§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [MR. GRANT LAWSON (Yorkshire, N. R. Thirsk) in the Chair]
In page 1, line 23, to leave out from the word 'if,' to the end of the line, and insert the words 'it can be shown that he has not in his possession or is not in a.'"—(Mr. Bright.)
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."112
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 198; Noes, 126. (Division List No. 254.)113
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Flower, Sir Ernest||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Forster, Henry William||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Gardner, Ernest||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gordon, Hn.JE(Elgin & Nairn)||Murray, Col Wyndham (Bath)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gordon,Maj.Evans(T'rH'mlets||Myers, William Henry|
|Arnold,Forster, Rt.Hn. HughO.||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Goschen, Hon. George J.||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Graham, Henry Robert||Percy, Earl|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Balcarres. Lord||Groves, James Grimble||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn.A.J.(Manch'r)||Hain, Edward||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Capt, C. B. (Hornsey)||Halsey, Rt. Hn. Thomas F.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balfour, RtHnGeraldW(Leeds||Hamilton,Marqof (L'nd'nderry||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col Edward|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford||Purvis, Robert|
|Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Pym, C. Guy|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Heath, Sir Jas. (Staffords. N.W||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Heaton, John Henniker||Ridley, S. Forde|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Ritchie, Rt.Hn.Chas.Thomson|
|Bingham, Lord||Hill, Henry Staveley||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Bond, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Brassey, Albert||Hogg, Lindsay||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Hope, JF(Sheffield, Brightside||Rutherford, John (Lancashire|
|Bell, William James||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Rutherford. W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Campbell, RtHnJ.A.(Glasgow)||Homer, Frederick William||Sackville, Col. S. G.(Stopford|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Cavendish, V. C W. (Derbysh.||Howard, J. (Midd.,Tottenham)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hozier, Hn. Jas. Henry Cecil||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hunt, Rowland||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Chamberlain, RtHnJ.A.(Worc)||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jessel, Captain Herb. Merton||Shaw-Stewart, SirH.(Renfrew)|
|Chapman, Edward||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn.ColW.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Kerr, John||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Kimber, Sir Henry||Smith, HC(North'mbTyneside|
|Colston, Chas Edw. H. Athole||Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Smith, RtHnJ Parker(Lanarks|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Spear, John Ward|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lawson, Hn.HL.W.(Mile End||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lee, Arthur H(Hants,Fareham||Stanley, Edwd. Jas(Somerset)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs)|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Stock, James Henry|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C||Long, RtHn. Walter (Bristol,S||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Dorington, RtHn. Sir John E.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth|
|Douglas, Rt Hn. A. Akers-||Lucas, ReginaldJ. (Portsmouth||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Dyke, RtHn. Sir William Hart||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Thornton. Percy M.|
|Egerton, Hn. A. de Tatton||Macdona, John Cumming||Tomlinson. Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Maconochie, A. W.||Tuff, Charles|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||M'Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Tufnell, Lieut,-Col. Edward|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||M'Iver, SirLewis(EdinburghW||Vincent, ColSirC.EH(Sheffield|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Manners, Lord Cecil||Walrond, Rt. HnSir Wm. H.|
|Fellowes, RtHn.Ailwyn Edwd-||Marks, Harry Kananel||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Ferguason, Rt.Hn. SirJ(Man'cr||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Welby, Lt-Col.ACE.(Taunton)|
|Finch, Rt. Hn. George H.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Welby, Sir Chas. GE (Notts.)|
|Finlay, Sir R.B(Inv'rn'ssB'ghs||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wharton, RtHn John Lloyd|
|Firbank, Sir Joesph Thomas||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Whiteley. H. (Ashton undLyne|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fison, Frederick William||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart||TELLERS TOR THE AYES—Si|
|Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm||Wrightson, Sir Thomas||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.||Viscount Valentia.|
|Abraham, 'William (Cork N.E||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Allen, Charles P.||Grant, Corrie||Parrott, William|
|Benn, John Williams||Hammond, John||Partington, Oswald|
|Black, Alexander William||Harcourt, Lewis||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Boland, John||Hardie, J.Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hayden, John Patrick||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bryce, Rt. Ha. James||Helme, Norval Watson||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Higham, John Sharp||Price, Robert John|
|Burke, B,. Haviland||Hutchinson, Dr Chas. Fredk.||Reddy, R.|
|Burt, Thomas||Jacoby, James Alfred||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Buxton, NE(York.NR.Whitby||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Buxton, Sydney Chas. (Poplar||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire||Rose, Charles Day|
|Cameron, Robert||Joyce, Michael||Russell, T. W.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh S.)||Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan, W.||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lamont, Norman||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Gauston, Richard Knight||Langley, Batty||Seely, Maj.JEB (Isle of Wight)|
|Chapping, Francis Allston||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall||Sheehy, David|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter(Lanark)||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leng, Sir John||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Crombie, John William||Levy, Maurice||Spencer, RtHn.C.R.(Northants|
|Cullinan, J,||Lough, Thomas||Stanhope, Hn. Philip James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan(Cardigan||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Delany, William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Tomkinson, James|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Toubnin, George|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Donelan, Captain A.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Doogan, P C.||M'Crae, George||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mooney, John J.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Weir, James Galloway|
|Edwards, Frank||Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Ellice, CaptEC.(SAndrw'sBghs||Murphy, John||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Field, William||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O Dowd, John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.||Bright and Mr. Dalziel.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry||O'Malley, William|
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
said the Amendment which stood in his name was an Amendment designed to make the language of this sub-section rather more clear. The effect of the words which he proposed to insert would be to direct the attention of the immigration board to what was really the object of the sub-section, namely, the exclusion of those who were likely to become chargeable to Poor Law relief. The words of the sub-section as they stood were not clear, they were rather ambiguous, and a good many different interpretations could be placed upon the words "is in a position to obtain the means of decently supporting himself." 114 He was not sure that it could not be interpreted in the way that a man who came upon the poor rate was in a position to obtain the means of decently supporting himself, and it was hardly for those who provided the workhouses to controvert it. He desired to make the words of the sub-section clear the other way. The immigration board might take a very strict view and exclude a great many persons who were not paupers or ever likely to become chargeable on the pool rates. He wanted to amend, the clause in the sense in which, it was intended to operate, namely, to prevent the influx of pauper aliens. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 24, after the word 'position' to insert the words 'without recourse to poor relief.'"—(Lord Hugh Cecil.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir ROBERT FINLAY, Inverness Burghs)
said he could not agree that the words of the clause as it at present stood were not clear. He could not accept the suggestion of the noble Lord that a person by claiming Poor Law relief was in a position to obtain the means of decently supporting himself. He could not for a moment accept that as a proper interpretation of the clause. An immigrant had to show that he had the means of decently supporting himself and his family, and he could not satisfy that test if he could not show that he could support himself under reasonably satisfactory conditions. He thought it would be a very undesirable thing to say that these men satisfied that test so long as they did not come on the Poor Law.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said the words of the clause were vague, and that they were so was shown from the fact that they had received entirely different interpretations from those who supported the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary for Ireland had stated that the Bill was to protect the British working man against competition, but the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary had constantly taken the other view. In reply to Questions the Home Secretary had declared that the fact of having work to come to would be sufficient, but it could not be forgotten that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had declared that the whole action of the supporters of the Bill was based on the protection of the British working man against the competition of underpaid aliens, and while such views were put forward it could not be said that there was no vagueness.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said the clause was undoubtedly extremely vague, and the proposed Amendment 116 would make it more definite by indicating the proper interpretation to these who would have to administer the Bill. The desire was to exclude these men, not simply because they were poor but because they were likely to become a charge upon the rates. The great argument of prominent supporters of the Bill was that our present system permitted persons to enter the country who within a very short period became a burden on the rates. It was only reasonable that such people should be excluded, but it was not reasonable to ask the House to exclude a Garibaldi simply because he had not the means of maintaining himself according to the notion of what an immigration officer considered decently. The true test was whether or not a man was likely to become a charge on the rates; if he was, that was a fair reason for his exclusion. Therefore, the Amendment would introduce a definition which the clause at present sadly needed, and he was surprised that the Attorney-General should oppose it. The new suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that there should be a kind of margin of capacity to maintain himself beyond which the would-be immigrant must be put before he was admitted, embodied a most dangerous doctrine. It would be much better to have something definite in the clause.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
asked whether the words were intended to exclude a man who arrived possibly with little or no money in his pocket, but possessing strong arms, vigorous hands and ringers, good health, and experience for work. Trained artificers might come from France, Germany or Poland; would such men be excluded simply because they had not, say, £5 in their pockets?
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
thought that, ordinarily speaking, in such cases the men would have every prospect of getting employment, and would be in a position decently to maintain themselves.
§ *MR. LYELL (Dorsetshire, E.)
said that while the Amendment was an improvement to the clause, it could be regarded only as a verbal improvement, as the whole clause was inevitably bound 117 to become a dead letter. An immigration officer would have no means of telling whether or not the money a man possessed had been borrowed. Before a man landed in the United States he had to show that he possessed thirty dollars; but there was a regular system under which persona desirous of going to the United States wrote to a certain agency by whom the thirty dollars were advanced, and then the immigration officer having been passed, the loan was repaid with perhaps a couple of dollars added. Even men whom the agency would not trust with the thirty dollars managed to get through, as they were met at the per head by a Party official who advanced the necessary funds, and by that means bought the votes of the immigrants for the remainder of their lives. There was no possible means by which such practices could be frustrated, and therefore the clause was bound to become a dead letter, a result which they on that side would not regret, seeing that the clause embodied the distasteful principle that a man should be excluded solely on the ground of poverty.
§ *MR. MARKS (Kent, Thanet)
said the thirty dollars illustration did not apply to this Bill, as there was no provision whatever as to the matter of money. The question was one not of money but of capacity and opportunity on the part of the immigrant to support hims If decently. The Amendment, instead of making the clause clearer, would confuse it. Under the present wording an immigrant was undesirable if he could not show that he had in his possession, or was in a position to obtain, the means of decently supporting himself. If he had recourse to poor relief, he would not be supporting himself, and therefore the words "without recourse to poor relief" were really unnecessary. But the idea was not simply to exclude men who were likely to come or the rates. There was another condition which made them undesirable. It was not that they themselves were likely to come on the rates, but that they were likely to, and frequently did, drive others on to the rates. This was an evil that was constantly happening; destitute people came over here from foreign lands in such conditions that they were compelled to do 118 work in the unskilled labour market at starvation prices, with the result that other men w re driven from the work and had frequently to have recourse to the rates. Recent statistics of the steady rise of pauperism bore eloquent testimony on this point and——
§ *MR. MARKS
said he would take another point. The regulations proposed in the clause under discussion might be a new departure so far as this country was concerned, but they were not a new departure in other countries. Great Britain was practically the only country in the world which had not made regulations for the restriction of pauper immigration. Such restrictions and regulations had existed for years in the chief Continental countries. They already existed in Austria, Bavaria, Belgium—
I must ask the hon. Member to keep closely to the Amendment before the Committee. It is a very definite and specific one.
§ *MR. MARKS
said he was endeavouring to show that the Amendment would weaken the provision of the Bill, a provision which existed and worked satisfactorily in other countries. It was the very existence of this provision in other countries which imposed upon this country the necessity of making the regulation now proposed. It was because other countries such as France, Germany, and Switzerland refused to take this undesirable class of immigrant that the burden which they refused to assume was imposed upon us, and made this provision essential. He hoped the Amendment would be rejected.
§ MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)
said that if the Home Secretary was sincere in saying he had no desire to keep out men simply because they were poor, there could be no bar to the acceptance of this Amendment. The speech just delivered conclusively proved that there was a very real danger of misunderstanding unless some such words were inserted. The action of the Government in leaving the matter to 119 be decided absolutely by a bureaucratic body nominated by the Home Secretary rendered an exact definition imperatively necessary. Under the clause as it stood it would be possible to exclude all competing labour—
§ *MR. MARKS
I moan exactly what I said, viz., that there is a certain class of unskilled labour which comes into this country under conditions so distressful that it is obliged to accept any sort of starvation wage in the labour market.
§ MAJOR SEELY
If the right hon. Gentleman does not agree, why not accept the noble Lord's words or else make a clear statement of what is meant by the Government?
§ MR. CHURCHILL (Oldham)
protested against the Government not expressing their opinion upon this Amendment. The
§ Attorney-General could very well deal with the legal aspect of the Bill, but they were now dealing with the political aspect of it. The question was whether the clause would keep out undesirable immigrants or whether it was of a protective character. The Home Secretary was the political official in charge of the Bill, and he ought to tell the House why he refused to accept an Amendment which made it clear that there was no protective intention, or whether he studiously wished to leave it vague in order to favour those who had protective designs.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said that as the hon. Member for Oldham was anxious to know whether his views were the same as those of the Attorney-General he was perfectly willing to give his opinion. He had not risen before because he thought it was hardly worth while for two members of the Government to repeat the same arguments, when they happened to hold the same views. Their object was to keep out undesirable aliens and not the other object which had been attributed to them. He did not think the words in the Bill were open to the charge of being vague or that they would be unworkable. The Government were of opinion that those words would carry out their object
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 145; Noes, 203. (Division List No. 235.)123
|Abraham, William (Cork,NE.||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)|
|Allen, Charles P.||Channing, Francis Allston||Fenwick, Charles|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cheetham, John Frederick||Field, William|
|Austin, Sir John||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Benn, John William||Cremer, William Randal||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.|
|Black, Alexander William||Crombie, John William||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John|
|Boland, John||Cullinan, J.||Grant, Corrie|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Dalziel, James Henry||Hammond, John|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Delany, William||Harcourt, Lewis|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil|
|Bryce, Rt. Hn. James||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Harwood, George|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Donelan, Captain A.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Burt, Thomas||Doogan, P. C.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Buxton,N E(York,NR,Whitby||Douglas, Charles M(Lanark)||Hutchinson, Dr. Chas. Fredk.|
|Caldwell, James||Duncan, J. Hastings||Jones, David B. (Swansea)|
|Cameron, Robert||Edwards, Frank||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Ellice, CaptEC(SAndrw'sB'ghs||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Joyce, Michael|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Emmott, Alfred||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan, W||O'Dowd, John||Spencer, RtHaCR(Northants)|
|Lamont, Norman||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Langley, Batty||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Law, Hugh Alex (Donegal, W)||O'Malley, William||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tomkinson, James|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Parrott, William||Toulmin, George|
|Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Partington, Oswald||Trevelyan, Chas. Philips|
|Leng, Sir John||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Ure, Alexander|
|Levy, Maurice||Philippe, John Wynford||Wallace, Robert|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pirie, Duncan V.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Lough, Thomas||Power, Patrick Joseph||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lundon, W.||Price, Robert John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Reddy, M.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Redmond, J. E (Waterford)||Weir, James Galloway|
|MacNeill, John Cordon Swift||Rickett, J. Compton||White, Luke (York. E.R.)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.|
|M'Crae, George||Russell, T. W.||Whitby, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)||Williams, Osmond (Merionethy|
|Mooney, John J.||Samuel, S, M. (Whitechapel)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Schwann, Charles E.||Wilson, Fred. W.(NorfolkMid.|
|Morley, Rt.Hn. John (Montrose||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)||Wilson, Henry J (York, W. R.|
|Murphy, John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Sheehy, David||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Winston Churchill and|
|O'Brien, P. J(Tipperary, N.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Major Seely.|
|O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Spear, John Ward|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Coates, Edward Feetham||Greene, W. Raymond(Cambs)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Grenfell, William Henry|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Coddington, Sir William||Groves, James Grimble|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hain, Edward|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hamilton,Marq.of(L'nd'nderry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford|
|Arnold, Forster, Rt. Hn. H. O.||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Arrol, Sir William||Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Atkinson, Bt. Hn. John||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Heath, Sir Jas. (StaffordsNW|
|Bagot, Capt Josceline FitzRoy||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Balcarres, Lord||Davenport, William Bromley||Hill, Henry Staveley|
|Balfour, Rt Hn AJ(Manch'r||Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Balfour, Capt, C.B. (Hornsey)||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Balfour, RtHnGeraldW(Leeds||Dimsdale, Rt.Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Hope, JF (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Balfour, Kenneth R(Christch.||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Horner, Frederick William|
|Banbury, Sir Fredk. George||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor)||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Hunt, Rowland|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Faber, George Denison (York)||Kenyon, Hn. Geo T (Denbigh)|
|Bigwood, James||Fardell, Sir T. George||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt Hn Col W.|
|Bill, Charles||Fellowes, RtHnAilwynEdward||Kerr, John|
|Bingham, Lord||Fergusson, RtHn SirJ (Mane'r)||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Finch, Rt. Hn. George H.||Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.|
|Bond, Edward||Finlay, Sir R.B(Inv'rn'saB'ghs||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow|
|Brassey, Arbert||Fisber, William Hayes||Lawson, Hn H.LW.(Mile End)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Fison, Frederick William||Lee, ArthurH(Hants.,Fareham|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead>|
|Bull, William James||Flower, Sir Ernest||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Campbell, Rt.HnJA(Glasgow)||Forster, Henry William||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col, A. R.|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Foster, K S. (Warwick, S.W.||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Gardner, Ernest||Long, Rt.Hn. Walter(Bristol,S|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Gordon, Hn J E (Elgin&Nairn)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gordon, MajEvans(T'rH'mlets||Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J(Birm-||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Lacas, ReginaldJ(Portsmouth|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn JA(Worc.||Graham, Henry Robert||Lyttelton, Rt. Hn. Alfred|
|Chapman, Edward||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Purvis, Robert||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Pym, C. Guy||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|M'Iver,SirLewis(Edinburgh,W||Reid, James (Greenock)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Renwick, George||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Marks, Harry Hananel||Ridley, S. Forde||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. ChasThomson||Tuff, Charles|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Rollit, Sir Abert Kaye||Vincent, Col Sir CEH(Sheffield|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Walrond. Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H.|
|Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Wards, Colonel C. E.|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool||Welby, Lt. Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Whiteley, H.(Ashton undLyne|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Willonghby de Eresby, Lord|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Myers, William Henry||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks|
|Parker, Sir Gilbert||Smith, HC(North'mbTyneside||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington||Smith, RtHnJParker (Lanarks||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Peel, Hn.Wm.Robt. Wellesley||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wortley. Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Percy, Earl||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Stanley, RtHn.Lord (Lancs.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hn. George|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stock, James Henry||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stroyan, John||and Viscount Valentia.|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt-Col. Edward||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
§ MR. LEVY (Leicestershire, Loughborough)
moved to leave out the word "decently" in Sub-section (a) providing that an alien immigrant should be considered undesirable "if he cannot show that he has in his posession, or is in a position to obtain, the means of decently supporting himself and his dependents." The Amendment was a simple one. The clause as at present drafted made it imperative for a man coming into this country to show that he had the means to maintain himself and his dependents decently, otherwise he was liable to be refused admission. His contention was that the word "decently" was too ambigaous to put into an Act of Parliament, and especially was it so in this instance, because the word was not to be interpreted by a Court of law. It had in this case to be interpreted by the immigration officer, or, in the case of a dispute, by the immigration board. At certain ports a man might be able to come in with a much smaller sum than at other ports. There was no standard of living fixed in the Bill at all. A man with a wage of thirty shillings a week, if he had a careful and thrifty wife and if he was a sober individual, might be able to support himself, his wife, and three or four children, but again, another man with the same wage and only one or two children, 124 if he was a dissolute character, could not maintain his family decently. Perhaps the Home Secretary would be good enough to give the House an idea of what the word "decently" meant in regard to a man maintaining himself and his family. It was practically impossible to say what was decently maintaining oneself. Some men spent little and yet maintained themselves decently and some, again, spent large sums of money and yet never had a decent home for themselves.
In page 1, line 24, to leave out the word 'decently.'"—(Mr. Levy.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'decently' out stand part of the clause."
§ Mr. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said the Government could not possibly agree to leave out the word "decently" because they attached very great importance to it. The hon. Member had drawn a distinction between a working man who on coming here would be able, with the capable management of a frugal wife, to keep himself on a low sum of money, and another who, under other circumstances, could not support himself and family on a 125 like sum. That, of course, would be true, but what they wanted to do by retaining the word "decently" was to assure themselves that a man would not come here who was just able to maintain himself and family and be able to scrape through without living at all decently or living up to the standard required in this country. A great many aliens came in this condition already, and it was to this fact that a very large amount of overcrowding and sweating was clearly due. What they were anxious to do was to provide that aliens coming into the country should not be considered desirable and should not be able to pass the barrier unless they could show that they could do more than simply keep body and soul together. It would be impossible to lay down any actual money test. They knew what the money test was in America. What the aliens would have to show to the immigration officer was that there was a prospect of their being able to maintain themselves in a decent condition—to live under satisfactory sanitary conditions—and that they would be able to continue to do so. This question had been partly debated on other Amendments, and he had stated his own view that if an alien came here having the offer of employment with decent wages that in itself would in all probability be accepted by the immigration officer as satisfactory proof that the man would be able to live in this country under conditions which would be sanitary. If the word "decently" were omitted they would simply be adding to the difficulty they now had in the East End of London by allowing a large number of men to come in who were barely able to keep body and soul together, and who, therefore, could not live under the sanitary conditions which were desired.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid.)
said the Home Secretary had made confusion worse confounded. The definition asked for by the hon. Member was what was meant by the word decently. The Home Secretary had never touched it, and had left matters more complicated than they were before. Suppose he went to a port with £20 in his pocket. The immigration officer asked, "Are you in a position to maintain yourself 126 and your dependents decently?" The most proper retort would be, "What do you mean by decently? Do you mean will I keep my home clean or do you mean that I have labour offered to me by someone who wishes to exploit my labour?" The intention of the Government had been to keep out men who would work for less wages than other people—undesirables. These men would not be asked if they would live moral lives and be law-abiding citizens. The intention was that they must also keep out the goods produced by the labour of those men on the Continent. Was that the real reason? He appealed to the Home Secretary to say what, in his opinion, was the standard he desired to maintain—a standard of money if he liked—a standard of cleanliness if he thought fit Let him give the House exactly the standard of decency so that when the immigration officer was putting the question the immigrant would know what he had to answer. It was impossible for a man with a salary of £2,000 a year to give a definition of the word decently in connection with the support of a family who lived frugally. It was no more possible for the representatives of the Government on the Front Bench to say how far a thrifty family whose income was fifteen to twenty shillings a week could make that money go. There were families brought up in decency and honour whose wages never averaged one pound per week. He thought they had a right to demand from the Home Secretary his definition of the word "decently" and what was included in it.
§ *MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)
said he thought the word "decently" as applied to an alien immigrant would be best understood by a definition of "indecency," and that "indecency" would be best defined by an illustration, He thought that much which he had seen at Whitechapel was indecent. He had seen, for example, eight people living night and day in a room 12 feet square. This was indecent. It was a form of moral indecency when the charity of millionaires enabled aliens just to maintain life in a state of squalor and to compete with our own workmen and 127 drag down and degrade their of Standard of life.
§ *MR. STUART SAMUEL (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)
said that he did not think that the hon. Gentleman's argument would stand examination in view of the fact that there was a considerable amount of overcrowding elsewhere than in White-chapel, and where the individuals were not supported by charity. The hon. Gentleman should look at St. Pancras and other parts, even of the West End of London, where aliens were not in evidence, for his definition of what was a decent standard of comfort. The Home Secretary had endeavoured to show that this Bill was workable; but it had been amply proved from that side of the House that it was unworkable. Under this Bill a man had to show that he was able to support himself and his dependents decently; but when the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the alien, he seemed to think that the alien was as child-like and bland as the right hon. Gentleman himself. What was to prevent the alien coming alone to this country, and saying he was about to earn 18s. a week? They would have to allow him to come in. But the next week, or next month, he would send for his wife, with perhaps ten or twelve children! He, and those with him, were quite willing to help in passing a Bill that would keep out diseased, criminal, or other really undesirable aliens, but this Bill would not have that effect.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE
said that the hon. Member for Birmingham had described what he had seen in Whitechapel; but that was not the question. The question was, what was going to happen at an inquiry on board an immigrant ship, or at the landing place in the harbour? The hon. Gentleman had seen people overcrowded in a room in Whitechapel, but what happened in Whitechapel would not be evidence on boardship. The conditions in Whitechapel could be dealt with by the sanitary authority by a more rigorous enforcement of the sanitary laws, and not by prohibiting the entry of people at our ports. In the June number of the Fortnightly Review there was an article which showed that in the very worst parts of London where 128 overcrowding prevailed, the overcrowding was not caused by aliens, but, on the contrary, by British population, and that where a Jewish population had filtered into those areas there had been a marked improvement in that respect. The publicans in those districts were exceedingly anxious that this legislation should be passed because that improvement would be affected and their trade would not consequently suffer.
§ MR. LYELL
said that from the speeds of the Home Secretary he was sorry to hear that the right hon. Gentleman seemed to have capitulated to the protection theory held by the right ton. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. Unless some sort of definition. of "decently" were introduced, very much more clear and stringent than that given to the Committee by the right hon. Gentleman, there would be no difficulty in finding accommodation for these people; but there might be difficulty in finding immigration officers to undertake the job of "deciding" decently at all. He wanted to know what salary the Home Secretary proposed to give these immigration officers into whose hands such enormous powers of discretion were to be entrusted.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
said that if this clause were allowed to stand, the standard of "decently" would be left to be defined, by each immigration officer according to his own view. One might take a favourable view, and another might take a harsh view. Unless a specific standard of decency was laid down in the Bill there would be an absolute want of uniformity at the ports.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
said he wished to ask the Attorney - General whether the phrase "decently supporting himself and his dependents" meant "maintaining himself and his dependents" in a decent standard of comfort, or supporting himself and his dependents by decent means.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
said that on those grounds a prostitute or a criminal who came into this country could not be excluded. Supposing a man arrived here and produced a set of burglar's tools, and said that he was a professional burglar, and could decently support himself and his dependents by the exercise of his profession, he could not be excluded on the ground stated in the Bill.
§ *MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
said that this was a matter of so great and vital importance that they ought to have a better definition of "decently" than had yet been given by the right hon. Gentleman, They were entitled to know what the Government standard of decency was. Was it that the man was to be morally decent or financially decent? If it were financially decent, he know of families in this country who were able to maintain them-selves decently on £1 a week and less: and he knew aliens, and others, who were not able to maintain themselves decently on £1 a day. It was clearly desirable to know by what standard of decency persons corning from abroad was to be tested.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said he thought his non. friend was entitled to some further explanation either from the Home Secretary or the Attorney-General. It seemed to be common-sense that no word should be put into an Act of Parliament unless that word was capable of definition. He undertook to say that the Prime Minister, or the Home Secretary, if he were one of the immigration officers, would not be able to define "decently" in any one of the half-dozen cases enumerated by hon. Members, and put that definition on paper. He felt very strongly, with his hon. friends, that this word "decently" should be left out. What he wanted was that the Bill should be made a 130 workable measure, and that the least possible pressure should be placed on these unfortunate people who were brought over here, if they could show that they were able to make a living.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester E.)
said he hoped the hon. Gentleman would allow him to state that he absolutely differed from him in the principle he had laid down that they must not use in the Bill a phrase which was incapable of an accurate mathematical definition. That was a statement which was absolutely and wholly contrary to common-sense; and no stronger proof had been given of that than the speech which the hon. Gentleman had just made. What the hon. Gentleman said was—"Cut out the word 'decently.' What we want is only to exclude those who will not make reasonable citizens." But what was a reasonable citizen? Silence, of course! The truth was that the hon. Gentleman himself showed how wholly absurd was the demand which he made. Two hon. Gentlemen, to whom he always listened with the greatest respect—the hon Member for Durham and the hon. Member for Wansbeck—both made the same point. They said that this word "decently" should not be in the Bill because it was incapable of definition. They stated that they knew people who could live decently upon £1 a week or less; but then they knew what "decently" meant. They had a very clear and practical working idea in their minds as to what "decently" meant. Was not that an illuminating reason why the immigration officer should have a practical knowledge of what "decently" meant? It was clear that if they were to make this Bill carry out its objects they must endeavour to secure that immigrants who would lower the standard of living in this country should be excluded. But there might be cases in which an immigration officer might admit a person who would lower the standard; and also cases in which he might refuse admission to persons who would not lower it. The broad directions given to the immigration officer would allow him to carry out the object of the Bill; and he rejected as altogether 131 unworthy of this country that the word should be rejected.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
said he thought the Prime Minister had lost sight of the fact which would cause great confusion in the Law Courts if an immigrant had to appeal against the decision of the immigration officer. The right hon. Gentleman had made it quite clear that even the House of Commons could not. give a clear definition of what the word meant, and thus it would afford the lawyers a pretext for long discussions in the Courts. He thought the Attorney-General ought to attempt to give them some definition. The Prime Minister, finding himself in a dilemma, threw the onus of defining the word on the Opposition, but if he would change places with them they would willingly undertake the responsibility of defining it.
§ MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)
said it was not a question of living on £1 a week, or whether the immigrant was thrifty and brought with him a wife who could assist him. It was a question whether he would be able to earn wages to enable him to live decently; and that was a matter which the immigration officer ought to decide.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydfil)
said that if the test were to be that aliens should be able to support themselves, it strengthened it to say that they should decently support themselves.
§ *MR. FENWICK
said that the Bill would admit men under a labour contract; and he, therefore, objected to the rate of wages as the test in the matter.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
moved an Amendment, in order to include within the category of undesirables under the Act such men as are "brought into this country under contract or to take the place of workmen during a trade dispute." He was quite conscious of the fact that the hard and fast line laid down in this Amendment with regard to contracts would require modification if the Amendment was agreed to. They had known 132 cases both in the United States and in the Colonies where professional singers or even preachers or lecturers going into those countries under agreements to sing or speak had been excluded because they sought to go in under contracts. The Amendment was not intended to touch cases of that kind. But if some such Amendment as this was not adopted some plan could be adopted similar to that adopted in the United States in the early days of the attempts to restrict immigration. Agents were then appointed in every European country from which the aliens came to supply contract labour. He put it to the Attorney-General whether a workman might not come to this country without a cent in his pocket, but, having a contract for employment for three, six, or twelve months, would be eligible to enter under the Bill. Chinese labourers might even be imported as they were in South Africa. They read that night that gold mines were supposed to have been discovered in Donegal. If the proprietors of those mines endeavoured to introduce Chinese labourers to develop them, it would be perfectly competent for them to do so under contract. The question of strikes was a very important consideration indeed. He could cite two cases where workmen in ironworks who were vilely underpaid—men who had not even a pound a week—were agitating for an advance of wages when a gang of Spaniards and Poles were brought in under contract by their employers, and they were threatened that unless they remained content with their existing wages, more foreigners would be introduced. They might be told that the workmen so threatened would be no worse off than they were now. He admitted that the object of this Bill was to protect British labour against undue and unfair competition by foreigners. He submitted, as a matter of fair play, that an employer should not be able to call on reserves of foreign labour, and defeat his own workmen with whom he was at war during a strike.
§ MAJOR EVANS GORDON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
Will the hon. Member tell me how the British workmen will be worse off after the passing of this Bill?
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
replied that the Bill proposed to give protection to underpaid British labour against the competition of foreigners. At the present time the workman knew he had no such protection, but if this Bill became law he would relatively be worse off than he was now, because he would have a nominal protection. He would be more liable to competition under the Bill than he was now. Under the Bill no poor workman could come in unless he brought a contract of employment with him, and therefore the whole machinery would be set up for importing foreign workmen under a contract of employment, and it would be easier for the employers who wanted to obtain a gang of foreign workmen to obtain them. Consequently a British workman who was being threatened with a strike or a lock-out would find his position worse under the Bill than he did at present. The Government, had no right to so legislate as to give the employer an unfair advantage over his workman during a trade dispute.
In page 1, line 25, after the word 'or,' to insert the words, '(b) if he is being brought into this country under contract, or to take the place of workmen during a trade dispute.'"—(Mr. Keir Hardie.)
§ Question, proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had listened with surprise and amazement to the hon. Gentleman—surprise because the principle upon which the hon. Gentleman's Amendment was founded was absolutely inconsistent with the arguments which had been advanced against the Bill from the same side of the House, and amazement because of the magnitude of the misunderstanding into which the hon. Gentleman had fallen as to the actual effects of the measure. The Bill had been most unjustly denounced as a protective Bill. It did not touch the question of protection one way or the other. It was simply a Bill for remedying certain well-defined evils which did a great deal of injury in the East-end of London and other parts of the country. But now the hon. Gentleman came forward and contended that the Bill failed because it was not sufficiently pro- 134 tective in favour of the British workman. The hon. Gentleman would keep out every alien, whether flying from a political or religious charge or not.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (interposing)
said that the right hon. Gentleman had evidently not read his Amendment. Its only object was to prevent foreign workmen from being brought in under contract.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that was to say that a man who might be flying from religious or political prosecution was to be denied asylum in this country if he had made a contract with any employer of labour. The strange argument of the hon. Gentleman was due to his entire misapprehension of the effect of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman was under the delusion that if the Bill were passed in its present form it would be easier for an employer to obtain foreign indentured labour, or labour under contract, to support him in a contest with his British workmen. On the contrary, so far as the Bill had any effect one way or the other in the matter, it would make it more difficult for the employer to obtain labour from abroad. At present an employer had the completest freedom to make any contract he liked with foreign workmen and bring them in under any terms. The Bill for the first time limited the power of the employer in that respect by providing that he could only bring foreigners in on wages that would enable them to live decently. In fact, instead of any new privileges being granted to employers some of their old privileges were taken away.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
said it was a pity that the Prime Minister was not in the House when the Home Secretary gave his definition of what was meant by an undesirable alien. Had he been so he would not have been so definite in the statements he had made. There was one portion of this Amendment to which he saw some objection, and that was the part referring to contracts under the Contract Labour Law. If a man brought over a theatrical company or a company of artistes or singers, they being under contract were liable to be excluded from this country, which was undesirable, but 135 he thought the Government might accept this Amendment with the words "under contract" taken out. The Prime Minister had not quite realised the position having regard to the statement made by the Home Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman stated that if a man came to this country with a letter in his pocket showing that there was employment waiting for him he would be a desirable alien.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
What I said was that, if a man came to this country and produced evidence that he could obtain work at fair wages, I thought he would have no difficulty in getting into the country.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
said he had no objection to the qualification of the words, but he did not remember hearing anything about proper wages. Even leaving out of account the question of a strike, what was to prevent an employer, who wished to cut down wages, from sending letters to 100 foreigners promising them work? If those letters were to be taken as evidence of the immigrants' ability to maintain themselves, what would be the position if no rates of wages were fixed? He thought that having regard to the possibility of such men taking the place of British workmen in trade disputes the Government might very well accept the Amendment.
§ *MR. H. LAWSON (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
said the Prime Minister had pointed out that this Amendment would make the clause directly protective, but it was protective only of that class so well represented in this House, namely, the skilled and organised trades. There was no calling out for protection of the unskilled and unorganised workmen in the East End, from underpaid labour, but directly the skilled and organised trades were affected their spokesman called for a measure of protection which certainly had not been attempted in other respects. In one of his arguments the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil totally misrepresented the facts of the case. The hon. Gentleman said that under the Bill agents 136 would be able to canvass for blacklegs from abroad to take the berths of men who were displaced in a trade dispute at home. But one of the worst existing evils was that the foreign steamship companies employed agents broadcast throughout Poland and Russia to obtain men for the purpose of their companies, the worst of whom were left with us. If this Bill were in operation it would act as a deterrent in that respect. There would be fewer agents and they would be less active. There was a danger of the Amendment being a handicap to the very industries for which it was desired to be protective. He could give examples to prove it. If a new process in a new trade or a new process in an old trade were developed abroad it was necessary sometimes to bring an exponent or teacher of that process to this country. That happened in regard to the stereotyping trade, of which he had personal knowledge. When plates were first cast Italians developed a peculiar skill in the process, and Italian foremen were brought to English printing houses. They did not remain, their posts having now been taken by Englishmen, but Englishmen had to be taught by Italians who came over.
§ *MR. H. LAWSON
said they came under contract, and presumably might be excluded under the Amendment. If that were so it would be a great disadvantage to English trade. Although he had some sympathy with the idea, the Amendment was in terms so wide that he hoped the Committee would see that, in its present form, it was utterly unworkable.
§ MR. FENWICK
asked what provision there was in the Bill to guarantee that men brought in from abroad under contract should be employed at such wages as would enable them decently to support themselves and their families. Was there any provision whatever enabling the authorities to insist on the payment of such wages?
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE
pointed out that the trades most affected in the case 137 of a strike by the bringing in of the persons contemplated in this Amendment were the weakest and least organised trades. Such persons as those referred to by the hon. Member for Mile End, who were employed as foremen in connection with the introduction of new processes, would not be excluded, because the Amendment was confined to the persons against whom the remainder of the clause was directed, viz., steerage passengers and so forth, and these persons would not come within that category. He bad voted against the Bill at every stage hitherto, and should continue to do so. He did not think a case had been made out for a measure of this kind, but if such legislation was to be enacted, it was against the class of persons at whom this Amendment was aimed that he would direct it.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
sincerely hoped that the Home Secretary, if he could not accept the Amendment as moved, would at any rate promise to introduce words to prevent contract labour from coming into this country for the purpose of pulling down the wages of British workmen.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD (Liverpool, West Derby)
associated himself with the appeal to the Home Secretary to do something to prevent the bringing of people under contract into this country in such a way as to injure British workmen, and particularly to prevent the importation of foreigners during a strike.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
hoped that, if the Bill was to go through, safeguards would be inserted against foreign labour being used as a means of keeping down wages or preventing their going up in this country. The provision would not keep out skilled workmen who were being brought in for a special purpose; it applied only to workmen coming in as defined by Clause 1. If employers wished to bring in persons to develop a new process they would take care to bring them in as second-class passengers by an ordinary passenger boat, and thereby remove them from the category of immigrants. Unless the spirit, at any rate, of this Amendment was accepted, the impression would be 138 intensified that the Bill was intended merely for window-dressing purposes, and not in any way to protect British workmen against the competition of foreign labour.
§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
urged the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil to strike out from the Amendment the words "under contract or," so that the Committee might have a clear issue before it; and thus reveal the real object of the Bill. The Amendment would then be exceedingly simple, and it would be seen how many Members really desired to prevent undue competition with British workmen. The words "under contract" had led to very unfortunate results in our Colonies. He had, in the past, boon engaged in efforts to prevent workmen from the Continent being brought to this country by unprincipled employers to compete unfairly with British workmen. If they divided the Committee upon this Amendment they would then see what amount of sincerity there was on the part of those who professed to be so seriously desirous of preventing undue competition with the British workman.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE
said he should be quite willing to amend his proposal by leaving out the word "or."
§ Amendment amended, by leaving out the word "or."
§ Question proposed, "That those words, as amended, be there inserted."
§ *MR. FENWICK
hoped the Home Secretary would tell them what power he had under this Bill of insisting that aliens should be paid wages sufficient to enable them to decently support themselves and their dependents.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said he had stated over and over again that the object of the Bill was to keep out undesirables who were likely to become a charge upon the ratepayers. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil was directly opposed to the principle of the Bill, and he could 139 not accept it. He did not believe that such immigration as the hon. Member referred to took place, but, if it did, it would not be affected by this Bill.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 148; Noes, 215. (Division List No 256.)141
|Abraham, Win. (Cork, N.E.)||Hammond, John||Partington, Oswald|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Harwood, George||Perks, Robert William|
|Allen, Charles P.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayden, John Patrick||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hayter, Rt Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Power, Partick Joseph|
|Austin, Sir John||Helme, Norval Watson||Price, Robert John|
|Baker, Joseph Allen||Higham, John Sharp||Priestley, Arthur|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Reddy, M.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hutchinson, Dr. Chas- Fredk.||Redmond, John E (Waterford)|
|Black, Alexander William||Jacoby, James Alfred||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Boland, John||Joicey, Sir James||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Russell, T. W.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Joyce, Michael||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Kearley, Hudson E.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Burt, Thomas||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan,W||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel|
|Buxton,NE(York,NR,Whitby)||Lamont, Norman||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Buxton, Sydney Chas. (Poplar||Langley, Batty||Seely, Maj. J.E.B.(IsleofWight|
|Caldwell, James||Law, Hugh Alex (Donegal, W.)||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)|
|Cameron, Robert||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Sheehy, David|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Long, Sir John||Stanhope, Hn. Philip James|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Levy, Maurice||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lewis, John Herbert||Sullivan, Donal|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Lundon, W.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lyell, Charles Henry||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Thomson, F.W.(York, W.R.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||MaeNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tomkinson, James|
|Delany, William||MaeVeagh, Jeremiah||Toulmin, George|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||M'Crae, George||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||M'Laren, Sir Chas. Benjamin||Ure, Alexander|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wallace, Robert|
|Doogan, P. C.||Marks, Harry Hananel||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark)||Mooney, John J.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney|
|Dunn, Sir William||Morley, Rt. Hn J. (Montrose)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Edwards, Frank||Murphy, John||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Ellice, CaptEC(SAndrw'sB'ghs||Nolan, Col. John P(Galway, N.||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Emmott, Alfred||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Evans, Samuel T(Glamorgan||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk.Mid|
|Field, William||O'Connor, James (Wicklow.W.||Wilson, Henry J.(York. W.R.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Dowd, John||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon,N||Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||O'Malley, William||Fenwick.|
|Grant, Corrie,||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Griffith, Ellis J||Parrott, William|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Baird, John George Alexander||Bignold, Sir Arthur|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Balcarres, Lord||Bigwood, James|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J(Manch'r)||Bill, Charles|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Balfour, Rt HnGeraldW(Leeds||Bingham, Lord|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Blundell, Colonel Henry|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt.HnHughO.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bond, Edward|
|Arrol, Sir William||Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Boulnois, Edmund|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Bousfield, William Robert|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Bowles, T. Gibson King's Lynn|
|Brassey, Albert||Halsey, Rt. Hn. Thomas F.||Percy, Earl|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Hamilton, Marqof(L'nd'nderry||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Power, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Butcher, John George||Heath, Sir Jas.(Staffords. NW||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn JA(Glasgow)||Hoaton, John Henniker||Pryee-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W||Purvis, Robert|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Henry Staveley||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Ridley, S. Forde|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn JA (Wore||Hogg, Lindsay||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Cl asThomson|
|Chapman, Edward||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hoult, Joseph||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hozier, Hn. James HenryCecil||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hunt, Rowland||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Jessel, Captain Herb. Merton||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Kenyon-Slaney,Rt.Hn.Col. W.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Kerr, John||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford,East|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Smith, H.C(North'mbTyneside|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Lawson, HnH.L.W.(Mile End)||Smith, RtHnJParker(Lanarks|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lee, ArthurH(Hants.,Fareham||Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Spear, John Waro|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stanley, Edward J (Somerset)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lockwood, Lieut.- Col. A. R.||Stanley, Rt.Hn. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S||Stock, James Henry|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stroyan, John|
|Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnE.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley|
|Douglas, Rt. Hn. A. Akers-||Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir WilliamHart||Lyttelton, Rt. Hn. Alfred||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Egerton, Hon. A de Tatton||Macdona, John Cumming||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||Maconochie, A. W.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||M'Artbur, Charles (Liverpool)||Tuff, Charles|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||M'Iver, SirLewis(Edinburgh,W||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Fellowes, Rt.Hn AilwynEdwd.||Manners, Lord Cecil||Turnour, Viscount|
|Fergusson, Rt.HnSirJ (Manc'r||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Vincent, Col. SirCEH(Sheffield|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Walrond, Rt.Hn SirWilliam H|
|Finlay, Sir RB (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir FrederickG||Welby, Lt.-ColACE(Taunton)|
|FitzGerald, SirRobert Penrose||Milvain, Thomas||Welby, Sir Chas. GE.(Notts.)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Mitchell, Wm. (Burnley)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Whiteley, H. (Ashton undLyne|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Montage, Hn. J. Scott (Hants||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Forster, Henry William||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Morpeth, Viscount||Wilson-Todd, Sir WH(Yorks)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Morrison, James Archibald||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Gordon, Hn JE(Elgin & Nairn)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rH'm'ts||Mount, William Arthur||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B.Stuart|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Goschen, Hn. George Joachim||Muntz., Sir Philip A.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Greene, H. D (Shrewsbury)||Myers, William Henry||Younger, William|
|Greene, W. Raymord (Cambs)||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Parker, Sir Gilbert||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Groves, James Grimble||Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)||Viscount Valentia.|
|Hain, Edward||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
moved to insert words to provide that an alien who was "a skilled workman in any textile or mechanical trade or industry" should not be considered 142 an undesirable immigrant. He said he moved his Amendment for the purpose of securing from the Home Secretary an explanation which he hoped might be satisfactory of the meaning of the 143 clause as it at present stood. The clause as it at present stood was that an immigrant should be considered undesirable if he could not show that he was in possession of, or in a position to obtain, the means of decently supporting himself. He was anxious to secure that no difficulty should be placed in the way of a man who was a skilled workman, even although he had not a penny in his pocket, and no immediate prospect of employment. He was anxious that a man should be admitted to the country quite independently of whether he had money in his possession or not. It might be the Home Secretary would Say that the words "in a position to obtain the means of decently supporting himself," carried out that meaning and would effect that purpose; and if that was so he should not press the Amendment. What he wanted to impress on the right hon. Gentleman was this: If this was not a protectionist measure, or if it was not put forward under the guise of a protectionist measure for English workmen, then the freest access would be given to skilled labourers who had trades or manufactures with which they could earn money in this country or elsewhere. But if it was a protectionist measure, as had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, the case would be different.
In page 1, line 25, after the word 'or,' to insert the words 'is a skilled workman in any textile or mechanical trade or industry; or.'"—(Mr. Atherley-Jones.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said this was a matter which had been largely discussed, although not quite in the exact meaning of the Amendment which the hon. and learned Gentleman had brought forward. He had told the House not only to-day but on former occasions what he believed would be the effect of the sub-section in the case of a workman who could show that there was a prospect of his obtaining employment. He understood that the hon. and learned Gentleman wished that an alien who was a 144 skilled workman should be considered as having a right of admission to this country, and that no question should be raised by the immigration officer as to whether he was desirable or not. He would point out that there might be objections to an alien to counterbalance the fact that he was a skilled workman. A man might be a skilled workman in some particular trade, but at the same time he might be an undesirable immigrant. Take, for instance, the case of a skilled workman who was so intemperate that he was not able to obtain employment. If there were circumstances which showed that an alien though possessing a skilled trade, would not be able to obtain a position by which he could maintain himself and his dependents in a decent way, surely he should not be regarded as a desirable immigrant. The hon. and learned Member desired that this man should be taken out of the category of undesirables. He himself preferred the test which was provided by the Bill.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES
asked whether he might take it that a protectionist character would not be given to the sub-section,
§ MR. AKERS - DOUGLAS
said he had explained over and over again that the object of the Bill was to keep out those who might become a burden on the rates.
§ *MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
expressed the hope that his hon. friend would not press the Amendment. He did not, however, think the Home Secretary gave a happy illustration when he mentioned the question of intemperance. Nothing would be more difficult to detect at the port of entry than whether a man was addicted to intemperance. His point against the Amendment was that he did not see why any special class should be named in. the way proposed by his hon. friend. He was told by lawyers that this might have the effect of leading to different treatment of the classes not named.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.145
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
moved to insert in Sub-section (b) the words "disease or" in order to include among immigrants who should be considered undesirable those aliens who, owing to their suffering from any disease, appeared likely to become a charge upon the rates or otherwise a detriment to the public. The Amendment was necessary to provide for certain cases in regard to which there was some doubt as to whether they would be covered by the sub-section as it stood. There were some diseases which were largely introduced by aliens and which did not come within the class of infectious diseases to which the regulations of the Local Government Board applied. As a matter of fact the diseases to which the Local Government Board regulations applied were cholera, yellow fever, plague, and one or two others. The inspection under these regulations was carried out by the port sanitary officer. The port sanitary officer would tell the immigration officer what diseases the immigrants were affected with, and they would be dealt with in the ordinary way in the infections diseases hospital at the port until they were cured, and if they had passed, in the first instance, the immigration officer, they would then bf allowed to remain in this country. But if they had not passed in the first instance, then another examination would be made by the immigration officer. He thought this clause was necessary in order to cover cases which would not be covered under the regulations of the Local Government Board.
In page 1, line 26, after the word 'any' to insert the words 'disease or.'"—(Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR FEANCIS POWELL (Wigan
) thanked the Government for the modification which they had made in the Bill. He thought the Amendment of his right hon. friend might be safely adopted, because it was not liable to the objection which he successfully took last year to it.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
thought that this was a most proper Amend- 146 ment. But still, in the arrangement the right hon. Gentleman had sketched out, there was the difficulty of the double examination of the same man. The right hon. Gentleman had not said that one medical officer was to report to the other medical officer.
said that in no case did he think that would occur. What was proposed was that the medical officer of the port authority should make the examination, and it WAS expected that that medical officer would in most, if not in all, cases, be the medical inspector under the Bill.
§ DR. HUTCHINSON (Sussex, Rye)
said he had been trying to find out what diseases had been imported into this country by aliens. There had been a great deal of exaggeration on the point. He had been in communication with the medical officer of health for the Port of London and also with the medical officer of the London County Council. The latter said that the figures generally showed that where there had been an increase of alien immigrants there had been a decrease of the death-rate and an increase of the birth-rate. Only a few cases of trachoma had been found among the aliens in the East End. There had been a steady improvement by enforcing by laws as to sanitation in the houses let as lodgings. All the medical officers of health were alive to this subject, and the condition of the houses in Stepney was improving. The number of infectious diseases introduced into Stepney during the last few years was only six or seven; and the medical officer of health for the White-chapel Union said that hardly any of the aliens came on the rates because the Jewish Board of Guardians relieved them in any case of distress. If these aliens got too ill to be looked after in their own homes, they were removed to the Jewish wards in the London Hospital which were kept up entirely by the Jews. He thought that in this House they ought to acknowledge the enormously good work which the Jewish community did in looking after their own poor. Nothing had struck him more in Whitechapel than the generous way in which the rich Jews looked 147 after their poorer brethren. That was a grand lesson to Christians. The hon. Member for Liverpool had drawn a picture as to cases of lunacy introduced into Liverpool. He had made inquiry and found that during the last sixteen years there had been only fifty-four cases of alien lunacy in all the various asylums in Liverpool.
said that the Committee had already passed the question of lunacy, and it could not be entered upon again.
§ DR. HUTCHINSON
said he bowed to the ruling of the Chairman; but he had been anxious to assuage the anxiety felt in regard to the difficulty of treating cases of lunacy. As to diseases generally, he believed that we exported a great many more diseased persons from this country than we imported. And it might be found that foreign Governments would try, if this Bill was passed, to play the same game with us. We exported thousands of patients every year to the Continent and had introduced to the Riviera that dreadful disease of phthisis. In that respect we could not throw stones at foreign countries. At the same time he was willing to help to carry a measure which would put a stop to infectious diseases coming into this country. The only disease which he knew of which was being introduced into this country by aliens was a sort of inflammation of the eyes, but of ninety-six cases only twenty-six were found to be infectious—which out of the thousands of aliens who came in was not a very large percentage. He understood that in the Jewish refuge in Whitechapel there was a special doctor to look after these cases.
MR. WILLIAM EUTHERFORD
said that this was a far more serious matter than the hon. Gentleman who last spoke would have the Committee to believe. The total number of immigrants who were excluded last year on the ground of disease was 1,560.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
said that the total number excluded was 7,994, and out of these 1,560 on account of disease. Of those who were excluded on the frontier, before coming here, numbering 6,356, no less than 648 or 10 per cent, were excluded on the ground of disease. Now, it was very important that disease should be specifically shut out, but it did not follow that the disease should be that of a poor person. A person, however wealthy, suffering from disease ought to be shut out from this country, if possible. The hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House would have the Committee understand that very few cases of disease had been imported into this country froom abroad. In Liverpool in 1903 there were 99 cases of hightly infectious diseases landed, including 24 cases of smallpox, 22 of enteric fever, and 12 of phthisis. In 1904, there were the same number of cases of smallpox and enteric with 32 cases of measles; but in addition to those particular figures there were 581 cases of other serious diseases landed at Liverpool which required to be temporarily sent into the hospital; and every one of these cases, if this Bill had been law, would have been shut out.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that several of the diseases mentioned by the hon. Member were the very object of the regulations of the Local Government Board with which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary said he would not interfere.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
said that the next Amendment standing in his name spoke for itself, and therefore, without further remark, he begged to move.
In page 2, line 5, after the word 'or,' to insert the words 'is an anarchist or person who believes in or advocates the overthrow by force or violence of all government or all forms of law, or the assassination of public officials, or.'"—(Mr. William Rutherford.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."149
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
pointed out that the words of the Amendment would involve an inquiry into "belief". It was not desirable to institute an inquiry in this country as to what a person believed. The inquiry must be made as to what a man had done. The Amendment could not be accepted.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
In page 2, line 5, after the word 'or,' to insert the words 'is a person who has been already refused admission to the United Kingdom under this Act, or.'"—(Mr. William Rutherford.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that a man might be property excluded on one occasion, and, the circumstances having altered, might be admitted subsequently.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
moved in Clause 1, page 2, line 7, after the word "case," to insert the words "or if he is an alien who has been recently rejected by or deported from some other foreign country." It was this particular class who were the bane of Liverpool at the present moment. In 1904 there were rejected by the United States, and dumped in Liverpool, 293 males and 100 females. From Canada there were lumped ninety-six males and twenty-one females. In the first three months of 1905 the evil had become much greater. He would mention a typical case, which happened three weeks ago. A woman from Helsingfors, who had taken a ticket at Liverpool, was brought back. It was calculated she would cost the ratepayers £720 for maintenance; but that she could be sent back to Helingsfors or about £100; and that course was adopted. Why should they be the dumping-ground for other nations. These people were thrown on the quays; and he ratepayers had to support them. He, therefore, asked the Commmittee to 150 seriously consider this very important Amendment. If any other words could be introduced which would enable them to get rid of the rejected of other countries he would not persist with his Amendment.
In page 2, line 7, after the word 'case' to insert the words 'or if he is an alien who has been recently rejected by or deported from some other foreign country."—(Mr. (William Rutherford.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he quite understood the point of view from which his hon. friend had spoken, and which he had put before the Committee with such fairness and force. But he submitted to the Committee that it would be very undesirable that they should abdicate their right to select their own standard; and that they should rejeet an immigrant merely because he was rejected by another country. It would be very strangethat, having set up their own test, they should apply another standard. He quite recognised that this country should not be a dumping-ground for other countries; but they should rely on the conditions they themselves prescribed.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
asked if these people would be debarred if they came within the scope of the Bill.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE
said he had previously stated that this Bill was recommended to the constituencies on anti-Semitic grounds. A considerable portion of the London Press supported it on that ground; and hon. Members 151 had received a great mass of correspondence which showed the same feeling. Although he fully admitted that that was not the object of the Government, still it was the main ground advanced in favour of the Bill by less cultivated persons outside. Nothing could have been better than the speech of the Prime Minister on this point. It was language of the highest statesmanship, if he might say so—language in which the right hon. Gentleman deplored the anti-Semitic agitation in other countries, and in which he expressed his opinion that it would be a most deplorable calamity to introduce into this country. But the question was how far this Bill would be used for that purpose by many people of less responsibility. A great many persons did desire to see an anti-Semitic use made of this Bill. The Government had made a feeble attempt to deal with this question. They proposed to add after "persecution" in line 9 the words "or punishment on religious grounds." He did not think these words covered the cases with reference to which Amendments had been put on the Paper. For example, the legal necessity for Jews in Russia to reside only in certain places would be covered by the words; but would they cover the case of Jews driven out of Russia by a police plot. He had facts in his pos session; but he would not weary the Committee with the details. The matter was sufficiently well known to induce the Committee to consider it as one which they would wish to deal with. The number o Jews who fled from Russia to the United States was almost infinitely greater than the number who settled in this country. The over-whelming bulk of the movement of the Russian Jewish emigration had been to the United States, but his impression was that both to this country and to the United States the acquisition of the population had been a benefit and not a drawback. He was of opinion, and he believed the country generaly was of opinion, that the religious persecutions which had disgraced the world at various times had in the past brought, incidentally, benefit to this country through the asylum we had extended to the victims of such persecutions, and he, personally, thought the present perse- 152 cution of the Jewish population of Russia did this country good rather than harm. He fully admitted that a case might arise when such an emigration might take place to a country where it might be necessary to guard against the complete change of the race by the influx of a foreign population, but no such case had arisen here. If it was possible without danger to ourselves to admit the victims of such persecutions surely it was the desire of this Committee and of the country that our shores should remain open to them. Those who knew the state of the Russian Jews, knew that their state was such that they would welcome with enthusiasm, welcome as the highest attainment, as the summit of their hopes, the treatment given to the Mahomedan subjects of Russia. Fleeing to this country and to America was the only relief these people had from the horrible persecution from which they suffered, and, if the Committee could see their way to do it safely, he was sure they all desired to insert in the Bill some such Amendment as he proposed. He begged to move.
In page 2, line 9, after the words 'country,' to insert the words ' by reason of the treatment of the religions body to which he belongs or.'"—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
said the Committee would appreciate that they had now embarked on a very important matter in connection with this Bill. No doubt the topic was a difficult one, and he did not know that he was in favour of the exact words of the right hon. Baronet, but they now had to consider the matter and he would like to say a few words to indicate why he should like to go as far as the right hon. Baronet had gone and why the Government Amendment did not, in his opinion, go sufficiently far. The Government Amendment only went so far as to give an asylum to a person who had been prosecuted for his religious faith and had sought the protection of this country. But if they looked at the laws actually in operation abroad, and the 153 number of cases equivalent to a prosecution in this country, they would see that the Government Amendment was much too narrow and would not deal with the great majority of the cases. It was not a question of instituting a prosecution in Russia or Roumania or some other country and punishing a man because he had done something out of accord with the criminal law of that country, the question was supposing a man came to this country bona fide fleeing from what we called religious persecution were we to shut the door which had been open from time immemorial and deny him an asylum. He felt very strongly on this point and had put an Amendment on the Paper to substitute the word persecution for prosecution. Take, for example, the case of a Jew in Russia. The authorities there might say to the Jew: "If you give up your faith and become an Orthodox Christian we will give you all the advantages we now deny you." If that Jew put his religious belief before the advantages held out to him, persecution was hardly the word to describe the horrors that person would suffer. Well, the sufferer flees to this country. Were we to refuse an asylum to a person coming to us under those conditions? By so doing we should abrogate all our great traditions as a free country. He would not refer to the Huguenots because he recognised that the present conditions? were somewhat different, but the same principle underlay the whole, and for iris part he could not support any proposal which, if a person came to this country being a bona fide victim of religious persecution, would refuse him an asylum. He could not be a party to shutting the door against the victim of a religious persecution under those circumstances and say he should not have such a refuge.
It had been suggested that the Bill itself would to a great extent be destroyed if free entry was allowed to victims of religious persecution. In regard to that he would say, first of all, whatever the effect might be upon the Bill it would be a disgrace to this country to refuse an asylum to anyone in that position, and, secondly, he did not think it would do anything of the kind. He was strongly in favour of the general principle of this 154 Bill because it would stop immigration to a large extent. It would stop emigration agents undertaking to land emigrants in the United Kingdom if they were refused a landing in the United States. It was quite possible to do that and still keep an asylum open for those who were the bona fide victims of a religious persecution. Naturally the ipse dixit of an immigrant would not be taken as to his being such a victim, but it would be just as easy to examine into that matter as to examine into many others. If we thought the tribunal to be instituted was not sufficiently strong and capable to draw a distinction between the victim of persecution and an ordinary undesirable alien, then he would say that the framework of the Bill was wrong, but he thought the framework of the Bill was quite sufficient to enable the question to be judged. But even if a few people came into this country in this way who were not entitled to do so, in his opinion, that would be a very small evil compared to our shutting the door to those who fled to this country as an asylum from religious persecution. Let us not at this period of our civilisation, a civilisation of which we boasted, in a Bill of this kind, give the go-by to the best traditions of our past history and refuse an asylum to a man who for the sake of his faith came to us as a person who had been persecuted for his belief. He would not prolong a discussion of this kind. It was a matter upon which they all felt deeply, and he would only appeal to the Committee not to let this country go back on its great tradition as a free country; the tradition that all who sought an asylum on the ground of their religious belief found one in this country.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that this was, perhaps, the most interesting, if not the most important, Amendment which was likely to be moved to the Bill, and he rose early in the debate in order to indicate what were the views of the Government in regard to it. The medieval treatment of the Jews was a permanent stain on European annals; and he agreed that if they could do anything to wipe it out, if they could even do anything to diminish its effects in the present time, it would be their bounden duty to do it. The 155 right hon. Baronet had condemned the anti - Semitic spirit which disgraced a great deal of modern politics in other countries of Europe, and declared that the Jews of this country were a valuable element in the community. He was not prepared to deny either of these propositions. But he undoubtedly thought that a state of things could easily be imagined in which it would not be to the advantage of the civilisation of the country that there should be an immense body of persons who, however patriotic, able, and industrious, however much they threw themselves into the national life, still, by their own action, remained a people apart, and not merely held a religion differing from the vast majority of their fellow - countrymen, but only inter-married among themselves. He quite agreed that this country had not nearly reached the point when such a state of things became a serious national danger; but they must bear in mind that some of the undoubted evils which had fallen upon portions of the country from an alien immigration which was largely Jewish, gave those of them who, like the right hon. Baronet and himself, condemned nothing more strongly than the manifestation of the anti-Semitic spirit, some reason to fear that this country might be, at however great a distance, in danger of following the evil example set by some other countries; and, human nature being what it was, it was almost impossible to guard against so great an evil unless they took reasonable precautions to prevent what was called "the right of a ylum" from being abused.
He thought the right hon. Baronet and his hon. and learned friend behind him who had supported the Amendment had fallen into an historical delusion when they said that there was an immemorial right of asylum which this country had given to all classes of victims of Continental religious persecution. He understood that at present there was a law which prevented Jesuits from coming into this country.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
There is a law against the Jesuits. It is not repealed, but it is not used.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was quite right on the point. The truth was that the only immemorial right of asylum given by this country was to allow aliens in with whom the country agreed. He should like to ask English and Scotch Members whether they had ever studied the penal laws of Ireland. During the time the Puritans had control of the legislation of this country, say for a hundred years from the beginning of the Long Parliament, it was on religious grounds largely that the Irish Roman Catholics were persecuted, with the result that an enormous number of Irishmen, driven from their own country by religious persecution, sought refuge in other countries, to which they rendered brilliant and distinguished services.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Precisely. That only extended the force of his argument. Then where was this immemorial right of asylum which this country gave to the persecuted? This country, even in relatively recent times, instead of welcoming to its shores those who differed from it in matters of religion, drove forth from its shores those who differed from it in matters of religion. Did the right hon. Baronet regard the Irishmen who emigrated before the Catholic emancipation as flying from religious persecution? What was the condition of the Irish Roman Catholic subject before 1829? He had all the privileges of a British subject, but he could not enter Parliament. Did the right hon. Baronet regard that as religious persecution?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
There are worse things than not being able to keep a horse. Let the House put aside this fancy picture that from time immemorial 157 this country had been so much in favour of religious equality and the rights of conscience that it gave an asylum to the religiously persecuted of all nations, for it had no historical basis in fact. The much quoted case of the Iuguenots only meant this—that we had just been at war with Louis XIV., and were about to go to war with him again, and that there was a body of his subjects who disagreed with him and agreed with us whom we welcomed with open arms. That kind of policy this country always had had, and it did not mean any high standard of civilisation or any broad views of the rights of conscience.
But, to come to the Amendment, he would ask to what extent would the clause, as it stood, keep out those who were suffering in any true sense from religious persecution. Let the House remember that the great mass of alien immigrants was not touched by the Bill at all. Those who were kept out were but a small number, and they were kept out solely because they were likely to become a burden upon the country if they were allowed in. Did the House really think that the destitute victims of religious persecution, especially Jews, would not find among their co-religionists sufficient assistance to enable them to belong to that large class of immigrants who could come in instead of to the small class that might be kept out? Probably of all religious communities the Jewish community had proved itself to be the most devoted and most profusely liberal in providing for the destitute of its own body. The right hon. Baronet had said that of all countries in the world the United States of America had proved a harbour of refuge to the largest number of those persons; but he would remind the right hon. Gentleman that the United States had really no law such as he proposed in his Amendment. They had placed restriction upon restriction on the immigration of undesirable aliens, but still there was nothing in what they had done which could in the smallest degree prevent the United States being the asylum of oppressed Jews from the East of Europe.
He would make two further observations. The first was that it was useless passing a Bill of this kind unless 158 they made it a practical way of dealing with the situation. If they so drew their regulations that it would be impossible for the officers at the various ports really to exclude those whom it was intended to exclude, then it was unnecessary labour on their part to pass the Bill. If they put in an exception depending on facts which it would be practically impossible to disprove within the knowledge of the immigration officer—if they made the exception so wide, then no one would be excluded who wished to come in and who was prepared to make a statement at variance with the truth. That was an argument that ought to appeal to the House, which was of opinion, as expressed by a large majority at the Second Reading, that a Bill of the kind should be passed. There was a further consideration which seemed to him to be absolutely overwhelming. The case on the other side put by his right hon. friend opposite, and his learned friend behind him, was this—that the freedom-loving, tolerant country of Great Britain and Ireland should welcome immigrants who had suffered either from religious or political persecution, and should welcome at the public charge any cost which those unfortunate victims of foreign oppression might inflict upon them. If that argument was advanced, he must say honestly, after due consideration of all the facts of the case, did it not occur to the right hon. Gentleman or to his hon. and learned friend that that which was to be an act of national self-sacrifice in the interests of the persecuted should be a sacrifice paid for by the nation?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Were they going to have a charitable Vote for the victims of foreign persecution? They might have a collection in the churches, as had been recommended. Why was Stepney to be sacrificed because Britain owed an obligation? Obviously, if they thought this a national obligation they should make it a national burden. But no Chancellor of the Exchequer could seriously be asked to make the provision to which these fine sentiments inevitably and logically led. If they would remember the burden which was without doubt 159 thrown upon certain districts in the country in supporting these pauper immigrants, and if they thought that any burden should be borne, and any sacrifice undergone rather than that one persecuted individual should be kept from these shores, they had no alternative but to devise some plan by which the national Exchequer should be made responsible for what, all must admit, were a most unhappy and unfortunate class—a class, however, for whom, he must frankly admit to the House, he did not consider that, either by tradition or for any other reason, we were bound as s nation to provide an unlimited asylum by unlimited sacrifice.
§ MR. STUART SAMUEL
said he thought the country would read the Prime Minister's speech with a deep feeling of astonishment and sorrow. At one fell swoop the Prime Minister had attempted to snatch from this country the reputation for freedom and as an asylum against persecution on which it had always prided itself. The Prime Minister had attached to the people of this country the role of religious persecutors. The day had passed for that.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the hon. Gentleman distinctly misunderstood him. The two hon. Members who preceded him both talked of the immemorial right of asylum based on religious equality and freedom; and he had pointed out that that had no historic foundation whatever.
§ MR. STUART SAMUEL
said that the action which the Prime Minister proposed to take to-day was the same taken 150 years ago.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the action to which he called attention was the action by which certain persons were driven out of this country by religious persecution.
§ MR. STUART SAMUEL
said he fatted to see the difference. The right hon. Gentleman had laid it down that we were bound by out historical past to refuse admission to the victims of religious persecution upon the ground that to admit them would cost this country a certain sum of money. That sordid and unworthy argument he believed the people of this country would not approve of. His answer to one specific point put forward by the Prime Minister was that the poor Jews in Stepney were not a charge upon Stepney in any way whatever. The members of their own community did not let them come upon the rates, and so long, therefore, they could not be said to be a charge on the country, and the argument condoning religious persecution abroad on the ground that it would cost this country money disappeared at once. He went further and said that those who condoned persecution on the part of others participated equally in the wrong-doing. And they could not draw the line at the Jew. If they once admitted the argument they must apply it to the Catholic and the Dissenter, and to every other form of religion that was not the dominant religon of the country. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded to legislation in the past. The reason why the legislation of the past was not put in force today was that this country was ashamed of it; and it would be a sad day when the principles the Prime Minister had enunciated in this House should be those of the representatives of the majority of the people of this country. If the right hon. Gentleman thought that he represented the opinions of the people of this country, why did he not appeal to them in that case? The right hon. Gentleman knew perfectly well that up and down the country the people were in favour of religious freedom.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had never uttered one word in favour of religious persecution. On the contrary he had said many which showed that he was violently opposed to it.
§ MR. STUART SAMUEL
said that if they refused asylum in this country to the victims of religious persecution and 161 threw them back into the country where they were religiously persecuted, they were participating in the wrong. The right hon. Gentleman was not doing him justice when the right hon. Gentleman said that he was imputing to him the effects of the legislation he proposed. He could only say that his people, the Jewish community to which he belonged, were perfectly prepared to undertake the burden of supporting all Jewish aliens.
§ MR. STUART SAMUEL
said that the right hon. Gentleman could not argue that they were a charge upon Stepney so long as the Jewish community were prepared to support them. The right hon. Gentleman must see that the logical conclusion of his argument was that these people could not be maintained by others and at the same time be a charge upon the public purse. No figures of any authority had been produced; but, nevertheless, again and again, the right hon. Gentleman had referred to the pauperism of aliens in this country. Let them have the figures. He challenged the Government to make out any case upon their own official figures. If the figures existed they ought to be produced. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stepney said he would give figures; but no figures had yet been given which could be discussed across the floor of the House. He felt certain that the people of this country would not consent to join the right hon. Gentleman in casting back the unhappy victims of religious persecution, and he believed a certain number of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House shared that feeling. The principles of religious freedom would make themselves felt when the present Government had gone to pieces.
§ *MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
said he would try to interpret the speech of the Prime Minister a little more accurately than the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. He, for one, had never argued that there was a right of asylum in this country, but nobody would deny that the privilege had been accorded, and by the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants it would be with regret that that privilege 162 would be refused. If refused at all, it would be in deference to the belief which was said to be entertained in the urgent economic necessity for such an enactment. The Prime Minister acknowledged—he was obliged to his right hon. friend for the acknowledgment—that the Jewish community did what it could to assist and maintain their own poor, and that, so far as he had any power, he could assert would be continued with the same success in the future. He earnestly asked the Committee not to abandon, for an economic consideration which could not be maintained and had hardly been alleged, the traditions, which had for centuries been the boast of England, of asylum on these shores for those whose only alleged offence was the faith they held. He thanked the Prime Minister for his condemnation of outrages inflicted on his community abroad. In that he was only following the precedent of his illustrious relative. He, himself, had a letter from the late Lord Salisbury, in which he expressed himself in indignant terms not only as regarded the outrages, but also with reference to the violation of the Treaty of Berlin, of which other Powers had been guilty. As a former president of the Jewish Board of Guardians, if there was the slightest risk, he would not say danger, which he did not for one moment believe, of an uncontrolled immigration of his community from any part of the world which would interfere with the industries of this country, he would do his best to avert it. As for the Amendment of the Home Secretary, he thanked him for it; but he did not think that the words proposed would attain the object in view. He hoped with all earnestness that words would be inserted which would render the clause wider and its effect more elastic.
said that the Prime Minister had delivered a very interesting speech. The excursus on Irish history had, however, had extremely little relevance to the actual Amendment.
And, it being half-past Seven of the clock, the (Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
Committee report progress; to sit again this evening.