§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. ASQUITH, Fifeshire, E.) rose to move: "That for the remainder of the session, 483 Government business be not interrupted under the provisions of any standing order regulating the sittings of the House, and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed; and that no Motions be made to bring in Bills under Standing Order No. 11." He said: This Motion is usual, and indeed inevitable, at this stage of the Parliamentary session. In asking its acceptance by the House, I think I may fairly claim that during the autumn sittings, and, indeed, during the whole of this long session, the Government have made a very sparing use of the power of the majority to suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule. I am one of those who think, very strongly, that it is not desirable that our normal hours of sitting should be altered, except on special occasions and under the pressure of some particular emergency; and by adhering, so far as we have been able, to the ordinary arrangements we have adopted the plan which conduces, more than any other, to facilitate the transaction of Parliamentary business. But there always comes a time when it is necessary, for the purpose of winding up our business, that there should be an extension of the ordinary time available, and it is for that purpose that I make this Motion. It is customary and proper on such an occasion to make a brief statement, partly by way of review and partly by way of prospect, of the business of that part of the session with which we are now concerned. As the House is aware, the principal measure which has been the subject of discussion during the autumn sittings—I refer to the Licensing Bill—has, since we last took leave of it, met elsewhere a fate which has befallen many other useful measures. I reserve anything I may have to say, and there is a good deal to be said, in regard to that incident to a more appropriate occasion. I need also only make a passing reference to the disappearance of the Education Bill, to which we devoted in these sittings a substantial amount of time. There remain a number of measures which we still hope will receive, before Parliament is prorogued, the Royal Assent. I will mention six in particular to which the Government attach great importance. The first is the Children Bill, which only awaits in this House the consideration 484 of the Lords' Amendments. The second is the Scottish Education Bill, which is now under consideration in another place, and in regard to which any Amendments that are made there will have to be considered here. The third is the Prevention of Crime Bill, which is in the same position. Next I come to the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Bill, a useful measure which has passed the House of Lords, and in regard to which also we have only to consider the Amendments of the Lords. The remaining two are measures which have not yet left this House—the Port of London Bill, with which I hope at eleven o'clock tonight my right hon. friend will be able to make further progress, and the Mines (Eight Hours) Bill, the Report stage of which will commence as soon as this Motion is agreed to. There are also some measures of less prominence which we hope to pass, as they are mainly departmental or of a non-controversial kind, and appear on the Paper numbered 6 to 15. Among them are the East India Loans Bill and three Scottish Bills—Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Bill, Local Government (Scotland) Bill, Crofters' Commons Grazings Regulation Bill—which have passed the Committee stage. Then comes the Hops Bill, introduced by my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday, as to which I will only say that we are anxious to see it passed into law, if there be general agreement about it, but unless there is that general agreement it must be speedily withdrawn. Then there are five other Bills which have come from the Lords, none of which raises any party or, I think, departmental controversy—Appellate Jurisdiction Bill, Lunacy Bill, Post Office Consolidation Bill, Companies Consolidation Bill, and Post Office Sites Bill—which we also confidently hope will receive the Royal Assent before the prorogation. There are two other Bills which are now before Select or Standing Committees—the Poisons and Pharmacy Bill, which was read the second time here the other night; and the Statute Law Revision Bill, which comes down from the House of Lords—and which we also expect to place on the Statute-book. There is one further measure of a similar class which is numbered 36 on the Paper, the Post Office Savings Bank (Public Trustee) 485 No. 2 Bill, and takes the place of a Bill previously introduced, No. 35 on the Paper. I come next to another category of Bills which have to pass their remaining stages and in regard to which we shall not take any effective steps if they meet with more opposition than we anticipate; they appear under Nos. 16 to 20 inclusive on the Order Paper, the Provisional Order Procedure Bill, Commons Bill, Criminal Appeal Amendment Bill, Constabulary (Ireland) Bill, and Tuberculosis Prevention (Ireland) Bill; and I may add there are two other Bills, the only private Member's Bills to which we propose to give facilities, and only to these if satisfied there is general agreement to them, the Ferries (Ireland) Bill, and a Bill which does not appear on this Paper, which has passed all its stages in the House of Lords and for which the hon. Member for a division of Buckinghamshire is responsible—the Law of Distress (Amendment) Bill, subject of course to the same conditions. There are also Bills—I think I need only mention they are not controversial and we propose to include them in the facilities—the three charity Bills, Buxton, Long Ashton, and Abbots Bromley. Now I pass to a more painful branch of my subject, the Bills we propose not to press during the remainder of the present session, and they appear on the Order Paper numbered 22 to 31 and include, as I have said, 35 also. I will mention two of them especially, the Irish Land Bill and the Trawling in Prohibited Areas Prevention Bill. To the great regret of the Government we regard it as not possible to make such progress with these during the session as to give a reasonable chance of their being placed on the Statute-book this year. I need hardly say that in arriving at this conclusion there is no want of interest on our part in the future fortunes of the Bills, and we shall do our best to carry them into law as soon as may be. One other measure I must allude to, for it is of great importance, the Housing and Town Planning Bill, introduced by my right hon. friend the President of the Local Government Board. It was our expectation, our very strong and confident expectation, that this Bill would pass during the present session. Hon. Members interested in the subject have, as the 486 House knows, given an enormous amount of time and attention to the Bill during twenty-three sittings of the Standing Committee upstairs, and we had great hope of its passing into law. But, undoubtedly, on the Report stage serious considerations with consequent discussion must arise from the complexity of the subject, and drafting Amendments of considerable magnitude must inevitably be made, giving rise to considerable debate, with the result that it might very well be that the Bill could not reach another place at such a time before prorogation as to allow of the consideration its importance requires. I do not now go into a question—I do not desire to do so—upon which there is a variety of opinion on both sides of the House, and as to which I do not think that either front bench, if the members were consulted, would be in complete agreement—the question of the desirability of carrying over Bills. I myself have always maintained an opinion in favour of it—it is my personal opinion as an individual only—with some well-considered machinery for the purpose. But in holding that view, I am conscious that I am taking up a position that was strenuously opposed by no less a Parliamentary authority than the late Mr. Gladstone and which, carrying as it does with it, if it is once brought into practical operation, a number of far-reaching consequences that require to be carefully thought out. I do not ask the House to adopt hastily, and without the fullest consideration of its constitutional aspects, in regard to one specific measure, ardently as we desire to see that measure carried through. In regard to this Bill, in which we are interested, we propose, without raising the larger question, a course which we hope may meet with general assent—to withdraw it this session and to re-introduce it at the earliest possible moment after the re-assembling of Parliament, when, having regard to the fact that its details have received most careful consideration in Standing Committee during twenty-three days, we may curtail the Committee stage within as narrow dimensions as may be reasonably possible, and in this way we may hope to get the Bill into the House of Lords at a very early date next session. That House will then have full 487 opportunity for considering the provisions of the Bill, and it may pass into law at an early date. I believe that in the circumstances this will be the best course to take in the interest of the measure itself, reluctant as I and my colleagues are to abandon the hope, long entertained, that before Christmas the Bill would be passed. The House will naturally desire to know, that being our amended programme, what business is to be taken between now and the prorogation. I have already said we propose to-night, at or about eleven o'clock, to adjourn the consideration of the Eight Hours Bill, and then to make further progress with the Port of London Bill, in order that it may reach another place at the earliest possible day. To-morrow we shall proceed with the Report stage of the Eight Hours Bill, and at eleven o'clock, or when that stage comes to an end, we hope to take the Committee on the East India Loans Bill.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to finish the Report of the Eight Hours Bill then?
§ MR. ASQUITH
We hope to do so. I do not know whether we shall succeed in doing so, and to take the Third Reading on Friday. Such is our hope; whether it will be realised remains to be seen. If that hope is realised, if we take the Third Reading on Friday, we should occupy the time that may remain before five o'clock with the Lords' Amendments to the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Bill, unless they are previously disposed of. Assuming that we are successful in getting through that business this week we shall on Monday take the Lords' Amendments to the Children Bill, and I understand that the Chairman of Ways and Means will in the evening ask the House to consider the London Electricity Supply Bill and a few other private Bills. On Tuesday we shall proceed with other Bills, and on Wednesday in pursuance of—I will not say a pledge—but of an expectation which has found expression more than once during the session, we propose to give half a day to discussion on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee. This is a matter that should form part of the business of 488 every session. After that we shall then and on Thursday (17th) complete the stages of the Bills, a list of which I have already read. I trust—and here, again, I am only in the region of hope, not of certainty—I trust that on Friday (18th) the House will be in a position to come face to face with prorogation, but on this I cannot make any definite statement or give any specific assurance until we see what progress is made with business. I do not know whether I have made my statement clear and complete, but I am ready to answer any further inquiries.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, for the remainder of the session, Government Business be not interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order regulating the Sittings of the House, and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed; and that no Motions be made to bring in Bills under Standing Order No. 11."—(Mr. Asquith.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
With regard to the interesting statement of the right hon. Gentleman I have only to comment on three points. I understand that he proposes to bring within the period before prorogation not only discussion of Amendments that come to us from another place, but he has given us a list of a large number of Measures he hopes to carry through—no less than twenty-six Bills. [An HON. MEMBER: "Twenty-eight."] My hon. friend says twenty-eight. His enumeration may be more accurate than mine; at all events, twenty-six is the minimum on the list. Though I am not in a position to forecast the practicability of this programme, to ask us in the course of five or six days to pass no less than twenty-six Bills does appear at first sight and in the absence of closer examination of the Bills to impose a task almost impossible for the House to accomplish. Time will show whether the right hon. Gentleman is too ambitious in deciding upon the passing of these twenty-six Bills in addition to the disposing of the other business he has mentioned before we part for the Christmas holidays. Then the right hon. Gentleman, in order to carry out this ambitious programme, asks for the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule. 489 I quite admit that the right hon. Gentleman is justified, within bounds, in making that request. When, however, he boasts that he has been more than usually anxious to keep to the normal hours of the House during the session, and that he has hardly ever asked us to sit beyond eleven o'clock, the hour which the modern House of Commons regards as the natural termination of its labours, I would remind him that he has asked us to suspend the rule no less than twenty times during the session, and if hon. Members will do a simple sum they will see that that is equivalent to asking us to suspend it during five Parliamentary weeks. While I make no complaint of the course which the Government has found itself obliged to adopt with regard to the suspensions of the rule, I do not think the figures I have given show any particular reason for the self-congratulation which the right hon. Gentleman has bestowed on himself and his colleagues on that bench. The only other point connected with the speech of the right hon. Gentleman to which I need refer relates to his observations with regard to carrying over. There is great difference of opinion with regard to carrying over, and I do not mean to discuss the question in any detail. I am one of those who, differing from my hon. friends on this side of the House, have been in favour of carrying over, and I remember drawing a report in favour of carrying over embodying a scheme which was ultimately passed by a bare party majority in a very important Committee of this House appointed to deal with the question. It was a very strong Committee, and the parties were very evenly divided. Included upon it were Mr. Gladstone, Sir William Harcourt, and other very high authorities upon the other side of the House—great authorities in Parliamentary procedure—and those high authorities resisted my scheme at every stage and presented a counter-report of the strongest kind; and the ultimate report I ventured to Jay before the Committee was only carried by the bare party majority on the Committee, every single member of the party represented by the present Government voting strenuously against the suggestion I laid before them. I do not believe that the party of which I am a member was 490 unanimously in favour of the scheme, although apparently the whole of the party opposite was unanimously against it. Whether there has been any change of opinion on the subject, I know not. Certainly, if the right hon. Gentleman opposite is a convert to the views which I pressed on the House ten or twelve years ago and which were so vehemently resisted by almost every single member of the party which he now leads, it is a very interesting fact in the development of Parliamentary institutions.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Unfortunately the right hon. Gentleman was not on that Committee. If he had been, we could have carried the scheme by something more than a bare party majority. I think really those are all the observations I need make upon the business part of the statement the right hon. Gentleman has laid before us; but it has been customary for the Leader of the Opposition on occasions like this to make some survey of the work of the session, or part of the session, in which the Motion is made. I do not think it is necessary for me to do that, partly because the work does not seem to have led to very much practical fruit. I noticed with some interest that the right hon. Gentleman referred to the fate of the Licensing Bill in another place. He said that upon the subject of the rejection of that, and, I think he said, many other useful measures by the House of Lords he would have much to say on another occasion, but that this was not the occasion. I suppose the occasion the right hon. Gentleman refers to is an occasion when I shall not be present.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
No doubt, Sir, if I were to attend all the right hon. Gentleman's public dinners, and he were to attend all mine, those entertainments would become even more popular than they are at present. But, on the whole, I am inclined to think that these postprandial occasions are more properly opportunities for delivering speeches not to 491 be replied to than for carrying on debates for which this House is the proper arena. When this happy occasion comes to which the right hon. Gentleman looks so eagerly forward on which I shall not be present to applaud him, I suppose he will deliver one of those stormy attacks on another place to which we have become accustomed from time to time from Gentlemen who sit on that bench. We have had a good many of them in the course of the last three years. We have had Resolutions, I think, passed in this House which do not seem to me so far to have borne much fruit anywhere. But outside the House such speeches have been even more numerous. I think it was the Chief Secretary for Ireland who made the last one. I cannot follow all Ministerial utterances, but there was a very recent one by that right hon Gentleman, spoken, no doubt, from the fulness of his heart, and characterised not only by the eloquence which always characterises his speeches, but by more than his usual vehemence of statement. As I have said, I am not present to answer these attacks, and I shall not be present in the future; but I have noticed that by the beneficent dispensation of Providence there has always been a bye-election which comes immediately afterwards, and those by-elections afford a far more effective and satisfactory reply than the most eloquent statement I have it in my power to make, and a form of reply which everybody can understand. In these circumstances, although the right hon. Gentleman has deferred to a more appropriate occasion this philippic against the other Chamber, I confess that even the impossiblity of replying to him leaves me quite serene. I will only say one word more, and it is absolutely necessary to be said now that the autumn session is drawing to a conclusion. I do not think our time has been well spent during it, but it has been laborious. There is no doubt whatever that Members of this House have been extremely hard-worked, and, what I think much more important, His Majesty's Ministers and the Departments of State have been very hard-worked. I have always said, and I say again, that I think this habit of taking autumn sessions for really no adequate 492 reason that I can discover is absolutely destructive of the proper working of cither the legislative or the administrative Departments of the State. I am sure it is not good for the House of Commons; but whether it be good or not for the House of Commons, I know it is fatal to the proper preparation of business, the proper working out of Government Bills, and the proper dealing with the Estimates of the year. I do not ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to believe me when I say sincerely that, quite irrespective of my objection in principle to much the Government has done and has tried to do in the way of legislation, their habit of throwing into the compass of one Bill a series of different proposals, imperfectly cementing them together and imperfectly working out all the details and forcing the whole thing through by means of the closure by compartments, is totally destructive of the proper working of this deliberative Assembly. We do not have the details put before us in a proper shape, and we cannot put them into proper shape. That cannot be right. The Government undertake Bills of extraordinary difficulty which require, immense working out. How is it possible for any Minister to work out a Bill either before he brings it into the House or to defend it when it is in the House when a Government are worked as this one are worked? There is the Prime Minister himself. I am quite sure he has been as anxious as any of his predecessors to be present in the House, not merely for debate, but for the conduct of Bills for which he as an individual is responsible. He was the Minister who introduced the licensing Bill. He was the Minister who, at all events, sketched the Old-Age Pensions Bill. He was the Minister who was as largely responsible as the President of the Board of Education for the Education Bill. That is an immense amount of legislative work for any Prime Minister to undertake. But there is an enormous amount of work of which the public never know anything that every Prime Minister has got to undertake whether he likes it or not. What is the result? The right hon. Gentleman is only human. He cannot turn the twenty-four hours of the day into forty-eight, and he was 493 not present constantly at some of the most important debates on his own Bills. I think that is very unfortunate. It cannot be wholly avoided under any arrangement, but it is absolutely inevitable under the arrangement the Government have chosen to adopt. I do not wish to press the matter of the different Departments; but every Minister who has held office and is holding office knows how great is the work thrown on the public Departments by the mere fact that the House is sitting and that it insists on asking eighty or 100 questions every day. The work is enormous, and if you have got towards the end of February to produce not merely your Estimates for the year, not merely your Budget, but also to deal with vast and novel problems like the unemployed question, the Poor Law, and other such matters, I say the work cannot be done. I do not think it is right for us to separate without again making our protest against the abuse of autumn sessions by this Government. The last autumn session of any magnitude before this Government came into office was for the Education Act of 1902. That autumn session had to be held because we did not closure that Bill by compartments until it had been thirty-eight days in Committee. If we had adopted anything like the plan of the present Government we should have been saved that autumn session. I think at once to make us have autumn sessions and closure by compartments for every Bill in the autumn session is really a combination of evils which I hope will never be repeated either under the leadership of the present Prime Minister or any of his successors. I am afraid that in the annals of Parliament this long session will be looked back to as the one in which the habit of closuring great measures by compartments has become hopelessly confirmed. It is a session in which there has been more done in that way than in any previous one. It is a session in which the Government have adopted that plan as an ordinary expedient, and it is that culmination of the increasing use of that particular method of stopping debate which has made me and my friends think it is hopeless to protest any longer against it and we must acquiesce in it more or less as a general system, however much we may object to its application. 494 That is a melancholy reflection with which to conclude the session, but I am afraid it is one thoroughly well deserved. Whatever else this session may have produced in the way of legislation, good or bad, the fruit of our labours at all events is one which I think utterly poisonous and pernicious, and I am sorry that it has fallen to the lot of the right hon. Gentleman who now leads us, in many respects with such distinguished ability, to have been the Minister under whose guidance and management this deplorable depth of Parliamentary imbecility has been reached.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
said he did not propose to indulge in any general topics on the Motion before the House. He had risen really for the purpose of asking the Prime Minister two questions, but before asking those questions perhaps he might be allowed to express the deep regret of the Irish Members at the announcement that it was apparently impossible to proceed this session before the end of the year with the remaining stages of the Irish Land Bill. The Leader of the Opposition was quite correct when he said the House of Commons had been hard worked this session, but, speaking for the Irish representatives, he could say that, notwithstanding that fact, they would have been quite willing to have sat on any time that was necessary in order to consider the remaining stages of this important measure. They heard with some satisfaction, although not with complete satisfaction, the emphatic statement made last night by the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, and they gathered from that statement, coupled with the declaration of the Prime Minister to-day, that it was the intention of the Government to reintroduce the Irish Land Bill immediately at the commencement of next session, proceed with it immediately, and pass it through all its stages in this House as rapidly as possible. He gathered that was the meaning of the statement which had just been made by the Prime Minister coupled with the declaration of the Chief Secretary last night. Although they were not satisfied, and although they would have been glad if the measure could have been proceeded with, under the circumstances they must rest satisfied with that 495 pledge. The two particular questions he had risen to ask the right hon. Gentleman came within the category of Bills which he said could not be passed if there was any serious opposition, and he mentioned the Irish Constabulary Bill. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he was aware that that Bill raised very serious and determined opposition not only on the Irish benches but from other quarters of the House, and principally from other Irish representatives. He wished to know whether, under those circumstances, he would relegate that Bill to another category, because, in his opinion, it could not be passed without prolonged consideration and opposition. The other question he wished to ask was with reference to the Catholic Disabilities Removal Bill. The right hon. Gentleman no doubt noticed that that Bill, upon its introduction, met with opposition and a division was taken, but that division only went to show that there was in every quarter of the House, and amongst all parties, what he might call a general agreement as to its principle. Under those circumstances he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he could not give some facilities for the progress of that Bill, but failing that he wished to ask whether he could give any reassuring statement on behalf of the Government that the matter was receiving their serious consideration, and that they hoped to deal with the subject next session. He hoped on those points the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give a satisfactory answer.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
said that perhaps he might be allowed to say with regard to the point raised by the Leader of the Opposition that the House would be found in general agreement with his criticism of the present haphazard method of autumn sessions. He thought there was also a substantial agreement that if the session were divided into two regular parts leaving the summer free for other purposes it would tend to facilitate business. [Cries of "No."] He did not rise to enter into any controversial matter. One of the measures referred to by the right hon. Gentleman was the Bill now before the House on its Second Reading slightly to amend the Unemployed Workmen Act. He was 496 still of opinion that, with those exceptions, which they always looked for in regard to legislation of this kind, the Prime Minister and the Government would find substantial agreement in regard to giving a very few hours to allow that Bill to become law. He did not ask the Prime Minister at that stage to make the measure a Government Bill, but surely time might be given and the question left an open one for the decision of the House. As to the necessity of some such measure the figures supplied by the President of the Local Government Board at Question-time that day were ample justification, because he informed them that the number of unemployed workmen who had actually been registered in London was 38,600 whereas the number for whom work had been found was only 4,100. No less than 38,000 men had been certified by the distress committees of the central body to be fit recipients for assistance under the Act and they had only been able to find employment for 4,000. That represented a very serious and saddening state of affairs. There was no difference of opinion as to the advisability of giving relief to the unemployed. Naturally and properly there were differences of opinion as to the methods to be adopted, but on the main question itself there could be no two opinions, and all they were asking was that the distress committees set up by the party now in Opposition should have their powers somewhat enlarged to enable them during this winter to deal more effectively with distress arising from unemployment. He appealed not only to the Government but to hon. Members in all parts of the House to use what influence they might possess to allow this modest and moderate proposal to pass through its various stages in this House so that after the House had dispersed and when the distress committees in every part of Great Britain were wrestling with the almost impossible task of finding work for the unemployed they might have their powers somewhat strengthened and their task lightened by the proposal contained in this Bill. He hoped the Prime Minister would be able to give them encouragement to hope that in addition to the measures he had outlined a small part of their Parliamentary time 497 would be found for the particular Bill to which he had referred.
§ * SIR FRANCIS CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
said he wished to ask the Prime Minister a question in regard to the Housing and Town Planning Bill. He was glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman state that he did not disapprove of a well-guarded procedure for the carrying over of Bills. He was glad to hear that it was in any case the intention of the Government to re-introduce the Housing and Town Planning Bill at an early stage of the next session under circumstances which would give it a chance of being carried through. But as the right hon. Gentleman approved of a guarded process of carrying over Bills, he wished to make this suggestion: why should this measure not be carried over in its present condition by a special Resolution of the House? There were a large number of hon. Members who had shared with him the very laborious and prolonged consideration given to every part of this measure who would he was confident be ready to support that course. That Bill had not only occupied a great portion of Parliamentary time, but it had been carried throughout without any application of the closure. There had been no possible point that could be raised in regard to the machinery of the Bill which had not been fully discussed during the proceedings in Committee and as to which the views of nearly every section had not been practically met. That afforded some ground for what he ventured to ask the right hon. Gentleman. The Bill might well be carried over to next session by a special resolution as had been done with the Port of London Bill three years before. Anyone who had gone through the laborious consideration of such a Bill must feel that to Reconsider it in detail and have a full discussion next session on the Committee stage would be a serious Parliamentary blunder.
§ MR. DILLON Mayo, E.)
said he wished to ask the Prime Minister whether the Government had had under consideration the question which had often been put forward of dividing the session into two parts, commencing on 1st November, adjourning over Christmas and adjourning 498 for the summer vacation on 30th June. That proposal had been frequently put forward, and if the Government had considered it he would like to know if they expected to arrive at any decision in the matter before the commencement of next session. If not, would they allow the House to debate it so that the Government might obtain the opinion of the majority. To many of those who had sat for many years in the House the custom of sitting till the end of July or the middle of August was intolerable. He believed more business would be done at much less cost to the health of Members if that plan were adopted.
§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)
thought that after the three speeches which had been delivered in favour of carrying the Housing and Town Planning Bill over some protest ought to be made against it, so that it should not be thought that the general opinion of the House favoured the idea. The Leader of the Opposition had referred back to some-what ancient days, but the resolution arrived at then had been brought forward under different circumstances. At that time closure by compartment had not become the rule. Now it was becoming the ordinary procedure, and that fact should make them very careful not to adopt any system of carrying over Bills which, combined with the operation of the guillotine, might lead to the House losing the power to discuss any question. Under present circumstances the proposal to carry over Bills was a revolutionary change in procedure. In reference to what the Prime Minister had said as to the credit which should be given to the Government because the Eleven o'clock Rule had been rarely suspended, he would like to point out that a very large portion of the session had been carried on under the guillotine which had obliged the House to end its discussions at half-past ten. Considering the weeks they had passed under the guillotine they could not feel that the House had had that liberty of discussion indicated by the Prime Minister. Only a short time ago they had had a great change in the procedure of the House. A Standing Committee had been set up in connection with private Members' Bills, and that Committee had continued 499 its work long after there was any possibility of private Members' Bills being discussed in the House. After Whitsuntide only two days were given to those Bills in the House, and it was impossible for any Bill to go forward except with the help of the Government. There was a long list of those Bills on the Paper which had been forced through Committee with no possible object. He thought the Government should find some amendment of the procedure of the House to secure that that work should not be wasted. He had been sorry to hear from the Prime Minister that the Hops Bill would not be proceeded with if there was any opposition. He hoped, however, that that Bill would be placed on as favourable terms as any other Bill in that category. Even if there was some slight opposition he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would remember the pledges given by two of his colleagues in regard to that matter.
§ CAPTAIN WARING (Banffshire)
asked the Prime Minister if he would give early facilities to the Trawling in Prohibited Areas Prevention Bill. He hoped it would be given a prominent place next session either by inclusion in the King's Speech or in some other way.
§ SIR J. DICKSON-POYNDER (Wiltshire, Chippenham)
regretted that the Prime Minister was not prepared to make an exception with regard to carrying over Bills in the case of the Town Planning Bill. Would the Prime Minister assure the House that the Bill when it came before them next session would be in the form in which it had been amended as the result of the Committee stage? The Bill had undergone comprehensive and drastic alteration in Committee in both drafting and principle, and there were one or two points which some of them had succeeded in getting into the Bill and which they considered indispensable for the future reform of housing. It would be a matter of the greatest possible regret if those things were omitted when the Bill was introduced next year.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
desired to put one or two questions to the Prime Minister in regard to 500 one or two Bills on the Order Paper. There was one little Bill which he feared could not now be secured, the Infant Life Protection Bill, which had passed through Grand Committee and was almost if not quite non-contentious. A very small number of hon. Members might still object to it, but he asked the Government to give it very serious consideration, for he was confident that if they did they would find it was a small but decided reform in the law which ought to be made. He understood that the Government intended to take the Port of London Bill after eleven o'clock. Could any indication be given as to how late the House proposed to sit? It was a Bill of importance which ought not to be considered at an unduly late hour. Another Bill, the Women's Enfranchisement Bill, of course had no chance of passing this session. That was a matter for rejoicing to some hon. Members and of regret to others. He most earnestly submitted that in their treatment of that question hon. Members had not been consistent. There was an enormous majority of the House absolutely pledged to the principle of the Bill. He was not saying that the Bill was right or that it was wrong, but a very large majority of the House was pledged to it, and to go on from year to year without taking any effective step to carry out that pledge was not consistent with the dignity and honour of the House. He trusted that in the next session some opportunity would be given to the House to carry that measure into law. He had observed with some surprise that the Chairman of a Standing Committee had made an earnest appeal on behalf of the progress of the Town Planning Bill. That was a novelty in the proceedings of the House. He thought some measure of housing and town planning would be very desirable, but he must ask the Government earnestly to consider the drafting of the Bill, even after its amendment by the Standing Committee. It was not a measure which in its present form could be put on the statute book. It ought to be redrafted from beginning to end, and every principle in the Bill ought to be abandoned and reversed. He observed that the failure of the Licensing Bill was entirely attributed to the House of Lords. He did not believe that any hon. Member 501 opposite honestly believed that that was a full and honest account of the matter. The Bill contained a certain number of very controversial propositions. That was a matter on which it was right and proper in his view of the constitution of the country for the other House to express its opinion and if it disagreed with those propositions to reject them. In addition there were other propositions not so contentious.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said he passed from the Licensing Bill merely observing that in that matter the conduct of the Government had not been altogether blameless. The same observation applied with regard to other measures with the substance of which he would not deal. But he wished to deal with them from the point of procedure of the House, which was very important when they considered Bills of this sort. He said nothing of the merits of the Education Bill or of the Old-Age Pensions Bill, but he thought that the procedure adopted to carry them through the House was really a scandal. On the Old-Age Pensions Bill, there was no opportunity of discussing the crowds of Amendments which had been removed out of the consideration of the House. The numerous difficulties which had occurred in regard to the administration of that Act would not have occurred if the Government had given time for the discussion of the Amendments that had been put down. Then, with regard to the Education Bill, whatever they might think of its merits, no hon. Member could do otherwise than admit that the procedure adopted failed in carrying it. He thought it would have been disastrous if a Bill which had excited so much controversy had succeeded in passing the House under the conditions which the Government imposed. He regretted the observations which had fallen from his right hon. friend, the Leader of the Opposition, that he and his friends proposed to acquiesce in the imposition of the guillotine in the future. He trusted that that would not be the view of the House at large, and he earnestly hoped that those hon. Members of the House 502 who were not on either of the front Benches, but who occupied a position of less dignity, but of equal responsibility, would, as Members of the House, seriously consider whether they were really going to tolerate as a permanent institution the guillotine which might be carried to grossest excess as in the case of the Education Bill and the Licensing Bill. He earnestly appealed to the Government that they should give an early opportunity next session to consider this question of procedure, and he asked the Prime Minister to appoint a Committee on which no official Members should have a place—a Committee consisting entirely of private Members—of course of experienced Members; and that that Committee should be trusted to prepare a scheme of procedure with regard to all Bills—a plan not in the interests of the Government of the day, but in the interests of the country at large. It had been said that no remedy for the present state of things was possible. He did not in the least believe that. He thought a remedy was possible. It was a matter which closely concerned the honour of the House and the constitution of the country. Unless some remedy was found for the present state of affairs with regard to procedure, the House would no longer occupy the position which it should do in the Constitution.
§ * SIR GEORGE MCCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)
asked the Prime Minister whe her he would give facilities for dealing with a less contentious Bill on the unemployed than that introduced by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil. The Bill he had himself introduced was of that nature and would get rid of many difficulties which faced distress committees at present. It was simply an amendment of the machinery part of the present Act. He referred particularly to the limitation which was put upon councils contributing to the relief of unemployment. Under the Act of 1905 a council could not contribute to any work which included wages. That was an unnecessary limitation. The present working of the Act tended to great extravagance with regard to charges of administration, and prevented local authorities from subscribing to works for the benefit of the unemployed. His 503 Bill did not raise the question of a 1d. rate for the payment of wages, but it allowed a council to contribute to works including wages, which was a very different thing in principle. The situation in Scotland with regard to unemployment was very alarming, not only in Glasgow, but also in the City of Edinburgh, where one would not expect such a large number of unemployed. They had in the last six months, before the severity of the winter had been felt, a larger number of good cases which had been approved by the distress eommittee than had obtained during the whole of last year. If the winter became severe before Parliament met again, he was afraid the position would be very serious indeed. Parliament should do what it could to make the machinery of the Bill of 1905 more elastic and thus do something to relieve the present situation.
§ SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)
said he did not think that the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister would attach very great importance to the plea of hon. Members who urged that the Bills in which they were interested should not be sacrificed because of the pledges which they had given at the general election. It should be remembered that circumstances had altered very considerably since that time. He himself did not ask the Prime Minister to give facilities for taking on any further business this session. He noticed that the Prime Minister had given notice of going on with twenty-nine Bills and that it was proposed to include two private Members' Bills which might take, say, seven days. The Prime Minister had taken credit to himself for not having suspended the Eleven o'clock Rule until now. He hoped the Prime Minister did not desire to suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule and at the same time impose the guillotine when the House was to sit for ten months of the year. He would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that his party had been in office for three years, and that they had practically for two years sat all the year round with the exception of August and September. From his own experience of the House, which now extended to eleven years, he thought that the 504 suspension of the eleven o'clock rule was bad. He did not think that they could get good legislation when only a small number of tired legislators—perhaps thirty on the Opposition side, and a sufficient number on the Ministerial side to secure the closure when it was moved—were present while all the rest of the Members were away enjoying themselves. Was it possible that they could know what they were doing, especially when it was remembered that they had already sat for ten months this year? Therefore, he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman that instead of adding to the list of Bills he had announced to carry through, he should take 75 per cent from his list and include them in the massacre of the innocents already announced. It should be remembered that the House of Commons had to consider the Lords' Amendments to various Bills besides those thirty-one Bills to which he had referred.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
Some of them, but not all. He hoped the Lords would have an opportunity of considering and discussing Bills from the Commons which would require considerable amendment. Then there was an Amendment to the Children Bill made in the Lords, which the House of Commons would have to discuss. A clause from the Licensing Bill had been introduced into the Children Bill upon which there would be considerable discussion in the House of Commons. It was a very curious principle to take a clause out of a Bill which had been rejected in another place, and put it into the Children Bill. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that there would be considerable discussion on that clause. Then there was the question of carrying over. The hon. Baronet opposite said that he had laboured long at his own particular Bill and hoped that the Prime Minister would accede to his request that it should be carried over. But every Member who had an interest in a measure would ask that his Bill should also be carried over. That meant that they would be introducing the system of carrying over in a general sense, 505 because they would have any number of energetic Members of the House who would ask that it should be done with the Bills in which they were particularly interested. If Bills were sent to a Grand Committee on which there were only eighty Members, and these were to be carried over, the vast majority of Members of the House would not know what points had been discussed in Committee; and, besides, the Members of the Grand Committee could not carry all the details in their memory. He was really speaking in the interests of good legislation when he opposed this system of carrying over. Nothing was more fatal to the interests of the country at large than passing ill-digested measures without any one knowing what their ultimate effect would be. He hoped, at any rate, that the right hon. Gentleman would not insist on the House sitting after one o'clock in the morning to the end of the session. The Leader of the Opposition had said that the suspension of the eleven or twelve o'clock rule had been the habit of the Governments of both parties in the House. He was afraid that that habit had been adopted in order to force certain measures through the House. He agreed with his right hon. friend that that was a method of carrying on Government business; but he did not believe in it. He thought it would be better for the House and the country if they legislated more for quality than for quantity.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
who rose amidst cries of "Divide," asked the indulgence of the House for two minutes to make two comments and one suggestion, and reminded hon. Members who cried "Divide" that it was the first time he had spoken at these sittings. They could all sympathise with his hon. friend who had just sat down. With the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule his work was done—Othello's occupation was gone. He was sure the House appreciated the position his hon. friend had won for himself by extreme pertinacity and regular attendance—he was not going to refer to the phrase by which he was known in the lobby, which was expressive, accurate, and 506 dramatic—but when the eleven o'clock rule went, though his hon. friend would still be there, his opportunity for promoting useful legislation disappeared. He would like to say one word further with regard to the protest which was made just before. He thought everyone would agree with that protest whether they had voted for the guillotine or not. He had never voted for the guillotine, but they had to recognise it for the moment as existing although they had all hoped that it would never become part of the permanent procedure of the House. His hon. friend the Member for the City of London was a new Member. He knew nothing of the procedure of the House in past days. Nor did the Cabinet. He had worked up the dates when the four leading members of the Cabinet entered the House, and he found that the oldest Member was the Secretary of State for War. He came into the House in 1885, and he was, therefore, a comparatively new Member. Old Members, and he thought he could claim to be an old Member of the House in that sense, would remember the sessions from 1874 to 1880. He watched the proceedings of this House throughout the whole of that Parliament much more carefully than any Member of the House, and well remembered that the most important part of the work of the House was done after twelve o'clock—done with great consideration and great benefit to the country. [An HON. MEMBER: You did not then sit ten months in the year.] No, but they sat then till four, or five, or six o'clock in the morning, at some detriment to the health of Members of the House, but with great benefit to the country. If they could return to that practice—[Cries of "No, no."] Hon. Members who said "No, no," knew nothing about it. [Cries of "We do not want to."] That was the attitude of a man who, first of all, being ignorant of the matter talked about, did not wish to hear the facts which would enable him to alter his opinion. Some of his friends who remembered the Parliament before 1874, and the Parliament from 1874 to 1880, knew perfectly well that private Members then left the conduct of Government business to the Government and came down there at ten or eleven or twelve 507 o'clock at night, and when the Government had ended their work, proceeded to transact their business, it was true in a small House, but in a House as large as the Standing Committees of to-day. The result was that private Members cognisant of small, unimportant evils in their own districts were able to correct them by their own effort. One Member of the House, Mr. Sheridan, boasted, and boasted advisedly, that he carried a private Bill every session. What Member of the House could go to his constituents and say that he had carried a private Bill in this Parliament? Those Bills were small and useful. He, therefore, rose to make a practical suggestion. The suggestion he made was that the Prime Minister should consider—not now, but when he came to deal with a similar situation next cession—whether he should utilise the knowledge and ability of the private Members who sat behind him and who faced him that day, who were anxious to take part in the work of the House and who were disgusted with the way in which they walked up and down the lobbies, knowing perfectly well that if they opened their mouths they were only wasting the time of the House; who, therefore, were going back to their constituents with the consciousness that they had not done their duty, and some of them not able to find the reason why that had come about. The procedure of the House built on hundreds of years of progress had been broken into pieces by a revolutionary party using unconstitutional methods and justified in so using them, but they hoped that the time was coming when that revolutionary party would disappear—[OPPOSITION cheers.] He should have thought some hon. friends of his would know him well enough not to interrupt him in the middle of a sentence—they hoped that the time was coming when that party would disappear as a revolutionary party and would take its place as part of a House of Commons doing constitutional work for the whole Empire as they used to do in the old days. That day on the Order Paper, there were 116 Orders; of these 31 were Government measures, the remainder were those of Private Members and others who desired to promote useful legislation. 508 What he wanted to ask the Prime Minister was to consider whether they could not revert to the useful precedent of bye-gone days, of which the right hon. Gentleman himself had no experience, and let private Members do their own work after he had finished what the Government wanted to do. He thought if the right hon. Gentleman would try the experiment, he would find that there were some Members opposite, and a great many on that side, who were willing to do work in the early hours of the morning if they could only see that the work which they were going to do would be beneficial to the country.
§ * MR. MORTON (Sutherland)
said there was a good deal to be said in favour of the compartment system they had attempted to adopt, if they could possibly carry it out so that the allotted time should be properly divided up over the whole of the clause; but as a matter of fact, and unfortunately, the time generally was taken up on the discussion of a few sentences at the commencement of the clause, and a great many clauses were not considered at all. He thought the House would agree that the allotted time should be fairly divided so that all the clauses might be criticised. At any rate he should think that might be a successful way of getting the work done properly. He had always been in favour of carrying over Bills—he did not say from one Parliament to another—but from session to session. He should think that would save a great deal of time, and hurt no one except those who did not want to pass any legislation at all. He thought more business had been crowded into this autumn session than when a Tory Government was in power they attempted to deal with in three or four sessions of Parliament. Therefore, they had tried to do a great deal even if they had not succeeded. He would like to ask the Prime Minister on behalf of those Members of the Liberal Party who had done their best to support him for the last two or three months not to keep them much after eleven o'clock. The front bench Members were paid, well paid, but they, the private Members, were the great unpaid, and had to give a great deal of time—more than they expected. To be 509 out late at night was dangerous to health and was not the best way of spending the end of the year. What he rose specially to speak about was the Trawling in Prohibited Areas Prevention Bill. He should like the Prime Minister to see if he could not get that Bill passed, as it was of great importance to thousands of poor fishermen in the North of Scotland. There were a great many other Bills which might be dropped without doing so much harm as would be caused if that Bill were abandoned. He was not sure that the Scottish Office had been serious in the way in which they were dealing with this Bill. He believed it was at the end of 1906 or the beginning of 1907 that they were promised this Bill. It was not a question simply of trawling but of obeying the law. The Scottish Judges unanimously decided that these foreign trawlers had no right in Moray Firth. That was the law of the land, and the Government should take steps to see that it was obeyed. If these foreign trawlers were really foreign trawlers he should not think so much about it, but they were Englishmen and English companies.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
said the hon. Gentleman was now discussing the merits of a Bill which was going to be dropped.
§ MR. MORTON
said he was sorry; he regretted that these English companies made use of a foreign flag to break the laws of this country. He hoped the Prime Minister, if the Scottish Office would not do so, would take this matter which affected 70,000 or 80,000 line fishermen into serious consideration, and endeavour to do something to see the law obeyed. If the Bill could not be passed this session, he hoped it would be brought in early next session, and pressed forward as rapidly as possible. That would be only acting fairly. He was speaking in the interests of his constituents and of constituencies which the Scottish Members represented, and he trusted that they would have some distinct assurance from the Prime Minister that the Trawling within Prohibited Areas Bill should be carried into law at the earliest possible opportunity. He (Mr. Morton) might repeat 510 that he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman for the remainder of the session would not keep hon. Member in the House long after eleven o'clock at night.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have been subjected to a somewhat lengthy series of Questions and I am afraid my Answers will be somewhat incoherent. My hon. friend the Member for Rugby lamented the days when, he said, the House transacted its business more satisfactory than now by sitting up late. I can remember those days when we used to sit up till two, three, or four o'clock in the morning to the detriment of our health, to the destruction, or, at any rate the deterioration of our temper, and with a very unsatisfactory output of public work as the result. I think we live in much better days now. Speeches are much shorter than they used to be, the methods of business are much more strict and accurate, and the output of work is much more satisfactory whether regarded from the point of view of quality or bulk. The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London would sacrifice quantity to quality. But then, we do not always agree as to what quality means. And when my hon. friend says as a proof of the shortcomings of our Parliamentary procedure, that no private Member was able to pass a Bill in the course of the session I would point to the hon. Baronet who succeeded in carrying a Bill this session, with the general assent of all parties in the House. With reference to the Irish Constabulary Bill, the Chief Secretary regards its passing as a matter of the utmost importance, and unless it excites more opposition than we anticipate we think it our duty to persevere with it. I have been asked whether the Government will give facilities for the Bill for the removal of certain Roman Catholic disabilities. I am afraid it is quite out of the question, having regard to the short time which remains at our disposal, to consider a Bill which, as the division on its First Reading shows, excites a considerable amount of controversy.
§ MR. ASQUITH
Well, there are at least the elements of controversy in parts of it. I should be willing to vote for its Second Reading, without, however, committing myself to all its details. But as regards the grievance, which, I believe, is really felt by Roman Catholics and which, with other grievances of comparatively minor importance, is dealt with in the Bill—I mean the Royal Declaration on the Accession of the Sovereign—I would refer the hon. Gentleman to what was said yesterday in another place by my noble friend the Earl of Crewe. He will see from the language then used, which expresses the mind of the Government, that we are most anxious to arrive, in this difficult and delicate matter, at some form of words which will preserve what the people of this country regard as the substance of the Declaration, but which, at the same time, will cease to give offence to the Roman Catholic community. With regard to the Bills dealing with unemployment, I have already indicated that this subject will have to be dealt with by further legislation, but I cannot, with the time at our disposal, promise to give these Bills facilities for passing this year. A plea was made that the Housing Bill might be carried over to next session by special Resolution. I do not think any Minister would be justified in applying that novel procedure to a particular Bill until the House has had an opportunity of pronouncing an opinion as to whether or not such a complete innovation in its ancient procedure should become part of what I might call the common law or statute law of Parliament. I have already indicated my views on this matter. They are not shared by some of my colleagues. At any rate, I cannot, on my own responsibility, take that course at this time of the session in regard to any particular Bill. But I think the assurance I have given ought to be satisfactory—namely, that the Bill will be reintroduced at the earliest possible moment next session, not, of course, in its original form, but as amended by the Standing Committee. The hon. Member for Mayo advocated, as I have done myself in days gone by, the beginning of the session in November and its termination reasonably early in 512 the summer. There is no doubt in my mind that that is a rational way of disposing of the Parliamentary year. But there are great difficulties in the way. In the first place we can never get to a year in which we can give it a fair trial. If we begin in February and decide to have no autumn session, it would be the same thing as having an autumn session, if we met again in November, and if we did have an autumn session, obviously the question would have to be postponed for another twelve months. Another practical difficulty is that we have no dead end in the calendar, if we terminate the session in the month of June. The 12th of August is a dead end. It is regarded almost as a violation of the etiquette of society to be in London and not on the grouse moors after that date. Christmas, too, is a dead end. People have to go away for their holidays. But if we were to adopt an indeterminate date in the summer, such as 30th June, which is not even the day on which the children's holidays begin—a circumstance which would operate with a certain amount of leverage on the minds of the domestic section of the community—a day which has no sanction from the calendar, tradition, custom, or convenience, I am afraid we would find that the pressure exercised by the Government of the day to keep on sitting through the month of July and a week into August would be so great that the House would be unable to resist it. Therefore, excellent from an ideal point of view as the suggestion is, the more I think of it the more I realise what practical difficulties there are in carrying it into effect. As to the Hops Bill, there is no hope, as I have already said, of carrying it into law during the present session unless it meets with practically universal assent. We are anxious to see it passed into law, and I can assure my hon. friend that there will be no unavoidable delay on our part to take steps to make it a portion of the statute law of the land. The noble Lord opposite, I think, mentioned two Bills. The Infant Life Protection Bill is a very admirable measure, but I am sorry to say that I cannot conceive its coming within the category of a non-controversial measure, otherwise I would be glad to include it. Another measure to which the noble Lord referred was 513 the Bill relating to female suffrage. I thought that Bill had disappeared.
§ MR. ASQUITH
Well, I accept the noble Lord's assurance that it has not. It escaped my notice. Again I am afraid that I must repeat the hackneyed formula that in the existing state of things this Bill cannot come within the category of uncontroversial measures. I think I have dealt with all the specific questions, and I will only say one word in conclusion in reference to a remark which fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that my indisposition on this occasion to discuss the merits or demerits of the action of another assembly with reference to the Licensing Bill, was not due to any desire to debate that matter in his absence—on the contrary, I would rather debate it when he is present—but simply from a well-grounded fear that it might be out of order, and certainly, also, lead the debate into bye-paths in which it would be very undesirable on an occasion like this that we should travel; but, no doubt, the time will come when we will be able to freely talk over the matter across the Table of the House. The right hon. Gentleman seems rather to share the view of the hon. Member for Rugby as to the degeneracy of the present condition of the House as compared with the better days when he and those who preceded him were responsible for the conduct of its business. Two things I noticed, I confess with a certain amount of surprise, in the right hon. Gentleman's comments on this point. The first is that he now regards—what a change time and circumstances make in us all, and how desirable it is we should show ourselves with the right hon. Gentleman intellectually elastic and amenable to the teaching of experience in this respect—the right hon. Gentleman now regards a bye-election as conclusive proof of the opinion of the country on the conduct of the Government.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not overrate a bye-election. I only say it is an adequate answer to a Ministerial speech.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I can remember the days when it was not regarded as an adequate answer to a Ministerial speech, but, on the contrary, when it was treated as one of those insignificant, erratic, spasmodic, sporadic and altogether unaccountable phenomena which sometimes darken the political sky, and which a wise man need not even put up his umbrella to defend himself from. The second point made by the right hon. Gentleman, which also struck me as evidence of his elasticity of mind—I know of that elasticity from other indications—was that he lamented, almost with tears in his eyes, what he now recognises as an accomplished fact—that what is vulgarly called the guillotine has become an accepted part of our Parliamentary procedure. So it is. But the right hon. Gentleman surely cannot forget—I am not going into the old controversy as to who has used it with more frequency and least justification—that the credit belongs to himself and his own party as the original authors and promoters of this new political instrument. Surely it must be gratifying to those who had the ingenuity first to devise the weapon which never occurred to us, or to any of their own predecessors—it must be gratifying to them that it has become part of the regular political armament, and that no party is capable of dispensing with its use. In conclusion, all I have to say to the House is that I still think that we have been sparing in our use of the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule during the session now drawing to a close, and that this more or less attenuated programme which we now submit of what may be done before it completes its Parliamentary labours, is one which, if carried through, will add many useful measures to the Statute-book of the country.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 318; Noes, 76. (Division List No. 437.)517
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Agnew, George William||Ashton, Thomas Gair|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Alden, Percy||Atherley-Jones, L.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Erskine, David C.||Lambert, George|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Essex, R. W.||Lamont, Norman|
|Barker, Sir John||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Everett, R. Lacey||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St.Pancras,E)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fenwick, Charles||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich|
|Beale, W. P.||Feren, T. R.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Ffrench, Peter||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bennett, E. N.||Field, William||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Bertram, Julius||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Lundon, W.|
|Bethell,Sir J.H.(Essex,Romf'rd||Findlay, Alexander||Lupton, Arnold|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Flynn, James Christopher||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Fuller, John Michael F.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)|
|Boland, John||Furness, Sir Christopher||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Brace, William||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Maclean, Donald|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Gill, A. H.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Branch, James||Ginnell, L.||McNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Brigg, John||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Bright, J. A.||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Glendinning, R. G.||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.(Lancs., Leigh)||Glover, Thomas||M'Callum, John M.|
|Brunner,RtHnSirJ.T.(Cheshire||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Crae, Sir George|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Grant, Corrie||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Maddison, Frederick|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Hall, Frederick||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Byles, William Pollard||Halpin, J.||Marnham, F. J.|
|Cameron, Robert||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Massie, J.|
|Causton,Rt.Hn.RichardKnight||Hardie, J.Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Hart-Davies, T.||Meagher, Michael|
|Chance, Frederick William||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Harwood, George||Menzies, Walter|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Middlebrook, William|
|Clough, William||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hazleton, Richard||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Henry, Charles S.||Morrell, Philip|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon.,S.)||Morse, L. L.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Higham, John Sharp||Muldoon, John|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hobart, Sir Robert||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Murray, Capt. Hn A C. (Kincard)|
|Corbett, C H (Sussex,E.Grinst'd||Hodge, John||Myer, Horatio|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hogan, Michael||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Nicholls, George|
|Cox, Harold||Holt, Richard Durning||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r|
|Crean, Eugene||Hooper, A. G.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Crooks, William||Hope,W.Bateman(Somerset,N)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Horniman, Emslie John||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Crossley, William J.||Hudson, Walter||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Nuttall, Harry|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Idris, T. H. W.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)|
|Davies,David(MontgomeryCo.)||Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Jackson, R. S.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Delany, William||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Dowd, John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||O'Grady, J.|
|Dillon, John||Jowett, F. W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Joyce, Michael||O'Shee, James John|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Kekewich, Sir George||Partington, Oswald|
|Duffy, William J.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Kettle, Thomas Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Philipps,Col.Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Dunne,Major E.Martin(Walsall||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Laidlaw, Robert||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Pollard, Dr.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Seely, Colonel||Walton, Joseph|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Shackleton, David James||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)||Wrd, W.Dudley(Southampt'n)|
|Radford, G. H.||Sheehy, David||Waring, Walter|
|Rainy, A. Rolland||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Wason,Rt.Hn.E.(Clackmannan|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Reddy, M.||Snowden, P.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Soares, Ernest J.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Stanger, H. Y.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Richards, Thomas(W.Monm'th||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||White,J.Dundas(Dumbart'nsh.|
|Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n||Stanley, Hn.A.Lyulph (Chesh.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Richardson, A.||Steadman, W. C.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Strachey, Sir Edward||Whittaker, Rt Hn.SirThomasP.|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Robertson,Sir G Scott(Bradf'rd||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Robinson, S.||Summerbell, T.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Sutherland, J. E.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Roche, John (Galway, East)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Rogers, F. E. Newman||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Rose, Charles Day||Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Rowlands, J.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Samuel,Rt.Hn.H.L.(Cleveland)||Tomkinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.|
|Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Schwann, Sir C.E.(Manchester)||Verney, F. W.|
|Sears, J. E.||Vivian, Henry|
|Seddon, J.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Acland-Hood,Rt.Hn.SirAlex.F.||Gardner, Ernest||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, J.||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Balfour,RtHn.A.J.(City Lond.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Guinness, W.E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Haddock, George B.||Pease,Herbert Pike(Darlington|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hardy,Laurence (Kent,Ashford||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Heaton, John Henniker||Renwick, George|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hill, Sir Clement||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kennaway,Rt.Hon.Sir John H.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kerry, Earl of||Talbot,Rt.Hn.J.G.(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Chamberlain,Rt Hn.J.A.(Worc.||King,Sir Henry Seymour(Hull)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Collings,Rt.Hn.J. (Birmingh'm||Lee,Arthur H.(Hants,Fareham||Valentia, Viscount|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lockwood,Rt.Hn.Lt.-Col.A. R.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim,S.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Craig, Captain James(Down,E.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Cross, Alexander||M'Arthur, Charles||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Doughty, Sir George||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Frederick Banbury and Mr. George D. Faber.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Fell, Arthur||Middlemore,John Throgmorton|
|Forster, Henry William||Mildmay, Francis Binghum|