sunday Closing Act will be renewed by the Government that is in power. … As far as I can make out, public opinion has entirely gone with the operation of the Act.In 1881, when the Welsh Sunday Closing Bill was before the House, Mr. Gladstone in the course of his speech said, referring to the proposal to exclude Cardiff from the operation of the Bill: —We have had experience in Ireland of such exceptions in regard to this subject. In the Sunday Closing Bill for Ireland they were granted for the sake of passing the Bill rather than on the convictions of the party making the concession. But now I understand that Irish opinion, after the experience there has been, is altogether unfavourable to a continuance of these exclusions, and when the temporary Measure that was passed for Ireland comes to be renewed, undoubtedly Parliament will be asked to put an end to these exclusions and to pass a Bill for the whole of Ireland.In 1882, when, the Act was about to expire, a house-to-house canvass in the five exempted cities was made, with the following result:—In Dublin, 34,606 voted in favour of the entire closing of public houses on Sunday, and 8,117 against; in Belfast, 23,958 voted in favour of it, and 2,912 against; in Cork, 9,605 voted in favour of it, and 1,870 against; in Limerick, 5,600 voted in favour of it, and 550 against; and in Waterford, 3,495 voted in favour of it, and 290 against. The original Act, however, was not made permanent, and ever since 1882 it has been renewed year by year in the Expiring Laws Continuance Acts. In 1883 and 1884 Mr. Gladstone's Government brought in Bills to make it permanent, and to extend its provisions to the five exempted cities, but those efforts did not result in legislation. Sir G. Trevelyan, the then Chief Secretary, in moving the Second Reading of the Bill in June, 1884, said that he had come to the conclusion that Sunday closing had been a great and almost unmixed benefit to those parts of the country where it had been in operation, and that it might be hopefully and confidently extended to the five exempted cities. In 1888 a Select Committee was appointed to inquire into the working of the Act, and 35 witnesses were called before it. That Committee recommended 268 that the Act of 1878 should be made perpetual, that the qualifying distance under the bonâ fide provision should be extended to six miles, and that all houses for the sale of intoxicating liquors in Ireland should be closed at 9 p.m. on Saturdays. A Bill in accordance with those recommendations was brought in, and the present Measure was identical with it. In 1890 the Bill passed the Second Reading of that House, the numbers being— for, 242; and against, 78. The Irish Members in favour of the Bill were as two to one. In 1891 the Bill was again read a Second time, by 248 to 94. In 1895 it was again read a Second time, by 170 to 71. It was then referred to the Grand Committee on Trade, but in consequence of the dissolution of Parliament it was lost. The principle of the Bill now before the House had been supported by Governments representing three different parties—the Liberal Party as it existed before the division in 1885, and the Party which is now on the opposite Benches, and the Party which is on this side of the House. It has been advocated by four Chief Secretaries. In 1889 a large deputation in favour of the Bill waited upon the present Leader of the House, then Chief Secretary for Ireland, when the right hon. Gentleman said: —It has become clearly manifest that every man who has had the opportunity and the desire impartially to examine the results of this legislation in Ireland during the ten years in which it has been in force, has been driven, willingly or unwillingly, to the conclusion that that legislation has conferred vast benefits upon the population, and that it should, under no circumstances, be allowed to lapse. I have consulted the Prime Minister on the subject, and am authorised to say that if a Bill is not brought in as a Government Measure, we shall, at all events, do what we can to aid Mr. Lea, or whoever may have charge of it, to bring the controversy to a final conclusion.'In a subsequent speech, he said: —I was, as Minister for Ireland, responsible for doing my best to pass through the House of Commons a Sunday-closing Bill for that country. The great mass of the population of every class, rank, and character were in favour of it.The right hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Morley) when Chief Secretary was equally emphatic. Replying to a deputation in 1892, he said:—Nothing shall be left undone on my part to give all the facilities that the subject requires, and to enable Sir Thomas Lea, or 269 whoever else has charge of the Bill, to bring to an end what is really almost a scandal. Here is a Measure, not absolutely unanimously desired by the whole of Ireland, but desired by all parties in Ireland, by representatives and the great bulk of the members of both the two great religious communities into which Ireland, like other countries, is divided: polities do not enter into it, and it is a scandal that a Measure of so simple a kind should be put off year after year in this unsatisfactory way, this unworkmanlike way, put off upon an Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and that the five exempted towns should be precluded from advantages which an enormous number of in-habitants of these towns fervently desire.In the present Session the Home Secretary gave a very similar testimony. Speaking on the Debate on Sunday closing in England, he said: —In Ireland, according to the report which has recently been made, and according to all the information I have. Sunday closing is a success.Outside polities all the religious bodies in Ireland were in favour of it. The Bishops of the Church of Ireland were, he believed, unanimous on the subject. The great majority of the Roman Catholic Bishops were on the same side, and 17 of them had signed a petition in favour of this Bill, and it was also supported by the General Assembly of the Presbyterians and by the Methodist body. A memorial recently presented to Lord Cadogan asking the Government to support it was signed, among others, by 29 Bishops, by 993 magistrates, by 237 Town Commissioners and Poor Law Guardians, by 1,735 merchants and employers of labour. It can hardly indeed be disputed that the main features of the Bill are supported by an overwhelming preponderance of Irish opinion in all classes. ["Hear, hear!"] There was, in fact, no opposition to its General principle except from the trade. ["Hear, hear!"] He admitted that that was a very important exception, as the power of the publican vote was well known to every section of the House—[laughter]—and as the House would understand, there were conditions of parties when the support of that body was peculiarly desirable. While he said there was an immense consensus of opinion in favour of the Bill, he did not pretend to say that every detail of it was equally acceptable. The promoters of the Bill had simply embodied in it the recommendations of the Commission of 270 1888, and they brought forward the same Bill, which, had passed the House of Commons three times. He believed there was no real dispute in Ireland outside the trade about renewing the Act of 1878, and very little, about Sunday closing at nine o'clock in the evening. The evils of Saturday night drinking bad been attested by every judge of Irish life, and this part of the Measure was, in his opinion, even more important than Sunday closing. The spread of the Saturday half-holiday had rendered it easy for everyone to get what he wanted before nine o'clock. There were, however, special cases in which hardship might be caused by the change, and such cases the promoters of the Bill were quite prepared to meet. The cases of music-halls and theatres, Saturday entertainments in hotels and restaurants could all be considered in Committee. He believed there was no real opposition to the extension of the qualification for a bonâ fide traveller from three to six miles. He could not, however, claim the same substantial, unanimity in favour of complete closing in the five towns. There had been a very considerable amount of independent opinion in favour of opening public-houses in these towns from two to five on Sunday instead of the present hours and instead of shutting them up altogether. Mr. Madden, who presided over the Committee of 1888, and who declared that the general principles of Sunday, and still more Saturday closing, was supported by "overwhelming majorities of all classes in Ireland" was in favour of this change. Several other competent judges supported him, and an Amendment to that effect was carried unanimously in the House of Lords in 1893. He was very much inclined to agree with it. He thought it was an Amendment which ought to be considered in Committee in a conciliatory spirit, and he believed most of his hon. Friends who supported the Bill were quite prepared to accept this alleviation. [" Hear, hear!"] He did not, however, think that the danger of shebeening or unlicensed drinking which had been put forward as an argument in favour of exempting the five large towns was a serious one. The Commission of 1888 reported that those evils had not arisen to any appreciable extent under the Act of 1878. Sir George Trevelvan, in the Debate on this Measure 271 in 1891, said that when he was Chief Secretary he made a careful inquiry on the subject from the resident magistrates throughout Ireland, and that the overwhelming majority of them declared that the Act, as far as it had gone, had not led to shebeening. "There is absolutely overwhelming proof," he said, "that Sunday closing in Ireland has not led to an increase of shebeening." The case of Glasgow strongly confirms that view. Glasgow is a much larger city than any in Ireland, and it contains a very poor Irish population which is larger than the whole population of three of the exempted Irish towns. Yet this Sunday closing has proved a perfect success. In 1895, when some doubt was thrown on this fact, the hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division (Sir C. Cameron) declared drunkenness had greatly diminished; that Sunday arrests had sunk to one-sixth of what they were on other days, and that no class, not even the publicans themselves, wished the public-houses to be open on Sundays. ["Hear, hear!"] This was the case he had to present to the House. He frankly confessed that he did not belong to the more advanced wing of the temperance party. His own view was that there should be as little legislative interference as possible with private habits, and he thought they ought never in these questions to precede public opinion, but only to follow it, and even lag a little behind it. [" Hear, hear!"] He believed Measures of this kind ought only to be carried when called for by a large and a persistent majority, and even then should be as far as possible tentative and gradual. It was because the Bill before the House seemed to him fully to meet these requirements that he had undertaken to bring it forward. One part of the Bill simply renewed a Measure which had been in operation successfully for no less than 19 years and which no one wished to repeal. The other parts of the Bill had been before the public since the Report of the Commission of 1888, and had been endorsed by a succession of large majorities in the House of Commons. Surely, then, it was time to bring this long controversy to an end, and, with whatever modification the House might think right, pass a Measure which in its main features was approved by an overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland of all classes, creeds, and sections 272 of opinion, and which would be likely in the highest degree to benefit the social and moral condition of the country. [Cheers.]
§ *MR. J. JORDAN (Fermanagh, S.)
said he should endeavour to do what he could to second the Motion. He must say that he looked on this question as one which was in a somewhat abnormal condition. As already stated, this Bill had been supported by leading Members of the present Government. It was supported by two previous Governments. It had been endorsed by the recommendations of two Select Committees. It had been Read three times by overwhelming majorities, and passed with some modifications in the House of Lords. The majority of the people of Ireland were in favour of it, and particularly the supporters of the Government in that country. But notwithstanding all this, the House had been unable, or unwilling, to place the Bill permanently on the Statute Book. The case in favour of the Bill was so strong in 1878 that the House was compelled to pass the Measure for four years. After four years' trial the Bill was so far a success that it was included in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. Why, then, was it not made permanent? In his opinion it was because of the determined opposition of the English and Irish liquor trade. ["Hear, hear!"] It was a. selfish opposition. [" Hear, hear!"] It was a social question, but there was an attempt to make it a political one. He refused to debate the question on that line. He was told that he was a precious Home Ruler trying to defeat the Irish by English and Scotch votes. He hoped those votes would never be devoted to a worse purpose. Had they not endeavoured to get Home Rule from the self-same votes? It was a very peculiar theory that these publicans had. They issued a Whip signed by two Irishmen only and four Englishmen. The publicans used the English vote when it suited them, and repudiated it when it did not suit them. For his part he would be glad to use English and Scotch votes in the interests of Irish remedial measures at all times. One would think that the publicans were about to be deprived of their whole trade. To the whole trade in Ireland that would only mean two hours of sale on a Saturday night. In the name of humanity 273 surely the trade might forego the gains screwed out of poor wretches at the fag-end of a Saturday night. ["Hear, hear!"] The poor creatures—the publicans—had to be pitied. But what right had the publicans in these five towns to keep open on Sundays while the publicans in the rural districts had to close? Then they had the argument about liberty. Rank cant. Liberty to grow rich and enslave their assistants in the fumes of liquor for 17 to 18 hours a day, and for seven days a week, while the publican and the brewer were driving in their carriages. That was liberty. But the finest view was that the trade opposed this Bill in the interests of temperance. If they didn't keep open, the working man would take large quantities of drink to his home, and even his family would turn drunkards on Sunday! They kept, their houses open on Sunday in the interests of humanity. He didn't believe it. On the contrary, he hoped the House would wipe out this scandal and pass this Bill by a large majority.
§ MR. J. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
proposed, to leave out the word "now." and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months." He said it was a pity that the duty of moving the rejection of the Bill was placed in his hands, but at the same time he depended on the goodness of the cause he advocated. They all listened with pleasure to the speeches which the hon. Member for Trinity College delivered in that House from time to time, but he would remind him that his speech here in endeavouring to take away the liberty and privileges of the people of Ireland was scarcely in harmony with his writings. As for the hon. Member for Fermanagh, he thought that, if the hon. Member believed in weak drinks, he used strong language. [Laughter.] He was as anxious to see Ireland temperate as anybody, but he did not believe that this was the right way to go about it. If this was to be good for Ireland it should be good for England also. The great Tory majority in the House of Commons was due to the influence of the publican, brewer, and distiller of England. This Measure would greatly injure the brewers and distillers of Ireland, but the promoters of the Measure had not taken into account the interests of that class of person, because they had no influence 274 with the people and could not control votes. Had that class of trader any influence among the people of Ireland he was quite sure that some of the promoters of the Bill would not have brought in a Measure for coercing the people of Ireland, and not the people of England. The people in Ireland spent per head on intoxicating liquors £2 l3s. per annum, while in England the sum was £4 2s., so that Ireland was comparatively a sober country as compared with England. If the public houses in Ireland were closed to-morrow there would be created a group of shebeens and bogus clubs that would take twice the number of constabulary they had to look after them, and he was surprised that any Nationalist Member who desired a reduction of the police, force should think for a moment about giving his support to the Bill. He would, therefore, give this Measure his most, strenuous opposition. Again, if this Bill were placed on the Statute Book, men who had been in the habit of visiting the public house on the Sunday evening would in all probability take drink I to their homes, and if the House desired I to do anything, it desired to avoid setting a bad example. But by passing this Bill men would take home liquor and drink it before their wives and children, and hence intemperance and demoralisation would be encouraged. ["Hear, hear!"] Archbishop Walsh was strongly opposed to the Bill, and had written stating that within the last few months the bogus club system had largely increased, and added that the evil was growing at a sufficiently rapid rate to cause alarm. He also stated that he was opposed to these so-called temperance Measures, which restricted the licensed trade, so long as the system of bogus clubs was allowed to continue. ["'Hear, hear!"] He read extracts showing that the great bulk of police magistrates, resident magistrates, district inspectors, and the chief magistrate of Dublin was opposed to the Measure. Total Sunday closing prevailed in Cardiff, and a plebiscite was taken quite recently on the question, and out of a total vole of 11,127 only 2,574 voted in favour of maintaining Sunday closing. If men could not get drink legally they would get it illegally, and that would be a curse to Ireland, and there would be many shebeens springing up. He believed that this Bill was a direct 275 blow at the publicans of Ireland. The vast majority of the publicans were Nationalists, and he was surprised that any Nationalist Member occupying a seat in that House should get up and advocate the taking away of the bread from the wives and children of those publicans. He would remind the House that there were very few cases of drunkenness in the five exempted towns on Sundays. He believed that for the whole year only 19 arrests took place in all those towns, and as these arrests took place from eight in the morning until eight o'clock on Monday morning, would any hon. Member say that they were not on account of the bad drink sold in the bogus clubs and the shebeens? He was as anxious to see the people of Ireland sober as any Member in that House, but he thought that bringing in such a Bill as this was putting the cart before the horse, and he hoped there would be such a majority against the Second Reading as would prevent the cranks and fanatics from ever bothering the House with this Measure again. He believed that every hon. Member who voted for him that day would be voting for the freedom of the people of Ireland and against the curtailment of their rights and privileges— which were already very much curtailed—without in any way interfering with the privileges of Englishmen.
§ *MAJOR JAMESON (Clare, W.)
, in seconding the rejection of the Bill, complimented the hon. Member for Trinity College on the moderation he had shown in moving the Bill, and said that if it were not that he believed the hon. Gentleman was entirely wrong in a great deal he had laid before the House, he would feel in voting against him, like a pagan about to plant an arrow in the breast of a mediæval saint. The hon. Gentleman had told the House that 34 bishops and deans were in favour of Sunday closing, but he omitted to give the religion of those bishops and deans. He believed there were 36 Catholic and 37 Protestant bishops and deans, so that, taking the 34 from the 73 there was a majority against the Sunday closing. He did not attach any importance to the argument that 34,000 houses were visited the occupants of which were in favour of the Bill, for they all knew how these bogus attempts of arriving at public opinion had worked. The hon. Member 276 for Trinity College had told them that he was in favour of public houses being opened from two o'clock to five, but he thought the hon. Gentleman, would agree that he had no right to state on what hours on, Sunday the working classes desired to take refreshment. His first objection to the Bill was that he objected to any question affecting the vital interest of any trade in Ireland being dealt with by this House, or being decided by any tribunal than that of Irishmen in an Irish Assembly. Secondly, if it must be dealt with in this House, then the present moment, when a Royal Commission was sitting to consider and Report on the Licensing Laws, was not the proper moment for it to be brought forward. A Royal Commission had been ordered by the House to collect information for them, and therefore it would be both unfair to the House and also to the trade to adjudicate on the Bill that was placed before them. He objected altogether to a question of such magnitude being dealt with in a private Member's Bill, but he also objected to the Bill being brought before an English Parliament for the same reason that the late Charles Stewart Parnell spoke against any attempt at tampering with the Irish Licensing Question. The late Mr. Charles Stewart Parnell, in April 1891, when the Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Bill was introduced, said: —If the hon. Members do not wish to prejudice this question beforehand by their meddlesome interference and bungling attempts to legislate for the wants of people whom they cannot possibly understand, and in reference to a matter of which they are profoundly ignorant, then they will vote against the Second Reading of this Bill. If they believe that the time is near when Ireland will decide this question for herself—if they believe their own declarations— they will vote against this Bill, knowing that no time will be lost by leaving the consideration and settlement of this question to a Parliament which we hope to see established in Dublin.He regretted to see the names of the hon. Member for Cork, the Member for Longford and the hon. Member for South Fermanagh on the back of the Bill, for the policy of Mr. Parnell in 1891 was right, and the policy of Mr. Parnell in 1891 was still right in 1897. It was not possible for this Bill to obtain such a position on the Order Papers of the House as would enable it to be fully, 277 freely and fairly discussed, and nothing had occurred to offer a reasonable excuse for interfering in any way with a. respectable class of traders who carried on their business under the licences which this Bill proposed to deal with. Did the promoters of the Bill contend that Ireland was a more drunken nation than England when they desired to legislate in such an exceptional manner? He was astonished that Irish Members, whether Tories or Home Rulers, could have been induced to put their names on the back of this Bill. Of course he excepted the Member for South Belfast; he was not at all surprised at seeing his name on the back of this Bill, as he believed he would condemn all Irishmen to drink lemonade, or to put it more appropriately, "orangeade," not only on Sunday, but every day of the week. [Laughter.] If the promoters of this Bill honestly thought that Ireland was a more drunken nation than England, if they honestly believed that this unseemly haste to legislate for their own country was of urgent necessity, of such importance that they could not even wait for the Report of the Royal Commission now sitting, let him assuage their fears and their thirst for legislation by pointing out that the Royal Commission on Financial Matters in Ireland proved beyond doubt that the expenditure on intoxicating liquor, per annum in Ireland was only £2 13s. per head as against.£4 2s. per head in England. The requirements, habits and customs of the Irish people were so different from those either in Scotland or England, that it would be grossly unfair to legislate in this manner without the fullest inquiry, and without considering all the facts and circumstances of the case. This Bill proposed to arbitrarily interfere with a. most deserving class of traders, and to brand Ireland with the stigma of intemperance, and to wholly ignore the wishes of the people of Ireland and the working classes of that country. He had before him the Reports of the evidence of the ex-resident magistrate for Belfast, Mr. McCarthy, and the Chief Police Commissioner, Mr. Singleton, who both stated that no change ought to take place in the Sunday hours of sale at present in force. He had also the leading opinions of the Archbishop of Dublin, the Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Sir David Harold, the 278 Under Secretary for Ireland, and several bishops and priests, well known as earnest and religious advisers of all subjects connected with the welfare of Ireland, and they one and all were absolutely adverse from a change in the law as regards Sunday closing, and they asserted that, far from furthering the cause of temperance, it would do exactly the contrary. He had also the evdence of Sir John Bridge, police magistrate of London; Colonel Moorsom, Chief Constable of Lancashire; Mr. Macenzie, Chief Constable of Cardiff; and Sir Henry Poland, Q.C., leading member and Alderman of the London County Council. Their evidence was given before the Royal Commission now sitting. He did not say there were no ways and Bills to be devised by which the Licensing Laws of this country could be improved, but this Bill was certainly not one of them. No doubt many Members had been in Paris on Sunday, and it must have surprised them to see how little drunkenness there was in that great city. With all the cafés and all the places of amusement open both day and night, there was less drunkenness there on Sunday than in any small Scotch or English town that could be named where Sunday closing was in force. He maintained that they had no right to prevent the working classes of Ireland from getting refreshment on Sunday, or to make their only day of rest unacceptable to them. Personally, he should like to see all the places of amusement and refreshment open, after three o'clock on Sunday. It was a black, dreary Sunday that Sabbatarians desired to impose on the people of this country, and it was more conducive to intemperance than all the public houses of the United Kingdom, He should be glad to see the café system tried here. But what did they seek to do by this Bill? To impose upon a Roman Catholic country like Ireland the dreary and uninviting Sunday that had certainly not brought temperance to Protestant countries that had adopted it. He welcomed the idea that gave us military bands on Sundays in our parks, and he hoped to see refreshment kiosks erected by Government for the comfort of our working classes both here and in Ireland; and instead of penal laws being enacted and brought forward like this Bill, he desired to see the comfort and 279 the amusement of the people more fully considered. He claimed to know something of the working classes of this country. He was for some considerable time Her Majesty's Inspector of Factories in the south-east of London and in the Black Country, and, if hon. Members really desired to promote temperance, let them do something to give the working classes amusement and comfort on their one day's rest from toil, to bring light and comfort into their homes. Let them do all they could for their education, instead of bringing forward these wretched penal enactments directed against a certain trade in this country, a. trade that paid half of the taxation of the country. If this Government really wished to do something in the cause of temperance, let them do something for the education of Ireland, and pay the money they owed them towards that purpose; let them give the grant he asked for last year for the Christian Brothers' Schools, and allow them in Ireland to make their own local laws. This would do more for the cause of temperance than 50 Sunday Closing Bills. He asked the House, with confidence, to reject this Bill—a Bill drawn against the interests of a well-conducted class of traders and against the comfort of the public, to please the morbid prejudices of a reckless and fanatical minority.
§ MR. J. A. RENTOUL (Down. E.)
said the opposition to the Bill was a trade one from beginning to end, both in England and in Ireland. No proof had been given in support of the statement that the petitions in favour of the Bill were bogus petitions. This Bill had reached its majority this year. It was 21 years since this movement began; the Bill had passed the House three times: it had twice passed Select Committees with approval; it had passed the House of Lords, and it had received the approval of every Chief Secretary for the last 17 years. Now what explanation did the hon. Member who had just sat down give of this extraordinary fact? He said this House wished to put on record their belief that temperance was a good thing, and, having put that on record, like sensible men, they determined to proceed no further. Just let them apply that to Home Rule for Ireland. The hon. Member s first argument would apply word 280 for word to that which he advocated so strongly, his intense adherence to the principle of Home Rule. The hon. Member's next statement was still more extraordinary. He said:—"The Mover of the Bill did not believe in his own Bill." That was cheap argument to put before the House. The hon. Member for Trinity College was successful in the ballot, but that fact did not compel him to bring in this Bill; but having before him numbers of other Measures, he felt nevertheless, that the very best thing he could do for his country was to bring forward this Bill. [Cheers.] Therefore, the reference of the hon. Member to the hon. Member for Trinity College was a very unfortunate one indeed. ["Hear, hear!"] It was said that this Measure should be adjudicated upon by an Irish Parliament. What would have been the fate of this Measure if it had been so adjudicated upon in the past? On every occasion when it had come before this House, it had been supported by a majority of Irish Members, and consequently, if its fate had been in the hands of an Irish Parliament, it would have been carried over and over again. [Cheers.] Of the names on the back of the Bill, one was that of the hon. Gentleman who was the Leader of almost the entire Irish Party for two or three years, until he resigned his post (Mr. Justin McCarthy), the one Irish Leader who was not kicked out; another was that of the hon. Member for Galway City (Mr. Pinkerton, a Nationalist); a third was "Ireland's only statesman" (Mr. Blake), a Gentleman who would be considered the most experienced by far of the Nationalist Members at the present time; and, lastly, he believed one of the hon. Members for Cork City (Mr. Maurice Healy) had come over specially for the purpose of voting in favour of the Bill. There was no city in Ireland that knew its own business better than Cork, and he did not believe that any Member for that city, whatever his private views on the Bill, would come over from Cork in defiance of the opinions of the city on the subject. Therefore the voice of Cork was practically unanimous for the Bill. He rather thought the hon. Member for South Monaghan was himself in the trade.
§ MR. RENTOUL
said he was glad the hon. Member had cleared his character at once. [Laughter.] It did him great credit. They heard a good deal in the last Parliament about agents provocateurs; now he considered that the publicans of Ireland were agents provocateurs—[cries of "Oh!"] and that was the view of the majority of the Irish people also. [Cheers.] They felt that the public house was a temptation they had difficulty in withstanding, and they petitioned this House to lake the temptation out of the way. [Cries of "Oh!"] The hon. Member for South Monaghan, who believed not in Arts of Parliament but in the clergy making the people sober, was, he thought, a Presbyterian.
§ MR. RENTOUL
was pleased indeed to have that assurance. [Laughter.] Well, he understood that the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church were, almost to a man, in favour of this Bill. [Cries of "No, no!"] Who were the Bishops of that Church who wanted the Bill rejected? Because no one could doubt that the clergy of any Church whatever wanted to see their people sober. [" Hear, hear!"] He believed the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church were in overwhelming numbers in favour of the Bill. Coming to the Presbyterian Church, he asserted that not only were the whole Presbyterian clergy in favour of it but there was not a man who dared be anything else, unless he wanted to see himself out of ear with the entire of his congregation, and so lose every atom of power and influence with his people. [Cheers.] It. was said that the Conservative majority in the present Parliament was due to the brewers and distillers; but he denied that altogether. Walthamstow was a constituency which he knew well, and he expected that the Government candidate would win the seat al the by-election by 2,000 votes, until he heard that he was a distiller, and then he knew that it would be lost. Hon. Members urged that to close the public-houses meant to open the clubs. But why should they be afraid of that? If the clubs increased the consumption of liquor it was better for the trade. But 282 in any case surely Parliament could deal with the clubs. He was asked, "Would you deprive the poor man of his beer?" Yes, he would, if the poor man was spending one-sixth of his entire income on drink for himself. Recently two appeals bad been made for Ireland on the ground of her poverty. As to the rating question, the amount spent on Sunday in the public-houses would do all that the Irish Members asked Parliament to do in that connection. And as to the question of rent, while the rental of Ireland was nine millions, the liquor bill was 12 millions. An hon. Member had said that Ireland was, comparatively with England, a teetotal country, because she drank only half as much as England in proportion to population. Yes, but Ireland had only one-tenth of the wealth of England, and therefore she was spending five times more than she ought to in proportion to her resources. [Cheers.] The opposition to the Bill was a trade opposition. A whip had been sent out signed by three or four members of the trade on the Ministerial side of the House; and that morning Members had been roused out of their beds at half-past Two by a telegram containing a wild appeal to vote against the Bill, and signed by a brewer and distiller who was lately a Member of the House. When hon. Gentlemen acted in this way they were degrading themselves and the trade to which they belonged. [Cheers.] If the trade was a good and legitimate trade, let it stand on its own legs. Other trades did not issue these appeals, and members belonging to them did not come down to the House to speak on their own behalf, [" Hear, hear!"] It was a. degrading spectacle. One hon. Member had spoken of the enormous amount of the taxes of the country paid by the trade. It was not the trade that paid the taxes, but the clothes off the backs of the women of Ireland—[cherries] and the earnings of poor miserable wretches whose wives and children were starving. The two speeches which had been delivered from the other side were enough to sink the opposition to the Bill. He was sorry to see Members in the position of the hon. Member for the Harbour Division opposing this Bill; but he hoped that Irish Members generally would be true to their country's interests, and refuse to be tied to the heels of the 283 trade. He hoped they would follow the lead of the clergy and Bishops on this question. [Cheers.]
§ On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,
§ MR. T. HARRINGTON (Dublin, Harbour)
said the hon. Member for Dublin University twitted those who moved the rejection of the Bill with having no arguments in support of that Motion. He himself submitted that it lay upon those who proposed this Measure of exceptional legislation to give some argument for its adoption in Ireland so soon after the rejection by an overwhelming majority of a similar Bill for England. No argument of any weight or importance had been advanced in favour of the Bill. If the advocates of the Bill wished to suppress drinking, let them be impartial, and do so in the House of Commons, the clubs, and the private home circle. There was no evidence that. drunkenness was on the increase in Ireland. The hon. Member for Dublin University himself denied that drunkenness was increasing there. In his well-known work, "Democracy and Liberty," he said: —'It must, in the first place, be noticed that the greatly increasing sensitiveness of public opinion on the question of drink is very far from implying that the evil itself is an increasing one.There was strong reason to believe that the exact opposite was the case.A hundred years ago," he added, "drunkenness was rather the rule than the exception among the upper class. But, with changed habits, and under the stress of public opinion, it has, in their section, almost disappeared.‥‥This vast change in the social life of the nation has not been effected by law or restriction, or even by religion, but by a simple change of habits, tastes, and ideals. No doubt a similar change has taken place, though not to so great an extent, among the poor. …The immense weight of the public-house vote and the teetotal vote in every part of the British Isles has placed the question in the very centre of the maelstrom of party politics.
§ *MR. LECKY
, interposing, remarked that he had expressly said that Irish Sunday closing was not a Party question.
§ MR. HARRINGTON
said he was contrasting the hon. Gentleman's speech in the House with what he had calmly 284 written in the privacy of his study. The hon. Member for East Down had read them a homily on the cause of temperance. If it meant anything, it meant that drinking should be suppressed altogether. Let hon. Members and the upper classes of society set the example themselves, and then the restrictive legislation of the House would be received with more respect. This restrictive legislation was not to suppress drink, but was happily described by the hon. Member for Dublin University in "Democracy and Liberty" as "the result of a gust of genuine, but often ignorant fanaticism." The upper classes sought to impose on the poor restrictions as regards drinking which they would not submit to themselves. He himself had always been a rigid teetotaller. He had never known the taste of spirituous drinks. But he could never associate himself with the narrowness of spirit and bigotry which was at the bottom of all the temperance associations he knew. Their funds were wasted, not in making men sober, but in a vindictive warfare against men who differed from them in opinion. During the 12 years he had sat in the House, his policy had always been consistent. He was entirely in favour of the suppression of drunkenness, but there was no reason, common sense, or logic to place restrictions upon certain classes of society which were not imposed all round. If the present law for the suppression of drunkenness was not strong enough, let it be strengthened. A man could be punished for being drunk in the street, but the man who, by his drunkenness, ruined his home and made a hell of his own household went free. His wife, his children, his neighbours and others who suffered by his conduct should have the power to obtain protection against him. This Bill would not prevent drunkenness. To close public houses on Sundays would lead to an increase of drinking at clubs or shebeens, and in the home circle. Among other evils arising would be an enormous increase in shebeens and bogus clubs. A man of position need not drink in the presence of his children. But a poor man living in one or two rooms could not well prevent their noticing his bad example. There were safeguards connected with drinking in public houses which did not apply to it in clubs. Public houses were liable to 285 be visited at any time by the police, and a publican was punished for allowing drunkenness on his premises. The club was not restricted as to hours of closing; it was free from inspection by the police, and money could be spent in clubs, not only in drink, but in every form of gambling. Dr. Macalister, Bishop of Down and Connor, said:—I prefer to see the Act of 1878 renewed in the rural districts than the extension of total Sunday closing to large towns, where it is accompanied by shebeening and female drinking. Total Sunday closing is known to lead in large towns to illicit drinking and shebeening with their accompanying immoralities, and what is a. greater evil beyond the power of the police or the law to correct—female drinking.There was no evidence that such a Bill as this was necessary in Ireland. The consumption of drink had increased in Ireland, even in the five exempted cities. The average of arrests for drunkenness in the whole of the five cities, was as low as 34. Most of the arrests were of persons who got drunk at bogus clubs and shebeens by 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays, when the public houses were closed. As to the argument that four Irish Chief Secretaries had supported the principle of the Measure, that did not show that the people of Ireland were in favour. Irish Chief Secretaries knew very little of the country. He could not imagine a position which placed a man more completely out of touch with the country than the isolation of Dublin Castle. In the public house there was always the guarantee that the man who conducted it was respectable, that no person in drink would be served, and that the quality of the liquor was good. On the other hand, the men who ran the clubs which would be established if the Bill was passed, would be able to sell absolutely what they liked. The supporters of the Bill had not made an attempt to define their position. They had only given what they supposed to be a general description of the state of public opinion. So far from the majority of Irish Members being in favour of the Bill, as had been staled, he believed the Division would show the contrary. Reference had been inside to a house-to-house canvass. No reliance could be placed on the evidence of opinion so obtained, unless it had been obtained by some properly constituted authority. Such evidence as had 286 been obtained in that way could have no weight with rational men. How was a general demand on the part of the people for this Measure shown? There were men who had practically gone mad on this question of drink, and their mad enthusiasm ought to receive no sympathy in the House. If a case of an increase in drunkenness in Ireland had been made out, let it be dealt with; but if not, let not the House be deceived by general expressions of opinion into giving a vote which would deny to the poor man that which any member of society in a high social state enjoyed at his desire. [" Hear, hear!"] One of the provisions of the Bill was to extend Saturday closing. What would be the effect? Take the city of Dublin. At present it was the only city he knew in which a man coming off the sea at night could not get refreshment after 11 o'clock. It was now proposed to close earlier still, at 9 o'clock on Saturday night, and then a man coming off the sea would be precluded from getting refreshment after that hour. There was no reason for such a proposal, and those who were putting it forward were only doing, so at the instigation of a genuine, perhaps, but, ignorant fanaticism. [" Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY (Cork)
said that every day he was more and more convinced of the necessity for this Bill, and of its application to Ireland. Year sifter year Irish Members had declared in favour of the Bill, over and over again respectable Irish society had demanded it, and though the supporters of the Bill had sometimes had a successful Division on a. Wednesday, they could get no nearer the object of their desires. That slate of things was little less than a, public scandal. ["Hear, hear!"] The Bill was denounced as an attack on the liberties of the people and the interests of a great trade. What did it do? Over the bulk of Ireland public houses were open for 16 hours a day, or 96 hours a week. This Bill sought to lake off one hour in the week. ["Hear, hear!"] In the five large towns public houses were open 17 hours a day, or 107 hours a week, and the proposal of the Bill was to cut off the odd seven. He could not see how that could be described as a monstrous invasion of liberty. ["Hear, hear!"] He held that the Irish people were a great deal better in every way than the 287 English, and he declined to accept what the Englishmen did as at all a standard in this matter; and whether Irishmen drank as much intoxicating liquor as Englishmen or not, they drank a great deal more than they required; whether their drink bill was an large, relatively speaking, as the English drink bill, it had certainly attained proportions which constituted a gross scandal. But after all, the drink consumed in Ireland was consumed by a relatively small number of persons. The average population was exceedingly temperate. The Irish peasant spent very little on whisky or other intoxicating liquors, He lived a sober, abstemious life, and in that respect he could be well compared with the peasant of France or of any other country. Drinking in Ireland was necessarily concentrated in the large centres of population, and if the drink bill was regarded from that point of view it impressed the mind much more than it did when put forward in another way. His hon. Friend the Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin said the supporters of the Bill had advanced no argument in its support. The hon. Member for Trinity College very truly said that the time for argument had long passed. Twenty years ago they argued this question out; but he would present one argument in support of the Bill. It was that they commended the Bill to the House as an experiment which had already been tried in Ireland, and which had succeeded. Sunday closing had been in force in the rural districts of Ireland for 20 years, and was there any man in his senses who would move the repeal of the Act? No one would for a moment dream of suggesting such a reversion to barbarism as that would be. They were told that there would be shebeening and illicit trade in unlicensed houses, as well as in public houses themselves. Of course there would be shebeening and illicit trade, but it would not attain the horrible proportions they had heard described to-day. There was nothing sacred about the public house as some hon. Members would have them suppose. His hon. Friend the Member for South Dublin seemed to think that the public house was an institution set up for the moral and intellectual improvement of the Irish people—he did not know what depth of degradation and misery they 288 would reach if they had not this self-sacrificing and heroic trade thrusting itself into the gap and standing between the country and demoralisation. But they were not such sucking babes as to accept as gospel language of that kind. A large and discreditable amount of drunkenness took place in Ireland, as in England, and what he desired to ask was where that drunkenness was caused? Was it not as plain as the light of day that that drunkenness was due to the public house, and the public house alone? What was asked was that some small check should be put upon those houses, that the State should step in between the drunkard and tempter. Much was said about liberty and the privileges of the people. The artisan of the great cities finished work at one or two o'clock on Saturday. Surely between two and nine o'clock on Saturday was quite long enough for the most zealous worshipper of Bacchus to spend in the public house. Surely alter nine o'clock the wife and children might get a chance. Liberty was a good thing, and coercion was a bad thing, but let them think a little of the wretched wives and hungry children. No decent artisan or labourer could greatly complain if the State stepped in and said, '" At nine o'clock on Saturday night you may go home and spend the remainder of the evening with your wife and family." When the question of Sunday closing was originally proposed, Irish publicans themselves said, '"Oh, it is not the Sunday, but the Saturday night drinking which does the harm." The promoters of the Bill had adopted the publicans views, and were denounced as if they were doing something unheard of. He did not believe one bit in the argument about shebeening. That was an argument which, if good at all, was good against all restrictions on the sale of drink. They heard a great deal about bogus clubs, and he supposed such clubs were an evil which would have to be met. But bogus clubs had been successfully dealt with in Dublin. He thought that the gentlemen who resorted to clubs in London and elsewhere might very well make A self-denying ordinance and subject themselves to the same restrictions as applied to public houses. Of all the cant which was talked on this question of temperance this cant about the rich man's club was the worst. Was 289 it in clubs that they saw men drunk, or hanging round their doors the ragged forms of women and hungry children? What hypocrisy it was! Clubs were kept decent for the sake of the gentlemen who frequented them, and therefore he did not think that there was any substance in the complaint as to the clubs. Here, however, a great trade organisation was banded and leagued against this Sunday closing reform; and it he had to make a choice between tolerating the existing state of things, with all the scandals and evils which resulted from it, and doing in the process some injury to the publican, he said that the personal interests of the publican or his trade could not be allowed to stand between society and its advancement in civilisation, in decency and in comfort. He believed that the fierce opposition offered to the Bill was the best testimony to the good that it would effect if passed into law. He trusted that, regardless of trade interests, and as to how this reform might influence any individual, the House would now do something to advance the social improvement of the country.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I rise, not to deal with the general question of temperance legislation, or even with the specific merits or demerits of the Bill now before us, but to make a short statement in the nature rather of personal explanation than of discussion upon the legislation with which we are concerned. As the House is aware, there is at the present moment a Commission sitting, appointed by the Government, which has committed to it the onerous duty of surveying the whole held of liquor legislation, and making recommendations to Parliament on the subject. We have taken up the line that until that Commission has reported, we ought not to be asked to take any practical steps one way or the other to deal with the thorny problems of liquor legislation. [Cheers.] I have no doubt that the policy which has guided the Government in other analogous questions in the course of the present Session, is one which my colleagues will as a rule take for their guidance on this occasion; but I propose to vote for the Second Reading of the Bill, and so far to depart from that line of action. My own connection with this particular project of legislation is 290 somewhat different from that of other Gentlemen, official or unofficial, who have given previous votes upon it. In 1888, while I was Chief Secretary, a Committee was appointed to thrash out the whole subject. The Chairman of that Committee was the then Attorney General for Ireland, now Mr. Justice Madden—a man with whom it was a great pleasure and honour for me to act, and whose memory, I am sure, is still kept green in all parts of the House. [" Hear, hear!"] He presided over the labours of that Committee. Witnesses were examined representing every section of society in Ireland, brought from, every political party, representing every conceivable interest. I was not a member of the Committee myself, and in a. sense, therefore, my information as to its proceedings must be regarded as information derived at second hand. But I had long and anxious conversations with Mr. Madden on the subject, and he told me that in his view there was something aproaching absolute unanimity of public opinion in Ireland in favour of this legislation. [Cheers.] Of course, the public opinion in Ireland was not the uninformed public opinion anxious to try a new experiment about which it may have very little information; it was a public opinion which had been educated by some years' experience of precisely analogous legislation extending over the greater part of the country. As the House is aware, this Bill, so far as Sunday closing is concerned, is in actual force over the whole of Ireland, except in the five exempted towns. Mr. Madden went into the question absolutely without prejudice, and he came to the conclusion that, though the Bill in its form of requiring Sunday closing in the large towns the whole of Sunday was too extreme a measure—though he was in favour of the Amendment to which my hon. Friend the Member for Trinity Collage has given his adhesion—yet he was of opinion—and the Irish Government of his day were of opinion, and the general Government of the country, following the Irish Government, were of opinion that that Bill was one which might well pass into law with the Amendments which seemed to be necessary. Everyone knows that the fact of this Bill passing its Second Reading to-day will not on that account secure its passing 291 into law during the present Session. A Wednesday Bill, whatever be its fate in the Division Lobbies, if it is not brought on until the middle of May, has no earthly chance of becoming law in the course of the present Session. The question I have to decide for myself is whether I should accept the general position taken up that legislation should be deferred until the Commission Report, or whether I should not, on the other hand, give again a vote in favour of this Bill. No arguments have been brought to my knowledge which alter the view which the Irish Government when I was Chief Secretary arrived at nine years ago. It is possible that the division among gentlemen representing Ireland may show a larger proportion of Irish opinion against the Bill than existed before. I gather that was the view of the hon. Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin; but previous Divisions on this subject, as well as the results of the Committee, have shown that Irish opinion, broadly speaking, is strongly in favour of the Bill. [Cheers.] Irish opinion, whether the opinion of Nationalists, or Unionists, priests, parsons, ministers, constabulary, or Fenians, is all unanimous, broadly speaking, in favour of this Measure. [Cheers.] The country districts in Ireland which are under this legislation are not suffering under slavery. [" Hear, hear!"] We in Scotland, who have had Sunday closing, are not suffering under slavery; and, though I am not an advocate of Sunday closing in England, I cannot admit that where it has already been in operation it can be regarded as an unjustifiable interference with the liberty of the subject. Nor, as far as I am able to judge, can it be described as a serious interference with any trade or profession whatever. Under these circumstances, I propose to support again in the Lobby the opinions which, officially and unofficially, I have supported for nine years, and until evidence is brought before me, either by Debates in this House or by the labours of the Commission, that public opinion has changed in Ireland, or that circumstances in Ireland are such that this Measure will not produce the beneficial effects which Irishmen of all shades of opinion anticipate from it, I do not think I should be acting the part of a 292 consistent politician if I made any change in. the course I propose to take.
§ MR. J. MORLEY (Montrose Burghs)
Perhaps I may be allowed to intervene in this Debate for a moment or two, and to say with how much satisfaction I have listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, both for the conclusion at which he has arrived and for the grounds on which he based that conclusion. I understood him to say that some of his colleagues were inclined to vote against this Bill on the ground that the subject-matter of it is under the consideration of Lord Peel's Commission. I did not understand the right hon. Gentleman to accept that position himself.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I do accept it as a sound reason for taking the course the right hon. Gentleman objects to, although in my special circumstances and in my historic connection with this Bill, I do not propose to take it myself.
§ MB. J. MORLEY
That may be so, but the right hon. Gentleman does not himself think that reason sufficient in his own, case. It must be remembered that, before the Committee to which the First Lord of the Treasury has referred, the whole subject was most carefully gone into, and it is not conceivable that Lord Peel's Commission can come upon one single new fact, or can find one single argument bearing on the state of Ireland, which can in the least degree affect the vote which any hon. Gentleman, in this House ought to give. It was my good fortune practically to follow the right hon. Gentleman in being responsible for Irish affairs, and I think twice it came before our Government to say whether this Bill should or should not be supported; and, exactly for the reasons the right hon. Gentleman, opposite has just given, it seems to me it is impossible for anybody, Unionist or Nationalist, to oppose a proposal which has been in, actual working over all Ireland except the five exempted towns, and which is undoubtedly, whatever may be the balance of opinion at this moment in this House, the desire of all large organised bodies of opinion, in, Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman referred to Scotland. When I was Chief Secretary, and this subject excited a good deal of attention in the House—partly because it is thought to bear on a similar question affecting England—I made it my 293 business to send over one of our most experienced police officers to Glasgow, where there is a very large Irish population. This experienced officer's conclusion was that the success of the Sunday Closing Act in Glasgow, and not least among the Irish population of Glasgow, had been all that the best friends of that legislation could desire, and that he for his own part was persuaded that the extension of the Act to a city like Belfast, and, I am afraid I must say, still more like Dublin, would produce the most beneficial results, against which there was no practical set-off whatever. I also look measures at that time to find out how the Irish population, of New York bore the Sunday Closing Act. there; but at that moment, in 1895, there were so many differences and disputes as to the working of the Act in New York that it proved no useful lesson. But the Glasgow evidence was perfectly conclusive so far as it went, and I think it ought to go a very considerable way in inducing hon. Gentlemen in this House to give their vote for this Bill. I, for the same reason as the First Lord of the Treasury, have no hesitation whatever in again voting for the Second Reading of this Bill, and I cannot understand why the sitting of the Peel Commission should be taken as constituting a disability to the judging of this question. I hope that even now some hon. Gentlemen who are thinking of what I may call riding off on Lord Peel's Commission will reconsider the matter, and will assent to a Bill which is undoubtedly required by the great body of public opinion in Ireland.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
said that what struck him in listening to the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury was that he failed altogether to show why the Government should take up one attitude with reference to an English Sunday Closing Bill on the 10th of February, and an entirely different attitude with reference to the Irish Sunday Closing Bill that day. He understood from the right hon. Gentleman's speech that it was the intention of the Government to take no part as a Government in. this matter, but that the various members of the Administration would be permitted to vote as they pleased; but on the 10th of February, when a similar proposal was before the House with regard to England, the Leader of the House and 294 the Home Secretary, the official Whips of the Party, and all the leading Members of the Party, voted against the Bill, on the ground, as stated by the Home Secretary, that a Commission, had been appointed to inquire into the whole question of the liquor traffic, and that this was one essential portion of the question. Did the Leader of the House seriously contend that it was a wise or just thing to endeavour, by English, Scotch, and Welsh votes, to force upon Ireland a Bill of this character when he refused to pass a. similar Bill for England?
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said that, if the hon. Gentleman who had interrupted him had had patience to wait until he came to the consideration of the merits of the Bill, he would have found that that observation was quite irrelevant. He entirely and absolutely sympathised with the objects of those who were promoting this Bill. The object of the promoters was to further temperance in Ireland; and, while he thought that, on every occasion of that kind. Irish Members ought to take the opportunity of protesting against the prevalent idea in this country that Ireland was, by comparison with England, a drunken country, which was one of the calumnies current in this country; at the same time no man who was at all acquainted with Ireland could deny that drink in that country was a very serious and grave evil—that a great deal of the poverty and of the industrial paralysis, and almost all the crime in Ireland—was directly due to drink. Under these circumstances he would indeed be a poor patriot, and; a very shallow politician, and a very shortsighted reformer, who would sit with his hands folded and make no effort whatever to deal with them. He would go further than that and say, he was in favour of moderate and well considered legislation directed to the object the promoters had in view so long as that legislation fulfilled these two conditions—that it did not unduly interfere with the general convenience and rights of the community, and that the legislation was of such a character as to lead one to suppose that it was likely, in some degree at any rate, to remove the evil which existed. With Sunday Closing as it 295 existed in Ireland at that moment he was in hearty accord. He did not think there was much difference of opinion as to Sunday Closing in the rural districts. At the time he was one of its most strenuous supporters, and he took leave to say that none of those who bitterly opposed it in those days would venture to come forward with a Bill for its repeal. He thought total Sunday closing as it existed in Ireland in the country districts had proved a moderate success. He did not believe it had at all answered the sanguine anticipations of those who advocated it at the time, but still he believed that the balance had been on the right side, and that its working had been in the direction of good. No doubt, while it had not answered the expectations of its supporters, it was true to say that in some cases it had worked oppressively, and in the law as it now stood there were, in his opinion, certain defects. For example, he thought nothing could be more ludicrous than the present bonâ fide traveller clause. There were provisions of that kind in the existing law, as applied to country parts, which should be amended, but as applied to the country parts it had been fairly satisfactory, and he knew no large body of opinion in Ireland in favour of its repeal. So far with regard to the country districts. This Bill did not propose to alter that in the slightest degree, but in the large cities of Ireland the case had been different. In the five large cities the law was that the public-houses were open from two till seven; and the present proposal was that they should be closed for the entire day. He always had been a pronounced supporter of the principle of Sunday Closing, but he was not prepared to say that the application of that principle should be the same in different classes of communities, and he was not clear that it would be practical or wise to have absolute closing for the whole of Sunday in these large cities. He did not know whether the present hours were too long. Possibly a strong case might be made out in that direction, but he submitted that if the case for shortening these hours by one hour or more was to be made out it should be made out before the Royal Commission which was now sitting, and this Bill should be postponed until that Commission had reported. His own individual view was that total Sunday closing in 296 great communities was impracticable, unworkable, and unwise. As to whether the present hours were too long, that was a thing he would not venture to express an opinion upon in view of the action of the English and Scotch Members. Until the Commission had reported it would be a monstrous thing if they were by their votes to force total Sunday closing on Ireland while the same Commission was about to report on it. It seemed to him that the difficulties of carrying out total Sunday closing in these big cities were enormous, the necessary inconvenience to the public so great, and the dangers arising from the formation of bogus clubs and institutions of that kind were so formidable, that it would be an unwise thing to force the Second Reading of this Bill pending the decision of the Royal Commission. The law as it stood at the present moment, notwithstanding certain defects he had mentioned, was fairly satisfactory. Why could not it be allowed to continue for the next year until this Commission had reported. There was only one other observation he desired to make on this matter. He took his stand on the position taken in the House by Mr. Parnell in 1888. On this question, as no doubt on every Irish question that had cropped up since his death, or was likely to crop up in their lifetime, Mr. Parnell's words could be wisely taken as a guide for Irish Nationalist Members to follow. Everyone who knew Mr. Parnell knew he was a strenuous advocate of temperance legislation, quite as strong as the hon. Gentleman who moved this Bill. He, at the commencement of this controversy, voted repeatedly in favour of this Bill. He himself did also, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cork had reminded him. But in the year 1888 Mr. Parnell, speaking on, this subject, laid it down, that this was a matter which clearly should be decided by Irish public opinion. The right hon. Gentleman, the hon. Member for Montrose, spoke as if Irish public opinion was unanimous in favour of this Bill. On the merits of Sunday closing, probably there was a strong feeling of a large majority of the people in favour of it, but on the question of the passing of this Bill in its present shape at this moment, pending the sitting of the Royal Commission, he ventured to assert there was no such unanimity; but, on the contrary, a majority the other way. He 297 thought it would be found by the House that a considerable majority of the Irish Members in the coming Division would be found voting against the Second Reading; and he asked again, were Englishmen, having refused to accept a similar Bill for themselves, going to force it on the majority of the Irish representatives to-day? Mr. Parnell took the position that this was a matter that should be decided by Irish public opinion. He said:—It matters not what system yon leave the superintendence, management, and direction of this Question to in the, future, whether to county boards, or the larger system of autonomy proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Mid-Lothian. In the hands of such bodies, and under either system, the Question is safe. I believe Irishmen, acting at home, discussing this Question amongst themselves, free from your interference, will decide this Question more advantageously and justly than yon can here, and their decision will be attended by much happier and better results for the people. The Question is one which is most intimately connected with the question of self-government.That was the ground on which he took his stand. He said—leave this to a vote of the Irish Members and let the Irish Members of all sections record their votes. If the majority was in favour of the Bill well and good, but would English Home Rulers, in face of the majority of the Irish Members against the Bill, force the Second Reading of it, when the House of Commons refused, by a large majority, in the case of a. similar Bill for England, to do so? He pressed on English, Scotch, and Welsh Members the desirability of letting the Irish Members decide this for themselves, and he impressed on all Irish Members the desirability of taking their stand on the sound and sure National ground laid down by Mr. Parnell in 1888.
§ SIR. J. HASLETT (Belfast, N.)
said that, as the representative of one of the largest industrial centres in Ireland, he should give his unqualified support to the Bill. He had listened with great interest to the remarks of the previous speaker whose argument, if it was worth anything, amounted to this: "The Bill is a good Bill; it was formerly a child of my own; I formerly took a great interest in its favour; but in view of the strong remarks of the late Mr. Parnell, I believe the Bill should not be passed at present;" and he gave two reasons for that. First, there 298 was a Commission now sitting; and, second, that in the distance Home Rule would be carried; and that, therefore, the Bill would be carried under a, Home Rule Government. He was afraid that if Ireland was to be dealt with in that way, they had not listened carefully to her more potent demands made very recently. He knew as much of the city of Belfast as anyone could be expected to do who had lived in it all his life, mixed with its industrial population from his boyhood, been one of the drudges in life, one who had worked his 16 or 17 hours a day, and knew what compulsory labour was to that extent, and who had a, feeling in connection with industrial pursuits that Parliament should protect them against inordinate hours, whether for the buyer or the seller. They had curtailed the hours in almost every pursuit in life. By the ringing of the bell they compelled the silence of the engine, the loom, and the shuttle, but the pursuit they were now dealing with they left untouched, and practically admitted amongst them slavery of the deepest and darkest kind to a very large number, not only of employers, but employed. It might be said that Sunday closing or Sunday opening was a voluntary act, that a publican was not obliged to open his public house. But anybody in business knew how fallacious that argument was. A publican's customers would tell him, "If you do not give me my drink on Sunday you shall not give it me on Monday." Therefore he must open his public house if his neighbours kept open. He had among some of his most esteemed friends men in the liquor traffic in Belfast, and he knew that a considerable proportion of them would welcome the Bill as relieving them of the necessity of opening, and as protecting them against the competition of their neighbours. There were three or four principles which appeared to operate in the minds of hon. Members who opposed the Bill, with which he would try to deal. The first was bogus clubs. He did not know that they could ever do away with bogus clubs until they did away with drinkers altogether. He did not know what was meant by bogus clubs unless it was a hairdresser's, where they could get a shave nominally for a penny and had fourpence added to the shave for a wash and grog. There were innumerable ways 299 in which a drinking man could get drink, and he did not suppose they would be able to stop it. But bogus clubs had not prospered, in Belfast. It might be said that the reason was that they had Sunday opening. But the hardest time of all for a drinking man was in the morning; if he could do until Two o'clock in the day without a drink, he could do without it all day, but he wanted a hair of the dog that bit him very early indeed, lest hydrophobia should set in. As to the argument that Sunday closing would lead to drinking at home, he felt that, unless a man was lost to all feelings of decency, the presence of his children would deter him from drinking. He believed in the Irish character, because they drank less at a time. In England they were not in it with Ireland. [Laughter.] He sometimes did go into a public house. [Laughter, cries of "Oh !" and a NATIONALIST MEMBER: "What for? "] Just by way of observation. [Renewed laughter.] He was astonished to find an hon. Member opposing the Bill who was a total abstainer. He was himself a life-long abstainer, never having tasted drink in his life. All his life long he had been trying to lift upwards those who were so deeply sunk— ["hear, hear!"]—and if this Bill would do anything, he gave it his support on the highest grounds. In England they were selfish in this matter. They would drink their two pots of beer, and each man would pay for his own. Such a thing in Ireland would put a man out of society. What, then, would an Irishman do. He would go half way up and down the street till he met some chum who would go in and have a drink. [Laughter.] He would not go in by himself, but if he had a chum, they would have two pots, and if there were four chums they would have four pots. [Laughter.] It was the social element which entered into this question in Ireland. Chums did not go into each other's houses to drink in Ireland. If they did, as a rule the thrifty wife would welcome Jones's company by trying to give him a cup of tea or something of that sort. [" Hear, hear!"] There was another argument which had been presented to them. He was not going to use any strong words about the trade. God knows what any of them might have been if they had been raised in the trade themselves. [Laughter.]
300 He said that frankly and freely. He was a druggist himself, and there was nothing like taking plenty of drugs. But unfortunately people did not understand that, and they only came to him in their last resource. It might be said that the publican was his best friend. He did his best to break a man down, and then that man came to him (Sir James) to set him up again. He saw in the petition which had been circulated, it was stated that the clergy were in favour of opening on Sundays. That was a bold statement. They were told in the petition that 20,000 names had been got in Belfast against the Bill, and amongst the names he found that of Mr. T. W. Russell. [Loud laughter.] He was only trying to show the value of these petitions, and he would content himself by saying that if this one was signed in the public houses there they might expect to find a strong opinion on the subject. [" Hear, hear!"] He was especially interested in the Saturday night question. In Belfast the chief number of arrests was made on Saturday night, and Saturday night drinking was opposed to the highest interests of the working man, as well as to his health, and strength. The day of rest was never given to the toiling men that it might be used for sleeping off the debauchery of the previous day. The recognised courts of the Presbyterian Church in Belfast supported the Bill, and they represented more than 17,000 families. The Wesleyans, who represented no inconsiderable portion of the population, this week declared unanimously in favour of a Sunday Closing Act, and the Episcopalians and Roman Catholics took the same view. For the sake of the families of the working men, and for the sake of the principles of humanity, which should be dear to all of them, he beseeched the House not to be led away by the argument that this Bill was an interference with individual liberty, but to take away the temptation to trample under foot God's day of rest.
§ SIR THOMAS LEA
claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. Speaker withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.—Debate resumed.
§ MR. SAMUEL YOUNG (Cavan, E.)
, said that, as a member of the Licensing Commission, he felt he ought to 301 keep an open mind until the Inquiry was concluded. He suggested to the House that no legislation of this kind should be passed until the Commission had reported, when a comprehensive Measure dealing with the licensing laws could be passed. The present Bill was, after all, nothing but a piecemeal attempt to deal with a part of the question. Ireland had the right to the same treatment as England in this matter. He strongly objected to the extremists and faddists who thrust their opinions upon others with intolerable tyranny. The arguments of the hon. Member who last spoke were really directed to a total abolition of the drink traffic.
§ *MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)
said that the Bill affected two interests. The rural publicans were affected by the early closing on Saturday night, and the publicans in the big towns were affected by the Sunday closing. It was in the interests of the former that he should speak. As to the arguments derived from the evils of the drink traffic, they would be more properly directed to a Bill for the total abolition of the traffic than to the Measure before the House. Many of the speakers had held up the publican as a sort of vulture preying upon society, whose extirpation should be the first work of Parliament; but realty the whole question was one of free-will. The publican did not drag men into his house; his customers went there of their own accord. Of course those who opposed this Bill were subjected to all sorts of misrepresentation; and there had been much virtuous declamation on the part of the promoters of the Bill against the heinousness of any Member daring to defend the trade in which he was in any degree interested. But what had the lawyers done on the previous evening, when one of their grievances was before the House? They saw the lawyers of all sides and parties gather in self defence and support the Motion before it. Much had been said too about the issuing of whips by the opponents of this Bill, as though it were not the constant and legitimate practice of those interested in 302 any question to issue Whips when a division was to be taken by the House. When, had there been any Bill affecting lawyers, doctors, engineers, or any trade or interest that the persons affected had not canvassed the House? At present, in all Irish towns below 6,000 in population, the public houses were open from 7 in the morning to 10 at night; and it should be remembered that in Ireland every publican was a grocer. His experience was that for five clays in the week those hours were too long. He said that, not from a temperance point of view, but because the trade in the Irish towns was declining. The one day in the week on which the publican had any business to do in the rural districts of Ireland was Saturday. His customers were the farmers and labourers. The farmers came into town early and left early; and he repudiated the charge of heavy drinking which had been brought against, them. The habit had very sensibly declined. But the labourers of Ireland could not get away from their work until the end of the day. There was no Saturday half-holiday for Irish labourers. Their employers were generally men who look twelve long hours of toil out of them whether the day was Monday or Saturday. Then when his day's work was done, perhaps, the labourer had to go two or three miles to the nearest town to do his marketing, and to compel the closing of public-houses at nine o'clock, and thus prevent the man from getting the necessaries of life, was an entire invasion of the liberty and right which he enjoyed under the existing law. He absolutely denied the statement that public opinion in Ireland was unanimous in favour of the Bill. No public meeting had ever been held in Ireland in favour of the Bill; at no election in Ireland had this question, been made a test question. The Mover of the Second Reading of the Bill had stated that one thousand clergy were in favour of its principles. As there were 5,000 clergy of all denominations in Ireland, one thousand was not a preponderating number in favour of the principles of the Bill. This was a most important question, and deserved more serious consideration than could be given to it in a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon. The Government had appointed a Royal Commission to report to the House what steps should be taken to regulate 303 the whole traffic in drink. Therefore, the position taken up by the First Lord of the Treasury, in supporting the Bill, was most inconsistent, and the hon. Member for Waterford was well entitled to complain that in all these mutters one line was taken in regard to England and another and a totally different line was taken in regard to Ireland.
§ MR. WILLIAM JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. Speaker withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.—Debate resumed.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Govan)
supported the Bill. He came from a country where Sunday closing had been in. operation for 50 years, and the results had been so satisfactory that no hon. Member from Scotland would, in the interests of his constituents, ask that it should be repealed or abrogated in any way. [" Hear, hear!"] When the Sunday Closing Bill for Scotland was before the House it was said—as it was said now in regard to Ireland—that it would lead to a disturbance of the public peace. The result in Scotland was the very reverse. ["Hear, hear!"] The Sunday in Scotland was a quiet, peaceable day; whereas formerly, when the public-houses were opened, there was a great deal of drunkenness and immorality. [" Hear, hear!"] He hoped, therefore, that the result of the division would be in. favour of the establishment of Sunday closing in Ireland.
§ MR. J. J. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
said he was surprised that a Scotch Home Ruler like his Friend the Member for Govan should have taken part in. the Debate at all. [Laughter.] His hon. Friend believed that Ireland should have control of her own affairs; therefore, his interference was a contradiction of his principles. [Laughter.] He ventured to assert, in reply to his hon. Friend's remarks on, the effect of Sunday closing in Scotland, that there was less drunkenness and more virtue in the city of Dublin or in any part of Ireland than in any city in Scotland, with all its Sunday closing. [Cries of "No, no !"] He was astonished that the Bill should have been, introduced by the hon. Member for Dublin University. The hon. Gentleman must have forgotten some of his arguments in his latest book, "Democracy and Liberty." In that book, 304 referring to the proposal for the total or partial prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors, by local option or by general enactment, he said it was an argument for preventing all men from using drink because some used it to excess. The hon. Gentleman then went on to say that such coercion must not be confounded with that which was sometimes found necessary in industrial life for the purposes of carrying out the wishes of a majority. If the great majority of shopkeepers desired to shut their shops on a particular day, or if the great majority of workmen wished to leave the factory at a particular hour, they might plausibly argue that the rule should be made universal, as a minority pursuing a different course would frustrate their desires. But, he said, the man who wished to go to a, public house did not in any way interfere with the liberty of those who desired to abstain. [Laughter.] In practice, too, the restriction was a measure of extreme partiality. [" Hear, hear!"] The rich man had his private cellar and his club, whereas the poor man had not. [" Hear, hear!"]
§ *MR. LECKY
said that in the passage quoted he was speaking of local option, and not of Sunday closing, and the hon. Member would find that two pages further on he had said that in his opinion public opinion both in Ireland and in Scotland was unquestionably in favour of Sunday closing.
§ MR. CLANCY
said the words "partial or total prohibition" occurred. Moreover, this passage was founded upon an assumption which the hon. Gentleman took for granted—namely, that the majority of the Irish people were in favour of such legislation as this. That was not the case. The hon. Member for Trinity College had recently defended the right of the landlords to compensation, but now he proposed to take away the income of the publicans without offering them any compensation. To his mind this would be an act of pure confiscation, and he hoped that English Home Rulers would not go into the Lobby in favour of this Bill when they knew that the majority of the Irish Members did not approve of it.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
thought it was a mistake to say that 305 the majority of the Irish Members would be found voting against this Bill. This was a question between whisky-makers and publicans on the one side, and the great majority of the Irish people on the other. [Cheers and cries of "No!"] He represented a constituency mainly composed of working men, and he did not know of any question which had come recently before the House which had had such unanimous approval from his constituents. He had had many letters and petitions in favour of the Bill, and he believed that if the constituencies were polled a great majority of the Irish people would be found to be in its favour. It had been tried in Scotland, and had been eminently successful in Glasgow. [Laughter and cries of No !"] It had been successful at any rate so far as the Irish population of Glasgow was concerned—the Scotch population, he believed, were perfectly incorrigible in the direction of whisky. [Laughter.] He believed the overwhelming opinion of all ministers and religious denominations in Ireland was in favour of this Bill, which would put down what had been found to be an intolerable nuisance and evil in Ireland, and he
§ hoped the Government would see that it had a fair chance of passing into law this Session.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
, in opposing the Bill, urged that, in order to be consistent, the Government should at least wait until they had further information on the subject before they legislated. That would be following the course they had adopted in regard to the question of the financial relations. Let them put their own House in order before legislating for Ireland on this matter. That House was either a shebeen or a bogus club. Hon. Gentlemen did not practise what they preached, for of the ten Gentlemen whose names were on the back of the Bill, five, at least, did not practise abstention from intoxicants. He should vote for the rejection of the Bill, but if it passed the Second Reading, they would oppose it at every stage.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 201; Noes, 172. —(Division List—No. 206— appended.)309
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Brown, Alexander H.||Denny. Colonel|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke||Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Donkin, Richard Sim|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Doughty, George|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc. under Lyme||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Dunn. Sir William|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Burns, John||Elli Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh.)|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Burt, Thomas||Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton)|
|Arnold-Forster. Hugh O.||Butcher. John George||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Caldwell, James||Fenwick, Charles|
|Asher, Alexander||Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Campbell, James A.||Finlay, Sir Robert. Bannatyne|
|Atherley-Jones. L.||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon, John||Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson||Fowler. Rt. Hn. Sir H. (Wol'tn)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Carson, Edward||Gourley, Sir Edwd. Temperley|
|Baillie. James E. B. (Inverness)||Cawley, Frederick||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Channing. Francis Allston||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Baker, Sir John||Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Haldane, Richard Burdon|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Clough, Walter Owen||Harrison. Charles|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. J. Blair (Clackm)||Colville, John||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Barlow. John Emmott||Corbett. A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Havelock-Allan, General Sir H.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H.||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-|
|Begg, Ferdinand Faithful||Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy||Hazell, Walter|
|Bethell, Commander||Crombie, John William||Healy, Thomas J. (Wexford)|
|Biddulph, Michael||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Hedderwick, Thos. Charles H.|
|Billson, Alfred||Currie, Sir Donald||Hil1, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)|
|Birrell, Augustine||Curzon, R t. Hn. G. N. (Lane. S. W||Hobhouse, Henry|
|Blake, Edward||Dalziel, James Henry||Hogan, James Francis|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Dane, Richard M.||Holburn, J. G.|
|Brigg, John||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Holden, Angus|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarshire)|
|Howard, Joseph||Milward, Colonel Victor||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir G. O. (Denbs)||Spicer, Albert|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Morley. Rt. Hn. John (Montrose)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Joicey, Sir James||Mundella, Rt. Hn. Anthony John||Stewart, Sir Mark J. Mc Taggart|
|Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sullivan. Donal (Westmeath)|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||Oldroyd, Mark||Tennant, Harold John|
|Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn. Sir U.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Owen, Thomas||Thorburn, Walter|
|Kenrick, William||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Kinloch. Sir John Geo. Smyth||Parkes, Ebenezer||Ure, Alexander|
|Kitson, Sir James||Paulton, James Mellor||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Knowles, Lees||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Walton, John Lawson|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land)||Pease, Arthur (Darlington)||Waring, Col. Thomas|
|Lecky, William Edward H.||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Wayman, Thomas|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)||Wedderburn. Sir William|
|Leng, Sir John||Perks, Robert William||Whittaker. Thomas Palmer|
|Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Pickard, Benjamin||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset.)|
|Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Lockwood, Sir Frank (York)||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)||Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)|
|Lough. Thomas||Priestley, Sir W. Overend(Edin.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)|
|Luttrell. Hugh Fownes||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Lyell. Sir Leonard||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wilson, J. W. (Wore'sh. N.)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift.||Rentoul, James Alexander||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|McArthur, William||Rickett, J. Compton||Woodall, William|
|McCalmont, Maj-Gen (Ant'mN.)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Woodhouse. Sir J. T. (Hudrsfld.)|
|McCalmont. Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|McGhee, Richard||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|McKillop, James||Robson, William Snowdon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Mr. Maurice Healy and Sir Thomas Lea.|
|Maclaren, Charles Benjamin||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|McLeod, John||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Maden, John Henry||Saunderson, Col. Edw. James|
|Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Abraham, William (Cork. N. E.)||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Finch, George H.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt, Sir A. F.||Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.)||Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold H.|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Fison, Frederick. William|
|Allsopp, Hon. George,||Cook Fred Lucas (Lambeth)||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Arnold, Alfred||Cooke C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd.)||Flower, Ernest|
|Ascroft, Robert||Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T. D.||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Cox. Robert,||Foster. Colonel (Lancaster)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick. W.)||Crilly, Daniel||Garfit, William|
|Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth||Cross. Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Gedge, Sydney|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Godson, Augustus Frederick|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Curran, Thomas (Sligo. S.)||Gold, Charles|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Barry, A. H. Smith- (Hunts.)||Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)|
|Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor}||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Bass, Hamar||Daly, James||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants.)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Gretton, John|
|Bhownaggree, M. M.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||Gunter, Colonel|
|Bigwood, James||Doogan, P. C.||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Drage, Geoffrey||Helder, Augustus|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Drucker, A.||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Carew, James Laurence||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Win. Hart||Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan||Hill, Sir Edw. Stock (Bristol)|
|Chaloner, Captain Rt. G. W.||Evershed, Sydney||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Fardell, Thomas George||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Farrell, James P. (Cavan. W.)||Howell, William Tudor|
|Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle|
|Coddington. Sir William||Fergusson. Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r)||Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Field, William (Dublin)||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Fielden, Thomas||Isaacson, Frederick Wootton|
|Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Meysey-Thompson. Sir H. M.||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Milbank, Powlett Charles John||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Milner, Sir Frederick George||Sinclair. Louis (Romford)|
|Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Monk, Charles James||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)||Spencer, Ernest|
|Kenyon, James||Moon, Edwrd Robert Pacy||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Kenyon-Slaney. Col. William||More, Robert Jasper||Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)|
|Kilbride. Denis||Muntz, Philip A.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Laurie, Lieut.-(General||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Myers, William Henry||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lane.)||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford||Usborne, Thomas|
|Leighton, Syanley||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Llewellyn. Evan H. (Somerset)||O'Connor. James (Wicklow, W.)||Walrond, Sir William Hood|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||O'Kelly, James||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||O'Malley, William||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool)||Phillpotts. Captain Arthur||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Pierpoint, Robert.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Lorne, Marrquess of||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Willox, John Archibald|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Pewell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson-Todd. Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Macaleese, Daniel||Pretyman, Capt. Ernest Geroge||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Maclure, John William||Pryce-Jones, Edwrd||Wyvill, Marmaduke D Arey|
|McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Purvis, Robert||Young, Samuel|
|McDermott, Patrick||Rankin, James||Younger, William|
|M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Maple, Sir John Blundell||Robinson. Brooke,.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES. Mr. Harrington and Mr. Duncombe.|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Samuel. Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Sheehy, David|
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.— Bill read a Second time, and committed for To-morrow.