§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 20:797
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY (Hackney, S.)
said he rose for the purpose of moving the omission of subsection (1) which placed in the hands of justices the power of over-riding and abrogating some of the most important provisions of the Bill and of imposing upon the licensing trade restrictions and conditions for which there was no Parliamentary sanction whatever. The House had determined that throughout the whole of England, with the exception of London, the present opening of houses on Sunday should be reduced by one-half, whilst as to London the Government had expressed its intention, subject to certain limitations, the terms of which were not at present before them, of extending that provision to the Metropolis also. The House had further determined that the thirsty traveller should not be considered bona fide unless he had gone at least six miles. This subsection proposed that each of these provisions might be over-ridden and set at nought, or extended in the direction of further stringency, by the justices at their own sweet will. In addition, they were given the power of restricting the opening of public-houses on polling days, and of saying that no women should be employed in any capacity on licensed premises, neither as barmaid, clerk, cashier, or waitress, nor could the daughter of the proprietor himself be employed. All these powers were put into the hands of the justices, and they were empowered to make conditions as to expenditure for fitting up premises, although there was no possible guarantee to the licensee that he would have his premises after a few months when he had fitted them up. The view he wanted to submit respectfully to the Committee was this, that if this subsection was passed, it would constitute a precedent for the insertion in every future Act of Parliament of a clause entitling His Majesty's Judges to vary the provisions of any Act of which they disapproved. It would reduce law to anarchy and legislation to a farce. He was told that in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales this sort of restriction had worked well, but he respectfully disputed the proposition. He was prepared to test it if necessary by a reference to the consumption of alcoholic liquor per head of the population, to the 798 charges of drunkenness, not restricted within an artificial area as had been suggested the other night, from eight o'clock on Sunday morning to eight on Monday morning, but throughout the prohibited hours, which was the only true test, or by reference to the number of crimes directly attributable to drink; but he did not propose to pursue that line of argument, because, with the utmost respect to the hon. Members who represented Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, he declined to take a lead on the question of national sobriety from the three least temperate portions of the United Kingdom, to two of which the Bill did not apply and all of which were peopled by the unreliable and emotional Celtic race. If he were tempted to pursue that line of argument, he would refer the Committee to a Report which reached him only that morning in the Welsh papers, typical of what was going on in every portion of the world where this sort of legislation prevailed. Might he ask the attention of the House to this extract from a Cardiff newspaper—Bridget Hanlon, of Mary Ann Street, was summoned at Cardiff on Friday last for selling beer by retail without a licence. P.C. Mal stated that he watched the house on Sunday, the 18th inst., and saw nine men and four women enter. Witness found three women and two men seated at the table with two flagons in front of them, one of which was full. There were also three glasses on the table. Ten empty flagons were found under the table, and there were also two women lying drunk in another room.That was a police court case, referring to Cardiff, a fortnight ago, and he declined to take the Celtic example as his guide in these matters. Equally he declined to go to the ponderous Scandinavian guides as to how he should take his reasonable recreation and refreshment; while as regarded America he thought it was quite time enough to take it as an example for English law when its citizens had learned to speak the English language. He looked at this matter from the point of view of an Englishman, and he said that a power such as this subsection gave was alien to the genius of the race; it was an insult to the decency and the self-respect of the people; and it was, in the name of temperance, a fantastic burlesque of the old sumptuary laws, which, under the guise of social reform, to his mind very 799 clumsily concealed an effort to fill the empty pews of the Churches to appease the ecclesiastical authorities of the country and mollify perhaps their attitude in regard to other proposals of His Majesty's Government. How would the proposal work? If this subsection was allowed to stand they would have the spectacle of public-houses closed in one portion of the country, even in one portion of London, and open in others. They would have London, the most sober city in the whole world on a Sunday, with all its drinking facilities taken away, and they would have five Irish cities, which were not the most temperate portions of the British Empire, with the fullest facilities for the enjoyment of their desires. What arguments had been brought forward for extending Sunday closing in London and elsewhere? The first was rest for the employees, but he looked with suspicion upon the solicitude of temperance reformers for the physical welfare of the employees of licensed victuallers. He used to be an itinerant spouter once in the interests of the Liberation Society, and he was actuated in urging the disestablishment of the Church by a sincere regard for the best interests of that great institution. He looked with suspicion upon this solicitude for the employees, and he asked what brought it about. What body of those employees had ever asked in any form for this protection? He wanted to ask hon. Members who felt so keenly about it, whether they made a point of having condensed milk on a Sunday to give their milkmen a rest, whether they ate only cold dinners on Sunday to give their servants a rest, and whether that morning they had refrained from reading the newspapers because they were printed and prepared on Sunday? He called that argument cant. What was the next argument? They could not take up a tract or a pamphlet, or listen to a speech, on this subject, without finding that the Lord's Day observance was the fundamental basis of the movement. He respected the sentiments of those who, in the depths of their heart, believed that a special observance of the Sabbath was a matter of high moral concern, but this was not the occasion to argue it, and surely the Licensing Bill was not the 800 measure to provide for it. He could quote speeches by many hon. Members on that side of the House in quite recent times, showing conclusively that they were more concerned with the Sabbatarian aspect of this matter than with the purely temperance aspect; but he left that question on one side, on the general ground that it had no proper place within the four corners of this Bill. The only other possible justification was that this was a temperance measure. But on Sunday throughout England there was not half as much drink consumed as there was on Monday, and not a quarter as much as on Saturday. He heard a groan from an hon. Member on his left; he did not know whether he regretted the fact.
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY
said they were open for seven hours on Sunday. There were working men who really did go to work on week-days, and that did not leave them seven hours in which to drink, as they had on Sunday.
said the Amendment was to move the omission of subsection (1), and he thought the debate itself ought to be confined to the general advisability of such a restriction, and ought not to consist of a detailed examination of the various paragraphs, the omission of nearly all of which would be moved at a later stage. He thought the hon. Member was going into too much detail.
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY
said he would be forgiven for respectfully pointing out that this was by no means the first Amendment of this kind moved on the Bill. On every one of the preceding occasions a discussion had been permitted on the general subject found in the subsection. His argument was as to how far the justices should be permitted to have any power to do anything which was not previously provided for in the Act. His speech must necessarily be put an end to if a discussion could not take place on the subsection. The subsection provided that the justices, as distinct from Parliament, might alter provisions previously contained in the Bill, and might impose 801 other restrictions which the Bill did not authorise. His argument was that, first of all, there was no justification for giving further power to any authority. Secondly, he had been going to argue that certainly the justices, especially after the Report of the Royal Commission, were the last body in the world that ought to be entrusted with such a power. He appreciated the desire of the Chairman to limit the discussion to that subsection and to narrow the point as much as possible in order to leave open an opportunity for the discussion of each subsequent paragraph on its merits, but he hoped that any right hon. Gentleman who might speak would answer the specific points he had put, rather than indulge in a general address on temperance reform. Briefly, his points were these—that there was less drinking on Sunday than on any other day, and that there was less crime on Sunday attributable to drink. Why was it that if in parts of the country they were to have complete Sunday closing, Parliament was not competent to provide for it by substituting a clause in this Bill, instead of shifting responsibility on to the justices, who might act differently in one place from what they would in another? So far as the employment of women was concerned, he observed that the hon. Member for Blackpool was in his place, and he recognised that the barmaids of the country were the hon. Member's special preserve. He could only say that to give the justices the right to prevent the employment of women meant the dislocation of the employment of 100,000 persons engaged in unskilled labour. He wondered how Labour Members opposite, who were so interested in the unemployment question, could so glibly swallow a provision by which 100,000 women would be thrown out of work, and all in the cause of fictitious temperance reform. What was the justification of giving the justices this power, what demand had there been? There had been two deputations to the Home Secretary. One consisted of well-meaning ladies and two or three bishops, not one of whom, he ventured to say, had ever gone into a public-house in his or her life, or if any of them had, they had certainly concealed the fact in their 802 speeches to the Home Secretary. That deputation from the outside point of view urged the abolition of barmaids. What would the Home Secretary have said if a deputation of licensed victuallers had waited upon him to urge that the question of church discipline was something in which they were just as competent to advise as were the well-meaning ladies and bishops to talk about the employment of barmaids? Why should the justices forbid the employment of women? What had ever come before the Court to show that these women wee unworthy of respect? There had been no case in the last ten years of a barmaid having been brought into the dock charged with any offence in any way attributable to her calling. Under these circumstances, was it not a monstrous insult to that community to brand them by Act of Parliament as immoral? He left that part of the clause in order to deal with that which had reference to the structural alteration of premises. If the justices were to have power to say to the licence-holder that he was to spend a large sum of money on the premises, it was probable that the licensee would prefer to forfeit the licence rather than embark on the expenditure. Another important provision in the subsection was that the justices were to have power to close any public-house on polling day. [MINISTERIAL Cheers.] He was glad to have called forth that cheer. If the House felt so keenly that this was a proper provision, why had it not the courage to put it in the Bill, instead of this substitution of the bench of justices for the House of Commons? If there was to be power to close public-houses on polling day in one district, why not on another? He was amazed, sitting in a democratic House of Commons, to observe the readiness with which hon. Members were prepared to relegate the whole of their great functions to that wholly undemocratic body, the licensing justices. Why close public-houses on polling day? What was the evil? What was the offence? Where were the figures? They were all against the supporters of this proposal. He defied the hon. Member for Lincoln to find him a single case in which the charges for drunkenness on polling day had exceeded the general 803 average over a period. The only argument they could bring forward was that as the electors of the country now invariably voted against the Government, they must be acting under the influence of drink. They created the democratic electorate, and told it that its voice was the voice of God, and that in its hands rested the destinies of the greatest empire the world had ever known, and then they rushed off to Parliament to pass an Act to prevent its getting drunk on polling day. He declined to go to Canada or elsewhere for guidance on such a subject. The other day the hon. Member for Lincoln thought he had made a fine point when he elicited, by way of question, a statement from the Under-Secretary for the Colonies to the effect that during the recent Canada elections all the licensed premises were closed. He could not help watching the hon. Member's face as the Under-Secretary read out the answer. It had the expression of an angel, but with a halo that did not fit, and an afflatus in which malevolence and fanaticism took the place of divinity. If they went to the Colonies and dependencies for one thing, 1st them go there for others. Let them be consistent. He could not fail to observe a few evenings ago how indignant Labour Members grew when the President of the Local Government Board told them that if working men spent less on drink they could insure against unemployment; and yet a few hours afterwards they were cheering similar sentiments when advanced in favour of these restrictions. There was no case whatever made out for this clause. But if there were, what had it to do with the justices? Could not Parliament be trusted to deal with it? In one constituency they might have all the public-houses closed on election day, and in the next constituency they might all be open, and thus they might create the drunkenness, the very evil which seemed a matter of such supreme indifference to Members behind him. He made a final appeal to the Government to reconsider this clause, which had no proper place in the Bill. The Bill was based upon two principles—the suppression within fourteen years of undesirable licences at the expense of the desirable ones, and the annexation of the desirable 804 at the end of fourteen years on behalf of the State. There was no proper place in the Bill for provisions of that kind, and he ventured to say there was not a Member on that side of the House, certainly no London Member, who would not rue having voted for such provisions when the next polling day came round. He respectfully urged, he implored the Government to pause in an attempt which was carrying it to destruction. He spoke as a Member of the Liberal Party, as one who had mixed with the working-classes, and as a man of the world, not as an arm-chair or book politician, when he said that these provisions were shocking the whole sense of the community. If these powers were right then let Parliament exercise them and take the responsibility for them. He had not endeavoured to embellish his observations. Like Mark Antony, he was a plain and blunt man, and, if he might pursue the simile, he would say that if he were Brutus, and Brutus Antony, then Antony would put a tongue in every clause of this wretched Bill, which should stir every Member of the House to rise in mutiny against a policy which reduced the position of every Member of Parliament to the role of a temperance tub-thumper, and that of his constituents to a beast of the field.
In page 13, line 5, to leave out subsection (1):"—(Mr. Bottomley.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words licensing justices' stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said he cordially agreed with the hon. Member opposite that it was most illogical to put these powers on the shoulders of the licensing justices, leaving them to make the change proposed in the subsection, and not enacting them in the Bill. The House had laid down that there must be a statutory reduction of licences in fourteen years, and though they would not allow the justices, who knew the local considerations, to decide the number of houses there were to be in a locality, yet they were going to give to these same justices power as to Sunday 805 closing and the prohibition of the employment of women on licensed premises, together with such extensive powers in reference to bona fide travellers that they would absolutely revolutionise the life of the people on Sunday in this country. That was most illogical and most wrong, and if the Government really intended these provisions to become law and be put in force, then he submitted they ought to be enacted as the law of the land and it should not be put on to the shoulders of the justices to make arrangements, whether they liked it or not. What did this provision mean? Did it mean that the justices might make alterations in the arrangements of the licensed houses, and have power to say what they were to be in the dining-room, or whether tables were to be provided instead of bars? Again, supposing the licence holder promised to make the alterations required by the justices, what guarantee was there that in a year or two the whole thing might not be changed by another lot of justices? Surely the position of the licence-holder under this provision would be absolutely impossible. As the law stood he must not give any short measure. If he did he was put in the police court for defrauding the public. Under this subsection he must not give a drop too much, because if he did he would also be in danger of losing his licence. The position was exactly the same as that in which Shylock was put by Portia, when she said: "If you take one pennyworth more or less than a pound of flesh or spill one drop of blood, all your goods will be forfeited to the State." Surely it was putting a still further unjust burden upon the man who had a great many restrictions and a great deal of police supervision to undergo at present. Take the case of Sunday closing. He wondered if hon. Members had considered the great number of people in London who would have their lives directly affected if Sunday closing were enacted over the whole of London. Take the thousands of young men and women who lived in lodgings—clerks, typists, etc.—lodgers who were called bed and breakfast people, who had their meals near their place of employment during the week, and on Sunday had their meals near the place where they lodged. If no place where intoxicants 806 were sold were open, where would they get their meals? Take foreigners who lived in such numbers in Soho, who always dined out on Sundays. Where would they get their meals? Take the gentlemen of the Press who worked on Sunday evenings in order that the public might have their newspapers on Monday morning. Where would all the staff of the great daily papers get their Sunday meals if there was Sunday closing in London? All these things ought to be considered before they handed over this large and extensive power to the licensing justices. With regard to election days, surely if the electors were able to measure the Government up, and decide whether it was to continue to govern the country, they were fit to measure their own drinks, and it was perfectly illogical to say that people who were given the power to decide the destinies of the Empire should not be allowed to drink a glass of beer on election day. In regard to the employment of women, they ought to consider whether they had any moral right, as a body of men, elected entirely by men, to prohibit the employment of women in a certain trade, purely on sentimental grounds, because it was really on sentimental grounds that they were going to interfere. It was not on moral or physical grounds. On moral or physical grounds what precedents had there been for prohibiting the employment of women? Only two; ten years ago when they were forbidden to be engaged in a certain process of white lead manufacture, and in 1842 when the Mines and Collieries Act was passed to prevent women from being employed underground. In both these cases it was right that the employment of women should be totally prohibited, but it was done on physical and moral grounds. Could they say that they would be preventing women from being employed on licensed premises on physical grounds? It had been said that they were obliged to stand too much. That might be a very good reason, if it was so, for regulating their employment, but not for prohibiting it. But surely they did not stand longer than those employed in drapery shops or temperance restaurants. If they were going to legislate for women they must widen their field very much indeed, and look round and see how many more thousands of women they 807 could bring within the scope of their care. It was said that these women worked long hours, but he did not think they worked longer than women in many manufactories, certainly not in the big shops. If they did, let them shorten their hours, but not take away their means of livelihood. It was said that the air they breathed was bad. If so, the licensing justices were not doing their duty in seeing that the licensed premises were properly looked after.
I really think this would be much more appropriate to the omission of paragraph (a), which I understand will be moved. It is an extended argument dealing with the treatment of women and children, and it seems more suited to paragraph (a) than to the whole subsection.
§ MR. ASHLEY
said he would sit down if that was so, but he was endeavouring to bring forward the case of these women, because he thought the omission of women would never be reached.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
said it was very important that they should quite understand what the Chairman's views were on the discussion of the subsection. He understood he admitted as being perfectly in order a survey of the various sub-heads of the subsection, but rather deprecated detailed discussion of any particular subject. The subsection was one of enormous importance, and they had to finish it by half-past ten, and it might be quite impossible to deal with it separately, and possibly a better cumulative case could be made if they were allowed to have a general survey of the whole subsection.
said he did not know, of course, what time the survey was going to occupy. He was in hopes in this particular case that they would be able to get to some of the paragraphs, and that was why he suggested that they should do that rather than discuss matters in great detail at this point.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fifeshire, E.
quite agreed that it was impossible to discuss fruitfully, or even logically, the question of the omission of this subsection without having regard to the various sub-heads which it included, and that by way of illustration it was almost necessary to discuss these various topics in determining the larger question whether or not it was desirable so vest in the justices any discretion of this kind at all. But he would strongly appeal to the Committee to make the general discussion as short as possible in order that they might consider seriatim whether each of these subjects ought to be left to the discretion of the justices. The real question was whether or not, in addition to these specific prohibitions and restrictions of universal application which were embodied in the Statute itself, there should be entrusted to the justices the supplementary power of dealing, in accordance with local conditions, with the various particular subject matters which were enumerated. There was nothing novel in that proposition. Prior to the Act of 1901 the justices were in the habit of dealing, by way of imposing conditions on the grant or renewal of a licence, with a considerable number of subjects which were dealt with in this subsection. It was perfectly common, for instance, to impose conditions as to the employment of children, the arrangement of the premises, access to the premises, the long pull, and various other matters connected with the use of the premises in the public interest, and having regard to local circumstances which were not the subject of enactments by the statute law of the land. Under the Act of 1904 that power of imposing conditions, as distinguished from the power or the right of the licensee voluntarily to submit to them, was taken away in this sense, that if, conditions having been imposed, the licence was revoked for non-compliance with them, the obligation to pay compensation would pass. He had himself argued a case in which it was decided, under the Act of 1904, that the justices had no right to impose conditions of this kind without, at any rate, giving the licensee the power, if his licence was revoked for 809 non-fulfilment of them to obtain compensation from the compensation fund. But at the same time the Act of 1904 enabled the justices, quite independently of anything contained in the licensing law of the land, to impose any condition they liked in the public interest, upon the grant of a new licence. There was no single one of these sub-heads in regard to which, if he or anybody else went before the licensing magistrates for a licence, the magistrates could not require him to comply with any conditions they wished to impose. The licensing justices of Essex had actually made it a condition that barmaids should not be employed.
§ MR. ASHLEY
asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the attempt to impose this condition in Glasgow had failed in a Court of law.
§ MR. ASQUITH
replied that they were not dealing with Glasgow or Scotland, and all he wished to say was that the licensing justices of Essex had actually imposed that condition for new licences. They were not to employ barmaids. He did not say whether the justices were right or wrong, or had acted in accordance with or in violation of public opinion, because that was not the point; but he said that the Legislature under the guidance of the right hon. Gentleman opposite—quite rightly—in 1904 did entrust the licensing justices, in regard to new licences, with powers more extensive than those proposed to be conferred upon them here with regard to renewal only. These powers were being exercised every day by the justices; they could if they pleased in the exercise of their powers require premises to which a licence was granted to be closed on polling day, make provisions as to Sunday closing, or the supply of liquor to bona fide travellers. What the Government were doing in this clause comprised two points. They were restoring a power which existed in regard to all licences, new or old, before 1904, and, secondly, the power expressly conferred in 1904 with regard to new licences was to apply to the renewal only. The hon. Member for Hackney had referred to the exercise of discretion by the justices. He had in his hand a paper published by the Licensed 810 Victuallers' Central Protection Society. It had been circulated among hon. Members, and he wished to direct attention to the remarks therein made as to the constitution of the licensing authority and the substitution of some other authority for the justices. Here was the testimony of the trade to the action of the justices. [The right hon. Gentleman read an extract which stated that the members of the licensing trade had suffered many things at the hands of the present licensing authority, which could not be said to be unduly favourable to the trade, but that they believed the justices had been, actuated by a sincere desire to do justice to all, and that they were satisfied that the justices performed their duties in a way to command respect, having regard to the public interest.] That was the party to whom the Government were entrusting the powers conferred by this clause. In respect of the general question, it was surely very desirable that in the administration of the licensing law, dealing as they were with a country like England, where the conditions were so complex as between urban, and rural areas, there should be a certain amount of elasticity in the conditions imposed in respect of the tenure of particular licences, in particular houses, in particular places. He did not think that any temperance reformer had ever said or suggested that as to minor conditions there should be a cast-iron rule of uniformity throughout the country. Apart from the large conditions, however, it was not unreasonable that there should be given a good deal of local elasticity. When it was suggested that injustice might be done through a harsh exercise on the part of the justices of the special and supplementary powers conferred on them by this clause, he pointed out that the Government had carefully safeguarded, as far as they could, the interests affected against the possibility of injury in two ways. First, they required that, when any condition of this kind was sought to be imposed by the justices, notice should be given to the owner of the premises, who might be seriously affected in his pecuniary interests by the imposition; and, secondly, they had provided a free and unfettered right of appeal to Quarter Sessions, and open to all parties 811 interested, in respect of any decision given by the licensing justices in regard to the imposition of conditions.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
Is that appeal open to the owner as well as to the licensee?
§ MR. ASQUITH
Yes, it was open to all parties concerned. There was no possibility of what might be called a faddist Bench of justices, representing, perhaps, a small majority of their own body or of local opinion, running the risk or danger of imposing unreasonable conditions on particular licensees in a particular area, inasmuch as a right of appeal properly exercised was certainly conferred. He now wished to say a word or two by way of illustration. First of all, there was the question of the employment of women and children. He did not think any one would deny that there was a growing feeling in the country that the employment of women in public-houses was in itself an undesirable thing. Personally, he did not take a stringent view of that matter, and the Governmen had already pledged themselves on the Second Reading not to do anything to interfere with the rights of persons already in employment. He would, however, go further and say that he had satisfied himself and the Government had taken every opportunity they could to collect opinion on this matter; and they recognised the impolicy of endeavouring to legislate expressly or by delegated powers in advance of the real requirements of the case. Having regard, therefore, to the opinions that had reached the Government from all quarters, and judging by the appearance of the Notice Paper, which contained Amendments submitted from all quarters of the House in favour of the deletion of the words "women or," the Government had come to the conclusion that it was not desirable to press that proposal. He hoped that in making this announcement the Government might save a good deal of debate. He would say further also that, after careful consideration, the Government might ask the Committee to omit the whole of the Paragraph (a) relating to "the employment of women or children on 812 licensed premises." In respect of women and children, the House had already passed a very stringent children's clause which would prevent the presence of children up to the age of fourteen within the bar of public-houses at any time or for any purpose. That was a very useful change in the law. In addition to that, there was also the power which the education authorities possessed to prevent the employment of children up to fourteen years in public-houses in violation of the school attendance regulations. That was a useful provision in the Employment of Children Act, 1903, passed by the late Government, under which bye-laws were made by local authorities to prevent the employment of children in public-houses at all. It was a power which was widely exercised, and the Government had come to the conclusion that on the whole the provisions of the existing law would be adequate when this Bill was passed with regard to children, while with regard to women the state of opinion which existed was such that it was not desirable to ask the House to press forward the provision. He would say nothing about the three following subsections; they were comparatively small points in regard to which the justices had been in the habit of imposing conditions. As to Sunday closing, there were two points with which he ought to deal—namely, Sunday closing and the closing of public-houses on polling days. The House agreed on Friday to a considerable restriction of the hours during which public-houses were now open on Sunday. That ought to be regarded in connection with the general law of the land; but everyone who had practical experience in this matter knew that in respect of a particular locality, whether a town or a rural area, very often there was no necessity for all the public-houses to be open on Sunday during the whole of the permitted hours. If they gave the justices credit for exercising a judicial discretion, protected as all the interests concerned were to be, as well as the granting of a right of appeal to Quarter Sessions, he thought that they might be allowed to say in regard to some of the houses, perhaps in regard to all houses in a particular area, whether it was desirable that the restrictions imposed by the general law 813 should be further extended because there was no real demand for the use of these houses. Then as to polling days, he was delighted to hear the remarks that fell from the Leader of the Opposition on Friday. He gathered from those remarks of the right hon. Gentleman that he was in favour of closing licensed premises on polling days. If the House was unanimous, or if there were a large preponderance of voices in favour as a whole of the complete closing of public-houses as a matter of statutory enactment on polling days, assuredly the Government were only too ready to fall in with that view, and they would gladly transfer that particular provision from these discretionary powers to the compulsory law as in the restricted hours of closing on Sunday. He would tell the right hon. Gentleman why they were dealing now not only with Parliamentary elections, but with local elections also, and it was a very difficult thing—he knew that there were people who took a more stringent view—to say that at a by-election in one of the wards of a borough it should be a matter of universal enactment that the public-houses in that district should be closed. He doubted very much whether public opinion would support such a stringent and drastic restriction. [AN HON. MEMBER: The clause deals with Parliamentary and local elections.] The clause dealt with both, and he would be perfectly happy, if it was the general opinion of the House, to take out the Parliamentary elections and put them in a clause by themselves, but he still thought in regard to local elections that it was wiser and more in accordance with the general needs and with public opinion to confine any power regarding them to the discretionary power to be exercised by the justices. He had gone into the subject matters dealt with by the clause, and the modifications he had indicated to the Committee were those which he thought it wise and respectful to state at the commencement of the debate in order to save time. He submitted to the Committee that, on the general principle, discretionary powers should be given to the justices to supplement the general law of the land in these matters.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was sure that gentlemen on that side of the House, and he hoped in other parts of the House, too, would feel that the right hon. Gentleman, having practically entirely excised some of the most controversial matters in this subsection, had really shown a most wise and statesmanlike discretion. He did not believe that the right hon. Gentleman could have carried the House, and he was sure that he could not have justified by argument all the points that might have been raised under subsection (a). He was certain that the right hon. Gentleman had shown, on this occasion, a true appreciation of the sense and feeling of the House, or, at all events, of that wiser part of the House which did not wish to resort to the wild course which some hon. Members on the other side of the House would try to impose upon them. The result of the right hon. Gentleman's statement was that it would be unnecessary for him to go—he would not say into detail, for the ruling of the Chairman rather discouraged that—but even in a general fashion into all the sub-heads now proposed to be left out. He did not know that the right hon. Gentleman had said anything about the bona fide traveller, but that seemed to him to raise a case of very great difficulty. He supposed the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared to deal with it when the Committee came to the subject.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I was very anxious to hear what was to be said about that before announcing any decision. The mind of the Government is quite open to argument on, that point.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was glad to hear that the right hon. Gentleman was prepared, if sufficient reason was shown, to omit that subsection also. In that case it seemed to him that all the most important matters were really-excised from the clause, and the Committee were rather left face to face with the general principle on which the clause was based than any of the special details to which the right hon. Gentleman had called their attention. Even on the subject of the closing hours on the days of polling he understood that the right 815 hon. Gentleman was quite ready to modify his views, and to a certain extent to recast his Bill. He had always had a feeling himself that at all events, so far as Parliamentary elections in great towns were concerned, it would be a wise thing to close public-houses during certain hours of the day, and to restrict the sale of intoxicating liquors. Those who had looked into the statistics on the subject had informed him, in the first place, that there was no experience to show that there was any increase of crime or violence or even excitement, due to the consumption of intoxicants, and, in the second place, that the consumption was not-larger on those days than on other days. If that could be established, he supposed the main case for subsection (g) would fall to the ground. He confessed that his own impression would be that in the great centres of population, where excitement in certain circumstances and party feeling ran very high, it might be a prudent step to prevent an extra source of excitement of an adventitious character being added to those which the state of public opinion necessarily engendered. But that was relatively an unimportant matter, and he came now to the main scheme and contention of the right hon. Gentleman in regard to the Bill, and on that point he really must ask one or two questions. This clause was intended, so far as it went, greatly to augment the power of the licensing magistrates. The right hon. Gentleman had quoted a sentence which was understood to represent the feelings of the trade, testifying to the public spirit which the licensing magistrates had habitually shown. The right hon. Gentleman was justified in quoting that view; he would also be justified in quoting the views which he himself had expressed on previous occasions in the responsible position of a Member of the front Opposition bench when the Bill of 1904 was passing through the House. He was quite sure that if the right hon. Gentleman would look at the interesting criticisms he made on that Bill—criticisms which the House thought were couched in rather a violent tone of controversy—he would see that in those days, at all events, he by no means took the favourable view of the licensing magistrates which, either from further 816 investigation or from experience, had been brought home so strongly to his mind, now that he was the responsible author of a great Government measure. That change of view he welcomed. He hailed it as a proof of the openness of mind which the right hon. Gentleman displayed, and it showed a great and satisfactory movement of ideas between 1904 and 1908. But there was another striking inconsistency which he did not think was so satisfactory, because it showed the inconsistency of this Bill, and it was not a movement in the right hon. Gentleman's view of public affairs—the inconsistency of the way in which he meant in this measure and in this session to deal with the question of the control of the licensing magistrates. The right hon. Gentleman, to his immense surprise, dwelt upon the great advantages of elasticity; he said that they could not have an authority more to be trusted than the licensing magistrates, and that it was an enormous advantage to deal with such persons, because by giving the magistrates their confidence they could have that variety of arrangement in different parts of the country, and that elasticity of the law in different places which, according to the view of the right hon. Gentleman, was so admirable a part of any ideal licensing system. Where was all this belief in the magistrates and in elasticity when they were discussing Clause 1? If there was a point on which he should have thought it more obvious than any other that this kind of local discretion was desirable, it was when they were dealing with the fixed statistical ratio between the number of public-houses and the amount of accommodation. Everybody knew—he did not think anybody would deny—that that fixed relation was one which could have no reference to particular circumstances. It might be right in one case, and it might be wrong in another. That was a case for elasticity, but the Government expected the magistrates to enforce it. Why the right hon. Gentleman only began to believe in elasticity when he got to Clause 20 of the Bill entirely passed his understanding. There was another curious change in the light hon. Gentleman's view during the passage of the Bill from Clause 1 to Clause 20. Now the right hon. Gentleman had joined the ranks of those who were rather 817 afraid of the eccentric exercise of local power by temperance faddists. The right hon. Gentleman had told the Committee that if they left that power without appeal to particular benches of magistrates, there might be gross injustice involved, and preposterous interference with the liberty of the King's subjects, and, therefore, he said, they must leave it to the licensing magistrates. That was what the Unionist Party thought in 1904, and that was what they were denounced for thinking then. That was what they thought on the earlier clauses of this Bill when the right hon. Gentleman was discussing the method in which licences were to be dealt with—one taken and another left—and all the other strange provisions which disfigured the first portion of the measure. Now the Government admitted, rather late in the day, indeed, that they had to deal with the worst possibility of faddist eccentricity, and the right hon. Gentleman came forward and repeated to the Committee the very contentions which Unionists ventured respectfully to lay before the House and the public through all those months. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted that the magistrate on the local bench might do an injustice in pursuing a will o' the wisp social reform, and he had told the Committee that the proper way to control the local faddist on the bench was to give an appeal to Quarter Sessions. In fact, all the things Unionists said in 1904, which he denied, and all the things they said on the earlier clauses of this Bill, to which he turned an absolutely deaf ear, he now turned round and with an air of delightful and ingenious candour repeated to them as if he had something to teach them, and was really talking the ordinary commonplaces of Radical controversy on this particular branch of the subject. When discussing faddism among local magistrates and the wisdom of Quarter Sessions the right hon. Gentleman spoke as if he was representing the average opinion of gentlemen behind him. All that he could say was that the labours they had gone through since they began discussing Clause 1 had really not been wasted if they had resulted in such an illustrious 818 convert as the right hon. Gentleman who was in charge of the Bill.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said the right hon. Gentleman was a little premature in claiming him as a convert to the views of the party opposite. He was not aware that there was anything inconsistent in what he had now said, or intended to say, with the attitude taken by members of the Government toward the Bill of 1904. He was not aware that they attacked the licensing justices at that time; on the contrary, all their efforts were in the direction of maintaining unimpaired the discretion the law had always reposed in licensing justices, subject, no doubt, to appeal to Quarter Sessions. The right hon. Gentleman said the Government were now appearing or ought to be in a white sheet because they were repudiating and denouncing the opinion they professed and induced the House to adopt on Clause 1. That was not so; the right hon. Gentleman must have forgotten the provisions of Clause 1. That clause required licensing justices to reduce on-licences to the scale set forth in the first schedule. That schedule required the licensing justices to have regard to local circumstances in the parish or area, and not to apply a cast-iron system irrespective of local conditions. In introducing the Bill he mentioned such a case as where there was a large urban population at certain hours of the day, and where at certain periods there was a season with a large increase of population. In these and in all special circumstances it was declared that the principle of elasticity should be applied to the reductions. The charge made was that the Government were now allowing the right of appeal they had hitherto repudiated, but that was not the case. With regard to the statutory reductions subject to the rules for modification, there was the superior jurisdiction of the Licensing Commission. In regard to all other matters, if the right hon. Gentleman would read the language of Clause 4 he would see that the right of appeal was maintained. Administratively the justices would be under the appellate authority of the Licensing Commission, and when acting judicially 819 they would be subject to appeal as now. The clause was perfectly consistent.
§ *MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)
said he understood the burden of the speech of his right hon. friend to be that, whereas in this clause the Government inserted and defended the absolute discretion of the justices, by Clause 1 they had taken the number of public-houses entirely out of their hands. It appeared to him that this clause had been imperfectly thought out. Take subsection (1). He could not quarrel for a moment with the tribunal to which the power was to be given. But let the Committee look at the powers to be given. Paragraph (a) had already been disposed of. Paragraph (b) provided for "the arrangement of any part of the premises open to the public." He was rather at a loss to know what that meant. Did it refer to the structure of the premises and the division of the rooms in the public-house? Because, if so, that power was fully given by Section (11) of the Act of 1902 passed by the late Government. By that section the licensing justices might require a plan of the premises to be produced before them, and to be deposited with their clerk, and in renewing any such licence they might by order direct that within a time fixed by the order such alterations as they thought reasonably necessary to secure the proper conduct of the business should be made on that part of the premises where intoxicating liquor was sold or consumed, but any such order should be subject to an appeal to Quarter Sessions. He did not see in what respect paragraph (b) in Clause 20 of this Bill differed from Section (11) of the Act of 1902. Then take paragraph (c), "any access to the premises." What did that mean? So far as regarded entrances to and exits from the licensed premises, of course, the justices had always exercised very full power indeed. He had never heard that disputed.
AN HON. MEMBER
said that there was a case where it had been ruled that the justices could not close one door out of many.
§ *MR. CAVE
said he did not think that was the effect of the decision. 820 If it was intended to apply this power to closing doors the wording ought to be considerably altered. The word "access" was extremely vague. Then take Paragraph (d), referring to the long pull. That seemed to him to be very unsatisfactory. It was confined to on-licences, but the mischief, if any, arose from the use of it in off-licence houses. In any case, he did not see why a man should not supply more than he was paid for if he wished to do so. What was the principle underlying that part of the clause? As regarded the piragraph (e) relating to Sunday closing, he had listened with great care to what the Prime Minister had said. According to the Prime Minister the object of the provision was that if in any place there were more houses than were required on Sunday, the licensing Court might order some of them to be closed; but the subsection went much further. It enabled the Court to close the whole of the houses on Sunday even during the hours when by another clause of the Bill they could remain open. That went very much beyond the needs of the case. Great inconvenience might be caused by bringing about all-round Sunday closing, and this paragraph would enable the local bench to do that. He did not think that was desirable or consistent with due regard to the needs of the public. As to the bona fide traveller, he must say it would be extremely inconvenient to empower any bench entirely to forbid the sale of liquor to a bona fide traveller. By an earlier clause of the Bill, passed on Friday, the traveller was made to travel six miles. That was quite stringent enough; but if a traveller came to a particular place where he did not know that he could get no refreshment and found that he could get none, it might cause him great hardship. He deprecated giving power to any particular bench to close all the public-houses in a district to bona fide travellers. With regard to paragraph (g), he would say nothing about Parliamentary elections at the present time, but it would be absurd to close all the public-houses during local elections. He was sorry to say that frequently very little interest was taken in such local elections. He had known many people who did 821 not know when they were taking place. To close the whole of the houses in a ward because the polling in some insignificant local election was going on would cause considerable inconvenience. At the best the closing should not take place during the whole day but only during the polling hours. For certain purposes the polling hours were not very long, and he saw no reason why the closing should not be made only for those hours.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir S. EVANS,) Glamorganshire, Mid.
said that tint was provided for in the subsection.
§ *MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)
thought it very desirable in approaching the general question of temperance reform, that provision should be made for certain restrictions to be left to the local magistrates when public opinion might not justify a statutory enactment. With regard to the clause now before the Committee, he was sure that the country generally, so far as he could appreciate public opinion, would welcome the proposal recently made by the Prime Minister, that he would be very glad on a definite expression of opinion by the House, to deal with the question of closing public-houses on the day when Parliamentary elections were held. In doing so he was sure the right hon. Gentleman would find a very large measure of support. It was very satisfactory to have had the approval of the right hon. gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. He hoped the suggestion would be further generally supported so that they might have a statutory enactment in that direction brought about. As to Sunday closing, of course that was a matter which, in some cases, required careful consideration. He would support a measure for the statutory closing of public-houses on Sunday, but he recognised that if that could not be done, it was 822 highly desirable that power should be given to the magistrates to do so in certain circumstances and places. As to the supply to bona fide travellers, that was a case that ought to be given into the control of the local bench. In his own constituency they had an important watering-place from which large numbers of visitors drove into the country on Sundays, and it had been made a ground of complaint to the magistrates that these visitors adopted boisterous and noisy methods when taking their refreshment, and so the peace and comfort of whole villages were at limes thus destroyed. Therefore, while some provision should be made for bona fide travellers, consideration should be given by the restriction of hours to the general quiet of the villages. They were considering, under this clause, giving the magistrates power to attach to the renewal of licences conditions in respect of certain matters mentioned in the various sub-heads, and it was possible for the Committee to increase the number of them. In this connection might he mention a conversation which he had last year with a licensed victualler on the subject of promoting temperance? The licensed victualler said he understood that the Government would be bringing in a Bill to deal with the drink question, and if they desired to enact a real measure of temperance, they should take his advice. He (the hon. Member) replied that if the publican would tell him what it was he would pass it on to the Home Secretary, so he wrote him recommending that public-houses should not be allowed to open at six o'clock in the morning, but should be kept closed till eight o'clock. If that were done it would prevent a very large amount of drunkenness which came about now, owing to the fact that men having had too much the night before, left home in the morning with the best intentions of going to work, and, although they might pass one or two public-houses, they failed to go by the third and went in. Then their case was hopeless; their good intentions vanished, and they too often stayed in the public-house for the rest of the day. One of his hon. friends had an Amendment, and he himself had put down a new clause to secure this restriction.
§ *MR. HELME
bowed to the Chairman's ruling, but said he heard with very great pleasure the answer given by the Home Secretary the other day in which he said that this matter of the extension of the hours of closing in the morning might well be discussed in the House. He welcomed that reply, and hoped they might be able to strengthen the hands of the Government in trying to bring about some regulation such as was indicated in the Amendments which had been put down, and which he hoped there might be time to consider and secure the approval of the Government.
§ *MR. BARNARD (Kidderminster)
was glad that the section was drawn upon the lines that it was, and thought it would be a very good thing indeed if in some other portions of the Bill greater discretion were given to those in the localities who were acquainted with the characteristics of the neighbourhood, upon the lines which were set out there. It appeared to him that no one had any great right to find fault with this discretion. What did it amount to? It simply meant that the licensing justices might attach certain conditions if the necessity arose, but it in no way, or in any shape or form, bound them. It in no way forced argument. The principle of sub-head (a), "the employment of women or children," had been dealt with, and there could be no objection to sub-head (b) which had reference to the arrangements of any part of the premises open to the public. Then as to sub-head (c), "any access to the premises," he had always understood that after the 1902 Act the magistrates had some discretion or other in connection with that, though perhaps it was desired that it should be extended. Coming to the sub-head dealing with the "long pull," he for his part distinctly welcomed the proposal of the Government, as he thought it was a very good thing. If they consulted year by year the Reports of nearly all the Chief Constables of the boroughs of this country to the licensing magistrates, it would be found that they had put their views very strongly in 824 connection with this matter. He did not want to repeat many rather stale and worn-out facts in connection with the matter, but it was sufficient to say that this very subject of the "long pull" had been the course of a disagreeable scandal on more than one occasion. Coming to the question of prohibition on Sunday, for his part he should have supposed that what was done on the preceding Friday would have been entirely sufficient, but personally he would sooner that, the locality had the control, and if that was decided he should not fight against it. He would like to make a point about the bona fide traveller. He took it that if the House laid down the principle of what they meant to enact, that must not be dealt with unfairly, and if it was exceeded, it was best that the magistrates should have the power to put their foot down when they found people were artificially evading the law. As to the last sub-head, the closing of licensed premises on election day, whether it was Parliamentary or local, for his part he had no hesitation whatever in expressing the most decisive view, whether it was left to the locality or Parliament itself settled it, that this provision in some form or another should meet with very hearty support He listened with satisfaction to the Leader of the Opposition when he spoke about the large boroughs. He himself knew something about the small boroughs, and for reasons quite apart from intoxication he was certain it was advisable in many directions to which he did not want further to refer unless he was forced, and would be strongly beneficial. One of the speakers—he thought it was the hon. Member for South Hackney—referring to the quantity of liquor sold on election day, said there was not much more. He happened personally to have had an opportunity within the last week of getting some knowledge upon that subject, which he thought would bear repetition. He was a member of a compensation authority and on arriving at a decision in regard to a number of public-houses in his county reported for suppression, adopting the general ideas of the Kennedy judgment, he found that on an average of years, one year was distinctly and 825 most marvellously in every case different in quantity from every other year. He asked how it was, and finally it appeared that that year included a general election, and most people seemed to acknowledge that it accounted for the rise in the average to which he had alluded. He would like also to say, in connection with this clause, that when the Bill first came out, the licensed victuallers in his constituency asked him to meet them. He did so, and they went over the Bill carefully. He pointed out as well as he was able that it was quite absurd for them to claim that their trade was immune from legislation. After a time they came to this particular section, and the conclusion which the committee of the Licensed Victuallers Association published was that, having given careful consideration to the permissive clauses of the Bill, which gave to the local justices discretion to impose novel conditions affecting the employment of barmaids, the sale of liquor on Sundays, and other minor matters, they thought that public opinion had exaggerated these features, but at the same time they acknowledged that circumstances might arise requiring the action of those provisions in Part III. of the Bill. The Committee did not therefore quarrel with this part of the Bill, but thought that it might be safely left to the local justices to deal with the particular cases in each individual area as they arose. They were ready when the case was fairly put to them to realise that they, like other trades, must be controlled, and they quite realised that no one was better qualified to know what control was suitable than their own local justices, who were familiar with the surroundings. He for his part, therefore, welcomed very much the general effect which this Clause 20 placed before this House.
MR. STUART WOETLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
said that subsection (1) of this clause, which it was proposed to leave out, had, he thought, two principles. One was that certain questions, partly of temperance and partly of public order, should be left to local discretion. The second principle was that the licensing justices were the proper persons to exercise that local discretion, and to decide whether this particular experiment should 826 be made or not. In his opinion, and probably in the opinion of many other persons, the licensing justices were not the proper or best persons to exercise that discretion. He was able to leave out of sight the question of subsection (f), because the Government had practically thrown that over, and he did not propose to enlarge upon subsection (e), because he understood that their intention was that there should be a partial application given to the principle of the Sunday Closing clause; but he rose to say that he thought that the local licensing justices were the most inappropriate authority to exercise discretion under subsection (g), which dealt with the closing of public-houses at Parliamentary elections. This, if it was brought into operation at all by anything but a general statute, would be a local legislative experiment, and it was showing great disrespect for the great municipalities, at any rate in the large cities, where the population had important bodies representing them, to give those bodies the go-by, and say that it was for their good that during Parliamentary elections the whole of the public-houses should be closed, and that this should be applied by a paternal and corrective authority composed of persons who must be less in contact with local public opinion than the municipality itself. He was sorry that this want of respect for the municipal idea in an important question of local legislation should be manifested on the Treasury Bench. It was only necessary to add further that if there was to be a closing of public-houses during Parliamentary elections it ought not to be done sporadically, or in a haphazard manner., in dealing with old licences when they came up for renewal; it ought to be done in the whole locality, and the only persons who were competent to do that were the elected authority.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said, with reference to the closing of public-houses by the local licensing bench on days when Parliamentary elections were being held, it was already done in the county of Monmouth with, he believed, the universal consent of the public. The right hon. Gentleman opposite would observe that all the conditions laid down in this 827 clause were laid down in the public interest. With regard to new licences, it was thought that any conditions which were in the public interest might be imposed by the local licensing justices. With regard to subhead (b), the hon. and learned Member for Kingston seemed to think that the whole of the matter with which that subsection dealt was provided for by the Act of 1902. That was not quite so, because if the hon. Member would refresh his memory by referring to that Act he would see that whereas under the Act of 1902 the licensing justices could only order alterations in that part of the premises where intoxicating liquors were sold or consumed, the Government now suggested that the justices should have the right to impose conditions with regard to any part of the house if they thought it was in the public interest. The reason why the Government thought it right that the licensing justices should have a right to impose conditions under sub-head (c) was the question of police supervision. That subsection was intended to deal with such things as doors leading into passages, and so on. There had been a decision by the Court of Appeal which showed how necessary it was to give the justices discretion in matters of this kind. In that case the licensed premises had an access to a different street through a passage, and the justices made an order, which they thought they had a right to do, that one of the doors should be kept locked and not used except for domestic purposes. They had no objection to the door being open except for the purposes of obtaining drink, but the Court of Appeal said that the provisions of the Act of 1902 only referred to structural alterations, and they did not think it was desirable that the justices should impose these conditions. The Government thought it was desirable for the justices to have power of this kind, and, therefore, had inserted the sub-clause. With regard to what had been said by the ight hon. Member for Sheffield, he could only repeat what had been said by the Prime Minister earlier in the day, that if it should be the general sense of the House that there should be a general law dealing with the closing of public-houses, either all the day, or 828 for a part of the day, upon which an election was taking place, the Government would be very pleased to take out sub-head (g) and deal with the matter in the form of a new clause.
§ MR. ASHLEY
thanked the Government for the concession they had made in allowing women to continue to earn their living in licensed houses. That concession had not only removed the stigma which had been placed upon them by the subsection, but it also allowed them to earn their living.
§ *MR. ADKINS (Lancashire, Middleton)
expressed his gratitude to the Government for putting the clause in the Bill. It seemed to him that the discretion of the magistrates, safeguarded by the appeal, should extend to all the immediate surroundings, such as alleys, passages, etc., by which public-houses were approached. He urged the Government to give weight to the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Kingston with regard to subsection (f). When they were dealing with restrictions on the question of the bona fide traveller, they were dealing with circumstances which were not local in their character, inasmuch as they referred to persons who were going from one locality to another. Every customer ought to have something like uniformity of treatment in going about the country. Travellers by rapid method might perhaps be treated differently from those who had only their own feet to walk upon. But this could not be dealt with as a local matter, and he hoped the Government would see their way not to press this part of the subsection. With regard to closing on election days, he hoped it would not be confined to large boroughs, or even small boroughs, but extended to all districts, urban or rural, where a Parliamentary election was proceeding. Local elections, if dealt with at all, might be dealt with by the local licensing authorities. No doubt, however, the variation in practice would ultimately mean that some uniform legislation would be applied to the whole country.
§ MR. GIBBS (Bristol, W.)
thought that if licensing justices were allowed to impose these conditions when renewing 829 or granting licences they would be able to deal with the licence-holders exactly as they pleased. They would be able practically to make new laws, which if broken would entail heavy penalties on conviction. Whether the licence-holder was convicted or not, when he came to ask for a renewal of his licence it would be refused, and he would obtain no compensation even though the bench had dismissed the charge which had been brought against him. Those laws would vary according to the fancy of the particular bench of justices who formulated them. What chance would a licence-holder have with a bench of fanatical teetotalers? They would make the conditions so stringent that he would be unable to conduct his business, and he would probably be ruined. These regulations, if made at all, should be made by Parliament. In many cases it would be extremely hard on the justices themselves. In many cases they knew the men who came up for the renewal of their licences; and it would be a very invidious thing for them to have to say whether the licences should be renewed or not. If these powers were given to the justices they might demand some alteration of the premises every year; and it was almost impossible for a man who had put his capital into the business continually to alter his premises to suit the fancy of the licensing justices. He did not think this section had been thoroughly thought out, otherwise the Government would not have put these powers into the hands of the justices. Under this section it would be possible for the justices to say which house should remain open—they were only to be open for three hours—and it was conceivable that a traveller coming six miles would not know which house was open, and would wander all over the town seeking refreshment. The regulation closing houses on election days ought also to be made by Parliament.
§ MR. VERNEY (Buckinghamshire, N.)
called attention to what he believed to be a mistake on the part of the hon. Member for Kingston in speaking of subsections (e) and (g) as if they were the same. There was a very strong contrast in the language of those subsections. Under subsection (g) the houses must be closed, but under sub- 830 section (e) they could be used as a tea shop during the closed hours, and need not be closed. Many Members of the House would not mind public-houses being open for that purpose; in fact, they would like to see them used as tea and coffee shops and refreshment houses where non-intoxicants were sold. Having regard to the contrast in the language of the two subsections, it was wrong to jump at the conclusion that they were practically the same. The words were quite different, and the meaning was quite different. There was a very important distinction to be drawn as between these two subsections—a distinction which he hoped they would deal with in detail when they came to the subsections themselves.
§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)
said that they on the Labour Benches welcomed very strongly the statement on behalf of the Government that they proposed to make the main part of subsection (g) statutory. But he had risen more particularly, if he was not transgressing the ruling of the Chair, to refer to something that was not contained in these various sections. There were several Amendments down which, if reached, would add an additional subsection, giving the licensing justices power to shorten the hours during other days of the week, or, at any rate, to prevent houses from being opened so early as they now were on week days. Those who were especially connected with the working classes knew that there was no greater evil than the opening of public-houses at five minutes to six in the morning. He was in a position to say, from his sixteen years connection with the engineering trade on Tyneside, that there was more mischief done by public-houses in the five minutes before six in the morning than was done at any other hour of the day. The house might be just outside the gates of the works. Many of the men, especially on a Monday morning, entered it at five minutes before six o'clock, and it led to their losing two hours of the morning up to 8.30, the time to start after breakfast. In many instances the men could not start then, and this led to their losing the whole of Monday. This system of 831 opening at five minutes to six had grown to such an extent, that in order to sell as much liquor as possible in the five minutes, the practice was adopted in many public-houses situate outside works of having scores and hundreds of glasses filled in readiness for the men to seize and drink off before starting work. He appealed to the Government to see whether they could not at a later stage put in another subsection giving the licensing justices power to prohibit houses being opened at so early an hour of the morning, especially where they were opened as a means of tempting the men, thus affecting the interests both of employer and employed, because this early drinking seriously interfered with the standard of production so far as the individual was concerned.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he would not be in order in discussing on this particular Amendment the point raised by the hon. Member for Barnard Castle, because the subject to which it referred was not included in the subheads which they were discussing. It had been brought to the attention of the Government that the evil did exist, certainly in some of the localities such as that described by the hon. Gentleman, and if it was to be dealt with, he thought it might be done by the justices as being distinctly a local matter. The observations which the hon. Gentleman had made had impressed him, and certainly the matter would be carefully considered before the Report stage. If he might, he would invite the hon. Member himself to frame an Amendment and put it down in his own name for the Report stage.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER (York)
said the Prime Minister in his speech had called attention to the fact that by the Act of 1904, passed by a Conservative Government, it was laid down that the justices, on granting a new licence, might attach any conditions to it they chose. Up to a certain point the Prime Minister was entitled to argue that this Bill did not go further than the Act of 1904. But the first criticism that arose was that the Act of 1904 was only dealing with new licences, whereas this Bill was dealing with licences already in existence, and if they imposed such conditions on old licences, then 832 the licence-holders would have a perfect right to feel greatly aggrieved. Secondly, he did not think that the Act of 1904, in imposing conditions as to new licences, ever contemplated the drastic penalties imposed by this Bill. A breach of the conditions laid down carried with it under this Bill not only the loss of the licence, but loss of compensation. He could not enter into the minds of those who framed the Act of 1904, but he saw nothing in it to show that such consequences were intended to be or would be incurred by any breach of the conditions of that Act. He desired to call attention to another point, because he might not have an opportunity of doing so later. Subsection (a) was to disappear from the Bill in consequence of the announcement made by the Prime Minister. In subsection (a) occurred the words "licensed premises." He was rather inclined to think that the Committee might have lost sight of the fact that the interpretation of "licensed premises" given by the Bill was very wide. If they looked at Schedule 2 they would see that licensed premises included public gardens, picture galleries, exhibitions, places of public or private entertainment, hotels, railway refreshment rooms, bona fide restaurants or eating-houses, etc. With subsection (a) the prohibition of the employment of women and children had gone out of the Bill, but the words "licensed premises," were to be interpreted—
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
said the words "the premises" in subsection (b) evidently referred to the "licensed premises" in the previous subsection, and therefore meant "licensed premises." Did the "arrangement of any part of the promises" mean the arrangement of any part of a picture gallery exhibition, or place of public or private entertainment, because "licensed premises" clearly were not confined to public-houses? They were accustomed to regard "licensed premises" as meaning merely public-houses, but he thought he had made it clear from the schedule that the words had a far wider meaning 833 under this Bill. It opened up a very alarming prospect when they learned that the words "licensed premises" were to have an extended signification of this kind. With regard to the sub head of the clause enabling the prohibition of the sale of liquor during the whole of Sunday, it seemed to him somewhat curious that only on Friday last the House should have passed a clause laying down that licensed houses in this country should be open three hours on Sundays—
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
said that every preceding speaker had been allowed to touch on the sub-heads generally.
said the hon. Gentleman was going too much into detail on an Amendment which was coming up.
§ MR. G. D. FABER
said every Member who had addressed the Committee had been allowed to lay special stress on the sub-head he thought important. It was curious that on Friday the Prime Minister should have stated that it was necessary that public-houses should be open on Sunday for as many hours as there was a large body of public opinion to support, and now, only three days later, the Government should be engaged in putting forward a proposal that the licensing justices should have the power to close public-houses on Sunday altogether. That was a very speedy departure from three hours the Prime Minister considered necessary on Friday.
said the only question before the Committee was whether discretion should be allowed to the magistrates on the subject-matters referred to in the subsection. The hon. Member was going into detail on these subject-matters. He could only refer to the subject-matters generally.
§ *MR. G. D. FABER
said he was not going into detail on this particular matter. There was one other point. He 834 could understand, though he was entirely opposed to, the licensing justices having the power of Sunday closing over the whole of their licensing district, but the provision here was a very different one. They might attach many onerous conditions to the renewal of any particular licence. That to his mind gave rise to the greatest doubt whether they were not putting a power of unfair preference into their hands. They might have a prejudice against some particular house, and oblige it to shut on Sunday while the other houses in the area were allowed to open. If that was the effect of the section, he preferred that if such matters were to be dealt, with at all it should be done by Act of Parliament. But instead of that they were leaving large powers to the licensing justices, not necessarily to be used with an even hand over the whole district but applied to one or more particular houses according to caprice.
*MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)
hoped the Government would see fit not to leave it in the discretion of the justices but to make compulsory the closing of licensed premises on polling days, at any rate in Parliamentary elections, all day. The Leader of the Opposition seemed to say that this might be desirable in large boroughs, but in his view it was quite as necessary in country distrcts. If the matter was left to the justices many difficulties might arise, because the justices, probably to some extent, represented the feeling of their locality, and the result of leaving it to them would be that in the most corrupt and most drunken districts public-houses would not be closed, while in those in which it was not so necessary, closing orders would be likely to be made. He believed it was common ground in all parts of the House that it was desirable to close public-houses on election days in order that the electors might bring a sober and quiet judgment to bear on the consideration of the matters submitted to them. Unfortunately, the influence of the public-house had increased, and was increasing, in elections, and it ought to be diminished. Unfortunately, even under some of the provisions of the Bill which they had passed, there seemed a probability that the influence of the public-house in 835 elections would increase, because if they were to have local veto applicable to existing licences at the end of the reduction period instead of making the publican's interest merely the general interest of his trade, they would say to every man: "The existence of your own personal business depends upon your forming a party and upon the electoral activity which you can stir up". Therefore, it would be necessary for him to take in future a still more active part in elections. Hence, if they were to counter that and do what he believed to be a most desirable thing in connection with temperance reform, which he thought Members in every part of the House who were impressed with the danger of the appeal to indirect motives in elections would support, viz., get the public-house out of politics—it would be necessary to have a universal closing order, at any rate, during Parliamentary elections. There was another aspect of the question to which he desired to draw attention. Justices were very frequently candidates as well in Parliamentary or local government elections, and if they were going to leave this as a test question which might be put to a justice when he was a candidate they were going very seriously to interfere with the possibility of justices exercising true judicial discretion. This was no mere fanciful idea, because he had experienced it in his capacity as a justice in his own constituency. He very seldom sat for that very reason, that he did not feel that he could exercise a truly judicial discretion in adjudicating upon cases arising between his own constituents. If he were to mete out in some cases the punishment which he thought judicially they ought to receive, there was always at the back of his mind the consideration how it was going to affect his electoral prospects. He acknowledged it freely, and he did not feel that if he sat he could properly do his duty as a justice in his own constituency. He, therefore, strongly impressed upon the Prime Minister that they should make compulsory the closing of licensed premises during the whole day, at any rate in Parliamentary elections.
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
did not share the hon. Member's views in regard to the difficulty of administering 836 justice. He had been a justice for more than thirty years, and he could safely say he had never, whatever his shortcomings had been, found the prospects of his election in any way interfere with the administration of justice on the bench.
May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman has been acting as a justice in the constituency for which he was a Member?
§ MR. WALTER LONG
said he had sat in a variety of constituencies, and by degrees he had steadily gone further and further from home each time, but during the early years of his career, a great many years ago, he had sat for his own county, which included the area in which he sat as a justice. He thought the hon. Member had not fought so many elections as he had, and had taken an exaggerated view of the effect on one's Parliamentary career of what one did in one's every day life He had risen, however, to give expression to the difficulty in which he found himself. There had been a general expression of opinion that if anything was to be done in regard to closing public-houses during elections, it should be done by the House, and not be left to the justices. If any change in the law were to be made necessitating the closing of public-houses on election days, he would certainly be in favour of its being made by the House of Commons and not at the discretion of the licensing justices. But he was opposed to any such change being made. He had fought nine contested elections, some in towns and some in the country, so that he had had a varied experience. He had not heard any hon. Member who had defended this sudden change adduce any evidence in its support except of a very general kind. They were told that it was desirable that public-houses should be closed on election day in order that they should take no part in the elections, but if public-houses had the power at election times which hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think, they would not lose that power by being closed. The only result would be to drive the publican, who would have no business to occupy his attention, 837 into electioneering outside for whatever party he might belong to. But if the public-house was a power in elections was not the temperance hotel also a power in elections? Opinions varied. Sometimes they were told the publican was an agent for the party to which he belonged, and sometimes they were told they only had the brewers on their side. Hon. Gentlemen changed their views according to the particular topic under discussion, but, on the whole, he thought they were entitled to credit the Opposition with the support of the publicans. No doubt a great many temperance hotels had been occupied by gentlemen whose views were the same as his, and if they were going to close one they ought to close the other unless it could be shown that there was an increase of drunkenness as a result of the election. The Leader of the Opposition had carefully said he was informed that there was no evidence to show that the opening of public-houses led to an increase of drunkenness or crime, that there was even much increase in the consumption of liquor, and no one had offered an answer to either of these suggestions. The House generally had expressed a desire that public-houses should be closed. He did not know exactly how they stood. Was it proposed to withdraw subsection (g) when they came to it, and table a new one? If so, he suggested that they should have the language of the new subsection in their hands. It was evident that the subsection as it stood would not lend itself to the alteration the Government desired to make. The suggestion came from the Prime Minister only a few minutes ago, and no language had been suggested in substitution of subsection (g). It was asking a great deal to invite the Committee to decide, in two or three hours, a question vitally affecting the people in many parts of the country. It had been said that this provision should be applied also to rural districts, because public-houses there had a greater influence on the election. He did not think there was any justification for that assertion. It was a most unfair charge to make, not only against the publicans, but also against the people, to say that on election days they made such use of public-houses that they 838 were not fit to give their votes calmly and judiciously. A change of this kind ought not to be made without some information being given in support of it, and more time allowed to discuss it than was possible at this stage of the Bill. He invited the Government to tell the Committee what procedure they proposed to adopt.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that when they came to sub-head (g) would be the time to take the general sense of the House in regard to what should be done. So far as altering the clause was concerned, if it was decided to make the law as to the closing of licensed premises on the day of a Parliamentary election a general law, it could not be done in this clause which dealt only with the discretion of local justices under certain conditions, but as a preparation for the new clause it would, of course, be necessary to omit the words "Parliamentary or."
§ SIR F. BANBURY
understood that the result of closing public-houses during the whole of the election day would be to close restaurants as well. He would remind the Committee that at the last election at Peckham there were only two convictions for drunkenness, and they were both women who did not reside in the borough.
said his suggestion was that they should only be closed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, and that this should not apply to bona fide hotels and eating houses.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that in the country there were many public-houses in villages where there were no polling booths, and it would be hard to close a house in any particular village under those circumstances. The first three lines of the clause provided—Licensing magistrates may attach to the renewal of an on-licence any condition which they think fit to attach in respect of any of the following matters.He did not think sufficient importance had been attached to those particular words. Two questions arose. In the first place, were the licensing justices the proper authority, and what right had they to impose any conditions at all, such 839 as those which were set forth in the sub-clauses? The Act of 1904 gave a freehold to the brewer and the publican—at least that was the contention of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and it was stated by them over and over again. It had been provided in this Bill that that freehold should only be for fourteen years, and in addition to that they were attaching all those conditions to the renewal of the old on-licences. In regard to the new licences they could attach any conditions, and no one could object, because they knew the conditions before taking up the licence; but when a man or his predecessors had been in the enjoyment of a licence for forty, fifty, or sixty years they were now proposing at the end of fourteen years to impose upon him all sorts of conditions, or else his licence would be taken away without any compensation. It almost passed the wit of man to understand why such a proposal should be made. He could not conceive that even the present House of Commons, which was returned on a day when public-houses were open, would pass such a clause as that, which was against the whole principle of English law. Were the licensing justices the proper people to decide? He was rather doubtful on the point. He was very much struck by the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, who pointed out the extraordinary change which had come over the Government in their ideas on this question. His right hon. friend had pointed out that earlier in the Bill the licensing justices were not to be considered at all in these matters, whilst under this clause they were to have a very wide discretion. The Prime Minister made a very poor answer to the speech of his right hon. friend, and replied that there was an appeal in every case. It was only a few days ago that the Committee was told that the Licensing Commission did not exercise judicial functions. He thanked the Government for leaving out the barmaids clause. He thought the other clauses were equally bad, and he asked the Solicitor-General to consider whether it would not be wiser to leave out this clause altogether, and let them go home to spend a pleasant evening.
§ *MR. BOULTON (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey)
said he was disappointed with the Prime Minister's statement in regard 840 to the provision about barmaids which, in his view, ought to have been made compulsory. He would like to see all public-houses through-out the country closed on Sunday. He would remind the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London that the provision dealing with Sunday only applied to the sale of intoxicating liquor.
§ *MR. BOULTON
said that with regard to the employment of barmaids and the closing of public-houses on Sunday, perhaps he had a transatlantic prejudice. Throughout Canada and the United States they did not find any barmaids, nor did they find public-houses open on Sunday. Public opinion in America had been educated up to that point, and they would not tolerate there the presence of women in or behind a public-house bar. He hoped the Government would not take out the clause dealing with barmaids.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
said he rose to repeat a question which had been asked in earlier debates on the Bill, and to which no answer had yet been given. Why had the Government confined the provisions of this subsection to on-licences? His hon. and learned friend the Member for Kingston, who had wide experience in licensing matters, had stated that what was ordinarily known as the "long pull," with which this sub-section was intended to deal, existed in regard to off-licences, and not to on-licences. He knew that there was a great deal of difference of opinion on the subject of the long pull. Some benches of magistrates had strong opinions on it; but he could not understand why the difference between a little more and a little less should be regarded as a question of great importance. His experience in licensing laws was not great, and there might be reasons which the Government had to offer on behalf of their proposal. If the proposal was good for an on-licence, why was it not good for an off-licence? He did not think any case whatever had been made for the insertion of subsection (d). But if inserted why should it refer only to the cases of on-licences? He 841 wished to ask another question which he thought equally pertinent when dealing with on-licences. He noticed that power was to be given to close premises with on-licences on Parliamentary election days. Again, he did not think that any case had been made out for that. If on-licences were to be treated in that way, why stop there? An out-voter coming into a constituency on an election day would want to get a meal, and if he went into a restaurant he would find that for that one day the licence-holder was deprived of the right to sell him any alcohol, but the restaurant-keeper could send round to the grocer and buy a bottle of beer for his customer. In fact, persons who could not go to public-houses could go to licence-holders in grocers' shops. The change which the Government proposed instead of being a remedy would only be the means of driving the disease underground, and thus making it worse than it was at present.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that the whole of the clause was framed so as to deal with on-licences. If there was to be any alteration at all it could hardly be made in that clause. If the right hon. Gentleman could satisfy the Committee that the evil existed, with regard to off-licences, it would be taken into consideration. It-did not appear that the clause should be extended to off-licences.
§ VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
said there were three pages of Amendments on the Paper to be disposed of before subsection (g) could be reached, and, therefore, with the guillotine falling at half-past ten, there was little likelihood of the Committee having an opportunity of discussing that subsection. He welcomed very much the action the Prime Minister had taken in deleting from the Bill subsection (a), though he would far sooner that the right hon. Gentleman had gone a little further and deleted the subsection with which they were now dealing. He held that the matters dealt with in this clause were nearly all matters of principle in regard to which the law should be laid down by the Government in the Bill, and not left to the discretion of the justices in the different areas to decide. He had nothing to say against local justices, but it was obvious that 842 if matters were left to their discretion there would be in all parts of the country a great lack of uniformity. He should have thought that, if it was the object of the authors of the Bill to promote the interests of temperance, it would be far better that there, should be uniformity. As to closing public-houses on days of Parliamentary elections, he was opposed to such restrictions. He thought a very curious situation would arise if the proposal were carried out. They appealed to the electors and asked them to decide on such great questions as free trade versus protection, and on the momentous question of the management of the affairs of Ireland by the British Parliament, and yet on election days they were not to be allowed to manage themselves. They said they could trust the people with looking after the interests of this great Empire but could not trust them to give a correct decision in electing a Member of Parliament if they were allowed the latitude of going into a public-house on polling day. He thought that was a very extraordinary position for hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, who had been returned to power by a large majority, to take up.
§ MR. G. A. HARDY (Suffolk, Stow-market)
said it had been stated that no case had been made out why public-houses should be closed on polling days; and the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London had quoted Peckham as a paradise where only two people were put in prison for getting drunk on the polling day at the bye-election for that constituency. As one who visited Peckham on the polling day, he could only say that it was a pandemonium of drunkenness. [OPPOSITION Cries of "Oh!"] He was there the whole time on that particular night and he could give an illustration. He asked five people the way to a certain place and four of them were so drunk that they could not tell him; the fifth was a postman, who was able to tell him the way. The public houses were filled to repletion.
§ MR. G. A. HARDY
said he would not continue that argument. He cordially hoped the Government in some way or other would enable the public-houses to be closed on polling day, because that would prevent them being used as committee rooms, as they had been on many occasions.
§ *MR. H. H. MARKS (Kent, Thanet)
said he was not at all disposed to undervalue the concessions which the Prime Minister had made on this clause with reference to the employment of barmaids; but he would point out that there remained in the clause sufficient elements of mischief to cause great inconvenience to the public and great injury to property. He would invite the particular attention of the Committee to one point. If this clause was to pass even after the concessions made, the effect would be that the local justices would have conferred upon them unlimited and unqualified discretion to prevent the sale of liquor on licensed premises at any time during Sunday. That discretion would apply not only to houses which were maintained exclusively for the sale of liquor, but equally to houses in which the licence was only an auxiliary—to hotels and restaurants throughout the country. The exercise of such a discretion would inevitably entail heavy loss, and in some cases actual ruin on a number of great enterprises in which the public of all classes had invested their capital. The case would be particularly hard on the hotels and restaurants and eating houses at the sea-side and at riverside places of recreation, where at the present time toilers seeking repose on Sundays were accustomed to resort. In that respect the Government were taking away with one hand what they had already given with the other. The Government had recognised that there was a class of places where people resorted for the purpose of recreation, and they had recognised that those places were entitled to special treatment. That was recognised in Schedule 1, paragraph 3, where it was provided that the apportionment of licences in respect to population was not to apply to places of resort for recreation. That was a very generous, wise and creditable concession; but what was the use of 844 making that concession if the holders of the increased licences which would be secured by it were not to be permitted to carry on their trade on the one day in the week when the greatest number of visitors were present? Sunday was the favourite day for visits to the river or seaside. It was inevitable that it should continue so. It was the day when the demand for refreshments was greatest, and it was intolerable that licensed victuallers at pleasure resorts should be prevented from supplying them. In the interest of the important sea-side places which he represented, he should support the Motion for the exclusion of the clause.
§ SIR E. CARSON (Dublin University)
asked whether the Prime Minister proposed to strike out paragraph (g). It was quite possible that they would not come to that sub-clause that night, and they on that side of the House would like to know if they did not reach it, were the Government going to move an Amendment to strike it out.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said he would be quite prepared, on the assumption that the Committee was willing to accept as a substantive clause a universal regulation with regard to the closing of public-houses on Parliamentary polling days, to bring up a new clause for the purpose. That would be accomplished by deleting the words "Parliamentary or" from this clause, and confining it strictly to local elections in regard to which it would not be desirable to have a universal rule. He was much encouraged in his assumption by the speech of the Leader of the Opposition last Friday. That speech, he was bound to say, was somewhat qualified in the course of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks that day, although he understood he had since completely dissented from two of his colleagues on that bench. But that did not affect his opinion that there was a general feeling in the Committee that this should be a matter of general enactment so far as Parliamentary polling days were concerned, and not be left to the discretion of particular justices. The Government were prepared to act on that.
§ SIR E. CARSON
said he then understood that that evening the Government would move an Amendment leaving out the words "Parliamentary or." He quite agreed that the best way was to bring up a new clause and they might then have an opportunity of discussing the question.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said that the new clause would be brought up on Report. He would take care that an opportunity was then given for discussion, but if under the operation of the closure he could delete "Parliamentary or" he would do so that night.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman intended that the new clause dealing with Parliamentary elections should apply to off-licences as well as to on-licences.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said he should like to give a good deal more consideration to that before he gave an answer, because the same considerations did not apply to off-licences as to on-licences.
§ MR. HEMMERDE (Denbighshire, E.)
said that as a matter of fact the evil from keeping premises with on-licences open on polling days was very real, and it was clear to anyone who had followed the cases that there was one reason why they should differentiate between on-licences and off-licences. There was always a difficulty in proving treating in on-licence houses or that a man had bought drink to distribute among voters; but he did not believe that that difficulty would arise in any way with off-licences. The Government would, he thought, cover the whole ground in dealing with on-licences. The hon. Member for Maidstone had said that the Government in dealing with a matter like this showed that they did not trust the people, but the Government were determined that the votes of a few people about the country who could be influenced by such considerations should not be allowed to interfere with the opinion of a large majority who would not be so influenced. The Government were right in making this provision and in 846 taking the discretion out of the hands of the justices. No one could possibly doubt that at election times there was such strong feeling that it would be almost impossible to get benches of magistrates, who were preponderately of one view, to close the public-houses on polling days. The only case he remembered of treating from an off-licence was where one of the parties actually had drink in a committee-room where they treated the voters. But nothing was easier than to detect that.
§ MR. BRODIE (Surrey, Reigate)
said he was sorry to detain the Committee, and trusted he was not out of order, but before they went to a division on this subsection, he would like to get some statement from the Government as to whether they would give any consideration to an Amendment he had placed on the Paper.
§ MR. BRODIE
inquired, with all respect, whether it was not possible that the Amendment might not be reached.
said they were on the question of leaving out the subsection, and the hon. Member could not anticipate discussion on specific Amendments which came later.
§ LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
said that perhaps he might be more fortunate than the hon. Member who had just addressed the House. He would like to ask a question of the Prime Minister, because he thought it might influence his vote in the division. It was a question concerning the whole matter they were going to vote about, and he might be in the unfortunate position of having to vote against his party. He was pledged to vote in favour of Sunday closing, and he looked upon the clause as a roundabout method of accomplishing that object. He would have preferred a straightforward method of dealing with the question, but he 847 supposed it would be impossible in this measure to go into the whole question. As to the subsection dealing with Sunday closing he did not quite understand—not being an expert in reading Acts of Parliament—the conditions under which intoxicating liquor might be sold to bona-fide travellers. He had always thought it would be a great hardship on the owner or licensee of a public-house, if when made to close the public-house on Sunday altogether, he, his wife, or a member of his family, or his servant had to remain about the house the whole day in case some stray gentleman on a bicycle turned up and wanted a drink. If he was not allowed to keep his house open on Sundays and do the accustomed trade, he ought to be protected from being rung up by the bona fide traveller.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said that that case was sufficiently met by the law as it stood. The licensee could take out a six days licence. He was not then compelled to open his house on Sunday to the bon fide traveller or anybody else.
§ MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)
wished to know how the bona fids traveller was going to get on. There were a great many of them who under this clause would get no refreshment at all. Were these people to be shut out altogether? Was there to be no place at all for the bona fide traveller?
§ *COLONEL WALKER (Lancashire, Widnes)
wished to say a few words on the all important question of "the long pull." He thought he might say, as one having experience of the trade, that it was not an unwelcome section, but what they desired was that all should be treated alike. He would rather not include this subsection in the clause, however, because the proposal should be embodied in a compulsory clause, so that every licensee should be treated alike and should not be at the mercy of the whim of some local magistrate. The policy of giving extra measure to the public might be considered as one conducive to intemperance, if it was conducive to 848 intemperance that people should consume drink in their own homes. But the origin of this practice was to give the poor man the same right of buying his beer at wholesale prices as the rich man. If the Committee considered that the poor man should not have the same facilities as the rich man then they should pass that subsection. As a trade they did not care what the Committee did. All that was asked was that all should be treated alike. As regarded the question of closing houses on polling days, his personal experience of figures taken in Liverpool was that there was absolutely no increase of takings on an election day. He stated that as a fact. If the Government closed all public-houses on an election day they would make that district in which the election took place very unpopular. Did the Government wish to make Parliamentary elections as unpopular as parochial elections? Did the number of electors voting in a county council election represent the feelings of that community? He did not think so. He wanted to encourage voters to go to the poll. If the Government were to punish the whole of a community and prevent them from getting refreshment in a legitimate manner then elections would be unpopular. He also protested against licensees being at the whim of magistrates—of cranks and fanatics—so far as the alteration of premises was concerned.
§ MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)
asked if the prohibition extended to the whole of the polling day. If so, it would be a great hardship on a great many people, as on polling day a number of people did a great deal of work. The poll was over at six o'clock in the evening, and there could be no influencing of electors. It would be an injustice to the men who had worked hard to deny them refreshment, and quite unnecessary. Would the clause cover local government elections and bye-elections? It would be extremely inconvenient if it did. Then, again, were the clubs to be allowed open?
§ Question put.850
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 267; Noes, 83. (Division List No. 315.)851
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Allen,A.Acland (Christchurch)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lynch, H. B.|
|Asquith,RtHn. Herbert Henry||Fenwick, Charles||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Ferens, T. R.||Macdonald,J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Findlay, Alexander||Maclean, Donald|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Fullerton, Hugh||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Gibb, James (Harrow)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down,S.)|
|Baring,Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Glen-Coats, Sir T.(Renfrew,W.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Barker, John||Glover, Thomas||M'Crae, Sir George|
|Barlow Percy (Bedford)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Barnard, E. B.||Gooch,George Peabody (Bath)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Maddison, Frederick|
|Beale, W. P.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mallett, Charles E.|
|Beachamp, E.||Griffith, Ellis J.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Gulland, John W.||Marks,G.Croydon(Launceston)|
|Bell, Richard||Gurdon,RtHn.Sir W. Brampton||Marnham, F. J.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Menzies, Walter|
|Benn,Sir J. Williams(Devonp'rt||Harcourt, RtHn.L.(Rossendale||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets,S.Geo.||Harcourt,Robert V.(Montrose)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hardie,J.Keir(Merthyr Tydvil)||Mond, A.|
|Bethell,Sir J. H.(Essex,Romf'rd||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Harmsworth,Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harmsworth, R. L.(Caithn'ss-sh||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hart-Davies, T.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Harvey, W. E.(Derbyshire,N.E.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Haworth, Arthur A.||Morrell, Philip|
|Brace, William||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hedges, A. Paget||Murray,Capt. HnA. C.(Kincard.|
|Branch, James||Helme, Norval Watson||Myer, Horatio|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Napier, T. B.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen,W.)||Nicholson,CharlesN.(Doncast'r|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs.,Leigh)||Herbert,Col.Sir Ivor(Mon.,S.)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe||Nuttall, Harry|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||O'Grady, J.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hobart, Sir Robert||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Buxton,Rt. Hn.Sydney Charles||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Partington, Oswald|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hodge, John||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Cameron, Robert||Holland, Sir William Henry||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holt, Richard Durning||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Causton,Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Hooper, A. G.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hope, W.Bateman(Somerset, N||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Horniman, Emslie John||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Clough, William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hudson, Walter||Radford, G. H.|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Hyde, Clarendon||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'|
|Collins,Sir Wm.J(S. Pancras, W.||Jackson, R. S.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Corbett,C. H(Sussex, E.Grinst'd||Jardine, Sir J.||Richards, Thomas (W.Monm'th|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Cox, Harold||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Robertson, Sir GScott(Bradf'rd|
|Crossley, William J.||Kekewich, Sir George||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||King,Alfred John (Knutsford)||Robinson, S.|
|Davies,David(Montgomery Co.||Laidlaw, Robert||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dewar,Arthur(Edinburgh, S.)||Lambert, George||Rose, Charles Day|
|Dickinson, W. H.(St.Pancras,N.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Duckworth, James||Lamont, Norman||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness||Lea,Hugh Cecil(St.Pancras,E.)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lever,A.Levy(Essex, Harwich)||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Scarisbrick, T. T. L.||Taylor Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Schwann,Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Sears, J. E.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thomas son, Franklin||Wiles, Thomas|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset E.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Toulmin, George||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Snowden, P.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Verney, F. W.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Vivian, Henry||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Panoras, S.)|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Walton, Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Steadman, W. C.||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wardle, George J.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Waterlow, D. S.||Elibank.|
|Summerbell, T.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Sutherland, J. E.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F.||Faber, George Denison (York)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fell, Arthur||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fletcher, J. S.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gardner, Ernest||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Halpin, J.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Heaton, John Henniker||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanier, Beville|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Starkey, John R.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hunt, Rowland||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir. Edw. H.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt,-Col. A. R.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Young, Samuel|
|Cros, Alexander||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Younger, George|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Viscount Valentia and Lord|
|Duncan, Robt.(Lanark, Govan)||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Edmund Talbot.|
§ SIR EDWARD SASSOON (Hythe)
moved an Amendment to exempt from the operation of the clause "premises constructed, fitted, and intended to be used in good faith for any purpose to which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary." He said the object of the Amendment was obvious on the face of it. If the Government insisted on the provisions of this clause being made applicable to every licensed premises, and upon the matter being left in the 852 unqualified discretion of the justices, the Amendment was absolutely necessary. The Government had, he thought, shown a wise discretion in the position they had taken up with regard to barmaids and children, but this clause would preclude all visitors on Sunday from having the smallest glass of stimulants. No case whatever had been made out as regarded paragraph (g) for closing public-houses on election days, and he hoped the Prime Minister, when 853 he came to deal with that question, would enlighten the Committee as to the real reason which weighed with the Government in coming to their decision. His Amendment did not raise the question of whether it was wise or unwise to open public-houses on polling days, but it did raise the question of whether hotels, etc., should not be exempted from the restrictive operation of the clause. He would like the Government to consider the Amendment from a broad and statesmanlike point of view, and with the hope that they would do so he begged to move.
In page 13, line 6, after the word 'on-licence,' to insert the words 'in respect of premises other than premises constructed, fitted, and intended to be used in good faith for any purpose to which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary.'"—(Sir Edward Sassoon.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR S. EVANS
regretted that the Government could not accept the Amendment. The hon. Member would see that most if not the whole of the conditions which the Government thought should attach to licences applied to hotels as well as other licensed houses, such, for instance, as those under paragraph (b). With reference to the qualms of the hon. Member as to the differences of feeding, and so on, when they came to discuss that question in connection with the Sunday closing clause at a later stage of the Bill, he thought the hon. Gentleman would be satisfied that there would be no difficulty in providing that people should be supplied with meals at these houses.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said accompanied by liquor. If the hon. Member would refer to the clause in the Act of 1904, he would see that there was no exemption such as he now sought to obtain in favour of the houses to which he referred.
§ SIR EDWARD SASSOON
The conditions in the Act of 1904 were to attach to every house whatever its character.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
thought the Solicitor-General laid too much stress on the Act of 1904. Obviously it was one thing to apply certain restrictions to a particular class of house, and quite a different thing to apply those restrictions to every house. He asked the Solicitor-General whether he really meant that those buildings to which the licence was merely an accessory came within the subsection? Did he really mean that in the case of an hotel the justices could make any regulations they pleased in regard to any part of it, from top to bottom, which was open to the public? He presumed that this was merely a little oversight, because the Government were dealing with the Bill in a hurry, and they would be very glad to put down an Amendment on Report.
§ MR. CAVE
asked what was the change really proposed in the later part of the clause. As regarded the arrangements of a house generally, that was not a matter for the justices in the case of hotels, and the same observation applied to paragraph (g). In respect of paragraph (e) he understood, when they came to it, that hotels were to be exempted. ["No."] He understood from the Solicitor-General that some change was to be made to satisfy the mover of the Amendment with regard to Sunday closing.
§ MR. CAVE
said if there was to be any exception with regard to hours, the earlier clause had no exception from the power to close hotels altogether on Sunday. He did not think that would be at all approved. Surely, if there was any part of this clause from which hotels ought to be exempted it was that dealing with bona-fide travellers. He hoped that the Amendment would be pressed, because it dealt with a special case which ought to be exempted from the operation of the clause.
§ MR. LYTTELTON (St. George's, Hanover Square)
said he must press for 855 further information. He had put down Amendments to almost every clause of the Bill in regard to hotels, but under the closure they had not been reached. He was quite at a loss as to what the policy of the Government was with respect to hotels, such, for instance, as the great railway hotels, which had been, in existence for a very long time. Did the Solicitor-General really suggest that on polling day the Great Western Hotel at Paddington was to be shut up? Would he suggest that the new Great Central and St. Pancras Hotels were to be shut up on a Sunday, and that the licensing justices should have full power to close them altogether on that day? Such conclusions seemed to him to be absolutely ridiculous. As the basis of their measure the Government assumed that a reduction in the number of public houses would result in increased public morality, and upon that they had built up the immense practice of restriction contained in the Bill. He had never in his life met anybody who contended that a large hotel was other than a benefit to its neighbourhood. It was not a source, by any conceivable means, of the mischiefs which it was imagined were going to be dealt with by this Bill. None of those mischiefs arose at all in the case of large hotels. He was perfectly certain that any man of business who looked at the question would see that from the commercial point of view the existence of an hotel in a place was a matter of very great public importance. He knew perfectly well, from his own experience of places like Manchester and Birmingham, that the complaint in the old days was that there was no first-class hotel accommodation in those cities. That cause of complaint had now been removed. He had always understood that the institution of a really good hotel in a great commercial city had a very great bearing on its commerce. He wanted, if he could, to understand what the Government meant by this clause. Was it their intention to bring hotels within the ambit of this Bill at all? He submitted that to do so was absolutely unnecessary, and that they would be inflicting great damage on the community by adopting such a course. None of the mischiefs which were aimed at were produced by large hotels, while there 856 were many benefits from them, chiefly commercial. He understood that foreign countries were very fully alive to the many benefits which arose to a commercial community from the presence in their midst of large commercial hotels. Was it really intended to bring within the clause such hotels as he had been speaking of, and to which the licence was a mere accessory? Was it really proposed that they were to bring those hotels within the jurisdiction of the licensing magistrates to declare that they were to be wholly closed on polling day or that they were to be open for a limited period on Sunday? He really could not believe that the Government had such a project in mind, but if they had he should most certainly vote for the Amendment.
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
said that to discuss whether they intended to bring hotels at all within the ambit of the Bill would be quite out of order, as the discussion of hotels had relation to other clauses than that which they were now considering. With reference to this particular clause, the right hon. Gentleman had pointed out that in a large measure hotels were unsuited to be regulated in the manner suggested by some of these subheads. Undoubtedly that was so, and therefore discretion was given to the justices as to which of these particular restrictions should be applied. The right hon. Gentleman's Amendment and the Amendment which they were now discussing did not limit themselves to large public hotels, but included all premises to which the on-licence was a mere accessory, and they not only included large hotels, such as the Midland Hotel and the Great Western Hotel, but also small semi-private restaurants which had a liquor licence, and which it might be exceedingly desirable to regulate in this manner.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
asked whether the hon. Gentleman intended to apply to large hotels a different measure of treatment from that which he applied to small hotels. Surely the test should be in each case whether it was a bona-fide hotel to which the licence was only accessory?
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
asked if the right hon. Gentleman knew of any legal definition of the word "hotel." It might be anything; there was no legal definition. There were many small public-houses which called themselves hotels for reasons which might be perfectly legitimate. The words in which the hon. Baronet had moved his Amendment were these—In respect of premises other than premises constructed, fitted, and intended to be used in good faith for any purpose for which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary.And his answer was that the Amendment covered not merely large commercial hotels, but small restaurants which had a liquor licence, and which it might be exceedingly desirable to regulate by action of the justices as proposed in this subsection. The justices would have full discretion in this matter, as they must have where licensed premises differed greatly in condition one from another. When the subsections could not have universal application, it was necessary to give the justices the right to discriminate to which it was necessary to apply this proposal, and to which it was not. If any injustice was done, the persons affected always had the right to appeal to Quarter Sessions, in whom the hon. Member and others, as they had heard recently, had such great confidence. The right hon. Gentleman asked whether the Government proposed to give the justices power arbitrarily to shut up great hotels in London on Sunday. Of course not; that had never been proposed. It had been made perfectly clear on previous clauses that all this part of the Bill, as was the case under the existing law, related to the sale of intoxicating liquors and to that alone, and although, just as under the present law, the words of the statute were "these premises shall be closed," there was no absolute closing and no penalty except for selling intoxicating liquors. He would make his position perfectly clear. Yesterday, Sunday, every hotel in England was subject to the same restriction as that which they now proposed in the same form of words, except that the hours were different in that which the Government proposed. The hotels were able to keep open for the sale of all refresh- 858 ments except intoxicating liquors, and they would be in the same position under the present proposal.
§ MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)
Does the hon. Gentleman tell the House that licensed premises can be kept open during prohibited hours for the sale of things other than alcohol?
§ *MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
said that that was so. They did it every day. In the hotels in question it was done generally. ["No, no."] It was within his own experience that the hotels at Brighton remained open all Sunday. ["For visitors."] He made the statement not merely on his own authority but on the authority of the Prime Minister and the Solicitor-General, that the Government's position was that they did not alter the existing law in respect to the sale of articles other than alcoholic liquors. The Solicitor-General had stated that the Government contemplated placing on the Paper, when they returned to the question of Sunday closing, words which would apply to paragraph (e) of the clause, dealing with the case of persons who ordered alcoholic liquor at their meals.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD (Liverpool, West Derby)
said the hon. Gentleman was under a most extraordinary misapprehension with regard to the serving in a licensed house of teas and meals of different kinds. It might be assumed from his speech that if a person living in London went to a hotel he could get any meal he liked at any hour of the day. That was absolutely untrue. The only persons who were able to enter any licensed premises during the hours those licensed premises were obliged to be closed by law were bona fide travellers, and the whole argument fell to the ground. It was entirely founded on a misapprehension of the facts.
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER (Hants, Basingstoke)
hoped they might have some clearer information as to the change proposed to be made, which they were told would have some bearing upon this subsection. There were certain hours during which intoxicating liquor 859 was not to be sold on Sunday. As the subsection now stood, it would be competent to any Bench to say to any restaurant keeper or large hotel proprietor who came to have his licence renewed: "You shall have no licence for the ensuing year unless you will consent to serve no intoxicating liquor whatever on Sunday." If he took the licence with that condition and broke it, he would be liable to be fined 20s. a day, and to lose his licence without compensation. If, on the other hand, he said the licence was of no use with the restriction, and gave it up, he would have no right of compensation at all. He had a right of appeal which he might or might not win, but that did not remedy the injustice. Apparently, the Government agreed that this state of things as it now stood could not be right, but they ought to be told what was the change that was going to be made. They understood there would be some relaxation of the general hours of Sunday closing in favour of restaurants and hotels, but they ought to be told whether any change would be made in regard to the subsection. Would any limitation be introduced to the power given to justices here to say to applicants: "You are already restricted on Sunday within certain hours. You will have no renewal of your licence unless you submit to further restrictions." They ought to be told, whatever might be the ordinary rules as to Sunday closing, whether that power was or was not to be entrusted to the justices.
§ MR. J. JOHNSON (Gateshead)
said he could speak largely of villages where it was a very common thing for a licensed victualler to put on his sign the word "hotel." He thought it was quite as much a matter of taste what a man put on his sign as anything else. He went into one of those hotels the other day, and he said he wanted some tea, but he was most politely told that he could not have it. He said he was given to understand that the place was a hotel and the man said: "We have not time to do it." He thought the subsection might very well be left as it was, for he had no fear that the licensing justices would do any injustice, and he did not see why the distinctions which 860 the framers of the clause had in view could not be attached by the licensing justices. If any injustice was done, he supposed there would be a right of appeal, and then the thing could be made plain. He hoped the Government would keep the subsection as it stood and leave to the justices the authority to say what reasonable conditions they would attach to the granting of a licence.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
thought the Committee would admit that his hon. friend had really opened, for the first time during their discussions, the fringe, at all events, of a very big question which they had had no opportunity of discussing, but which touched very nearly the interests not only of rural districts and small provincial towns, but such places as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and other great cities where foreigners and strangers were in the habit of coming. It was of great importance that in these days of international movement London and the other large cities of the kingdom should not be behind the great Continental centres in the attractions they offered to people who visited the country for business, pleasure, or curiosity. It was of great advantage to the country in pounds, shillings, and pence that people should be attracted to its shores, and that English people should not be driven from their shores at times of holiday. The Government had never explained what exactly was their policy in regard to the great hotels, which were an absolute sine qua non, without which attraction to our shores was an impossibility. However difficult it might be to distinguish technically hotels and restaurants from public-houses, the distinction was great and important, and ought to find a place in their legislation. He did not ask the Government to tell them how they meant to deal with this question under all the clauses of the Bill, but some indication of their general policy he thought they might well ask of them. It was quite true that the Amendment dealt with a portion of the hotel question which was far from covering the whole ground, but his hon. friend had not had an opportunity of raising the question in its broader issues. After all, the method of distinguishing between the hotel and 861 the restaurant, which were intended to minister to the wants of the foreigner and the stranger, and the public-house, was really raised by the Amendment, and the whole policy underlying the Bill on this point might therefore properly be explained.
§ MR. ASQUITH
thought the right hon. Gentleman had made a very reasonable appeal. Unfortunately the clause to which the question was really relevant—the clause which imposed restriction of the Sunday hours of opening on the country as a whole—had been passed on Friday without an opportunity having arisen for the consideration of the matter. It was clear that relaxation in the case of hotels was much more necessary in that clause than in this. That was an absolute cast-iron rule for the whole country, and the justices had no discretion in the matter at all, whereas here it was extremely improbable that any set of justices would be found who would impose any such vexatious disabilities on hotels as some hon. Members appeared to apprehend. It was better that he should say at once how the Government proposed to deal with the matter. They had no intention whatever of interfering with the legitimates conduct of the Sunday business of hotels and restaurants on its present lines—houses kept open not merely for the sale of intoxicating liquors but bona fide eating houses where people went and took their meals. Without committing himself to the actual form of words, what the Government proposed to do was to introduce in the proper place a proviso to this effect: "That nothing in the provisions of the Licensing Acts or of this Act in respect to closing shall prevent the supply of intoxicating liquor on any licensed premises on Sunday, during the hours the premises could have been open for the sale of intoxicating liquor immediately before the passing of the Act, to any person who is bona fide taking a meal on the premises in a room set apart for the purpose." That seemed to them a better way of dealing with it than having an artificial category of hotels or restaurants, or some dubious or ambiguous language not going to the root of the thing, which was: What was the purpose for which the person was there? If he went there for meals, and the con- 862 sumption of liquor was ancillary to that, the present law ought to remain in force. They did not intend in any way to restrict the liberty which these places at present enjoyed of carrying on their bona fide business as hotel and restaurant-keepers.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what the policy of the Government is to be with regard to hotels in relation to the monopoly value and the provisions of the Bill which relate to that.
§ MR. YOUNGER
said the right hon. Gentleman had probably deliberately confined himself to dealing with the question of Sunday. But what about election days and that sort of thing?
§ MR. ASQUITH
This clause does not give justices a general power to close licensed premises on polling days but only to attach to a particular licence the condition that it shall comply with certain regulations. Nobody supposes that any justice would attach a condition to the licence of the Ritz Hotel that it should close on polling days.
§ MR. BARNARD
said that if he had not heard the speech of the Under-Secretary on Friday the statement made by the Prime Minister would have been quite satisfactory. The position stated by the right hon. Gentleman would regulate the hotels and restaurants in London.
§ MR. BARNARD
said he understood this proposal cleared the way for what had been in the minds of hon. Members ever since Friday night.
§ MR. ASQUITH
What my hon. friend said was that we are considering the question of the hours to apply to ordinary public-houses, and it does not follow that we shall adopt precisely the same hours for London, which has always been 863 treated differently. The explanation I have been making applies everywhere.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
said the Prime Minister had just given them an indication of what they were going to do in the case of hotels and refreshment-rooms. The position, as he understood it, would be that if he were in Liverpool and desired to get a bottle of claret on Sunday during the hours which the justices thought fit to close public-houses he could obtain it at an hotel by taking a luncheon with it; but a poor man in Liverpool would be unable to get a glass of beer during those hours at any licensed house. Poor men could not afford to order a luncheon. Therefore the effect of the Government proposal would be to establish one law for the rich and another for the poor. He would give any such proposal as that the most absolute opposition, because these matters ought to be put on a par for all classes of the community. The great mass of people outside did not frequent hotels, and they had to frequent public-houses which would be subject to these restrictions. They had been told that if anybody wanted tea or any other refreshment during closing time they could get it, but that was not a fact. He should most certainly oppose any proposal or suggestion which would put various classes of the community upon a different footing, treating a poor man in one way and a man with means in another. That was not fair or English, and he did not believe the British public would stand it.
§ MR. LYELL (Dorsetshire, E.)
wished to allude to the point raised as to the right of a licence-holder to keep his premises open for the sale of food during the hours he was prohibited from selling intoxicating liquors. This proposition, from the legal point of view, had been challenged, and it had been put forward that a person could not get into an hotel to obtain food or for any other purpose, at times when liquor was not allowed to be sold, except as a bona fide traveller. He thought that point ought to be definitely cleared up, because it was very important. Some of them desired reforms in licensing to proceed along the lines which would make licensed premises 864 public-houses in the best sense of the word, and not drinking shops. He thought words should be introduced which would clear up this point, and advertise the fact that public-houses might be opened for the purpose of buying food or for other recreation unconnected with the sale of liquor quite apart from any restrictions which the law or the House might impose upon the sale of liquor.
§ *MR. YOUNGER
said he knew that in Scotland if any person was found upon licensed premises during prohibited hours the licence holder was liable to a severe penalty. Any person found on licensed premises during closing hours in England who was not a servant, a manager, a ledger, or a bona fide traveller was subject to a fine of 40s. The whole discussion had convinced him that the Licensing Commission were right in their view that whatever conditions or restrictions were attached to licences they ought to be most carefully thought out.
I think the hon. Member is getting a little wide of the subject. This is a proposal to exempt hotels.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said the point raised by his hon. friend behind him and the hon. and learned Member for Ayr Burghs only arose incidentally upon this Amendment. He admitted that it was a point of considerable importance. Whatever the meaning was under the Acts of 1872 and 1874, they did not change it at all. In his opinion there was nothing in the licensing law which prevented houses from opening for the purpose of supplying food or anything else other than the sale or consumption of intoxicating liquor.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
No, you are wrong. If the Solicitor-General will send for the first policeman to be met with he will tell him what happens at closing time.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said the hon. and learned Member might be very learned in regard to these particular laws, but he was not very courteous. There 865 would be no change in the law which had been in operation since 1872. Personally, he had no objection to putting in a declaratory section—although he thought it would be better not to—not to changes the law but to make it clear, and put in black and white in the Act of Parliament the opinion they wished to express.
§ MR. YOUNGER
said there were certain bona fide purposes for which a person might be on licensed premises during closing hours, but those purposes did not include the buying of food.
§ SIR GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
said he had had a good deal of experience on benches of magistrates before whom persons had been brought for being on licensed premises during prohibited hours, and he was bound to say he never knew a case of conviction where it was not satisfactorily proved that the person before the Court had been there to obtain intoxicating drink. The trouble in getting a conviction was that it was extremely difficult to get a witness in any form to the sale of intoxicating liquor, and that, he thought, must be the experience of benches of magistrates generally. They did not convict persons for being in the licensed house unless they could show that he had purchased a drink, and the practice, whatever the law was, was as the learned Solicitor-General had contended. He wished to ask the Government to accept the lesson of concessions from the attitude taken up by one of the hon. Members for Liverpool. The moment the Government attempted to meet certain demands which might or might not be just, some further demand was made and the absurdity of the concession was at once shown to the Committee. He hoped it would be a warning to the Government as showing that a reasonable concession was not received in the spirit in which it was made, but was used as a lever to get something further which would practically stultify the other clauses of the Act.
§ MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
said he was obliged to the Solicitor- 866 General for the explanation he had given of the Prime Minister's concession. The law was one thing and the practice was another. Most public-house keepers were in such fear of having their licences taken away that sooner than risk anything they would keep out a customer who wanted a cup of tea. He was a customer who wanted tea, and he was glad to hear the explanation. The hon. Member for the West Derby Division did not do the Prime Minister justice. The right hon. Gentleman foreshadowed the case of a bona fide traveller having a meal. Did the hon. Member opposite mean to say that a rich man would be able to order a sumptuous lunch while a humbler person would not be able to order bread and cheese? An eating room must be part of the structure, and the police knew the purpose for which it was habitually used. He held that the concession announced by the Prime Minister would apply equally to the man who ordered an expensive lunch and to the man who ordered bread and cheese, and the decoctions which were made from the plants which grew in China, India and Ceylon.
§ MR. H. H. MARKS
said there were two points which had escaped the attention of hon. Gentlemen who had been discussing this question. It was quite true that the Prime Minister had proposed to insert words in the Bill that nothing should prevent the supply of intoxicating liquors during the hours when houses were closed, provided that they were served with meals in rooms set apart for the purpose. It was obvious that at the Ritz, the Savoy, and the Carlton Hotels there were rooms set aside for eating, but the humble wayfarer who desired to have bread and cheese and a glass of beer would have difficulty in finding a public-house with a room set apart for eating. In the vast majority of public-houses bread and cheese was served at the counter where the beer was sold. He might be wrong, but that was a point on which the value of the concession turned. It seemed to him that the concession would apply only to hotels and restaurants of the better class, and not to the small beerhouses used by the working classes, because in 867 these small houses there were not rooms set apart for the service of meals.
§ MR. LUPTON
said he had been in hundreds of public-houses in the country and he could state that in most of them there was a room where customers could get bread and cheese and beer.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
said he had no intention of being discourteous to the Solicitor-General, and he apologised if anything he said could be so construed. There was a distinction between hotels and public-houses. Hotels which were in the habit of receiving bona fide travellers had the means of opening a door by which they could be admitted, but ordinary public-houses were closed during certain hours, and the members of the public could not get into them under any circumstances whatever for tea or other non-alcoholic refreshments. He made that statement without fear of contradiction. Every policeman knew that public-houses must be shut at half-past twelve and that they could not be kept open after that hour for the sale of tea, coffee, or anything of that sort. The words quoted by the Solicitor-General had been interpreted as meaning a person who might be called upon, for instance, to repair a watermain. There were all sorts of reasons why a man should be on licensed premises after the closing hour, but no licence-holder had a right to have on his premises any person except a bona fide traveller or a workman who was doing some work after the closing hour. If he did allow anyone to be on the premises, he was liable to be fined 40s. and costs. The law was that no person was entitled to be on licensed premises after the closing hour, and whether the place was a hotel or a public-house made no difference. The Amendment and the concession given by the Prime Minister both illustrated the general unworkability of the section with which they were dealing; they showed that if they attempted to make any difference between classes of houses they inevitably ended in making one law for one class and another law for another class. That kind of thing should not be allowed, and, therefore, he welcomed the statement made from 868 the Treasury Bench that there was an intention by a declaratory clause of saying that all licensed houses could be open during the hours at which they were by this Bill to be closed, provided they were open for the supply of meals and non-alcoholic refreshments. But that was not the point they were now discussing. The point was whether they were to make one law for the rich and another for the poor. That was what the passing of the Amendment would amount to, and therefore, he was against it. He considered that there should be no distinction made. If they gave facilities to large hotels frequented by the rich they should also give facilities to small public - houses used by the poor. If they did not, the law would be repugnant to the general sense of the community. He agreed with the Leader of the Opposition that in this matter England should not keep itself to itself. Foreigners who visited this country desired reasonable accommodation, but the question with regard to that did not arise in their case. They were always bona fide travellers, and they were entitled to get refreshments wherever they went. They should not subject poor men in every town in the kingdom to penalties and disabilities, while men who were better off could evade them.
§ MR. LUTTRELL (Devonshire, Tavistock)
said it seemed to him that the Government would make a mistake if they made any concession on this point either now or at a later stage. To make the concession which had been indicated would really mean the allowing of houses to be open on Sunday. It would be possible for them to set apart a room in which meals could be served.
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
said that the hon. Member for Liverpool had repeated the same argument eight or ten times. [Cries of "Order."] When they were told that this measure was being put through by means of the "gag" it should be remembered that the hon. Member for Liverpool had deliberately taken up the time of the Committee by constantly repeating himself.
§ *MR. FINDLAY (Lanarkshire, N. E.)
said that in regard to the sale of liquor on Sunday, he was very glad that they had not that question in Scotland, where all the houses were shut except hotels for the benefit of the bona fide traveller. He understood that this Bill was to try and restrict the sale of intoxicants so as to remove the temptation as far as possible from those who were exposed to temptation. To listen to the hon. Member for Liverpool one would imagine that the object of the Bill was to make it easy to get "booze" on Sunday. One would think, according to the hon. Gentleman, that it was a good thing for the rich man to go to a hotel and get liquor and a sin for the poor man not to be able to get into a "pub" when he wanted to. As one who had experience of working-men, they did not want it to be made easy for them to get into a public-house or hotel on Sunday, but to stay at home with their families. He emphasised the hope that the Government would not give way much further with regard to this question, but stand firm in their attempt to restrict the sale of liquor on Sunday whether to rich or poor.
§ MR. BARNARD
said it appeared from what the Solicitor-General had said that the Government would put in a declaratory clause to clear up the point. The Prime Minister had made it perfectly apparent that he intended to introduce a clause which he should imagine would be satisfactory to everybody, when he said that at some future stage he would give exemption in favour of restaurants and hotels. But what did the hon. Member for Liverpool do? That hon. Gentleman tried to make out that this was a proposition to make one law for the rich and another for the poor. It was nothing of the sort in practice. The Prime Minister said that any place where there was a room for eating in would be exempt. Moreover, if a poor man was away from home he would be a bona fide traveller and would come under the clause. But he would go a step further and say that if a working-man was near his own home he would not in practice use a hotel or a restaurant. He hoped the Prime Minister would adhere to the principle of the Bill as 870 regarded the facilities for drink on Sunday, while at the same time he was meeting a public need.
§ MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
as a matter of personal explanation, wished to say that he had not addressed the Committee on the whole Bill for more than ten minutes altogether, and any suggestion that he had been a party to anything like waste of time was a disgrace to the hon. Gentleman who made it.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ SIR S. EVANS
moved to omit paragraph (a). This was in accordance with the declaration of the Prime Minister.
In page 13, line 8, to leave out paragraph (a)."—(Sir S. Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'the employment of' stand part of the Clause."
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD (Leicester)
said he had heard with a great deal of regret the statement of the Prime Minister earlier in the day. The right hon. Gentleman gave as a reason for his decision that certain Amendments had been put down on the Paper in the name of Members belonging to all parties. There was one Amendment in the name of two members of the party with which he was associated, but these Amendments in no way committed the party any more than what he was now saying committed the party. They were purely the very legitimate expression of the individual opinion held by those two Members and in no sense reflected opinion beyond themselves. It was perfectly true that owing to the bad drafting of this clause paragraph (a) went a little bit too far, but he understood that the last negotiations with the Government left the Government itself perfectly well aware that the paragraph, as it stood, was absolutely impracticable, could not be carried into effect, and was merely the expression of a pious opinion. During the last six months various members of the Government had received deputations on the subject and the report 871 of the statements made by those members of the Government to the deputations had appeared in the public Press; and so far as the reports were concerned every member of the Government so interviewed had pledged the Government to go on with paragraph (a) after having amended it. The Prime Minister had taken the Committee by surprise by throwing that paragraph over. He thought it would have been more courteous to the Committee, after all these declarations, had the Solicitor-General in moving to delete the paragraph, told them why the deletion was moved at all. With all due respect, the Prime Minister's statement was very perfunctory. It was only made in the midst of a general statement as to the general scope of the whole section. In spite of what the Prime Minister had said he believed that this particular trade was not fitted for women. He had looked at the Notice Paper that morning with expectation as to what Amendment the Government were going to move to paragraph (a). They had been told time after time that instead of dropping that paragraph altogether the Government would put down Amendments that would make it work. He himself was hoping that the Government would adopt the Amendment of the hon. Member for Derbyshire. Why was it that he personally objected to the employment of women in public-houses? It was for precisely the same reason that the legislature had seen fit to prohibit women from working in certain directions in connection with pit work. He had been refreshing his memory by reading the debate that took place when the Amendment of the mining law was carried, and the principle of every argument used for prohibiting women engaging in that kind of employment was as valid to-day for prohibiting women from engaging in the bars of public houses. The facts at their disposal were indisputable. The Committee should take into consideration the character of certain employments from the point of view of the women engaged in them. If it was true as Mrs. Bramwell Booth stated in The Times a short time ago, that about one-fourth of the cases of certain unfortunate persons, who had to be dealt with by certain sections of the Salvation Army, came from women engaged in 872 this occupation, then it was the duty of the Government to take this into consideration. If it was true, as the West London mission officers had stated, that one-third of their cases came from the same occupation, then the Government was bound to take notice of it and treat the subject legislatively. Lord Peel had several times expressed the same opinion as regarded the character of this occupation in relation to women labour, and there was hardly a magistrate in the country, who had had cases brought before him concerning the kind of life spent in bars and behind bars, who had not expressed himself in favour of legislation prohibiting or drastically regulating the employment of women in these trades.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
said they were passing a law to keep out men. The whole effect of this Bill was to keep men out of this occupation. Hon. Members had got up again and again and said they wanted to diminish the attraction of the bar and of licensed promises in order to diminish the consumption of drink by the people of this country. Why did not the Government carry it to a very logical and reasonable conclusion?
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
The hon. Member for Sleaford would have time to make one of his usual speeches, but he hoped the hon. Gentleman, would restrain his somewhat overflowing enthusiasm when statements were made with which he did not agree.
§ *MR. LUPTON
said he was sorry if he had caused any annoyance. He had merely uttered a word or two, and it was the comments of the hon. Gentleman's friends which constituted the interruption.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
said he was not in favour of giving the justices power to close public-houses against the women now employed in them, and they understood that the Government were going to introduce 873 Amendments so that that would be prevented. Representations had been made to the Government—and they must not sail off on the virtuous tack in that way—representations were made to the Government by those most in favour of paragraph (a), pointing out how foolish that paragraph was, and the Government gave pledges that they would amend it, so that it would become a practical proposition. The case was fundamentally as he had stated. There was nobody who had studied the criminal statistics relating to women, nobody who had studied the various very painful forms of individual and social pathology, but knew that to these diseases and these crimes the calling of the barmaid contributed an abnormal proportion. It was very painful to have to say such things, and he had not the least doubt that some persons would immediately retort that in making such statements one was impugning the character of the women engaged in the trade. He had no such intention. He was impugning the character of the trade. Nobody could "touch pitch without being defiled," and all he wanted to say was that it was simply the result of experience of the character of the trade, of the temptations placed in the way of women by the trade, of the character of the behaviour that women were expected to show whilst in the trade; not for one reason, but for an accumulation of the reasons—for the whole of the reasons which went to make up the case, and not any section of them—that he opposed the employment of women as he then did. Two very simple tests could be applied to this question, and he proposed to apply them, and then to allow the debate, to be carried on by other Members. The first was that this employment more than usual depended upon certain womanly qualities, which, when exercised, and when utilised by publicans for profit-making purposes, departed from the woman altogether. If the Committee would consider the advertisements in the trade journals for barmaids they would see his point at once. For instance, an examination had been made of the advertisements for barmaids which appeared in the Morning Advertiser for one complete 874 month. There were 350 such advertisements, and in 220 cases out of the 350 it was made a condition that the applicant should be under twenty years of age, and should be attractive in appearance. One knew exactly what that meant. Take the ages of those employed. From the last census of 1901, they found, not that 100,000 women were employed, as stated in an extraordinary document which had gone round that morning, and which was of a purely imaginary and fictitious character, but that 27,707 women were employed as barmaids, and that 18,500 out of the twenty-seven thousand odd were under the age of twenty-five. The meaning of that was that when a barmaid reached the age of twenty-five she had ceased to be the possessor of those qualities which had made her valuable to the publican, who had employed her. He, therefore, proceeded to discharge her, and in an interview which a manageress gave in the Morning Advertiser a month or so ago, she stated that the leakage was not owing to marriage. One of the most obvious suggestions that one could make was that it was owing to the simple fact that when the barmaid reached the age of twenty-five she was no longer of use to her employer, so that 18,500 were actually under the age of twenty-five. There was another important argument that came in here. They were told that if they closed this avenue to women, labour then women would be in a very bad position indeed; but surely it was better to close it at fifteen than open it at the age of fifteen and close it at twenty-five. Everybody who knew anything about the conditions of trade, he did not care whether they were teetotallers or not, temperance reformers or not, well knew that too many employments were now open to young men and young women up to the ages of eighteen or twenty-five, and then they were thrown out upon the streets. It was very bad for a young man to be thrown out at the age of twenty-five without a trade or character, and in the case of the barmaids, even if they were absolutely honest and upright, there was a taint, for how many people were going to employ ex-barmaids. He thought the people were to blame, but so it was, and bad as it was for a man to be turned out 875 at twenty-five, it was infinitely worse for women even with no trade prejudices attached to them to be turned out under such conditions. He said that it was the duty of this House of Commons, of this Legislature to take cognisance of these things, and to try and adapt its legislation so that they would be stopped. The argument as to the displacement was an absolutely unsound argument. If there was going to be displacement he preferred to displace at fifteen, or rather to close the door at fifteen, than to displace at twenty-five. Then, to apply the other test: Why were they employed? For two reasons. They were not employed in the same way that the potman was employed. They were employed first of all because their employment increased the consumption of drink, because where women were employed there was a great deal of dalliance in the bar. There was a certain class of customer who went and wasted his time there, and the quarters and the half-hours went, and all the time a steady consumption of liquor went on. The atmosphere was abominable, the conversation that went on was disgusting and disgraceful. As was pointed out in a very recent Court case, counsel for a corporation that was being prosecuted for taking certain action absolutely declined to read the shorthand notes that had been taken by corporation officials for the purpose of proving the character of the conversation which was being carried on in front of women, who were compelled by their occupation to be the chief actors in that sordid and disgusting scene. A short time ago he heard of a case where a certain publican fell out with his barmaids and discharged them all, and took men on. The result was that the consumption of drink in his house went down by 50 per cent. That was the point. These women were taken on simply as decoys to bring men into the bar, simply to increase the sale of drink. The other point was this. They were taken on because they were a cheap—a very cheap—form of labour, and that was why the publican, was so anxious to get hold of them. There was a very amusing incident, reported in the Daily Telegraph, a reference to the initial stage of the agitation about this section. The Licensed Victuallers National Defence League intima- 876 ted in March, 1907, that any women's organisation taking this matter up should receive all possible support, and at a meeting subsequently held in the Holborn Town Hall, to protest against legislation regarding barmaids, the chairman and other officials of the Licensed Victuallers' Central Protection Society of London were present "in case of their being required." He dared say that this barmaids' agitation was much more a licensed victuallers' agitation than anything else.
§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said that as he and several other hon. Members took a great deal of interest in this question would the hon. Member please substantiate his statement.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
said he knew that the hon. Member was an official of the League, but he was not aware that the hon. Member for Blackpool was a barmaid.
§ MR. ASHLEY
said the hon. Gentleman implied that the agitation was run by the brewers or licensed victuallers. It was not so. He had nothing to do with the licensed victuallers.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
said he took his stand upon this statement made officially by the Licensed Victuallers' National Defence League, and also on the fact that the chairman and other officials of the protection society were present at the Holborn Town Hall in case they were required. It was a trade agitation.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
was quite ready to admit that the hon. Member's knowledge was exceedingly limited. He would be the very last to suggest that the hon. Member knew all about this matter, but here was a statement made on this indisputable authority, suggesting clearly and precisely the character of the agitation which was being carried on in order to defeat this subsection. He was exceedingly sorry that the Government should have yielded to that agitation and to the pressure of 877 those who had been carrying it on, and that those who contended for better respect for our womanhood should not have been consulted right through to the end by the Government. The barmaid was employed simply for the purpose of increasing the profits of the licensed victualler. There was no greater temptation to drink than that which it was sought to deal with in paragraph (a). Even if it was true, which it was not, that 27,707 barmaids would be displaced as a result of the passing into law of that portion of the clause which the Government had thrown overboard owing to certain information communicated to it from some undisclosed source, their places would be taken by highly paid men, and labour in the mass would be greatly benefited.
§ *DR. RUTHERFORD (Middlesex, Brentford)
said he deeply regretted to find himself in the painful position of opposing the Government in their withdrawal of this paragraph. He had supported the Government throughout on this Bill, and now felt that the withdrawal of this paragraph was going to be the darkest blot upon it. The power which would have been conferred upon the magistrates to prevent women and children being employed in bars was very small, and purely discretionary. The provision was much needed in the interests of the womanhood and motherhood and the health and strength of the people, and he regretted that the Government had withdrawn it from the Bill. He and his friends who had given the Government loyal support hitherto hoped it was not too late even now for Ministers to reconsider their action in regard to the subject. It was essential that children and women should be protected from the snares, temptations, and dangers of the public-house. When he looked at the Colonies and foreign countries he was astonished at the unhappy and unsatisfactory position which this country held in regard to the employment of women and children on licensed premises. In New South Wales their employment up to the age of seventeen years was prohibited; in Prince Edward Island it was prohibited up to the age of twenty- 878 one years; and in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan barmaids were absolutely prohibited. For this country to be behind our Colonies in this respect was undemocratic, unsatisfactory, and demoralising in the highest degree. So far as children were concerned, the Government were only going to protect them up to the age of fourteen. After that age a child could be employed in the bar. In his opinion the Government should at least raise the age of employment to twenty-one years. It was a criminal folly to expose children as they had been exposed hitherto to experience of work in a public-house. So far as barmaids were concerned, it was absolutely impossible to have healthy and vigorous motherhood as long as there were barmaids. The hon. Member for Blackpool had said that opposition to barmaids was based upon purely sentimental grounds. Those grounds were satisfactory enough; he based his opposition on far higher grounds, namely, physical, moral, and national grounds. The death rate among those employed in bars was about double the average rate. What right had they to expose the womanhood, the future motherhood of a portion of the race, to such dangers? It was not necessary to speak of the diseases, of anæmia, and tuberculosis, in the production of which, as they all knew, alcohol was a potent factor. But it was well-known that many of those serving as barmaids fell a prey to these terrible plagues. The Leader of the Opposition had stated that drunkenness was a vice, but it became a disease when it was impossible to restrain the appetite for drink. Many of these poor women finally fell a prey to inebriety, which was a most terrible disease. Then there was insanity. They knew that drink was on the increase among women, and he and his friends thought that this country had no right to expose its womanhood to such terrible evils. The injury to the morals had been referred to. The danger to the morals was beyond imagination, and on the highest grounds, the national grounds, mental, moral, and physical, he thought our womanhood should be protected. Public opinion was so strong in the United States of America and Canada, 879 that there was not a single barmaid, allowed in those countries. In Norway, Sweden, the Transvaal, and in many parts of the Empire they were forbidden. Perhaps the only thing which he approved of Lord Curzon's doing in India was his prohibition of the barmaids. It was a wise and statesmanlike action on the part of Lord Curzon, and he sincerely hoped that the House would be as wise and statesmanlike in their action. Alcohol was, after all, the most serious protoplasmic poison in the world. Its deleterious action upon young growing life was far beyond realisation to those who had not studied it for years. The hereditary influence might be exaggerated or underestimated, but he knew that the law of hereditary was so strong that all diseases produced by alcohol were partly hereditary. The tendency towards them was there. Drunken mothers produced children with weak will and nerve power, and when these children were exposed to temptation and danger so far as alcohol was concerned, they were more likely to fall. Moreover the children of drunkards were of poorer stature and poorer weight than the children of the same parents before they became drunkards. The liability to disease was enormously increased in these children. The figures produced by Dr. Sullivan showed that 120 drunken women had 600 children; of those 55 per cent. were stillborn or died under the age of two years. Let them contrast that with the history of sober women, branches of the same family: in the case of a similar number of parents and children he found the percentage of children who were stillborn or who died under two years of age was 23.9 per cent. Beyond that there were special schools in the country for feeble-minded children. They found that in 42 per cent. of the children of those schools there was a history of drunkenness in one parent. If they went to the normal schools they found in only 6 per cent. was there such a history. The figures showed a catalogue of misery and devilry difficult to believe. The House had no right to expose our women who were the mothers of the future to the environment of the public-house and its evils and the liability to produce 880 children who would not be so healthy as those of parents who were not subjected to those temptations. They were told that this was a serious thing so far as the women were concerned, that they would lose their livelihood, but the gospel of sacrifice was as good for women as it was for men, and women should be prepared in their own interests, in the interests of their children and the nation, to sacrifice this vocation and look for others, and in that way play a noble part towards their country. He trusted the Government would reconsider their position and by withdrawing their Motion for the omission of this paragraph remove the reflection upon the intelligence, patriotism, and nobility of this the Mother of Parliaments.
§ MR. ASHLEY
said the hon. Member for Leicester in his very last sentence gave the real reason for his strong and unfair attack on these women. He said that if this clause was retained and these women were displaced their places would be taken by highly-paid men.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
What I said was that these 27,700 women would not be displaced, but even if they were their places would be taken by men.
§ MR. ASHLEY
said that if these women were not to be displaced, he did not see the reason, for the impassioned appeal for the retention of the clause. However, he would pass that matter by; he would only say that the agitation for turning barmaids out of their employment was inspired more by the desire to displace those women than to promote their interests. He could not help comparing the conditions under which barmaids worked to-day with those under which women worked in the coal mines years ago, before his grandfather passed an Act in the House to improve them. Did hon. Members know what the conditions of the women workers in coal mines were then? The mines were underground Alsatias, the Queen's Writ did not run in them. The women were naked, were beasts of burden, were compelled to draw heavy loads about, and had no sort or kind of protection. Let the House compare that state of things with the conditions of work in 881 licensed premises to-day—premises which were, or might be, inspected at any and every hour of the day. It was not really treating the Committee seriously to compare the two, and say legislation was as necessary to protect these women as it was in 1840 to protect the women employed in mines. He was afraid it was true the women did not get as good wages as they ought, but their wages compared very favourably with those of other classes of female labour. What did the women get in the Aerated Bread Company's restaurants? Eight shillings or 10s. per week, and a certain amount in tips. How did that compare with 13s., 14s., or 15s. with lodgings paid to women employed in public-houses? There were few publicans who were not married, and the morals of the young women employed on licensed premises were looked after by the publicans' wives. There was the case of female typists employed in the Post Office. They received 15s. or 16s. per week, and had to find their own board and lodging. Surely barmaids were quite well-paid compared with them. If they closed these situations, whether 25,000 or 100,000 in number, they would be closing so many means of employment, and that when, probably, every year it became increasingly difficult for women to obtain employment under the stress of modern conditions. The hon. Member for Leicester had made a great point of women in public-houses encouraging men to spend their money and to drink. It was, of course, difficult to get statistics for the whole country, but he had taken a good deal of trouble to get statistics on the best possible authority for Blackpool. A census had been taken there of the licensed houses. There were some 500 women employed in the bars or smoking-rooms of the licensed premises in the borough of Blackpool which would, if this paragraph were regained, come directly under it; and, if the contentions of the hon. Member for Leicester were right, they would have imagined that Blackpool would be a very drunken place and that convictions would exceed the average; but, according to the chief constable's report, no less than 4,000,000 visitors, mostly cotton operatives, miners, and people of the working-classes of Lanca- 882 shire and Yorkshire, went to Blackpool, and there were only 320 convictions for drunkenness, an infinitesimally small number compared with the rest of the United Kingdom, proving, if anything, that the employment of women on licensed premises did not cause drunkenness. Personally, he would have thought that the presence of women in a house would have had a humanising and elevating rather than a degrading influence. The hon. Member for Leicester was a temperance advocate, and desired, he presumed, to raise the tone of the public-house and make it a place where a man could go and smoke and have a glass of beer decently and quietly, and where, if necessary, he could take his wife, as was done in Germany and France; but he wanted to drive away all decent elements and say that everyone who went to a public-house should be stamped as one who only thought of his beer and things of which one ought not to think. The best way to promote temperance was to refine the public-house and make it something more in the nature of a club where one could go for social enlightenment, and less of a mere drinking bar. He asked the Committee not to give way to the powerful and persuasive speech of the hon. Member for Leicester. These women appealed to them to be allowed to continue in their occupation. They had no vote, and owing to recent events it would probably be a long time before they had it. He therefore hoped the Committee would be very chary of turning hard-working people out of their occupation and of closing for the future a great number of situations to women. If hon. Members would go a little more deeply into the question they would find these women were not half as bad as some of them seemed to think.
§ *MR. MADDISON (Burnley)
said that it was with very great regret that he should be compelled to vote against the omission of the paragraph. Among the many achievements of the Government nothing had given him greater pleasure than the introduction of this Bill. It had, in his opinion, attracted the support of a certain middle-class of public opinion which was neither fanatically teetotal nor vitally 883 interested in the drink trade, and he ventured to say that that same class supported, and would regret the omission of, this paragraph. He agreed that the Prime Minister had to consider the formidable array of Amendments on the Order Paper, but he ventured to say that if the right hon. Gentleman had gone a little deeper into the question and had consulted those Members who had taken a deep interest in it he might have become more enlightened regarding it. Those interested in it had always been strongly in favour of safeguarding the barmaids now in employment. They did not want a single barmaid now employed interfered with. They merely wanted the action of the subsection to be prospective. He could assure the Committee that not one of the supporters of the clause was actuated in the slightest degree by the narrow-minded desire to replace women by men. They believed, however, that the drink trade must be dealt with in a different manner from the grocers and butchers—in fact, the trade provided its own justification for treating it as no ordinary industry. Surely, as that view had been accepted by the majority of the House, the question of the women employed ought, therefore, to be considered from the same standpoint. Everyone who had inquired into it, knew there were great problems surrounding the women's question, and one of the signs of the times was that drinking had increased at a larger ratio among women than men. He believed, first of all, that employment as barmaid was not a fit employment for a woman physically. The hon. Member for Blackpool took exception to the rather extreme illustration given by the hon. Member for Leicester. It was, however, true if rather extreme. If he wanted substantial proof of what the hon. Member said, they had simply to go to the Registrar-General's Returns, which showed that it was more dangerous to be employed in a public-house than in a coal mine. It was no exaggeration, therefore, to say that the trade could reasonably be scheduled as dangerous. He did not wish to put women in a dangerous trade, and he was prepared by the same reasoning to exclude her from every dangerous trade. The hon. Member for Blackpool had said it was becoming more and more difficult for 884 women to get employment. Surely the general view was to the contrary. It was not, however, a question of trying to supplant women by men at higher wages; they had a deep and solemn conviction that the public-house bar was not the proper place for women, whom the nation ought to cherish to the utmost. In conclusion, he would say they ought not to ignore the experience of their kith and kin in the Colonies, or to set aside the experience of the United States. In that country there was not a woman in the saloons. The Americans thought too much of their women to put them there. He deeply regretted (hat the Prime Minister had been so badly advised on this matter, and he hoped it was not yet too late for the Government to give satisfaction on this point. If it could not, then he should vote against the Government.
§ MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
understood that the position of the hon. Members for Leicester and Burnley was that they wished to lighten the blow to the people employed in this business by at least not interfering with those at present engaged in it. That meant that for at least a good part of the life of some 27,000 women they would be allowed to continue in the business that both his hon. friends declared to be in a state of moral filth. He could understand if they boldly declared that this was a dangerous trade that ought to be scheduled or suppressed, but it was clear they did not believe it was such a terrible business or they would not be in favour of its merely remaining for this generation. They would take their courage in both hands and be in favour of suppressing it at once. He hoped the question would not be decided on the ground of whether they were temperance advocates or not. They were discussing this from the public point of view, weighing up the dangers of the exclusion of these women from this particular occupation, and toying without heat or vindictiveness on either side to see whether the advantages to be gained by preventing women working as barmaids counter-balanced the possible evils that might accrue. He took it for granted that every Labour Member and every democrat agreed that where it was proved beyond doubt that a trade 885 physically injured the women engaged in it and their offspring they ought to step in and regulate the business as far as possible. He supposed that for the last 100 years there had been barmaids, but it was only recently that the idea had developed that it was a sort of moral leprosy to get behind the bar. If the Government dropped the omission of the clause he should vote against them, because he believed the evils which would result would greatly counterbalance the good that was hoped from the exclusion of women. Again, the suggestion that the fact of there being a high vote of mortality among the women and their children was a sufficient justification for stopping an avenue for their labour could not be entertained for a moment. There were some textile trades employing thousands of women in which the tendency to abortion and miscarriage and to the production of crapulous and ricketty children was really more pronounced than in this trade. There was a trade in the locality which he represented, the evil effects of which might be much more pronounced than that they were dealing with. The Other suggestion that the fact that the women employed in this business were brought into close contact with men was sufficient justification for excluding them, could be applied to almost every industry where women labour was engaged. It was not so very long ago that a well-meaning clergyman in his locality preached some famous sermons on the devil in the Potteries, proving to his own satisfaction that the mere fact that women congregated together with men on the pot-bank created a disgraceful position of affairs, and that it was time the State stepped in and prevented women associating with men in any kind of labour. That seemed the logical deduction from the speeches he had been listening to. He supposed the fraternity of feeling between the seller and the buyer over the tea-bar did not strike his friends' imagination so peculiarly as in the trade to which they happened to be opposed. They must clear away all preconceived notions, and not mix up the object that was sold with the seller. If they declared that when one had to sell an article one was brought into communication with the 886 opposite sex under such conditions as were positively dangerous to the moral atmosphere of both parties, the same thing applied to one kind of decoction as to another. It seemed there was nothing wrong except what hon. Gentlemen, had decided in their own minds must be wrong under any circumstances. He was not prepared to take second place to either of his hon. friends in wishing to defend the womanhood of the country. If he thought good would be done and no harm would accrue, and that it was a danger to the nation and the people engaged in the trade, he would go to any extent to suppress it, but he was afraid if they turned women out of first one avenue of labour and then out of another they would create difficulties and dangers and a moral disease a thousand times worse than that they were suppressing. For that reason he should certainly support the Government in their proposition to exclude this particular paragraph from the Bill.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
said there was no proposal in this section, as far as he was aware, to turn 27,000 women out of employment. Hon. Members who were opposing the section and supporting the action of the Government in dropping it were speaking as if the action would at once settle the whole question of barmaids. The section did nothing of the kind. Left as it now stood the section simply gave to the justices the power to regulate the conditions under which the employment of women should be carried on, and also, if they thought fit, to prevent women being employed in specified public-houses, or in all of them. That was a very different proposition from that against which hon. Members were arguing. He was a good deal surprised at the line which was taken by those who were opposing the paragraph. The Prime Minister in his statement said he did not think that anybody would question that public opinion was ripening against the employment of women in bars, and he said he was leaving the paragraph out not because he did not think legislation necessary, but because he thought it inexpedient to deal with the question in the present clause. He disagreed with him, but that was a very different thing from 887 thinking—as some of the speakers appeared to imply—that there was nothing wrong in the conditions under which women were employed in bars. The hon. Member for Blackpool did not suggest that there were any evils which needed remedy He seemed to think there were no evils at all associated with the employment of barmaids.
§ MR. ASHLEY
What I tried to convey was that I thought it quite wrong that a bench of magistrates should have the power of saying to a grown-up woman that she should not gain her livelihood in a house which was licensed by these magistrates as being respectable.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
said the hon. Member showed no realisation of the very great evils associated with the employment of barmaids in certain parts of the country, especially in great cities. In London some of the licensed houses were open for 123½ hours a week, and it was no uncommon thing for women to be about their employment for nearly all the hours the houses were open. He did not mean that they were on duty for 123 hours. They got a short rest during the day, but there were many cases in which they were working over 100 hours a week. A woman in charge of a restaurant bar told him the other day that she was on duty for seventeen hours a day on week-days and some hours on Sundays. There were many bars where barmaids were on duty for 100 hours a week. Hours like that ought not to be worked by a woman. If they could not deal with it in this section he asked the Government whether they were going to deal with an evil such as this in some other way instead of leaving it to the discretion of the justices. As the matter stood now they would be able to do nothing for the barmaids during the fourteen years of the time-limit. Of course, after the fourteen years the power would come into the hands of the justices. They would have full discretion with regard to barmaids and other matters. He recognised that they were dealing with a temporary state of things, But they could not afford to wait fourteen years longer without dealing with these long hours and bad conditions. They must remember that barmaids were not able 888 to protect themselves. The great evils associated with the trade were undeniable. It was a dangerous trade, dangerous to life and dangerous in causing disease. The death rate from alcoholism was the highest amongst publicans, and according to the statistics published by the Registrar-General they died of alcoholism seven and a half times faster than other occupied males. They had not got the figures for the barmaids, but no doubt they shared to the full the unfortunate effects of the conditions of life in which they lived. Over 18,000girls under twenty-five years of age were employed as barmaids, and many of them had to work over 100 hours per week. Was it surprising that those young women were often driven to taking stimulants in order that they might get artificial strength to go through their terribly hard work? Consequently they were subject to all the diseases which flowed from alcoholism. Then again it was a dangerous employment morally. It was a delicate question to talk about, but it was well known that those girls were not employed because they were more suited to do the work than men. In many respects the work was more suitable for men because much of it was heavy work, and very often by employing girls a much larger staff had to be engaged than would be necessary if only men were employed. Girls were employed in bars not because they were more suited to the work, or because they were cheaper, but as an artificial attraction to induce men to go there.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
contended that men behaved in bars as they did not behave elsewhere, and allowed themselves great liberties.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
said the hon. Member's experience was different from his own. Over and over again he had felt his blood boil at the way in which men had treated the unfortunate girls, who could not got away from their unwelcome attentions. The hon. Member opposite shut his eyes to all those 889 facts. Those girls were exposed to great evils, long hours, and bad surroundings, moral and physical. They could not protect themselves because they could not form effective trade unions. They were mostly inexperienced girls, and 18,000 of them were under twenty-five. No training was required for the work of a barmaid. As a rule she got no training, and if she happened to be discontented with her position there were any number of untrained girls ready to take her place. She could not say to her employer: "These conditions are distasteful to me," because he would reply: "Very well, you may go; there are plenty more." These girls changed their situation very often; the average stay in one place did not exceed six months. After the age of twenty-five they were not welcome as barmaids, and when they left there was no after-career for them. Mistresses and employers were apt to think worse of public-house surroundings than some hon. Members, and they were not very ready to employ girls in other more healthy employment after they had served in a public-house bar up to the age of twenty-five. He and those who acted with him were not actuated by any enmity towards these women, but they believed the employment was not good for them. He was certain that public opinion in this country was rapidly following public opinion in America, Canada, and the Colonies, and would before long determine that women should no longer be exploited in the bars of public-houses.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said that so far as he was concerned he would certainly support the Government in this particular division. He was not surprised that there had been a little unrest shown below the gangway in consequence of the present attitude of the Government. He did not understand why, if the Government were not to persevere in their proposals for regulating the employment of barmaids, they should have introduced them into the Bill, and caused great unrest amongst the class employed in the bars at the present day. He could not appreciate the argument. Perhaps he might be allowed to point out in a House which did not 890 pay too little attention to trade unions, that the barmaids had such a union of their own, and by an overwhelming majority they had declared themselves against the proposal contained in this clause, and against the views of some hon. Members below the gangway. The hon. Member for Westmoreland had spoken on this question with very great sincerity and earnestness, and he was sure that no member of the Committee desired to speak in any way disrespectfully of the views he had expressed. But when he came to consider the arguments by which the hon. Member commended those views to the Committee, he found it very difficult to appreciate their force. The hon. Gentleman said that the Bill did not deal with the future of barmaids.
§ *MR. LEIF JONES
said his statement was that there was no question of immediately and totally prohibiting the employment of barmaids.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said it was obvious that if the licensing justices took the view that it was wrong, 27,000 women who were earning their living to-day would be deprived of the opportunity in the future. It was said that the hours of employment of these women were such as to shock the consciences of Members of the House, and generally of humane persons, but that was an entirely false point to make when they were discussing as to whether barmaids should be employed. If the hours were too long, then a Bill ought to be introduced to regulate the hours. They must not confuse the main question. The hon. Member for Westmoreland further said that these women belonged to a class who could not protect themselves. But the question of the employment of barmaids formed no small part of the topics before the electors at Manchester. The opposition of the barmaids to the President of the Board of Trade at the recent election in Manchester was undoubtedly not such as to suggest that they were unable to protect themselves, and he did not think the right hon. Gentleman would encourage the hon. Member for Westmoreland in that view. His hon. friend behind him played a considerable part in the Manchester 891 election, and if he were to communicate his views to the Committee he would say that the opposition of the barmaids to the candidature of the President of the Board of Trade was undoubtedly not such as would suggest the conclusion that they were unable to protect themselves. The Government, by withdrawing this clause, showed that they agreed with that contention. The hon. Member had further contended that publicans died in a ratio of mortality largely in excess of that of other classes. That was not relevant to the question before the Committee, unless it was shown that female mortality in public-houses amongst the barmaids was higher than the mortality amongst the men employed there. No figures had been brought forward to prove that contention. He denied that there were any statistics which would show that there was any higher degree of mortality or disease among barmaids in public-houses than amongst other young women employed in other capacities in any other class of life. The hon. Member opposite had said that his blood had frequently boiled when he had seen the way barmaids were treated behind the counter. On this point he was not going to enter into any general controversy with hon. Members whose experience might be greater than his own, but he denied that the young women who earned their living as barmaids were treated with less respect than other young women employed in such places as the A.B.C. shops, or on the music-hall stage, or in a hundred other ways with which the Government did not propose to interfere. He challenged the statement of the hon. Member that barmaids were treated with less respect than other young women. Were hon. Members prepared to maintain that the employment of women behind bars was more objectionable than the employment of women on the music-hall stage? He had referred to the subject of the music-hall stage, but one might generalise a little further than that. Were those hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, who were so extremely concerned that women should not be employed behind the bars because they were subject to rudeness on the part of men who went there, in favour, or not in favour, of women being allowed to perform on the music- 892 hall stage? He did not know, but some of the hon. Members might inform the Committee in the course of the debate. To be strictly logical they were bound to oppose the employment of women on the music-hall stage. They said their blood had been made to boil by the way in which they had heard women addressed in bars. He did not know whether their sensitiveness on questions of social morality had carried them behind the scenes in music-halls, but he would be surprised if any Member were to come forward and say that women were better treated on the music-hall stage, and exposed to fewer temptations there than behind public-house bars. Neither the Government nor hon. Members below the gangway were prepared even to suggest that women should not be employed there. How false was the social standard they were attempting to apply to public-house bars! It was a melancholy fact that many women of the working class were under the painful necessity, which everyone must profoundly deplore, of earning their living. Under the circumstances, he thought there was no one who was not sorry that it was necessary for any woman to earn her living in that way. Whether they took public-house bars or cognate employments, they were open to the same objections. He would ask the Committee to consider a point which had not yet been mentioned in the debate. We lived in times which distinguished them from the prosaic days of the past. He thought the Prime Minister would not dissent from that proposition. At nearly every meeting held, whether it was a bazaar or a public meeting, there was extreme embarrassment from the presence of suffragettes. They would say they were now passing laws affecting their interests, and that they were excluded from the discussion. Under these circumstances, they were going to arm these women, to whom they were not giving the vote, although a majority of the House were pledged to support female suffrage, with a further argument. The supporters of the paragraph were going to say that they would adopt a principle which would take away from 27,000 women in this country the right to earn their own living. Such a proposal was a piece of monstrous tyranny in a House which was elected on a promise to give females 893 votes. He believed it was profoundly ill-judged to come forward in the alleged cause of morality in a House in which the female vote was not represented and take a course which would turn 27,000 women away from bars to other employments. If the women turned to more regrettable employments, hon. Members who were supporting this paragraph would be largely responsible. They were doing that in the case of women who were denied a voice in the decision. That was a course which hon. Members would find it extremely difficult to defend in the country. These women had been slandered in the course of the campaign in the country, and by some of the speakers in the debate. He did not pretend to have so close an acquaintance with the habits of barmaids as some hon. Members, but he would say that they were well educated, as moral in their habits, and as well deserving of protection in their desire to earn their own living as any class of women in other walks of life. A lady who had made herself responsible in the country for defending the employment of women in bars had given him particulars of some individual cases. He could assure hon. Gentlemen that there were not many women who liked the occupation. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] Was that a serious argument against the system in the race of competition which was to be found in the twentieth century? Because either women or men did not like their employment, was that a reason why the House of Commons should cheer the statement and bound them out of that employment? One of the cases brought to his notice was that of a woman who was supporting relatives who had no other means of support. There were easy philanthropists who would reform society at the expense of other people, men who said their blood boiled when they went into public-houses and heard how women were spoken to, but was there one of them who would come forward and say how these women were to earn their livelihood if they were turned out of the public-houses?
§ *MR. F. E. SMITH
said they were dealing at present with a proposal which involved 894 a serious invasion of the conditions under which these women earned their living. Did the hon. Gentleman think that what he had said was a worthy interruption? He thought that on reflection the hon. Gentleman would see that it was not. He would resist this proposal, and he was glad that the Government were withdrawing it. He was sure that in withdrawing it they would at least have the satisfaction of refusing to include in their Bill a claim which had no argument behind it, which had nothing but prejudice behind it, and on behalf of which no real statistics had been produced showing that it was a change which was desirable in the interest of the morality of this class of the community.
§ MR. GEORGE ROBERTS (Norwich)
said that after the speech of his hon. friend the Member for Leicester he felt that he ought to take the opportunity of saying that the Labour Party were divided on this matter. The argument as to the restriction of the hours of labour were just as applicable to other forms of female labour. He had spent a great deal of time in temperance hotels all over the country, and he had found that the hours of female labour therein were just the same as in other hotels. Underlying the subject was the notion that there was something immoral in a public-house. He regretted that some of his friends had occasionally found themselves where the atmosphere was disgusting and the language abominable. But women in other occupations were sometimes subjected to the same sort of temptations. He knew something of factory life, and he believed that workers there were not altogether immune from immoral temptations. They had also heard something of the living-in system. For his own part he did not believe that a public-house was a sink of iniquity. He had given this Bill general support throughout, because there was much good in it, and he wished to see it placed on the Statute-book. He had contemplated the Bill as one having for its purpose the purifying and elevating of the public-houses, but if they were the immoral places some hon. Members would have the Committee believe, they ought to be abolished altogether. He did not often agree with the hon. Member 895 for the Walton division, but on this occasion he associated himself with what he had said in regard to the making of laws for women who were not represented. He believed that if the Government were to pass this proposal a great impetus would be given to the woman suffrage movement. The Committee ought to give due heed to the accredited representatives of barmaids on this matter. It seemed to him most inconsistent to propose that this matter should be left in the discretion of the justices of the peace. If public-houses were immoral they ought to eliminate female labour there altogether. If a barmaid's occupation was immoral in Norwich it was equally immoral in London, and it ought not to be left to the discretion of the local justices to decide whether or not barmaids should be employed in public-houses. He did not believe that a barmaid's occupation was more immoral than other forms of female employment. These barmaids lived under the same roof as the publican. They mixed with the publican's wife and daughters, and he had yet to learn that the publican's wife and daughters were more immoral than other members of the community. This agitation had been fostered by the Grundys and Chadbands in the country. He was not in any way impugning the motives of hon. Gentlemen in the House, but he had some acquaintance with those who had played a prominent part in this agitation; and he strongly deprecated the party with which he was associated being led to extremes in the matter. Temperance reform would suffer if they carried such restrictions as were proposed. He most heartily appreciated the wise and statesmanlike decision of the Prime Minister to omit this paragraph from the Bill, and he believed that the right hon. Gentleman had on this occasion fairly interpreted the desires of a considerable majority of the Members of the Committee. He had great pleasure in supporting the Government on this matter, with the understanding that no modification of their views would take place in the course of their reply to the discussion. He knew that his hon. friend the Member for Leicester had a highly persuasive may with him, and he could quite conceive it possible that if that hon. Gentleman's speech had stood 896 alone the Government would have been greatly impressed with it, and with the idea that it had much more influence behind it than it really had. He felt he was just as much entitled to speak in the name of labour on this matter as any other Member, and he hoped that this paragraph would be deleted.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he did not propose to enter into the merits of this question, but he would relieve at once the concern of the hon. Member for Norwich by saying that the mind of the Government was what it was at the commencement of the sitting when the Prime Minister made a speech which could hardly be described as a "mere perfunctory statement." He thought it was quite full and explicit, and that was the reason why he had moved the Amendment formally. Time did not admit of the discussion of the merits of the question, and he rather wished to state to the Committee what the exact situation was with reference to this particular Amendment. They had heard arguments in favour of the limitation of the hours of women engaged in public-houses, and his hon. friend behind him had expressed the opinion that their hours were far too long. He was not there to deny that that might be so, but that was not an occasion for discussing whether or not the hours of women engaged on licensed premises should be reduced. Other considerations of a similar kind had been advanced by speakers in various parts of the House, but one thing was pretty clear, viz., that the Government had shown that they appreciated the real views of the House of Commons upon this complicated and very difficult question. Let him say, first of all, that, though many attacks had been made upon the drink traffic and upon the association of girls and women with it, certainly there had not been given to the Committee many cases to bear out the wholesale condemnation of the morals and conduct of the women engaged in the trade. He agreed entirely with what the Prime Minister had said, that the trade in which they were engaged, and, which perforce they were engaged in by the stress of circumstances, was one which led to temptation, but it stood out that on the whole the character of 897 the women engaged did not deserve the wholesale condemnation levelled against it. It was essentially a question on which further statistics ought to have been obtained before they legislated compulsorily on the subject. The Licensing Commission Reports had been constantly referred to—both the Majority and the Minority Reports—but he thought he was right in saying that the Commission did not collect such statistics or information as would entitle the House of Commons compulsorily to prevent these women being engaged in public-houses.
§ MR. LEIF JONES
The Minority Report recommended the proposal which the Government placed in their Bill.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said he did not think that that was so. Now the situation in which they found themselves was this. It was conceded by everyone who had argued against the Government that on this occasion nothing was to be done to disturb the 27,700 barmaids now employed. If the trade was as dangerous as it was declared to be by some speakers, surely it was not right to keep these 27,700 barmaids in their present employment. The hon. Member for Leicester did not even propose to give the justices the right to say in the future whether these women were to be dispossessed. If the Amendment were rejected and the original provision under paragraph (a) remained, the only thing which could be done in regard to future employment only would be to allow some magistrates somewhere to make some conditions with regard to the employment of women.
§ *MR. RAMSAY MACDONALD
said that the Government had promised to amend the clause on that very point, on the suggestion of the deputations which waited upon them.
§ SIR S. EVANS
said that he was speaking of what the effect would be if the Amendment were rejected and paragraph (a) remained in the Bill. In future in certain cases the magistrates, by restrictive conditions, might curtail the employment of women in some of these houses. The position 898 on the other hand was that fourteen years hence the justices would have an unlimited discretion to deal with the whole question. Was it right or expedient in the present state of things with reference to the next fourteen years to maintain the provision which was originally incorporated in the Bill? The experience of America had been referred to. He believed it was a fact that there were some few States in America which had legislated against the employment of barmaids in licensed premises, but the solid fact in America on this subject was that it was public opinion which had made it impossible for these women to be engaged in licensed houses. His final observation to the hon. Members on that side of the House, who had pressed the Government not to delete these words was this: The state of the question being what it was, both on the ground of want of other employment in other careers, and the fact that if the provision in the Bill which he asked the Committee to delete were retained, it would have practically an inappreciable effect during the next fourteen years, whereas, on the other hand, at the end of fourteen years the justices would have the fullest discretion to deal with the subject—this consideration caused him to appeal to his hon. friends, and at the same time to say that the best thing to do in this matter was what had been done in America—viz., to educate public opinion so that at the end of fourteen years the discretion to which he had alluded would be exercised in a way which would commend itself to his hon. friends. He was not appealing to the other side of the House at all, but to his own; and having regard to these considerations he appealed to his hon. friends to stick to the Government.
§ *MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH (Anglesey)
said the Solicitor-General had stated that the public would approve of the view of the Assembly as a whole. There was only one way of testing that. Let the Government give a free hand to the Committee to vote as they wished. They would never get the opinion of the Assembly as a whole with the Government Whips on. He trusted that the Government in this 899 matter would leave the Committee with a free hand and let them express their wishes.
§ MR. LEIF JONES
said he had interrupted the Solicitor-General by saying that the Minority Report of the Licensing Commission had recommended the exclusion of barmaids from licensed premises. He found he was mistaken in making that statement.
§ Anglesey had said, and in that he had the full support of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. He stood there in harmony with the opinion of English people all over the world that women should be excluded from employment in public-houses. He supported the provision which the Government originally brought forward, and he should vote for it in the division.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided. Ayes, 61; Noes, 294. (Division List No. 316.903
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Beauchamp, E.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morrell, Philip|
|Black, Arthur W.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Holt, Richard Durning||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Clough, William||Hudson, Walter||Robinson, S.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jackson, R. S.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Toulmin, George|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Laidlaw, Robert||Vivian, Henry|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Maddison, Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Dr.|
|Gulland, John W.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rutherford and Mr. Hodge.|
|Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Marnham, F. J.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Menzies, Walter|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Berridge, T. H. D.||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex, F.||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Cave, George|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bignold, Sir Arthur||Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-|
|Armitage, R.||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Bowerman, C. W.||Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Brace, William||Cheetham, John Frederick|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Bramsdon, T. A.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Clark, George Smith|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Brigg, John||Clynes, J. R.|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Brooke, Stopford||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester||Bull, Sir William James||Corbett, C. H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Barker, John||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Butcher, Samuel Henry||Courthope, G. Lord|
|Barnard, E. B.||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Cowan, W. H.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Byles, William Pollard||Cox, Harold|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Cameron, Robert||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Beale, W. P.||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervas.||Carlile, E. Hildred||Cross, Alexander|
|Bell, Richard||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Crossley, William J.|
|Bellairs, Carylon||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristl,S||Lever,A.Levy (Essex, Harwich||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lewis, John Herbert||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Duckworth, James||Long,Rt.Hn. Walter (Dublin,S)||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos.Myles|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Duncan, Robert(Lanark,Govan||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lupton, Arnold||Scott,A. H.(Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Lyell, Charles Henry||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lynch, H. B.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Everett, R. Lacey||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Macdonald,J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Fell, Arthur||M'Arthur, Charles||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||M'Crae, Sir George||Smith,Abel H.(Hertford, East)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Smith,F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Snowden, P.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Magnus, Sir Philip||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Glen-Coats,Sir T.(Renfrew, W.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Glover, Thomas||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Stanier, Beville|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Starkey, John R.|
|Gooch,Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mond, A.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Montgomery, H. G.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Gretton, John||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Guinness,Hon.R. (Haggerston)||Morpeth, Viscount||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Summerbell, T.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L.(Rossendale||Murray,Capt.Hn.A. C.(Kincard.||Talbot,Rt.Hn.J.G.(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Harcourt,Robert V.(Montrose)||Myer, Horatio||Tennant,Sir Edward(Salisbury|
|Hardie,J.Keir(Merthyr Tydvil)||Napier, T. B.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Nicholson,Charles N.(Doncast'r||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Nicholson, Wm. G.(Petersfield)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harwood, George||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Nuttall, Harry||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hedges, A. Paget||O'Grady, J.||Verney, F. W.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Parker, Sir Gilbert(Gravesend)||Walker, H. De R.(Leicester)|
|Henderson,J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Walker,Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Partington, Oswald||Walsh, Stephen|
|Herbert,Col.Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Paulton, James Mellor||Walton, Joseph|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Pease,Herbert Pike(Darlington||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wardle, George J.|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Pollard, Dr.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wason,Rt.Hn.E.(Clackmannan|
|Hooper, A. G.||Price,Sir Robert J.(Norfolk, E.)||Wason,John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Rainy, A. Rolland||Whitbread, Howard|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Randles, Sir John Scurrah||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Hunt, Rowland||Ratcliff, Major R. F.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Rawlinson,John Frederick Peel||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Jowett, F. W.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Williams,Llewelyn(Carmarth'n|
|Keswick, William||Roberts,S.(Sheffield,Ecclesall)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Robertson,Sir G.Scott(Bradf'rd||Williamson, A.|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Lambert, George||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Wilson, A. Stanley (York,E. R.)|
|Lea, Hugh Cecil (St.Pancras,E.||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Laese,Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||Rose, Charles Day||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Rothschild,Hon.Lionel Walter||Winfrey, R.|
|Wood, T. M'Kinnon||Young, Samuel||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart||Younger, George||Joseph Peaso and Master of|
|Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George||Yoxall, James Henry||Elibank.|
§ Remaining words of Paragraph (a) omitted.
§ And, it being after half-past Ten of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 17th July, to put forthwith the Question904
§ necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded this day.
§ Question put, "That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 293; Noes, 99. (Division List No. 317.)907
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Cowan, W. H.||Henry, Charles S.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Cox, Harold||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Armitage, R.||Crooks, William||Higham, John Sharp|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Crossley, William J.||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Dalziel, James Henry||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.||Hodge, John|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hooper, A. G.|
|Barker, John||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Barnard, E. B.||Duckworth, James||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Barnes, G. N.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Beale, W. P.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Hudson, Walter|
|Beauchamp, E.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Bell, Richard||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Jackson, R. S.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Everett, R. Lacey||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Fenwick, Charles||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Ferens, T. R.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Jowett, F. W.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Findlay, Alexander||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Fuller, John Michael F.||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Boulton, A. C. E.||Fullerton, Hugh||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Brace, William||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Glover, Thomas||Lambert, George|
|Brigg, John||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lamont, Norman|
|Bright, J. A.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gulland, John W.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Lupton, Arnold|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Byles, William Pollard||Harcourt, Rt Hn. L. (Rossendale||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Cameron, Robert||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Lynch, H. B.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Causton, Rt Hn. Richard Knight||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wor'c'r||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hart-Davies, T.||Maclean, Donald|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Clough, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Harwood, George||M'Callum, John M.|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Haworth, Arthur A.||M'Crae, Sir George|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Hedges, A. Paget||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Helme, Norval Watson||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Hemmerde, Edward George||Maddison, Frederick|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Manfield, Harry (Northants)|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Toulmin, George|
|Marnham, F. J.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Massie, J.||Robinson, S.||Verney, F. W.|
|Menzies, Walter||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Vivian, Henry|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Roe, Sir Thomas||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Walsh, Stephen|
|Mond, A.||Rose, Charles Day||Walton, Joseph|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Wardle, George J.|
|Montgomery, H. G.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Morrell, Philip||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Murray, Capt. Hn. AC. (Kincard.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Myer, Horatio||Sears, J. E.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Napier, T. B.||Seaverns, J. H.||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Nicholson, Charles, N. (Doncast'r||Sherwell, Arthur James||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Simon, John Allsebrook||Whittaker, Rt Hn. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Grady, J.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Snowden, P.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Partington, Oswald||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Soares, Ernest J.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Spicer, Sir Albert||Williamson, A.|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Stanger, H. Y.||Willough de Eresby, Lord|
|Pollard, Dr.||Steadman, W. C.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Radford, G. H.||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Rainy, A. Rolland||Summerbell, T.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Sutherland, J. E.||Winfrey, R.|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)||Joseph Pease and Master of|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thomasson, Franklin||Elibank.|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm||Hunt, Rowland|
|Ashley, W. W.||Courthope, G. Loyd||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Craik, Sir Henry||Keswick, William|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Cross, Alexander||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Duncan, Robt. (Lanark, Govan)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Fell, Arthur||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Fletcher, J. S.||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gardner, Ernest||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Gretton, John||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guinness, W. K. (Bury S. Edm.)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Cave, George||Harris, Frederick Leverton||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Helmsley, Viscount||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Wore.||Hill, Sir Clement||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Clark, George Smith||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Ronaldshay, Earl of||Starkey, John R.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Young, Samuel|
|Salter, Arthur Clavell||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'rd Univ.||Younger, George|
|Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Viscount Valentia.|
|Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Stanier, Beville||Winterton, Earl|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report progress; to sit again To-morrow.