HC Deb 28 July 1903 vol 126 cc552-87

I now rise to move, "That, for the remainder of the session, Government business be not interrupted, except at half-past seven of the clock at an afternoon sitting, under the provisions of any Standing Order regulating the sittings of the House, and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed, and that at the conclusion of Government business each day Mr. Speaker do adjourn the House without Question put." This Motion, which is usual towards the end of the session, has been deterred this year, I think, rather later than has been customary within my Parliamentary recollection. It is not a very pleasant thing to suspend the Twelve o'clock Rule, and the House always does it with reluctance. But I may remind hon. Members that, in the first place, it is the happy presage of the end of the session, and, in the second place, that I do not think there has been a year in which the rule has been less interfered with For the first time we have worked through a complete session under the new rules, and I think it will be admitted, whatever other ' results may have ensued, that in the first place it has enabled private Members to know precisely when their own Motions would come on, and in the second place it has enabled us to get through the business with which we have had to deal with fewer exceptional Motions of this nature than has ever been known before. I am not aware that up to the present I have had to stand at this table and ask the House to pass any Motion except the Motion for the holidays. This is the first exception to the rule, and it is a necessary and inevitable exception, as everybody will be prepared to admit. I do not think the amount of business I shall ask the House to get through before rising for the holidays is at all beyond what we should be able to do without any undue effort, and it certainly does not equal the calls that have been made upon it, and made successfully, in previous years. The Bills which we must pass before we separate naturally fall into two classes and under two heads or divisions—the class of administrative Bills, and the class of Bills involving policy. And the division is not always perfectly clear cut, because there are some measures which naturally he on the border land. Still, I think it will be generally convenient if this afternoon I adopt this division.

Now as to the Bills involving policy. The main Bill, the largest and most controversial Bill with which we have got to deal is, of course, the Sugar Convention Bill. I have no reason to believe that that will take any very great amount of Parliamentary time. And I do not think it ought to, partly because it is a Bill merely to carry out treaty obligations, and also because it is a Bill the principle of which the House has already affirmed, and because, too, it is the principle rather than the details which excites the criticism of those who are opposed to the policy. Therefore it is on the Second Reading rather than on the Committee stage of the Bill that the House will desire to have a full and extended debate. The next Bill is that dealing with the employment of children. That is in no sense a Party measure. It is not a measure which has excited any opposition on either side of the House, and there is only a small portion of it that remains to be dealt with. It will not, therefore, throw any burden on our Parliamentary time. The same may be said of the South African Loan Bill, the principle of which was discussed yesterday. It was passed without a division, and I do not imagine that on the later stages of the Bill any questions of a controversial character are likely to arise. The Port of London Bill also deals with policy. I was urged earlier in the session by a right hon. Gentleman sitting on the bench opposite to do all I could to facilitate and secure the passage of that measure, and I have every reason to hope it will pass into law. I believe that a great many, if not all, of the interests that were at one time opposed to one or other aspect of the measure have been conciliated by the changes introduced into it, and I cannot believe it will lead to any very lengthened debate. Perhaps I ought to class as a Bill involving policy, though it is small and quite uncontroversial, the Railways (Electrical Power) Bill. I believe that is practically an agreed Bill, and I only mention it in order that my statement may be as far as possible complete.

Next I come to the administrative measures. The House will recognise that the Naval Works Bill and the Military Works Bill are measures which we must obtain. There is a Bill transferring to the Board of Agriculture the duties connected with fisheries, now carried out by the Board of Trade, which was initiated by the late Mr. Han bury and my right hon. friend the President of the Board of Trade. I believe it meets with general acceptance, and if that is so I imagine it will pass without any great expenditure of public time. The Irish Development Grant Bill must also pass. It is a consequential measure closely related to the great Bill, soon to become an Act, for facilitating land purchase in Ireland. The greater Act cannot work satisfactorily unless we pas this supplementary measure. There are two small Ecclesiastical Bills, which raise no question of policy or of theology—the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Bill and the Bishoprics of Southwark and Birmingham Bill [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh"] They are purely administrative in character.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

Not the second one.


I will not argue the question now, but it seems to me that if hon. Gentlemen will look at the contents of the Bills they will see that my description of them is right. We must also pass other administrative Bills dealing with the building of public offices. One of them is to enable the great public offices now in course of construction to be continued. The other is to carry out the work necessitated by the passage of the Patent Law Amendment Act last year. Further accommodation is required in connection with the Patent Office. I ought, perhaps, to say that this Bill will have to be referred to a hybrid Committee, inasmuch as it is in the nature of a Private Bill although it is brought in by the Government. There is an unopposed Poor Law (Dissolution of School Districts and Adjustments) Bill, which I think will pass by universal agreement, and there are three measures incident to the end of the session—the Public Works Loan Bill, the Isle of Man Customs Bill, and the Expiring Laws Bill, which I suppose may also pass with universal consent..That concludes the list of measures which must be passed, and though the number sounds considerable the actual time they need take is very inconsiderable. I pass now to the second class of Bills, which I have great hopes the House will pass, but which I recognise cannot be passed if they are to raise any prolonged or continuous discussion. I do not pretend that they are unopposed, but there is a very large measure of agreement about them on both sides of the House, and they ought to pass in the public interest. The first is the Prevention of Corruption Bill; there are quarters from which that Bill has received a considerable amount of criticism, and if that criticism is persisted in I suppose it will be difficult to pass it into law. But there is a great demand for it on the part of the mercantile community, and I should be sorry if it were lost through want of time. Nearly the same expressions may be used with regard to the Adulterated Butter Bill, which excites great interest in the agricultural community. It had at one time a large number of rather formidable opponents, but it has been subjected to a long and searching examination in Grand Committee; I believe the opposing interests have been greatly modified, and that there is a not inconsiderable chance of its meeting with general acceptance from Gentlemen in all quarters of the House. A less important agricultural Bill, rejoicing in the euphonious name of the Sheep Scab Bill, is a small Bill, and, I hope, non-contentious.


I hope non-contagious, too.


I cannot imagine the subject giving rise to much Parliamentary eloquence, and I hope the Bib will be added to the St tutebook. There is a Bill introduced by the President of the Local Government Board, in obedience to an appeal made to on the King's Speech, for dealing with certain aspects of the great problem of the housing of the working classes, which I do not think raises any seriously contentious matter. If my right hon. friend is able to convince hon. Members interested in it that it is of the uncontroversial kind which he believes it to be, it might usefully be passed in the course of the present session. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, on one of the earlier stages of the Finance Bill, promised that in the interests of the farmer he would bring in a Bill to abolish the duty on raw molasses, which but for the duty would be used by farmers as a most effective feeding stuff, as it is used in every other country. I think it is really freeing the raw materials of manufacture from taxation, and I hope the House will allow the Bill to pass. I ought to say that the Bill contains a good many other provisions [Mr. GIBSSON BOWLES Hear, hear]; but they are all, I believe, of an uncontroversial character. There is a Bill for legalising certain marriages which have been irregularly performed, which involves no question of general policy whatever, but which would remove a great and pressing hardship from a large number of families in whose interest, I think, the House should pass the Bill. There is a Bill fur remodelling the Patriotic Fund, which I hope will prove of an uncontroversial character. I have had, earlier in ale year, many communications from Gentlemen on both sides of the House on the subject of carrying out the wishes often expressed by the House in regard to that fund. The Bill is one in Which the hon. Member for Devonport has taken great interest, and it may be expected to pass. The Congested Districts (Scotland) Bill is greatly desired by Members representing parts of Scotland in which congestion prevails, and I hope that it will not be opposed, although I understand some opposition is at present threatened. There remains in this class the Motor-car Bill, which we may expect from the House of Lords, where it has been subjected to considerable discussion, very shortly. Undoubtedly that Bill deals with a subject which has raised a great deal of feeling, amounting almost to passion, on both sides, and a Bill of that kind cannot pass unless those deeply interested in the subject will consent to restrain the perfectly legitimate exercise of their debating powers in defence of their own particular views. I quite agree that it is a Bill which would naturally excite a considerable amount of debate; but I fear that if the time for that debate is given to it, it would either prevent other measures, which must be passed, becoming law, or it would unduly pro-long tire length of the session. I would appeal, very respectfully, to those interested in this subject, whatever their views may be, to remember that by universal consent the present state of the law is eminently unsatisfactory, alike to those who do not use and to those who do use motor-cars. I should regret it if the subject, which though in one sense no doubt is of secondary im- portance yet raises important questions, should remain unsolved and undealt with until the House re-assembles, and, therefore, I make this appeal to the House. I feel that if the appeal is not listened to sympathetically there is no chance whatever of the Bill passing into law. There is in the House of Lords a Light Railway Bill, of a purely uncontroversial character, which it would be extremely desiral do to pass, but which cannot be passed if it is opposed. There is also a Bill which the Lord Chancellor proposes to introduce in the House of Lords, dealing with a difficulty which a recent decision of the Court of Appeal has made in connection with crossed cheques. The Bill only affects bankers, but I am told it is very desirable in their interest that the law should he made what it has always been supposed to he. Though I should never think of pressing that Bill, if it is received as an agreed measure I should not feel precluded from proceeding with it. That completes the list of Government Bills, which we either must pass or hope to pass. We do not expect to pass the Police (Superannuation) Bill, nor the Marine Insurance Bill, much as that is desired ill very influential quarters. Neither do we expect to pass the London School Board (Hilldrop Site) Bill, the Electric Light (London) Bill, the Statute Law Revision (Scotland) Bill, the Bankers (Ireland) Act Repeal Bill nor the Justices of the Peace Bill. As to private Bills, at this period of the session, only whet a Bill is practically agreed is it possible to put it under the œgis of the Government. There are two such Bills, in which the Scottish Office has been peculiarly interested, the Burgh Police (Scotland) Bill, and the County Council (Scotland) Bill, both of them lengthy measures which absolutely cannot pass except by agreement. I believe they are desired by Scottish Members on both sides, and if that desire carries with it the necessary silence these Bills might also be passed. I do not absolutely exclude the possibility of starring other private Bills if I am convinced of their uncontroversial character, but those are the only two at present, I believe, that come under that description. I forgot to mention that in the first class of Bills there were three uncontroversial measures. The first is the Naval Works (Portsmouth Barracks Site) Bill.


That is ecclesiastical.


It is only ecclesiastical in the sense that a church is to be sold. The other is a Bill to set free certain funds which already are awaiting investment provided from the sale of land at Battersea Park. The third is the Borough Funds Bill, already agreed to by the House of Lords with one Amendment. I have now completed my task, and I believe on examination it will be found that the programme is in no sense too heavy or considerable for the time that now remains at our disposal. I hope the House will be able to get through it without trenching upon its legitimate holidays, and without deferring the time when we usually separate. I beg to move.

Motion made, and question proposed, "That, for the remainder of the session, Government Business be not interrupted, except at half-past Seven of the clock at an Afternoon Sitting, under the provisions of any Standing Order regulating the Sittings of the House, and may be entered upon at any hour, though opposed, and that at the conclusion of Government Business each day Mr. Speaker do adjourn the House without Question put." —(Hr. A. J. Balfour.)


The right hon. Gentleman seems to have made the sort of statement that would have been made by Mark Tapley if he had attained to the position of being Leader of the House. The right hon. Gentleman has named some thirty-five Bills, and the number which he has condemned to death is very few indeed. There are twenty Bills which the right hon. Gentleman says must be passed, and a great many others that will be passed if the House is kind towards them. The right hon. Gentleman has shown himself altogether too hopeful. He has named a number of measures which will un-doubtedly occupy a great deal of time. Fully recognising, as I do, the necessity of dealing with the question of motorcars, I do not think we can anticipate that in any case a Bill for that purpose can go through the House without a considerable expenditure of time. Then there is the Port of London Bill, which will require also a good deal of time. Moreover the right hon. Gentleman has not referred to the further stages of the Irish Land Bill, when it comes from the House of Lords, the Scotch Licensing Bill, and the London Education Bill, which may be amended in another place. The right hon. gentleman has taken credit for the position in which he finds himself, and especially for having avoided more than usual the suspension of the Twelve o'clock Rule, and he claimed credit for the action of the new rules. But these new rules are still left in a truncated and indeterminate form, and I would like to know for how many sessions they are to remain dangling on the Notice Paper, relics of a past controversy—chronic, but still existing. Then there is the Morgan combination and the Cunard subsidy, for which time was promised; and there are also the Indian Budget and the statement the right hon. Gentleman promised to make on the subject of legislation for the purpose of compensating publicans. If there is to be a statement there must be a peg on which to hang it.


I said I would be glad to answer a Question on the subject before the end of the session.


That eases my anticipation so far as that goes; but some indignant partisan may proceed to move the adjournment for the purpose of discussing the right hon. Gentleman's answer. In my opinion, the right hon. Gentleman's programme of Bills is altogether out of the question. It is also suggested to me that Questions may be asked of the right hon. Gentleman on the subject of the fiscal policy. The prospect, therefore, is not so rosy as it has been presented by the right hon. Gentleman. We have not been told when the House is likely to rise. There are certain days of Supply still before the right hon. Gentleman, and he has also the Appropriation Bill to provide for, and all the measures which he says must pass, as well as the measures he says he hopes to pass. I do not think that this is a serious massacre. I think the right hon. Gentleman will have to harden his heart and abandon a great many more measures before the real business of the House for the rest of the session can be said to have been settled. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has much to complain of in the attitude and conduct of the House this session. There has been no waste of time, and no undue prolongation of debate, or any of the other evils of which a Leader of the House often complains. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman ought not to attempt to crowd into the last fortnight of the session such a great catalogue of measures as he has indicated.

* MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)

said he did not intend to make any appeal to his right hon. friend, but he wished to make one or two representations in regard to portions of his statement. His right hon. friend informed the House that the very serious matter of the Licensing Bill, introduced by his hon. friend, would be the subject of a statement by itself. His right hon. friend had not, however, told the House whether he would give any facilities for that Bill. He must be well aware that it excited very great interest; and although it was the fashion nowadays to relegate everything to an inquiry, he thought this was a matter which demanded consideration. With regard to the Sugar Bill, his right hon. friend claimed for it special indulgence, because he said that the principle was affirmed by a Resolution previously passed; but he would remind his right hon. friend that the Resolution was affirmed by the House on a false translation of the Convention. The falsity of the translation was subsequently admitted, and a new copy was circulated which t he House had not seen when it agreed to the Resolution. Moreover the short and altogether inadequate debate on that false translation was made shorter by the Closure. With regard to the Irish Development Grant Bill, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that it would pass as a matter of course. He could assure his right hon. friend that the Bill raised such a serious constitutional principle, and there were such serious constitutional objections to it, that he might anticipate considerable discussion upon it. With regard to the Revenue Bill to be introduced, so far as he could see there was not anything objectionable in it; but it was all matter which ought to have been introduced in the Finance Bill. The alterations, proper as they night be, should not be introduced in a separate Bill, but in the Finance Bill, in accordance with precedent. With regard to the Motor-Car Bill, he would say that if the law were unsatisfactory, the conduct of a great many motorists was also extremely unsatisfactory. There again the limits of speed, or whether they should he any limit, would take a considerable time to discuss. The right hon. Gentleman opposite mentioned the Morgan Agreement; but there was a much more important agreement than that, and that was the Cunard Agreement, which involved something like £5,500,000 sterling. They had had promise after promise that that matter would be discussed before it was finally carried into effect. The right hon. Gentleman had the optimism to claim credit for his new rules on the ground that private Members now knew when their Motions would come on. Alas! they did. Before Easter the coat of the private Member was removed; after Easter his waistcoat was taken away; and after Whitsun the rest of his garments were removed Private Members knew that their Motions never came on; and they had no such sense of consolation as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to suppose. It appeared to him that on this occasion the right hon. Gentleman had far less justification for taking the whole of the time of the House and suspending the Twelve o'clock Rule than any Minister ever had in any previous session. The right hon. Gentleman had taken all the time of the House to the exclusion of the one particular subject the House desired to discuss. The Prime Minister now at the end of the session came down with a list of thirty-eight or thirty-nine Bills which he expected the House to pass, and left the House, apparently to his own satisfaction in the humiliating position of being the only place on God's earth where the subject uppermost in all men's minds could not and would not be discussed. He would rather find time for discussion on that matter than the Sheep Scab Bill, the Congested Districts (Scotland) Bill, and some others. The House had lost much interest for people outside, and some of it, he thought, for the right hon. Gentleman himself, for he did not attend it so often as they should desire to see him. [MINISTERIAL criesof "Oh"] Those hon. Members who murmured could not themselves have been often there. He hoped this would be remedied, and that if these thirty-eight or thirty-nine Bills were to be passed they would be assisted in their debate by the right hon. Gentleman himself. The right hon. Gentleman, he supposed, must have the time he asked for, as this was usual at that period of the session, and he would not therefore vote against the proposal.

Sin F. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

said he had no doubt that the Prime Minister would remember that the Port of London Bill was put down to pass its Second Reading on the understanding that time would be given for its being thoroughly threshed out in Committee. What had taken place? There was a feeling of very great indignation that the Bill had been rushed through in Committee, that witnesses who had tendered themselves for examination had neither been called nor heard, and that the matter had not been properly discussed. The City of London, the Thames Conservancy, the shippers, the wharfingers, the water-men, the dockers, and all those who had Interests in the Bill were indignant at the way in which it had been treated, and appealed that it should be deferred till next session, when it could be properly discussed. There was no doubt it was a Bill of the very greatest importance to the City of London, and it was a Bill upon which the whole future of the Port of London depended; and if, by any error made now, the Port was made a dear port, a great deal of the wealth of this City would disappear. It was not a Bill that should be forced through after a few hours discussion. The feeling was most strong that this Bill, which was a most necessary one, did not meet the views of any of the parties concerned, and therefore he hoped time would be given for its discussion next session.

* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

expressing general concurrence in the strictures of the hon. Member for King's Lynn, expressed surprise that they were not to be followed up by his vote against the Motion. As the hon. Gentleman pointed out, the list of measures put down as being necessary, and which must pass, included a large number of Bills not usually included at this period of the session, and included a far greater number of Bills than was ever submitted at this time of the year. He agreed also with his hon friend, and a large section of the House would also agree, that the House ought hardly to be called upon to give facilities for the passing of such a long list of measures, looking at the way in which the Government were bulking discussion on the fiscal issue, an issue on which the Government themselves had asked the judgment of the House and for which they had refused to give facilities. The Prime Minister had no even told them when the House would rise, if the facilities he asked were given, as was usual when such Motions were made.


denied that any Prime Minister had ever done that.


thought it would be found that it had not only been done always, but that it had often been done twice in the session; but certainly on this Motion it had always been the practice for the Leader of the House to make a statement of when he would be able to wind up the business of the House. The nature of the legislation the House would be asked to pass during the remainder of the session was also deserving of stricture. Some of them were the less inclined to grant facilities because they felt a good deal of bitterness about recent legislation which had proceeded on reactionary lines. Three highly controversial measures for which the whole time of the House ought not to be asked were two Bishopric Bills and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Bill.


I only mentioned two of them.


said then they now understood that one of the Bishopric Bills was to be dropped. Then it was proposed to go forward with a Bill dealing with the great question of housing, and putting off those who desired that this question might be disposed of by doing some things which were desirable to be done, but also, as everyone knew perfectly well, putting off a larger solution for over three or four years.

MR. CHARLES MCARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

made an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister to give facilities for the passing of the Marine Insurance Bill, a non-contentious measure to simplify am I codify the law of marine insurance. It had been before Parliament now for nine years, and had secured the approval of every Committee it had been sent before. The whole shipping and mercantile community desired this Bill, and he hoped the right hen. Gentleman would give such facilities, as would ensure its passing in to law this session. Why was it not to be passed into law? The measure had unfortunately found an opponent in the hon. Member for Mid Lanark, who had put down a number of Amendments which under ordinary circumstances might he taken as intended to wreck the Bill. The hon. Member, however, said that he desired to he satisfied that the Bill, if passed, would work. If that were so, why not send the Bill to the Grand Committee on Trade, where it could be examined, and every opportunity afforded for the consideration of Amendments? It was not right that a Bill of this kind, desired by the whole commercial community, and approved of by the highest law officers in the country, should he prevented from passing by the opposition of one Member. He hoped the Government would reconsider this matter, and if possible transfer the Bill from the list in which it had been placed to a position in which it would have some chance of passing into law.

Mr. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

said the Bill to which the hon. Member referred was a codification of the Marine Insurance law, which for 800 years had been common law, based on principles which had given universal satisfaction. It was now to be changed into statute law, the delicacy of which procedure every Member of the House knew. The whole thing was to be put into the melting pot, and the statute law would have to be interpreted by itself. The difficulty of the matter might be judged from the fact that Bills were introduced in the House of Lords and amended in 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1899, but Lord Herschell, the parent of the measure, would not take the responsibility of passing it even through that assembly. The Bill was again introduced, and amended in 1901, 1902 and this year, and now the House of Commons was asked, practically without discussion, to place upon the Statute-book a measure which would materially alter the whole construction of the law relating to marine insurance. He hail said sufficient to show that the Bill was not so simple a measure as bad been represented, and that it ought, at any rate, to be examined by a Select Committee of experts before being passed into law.


desired to point out to the Prime Minister that many hon. Members behind him would feel a certain difficulty in supporting him upon the present occasion. His right hon. friend had reflected with natural complacency on the working of the new rules. It many respects those rules had worked admirably, but the Leader of the House had not commented on the fact that they gave to the Government of the day an almost boundless control over the time of the House —a control which had certainly been used in a manner altogether unparalleled in the history of Parliament. The matter was relevant to the present discussion, because a Motion such as that before the House was defensible only on the hypothesis that deliberation in the House of Commons was a desirable thing. If all that was wanted was to get through a certain amount of business, all the Bills enumerated by his right hon. friend could easily he carried if the House abstained from any discussion whatever. The justification of the Motion, therefore, was that deliberation by the House of Commons was useful in the public interest. How could his right hon. friend, with any consistency, maintain such a thesis as that? If deliberation was useful, it was surely as useful in more important as in less important matters. If measures of a departmental and administrative character were to be deliberated upon, why not a fiscal policy which was to revolutionise the whole fiscal system of the country?

He was aware that his right hon. friend had said elsewhere that even he could not discuss this question within the walls of the House of Commons, and that the House of Commons ought to discuss only definite proposals upon which they were to come to definite decisions. But if such declarations were to apply to questions of first-class importance, it was clear that the House of Commons would never be allowed to discuss matters until discussion had become superfluous, because in a democratic country questions of first-class importance were decided by the country at large. This very question was admittedly to be decided by the country at large; and it had been expressly stated that no proposal would he made until after a General Election, and then, forsooth, the House of Commons were to be allowed to discuss it! After everything had been settled, they were to have their little chatter and pass by. After the verdict had been delivered, there would be time to listen to the arguments! The Government in moving this Motion were hardly in a consistent position, but he was not at all surprised that they should prefer inconsistency to the inconveniences which would attach to the more logical course. He was not at all surprised that they should shrink from the preliminary discussion which he felt very confident indeed would result in showing the fallacy of the proposals that had been indicated. Never was a discussion wanted more than now, when on every hand there were signs of some modifications in the proposals; when some supporters of what was called by the Birmingham leaflets "the Chamberlain policy" were evidently in full retreat and were assuring the country that there was to be no taxation of food, or, at any rate, little taxation of food—so little as to be insignificant—seeking in that policy protection from obloquy, which was the chief privilege of insignificance. Never more than now was an opportunity needed for clearing up these ambiguities. He confessed that when he saw a great number of persons putting forward various modifications of what was believed to be the Colonial Secretary's policy, when he heard many recommending that much more was to be taxed, and others recommending that much less was to be taxed, he remembered the lines— But those behind cried 'Forward,' And those before cried Back;' And backward now and forward Wavers the deep array; And on the tossing sea of steel To and fro the standards reel, And the victorious trumpet's peal. Dies fitfully away. But it was of course impossible to persuade the Government, or the Leader of the House, that a discussion on this great question was a proper matter for the House of Commons. They had to go and listen in another place when they wanted to hear the subject discussed, and when they got there they were very well satisfied. The condemnation that ranged from the House of Lords to the miners of Durham was satisfactory enough for them. Therefore their feelings were a great deal less heated than they were a few days ago, when the issue seemed more doubtful than at present. Nevertheless he thought it right to say that it was not they who shrank from this discussion; they were anxious to have it, but if they were refused it in the future as they had been in the past, there could be but one inference to be drawn from it, and that was, that the authors of the policy knew that it would not stand the criticism that they were willing, and anxious to offer.

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

protested against the manner in which Scotch business had been neglected during the session. Scotch affairs had received practically no attention whatever, and the one Scotch Bill in regard to the passage of which the Prime Minister held out hope was given a very low place in the list. There might be some hon. Members who wished to discuss this measure, but it was not fair to those representing the congested districts in Scotland that this Bill should be brought in at this period of the session, when hon. Members were told that if they ventured to discuss matters which were of the most vital importance there would be no chance whatever of carrying the measure into law this session. This measure ought to have been introduced months ago, and it should have been discussed upon its merits. It was a Bill which they urgently desired for the relief of the congested districts, and it was a cruel wrong that the poor people should not receive the assistance they were entitled to have from the Congested Districts Board. The will was there and the money was there, and there was nothing but the incapacity of the Government that was preventing this measure becoming law. With regard to the Motor-Car Bill, those who took an interest in that measure knew that it was one of the most essential measures for the safety of the public. They all knew how unjustifiably the public roads were being monopolised at the present moment, how the local authorities were laughed at and how the police were accused of being spies and informers for simply carrying out their duty. They knew very well the state of affairs in Scotland as well as in England with regard to the gross abuse of their public roads, and matters had been allowed to slide while the time of the House had been occupied with purely academic discussions.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

said he rose to give hon. Members who desired it an opportunity of discussing the fiscal policy of the country. He wished to propose as an Amendment, after the word "session," in line 2, to add the words "except on such days as may be set apart for the discussion of fiscal policy." It appeared to him that there was at all events almost a unanimous desire that there should be a discussion of their fiscal policy. Both sides of the House were desirous of inquiry and discussion, and if the Government saw their way to afford an opportunity for the discussion of any Resolution they desired to submit with regard to this matter, they ought to be allowed to do it. On that account it was desirable that they should, on the present occasion, not bar themselves from any concession that might be made by the Government with regard to this matter. Why the Government should object to this Amendment he did not know, because he thought the right hon. Gentleman would recognise that they ought to have such a discussion without making it a Party question, and this Amendment would allow the Government an opportunity of putting forward such a Resolution as they might think proper, or an opportunity of accepting any Resolution put on the Paper provided they were of opinion that it was a Resolution which the House ought to discuss He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept this Amendment, because he was sure there was a general desire to have a discussion on this very important matter before the session closed. Such a discussion had taken place in another place, and he thought it would be recognised that this question ought to be discussed not as a Party question or as a Vote of Censure on the Government. He begged to move his Amendment.

MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

seconded the Amendment, and said he hoped they would agree to allow an opportunity for discussing this most important subject, which was likely to be the demarcation of Parties in future times.

Amendment proposed— In line 2, after the word session' to insert the words except on such days as may be set apart for the discussion of fiscal policy.'"— (Dalziel.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I do not quite follow the reasoning of my hon. friend. He desires that there should be a discussion of the fiscal question before the end of the session, and he proposes to obtain it by saying that it is to be limited to those days. There is nothing in the hon. Member's Amendment binding the Government, or even suggesting to the Government that they should give those days for discussing the fiscal policy, and if the hon. Member's Amendment were carried he would be no nearer obtaining the discussion he desires. All he would secure is that on any day on which such discussion did take place, we should all separate at twelve o'clock. I do not see how that would further his general wish for a discussion. I do not know whet her I. should be in order in discussing the advantages or the disadvantages of having a debate on this question. My noble friend who spoke earlier gave expression to his views on this topic, but he appears to have been labouring under a very great misapprehension as to what has been the practice of Parliamentary procedure in matters of this kind. My noble friend says very truly that Parliament exists largely for the purpose of discussion, by which he means, and I mean, that the debates which take place in the House of Commons are essentially a part of our functions, and very greatly conduce to the sober and wise settlement of the various questions brought before it. So far my noble friend and I entirely agree; but we separate when we go a little further into detail, because my noble friend thinks that provided a subject is one which occupies public attention, it immediately becomes fit and ripe for Parliamentary discussion, and Parliamentary discussion is immediately required in order that people's minds may he made up and the country may come to an immediate decision. That would be quite right if the country was asked to come to any such decision, and if it was obvious on what precise point.


Will the House have a chance of discussing this matter before Parliament is dissolved?


If you ask me my opinion I think it will have an opportunity, but in that respect I may be wrong. I will come to that portion of the noble Lord's argument. It is not for me to pledge either myself or my colleagues on such a matter, but probably the House will have that opportunity. However this may be I challenge the new version, or the more detailed version, of doctrine laid before the House by my noble friend. I do not admit that every Parliament has to discuss the programme which is to be laid before its successors, nor has that ever been accepted as a constitutional practice. What would have been thought of the lunatic who suggested that it was improper to dissolve the Parliament that assembled in 1892 without its having a full opportunity of discussing the Newcastle Programme? It is absurd. My noble friend has the credit of inventing an entirely new constitutional doctrine, and one to which I can give no countenance. Of course, during the period private Members have allotted to discussion it is quite open to any private Member to put down a Resolution dealing with this subject, but to come to the Government and say—" It is true that you have no policy and that you have got no propositions to which you are committed and on which you are going to make proposals either this session or next session or any other session; nevertheless, although you have not put forward these definite proposals to embody your fiscal policy still the question has been raised, it has caused great excitement and interest in the country, and you are bound to have miscellaneous discussions." That seems to me to be a preposterous demand in the first instance, and it becomes doubly preposterous when the Government have declared, with, I believe, the assent of the majority on this side of the House, and of the country, that this is a subject deserving of inquiry, and an inquiry is going on. I know my hon. friends behind me who cheer are conscious that they are in possession of such clear cut and distinct views and such a wide range of knowledge on this subject that they have not got to consider nor to wait for information. And they are conscious, I am sure without the slightest touch of personal pride, that they have a great many important things to say to the House and to the country, which it would he infinitely for the benefit of the souls of Gentlemen in this House and of the public at large that they should immediately have an opportunity of saying. They are not content to say these things upon the platform, or to take any other method which is open to every citizen of a free country. I do not quarrel with them; I can only say I do not agree with them. I am prepared, at all events, to admit that by one of those happy intuitions my hon. friends have reached at once the heart of the truth, and they demand no inquiry, no investigation, and no time to make up their minds. But I belong to a duller and slower generation. I think it would be for the advantage of the House to have the views of the Government before they criticise them. I know my noble friend is anxious to criticise them before he has them.


Order, order! It is only competent for the right hon. Gentleman to discuss, on the Amendment, the question of an opportunity being given for discussion, and the time when it should be given. Neither the merits of having an inquiry nor of a fiscal policy can be discussed IIONV any more than the merits of any Bill.


I need not say, Sir, I fully accept your ruling. I thought I was confining myself to the propriety of a discussion in this House and the reasons why I think it is inconvenient to have a discussion while the inquiry is going on. I apologise to you, Sir, and to the House for having travelled beyond the due bounds of order. Whether the inquiry is right or wrong, the inquiry is going on; and I do not think that this is a question upon which discussion ought to take place in this House, for this among other reasons—that it would he impossible for members of the Government to speak for the Government, or at all events it would be impossible for them to formulate views representing the opinions of the Government, while the inquiry is going on. That surely stands to reason. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen laugh as if I had revealed a new truth. I therefore do not in any way retreat from the position I have systematically taken up, which is, that it is not a convenient moment to have a discussion, and I do not think the time of the House could he usefully employed in it. There are some Gentlemen who have a desire to put the Government in a difficulty by having a debate prematurely sprung upon the House and the country, and there are other Gentlemen, more amiably constituted, who are merely desirous of expressing views which they are convinced are of inestimable value to the House and the country. I do not dissent from the last proposition, but I have no sympathy with those who think that this is a desirable moment to have a debate in order to see what the Government say, although the Government have admitted that they are inquiring. It is a mere Party move, of which I do not complain, but which I am not such a fool as to give in to. When the tactics are so obvious as they are in this case he must be a very poor strategist who allows himself to be taken in by them. I think in the circumstances the hon. Gentleman will feel that although his Amendment, so far as it goes, is innocuous, and positively inoperative, it is one which, if carried, would not help his object or improve the Motion before the House. I hope either that the hon. Member will withdraw the Amendment or that the House will reject it. I do not believe that anything would be gained by adopting it, and I am perfectly certain that there will be a far better chance of this matter being dealt with in the sober and serious spirit in which it ought to he dealt with if we avoid throwing it down prematurely on the floor of the House, to be worried by the hon. Gentlemen whose characteristics I have endeavoured to describe.


It seems to me that the ingenious argument of the right hon. Gentleman may be disposed of by one fact. He poses as the bewildered head of an innocent Government, who see the public mind disturbed but do not desire to have the time of Parliament occupied by a number of people who have made up their minds in a certain way on the question of the fiscal policy of the country, and who wish to have an opportunity of taking the opinion of the House of Commons upon it, or, at all events, of bringing their opinions before the House of Commons. Who is it that has brought this question before the country? The right hon. Gentleman says the Government have no opinion. We know they have none. We know that he has no opinion at all, and that his colleagues have no joint or consolidated opinion. But the matter has been spontaneously, and even wantonly, brought before the country by a colleague of the right hon. Gentleman. The author of that movement, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite also, must have been aware that the moment it was brought forward, in the authoritative manner n which it was announced, it must supersede all other questions and demand almost the whole attention of Parliament and of the country. The right hon. Gentleman has himself in this House listened to a speech by the Colonial Secretary in which he propounded a doctrine of the most explicit character, and of a character that cannot be withdrawn or modified without very serious results. We have heard it said that the Empire would go to pieces unless we had preferential duties, which would involve the taxation of food. Are we to be told that it is not the fault of the Government that they are being interrupted in their peaceful conduct of the affairs of the session by noisy people interested in this fiscal question The right hon. Gentleman told us that the Government were inquiring into this question, and while they were inquiring nobody was to be allowed to discuss it. That excuse will not hold water, because, as I have said, it it is his own colleague who has unauthoritatively made a statement as to his conduct at the next election and has absolutely invited the discussion of this House upon it. We are told that it is to be the issue at the next election, and we want to know, first of all, what the issue is. We have not yet obtained that information, and we wish to obtain it by discussing the authoritative statement which the Colonial Secretary has made. The right hon. Gentleman says this is a mere Party move, and he is not such a fool as to give way to I think I can retort upon him in that respect. He says, "If you wish for a discussion, bring forward a Motion of want of confidence. Then I will give you a day." Well, that proposal is a Party move, and nobody here is such a fool as to agree to it. He has been aware all along, and anyone who is acquainted with the ordinary procedure of Parliament is aware, that any division in this House on this subject would be a misleading division if the Government exercised their power over their supporters. It is undesirable to start this controversy with a false move here; it would mislead the people of the country, and the people throughout t he world, as to the real feeling of the House of Commons, and therefore we have resisted the tempting proposal that the right hon. Gentleman has made. But a discussion of another kind, such as the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies invited and urged the House to have on this subject, would have done nothing but clear the air, satisfy the public mind, and lead to the formation of a better estimate of what the people of this country really think on the subject.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

said his noble friend the Member for Greenwich had made an appeal to the Prime Minister on behalf of certain young members of the Unionist Party, but he would like to make a very short and temperate appeal to the right hon. Gentleman on behalf of the older members of that Party. They were holding no strange and revolutionary doctrines They were simply adhering to the fiscal principles which had been the principles first of the Conservative Party and afterwards of the Unionist Party during the whole life time of anyone now present in Parliament. If there was a real discussion and inquiry going on on behalf of the Government as a whole, they might hold their tongues and await the result of that inquiry. If every member of the Government used the same language as that used by the noble Duke, the Leader of their Party in another place, they would be able, with perfect self-possession and self-contentment to await the result of this inquiry, which no doubt certain members of the Government were engaged in prosecuting. But there was one member of the Government who was not inquiring, and who not only was not inquiring but was not observing that reserve which they were asked to observe while the inquiry was going on. It was now more than two months since one of the most prominent and active members of the Government laid down proposals, not of a perfectly clear and distinct character in detail but showing perfectly clearly what his policy was; and these proposals had never to this day been accepted or rejected by the Government to which they looked for guidance and leading. But that was not all. At the present moment an active propaganda was being carried on in every constituency in the country by people who would not hold their tongues while the inquiry was going on, but were now engaged in endeavouring to persuade the members of their Party in every constituency in the country to adopt certain fiscal principles which were contrary to those held by th6r Party for the last fifty or sixty years.—[Cries of "No."] Those who held the old fiscal principles of the Party were denounced as traitors and as rebels against the Party.


Order, order The right hon. Gentleman cannot enter into the question of fiscal policy, which does not arise. This is a very limited Amendment to a limited Motion.


said he knew he was out of order and he apologised; but he had been drawn astray by the interruptions of hon. Gentlemen behind him. He was giving reasons why certain Members of this House, including his noble friend the Member for Greenwich, were eager for discussion; and he wished to say to the Prime Minister that the reason why certain Members of his party, who were not the least devoted and loyal to that Party, had been asking him to give time for discussion was in order to clear up the anomalous situation to which the utterances of the Colonial secretary had given rise. It was not they who were to blame for the necessity for an inquiry. It was not they who were to blame for the demand for discussion. It was the member of the Government who was not inquiring at all; who had expressed in that House his deliberate convictions and had even sneered at the Government for having inquired at all. [Interruption]. It was because of the course which that member of the Government was taking in agitating among the constituencies and denouncing all those members of his own Party—[MINISTERIAL cries of "No, No" and "Withdraw"]—it was on that account that they desired and appealed for an opportunity of having this matter cleared up in the House of Commons before the House adjourned and hon. Members were dismissed to their constituents without knowing what they were going to do or say as to the direction in which the Government were going.

SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cornwall, Camborne)

said he would make one suggestion to the Prime Minister which would remove all difficulties—viz., to have an autumn session, to be devoted entirely to a discussion of the Colonial Secretary.


said he did not at all complain of his right hon. Friend's reply. He was quite sufficiently ac quainted with that right hon. Gentleman's oratory to know that when he had recourse to chaff he had no case. He wished to call attention to what was said by a member of the Government in another place. The Duke of Devonshire on 29th June said— I would just remind the House—


Order, order! The noble Lord is quoting from a discussion which took place in the House of Lords this session, and that is not in order.


I am quoting from a discussion in another place.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

Say it.


said he could not recite it. What was said in the course of discussion in another place was— I would just remind the House that I do not think that any member of the Government has spoken of this quest-ion in the sense of being a mere inquiry. The expression which I certainly used, and which I think other members of the Government have employed, was inquiry and discussion.

(Cries of "Order!")


That is quite irrelevant to the question before the House. That has reference to the inquiry, which is not the point before the House. The hon. Member is now making use of the opportunity of quoting what was said in another place dealing with the question of inquiry, and that is not in order

MR. THEODORE TAYLOR (Lancashire, Radcliffe)

said that the right hon. the Prune Minister had stated in the course of the debate that it had never been the rule to discuss a policy or proposal in one Parliament that was to be introduced in another. He begged to remind the right hon. Gentleman that Mr. Gladstone submitted to this House, in 1868, Resolutions on the Irish Church question. Mr. Gladstone was not then Prime Minister, although he was chief of the majority in the House for the time being, so that the principle, though not exactly in form quite the same, applied to the course proposed to be taken that day. The Prime Minister was sarcastic in referring to his young men who had settled convictions on certain questions, but he did not think that it was any reproach whatever, that on a subject of cardinal importance men who had been studying the fiscal history of their country should have settled convictions. [Interruption.]


The hon. Member will see that he is not in order, and that he is now entering on a new question.


said he begged Mr. Speaker's pardon if he were out of order. He had only been following hon. Members on the other side of the House. He would not wilfully diverge for one moment by a hairsbreadth from questions which had been previously debated. He had only been referring to the fact that the proposed debate seemed to be called for because it seemed to him

to be reasonable, and the subject ripe for discussion. The emergency of the case was because the country at large, and more particularly the Party opposite, hoped that they were going to have the guidance which they had a right to expect. But they had had no. promise that day that they would have any deliverance from the Government before the recess as to the policy which they intended to pursue. The discussion on general lines of policy in the country ought to be inaugurated by a discussion in this House. He supported the Amendment because it, did indicate the direction in which the majority of the House and of the country desired the discussion to take place.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 97; Noes, 194. (Division List No. 193.)

Allen, Chas. O.(Glos., Stroud) Holland, Sir William Henry Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Robson, William Snowdon
Atherley-Jones, L. Horniman, Frederick John Runciman, Walter
Barlow, John Emmott Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Russell, T. W.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Jacoby, James Alfred Shackleton, David James
Beaumont, Wentworth C B. Joicey, Sir James Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Brigg, John Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Shipman, Dr. John G.
Broadhurst, Henry Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kearley, Hudson E. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Labouchere, Henry Spencer,Rt. HnC.R(Northants
Buxton. Sydney Charles Lambert, George Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Caldwell, James Langley, Batty Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Cameron, Robert Lawson,Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Thomas,F.Freeman-(Hastings)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Layland-Barratt, Francis Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Causton, Richard Knight Levy, Maurice Tomkinson, James
Cawley, Frederick Lewis, John Herbert Toulmin, George
Channing, Francis Allston Lloyd-George, David Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lough, Thomas Ure, Alexander
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan M'Arthur, William (Cornwall Wallace, Robert
Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.) Mansfield, Horace Rendall Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark Mitchell,Edw (Farmanagh, N.) Wason,John Cathcart (Orkney
Duncan, J. Hastings Morley,Rt.Hn.John (Montrose Weir, James Galloway
Dunn, Sir William Moulton, John Fletcher White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Elibank, Master of Nannetti, Joseph P. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith Palmer, Sir Charles M(Durham Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Partington, Oswald Wilson, Chas. H. (Hull, W.)
Fuller, J. M. F. Paulton, James Mellor Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Pickard, Benjamin Yoxall, James Henry
Goddard, Daniel Ford Price, Robert John
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Rea, Russell TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Mr. Dalziel and Mr.
Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Warner.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Roberts, John H. (Denbighish.)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bagot, Capt.Josceline FitzRoy Balfour,RtHnGeraldW (Leeds
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bain, Colonel James Robert Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Baird, John George Alexander Banbury, Sit-Frederick George
Arrol, Sir William Balcarres, Lord Bathurst, Hon. Allen. Benj.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Balfour,Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r Bentinck, Lord Henry C
Aubrey-Fletcher,Rt.Hn.SirH. Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Bignold, Arthur
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hain, Edward Pease,HerbertPike(Darlmgt'n
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Percy, Earl
Bowles, Lt.-Col H.F(Middlesex Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld.G.(Midx Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Carew, James Laurence Hare, Thomas Leigh Plummer, Walter R.
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Harris, Frederick Leverton Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Pretyman, Ernest George
Cavendish,V. C. W (Derbyshire Hatch, Ernest Frederick G. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hay, Hon. Claude George Purvis, Robert
Cecil. Evelyn (Aston Manor) Heaton, John Henniker Pym, C. Guy
Chamberlain, Rt Hon. J (Birm Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.d A (Worc Hogg, Lindsay Reid, James (Greenock)
Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Hoult. Joseph Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Chapman, Edward Howard, Jn. (Kent, Faver'h'm Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Howard J. (Midd., Tottenham Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hudson, George Bickerstetn Robertson, H. (Hackney)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Jeffreys,Rt.Hon.Arthur Fred. Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Johnstone, Heywood Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh Round, Rt. Hon. James
Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole Kenyon-Slaney, Col.W. (Salop Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Compton, Lord Alwyne Kimber, Henry Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Knowles, Lees Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Cranborne, Viscount Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Cripps, Charles Alfred Laurie, Lieut.-General Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cost, Henry John C Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawson, JohnGrant(Yorks, N R Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew)
Dickson, Charles Scott Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)
Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Llewellyn, Evan Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stanley, EdwardJas.(Somerset
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Was. Hart Lowe, Francis William Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stock, James Henry
Faber, George Denison (York) Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Stone, Sir Benjamin
Fardell, Sir T. George Lucas, Reginald.J.(Portsmouth Talbot, Lord E.(Chichester)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Macdona, John Cumming Thorburn, Sir Walter
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r MacIver, David (Liverpool) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Killop, James (Stirliqshire Trition Charles Ernest
Finch, Rt. Hon, George H. Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H.E(Wigt'n Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Melville, Beresford Valentine Valentia, Viscount
Fisher, William Hayes Middlemore, Jn.Throgmorton Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Flannery, Sir Forteseue Mitchell, William (Burnley) Walker, Col. William Hall
Flower, Ernest Molesworth, Sir Lewis Walrond, Rt Hn. SirWilliam H.
Forster, Henry William Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Fyler, John Arthur Morgan, David J.(Walthamst'w Williams Rt Hn J Powell(Birm,.
Gardner, Ernest Morrell, George Herbert Willox, Sir John Archibald
Gibbs, Hn A.G.H(City of Lond Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath
Godson. Sir Augustus Fredk. Muntz, Sir Philip A. Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Gordon, Hn. J.E (Elgin, &Nrn Murray, Rt Hn A. Gralland (Bute Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Gore, Hn G.R.C. Ormsby-(Salop Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Gore, Hon. S.F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Nicholson, William Graham Wylie, Alexander
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway,N Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George.
Goulding, Edward Alfred O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Gray Ernest (West Ham) Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Greene Henry D(Shrewsbury) Parker, Sir Gilbert Sir Alexander Aclard.
Greville, Hon. Ronald Parkes, Ebenezer Hood and Mr. Anstruther.

Main Question again proposed.

* LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said he wished to express his regret that his right hon. friend had not seen his way to include in the list of measures he proposed to pass during the present session the Musical Copyright Bill, which had passed through the House of Lords, and of which he was in charge in this House. He was bound to admit that the Bill was not uncontroversial, but it dealt with an acknowledged fraud, and he considered it was the duty of the Government to take it up. An obligation rested on the Government to deal with this Question in view of the fact that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in answer to representations from foreign countries, had promised he would do what he could to diminish the evil, etcetera. If his right hon. friend could not give facilities this session, which he considered he ought, in view of the fact that this fraud had asmined grave dimensions, and was injuring a very respectable and hardworking trade, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give an assurance that the matter would not be overlooked by the Government.

MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

said he wished to ask if the right hon. Gentleman would give the House an assurance that, having regard to the very important questions which were pending, and which had a direct bearing on India and Indian govern ment, he would take the Indian Budget at as early a date as possible.

Mr. DISRAELI (Cheshire, Altrincham)

said he wished to support the request of his noble friend in reference to the Musical Copyright Bill. If it were not possible to proceed with the Bill this session, he hoped an assurance would be given that it would be proceeded with next session.


said he was in entire sympathy with his noble friend and his hon. friend, but they must k now perfectly well that there were limitations which necessarily circumscribed the action of the Government in connection with private Bills. He should still hope that the opposition to this particular Bill might be overcome. No one would rejoice more than he would if it were found possible to deal with this copyright question in the course of

the present session. With regard to the Question of the hon. Gentleman opposite, he should be glad to bring in the Indian Budget at as convenient a time as he could; but, until he saw the progress of the programme of business he had sketched, it was impossible for him to give any distinct pledge.

MR. MOON (St. Pancras, N.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury if, in the unfortunate event of his being unable to give an assurance in reference to the Musical Copyright Bill this session, he could make any promise with reference to the passing of the Bill next session.


was understood to say he hoped so.

MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

said he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give him an assurance also with reference to two small Bills which had been on the Order Paper for some years. One was to enable small tenants in the Highlands to avail them selves of the Crofters Acts, and the other was to enable tenants with a valuation of £4 and under to vote at School Board elections. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give him a pledge with regard to these two Bills, which materially affected the Highlands of Scotland, which the right lion. Gentleman knew and loved so well.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 231; Noes, 93. (Division List No. 194.)

Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Worc
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bignold, Arthur Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry
Arkwright, John Stanhope Blundell, Colonel Henry Chapman, Edward
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Clive, Captain Percy A.
Arrol, Sir William Bowles,Lt-Col.H.E(Middlasex Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.
Atkinson, Right Hon. John Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Coddington, Sir William
Aubrey-Fletcher,Rt.Hn.SirH. Brown, Sir Alx. H (Shropsh.) Coghill, Douglas Harry
Bagot, Capt.Josceline FitzRoy Bull, William James Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Bain, Colonel James Robert Burke, E. Haviland Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Baird, John George Alexander Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready
Balcarres, Lord Carew, James Laurence Colston,Chas. Edw. H. Athole
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Compton, Lord Alwyne
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Cavendish, V C W (Derbysh.) Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch Cayzer, Sir Charles William Cranborne, Viscount
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor.) Cripps, Charles Alfred
Bathurst,Hon.Allen Benjamin Chamberlain, Et Hon J (Birm Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile
Cust, Henry John C. Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm. Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Laurie, Lieut.-General Redmond, Jn. E. (Waterford)
Davenport, William Bromley Law, Andrew Boner (Glasgow Redmond, William (Clare)
Delany, William Law, H. Alex. (Donegal, W.) Reid, James (Greenock)
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Dickson, Charles Scott Lawson, JohnGrant(Yorks, N.R Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Leamy, Edmund Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson
Doogan, P. C. Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Robertson, H. (Hackney)
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S. Round, Rt. Hon. James
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Llewellyn, Evan Henry Russell, T. W.
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Lowe, Francis William Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Faber, George Denison (York) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Fardell, Sir T. George Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth) Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r Lundon, W. Scott, Sir S. (Marglebone, W.)
Fielden Edward Brocklehurst Macdona, John Cumming Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne MacVeagh, Jeremiah Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew)
Fisher, William Hayes M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Flannery, Sir Fortescue M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Simeon, Sir Barrington
Flower, Ernest Malcolm, Ian Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Flynn, James Christopher Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H.E.(Wigt'n Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Forster, Henry William Melville, Beresford Valentine Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W. Middlemore, Jn.Throgmorton Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Fyler, John Arthur Mitchell, Edw.(Fermanagh, N. Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Gardner, Ernest Mitchell, William (Burnley) Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Gibbs, Hn A. G.H(City of Lond Molesworth, Sir Lewis Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans Montagu Hon. J. Scott (Hants. Stock, James Henry
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stone, Sir Benjamin
Gordon, Hn. J.E.(Elgin & Nrn. Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Sullivan, Donal
Gore, Hon. G.RCOrmsby(Salop) Morrell, George Herbert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Line Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Taylor Austin (East Toxteth)
Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim Mount, William Arthur Thorburn, Sir Walter
Goulding, Edward Alfred Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Tomlinson, Sir Wm. E. M.
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Muntz, Sir Philip A. Tritton, Charles Ernest.
Greene, Hv. D. (Shrewsbury) Murray, Rt Hn A.Graham(Bute Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Greville, Hon. Donald Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Valentia, Viscount
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Nicholson, William Graham Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Hain, Edward Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N. Walker, Col. William Hall
Halsey. Rt. Hon. Thomas F. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.
Hamilton, Rt Fin Ld.G.(Midx O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Hare. Thomas Leigh O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whiteley, H (Ashton and Lyne
Harris, Frederick Leverton O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. O'Mara, James Wililams. Rt Hn P Jowell (Birm,
Hatch, Ernest Frederick G O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Willox, Sir John Archibald
Hay, Hon. Claude George Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath
Hogg, Lindsay Parker, Sir Gilbert Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Hoult, Joseph Parkes, Ebenezer Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B.Stuart
Howard, Jno(Kent,Faversham Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham) Pemberton John S. G. Wylie, Alexander
Hudson, George Bickersteth Percy, Earl Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Jeffreys Rt.Hon. Arthur Fred. Platt-Higgins, Frederick Yerburgh, Robt, Armstrong
Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George Plummer, Walter R.
Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh Powell, Sir Francis Sharp TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop Pretyman, Ernest George Sir Alexander Acland-
Kilbride, Denis Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edwaro Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Kimber, Henry Purvis, Robert
Knowles, Lees Pym, C. Guy
Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud) Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Buxton, Sydney Charles Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardign
Atherley-Jones, L. Caldwell, James Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)
Barlow, John Emmott Cameron. Robert Dilke., Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Causton, Richard Knight Duncan. J. Hastings
Brigg, John Cawley, Frederick Dunn, Sir William
Broadhurst, Henry Channing, Francis Allston Elibank, Master of
Bryce, Right Hon. James Dalziel, James Henry Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Lough, Thomas Thomas, DavidAlfred(Merthyr
Fuller, J. M. F. Mansfield, Horace Kendall Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings
Goddard, Daniel Ford Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Harcourt. Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Morley, Rt. Hn. John(Montrose) Tomkinson, James
Harwood, George Moulton, John Fletcher Toulmin, George
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Hayter, Rt Hon Sir Arthur D. Partington, Oswald Ure, Alexander
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Paulton, James Mellor Wallace, Robert
Holland, Sir William Henry Pickard, Benjamin Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife West Price, Robert John Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Horniman, Frederick John Rea, Russell Wason, E. (Clackmannan)
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Reid, Sir R.Threshie (Dumfries Wason J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Weir, James Galloway
Joicey, Sir James Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Robson, William Snowdon Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Kearley, Hudson E. Runciman, Walter Wilson, Chas. H. (Hull, W.)
Lambert, George Shackleton, David James Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Langley, Batty Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid(Cornwall) Shipman, Dr. John G. TELLERS FOE THE NOES—
Layland-Barratt, Francis Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Mr. Herbert Gladstone and
Levy, Maurice Soames, Arthur Wellesley Mr. William M'Arthur.
Lewis, John Herbert Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Lloyd-George, David Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)

Question put, and agreed to.

Ordered, That, for the remainder of the Session, Government Business be not interrupted, except at half-past Seven of the clock at an Afternoon Sitting, under the provisions of any standing order regulating the Sittings of the House, and Wray be entered upon at any hour though opposed, and that at the conclusion of Government Business each day Mr. Speaker do adjourn the House without Question put.