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Selection Of Members For Ser- Vice On Private Bill Committees —Equal Treatment

Volume 90: debated on Thursday 7 March 1901

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said the Instruction which he proposed to move spoke for itself, its intention being that equal treatment should be given to all Member's of the House alike, and he ventured to think that the present was a most opportune time for moving such an Instruction, having regard to the fact that this was a new Parliament. A practice had of late grown up to exempt barristers and others who did not care to serve on Select Committees. No such intention existed when such Committees were originally set up, and the practice should no longer be permitted. In the minds of most lion. Members, serving upon these Committees was nothing less than drudgery, and in many cases only performed from a high sense of public duty. A Return which was published in connection with this subject showed that half the Members of the House never served on a single Committee throughout the last Parliament, the result being that half the Members of the House had done the whole of this unpleasant work.* A large number of those who did none of this work were barristers, who claimed exemption, and what lie desired to put a stop to was any favour of this kind being granted to a particular class. Of all people in the world, of all Members of the House, barristers were least entitled to this privilege. They were specially fitted, from their legal training, to sit upon Committees, where the duties consisted of hearing and sifting evidence, and they were men who made the least sacrifices and had most to gain of any class of men who entered Parliament.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee that, in selecting Members to serve on Committees for the consideration of Private Bills, exemption shall not be granted to any Member on the ground of

*The Returns showing the service of Members on Private Bill and Select Committees are included in the Appendices to the last volume of Debates each session.

his private profession, business, or avocation, and all Members shall receive equal treatment and consideration."— ( Mr. D. A. Thomas.)

as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, objected that the motion, if carried, would limit the scope and would take away all discretion from the Committee of Selection as to the choice of Members who should serve. If it were carried, the Selection Committee would be no longer able to select: they would have no choice; they would have merely to establish a sort of rota, every Member in turn having to serve, no matter how unsuitable he might be for the particular Committee for which he was selected. The existing instructions to the Committee were sufficient, in his opinion, and in the opinion of his predecessor, Sir John Mowbray. Therefore he thought the motion should not be accepted, but that the hands of the Committee of Selection should be left free. Neither practising barristers nor any other class had a right to be exempted on the ground of their profession or avocation, but on the other hand it was not right to say that no exemption should be given to any person on any ground. Every application for exemption should be considered on its merits, and the Committee should deal with each case as it came before them. All Members were bound to serve on Committees when called upon, and they ought not to be relieved of their duty except under special circumstances. The power in the hands of the Committee of Selection was a very great power; it was exercised with the greatest care. The way in which the Committee did its work was advantageous to Parliament, and, in. his opinion, it would be undesirable to reconsider the rules. Admittedly committee work was much more arduous than in former times, owing to so many more measures coming before it, and it was as much the duty of Members to serve on Committees as to attend the sittings of the House. He was glad to say that


Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)Archdale, Edward MervynBarlow, John Emmott
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., StroudBagot, Capt. Josceline FitlRoyBayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.Bam, Colonel James RobertBeaumont, Wentworth C. B.
Ambrose, RobertBalcarres, LordBell, Richard

there were encouraging signs that Members were becoming more alive to this duty, and this session fewer Members had endeavoured to raise objections than had been the case for a long time past. On the other hand, he was pleased to say he had had many applications from, young embers eager to serve on Committees, and those applications would be encouraged. Under those circumstances lie urged the House to leave well alone and not to accept the motion of the hon. Member.

did not desire to occupy the attention of the House for more than a momont, but as admittedly there were many Members of me House who never sat on Committees, he thought the motion ought to be supported.

supported the Instruction on the ground of the equality of all Members of the House so far as their duty to their constituencies was concerned. He was glad to learn that many new Members were, as had been suggested, desirous of serving on these Committees, but many new Members not in the position of distinguished lawyers, bankers, or merchants— Members representing Labour constituencies—devoted their time and did their duty as members of these Committees, whilst others were allowed to shirk their duty by obtaining exemptions. This was a matter which affected the whole of the Members of the House, and it was monstrous that one set of Members should receive exemptions which were not extended to all. The fact of the matter was that a certain number of Members wished to have the honour of sitting in the House, but shirked doing their fair share of this arduous and distasteful work. He cordially supported the Instruction.

Question put.

The House divided:—Aves, 130; Noes, 282. (Division List No. 41.)

Boland, JohnHayden. John PatrickPartington, Oswald
Boyle, JamesHayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-Pemberton, John S. G.
Brand, Hon. Arthur G.Helme, Norval WatsonPirie, Duncan V.
Brigg, JohnHermon-Hodge, Robert T.Power, Patrick Joseph
Bullard, Sir HarryHobhouse, C. E. H.(Bristol, E.)Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Burns, JohnHope, J. F. (Shef'ld, BrightsideRasch, Major Frederic. Carne
Burt, ThomasHorniman, Frederick JohnReddy, M.
Caine, William SprostonHutton, Alfred E. (Morley)Redmond, William (Clare)
Caldwell, JamesJoicey, Sir JamesRenshaw, Charles Bine
Cameron, RobertJones, William (Carnarvonsh.)Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Carew, James LaurenceJoyce, MichaelRussell, T. W.
Channing, Francis AllstonKearley, Hudson E.Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Churchill, Winston SpencerKennedy, Patrick JamesSandys, Lt.-Col Thos. Myles
Cogan, Denis J.Kenyon-Slaney, Col.W.(Salop)Schwann, Charles E.
Colville, JohnLabouchere, HenrySkewes-Cox, Thomas
Condon, Thomas JosephLambert, GeorgeSmith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)Layland-Barratt, FrancisSmith, Samuel (Flint)
Delany, WilliamLeng, Sir JohnSoares, Ernest J.
Dickinson. Robert EdmondLloyd-George, DavidStevenson, Francis S.
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)Lough, ThomasStrachey, Edward
Duffy, William J.Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)Sullivan, Donal
Elibank, Master ofLucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Fardell, Sir T. GeorgeMacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.Thomas, F. Freeman-(Has tings
Farrell, James PatrickMather, WilliamThompson, F.W.(York, W.R.)
Flower, ErnestMolesworth, Sir LewisWarner, Thos. Conrtenay T.
Flynn, James ChristopherMoon, Edward Robert PacyWeir, James Calloway
Furness, Sir ChristopherMorton, E. J. C. (Devonport)White, George (Norfolk)
Garfit, WilliamMurphy, J.White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Goddard, Daniel FordNewnes, Sir GeorgeWilliams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rH'mltsNorton, Capt. Cecil WilliamWilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid)
Grant, CorrieNussey, Thomas WillansWilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)
Gray, Ernest (West Ham)O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Greville, Hon. RonaldO'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)Wodehouse, Hn. Armine (Essex
Gurdon, Sir William BramptonO'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)Wodehouse, Sir J.T (Huddersfd
Guthrie, Walter MurrayO'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Hammond, JohnO'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)Yoxall, James Henry
Hardie, J. Keir (Mcrthyr TydvilO'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Harmsworth, R. LeicesterO'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Harrington, TimothyO'Kelly. J. (Roscommon, N.)Mr. D. A. Thomas and Mr. Fenwick.
Harwood, GeorgeO'Mara, James
Haslem, Sir Alfred S.O'Shaughnessy, P. J.


Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex)Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)
Agg-Gardner, James TynteBowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)Cubitt, Hon. Henry
Agnew, Sir Andrew NoelBrassey, AlbertDalrymple, Sir Charles
Aird, Sir JohnBroadhurst, HenryDavies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan
Allsopp, Hon. GeorgeBrodrick, Rt Hon. St. JohnDewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)
Anson, Sir William ReynellBrookfield, Colonel MontaguDewar, T.R (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo.
Anstruther, H. T.Brunner, Sir John TomlinsonDickson-Povnder, Sir John P.
Arkwright John StanhopeBurdett-Coutts. W.Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Arrol, Sir WilliamCampbell, John (Armagh, S.)Dillon, John
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir EllisCarble, William WalterDimsdale, Sir J. Cockfield
Atherley-Jones, L.Causton, Richard KnightDouglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. JohnCavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Bailey, James (Walworth)Cavendish, V. C.W.(Derbysh)Duncan, James H.
Baird, John George AlexanderCawley, FrederickDurning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Baldwin, AlfredCecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)Dyke. Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'rChamberlain, J Austen (Worc'rEdwards, Frank
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (LeedsChaplin, lit. Hon. HenryElliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Balfour, Maj. K.R. (Christch.)Charrington, SpencerEllis, John Edward
Banes, Major George EdwardClare, Octavius LeighEmmott, Alfred
Barry, Sir Francis T (WindsorCoddington, Sir WilliamFaber, George Denison
Bartley, George C. T.Coghill, Douglas HarryFarquharson, Dr. Robert,
Bathurst, Hn. Allen BenjaminCohen, Benjamin LouisFellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (BristolColomb,Sir John Charles ReadyFerguson, R. C. Mun'ro (Leith)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.Colston, Chas. Edw. H. AtholeFergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r
Bigwood, JamesCorbett, T. L. (Down, North)Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Bill, CharlesCox, Irwin Edw. BainbridgeFinch, George H.
Black, Alexander WilliamCraig, Robert HunterFinlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Blake, EdwardCranborne, ViscountFisher, William Hayes
Blundell, Colonel HenryCripps, Charles AlfredFison, Frederick William
Boulnois, EdmundCrombie, John WilliamFitzroy, Hon. E. Algernon

Flannery, Sir FortescueLucas, Reginald J. (PortsmouthRadcliffe, R. E.
Fletcher, Sir HenryMacartney, Rt. Hn W.G. EllisonRedmond, John E.(Waterford)
Forster, Henry WilliamMacdona, John dimmingReid, James (Greenock)
Foster, Sir M. (London Univ.Maconochie, A. W.Rentoul, James Alexander
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryM'Ciae, GeorgeRidley, Hn. M.W. (Stalybridge
Gibbs, Hn A.G.H. (CityofLond.M'Dermott, PatrickRatcme, Rt. Hn. Chas Thomson
Gibbs, Hn.Vicary (St. Albans)M'Kenna, ReginaldRobertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin&NaimM'Killop, James (StirlingshireRoche, John
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)M'Killop, W. (Sligo, N.)Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-M'Laren, Charles BanjaminRollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S. Edm'dsMajendie, James A. H.Ropner, Colonel Robert
Gretton, JohnMalcolm, IanRoyds, Clement Molyneux
Griffith, Ellis J.Manners, Lord CecilSadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Groves, James GrimbleMarkham, Arthur BasilSamuel, Harry S. (Limehouse
Hain, EdwardMartin, Richard BiddulphSamuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Hambro, Charles EricMaxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E.(Wig'nSassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Hamilton, Rt Hn. Lord G (M'd'xMaxwell, W. J.H. (Dumfriessh.Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J
Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nd'rryMellor, Rt. Hon. J. WilliamSeely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamMiddlemore, John T.Seton-Karr, Henry
Hare, Thomas LeighMilner. Rt. Hon. Sir Eredk. G.Sharpe, William Edward T.
Harris, E. Leverton (Tynem'thMilton, ViscountShaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Haslett, Sir James HornerMontagu, G. (Huntingdon)Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew
Hay, Hon. Claude GeorgeMontagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants)Simeon, Sir Barrington
Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)Mooney, John J.Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N.W.Moore, William (Antrim, N.)Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Heaton, John HennikerMorgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Helder, AugustusMorgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)Spencer, RtHnC. R. (Northants
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.Morley, Charles (Breconshire)Stanley, Hn.Arthur (Ormskirk
Hickman, Sir AlfredMorley, Rt. Hon. J. (Moutrose)Stanley,Edw.James (Somerset
Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead)Morrell, George HerbertStanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Hobhouse, Hy. (Somerset, E.)Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.Stone, Sir Benjamin
Horner, Frederick WilliamMorton, A. H. A. (Deptfo'rd)Stroyan, John
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. HenryMount, William ArthurTalbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Hoult, JosephMowbray, Sir Robert Grav C.Talbot, RtHn.J.G.(Oxt'd Univ.)
Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (ButeThorburn, Sir Walter
Hozier, Hon. James Henry CecilMurray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)Thornton, Percy M.
Hudson, George BickerstethMyers, William HenryTollemache, Henry James
Hughes, Col. EdwinNannetti, Joseph P.Tomkinson, James
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. L.Newdigate, Francis AlexanderTomhnson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Jeffreys, Arthur FrederickNicholson, William GrahamTrevelyan, Charles Philips
Johnston, William (Belfast)Nicol, Donald NinianTritton, Charles Eruest
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.Tufnell, Colonel Edward
Jones, David B. (Swansea)Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)Tully, Jasper
Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)Valentia, Viscount
Kimber, HenryO'Malley, WilliamVincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Kinloch, Sir J. George SmythOrr-Ewing, Charles LindsayWallace, Robert
Kitson, Sir JamesPalmer, Sir C M. (Durham)Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.
Knowles, LeesPalmer, George W. (Reading)Wanklyn, James Leslie
Law, Andrew BonarPalmer, Walter (Salisbury)Warr, Augustus Frideriek
Lawrence, William E.Parkes, EbenezerWason, E. (Clackmannan)
Lawson, John GrantPaulton, James MellorWason, John C. (Orkney)
Lecky, Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H.Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E (Taunton
Lee, Capt A. H. (Hants, Fareh'mPercy, EarlWharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)Perks, Robert WilliamWhitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Legge, Col. Hon. HeneagePilkington, RichardWilliams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Leigh-Bennett, Henry CurriePlatt-Higgins, FrederickWilliams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm
Leighton, StanleyPlummer, Walter R.Wills, Sir Frederick
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.Powell, Sir FrancesWilson, John (Glasgow)
Loder, Gerald Walter ErskinePretyman, Ernest GeorgeWilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)Price, Robert JohnWrightson, Sir Thomas
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, SPurvis, RobertWyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lonsdale, John BrownleePym, C. GuyYoung, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Lowe, Francis WilliamQuilter, Sir CuthbertTELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Lowther, Rt. Hon. J. (Kent)Randies, John S.Mr. Halsey and Mr. Sydney
Loyd, Archie KirkmanRankin, Sir JamesBuxton.