§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the day for the Second Reading read.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
My Lords, in order to put before the House more clearly the object and effect of this Bill I must ask your Lordships' indulgence for a few moments while I remind you of what occurred with reference to this question of Scottish small holdings in the last session of Parliament. Your Lordships will remember that on 13th August last a Bill was presented to this House by the Government, which had for its object the crofterisation of the whole of Scotland. By the first clause in that Bill a crofter was no longer to be called 1491 a crofter but a landholder, and all difference between crofters and small holders was thereby abolished. But while this difference was abolished, all the crofter legislation, which, as your Lordships well know, was passed to meet an exceptional state of things, was extended to the whole of Scotland These crofter laws were for the future to be spread over the whole of Scotland, and the small landholder, as he was to be constituted, was to be a favoured class. He was to have fixity of tenure in the first place; but, besides that, he was not to pay rates in the same degree or under the same conditions as other holders of land. The Bill also established dual ownership. I am aware that in the other House that was denied both by the Secretary for Scotland and by the Lord Advocate, but every man who knows anything about the nature of land, and of ownership, knows quite well that that Bill took away from the landlord many of the privileges and rights of ownership and transferred them to the State; and it is quite enough for mo in this contention, which I need not pursue further, that the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, who is superior to the legal quibbles and refinements which seem at the present time to prevail in the Scottish office, admitted freely that dual ownership would be set up for the future in Scotland.
The Prime Minister had stated that the rights of ownership were too great to be entrusted to private individuals. Well, what did that Bill do? It took five or six individuals and virtually entrusted to them ownership over the greater part of Scotland. And I observed that when we came to discuss the rather strange, and extraordinary, and revolutionary state of things that was to be created, noble Lords opposite appeared not to be very confident in their Bill or in its merits. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, who introduced the Bill, explained its provisions; but he gave us no reasons whatever for the somewhat violent conclusions to which it led. Noble Lords opposite connected with Scotland were challenged over and over again to give reasons for this revolutionary change. Why, I cannot say, but they all abstained from giving any reasons; and the result was that your Lordships never, throughout the whole of the debate, heard any reason why these changes were 1492 proposed. Is it surprising that your Lordships, under those circumstances, determined to wait to see what was proposed for England?
When the English Bill came up it was sufficiently drastic. It made a very great alteration in the law of 1892, which was the law for both England and Scotland. It provided that in future county councils were to have the initiative with regard to forming small holdings, and that if they failed to perform their duties or were remiss in giving attention to the matter, the Commissioners who were to be appointed by, and to report to, the Board of Agriculture, were to step in. That Bill, as your Lordships know, was subsequently passed into law, and when it had left this House and the Scottish Bill was resumed Lord Lansdowne intimated that if the Bill should be read a second time a very searching examination would take place in Committee, and, without doubt, considerable Amendments would be proposed. At first blush the noble Marquess who leads the House—I do not know whether it was by accident—said he would go on with the Bill; but a few hours consideration convinced him that that course was impossible at that time, and therefore the Government dropped the Bill.
I lay emphasis on the word "dropped," because it was subsequently stated in Scotland by supporters of the Government that your Lordships had rejected that Bill. Your Lordships did nothing of the kind. What your Lordships said was this, that up to the time the Bill reached this House it had not been examined in the manner in which it ought to have been, that a great part of it had been passed under the closure and the gag, and that in Committee of the Whole House there had been no means of going through the Bill and making those minute criticisms which it undoubtedly deserved and required. In order to emphasise this I would read a statement which was made on February 13 by the Prime Minister, whose indisposition we all deplore. He said—It was obvious that in the last days of August so large an operation as the Committee on this Bill could not be carried out and discussed in both Houses during what remained of the session. It became, I will not say impossible, but obviously extremely difficult, to arrive at a reconciliation of the views of the 1493 advocates and the opponents of the Bill. Therefore this Bill came to a natural end.That leads me to the circumstances which immediately preceded the introduction of the Bill now before your Lordships. This proposed change in Scotland was undoubtedly a very large, wide, and important change. It was considered, I believe, by every owner of land, and by all persons interested in the management of land, and the result we all came to was that we could see no reason why exceptional legislation should be brought in for Scotland. If the law of last year is good for England, why is it not good for Scotland? Up to August last the law for the two countries was the same, and, as your Lordships will remember, in 1906 the Government insisted with regard to the tenure of land that the same Bill should apply to England and to Scotland. Why, then, is a difference to be made now?
The result of these considerations is that I have ventured to draw up the Bill which I am now submitting to your Lordships. The principles of this Bill are the same as the principles of the English Bill of last year. My Bill proceeds on this understanding, that a crofter is an entirely different person from a small landholder, that the Acts under which he came into existence were exceptional Acts which provided that in future no more crofting holdings should be created, and that the crofters themselves have never asked for an extension of the crofting Acts to all Scotland. What they said was that there are certain defects in those Acts, certain disadvantages under which they labour which they wish to have removed. So far as I know, those who represent the crofting districts have never said more than that. On the other hand, is it desirable, when the law for England and Scotland has hitherto been the same, that a difference should be made, although in the Lowlands of Scotland exactly the same conditions prevail as throughout England?
Now, let me take the clauses of my Bill. Your Lordships will find that the first five clauses, which are almost identical, indeed, I think I may say quite identical, with those in the English Act, give the initiative in regard to small holdings to county councils, and, as your Lordships have already heard, if the county councils fail to perform their 1494 duties, then come in the Commissioners and the Board of Agriculture. What objection can be taken to that proposal? I believe it is one which in their hearts several members of the Government approve. Not only so, but the noble Lord the First Lord of the Admiralty expressly told us, in a speech at Perth, that this way of beginning the provision of small holdings is the right and the only proper way to proceed. I will read to your Lordships exactly what Lord Tweedmouth said. He said—I like the arrangements of the English Bill better, whore the local authorities are brought in and take a considerable part in the management and arrangement of small holdings. I do not believe that the burgh councils and county councils in Scotland would be a bit less energetic in taking their part if the Act were pastel than in other things. It is a mistake no; to bring in the local authorities, who have charge of local affairs, and are best acquainted with the wants of the different districts in the country.I do not know what course my noble friend is going to take to-day, but, at all events, up to 9th November last, he was of opinion that this was the only proper mode of proceeding.
Again, I am sure the noble Earl the President of the Board of Agriculture must approve of this proposal. How can he do otherwise? This is the proposal which he made in regard to England, and which he so loudly praised in your Lordships' House on many occasions. The noble Earl has been celebrating the Act and the way in which it has been carried out, with a somewhat loud trumpet. It is rather early in the day to say what is going to be the result of the Act of last year. At all events, up to the present the noble Earl is extremely well satisfied with the progress it has made. In a little preface which he wrote to a book upon the Act by Mr. Corrie Grant, M.P., the noble Earl says—The English Act is the most potent instrument for the regeneration of our rural life which this generation has produced, and contains boundless possibilities of good in the future.What praise could be greater than that? I am sure that my noble friend who has secured these blessings for England will not be so selfish as to wish to deprive us of them in Scotland.
Then, my Lords, who objects to this proposal? So far as I can find, there is only one objector—the Secretary for 1495 Scotland. It must have been rather a disappointment when the Secretary for Scotland read my noble friend's speech at Perth, but, as we know, the members of this Government not infrequently have a way of answering one another; and on this occasion Mr. Sinclair's way of accounting for my noble friend's temporary aberration was by saying that he lives in the rather bad company of this House, and that he is a most zealous, able, and capable county councillor, who has been led away by sympathy with his colleagues. Leaving the bad company here out of consideration, at all events he admits that my noble friend is a most zealous, able, and capable county councillor, and I should like to ask my noble friend, in that capacity, does he consider that the county councils in Scotland are less able or less energetic than the county councils in England? I should like to ask the noble Earl (Lord Elgin) who sits next to him the same question, for he has been for many years a county councillor in Scotland.
There is another objection which Mr. Sinclair takes to this proposal. He says the Scottish county councils have not worked the Act of 1892. To begin with, I am not at all sure that that is correct. At least, it certainly is not correct of some county councils. There is one county council which I can answer for—the county council of Forfar. We did everything we could to put that Act into operation. We inserted advertisements in the local Press and made inquiries of every description, but we obtained no applications whatever. But, even supposing these county councils have been somewhat remiss, was not the same thing said of county councils in England? What has been the means taken to "ginger," if I may use the word, the English county councils? Why, the appointments of these Commissioners, who are to perform their duties if they fail. Why should not the same remedy be applied to Scottish county councils which fail as is applied to county councils which fail in England?
Then there is another argument—namely, that the Scottish county councils are non-representative. I suppose that argument is put forward seriously, but it is difficult to believe it. The only reason given for it is that in every county in Scotland there are remote and inaccessible 1496 districts and members find it difficult to attend. Does that mean that the county council is not elected by the most democratic franchise that exists? And apart from the crofting counties of Scotland, where a different administration prevails, I do not believe it is true that access is more difficult to the county town in Scottish counties than in many counties in England. The difficulties are just as great in the one as in the other. The last argument I propose to notice is that in Scotland we are not accustomed to overriding one another. When the Secretary for Scotland says that, he can hardly be aware of his own existence or of his own duties. Why, the central board of Scotland are continually and in every province overruling the local authority. As usual, Mr. Sinclair furnished an answer to himself, because he said, in another sentence, that we are more accustomed to centralisation in Scotland than are the people of England.
I leave that, and come to Clauses 6 and 7 of the. Bill, and there a very real and considerable difference is made from what exists in the English Act. Your Lordships will see that a county council may, for the purpose of providing small holdings for persons who desire to buy or lease, purchase land and so on; and in Clause 7 it is provided that land acquired by a county council for the purpose of small holdings may be adapted for sale or letting. In subsection 2 there is a provision that if a county council are unable, by agreement, to acquire suitable land, they may acquire land compulsorily for this purpose. Therefore, the change which this clause proposes to make in the English Act is that it gives power to a county council to resell land which it has compulsorily acquired for the purpose of creating new ownerships. I know that His Majesty's Government entertain a most rooted objection to a proposal of this sort, but I ask them why. This clause does not compel county councils to buy for the purpose of resale; it only gives them the power to buy for purposes of resale, and the power to resell.
Why are the Government so alarmed at the mere notion of purchase and resale? Lord Tweedmouth is not averse to this at all, because in the same speech from which I have quoted, he said this—In my humble judgment a small holder has a much better chance for himself to hold lan 1497 as a leaseholder than as a proprietor. I am not arguing against a man becoming a proprietor, but I believe the ordinary man would prefer to take it under a lease than to purchase.With every word of that I agree. It is perfectly consistent with what is proposed in this clause. It is only a power which is given to sell to tenants, and that power is only given for the purpose of possibly increasing the number of small owners. I always thought that one of the great objects of the Liberal Party was to increase the number of small holders. Why have they changed? The noble Earl, Lord Rosebery, says—and I fully agree with him—that, in a matter of this kind, when a nation proposes a large change of this sort it ought to pay for it and ought to purchase the land. I am quite willing to concede what is conceded in the English Act, and to agree that the land maybe let; but what reason is there why the land should not also be capable of resale? This Government always calls itself a Government of Free Trade. Why are you tying up land in a way and with a knot which it would puzzle any grand mother to untie? It has been very freely whispered that the reason why this Government are so opposed to resale and to any creation of additional owners is that their Socialistic supports in the other House of Parliament are deadly opposed to any increase of owners and rather wish the land to become the property of the State.
I would next call your Lordship's attention to Clause 19 and the subsequent clauses—those which have to do with allotments. I can describe these to your Lordships very shortly. They are merely to make the law the same in Scotland as it is in England. At the present time the county council is the authority with regard to allotments, and these clauses transfer those powers to the parish. There is the subsequent power that, in the event of the parish authorities not acting, the county councils may be called upon to step in and do their work.
I apologise to your Lordships for detaining you so long. I shall only call your attention to one more clause—Clause 27. That is the clause which contains the restrictions on the acquisition of land. The clause as it stands does not materially differ from the clause in the English Act, but I have taken it verbatim from Mr. Sinclair's Bill, as I 1498 thought that possibly might be regarded as more appropriate. There are some Scottish terms in it, which, perhaps, make Mr. Sinclair's clause rather preferable to the English clause. Then I would call your Lordship's attention to Subsection 3, which is also taken from Mr. Sinclair's Bill. In the English Act fifty acres or a rent of £50 is the limit below which land cannot be taken from the cultivator. I thought, at the time the English Bill was passing through this House, that fifty acres was a very small limit. For that reason I have taken the words in Mr. Sinclair's Bill—a farm not exceeding 150 acres occupied by a person who has no interest in any other farm—and I have also respected existing leases.
That concludes the description of the main clauses in this Bill which differ from the English Act. I would ask the Government to apply this English law to Scotland. Why for the first time are you to create a difference between English and Scottish small holdings? The conditions in the Lowlands are exactly the same as those in England. They differ very materially from the conditions which prevail in what are known as the crofting counties. When a statesman wishes to make a change in the law, what course does he usually adopt? Does he not endeavour to, make that change as smooth as possible? Does he not endeavour to avoid friction as far as he can? If your Lordships adopt this Bill it seems to me that you will do away with a great deal of friction, and you will make the passing of the Bill much easier. Why, if you wish to pass a Bill, do you insist upon beginning with the most violent legislation you can devise, and more especially when you do not produce one tittle of proof that the Bill is demanded? Surely you might at least give a trial to this less drastic measure before you proceed to the more violent, if you really wish to improve the law relating to small holdings in Scotland. I do not know whether—I am afraid it is too much to hope—the Government are going to look on this Bill with a favourable eye. I hope they will. But, if they will not, at all events I do consider that they are bound to give to this House and to the country, and more especially to Scotland, the reasons why they hold that a Bill which they maintain is well adapted to, 1499 and is at the present time working well in England is not applicable to those parts of Scotland where the conditions are exactly the same. I beg to move.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Camperdown.)
§ *THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (The Earl of CREWE)
My Lords, I think perhaps it will be for the general convenience of the House if I proceed, even at this very early stage, to state the attitude of His Majesty's Government towards this Bill. For some reason or other which is not quite clear to us, the noble Earl who has just sat down regards the discussion of this subject to-day as being exceedingly urgent. He first, I think, placed the notice on the Paper for yesterday, but withdrew it on account of the interesting debate which took place on the subject of the Congo. To-day, however, he has been able to take advantage of the rule which gives precedence to Bills on Tuesdays. For some time past Lord Newton has had a Motion on the Paper dealing with probably the most important and interesting question of foreign affairs which it would be possible for your Lordships to discuss; but, in spite of that fact, the noble Earl, Lord Camperdown, has thought it necessary to proceed with his Bill, and has relegated the noble Lord opposite into an unknown but probably somewhat distant background.
What the motive of urgency in the noble Earl's mind has been I confess I have not been able to understand. I thought for a time that he was oppressed by an undelivered speech, that his vitals were, so to speak, being rent by it, and that serious consequences might ensue if it were not got rid of to-day. But the speech to which we have just listened disposes of that theory. It was, of course, like all the noble Earl's speeches, a very good speech; it was a very moderate speech, and I think, in the main, an extremely good-humoured speech. But there was nothing in it which would not have kept perfectly well for a week if the noble Earl bad been disposed to postpone for so long the discussion of this question. Then it might have been the noble Earl's motive in some way to embarrass His Majesty's Government—a perfectly legitimate party move, but, as a matter of fact, 1500 there is no embarrassment to us in, the matter being brought forward as it is to-day, though, for reasons which I shall shortly state, we do object to the appearance of the Bill at this particular moment.
The noble Earl gave an account of what happened last year. Last session the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack moved the Second Reading of the Government Bill on 13th August. I admit that that was exceedingly late, but the lateness of that date was largely due to the very long discussion which had taken place on the subject upstairs in the other House. Your Lordships, as has been stated very truly, did not reject the measure, and if anybody went about saying you did, he undoubtedly stated what was not the case. The noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition said on 14th August—I venture accordingly to suggest that we should adjourn further consideration of this Bill until we have had before us the English Small Holdings Bill. When that Bill has been discussed and disposed of, I recommend that we should resume the consideration of the Scottish Bill, and that we should add to it clauses dealing with small holdings, mutatis mutandis, on the same lines as those on which the question of small holdings is dealt with in the English Bill. Further, I would propose that we should amend the Scottish Bill by adding to it some Amendments as to crofters which we believe to be necessary.Then, again, at a later stage, after some discussion had taken place, the noble Marquess repeated that expressed intention in words which I need not quote; and finally, on 21st August, the Bill, as the noble Earl has said, was withdrawn. It was withdrawn, as the Prime Minister clearly stated, because at that time of the session, and the attitude of noble Lords opposite being perfectly clear, there was nothing to be gained from any point of view by proceeding with it.
The autumn followed, giving time for reflection on both sides, and for inquiry as to the sentiments of Scotland, the country concerned; and on their responsibility His Majesty's Government announced in the Gracious Speech from the Throne that this Bill would be brought ins again, and brought in again it accordingly has been in another place, and it will be due to arrive here, I imagine, in the course of this week. That fact has been ignored, I may say ostentatiously ignored, by the noble Earl who has introduced 1501 this Bill. The fact that this measure has been again introduced in another place by His Majesty's responsible advisers is one to which he has not thought fit to allude. Therefore I think that we must assume that both he and the other noble Lord, Lord Lovat, who has also got a Scottish Land Bill on the Paper, have purposely ignored that fact.
Now, I take two objections to the discussion of this Bill to-day. The first objection is that it seems to me to be treating my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack, who will have charge of the Government measure, with very scant courtesy, and there is no Member of your Lordships' House who has done less to deserve treatment of that kind, because I know noble Lords opposite would agree that he has shown invariable courtesy to his opponents. The position of Liberal Ministers in this House can never be an easy one. It has been said that this world is a school for saints, and we Liberal Ministers look upon your Lordships as one of the hardest-worked classes in that school. But if this kind of thing is going to take place, it will not only be a school for saints, but a school for martyrs. I regard, with some alarm, the prospect of similar tactics being pursued in regard to the Education Hill or Education Bills. I can conceive at least seven different Education Bills, which might be brought in from different quarters of the House—at least three from the Episcopal Bench, and four or five from other quarters. If it became the practice that independent Members were to bring in Bills of their own in order to anticipate Government measures, all I can say is that the prospect is one which fills me personally with something very like horror.
My second objection is that I think it is impossible to regard this discussion today, if it takes place, as anything but an intentional and deliberate slight to the other House. The other House, representing the opinion of the country by a very large majority, and—whatever noble Lords may think of the opinion of Scotland or its Parliamentary representation—at all events representing the opinion of a vast majority of the Scottish Members, are going again to send up this Bill to your Lordships' House for discussion. When it comes you can deal with it as you please. You may throw it 1502 out on the Second Reading, or you may amend it in the fashion suggested by the noble Marquess opposite. That is a course of which we should naturally not approve, but it is one which your Lordships are perfectly competent to take. Or, if you like, after throwing it out, if you do throw it out, the noble Lord might have brought in his Bill and it could be discussed on its merits. [The Earl of HALSBURY dissented.] I think the noble and learned Earl is right on the technical point, but it would have been perfectly easy to have pursued the course adopted last year. The Bills could have run concurrently, and your Lordships could have selected the one you preferred. But, for some reason or another, which I confess I am unable to understand, all these various courses have been deliberately abandoned, and I shall await with curiosity to know whether the noble Earl is acting as a frondeur in this matter, or whether this proceeding has the approval of noble Lords on the Front Bench opposite. All I can say is that we cannot take any part in what we consider the flouting of the other House in this matter; and consequently it is altogether impossible for us on this side of the House to participate in the discussion of this Bill to-day.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, although I hope this discussion may be prolonged, I desire to rise at once for the purpose of protesting against the manner in which His Majesty's Government are treating, not only my noble friend Lord Camperdown, but this House, in regard to this most important Bill. We certainly were under the impression that His Majesty's Government would welcome an opportunity of discussing alternative proposals of the kind contained in my noble friend's Bill. The noble Earl now tells us that, far from welcoming such a discussion, he complains of us because, by my noble friend's action, we are invited to ignore the Bill of the Government now before the House of Commons. No, my Lords, we do not ignore the Government Bill which is before the House of Commons, because we know what that Bill is. The Bill before the House of Commons is, I believe, almost verbatim et literatim the Bill which came before this House last year—a Bill which we discussed very fully, and which, so far as I am aware, is 1503 entirely unsupported by any sufficient statement of reasons oh the part of the Government.
Why is there, as the noble Earl alleges, any discourtesy to the House of Commons in laying our proposals before this House and before the country? Is it not, on the contrary, most desirable that both Houses of Parliament and the people of this country should be aware of the manner in which, in our view, this question of small holdings in Scotland should be dealt with. Equally unreasonable is, I think, the complaint that my noble friend or those who are acting with him desire to show any discourtesy to the noble and and learned Lord on the Woolsack. Let me say at once that there is no one on these Benches who would be a party to any action which could be reasonably construed as involving discourtesy towards one whom we so highly respect. But, my Lords, I go further. I venture to maintain that in producing this Bill we are doing exactly what the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack last year invited us to do.
Your Lordships will not have forgotten that when the Government Bill was introduced in this House, my noble friend Lord Balfour of Burleigh met it by a reasoned Amendment, according to the terms of which he made it plain that he and others were desirous of extending, so far as was reasonable, the system of small holdings in Scotland, and of introducing necessary amendments in the crofter laws affecting that country. What did the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack say to that Amendment? These are his words—The Amendment begins by stating that this House is 'anxious to encourage the formation of small holdings under reasonable conditions.' I welcome that sentiment; but I should like to know what are reasonable conditions. It is an excellent sentiment, too, that we should 'consider favourably such fair amendment of the Acts relating to the tenure of crofter holdings as experience may have shown to be necessary.' But what has experience shown to be necessary? It deprecates an 'indiscriminate and universal extension of the crofting system.' Very good, but what is the discriminate and partial system which meets with the approval of the noble Lord?That was a challenge from the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack that we should produce our rival schemes for dealing, on the one hand, with the 1504 question of small holdings, and, on the other, with the question of crofters. That challenge has been taken up by my noble friend Lord Camperdown and by another noble Lord from Scotland in regard to crofters, and we are here to invite your Lordships to consider fairly and with an open mind those alternative proposals. We are ready that these proposals should be examined and tested by the very tests which you yourselves desire to apply.
I venture again to recall the speech made by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. The noble and learned Lord told your Lordships that His Majesty's Government had three objects in view—first, to do something to mitigate the evils of overcrowding; secondly, to increase the number of small holdings in Scotland; and, thirdly, to introduce a system which would afford sufficient security of tenure for small holders. We maintain that the proposals embodied in my noble friend's Bill will carry out every one of the objects which His Majesty's Government had in view last year, and which, I presume, they have in view this year, not only as efficaciously as the Government plan, but a great deal more efficaciously, and with a great deal less friction and inconvenience. As to the question of overcrowding, let me say quite frankly that I do not for an instant believe that either the Government Bill or this Bill is likely to make a very marked or immediate impression upon the evils of overcrowding. The gathering of population in our large cities is, in my belief, due to causes other than the system of land tenure which prevails in these islands. That is, I believe, a matter that can be demonstrated, and I do not consider that any legislation of this kind is likely to have any marked effect in mitigating those evils which we should all so gladly see removed.
That has, I believe, been admitted, amongst others, by the President of the Local Government Board, who delivered last autumn, I think, a most interesting speech to a deputation of foreign delegates, in which he pointed out, with unanswerable force, that there was going on, not only in this country but in every civilised country, a process which he described as the urbanisation of the population. I believe that is true, and I believe that urbanisation has little, if anything, to do with the system of land tenure. And I 1505 must say that it does seem to me sometimes that it is not quite ingenuous to represent, as some public speakers do, to audiences in crowded cities, that the whole of the evils from which they suffer and their gloomy and miserable surroundings can be got rid of, as it were, by the touch of a magician's wand, and that it is possible by means of legislation of this kind to open up for the denizens of these crowded cities a vista of employment under almost idyllic conditions in rural districts. It is easy to get cheers for statements of that kind, but I am afraid that many of them are greatly lacking in sincerity.
Then, my Lords, I take the second object—the increase in the number of small holdings. Will anyone tell me that my noble friend's Bill is not every bit as likely to load to an increase in the number of small holdings in Scotland as the Government measure? Why should it not? You have your local authorities in Scotland, and you give them the same powers which you give to the local authorities in England. Why are we to be told that a measure which is to succeed so triumphantly in England is certain to be a failure on the other side of the Border? My noble friend has already called attention to the fact that the noble Earl the President of the Board of Agriculture, in this House and out of it, never opens his lips without giving a jubilant account of the magnificent results produced by that "potent instrument for the regeneration of our rural life" Why is it that that which is a triumphant success on this side of the Tweed is to be a failure on the other side, in regions which, except for the fact that some of them are on one side and some on the other of the Border, do not differ in any particular upon which anybody can lay his finger?
Then as to the question of security, will anyone tell me that the Bill of my noble friend does not provide for those who might become occupiers of small holdings under it security of the most adequate and complete kind? I say, therefore, that it can be shown that my noble friend's Bill really attains all the objects which His Majesty's Government have set themselves to attain by this legislation; and this Bill secures those objects without doing a great many other things which the legislation of His Majesty's Government would certainly not fail to do. 1506 It attains the desired results without setting up an arbitrary distinction between the two sides of the border, and without creating a confusion of tenure the like of which never has been known, I will venture to say, in the agricultural system of any civilised country. Imagine the condition of things under which you might have side by side upon the same estate, in the same parish, one holding of forty-eight acres held under the Irish system, and another holding of fifty-two acres held under the system which at present prevails in Scotland. Could anything be more unsatisfactory or more calculated to produce friction and inconvenience?
Moreover, my noble friend's Bill avoids putting on Scottish local authorities the outrageous affront that is involved in the Bill of the Government. That in itself seems to me to be a great recommendation. I say nothing of the fact that my noble friend's Bill does not inflict on the landowners of Scotland, I can use no gentler word, the intolerable wrong of compelling them to remain subject to many of the most onerous liabilities attaching to the ownership of property, and at the same time divesting them entirely of that control—I use the word advisedly—which, to my mind, is essential to ownership as we understand it in this country. Is it not also true to say that while my noble friend's Bill gives security of tenure, it does not strike the same fatal blow at the system of Scottish agriculture under which such brilliant results have been achieved for the agricultural community of that part of the United Kingdom?
If we are to have any more speeches from the Front Bench opposite, I should like to be told by some responsible Minister whether there is any country in which there is to be found the kind of system of land tenure which would unquestionably come into existence if the Bill of the Government were to become law. We can prove all these things, and there is another thing we can prove—namely, that the agricultural community of Scotland is solid in its preference for the proposal of my noble friend rather than the Government's proposal. Up to the present time we have hardly heard a single argument in support of the Government proposal as against that which is now before your 1507 Lordships. We are constantly told that there is a difference between Scotland and England, and that regard must be had to the peculiar conditions of Scotland. Well, my Lords, let me say this, that I believe if there is a difference between the Scottish agricultural system and the agricultural system which we know south of the Border, it is that the Scottish agricultural system is less fitted for the kind of legislation which His Majesty's Government propose even than our system in England. I should like to read to your Lordships one sentence from an essay contained in a very useful little publication on land tenures issued under the auspices of the Cobden Club. The author is Mr. Hoskins, who, I believe, was a very well-known writer on agricultural questions. He wrote—In Scotland, owing to the diffusion of education and the greater powers enjoyed by the owners of entailed estates, a more commercial and business-like independence in the general economy of land and farm management had grown up than south of the Border.Yet it is in that part of the United Kingdom, where you have the more commercial and businesslike system in existence, that you are going to introduce these preposterous and new fangled doctrines.
The only other argument I have heard is that the Scottish county councils are too much of a landlord complexion. That, again, I believe to be a very gross misrepresentation. My attention was attracted by a very interesting statement which appeared not long ago in the Scotsman, a journal which is distinguished not only by great ability but by the caution of its utterances. The writer was able to say that in only one county—the county of Roxburgh—has the landed interest the semblance of a preponderance, and that preponderance is so slight that the result of the forthcoming election in a single electoral division may finish it. In Aberdeen landlords and factors do not muster more than one-third of the county council; in Perth, the landlord interest is represented by twenty-five out of sixty; in Forfarshire by eleven out of fifty; in Ayrshire by twenty-five out of fifty-seven, and so on. The statements that follow are quite sufficient to demolish that contention. I venture to think that we have heard nothing in this House or out of it, to show that the Scottish county councils are not perfectly well 1508 fitted to undertake the important duties which this Bill would place in their hands; and believing that this Bill, which, after all, follows closely upon the lines which His Majesty's Government have laid down for their own guidance, is as applicable to the circumstances of Scotland as to those of England, we shall give it our support, and I hope, whatever happens, my noble friend behind me, will take the sense of the House on the Second Reading of the measure.
My Lords, I daresay a good many of your Lordships have undergone a wry sensible disappointment this afternoon. I came down to the House with a mind in an entirely receptive condition, anxious to hear the criticism of His Majesty's Government on their own Bill when it was presented by a private Member. I was anxious to know what it was that prevented the full bounty and affluence of beneficence which we are so frequently told is embodied in the English Bill from being extended to the barren regions of Scotland. Instead of this, we have been treated to something very widely different. Let me at once extend to my noble relative opposite my cordial sympathy in the extreme difficulty of the position in which he is plated. He spoke of the martyrdom which he and other Ministers underwent, and which I think they endure with tolerable complacency—a martyrdom which I as a Liberal Minister have undergone in my term, and which I never found of a character likely to terminate my existence. But I do know that the position is difficult when you have to get up from the Ministerial Bench and repudiate a Bill which I you brought in yourselves last year for England, and which is producing such immeasurably beneficial results. My noble friend got out of his difficulty with the airy grace of a butterfly, but I may say of a butterfly with a pin through it. He attempted to soar over the difficulties which presented them selves, but he could not be unaware that there was perforating him at the moment the fatal embarrassment that the, measure he was opposing was a measure of the Government of which he is a Member. He rode off on two considerations. He said there was a total want of courtesy in the action of my noble friend, 1509 in the first place to my noble and, if I may call him so, Macedonian friend, Lord Newton, who had wished to bring before your Lordships a question of peculiar delicacy and difficulty at 4.30, and not later, this afternoon. Whether the Government are pining to deliver themselves on that question at the earliest possible moment I will not pause to inquire, though I do not see any particular enthusiasm on the part of my noble friend the Under-Secretary. I know if I were Foreign Minister I should be glad rather of the delay than of any undue precipitation of that discussion.
Then there was a discourtesy to the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, which everybody has repudiated, and which my noble friend has entirely failed to explain. I am quite certain that if he had previously explained in detail to my noble friend that there was a substantial want of courtesy in the course he was going to pursue, my noble friend would have taken it into consideration. Then we were told that there has been a total want of courtesy towards the House of Commons. That, of course, is a very grave matter, when the two Houses come into collision, and though we know that this House last session passed submissively and meekly some fifty or sixty measures that were sent up to it by the House of Commons, it would be a grave matter, even after that, if we should show any want of courtesy to the House which represents directly the people of this country.
But is there any want of courtesy towards the House of Commons in our bringing forward a Bill with regard to Scottish small holdings on this date? Is there any suspicion of want of courtesy on the part of the House of Commons towards this House in pursuing with precipitation a Bill which the House of Lords deliberately declined to entertain last session for good reasons given at the time? Why, at this moment there is a Bill being driven through the House of Commons with the precipitation with which a football is urged through the air by the lusty leg of a half-back, and with very much the same contemptuous action—a Bill which, urged towards the House of Lords, will come spinning through the lobby, we are told, before next week is over. I cannot conceive what want of courtesy 1510 there is in this House pursuing the same course as the other House is pursuing, or why, while the other House is discussing with considerable precipitation a measure which the majority in this House does not favour, we should not show an alternative policy.
My noble friend made great play, sportive play, with the question of urgency. What is this question of urgency? Would it have given the noble Lord who introduced this Bill an indigestion if he had deferred his speech for ten days—that is the argument addressed gravely and seriously by a responsible Minister to your Lordships. The question of urgency is an essential part of the whole matter. While the Bill that we declined to pass into law in its form of last year is being hurried through the House of Commons precipitately in precisely the same form, to be presented to your Lordships next week, it is, I consider, of vital importance that those who took the responsibility of criticising and attacking the measure last year should show what their alternative policy was at the earliest possible moment. Then my noble friend says there was discourtesy to the Government. Oh, heavens—
I think when I develop my argument he will see that he did. I was proceeding to adjure the heavens, and to say—Oh, heavens, who are we to show discourtesy to the Government? Who could dream it, who could surmise it, who could think it, far less who could utter it—that we should show discourtesy to the Government? We show discourtesy to His Majesty's Government because a private Member introduces a Bill on a subject with which His Majesty's Government is dealing. I know very well, and I regret it from the bottom of my heart, that the initiative and the rights of private Members in both Houses as regards legislation have practically disappeared. But this is the first time I have authoritatively heard it stated by a Minister of the Crown that it is an absolute impertinence for a man who has occupied a responsible position in this House for more years, I daresay, than he cares to reckon, for a man 1511 who is respected throughout Scotland, both by the agricultural community and by those who know his hard work on the county council and other local bodies, to introduce a Bill dealing with a measure which is so vitally important to the interests of Scotland. I, on the contrary, applaud the effort of my noble friend. Whether the Government preserve their conspiracy of silence or not—and the conspiracy of silence on this subject is no new thing, because it was pretty closely preserved last year—I trust my noble friend will not hesitate to ask your Lordships to give this Bill a Second Reading to-night. I will tell him why I wish it.
I prefer his Bill to the proposal of Captain Sinclair for three or four distinct reasons. In the first place, it does not introduce that system of dual ownership which has been such an unmitigated curse to Ireland, and which there is no shadow of pretence for introducing into Scotland; in the next place, it does not introduce into Scotland that system of Land Courts and Land Commissionerships of which in Ireland there has been so gruesome an experience; in the third place, it does not attempt to inflict that gross disparagement on the Scottish county councils which Captain Sinclair has attempted to inflict by his Bill. That disparagement is as gratuitous as it is unjust. I appeal to the county councillors who sit on the Government bench whether they can deny the fact that that disparagement is ungrounded and superfluous. I should be prepared at the proper time to argue that the Scottish county councils—and I hope the English members of county councils will hear me in patience—are ahead of the English county councils in enterprise and in the work which they have done. That is an invidious topic to touch on, but at any rate I will contend to the death that they yield in no way—neither in work, capacity, nor intelligence—to the English county councils.
I have given three reasons; I will now give my fourth. It is that the Bill of my noble friend, or the principal provisions which it embodies, has not had the advantage possessed by Captain Sinclair's Bill of being condemned by every competent authority throughout Scotland. Those are the grounds on which I propose to give my support to Lord Camper down's Bill. There is another Bill coming 1512 up on which I shall have something to say. Of that Bill it will be time enough to speak when it comes, but I do not think it will be necessary for your Lordships who expressed your opinion at length on that Bill last year to utter any further expressions of opinion upon it until you hear some tangible arguments urged against those which you then brought forward.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord LOREBURN)
My Lords, this discussion, although it has not been a long one, has been a good humoured discussion, and I shall say nothing that will in any way jar. But I cannot help thinking that there has been a sense in the House during the whole discussion that what we have been engaged in is in substance a preliminary cantor to the serious and businesslike discussion which must take place on the whole subject.
I was rather surprised that the noble Marquess seemed to attribute to me the substantial responsibility for the introduction of the measure now before the House, on the ground that it was an answer to a challenge which I had given. I did say last year that I should very much like to know what the alternative to the proposals of His Majesty's Government was, and I do not think that my noble friend, Lord Crewe, or anyone else, has complained in the least that that alternative has taken the shape of this Bill and the Bill brought forward by Lord Lovat. On the contrary, we are very glad to see these Bills, and we shall have something to say in regard to their principles, which we shall compare with the principles contained in our own Bill, when the proper times comes. We do not complain of these Bills being brought forward. The noble Earl, Lord Rosebery, was under a misapprehension if he, thought that we, in the least, attempted to complain on that account.
The question is one of time. I think that an unfortunate time has been selected by the noble Earl for bringing forward his Bill. I wish the question of small holdings in Scotland to be practically dealt with as a matter of business, and not as a matter of mutual, I will not say recrimination, for there has been none, but mutual criticism. I want to have it dealt with as a matter of business, and I am glad to observe that your Lordships also 1513 desire that the subject should be dealt with in this House in a business like way. The question of land tenure, always a most intricate and difficult one, is complicated in the present case by the existence of the crofter system and the analogy of the English Act of last year. Many questions arise out of it—the position of county councils, dual ownership, and others. Everyone who has studied this subject will admit that it must have close and careful consideration. Are we to have that kind of discussion on two Bills, in the same Session, or only upon one? The House would not deal with the whole subject more than once, and it is surely reasonable that the Government should prefer that the discussion should take place upon their own Bill.
We were the original authors of proposals dealing with the subject, both this year and last year. I make no complaint of it, but since 1892 none of your Lordships have proposed a measure of this kind to Parliament. We did propose a Bill last year but it was found impossible, through want of time, to proceed with it, and when we dropped it the noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition expressed regret that it was dropped, evidently anticipating its re-introduction this year. Knowing that next week we propose to proceed with our measure in this House, the noble Earl has thought fit to bring in his Bill, and I think it is reasonable that we should prefer to take the discussion on the Government Bill.
Then the noble Earl's Bill is substantially the same as the Bill which was thrown out in the House of Commons a few days ago. This Bill was introduced in the House of Commons, and the Conservative Party, quite within their right, claimed to have an immediate division. It was not the Government who forced a division; the House of Commons, as a whole, consented, and after a debate which lasted twenty or twenty-five minutes—and I am afraid that does not look as if the opinion of Scottish Members in the House of Commons was that which the noble Earl thinks is the opinion of Scotland—it was thrown out by something like four to one. The Bill, therefore, could not, in conformity with the procedure of the other House, be again considered this year. The noble Earl's Bill, if sent down to the House of Commons, could not be even introduced this year, because it is 1514 substantially the same as the one which has been already rejected. That is a very good reason for taking the discussion on this subject on the Bill of the Government. I think it is a matter of good taste, if I may be permitted to say so, and of good feeling towards the authors of the Bill, and it is a matter of necessity if you want any legislation to be passed, that you should wait until that Bill comes up from another place.
I am sorely tempted to enter upon some of the questions which have been adumbrated rather than discussed. I should like to point out some considerations with regard, for example, to the question of dual ownership, but, though sorely tempted, I will refrain from doing so. In the course of a week, or certainly not more than ten days, when I am again burdened with the arduous duty of bringing in the Government Bill, I hope to enter fully upon the whole subject. Then will be the right time for a discussion, and I have limited my observations on the present occasion to the question of expediency and business considerations, hoping that at the proper time we shall have a business-like discussion on the subject matter of the Bill.
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
My Lords, I can truly say I did not come down to the House this evening with any intention of making a speech, because I understood from a communication yesterday that noble Lords opposite were going to decline to take part in the discussion of this Bill. I should not have risen now if it had not been for some observations made by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. I cordially agree with him that this has been a good-humoured discussion, and I have no intention of introducing any element of discord. But when the noble and learned Lord said that the Government make no complaint of the introduction of this Bill, I must say I listened to that remark with some surprise, because I sat through the speech of the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council, and took that speech as one long-drawn-out complaint of the introduction of the Bill, and of the putting of it down for Second Reading to-day.
§ * THE EARL OF CREWE
I beg the noble Lord's pardon. The second half of 1515 his statement is perfectly correct. I complained of its being put down to-day, but I in no way complained of its being introduced.
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
What is the use of introducing a Bill if it is not to be discussed? If the Bill were not proceeded with, would not the noble Lord and his friends have gone about the country saying the Bill was never really intended; that it was put down for show, and that there was never any intention of persevering with it? I can assure the House that my noble friend, Lord Camperdown, intends this Bill as a serious contribution to legislation. It is the embodiment of what we forecasted last year. As the noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition said, we were challenged to put down, in the actual form of a Bill, the exact proposals we suggested. We have had the autumn to think it over, we have watched the agitation which noble Lords opposite tried to raise throughout Scotland in regard to their Bill, and all I can tell them is that, whatever they may think of it, the agitation has fallen as flat as it is possible for any agitation to fall. I venture to say that if there has been any change of opinion it has been rather in favour of this House than against it. Those who are interested in this question are more convinced than they were before that we mean what we say.
The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack says we can have a business-like discussion next week. But I would point out that my noble friend's Bill and the Government Bill are very different, and it would be out of order to discuss the Bill which is on the Paper for Second Reading to-day on the proposals of the Government next week. I must say I think it is extremely reasonable that we should have endeavoured to find out what are the objections of the Government to our proposals, and this we could only do by asking them to take part in this discussion. I join in the appeal to the noble Earl in charge of this Bill not to be dissuaded from going on with the Second Reading today. It may be a wise thing to postpone the further stage of it until we have had the discussion on the Second Reading of the Government Bill. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack says it is not practical business 1516 to send this Bill or anything just like it down to the other House in the circumstances of what passed there forty-eight hours ago. I can assure the House that the two Bills were prepared independently for different committees. The noble Earl has not collaborated with those who prepared that Bill, and, though the two measures are on general lines similar, I think there is sufficient difference between them to make it quite reasonable to send down this Bill, when discussed and amended, to the other House of Parliament.
We are to have, as I understand, a business-like discussion next week. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack has pledged himself to go fully into the considerations which have induced the Government to propose their measure. May I venture to make an appeal to him? I am not going to discuss the question, but I appeal to him to tell us that which we have never been told—namely, what are the reasons for the introduction of a Land Court into Scotland, and what is the evidence upon which the Government have arrived at the conclusion that the people of Scotland desire it, and the circumstances of agriculture call for it. There is no basis for it in the crofter legislation. The crofter legislation of 1886 proceeded on the Report of a Commission which made a most careful inquiry into the circumstances of those districts, and they reported—in almost every page of their Report you will find it—that the grievances of the crofter were that they had a certain hereditary tenure, that many of them and their predecessors in title had done the improvements. Those are the circumstances that differentiate the crofter district from the other districts of Scotland, and the appeal I make to the noble and learned Lord is to tell us who has asked for this legislation, and upon what inquiry and what evidence it has been evolved. Can he say that there is any real necessity and demand for this revolution in land tenure in Scotland?
It has been said before to-night that the whole of the expert agricultural opinion in Scotland is against the Government's proposal. I believe that to be so. I do not myself know a single man of any standing engaged in agriculture who has written or spoken in favour of the Government Bill. I suppose they would 1517 not take the evidence of a landlord or a factor, but, quite irrespective of party, I do not believe there is a man who is known in the agricultural world in Scotland who has put a reasoned opinion forward in favour of the Government Bill as it stands, and I think we are entitled to ask for the evidence upon which it is founded and which has convinced some Members, at any rate, of the Government that this revolution is demanded.
I pledge myself, and I have no doubt others will do the same, that if anything which can be called evidence or argument in favour of the particular provisions in the Government Bill is brought forward, we will give it dispassionate consideration. But hitherto there has never been a case in which the advocacy of a particular proposal has been left so entirely to one or two members of the Government; and, anxious as I am to see this matter settled, I venture to say it will require a great deal more than has yet been brought forward to convince us that the circumstances of Scotland or the interests of agriculture require the revolution suggested in the Government Bill. I sincerely hope that the noble Lord below the gangway will proceed with the Second Reading of his Bill to-day.
§ LORD COURTNEY OF PENWITH
My Lords, I do not rise for the purpose of speaking on the merits or demerits of the Bill now before your Lordships, still less do I wish to speak on the Bill which maybe expected in a few days from another place. But I should like to put before your Lordships, very briefly, some considerations which lead me to think that the course you are now invited to enter upon is not conducive to the true dignity and honour of your Lordships' House. Although I am one of the latest comers to this Assembly, I hope I am as jealous of its honour and dignity as any of its Members.
My Lords, what is the situation? In the Speech from the Throne we were graciously informed that a Bill would be brought in dealing with the land laws of Scotland, and a Bill has been brought in by His Majesty's Government in another place. We are not entitled to know, and
§ it does not, I think, become us to know, in what form that Bill will appear before us. It may be absolutely the same as the Bill that came up last year, but, even if it comes up without the change of a syllable, it will come before us for discussion, for which we shall have ample time. The point is whether we should discuss the question of land Jaw reform in Scotland on the Bill introduced by the noble Earl opposite, or whether, as a matter of courtesy, we should wait till the Bill comes up from another place.
§ No one, I think, really complains that the noble Earl has brought in an independent Bill on this subject. It is quite right that any Member of your Lordships' House, having a desire to submit a scheme of land law reform in Scotland, should submit it to your Lordships; but the question is whether it should not, as a matter of courtesy between the two Houses, wait until the introduction of the Bill now being discussed elsewhere, and whether the two Bills should not be brought before us together. Then is the proper time to enter into a consideration of the merits or demerits of either or both. I have known, in another place, of two Bills being brought in dealing with the same subject and being referred to a Select Committee, one Bill issuing out of the consideration of the two. I do not mean to suggest that that would be a proper procedure here, but it would be at least a becoming procedure.
§ To vote on the merits of this Bill now would be to take an action that would not be conducive to the good reputation of your Lordships' House. It would be premature today to give a decision on the issue raised, and I therefore ask your Lordships to adjourn the debate, and next week the two Bills could be placed on the Paper together and the whole subject considered in its entirety. It would be grossly improper to-day to discuss the contents of a Bill which is not before us, and I therefore move that the debate be now adjourned.
§ Moved, "That the debate be now adjourned."—(Lord Courtney of Penwith.)
§ On Question, their Lordships divided:—Contents, 32; Not-contents, 137.1519
|Loreburn, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Beauchamp, E. (L. Steward.)||Chichester, E.|
|Carrington, E.||Craven, E.|
|Crewe, E. (L. President.)||Chesterfield, E.||Portsmouth, E.|
|Althorp, V. (L. Chamberlain.)||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)||Joicey, L.|
|Eversley, L.||Reay, L.|
|Acton, L.||Fitzmaurice, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Armitstead, L.||Glantawe, L.||Swaythling, L.|
|Brassey, L.||Granard, L. (E. Granard.) [Teller.]||Tweedmouth, L.|
|Colebrooke, L. [Teller.]||Weardale, L.|
|Coleridge, L.||Hamilton of Dalzell, L.||Welby, L.|
|Courtney of Penwith, L.||Haversham, L.||Winterstoke, L.|
|Argyll, D.||Verulam, E.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Bedford, D.||Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Inverclyde, L.|
|Brandon, D. (D. Hamilton)||Westmoreland, E.||Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)|
|Marlborough, D.||Wharncliffe, E.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Richmond and Gordon, D.||Wicklow, E.||Lamington, L.|
|Rutland, D.||Lawrence, L.|
|Somerset, D.||Churchill, V. [Teller.]||Leconfield, L.|
|Wellington, D.||Falkland, V.||Leith of Fyvie, L.|
|Falmouth, V.||Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)|
|Ailesbury, M.||Gough, V.||Middleton, L.|
|Bath, M.||Hardinge, V.||Monk Bretton, L.|
|Bristol, M.||Hill, V.||Monson, L.|
|Camden, M.||Hood, V.||Mostyn, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Knutsford, V.||Mount Stephen, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Llandaff, V.||Muncaster, L.|
|Zetland, M.||St. Aldwyn, V.||Newlands, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Abinger, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Aldenham, L||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Carnwath, E.||Alington, L.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.|
|Cathcart, E.||Allerton, L.||Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)|
|Cawdor, E.||Ashbourne, L.||Rathmore, L.|
|Clarendon, E.||Ashcombe, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Cranbrook, E.||Balfour, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Dartrey, E.||Barnard, L.||Ribblesdale, L.|
|Drogheda, E.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Belper, L.||Robertson, L.|
|Feversham, E.||Blythswood, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Graham, E. (D. Montrose.)||Bolton, L.||Rothschild, L.|
|Haddington, E.||Borthwick, L.||St. Levan, L.|
|Halsbury, E.||Bowes, L. (E. Strathmore and Kinghorn.)||Saltoun, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Sanderson, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)||Sandys, L.|
|Lauderdale, E.||Cheylesmore, L.||Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)|
|Lichfield, E.||Clinton, L.||Sinclair, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Collins, L.||Stanmore, L.|
|Lytton, E.||Cottesloe, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Malmesbury, E.||De Mauley, L.|
|Mansfield, E.||Dormer, L.||Templemore, L.|
|Mayo, E.||Ellenborough L.||Tennyson, L.|
|Morton, E.||Estcourt, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Northbrook, E.||Faber, L.||Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)|
|Northesk, E.||Farquhar, L.||Vaux of Harrowden, L.|
|Plymouth, E.||Fermanagh, L. (E. Erne.)||Vivian, L.|
|Scarbrough, E.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)||Wenlock, L.|
|Shaftesbury, E.||Hastings, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Hindlip, L.|
§ Resolved in the negative: Then the original Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.