§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
It is my privilege to move the Second Reading of this Bill. It is a measure which has been time and again before the House of Commons, and it has been blocked over and over again, not by Scottish Members but by hon. Members representing England. As an English Member, I wish to make some amends to Scotland, and I have acceded to the request of many friends of mine from Scotland that I should undertake to introduce this Bill to-day. This measure has no lack of supporters amongst Scottish Members, and I am glad to think that the Motion for the; Second Reading is going to be seconded by the Chairman of 1580 the Scottish Liberal Members in this House. I do not claim that the Bill in its present form is a perfect local option measure, but I do say that it is the best Local Option Bill that has been presented to the House of Commons. I do not claim any personal credit for that. As the House knows, the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Pirie) carried a similar Bill a stage further than the Second Reading last year. I wish to point out that I have been able to embody all the improvements which were made in the Bill before the Scottish Grand Committee, and I gratefully plagiarised all the additional suggestions put down in the name of the Lord Advocate for the Report stage of the Bill last year. I think that Bill during its progress through the Scottish Grand Committee not merely underwent careful revision, but it also secured the advantage of collaboration from hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentlemen -opposite. A good deal of the measure was accepted without demur, and the proposal for a later hour of opening in the morning was not opposed by anyone on the Committee. I really do not see why any man wants whisky before ten o'clock in the morning. This was in fact a provision borrowed from a Unionist Bill of 1900, which was backed amongst others by the hon. Member for Kirkcudbrightshire. We have also to thank the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Central Glasgow (Mr. Scott Dickson) for some suggestions for improving the working of the reduction scheme. We believe those suggestions were inspired by a genuine desire to make this a workable measure. We also took the Clauses strengthening the control which at present exists in Scotland over clubs, which control exists to a greater degree than in England. We took those Clauses en bloc from the Amendment proposed by Mr. Cochrane, the former Member for North Ayr. I do not say that hon. Gentlemen opposite are committed to the contentious parts of this Bill, but what I do say is that many of them have collaborated with us in improving the measure. I am not going to deal with details at this stage. All I need say is that they have been approved by the representatives of the country in which it is proposed that the Bill should operate. There is only one point of detail I think it right to allude to. There are drafting arrangements and alterations in the Bill, but there is only one material alteration, and it is a Committee point, referring to the loopholes and possible exemptions in no-licence areas 1581 when a no-licence vote has been carried. There was a serious danger of evasion in so far as any public-house might have been carried on in any no-licence area under restaurant conditions. That would have led to very serious evasion, and that loophole is now confined to residential hotels with no liquor bars. That single spark of originality I claim for myself. The Bill of last year was backed by all the temperance organisations in Scotland, and for the first time it received the support of all the churches and religious bodies in Scotland. That result was only arrived at by something in the nature of an approximation and a compromise. My advanced temperance friends in Scotland made concessions, and the more moderate temperance men also did not press some points to which they attached importance in order to secure unity in favour of the measure. I do not believe that unity could have been gained except along the lines of the present Bill. I most earnestly hope that that unity of opinion amongst the reformers of Scotland which has been arrived at may continue until this measure has been placed on the Statute Book.
There is one difficulty which will appeal more to English than to Scotch Members—the concession which the advanced temperance reformers made as to the requirement of a three-fifths majority. They made a concession of a brief time notice, and I have no doubt that one of the attacks on the Bill will be a contrast between the brief time notice in' this Bill and the long time limit in the Bill of 1908. The long time limit in the English Bill of 1908 established a period at the end of which the monopoly value of all licences was to be taken over by the State. This Bill only provides a period at which an additional risk—and be it remembered it is an insurable risk—should attach to licences in addition to the risks they have at present, risks which in many cases may not be very formidable. But we in England have to be careful not to judge of Scottish experience by English standards. Opinion is more advanced there. I will not dwell on the discretion of the licensing authority in Scotland, which has never been obscured, as it has been in England, by the beerhouse legislation form 1830 to 1870. I will not dwell on the absence of the tied houses or on the lower prices of the licensed houses north of the Tweed. You have had in Scotland under the Unionist Act of 1903, considering the fewer number of licences that exist there, a reduction I of licences almost as great without com- 1582 pensation as that which has taken place in England under the Licensing Act of 1904, subject to monetary compensation. Therefore, I say, in dealing with this Bill, we must make an effort to distinguish the speculative and precarious tenure of a demoralising monopoly from the secure and unchallenged position of a freehold tenure.
In the Scotch Grand Committee the Lord Advocate (Mr. Ure), who, after all, knows the facts of Scotch life, told us the terms we offer in this Bill were handsome and generous to the liquor trade.
There is one difficulty which I know will be pressed against us at the outset. It is urged that the temperance movement has been so successful in past years that legislation is superfluous. All we have to do is to trust to the slow changes which are at work in the habits of the people and the forces which are making for temperance in various directions. We have heard a good deal about these slow forces working in the direction of temperance, and I am bound to say they operate slowly. John Bright, back in 1860, argued that all that was required was to trust to the forces making for improvement in his day. Now, after fifty years, I am sure the Leader of the Opposition would not agree with him. Only a few months ago he told us Wd were faced with "the great and ever-present tragedy of drink." He told us he "agreed with the present Prime Minister that of all the social evils that meet us in every walk of life and in every sphere of activity the greatest of all evils was the evil of intemperance." That is what the advocates of the slow changes in the habits of the people have to offer us after fifty years of the slow operation of their changes. That is why, even in the midst of a great constitutional struggle, we feel bound to take every opportunity of pressing upon this House the necessity of doing something to diminish the great and ever-present tragedy.
I do not deny there has been improvement. The licences in this country are going down at the breakneck pace of about 1 per cent, per annum, and the drink bill in the last ten years has fallen about 1 per cent, and a fraction over per annum. That justifies the minor restrictions carried during the last few years. It justifies also our proceeding further along the lines of these restrictions. It is true that in Scotland the trend is also downward in the drink bill, and, on the whole, in the number of convictions for 1583 drunkenness, but those convictions fluctuate with the state of trade, and they are masked in recent years by an alteration in the police procedure which has led to an apparent greater increase in the drunkenness of Glasgow. Still, no one looking over the Scotch figures would say all is for the best in the best of all possible licensing worlds. I do not think anyone need be afraid of saying that you can promote temperance by legislative enactments and make people sober by Act of Parliament. You can do even more. The history of the Whisky Duties shows that you can make people sober by Resolutions of the House of Commons. It is said we must not act because the Budget may pass into law. I need only say, if that is pressed upon us, that the operative part of this Bill—the local option proposals— do not come into operation for five years, and during that period, if there are Budget changes, they will be accepted, and the weight of them will, I doubt not, be borne with comparative ease. There will be plenty of opportunity to grow acclimatised to new taxation. I must beg the opponents of temperance reform not always to meet us with the argument-: "Not thus, and not now." They invariably find some reason why temperance reform is never in order.
Last week the Leader of the Opposition made an unexpected plea on behalf of permissive legislation. He told us quite truly that in the eighteenth century there were all sorts of different temperance legislation and poor law relief. Among them was the experiment of taking polls on the question whether there should be licences or not. He said it would be an immense practical gain to this House if there was an opportunity of trying by the actual test of experience some of the things put forward. He said he would like to see variety introduced deliberately and local authorities given an opportunity of trying experiments for the instruction of their fellows. That was in reference to a Bill to prevent destitution. This Bill is really a Bill also to prevent destitution —to extirpate the squalor and demoralisation which drink causes in this country. As soon as I heard those words last Friday I put them into cold storage for use to-day. I welcomed this lip service to the principle of local option, but it does not blind me to the fact that the real obstacle to getting this experimental legislation has been the Leader of the Opposition, the party which he leads, and the peers 1584 whom he controls. I believe, to their credit be it said, that they once did leave the question of local option in Wales an open question for their followers. I suppose there may be some Members of the House who desire to see experiments made, and Englishmen I should think could never have a better opportunity of trying these experiments than upon he willing body of the people of Scotland. For my part, I do not pretend to argue this Bill on the experimental ground. I think we have too often made experiments in liquor legislation. We have tried grocers' licences, free sale of beer, and the institution of clubs. All of them were recommended as most promising experiments, and all of them have been pretty disappointing at that. I do not think we ought to recommend any proposals on the mere experimental or sporting chance of some good coming out of them, but only if we can see a solid and decided improvement, a well-reasoned probability that good will result. It is on that ground that I advocate the main principle of this Bill. That main principle is the institution of popular control on the widest possible franchise—the most democratic franchise one can get. I would gladly accept adult suffrage if it existed in this country, but I ask for a popular vote to decide whether we shall get a reduction of licences by about 25 per cent, or whether we shall try the experiment of no licences at all, which is the fighting policy of temperance reformers all over the world. I believe if we could really prove to the satisfaction of this House that this system would largely diminish intemperance, any abstract question about interference with individual liberty would vanish. I believe, too, that the moderate drinker would be willing to put up with the possible occasional inconvenience of living in some place without a public-house round the corner if he thought it would seriously diminish the national curse of intemperance. But we are told—and the prophets are very free with their prophecies—that it will not work in England, though it might work under Transatlantic conditions, or in Australia or the Dominion of New Zealand. We are told it will not work in urban districts under the conditions we have here. I do not argue with the prophets. I confidently disbelieve them. I believe success depends not on the proportion of population to the area, but on the energy of human will of the people. I have been in no-license communities in Ontario, Maine and New 1585 England, and wherever I went I found that success depended not upon external conditions but on the energy, force of character and convictions of a group of reformers who were able to lift their community to a higher visible level of life. If in Scotland there is the same force of character and conviction, this Bill will work alike under urban and under rural conditions.
Within my limits of time it is absolutely impossible for me to go through foreign experience on this matter. I certainly came away from my studies of it in different parts of the world with a clear idea as to what was possible under it, and my convictions very much strengthened in its favour. I believe that local option countries have lower drink bills than elsewhere, and converging evidence from places so different as New England, New Zealand, and Ontario amply justifies the statement that in "no-licence" communities at least two-thirds of the drunkenness disappears. Where no-licence districts are established, it is followed by a very considerable increase of material prosperity, owing to the diversion of money from the drink bill to productive purposes. The possibility of a poll also exercises a great cautionary influence on the publican, and, further, it takes the question out of politics. It is the business of temperance reformers to ha a nuisance to Governments and parties, but when they are given this power, the remedy is put into their hands, and if they cannot use it then there is no more to be said.
I would ask what is really implied in the refusal of the opponents of the Bill. Be it understood that we do not ask and do not expect in these no-licence areas a complete elimination of drink. We do not imagine that they are going to be inhabited by teetotallers only. We are aware that in no-licence areas moderate drinkers manage to exist. But we do ask for a possibility in these areas of the suppression of retail sale. Do our opponents really regard it as an indispensable condition of existence—is it a national and inalienable right of man—that; there must be in every village and along every mile of a country road and in every ward of a town a licensed place to sell drink? Do they insist that where, by a large majority, the inhabitants of a district would wish to get free of an influence which they regard as contaminating, these public-houses must be thrust, with all their fatal 1586 temptations, upon the population? I have asked before in this House that Parliament should grant us in England, at any rate, some chance of getting a few cities of refuge where this liquor traffic, with all its temptations and with its genius for adding to the tragedy of drink, may be removed to some little distance. For my part, you may improve the external conditions of sale, you may no doubt help by better housing and by increased opportunities for recreation, but I do not believe there will be any final remedy for the evils of the licensing system except through the policy of no licence. But suppose the House does not agree with my convictions, suppose it sees inconveniences, flaws, and defects in this Bill, which I should disregard, still I would appeal to the good sense and fairness of English Members to abandon the perpetual obstruction to this demand for Scotland. Over and over again the Bill has been defeated by the opposition of English votes or by the inability of Parliament, congested with work and striving to do in one Parliament what Americans do in ninety Legislative Chambers—this Bill has been defeated by the inability of Parliament to attend to matters of pressing importance to the people of this country. I claim that this Bill is a small piece of Home Rule for Scotland for the protection of the homes of Scotland. There was an overwhelming majority for this Bill before the General Election. Now the General Election has passed, and the overwhelming majority has been increased by one. The real reason for the opposition—stubborn and inveterate—to this Bill is, I believe, to be found in the electioneering power of the liquor trade, which controls parties in this House, which captures the Second Legislative Chamber, which dictates to the constituencies, and which marks down candidates for political extinction. I wonder whether hon. Members opposite are really satisfied in their own minds with the pressure which that trade exercises over their own party? As against the liquor trade, I venture to claim for the people of this country an enlarged power of self-protection and an increased measure of control.
§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
I beg to second the Motion, and I should like, on behalf of myself and colleagues, to thank the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. Charles Roberts) for the great service that he has rendered to Scotland in introducing the Bill to-day, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than to rise to second it. I am 1587 what is called a moderate drinker. I remember an old Scotch farmer saying to me once that he had never "kenned" anybody who had died of drink, but he "kenned" a good many who had died of the training. I am one of those who have survived the training, and it is as a moderate drinker that I rise to support this measure, which has been so ably put before the House by the hon. Member for Lincoln. I want to go back thirty years and to point out that a similar measure has been before this House on eight occasions during that period, and in every single case there has been a majority of Scottish Members in favour of it. In 1880 thirty-eight Scottish Members voted for the Bill, and only three against. In 1881 thirty-seven voted for and only three against, and in 1883 thirty-six voted for and only two against. There was a great hiatus between the year 1883 and 1899, and during those years the Scottish representatives must have been singularly unfortunate, because no Scottish temperance measure was during those years brought before this House, but in the year 1899 a measure was brought in very similar to this, and forty Scottish Members voted for it and fifteen against. In 1905 another Bill was brought forward, and thirty-two Scottish Members voted for and eighteen against. Coming to the last Parliament, in the year 1907 my hon. Friend the Member for the Partick Division (Mr. It. Balfour) was fortunate enough to get a place in the ballot, and he got the Bill through by the large majority of fifty-two Scottish Members voting for it and only seven against. There was a Motion made to send that Bill to the Scottish Grand Committee, but that Committee was very much occupied that year with the Scottish Small Holders Bill and the Scottish Land Valuation Bill, and the measure made no further progress. In the year 1908 my hon. Friend the Member for the Tradeston Division of Glasgow (Mr. Cameron Corbett) had charge of the measure, and it was carried by the large majority of forty-six Scottish Liberal Members for it and five against. I see my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries Burghs (Mr. Gulland), whose promotion we are all glad to see, sitting on the Treasury Bench, and I remember well that when a Motion was made by the Scottish Secretary that the Bill should be committed to a Committee of the whole House, he led a revolt and divided against the Government as did many other Scottish 1588 Members, because they thought that this Bill was one of all others which should have gone upstairs. Needless to say, I agree with that, but there was the Scottish Education Bill before the Grand Committee at that time, and so the Secretary for Scotland felt that if this Bill was sent up to that Committee also, the Education Bill would not have quite so easy a passage as he anticipated if hon. Members knew that a Temperance Bill was to come afterwards. That is my impression, and we have known these things to happen in this House that if hon. Members know that a Bill of which they do not approve is to come on afterwards they spend time in discussing matters in which they are not particularly interested.
Last year the Bill which was almost identical with this Bill was in charge of the hon. and gallant Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Pirie), and it was carried in this House by a majority of 110, and there were thirty-six Scottish Members who voted for, and only two against. It went upstairs to the Scottish Grand Committee, which was presided over by my hon. Friend the Member for North Worcestershire (Mr. J. W. Wilson), and it was before that Committee for either fourteen or sixteen days, I am not quite sure which, but I know that the hon. Baronet, the Member for the City (Sir F. Banbury) was a Member, and was very constant in his attendance and criticisms. With reference to that Bill, what I want to point out to the House is that during the discussion in the Scottish Grand Committee the closure was never once asked for, and, needless to say, it was never granted. The measure was thoroughly threshed out. There were portions of the Bill which were thoroughly non-contentions, and it was reported to this House early in the month of May. The Bill was most admirably handled by the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Aberdeen with his usual courtesy and tact, and we are all under a very great debt of gratitude to him for his-services in that matter. As I say the closure was never once applied. The question of the opening of the public-houses at a later hour—at ten o'clock in the morning — was carried without a Division, and I think I know the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London well enough to feel certain that he would have divided against it if he had not approved of it. The club clauses were carried also without any Division, and with approval, I think, of 1589 the Lord Advocate. This measure, which was reported to this House early in May, had a sympathetic Government. The Prime Minister stated over and over again his approval of the Bill, and in replying to a deputation which I had the honour to introduce to him he expressed himself distinctly and affirmatively as supporting the principle of local option which is contained in this Bill, but although it had his sympathy and had been thoroughly threshed out in Grand Committee, unfortunately we were unable to make further progress, and the Bill was dropped. I regretted it extremely. I think this Bill is a reasonable and a moderate Bill, and I sometimes wonder to myself whether, if we had had the good fortune to have got it through this House in all its stages, it would have been able to pass the portals of another Chamber. That is one of the reasons why I am glad we are coming to close grips elsewhere on the question of the Veto. I want to be allowed to allude to an old friend of mine and of many Members on the: opposite side of the House, the late Mr. Hanbury. He was a very well known Member, and I was with him at Rugby and Oxford, and we were friends for a great many years. I remember on one occasion discussing this matter with him, and he said:—I do declare if I had to begin my life over again I would be a total abstainer.That was his testimony to me, although he was a moderate drinker, more so even than I am. I want to give only two other quotations. One from a very eminent archbishop, who was Headmaster of Rugby in my day, Dr. Temple, who, in his addenda to the Minority Report, said:—The people in every part of the United Kingdom should have power, by a substantial majority vote, taken on the widest franchise, to prevent, any premises being licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors in their respective localities.That was the view of a great Archbishop of Canterbury, and I need not remind this House of the Minority Report, which said expressly thatWhile they did not think that England was ripe for a measure of local option, in Scotland and Wales it was entirely different, and there the opinion was much more advanced.I hope in the meantime the opinion of England will ripen. The minority suggested, however, that after a period of five years, which is the time given in this Bill, the Scottish people should have the right to say whether intoxicating liquors should be sold in their localities or not. I appeal to English Members to help us in this matter. I want them to understand 1590 that Scotland is not a province of England, and that we in Scotland refuse to have our laws made by Englishmen. We are far in advance of England.
§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
If the hon. Baronet will come to some more of our Scotch committees he will find that in education, in temperance, in laws, in the system of juries, the whole system is entirely different. In Scotland the sexes are on an equality. The overwhelming opinion of Scotland is in favour of this measure. We have a substantial majority for it in Scotland, and I beg the English Members here not to thwart the will of the people of Scotland, because, depend upon this, we are determined in this matter, and we will never rest until we have this or some similar measure put on the Statute Book.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
moved, as an Amendment, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."
The first observation I desire to make is to express my surprise, coupled with a great deal of disappointment, that the hon. Member (Mr. Charles Roberts), having the good fortune to win a coveted place in the ballot, and thus secure one of those all too rare opportunities which a private Member gets of demonstrating to the country and to the Government his capacity for constructive legislation, should, in the present condition of the country and of the political world, be unable to avail himself of the opportunity to any better purpose and to evolve no measure of a more pressing and practical character than one to prevent the working man from having a glass of rum early in the morning if he wishes it, or a respectable lodger from getting a glass of beer. It seems to me that there is a certain section in this House which is obsessed with this idea of so-called "temperance reform," even arrogating to itself with that unconscious, smug self-righteousness which is the characteristic of all fanaticism, the title of the "Temperance party." I should like to know who will dare to get up and honestly point his finger to any Member of the House and say "he is a member of the Intemperance: party," or, to quote a phrase which the hon. Member used, with great offence, more than once, that any man in this House is "an enemy and an opponent of temperance reform." How long has it been the privilege and the monopoly of the hon. 1591 Member to have sole charge of the morals of people whom we all represent equally in this House?
The difference between the hon. Gentleman and some of us is fundamental. There is no difference of view as to the existence, the character, or the enormity of the evil with which he seeks to deal. He sees, as every man with eyes to see sees, the plague of intemperance and all the evils that follow in its train, and he regards it as a sort of superficial complaint which can be got rid of by the application of a certain number of doses of parental and restrictive legislation. We who are opposed to this class of legislation look upon it as a symptom—and only one of many, and perhaps not even the most eerious—of a condition of society and a state of things with which restrictive legislation never has done, and never can do, anything, and which you can only get at by going right down to the root-springs of some great measure of social regeneration, which will go very much deeper into the causes than the hon. Gentleman has ever yet brought himself to. I do not want to be offensive to the hon. Gentleman, but I cannot help remembering that, having secured two coveted places in the ballot, so entirely is he the victim of this obsession that, having put down this for one of his measures, the only other one he adopts is one to empower local authorities to acquire certain water rights. That, I think, is a waste of the privileges of the ballot for private Members.
I want to take serious exception to what was almost the peroration of the hon. Gentleman—as to which I think I am justified in using the phrase of "smug" self-righteousness—that the real reason of the opposition to this measure—forgetting that he was addressing fellow Members of the House, who have an equal right to be here, and an equal mandate, and perhaps a greater mandate—is a desire to placate and harmonise ourselves with the great brewery interest which has such power in electioneering. It is a serious and an offensive charge. What obligation is anyone of us who oppose this Bill under to that trade or to any section of it? It may be a power for electioneering. I wonder if the hon. Member has ever looked into the annual expenditure upon the professional temperance movement in this country. I wonder if he would like to see a list of the salaries paid to a vast army of men who make it their profession to preach temperance in the country, and 1592 to preach it never so effectively or so energetically as in the neighbourhood of a constituency where an election is going on. The temperance movement has become a profession, and in so far as it has become a profession it has ceased to exercise the power which it might otherwise have over the general community.
Our objection to this class of measure is that it is an attempt to revive those old sumptuary laws which are foreign entirely to the genius of the British race. The Celtic portion of our dominions has perhaps clung to that sort of law longer than the other section. We are told that Scotland is infinitely in front of us in education and enlightenment, and apparently in everything else except temperance. If that be so, I am wondering why it is that this most enlightened portion of our dominions, and the most educated and cultured portion of it, should be the one which has always clamoured the most for further restrictive legislation to assist it to keep sober. I will leave the hon. Member with these personal observations, which are distasteful to me, but which I feel justified in making. I suggest with all sincerity that there are other questions quite as pressing as this, and that something more important might occupy our attention to-day. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] I am pleased to hear that subdued cheer. This is not a temperance measure, and I protest against the use of that term in relation to it. There is no temperance in it. It is a measure characterised by tyranny, prohibition, and intemperance.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
It is tyranny of the worst description. I think I shall satisfy the hon. Gentleman that there is very little real temperance in the measure. In the first place, I would ask, Why is the Bill wanted at all? The hon. Member admits that taking the country as a whole—and Scotland is a part of the country—the people are becoming more sober. Is Scotland becoming more sober? If so, why do you want further restrictive legislation? If she is not, then what is the good of the restrictive legislation already enjoyed? The onus is upon the hon. Member to show why the measure is introduced. He must satisfy us that there is something so inherently alcoholic in the Scottish temperament that, unless you provide further restrictive legislation, the people may backslide at any moment. The hon. Member ought to 1593 have shown us that such restrictive legislation as Scotland has now has worked for temperance in the past. He ought to have shown us that restrictive legislation in any part of the world has worked for temperance in the past. The hon. Member says there has been a reduction of 1 per cent, per annum in the number of licences in England, and a similar reduction in the percentage of drunkenness. That sounds a plausible statement, but he ought to have known that, if you examine the statistics of the growing sobriety of England, you find that it is greatest where the restrictions are least.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
The hon. Member shakes his head. I will give him the figures in a moment. He will find that it is the counties that have the smallest number of public-houses which happen to have the worst statistics from the point of view of drunkenness. I do not deduce arguments from such statistics; but I mention them to show the way in which we can be misled by statistics. I do not apologise for interfering in the Debate because I am not a Scotsman. The hon. Member said he brought forward the Bill because of the interference of English Members in the past in Scottish matters. I do not oppose the Bill from any feeling of revenge, but I do remember that the Scottish Members took a fairly active part in endeavouring to force upon me a Licensing Bill very uncongenial to my temperament. There is another Bill before the House now which is backed by at least one Scotsman. I do not recognise these distinctions. We are all entitled to look upon the United Kingdom as a whole, and I do feel that in so far as we permit experiments of this kind the proposal that they should foe tried on the corpore vile of Scotland is not very sound, because later on they will find their way here, and we will be told, "You ought to have been on your guard when the Scottish Bill was introduced, because the door was opened then, and now they are opening a door a little wider."
There is another question where the onus rests upon the hon. Member to prove his case. The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Gulland) recently issued a pamphlet which bore in the boldest type "Scotland Sober and Free." Why the Bill, then? Leave it so. I never heard of such a thing as a 1594 measure being introduced to make a country sober and temperate and free, and to subject it to greater restrictions than those which exist in other portions of the Empire, when that country is already sober and free. The hon. Member for Dumfries says Scotland is sober. My respectful advice to the Scotch Members is to let it remain so. The hon. Member for Lincoln says that this legislation is justified by experience. I am sure he will respect the-authority of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir T. Whit-taker) who does not take so distinguished a part in these discussions now as he used to do. He said in the course of an argument, when referring to the legislative conditions in Scotland with respect to-licensing:—Broadly speaking, these improved conditions are in force, and in Scotland intemperance, and all the evils of the drinking system still abound there.When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, and others, use language of that kind is not that the best indication the temperance party can have of the inefficacy of this class of legislation. Another statement of the hon. Member was that this kind of legislation is applicable in towns. I have here a quotation from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley in which he says, what indeed everybody knows, that you cannot apply this legislation in large towns, however much you may inflict it on villages and rural places. Just take an illustration of the futility of this kind of legislation. The cities of Glasgow and Sheffield are almost identical in character and occupations. They are practically the same in almost all the conditions of life—the same-industries and everything else. In Glasgow they have early closing, Sunday closing, holiday closing, no entertainments of any kind on Sunday permitted, and no licensed premises open—all the most absurd regulations it is possible to conceive in the interests of temperance. In Sheffield the conditions are the very opposite. Does the hon. Member for Lincoln contradict me when I say that drunkenness is five times greater in Glasgow to-day than in Sheffield? Does the hon. Member contradict me when I say that, even after the 1903 Act, only two years ago the Glasgow Corporation passed a resolution appointing a special committee to inquire into the alarming increase of drunkenness in the city? If these things be true, there is an end of your case for this class of legislation. When you have tried it for years, and your own civic authorities say that 1595 it has resulted in a large increase of drunkenness, I wonder that hon. Gentlemen should propose to apply that theory to any other part of the country.
It is sometimes contended that legislation of this kind will tend to diminish crime. Drinking may be the cause of a great deal of crime, but it is not the cause of so much as is popularly represented. A man gets into trouble, and he finds it a convenient way of enlisting sympathy to say that he was in drink when an offence was committed; but any student of criminology will tell you that drinking is no more a cause of crime than is—and this has a particular bearing on this discussion—the excessive consumption of animal food. All statistics bear that out. [Laughter.] The hon. Member smiles. I have known vegetarians as fanatical as he is fanatical as a teetotaler. I know a vegetarian who, if he could secure a seat in this House, would not think he was reducing things to an absurdity if he introduced a Bill for the purpose of applying local veto to the closing of butchers' shops.
I do not care what Member of the House hears me—is there any man who will say that there is any more revolting or disgusting spectacle than that of the average butcher's shop on Saturday night? It is revolting to any man of a sensitive mind. The hon. Member for Spen Valley says:—One of my chief reasons for objecting to public-houses is that they interfere with my comfort and spoil my amenities.If a vegetarian were on the floor of this House he would have plenty of statistics to back him up in objecting to butchers' shops. What do writers on criminology say as to what is more than drink and more than the consumption of animal food the cause of crime? Without desiring to introduce a note of discord, I say that it is a matter of scientific truth that religious mania is the cause of a very large portion and the most serious portion of the crime in this country. If my hon. Friend opposite does not know it, let him take up last Sunday's papers or any of the weekly papers. There were nine cases last week. Of those nine the majority were attributed by medical evidence to religious mania. Would the hon. Member for Lincoln back a Bill, if I were to introduce it, to give local veto to close churches and chapels? Yet it would be just as reasonable, just as rational, and just as absurd as what is now proposed. This class of legislation has done no good anywhere. I have given 1596 you the cases of Glasgow and Sheffield, and I defy the hon. Member to point to any part of the British Empire to upset what is established by these cases. I do not want to go to America where the facts are all against him, but even if they were for him, I prefer at present to govern Great Britain by British methods, and to judge of the facts by the evidence before my eyes.
That legislation puts the temperate man, the moderate drinker like the right hon. Gentleman who seconded the Bill, to inconvenience and annoyance. The hon. Member may have—I am sure he has—a very well-equipped cellar; but the moderate drinker is the man who is inconvenienced, and not the drunkard. How are you going to stop the inveterate drunkard from indulging his vice by having a no-licence area? He has only to walk a few yards over the border and he drinks twice as much and they have to carry him twice as far home. You are going to take away all reasonable facilities from the reasonable drinker. Your electorate is going to exclude that man from facilities at home, and the working man will have no reasonable facilities at all. The fact is, that wherever you apply this class of legislation you get nothing but shebeens, drinking clubs and secret drinking. And there is one alarming aspect of the matter which I venture to ask the House to permit me to refer to, because it is testimony which I am sure will command respect. Lady Henry Somerset, whose name I am sure the hon. Member will respect, says she deplores the fact that, in spite of all the years she has devoted to temperance work, drinking and secret drinking among women is ever on the increase. That is one of the dark results of this kind of legislation. As regards its effectiveness, may I read for the hon. Member for Lincoln a letter which I received only this morning. It only represents what is going on:—Here is an experience of my own, on the occasion of a recent compulsory week end among the unco' guid. Having business in the vicinity of Glasgow, which involved an early appointment on Monday morning, and having to be in Glasgow on the previous Saturday, I had no alternative hut to stay over. The problem what to do on the Sunday had to be faced, and as I had no personal friends there, I scanned the papers for some form of intellectual and profitable occupation. I need hardly say that except the kirks, and one exception, there was nothing outside the dull monotony of a practically deserted hotel.''The one exception was a steamer trip down the Clyde around the Kyles of Buite, arriving in Glasgow at 7.30 p.m. I decided to go, and we left the Broomielaw at 10.30 a.m. The day was fine, there were about fifty excursionists, and by lunch time we had passed the smelly part of the river. So far so good. Then for lunch.1597So far as I could judge, the whole of us sat down to lunch, I being the only apparent foreigner (English) among the worshippers of the bawbees, and of this fact corroborative evidence was soon forthcoming. I called the steward and ordered a whisky and soda. Alack, it was not to be. No drinks on the Scotch Sawbath, not even for the bonâ fide traveller, lest perchance that traveller might have been more tempted by the whisky than by the attractions of the surrounding scenery. So I ordered a ' Polly ' neat, and fell into a philosophic frame of mind. Just then a strange commotion and shuffling took place all around the tables. My neighbour on the right pushed me to the left, and the one on the left promptly pushed me back again, Hands dived into overcoat pockets, breast pockets, side pockets, bags and other receptacles, which had hitherto borne such excellent characters, and in less than sixty seconds the table groaned beneath the weight of whisky flasks, bottles of wine and other varieties of the forbidden fruit. Never until that moment did I appreciate the full significance of the meaning of 'the canny Scot.'It was not long before one could detect the glad eye all around. I believe that one or two in my immediate vicinity cast a half pitiful glance in my direction, but not one, not even one, offered me the smallest practical consolation.There you have, served up fresh, not from the cold storage, what happens, and what everybody has seen happen in Scotland. I do not know whether I have the advantage over the hon. Member for Lincoln, but I happened to be in Scotland on business, and I went out specially to see the working of this Act on Saturday night. I would call the attention of Scotch Members to the fact that I saw in Glasgow on a Saturday night such sights as I have never seen in London, and such as would never be permitted by public opinion to exist a day in London. So far as the other portions of the Bill go, they embody confiscatory provisions. The hon. Members says, "Under the Licensing Bill the time proposed was fourteen to fifteen years to take over the monopoly value by the State. Under my Bill you are simply, at the end of five years, going to take the licence subject to greater risk." Then he added judiciously, "But let it be remembered that it is an insurable risk." With great respect to the hon. Member, I say that he is absolutely inaccurate. There is no licence insurance corporation in the world which will insure any licensee against the risk of losing his licence under the provisions of a Veto Resolution such as the Bill proposes.
The hon. Member must really not assume that there is not going to be any note of dissent unless he is prepared to justify his view. There is no licensing insurance company will insure against the loss of a licence except in the normal course of working under the Act of 1904. They will not insure a licence-holder against the risk of being suddenly deprived of his licence on the whim of a small section of the electorate. Who are the voters who wish 1598 to take these licences away? They are three-fifths of one-third of a limited register, which, in itself, is only about one-twelfth of the population of the district. A mathematical sum gives you this: That sixty residents of a district can deprive a man of his business, and a slightly smaller proportion, I think, can largely limit the facilities of the district. What would happen in this House if the principle of local veto advocated by the hon. Member for Lincoln were adopted here. Take the proportion that I have just given, and yon would find that under the hon. Gentleman's scheme eleven Members of this House could prevent anyone from obtaining alcoholic refreshments. If anything like that occurred I would like to see how long the eleven Members would retain their seats. As to the question of compensation, the hon. Member passed over that part of his subject very lightly, as though it did not much matter. But it would be a terrible thing for a man, after five years, to lose his business, and that he might be left with the obligation of a heavy lease on his premises—the premises being worth nothing to him without a licence. Most of the Scottish licence-holders have leases for ten years and upwards, and, if they lose their licence, they will be left with the premises on their hands. The hon. Gentleman thinks that is a small matter. This Bill is absolutely unjust to the licence-holder. Five years is utterly inadequate to enable him to make provision for the protection of his business, and a respectable citizen carrying on his business is liable to be brought into a position of absolute ruin.
Another provision is that the premises shall not be opened until ten in the morning. The hon. Member for Lincoln wishes to know why a man should require a drink before ten o'clock in the morning. Why is it required before eleven o'clock or twelve o'clock in the morning? Why stop at ten o'clock? Is there not such a thing as a cold winter's morning, when a working man does not commit any great crime if he indulges in a little hot rum, as we see working men do all over the country? Is there no such thing as a man returning to his work, cold and shivering, and taking a little alcoholic refreshment? Are there no such people as travellers and wayfarers to whom the hon. Member's scheme, if it were put into operation, would be a source of the utmost inconvenience? It seems to me rather subtle that, in order to get over the objections to early closing, you try to 1599 knock off an hour or two at the other end of the day. The Chairman of the Labour party may tell us that by not opening the public-house until ten o'clock, instead of at eight, we are going to increase the sobriety of the people. I have always, with great respect, thought it a most lamentable state of things in this House that the direct representatives of Labour, of course conscientiously, have felt it their duty to join in the general slander of the working classes of the country, as if they could not be trusted to keep themselves above the level of the beast without being subjected to class legislation. I do not propose to deal further with the provisions of the Bill. The main question before the House is whether the Member for Lincoln has made any case for it. He has not told us why it proposes to open at ten instead of eight. He has not shown that these early closing hours tend to sobriety. He has not given a single argument in favour of further legislation. I have often wondered how it is that well-intentioned men first take up this sort of cause, and then arrogate to themselves not only a position of self-righteousness, but the position of experts in a matter of which they really know nothing at all. If it is not an offensive question, may I ask the hon. Member for Lincoln when he was last in a public-house? It sounds an absurd question, but if he has not been in a public-house in recent years he knows nothing about the working of the Licensing Act. Why, you will get the best object lesson in practical temperance by going into well-conducted licensed premises. At the present moment you will see the licensee always on the qui vive, always on the look-out for the remotest semblance of a drunken man on his premises. You will find him always most solicitous to ascertain whether a man who asks him for drink is in a condition that he had better not be served. The respectable licensed victualler is the most practical temperance reformer in the country at the present time. The hon. Member smiles. How is it that you have got increased sobriety in the country, how is it you have fewer charges of drunkenness every week, and how is it there is so very rarely a charge of intemperance against the licensed victualler himself? I wonder if the friends of temperance realise the force of that observation? When do you find a licensed victualler in the police-court or the criminal court? You are driving out of the trade by this legislation the best 1600 men you can have. One hon. Member said that he wished to drive good men out of the trade. I do not. I wish to keep them there. I wish them to understand that it is a legitimate trade, providing for those legitimate wants which belong to a part of the world which, in all historical periods, has regarded alcoholic refreshment as part of the normal diet. I say there is no difference between us as to the evil, but you cannot rely on legislation for its remedy, and it is of no good shutting your eyes to the fact that the evil is remedying itself. The old phrase, "Drunk as a lord," has no real meaning now as it had years ago. The good example set by the lords, with their great sobriety, is one which working men are following, and it is one which is permeating the working classes. I do not believe that they are incapable of governing themselves, and I do not think they need an Act of Parliament, which would retard, and not accelerate, the improvement in the habits of the people. This country is going through a very trying and critical period of its existence, and on the whole it is acting well and steadily. The House will realise the humdrum and monotonous existence of the average workman, earning his living from morning to night, and returning often to a home which presents few, if any, attractions, with very little welcome perhaps, and with very poor surroundings in that home. I think when you remember all these things, and how little facilities he has for reasonable enjoyment, that on the whole he has acquitted himself well. I wish the Labour party would take the view that the best way to promote temperance is by wise legislation of a social and genuine character, giving better and nobler opportunities to working men to cultivate a greater sense of citizenship and of self-respect, and thus promote the real cause of temperance better than all the restrictive legislation that could be passed.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I beg to second the Amendment. I make no apology for doing so on the ground that I am an English Member. The hon. Member in charge of the Bill is also an English Member, and he has received the thanks of the right hon. Gentleman who seconded the Bill for the service he has rendered to Scotland. I do not know if any Scottish Member who follows me will accord to me the thanks of Scotland for rising to second the Amendment. If it is right for an English Member to move the Bill, it is equally 1601 right for an English Member to second the rejection. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. E. Wason) told us Scotland wa£ not part of England; that it was superior in all its laws, and especially in the law relating to divorce. I have no experience of the law relating to divorce, but I do not question the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the law in Scotland is superior in that respect. If Scotland is not part of England, I think that England is part of Scotland, and that the proper course as long as we have the privilege of being a United Kingdom is for all Members of Parliament, for whatever part of the Kingdom they sit, to take an intelligent interest in all the legislation that concerns any part of the United Kingdom. Therefore I make no apology for seconding the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman told us he was a moderate drinker. I am a very moderate drinker, and it is because I am so that I rise to second this Amendment. I claim in that respect the support of the right hon. Gentleman. What is the object of this Bill? It is not to prevent the drunkard getting drunk. It will never do that. An hon. Gentleman seems rather to doubt that statement. Is it not the fact that under the provisions of this Bill a man who desires to get drink can go and lay in from the wholesale seller a certain quantity. I do not know the smallest quantity. He can also do so from the grocer, as I am told by one of the most eminent Members for Scotland in the House. The drunkard can thus get all he wants, but it is the moderate drinker, like the right hon. Gentleman, and the very moderate drinker, like myself, who is unable to have a small glass of whisky, or a half-pint of beer after a walk over the hills of Scotland. For that reason I support the Amendment.
The right hon. Gentleman told us that last year the Scottish Members voted in favour of this Bill. Thirty-six did so, but where were the other thirty-four Members for Scotland? [An HON. MBMBER: "At by-elections."] Surely there were not thirty-four by-elections going on at that time! I venture to say it was owing to the tyranny exercised by the hon. Member opposite that those thirty-four who did not support his measure thought it wiser to be away. The hon. Gentleman told us the opposition to the measure was largely, I am not at all sure he did not say entirely, owing to the tyranny of the brewers and licensed vintners, and that that was the reason hon. 1602 Members on this side were afraid to support this Bill. I understand the hon. Gentleman now to say he did not say so, and, of course, I withdraw. I am very glad we know that the hon. Gentleman does not think that the brewer and licensed vintner pubs any tyranny upon hon. Members on either side of the House. There are other people who put tyrannical pressure upon hon. Members and upon voters. I find that on 11th March, 1909, speaking at Cockermouth, at a temperance mission, Alderman Harding, J.P., Mayor of Workington, said:—He did not believe that any member of the Christian church had any chance or entering heaven unless he was a teetotaler. The Great Hook laid it down a person had not the slightest chance in the next world unless he was a teetotaler in this world.I think that goes beyond any intimidation which has ever been put on any voter by any licensed victualler or by any brewer. The hon. Member, in introducing the Bill, said that temperance was improving, but that the percentage was very small. I gather that he thought that the improvement was not fast enough, and therefore it was to be accelerated by this particular Bill. We have heard a great deal during the last two or three days upon certain measures about trusting the people. Why does the hon. Member not trust the people, and why cannot he trust the people to make themselves temperate? If he can trust the people to do other things, and if they are to be trusted in everything regarding the sending of Members to this House, for instance, can he not trust them to free themselves from the great curse of intemperance, because, I admit, intemperance is a curse. This Bill is not going to stop intemperance; it is only going to prevent the moderate drinker obtaining that which, I say, is not a curse, but is in many cases a necessity. It is evident that the hon. Gentleman does not really trust the people. He thinks they cannot look after themselves, even in such a matter as this, and that, therefore, he must bring forward a Bill. He said also that any abstract question of the interference with individual liberty would vanish if it could be proved that the Bill would promote temperance. I oppose the Bill because I believe in individual liberty. I do not believe in this constant interference with the right of men to get a glass of beer because the hon. Member himself does not do so, any more than I believe the vegetarian has any right to say that, because he believes in eating vegetables therefore no man must eat meat.
1603 I have recently received letters from vegetarians, in one of which it is stated that the killing of animals for food is cruel, and that it might be stopped if everybody ate vegetables instead of meat. It is evident that there are a considerable number of people who honestly believe that the eating of meat is wrong, and if this class of Bill is brought forward, which amounts merely to allowing one section of the community to impose their will upon another, the line will not be drawn at drink, but you will have every particular faddist coming down and proposing that there should be a law to encourage his own individual view of how people ought to live. With the absence of another place, our life in the future will indeed be miserable. The hon. Member appears to think that there is no remedy for drinking except a no-licence Bill. Personally, I think there are many other remedies. First of all there is the remedy referred to by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. E. Wason). He told us that the late Mr. Hanbury once told him that if he had to live his life over again he would be a teetotaller. The right hon. Gentleman has great affection and admiration for the late Mr. Hanbury; why does he not follow his advice and become a teetotaler?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It is because I believe it is the business of the right hon. Gentleman and of everybody else to settle for themselves what they are going to drink that I object to this Bill. The Mover of the Bill said that he would not go into what happened in foreign, countries. I rather agree with the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) that we ought to govern ourselves, and not always be looking to the Colonies and other parts of the world to see how we ought to behave. But is there not another reason why the hon. Member declined to go into that question? Is it not because in many cases the no-licence, total abolition, and local veto policies have failed? [Mr. C. ROBERTS dissented.] I have memoranda here which leads me to believe that in many places local veto has failed. For instance, there is the report made by Mr. Alfred Carson, who was requested last year by the Premier of Western Australia to inquire into the liquor laws in other Australasian States, and whose report was presented to the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia last month. Mr. 1604 Carson, after examining the method of procedure in Victoria and New South Wales, reports that the results in New South Wales do not compare favourably with those in Victoria. He gives illustrations where the number of public-houses is largely in excess of the statutory maximum, and points out that twenty years of local option have failed to close a single house, whereas the Reduction Board had closed a large number in the first six months of its existence. He says that a very different result has been attained under local option, and he gives a number of instances where continuance was not merely carried, but carried by big majorities. On the other hand, reduction was carried, also in some cases by large majorities, in districts where there were the least number of hotels and the better class of hotel, and where one licensed house more or less could hardly make any appreciable difference to the temperance or intemperance of the district. The report shows that where there were a large number of public-houses they were not reduced, and that it was only in districts where there were not many public-houses and where a reduction of one or two would make no difference, they were reduced. With regard to local veto, the report states that the liquor trade in New Zealand has been largely under popular control since 1881, when the limited local veto was instituted and developed by subsequent legislation into the present local referendum. Mr. Carson states further:—The no-licence movement has undoubtedly been successful as far as popularity is concerned…but, successful as local veto has been in New Zealand in so far as the closing of public-houses is concerned. Mr. Carson's independent studies on the spot lead him to express strong doubts as to the success of the movement for the shutting of public-houses, regarded as a means for forwarding temperance rather than as an end' in itself. If the abolition of public-houses were the be-all and end-all of licensing reform nothing would remain to be said. If. however, the abolition of public-houses be desired mainly as a means for effecting a a diminution of drinking, the no-licence experiment must be pronounced, even yet, to be on its trial, since, if there be less drinking in no-licence towns, there is more drinking than ever elsewhere.He produces the drink bill of New-Zealand, showing that in 1896 the expenditure per head was £2 19s. 8d., while in 1907 it was £3 15s. 10d. Therefore, notwithstanding all the regulations that have been enforced, and the fact that to a certain extent public-houses have been abolished, the drink bill has increased, and that is what will happen under the Bill which is now brought forward. I shall be glad to give the report to the hon. Member, and shall not trouble the House with any more 1605 quotations. I think I have shown that in the Colonies, where the principle of local veto has been carried out, the effect has not been to stop drinking, but only to limit the number of public-houses. I have several other facts here with regard to the operation of local veto in the Colonies, but they all lead to the same conclusion. I do not think they are controverted, and therefore it is not necessary to allude to them.
I should like to say a few words upon the Bill itself. It is quite true that in the Committee last year on the Scottish Temperance Bill introduced by the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen, we had a long and interesting discussion. The Closure was never moved, and I venture to say that that was due to the good sense of the Opposition, if I may venture to include myself also in that. There was no obstruction, but only an honest desire to consider the Bill. Whilst we objected to the Bill, we did not know whether or not it would become law, and, speaking for myself, and I think for those who were opposed to the Bill with me, we thought it better to do our best to make the Bill a more or less workable measure, and we did, in fact, improve the machinery very much. That, of course, did not commit us to the principle of the Bill. It only showed the common sense of the Opposition, who, when they found themselves in a minority, were willing to consider even the fanatical proposals of a majority and try to make them at least workable. Section 2 of the Bill provides that if on a poll in any area three-fifths at least of the votes recorded are in favour of a no-licence resolution and not less than 30 per cent, of the electors vote, then a certain thing can take place. I venture to say that is a very small figure which only makes it necessary for 30 per cent, of the electors to vote.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
May I correct the hon. Baronet? It does not mean 30 per cent, of those at the poll, but 30 per cent, of the electors on the register must vote in favour, and must be included in the three-fifths.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
You must get 30 per cent, of the electors to vote, and that 30 per cent, is in the three-fifths majority. Quite so, but I still say that 30 per cent, of the electors is a small number. I would say at least 50 per cent, of the electors ought to have recorded their votes in favour of this particular measure.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
Thirty per cent, of those who are on the register must be in 1606 favour of it. Fifty per cent, of the electors on the register may vote and be included in that.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Let us take an area with 1,000 voters. Unless 300 vote in favour of the measure it will not be carried. Three hundred is not a very large number out of a thousand, and it must be remembered the population is much larger than the electorate. The hon. Member who introduced the Bill said, in a frenzied outburst, I will not say of passion, but of candour, that all who were in favour of adult suffrage would vote for this Bill. I do not know whether we will ever get adult suffrage. I hope we never shall, but we are dealing with this particular question where you have a small number of people on the register, who only represent a portion of the population, and you have that small number giving a vote in favour of doing away with public houses. I say the number of votes recorded in that case should be very much larger than 30 per cent. I do not say this by way of reproach, it rather excites my admiration, but there is no doubt that the temperance people are extremely energetic in carrying on their propaganda. The hon. Member for one of the Divisions of Hackney said that large salaries were paid to people such as secretaries or organisers who were interested in the temperance movement. Whether that is so or not, it must be admitted that there 's a great deal of energy arising from the fact that the temperance people believe in their movement, and that they have a good deal of machinery and organisation, together with these paid secretaries, and by this means they would be able to direct a vote in a constituency in a way in which the people who are not organised could not do. The same hon. Member said that the licensed victuallers and brewers were also organised so as to bring up their forces to counteract the forces organised by the temperance movement. I do not think they will be able to do so. Vast numbers of people are sick to death of elections. There is hardly six months now when there is not an election of some kind or another, and people will not take the trouble to go to the poll. A great number of voters have cellars of their own, like myself and the hon. Gentleman opposite, and, therefore, have no strong personal reason for objecting to public-houses being closed, and it will require a very strong Christian spirit in them to induce them to take the trouble to go to the poll so as to secure that people 1607 who are not able to afford to have cellars will be still able to get a glass of beer when they require it. I do not know whether the Christian spirit is so strong in Scotland as all that. It is not so strong in England, and I feel certain that if such a measure were introduced in England many would say when asked to vote, "It is a wet morning," or "It does not affect me," or something of the kind, and would not trouble to go the poll. That is one reason why I object to Clause 2.
Sub-section 4 says: "An elector shall not be entitled to vote for more than one of the resolutions submitted at the poll, but if a no-licence resolution be not carried the votes recorded in favour of such resolution shall be added to those recorded in favour of the limiting resolution, and shall be deemed to have been recorded in favour thereof." Why should they be deemed to have been so cast when they were not so cast? That is a question which caused a considerable amount of debate in the Grand Committee.
We want to know what right hon. Members opposite have to say that because a man votes in favour of a non-licensing resolution he should be taken to have voted in favour of something else. I hope that if this Bill goes to Grand Committee that that will be modified. It is a very bad precedent to start, and if it was carried we should have something similar occurring in Parliamentary elections, and we should be told that when a man voted for a Labour candidate he should be deemed to have voted for the Liberal candidate as well if there had been a three-cornered fight. That is totally new—
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was going to say that it was totally new and novel in the history of the United Kingdom. I do not know what happens in the Colonies, but I do not think we should found our legislation on Colonial models. Surely we are old enough to found our legislation upon our own experience. The next point I approach is in regard to Subsection 5 of Clause 3: "The decision of the licensing court in refusing or reducing certificates in pursuance of a no-licence resolution or of a limiting resolution shall not be subject to appeal." Why not? In nearly every case hitherto an appeal has been allowed, and here, on a very important and vital decision with regard 1608 to a man's livelihood, there is to be no appeal. I am not saying that an appeal should be granted because the non-licensing resolution has been passed. If the court carried out this, if there was an appeal, the Court of Appeal would confirm their action, but now if they do something illegal there is apparently to be no appeal. That is the effect of the Subsection. I cannot remember if this was in the last Bill or not. But it seems to be an extremely bad principle to introduce.
With regard to travellers, Section 2 of Clause 5 says: "On the day on which a poll under this Act is taken in any area, all the premises in such area in which excisable liquors are sold by retail shall remain closed for the sale of such liquors until after the hour fixed for the close of the poll, but nothing in this Sub-section contained shall prohibit the sale of such liquors to lodgers or to bonâ fide travellers taking meals on the premises in the room usually set apart for the purpose, for consumption therein at the meal." That means that a bonâ fide traveller, who has walked, or cycled, or ridden, may not have something to drink. A man may have cycled thirty miles, or he may have walked a long distance on a very hot day—I have done it myself—but because there happens to be an election going on he cannot have something to drink unless he has something to eat, which he may not want at all. Has tyranny ever been brought to a greater pitch than that? [A laugh.] An hon. Member below the Gangway laughs; but if he was making a long pilgrimage in Germany and wanted something to drink, what would he think if he could not have it unless he ate a loaf of black bread with it?
Any person who has a little money to spare can go to his wholesale grocer or licenced victualler and get as much drink as he wants sent to his home. It is not because we are opposed to temperance that we oppose this Bill; it is not because we do not regard drunkenness as a great evil—nobody regards drunkenness as a greater evil than I do—but I do not carry my objection to the extent of saying that no man should get a glass of beer on an election day. £ believe the moderate consumption of alcoholic liquor is good, and I do not believe in this class of legislation, directed as it is against the poor and in favour of the rich. The rich man will not be inconvenienced in any sense by this particular Bill. His cellar would still be immune. 1609 [Mr. WILLIAM THORNE: "Hear hear."] I presume the hon. Member opposite is going to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Then he is going to vote in favour of granting privileges to the rich which he denies to the poor?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not believe that this Bill will do anything to promote temperance. An hon. Friend near me Bays it will encourage drunkenness. Well, I do not wish to exaggerate. All that will happen under this Bill is that a very large number of moderate drinkers, if they were poor men, would be inconvenienced, and the drunkard would still go on his evil way rejoicing and will not be affected in the slightest degree. I hope the common sense of this House will reassert itself and that this Bill will not obtain a Second Reading.
§ Mr. G. N. BARNES
I offer my humble support to this Bill and ask the House to give it favourable consideration and a Second Reading. With much of what fell from the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) in moving the rejection of the Bill I have a good deal of sympathy, and with his concluding observations I am in hearty agreement. He said he believed in enlarging the boundary of the freedom of the working people and giving them more control over their own lives, and that he believed by that means more would be done for temperance and for the general uplifting of the people than by any other means. I heartily endorse these sentiments. More than that, I have always thought, and stated so to my temperance friends as well as other people, that I believe, from the purely economic point of view, there is much to be said against restrictive legislation in regard to the drink traffic, because the reduction of licenses increases the value of the remaining licensed houses, and puts the enhanced value in the hands of private individuals, and we very frequently find that this money is used against social and industrial reform. I make no charge against hon. Gentlemen opposite in stating that, because it must be within the knowledge of everybody that the trade generally is in favour of leaving things as they are. This is so in regard to most social, industrial, and political changes. I regret that one feature of 1610 restrictive legislation in regard to the drink traffic has in times past been to make inflated values which have been used against us. Our distinctive line has been the elimination of private profit from the drink trade altogether. I believe, ultimately, it will have to come to recognising that so long as you have men running public-houses for profit, so long will it be to their interest to sell as much drink as possible. Instead of that, we ought to eliminate private profit in the sale of drink by municipalisation, or, as a step towards that, we ought to have some form of disinterested management which would convert the public-house into a place of real and harmless recreation as well as the place for getting necessary refreshment.
But I recognise that we have got to take things as they are. Municipalisation of the drink traffic is not a question of practical politics now, neither is the other reform which I have referred to. Consequently we have to take this Bill upon its merits and consider it in connection with the position at the present day. We have to carefully consider whether or not this Bill would be a step in the direction of lessening drinking. The hon. Member for Hackney evidently thinks that will not be the case, and he appeals to experience, and says in certain cases it will not have the effect of reducing intemperance. The hon. Member compared Glasgow with Sheffield. In Glasgow there is much restrictive legislation, and in Sheffield the hon. Member said there is none, and he pointed out that there is five times as much drinking in Glasgow as there is in Sheffield. It is absurd to ask this House to judge this question upon its general principle by putting two such places together and making such an unreal comparison. As a matter of fact, I might put alongside of Glasgow the 'City of Liverpool, where I lived in my young days, and in regard to which I can speak from practical experience and knowledge. What are the facts in regard to Liverpool? When I was a young man there was practically no restriction of the drink traffic in Liverpool, and the streets were a perfect hell-upon-earth, where all sorts of the most disgusting spectacles could be seen arising directly out of the unrestricted sale of liquor. If you compare the Liverpool of 1900 with the Liverpool of 1870, which was the time I lived there, you will find there has been a remarkable improvement. No doubt this result is partly due to improved education, the higher standard of living, and many other things. But it is also 1611 due, in part, to the fact that the liquor traffic has been placed under more control, and better supervision than at one time used to appertain in Liverpool.
The hon. Member for Hackney has told us that the publican is, after all, the real temperance reformer, because he is always on the qui vive to find out cases of drunkenness on his premises, and therefore he is himself an agent in preventing drunkenness. There could not be any stronger argument against free trade than that fact. It is within the knowledge of everybody having the slightest acquaintance with the history of the last ten years that during that time the publican has been put under more severe restraint, and that is the reason why he is now on the qui vive to find out these cases of drunkenness. It is a fact that the public-house is a greatly-improved place to what it was twelve years ago, and the reason for that is because the legislation has imposed fresh obligations upon the publican to keep his place; more in accordance with decency and order, so as to prevent those flagrant cases of drunkenness which used to take place. I support this measure because in regard to the Bill of last year the people of Scotland have made up their minds, and because a majority of the Scotch Members voted for it, and it was passed by 174 votes to sixty-four. I also support it because, as a representative of labour, I must have regard to the findings of the labour conferences on this matter. We have frequently discussed this question at our annual conferences, and we have passed resolutions in favour of giving the people more power over their destinies in regard to this question. In short, we have voted at labour conferences for the principle of local option, and on the last occasion when our annual conference voted, 600,000 votes were cast in favour of this principle as against 100.000. On that ground I am in favour of this Bill. I also support it upon its merits, because I believe it is a measure intended and calculated to promote temperance reform, and it will give the people a power which I think they ought to possess. Hon. Members on both sides of this House must be aware, as Labour Members are aware, of the ravages of drink. We know what it means where the drink demon has entered into the home, and we know that some of the best and brightest homes have been wrecked as a result of drink. We know that excessive drinking weakens the individual mentally, morally and physically, 1612 and, consequently, there is no wonder or surprise that there should be unanimity in the desire for finding some remedy or means to mitigate this terrible evil so fraught with ill-consequences to the individual, the family, and the State. For my part I do not agree with some who have said that drink is the sole cause of poverty. I support this Bill, and Bills of this character, on physical and moral rather than on economic grounds. I know that the drink bill amounts to £160,000,000 per year, and that a large part of it, of course, comes from working people, but I do not accept the deduction that people are poor because of that expenditure. I want to dissociate myself in the most emphatic manner from those who say poverty is caused by drink. Poverty is caused by economic derangements or lack of arrangements, and not by drink. There is no reason, however, why we should not be in favour of some means whereby we may mitigate this evil, although we may not agree with the exaggerated statements sometimes made in regard to it.
So far as I understand the Bill, it gives power to the people to do certain things, First of all, let me point out to the House, it gives the same power to the people which is now held and exercised by landlords in regard to new estates. That power, in so far as it has been exercised by landlords, has, I venture to say, been of immense advantage to the communities in which it has been exercised. I have seen some of those places from which the public-house has been banished, and, although I admit quite frankly it is open to the argument that a large amount of drink that would be consumed there is consumed just outside, still there is a lessening in the amount of drink consumed on the whole, I am not going to believe for one moment that people will go to a considerable amount of inconvenience to get a glass of beer or whisky. The hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) said you could not prevent the drunkard getting drink. The hon. Member would not talk in that way if he knew the working-people. The drunkard very often desires to be saved from himself. The very fact that there is a public-house in the immediate vicinity of the man who has inherited the taste for drink and who has gone a long way in the direction of the drink habit is often sufficient to keep him to his own evil; whereas, if the public-house were removed from his immediate vicinity, he would very frequently refrain 1613 from drink, to the immense advantage of himself and his family. I am willing to admit that even where drink is prohibited in certain areas, some part of the trade is consumed just outside, perhaps to the worse of those areas outside. I only claim that, at all events, in certain areas you may banish the drink by local authorities carrying out the same experiments as are now being carried out by landlords. Let me remind the hon. Member for Hackney that, after all, it is a good democratic principle, which has been tried not merely in regard to drink, but also in many other directions.
The whole trend of legislation during the last two or three generations has been in the direction of removing restrictions from local authorities, and enabling them to deal more and more with things appertaining to the life of the people within their municipal areas, and I venture to say that that course of legislation to which we are now committed has been accompanied by immense benefits. Just in proportion as we have been able to induce a sense of responsibility on the part of municipal authorities, and, to a lesser extent, on the part of those who are living within the areas of those municipal authorities, so we have been able to invoke a sense of civic consciousness, and I think, if we extended the principle by enabling local authorities to deal with the drink traffic, they might find a way of dealing with it, possibly not on these lines or on the lines of restriction at all. It might be possible that they would find means of dealing with it more in harmony with the opinion expressed by the hon. Member for Hackney, and, might I say, more in harmony with my own opinion. I believe that as time goes on people will resent being hedged round with restrictions of this kind, and that we shall want public-houses, not public-houses as we know them to-day, not centres of demoralisation, but public-houses where people can take their wives and families and engage in reasonable recreation and get the refreshment to which they are entitled.
I am in favour of this Bill because I believe it deals very tenderly with existing interests. I should not have said that five years ago, because I came here believing that this House might be induced to deal with abuses and social evils without dealing very tenderly with existing interests, but I have found myself wrong. I know we can only make progress by treat- 1614 ing those who have existing interests gingerly. This Bill will treat those who have existing interests in the liquor trade tenderly. It does not come into operation for five years, and at the end of those five years, if it is to be put in motion in any area, before anything else can be done, no less; than 10 per cent, of the electors in that area must get up a requisition and send it, I think, to the Sheriff, asking that the machinery of the Bill should be put into operation. I venture to suggest to the hon. Member for Hackney that this is a considerable obstacle in the direction of putting any Bill or any machinery into operation. It must be done at their own expense and in a voluntary way, and 10 per cent, is a large number to get sufficiently interested to sign their names to a requisition.
Let me remind him that he is also wrong in regard to the proportion of voters necessary to put the Bill into operation. I think with his knowledge of figures, if he will look at the Bill again, he will find and agree with me that he is wrong. He said that a three-fifths majority of a 30 per cent, poll would be sufficient to put the Bill into operation, and he went into some figures as to what a 30 per cent, poll of the total inhabitants of a district would mean and came to the extraordinary conclusion that one-sixtieth of the inhabitants of any particular area could put the Bill into operation. That is absolutely wrong. If he will look at the Bill he will see that there must be three-fifths of the majority of those polled in favour of a no-licence resolution. It is also set out in the Bill that the three-fifths must be 30 per cent, of the electorate, so there must be a total poll of about 60 per cent., and not 30 per cent., of the electors.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
Will my hon. Friend forgive me. I am sometimes good at figures. The Clause reads: "Three-fifths at least in number of the votes recorded are in favour of a no-licence resolution, and not less than 30 per cent, of the electors for such area on the register have voted in favour thereof."
§ Mr. BARNES
Yes, "three-fifths in number of the votes recorded" and "not less than 30 per cent, of the electors" must vote in favour thereof before a no-licence resolution can be brought in. I think in that particular aspect the hon. Member has rather misrepresented the Bill. I think it is a fair thing to say that those who vote are a fair criterion of the 1615 whole. It is fair to suggest that those who have not a vote would vote in the same proportion as those who have. In the first Clause you have a most drastic proposal with regard to the 30 per cent., but when you come down to the reduction of licences instead of prohibition, you find that a bare majority takes effect. There is a good feature of the Bill in the fact that the difficulty of operating it becomes more difficult as the interests in the Trade are more prejudicially affected. You can only put the Bill into operation when the opinion is clear and unmistakable, and I think I may venture to add, having regard to the three-fifths majority which is required on the part of the people resident in any particular district, it is only under these circumstances that the Bill will become operative. That carries with it, of course, the proposition that those who are against the Bill are in favour of imposing upon the people of a particular district the existence of public-houses that they say they do not want. There is just one other thing I would like to mention, and that is in reference to clubs. There is some provision in the Bill regarding them, but let me say at once that I prefer clubs to pubs. Pubs are planted anywhere and everywhere because people think there is a chance of making a profit on them, and very often the supply itself creates the demand. Therefore, for my part, I would prefer the club where there is no profit to be considered, especially where they are run for other purposes besides the consumption of liquor. Therefore I want to preserve clubs, and free them from the taint of being run for simply boozing purposes.
This Bill, while it makes provision for eliminating pubic-houses from an area, or reducing the number or altering the hours of opening, also provides that clubs shall be more effectively dealt with than they are at the present time. The need for that has recently been demonstrated in Scotland. I read some little time ago a report by the Chief Constable of Glasgow, issued by the city council, in which it transpired that the chief constable had been asked to produce a return of the number of clubs in that district to which attention had been called, and which he thought were an abuse. In that case there were, I think, about a dozen clubs in Glasgow alone which the chief constable reported were carried on for the purpose of mere drinking saloons, or sometimes 1616 something even worse—places for betting and even for prostitution. The chief constable thought they were all places of a more or less objectionable character, and he wanted to take action thereupon. The law was looked up, and it was found that no action could be taken against these clubs, and they may be still carrying on their nefarious business. The present Bill provides for strengthening the law with regard to places of that character, and having decided that the number of public-houses shall be reduced we ought on grounds of equality to be able to prevent the opening of clubs of this nature in their place. I think that is a strong feature of the Bill. For the reasons I have given I hope that the measure will be read a second time. There are features in it which I cannot support, but they are matters of detail which can be dealt with in Committee. The main principle of the Bill which gives to the people under the local authority power over drink to be used just as they may think necessary is a principle that should commend itself to the people themselves. It would do something to purify the life of the community, and to give us a more sober and thoughtful people, and I believe that the Bill will bring this about. I am heartily in favour of it, and hope it will be read a second time.
§ Sir MARK STEWART
I view this Bill with somewhat mixed feelings, because for several years I was interested in a measure which contained many of the main proposals of this. It gave satisfaction when considered by the two General Assemblies of the large Churches in Scotland—the Established Church and the United Free Church, and it was generally approved, as it was considered that it did give a more direct control to the people in regard to the liquor question. But since that time, which is some five or six years ago, we have heard a little more about this question. Times have advanced, and I do think chat the condition of the people has very much advanced with the times. There is—I was going to say a growing dislike, but I will use a stronger term than that—there is a strong feeling amongst the Scotch people now that it is a somewhat disgraceful thing for a man to be seen drunk, and if that feeling keeps uppermost the Scotch people will not be seen drunk on market day. I am old enough to remember a great deal that went on about thirty years ago. Farmers continually got drunk and thought nothing 1617 of it, but now it is a very rare experience to see one drunk. I have had a good deal of experience of the temperance question, and I have always been in favour of doing anything which seemed practical, and which would serve a good end in promoting temperance. I put down on one occasion a large public-house, and I thought we would get an enormous advantage by that, but the results were not so satisfactory as I could have wished, till Lord Balfour's Bill of 1903 was passed. That assisted people to put down public-houses in the most marked manner. After the people could no longer go to the public-house, and had to walk three miles for a glass of beer, they gave up going, and the results were extremely good in regard to the younger population.
I have a very large guild near my own home. I was most anxious, naturally, that that guild should not be brought, if possible, near a public-house, and it has had such a distinctive and characteristic mark on the lives and the habits of these young men that, if for no other reason, the shutting up of that public-house was a great blessing. Of course, the old topers did not view it in that light, and they unfortunately got whisky in bottles, and drink of other kinds. Then we had the Bill of 1903, to which I have just alluded, and that Act prevented bakers and butchers and tradesmen in such like businesses bringing the liquor to the homes without a written order. It seems a very little thing, but that has been very useful, and that has enabled people in many cases to view with greater satisfaction than they would otherwise have done the results of putting down the public-house. In another instance I bought a public-house to get rid of the licence, but there was a great outcry made. It is true that there was not another public-house within five miles or four and a half miles of it, and that it was a convenient resting-place between two villages, or small towns, which were sixteen miles apart, while this house was eight miles from each. That was represented to me very forcibly, and I had the school board election roll what we call in Scotland purged and brought up to date, and I took the opinion of the people upon the question; but at that time, as I think unfortunately, the plebiscite was in favour of retaining the public-house, and it has been retained to this day.
I mention these things in order to show that I approach this Bill in no spirit of hostility whatever, and that I should like 1618 to see some change made. I am quite willing that this Bill should go to another Committee, where it can be further threshed out. I have very strong opinions on this subject. I have travelled abroad a good deal and gone into different countries, and I think that we ought to make our public-houses much more comfortable than they are. I do not think that would in the least induce more drinking. I am satisfied, after the speech which we have just heard from the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Barnes), that our people are being educated up to a higher standard than they were, and that they are quite able to go in and enjoy a chat, and perhaps have some slight lunch, with a glass of beer in a comfortable manner without being tempted to drink. Therefore it would be a great advantage if we could make the public-houses more comfortable and a means of mental as well as physical relaxation. I think if we could get hold of some plan such as that, which is in operation in Norway, of putting these houses under some disinterested management, that that would help forward the cause of temperance very largely. I know that there are different views upon this, but when I know what Norway was, having been there over forty years ago, and when I hear what Norway is now, I appreciate the tremendous difference that exists there, and I am satisfied that the system has proved admirably fitted for a sparsely-populated country such as our own in Scotland, and I think it ought to be tried.
I know many parishes where there is no public-house, and I never met anybody who wanted to introduce one; but, of course, that would not suit every place. If you have a large manufactory in a place it might be necessary, for reasons which I need not suggest, to have some place where brandy or whisky might be got on an emergency, and where other liquors such as moderate drinkers enjoy might be procured, and which my right hon. Friend on the other side partakes of. We want in Scotland to popularise this Bill if it is to do any good. Liquor Bills are not popular with the people, who are tired of voting for them, and when you went to take your plebiscite you would find it difficult to get 30 per cent, of the population to vote. Of course, if you had efficient organisation you could get more than that percentage; but you could not get the simple-minded people to move from their door unless you put it to them that this was a matter which was vital, not only to them, but to their 1619 neighbours. I have advocated and always been in favour of compensation, and I do think that the five years time limit in this Bill is too short. The period in the Bill of the present Government in the last Parliament was twenty-one years, and I am sure you ought not to say less than ten years, and I do not think that would be one year too long. I think it is short enough, because there are a great many persons who are dependent upon this trade for their living, and if you get it into the minds of the people of the country that you are confiscating the property of a certain number of hardworking individuals you will never carry it into effect. It is my experience, and I am strongly of opinion, that if you take the property of other people from them you must pay them whatever it is worth. I shall be quite prepared to stand by the Bill if it goes to a Select Committee.
Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
The history of this Bill proves conclusively that it is a measure which the people of Scotland are extremely anxious to have placed upon the Statute Book. It is rather significant that the chief opposition to it has proceeded on previous occasions as well as upon this, from hon. Members who, although no doubt perfectly entitled to speak on the question, yet cannot claim to voice the opinion of the people of Scotland with the same degree of force or in such an adequate manner as the Members who represent Scottish constituencies, and I am very glad that the hon. Baronet (Sir Mark Stewart) has indicated that he is prepared to support the principle of the Bill and to allow it to go to Second Reading. Both in 1907 and 1908 it was found impossible to get a Scottish Member to Move or Second the rejection of the Bill. The hon. Member who has undertaken the duty of moving the rejection this year, and who, I understand, claims to represent in some special degree the business instincts of the community, has not proceeded on what I should characterise as very businesslike lines in his attack upon the Bill. The most businesslike proposition which could ever be laid before the country is a proposition which is of the very nature contained in the proposals of the Bill, namely, that it should be left to the people, who, after all, are the real shareholders in any great scheme of reform, to have the opportunity of dealing with the question. No more paying proposition could be placed before the country 1620 than one which would secure, by the reduction of the great evil of intemperance in our midst, better conditions of life for many millions in this country, and which would result in great advantage to all. It is common ground in this Debate that the evils which the Bill is intended to deal with are great. I was glad that that admission was made by both the Mover and Seconder of the rejection. But when I remind them of the attitude which has been taken up by opponents of the measure, and when I think of the testimony which was given by the majority of the Members of the Licensing Commission in 1899, and of the words used by the gentlemen who signed the Report, including Members who represent the trade, that it was "undeniable that a gigantic evil remained to be remedied, and that hardly any sacrifice would be too great which would result in a marked diminution of this national degradation"—
§ Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER
Would the hon. Member mind reading the further words in the recommendation about having regard to the interests of the people in the trade?
Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
My hon. Friend is quite right, the quotation goes further, but I do not think I can be charged with using an extract which is unfair or inappropriate in its use by itself, because the point, that I make is that there is an admission here that there is a gigantic evil, and the hon. Member was one of those who signed that Report and made that admission.
§ Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER
I only wanted the hon. Member not to read a garbled report. The qualifying words are essential. Of course, there is a gigantic evil; we all admit that, but fortunately it is a diminishing evil.
Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
I am obliged for the admission that the evil is gigantic—that is my whole point—and that it is an evil so gigantic that no sacrifice will be too great for seeking to deal with it. My point is that hitherto there has been, as far as my experience has gone, a great lack of any sacrifice on the part of those who come forward to oppose remedies dealing with this matter. In fact, the grievance which I feel is that, although we always have the admission as to the evil itself, we never yet have had any constructive proposals placed before this House by the opponents of the Bill for dealing with 1621 this evil, of at any rate such dimensions as will enable it to be effectively coped with. I do not desire to question the sincerity of hon. Members who have criticised the measure, but when they talk about "gigantic evils" I should rather judge the depth of their feelings in dealing with those evils by the measure of their zeal in supporting adequate proposals which might at once be put into operation than by the form of destructive criticism to which we have been accustomed on every occasion when a Bill has been before the House. I do not think there has been any real or serious attack made upon the principle which is embodied in the Bill, namely, of local option. The hon. Baronet (Sir F. Ban-bury) when he referred to the question, said why should we not trust the people. I am rather surprised that so many hon. Members, who have been recently asserting the right of the House of Lords to throw out the Budget in order that they might consult the will of the people, should be the very last to allow such a measure as this is to be carried into effect, and to allow the people of this country to be consulted upon a question which affects them so vitally as the question of the grant of licences.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
What I said was how was it, if hon. Gentlemen opposite had such great faith in the people that they were prepared to trust them in almost everything, that they could not trust them to become sober.
Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
The position taken up by the supporters of the Bill is that they are seeking to trust the people in a matter in which they deserve to be trusted, in securing their own homes against the great evil which is in their midst. I think there is sufficient interest in this matter—the interest to avoid degradation and also depreciation of property—to justify the last word being left, by a popular vote, to those who are so closely involved in this matter. The theory of the present legislation is undoubtedly that the people of this country should have the last word in regard to the issue and grant of licences. Put the practice is to deny it. Under the present system they are not in a position to do so. Under Section 19 of the 1903 Act objections can be lodged to applications for licences. That very power admits the right of the people themselves to indicate their wishes fully, and I cannot for my part understand any objection 1622 being put forward to a proposal which will allow the people more clearly to express their wishes in a matter as to which you have already admitted their right by the terms of the 1903 Act. I venture to say that in actual experience it is found impossible under the present system for the representatives who are elected to deal with licensing matters always to give expression to the wishes of the people themselves. In the first place they are not elected purely on the question of the issue of licences. Then it has been found in practice—and I speak with knowledge of the subject—that they are in many cases quite unable to interpret the wishes of the people in any given district, and that there is great pressure put upon them in the discharge of duties which are now more difficult than ever. I say that in many instances which could be quoted licences have been granted in direct contravention of the wishes of the people rather than in the way to giving effect to those wishes. I could refer to a number of such cases. In the usual case, when a city extends its boundaries, or, rather, when a city is growing outwards, you find many working-class districts on the edge of the city where it is not desired that a licence should be planted, and where year after year applications are brought up before the licensing court. These applications at first may be refused. They very often are refused, but the applications are continued year after year, and eventually they are granted, very often in the face of large petitions against them and against the will of the people in the neighbourhood. I submit that the principle of this Bill is that, instead of as under the 1903 Act, the people should appoint certain representatives to act as their agents, they themselves, as principals, should have the right by popular vote to indicate what their views are on the subject. Reference has been made to the existence of prohibition areas in Scotland under the will of 1 per cent, of the population— that is to say, the will of individual landlords who may have excluded licences from their properties. Now we are seeking under this Bill to give the rights which 1 per cent, at the present moment exercise to 60 per cent., so that those 60 per cent, should express their wish at the poll. It has been found in Scotland, under the system of proprietors exercising their rights, that no harm or difficulty has arisen. I could refer to many areas in Scotland where great benefit has directly accrued to the inhabitants of the areas 1623 through the exercise of the landlords' prohibition. Perhaps it may not be known that there are very large areas indeed both in Scotland and in England where prohibition is exercised by the will of the landlords. In Scotland we have 210 rural parishes, with a population of 145,880, under prohibition by the will of the landlords, and in England there are 3,903 rural parishes, with a population of 575,219, under prohibtion in the same way.
§ 3.0 P.M.
Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
I will be happy to do so. We have many in stances of the exercise of this power. Many hon. Members who are well known in this House have done so. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, on his Whittinghame estate, and others who occupy prominent positions in the country have acted with the greatest wisdom in the exercise of their undoubted right in this matter. I do think that experience of the application of this principle both in Scotland and England, as well as in other parts of the world, entitles us to say that there has been very substantial success attending its operation. Reference has been made to the United States of America, and I should like to say that, whatever criticism may be made with regard to the operation of the prohibition law, no one can challenge the statement that since 1846, when the State of Maine adopted the movement, it has spread throughout the States, and not only throughout the States, but to the British Colonies, and that wherever the system of local option has been adopted it has been attended with beneficial results. In the Consular report on the liquor traffic of the United States of America, which was presented to the House in April, 1907, it is chronicled with reference to local option in the States:—Local option is now the most widely prevalent system in the United States. If the aim of liquor legislation is to bring about a diminution in drinking, it may be said that local option of all the systems in force effects real prohibition over the largest possible area with the least possible friction.I think that testimony of what took place in the United States describes the situation as it exists to-day. With regard to the British Colonies, we are in the habit of hearing the action of our Colonial fellow-subjects very highly approved by Members of the House on both sides. When 1624 it is a question of offering a troop of horse or a "Dreadnought" for Imperial defence, everyone is prepared to commend their common-sense. When the Colonies, in matters of home defence— the defence of their own homes against the evils of intemperance—show a good example, surely we should not turn away and call them fanatical. I would point to the action of Canada in recent years. Manitoba last year increased its prohibition territory by something like one-fifth. As a result of the election of 1909, 411 out of 809 municipalities in Ontario are now under prohibitory laws. In Quebec 700 out of 1,000 municipalities are so, and in New Zealand, in 1908, there was an actual majority of votes in favour of no-licence. But the policy could not be carried out in more than one-seventh part of the total area on account of the necessity of having a three-fifths majority in that Colony. I say that experience in our Colonies, the United States, and everywhere else where local option has been adopted proved that it is a movement which spreads continuously with advantage to the people. The advantages are so great that public sentiment is always advancing in the same direction.
Many hon. Members have referred to the fanaticism of those who support this measure. But it is a mistake to think that the principles embodied in this Bill were first suggested by teetotalers, or are in the main supported by teetotalers alone. It is moderate opinion also in our country which supports local option, and it is moderate opinion which will secure the necessary majorities for the working of the measure when it comes into operation. Everywhere it has been tried it-has been found that it is moderate opinion which has come forward to secure the proper working of the measure. The principle embodied in this Bill was first suggested by a brewer, Mr. Charles Buxton, who was a Member of this House and a member of the brewing firm of Hanbury, Buxton and Co. In an article in the "North British Review" in 1855 he suggested that the ratepayers of a parish might extinguish the licences of all places for the sale of fermented liquor, if they desired, and that their prayer should be granted and all licences should be allowed to expire after three years, the publicans being allowed to make other arrangements. The Convocation of Canterbury in 1869 passed a resolution adopting this principle. The statement of the principle was adopted by Sir Wilfrid 1625 Lawson practically word for word in the form of the resolution passed at the Convocation. Lord Randolph Churchill in the year 1890 embodied it in his Licensing Law Amendment Bill. And he said at that time, in support of the measure:—I have provided also that in certain circumstances under certain conditions, there shall be brought into operation that which is called the direct veto, that is to say, if in a certain parish, two-thirds of the ratepayers or persons on the municipal register, vote for the prohibition of the granting of licences, the vote shall operate against the granting of all retail licences. f think there is a great deal to be said for enabling the preponderating majority of the inhabitants to prohibit the establishment of houses for the retail and sale of drink.Then we have at a later stage the Conservative Government in the year 1891 allowing the question to be an open question on the Welsh Local Option Bill, which was carried by a majority of seven votes. We also have the experience of Lord Peel who went into the licensing Commission with an unbiassed mind. He says:—I entered the inquiry without conscious bias, and during more than three years studied the question from many points of view, and the result is, in my own mind, a deep conviction of the magnitude of the evil to be grappled with and of the necessity for a stringent remedy, if any definite improvement is to be effected.That is the opinion of an unbiassed man, who applied his mind to the remedies which had been proposed, and who, in his Minority Report, approved the principle now embodied in this Bill. I think when hon. Members refer to the fanaticism of those who proposed this Bill they should look to the history of the movement; they should look to the present body of support in the country and ascertain the exact position of affairs. Speaking for Scotland, they will find not only all the great temperance organisations united upon this subject and supporting this Bill, but they will find a very large body of moderate opinion all over Scotland which is prepared to put this Bill into operation whenever it is passed, and to do all in its power to see that its provisions are carried into effect. I am very glad that the hon. Member for Blackfriars, speaking for the Labour party, said that they were strongly in sympathy with the measure, because I believe that the workmen in Scotland will benefit by the measure, and those who assert that this is class legislation, after all, forget altogether that in exercising the vote under this Bill six-sevenths at least of the voters will represent the poorer classes, the men who will be able to protect themselves, when power is given to them, against the evils in their midst. The feeling of the people in Scotland, I think, is very clear, not 1626 only amongst the men, but among the women of Scotland. Public opinion in Scotland is being enlightened by great temperance organisations, and the British Women's Temperance Association has done a great amount of good in educating public opinion among the women who would also have the right under this Bill to exercise the vote in favour of local option. I commend the proposals in the Bill to hon. Members who represent English and other constituencies. I ask for their support because the Bill is one which the people of Scotland want, and which is long overdue. We feel sure that if effect had been given to the will of the people of Scotland it would have already become law. I commend the Bill to the House because of the simplicity of its provisions, because it is fair to the trade, and gives them a great deal more than they can possibly claim under the most generous interpretation of the law, and because, lastly, the Bill carries out the maxim which Mr. Gladstone always put forward with regard to legislation, that it was the duty of the Government to make it easy for men to do right and difficult for them to do wrong.
§ Mr. PAGE CROFT
These Debates always make me remember the words which were spoken by an hon. Member in the last Parliament with regard to other questions. He told us that some parties in the State were like the devil with a pitchfork going round the country sticking it into everybody he came across. I must say that frequently temperance reformers in this country outside this House are like devils with pitchforks trying to stick those pitchforks into everybody who does not agree with their peculiar ideas as to temperance reform. I say peculiar, because I think there are very different ideas among sincere people as to what are the true ways of bringing about greater temperance in this country. I must confess, after some study of this question of prohibition as a general principle, I can find no conclusion whatever that in decreasing the number of licences you are going to decrease the amount of drink which is consumed. We have evidence that drunkenness is greatly on the decrease in this country, the consumption of liquor is largely on the decrease, and the revenue is diminishing, which is a serious matter. The more we see of places where a large number of licences exist the less proof is there that it necessarily conduces to a greater consumption of drink. I 1627 happened to be born in a little town where there is one public-house for every thirty adults and in working out its statistics I found that there is only one-seventeenth of a conviction for drunkenness against each public-house. I have not the smallest doubt as to what is the reason for this. I know that where, in one street, there may be ten public-houses, there will be found in one or other of them at a time one or two men who go in for a glass of beer at the end of the day's work, and immediately leave. But if there was only one public-house, you would have twenty or thirty men calling there, and the place would therefore become more attractive by reason of the company assembled, and you would have the men treating each other. I have not the smallest doubt in my mind that prohibition, by endeavouring to keep the liquor to a certain channel through legislative means, would have the opposite effect to that which is desired, from the very fact that it would lead to men assembling in greater numbers in one house instead of being dispersed in small numbers over a number of houses. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down spoke of prohibition in the Colonies, but I would venture to remind him that in new Colonies the social custom connected with public-houses has not been in existence for any length of time as in this country; and it will be conceded that it is very hard indeed, where a custom has been established for so long a time, to suddenly come down upon those who are engaged in the trade, and, by a stroke of the pen, deprive them of a legitimate business, into which they have put their money and from which they are entitled to expect the fruits of their labour and investments. I do not think that prohibition in the Colonies has been by any means successful. In New Zealand the amount of crime and drunkenness per head of the population has actually gone up; there is not the smallest doubt about that. I was talking the other day with a person who has travelled widely in the United States of America, and he pointed out to me that men, where they desire to obtain drink, cannot be prevented from doing so by any prohibition law. On one occasion he was travelling in a corridor train in one State, and was having lunch. He asked for whisky and soda, which was brought to him. When he came to the next State, and again ordered a whisky and soda, the attendant said he was very 1628 sorry he could not supply it, because they were in a prohibition State. He added, "Of course, if you like to have a teapot, I dare say nobody will inquire what is in that teapot." Absolutely the same sort of thing is going on under prohibition everywhere. In my opinion, by this class of legislation you simply encourage dishonesty, and I believe it to be an absolute fact that if you close down public-houses, which are carried on under the law and under proper supervision, and which, after all, are under the eye of the State, you immediately encourage the taking home of large quantities of whisky, thus introducing drink into the family, with, it may be, results much more disastrous than anything which occurs under the existing system. It is often declared by hon. Members opposite that unemployment in this country is the result of drink. For my part I think they are absolutely wrong, and that drink is the result of unemployment. It is poverty which drives men to drink, and you are looking at the question in the wrong aspect if you imagine you can make things better by stopping drink in the manner in which you seek to achieve that object.
The remedy is to be found in different methods—by seeking to raise the whole standard of living in the country, and to give employment to the people as a whole —and if that were done we should find still less drinking in the future than there is at the present moment, when the drinking habit is so largely decreasing amongst every class of the community. I cannot believe that the more righteous Gentlemen who sit on the other side of the House are going to make their fellow-citizens better by adopting what in my opinion is a tyrannical course, a course which will be the means of bringing hardships upon an honest and law abiding class of the community. I would, if permitted, put a simile to the hon. Member for Lincoln. Let us suppose him to be a large manufacturer of ginger-beer, and let us suppose, further, that there suddenly came into this House a number of Members determined, because there is a certain amount of alcohol in ginger-beer, to put a stop to the consumption of that beverage and to stamp it out. Then, again, let it be supposed that 30 per cent, of the electors of the city of Lincoln prohibited the traffic in ginger-beer, I ask, would not that be considered a grossly unfair exercise of power, tending very much in the direction of Socialism and an absolute interference with the freedom of private enterprise in this country[...] 1629 I do not believe men are going to be made better by legislative removal of temptation. A beneficial result will be better attained by seeking to elevate the conditions in which the people live, and by bringing greater prosperity to the country. It would probably be out of Order if I were to show the method by which that increased prosperity could be assured. Hon. Gentlemen opposite think that it can be done in their way; I believe it can be done in ours. They have their scheme of social reform, and we have ours, which, so far as I am concerned, includes Tariff Reform. But at the same time, on whichever side of the House we sit, we should try to elevate the condition of the people of this country by fair means, and not by attacking a particular industry. One way to further temperance reform would be to pull down the fronts of public-houses and to put in plate-glass windows, so that everybody can see what is going on inside those houses. We should make these places more attractive, so that it will not be regarded as a sort of crime to enter them. We should avoid the policy of giving a dog a bad name, because by so doing you are not going to improve the character of the dog.
I believe that if we follow the lines of our continental neighbours on this question, as also on others, we should do a great deal more towards stamping out the curse, for it is a curse I freely admit, of drunkenness. I believe much could be accomplished by action in that direction. Some hon. Members imagine that by these proposals they are hitting the wicked brewer, who is always depicted on the posters as wearing enormous diamonds and a huge gold watch-chain. The wicked brewer of their imagination has no existence. The brewer is a man who has invested his money in an honest and legal industry, yet it is proposed that a small proportion of the community shall be invested with the power of committing a gross injustice upon that industry. It should be remembered that, apart from the brewing industry itself, there are many thousands of trades or subsidiary industries which perform perfectly honest work, and which would all suffer by these proposals now brought forward. Possibly very few hon. Gentlemen realise that there are industries, the number of which it is almost impossible to count, which are in great measure dependent upon the brewing industry, though that dependence may be so indirect and remote that those engaged in them hardly know that their pro- 1630 ductions are going into the brewery. The people engaged in those industries constitute a very large portion of the community, and they must all necessarily suffer if the proposed legislation becomes operative.
§ Mr. BELLOC
In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many Members in this House, a local matter, Welsh, Irish, or Scottish, should be dealt with, if possible, by the representatives of the particular country concerned; but as the Bill was brought in by an English Member, and as it has been discussed by people who are not, so far as I know, connected with Scotland, I exercise my right as a Member to say how and why I will vote. The Bill in the opinion, I should imagine, of my Constituents, with the exception of a very email number, is a Bill which, if applied to an English area, would be rejected with contempt and even with hatred. This is a class of legislation which is of the fads of the last generation. It strikes the masses of the population and it leaves the rich untouched. My experience is that drunkenness is more common among the rich than the poor. You will get more drunkenness in an Oxford college than in a barrack-room, and more drunkenness in the houses of the rich than in the houses of the working classes. I have seen it, and I can testify to its absolute truth. The working classes could not do their work the next day if they drank. There is another objection, which is that, like all Bills complicated and with many clauses, a popular vote is a very difficult thing to take justly on a complicated measure. Another objection, and a fatal one in my opinion, so far as the democratic view is concerned, is that there is no right vested in the people to increase the number of licences in an area as well as to decrease them. An hon. Member who spoke, and whose speech I listened to with pleasure, as it was well-delivered and carefully thought out, rejoiced, from his point of view of political philosophy, in the power of a certain number of rich people to prevent the people who live upon their estates from selling anything to drink. My view of that is that it is tyranny, and tyranny of a vile sort. There are things a great deal more sacred than the fad against fermented liquor or the wearing of green hats. Religion is much more sacred, and I would rather cut off my right hand than exercise the power if I had to compel any other man to adopt my religion. Because I happened by the detest- 1631 able history of the last 300 years to have got a monopoly of land in a particular district, I should go to poor working men and say, "You shall not live here unless you adopt my fad," can convince no one. I wonder if the hon. Member has been in those houses where those fads are imposed. I wonder if he has seen dinners in those houses and what is drunk at the tables of those houses. It is an infamous thing that the rich man prevents the poor man from drinking because it bores him to have a public-house on his estate, and because he does not want his groom to drink, or his head-gardener, or second gardener. The hon. Member approves of that sort of tyranny, and sits on what is called the democratic side of the House. I know that political philosophy. We hear it on all sides, especially to-day, but I should think the hon. Member's place was rather on one of the benches opposite, and at the back there, if he holds those views.
If you interfere with licensed public-houses and try to reduce the number, you do, as all the world knows, increase the vice of drinking. I venture to say that even in the twisted and distorted philosophy of our time you will find that in one hundred men there are not ten, and probably not five, who think it wrong to drink a glass of beer. Men do not think it wrong to do what their fathers did, and their sons will certainly not think it wrong. We are passing through a very bad time of diverse philosophy and changeable conditions, but that particular madness has not attacked more than a small section of the community. What is more important is the habitually drinking to excess. I challenge any man, with some knowledge of his fellow men, as to the type of man who drinks habitually to excess. He is a particular type of man of weak will, who does not probably drink as much in cubic amount as the man who can carry liquor well. That particular type of man has not proceeded to that excess by slow stages at all. He is a man of weak will all through if you examine his character. That he must be restrained, and that it is advisable to punish him I agree, but what proportion is he of the community that laws should be put on the community in this respect? There is another objection, and I am only naming the main objections. When you want to back up this case you never appeal to the European civilisation to which you belong, but always go to a new country, a point which the hon. 1632 Member opposite (Mr. Page Croft), I think very pithily and soundly made. You tell us of Kalamazoo and Kamchatka and all sorts of places where you say people are prevented from drinking a glass of wine or a glass of beer. I have travelled, and I think I know why. New countries are very largely financial experiments with a hotch-potch of all sorts of people. They have no roots, no traditions, and, in many cases, the actual climate militates against drinking. Try a proposal of this kind in Spain, or Germany, or Belgium, or France, and see how it would be treated in a democratic country where the people get at their representatives.
The last objection, and the main objection, which is a very strong one indeed, is that you are not putting the power into the hands of the people, but into the hands of a limited class—the ratepayers. I have not that knowledge of Scottish conditions which enables me to say what proportion the ratepayers really form of the total number of heads of families. I know what would happen in a Sussex village: A few old ladies, the squire, and the parson would determine what the vote would be. An hon. Member on this side spoke of the tyranny of the landlord in Scottish villages, and it rather astonished me and opened my eyes, because I thought the people there were more democratic. While the Bill proposes to give the power to the ratepayers it does not even insist on a majority of that class. You would never allow interference with the well-to-do on that basis, and why, then, should you allow it with the mass on the same basis? The House may regard the way I am going to end my remarks as inconsistent. In my opinion, and I hope in that of most of my colleagues, we are not sent here because of our political wisdom, or remarkable powers, or individual genius, but to represent our constituents. We are not a Senate, but a representative Assembly. Of the seventy-two Members for Scotland sixty, I believe, support this Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: "Sixty-one."] The Scottish people have their own religion, their own accent, their own view of things and way of going on. If they want this Bill let them have it. If it was the case of Ireland we should hear what the representatives would say, and then vote against the wishes of Ireland, but in the case of Scotland it is different. At any rate, that is the principle which will govern my action, and I shall not vote against the Bill. There is one point, how- 1633 ever, a matter of common morals, which will have to be threshed out in Committee, and will decide how many of us will vote on the Third Reading. That is the question of compensation. You must not assume with regard to a particular trade that, having declared your disagreement with the continuance of that trade under certain conditions, you can confiscate its property on account of your opinion. On the general philosophy that all property is wrongly held, you might perhaps do it, but you cannot in justice take a particular trade and by Statute ruin or lessen the profits of a large number of fellow-citizens on account of your own particular religion or opinions. I shall, therefore, wait to see how in Committee that point is dealt with. I do not dogmatise on the matter. The hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. C. Roberts), who is an expert on the question, has convinced me that certain terms of compensation would be an endowment of the brewer. It is equally true that other terms would be a confiscation of property. There is not only the brewer and the rich shareholder to be considered; there is the labour interest and the small man who has invested his few hundred pounds. I shall not vote against the Bill unless I find on Third Reading that that point has not been settled in Committee. In that event it would be the duty of everyone then to vote against the Bill.
§ Mr. MUNRO
It seems to me that two questions arise for consideration in the discussion of this measure. The first is whether there is an evil requiring legislative treatment; the second is whether the treatment proposed by this Bill is appropriate for the evil, if it exists. To both of those questions I think the answer must be in the affirmative. On the first no difference of opinion seems to exist. The evils of drunkenness are too obvious to everybody, and are admitted on all hands. It is not necessary to refer to the reports of Commissions, the opinions of statesmen, or the figures of statisticians, to demonstrate to the ordinary man the magnitude of this evil. Not only is its magnitude plain, but the variety of its forms has not been sufficiently emphasised. In addition to the economic, physical, and moral side of the question as it affects the individual, there is its social side, affecting the community as a whole. It is not too much to say that crime, disorder, and lunacy are very closely associated with this evil.
I think that the hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) in suggesting 1634 that crime might be more fairly attributed to religious mania than to drink, was grotesquely misrepresenting, possibly in the most innocent fashion, the true facts of the case. I have had some experience as a Crown Prosecutor in Scotland of the administration of the criminal law, and I am bound to say that during the last four years or so a very small percentage of cases indeed have come under my personal observation which were not attributable, directly or indirectly, to the evil which we are discussing. The point at which opinion diverges is as to the suitability of the proposed remedy. I say that primâ faciethe remedy is suitable and appropriate. If you consider the support which it has received, and is receiving, from Scotch Members, that is a very fair deduction to make. During the past thirty years an overwhelming proportion of Scotch Members have been in favour of the principle of this measure, and at present there are sixty-one out of seventy-two Scottish Members supporting it. I protest against the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Scotch Members being overborne and thwarted—I will not say by votes representing English opinion, but by the supreme power which a powerful trade is able to command in many quarters. I think we may be excused in Scotland if some of us think that, the overwhelming majority to which I have referred to having existed during all these years, and no constructive result having been obtained, representative Government, at any rate in this matter, is something approaching a mockery and a sham. Nor can one leave out of account the fact that all the temperance associations in the country, and most of the churches, are unanimously in favour of the Bill. Further, there have been opinions expressed by distinguished statesmen in this House entirely in favour of its principle. Lord Randolph Churchill, in discussing a Bill founded upon the same principle, said:—The main principle of the Bill is popular control of the issue of licences. It is alleged that yon cannot make men sober by Act of Parliament. You cannot, it is true; but I would tell you what yon can do. You ran give them power by Act of Parliament to make themselves soberThat is precisely the principle upon which this measure is founded. More recently the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in reference to a similar measure, said:—The cardinal theory is that it is the men, women and children who live in the locality who are principally interested, and who ought to have the governing voice in the matter. It is their interests solely that Parliament should have in view.1635 Accordingly, I submit that, looking to the support which this measure has enjoyed, and does enjoy, a primâ faciecase is made out in favour of the suitability of the treatment proposed for the evil which admittedly exists. I submit, further, that you will reach the same conclusion by examining the Bill upon its merits. The measure is founded upon a sound democratic principle, despite what has been said by the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Belloc). What is that principle? It is that the people in any locality should have the power to control the operation or the liquor traffic in that locality, as I submit they unquestionably have a right to do. So far as that principle is concerned, it is a democratic principle. Landlords in this country in many instances already enjoy local veto in this matter. Why should a right which is conferred upon and conceded to the rich be denied to the poor? Further, it is an ascertained fact that there is an intimate connection between the facilities afforded for drinking and drunkenness. If you increase the facilities for drinking, you increase drunkenness, and conversely, if you diminish these facilities, you diminish drunkenness. There are some interesting figures relating to the operation of the Forbes-Mackenzie Act which is familiar in Scotland. Under that Act Sunday closing was introduced, to which disrespectful reference has been made in the course of this Debate. In Glasgow figures were taken showing the amount of drunkenness for the three years covering the period before the passing of the Act and the three years immediately after the passing of the Act. During the three years immediately preceding the passage of that Act in Glasgow the cases of drunkenness there were 71,648. During the same period immediately after the passing of the Act, the figures were 53,146. During the same period prior to the passing of the Act the crimes committed by persons under the influence of drink were 34,972. In the corresponding period, after the passing of the Act, they were 19,370. In the same way, the cases of drunkenness on Sunday during the three years before the Act was passed were 4,082, and, after the passing of the Act, 1,466. In the light of these figures it is vain to suggest that there is no connection between facilities for drinking and drunkenness.
In the same way, taking another example—which was laid before this House, 1636 I think, on a previous occasion—when disaster overtook San Francisco, the public-houses were closed for two months after the disaster occurred. During these two months the arrests for drunkenness were 259, and disturbances of the peace during that time were seventy-eight. The public-houses were then reopened, and during the two months immediately succeeding that, the arrests for drunkenness rose to 994 and the arrests for disturbance of the peace to 208.
I submit, therefore, that it is a demonstrable proposition that if you increase the facilities for drinking you increase drunkenness, and conversely it you diminish the facilities you diminish drunkenness. Accordingly I submit that this is a Bill that can be supported by figures, facts, and argument. Further, I know of no proposals from the other side for the mitigation or amelioration of this admittedly existing evil. We do not submit this Bill as a complete remedy, but as a palliative, and it is rather striking that while, on the one hand, the evil is admitted and there is no proposal to mitigate it, we on our side submit a proposal which is not new, which has been tried by experience, and which is largely supported, and therefore is well deserving of a trial in the country from which I come. It is the desire of the overwhelming number of Scotch Members, representing, I venture to say, the overwhelming majority of Scotch voters.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Salford offered some apology for taking part in this Debate, but I do not see why any of us should apologise for doing so, and for my part I hope we shall all for a long time take an interest in questions affecting every part of the United Kingdom and the Empire. I was very glad to see the hon. Member coming forward as a champion of the cause of liberty, but I was sorry when at the end of his speech he gave up his own liberty and said that, after all, when we came to this House we gave up our liberty and we represented our constituents. The reason for which he proposed to support the Bill in the Division Lobby was that it was the desire of sixty-two Members for Scotland. I am perfectly convinced from listening to some of his other speeches that he is in favour of proportional representation, and I would remind him that there is a minority in Scotland on this question. I do not even know whether it is a minority; but there is a large body of 1637 people in Scotland who are opposed to the proposals in this Bill and who have no opportunity of saying so by means of their representatives in this House. I think the views of these people should be voiced, and if it be the case that these sixty-two Members are in favour of the Bill, it is all the more reason why those who are opposed to it should have their views put forward. I do not intend to say much about the details, but I would like to say a few words about the principle of the Bill. We are living at a time when precedents are of the greatest possible importance, and if this Bill is carried out for one portion of the United Kingdom it is obvious that a precedent will be used to extend it to other portions of the United Kingdom.
I have always had a bitter antagonism towards measures of this kind, because I am convinced that they infringe upon those liberties which we would like to see more apparent now than they have been. I believe that fanatics in all questions are dangerous persons, and I believe the temperance fanatic is the most dangerous fanatic of all. I do not mean to be offensive, but I think the hon. Members for Spen Valley and Lincoln look somewhat lonely without Mr. Leif Jones, who was in the last Parliament. They formed a trio who could see no good in anyone who opposed the Licensing Bill or endeavoured to defend the liberties of the people in this country. With regard to the intoxication in this country, I do not believe figures prove anything whatever. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down said that increased facilities for drinking meant an increase of drunkenness, and that a decrease in facilities meant a decrease in drunkenness. I do not accept that as a correct assumption. There has been a great and growing decrease of drinking in this country during the last century and up to the present, and I do not think that can be put down to decrease in the facilities for drinking. I believe it depends largely upon the question of education, and also on housing—a question which I sincerely hope the Government will deal with when more controversial matters are settled. At the present time also individuals are more occupied in their time than they used to be. They have more work to do, and that idleness which is the father of sin—if I may use the expression—is to a large extent removed from the community of this country. I believe that we can trace the decrease in drinking in this country to the causes to which I have ventured to allude. One 1638 hon. Member opposite who spoke in regard to intoxication said there was more intoxication among the higher classes than among the lower classes. I do not wish to go into that question at all. I deplore intoxication of any kind among any class of the community. Our endeavour is to try and decrease the possibility of intoxication. I do not believe that by inflicting hardship upon the brewing industry or upon the holders of licences you will remove temptation in the way in which it should be removed. I believe better education is one of the great remedies. It is the duty of every Government to establish a strong system of moral education. You must begin with the child and go on with the young man, and not commence with the individual when he is a grown man. I believe that in all these things you must begin at the beginning, and not half-way up the ladder, if you want to see what legislation can do in checking drunkenness. I am not going to assert that it cannot have effect up to a certain point. I think it can, but the moment you go beyond that I believe you bring in all the anomalies, such as are included in this Bill, for local option and prohibition. If you prohibit the individual drinking, you increase secret drinking. You bring it before people's minds that drinking is a crime, and once crime is established there are people always ready to see if they cannot commit it without being found out.
I think you encourage secret drinking by drastic legislation. Prohibition establishes dissipation, and I think local option establishes anomaly. Under this Bill a three-fifth majority is to decide how the other two-fifths are to conduct themselves. If this Bill were to become law you would have prohibition and local option in some counties, while you would have drinking allowed in other counties. I do not want to bring any question of what is done in new countries into this discussion. That always forms the burden of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite. We have had experience in this country, and, after all, I hardly think we are in a position to learn very much from new countries, who follow our example in most things. I believe, if we continue in the way we have been going, that is establishing liberty in the country, we will have no need whatever for drastic legislation of this kind. The whole safety of our Empire depends upon liberty, and if we keep that constantly before our minds we shall have no need of restrictive and drastic legislation in different localities.
§ Dr. W. A. CHAPPLE
I have great pleasure in supporting the Second Reading of this Bill. The hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Belloc) said it was not wrong to drink, and he suggested that as an argument against this Bill. This Bill does not assert that it is wrong to drink, and does not imply it. It simply says it is wrong to tempt others to drink for the sake of profit, and that the community should have the right to say whether or not anyone should be allowed to tempt others to drink for the sake of profit. The hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Page Croft) said that crime had increased in New Zealand under no-licence. I happen to have by me the figures relative to that very point, and I shall lay them before the House. In Ashburton, a no-licence area, during the year before no-licence, there were ninety-one convictions for drunkenness; in the subsequent year, under no-licence, there were nineteen, a decrease of seventy-two. In Port Chalmers the convictions for drunkenness the year before no-licence were 194; the year after they were eighty, showing a decrease of 114. In Mataura in the year before no-licence convictions for drunkenness were eighty; in the year after they fell to seven, a diminution of seventy-three. In Bruce there were twenty-one convictions the year before no-licence; in the year after there were nine, a decrease of twelve. In Masterton for a quarter only before no-licence there were eighty-five convictions for drunkenness; in the year after no-licence there were thirteen, a decrease of seventy-two. So that the total of convictions for drunkenness in the year before no-licence in these districts was 471, and the year after 128, showing a decrease of 343.
§ Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether there was a decrease in other classes of crime?
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
I will come to that. Here we have an illustration of the fact that if you decrease the amount of temptation to drink you decrease the amount consumed, and if you decrease the amount consumed you decrease the amount of crime and poverty. In Ashburton there were 143 cases of serious crimes in the year before no-licence; in the year after seventy-two, showing a decrease of seventy-one. In. Port, Chalmers the year before there were ninety-nine; in the year after twenty, showing a decrease of seventy-nine. In Mataura there were, forty-nine cases of serious crime the year 1640 before, twenty-three the year after, showing a decrease of twenty-six. In Bruce forty-six cases of serious crime the year before, ten the year after, showing a decrease of thirty-six. In Masterton for the one quarter there were 193 cases of serious crime before; in the year after forty-two, showing a decrease of 151. There was a total of 530 cases of serious crime in these districts the year before no-licence; the year after it had fallen to 157, showing a decrease of 363.
These figures are an illustration of the truth of what temperance reformers maintain that if you decrease the facilities for drinking you decrease the amount consumed, and consequently the amount of drunkenness and crime that attend the evil. The hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) quoted from a report which has been freely circulated, but only came into my hands since I took my seat upon these benches. I have only had time to glance at it hurriedly. It is a report by Mr. Carson on the no-licence districts of the Australasian colonies. In the first place, the report refers to the decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed per head of the population in New Zealand. The hon. Baronet claimed that the report was for last year. May I point out that for 1907 the figure is £3 15s. per head. The figures for the two succeeding years are different. Since last year the consumption has fallen to £3 11s. per head, a decrease of about 4s.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I gave the figures for the last year I had, that is for 1907. For that year the amount was £3 15s. 10d. per head, whilst in 1896 it was £2 19s. 8d.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
I suggest that the report quoted does not give a fair representation, of the facts because it has suppressed the fact that a diminution of consumption has gone on since the year 1907. I will give another illustration showing that this report is not fair. It is claimed that the no-licence system was not effective in suppressing secret drinking. I happen to have a report bearing on this subject made by the police inspector in one of these towns, with a population of 13,000 inhabitants, in regard to which he says that the public generally have taken kindly to the no-licence movement, with the result that there is little or no evidence of drunkenness. When a statement was made about two months ago questioning the beneficial effect of no-licence in Oamaru all the four medical men practising in that town signed the following statement:—In, view of the fact that commissioners from Australia and others visiting Oamaru to enquire 1641 .regarding the working of no-licence appear to have formed erroneous impressions, which reflect upon the drinking habits of this community, we think it advisable that our united experience should be made public. We find, in making our continual visits to the homes of the people, that there is no evidence to show that drinking in the homes is more prevalent now than it was in licence times. Our united experience shows that there is a decrease in the cases treated that result from alcoholism, and we are convinced that no-licence has been of great benefit to the community from a moral and health point of view.Could you have more conclusive evidence contradicting the report already made in such specific terms? There is another argument which justifies the claim we make that the no-licence system in New Zealand has been a conspicuous success, and it is the fact that there has been a growing popularity in its favour. In 1896 the percentage of votes for no-licence was 37.82; in 1899, 42.23; 1902, 48.88; 1905, 51.27; 1908, 53.45. At the last local option poll there was a total majority of 33,331 cast in favour of the no-licence system. This no-licence vote also carries with it the power to reduce the number of hotels, and the reduction vote by a bare majority has closed during the last sixteen years 462 hotels. That has taken place amongst a population varying between 800,000 and 1,000,000 during these years. Three hundred and eight of those licences were due to the "reduction" vote, and only 154 to the "no-licence" vote. During these years there has been a growing temperance sentiment and a growing belief on the part of the people that no-licence does diminish drunkenness, and does also diminish the poverty and crime that attend it.
The hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) tried to draw a parallel between religious mania and the craving for drink. I venture to say that in this he mixes up cause and effect. Religious mania is not due to religion, but to disease of the brain. If a person manifests religious mania he manifests it because there is a diseased condition of his brain which might have expressed itself in any other particular form. It is wrong to say of religious mania that religion is the cause, just as it would be wrong to say that the craving for drink is due to the vicious tendency of man. The craving for alcohol is due to the property alcohol has for creating the craving for itself. It is not in the vicious tendency of man or in any of the conditions that are vital, but it is in environment. If you place alcohol in the hands of any youth and give him small quantities over a given time you will in- 1642 duce a craving for alcohol over which that person will have no control, no matter how much moral or self-control he may have, because alcohol has as one of its inherent properties the power of creating a, craving for itself.
The hon. Member for Hackney appeared to me to have quite a misconception of the gravity of the case against alcohol. He asked where is the necessity for this Bill. Is he blind to the degradation, to the crime, to the disease, and to the premature death of the hundreds and thousands that surround us every day? He treats lightly the subject, and brushes it aside. He weighs in the balance the inconvenience to some working man who fails to get his glass of rum in the morning against the enormous evils that attend upon drink. I think he has quite a misconception of the case. The half has not been told against alcohol. It cannot be ascertained, because statistics do not make it available. Just think of the amount of disease that follows alcohol. Think of the alcoholic disease which is never announced and which history never knows. Take the disease peripheral neuritis, a disease we hardly hear of, but which is due to alcohol, and which is very common. A doctor's certificate would not show it. It would not be classified as an alcoholic disease. A death certificate would say that a man died of cirrhosis of the liver. So with Bright's disease, which is frequently caused by alcohol, and also some diseases of the arteries. Delirium tremens is a typical case. It is not only due to alcohol, but it is generally known to be due to alcohol. Then think of the susceptibility to all diseases created by alcohol. Think of the susceptibility to infection of those who consume alcohol. Drinking creates disease, but a man may be guilty of intermittent drunkenness, and still escape from the diseases which arise from alcohol. It is not drunkenness, but the condition of being saturated with alcohol that makes a person susceptible to disease, and infectious diseases are more prone to attack those who drink constantly, although they are not necessarily drunken. Every surgeon knows that the greatest danger he has to face in the case of a patient on whom he operates is the saturation of the tissues with alcohol, such as is found in the case of the man who constantly drinks. More than half the mortality from pneumonia in drinkers 1643 arises from the fact that a victim suffering from pneumonia has less vitality with which to resist the attack. He succumbs, not because of the pneumonia, but because of the weakness of his resistance. I could quote quite a number of other diseases to which this applies to show that not half has yet been told of the evil results of drink. The hon. Member for Christchurch said that poverty was the cause of drink, and not drink the cause of poverty, but I maintain that for every poor man who drinks because he is poor there are hundreds of men who are poor because they drink. We know, indeed, that drink is one of the most fruitful causes of poverty, and when the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) asks where is the justification for this Bill, one can not only point to disease, premature mortality, high death-rate in adult life, and hereditary disease from alcoholism in parents, but also to the enormous cost that arises from the drinking habits of the people in the maintenance of prisons and asylums.
There is the real evil. We have to face the question. How are we to meet it? We who are in sympathy with this Bill believe you can mitigate it; even if you cannot make people sober by Act of Parliament, you can diminish their facilities for getting drink by lessening the opportunities for tempting young men to drink. The measure is not so much a curative as a preventive measure. The Noble Lord (Viscount Castlereagh) referred to the educational advantages that would follow total abstinence propaganda and Christianising influences. He seemed to think more could be done by education to promote temperance than by legislative restrictions. Educational methods have been and are being tried, and there is no reason why they should not be continued, but they have failed utterly to cope in any marked degree with the enormous encroachments of this evil.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
The education of public opinion might do much, but I think more might be done by this Bill, which is not inconsistent with the progress of that education, and, as a matter of fact, is an education in itself. By this Bill we assert the right of a community to control this traffic, or at least the sale of liquor, in order that the youth of that community 1644 I may not be tempted to drink, and in this way the evils of drink may be curtailed. I would appeal, in conclusion, to hon. Members who represent constituencies other than those in Scotland to consider that this is a matter of domestic local government which Scotland desires. Scotland is ready for this reform, and I think it does not behove Members from other constituencies to say that the reform which Scotland has waited for for years and is anxious to obtain and experiment with shall be denied to that country. I appeal to hon. Members, therefore, who are not interested one way or another in this Bill, to give it a Second Reading.
Mr. MARSHALL HALL
The difficulty that one feels in approaching this subject is the confusion which so often arises in the minds of hon. Members and persons outside this House between the use and the abuse of alcoholic liquors, and what I personally resent very much is the arrogation of a certain section of a political party to themselves of all the virtues of dealing with temperance. Speaking as a Member of the Unionist and Conservative party, I find that we are charged with being the opponents of temperance, and I do not think a more gross charge can be brought against the great party to which Members on this side of the House have the honour to belong. I am quite sure that everyone of us is in favour of promoting temperance to the very best of our ability, but the difficulty that I have always to contend with is that the methods which are brought forward by the self-constituted fanatics, if I may call them so, are always directed against the coercion of those who supply the drink. The supply of liquor has always been recognised and safeguarded by the State as a respectable industry, and I cannot see why it should be always against the purveyor of intoxicating liquor that the attacks should be directed. We all know very well that the abuse of liquor leads probably to disease and certainly to crime. Therefore we are all interested as far as we can be in the protection of the individual from the abuse of alcoholic drink. I do not suppose that the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken would say that nobody is to be allowed to consume a certain proportion of alcoholic drink. It may be more easy to abstain from such drink in the lovely climate of New Zealand, of which I have pleasant recollections, than it is under the gloomy and cloudy skies of our beautiful island here. But after all, it becomes -a question of climate and of 1645 temperament. The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has said that the disease of peripheral neuritis is due to alcohol. Knowing he speaks with the knowledge of a medical man on that subject. I am unable to contradict him, but when he says that cirrhosis of the liver is due entirely to alcohol, I doubt whether there are any statistics which will prove that.
Mr. MARSHALL HALL
I was going to say that I doubt whether there are any statistics which will prove that cirrhosis of the liver is due solely to intemperance, because it often occurs in children of two years of age who can hardly have been intemperate except perhaps in the matter of milk.
Mr. MARSHALL HALL
I accept the correction, but I think the inference that most of us would have drawn from the hon. Member's statement was that cirrhosis of the liver is a disease which is due entirely to alcohol. As long as we are agreed that it is not, there is no harm done in calling attention to the fact. I would suggest that there is another way in which we can deal with this question of prevention of the abuse of alcoholic drink. I would take it from the analogous rule of our law that no one is allowed to carry pistols or guns without a licence. Why not license the consumer? Why not insist that people who consume alcoholic drink should take out a licence for the purpose of being served, a licence granted upon certificate of character? The licence can be carried in the pocket, and if it is abused it can be withdrawn. Any amount of extra trouble is at present put upon the unfortunate purveyor who is subjected to all sorts of pains and penalties if he permits drunkenness upon his premises or in any way contravenes the strict rules of law which are laid down for the protection of the licensed victualler, and I cannot see why some form of protection should not be extended to the individual, because, as has been said, it is the individual that we want to protect against himself. The hon. Member admits that it is not the mere consumption of drink which is of itself the disease. He says religious mania is a disease consequent upon a diseased mind. Why is not the excessive use of alcohol also a disease consequent upon a weakened con- 1646 dition of mind? The answer is that you weaken your mind by the consumption of alcohol. The person to deal with is the person who consumes, and not the person who sells. If those advocates of temperance, who are really in earnest in endeavouring to promote the best interests of temperance, are really anxious to make the people even more temperate than they are at present, their methods must be more conciliatory than, they are at present. The constant course of attack which is directed against one particular class of the community savours of coercion and raises a certain amount of distrust and dislike in the minds of people who are fair-minded on the matter. It is obvious to anyone who will take the trouble to look around him that the decrease in the consumption of alcoholic liquor amongst the educated classes in the past few years has been most marked.
Where a few years ago you would have seen the members of a club taking small quantities of wine or spirits with their lunch, you will find everyone drinking either water or light lager beer. Might I suggest, also, that if the advocates of temperance would put their brains together for the purpose of inventing a palatable drink, which is a real temperance drink, they would do more for the real cause of temperance in half an hour than all the Debates in this House in a year. We do rather resent being treated as though we were opponents of temperance. We yield to no one in our desire to promote real temperance, and if any way is shown which will assist us in the promotion of that object, which we really and honestly have at heart, I am sure we shall welcome it, but I do not think the best way to deal with it is by any method of local option.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure)
No one who has listened as I have done to this Debate will be inclined to deny that we have had a somewhat one-sided expression of opinion. It may be said that no new arguments have been brought forward. That is certainly not owing to any lack of ingenuity and resource on the part of hon. Members, but owing to the fact that they have to deal with a threadbare controversy. We must all tread the well-worn path. I would join issue with the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottomley), who, in moving the rejection of the Bill, expressed surprise and sorrow at my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. Charles Roberts) finding himself in the favourable position of being able to bring 1647 this legislative proposal before us in a Bill which he characterised as impractical and likely to be attended with bad results. What is the test, really, after all of a practical and beneficent measure? I should say a strong, considerable, continuous, and ever-increasing volume of public opinion in favour of that measure coming, let me add, from a country so well-educated and intelligent as I believe Scotland to be. Where are we to look for a reliable indication of the public opinion of Scotland on this question? I, for my part, decline to look anywhere else than to the representatives of Scotland, and it is a very significant fact that throughout this Debate not a word of objection to this measure has come from any Scottish Member. One Unionist Member (Sir Mark Stewart) has given his distinct approval to the Bill and promised all the aid in his power. I rejoice to say that I have never claimed in any of these discussions that we on this side of the House monopolise entirely the desire to see temperance reform. I do not think we have ever claimed that, or that we alone realise the magnitude of the evil. Nor do we differ in thinking that, as years have advanced, Scotland has improved, and in recent times greatly improved. But this does not seem to me to be a relevant consideration in the discussion of this Bill. If an intelligent stranger had stumbled into our midst this afternoon, he would have come to the conclusion that we were discussing a measure designed to extinguish public-houses, and to prevent a man from having a glass of beer. The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill appeared to argue that the object of the measure was to prevent a working man in Scotland from gratifying his desire for a glass of grog. I can tell the House, with a larger experience of Scotland, and a more intimate knowledge of the desires and habits of working people in that country, that the working man there is never filled with an insatiable desire to have a glass of rum. There is no clause in the Bill which would prevent him from having it. Let me say to the hon. Member for South Salford (Mr. Belloc) that he would much better have addressed his persuasive eloquence to a locality which has resolved on the exercise of the option of saying whether they desire to have licensed houses or not rather than to the Members of this House, who are not discussing that question at all.
We are not discussing the question whether there should be public-houses in 1648 certain areas, or whether a man should be able to obtain a glass of beer. The essence of the Bill is that it proposes to transfer to the voters themselves, if so minded, the exercise of an administrative and discretionary act which is now performed by a small body of gentlemen who are supposed to represent them. That is the proposal in this measure, and the question which the House has to discuss is whether or not it is wise and prudent to allow the voters in a locality to decide the question at the present moment rather than confine the right of deciding entirely and exclusively to the licensing bench. The people of Scotland, through their representatives, almost unanimously say that they are fit to exercise that discretionary power themselves. They think they would like to try it. They say they believe they are intelligent enough to decide whether they should have public-houses in their midst or not, and whether the number of public-houses existing should be diminished. The only question we have to consider, therefore, is whether the people of Scotland are well-founded in their belief that they are fit to exercise that power, and whether they should have that power placed in their hands. Then, after they have agreed in the locality that they would like to exercise the power, the hon. Member might come down and use his persuasive eloquence to persuade them that they ought not to extinguish the licences, that they ought to let things remain as they are; and I promise in every locality in Scotland that he goes to he will receive a very intelligent, close, attentive hearing. But if he tries to persuade my countrymen that there is a right of property in public-houses, I rather suspect that his difficulty will be great.
The essence of the question is as I have stated. No doubt the promoters of the measure believe that there is a greater likelihood, if the voters themselves have the power to decide whether or no there are new licences to be granted in the year, that they will say "No." That is their assumption, and that is the reason why what I may call the period of probation is put in the Bill, which, as one hon. Member has very properly pointed out in the course of the discussion, extends to a period of seven years, and they would provide that the Bill is to come into immediate operation, were it not that the promoters believe that there is a likelihood that the voters would do what confessedly the magistrates would not do extinguish public-houses on public 1649 grounds, because they think the public interests demand it. They recognise quite fairly that the practice has grown up by which the publican who obeys the law and conducts his business with propriety gets at the expiry of each year a new licence for the coming year. Obviously the public-house business could scarcely be conducted on any other terms. A man is not going to embark his money in a business and devote his attention to the business on the probability of being turned out at the end of the year, and the practice which has grown up will no doubt be brought to an end if the Pill comes into operation and if the voters desire when they have the opportunity that no public-houses should be brought into their midst. The promoters, having in view that that eventuality must arise, very properly provide for this period of probation for a certain number of years. Outside this provision that voters shall be allowed to determine this question so closely affecting the lives and homes of the people, and shall be allowed to decide themselves and to exercise the power which is now entrusted to the magistrates, there is nothing more to discuss so far as the principle of the Bill goes.
If we lay aside for a moment those provisions which refer to regulations with regard to clubs, and also lay aside such clauses of the Bill as are strictly mere machinery, there are left questions which it is impossible for a man to dogmatise upon, and with regard to which a variety of opinions may prevail. The question whether or not the areas are too large or too small, whether the period of probation is too long or too short, whether the one-tenth of the voters who are the active machinery to be brought into operation is too large a proportion or too small, whether the options are sufficiently numerous, whether or not the majority is sufficiently large to ensure a strong body of public opinion, or whether the percentage of voters who must go to the poll is large enough to ensure the same end—all those question are more or less questions for discussion in Committee. They were most carefully considered, let me assure the House, by the Scottish Committee last year, whose mature and deliberate judgment is to be now found crystallised in the Clauses of this Bill. In the ordinary course the Bill will once more come before the Scotch Committee, and will be submitted to the mature and ripe judgment of many new Members in this new Parliament. I have only to say 1650 on behalf of the Government what I said this time last year, that, as far as we are concerned, we shall throw no obstacle across the appointed path of this measure. Any further assurance than that I think could not be desired at this moment, and in the present position of public affairs. But speaking for myself I may say that I entertain very little doubt that as the political situation develops the Government will find themselves in a position to abandon this attitude of benevolent neutrality, and may possibly aid and expedite the passage of this measure through the House.
§ Mr. SCOTT DICKSON
I agree with what has been said by hon. Members on both sides in regard to evils which we all recognise, but I do not agree in the least with the view that is favoured by hon. Members opposite that intemperance is mainly due to the public-house or to the licensing system. I think that for many, many years, it has been recognised that the sale of excisable liquors ought to be in the control of the State, and I think you do a great deal more harm by interfering with that control than you would do by letting it alone. Experience in Scotland shows that by too much interference with the trade you lead to excesses, to the she been, and to the club. The main question of principle involved in this Bill is that it does not interfere at all with the club, with secret drinking, or with family drinking; it only interferes with licensed premises, and leaves the club outside police supervision. I take exception to some of the remarks of the hon. Member for Lincoln in moving the Bill, and also to some of the observations contained in what I understand was the maiden speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Andrews Burghs, on which I desire to congratulate him. I take very strong exception to their remarks on what they regard as the attitude of the Unionist party on the question of temperance reform. I do not think I am going too far when I say that those two hon. Members spoke as if the Unionist party were constantly opposing anything like temperance reform, or temperance legislation, or anything designed to promote temperance. Those who know anything about temperance reform in Scotland know the challenge that I have made many, many times, and which temperance people have never taken up, but have left unanswered, namely, that so far as temperance legislation is concerned in Scot- 1651 land, no bigger measure of temperance reform has ever been passed during the last forty years than the Act of 1903. I make the challenge now—mention any measure of either the temperance party or the Liberal party during the last forty years that can be compared with that measure of 1903. The charge against the Unionist party of not being the promoters of temperance legislation is absolutely unfounded. I may say, since a good deal has been said on the other side of Scotland, and particularly of Glaswegians, that we have views on social questions, and see things in England which appear as bad to us in Scotland as any in that country. I have seen a paper called "Club Life" which shows me that in many English towns many clubs exist, as far as I see, for the main part, to compete with the church services on Sunday, and to provide farcical and comical entertainments. That seems to many of us in Scotland, I do not say it is altogether in accordance with my views to say so, as great an evil as some of the evils which hon. Members for England allege against Scotland. Why did not the hon. Member for Lincoln come nearer home? Why did he not promote a measure to prevent drinking on Sundays, and especially at the time when church services are proceeding. A charge has been made against the Unionist party, to which I have referred, and I have heard as well a challenge addressed to the Radical party, that they dare not effectively deal with clubs in England because they are afraid of the political club. The retort is as good on one side as the other, and if they are "unco' guid" in Scotland, the remark is equally applicable to England. I join with an hon. Member in the hope that the hon. Member for Lincoln may begin to take the beam out of the English people's eye before he troubles us in Scotland.
On the question of principle I do not agree with the Lord Advocate in thinking that this may be said to deal with licences as property. What we say is that, having allowed these licences to grow up for nearly one hundred years under a state of law which gave the right to take them away to the magistrates, you propose to alter that in a most material respect, and to take the power from the magistrates, who, to a large extent, in Scotland, and particularly in the boroughs, are selected as the representatives of the people, and who exercise their functions judicially, with a wise knowledge and discretion as to the circumstances of the case. 1652 You propose to take that power away from them and to vest it in the minutest section of the electorate, who are to exercise their vote not having a full knowledge of the circumstances, and not having the question argued out before them. To say that that does not constitute a most material interference with rights, whether property or not, which the State has allowed to grow up, is, I think, altogether out of question. I do not think it is a change for the better. In the first place it will not tend to diminish intemperance. You will have this result—that the people, instead of drinking in the public-houses, where they are under the keen eye of the licence-holder, who dare not allow an intemperate man or woman to remain on his premises, will purchase alcoholic drink and take it home, if they can carry it so far, or probably consume it on the road. The result will be that you will have home-drinking, which, I think, is a great deal worse than the public-house. After all, we better-class people are apt to forget that the public-house is a public-house to many working men. They are not able to indulge in wine cellars and other means of drinking at home. The other people have to consume drink in what is really their public-house, and where they can do so with much more comfort than they can have at home. In my judgment you will inevitably lead to an excess of drinking rather than a diminution by a measure of this sort. I remember that on the Scottish Committee last year more than one hon. Member, and particularly the hon. Member for Leith, put forward an argument about the no-licence Resolution. They said, "Oh, you need not trouble about the no-licence resolution; that will never be carried in Scotland." If that is so, what is the use of putting this forward as a Bill that is going to do so much good? The truth of the matter is that it is recognised not to be a workable measure, or a measure that will do what its best friends claim for it.
Further, it is not a fair measure to the publican. At the end of five years one-fourth of the licences are to be taken away. The publicans do not know who will be comprised in that one-fourth. That is not fair to the trade as a whole. The period also is grossly unfair. The proposals will tend against the interests of the publican and of the community as a whole, in that they will drive decent and reputable men out of the trade, and that to my mind is one of the greatest evils 1653 you can have. I shall vote against the Bill because I believe it to be bad, alike for the general community and for the trade, and because it will do no good as far as the excessive drinker is concerned, and will not protect the moderate drinker. I agree that there are some parts of the measure to which no exception can be taken. As the Mover frankly admitted, those clauses were originally inserted on the Motion of Mr. Cochrane, formerly Unionist Member for Ayr Burghs, following the policy adopted in our Bill of 1903. The details no doubt would be matters for discussion in Committee. As to the later opening in the morning, there might be a question whether ten o'clock was not too late; but it is true there was no division taken in the Committee last year. But these are not the primary or main questions involved in the Bill. Local veto is what the Bill puts in the forefront, and because I believe that that is a bad principle, and one which should not obtain legislative sanction, I submit that the Bill should not receive the support of the House.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
It is constantly urged in these discussions that the effect of legislation of this kind is, in fact, to diminish drunkenness. That statement has been disputed. I do not myself dispute it; I do not doubt that it is perfectly possible to diminish drunkenness by restrictive legislation. But what I want to point out is that there is a prior question. Do you want to diminish drunkenness by that method? I say frankly that I do not. My conception of the propagation of temperance is not to set np a state of things under which certain people will not get drunk who under another state of things would get drunk, but to bring about a set of circumstances under which a certain number of people who under other circumstances would have chosen to get drunk will choose not to get drunk. That may seem a rather far-fetched and paradoxical argument. But let me ask hon. Members how far they would press their theory that it is desirable to produce moral habits by restrictive legislation? Take an extreme case. Suppose you set up such a system of restrictive legislation as would reduce every one, even adults, to the state of children. You might have an elaborate system of asylums corresponding to the schools we have for children. I do not doubt at all that you would get some results by that system; you might get a diminution in open or avowed crime 1654 against the person or property. But would it be a good thing 1 It would not be defensible if you said you got so many fewer crimes, because you would lower the whole standard of moral character in the community to which that system was applied. You do not want merely to get rid of bad acts; you want to develop and form character. It is quite true that in certain states of moral development of people, according to the particular stage which the human race has reached in them, it is necessary to keep them in a certain degree of restriction. That is so with children in every country, and also with savage races in Africa and elsewhere, where the consumption of alcohol is restricted by very severe laws. But the people of these islands have got beyond that stage. What is all-important is, not to stop people from getting drunk, but to convert their will so that they will choose not to get drunk. The moral purpose of this Bill is, therefore, essentially false, untrue, and unsound, looked at in that way, at what it aims at doing. Unless you get a moral purpose to justify you the whole of the great change you propose becomes indefensible. No one desires without that moral purpose to interfere with the security of licensed property, and to make the other changes proposed. If the moral purpose is unsound, the whole case is struck at the root, and it becomes the duty of the Legislature to reject the Bill. I should like hon. Members to lay that point to heart.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
One reason why this Bill and many measures of temperance reform fail to receive the acceptance of so many in this country is because extreme temperance reforms are so apt, in the subject of legislation, to indulge in most unwarranted exaggerations. No one denies the evils of intemperance, but I agree with the hon. Member who said that a great deal of harm is done by making statements which cannot be substantiated. When I hear speeches like one delivered in this Debate by one hon. Member sitting opposite, in which he described alcohol as quite as poisonous a substance as prussic acid — although he did not use those words—and added that the evils of alcohol were not yet appreciated, I cannot help feeling that exaggeration of that kind tends to prevent others who are in favour of temperance from taking that side.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."1656
§ The House divided: Ayes, 166; Noes, 55.1655
|Division No. 36.]||AYES.||[5.0 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hardle, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Allen, Charles Peter||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Anderson, Andrew Macbeth||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haworth, Arthur A.||Radford, George Heynes|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Hayward, Evan||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Hazleton, Richard||Raphael, Herbert Henry|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Helme, Norval Watson||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Ballour, Robert (Lanark)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rees, J. D.|
|Barnes, George N.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Ridley, Samuel Forde|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hodge, John||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbtghs.)|
|Beale, William Phipson||Hooper, Arthur George||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hudson, Walter||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hunter, Wm. (Lanark, Govan)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Illingworth, Percy H.||Schwann, Sir Charles E.|
|Cameron, Robert||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Seddon, James A.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shortt, Edward|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Kilbride, Denis||Soares, Ernest Joseph|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||King, Joseph (Somerset, N.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Clough, William||Lehmann, Rudolf C.||Stewart, Sir M'T. (Kirkcudbrightsh.)|
|Clynes, John R.||Lewis, John Herbert||Summers, James Woolley|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Sutherland, John E.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Lundon, Thomas||Tennant, Harold John|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Cowan, William Henry||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||M'Callum, John M.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Walton, Joseph|
|Crossley, Sir William J.||Mallet, Charles Edward||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Marks. George Croydon||Wardle, George J.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Meagher, Michael||Waring, Walter|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Menzies, Sir Walter||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Delany, William||Millar, James Duncan||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Molteno, Percy Alport||Weir, James Galloway|
|Doris, William||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Morton. Alpheus Cleophas||Whltehouse, John Howard|
|Elverston, Harold||Munro, Robert||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Fere[...]s, Thomas Robinson||Murray, Capt Hon. Arthur C.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Ferguson, Ronald C. Munr[...]||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Gibbins, F. W.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Gibson, James Puckering||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Phillpps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Phillpps, Sir O. C. (Pembroke)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Gulland, John William||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Pirle, Du[...]can V.|
|Hancock, John George||Pointer, Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Chas. Roberts and Mr. Eugene Wason.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Fell, Arthur||Nield, Herbert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fleming, Valentine||Nolan, Joseph|
|Barnston, Harry||Gardner, Ernest||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Gilmour, Captain John||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Grant, James Augustus||Roche, Augustine, (Cork)|
|Boyton, James||Guinness. Hon. Walter Edward||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Carllie, Edward Hildred||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hills, John Walter (Durham)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Jardlne, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Tryon, Capt. George Clement|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Macklnder, Halford J.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Croft, Henry Page||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Younger, George (Ayr Burghs)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S. (Glasgow, E.)||Morpeth, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir F.|
|Du Cros, A. (Tower Hamlets, Bow)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Banbury and Mr. G. A. Gibbs.|
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."1658
§ The House divided: Ayes, 165; Noes, 52.1657
|Division No. 37.]||AYES.||[5.10 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Allen, Charles Peter||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Anderson, A. M.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haworth, Arthur A.||Radford, George Heynes|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Hay ward, Evan||Rainy, Adam Rolland|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Hazleton, Richard||Raphael, Herbert Henry|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Helme, Norval Watson||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Ballour, Robert (Lanark)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rees, J. D.|
|Barnes, George N.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Barran, sir John N. (Hawick B.)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hodge, John||Robinson, Sidney|
|Beale, William Phlpson||Hooper, Arthur George||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Home, Chas. Silvester (Ipswich)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hudson, Walter||Schwann, Sir Charles E.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lynt)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Illingworth, Percy H.||Seddon, James A.|
|Cameron, Robert||Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||Shortt, Edward|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jardin[...], Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leltrim, S.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydfil)||Soares, Ernest Joseph|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Channing, Sir Francis Aliston||Joyce, Michael||Stewart, Sir M'T. (Kirkcudbrightshire)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Kilbride, Denis||Summers, James Woolley|
|Clough, William||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Clynes, John R.||Lehmann, Rudolf C.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Lewis, John Herbert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Collins, Sir William (S. Pancras, W.)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lundon, Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Cowan, William Henry||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Walton, Joseph|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Crawshay-Williams, E. (Leicester)||M'Callum, John M.||Wardle, George J.|
|Crossley, Sir William J.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Waring, Walter|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Mallet, Charles Edward||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Marks, George Croydon||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Meagher, Michael||Weir, James Galloway|
|Delany, William||Menzies, Sir Walter||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Millar, James Duncan||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Doris, William||Molteno, Percy Alport||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Elverston, Harold||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wiles, Thomas|
|Ferens, Thomas Robinson||Munro, Robert||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Ferguson, Ronald C. Munro||Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Gibbins, F. W.||Norton, Captain Cecil William||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Gibson, James Puckering||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Phillpps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Phillpps, Sir O. C. (Pembroke)|
|Gulland, John William||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Hancock, John George||Pirle, Duncan V.||Charles Roberts and Mr. Eugene|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Pointer, Joseph||Wason.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gardner, Ernest||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, George Abraham||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Barnston, Harry||Gilmour, Captain John||Remnant, James Farqunarson|
|Beckett, Hon. William Gervase||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Grant, James Augustus||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Berestord, Lord Charles||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boyton, James||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Carllie, Edward Hildred||Helmsley, Viscount||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hills, John Walter (Durham)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kirkwood, John H. M.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Mackinder, Halford J.||Younger, George (Ayr Burghs)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S. (Glasgow, E.)||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Du Cros. A. (Tower Hamlet), Bow)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir F.|
|Fell, Arthur||Nield, Herbert||Banbury and Viscount Castlereagh.|
|Fleming, Valentine||Nolan, Joseph|
§ Question, "That the Bill be now read a second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Question, proposed, "That the Bill be1660
§ committed to a Committee of the Whole House."—[Viscount Castlereagh.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 51; Noes, 150.1659
|Division No. 38.]||AYES.||[5.15 p.m.|
|Baird, J. L.||Gibbs, G. A.||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gilmour, Captain J.||Remnant, James Farquhanon|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Barnston, H.||Grant, J. A.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Beckett, Hon. W. Gervase||Guinness, HOP. W. E.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Helmsley, Viscount||Starkey, John R.|
|Boyton, James||Hickman, Colonel T.||Stewart, Sir M'T. (Kirkcudbright)|
|Carllie. E. Hildred||Hills, J. W.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cautley, H. G.||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kirkwood, J. H. M.||Tryon, Capt. George Clement|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Mackinder, Hallord J.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Younger, George (Ayr Burghs)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Croft, H. P.||Nannetti, Joseph p.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Nield, Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Viscount|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Nolan, Joseph||Castlereagh and Mr. Worthington|
|Du Cros, Alfred (Tower Hamlets, Bow)||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)||Evans.|
|Fell, Arthur||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrese)||Ponsonby, A. W. H.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Allen, Charles P.||harmsworth, R. L.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Anderson, A.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Radford, George Heynes|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haworth, Arthur A.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Hayward, Evan||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Hazleton, Richard||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rees, J. D.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Hooper, A. G||Robinson, S.|
|Barry, Redmond, J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hope, John Deans (File, Wast)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Beale, W. P.||Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hudson, Walter||Schwann, Sir C. E.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hunter, W. (Govan)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Seddon, J.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Shortt, Edward|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Joyce, Michael||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Channing, Sir Francis Alist[...]n||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Summers, James Woolley|
|Chappie, W. A.||Kilbride, Denis||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Clough, William||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Clynes, J. R.||Lehmann, R, C.||Thome, William (West Ham)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lundon, T.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Wardle, George J.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Waring, Walter|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||M'Callum, John M.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Weir, James Galloway|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Mailett, Charles E.||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Marks, G. Croydon||White, Sir Luke (York. E.R.)|
|Delany, William||Meagher, Michael||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Menzles, Sir Walter||Whittaker, Rt Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Doris, W.||Millar, J. D.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Wiles, Thomas|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camberne)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Elverston, H.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wilson, Hon. G G. (Hull, W.)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Munro, R.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughten)|
|Gibbins, F. W.||Norton, Cant. Cecil W.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|Gill, A. H.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Glanville, H. J.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Gulland, John W.||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Pembroke)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Haldane, Rt Hon. Richard B.||Phillips, John (Longford, S-)||Charles Roberts and Mr. Eugene|
|Hancock, J. G.||pirle, Duncan V.||Wason.|
|Harcourt, Rt Hon. Lowis (Rosendale)||Pointer, Joseph|
§ Bill committed to a Standing Committee.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, in pursuance of Standing Order No. 3.
§ Adjourned at half-past Five o'clock till Monday next, 18th April.