§ Order for Second Heading read.
§ MR. CAMERON CORBETT (Glasgow, Tradeston)
said that the principle of the Bill which he asked the House to read a 618 second time could be simply described. It was that the people in each locality should have the power to decide for themselves whether licences for the sale of liquor in their midst should be granted or not. They proposed to give to the people exactly the same power which a landlord had at present of vetoing the planting of a public-house on his property.
§ VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
called attention to the fact that forty Members were not present.
§ House counted, and forty Members being found present—
§ MR. CAMERON CORBETT
said that the Bill provided that where the people of a neighbourhood did not desire to carry out so drastic a policy as no licences, they might vote in favour of a reduction of the existing licences by one-fourth. It might be contended that reduction by one-fourth would lead to a discrimination being exercised between the licences granted and those reduced; but the licensing justices in each neighbourhood knew pretty well which were the best and which the worst conducted. The fear of a refusal of a licence would do much to promote temperance; therefore it was a good thing that the choice should be left to the magistrates who were aware of the wants of the neighbourhood. He did not base his claim for support for the Second Reading of the Bill on any exceptional amount of drunkenness prevailing in Scotland. Hon. Members were aware that the net consumption of alcohol per head of the population was less in Scotland than in England or Ireland, and that the proportionate expenditure on drink in Scotland was also less than in either of these two countries. It had likewise been fairly clearly established that the amount of disease due to alcohol was smaller and the deaths were fewer in Scotland than in England. But really throughout the whole of the three kingdoms there was great need for any legislation which would limit the amount of damage being done by drink. The Report of the Peel Commission had described it as "a national degradation" and "a gigantic evil," so that that part of his case for the Bill now before the House 619 was completely admitted. The question of what they were prepared to do in the matter of legislation did not depend on admissions of that kind but on the extent to which they came home to their minds and conduct. Perhaps the best illustration of that was the economic aspect of the waste that took place in connection with the large expenditure on liquor and the evils that flowed from over-indulgence in alcohol. Our best-known authority on political economy—Professor Marshall—had laid it down that the employer took as much for his money in those neighbourhoods where labour was paid the highest rate as he did where the labourer got the least reward. And Professor Marshall went the length of saying that cheap labour could never compete with dear labour in cheap production. Now, if that were the case, what an enormous economic loss in the efficiency of labour must there be if 6s. per week per family from wages was spent in drink instead of going in the direction of improving the food and clothing of the family and so increasing the demand for these products, and increasing at the same time the efficiency of the work which the head of the family discharged? The claim of Scotland to this legislation was based very largely on the fact that in that country there was no danger of going ahead of public opinion. Out of their seventy-two Members, sixty-one were pledged at the last general election in favour of this policy. Three of the remainder represented constituencies in which there had been a three-cornered fight, where, although the Member returned was opposed to this policy, the majority of the electors had voted in its favour. Two other representatives sat for University seats; so that they had only five residential constituencies in Scotland out of seventy which gave their votes against the policy included in the Bill. A very curious argument had been brought forward, to show that popular opinion in Scotland was not favourable to this legislation. Hon. Members had received a circular from the Scottish Licensed Trade Defence Association in which the only argument put forward to show that this Bill was not supported by public opinion was that, in the recent 620 Dundee election, out of 16,118 votes recorded the Prohibitionist candidate received only 655. [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.] The hon. Member said "Hear, hear"; but was he aware that that Prohibitionist candidate was opposed to this Bill? That Prohibitionist candidate came and interrupted him at a meeting at Dundee; and at a great meeting in favour of this Bill in Glasgow, he had to ask the intervention of the meeting to protect him from the trouble which this Prohibitionist candidate caused by his persistent interruption. If the only evidence of the popular opinion in Scotland not being in favour of this Bill was the very limited support given to its bitterest opponent, his trade defence friends had great need of other arguments. As a matter of fact, at Dundee the Member at the head of the poll was one of the warmest supporters of the Bill, and the Labour candidate was also in its favour, so that the vast majority of the electorate of Dundee supported the Bill. The circular went on to say that in America and New Zealand this policy had proved a dismal failure. It had, on the contrary, been a great success. In New Zealand four votes had been taken since it was made part of public policy, and at every single vote there had been a great increase in the proportion of voters who favoured prohibition in their own locality. On the last occasion the majority in its favour was the greatest ever recorded. With reference to America, it had sometimes been said that the consumption of alcohol had not tended to diminish in the United States by the great wave of temperance legislation which had passed over that country. That was not the case. He had the most recent statistics on that point, which showed that in recent times there had been a conspicuous reduction in the consumption not merely of beer but of spirits as well in the United States. [An HON. MEMBER: In England also.] The circular stated that if they had prohibition areas, the adjoining areas would be incommoded by having more than the normal population to supply, and that the result would be frequent riot and disorder in districts, subjected to continued invasion and overcrowding. It was a remarkable fact, that none of those who opposed this 621 Bill and had all the local knowledge which members of the trade were supposed to possess, had declared that those evils had happened where the landlord had brought about prohibition by his own single will. There were large areas in Scotland, both urban and rural, where public opinion had been roused in favour of prohibition because of the experience of districts where prohibition existed. Moreover, the suggestion made in the circular was that the riot and disorder had been caused not through illicit drinking but in places where the public-houses were open. That was a very suggestive indictment against the trade by those who were engaged in it. He believed that this Bill would have its rejection moved by one English Member and seconded by another; but if any Scottish Member arose to oppose the Bill, he hoped he would say whether he was prepared or not to bring in a Bill for the abolition of Sunday closing. [An HON. MEMBER: Certainly not.] The hon. Member said "Certainly not," but if that were the case and he was not prepared to take that course, or any step in that direction, then surely it was fairly established that Sunday closing in Scotland was supported by the nation. In Glasgow, Sunday drinking, as measured by the arrests for drunkenness, only amounted to one-sixtieth part of the total drinking of the week. Instead of Glasgow being a black day on Sunday, as it was in the days gone by, there was not a tenth part of the drunkenness that occurred on the average ordinary day of the week. It had also been said that the ten o'clock closing rule had proved a failure. The Glasgow authorities had statistics com paring the twelve months before and the twelve months after the ten o'clock rule was put in force; and these showed not only that there had not been any increase of drunkenness, but that there had been an actual diminution of drunkenness. There was a period during which there was an increase in the arrests for drunkenness, but that was due to a new regulation that the policeman who had made an arrest for drunkenness had no longer to appear next morning to give evidence. Formerly a policeman knew that if he made an 622 arrest for drunkenness he would have to appear early next morning at Court to give evidence, and that consequently he would be disturbed and lose his sleep; he, therefore, was unwilling to make the arrest. The new regulation naturally increased his willingness to arrest for drunkenness. Between 28th May, 1904, and 28th May, 1905—that was the year after the ten o'clock closing came into force—the arrests for drunkenness had diminished from 14,393 to 13,507. In the year before the new police regulation to which he had referred came into force the arrests numbered 16,281, and in the twelve months after the regulation was operative the number of arrests increased to 20,668. While statistics were valuable in helping one to come to a conclusion when carefully analysed, there was no guide so safe as that of the experience of those who had the opportunity of watching all the circumstances and had a chance of forming a judicial opinion upon them. Of more than 100 chief constables in Scotland who had given evidence on the point, only one had spoken against early closing, all the rest being in favour of it; while in no single town or city had the magistrates reversed the decision they had come to in favour of early closing. Early closing had undoubtedly caused a certain amount of inconvenience, but the magistrates in every town and city in Scotland had decided that the moral advantages and the greater welfare of the people more than counter-balanced that inconvenience. That was a very thorough test of the way in which this early closing legislation had commended itself to the magistracy and the people of Scotland. It seemed to him that the Scottish people could make a very strong appeal to English Members to support them in this national Parliament. They were not carried away with any visionary dreams of what might happen. They based their policy on practical experience. They knew that wherever local option had been tried by the will of the landlord it had done good and not evil; that in every country throughout the world, in America and in our Colonies, where it had been tried, public opinion in its favour had advanced, and that no case could be pointed out where local veto had been tried where 623 there was not a stronger feeling in its favour now than ever before. He begged to move.
§ MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)
said he rose with considerable pleasure to second the Second Reading of this Bill. He was not a teetotaller himself, but during the twenty-three years that he had been more or less connected with public life, he had always supported and advocated the right of the people in these matters. The bye-elections in England had been going rather against the Government lately, and that had been attributed to the introduction of the Licensing Bill. When the results of the Scottish bye elections were known and they were favourable to the Government, the insinuation from the other side of the House was that they were successful because there was no Licensing Bill for Scotland. But the right hon. Member for Dundee and the hon. Members for Montrose and Kincardineshire in the elections they had fought had all advocated the principle of local option. He ventured to hope that the Government would take up the question of a Licensing Bill for Scotland, and. he was certain if they did that the people of Scotland would rally to their support. It was said that this Bill was a kind of slur on the present licensing authorities of Scotland. He made no attack on the licensing authorities, but those who thought they knew best what was in the interests of temperance, the temperance societies, said that however good the licensing authority might be the only way to obtain good temperance legislation was to place the whole matter in the hands of the people so far as the licensing was concerned. Again, some people said that the people were not trusted in this matter. They were to be trusted so far as reduction and prohibition were concerned, but they were not to be trusted to have the option of saying that they should have licensed premises if they required them in prohibition areas. If it was agreed, that people requiring licences in prohibition areas should have the right to have them, would hon. Members opposing this Bill support local option? That was a question to which he would like to have an answer. The hon. Member 624 for Leith Burghs was a great advocate of disinterested management, others went in for municipalisation, and others, again, advocated higher licence fees. There were various remedies proposed, but so far as the great temperance societies of Scotland were concerned, they one and all said that the one thing that ought to be tried in this matter, and which had not been tried in this country but which had been tried with great success in America and our Colonies, was local option. They believed that what had met with such success in America and the Colonies should be tried and would meet with success in this country. The State of Maine had been referred to: it was rather a singular thing that in America up to July last year the State of Maine was the only prohibition state. At the end of July, however, Kansas and North Dakota adopted total prohibition, and since then no less than four other States had adopted that principle, so that at the present time there were no less than seven states which had adopted absolute prohibition; of the remainder—some forty-four States—there were only seven in which there was no sort or kind of local option granted to the people in regard to this matter. He was quite sure that this Bill was not going in advance of public opinion, and he was satisfied that it was desired by the Scottish people. Fifty-one out of seventy-two Scottish Members voted for a Bill on similar lines last year, including the late and the present Prime Minister, end only seven voted against. So far as Liberal Scotland was concerned, no man could hope to win a seat in this House who did not put local option in the forefront of his programme. The Scottish Members on the Liberal side of the House were as anxious now as they were last year that this Bill should obtain a Second Reading, and if it did, they hoped that it might be passed into law.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Cameron Corbett.)
§ SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)
said he made no apology for intervening in this, a Scottish debate, because in so doing he was only following, but in the contrary 625 direction, the example of the hon. Member who moved the Second Reading, in intervening in the debate on the Licensing Bill a few days ago. He hoped he would be able to play the same part in a contrary sense as that played by the hon. Member in that English debate. He was one of those who held that there should be no distinction between England, Scotland, and Wales in these matters; they all formed part of Great Britain, and what was in the interest of one member was in the interest of the whole; he therefore claimed the right to intervene in this debate. Furthermore, there was the dread that if this Bill was carried into law it might later be extended to England, and with that in his mind he hoped he would be able to show good reason why the House should refuse it a Second Reading. The hon. Member who seconded the Motion for Second Reading told the House that he was not a teetotaler, but had always been an advocate of local option, the principle of this Bill. He also said that the temperance societies thought they knew what was best in the interest of temperance; if that were so, it naturally followed that the leaders of temperance societies knew what was best for temperance. Would the right hon. Gentleman Toe prepared to leave the question as to whether he should have a cellar in England or in Scotland to the decision of the hon. Member who moved the Motion and the hon. Members for the Spen Valley and Appleby Divisions who were eminent leaders of the temperance movement? He saw no extreme desire to answer that question. The hon. Member dealt with the State of Maine; he also would deal with that question, and believed that he would be able to show that the right hon. Gentleman was mistaken in the conclusion at which he had arrived with regard to the prohibition law in that country. Speaking for himself, and he believed for the friends who sat around him, he thoroughly recognised the evils of drunkenness. He did not think there was a man in the House who recognised those evils more than himself and who was more desirous of putting an end to them. The only question was how that object was to be achieved. It was a recognised fact that great evils arose from over-eating, 626 but he never yet heard it suggested that people should not be allowed to eat anything at all, because some over-ate themselves, and it was not reasonable to suggest that people should not be allowed to take what in their case was only a harmless stimulant because some people could not control their desire and appetite for strong drink. There was nothing in this Bill to prove that if it passed money would not be spent in drink that ought to be spent on clothes and other things. The essential difference between himself and his friends and the right hon. Gentleman opposite was that they did not think any Act of Parliament could compel people into sobriety or any other good habit. They believed that much could be done by precept and example, and that much had been done in that way in the last twenty years, but they believed it was impossible by the policeman and the law to dragoon the people into becoming teetotalers or moderate in their drinking habits. The hon. Member who moved the Second Reading said that at the last election only three Members for Scotland gave their votes against this Bill.
§ MR. CAMERON CORBETT
said that he explained that there were only five residential constituencies where the majority voted against the policy of the Bill, that there were sixty-one Members out of seventy who were pledged in favour of the Bill.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said he was afraid there were a great number of Members on both sides of the House who, when on the platform, were prepared to pledge themselves to anything; they did not always carry out their pledges. There was a striking instance of that with regard to the sugar duty, where an hon. Member opposite said that his pledge to his constituency must be taken only as a sign of his sympathy. Was that the object of hon. Members? Was their desire to show signs of sympathy with the diminution of drunkenness? If so, he was only too desirous of giving similar pledges. With regard to the diminution of drunkenness in Scotland, since early closing and closing on special days had been in force the convictions in Glasgow had increased 627 from 13,406 in 1904 to 22,025 in 1907. That was a very startling increase. His hon. friend attributed that to the fact that the policemen were not allowed to accompany the prisoners to the Police Courts. He was astonished to hear of the way in which these prosecutions in Scotland were conducted in the absence of the prosecutor. How did they arrive at the conviction? The policeman, the man who saw the prisoner drunk, was not there. The only conclusion they could arrive at under the circumstances was that when a policeman had nothing to do he arrested people for drunkenness, and when he had he did not. In Edinburgh the same thing occurred, the increase from 1904 to 1907 was from 11,930 to 14,791 cases. He said just now that he did not believe that people could be made sober by Act of Parliament. He was glad to see that at least one Scotsman agreed with him on that, and that was the late Sir James Annan, former representative of East Aberdeen in this House, who said that the Local Veto Bill of 1895—Represented in concrete form the very idea which I believe to have been in this and other similar measures the chief reason of the defeat; I mean the Association which has arisen in men's minds between the Liberal Party and heroic attempts to reform the world by means of the policeman and the factory inspector.The right hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that the recent bye-elections in England had gone rather against the Government—he himself would have said they had gone very much against the Government—but chat the elections of Scotland had not. The reason for that was not far to seek—they had no Licensing Bill in Scotland. In addition to that, the people in Scotland were very conservative, but he had no doubt that in five years time the majorities there would be very largely reduced. Coming to the experience of other countries, he held in his hand a little book, issued by order of the Foreign Office in April, 1907, entitled "Diplomatic and Consular Reports, from Consuls of the United States, America, Liquor Traffic Legislation of the United States, America." If the right hon. Gentleman turned to page 29 he would see what they said about Maine. The Maine prohibition law was passed in 1851, and had been more or less 628 amended and altered every year since. That was not a good beginning. The constitutional prohibition amendment was passed in 1884, but Mr. Vice-Consul Keating stated that for two or three years previous to 1895 the sheriff had recognised the case of restricted saloons, where the sale of liquor was well known to take place. The sheriff, who was a teetotaler, had recognised his inability to stop the liquor traffic, and had adopted this course as the least evil. That was winking at a breach of the law.
§ MR. CAMERON CORBETT
said the hon. Baronet had read extracts with reference to prohibition, which was not the policy of this Bill. Would he now read what the Report said as to local option, which was the policy of the Bill?
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said he understood that the Bill allowed localities certain choices, one of which was the total prohibition of public-houses, and it was that with which he was dealing. The title of the Bill was "A Bill to empower electors in Scotland to prohibit or limit the sale of intoxicating liquors in their respective areas."
§ MR. CAMERON CORBETT
That Report does make certain statements against State prohibition. It also makes statements in favour of local option. [Cries of "Order."]
§ SIR F. BANBURY
made further quotations from the Report, one of which was to the effect that seventeen States had had stringent prohibition, but that it was only retained now by three, and that even in those it could not be looked upon as a success. Parts of the prohibition States had always been in open rebellion against the law. Drinking had always been possible, and liquor procurable. So far as the Colonies were concerned, he would say nothing, because with regard to them he had no information. He noticed that the Bill did not profess to deal with clubs, and he was very much afraid that the only result of its becoming law would be a great increase in the 629 number of clubs in Scotland. He was sorry that the Member for the Spen Valley Division was not present. To write to the newspapers was a very dangerous thing to do. His experience was that one wrote something which one immediately regretted, because it was sure to be brought up against one. What said the hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division in the National Review, in 1907?—It will be useless," he said, "to reduce the number of public-houses if at the same time the clubs, which are frequently little or nothing more than unlicensed public-houses, are allowed to spring up in all directions. That is so obvious that it is unnecessary to dwell upon it.He did not propose to dwell upon it, but he agreed with the hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division. His point was that people like hon. Gentlemen opposite could have their liquor in their own houses, but at the same time they would vote for the prohibition of public-houses for the poorer classes, and take away what were practically their clubs. He considered that this was against that sense of justice which both Englishmen and Scotsmen had inherited from their forefathers. He did not believe that when it was understood what this Bill was really going to do hon. Gentlemen opposite would be so successful in the elections in Scotland as to which up to the present moment they were so extremely proud. The argument had been used in previous debates, that supposing the Bill was adopted in one district and not in another there would be dry and wet districts, and that those people who wished to drink would be forced to go some distance to the other district in order to get what they wanted. When a man went some distance and took some trouble to get drink, he would possibly take all he could carry before leaving the house. Therefore, unless they were certain that this Bill was going to be adopted all over Scotland, there would be an increase of open drinking, at any rate in those parts of Scotland where prohibition had not been voted, and only a decrease of open drinking in districts where it had been voted. The Minority Report of the Peel Commission said—It is a mistake to suppose that any certain argument can be founded upon the experience of other countries, even if it were possible accurately to gauge the truth among such a cloud of contradictory statements. In sparsely in- 630 habited districts local prohibition could probably be enforced without much difficulty, but in towns, even where a strong public opinion existed, violation of the law might take place with injurious consequences.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said he would not call it recommending to say "that a violation of the law might take place with injurious consequences." He could not quite tell what the recommendation did mean, though he was prepared to agree that a. violation of the law would take place. Some very excellent remarks had been made by the Member for Huddersfield speaking on the 2nd December last at the National Liberal Club, an institution where there was not prohibition as far as he knew. [An HON. MEMBER: What about the Carlton?] They did not pretend at the Carlton to be prohibitionists. This was what the hon. Member for Huddersfield said—I would suggest that licensing proposals must not be directed to the outlawing of the traffic. The traffic in alcoholic liquors may be evil in the estimation of some; but it is a legal traffic, and its legality is based upon the fact that public opinion as a whole refuses to brand the consumption of alcoholic liquors as wrong. If the consumption of alcoholic liquors be not wrong, then the sale of those liquors must be justifiable. To attempt an arbitrary distinction between sale and consumption is as foolish as it is misleading. The point of view which would outlaw the traffic, and therefore drive it into the least worthy hands, is a point of view which, in my judgment, would imperil and not advance the moral progress of the community. It is true that I am here opposing a view widely current in the advanced temperance party, and a view, moreover, that has determined to a large extent the licensing legislation of the United States of America, but a close study of the laws and experience of that great country has convinced me that the attempt to degrade and outlaw the liquor traffic there has aggravated the evils that are associated with the trade, and has not secured the ends sincerely aimed at by the promoters of that legislation. So long as drink is sold it should be sold under decent conditions and the sale should be in the hands of the most worthy, rather than the least worthy, members of the community.He had not the pleasure of the hon. Member's acquaintance, but he would like to make it. After that very excellent speech of the hon. Gentleman, he really did not see how anyone could get up and advocate the Second Reading, of the Bill. He would like to say one 631 word on the question of compensation. Admitting for the sake of argument that the Bill were carried and would do everything that was expected, what was going to happen? It seemed very hard that in those districts where prohibition was carried the people who had licensed houses and had been carrying on a legal business should be deprived of their livelihood at one fell swoop. Was it right, even to do public good—and he would admit for the sake of argument that it would, though he did not believe that any good would result—that they should take away from people their means of livelihood and their property? He maintained that if the House wanted prohibition, and thought it right and necessary in the interests of the nation, then they should compensate those people who had gone into a business sanctioned by the nation, and in which they had, under certain legal supervision, endeavoured to earn an honest livelihood. It was news to him that they should be philanthropic at the expense of other people. If his hon. friend desired to go down to history as a great philanthropist in the cause of teetotalism he should put his hand into his own pocket, and compensate these people who had been allowed by law in Scotland to engage in a business which had hitherto been considered a legal business. He would agree with his hon. friend if he would do that, because though he did not think that he would achieve his object, at any rate he would show that he was honest in his intentions and would do no harm to anybody. He mentioned that because he viewed with alarm the spread in that House of a desire to be philanthropic and charitable at other people's expense. He believed that all that sort of tiling which was done for the good of humanity should be done at the expense of all, and not at the expense of a single class. He would refer for a few moments to one or two clauses of the Bill. By Clause 1 the Bill proposed that a bare majority should be sufficient. Hitherto the proposal had been a three-fourths majority, or as in the Bill of last year, three-fifths. "They all knew perfectly well what took place at many elections, that a number of people did not take the trouble to vote, either because they thought their side 632 was safe, or because they had business to attend to, or something of that sort. It was quite possible, therefore, that they might get in favour of prohibition a bare majority not of all the voters but only of those voting, and with that bare majority they were going to take away the livelihood of those people who were only, after all, engaged in an honest trade. There was a most improper provision in the Bill, that if the prohibitory Resolution was not carried the votes recorded in favour of such a resolution were to be added to those recorded in favour of the limiting resolution. Why? What reason was there why these votes should be added to anything at all? Why should the hon. Member pick out certain votes and add them to the limiting resolution? Every man should be given a fair chance of voting in favour of what he approved, and if he voted against prohibition his hon. friend had no business to take his vote and add it to somebody else's vote in favour of something else. He had never heard of such a thing. Next they would be having this principle introduced into Parliamentary elections. If there were a Liberal, a Labour, and a Conservative candidate, and the Conservative was not above the other two together, then, according to the proposal of this Bill, the Labour and Liberal votes would be added together and the Liberal would be declared elected. He thought he had shown that the Bill was impossible, and that the precedents from America were against this sort of legislation, while no argument had been advanced proving that it would be productive of any good result. All that would happen was that clubs would increase in number, and that there would be an increase of secret drinking. The hon. Member attributed the decreased consumption to Sunday closing. He himself put it down to the increased habits of sobriety of the people of all classes in the last thirty years. It had arisen in the higher class, and had extended to the others. That was the reason why the total consumption of liquor had diminished, and not because there had been any particular legislation as to Sunday or any other closing. He believed they could do a great deal by example, and if the people were only left alone they would in a few years become 633 as temperate as the people in any State in which, local option or prohibition was enforced. He bagged to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.
*MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor), in seconding the Amendment, said he did so, firstly, because he could not see that they were justified in placing in the hands of a bare majority a power to dictate to a minority either what they should drink or eat, or how they should go to bed, or whether they should wear nightcaps; and, secondly, because there was absolutely no evidence that this kind of repressive legislation had ever led to any satisfactory results in reducing the amount of drunkenness in this or any other country. They had only to compare the conditions of England and Scotland to see, at any rate, that this evidence was lacking. In England they had, of course, less drastic treatment of the liquor question than existed in Scotland, and they all knew that the reduction in the amount of drunkenness in England was most satisfactory. Measured from any point of view, either by the consumption of liquor, by the produce of the liquor duties and excise, or by convictions, or in any other way, the improvement in the drinking habit in England was most marked. In Scotland where legislation was more repressive they found not only that drunkenness had not decreased in the same way as it had elsewhere, but that it had increased, and, furthermore, the increase appeared to bear some kind of ratio to the repression that was put upon the people. In Scotland they had had Sunday closing for more than half a century. From 1904 onwards they had had earlier closing, the hour being altered from eleven to ten o'clock. They had restricted the sale of drink on public holidays, and the proportion of licensed houses to the population was 25 per cent. less than in England. Had the results got from that state of things been satisfactory? In 1897 there were 25,000 convictions for offences in connection with drunkenness, and since then the trend had been steadily upwards, but more markedly so since the earlier closing of 1904. As a matter of fact, the convictions were for 1897, 25,000; for 1902, 29,000; 1903, 25,000; 1904, 31,000; 1905, 33,000; and 1906, 40,000;
and the hon. Member who moved the Second Reading of the Bill had pointed out that the alterations of the police regulations in Glasgow were only made in that year. They had the fact that the convictions in Scotland had steadily increased up to the year 1906. If they took the convictions per 1,000 people, they found an increase in these ten years from 5.8. to 8.4, or 40 per cent. If they looked at crime connected with drink, they found very much the same tale—the number of apprehensions and citations increased by some 40 per cent. The official volume of Criminal Statistics for 1907 stated that prosecutions and imprisonments were both largely in excess of the English figures in proportion to the population. It went on to point out that the imprisonments in Scotland were more than double as many per 1,000 of population as in England, and with regard to local opinion on the subject, he would quote a few words from the Scotsman of 2nd January, which said—
While in regard to other crimes Scotland grows no worse, in regard to crimes connected with drink there is a grievous backsliding. In the face of all these restrictions of drinking and inducements to moderation there is no improvement, but actual retrogression.
Some Members might not care to accept the authority of the Scotsman as being very important, but the hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division said in the article which had already been referred to, speaking of the conditions of repression—
These important conditions are in force in Scotland and intemperance and all the evils of the drinking system abound there.
It was true that the hon. Member went on to allege that matters would have been worse without these restrictions, but after all that was merely a matter of opinion, and they had his own admission that the position of Scotland was far from satisfactory. They found that in three years there had been an increase in the sale of whisky, and a decrease in the sale of beer. The increase was 300,000 gallons and the decrease 200,000 barrels. This was not entirely a satisfactory change which had taken place since they had earlier closing. But was not the explanation reasonable that it was brought about because the time was reduced in which they could drink beer in licensed premises, and people
were, therefore, encouraged to carry away whisky in their pockets because they could not carry beer so conveniently? The hon. Member who seconded the Second Reading had pointed out that the number of prohibition States in America had increased from one to seven, but he had not told the House that seventeen States had previously tried prohibition and abandoned it as useless, and more harmful than tending to good. The experience of America, therefore, could not be looked upon as favourable to this repressive legislation. In Canada they found very much the same experience. In 1878 the Scott Act was passed which had practically very much the effect they were proposing to apply to Scotland now, and the result had been a declared failure by the substitution of an unlicensed and unregulated for a licensed and regulated trade.
The demand for drink remained the same but it was supplied in an illicit way.
These were the words used by Professor Goldwin Smith. Although the Scott Act had been passed by the people for genuine reasons—for the promotion of temperance—at an early date the people themselves were more and more tending to go back to the former state of things. In 1887 it was in force at sixty-two places, within ten years after the introduction of the Act. In 1892, only five years later, it was in operation in only thirty places. He had the authority of one hon. Member below the gangway for the view which he took in this matter of the experience of foreign countries. The hon. Member for Blackburn, in an article in the April number of the Social Review, admitted quite frankly that neither in New Zealand, Canada, nor in the United States had the policy of repression lessened the total consumption of drink. During the last ten years in Canada many districts had passed under local prohibition, but there had been in the same time a considerable increase in the consumption of liquor per head of the population. In New Zealand since prohibition had been adopted the convictions for drunkenness had risen, and though many of the United States had "no licence" areas, the drink bill of the States rose year by year.
Then passing from that evidence closer home and comparing for a moment and in one respect the condition of France with that of England—France, where practically licences could be had for the asking, and where hours were unlimited—they found that the charges of drunkenness in Paris were almost absurdly small compared with what they were in this country. Of course, he was willing to admit the different tendencies of the two races, but the fact remained that in Paris, where there was very considerable freedom, they had something like 200 charges in a year as against fifty odd thousand in London. As regarded other objections it was unfair that the majority of any community should have it in their power to regulate the mode of life of the minority. This majority would probably include all those people who from taste or temperament did not take alcoholic drink, that it would include a great number of people who, like Members of that House, could get whatever they required to drink in their own houses, and it would include a considerable number of people of various classes who objected to the vicinity of a public-house, and they were going to put it in the power of these people, none of whom would suffer themselves by this legislation, to tyrannise over the lower classes in the district and to make it impossible for them, who could only get get their drink in small quantities day by day, to get the drink they required, and to live in a state of subjection and repression. This measure would impose upon the poorer classes inconvenience and tyranny, and it was an insult to their intelligence and powers of self-control which was quite intolerable. This Bill was not justified from the point of view of fairness, or by the evidence produced in support of similar legislation elsewhere. There was no evidence to show that the system proposed had had beneficial results, and he ventured to think that what was much more needed in Scotland than repressive legislation was an attempt to make the conditions under which drink was taken more respectable and elevating, and to raise the manhood of the people so as to be able to resist the temptations of their own inclination. They should try to do that by treating them as men and not
remove all the manhood out of their nature by treating them as children.
To leave out the word 'now' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"—(Sir F. Banbury.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)
said his hon. friend had referred to the repressive system under which they lived in Scotland. He supposed the hon. Member would call Sunday closing part of that system. His own view was that if they had not Sunday closing in Scotland the drunkenness statistics would go up very considerably, and no one in Scotland would venture now to advocate Sunday opening. A great deal of the increase in the number of cases of drunkenness in Scotland was limited to the tramp class. Another reason was that the law was being more vigorously enforced by the police, and public opinion would not tolerate drunken people in the street. That had had a good deal to do with the increase in the number of cases of drunkenness in Scotland. The earlier closing of public-houses would be considered repressive legislation, but it had done a good deal to diminish drunkenness, and more might be done along those lines. In one public-house in West Fife they closed at nine o'clock, which was an hour earlier, but the proprietor had to re-open again and go back to ten o'clock closing, because his customers went to another house two or three miles away, with the result that the men were later than ever in getting home. If they had had nine o'clock closing at both these places that could not have happened. He was confident that earlier closing in Scotland would have a salutary effect upon the number of convictions for drunkenness. On the general question he hoped they might have from the Government some lead, some indication of the lines which licensing reform in Scotland should take in view of the need for further legislation and the proposals for England. Public opinion would support stiffer legislation 638 than was found in the Licensing Bill for England, an admirable Bill, opposition to which, he believed, was rapidly growing weaker. For Scotland local option was an essential part of licensing reform, but by itself it would bring about administrative confusion. There should be a time-limit, not so long as that contained in the English Bill, because licences could be bought at five years purchase. The position of the Scottish licensing authorities, strong in many respects, was weak in that they had only the alternatives of continuing the licence or of destroying the market value to the owner; they had not the free hand they would have after a time-limit. The system of disinterested management, he was glad to know, was making considerable progress, judging from his experience in West Fife. At any rate, the management had been so far satisfactory that the system had been regarded with increasing favour by public opinion and the magistrates, as was shown by the number of licences they had granted. If they had a time-limit for Scotland and a free hand for legislation afterwards, coupled with local option, they would be in a thoroughly satisfactory position, but local option, he maintained, could not be taken alone to the exclusion of other essential securities. He would give his reasons for the inexpediency of adopting a local option policy by itself without other legislation. One of them was the necessity for enforcing proper regulations in regard to structural alterations in premises. One of the most useful things the licensing authorities did now was in relation to structural alterations, and the licensing bench would in that matter inevitably be weakened by local option without other securities. He attached very great importance to that point. The Kirkcaldy bench of magistrates had before them recently the case of a public-house in a narrow street where premises were worth, he thought, under £500, though the licence in the market had been bought and sold for £4,000 or £5,000. The magistrates at once insisted on structural alterations. They often gave advice before a licence came up for renewal at next Court that structural alterations ought to be carried out. 639 That had led to an extraordinary improvement.
§ MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)
Does the hon. Member not see the great difficulty with regard to structural alterations being ordered by the magistrates if a time-limit were enforced?
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON
said he did not think that under the provisions of the English Bill there would be any difficulty in enforcing structural alterations, though the magistrates would not have so free a hand. It depended on the time-limit, but he thought the difficulty could be got over. Under local option standing alone they could not enforce structural alterations. Nor would they be able to do so in the case of new licences. He did not understand the point of view of the licensed trade. The company to which he had referred did not treat a licence as a permanent asset; they were free to give it up at any time. When a licensed house was bought in the open market they wrote it off after a certain number of years so that they might be prepared to lose it if the magistrates considered that it was not required in the public interest. The practical difficulties which had to be faced in dealing with licences had not been altogether met by the promoters of this Bill, and that was why he ventured to put them before the House. One of the reasons which had made him so keen for temperance reform was the influence of the trade upon elections, both local and imperial. Did anyone suppose that the conflict with the liquor trade at elections was likely to be lessened by local option? It would bring out the evils arising from the action of the trade to a far greater extent than anything they had yet experienced. He was not sure what the effect of the conflict might be in the part of the country where he lived; he did not know that it would be in the interest of temperance. They had seen the effect of the trade influence at recent elections, and if local option were adopted there would be an opportunity for exercising similar methods once a year, and he must say that he did not look forward to that contingency with any great equanimity. The result 640 of passing a Local Veto Bill would be to diminish the sense of administrative responsibility resting on the magistrates. He admitted that at present a great many licensing bodies were weak. A strong licensing authority was the best security they could have in the interests of temperance. If public-houses were closed, he believed there would be considerable risk of clubs taking a stronger hold in Scotland than they had now. The provisions in the English Bill in regard to clubs were the weak point. If they once admitted the principle of the time-limit, and, still more, if after the expiry of the time-limit they had a free hand to secure the elimination of the undesirable houses in the retail trade, the way would be perfectly clear for the enforcement of prohibition. The true solution of the licensing difficulty in Scotland was not touched by this Bill. The question was grappled with by the English Bill. He could not support the Bill now before the House if it was presented as a sufficient alternative in Scotland for the policy embodied in the main lines of the English Bill. He strongly urged that Scotland should not be given half measures instead of strong measures for dealing with the requirements of the country in the matter of licensing. The people of Scotland had had too much experience of that. Parliament should deal with the problem in Scotland in the same thorough and adequate manner as in England. He trusted that the Government would approach the question in the same spirit in both countries.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)
said that when a Bill containing such stringent provisions was introduced at this late period of the session, with no chance of its passing into law, it was apparent that the debate must be more or less of an academic character. In speaking of the measure he had no desire to use words which would embitter the controversy at all. While he deplored some of the methods of hon. Gentlemen opposite, he entirely recognised their sincerity in bringing forward this measure. His hon. friend the Member for the City of London had used the oft-repeated phrase: You cannot make men sober by Act of Parliament. 641 The truth or falsity of that dogma depended on the meaning attached to the words. On the one hand, it might imply the idea that by restricting opportunities they could gradually cultivate in the community acquiescence in total abstention from alcohol. That was the principle on which the Bill proceeded. It might mean, on the other hand, that something could be done by legislation to make those who did use alcohol temperate in the use of it. He thought there was more truth in the latter than in the former proposition. This question could be looked at from the physical, ethical, moral, or political side. He did not pretend to be able to speak on the physical side of the question at all; he certainly would not "rush in where angels fear to tread." Doctors differed as to the physiological effect of alcohol. Some held that alcohol was poison, while other approved of a little wine for the stomach's sake, but all were agreed that excess was prejudicial. As to the ethical side of the question, he held that it was precisely from the ethical point of view that the proposals in this Bill failed, because they were attempts, and he thought very crude attempts, at coercion. The areas over which the Bill was spread were wide areas; it was obviously the desire of the promoters to close as many public-houses in those areas as could be closed with the approval of the people who lived there. He agreed that there were many things in the present state of the licensing laws which would bear alteration. There was a good deal to be said for the view that there were too many public-houses. They made laws which would remove children from the influence of the public-house. He agreed that it was quite right for children to have a chance in life and not to be prejudiced by their environment. But the case was different in regard to adults, and to attempt to legislate for them in the way proposed by the Bill was, in his opinion, to do a great disservice to the cause of temperance. Under the present system they compelled a man to go into a public-house for reasonable refreshment, and invited him to remain there, so that they were really in effect putting a premium on continual indulgence. They made it a condition 642 that a man should only remain in a public-house so long as he was pouring alcohol down his throat. A great mistake was made in not providing coffee and tea in public-houses. He maintained that it would be far better for the cause of temperance if they allowed, of course under regulation and proper control, music and harmless games. At all events, they should give a man a chance to prefer hearing "Iolanthe" or engaging in a game of draughts, when he met his friends in the public-house, rather than make it a sole condition to stand at the bar and pour spirits down his throat. He had felt it incumbent upon him to say that, and he hoped he had not said it in any spirit of severe controversy. He admitted that the policy he advocated would not be agreeable to those who accepted the proposition that all alcohol was poison, and that to take it was a moral sin. There was no arguing with those who took up that position; but he would remind them that after the return recently given to the House, the argument in favour of temperance drinks must go by the board, and he would also remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that in Denmark light beers were considered in the category of temperance drinks. Of course, the objection would be urged that any scheme which would make the public-house more respectable and attractive and a place to which men might resort in the evening, would all be for the benefit of the publican. He admitted that there was a great deal to be said for that view, and also that the State made a great mistake in allowing the sale of liquor to pass into private hands. But the right having been granted to private persons to sell liquor, he pointed out that in this Bill they could not find one word about compensation to the man who lost his licence. He agreed with the hon. Member for Huddersfield, who pointed out last year in a very powerful speech when this Bill was under consideration that they would never get the people of this country to accept any proposal for temperance reform which did not include some provision for compensation. That was a principle the acceptance of which was not confined to one side of politics. He remembered that it was an accepted principle by Liberals in the old days. 643 Mr. John Bright, speaking at Birmingham on the Permissive Bill on 29th August, 1883, said—There was no valuation provided for, there was no compensation offered or suggested, and the plan was one of what you would call real and honest reform, and the publicans and licensed victuallers, wherever you got a majority, were to be exterminated as if they had been vermin. I do not think a policy of this kind will be held to be statesmanlike or just.It was said that the State was only resuming a valuable concession with which it ought never to have parted. If they took that view, it seemed a little illogical to say in the next breath that a licence was worth no more than a scrap of paper, and that the publican only got it for one year. He wished to go deeper into the question. In order to correct this error committed by the State in the past, were private individuals to suffer in the present, or to be expropriated without compensation or some attempt to give a fair and reasonable value for that of which they were to be deprived? If they accepted that principle why stop at liquor vending? He came across the other day a paper devoted to setting forth the views of hon. Members below the gangway—the New Age—and it contained the following instructive comment in regard to the Licensing Bill:—Is not the legal monopoly in land precisely similar to the legal monopoly in the sale of drink? Why not a time-limit—say, a twenty-eight years' time-limit for land, so that at the end of a generation the State might resume the most valuable of all monopolies which was ever granted to private individuals?Did the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Scotland, say so; did the Government say so? Of course not. The real truth of the matter was that any proposals for temperance reform must be of a far wider and practical shape than those contained in the Bill. Let him say in passing that he presumed the hon. Member for the Tradeston Division and other hon. Members who held strong views on prohibition, only valued the restrictions in the Bill as a step on the road to the extinction of the trade in alcohol altogether. But he would point out that their great pioneer in the House, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, dissented from that proposition in the debate on the Local 644 Veto Bill in 1895. Sir Wilfrid then said—Reverting to the option and restriction clauses, it must be understood that they had not been demanded by the prohibitionists; they had been demanded by a few Members, a few newspaper editors, and a few philosophers, who sat up in attics and knew nothing about it.Prohibition raised two questions; in the first place, the power of any party to enforce prohibition; and in the second place, which was far wider, the moral right of a majority, if they had it, to enforce it on the minority. As to the power, they had had remarks about the success or non-success of prohibition in different parts of the world, and especially in Canada and the United States. On a previous occasion he had addressed some observations to the House in regard to New Zealand. On this occasion he would say one word as to Canada. His hon. friend the Member for the Tradeston Division had declared that in no place in which local option had been adopted had it ever been receded from. He took leave to point out that that statement was not entirely according to fact. They began to try it in the province of Ontario in 1876, but really it was first put in operation under the Scott Act in 1884, when three-fourths of the counties in the Province adopted it. What happened? Every single one of them on the first opportunity given to them in 1888 gave up prohibition and reverted to licence. Other communities adopted the Scott Act in 1885, and re-considered it in 1889, when again everyone of them gave up prohibition and reverted to license. These facts must have escaped his hon. friend's memory. He believed that in Ontario some other system of local option was adopted in 1906, but even that was not entirely satisfactory. He would take convictions for drunkenness. He did not want to quarrel too much with these statistics, although he did not think that they were a very practical working test. But in Ontario in the five years previous to 1885 when the licence system prevailed the convictions for drunkenness per thousand of the population were 2.79. In the five years ending 1890, under prohibition, the convictions rose to 3.10; in the three years subsequent when licence again prevailed the convictions fell to 645 1.98. If they went further back the figures were even more striking. In the first period of licence—1876–1883, the annual average convictions for drunkenness was 3,848; in the second prohibition period, 1884–1889, the average annual convictions were 4,222; in the next period 1890–1898, when licences were reverted to, the average annual convictions were 2,602; and in the last period, 1899–1906, they revived local option the average annual convictions were 3,052. Further, he would take the figures for the four years, 1903–1906, in two of which local option was revived, to shew the striking increase in the figures. In 1903 the committals for drunkenness were 2,987, in 1904 they were 3,590. But see how they jumped up with prohibition revived. In 1905 the committals for drunkenness were 4,157, in 1906 they were 4,216, or an increase of 41 per cent. in four years. He frankly admitted that these figures were not an infallible test, but he thought they were a very good answer to the hon. Member for the Tradeston Division. He would not say very much on the moral side of the question, as to how far a majority had a right to coerce the minority. He could imagine anyone advocating or upholding liberty not merely on its negative but on its positive side; but he would point out that repressive measures whether in regard to liquor or tariff had always failed to achieve their object. Government, with the assistance of ecclesiastical institutions, tried to make all men believe alike, and they failed. The English Government, with the assistance of soldiery, tried to dictate to the Highlanders how they should dress, and they failed. And when they came to dictate to a minority almost equal in number to the majority as to what their tastes and habits were to be, experience showed that they could only enforce it with the greatest possible difficulty, if at all. He would commend to hon. Members opposite what was said by one of the greatest men America ever produced, the man who did more than any other man in the world for the abolition of slavery in the United States. He meant John Quincy Adams, who addressing the Norfolk Temperance Society on local veto, said—Forget not I pray you the rights of personal freedom. Self-government is the foundation 646 of all our political and social institutions. Seek not to enforce upon your brother by legislative enactments the virtue that he can possess only by the dictates of his own conscience, and the energy of his will.
§ SIR J. DEWAR (Inverness)
said he desired to offer only a few observations as to why he objected to this Bill. He stood there elected as an opponent of local veto; he might say that he was elected in spite of being an opponent of local veto. He gave the promoters of the Bill credit for being actuated by the highest motives. Everybody acknowledged that they desired to bring about an improvement in the social condition of the people. But he asked whether they were going about it in the way most likely to carry out their object? While the great majority of the people of Scotland were in favour of local control of the liquor traffic, he did not believe that the majority were in favour of the Bill now before the House. His belief was that if they knew what the effect of this Bill would be not 10 per cent. of the people would support it—that was to say if they knew the hardships which the measure would produce if carried into law. They all desired that public opinion should prevail in this as in other matters. It was pre-supposed that public opinion did not prevail at present, under the Scottish licensing system. That was a mistake; the existing licensing authorities in Scotland were elected entirely by the people in the district, and the voice of the people prevailed. The licensing authority in the towns consisted of the magistrates and some portion of the town council, and there was no person in Scotland so susceptible of public opinion as the Scottish bailie. In the county licensing court there were a certain number of representatives elected by the people. In connection with another Bill before the House they opposed entrusting certain powers in regard to small holdings to the county councils because they were not elected for that purpose. It might also be said that the licensing authorities in the counties were not elected solely for licensing; but there could be no doubt that in regard to either small holdings or licensing, the opinion of the people would be expressed through their elected representatives on the county 647 council or town council. He would further say that the intention of the Bill was, in his view, not to give expression to the will of the people as fully as they ought to do, but to suppress public houses by a method not now available. The present licensing authority had ample powers to do that now. All the promoters of this Bill desired to do war, to take those powers from the licensing authority and put them in the hands of a certain number of people. It was quite possible under this Bill for a small minority of the inhabitants of a district—10 per cent.—to control the rest for three years. The principle might be good or bad, but it was an entirely novel one to adopt for either Scotland or this country. Public-houses existed to satisfy the demand of the public; they were not entirely frequented by habitual drunkards. The majority of people used alcohol moderately, not only in this but in every other Christian country, and it was a gross outrage to say that the public-houses of the country existed entirely to supply an unlawful demand. He held that the Bill as at present framed would not effect any improvement of social conditions in Scotland, but might in many cases result in undoubted hardship. The hon. Member for Leith Burghs had drawn attention to one or two points which might be emphasised by the present difficulty the licensing benches had through not being able to compensate men for the unjust refusal of their licence. He himself had known a bench of licensing magistrates composed entirely of extreme teetotalers, who had no desire to drink themselves or give other people an opportunity of so doing. They did not grant new licences, but they gave fair compensation according to the necessities of the case for any hardship that might arise from the suppression of the licences. He also mentioned that if the Bill passed that might be the result. He had known cases where licensing magistrates had insisted on great and expensive alterations being made in public-houses. After that had been done was it fair that a majority of the people should have the power to have such a house shut up, and its customers dispersed to other houses in the neighbourhood. If a case of 648 that kind was put to them he did not believe the majority of the people would close the house. But having all that in view and having regard to the fact that the intemperate use of alcohol led to terrible evils in this country, he thought this country would be justified in making any experiment to remedy those evils. Nevertheless, he did not think any country would be justified in making such experiments at the will of a few individuals. Injustice should not be done to any individual even for the benefit of the community at large unless it was done by way of a Government Bill with the full responsibility that attached to such a measure. Therefore, taking a broad view of the circumstances, and having regard to all the interests involved, he had come to the conclusion that he must vote against this Bill.
§ MR. FINDLAY (Lanarkshire, N.E.)
said they were all agreed that this was a very complex question which they had to deal with in connection with the public sale of intoxicants. It was a thing so terrible that they desired to see the welfare of the country provided for in the best way. For many years past there had been Bills and Resolutions in regard to this matter. In approaching the subject they should bear in mind the fact that this was a Bill relating to Scotland alone. Reference had been made to various parts of the world, but in regard to Scotland they were more or less agreed that public opinion was ripe for such a measure. Having been a total abstainer all his life he might have a certain bias on the question, but he could quite see that something more was needed to give expression to public opinion as to what people required in a particular locality. Instead of having the streets of the towns crowded with public-houses, which were centres of temptation, they ought to allow a Bill of this kind to be passed in order to give the people an opportunity of expressing their opinion. The sale of intoxicants required drastic treatment; he had never been able to understand how a Christian Legislature could legalise the public sale of what everyone regarded as an evil. When they took 649 into consideration the physical, mental, and moral deterioration which followed from this, the least they could do was to give the people of a locality an opportunity to express their opinion, which was what this Bill did. Many licensing authorities took care that no licences should be granted near a public school, because of the sights and sounds that flowed from public-houses, and the desirability of not allowing the minds of the young students being offended by those sights and sounds. So far as the liberty of the subject was concerned, it was recognised that in such things as infectious diseases or anything affecting the well-being of a district drastic measures should be taken at once for the public weal. That being so, in a case of this kind, and keeping in view the fact that public opinion in Scotland was ripe, the people should certainly have the opportunity of expressing their opinion, which this Bill gave them. They could make it easier for a man to do right, and more difficult for him to do wrong, and that was the power they wanted to give to the localities. He had known localities where hotels existed which were doing so large a Sunday trade that they were becoming a nuisance to the locality, and the people felt it so strongly that they made a pronounced expression to the Court, which listened to that expression, a thing that was not always done, with the result that the seven-day licences were removed, to the very great benefit of the locality. He felt that this was a question which the great majority of the Scottish Members were ready to support, and which he hoped a large majority of the House would be prepared to vote for. In regard to Canada, he had occasion some time ago to be in Toronto, and while there he was much struck with what was told him in regard to how the authorities there had been taking drastic measures in refusing licences. No house could have a licence unless it had so much bedroom accommodation; every house closed at seven on Saturday night, and could not open till Monday morning. He was pointed out a big corner building which was refused its licence, and was now a savings bank. That was the kind of thing they wanted. In regard to the liberty of the subject, he was much puzzled as to how they could see a man 650 going home drunk, having a boy with him, whose prospects were thus ruined, physically and otherwise, and not interfere. Therefore they desired to give the people a right to say whether they should have these temptations in their midst or not, and he thought the Bill was a fair and reasonable proposal.
§ SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)
said that the speech of the hon. Member recalled to his mind some words used by Dr. Chalmers before a Parliamentary Committee. He was asked: "Can you not do something to make a bad man better?" "Possibly we may," said he, "but a harder thing is to make a weak man strong," and that was what they had got to think of more than they did at the present day. He noticed that in the opening of that debate there was a great deal said which had been said on other questions about the tremendous preponderance of Scottish feeling on behalf of this Bill. They were constantly told that really any opinion contrary to that of the Liberal Members did not count in Scotland, and that Scotland was unanimous in their favour, and they were persuaded that on that unanimity they could go to any extreme. He rejoiced that another opinion was given by the hon. Baronet opposite, one whom they all so well respected, and whose boldness in uttering his opinions in spite of the risk of criticism he was certain had added to the respect in which they held him in every part of the House. There was no man who would be less moved by personal interests than the hon. Baronet, who spoke, he was certain, with absolute indifference to personal interests. He spoke what was the deliberate and well-considered truth. They were told that every Member, except that negligible quantity, the Conservative Members for the Universities, who he presumed were speaking for more or less educated constituencies—these gibes were given in perfect good nature, and he was sure would be treated with as much indifference and placidity of mind as he himself was ready to give them—but they were told that this question of local option prevailed everywhere, was dominant at every election, that it carried with it conviction to every Scottish heart, and that Scotland was more than ripe. He was not quite so sure. He thought there 651 were varieties, if he might say so without imputing any want of sincerity, in the amount of ardency in the adherence of various hon. Members on the other side to this question of local option. It was mixed up with other questions, and the fact was that a political question grew very much from accident. A few people whom their friends called prophets and their opponents called faddists and fanatics took up a question. Others thought it contrary to common sense and did not think it necessary to reiterate what they thought was dictated by common sense, and they allowed them to have the most of the speaking and to press their views in season and out of season. Their case was helped by that very reiteration and urgency, and they began to persuade that most delicate organism, the nerves of a party candidate, that they really represented the feeling of the constituency, whereas the feeling of the majority of the constituency was probably absolutely indifferent or refused to treat the question as serious. Another thing that helped it was that it got hold of a very taking name. They used to hear in old days the term "a permissive Bill." That had now gone the way of all earthly things and was forgotten, but it was attractive, as a learned Judge in Scotland put it, by its name, because it asked "Permit me to prevent you from having a glass of beer." Was local option a proper name? Was it not rather a Bill to take away from the inhabitants of a particular locality the option of having alcoholic liquors if they pleased? There was a great deal in a name, and he thought this name had considerably helped the faddists, or, to be more complimentary, the enthusiastic supporters who had pressed it to the fore. The hon. Member who brought forward the Bill spent a great deal of time in combating the arguments put forward in a certain paper which he had received from some trade organisation. In discussing these matters he (Sir H. Craik) absolutely refused to look at the representations of any trade society whatever, and he was not speaking in their interests, but it did not seem to him that the arguments which the hon. Member quoted were the strongest that might be used. The main argument by which he tried to press the Bill was that the unanimous opinion of 652 the Scottish Liberal Members was for it, and that therefore the others should suppress their dislike. He also referred to his own experience as a landlord, and to that of other landlords, in doing what? In taking away local option, in preventing, by the power of the proprietor, the wish of the inhabitants prevailing, even if they desired to have a public-house. He had no doubt that it must be very satisfactory to live under the benevolent despotism of the hon. Member, but if he was going to give them local option, had it not better be fair all round? Were they not going to have local option against the proprietor if his views happened to disagree with those of the inhabitants? This Bill did not give that power. It said that they might close existing public-houses, but if the proprietor had prevented any public-house no majority, and not even unanimity, on the part of the inhabitants of the district would be able to set up a public-house against his will. If they were going to call their plan by the name of local option, they had better have it fairly administered to all. The hon. Member said he trusted to the majorities. On what ground were majorities to refuse them? Was it because they disliked the existence of a public-house in the neighbourhood? He disliked it himself. He was sorry to say that if he were to act simply from selfish motives he was afraid he would be found from those selfish motives, and against his sense of duty, strongly inclined to vote against the opening of a public-house. But he did not think that was exactly the highest view that he ought to take. He would dislike a public-house being opened next door to his own place; they all disliked it. If he were the inhabitant of a quiet little country village unbeset by trippers, he would dislike the opening of a hotel in that village, but he hoped that he would have such a fair fellow-feeling for his fellow-citizens as to be willing that the advantages and the amenities of that locality should be open to them, and he thought he would be acting the dog in the manger to refuse to allow a hotel to be opened which might be the only way by which the dwellers in towns would be able to get away for a few hours and enjoy the place. The majority would be enlarged by a considerable element of 653 pure selfishness, by those who wished to keep others away from their neighbourhood. Were they entitled by law, because any use of certain premises was disagreeable, to prevent the opening of premises for that use? It was disagreeable to them all if a factory was opened close to them, and if what was a quiet, easy-going residential neighbourhood was invaded by shops, but was the whole of the locality to be allowed to vote on the question and to tell the manufacturer that he must close his factory because it was contrary to their opinions and that they would rather keep their green fields and gardens? They were compelled to submit themselves as inhabitants of a locality to the just rights of a majority, and if for the requirements of a locality a public-house or a factory was called for, they were compelled to submit to it. They were not to band together a few active men to make a little clique and to banish things they did not like in the locality because they did not happen to like them. What was the other ground they could have? Was it because they wished to stop disorder and illegality? Would they stop disorder and the crimes produced by drink by driving drink into obscure corners? They had far better have it in licensed premises where they had the supervision of the police, and where they could have constant visits to the place, and where, at all events, what crime was done was done under the eye of the law, and was checked by the law. If it was merely disorder they wanted to stop, then let them tell their magistrates and justices and the people in Scotland that crime was not lessened but increased if a man made a brute of himself by drink. Let them punish the drunkards and the men who committed crime through drink; until both parties in that House visited the crime and degradation of drunkenness with punishment, their fancied restrictions of liberty and their local option Acts would count for nothing. Were they prepared in the face of the nation to say that any trade in alcohol was an infection and a contagion like disease to be checked out as criminal in every circumstance? He dared say there were a few persons of strong opinions, as their friends would say, or fanatics as others would call them, who held that position, but would any responsible Government stand up 654 and say that? Would any candidate for Parliamentary suffrages think he would be supported in that? Were they honest in fancying that any such thing actually existed, when Member after Member said he supported this Bill not because he was a teetotaler—and they all knew that it was a small proportion of that House who were teetotal, or, at all events, a still smaller proportion who would for a moment say that any dealing with alcohol was in itself a crime? If they could not support that view they had no right, for their own convenience, to place the liberty of the subject in that respect under restrictions which were contrary to the policy and constitution of this country as a free commonwealth. They had no right to impose their will upon others. What remained as their last resort as a defence for a policy like that? Simply the cowardly excuse that a large number of their fellow-subjects whom they were not ashamed to say they represented asked to be protected, to give up their own manhood and power of resistance, and to be protected against temptation to yield to a degrading vice. Hon. Members below the gangway sometimes spoke on behalf of their own constituencies in favour of such restrictions, but he did not think they were representing the real manliness and independence of the British working men. It was once said by an English bishop—Anxious as all of us are to prevent the ills of drink, I would almost prefer to see England free to England sober.That had been often repeated and often condemned, but he was not ashamed to say that he saw more than a germ of truth in it. If they were to purchase restrictions upon a contemptible minority of vicious and drunken people by sacrificing the liberty of their country and the freedom of their constitution, he was not prepared to pay the price, and that was what they were asked to do in that Bill. He was glad the Bill was more extreme, more absurd, and more foolish than its predecessors, because the sooner it was really understood by the electors to what restrictions the fanatical supporters of such measures were prepared to go, the sooner they would waken to the dangers before them, and the sooner they would intimate their judgment on such measures by a deliberate condemnation of what was nothing less than an 655 attempt to undermine the national liberty.
§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)
said he desired to associate himself and his friends with the principle of the measure before the House. During the debate he had been puzzled to find what was the real objection of those who had spoken against the Bill. He had followed the whole of the speeches very carefully, and he thought he was right in saying that the criticisms offered had been criticisms of detail rather than objections to the principle of the measure. They had been told that they were interfering with liberty, and that a bare majority was not sufficient, but it seemed to him that that question was one that could be decided upon in Committee. If hon. Members who had spoken against the principle of the bare majority were prepared to join those who supported the Bill in a real attempt to make the Bill more effective, he ventured to say it would be most likely their objections would receive most careful consideration. The last speaker had endeavoured to make out a case against the Bill, but in his speech he gave the strongest possible argument in favour of its principle. He boldly told the House that he himself would object to a public-house being put down next to his own house.
§ SIR HENRY CRAIK
I said distinctly I would dislike it, but that I should not feel myself entitled to object to it.
§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON
said it seemed to him that the hon. Baronet disliked the placing of a public house next to the house where he resided, and that was the strongest reason why he and his friends on those benches were prepared to support the principle of the measure. The working classes disliked to have public-houses dumped down, in spite of any protest that they had made, next door to where they resided. It seemed to him that there could be no sounder principle in temperance legislation than the principle that the people who were directly affected by licences should be consulted regarded the placing of those licences in their several localities. They must recognise the magnitude of the evil with which the 656 Bill proposed to deal. He was delighted to hear the hon. Baronet the Member for Inverness-shire go so far as to say that he himself would be prepared to try almost any experiment if after successful experiment the evils arising from the immoderate use of liquor might be minimised. It seemed strange that with the admitted evils they had so many speakers who objected to every measure which attempted to minimise those evils. They on those benches were prepared at any rate to go the length of experimenting with the principle known as local option. They had a very direct mandate. The hon. Baronet had questioned whether they spoke for those whom they represented. At their annual conference two years ago they had a recommendation carried unanimously in favour of the principle of the Bill, and three years ago, at their annual conference, a division was challenged, and the principle of the measure received 600,000 votes to a little over 100,000 the other way. Surely that was receiving in a very definite sense a mandate in favour of the principle. Why were they so insistent upon that principle? First, because in their opinion nobody could understand better than the people themselves what their necessities were, so far as facilities for the supply of liquor were concerned. Secondly, the question of liquor licences so vitally affected the inhabitants of every locality that they ought to have the fullest control over the issue and the renewal of licences. These licences ought to be strictly regulated in accordance with their needs and desires. In the third place, it had always been admitted that the liquor traffic according to law existed for the sake of the people, and surely, if that was so, it ought to be under the direct control of the people. Another reason why they supported the principle was that they were strongly convinced that this question would never be settled until it was settled by an appeal to the democratic instincts of the people themselves. On that point they could bring before the House in support of the proposition not only evidence from leading statesmen who had represented the party now in power, but even from those who were prominently associated with the party above the gangway. The Member 657 for West Birmingham made a famous declaration on this point that he would bring to the notice of the House. He said—I do not wonder that good and earnest men should despair, in the presence of the persistent continuance of the evil, of being able to find any successful remedy; but when statesmen have only made the matter worse, when Parliament has legislated to no purpose, I am still sanguine that the people themselves, if wholly trusted, would do something to mitigate the plague and to stay its ravages.It seemed to him that there was no better way of trusting the people than by taking them into their confidence and asking how far they were prepared to have licences or to restrict them. The late Sir W. Harcourt declared that this principlerests on a broad, solid, and democratic basis. We say that if there ever was a question on which the will of the people ought to be pronounced and ought to prevail, it is this question which so deeply affects their social and material and moral advantages.One speaker in the debate had quoted the hon. members for Spen Valley and Huddersfield and had endeavoured to make out that they were both against the principle of this Bill, but he ventured to say that any attempt to do that was a perversion of the position that both of those hon. Members took up. The hon. Member for Huddersfield had declared over and over again in favour of the principle of the veto. The position he took up, and the position of the hon. Member for Spen Valley, was that where, by the vote of the people, they declared against licences, then a certain policy should be acted upon in regard to those licences, a policy which had not, he was prepared to admit, the solid support of other leaders of the temperance movement. The Member for Spen Valley, on this very principle, said—If the people are given the power of direct local veto they will use it, and when used it is the most effective remedy for intemperance that has yet been devised.In seeking to set up that principle they were encouraged to do so from the magnificent results that had already been obtained by trusting the people in other directions. Reference had been made to the great improvement that had taken place in the social life of people during the last twenty or thirty 658 years. The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London closed his speech with a reference to that particular point. There had been no more powerful factor in producing that improvement than that to be found in the growing desire on the part of the Legislature to appeal directly to the democratic instincts of the people. It was because they had trusted the people in matters of local government that there was more interest in local government to-day than ever before. So he was led to the conclusion that if they could but trust the people with these questions which so vitally affected their whole life, if the employing classes would look more seriously into the economic aspect of this great problem, they would recognise that they ought to join with those who represented more directly the organised workers of the country, in their own interests as employers, to do all they possibly could to give the people the power of reducing the altogether too numerous facilities that existed in connection with the sale of liquor. An attempt had been made to minimise the useful effects in other countries where this principle had been put into operation. He thought it must be admitted that wherever the principle of this Bill had been put in operation, in America or in any of our Colonies, there had been no serious attempt made to upset the principle and revert to the old order of things. In this country the principle of the veto had been put into operation, but in a rather different form. The hon. Member who introduced the Bill had reminded them how a landlord put the principle into operation. There were hon. Members in that House who owned acres upon acres with not a single public-house on their estate. There were tens of thousands of acres with thousands of population on them, with not a single licensed house. Wherever this had been done at the will of the landlord there had been no serious difficulty about the deeds under which the property was sold, and no serious attempt had been made to upset the principle. The fact of the matter was that irrespective of whether the people wanted the principle put in operation or not, the landlords were wise in their day and generation. They knew perfectly well that the fewer public-houses they had upon their estates 659 The more valuable was the property existing on them, and they were exceedingly anxious to protect their property from depreciation. He ventured to say that they could not take up a sounder stand than that of these landlords, namely, that of vetoing licences and so protecting their land and property. And they as workmen believed that there should be an equal right conferred on workmen, not only to protect their property, but to protect that which was dearer to them, namely, their wives and children, from the demoralising influences and associations of public-house life. There had been an immense improvement in social life during the last twenty or thirty years. In that period many workmen had accepted the advice given to them to practise thrift. It was astonishing how many missionaries there were who were always advocating this practice of thrift by workmen. He believed that many workmen had accepted the advice, and that through the instrumentality of building societies, savings banks, and co-operative societies there were in this country to-day thousands, if not tens of thousands, who owned their own little cottages. He knew from actual experience men who had invested their hard-earned savings in houses in a working class district, but irrespective of their wishes in the matter some brewery company came along and secured—it was difficult to say how the licences were procured sometimes—the right to put in that working-class district a public-house, which introduced all the evils and associations of licensed premises, and the inevitable result was that the houses in which the working men had invested all their savings became depreciated in value. If they desired, as he thought they all did, to see a development of this higher social standard in the community, more especially among the working classes, they could not do better than say to these men: "We will trust you to guard your own interests and the interests of your fellow-men against the introduction of a licensed house into your district." It was because this was the very principle of the Bill that they were prepared to give it their whole-hearted and enthusiastic support. He was not committing his Party to the whole of the details of the Bill. There were one or two things in 660 it which they did not like, and one or two shortcomings which they disapproved, but to the main principle of the measure they gave their whole-hearted and enthusiastic support, and in Committee they would take their part in seeking to amend some of its shortcomings. He did not think he need apologise as an English Member for having intruded in this debate on a Scottish measure, but, in fact, if the Bill became law it was to be put in operation in his native land, and, being a Scotsman born, he thought that he was to some extent justified in intervening in the debate as the representative of an English constituency.
§ MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)
said that a most deplorable part of the debate was that it had been made a party question by some hon. Members on the other side of the House, and he believed that they were really departing from their own sentiments on this subject in defence of their own political party. He thought that if one or two of the hon. Members who had spoken went back to their constituencies they would very likely find if an election took place—and he hoped that it was yet far distant—they had very seriously imperilled their seats. The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London had made great play with the saying that they could not make a man sober by act of Parliament. That was perfectly true. He did not say for a moment that they could make a man who had been the habitue of public-houses for twenty years sober by act of Parliament. But he did think that the young and rising generation should be protected from having the atmosphere of the public-house all round their homes. He could speak from his own experience in the East, where we might learn a lesson in this matter. He could remember very well that at the time of the discussion on the opium question in India, he was visited over and over again by Bhuddist monks, who said to him: "You will never cure the opium drunkard, or the opium eater, or smoker by any amount of restrictions you may put upon the practice, but what you will do is this—you will save all the boys and girls who are now rising to manhood and to womanhood." And upon that 661 principle they had acted, and from the last reports he had received it appeared that in that part of our Eastern Empire to which he was referring the rising generation had been, at least in some measure, protected against the opium curse. He thought the hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division had completely demolished the statement made by an hon. Member on the other side of the House to the effect that the working classes were not in favour of this restrictive measure. He, at any rate, could speak for his constituency which consisted of something like 12,000 of the working classes. Some 8,000 or 9,000 of them Were subjected day and night to severe and arduous toil, and to a man the miners of Stirlingshire—and the women too, he had been told—supported the Bill, and had urged him to defend it by voice and by vote and were not prepared to permit even one iota of the stringency of it to be relaxed. That was the opinion of a large section of hard-working men; and he, therefore, entirely repudiated the statement that the working men did not want the Bill. He was surprised to hear the hon. Member for the Glasgow University speak with contempt of the principle of local option, because he understood that in educational matters he was a very ardent advocate of it. Why should he oppose it in reference to a matter of infinitely more importance?
§ MR. SMEATON
said that when the hon. Member came to deal with what was admitted to be a most dangerous trade to the community—dangerous in every sense of the word, dangerous morally and dangerous physically—he appeared to repudiate the principle altogether.
§ SIR HENRY CRAIK
Will the hon. Member tell me what he means by local option in educational matters?
§ MR. SMEATON
said he thought he could with confidence leave the House to judge of that. It was a great pity the debate had been 662 conducted in a party spirit; he should have thought there would have been a distinct disposition to unite in admitting the principle that the people had the right in a matter of this kind to judge for themselves. The hon. Member for the City of London had also tried to disparate the effects of restrictive legislation in other parts of the world, bringing in Canada, the United States, and several Colonies, but he had avoided Scotland. Hon. Members had circled round the world in search of arguments against local option, but they had not denied that the Scottish people had a right in their own towns and villages to say what remedy should be adopted. They had asked with a united voice for this measure, and he could not understand at all why they should bring in outsiders from every part of the world to try and defeat the measure. He thought the principle of the Bill ought to commend itself to them all. Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of it was that the rising generation would be removed by the exercise of local option from temptation and the atmosphere of the public-house. He admitted there were points in the Bill which demanded investigation before it was passed into law, but they were Committee points and did not concern the principle of the Bill. He thought, for instance, that the requisition of not less than one-tenth was a figure that perhaps ought to be corrected; and that a mere majority in favour of a prohibitive or limiting resolution was perhaps a little too drastic. It ought to be a substantial majority. Then he considered grocers' licences ought to be included. They were not specifically mentioned, but he presumed they would be included. He sincerely hoped, moreover, that among the electors defined in page 3, women would be included. It was the wives and daughters who suffered most from the indulgence in intemperance by their fathers and brothers. He hoped they would have a very strong voice in the matter. He heartily supported the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
said he was very sorry to hear the observation of the hon. Gentleman 663 opposite that the discussion had been conducted on party lines. Personally, he thought it was an extremely gratifying feature that the measure had been discussed in a very cool and amicable manner. It certainly had not followed on the party lines represented. It was not his intention to detain the House for more than a few minutes, but he did not think it was necessary that he should make any apology for intruding in the debate, because by the general consensus of opinion, opinions from all parts of the world were welcome on any subject which had anything to do with any part of His Majesty's dominions. Perhaps, he could make an additional claim to speak, because, when the measure last year passed its Second Reading, he was appointed on the Committee upstairs, with a view to discussing the Bill. It proved, however, to be only an academic discussion, because they were never called upon to put forward any opinions in Committee. If this Bill passed, it would be the seventh—and the second within the last six months—that had been read a second time. The promoters, however, had increased in severity, and they had brought forward a more drastic measure than they had discussed previously. Last year the Secretary for Scotland heartily endorsed the principle of the Bill, but he gave no sign as to whether it was proposed to be adopted or not by the Government. He had listened with great interest to the hon. Gentleman who spoke from below the gangway. He always enjoyed listening to his speeches. The hon. Member had told them that he had not heard any opposition to the principle of the Bill. He took it that the principle of the Bill was the diminution of drinking facilities. A large section of the people assumed that, if the principle of local option was adopted in Scotland, drinking facilities would be largely diminished, if not altogether removed. A great many of them on that side of the House, at any rate, did not believe that this system would in any sense satisfy the promoters, whilst it would create many anomalies and could not but be a failure. He intended to touch upon only one of the most important reasons for opposing the Bill. The measure was unnecessary, and he ventured to think that opinion was not unanimously in favour of it in Scot- 664 land. He was perfectly convinced that if there had been a decided public opinion at the back of the Bill it would have become law before now. It was because there was not that decided opinion behind it that it had not been passed into law, and he had no doubt that the Government had no intention of taking it up, though they might go so far as to extend their patronage to it. The reason he believed the Bill was unnecessary was that he thought the amending and consolidating Act passed in 1903 was sufficient. The hon. Member who seconded the Bill practically stated that the licensing laws of Scotland at the present moment were of a thoroughly representative and democratic character. They were far more representative and democratic than in England. They could all look with pleasure on the fact that there were a far smaller number of licences in the whole of Scotland per 1,000 of the population than in England; but the fact that there was more drunkenness showed that it did not depend upon the actual number of licences. A further reason for the condemnation of the measure was that it was an unequal form of legislation. It set up different forms of legislation over all the country, and it was obvious, if it became the law of the land, there must be anomalies, and increasing anomalies. Over and above all, however, the strongest reason for opposing the Bill was the injustice which it would create with regard to compensation. They could assume that they were all anxious to do their utmost to promote the cause of temperance. It had not been assumed on electioneering platforms, but it was a fact which he thought every Member would admit. Having agreed that their one aim and object was temperance, they then, however, parted company, because the views they held as to how it was to be effected were widely divergent. The point of view he held was that after a certain point it was impossible further to promote temperance by restrictive legislation. He was perfectly convinced that the advance of temperance beyond that point depended upon the system of education, upon the education of public opinion, and upon the endeavours of all classes of the community to raise the moral standard of the children as they grew up. So much for the question of 665 temperance. With regard to the Bill it appeared to him that there were various dangers in it which had been entirely unforeseen by the promoters in their desire to bring forward what they believed to be a temperance measure. It was perfectly obvious that this measure did not veto the manufacture, or even the sale of intoxicating liquor. It only vetoed the consumption on licensed premises. There was a certain section of the community who would insist on obtaining the liquor they required, and he was perfectly convinced—and it was one of the reasons why he strongly opposed the measure—that the Bill would be bound to drive a certain section of the community to resort to those pernicious and thoroughly detestable habits of secret drinking, from which far more evil resulted than when it was possible to obtain liquor with reasonable facilities within well-conducted and police-supervised public-houses. The details of the Bill were of a very faulty character, and if it ever became the law of the land they would first be very drastically amended by a great many Members who had spoken in almost entire favour of the Bill. The chief defect in the machinery of the Bill was that by a bare majority prohibition was to be instituted in various areas of the country. The word "area" meant, in the case of a borough which was not divided into wards, the whole borough, and where it was divided, a ward. The ward was a very small district in which to take a poll for one section of the community to say whether they would have prohibition or not against the opinion of the other section of the community, which desired a limitation, or no change whatever. As the wards were in very close contiguity, it would be possible to have a public-house adjoining a ward where there was no public-house. The consequence would be that the desire for decreased facilities for drinking must be entirely neutralised. Then if a prohibitory resolution was enforced and, on a poll, was subsequently repealed, what was the discretion of the magistrates? Were they bound to grant new licences? Where did the will of the people come in and where did the discretion of the magistrate end? That was an ambiguity which should be cleared up. The hon. Gentleman who 666 had just sat down had condemned the use of foreign examples, but where they were dealing with theory they must use examples from foreign countries. Generally statistics could be used to prove a case either way, but they had only to look to New Zealand to recognise that the consumption of beer and spirits had increased to a very large extent in the recent past, and that prosecutions and convictions for drunkenness had also increased. The most deplorable part of the system in New Zealand had been the large increase of secret drinking all over the country. They knew perfectly well in the case of secret drinking that it was the most difficult system for the police to discover. It forced on the police the employment of methods which they all must condemn and deplore, because it was contrary to the idea of every Englishman to have to resort to the system of espionage. If the measure in its present shape became law in Scotland it would be possible to evade it in a great many cases with the greatest ease, and he was one of those who believed that if a law was passed, evasion should be made almost impossible. The Bill was a flagrant instance of class legislation. It would be perfectly possible for a rich man to go on as he had done before, and have his cellar of wine and the liquor he wanted, but the ordinary individuals who were in a very large majority, who did not take too much, would be placed at a very great disadvantage. It would be possible for a bare majority in a particular locality to eliminate all the licensed premises and to give the owners of those premises no compensation whatever. That was an act of injustice which, he thought, the majority of the people of this country were not prepared to support. He should vote against the Bill.
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Mr. SINCLAIR,) Forfarshire
I can assure the noble Lord who has just sat down that in Scotland this is no academic controversy. As one who has supported for many years various Bills embodying the principles of this measure, I have listened with great satisfaction to the discussion this afternoon. It is a long lane that has no turning. It may fairly be said as an encouragement to those 667 who have worked and hoped for this reform for many years in Scotland that we are discussing the question to-day under more favourable auspices than we have done for many years past. I have great sympathy with those in Scotland who are somewhat envious of the prior position which the sister country has attained in regard to this question. As the hon. Gentleman who moved the Second Reading said, there is in Scotland a lively recognition of the economic waste and loss which the habits of the people inflict on the country, a lively sense of the disastrous effects of these habits and of the public burdens which they impose on the country. Scotland is ripe for an experiment of this kind. They are ripe for advance, and nobody in Scotland would go back to the days before the existing statutes were passed. The Bill before the House aims at the control and the reduction of licences. The Act passed in 1903 placed Scotland in regard to licensing machinery in a better position than England now occupies. The licensing authority in Scotland reflects more readily and truly public opinion on this question. In spite of that there is a feeling, which is general in Scotland, that the people have not full local control in this matter, and I believe if public opinion in Scotland had been free to move on its own initiative, this Bill undoubtedly represents one of the directions in which that public opinion would have moved. It is not necessary, in supporting the principle of local option, to argue that it is a remedy for all the evils we are seeking to remove; but that it would help to reduce those evils I think is undoubted, and especially in the case of Scotland. In many respects Scotland differs from England on this question. Take the density of population, for instance. In England the density is 550 to the square mile, while in Scotland it is only 150. If local option is to be tried at all, it should be tried in districts where 668 there is a sparse population. Scotland offers a much more favourable field that England for an experiment of this kind. The Bill does not pretend to be a comprehensive scheme. It is not placed before Parliament as an alternative to any scheme so comprehensive as the Licensing Bill for England. Several defects in the Bill have been pointed out in the course of the debate. During the last few days I have received deputations in regard to the Bill, and the gentlemen who formed those deputations pointed out what they considered to be omissions and defects in the Bill. There is no provision in the Bill, for instance, for medicinal sale, and there are no provisions dealing with clubs. It is the case, I believe, that the provisions of the Act of 1903 with regard to clubs do not meet all the necessities of the case. In Scotland we are in a position more advantageous than that in England for dealing with clubs, but it is true that the provisions of the Act of 1903 require strengthening in certain particulars. During the last fifteen or sixteen years 150 or 160 licences have been reduced in the city of Glasgow, but, on the other hand, during the last four or five years the number of registered clubs has increased from sixteen to seventy-one. I do not make it a matter of complaint against the Bill, but in reviewing the debate I do not think we can ignore the question of clubs. For myself I am entirely in favour of granting to Scotland the powers of this Bill. But we have to consider whether there is already going on a sufficiently progressive reduction in the number of licences. What tests can we apply to answer the question? One is the principle of Lord Peel's suggestion. He wished to apply certain principles as a test in this matter to urban communities. If you apply his suggestion to the urban communities of Scotland as a whole you will find that his suggestion contemplates as necessary for Scotland a reduction of 1,500 licences, and the question now is to what extent 669 this Bill would effect that. I wish the promoters had included in the Bill the machinery to carry out the reductions contemplated, so that we might be able to judge, because now that the English Bill has been introduced, that Bill must inevitably be contrasted as it has been with the provisions of this Bill. My hon. friend the Member for Leith Burghs expressed his opinion as a member of the licensing authority and a chief magistrate of a town in Scotland. His contention was that although reduction was desired there is still an obstacle to carrying out the reduction in practice. The inevitable question where the obstacle lies then arises. There is in the English Bill what I may describe as an equitable consideration offered to remove any obstacle which might be in the way of the English authorities, and inevitably now we must make up our minds in Scotland whether any equitable consideration is possible, whether such equitable consideration would be useful, and whether this or any other Bill dealing with the subject would be strengthened and made more efficacious if such provisions were added to it. Before that question could be answered, and I will not now attempt to answer it, one or two questions must be borne in mind. There are cardinal differences between England and Scotland. We are not on the same plane in Scotland. In the first place, broadly speaking, there are no tied houses. The licence is granted to the man who actually carries on the business, and it is a licence for one year and no longer. That has never been doubted in Scotland. Furthermore, the discretion of the licensing authority is absolute, and when the Inland Revenue come to value licensed premises in Scotland, they have done so on quite a different basis or with different results from those reached in England. I should like to quote to the House a passage from a speech made upon the English Bill of the late Government in 1904 in another 670 place by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, who was for some time the Secretary for Scotland. He said—Every licence-holder must be in one of four classes. He may be either a tenant with a lease, or a tenant without a lease, or he may be the owner and occupier, or the owner and not the occupier. The Inland Revenue authorities in Scotland have not given away the case so completely as I am afraid has been the case in England. When a man is a tenant with no lease it is very rarely that any revenue is got by the Inland Revenue. If there has been a sale to the incoming tenant, or if the late tenant has recently bought, there is an effort to get at what he paid, and something is taken, but generally the sale is conditional on the transfer of the licence being obtained. In the case where the man is a tenant under a lease, his interest stands somewhat higher; and in the strongest case of all, when a man is both owner and occupier, a duty is got, bat it is only obtained upon a very small calculation of the enhanced value. I was looking through the state of the law last year and came across a recorded case in the Court of Session where there had been a contest between the Inland Revenue authorities and the owner of a licence as to the value of the goodwill. The case is that of the Lord Advocate on behalf of the Inland Revenue against the widow of a spirit merchant residing in Edinburgh. In that case the Inland Revenue claimed £3,000, or five times the annual value of the goodwill, which they put at £600. The owner of the licence contested both the number of years purchase and the value put upon the goodwill, and after consultation and the showing of figures an agreement was come to—it was not a decision by the Court but an agreement between the parties, ratified by the Court—fixing an annual value of £200 for the goodwill; but what was the gross sum paid? It was only £500, or two and a half years purchase. That shows at once that if anything in the nature of this Bill was to be applied to Scotland we should be in an infinitely worse position than we are in at the present time.The value of licensed premises in Scotland is essential to the consideration of this question. I am sure of one thing, and that is that we are nearing the time in Scotland when the Government itself may hope to be able with some success to lay proposals before the House. At the present moment all the forces on which we can rely are engaged in the heavy task of promoting proposals on this subject for England and Wales. 671 The Bill before the House is not comprehensive, and it is, I think, fairly obvious that until the lines of the English Bill are finally settled the difficulty of determining the lines of a Scottish Bill will be greatly increased. The Government, however, give their cordial assent to the Second Reading of this Bill, and rejoice that it takes place under auspices so favourable for the future consideration of the question. If it is read a second time its future is automatically thrown on the Scottish Grand Committee, but it is not clear to the Government that any progress could be made with it this year before that Committee, seeing that there is already the Scottish Education Bill before it and that other Government Bills have been promised, which must take precedence of a private Member's. There is an alternative the Government prefer and that is to keep the Bill downstairs; and it will therefore be my duty if the opportunity arises to move that the Bill be committed to Committee of the Whole House. [" Hear, hear," "Oh, oh."] The House will still have control of the Bill, and it is not the wish of the Government to close the door against any further progress being made with it that time may show to be possible or desirable. The Government are nothing but friendly to the measure, and their action in proposing to refer it to Committee of the Whole House must not be taken as a sign of lack of heartiness in its support or as implying the view that such a Bill is not a proper subject for consideration by the Scottish Standing Committee. The Government are taking the course which in their opinion will best serve the interests of reform and avoid aggravating without due cause the difficulties of those engaged in furthering reform. Every help is needed just now to further a settlement of the licensing question for England, and I appeal with confidence to the supporters of the Government in the course I propose.
§ MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)
said it was supererogation to continue the discussion after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. The Government had taken the course which most reasonable people thought they would take. They knew the right hon. Gentleman would bless the principle of the Bill, and they also knew that the English Bill, under which the Government proposed to appropriate the monopoly value of licences, would be taken as a precedent for doing the same thing in Scotland. He disagreed entirely with the principle of local option, because he believed it was a tyrannical interference with the rights and liberties of the people who had a perfect right to eat and drink what they pleased without being coerced as they would be under local veto. No question of this kind could possibly be settled by a private Bill and much less by a Bill drawn up on the lines now proposed. It was obvious that such a Bill drafted in its slipshod manner, was merely pabulum for teetotal platforms, and he was glad the Government had put an end to it by the course proposed. They had heard right hon. land hon. Gentlemen opposite profess the greatest desire to do only that which was fair and reasonable in dealing with the brewer, and they had also expressed the most determined intention to protect the licence holder. The right hon. Gentleman had told the House that there was no such thing in Scotland as the tied house system, as it prevailed in England. Brewers did not own houses in Scotland and neither did distillers; at all events, the system was so totally different that it might be taken that in almost every case the licence holder was the owner of his own business. If the intention of the Government and the Liberal Party was to be fair to the licence holder in England he hoped that would be borne in mind, and that he would be treated in a fair and generous manner. The position was a somewhat difficult one. There was no compensation levy in Scotland, 673 and for that very reason, magistrates in Scotland had not been able to reduce licences, because of the hardship which the process would involve. He was glad that the right hon. Gentleman had taken up this position in regard to the Bill, because by referring it to a Committee of the Whole House he might just as well have told them that the Bill was not to proceed any further. Therefore, this measure had been killed by the right hon. Gentleman himself.
§ MR. GULLAND (Dumfries Burghs)
said he had heard with interest the right hon. Gentleman's sympathetic speech and with deep disappointment the announcement of the decision of the Government with which that speech closed. The right hon. Gentleman began by praising Cæsar and then proceeded to bury him. So far as he could gather there was great enthusiasm in Scotland for temperance reform, and that was the question which created most interest. Of the petitions which had come in from Scotland most of them had been in favour of the English Licensing Bill. [A MEMBER of the OPPOSITION: Which does not apply to Scotland.] The people of Scotland had no selfish desire in seeking temperance reform, but they were anxious that the English people should be relieved of the suffering caused by the drink traffic. The strong feeling in Scotland in favour of the Bill now under discussion had been manifested by petitions, and there had been great hope of definite progress being made with it. He would be sorry to oppose a Government proposal, but unless they had a definite promise of a Government Bill next session, he would be constrained to vote against the Motion to refer the Bill to Committee of the Whole House. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to give them such an assurance.
§ MR. BARNES (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
said he wanted, on behalf of his colleagues 674 in the Labour Party, to associate himself with what had just fallen from the hon. Member for Dumfries Burghs. He took considerable interest in this Bill and he had induced many of his colleagues to come down that day to back it. He had taken a deep interest in this Bill because he thought they meant business. He had listened attentively to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, which was extremely friendly until he reached the anti-climax when he intimated the decision of the Government. He regretted that decision, and unless they had some assurance that the Government would bring in a Bill next year he should certainly vote against referring it to a Committee of the Whole House, because if that course were taken they would not hear any more of the measure.
§ MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
joined in the protest. The concluding remarks of the right hon. Gentleman implied a total breakdown of the system of Scottish Committees. He refused to go on wasting time over such measures as these year after year, and he emphatically protested against the proposal. The time they had taken over this Bill would be practically wasted if the course suggested were adopted. In spite of repeated majorities demanding temperance reform, during the last thirty years the Government were now giving another death knell to this question without any definite promise of reform next year. It was quite possible to send this Bill to the Scottish Standing Committee, which could put it into shape for reintroduction next year. This was a subject upon which Scottish Members felt very strongly. At election after election the question had been to the fore in Scotland. Those Liberals who had gone through ten years under a Conservative regime had been led to hope for better things under a Liberal Government. They had every right to protest in strong terms against their treatment at the hands of this so-called sympathetic Government. He would vote independently of party.
§ MR. AINSWORTH (Argyllshire)
hoped the Bill would be allowed to go before the Scottish Standing Committee. The Committee were not so overloaded with business that they were unable to discuss the details of this measure and put it into shape. If time did not permit of the Bill being brought before the House on the Report stage, they would at least have got it into shape, and it would be in the power of the Government next session to introduce a measure dealing with the question. If they did not do that, the time already spent on the measure in this and previous sessions would be entirely wasted; by allowing the Bill to be sent to the Scottish Standing Committee the Government would show to their supporters that they were in earnest in this matter.
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
I do not wish to intervene in this debate except to say that it is a pity in view of the unanimity of opinion in Scotland in regard to licensing reform, or, as some hon. Gentlemen call it, temperance reform, the Government did not devote their attention to a Scottish Bill, in regard to which they would have had the support of the whole of the Scottish Members—[Cries of "No."]—well, the support of a preponderance of the Scottish Members. The Government might have been able to get a Scottish Bill passed through the House. I only heard the last part of the speech of the Secretary for Scotland, and I could not discover why he intimated his intention to propose that this Bill should be referred to a Committee of the Whole House. My hon. friends behind me are opposed to the Bill, and we shall support the Motion which the Secretary for Scotland is going to propose, because, in so doing, we conceive that we shall be taking the proper course, having regard to the fact that hon. Members from Scotland on this side of the House do not approve of the Bill. But does the House realise what it is that we are discussing? I am not talking now of the 676 Bill itself, but of the Motion which the Secretary for Scotland has intimated his intention of moving. We have learned to-day what was one of the grounds for the creation of the Standing Committees, and it throws a flood of light on the popularity of these Committees. These Standing Committees which meet twice a week, which demand the attention of Members during the greater part of the day, and which send Members to the House ill-fitted for their duties, are, it seems, not meant to facilitate legislation, but to turn crude, ill-digested measures, unfit in the view of the Government to be made law, into something more presentable, in order that in another session the Government may have the opportunity of taking them up.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
We on this side are not responsible for the management of the business of the House, or for the way in which legislation is prepared. A new light has been thrown on the Standing Committee system, and it justifies us in the opposition which we offered at the time, and have offered ever since, to the proposals of the Government to cast this extra burden on Members of Parliament. Of course, the Scottish Standing Committee is one that stands by itself. It is composed almost entirely of Scottish Members. There are only a small number on it from other parts of the United Kingdom. I protest against the doctrine suggested by the speeches of some hon. Gentlemen opposite that Standing Committees should be used to turn ill-digested and ill-considered measures into such a shape that the Government may adopt them and Parliament be justified in passing them in another session. That is an altogether new doctrine and not in accordance with the purpose for which Standing Committees were constituted. If this Bill is not fit to pass, its supporters may just as well 677 accept the inevitable and realise that it is dead, and that it is idle to discuss it as if it were intended to pass. What hon. Members opposite demand is that the Bill should be sent to the Scottish Standing Committee in order that it may be put in an entirely fresh form. I protest against that. It is not work the Committee should be called upon to perform. The Government to-day have given another proof of their inability to occupy the time of Parliament. While they are making futile endeavours to deal with the licensing question in England, they have disappointed their own followers from Scotland by not bringing in a Bill which might have dealt with some of the difficulties in Scotland.
§ MR. MCCALLUM (Paisley)
hoped that the House would have a declaration from the Government that there would be temperance legislation for Scotland next session. This question was ripe for solution. While he was not prepared to vote against the Government and endanger the best one the country had had for the last seventy years he appealed to the Secretary for Scotland to give a definite promise with regard to next year.
MR. E. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)
said he wanted to dissipate the idea that Scotland, broadly speaking, was in favour of this Bill. He did not know that there was any strong desire for such a Bill as this. It had been said that it was not a prohibition Bill, but prohibition was one of the parts of the measure which might be adopted. There might be piecemeal prohibition for Scotland under the Bill. Manifestly it was an extreme measure. There was not the slightest provision in it against the hardship of depriving a man, by a chance majority, of a business which he had conducted satisfactorily. He thought the figures quoted in the debate showed that extreme measures had not had the desired effect on the evils of drunkenness, but 678 had rather aggravated them, For these reasons he wished to oppose the Bill as immature, ill-considered, and not of such a character as Scotland as a whole desired.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
If I may add one word by the courtesy of the House, I should like to respond to the appeal made to me by some hon. Gentlemen on this side. It is not possible, of course, for me on my own responsibility to promise any legislation on any subject for next session, but I may say that it will be my duty, and I will exercise it, to represent most strongly to my colleagues the strong feelings and desire on the part of Scottish Members for an advance on this question. My hon. friends have no doubt whatever of the sincerity of myself or the Government in this matter. They have no doubt whatever that in taking the action I now propose we are entirely friendly to licensing reform, and to the principle of the Bill. I, therefore, with confidence appeal to them to support us in carrying out a course which, after deep and careful consideration, we conceive to be that which is most likely to promote the interests they have at heart.
§ LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
said there was evidently bitter disappointment on the part of the Scottish Members at the treatment which the Bill had received at the hands of the Government. The chief spokesman of the Government had blessed the Bill, and stated that temperance legislation was most urgently needed in Scotland, and had then delivered the death sentence on the Bill by intimating that he would move that it be referred to a Committee of the Whole House. Considering that Scotland returned, with few exceptions, representatives pledged to support the Government, and also that there was a far greater desire for licensing reform in Scotland than in England, it was a 679 pity that the Government did not bring in a Scottish instead of an English Bill. He suggested that they should proceed with this Bill and drop the English Bill. Recent bye-elections had shown the strong opposition of English constituencies to this legislation, and he invited the opinion of the President of
§ the Board of Trade whether he had not found that the desire for licensing reform was not nearly so strongly expressed at Manchester as at Dundee.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 189; Noes, 72. (Division List No. 101)681
|Agnew, George William||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Grant, Corrie||Morse, L. L.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Gulland, John W.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Harcourt, Rt Hn. L.(Rossendale||Murray, Capt. Hn A. C.(Kincard.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harcourt, Robert V.(Montrose)||Nicholls, George|
|Astbury, John Meir||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Harmsworth, R. L.(Caithn'ss-sh||O'Grady, J.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hart-Davies, T.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Beale, W. P.||Hayden, John Patrick||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Hazleton, Richard||Partington, Oswald|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Hedges, A. Paget||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bennett, E. N.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Bethell, T. R, (Essex, Maldon)||Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Henry, Charles S.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Branch, James||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Higham, John Sharp||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Hodge, John||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T(Cheshire||Holland, Sir William Henry||Price, Robert John-Norfolk, E.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pullar, Sir Robert|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hudson, Walter||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Byles, William Pollard||Jackson, R. S.||Reddy, M.|
|Cameron, Robert||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Jardine, Sir J.||Rees, J. D.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Jenkins, J.||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Clough, William||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Jowett, F. W.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W||Kekewich, Sir George||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Kilbride, Denis||Rowlands, J.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Laidlaw, Robert||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Russell, T. W.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Lamont, Norman||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Crooks, William||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Cross, Alexander||Lehmann, R. C.||Seddon, J.|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lewis, John Herbert||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lupton, Arnold||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Delany, William||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Snowden, P.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Macpherson, J. T.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||M'Callum, John M.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||M'Crae, George||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Summerbell, T.|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Micking, Major G.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Erskine, David C.||Maddison, Frederick||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Marnham, F. J.||Thorne, G. R.(Wolverhampton)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Massie, J.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Menzies, Walter||Tomkinson, James|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Molteno, Percy Alport||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Montgomery, H. G.||Ure, Alexander|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Verney, F. W.|
|Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Whiteley, Rt, Hn. G. (York, W. R)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Cameron Corbett and Mr. Eugene Wason.|
|Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n)|
|White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Williamson, A.|
|White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fell, Arthur||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Forster, Henry William||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gretton, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hamilton, Marquess of||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Helmsley, Viscount||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hill, Sir Clement||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hogan, Michael||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Cave, George||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sheehy, David|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hunt, Rowland||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Talbot, Rt, Hn, J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kerry, Earl of||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.)||Lockwood, Rt, Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Crean, Eugene||Long, Rt, Hn, Walter(Dublin, S.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Devlin, Joseph||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Younger, George|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Doughty, Sir George||M'Killop, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Frederick Banbury and Mr. James Mason.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Mooney, J. J.|
|Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan||Nolan, Joseph|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid|
Bill read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Bill be committed to a Com-682
§ mittee of the Whole House."—(Mr. Sinclair.)
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 163; Noes, 85. (Division List No. 102).683
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Elibank, Master of|
|Agnew, George William||Castlereagh, Viscount||Erskine, David C.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Cave, George||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Evans, Sir Samuel T.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cecil, Lord R.(Marylebone, E.)||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Astbury, John Meir||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Fell, Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J.(City Lond.)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Findlay, Alexander|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Clancy, John Joseph||Forster, Henry William|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Clive, Percy Archer||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W.||Glendinning, R. G.|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Bennett, E. N.||Craik, Sir Henry||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Crean, Eugene||Grant, Corrie|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Gretton, John|
|Branch, James||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L.(Ro'send'le)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Henry, Charles S.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hill, Sir Clement|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Donelan, Captain A.||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Byles, William Pollard||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Cameron, Robert||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jackson, R. S.|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Nolan, Joseph||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Kerry, Earl of||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Dowd, John||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Partington, Oswald||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Paulton, James Mellor||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke||Tomkinson, James|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Ure, Alexander|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Verney, F. W.|
|Lupton, Arnold||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan|
|M'Callum, John M.||Pullar, Sir Robert||Waterlow, D. S.|
|M'Killop, W.||Rainy, A. Rolland||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Rees, J. D.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Marnham, F. J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Massie, J.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Williamson, A.|
|Menzies, Walter||Rowlands, J.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Russell, T. W.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Montgomery, H. G.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Younger, George|
|Mooney, J. J.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Sheehy, David||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Morse, L. L.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hills, J. W.||Reddy, M.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Hodge, John||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Hogan, Michael||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire||Houston, Robert Paterson||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hudson, Walter||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Clough, William||Hunt, Rowland||Seddon, J.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Jenkins, J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E Grinst'd||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Snowden, P.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kekewich, Sir George||Summerbell, T.|
|Crooks, William||Kilbride, Denis||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Cross, Alexander||Laidlaw, Robert||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lamont, Norman||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Delany, William||Lehmann, R. C.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Doughty, Sir George||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Macpherson, J. T.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Gulland, John W.||M'Crae, George||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose||Maddison, Frederick||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Meagher, Michael||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Cameron Corbett and Mr. Barnes.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||O'Grady, J.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Pirie, Duncan V.|
§ Bill Committed for Monday day.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.684
§ Adjourned at seven minutes after Five o'clock till Monday next.