*MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvon-shire, Arfon),
in calling attention to the question of Welsh local government, said he asked for administrative and legislative devolution applicable to the local needs of Wales, and dealing with its special and peculiar interests. This was no new question. It had been dealt with by both Parties in the House, and he recognised that the demand for local government affected the whole country. The principle of devolution was not a principle which affected Wales alone—it ought to be applied in accordance with the requirements of the different communities concerned. In that, he believed, was to be found the only solution for the congestion which paralysed the efficiency of Imperial Parliament and its administrative action at the present moment. He knew the objection was to giving to Wales a distinct or separate treatment, but they believed that they had clear, genuine, deep-seated differences of local conditions. No one could deny the success which had attended the special treatment accorded to Wales in the matter of education and Sunday closing The Royal Commission showed that the latter was a success. For twelve years they had had no measure passed for tin benefit of Wales exclusively, except three 1172 years ago, when a very small Bill was passed with regard to the educational endowment of a single parish, that of Berriew, against the direct vote of the vast majority of the parishioners, and contrary to the expressed wish of the overwhelming majority of the Welsh Members. Wales had its own Church question, its own temperance question, and a special and question. A Commission had sat on the latter subject, but they had not. had any Act dealing with it. Why should the doctrine of identity of treatment with regard to England and Wales be insisted upon when both Parties in the House had agreed to deal with Wales-separately already? Lord Salisbury had stated that if ever there was a people who had a separate nationality it was the Welsh, and the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had also stated that he recognised that the circumstances of Wales were in some respects peculiar and different from those of England.
They were not asking for an independent or separatist government, but merely for what the Colonial Secretary had said he believed to be just and necessary—beyond a purely municipal organisation—a larger arrangement by which various portions of the United Kingdom should be enabled to exercise greater influence over local administration and legislation for their special needs and requirements. The difficulty was that owing to the tremendous pressure of Imperial business Welsh business got crowded out, just the same as Scottish business; but Parliament, in the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, might delegate to a local assembly—to local, national or provincial assemblies, such questions as education, public works, local government and Private Bill legislation. The Prime Minister, when Secretary for Scotland, had described the Private Bill legislative system as utterly absurd, expensive and antiquated, and when the Scotch Act was passed it was understood, if successful, the system ought to be extended. Why not apply it to Wales? In his constituency there were small watering-places which had been put to enormous expense to pass Private Bills, and ha asked—Why should not that money be spent in Wales? Wales provided a great deal of local legislation. One year it was shown that whereas Wales promoted twenty-five Private Bills Scotland only 1173 promoted nine, and yet there was a private legislation procedure for Scotland. Many places desiring improvements in Wales were kept back because of the enormous cost of coming to Westminster. The Welsh County Councils and non county boroughs were unanimously in favour of the transfer of powers under section 10 of the Local Government Act of 1888, but because English non-county boroughs opposed it a proposal to carry it into effect was dropped.
He hoped the President of the Local Government Board would use his influence with the Government to get his Local Government (Transfer of Powers) Bill passed in the present year. By the Bill it is proposed that Section 10 of the Act of 1888 shall be construed so as to authorise the transfer of all or any of the Powers, duties or liabilities mentioned in that section, to the Council of a particular County or County Borough, as well as to such Councils generally. These might include amongst many others, the granting of charters of incorporation and Provisional Orders for tramways, gas, water, and electric light, sanction for loans for purposes of Public Health and other Acts, compulsory purchase of lands, appeals by ratepayers and others. Wales was willing to accept that transfer of powers, but of course that would not signify complete satisfaction and finality in their demands. They contended that in the matter of higher and intermediate education the Welsh Central Board and federated university colleges, Wales hail shown not merely its desire, but competence and qualification, for administrative local government. That local government ought to be in the hands of an authority which would represent the whole Welsh nation, for the purpose of developing all its forces and character. It would make for effciency, and strengthen the most important factor's in the Empire which Wales had done so much to build. The Tudor dynasty that mainly founded the Empire and its Navy was a Welsh dynasty. He believed that no people in these realms were more able to administer local government than the Welsh, who had been disciplined in the best school—the school of religious institutions. What he asked for was self-government all round and Imperial government round all. On this basis and according to this principle they asked 1174 for a measure of self-government that would satisfy loyal and patriotic Wales.
*SIR ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)
said that he associated himself with his lion, friend the Member for Arfon, and endorsed all he had advanced in favour of his Motion. Some twelve years ago he had introduced a Bill into the House entitled, "The Welsh National Institutions Bill," in which he had proposed a devolution of administration, and the setting up of new institutions. One of the most important of them had been established for some time, namely, the University of Wales, and another, viz., a Welsh National Museum, would soon be in course of construction. When he introduced that Bill, such institutions appeared to be quite beyond the legislative horizon, especially the University, but those institutions, and such important items of legislation as the Intermediate Education Act, passed since then, encourage them to hope that the present Government might—especially in the way of devolution—do much to facilitate the administration of Local Government, and to lessen the congestion now existing in several if the great Departments. They hoped that the President of the Local Government Board would be able to tell them that he contemplated the setting up of a united council representing the County and County Borough Councils in Wales and Monmouthshire. There was not another Department in which the work had so much increased as that of the Local Government Board, and while he often felt that the public interest suffered from the congestion of business, he always appreciated the effort s of the staff to do all in their power to meet the demands of local bodies. The work of this Department could not be estimated simply by the increase in the population, for the volume of business increased by leaps and bounds. He believed that it would be beneficial if much of the work carried on by the Home Office was directed from a central office in the Principality.
With regard to Elementary, and Intermediate education, the Board of Education could relieve itself of the work of inspection and examination, which could be carried out by the Welsh Board, Then with regard to 1175 private Bills, the experiment that had been proved so successful in regard to Scotland could be extended to Wales They knew that the charges imposed upon the promoters of private Bills were so excessive as to be a positive scandal. He knew of enterprises projected by people of small means, whose capital account was increased 50 per cent, by the exorbitant charges made upon them before they could carry even an unopposed Bill through Parliament. And the case was equally hard upon those who opposed any proposed legislation. A District Council in his division found itself called upon to oppose the passing of a Bill by a private company, which sought to impose higher scales of charges for the supply of water than the District Council were charging for water they supplied from their reservoirs. They determined to oppose, and, doing so, had to pay a sum that equalled a rate of two shillings in the pound. If they had to appear before such a tribunal as that set up in Edinburgh, it would not have been necessary to spend a tenth of that sum. He believed that there should be a Minister whose duty it would be to administer Welsh affairs, and to transact such duties as those performed by the Secretary for Scotland.
But while they might not expect anything of heroic dimensions from the present Government, they had given precedents of greater reform than those already mentioned. Wales has always believed that the County Councils deserve much wider powers than they now possess. The admirable manner in which they have administered such limited powers as those now entrusted to them abundantly testifies to their fitness to carry out legislative and administrative duties of a much more important and responsible character. And whatever can be said for them individually, much more could be said for a group of Councils representing all Wales and Monmouthshire. One part of the country would be a check upon the other, and would take care that no portion of the country should overrun the constable at the expense of the remainder. Had a more progressive Government been in power, their demands would have increased in a like ratio; but what he had sketched 1176 in the very modest proposals he had just made were well within the power of the present Government to put into practice, and he believed, modest as they were, they would do much to facilitate public work in the Principality.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is desirable to grant self-government in local affairs to Wales, subject to the supreme authority of the Imperial Parliament."—(Mr. William Jones.)
§ LIEUTENANT-COLONEL PRYCE JONES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said he found no reason to change his mind in regard to this matter. It was quite true with regard to the Welsh University that the Government, quite apart from politics, had treated Wales generously, and they were doing something to support a Welsh museum, but these were matters upon which Members of the House from Wales were agreed, and that made a substantial difference. It was no argument, though, that they agreed to a Motion with regard to self-government, and he believed the hon. Members oppposite were mistaken in asking the House to grant that. The adoption of the policy embodied in the Resolution meant the setting up of a separate department dealing with self-government in Wales. That he did not think would be fair to Wales itself, because it would put in the hands of the County Councils all the minor authorities, and it was well known that the County Councils represented mainly the territorial and aristocratic interest. This was a parochial resolution not worthy of the House of Commons or of the Imperial Parliament. On the previous day he attended a meeting of the Montgomery-shire County Council. They were engaged in appointing Committees, and when a proposal was made for the election of a Small Holdings Committee, an hon. member asked why they should take that course. The reply was, "Because the Act of Parliament says we must." Then he himself asked, Why do not the Montgomery County Council put the Act in force?" and he took the opportunity to state his well-known views on these questions. He inquired what was the use of them asking 1177 Parliament to confer further powers on them when they failed to take advantage of those they already possessed. They were doing nothing in regard to small holdings, allotments, isolation hospitals and inebriates' homes, yet his hon. friend opposite was now asking Parliament to confer powers which Wales had never demanded. Until the County Councils in Wales had met together and agreed to appeal to Parliament for these powers they ought not to waste the time of Parliament in this way. Some of the powers now being asked for they already possessed under the Act of 1888. He might be told that they had no power to spend money. But that was not the fact. They could spend money out of the rates for legitimate purposes on matters in which the County Councils wore jointly interested. In debating resolutions such as this under these circumstances, therefore, they were simply ploughing the sands.
*MR. EDWARDS (Radnorshire)
said he was sorry they were not to have the support of so ardent a patriot as the hon. Member; but he thought a little conversation with so strong a Welsh patriot would easily break down the barrier that kept him from joining them. Me congratulated the Government on the fact that his hon. friend had cast his æegis over them and had sought to guide them in some of their counsels. No doubt they would be grateful. As he understood him the hon. Member took exception to the Motion because, as he said, the County Councils had power to do what was desired now. That was not the case, and a Bill had to be brought in to give the County Councils the powers which they were asking for. The hon. Member's memory must be very short if he did not remember that a deputation waited upon the President of the Local Government Board last year to ask for further powers.
§ LIEUT.-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES
Really, I am bound to correct the hon Member. With regard to that conference, the County Councils in Wales had not been consulted beforehand. I pointed that out in the debate last year.
§ *MR. FRANK EDWARDS said he would not argue with the hon. Member, because he had personal knowledge of the fact that the County Councils were aware of the Motion to be submitted, and his hon. friend was quite wrong when he said that the County Councils could combine now. The Welsh County Councils did try to work together and combine for the good of Wales, but they failed to do so because they had not got the power to spend the money that would be required. There were two things which struck one with regard to powers given to local institutions. One was the degree to which such powers had been extended in recent years under the Acts of 1888, 1894, and other Acts, and side by side with that there was the fact to be noted of the extraordinary limitations which had been placed by the timidity of Parliament on the local institutions which it had called into existence. Some of these might be necessary, but he was bound to say that many of them were quite unnecessary. The other day he read in a Welsh paper that a Welsh District Council was advertising for a Sanitary Inspector. He was to receive of the magnificent sum £8 per annum, and the advertisement stated that the appointment was to be subject to the approval of the Local Government Board. Surely that was one of the powers that could very well be left to the County Councils. The County Councils had now existed for something like fourteen years, and although they had been in existence so long, it was only now that a responsible Minister of the Crown brought in a Bill to give them power to promote measures of their own, etc. This should have been the case from the beginning. The fact was the County Councils had been hampered and hindered by Government Departments in matters which might very well have been left to the localities themselves. There was no doubt that if they had left them for the localities to deal with in their own way they would have been settled far more speedily and satisfactorily.
§ The result of the present arrangements had been unnecessary delay, unnecessary expense, and unnecessary irritation on the part of the localities concerned. It was no wonder there had been delay when they remembered that there were 1179 thousands of local authorities which must be in constant communication with the authorities at Whitehall. Efficient local Government, he maintained, must depend on perfect knowledge of the local circum stances. Local people had that knowledge but that was not so with the clerks al Whitehall. The Government must either increase the number of the officials a Whitehall, which meant increasing the number of those who hindered the action of the local authorities; or they must increase the powers of the local authorities making them more worth sitting upon If they did that they would get a better class of men to take an interest in public work. He was sorry that the fortune of the ballot had prevented him bringing in a Bill to grant powers of combination to the County Councils, because that Bill would have gone to the root of the whole matter. Its object was to grant power not only to individual County Councils, but also powers for combination by groups of Councils, which was a thing he saw no sign of getting yet, but which was very necessary if they were to do any good in this matter of extending the power of local bodies. It seemed to be a wise thing to make an experiment of this kind in Wales, because the geographical position of Wales was such that the experiment could be safely made there without injury to England. But it had been urged that it was not a wise thing to give these powers particularly to the Welsh County Councils, because they wore most of them of one political colour. He supposed that if they were of a different colour, politically speaking, these powers might safely be given. That was a serious imputation on the County Councils.
§ LIEUT-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES said it was a case of the rural against the urban.
§ *MR. FRANK EDWARDS said the hon. Member had not helped him any further. Ho only convinced him that he was at the back of the people who wished to block the Bill referred to. Such a charge as that made by the hon. Member was not applicable to the County Councils of Wales, who had, as a rule, done their work efficiently. If they wanted to make men trustworthy they had better trust them as much as possible. The 1180 extension of the franchise had proved that thing in this direction, and the present Government was the last that ought to be afraid to trust the people of the country considering the confidence which had been placed in them by the people in recent years. Some hon. Members were fond of talking about devolution, but unfortunately they could not be got to vote for a particular application of the principle. He remembered his hon. friend the Member for the Eifion Division once saying that some Welsh farmers were Liberal by conviction but Tory by profession. That saying might be reversed in the case of the Government. The Motion before the House went further than the extension of powers to the County Councils; it referred to the power of Wales to have separate legislative facilities of its own. Scotland had had much the same facilities granted to it, and the block of business in this House rendered it necessary that some steps should be taken.
§ Some time back the Prime Minister tried to mend matters by amending Rules of Procedure, but all the arguments used by the right hon. Gentleman then were sound arguments in favour of removing from the House work which it was unable to do. Private Members now had very little chance of carrying any legislation through Parliament; the Government were all-powerful; the House of Commons itself was losing its power. That was a serious matter for the country, and the only remedy was some system if devolution. Home Rule for Ireland was objected to on the ground that it night lead to the dismemberment of the Empire. Personally he had no fear of any such result, but in any case the argument could not be applied to Wales, t was sometimes asked, why should Vales any more than Yorkshire have Home Rule? Considerations of nationality, language, and geographical position placed the two places in totally different categories. There was no doubt as to he use Wales would make of these powers. Certain legislation was urgently squired. A Royal Commission had reported on the Welsh land question, making certain moderate recommendations which, if carried into effect, would confer upon Wales distinct 1181 boons, but although the necessary Land Bill would not cost the Exchequer a single penny, the Welsh people were unable to obtain it. It was time such a state of affairs came to an end, and he cordially supported the Resolution.
*MR. DUKE (Plymouth)
said that lion. Members from Wales appeared to forget that their fellow-subjects were entitled to be protected from local and artificial sub-divisions of an existing national administration. For hundreds of years the course of policy in this country had been for the betterment of the Kingdom at large by the elimination of local sub-divisions which made a wide scheme of government impossible. In the time of Henry VIII the first great step was taken in the direction of raising Wales to the position of an integral part of the Kingdom, and in more recent times the great Council and the separate Judicature were abolished. These steps were taken for the good of the people ["No"], and to the advantage of the principality. It seamed to be the fashion nowadays for persons, with a legitimate pride in separate nationality, to regard it as a consequence that they should have a separate Government, and that any majority of persons of a particular nationality should have the right to impose laws on the minority. Why should not the same position be granted to Cornishmen? [An hon. Member: Why not Ireland?] The cases of Ireland and Wales were entirely different. Down to 100 years ago Ireland had been an independent kingdom, while the position of Wales was that of a principality which for many hundreds of years had been more and more closely identified in its Government with this country.
It was an impossible suggestion that the County Councils in Wales should form the basis of a new system of Government. Was there to be a separate system of Welsh taxation, or was the Welsh administration of the future to be set up at the cost of the United Kingdom at large? Was this Parliament to levy taxes to be appropriated to local purposes in Wales defined by the County Councils 1 He thought these practical questions had 1182 not been considered by the supporters of the Resolution, because this was not a practical proposal. The people of England as a whole, and a large minority of the people of Wales, were strongly opposed to the setting up of an independent legislative or administrative body of a national character in any part of the United Kingdom. With the desire for a wise delegation of local administrative powers he entirely sympathised. It was most unfortunate that County Councils, where there was practical unanimity with regard to such matters as providing a water supply and so forth, should not have, with some moderate provision for appeal to an authority in which all parties would have confidence, power to carry out local government and make it efficient for all purposes. Where he joined issue was in the proposal to set up something in the nature of a national administration wherever there could be found the remains of an ancient national constituent of what is now the United Kingdom.
§ MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)
heartily supported the Resolution. Scottish Private Bill Procedure had been several times alluded to. It was not all that they desired or hoped to get, but it had conferred a great boon on the people of Scotland. Since he first entered the House he had been a consistent supporter of the principle of devolution. He had never supported anything in the nature of an independent Parliament, but he would strongly support the extension to Wales of the system which had been applied to Scotland, believing that it would do much to relieve the pressure of work from which Parliament suffered.
§ GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
said the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had struck the right chord. What he suggested was perfectly reasonable; but when it came to a separate Parliament for Wales, with all the matters intrusted to it which had been indicated in the debate, that he could not support. He lived in Canada at the time the Federal Government was organised, but the organisation was not carried out, as some hon. Members seemed to suppose, 1183 by way of devolution. It was a number of self-governing communities which decided to unite in order that for certain purposes they might act as one. It was no idea of a central body devolving certain duties on outlying communities; it was exactly the opposite. They had yet to see how the system worked in Australia. He did not think the object of his hon. friend would be obtained by a system of devolution from a central to a provincial organisation, but he thought a great deal might be done to take local work out of the hands of Parliament. It was for some local organisation to be devised that would relieve Parliament of local work. How to create such an organisation was a matter which had got to be determined. At the present moment the proposals put forward were very vague, and he could not agree to pass this Resolution which would leave matters to be worked out in the direction of the views expressed by the hon. Member for Radnorshire. If this Resolution simply meant the relief suggested by the hon. Member for Clackmannan and Kinross, who had just sat down, everybody would agree to it. The experiment had been tried in Scotland, where it had proved successful; and at the time the Act was passed for Scotland it was understood that if it proved a success it should be extended to other parts of the country. Until they had something definite showing what this Resolution was intended to lead up to, lie did not think they were justified in passing it.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
said he thought the observations made by the hon. Member opposite with regard to Canada had very little relevance to the question they were now considering. His hon. friend's Motion was somewhat large in its terms, but seeing that they were not able to introduce the Bill which his hon. friend brought in last year, and seeing that they had been unable to induce the President of the Local Government Board to modify his attitude, the only course for them to take was to place such a Resolution on the Paper, enabling Welsh Members to express their views upon the numerous questions connected with local government in Wales, which 1184 had arisen very largely in connection with the working of the Education Act. The speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth appeared to him to show that he had hardly grasped the true position of Wales in regard to the United Kingdom. He had represented Wales as coming into partnership with the United Kingdom willingly, but that was not the case. He had stated that at one time Scotland was a kingdom, but he would remind the hon. Member that the same also applied to Wales. It was perfectly true that in 1830 the Welsh Judicature was suppressed, but not in accordance with the feelings of the Welsh people, or with the sentiment of the lawyers at Westminster, nor was it done with the approval of the Welsh Tory Members of this House at the time. They were coming to a time when they would have to sum up the administration of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board.
The hon. Member for East Glamorgan, with the conciliatory attitude which was so well adapted to his personality, was inclined to be friendly towards the President of the Local Government Board. He could not help recalling what had taken place in Parliament. Discussions about Welsh affairs were no new matters. With regard to the importation of cattle into West Glamorganshire, in order that the price of meat might be reduced to the working classes of that part of the county, when the right hon. Gentleman was approached to remedy this, he said "no." When it was a question of the Agricultural Holdings Bill, and they asked the right hon. Gentleman to embody certain clauses for Wales, which had been recommended by Lord Kenyon and Sir John Llewellyn, again the right hon. Gentleman said "no." When they asked him to agree to the Bill of the hon. Member for Radnorshire, once more the answer of the right hon. Gentleman was "no." Like Mephistopheles he was, as far as Wales was concerned, the spirit of the everlasting "no." They had always been ready to look upon the right hon. Gentleman as a great constructive statesman, but what had they discovered? They had found that really his attitude was a Quarter Sessions attitude, and that he had got what Lord Beaconsfield 1185 called "the Quarter Sessions mind." The right hon. Gentleman thought that what was good enough for Wiltshire was good enough for Wales, but this Resolution was a protest against that attitude.
He did not want to go into any great details, because the character of this Motion, and the limited time at their disposal, prevented that. Their point was that Wales was a separate entity by virtue of its history and its social and economic conditions, and by virtue of the fact that its own language was spoken by over 50 per cent, of its inhabitants; and that in all the essential elements which went to form a nationality Wales was distinct from any other county in England, Scotland or Ireland. That point had never been fairly and squarely met by the right hon. Gentleman. They wanted from the Government a definite recognition of this for many purposes, for Wales was a separate entity. They were not wild and sentimental persons imbued with any notion of separation from the United Kingdom. Why was Wales always treated like this? They understood the enormous benefits that England obtained from its connection with Wales, but everybody seemed to speak as though all the advantages of this connection were on the side of Wales. The hon. Member opposite seemed to think that Wales derived great advantages from being connected with England, but if England would only put Wales in the position of the Colony of Tasmania, he believed Welshmen would be ready to accept it. In that case they would not have to pay towards the cost of Imperial defence, or the expensive luxury of a Secretary of State for the Colonies. He would not, however, pursue the general argument.
§ MR. BRYNMOR JONES said that apparently the right hon. Gentleman did not agree with that argument.
§ MR. BRYNMOR JONES, continuing, said he endorsed his hon. friend's remarks as to the working of the Scottish Private 1186 Procedure Bill. He wished to impress upon the Government that the time seemed to have come when it was quite possible to extend to Wales a system of a similar character to that which now existed in Scotland. He could, of course, go into many details connected with Wales without raising any broad and general questions or any controversy between hon. Gentlemen opposite and hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Opposition side in regard to which some alteration might be made. There was the question of extending the powers of the County Councils so as to enable them to combine together. The question of the main roads had been referred to, but he would remind the lion. Member that they already possessed a special authority dealing with main roads. He would now conclude, as he thought he had given a sufficient answer to the criticisms which had been passed on the Motion of his hon. friend.
§ MR. STOCK (Liverpool, Walton)
said he would not follow the hon. and learned Member beyond saying he had made quite an unnecessary attack on his right hon. friend, who, outside his office, had as much right to speak for Wales as Bristol. The only claim he had to intervene in this debate was, being resident in a border county, he was constantly in contact with Welshmen and Welsh interests. He could only speak in broad terms in regard to the Motion before the House, and give the reason why he should vote against it. The House believed there was no general demand for local self-government in Wales, and he did not believe a scheme of the kind suggested would tend to promote efficiency in local government in Wales. There was no doubt Welsh County Councils, like the majority of her representatives in this House—he would not like to say that this showed Wales was more enlightened than England—were chiefly of one political complexion. Therefore he thought subjects affecting private rights or interests ought to continue to have the benefit of the impartial control of a central authority. Lastly, if this demand were granted, as the mover of the Motion admitted, there would be no finality. Therefore, a call for administrative control would be 1187 followed by one for legislative control, or, in plain words, it meant finally an appeal for Home Rule all round, tie did not think the Imperial Parliament would ever consent to such a thing, and therefore he should oppose the Motion.
*MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS (Merionethshire)
said he should like at the outset to thank the President of the Local Government Board for the courtesy and patience he showed to a deputation from Wales which waited upon him last year. Upon that occasion the right hon. Gentleman expressed his sympathy with their object, and he, personally, should have liked to have seen that sympathy take a more practical form. He was sorry the right hon. Gentleman had not considered more favourably the Bill of his hon. friend the Member for Radnorshire. The right hon. Gentleman had argued that there was no argument to justify the particular change suggested by the case of Wales without extending it to the North of England. The right hon. Gentleman had spent a good deal of time in the Principality, and knew the feelings and wants of the Welsh people, and he understood that the right hon. Gentleman had property there which was likely to turn out another El Dorado. Consequently he had expected him to have shown more sympathy towards Wales in regard to this matter. Everything must have a beginning, why not begin with Wales in these matters. Surely Wales deserved some consideration. He did not think they would find that the Local Government Act of 1888 had been better administered anywhere than in Wales.
On their local bodies they had elected in some cases members of the Conservative party as chairmen, and in Wales they would find Conservatives, Liberals, Nonconformists and Churchmen putting aside their religious and political differences, and all working together for the common good of their country. The northern part of Wales, with which he was connected, was known as the country of the white kid gloves, and at the court with which he was associated he had received sufficient white kid gloves to keep his boys in gloves for dances for the next two years. It was recognised that Scotland, Wales, and Ireland had certain racial characteristics which distinguished them from England. He instanced their 1188 keener enthusiasm in regard to matters in connection with social progress and the well-being of the people. Welshmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen had a position all their own in the consciousness that they belonged to small nations, imbued, permeated, and invigorated by the strong feeling of nationality This might be said to be mere sentiment, but sentiment, after all, was the well-spring of all that was best and noblest in human life and character, and their attachment to national sentiment could not but help them to a proper conception of what an Empire ought to be—free, tolerant, non-aggressive, the friend, protector, and nursing mother of freedom. But in the present day with its spirit of commercial Imperialism, unsatisfied greed, vulgar tone, and worship of wealth, we were in danger of drifting into ways full of peril to the higher aspirations of a free-people. He thought Parliament might consider the feeling of Wales and help the people to keep alive the distinctive sense of their nationality. What would mankind be without varieties of nationality? It would be a world without the charm of diversity between hill and dale. It would be one dead-level plain of vulgar-uniformity. What would history have been had any of the despots from Nimrod down to Napoleon been able to flatten out the whole world into one huge dominion in which there was but one speech and one language, in which there had been nothing distinctive between the glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome, in which every mark had been obliterated which gave a different aspect to the brilliancy of France, the fascination of Italy, the diligence of Germany, and the energy of Great Britain? He was sure they must all hope for the time when nations "shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks," but they wished them to be nations still, in all the charm of these separate dominions which they had received from their national surroundings, in which they had been cradled by the hand of God. He maintained that Great Britain would inevitably be a considerable loser were Welsh nationality indistinguishably merged in the common English life.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. WALTER LONG, Bristol, S.)
I am sure it is unnecessary for me to say that we have listened with considerable interest to the debate; and that the speech which the hon. Gentleman has just made was one of great eloquence and commanded alike the sympathy and admiration of the House of Commons. The difficulty in which I find myself in dealing with this question on behalf of the Government is that, interesting though the debate has been, and practical from at all events one point of view, as the speeches have been, yet we have never really throughout the debate come to close quarters with the real proposition made in the Motion of the hon. Member for Carnarvon. That Motion is that a separate form of local self-government should be granted to Wales. A great deal has been said by lion. Gentlemen on the other side of the House as to the advantages which would flow to Wales if this Motion were to be adopted, and the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken told us in very eloquent terms of the good that would come to his country if she were given the advantages which he believed she would derive from the adoption of this Resolution; but with one or two exceptions of a somewhat vague character with which I shall deal in a moment, no case has been made out which would justify the granting either to Wales, or to any other part of the United Kingdom, of a system of local government different from that which now exists.
What argument has been advanced to show that Wales or Scotland—those are the two countries which have been referred to chiefly to-night—suffer under the existing system? I venture to say that, if a careful examination is made, it will lead us to a totally different conclusion. The hon. Member who moved the Resolution in an eloquent speech, and the hon. Member for Clackmannan and Kinross who spoke on behalf of Scotland, told the House that the justification of the demand now being made was to be found in the fact that both Scotland and Wales already enjoyed separate legislation for dealing with a variety of subjects which had been useful to both these countries and had pro- 1190 duced to them great advantages. If it be true that the Imperial Parliament has been able to deal both with Scotland and Wales already with regard to a variety of questions specially affecting those countries in a different manner from that in which the same questions are dealt with when they affect England, what reason is there that the Imperial Parliament cannot deal in the future with those questions? Why is Wales to have a separate local governing body, and what is that body going to do?
There is one part of the Question in regard to which rather more definite remarks have been made. That is the Private Bill question, which has already been dealt with in Scotland, and with regard to which it is suggested that different procedure should be adopted in regard to this country. I have long been interested in the Private Bill system of this House, and I have long believed that it will be necessary to alter that system, and that one of the first alterations to be made, if you are to relieve Parliament of some of the work which unduly presses on it at the present time, must be by devolution in regard to that part of our labours. But that must not be taken as a suggestion that you are to have separate Private Bill procedure for Wales.
The demands from the North of England in regard to Private Bill legislation are as great and pressing as any that come from Wales. While I admit, and I am proud of the fact, that our experiment with Scotland has been completely successful, I am not prepared to admit that there is any justification on the part of Wales for Private Bill procedure which cannot be made by those populous parts of England from which Private Bills emanate more frequently than from other parts. With the exception of the suggestion that there should be an Amendment of the Private Bill procedure system, what else has been suggested? Some reference was made earlier in the debate to the Bill which is already on the Paper, and which I introduced last session in consequence of the action taken by the hon. Member for Radnorshire. That Bill was not successful last year. I hope it will be more successful this year. Hon. Gentle- 1191 men opposite told us that the Bill was defeated by the English boroughs. They are not really quite accurate. That Bill found; opponents among some of the English boroughs, and I think that was owing to a misunderstanding on their part of what the effect of the Bill would be, but it has found something more serious than the criticism of the English boroughs in the opposition of one Member of this House who, as hon. Gentlemen know, devotes his special attention, to legislative proposals, particularly when we are approaching twelve o'clock, and who exercises a very severe control over any proposals that are made at that period of the evening.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES said the only gentlemen who blocked the Bill were English Members.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I am not referring to "blocks," I am referring to the action of an hon. Member opposite. I noticed this evening when the hon. Member stated that he believed this block had been removed, the hon. Member to whom I am referring signified that that was an incorrect description of his attitude, and that he maintained the same position now as he took up a few days ago. Be that as it may, I hope we may find a means of pressing: the Hill even in the face of the opposition of the hon. Gentleman to whom I have referred. That Bill does not propose to do all that has been suggested this evening. What I consider that the Bill proposes to do to enable some of these powers to be conferred on separate County Councils, whereas, as the law stands, they can only be conferred on all at the same time. It does not go so far as some hon. Gentlemen desire, but I believe it will be a step in the right direction.
Now, let me come to closer quarters I with the proposal to establish some central body in Wales which should take the place of the Local Government Board, the Board of Trade, the Home: Office or any other Department which; has central Control. There was some little controversy early in the evening between the hon. Member for the Montgomery Boroughs and the hon. Gentleman opposite as to whether the County Councils had been fully consulted before 1192 the deputation waited on me last year. I know nothing of what took place before that deputation came, but I would apply to that a more practical test than the one raised by my hon. friend. My hon. friend says it is not a question between. Tory and Liberal, but one between town and county. I can assure the hon. Member for Radnorshire that in Wales-the controversy between town and county exists in a marked degree. Only the other day I was called upon to arbitrate in a case in which a Welsh County Council complained that a Welsh Town Council were making an undue demand upon them in respect to the cost of the maintenance of highways. This is essentially one of those local questions, which the hon. Gentleman thought, speaking in general terms, might properly be left to the local authorities. Yet we find in this case, as in similar cases, the County Council complaining in the most bitter terms of the action of the Town, Council, while the Town Council declared that they were entitled to the demand they were making. Are those who present, this claim quite sure that these local, authorities are willing to see these powers transferred to a central board in Wales? Are they quite sure that if that central board were established you would not have at once arising the very differences between town and county which arise now? With regard to the composition of the County Councils, I do not know whether what my hon. friend said was-correct in the case of Wales, but I do not think he is quite correct in the case of England. He seemed to believe that the County Councils were largely composed of rural representatives, but in a great many of the English counties it is undoubtedly not so. In the English counties there is a predominance of urban representatives.
§ LIEUT.-COLONEL PRYCE-JONES
In Wales the proportion is about one in four—one urban and three rural representatives.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
No; whether; a majority of the representatives come from the urban or country districts is not important. All that I am endeavouring to point out to the House is that on these County Councils you have representatives who come from the urban and the rural districts. In some cases a majority of the members are urban, and in other cases a majority are rural, but from whichever side the majority comes, the County, Council has to decide questions which arise as between the rural and the urban districts of the county, and these questions raise in the sharpest possible manner the difference between the town and the country districts. Hitherto these questions have not come up in an acute form, but I believe there will be very considerable opposition even in Wales if it were realised that the jurisdiction now vested in a separate Department in London was transferred to some central body in Wales. On that central body it is obvious there must be a majority either on the urban or the rural side. If there is to be an equal number of both representatives, it is obvious that you will have the casting vote of the chairman. All these questions depend upon the way they affect either the rural or the urban parts of the county. The decisions of a Government Department are not affected by these considerations; they are governed by what they believe to be the equity of the case and general conditions, and, although it is only a matter of opinion, I believe that, if the question arose as to the transference of the powers held by the Local Government Board, the Board of Trade, or any other Department, you would find a great amount of opposition which you do not find now when dealing with the subject only in a general way.
Another argument used to-night is that Wales is justified in claiming separate treatment by the admirable manner in which she has dealt with the Local Government Act and the Welsh Education Act. Nobody who has followed the history of the Local Government Act and the Welsh Education Act will for one moment deny that both have been admirably administered by the Principality. But those Acts have come from the Imperial Parliament, and they have not depended on any local or central board. Wales has got all she 1194 wants with regard to education and other questions, as the mover of the Resolution pointed out, without the intervention of any central board or local governing body such as that which is contemplated by the Resolution. What other argument has been advanced in favour of this proposal? The only-other argument is that advanced by the hon. Member for Swansea, that Wales is a distinct nationality with a separate language of her own. Surely that language can be talked on County Councils as it is talked on Boards of Guardians and Town Councils, and in the selection of inspectors and other officers who are called upon to deal with these local authorities, I am happy to think it is the invariable rule to appoint men who can speak that language; and therefore there is nothing in the language argument to justify the creation of this central body.
The hon. Member for Radnorshire anticipated the argument that Lancashire and Yorkshire would be equally justified in demanding a separate central body. I am bound to say that if you look at the rateable value of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the population, and the local needs, they would be quite as much entitled to a local governing body as Wales would be. The hon. Gentleman said that we might wait until they asked for it. But surely Wales should be able to show some difficulty under which she labours now, something which prevents the development of her prosperity, something which puts her in a totally different position from that occupied by the rest of the country, before she asks this peculiar and separate treatment. The hon. Member attacked me for what I did when I was at the Board of Agriculture, and he produced very curious evidence in support of his attack. He said the people of West Glamorganshire suffered from the action I took. But what did the people of the rest of Wales think of I the action I took in that case? The majority of the Welsh counties supported me heartily in what I did. Why? Because in their opinion, and judging from their experience, my action was beneficial to their industry and trade. The hon. Gentleman's suggestion is, that because one section 1195 objected to what I did at that time, they should be given a central body to do in a different way that which the majority approved of.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
The application was renewed after the right hon. Gentleman left the Board of Agriculture, and we have received no evidence at all to show that Wales objects to the importation of cattle.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
What I said was, that the people of West Glamorganshire took a different view from other people in Wales.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I thought the hon. and learned Gentleman was aware of the fact that the majority of the farmers were grazing farmers. It is undoubtedly a fact that the majority of Welsh farmers produce store cattle. It is a valuable industry in Wales, and they did not view with disapproval my action at that time, which had for its object the protection of the flocks and herds of this country. Those who have followed this question know that the same argument was applied in the case of Scotland. There was a small section in Scotland who disapproved of that legislation, but the majority of the people approved of it. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] Oh, yes. I can only judge by the votes in this House, and it was approved, not only on this side, but on the other side also. That is a very thin argument by which to support the proposition before the House to-night—that you should have a local governing body in Wales because the Minister of Agriculture has interfered with the 1196 importation of cattle from abroad. What is there advanced to-night to justify us in believing that Wales requires some special local government facilities which are not equally required by the rest of the United Kingdom? What is there to show us that Wales is at present hampered, or that her progress is hindered by the system which is good enough for the rest of the country? Reform may be necessary in regard to Private Bill legislation, but we believe that what may be done for Wales in that respect should also be done for England. We do not, and cannot, admit that Wales has made out any case that would justify separate treatment either in regard to self-government or any of the other matters that have been referred to in the debate.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said that the right hon. Gentleman had stated that no arguments had been adduced by his hon. friends who supported the proposals before the House to prove that there was any necessity for any extension of local self-government in Wales; but the speeches of all his friends had embraced a great number of cases in which such necessity had been put forward from time to time by the Welsh people, and had been rejected by the Imperial Government. It was urged as a reason for refusing these moderate demands that the Imperial Parliament had no time to deal with them. But nothing stronger could be said in favour of the Resolution before the House than that. Even the speech of the right hon. Gentleman had shown how completely the Imperial Parliament had broken down as a legislative machine. Here was a Bill which the right hon. Gentleman believed in and which had the unanimous support of Members on both sides of the House, with the ex- 1197 ception of one, but why was it not carried? Because the potent voice of his hon. friend the Member for Mid Lanark was raised against it, and the Imperial Parliament quailed before the hon. Gentleman. There was legislation perfectly practical, which the Government themselves deemed to be absolutely necessary, and which had been asked for by the Welsh people no end of times, and which was yet denied them. The right hon. Gentleman had asked what injury or damage could be traced as a result of the failure of the Imperial Parliament to legislate for Wales. He did not know of any greater injury which could be done to any community than the failure of those in charge of the law to make the law in sympathy with the views of the population in particular parts of the country. It was an injury to the law and a damage to the community itself.
The right hon. Gentleman had said, "Look at the Bills you have had dealing especially with Wales." Yes, but these were Bills which the Welsh people were forced to take because the Imperial Parliament had no time to consider the matter thoroughly. What was still more important was, that a good deal of the special legislation given to Wales was experimental. Take, for instance, temperance legislation. They had an Act of Parliament which dealt with the question of Sunday drinking, but it was rushed through the House because there was no time to deal exhaustively with the details, and the Welsh Members agreed to accept it for what it was worth. In the course of its working, defects in its construction were shown by a good many things that had happened, and a Commission was appointed in 1896 to inquire into the 1198 whole matter. That Commission had made a good many recommendations, because they felt that the Act could not be complete unless amended in the direction of their recommendations. But there had not been time to discuss these recommendations in this House, or to introduce any measure founded on them. What, then, was the use of the right hon. Gentleman saying that Wales had got separate legislation when legislation on which all parties were agreed had been waiting for twelve or thirteen years, and yet could not be passed?
The right hon. Gentleman asked: "Where was the injury?" His reply was that the injury could not be calculated. This was a matter which affected the sobriety of large communities, and if the right hon. Gentleman had taken the trouble to read the report of his own Government's Commission, he would have seen that in many places in Wales the law was inoperative because it was not effective, and that the injury caused was beyond the assessment of any court. He could quote many cases of a similar kind. Take education, for instance. They had heard a good deal about it being a bad proposal to give separate legislation to Wales on that question, but the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway had made out the best case for Home Rule. The one argument of the hon. Member for Liverpool was that there was no evidence in support of separate legislation for education for Wales, and that as he lived in an adjoining county he was a better judge of what Wales wanted than the Members sent to Parliament by the Welsh constituencies themselves.
1199 Then the hon. Member for Plymouth talked very glibly of Wales, of its manners and language, and said he knew exactly what the Welsh people wanted, and could tell them what would benefit them much better than they who had lived all their lives in Wales. The hon. Gentleman really knew very little about Wales, but talked with all the assurance which generally accompanied a lack of knowledge. The hon. Member said that the proposal in the Resolution before the House was impracticable. Did he know that the Welsh Members were in this matter simply the humble followers of the Colonial Secretary, the only undamaged Member of the Government that was left? The right hon. Gentleman was undamaged because he had been away. If he had remained at home his merits also would have disappeared.
§ *MR. DUKE said he did not think the right lion. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies had ever proposed to set up a Welsh Parliament to deal with such national questions as the Church and the land.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE said that the Colonial Secretary had not called it a parliament, but a local assembly; the Welsh Members called it local self-government, and he did not know that these phrases differed very much in meaning. In fact, parliament was not a Welsh word at all. They used the word "Cyngor," and the hon. and learned Member who presumed to be able to govern Wales could not tell the meaning of that word.1200
§ *MR. DUKE said that the point between them was not what was the name for a Welsh Assembly, but what its functions were to be; whether it was to legislate on matters of Imperial or national policy. He maintained that the right hon. the Colonial Secretary had not proposed any such assembly.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Nor did the Welsh Members; and now that they and the hon. and learned Member understood each other, perhaps the hon. and learned Member would vote for them. They did not propose to set up a Parliament to deal with Church reform or land reform. What the Colonial Secretary desired was to delegate to local assemblies, to local, national, or provincial assemblies such questions as Education, Public Works, Local Government, and Private Bill Legislation. If these matters were taken from the Imperial Parliament, said the Colonial Secretary, it would relieve the Imperial Parliament of an immense amount of labour. For his own part he and he believed the vast majority of the Welsh Members, would accept every syllable of the Colonial Secretary's declaration. Would the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth and his friends do that? It was all very well for the hon. and learned Member to get up and talk as he did, but they were really getting so accustomed to attack and flout their leaders that, he was sorry to say, the contagion had extended even to Plymouth. All that he proposed was that this great policy which had been laid down by the Colonial Secretary, the saviour of this Government, should be applied to Wales now. It was, perhaps, a little belated, because the letter in which the Colonial Secretary propounded that policy was 1201 dated a good time ago. But then the right hon. Gentleman had since been travelling in South Africa.
This was purely a practical proposal. There was no notion of separation in Wales. He had never heard from any platform in Wales a single suggestion from a single Welsh orator, or even from an Englishman in Wales, that they desired separation, or anything in the nature of separation. Wales gave this country a dynasty once; Welshmen governed the destinies of this Empire, and it had never been governed well since. It was not an English Empire; it was a Welsh Empire; and no Welshman suggested that Wales should divest herself of her inheritance—of what she had really given to England. They did not want anything of the kind, and nobody would dream of exploiting any assembly of the character proposed except for the purpose of improving the condition of the Welsh people. The hon. and learned Member talked of the inheritance of Englishmen in Wales, but Englishmen in Wales were quite as keenly in favour of self-government as Welshmen. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not know even the elements of the case, although he must say that, as a rule, that was not his defect. At any rate they in Wales were as loyal and as law-abiding as any in the whole kingdom. [An HON. MEMBER: NO.] He admitted that there might be certain exceptions, and at any rate the hon. and learned Member should have mastered the subject of their case in Wales. The Welsh Members were too few in number to compel the concession of their demands, but they put forward claims which eventually were recognised. Even the Prime Minister had had to declare that 1202 a good deal which they had urged in regard to education was true.
It was the habit of the Government to give them a Tuesday afternoon to discuss-their complaints, but they had never the remotest chance of getting their affairs attended to South Africa had consumed three or four years of the time of the Imperial Parliament; the chance of Ireland came this year and. would probably occupy a good deal more than this year; while the claims of Scotland would come next to be considered, and after that it might be the West Coast of Africa, or the Mad Mullah. They never could tell what the Colonial. Secretary would bring forth. The-result, however, was as he had said—that Wales had no chance of having her case attended to. Take last year. What, happened was that an Education Bill was introduced to deal with the whole education in England and Wales, but it was clearly inapplicable to Wales. More than half the people of Wales were against it, and why should it have been forced, upon them? Suppose the Prime Minister had said that that was a matter for the Welsh people to deal with, seeing that, they managed secondary and higher education so admirably, he would have saved much worry to himself, and a great deal of the time of the House of Commons.
Last year a Bill was introduced by the hon. Member for Radnorshire, which was supported practically by all the Welsh County Councils, and although, it had been sent round to every town in. Wales there was no protest against it except from his hon. friend the Member for Newton, who protested against every proposal. Under these circumstances why on earth should not the right hon. Gentleman give them a chance of dealing 1203 with matters purely Welsh? It was perfectly clear that the Imperial Parliament could not go on as it was at the present moment. Business men on both sides of the House recognised that fact. They had too much to do Even on the Education Bill the Prime Minister did not complain that there was obstruction, and in that he thought the right hon. Gentleman was right. He had never seen less obstruction in the sense of Amendments being moved that were not substantial; but on any Bill a sufficient number of Amendments could be moved and relevant speeches made to take up the whole of the session. Did not that prove that the Imperial Parliament could not do more than lay down general principles and give directions, leaving it to the local authorities to carry them out. Take the School Boards at the present moment, for instance. They had really power to establish a religion by bye-laws. He would suggest that representatives from for two or three months in the year with the Welsh Members of Parliament to frame proposals with regard to local matters to be laid before the Imperial
§ Parliament, which could either throw them out, or accept them.
§ The English people would never consent to the cutting up of the Imperial Parliament, or to the mutilation of the Imperial Parliament. He was not now speaking of Home Rule, which appeared to be on a different footing; but he thought that what he had said would apply to Scotland as well as to Wales. No one wanted to cut the Imperial Parliament up; all that was wanted was some scheme that would relieve the Imperial Parliament of purely local and provincial affairs, reserving to the Imperial Parliament full powers to modify or reject any proposals which might be injurious to any interest or dangerous to sound government. Let the representatives of the Welsh County Councils and the representatives of Wales in the Imperial Parliament meet for a certain number of months every year; that would relieve the Imperial Parliament; and would conduce to the solidarity and strength of the Empire, because it would produce grater contentment.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 74 Noes, 164. (Division List No. 37.)1205
|Stevenson, Francis S.||Ure, Alexander||Woodhouse, Sir JT (Hudd'rsf'd|
|Sullivan, Donal||Wason, E. (Clackmannan)|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glam., E.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Mr. William Jones and|
|Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)||Williams, O. (Merioneth)||Mr. Brynmor Jones.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Edwards, Frank||Lundon, W.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fenwick, Charles||M'Crae, George|
|Buyley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Ffrench, Peter||M'Kean, John|
|Bell. Richard||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Black, Alexander William||Gilhooly, James||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Newnes, Sir George|
|Brigg, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.)|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Burns, John||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Caldwell, James||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tyd)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Campbell, John [Armagh, S.)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Reddy, M.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Harrington, Timothy||Redmond, Jn. E. (Waterford)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Crean, Eugene||Huyne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Riekett, J. Compton|
|Cremer, William Randal||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Rigg, Richard|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Labouchere, Henry||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardign||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)|
|Delany, William||Leng, Sir John||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Levy, Maurice||Shackleton, David James|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lloyd-George, David||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Duffy, William J.||Lough, Thomas||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fisher, William Hayes||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Flower, Ernest||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Forster, Henry William||Peel, Hn. Wm. R, Wellesley|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Galloway, William Johnson||Percy, Earl|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Powell, Sir Franc's Sharp|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gordon, Hn. J. H. (Elgin & Nrn||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt Hon. Sir H.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Purvis, Robert|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.||Randies. John S.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r)||Greene, W. Raymond- (Camb||Rankin, Sir James|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Groves, James Grimble||Benwick, George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hall, Edward Marshall||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midx||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm.||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bigwood, James||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Bond, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Sadler, Col. Saml. Alexander|
|Brassey, Albert||Hope, J. F. (Sheff., B'tside)||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hoult, Joseph||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Bull, William James||Howard, Jno (Kent, Faver'hm||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Johnstone, Heywood||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cavendish, V C W (Derbysh.)||Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormshirk)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Worc||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Keswick, William||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Knowles, Lees||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Callings. Right Hon. Jesse||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. E. M.|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Lawson, John Grant||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Valentia, Viscount|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Webb, Col. William George|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Macdona, John Cumming||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Maconochie, A. W.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C.||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Majendie, James A. H.||Wilson John (Glasgow)|
|Doughty, George||Manners, Lord Cecil||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.||Widehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B Stuart-|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J.(Man'r||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Murray, Rt Hn. A Graham(Bute||Mr. George Ormsby-Gore|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||and Mr. Stock.|