HC Deb 28 June 1905 vol 148 cc385-9
MR. SOARES (Devonshire,) Barnstaple

in introducing a Bill to amend the Motor-Car Act of 1903, said he introduced this Bill under the ten minutes rule because, although it was a short and simple Bill, it was still, he ventured to think, one of considerable importance. It was introduced because of the debate which took place in the House a week or two ago. In that debate there was one very striking feature, namely, that all speakers, whatever view they took on other matters, were unanimous on one point. It was that something should be done with regard to "road hogs." What was a "road hog" These "road hogs" he ventured to think were defined by the first clause of the Motor-Car Act, which prescribed certain penalties for a man who recklessly, negligently, or dangerously drove a motor-car. Experience had proved fines were no deterrent to these gentlemen. They paid them and cared nothing more about it, hence he desired to alter the law in one particular only. Under Clause 1 of the Motor Act, 1903, which enacted the penalties for dangerous and reckless driving, on conviction for a first offence a magistrate had power to impose a penalty of £20, and on conviction of a second offence a penalty of £50 or three months imprisonment. He proposed to alter the law with reference to the first offence, and he proposed to give the magistrates power to inflict a fine of £20 or imprisonment for one month. This Bill had nothing whatever to do with the question of speed limit. He left that entirely as it was at present, so neither the Prime Minister nor the Attorney-General nor the Secretary of the Board of Education need alarmed. He was quite sure if the Bill were adopted it would prove effective, because experience had shown that although these men did not mind running the risk of a fine they would think a longtime before they risked imprisonment He had endeavoured to be scrupulously fair in the Bill, and he had introduced a clause giving the same power of appeal in case of a savage sentence as was given under the Motor-Car Act. He did not, however, think they need fear that magistrates would act in a savage manner. In the debate the other day no complaint had been made with regard to the magistrates, and he had a letter in his pocket at that moment complaining not of the severity but of the leniency of the magistrates. If the Bill became law, he provided that it should come into force on September 1st, and it would continue as long as the Motor-Car Act of 1903. It was in no sense an anti-motor Bill, because it was backed by no lass the six Gentlemen who owned motors and took a keen interest in motoring. He appealed to the Government to assist in securing the passage of the Bill, expressing the hope that they would not shelter themselves behind the Committee to be appointed, a Committee which nobody wanted and which many thought was only being set up for the purpose of delay, and stating that if nothing were done now things would have to remain as they were till 1907, and the terrible accidents of which they read would continue to occur. He hoped also the Bill would not be blocked by any private Members, and he declared that if it were, on those hon. Members' shoulders would largely rest the responsibility for the accidents, loss of lives, and public anxiety, which were now prevalent throughout the country.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend The Motor-Car Act, 1903."

MR. SCOTT-MONTAGU (Hampshire, New Forest)

had nothing really to say against the propositions advanced by the hon. Member for Barnstaple. At the same time it must not be forgotten that there was undeniably a prejudice against motor-cars in many districts, and it would be dangerous to put these stringent powers in the hands of some magistrates who, like Canon Greenwell, of Durham, were so prejudiced against cars. The existing powers were very strong; not only could a fine of £10 be inflicted for a first offence, but the licence could be suspended. He thought the House would do well to await the result of the inquiry promised by the Local Government Board. While he and his hon. friends were prepared to consider the

Bill he could not promise an easy passage for it.


asked if he would be in order in moving the adjournment of the debate.


said a discretion was with the Speaker whether he should put the Question that leave be given or a Motion for adjournment.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 222; Noes,)S. (Division List No. 217.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Donelan, Captain A. Howard, John (Kent Faversham
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doogan, P. C. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Allen, Charles P. Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Hudson, George Bickersteth
Atherley-Jones, L. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hunt, Rowland
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Duffy, William J. Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Edwards, Frank Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Ellice, Capt EC (S. Andrw'sBghs Jacoby, James Alfred
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Jones, Lief (Appleby)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Jordan, Jeremiah
Benn, John Williams Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Joyce, Michael
Bignold, Sir Arthur Earrell, James Patrick Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath, N.)
Black, Alexander William Fenwick, Charles Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.
Blake, Edward Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ. (Manc'r. Kilbride, Denis
Boland, John Ffrench, Peter Knowles, Sir Lees
Boulnois, Edmund Field, William Lambert, George
Brigg, John Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lamont, Norman
Broadhurst, Henry Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, NE Langley, Batty
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End)
Burke, E. Haviland Flavin, Michael Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Burt, Thomas Flower, Sir Ernest Layland-Barratt, Francis
Buxton, SydneyCharles (Poplar Flynn, James Christopher Leese, SirJoseph F. (Accrington
Caldwell, James Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Cameron, Robert Fuller, J. M. F. Leigh, Sir Joseph
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Galloway, William Johnson Lewis, John Herbert
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Gilhooly, James Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Gladstone. Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lough, Thomas
Causton, Richard Knight Goddard, Daniel Ford Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Chapman, Edward Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Cheetham, John Frederick Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)
Clancy, John Joseph Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rH'mlets Lundon, W.
Clive, Captain Percy A. Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Macdona, John Cumming
Cogan, Denis J. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Grant, Corrie MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F M'Calmont, Colonel James
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Hammond, John M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Crean, Eugene Hare, Thomas Leigh Malcolm, Ian
Crombie, John William Harrington, Timothy Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Cullinan, J. Hay, Hon. Claude George Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshir.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hayden, John Patrick Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Dalziel, James Henry Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Middlemore, JohnThrogmorton
Davenport, William Bromley Helme, Norval Watson Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Delany, William Higham, John Sharp Murphy, John
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway Holland, Sir William Henry Murray, Col. Wyndhm (Bath)
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Nannetti, Joseph P.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Ridley, S. Forde Toulmin, George
Nussey, Thomas Willans Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary, Mid Roche, Augustine (Cork) Tuff, Charles
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Roche, John (Galway, East) Ure, Alexander
O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Valentia, Viscount
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Runciman, Walter Vincent, Col. Sir C. EH (Sheffield
O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Russell, T. W. Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
O'Donnell T. (Kery, W.) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Wallace, Robert
O'Dowd, John Samuel, Herbert L (Cleveland) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
O'Malley, William Sheehy, David Wason, John Cathcart (Orkuey)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Shipman, Dr. John G. Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Parker, Sir Gilbert Sloan, Thomas Henry White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Parrott, William Smith, RtHn J. Parker (Lanarks Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Partington, Oswald Soames, Arthur Wellesley Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Plummer, Sir Walter R. Stanhope, Hon. Philip James Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stanley, Hn. Arthur Ormskirk Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Power, Patrick Joseph Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Woodhouse, Sir JT. (Huddersf'd
Price, Robert John Stone, Sir Benjamin Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart
Reddy, M. Sullivan, Donal Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Young, Samuel
Reid, J'ames (Greenock) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Renwick, George Tennant, Harold John TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Mr. Soares and Mr. Allhusen.
Richards, Thomas Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fellowes, RtHn. AilwynEdward Myers, William Henry
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O Fison, Frederick William Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Arrol, Sir William Forster, Henry William Pemberton, John S. G.
Aubrey-Fletcher. Rt. Hn. Sir H. Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W. Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Bailey, James (Walworth) Garfit, William Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Balcarres, Lord Hamilton, Marq. of. (L'nd'nderry Rose, Charles Day
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Bowles, T. Gibson(King's Lynn Heath, Sir James (Staffords. NW Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Bright, Allan Heywood Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse
Brymer, William Ernest Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Sharpe, William Edward T.
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Jones. DavidBrynmor (Swansea Stroyan, John
Campbell, J. H. M(Dublin Univ. Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W. Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Levy, Maurice Tuke, Sir John Batty
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Lowe, Francis William Turnour, Viscount
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Maconochie, A. W. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. M'lver. Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire
Denny, Colonel Manners, Lord Cecil TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Scott Montagu and Mr. Lonsdale.
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Marks, Harry Hananel
Elibank, Master of Milvain, Thomas
Taber, George Denison (York) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Soares, Mr. Allhusen, Mr. Cawley, Mr. Cameron Corbett, Mr. Fuller, Mr. Lambert, Mr. Lyell, Mr. Nussey, Mr. Philipps, Mr. Eemnant, Mr. Spear, and Mr. Wills.