§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AKERSDOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
said that as the Bill had not yet been fully explained he might be permitted to explain it now in moving the Second Reading. The object of the Bill was to amend the law relating to penal servitude in England and Wales, and to make better provision for dealing with persons on whom the ordinary sentences had no deterrent or reformatory effect. Whether the sentences were short or long, the habitual criminal returned to prison almost as soon as he was released, and in the interests of society, he thought the only thing that could be done with such persons was to segregate them for a longer period than at present, during the greater part of which, however, it would not be necessary that their treatment should be severe. It would be sufficient that they should be under discipline and compulsorily kept apart from the rest of the world. This question had been under consideration for some years, and the measure was one which had been on several occasions pressed for by this House. In 1894 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife appointed a Committee to inquire into prison administration. It was a very strong Departmental Committee. The Chairman was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Leeds, and there were also on the Committee, Sir Algernon West, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Tewkesbury Division, Dr. Bridges, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Haddington, Mr. Arthur O'Connor, now a County Court Judge, who was for many years a Member of the House, and the present Chief Magistrate of the metropolitan district. One of the most important matters dealt with by that 723 Committee was the question of the habitual criminal, and the Bill which he now asked the House to read a second time was based on their unanimous Report. He would read that portion of the Report on which the Bill was based. The Report stated—There is evidently a large class of habitual criminals—who live by robbery and thieving and petty larceny—who run the risk of comparatively short sentences with comparative indifference. They make money rapidly by crime, they enjoy life after their fashion, and then, on detection and conviction, serve their time quietly, with the full determination to revert to crime when they come out. We are inclined to believe that the bulk of habitual criminals at large are composed of men of this class. When an offender has been convicted a fourth time or more he or she is pretty sure to have taken to crime as a profession and sooner or later to return to prison. We are, therefore, of opinion that further corrective measures are desirable for these persons. When under sentence they complicate prison management—when at large they are responsible for the commission of the greater part of the undetected crime; they are a nuisance to the community. To punish them for the particular offence is almost useless—the real offence is the wilful persistence in the deliberately acquired habit of crime. We venture to offer the opinion that a new form of sentence should be placed at the disposal of the Judges by which the offenders might be segregated for long periods of detention, during which they would not be treated with the severity of first-class hard labour or penal servitude, but would be forced to work under less onerous conditions. As loss of liberty would to them prove eventually the chief deterrent, so by their being removed from the opportunity of doing wrong the community would gain.That Report formed the basis on which the Bill had been framed. Since that Report was published, experience in classifying prisoners and in making rules under the Prison Act of 1898 had shown the possibility of such lengthened but modified segregation. In 1899 Sir Richard Harrington, chairman of the Herefordshire Quarter Sessions, at the instance of the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society, brought the matter again to the attention of the Home Office, calling special attention to the cases of two men with eighteen and fifteen convictions respectively. In 1900 the question came up for consideration and discussion at the International Penitentiary Congress at Brussels, at which the Chairman of the Prison Commissioners contributed a very valuable paper, pointing out the remedy now suggested in the Bill. Again, Sir Robert Anderson, late Commissioner of 724 Police, called prominent attention to this matter, especially in an article in the nineteenth Century, in May, 1901. The Judges of the King's Bench Division also passed the following resolution—That, in the opinion of His Majesty's Judges exercising criminal jurisdiction, the time has arrived when inquiry may profitably be held whether some modifications of the discipline of penal servitude may not safely be made, especially in respect of long sentences and into, the best way of dealing with habitual and professional criminals.That communication was forwarded to his predecessor at the Home Office; and the matter was at once taken into careful consideration. In the following March the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon, then Home Secretary, addressed a letter to the Lord Chief Justice inviting the Judges to give consideration, to the two following points: (1) The desirability of modifying in the direction of leniency, in the case of well-conducted convicts, the discipline imposed in the later stages of the longer sentences of penal servitude, and (2) The desirability of providing some better means of dealing with habitual or professional criminals, with a view to the more effectual protection of society against them. After consideration and consultation this Bill was prepared. In response to a request from all parts of the House, he presented a Bill, last year, not with the intention of then passing it, but of allowing it to be printed for the purpose of consideration. It was not regarded as of a controversial character; but it was deemed desirable that the various authorities in the country should have time to consider it. All the communications he had received since then had convinced him that some measure of this sort was needed for the benefit of the country at large.
He would give the House one or two instances of cases from a long list which he thought ought to be dealt with under this Bill. There was the case of a criminal who in twenty-nine years had served eight sentences, five being sentences of penal servitude for burglary, and who had spent twenty-four years and nine months in prison. He was released on licence on the last occasion, and within a few days he committed two other burglaries and was sent to a further term of seven years penal servitude. There was the case of another criminal 725 who at the age of twenty (he had been three or four times convicted of burglary) was sentenced to five years penal servitude. Having earned his marks, he was released on licence, but within six weeks he was again convicted for burglary and sent to ten years penal servitude. During his sentence his conduct was very bad. He was discharged on the 4th May, 1901, on licence; and eight months later he was convicted of attempting to do grievous bodily harm to a constable, and was sentenced to twelve years penal servitude. Here was another case of a different character. A man had twelve convictions against him, eight for larceny and fraud, the sentences varying from twenty-one days to eighteen months; and four under the Vagrancy Act. Those cases were constantly occurring. For that class of criminal, prison had no deterrent effect, and he would ask the House, therefore, whether the sentences should not be longer, and whether after serving a certain portion of the sentence the remainder might not be served under lighter regulations, the whole sentence, however, being longer, in order to keep that class of criminal from preying on the public.
The proportion of prisoners with repeated convictions was constantly increasing. This was partly due to better methods of identification, such as finger prints and measurements, and partly to the constant tendency displayed during the last few years to give shorter sentences. But whatever the cause might be the system under which professional and habitual criminals constantly passed in and out of prison could not be considered good for the country either economically or morally. He had statistics taken out for the last few years with reference to the proportion of repeated convictions. On a given day in 1901 there were in prison 2,879 convicts. Of these 2,244 or 77 per cent, had previous convictions, including 1,342 or 47 per cent, with previous penal servitude. In the year 1902–3 there were 1,100 new convicts, and of these 855 or 77 per cent, had previous convictions, including 378 or 34 per cent, with previous penal servitude. Yet in 1901 726or 25 per cent, had sentences of only three years and only 514 or 17 per cent, had sentences of seven years and over. 726 In 1902–3 483 or 43 per cent, had only three years and only 154 or 14 per cent, had seven years or over. Therefore it was quite clear that in spite of the fact that the number of habitual criminals was growing in this country Judges were loth to pass long sentences, and he understood that they were loth because of the rigour and severity of the regulations of penal servitude. Public opinion looked upon penal servitude mainly as a punishment, and felt that it could not be carried beyond a certain limit. The main principles underlying all criminal sentences were first punitve, second reformatory, and finally preventive or deterrent. While punitive and deterrent were essential, he ventured to think that reformatory was no less important; and in first offenders was often successful. In the case of "habituals," however, it was hopeless.
The change desired was to make the punishment or treatment fit not only the crime but the criminal. In fact he would go further and say it was more important to fit the criminal even than the crime. The fit treatment for the hardened and habitual criminal was not severity of punishment so much as to keep him out of temptation for longer periods—to induce Courts to pass longer sentences by removing the severity of treatment after the punitive period. An habitual criminal who now got three years penal servitude and was then released to prey upon the public might, if the Bill passed, at the discretion of the Judge get seven years or more, of which the first quarter, or such longer period as the Judge might direct, would be of hard labour or under the general rules of penal servitude. He would serve the remainder of the sentence under milder circumstances, which would amount really to little more than restraint. Another portion of the scheme, indeed a great part of it, was the separation of convicts into classes, and the special treatment of each class could be carried out by means of rules made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department and laid before Parliament. But it was necessary also to confer upon the Judges by statute power to direct that a portion of the sentence which they passed upon a "habitual" criminal should be served under modified conditions. This power 727 the Bill gave in the case of convicts previously convicted at least three times, and known to be leading criminal lives, who were sentenced to terms of not less than seven years. The modified treatment would not begin till after at least one-fourth of the sentence, or, in the case of a second sentence of penal servitude, five years had been served under ordinary conditions. The rules would provide that convicts so sentenced should be placed in a special division and be allowed such relaxations and modifications of the ordinary prison treatment as were suitable for cases where detention was prolonged for the protection of the public rather than as a punishment for the last offence. The rules would also make special provision for the consideration from time to time by the Secretary of State of each convict's fitness for release. Other rules would provide somewhat similar treatment for those convicts undergoing ordinary sentences whom the Secretary of State, after they had served ten years, might think fit to place in a special long-sentence division.
He had heard two criticisms of this Bill in regard to which he would just like to say a word. Sir Robert Anderson regarded the Bill as a half-hearted measure. He thought the answer to that was that it was desirable to proceed cautiously, and that it was very doubtful whether public opinion was prepared to dispense with all statutory limits to sentences, and co send a man into confinement and leave his release or life-long detention entirely to the discretion of the Secretary of State. If the system moderately introduced in the present Bill proved successful, it might afterwards be extended, should the extension bethought desirable. Another objection taken to the Bill was that the criminal ought to be convicted of being an habitual criminal before he was dealt with as such by the Judge. But there were strong reasons in favour of the Judges being left, as now, to their discretion. Under the Bill, the crime would be proved and the Judge would then, as now, take into account the previous history of the prisoner, his character and demeanour, and pass sentence accordingly.
§ *MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said that in sentencing a man on a charge the Judge would take into account his history and whether he was an habitual criminal or not. It was not merely, nor indeed chiefly, the number of convictions which made a man an habitual criminal. These could be proved, but what could not be proved without alteration in the laws of evidence and the practice of the Courts was the general tenour of a man's life. The Bill was a Bill requiring careful consideration, which he thought it would get from the Grand Committee on Law. He did not look upon it as controversial, and would be glad to have help from both sides of the House in making it a practical measure. He moved the Second Reading.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire.Mid.)
said the House was grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for the manner in which he had expounded this Bill. There could be no doubt that the Bill dealt with a class of criminals which the present law did not satisfactorily deal with. In the experience both of England and Scotland there were persons who were prone to be criminal, owing to some inherent defect in their nature, which no amount of punishment would eradicate. The right hon. Gentleman had given illustrations of persons who had practically lived all their lives in prison. The only effect was that they were hardened in crime and came out of prison worse than they went in. In Scotland it was lamentable to find so many people brought up before the magistrates guilty of the most petty thefts getting such heavy sentences. Experience showed that penal servitude did not deal effectively with cases of this kind which were due not only to the mental condition of the criminals, but also to the surroundings in which they lived. Such cases were also found among the wealthy classes, where people suffering from kleptomania were prone to be criminal by some aberration of nature. But when this Bill was considered it was found it was not intended to bring about any reform at all on the lines of lesser sentences. It still further 729 increased the imprisoning process. The only thing the Bill did was to lengthen the period of relief for the public. These people were to be kept longer in prison, and all the Bill proposed to do was to separate the periods of penal servitude; one of which was to be of a strict form, and the remainder of a less rigorous nature Did anyone suppose such a system would be obtained from the period of penal servitude would be entirely obliterated by the more lengthened period in which they were kept in durance vile. Many expedients had been tried. When it was found that long periods of imprisonment did not effect a cure the ticket-of-leave was introduced with police supervision, but it was found in practice that the police supervision was of so stringent a nature that when men were liberated with worse than no character at all, they had no chance what ever of obtaining employment. What, under those circumstance, could a released criminal do if he wanted to earn an honest livelihood? Naturally, he was asked what was his last situation, but he could give no account of himself, and he was almost forced, once more, into criminality. Surely something more than further imprisonment was needed in order to reform a criminal. A ticket-of-leave was very well in its way, but, to do the recipient any good, it must be accompanied by some arrangement under which he would at least have the chance man's sentence was to be doubled because of getting honest employment. He did of the life he had been leading there should not be some supervision, but he did say that it should be such as would not prevent the released man from getting employment or from mixing with the general public. However, when the system of ticket-of-leave was found not to work it was superseded by a system of shorter sentences.
Of late years the view of Judges had been that sentences should rather be short and sharp than prolonged, but the present Bill sought to go back to the old system of long sentences, with the mere modification of the severity of the punishment during the later period of sentence. It was noteworthy, however, that the minimum sentence which could be imposed under the Bill was seven years—and seven years of penal servitude. No discretion was to be vested in the Judge for the reduction of the sentence below that period, 730 and he regarded the introduction of a Bill with such a minimum as contrary to modern usages and ideas. And who were the persons who were liable to have such sentences passed upon them? They were persons who had twice been convicted of indictable offences. It was not necessary that they should have before been sentenced to penal servitude, or even to imprisonment—the indictable offences might have been of the simplest description. Striking a man a blow on the nose or an offence against the Merchandise Marks Act would, either of them, be indictable offences, yet a man convicted under those circumstances might, if brought up a third time, be subjected to a term of penal servitude extending over not less than seven years. What hope would such a man have of recovering his position after undergoing a sentence such as that? The Bill, he further complained, gave no details as to the manner in which prisoners would be dealt with in the way of the reduction of sentences to good-conduct men. Another objectionable provision of the measure was that which said that a man must be proved to have been leading a persistently dishonest or criminal life. In a matter of this sort what was nominally the minor matter might well be the greater offence, since the charge on which the prisoner was being tried might be comparatively trifling. And if a man's sentence was to be doubled because of the life he had been leading there should, surely, be adduced some evidence of the life he had been leading. The jury tried the case in respect of the crime for which the prisoner was committed, but who was to try the matter of fact as to the life he had been leading? If it was to be left to the Judge, how was the Judge to determine the matter? Was there to be a second trial, after the first had closed? Because the prisoner ought, of course, to be able to bring rebutting evidence for which no provision, so far as he could see, was made in the Bill before the House. On the other hand, if the evidence as to a prisoner's life was to be laid before a jury, together with the evidence of the offence on which he was being charged, it would tend to prejudice his case, and he might be convicted, not so much on the evidence as to that offence as on the bad character which was given 731 him in open Court. As for leaving the matter to the discretion of the Judge—well, everybody knew, from the remarks made by certain Judges in open Court, how often their lordships were influenced by momentary impressions, and one of those momentary impressions might mean seven years penal servitude to a prisoner. The lengthened period of imprisonment was not likely to do the least good, but there was every probability that it would do an immense amount of harm.
There were two or three other proposals in the Bill to which the Home Secretary hid not adverted. At present the Prevention of Crimes Act applied to a man only when he committed an offence. If a constable was satisfied that a convict on licence was getting his living by dishonest means he could arrest him without a warrant. But getting one's living by dishonest means was an offence which everybody would agree should entail the forfeiture of the licence. Moreover, one of the conditions of the licence itself was that the holder should not habitually associate with notoriously bad characters. "What more than that was wanted? It was now proposed to add the words "or is habitually consorting with thieves and bad characters." That was a very dangerous provision to insert, because a man might live in a locality in which there were dishonest people whom he knew and would speak to, without necessarily himself joining in their pursuits. It was really imposing upon a man an impossible standard of morality. Were there no bad characters in the wealthier classes? What was a "bad character"? It was not defined in the Bill. The question would probably be decided on the evidence of a detective who could never see any good in a man who had been once convicted; he would say that the man was consorting with thieves, and the forfeiture of the licence would follow. The general form in which a licence should be given was laid down by the Act of 1864, and if any departure from that form was made in a particular case it had to be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament. That was a very proper safeguard; it prevented favouritism, or the imposition of extreme conditions. It was now proposed to sweep away that safeguard. 732 He had no objection to special conditions being attached in special cases, but why should this safeguard be taken, away? It was of the greatest importance that the House of Commons should know exactly how the Penal Servitude Acts were being administered, and he hoped the Home Secretary would see that the abolition of this safeguard was not in the public interest. He admitted that the Bill was an honest attempt on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to work out a reform as far as he could without going into the region of philanthropy; but, though the intention was good, but the Bill failed to carry it out.
§ MR. H. D. GREENE (Shrewsbury)
said he understood from the tone of the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down that he cordially agreed with the attempt made by the Home Secretary in this Bill to deal with a matter which had been before the House for something like ten years. He agreed with many of the remarks which had fallen from the hon. Member opposite, but he hoped that no one would move the rejection of this Bill, and that it would be sent to the Standing Committee, where many of the objections which had been raised could be duly considered. If the Home Secretary had desired to make a stronger casa he could easily have done so. He might have referred to the Report of the Committee which sat in 1894, which was appointed by the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for East Fife, whose distinguished management of the Home Office had effected a vast number of improvements in the administration of those branches of the law with which that Office had to deal. Then there were the Judicial Statistics of 1897 and the present year, and also the Reports of the Prisons Commissioners, including those from Scotland, which were issued a few days ago. The Home Secretary might have pointed out in all those documents evidence in support of the proposals that the unfortunate class of persons dealt with by this Bill ought to be treated upon a new system. In the Judicial Statistics of 1897 the uselessness of imposing sentences, of penal servitude on these people was very forcibly pointed out, and it was clearly shown that neither penal 733 servitude nor long terms of imprisonment served to deter this class from resorting to crime again. The Prison Commissioners in 1902 pointed out that out of 2,879 persons who in that year were serving sentences in the convict penal establishments, 1,342 had been previously sentenced to three terms of imprisonment exceeding six months or to penal servitude. Out of the convict population at that time forty-six per cent, had been convicted or sentenced to long terms of imprisonment or to penal servitude. The Report which was issued in 1902 stated that the time had now come when some form of special detention should be devised by which these criminals might be segregated for long periods at a time.
It seemed to him that there were two dangers in connection with this Bill, and he wished to ask the Home Secretary how far he would allow these dangers to be dealt with by the Committee. He wished to point out that this measure provided no fresh or additional punishment. The hon. Member for Mid Lanark seemed to think that the imposition of seven years was a fresh kind of sentence but that was not so. At the present time the Court had power to impose penal servitude for not less than three years and varying from seven years to penal servitude for life. The Bill left the Court power to impose the maximum sentence, but it provided a less severe mode of serving the part of it. The detriment to the prisoner was that they attempted to cut off the right to earn a ticket-of-leave. That was where the prisoner would suffer. The prisoner was to be sentenced as now, but at the present time if a prisoner was sentenced to seven years penal servitude he had remitted, if he behaved himself properly, one year and nine months and he only served five years and three months. Under the new system the prisoner would not get the chance of earning that remission. They were told in the prison reports that the great advantage of the system was that this practice of remission filled the prisoners with hope. The prisoner was hopeful in the hours of solitary confinement, and that was found to be very beneficial. The opportunity of getting liberated sooner was an incentive to prisoners 734 to behave well, but the result of this Bill would be that the sentence would be the same, but the prisoner, instead of having the chance of a ticket-of-leave, would be kept in prison on new and different terms. What would be the effect of passing a statute of this kind on the mind of the tribunal imposing the sentence? They were told by the Prison Commissioners in their Report of 1902 that the professional class of criminals might be segregated by order of the Court for longer periods of time for their last particular offence. That provision was intended to encourage Judges to look at the maximum, sentences that might be imposed. If the Judge had got before him a person belonging to this professional criminal class he might think that the best thing in the interests of the prisoner and of the public would be to impose the maximum sentence, and the prisoner might be sentenced to fourteen years penal servitude, three years and six months of which he would undergo under the new treatment for this habitual class. He would serve ten years and six months in the ordinary prison discipline, and three years and six months he would have to live under the habitual criminal class treatment. He should not object to that altogether if some safeguards were introduced which he would allude to.
He wished to point out to the Home Secretary that this Bill differed from the recommendations in the Reports of the Prison Commissioners in two matters. The Committee of 1894, established by the then Home Secretary, reported that the new form of sentence should not be left to the discretion of the Judges. That was what he attached very great importance to. As the Bill stood this system might be administered not only by Judges but also by recorders and chairmen of quarter sessions. There were some 200 or 300 recorders and chairmen of quarter sessions who had nothing in common to bring them together in order to exchange thought as to the best way in which punishment should be dealt out; and what was more, they were not all educated in law, although he would trust those recorders who were trained lawyers, with this power. He should, however, resent 735 giving to chairmen of quarter sessions the power to impose the maximum sentence of penal servitude, a power which they would have if this Bill passed. A chairman of quarter sessions, anxious to do his best towards the prisoner, might say that fourteen years penal servitude was the wisest sentence he could pass, but if he did that there might be a very great hardship to the prisoner. Those gentlemen might have exceptional views in regard to punishment and this Bill would put it into the power of a chairman of quarter sessions, untrained as a lawyer and not coming into association with others administering the law, to impose a very long sentence upon a prisoner, much longer probably than the Judges would impose. The Judges of this country were only fifteen or sixteen in number, but they were persons who frequently exchanged views in respect of the period of punishment which ought to be imposed. He thought that in a case where they were giving power to one class of Judge to impose a maximum sentence as a experiment, they ought in the first instance to limit that experiment to the Judges of the High Court.
The proposals of this Bill differed as to the nature of the offences from the recommendations of the Commissioners and of the officials of the different prisons who had reported upon this question. The Prison Commissioners made the proposal with reference to professional criminals, which term they used in a technical sense as meaning men whose record showed that they had lived systematically by thieving and robbery. The Judicial Statistics of 1897 referred to the cases of persons who went wrong from a settled intention to gain a living by dishonesty. If they turned to this Bill they would see that it was not only offences of dishonesty which fell within its purview. He was quite willing to accept the Bill if it was modified to meet the wishes and suggestions of the Prison Commissioners and the other bodies who had considered the matter. The Bill was intended to deal with "any person who has previously been convicted more than twice of an indictable offence." There were a vast number of indictable offences, such as stealing apples, the theft of the fraction of a penny, bigamy, and perjury; there were also political crimes 736 which were indictable offences, and which had nothing to do with theft or dishonesty, and he would be no party, so far as he could prevent it, to allowing quarter sessions to use convictions on these and other matters as a pretext for imposing the maximum sentence when this highly beneficial measure came into operation. He hoped that when the Bill came before the Standing Committee on Law the Home Secretary would assent to an Amendment limiting the words in the Bill as drafted to such indictable offences as involved fraud and dishonesty, because it was people who were guilty of fraud and dishonesty they wished to bring within its operation.
There was a great deal of force in the criticism which had been made on the proposal that a prisoner ought to be allowed to prove before a jury what kind of life he had been leading. As one who had been constantly engaged for many years in the administration of the criminal law he felt very strongly in the matter. He had over and over again in the Assize Courts and in quarter sessions seen placed on trial a person who, perhaps, was particularly obnoxious to the police. When the prisoner had pleaded guilty he had seen a policeman volunteer that he could give information as to the life of the prisoner. Some Judges allowed this and some resented it. In many instances statements which had no bearing on the charge before the Court were made. They were more or less prejudicial to a prisoner, and he was bewildered by them, but, having no friends, no lawyer, and no opportunity of knowing the things that were to be brought forward, he was speechless, and the Judges were sometimes prepared to act on the information. For himself, he never would listen to anything of that kind. In considering the punishment to be awarded—the most difficult thing a Judge had to determine—he ought not to allow anything which spectators would consider unfair and unjust when brought forward against a prisoner to weigh against him. It seemed to him that what had been proved in the case then before the Court, or proof of previous convictions, should be sufficient to justify a Judge in reference to the sentence he had to pass. By a trifling Amendment when the Committee stage was reached 737 it would be very easy indeed to deal with the matter, and probably the Amendment would be accepted by the Home Secretary, who had invited suggestions, and who was apparently anxious to co-operate with hon. Members on the other side in getting a solution of this most difficult question.
There was one other matter which he would respectfully ask the Home Secretary to consider. When the Prisons Bill of 1898 was before the House, the Home Secretary of the day was pressed by the Irish Members, and others on both sides, to place on the Table of the House the existing rules applicable to prison procedure, and he did so, and also undertook to place in the hands of the Committee upstairs the rules proposed to be brought into operation under that Bill. There was a disposition on the part of the Members of the Committee then not to allow the Bill to pass unless the Home Secretary gave some information as to the rules. The draft rules were submitted to the Committee, and the rules which subsequently came into operation were those which had been discussed and approved. He would respectfully ask the Home Secretary to do the same thing on this occasion. The House did not know what sort of treatment was to be meted out to these people. The House ought to know how they were to be treated, whether they would be allowed access to their friends, whether missionaries and others might visit them, and whether they would have the relaxation of attending lectures such as was now given under the Prisons Act of 1898. They ought to know all that before they gave the Home Secretary power to make the rules. He felt very strongly on this subject, and if that appeal did not meet with encouragement he would take other opportunities of pressing it on the attention of the House. The wretched man who got into the position of being subject to the provisions of this Bill was probably the victim of heredity or want of opportunities in life, and he was absolutely helpless. It was for them to see what they could do for him. They must, therefore, see what the rules were to be. He had no doubt the Home Secretary would give them some information on that point. The last speaker 738 stated that the Bill did not show that it would reform the criminal. The disclosure of the rules might perhaps throw great light on that matter. They would then see whether after the punitive treatment the course to be adopted would have a reforming effect on the prisoner. He would await with great interest the result of the appeal he had made to the Home Secretary. They all knew that, after the passing of a Bill, when rules were laid on the Table of the House it was hopeless in the way business was conducted in that Assembly to get sufficiently strong support to a proposal to alter the rules. He sincerely believed that if this Bill was considered by the Standing Committee on Law in the same spirit as animated the Committee when dealing with the Bill of 1898, this Parliament would be able to produce something which would be of inestimable value in the future.
§ *SIR JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)
said he did not by any means find great fault with the Bill, but there were certain details which required amendment to make the measure a useful one. He desired to associate himself with the excellent statement made by his hon. and learned friend, and especially with the suggestion that the Home Secretary should provide the Committee which considered the Bill with copies of, or at all events a sketch of, the rules he proposed to draft under the Bill. The practice of putting rules which were drawn up by the Home Office on the Table of the House for forty days was more or less a farce. He never knew what part of the Table to search for them. As regarded the schedule of previous convictions, he wished to know whether the operation of the Bill would be of such a character as had been foreshadowed by his hon. and learned friend. To say that a poor woman who stole a piece of bread or an apple should be subject after two convictions of that kind to a possible term of seven years penal servitude was a monstrous proposal and no proper-minded Judge would think of giving such a sentence. He wished to see the prisoner safeguarded by some clear statement in the Bill of the class of previous convictions which should be followed by the exercise of the power, given in the Bill, to award seven years' penal servitude. Previous 739 speakers had asked for something in the nature of a second trial to prove that a man had, in fact, been leading a criminal life. He would be the last to suggest interference with anything which would protect the prisoner; but did the House know what really happened under certain circumstances? For ten years as Recorder of Manchester he had been in a responsible position as a criminal Judge, and when a man with previous convictions was brought before him he was furnished with a calendar setting forth the whole of the criminal life of that man. In some cases the record was a terrible one, and he could not see what benefit there would be to anybody in having a second trial in such cases, because it would mean simply calling evidence to prove previous convictions. Sometimes men with bad records were brought up, men who had been in penal servitude, but who perhaps for ten years had had no record against them. Under such circumstances, he was only too anxious to deal leniently with a man, because there was a strong presumption that the man had been trying for a period to get an honest livelihood. He, therefore, obtained the assistance of an able inspector of police whose duty it was to supply him with a history of the life of the man in order that he might satisfy himself that the prisoner had tried to live an honest life. That was an illustration of what he thought was very desirable in criminal Courts, but he did not know that it could be made a part of the statute. If a prisoner could gain anything by having previous convictions proved against him, by all means let it be done; but in nine cases out of ten when a man had a long list of previous convictions against him, the Judge was fully armed with all the information he required. He was bound to say that in passing sentence Judges were sometimes a little apt to forget the prisoner's future. When a man was convicted of a serious offence for the first time and sent to penal servitude, especially if he were a young man, the Judge ought not to forget that he had a future. The paramount duty of a Judge was to protect the public, but if consorting with criminals produced criminality, as no doubt it did, a Judge ought to be only too glad to protect a person convicted for the first time by placing him in a 740 class separate from others. He gathered inferentially that that was a part of the intention of the Bill, and, approving of the principle of the measure, he should vote for the Second Reading.
§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
said that this was a subject in which criminologists of all nations were very much interested, and they were greatly indebted to his right hon. friend the Home Secretary for this attempt to deal with it. The subject was one full of difficulty, and, as having had some experience in the matter, he would like to say one or two words on the question. No one had been more anxious than he had been not to send to prison persons whose offences had been committed either in youth or under circumstances of great pressure and want, and he had had the good fortune in 1887 to pass through that House the First Offenders Act, which had been taken advantage of very largely throughout the country, and had saved from imprisonment some 70,000 persons in England and Wales. But the great difficulty which always beset everybody who had had to deal judicially, magisterially, Or from the police point of view, with crime was the difficulty of the habitual offender. Some remarkable articles had recently appeared by Sir Robert Anderson which showed the enormous increase in habitual offenders, but the Judicial Statistics showed this most clearly. The habitual criminal was not only a danger to society but he acted as a tempter to young people to indulge in a criminal life. All his influence was for the bad. What had been done by the present Home Secretary and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife in the direction of separating classes of criminals, and in preventing the young prisoner from coining in contact with the old and habitual criminal, was worthy of all praise, and had been attended with very considerable advantage. The Judicial Statistics for 1902, which were of a very remarkable and serious character, showed that offences against property with violence had considerably increased in that year, and amounted to 2,850, and the Home Office had explained that part of that increase was due to the long-observed growth of offences by habitual offenders. He 741 found that 9,138 prisoners had been brought before assizes and Courts of quarter sessions for criminal offences, of these 5,678 had been previously convicted, and 4,055 had been convicted three times; 408 had twenty previous convictions; 914 had between eleven and twenty; 2,647 had been convicted more than six times, and of the 9,138 no less than 845 had previously undergone penal servitude, and 555 had been previously convicted more than five times for the offences of burglary, house-breaking, and shop-breaking. The effort which had been made in this Bill to do something to deal with this very serious problem of the habitual offender was deserving of all support that could possibly be given to it. It was not necessary to enter into details. He sympathised a great deal with what had been said by the hon. Member for Shrewsbury as to the necessity of exercising great care with regard to the rules under which the Act would be put in force. The views of experts like the hon. Member for Accrington should receive every possible consideration on behalf of society at large, on behalf of the protection which it was necessary to afford to society against wrong-doers, and on behalf of the taxpayers who supported habitual criminals for long periods of years. He desired to give this Bill hearty support, and he trusted it might be referred to a Committee by which the details would be thoroughly threshed out. Great progress would then be made in criminal science in this country.
§ *MR. TOULMIN (Lancashire, Bury)
said it was perfectly true as stated by the Home Secretary that the existence of habitual criminals was not good for the country. Of course not, because it was the habitual criminal who kept alive that most vicious class, the receiver. It was the receiver who encouraged crime who was supported by habitual criminals and by him the young were trained in criminal paths. The frequent returns to crime ought to lead us to consider whether habitual crime was due merely to original sin on the part of the criminals or whether it was not a sign of the failure of our present system; whether the curative element in the punishments we inflicted ought not to be strengthened, 742 and whether we ought not to pay more attention to physical and industrial training throughout our prison system. The Home Secretary had seemed to suggest that vagrancy very often shaded off into crime, and he (Mr. Toulmin) could not help thinking that if vagrancy were effectively dealt with, it would have a great deal of influence on the disappearance of the habitual criminal. In the State of Massachusetts mercy was exercised with the very best effect in the earlier stages of crime. He could not help thinking that we in this country had begun at the wrong end. If we had seen some of these criminals before they became habitual and had dealt with them then, the problem we had to solve would have been much easier than it was at the present time. There was considerable; force in the objection of the right hon. Gentleman that the power of determining an indeterminate sentence was not one which should be exercised by the Secretary of State, but the question of indeterminate sentences could not be excluded from consideration simply because it was not desirable that they should be revised by the Secretary of State. He himself could imagine a case where the length of a sentence was not determined, and where such sentence might be subject to revision I after a certain period by a Court of law and where, by that means, a revision by the Secretary of State might be avoided. Care should also be taken that where this provision was exercised against a criminal he should have the right to be heard. A great deal might be said in favour of a separate charge being made against a criminal after he had been convicted of I the offence which had brought him before the Court; whether there should not be a separate charge making him liable to be dealt with as an habitual criminal and so giving an opportunity to his counsel to be heard upon what appeared to him to be a second charge.
If all the Bill did was to make the law more drastic and severe, which in his opinion was not desirable, he could not view it with favour. He viewed with a certain amount of horror these long sentences of penal servitude; fourteen years was a large part out of a man's life, and he could not view with sympathy such a term being 743 extended. He could not get away from the fact that the habitual criminal ought to be looked upon as one mentally infirm, and therefore he hoped this Bill would not shut the door of mercy. The good or the evil which would result from this Bill would result from the way in which it was carried out, from the rules made by the Department, which were, he understood, to be laid before the Committee. The end of prison life should afford the means for a criminal being re-absorbed in the social life of the nation. A man was frequently accused of associating with habitual criminals. How could it be otherwise? When he came out of prison where was he to go? He, of course, went back to his friends. Where else was he to go? If this Bill afforded a man an opportunity of doing something when he came out of prison it might effect some good; but if it was merely to rid society of the pest of the habitual criminal he could not view it with favour. If it was the beginning or the extension of a wise system by which an endeavour would be made to treat the diseased minds of habitual criminals, and to individualise each case, then the Bill would be likely to do a great deal of good. And with that hope he would have great pleasure in supporting the Second Reading.
§ SIR ERNEST FLOWER (Bradford, W.)
congratulated his right hon. friend the Home Secretary on the reception which his Bill had met with, and cordially wished it a successful and speedy passage into law. He believed that it would make an extremely useful addition to the great Prisons Act of 1898, of which it was the necessary result, because the experience gained from the working of that Act had shown an enormous defect as to classification. He noticed from the Report of the Prisons Commission of 1900 that only a fraction of 1 per cent, of the star class had been reconvicted. Under the rules of the Act of 1898 there was the star class composed of persons who had not been previously convicted or who were not habitual criminals or corrupt persons; the ordinary class, and the intermediate class. Under this Bill he presumed there would be a fourth class, which would be called the habitual offenders' division. He agreed with his hon. and learned friend 744 the Member for Shrewsbury that, when they came to consider it in the Standing Committee on Law, they should have furnished to them in the form of a Memorandum the special rules which would be made for the class of prisoners dealt with in the Bill. They did not want to take away any of the privileges which were secured by good conduct on the part of the prisoner and which were now embodied in the rules framed under the Act of 1898.
§ *MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)
did not think the Bill was of much value. He had read it and had doubted whether he ought to vote for it, and now that he had heard the disquisition of the right hon. Gentleman he was still uncertain as to which course he ought to take with regard to it. It modified some part of the sentence in the habitual criminal division, but he did not know whether it made a man better off or worse off, having regard to the knowledge in the man's mind that no part of his sentence would be remitted. The management of our prisons had now been taken out of the hands of the justices and had been vested in the hands of Commissioners, and the Prison Commissioners, with whom he had been associated from time to time, had developed the management on a different line. Formerly the Justices gave the prisoner some industrial work to do and gave him when he left a small share of his earnings, so that he could make a start when he went out of prison. A certain amount of work was a great relief to a prisoner, and if he had work to do he became interested in it and it did away with the evil which was engendered by long years of imprisonment. If there had been some attempt made to ameliorate the position of those who were in prison, or, better still, if there had been some attempt made to prevent the habitual vagrant from becoming an habitual criminal, he should have viewed the Bill with more favour. He did not wish to go the length of moving the rejection of the Bill, but he hoped that in Committee the Home Secretary would give most favourable consideration to Amendments which had a tendency to ameliorate 745 the position of prisoners and to treat them as human beings.
§ *MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R.,) Elland)
saide very body would agree that the most interesting speech of the debate was that of the hon. and learned Member for Shrewsbury, but it was extremely damaging to the Bill before the House. He agreed with his hon. friend the Member for Keighley that this was an extremely petty measure, and would probably be an extremely useless piece of legislation. Our prison system certainly required a great deal of reform and amendment. It was extremely doubtful whether professional crime was not on the increase in this country. The unfortunate character of the monotony of our present prison treatment afforded no cure for the bad character of the inmates of our prisons. In fact, its deadening influence destroyed any good the inmates might have had in them, and they left the prisons worse than when they entered them. Another objection was that the Bill would not prevent constant recurrence of crime in the same individual when he left prison. There was nothing in it which was likely to relieve the monotony of prison life, for one of the noticeable features of the Bill was that if a man had been previously convicted he had to serve at least five years under the ordinary rules before he was subjected to the treatment which was expected to improve him, and was left during that time in the company of other criminals. The chief difficulty under which the House laboured in discussing the Bill seemed to lie in the absence of any statement on the part of the Government as to what the treatment of the habitual offenders' division was going to be, for that, after all, was the whole gist of the matter.
There were, at the present time, several schemes which were being tried. There was that of a segregation of first offenders from habitual criminals. This was first done in '97 or '98, and had been going on during the last five years. He would like to know whether, in the division of first offenders from habitual criminals, there was to be any difference of treatment, or whether the rules would merely provide for the separation of the two classes and leave the criminals whom it was specially sought to reform in practically the same position as ordinary 746 criminals. Another scheme which was being tried in at least one prison was what was known as the Borstal system, from which he would have had more hope than from the Government proposal, since it was calculated to build up, in some measures, the self-respect of the criminal. One could only get from the rules, of course, an outline of what it was supposed to be, but those rules were given in the prisons' Report of 1902, and the effect of them was that they classified offenders into various grades and provided for their instruction in useful trades, for special exercise, and for special dietary. This was, in effect, the system which had been initiated in the Elmira Prison in New York, and ha thought the House might well ask to know whether the rules to be introduced under the Government's present Bill would be based on similar lines. For himself he thought the chief fault of the Bill lay in the fact that it began at the wrong end, for it seemed to him that it would have been far better to lay stress on the improvement of the first offender rather than to deal, at the outset, with the habitual criminal. It might be, indeed, that was the intention of the Government, but then they should tell the House so. He thought the Government would have done muck better if they had taken all the first offenders in the country and boldly initiated a large scheme under which they could have given to the controllers of the prisons power to shorten sentences and let prisoners out if they regarded them as cured or on the way to being cured. There should be greater latitude in bringing the sentence to an end in accordance with the development of the prisoners under treatment. There was nothing of this character in the Bill.
With regard to the treatment of habitua criminals it was a very strong measure to give power to a Judge to punish a prisoner not only for the offence for which he was tried but for a past offence without going judicially into what this past offence was. That question might, however, be dealt with in Committee. The way to treat habitual offenders was to adopt a very rigid system of imprisonment, and if the habitual offender was of a serious kind he had no objection in theory to excluding him permanently 747 from society, for he agreed, in the main, with Sir Robert Anderson's view in favour of the permanent exclusion of habitual criminals of a serious kind, and that it was the only way in which criminals of that nature could he stamped out. He did not think there would be ably consider the complete recasting of improving habitual criminals by a few years of better treatment towards the expiration of their the Home Secretary might rely upon the sentences. It might be tried, but he did not think it would succeed, and he thought there might well be considered the desirability of keeping under permanent control habitual criminals unless it was shown that there was a reasonable prospect that they would go back to outside life with the intention of living respectably. He trusted that if the Bill became law it would first undergo very material amendment, and he hoped, in the meantime, that some clearer announcement than had, so far, been made by the Government would be forthcoming.
§ ME. WHITLEY
charactesised the Bill as right in its intentions but wrong in its methods. It did not carry out any of the points recommended by Sir Robert Anderson. It would be possible under the Bill for this kind of thing to happen. A man might be apprehended on a charge of stealing pocket-handkerchief and convicted, and then the Judge might, before pronouncing sentence, say, "I see you are an habitual criminal. I will sentence you, not for stealing a pocket-handkerchief, but because you are an habitual criminal." The prisoner's defence was by this time closed, and it seemed to him a very un-English plan and a very undesirable plan that they should give a Judge power to sentence a man for a crime with which he had not been charged. This question could not be dealt with Committee, because it went to the very root of the Bill, him to oppose the measure. Why, he asked, could the Government not have proceeded on the lines recommended by Sir Robert Anderson? If a man was definitely charged with being an habitual criminal, he would at least have a chance of defending himself, but under the Bill a prisoner would have two charges to answer—that set out in the indictment 748 and another entirely different, which latter would not be entered upon till, as he had said, the defence was closed. He ventured to press the Home Secretary very strongly upon this point, and to ask him to undertake in Committee to favourably consider the complete recasting of the Bill in the sense he had suggested. If this was done he felt quite sure that the Home Secretary might rely upon the support of the House for much more stringent methods of treatment for this class of habitual offenders than he could do under the Bill in its present form. It would be perfectly just to impose a long period of separation from society on these persons. The striking thing was that this class of habitual criminals was so small, and that the amount of crime perpetrated by this class was so large. It was a matter for congratulation that the class was small, and it was a strong case for attempting to deal with that class. He would ask the House to hesitate before bringing about so un-English a procedure as that of sentencing a man for a crime with which he was not charged and upon which he was not allowed to bring forward a defence. These men should in justice be told what the charges against them were and be allowed to make a defence. He was satisfied that both the House and the public were prepared to adopt new methods of dealing with these men who were so twisted in the brain that no amount of imprisonment would reform them. Something between penal servitude and a model hospital should be provided for them where they would not be able to prey upon society. He again asked whether the Home Secretary would not withdraw the Bill in its present form, or, at least, assure the House that he would be prepared to consider in Committee very wide Amendments on the lines that had been suggested.
§ COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire, Bootle)
said that, though he had no special qualification for joining in the debate, he was thoroughly in accord with the Bill which the Government had introduced, since it provided for more stringent legislation against a certain class which was in perpetual conflict with the laws of the country. He had no sympathy with those who were actuated by the wish to 749 make things comfortable for the habitual criminal, who was already better lodged, fed, and generally cared for than many honest people in civil life. His own view was that the law should be made so strong as to exercise a deterrent effect on the persistently criminal classes, and he should support the Bill before the House in the belief that that would be its tendency.
§ MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
said that so far as the principle underlying the Bill was concerned, he was strongly in favour of it. It was really the outcome of a movement which first took practical shape nine years ago, when a Committee was appointed to consider the subject, but the Government were now making a further step in the direction of the policy then initiated. Reference had already been made to the extremely interesting articles by Sir R. Anderson, but the public were also greatly indebted to Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise, who had taken up the Report of the Committee in the spirit in which it was intended, and had done a great deal of continuous work in developing the prison system. One could recognise his hand in co-operation with the Home Secretary in the fashioning of the proposals of the Bill under discussion. The broad principle of the measure might be said to be classification of prisoners. Roughly speaking, there were three classes of prisoners, viz., those who were inexperienced, so to speak, and capable of being reformed; those in regard to whom one could consider little more than their punishment; and those who deserved not only punishment, but also to be looked upon as being incapable of becoming useful citizens—men who had become habitual criminals, and who, while being treated humanely, ought to be segregated, because they had a bad and corrupting influence on the whole tone of prison life. After all, there was a "tone" in prison life as in everything else. A number of men could not be placed together without there being a tendency for the better to fall to the level of the worse, unless steps were taken to prevent the lower element obtaining the ascendency, and the whole trend of recent reform had been in the direction of separating the worse from 750 the better in order to give the more hopeful cases a chance of redeeming their characters.
One of the great difficulties successive Governments had had to contend with in attempting a reform had been the total absence of any common principle in the sentences of the Judges, and this Bill certainly did contain a principle which the Judges would have to consider when they came to sentence prisoners of this class. Proposals had been made for some sort of inquiry whereby Judges might be brought to adopt a common standard in regard to sentences, but it was an extremely difficult thing to do because of the different views held by different Judges with regard to different crimes and criminals. It was a defect in any proposal that "the reform should be carried out entirely by the Home Office without a report from the Judges whose large experience might enable something like uniformity to be introduced into the matter. The Bill dealt with persons who had been previously convicted more than twice of indictable offences, and two conditions had to be fulfilled before the measure came into operation. The first condition was that the person had been living a persistently dishonest and criminal life. He presumed that that would be ascertained in some fashion subsequent to the verdict of the jury; it would be very unfortunate if it should be in any way introduced in the course of the trial itself. The second provision was that the Judge should be satisfied that it was expedient for the protection of the public that the man should be kept in detention for a lengthened period of years. He did not agree with the hon. Member for Halifax that that was such a very difficult thing to determine. An experienced Judge would be able to settle; the matter by the record of the prisoner and the impression made upon him by the evidence at the trial. Moreover, the Home Office would still have power to shorten sentences if necessary, and he had always thought that the power of the Home Office was infinitely preferable to a Court of Criminal Appeal in that matter. He had known cases in which the Home Office had been able to revise the decision of a Court and jury where f no Court of Criminal Appeal could have 751 dealt with the matter, and grave injustice had been averted or redress given. He was not afraid to entrust the Judges with the discretion given by this Bill, the power of the Home Office remaining as at present.
He could not help feeling, however, that there was a certain amount of vagueness in the Bill. Rules were to be framed after its passage constituting an I habitual offenders' division and prescribing what was to take place in that division. The habitual offender was not less entitled to the consideration of Parliament than any other member of the community, and, in the interests of justice and of humanity, it was only right that if he was to be set apart for the sake of the State, the House should see that his treatment was intelligible, rational, and, as far as consistent with the dictates of justice, mitigatory of the hardship of his position. It was a terrible thing for a man to be adjudged to have forfeited the rights of citizenship, and he would like to have heard much more concerning the nature of this division. Propositions of this kind, in view of their gravity and importance, ought to come, in the first instance, before the House for consideration, and have their general principles embodied in the legislation the House was asked to pass. An opportunity should be given to Members to form an estimate of what this habitual prisoners' division was likely to be and of passing a judgment upon the proposal. The nature of that division depended upon the Secretary of State, and there had been times when the martinet system had been much more in favour than at present. One of the things against which the Committee of 1894 protested was the militarism of the prison system; prisoners were looked upon as so many numbers; there was no discrimination, and the result was a uniform plan which frequently bore most hardly upon the individual. The constitution of a new division such as was now proposed would present a strong temptation to men of the martinet type to revert to the old view, and he did not want to see that happen any more in the case of the habitual offender than in the case of the young offender. The general principles upon which the division was to be constituted were not declared in the 752 Bill, and that appeared to him to be the worst part of the measure. The broad principle was a step in the right direction, but though he had great confidence, both, in the present Home Secretary and in Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise, they could not be certain into whose hands the administration of this matter might ultimately fall, and he thought the House itself ought to be afforded an opportunity of forming an estimate of what the rules under the Bill were going to be. He hoped this point would receive the earnest attention of His Majesty's advisers. Good intention and good principle were not enough; the working out of the measure was the important thing; and it created a certain amount of misgiving in his mind that Parliament should be asked to put so much power, without supervision, into the hands of men who might carry out the system in such a fashion as would lead to great injustice.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)
said he agreed to a large extent with his right hon. friend that one great fault of our prison system was a lack of classification, and we had apparently made no great advance so far as this Bill was concerned. His own feeling was that the rules to be framed under the Bill would be infinitely more important than the Bill itself. The most important part of our prison system ought to be classification, and the classification at present was a mere rough-and-ready one, based not on the causes of crime, but on the crimes themselves. Anyone who knew anything whatever about the science of criminology, knew that no classification could be more rough-and-ready, and certainly none could give less clue to the character of the criminal, or the possibility of reforming him, than the present system. It was perfectly true that the Prison Commissioners differentiated between crimes against the person and crimes against property, but that was a very broad distinction—a distinction, however, which was important, inasmuch as the crimes against property were very much more on the increase amongst the worst class of off enders than mere crimes against the person. The causes of crime might be roughly classified as being brought about by want, or by passion, or by drunkenness, or, finally, by an inherent tendency 753 to theft or other crime which could not be classified under the heads already given. How classification such as they had in the Bill was likely to arrive at a distinction between any of those causes he failed to see. It was perfectly clear if our prison system was to do any good whatever it must attack the mental and physical condition of prisoners in a much more scientific way. The fact was that of all social sciences that of which least was known in the United Kingdom was the science of criminology. That was to a considerable extent due to the fact that our prison system was largely a military system, and that the Governors were selected not because of their knowledge of criminology but because of their services in entirely different walks of life. Certainly the most important matters to be considered in connection with the rules were not only the effect habitual offenders had on the public themselves, but the effect that those rules would have on the criminal. He for one certainly did not look forward with much hope to any good being done by any rules which did not attempt to treat a criminal as an individual suffering from a disease—mental, physical, or moral—as distinct from the fact that he was a man who was a danger to society. Simple seclusion and lifelong sentences would certainly cure any evils which could arise from the criminal being brought into contact with society or being a parasite on our social system; but it would be necessary to adopt something much more scientific than that if they were to turn a criminal into a better being when he came out of prison.
Crimes against property were caused in the main by the fact that the criminal thought he had a more pleasant, profitable, and easy method of getting a living than by other means. In American reformatories, and to a certain extent at Borstal, efforts had been made to teach the criminal that there were better ways of making a livelihood than by theft. He was taught a trade so that he might be able, when he left prison, to earn a regular wage free from the annoyance of the police and other surveillance, and to see that on the whole it was better to be honest for his own sake—which was perhaps the only consideration that would appeal to him in the first instance. It was equally true *hat where kleptomania on a large scale 754 was developed in an individual that could be affected by both physical and mental training. He did not wish to see the whole of our prison system based on that of Elmira, but certainly some of the results there had been most remarkable. Whether by mental or physical training they had enabled a large number of their discharged prisoners to obtain respectable employment after their confinement was over, and to become useful members of the community instead of being parasites on society. The system which was instituted in England—the Borstal system—of allowing a certain amount of good conduct to be rewarded by earnings ought to be carried further, so far as the habitual offenders were concerned, not only in order that they might recognise that ordinary effort would bring its own reward, but in order that when they left prison they might have something to start with, so that they would not be driven, on the first day of freedom, to take to their old methods of life. The limit under the Borstal system was, he believed, £2. That sum was something, and ought to enable a man to live for a fortnight without resortng to his old practices. But that limit ought to be extended, certainly so far as habitual offenders went, with the idea that these men might be taught by their own efforts that they could provide themselves with the means of keeping body and soul together, and of giving them a certain amount of comfort.
Then he thought they might well revert to the old system of transportation. He knew transportation was by no means popular in Europe. Perhaps that was all the worse for Europe. But the fact remained that men of the habitual criminal class if they were transplanted into other phases of life, very frequently secured a perfectly honest livelihood. In Australia an enormous number of the criminal class had been absorbed into the population, not altogether to the detriment of the general community. Experiments made in some of the South Sea Islands had certainly produced results beneficial to those incarcerated, and large numbers of them had returned to honest livelihoods; indeed, so far as he could gather there were many now, both in the Antipodes and at home, whose ancestors were in those settlements for a large 755 number of years, and left them as honest men, perfectly prepared to be absorbed into the ordinary industrial community. The Home Secretary had said that he was not prepared to make any great advance in our prison system, because public opinion was not sufficiently advanced. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to do something to advance popular opinion. He would do nothing to advance public opinion by merely juggling with sentences. To alter a sentence from five years to seven would not do much. If they wished to do anything with the criminal class they should deal with it as with any other problem; they should apply to it all the knowledge of social science at their command, and then they might have some hope of turning a large number of these habitual offenders into honest and industrious citizens.
§ *THE UNDER-SECRETRAY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. COCHRANE,) Ayrshire, N.
thanked the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Haddingtonshire for his clear exposition of the Bill, and associated himself with the right hon. Gentleman's appreciation of the efforts of Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise in the matter of prison treatment generally. This Bill was to a certain extent a complement to the efforts made at Borstal. The Borstal system sought to cut off the source of the supply of criminals, and was a sort of corollary to the reformatory system, which had had such successful results. He wished hon. Members would take more interest in industrial and reformatory work. He could cite a case in which 91 per cent, of young criminals had been reformed. Similar efforts were made at Borstal with an older class of prisoners, who enjoyed special privileges and were put to work of an interesting character and to trades which would be useful to them in after life. The system had not been in operation long enough to tell exactly what the results would be, but he had seen it at work, and he thought there was every hope that the manufacture of young criminals would be partly stopped by the reforming influences which were brought to bear upon them. In answer to the Member for Mid Lanark, he observed that the 756 Bill provided no increase in the power of the Judge to give sentences, but if the Judge gave a sentence of seven years, a portion of the period might be served under modified conditions. It was intended to place the new rules in the hands of hon. Members before the Committee stage of the Bill; but he would be glad to give a general sketch of them if desired. The object was to try to humanise these prisoners. After they had served a certain term of penal servitude, they would be separated from the other prisoners, and they would wear a special dress, different from that worn by convicts of the ordinary division. It was intended that they should earn-money by their own industry, and should be encouraged to fit themselves for civil life on leaving prison. One of the bad effects of the present system was loss of initiative by those who came under its influence. The Home Secretary had power to advise remission of sentences, according to the conduct of the prisoners, and that he thought, met the point raised by the hon. Member. With a portion of the money they would be entitled to earn by their own industry they could purchase increased comforts for themselves.
As to proving a man to be an habitual criminal, the mind of the Judges had been most carefully ascertained. The Bill was considered at a meeting of the Judges last year, and they expressed a practically unanimous opinion in favour of it; and they were also unanimously of opinion that the matters to be considered under the Bill should not be the subject of proof by formal evidence or subject to cross-examination, but that the Judges should continue to act as at present in dealing with a prisoner's antecedents. He thought that met the argument of the hon. and learned Member behind him and also the case put forward by the hon. Member for Accrington, who had detailed his own wide experience in this matter of obtaining evidence as to character, which carried conviction that the methods he pursued were adequate and sufficient. The proposed amendment of the Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871, in Section 2 of this Bill, had been criticised by the hon. Member for Mid Lanark. The only object of that was to give a police-constable power to arrest a convict, not only 757 if he got his living by dishonest means, but also if he was found to be habitually consorting with thieves or bad characters, and to give a Court of summary jurisdiction power to forfeit the licence. As to publishing information in regard to convicts' licences by laying it upon the Table of the House, if that information became public it might make it impossible for the people who desired to employ a criminal from doing so, and life might become a burden to that man. Under the present system if a man sought employment there was the stigma of the licence resting upon him. He thought the effect of this Bill would be to make it easier for these men to lead a better life, and it would not place any obstacles in their way. He thought that most of the points that had been raised could be discussed and considered in Committee. All the Home Secretary was anxious to do was to amend the Bill in such a way as would improve it and lead to its successful working.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
said that the Government appeared to have approached the Bill in a spirit of good intention, but the debate had fully justified the position taken up by himself and others, that the Bill ought not to pass entirely as an unopposed measure. He had listened attentively to the debate, and he confessed that he was not quite sure whether the Government considered that they were bringing forward this measure in the interests of the prisoners or the public. They had to consider first of all that the particular class of prisoner which this Bill was intended to deal with was, after all, the product of our civilisation. It did not necessarily follow that a man of this class was a vile character who committed crime for his own personal benefit, but in most cases he was the result of the sins of society and of our present social conditions- No matter how well-intentioned these men might be they were born in such conditions that it was almost impossible for them to be anything but criminals, and they must take care that while pretending to do something for this most unfortunate class they did not actually make the law more severe for them than it was at present. What did this Bill do? At the present time, 758 when a man was released from penal servitude, he was released upon a licence. Under the present law he had to report himself every month at the local police station, and if he failed to account for himself he was liable to have his licence cancelled, and he also rendered himself liable to be sentenced to a period of one year's hard labour. Surely that was an infliction quite severe enough. One would have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would have left out that part, but under the present measure the mere fact that one of these men might meet a person of doubtful character, or if he was seen talking to such a person, would give the police authorities power to cancel his licence and prosecute him. This Bill dealt with the question of these licences, and the freedom which a convict was supposed to enjoy when he came out of prison. He thought that in this respect the law was sufficiently strong already, and there was no necessity to make it any stronger. It was very difficult for a man at the present time, after having been in penal servitude, to get an honest living, for his footsteps I were dogged at every turn, and his only chance was to change his name and go to I another country. This Bill would make it still harder for him to get an honest living, and if he happened to associate with characters of doubtful reputation, he could be arrested. He thought that was going a little too far.
Was this a Bill in favour of prisoners so far as the inside of the prison was concerned? Was it in the prisoner's interest? The tendency of this measure would undoubtedly be to make sentences longer. The Judges would almost be compelled to make the sentences at least seven years in order to secure for the prisoner this period of reformation. He thought this was against the interest of the prisoner. Upon this point he hoped the Government would keep an open mind. Let the House imagine the case of a poor man who might be undefended, and after his case was finished a record was brought up against him going back thirty or forty years. When that record was read out, what opportunity would that man have of saying, "I am not the same person." He could not properly reply to the convictions brought against him under such 759 circumstances. He was aware that this was the practice at the present time, for every time a person was convicted the police were asked what they knew of the prisoner. It was possible at the present time to take that into account, and the whole point at issue seemed to him to be whether the Judge was to take into view the infliction of a shorter sentence or a longer one in the new division as suggested by the Government in this Bill. Therefore this measure, from the prisoner's point of view, because of its severity with regard to his outside treatment, was not in favour of the prisoner. He very much doubted whether the Bill was to the advantage of the public. It seemed to him that the fact that the public were going to pay the extra expense for these particular characters being kept in prison longer than at present was no benefit to the public. One thing was fatal, and it was that it shut out all hope of the future during the time the prisoner was in prison. During the shorter period he had a chance of reforming and living outside, but now they were introducing a new crime and a new punishment which was longer and without any adequate compensation, so far as the prisoner was concerned. With regard to classification, it had been suggested that the Government were going to do something to carry out the recommendations in the Report of the Committee. The Home Secretary had power at present to do all that he proposed to do under this Bill in the way of classifying prisoners and sending them to different prisons. The right hon. Gentleman already had power to set aside particular prisons for this purpose, and that met the case which the Government desired to deal with. This measure went much further than the Report of the Committee. At the end of their Report the Committee stated that to lay down that the prisoner should be regarded as an habitual criminal did not meet the case. If they allowed this Bill to pass a Second Reading now it would have to be most carefully considered and amended in Committee, or otherwise it would be necessary to oppose it on the Third Reading. This question should not be dealt with in pieces, and he regretted that effect had not been given to other recommendations 760 of the Report on which this Bill was framed, and that the whole subject had not been dealt with in a broader fashion. He hoped the Report of the Judges which; had been quoted would be in the hands of the House in time for the deliberations of the Committee. He would not challenge the Second Reading, in view of the promise of the Government to consider Amendments in Committee, but would reserve further action till the Third Reading.
§ MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
said the Bill before them dealt with matters of such importance that he did not think he should be doing his duty to his constituents if he did not express his views upon it. He was greatly disappointed that the Bill did not seem to him to remedy what was admitted to be a very great evil. One of the greatest reproaches to their criminal jurisprudence was the want of uniformity attending the sentences of Judges in these cases. Another great reproach was their complete failure to carry out one of the principal objects of punishment, namely, the reformatory object. They had failed signally in that respect, and nobody who read this Bill impartially could assert that it remedied either of those reproaches. The Government were now trying to reverse the whole principle upon which our penal servitude system was based. Penal servitude was substituted for transportation, and one of the earliest changes made after the introduction of the new system was to introduce an arrangement by which the sentence for a certain period of penal servitude might, if the prisoner conducted himself properly, be reduced. That arrangement had been going on for years, and, as was pointed out by the hon. Member opposite, a sentence of penal servitude for seven, ten, or fifteen years did not necessarily mean that the prisoner was to be in gaol all that time, but that there was a sliding scale to reduce those periods if the prisoners conformed to the prison rules. That system opened a window of light into the darkest dungeon, which enabled even the blackest criminal to hope for some improvement in his lot. That arrangement was based upon principles of justice and 761 humanity; but this Bill, without suggesting any real improvement or modification, altered and reversed that principle, and that was one reason why he strongly opposed it. They were told that—Hope springs eternal in the human breast,but the effect of this Bill would be to extinguish every spark of hope, because, in the case of a sentence of seven years penal servitude, the Judge would have the power to deprive the prisoner of his liberty for the whole of that period. Under the present sliding scale a prisoner could regain his liberty at the end of three or four years in the case of a sentence of penal servitude for seven years, but under this Bill the prison door was shut upon him for seven years, the only difference being that after a certain number of years he would undergo a different system of discipline. That was a very great change which ought not to be made without the strongest possible reasons. At the present time Judges took such different views in passing sentence after a prisoner had been convicted, and one Judge might give a sentence of seven years where another Judge might only give twelve months imprisonment. It was a matter of common knowledge that the outer world was often outraged by the great contrast in the passing of sentences. A Judge who was inclined to be severe might give seven years under the provisions of this Bill, while another Judge in a similar case might think that the case would be met by giving a less severe sentence. In no direction did this Bill protect the public to any extent, while on the other hand it might be fatally injurious to the hopes of the prisoner. If the Judge gave a sentence of penal servitude the offender would have no option but of spending the balance of the term in prison. One of the evils of the present system was that an immense number of unfortunate persons were sent to prison and kept there for periods at the public expense. That was a necessary consequence of the sentence The effect of carrying out the provisions of this Bill would be that no adequate or compensating advantage would be derived from imposing on the public a 762 great additional burden, because a prisoner would know that, no matter how well he had conducted himself, he would necessarily be retained to the end of the seven years, whereas under the present system he would only be retained for three and a half or four years. That might be a low ground for opposing the change, but it was one which should not be lost sight of when considering a great reform. If the reform necessarily redounded to the benefit of the State or the prisoner, of course, that consideration would be deserving of no weight.
There was also an objection advanced by one of the speakers in the debate which had received no answer. It was suggested by the Home Secretary that this Bill would be for the benefit not only of the public but of the prisoner. The first section of Bill said—Where any person who has previously been convicted more than twice of an indictable offence is convicted on indictment of an offence punishable with penal servitude, and it appears to the Court—(a) that at the time when he committed the offence for which he is to be sentenced he was leading a persistently dishonest or criminal life; and (b) that by reason of his criminal antecedents and mode of life, it is expedient for the protection of the public that he should be kept in detention for a lengthened period of years, the Court may, if it thinks fit, in passing a sentence of penal servitude for any term of not less than seven years, direct that, after serving a portion of his sentence under the general rules relating to sentences of penal servitude, he shall serve the residue thereof in the habitual offender division.Therefore, looking to the professed object of the Bill, it was not for the benefit of the prisoner. The measure professed to be for the benefit of the public, but he doubted very much whether it would in any way serve that purpose, because there was no reasonable ground for hoping that a man after being kept in prison for seven years was likely to come out a better man than if he had become free at the end of four years. There was no ground either in statistics or philosophy, or from experience, which would lead to that conclusion, and therefore, regarded from that point of view, it appeared to him that this Bill, if it became law, would be a failure. The procedure proposed by the Bill was to apply when a person had been convicted more than twice of an indictable offence. At present, when a 763 man was tried before a jury he was tried simply on the issue whether he had committed the charge in the indictment. When the prisoner was convicted on that charge, what was the duty now to be laid upon the Judge? The Judge, from his own inner consciousness, as it were, had to form an opinion upon such information as he might get, as to whether this man had been leading "a persistently dishonest or criminal life." How was the Judge to form the opinion? Was it from the information of a police officer? Was it from the information of the prosecutor? What data had the Judge to go upon? The jury would not be called in here. They had already a precedent for the jealousy of the law with regard to the jury not knowing the antecedents of a person who was charged with a crime except so far as his antecedents might appear in the course of the sworn evidence. When a prisoner had been convicted of a former offence, he was tried for the new offence, and in order to entitle the Judge to give a higher sentence in respect of the former conviction, the former conviction had to be formally proved and the prisoner was again given in charge of the same jury to ascertain whether he was guilty of the charge on the former occasion. There was no amendment of that procedure in this Bill, nor could there be any such provision introduced. Some Judges might be more prejudiced than others. He spoke from considerable experience in this way, having for a considerable number of years been chairman of quarter sessions and engaged in administering the criminal law in different parts of Ireland. He thought it would be an unreasonable burden to throw upon any Judge to determine merely upon what might be hearsay whether a man was leading a persistently dishonest or criminal life. Nothing could be more vague and indefinite. It was a matter which should be proved by positive evidence before the only tribunal which, according to our Constitution, was competent to weigh evidence where the liberty of the subject, was involved, namely, a jury. That was the objection he had on constitutional grounds to the Bill. He was afraid from his experience of the Standing Committee on Law that very little effort would be made to introduce any Amend- 764 ment which would prevent that unjust result from occurring.
There was another matter in the Bill which had also been adverted to and which, he thought, was not sufficiently met by the speech of the Under-Secretary. It had reference to Sub-section (1) of Section 2 which said—(1) Section 3 of the Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871 (which imposes penalties on convict holders of licences getting their livelihood by dishonest means), shall have effect as if after the words 'is getting his livelihood by dishonest means,' in both places where they occur, were inserted the words 'or is habitually consorting with thieves or bad characters, or has otherwise broken the conditions of his licence.'Coupling that with the provision in the following section, which would enable a Constable to arrest a ticket-of-leave man without any warrant, a constable would be the judge whether a man "is habitually consorting with thieves or bad characters, or has otherwise broken the conditions of his licence." What was the meaning of "consorting with thieves or bad characters." They were the waifs and strays of the world. They reminded one of the famous saying of Jeremy Taylor, who, on one occasion when walking along what was now Oxford Street, saw an unfortunate prisoner being carried to execution. Jeremy Taylor said, "There but for the grace of God goes Jeremy Taylor." They must all recollect that. They must recollect the temptations to which these people were exposed. They must recollect their surroundings, and that when they came out of jail it could not be expected that they should always be found in the best company. A constable would be apt to jump to the conclusion that a man who had been convicted was habitually consorting with thieves or bad characters. [Laughter.] It was very easy for Gentlemen who lived rosy lives to laugh at an allusion to the misfortune of their fellow subjects, but there were men who even had sympathy for those who, under temptation, committed crime, and he for one should be sorry if it should ever be supposed that he was callous or indifferent in that respect. They were bound, he thought, in dealing with the criminal law to regard not only the interest of the public and of property, but also to render the condition of the prisoner as good as it 765 could possibly be made consistently with the preservation of public rights. He thought the Bill failed in that respect, and he opposed it because he thought there ought to have been first of all, what he understood had been suggested by predecessors of the Home Secretary, namely, a Commission composed of the very highest authorities at the command of the Government to inquire into the whole system of punishment and the classification of prisoners. That Commission could have considered the whole question of the inequality of sentences and the variation in the conclusions the Judges drew in different places as to the punishment which should be awarded for the same kind of crime.
§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
said he was delighted that the Under-Secretary talked of the source of supply of criminals, and he wished to refer to that point. He should like to know who was to decide what were "bad characters." Were the "bad characters" the men who wore black coats and high hats and lived no one knew how in the West End, or the poor creatures, crowded into night shelters and other places, without visible means of subsistence in the East End? Many persons could not tell how the better-dressed man gained his living, whether by honest or dishonest means; and it was quite certain that in the other case hunger drove many to adopt bad courses. They could not tell in regard to many people in towns what they did for a living. He supposed that a man would be quite safe so long as he associated with people in the West End who did nothing useful for a living. What evidence would satisfy a Judge that a person was consorting with people of bad character? There would be very few indeed who could undergo an investigation of that character. The House did not seem to realise where human nature came in. A Judge might be exceedingly generous some days, and on other days when something had spoiled his digestion he might be very hard. It was necessary that Parliament should safeguard the people who were unable to look after themselves. Had 766 they found honest work for all the people who were willing to do honest work? If not they must take their share of responsibility for people who were driven to dishonesty for the purpose of maintaining themselves. Hunger was the great motive power which made people do dishonest actions. It was now fifty-three years since the Hardwicke Reformatory was first opened in Gloucestershire. From that time reformatory schools had been built, sometimes under municipal, and sometimes under private control. He ventured to say that it was always a mistake to leave reformatories or industrial schools in the hands of private individuals. It should be the duty of the State to provide these institutions. He wanted to prove that this Bill would be absolutely unnecessary if they would cut off the source of supply.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
This is a Bill dealing with the punishment of hardened offenders and not with youthful offenders.
§ MR. CROOKS
said that what he contended was that if there were no youthful offenders there would never be a development of hardened offenders. The point he wished to make was that the Home Office at this moment neglected its opportunities in not preventing the development of the hardened offender. The children of parents who had no use for them except to beg or thieve were sent to reformatories and industrial schools, and when the boys and girls had become trained and useful members of society the parents were then allowed to claim them. There was no cause for wonder that these children should relapse into the old criminal habit. The hardened criminal was made by the system of society prevailing to-day, and the Bill would not help in its reformation. What was wanted to reclaim the hardened criminal was an organised system of labour by which the discharged prisoner should be provided with the means of earning an honest living and hindered from drifting back to his old haunts and habits of life. If at the expiration of his term of imprisonment a man was assisted 767 to make an honest living and encouraged to believe that he was not a mere animal, something would be done to make him a useful member of society. Surely they had not reached the limit of legislative power in dealing with criminals. What he complained of was that a man was always more hardly dealt with if he had offended against the laws of property than if he had done violence, say, to a woman. He appealed to the House to do something to protect the criminal against himself, and to make him a producer instead of a consumer.
§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
said that some effort should be made to reform the system of punishment of criminals. They had been told how prisoners had been treated in days gone by, and that now they were very kindly treated with extremely satisfactory results. It was said that some criminals were beyond redemption, but he did not believe that this Bill would help to redeem them. He was very glad to say hat he had never been an inmate of a prison, but from all that he could learn he believed that the only ray of hope which a prisoner had was that at the end of a certain period he would be liberated, and that encouraged him to obey the prison rules. What he objected to was that the moment a man who had served his sentence went out of prison, the police dogged him, and if he found a situation, the poor fellow lived in terror lest he should be informed upon. He believed the majority of criminals were capable of reform under proper care; and what was wanted was a better classification of criminals in prison. When in India, he found that they had a most excellent system of classification there, and he was told 768 that it had worked very well. Some such system as that should be adopted in this country. Hardened criminals and younger offenders should not be brought together, and the latter should be taught some useful trade, so that when they came out of prison they might be employed in honest work, instead of running after cabs to get 6d. or 1s. for handling luggage, or holding a horse. The Bill was so vague in its terms that it ought to be materially altered in Committee or thrown into the waste basket.
§ MR. SLACK (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)
said that the first section of the Bill was so vague that the House ought to have more light upon it before the measure became law. The old harsh system of penal servitude had been long ago condemned. What was wanted was a system of discipline, or even training, which would make crime odious and even detestable to the criminal. Whilst the main scheme of the Bill was laudable, there were certain points which would have to be carefully considered in Committee. In the first section, for instance, a person who had been twice convicted of an indictable offence was brought within the scope of the Act, though many offences which were indictable were not the more heinous or more serious offences contemplated by the framers of the Act. Again, what was to be the criterion or test as to whether a person were leading a "persistently dishonest or criminal life?" The condition was alternative, and the allegation that a man was leading a "dishonest" life was very vague and very wide. Moreover, it had not been made clear by the Government in this debate what was the real difference between the treatment of a prisoner under 769 the "general rules" and that in the habitual offences division.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put,"
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 181; Noes, 71. (Division List No. 133.)771
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Alsopp, Hon. George||Fardell, Sir T. George||Malcolm, Ian|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Fisher, William Hayes||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Balcarres, Lord||Flower, Sir Ernest||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Forster, Henry William||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W.||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gardner, Ernest||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Grahara (Bute|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin & Nairn)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Gordon, Maj. Evans(T'rH'mlets||Percy, Earl|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bigwood, James||Graham, Henry Robert||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Pym, C. Guy|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Groves, James Grimble||Randles, John S.|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F (Middlesex||Gunter, Sir Robert||Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Brymor, William Ernest||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Bull, William James||Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Butcher, John George||Hatch, Ernest Fredrick Geo.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hogg, Lindsay||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Samuel, Sir Harry S.(Limehouse|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chapman, Edward||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East|
|Charrington, Spencer||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Spear, John Ward|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Kimber, Henry||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)|
|Coddington, Sir William||Laurie, Lieut-General||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stroyan, John|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Legge,-Col. Hon. Heneage||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Tuff, Charles|
|Denny, Colonel||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffield|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C.|
|Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Lowe, Francis William||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Whiteley, H (Ashton-und. -Lyne|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W,||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Runciman, Walter|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Allen, Charles P.||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Grant, Corrie||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Griffith, Ellis J.||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)|
|Burns John||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Burt, Thomas||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Slack, John Bamford|
|Caldwell, James||Horniman, Frederick John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cameron, Robert||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Speneer, Rt. Hn CR. (Northants|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Kearley, Hudson E.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Crooks, William||Lloyd-George, David||Toulmin, George|
|Cullinan, J.||Lough, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dalziel, James Henry||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Wallace, Robert|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow W.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Partington, Oswald||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dunn, Sir William||Perks, Robert William||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Edwards, Frank||Price, Robert John|
|Elibank, Master of||Priestley, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Weir and Mr. Eugene Wason.|
|Emmott, Alfred||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Robson, William Snowdon|
Motion made, and Question, "That the Order for the Second Reading of this Bill be discharged, and the Bill withdrawn," put and agreed to.
§ Question put accordingly, and agreed to. Bill read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Law, etc"—Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.
§ And it being after half-past Five of the clock, and objection being taken to Further Proceeding, the debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed upon Monday next.