[MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT.]
rose in his place, and asked leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, "the failure yesterday of His Majesty's Government to give to this House information on a critical situation in foreign affairs, while such communication was made to the other House of Parliament"; but the pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. SPEAKER called on those Members who supported the motion to rise in their places, and not less than forty Members having accordingly risen—
The brief conversation which took place a few minutes ago on the subject of question and answer has thrown additional light on this subject. It is hardly necessary for me to recite the actual facts of the case, because they are within the memory of those present. But it is a matter which can cause no surprise either to the House or to the Government that some notice should be taken of what has occurred, in order to vindicate what has always been regarded as the clear right of this House, and to prevent by lapse of attention a precedent from being established on the ground of anything that occurred yesterday. The fact is that a certain statement was made to the House of Lords on a matter regarding which the public, attention was stretched almost to its utmost limit, a matter which was exciting the greatest and most critical alarm throughout the country; and, on a question being addressed to the Government a short space of time afterwards in this House, they professed to have no information whatever to communicate upon a matter of public importance—namely, the events in China. That in itself is a question capable of two separate explanations. I do not know that if I give the Government the choice of these two explanations they will find themselves very well off, whichever of the two they accept. It may have been that they deliberately and of their own knowledge intended, and thought it a proper thing on their part to do, to conceal or refrain from communicating to this House information which a member of the Government was at the same time communicating to the other House. That is one interpretation of what happened. But there is another, and I am not sure that the second interpretation is not the more probable of the two. It may be that the representatives of the Government in this House were unaware of the facts which were being communicated in the other House. I wish to point out to the House that this is almost a more serious breach of the rights and privileges of this House than that which I have spoken of as the former alternative. We have neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister for Foreign Affairs present in this House. We have an Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs who, subject to very strict limitations, answers, and answers extremely well, all the questions addressed to him; but we have also here the Leader of the House, the First Lord of the Treasury; and I maintain that, in the absence of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and of the Prime Minister, we are entitled to look to the Leader of the House as the most important member of the Government in the House, and as the personage fully informed upon all questions of urgency in connection with Foreign Affairs. Here was an urgent matter if ever there was one. It was a matter, not of months, weeks, or days, but apparently of hours and almost of minutes. Two forces were arrayed almost in the face of each other, and at any moment a foolish act might have precipitated a conflict between two Great Powers. Am I to be told that while that is the condition of things the Leader of the House, to whom we are to look for full information, was not aware of the communications which had passed either from St. Petersburg to London or from London to St Petersburg? Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be able to tell us, what does not appear, I think, very clearly at present, when the despatch was received from St. Petersburg and when it was answered, because it seems to me that if that was done within a considerable interval of time before the meeting of the House yesterday, it was the bounden duty of those responsible to have informed the First Lord of the Treasury, in order that he might be able to answer any question which might be addressed to him on a matter upon which a question was almost certain to be put in such a state of public opinion as existed. It is on that condition alone that the House of Commons can maintain its hold over and power of influencing the conduct of foreign affairs. We receive from the Under Secretary, as I have already said, information on matters of detail; but when it comes to a question of great urgency and of a critical nature, under such circumstances we look for something more than that, and we do- not expect to be put aside with the usual technical excuse about want of notice, when, as we have now found, at the moment the Government were in possession of the full information. If they did not communicate it to the House it was either because in the opinion of the Government it was not necessary to pay the House of Commons the compliment of making that communication, or be- cause the members of the Government who sit here and represent the Government were not themselves aware of what had occurred. I have spoken of this as an alternative, but I cannot wish the right hon. Gentleman joy whichever of the, two options he accepts. I think at least that we are entitled to call upon the right hon. Gentleman to give some fuller explanation than has yet been given of these circumstances, which throw a strange light on the relations between the executive Government in this House, and which I think deserve the immediate attention which I have asked the House to give. I do not wish to say a word in derogation of the dignity and importance of the other House of Parliament, but this House, after all, has most to do with the conduct of the affairs of this country. It is here that we ought to have the first and fullest information upon all critical matters on which the mind of the country is greatly exercised; and I think the right hon. Gentleman will be glad to take the opportunity which this motion offers him of explaining more fully than he has yet been able to do the reasons why yesterday he appeared to depart from that which seemed to be due to the dignity and interests of the House of Commons.
Motion made and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."
I must say, with all respect to the right hon. Gentleman in his personal capacity and as leader of a great party, that I do not think I ever heard the adjournment of the House moved on a more frivolous pretext than that which he has just stated. After all, in the course of what the right hon. Gentleman called the question and the answer across the floor of the House the fullest information was given by me of all the circumstances connected with this affair, and the right hon. Gentleman has not remembered what those circumstances were, He seems to think that we were in the position in which Lord Lansdowne was in the other House; that is to say, that we had received, as he had received, private notice of a question on the subject. But we received no notice at all, and when the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs asked whether we were going to make a statement similar to that made by Lord Lansdowne we had not the slightest idea what the statement was, and we could not have the information unless Lord Lansdowne had at once sent it down here, which no doubt would have been a desirable thing, but which, as I have pointed out, it is really absurd to attack Lord Lansdowne for not doing, inasmuch as he had good ground for supposing that question time was over in this House. Lord Spencer, acting in the other House as Leader of the Opposition, asked the question at half-past four o'clock. Why did not Lord Spencer send down here and say that he had asked the question, and that a similar question should be put to me or my noble friend from the bench opposite, in which case it would have been answered here as in another place?
Then you did know?
If the question had been put here it would have been answered.
When I asked the right hon. Gentleman about this subject yesterday, having just come from the House of Lords, the right hon. Gentleman said in reply that this was the first he had heard of the subject.
It was the first I had heard of the fact that the subject had been raised in the House of Lords itself. There was no specific question put to me on the fact itself yesterday. If there had been a question asked it must have been specific, and, at all events, the Minister who had to answer it must have been given a moderate amount of notice. But there was no notice given, public or private, and no question was put.
If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to The Times report which he has by him, I think it will be seen that I asked the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not a fact that Lord Lansdowne had made a statement in the House of Lords at 4.30 in answer to Lord Spencer. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman would naturally wish to communicate similar facts to the House.
This is what appeared in The Times—
I think that settles the hon. Gentleman so far as that particular point is concerned. The questions put to us were as to what occurred in the other House. That we had no official means of knowing. As a matter of fact we did not know. If the hon. Gentleman chooses to say that Lord Lansdowne should have sent down to say, "Lord Spencer gave private notice of a question; I have answered it," I think that would have been a desirable thing to have said. Rut in twenty-nine cases out of thirty, as anybody sees who looks at the clock now, it would have been perfectly vain as far as this House is concerned, because at the moment when the question of Lord Spencer was answered by Lord Lansdowne we enter upon the Orders of the Day, and the opportunity of giving an answer is passed. I hope that puts the matter clearly. Of course we are not backward in answering questions, and what astonishes mo is, if the right hon. Gentleman was on the tenter-hooks of expectation, as he now describes himself, with regard to the incidents at Tientsin, that he did not imitate the example of his colleague in the other House, and did not send private notice either to my noble friend the Secretary of State for India, to myself, or to the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Had he done so, had he shown or had any Member of this House shown this extraordinary anxiety which it appears they felt with regard to Tientsin, and given us notice, they would have received, of course, similar information in this House to that which we gave in another House. I do not understand why the hon. Gentleman opposite should make a complaint of not receiving an answer to a question which he never put, and which, if ho had put it with the ordinary notice given in such cases, would, I feel sure, have received the fullest and most careful consideration."Mr. Grant asked whether a full statement by the Foreign Secretary was not made in the other House at half-past four o'clock in answer to Earl Spencer. Mr. Balfour.—This is the first intimation I have received of it. I have no doubt that if the hon. Gentleman says, it is so it is true, but I am not aware of it."
The right hon. Gentleman has not addressed himself to the question that was put to him yesterday by the hon. Member for Carnarvon. I have the words he used here, and he said—
And the question is, why the Leader of the House did not answer the inquiry. That brings before the House a matter of the most vital importance, and that is the relation of the Leader of the House of Commons to this Assembly (for I do not enter upon any question of Under Secretaries here). I have sometimes had the honour and responsibility of occupying that position, and the first condition that I specially made on accepting that duty-was that when the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary were in the other House, whatever office the Leader of the House of Commons might hold, he should be placed in relation to foreign affairs in as full and immediate knowledge of every matter of importance as was the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary. I put it specifically on this ground that unless that condition was fulfilled I could not discharge the duties that I owed to the House of Commons. Therefore, passing by Under Secretaries altogether, I maintain that the House of Commons has a right at every moment to expect that the Leader of this House shall give as full information to this House upon foreign affairs as could the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary if he were sitting here."May I ask whether an arrangement has been arrived at whereby both Russian and British troops are to retire from the disputed territory, that matters are to be referred to Count von Waldersee, and that] an apology is to be offered by the party found to be in the wrong."
Nobody denies that. All that is asked for is that when information is wanted some notice, private or public, should be given.
Sir, when there is a question of critical importance and the Leader of this House has that knowledge I should have thought that to relieve public anxiety in all parts of this country it would have been a I very proper thing to have volunteered the information or to have solicited some one to put a question in order that such an answer should be given. The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the question put to him by my right hon. friend near me. He has not said when the Russian despatch arrived; he has not told us when that despatch was answered; he has not stated when it came to his knowledge that those despatches had been received and answered; and he has not told us whether, when the question was put yesterday in the House of Commons, he knew the terms of that settlement. If that be so, J venture to say that the Leader of the House of Commons is not in the position we have a right to expect, upon matters of this importance, to give us information to which we are entitled. Here is a specific question put to him which contained, and accurately contained, the terms of settlement. Why did not he answer it? Did he know it? He has not told us whether he knew it or not. If he knew it, why at the end of this interrogation did not he give an answer? He has answered neither of these questions. He has not told us whether he knew, and why, if he knew, he did not give an answer. I venture to say that such a situation has never before in the House been occupied by any Leader. I say it is the bounden duty of the Leader of this House to be in a position to answer questions of that kind on critical foreign affairs, and it is for that reason that this question has been properly raised here. I have frequently put questions when I considered them of high and critical importance, not to the Under Secretary, but to the Leader of the House, because the Leader of the House being a principal, and for our purposes the principal, member of the Cabinet here, we have a right to expect that he knows everything not merely that the. Cabinet knows, because you cannot always call the Cabinet together in a moment, but everything that the Foreign Minister knows, everything that the Prime Minister knows—that it should be immediately communicated to him, not merely because he is a member of the Cabinet, but, above all, because he is the Leader of the House of Commons. The House of Commons is the body that has the first right to have information upon these questions that so vitally concern the interests of the nation. An Under Secretary may require notice of what answer to give, but the position of the right hon. Gentleman as a principal member of the Cabinet and as Leader of the House of Commons ought to require no notice at all. He cannot get up and say he knows nothing at all about it. He has not told us—
I never did say that.
He has not told us—he has been asked and he has not answered—when it was that this information came to his knowledge, when he saw the telegram that was sent from Russia, when he saw the despatch or telegram by which it was answered. If he had seen those telegrams why should he have refrained from stating to the House that which it would have been a great satisfaction to the House and the country to know? That is a thing on which we have received no information yet. I do not put it upon the question of notice or on the ground of the Under Secretary being prepared or not prepared, but simply and plainly upon the ground that we have a right to information from the member of the Government who is responsible to this House in such matters when a critical question of this kind arises. As to notice being required, what notice could be required that a question would be asked about the position of affairs between Russia and England at Tientsin? It was absolutely certain that a question would be asked, and if it was not possible at that time to give an answer, then no answer could have been given no doubt. But when there was a satisfactory answer, when a matter had been settled, when all danger was removed, why in the world that question was not answered has not been explained by the right hon. Gentleman in anything that he has said to-night.
It must be evident to the majority of this House that this motion for adjournment is a tempest in a teapot. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House, in his opening statement, in answer to a question put, took the sting out of the complaint, and gave really to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition the opportunity of not moving the adjournment. The Leader of the House has told us in the clearest possible way that the Government have no intention and had no intention of refusing information to the House of Commons. Ho has promised, in addition to that, that he will make every effort to supply all the information which he possesses so as to keep the House up to date in regard to these important issues, ft is evident that a slight slip has occurred somewhere. Humanity is subject to slight slips, especially in cases of this importance, where negotiations are conducted by telegraph. It is perfectly clear to every hon. Member that the Foreign Secretary, the Minister responsible, may have received information, or may have sent a final telegram, within half an hour or quarter of an hour before coming down to the House of Lords, and it may have been impossible to communicate it to his colleagues in this House. If the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House had not taken the line he has done in promising all information to the House, and in regretting that any information had been withheld from the House owing to accident, there might have been some good reason for a motion for adjournment. I would point out to the Leader of the Opposition what a mistake he and his friends make in occupying the time of the House on questions like this when they absolutely neglect their duty on questions of far greater importance. They have absolutely failed to take any steps to bring any of these great issues in China before the House and the country. They might have raised debates in regard to Manchuria, the seizure of our railways in North China, the proposed evacuation of Peking, or the refusal of the Russian Minister in Peking to agree to the punishment of high-placed Chinese criminals. If the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had taken action on any of these subjects he would have been acting in a way worthy of his position; but after the explanations offered by the Leader of the House it is wholly unnecessary to take up the time of the House by this idle motion for adjournment.
We have reason to complain that the Government does not give to the House in regard to important foreign affairs all the information which, with due regard to the public interest, they might afford us. On Monday last I put a question to the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs—
Order, order! There is a definite case before the House, and the hon. Gentleman cannot go into other, eases.
I bow to your ruling, Mr. Speaker. I can only express my hope, that in the future, as promised by the First Lord of the Treasury, closer relations will be maintained between himself and the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords, in order that this House may have always early information in regard to matters of extreme importance to this country.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House has stated that he never knew of a more frivolous pretext for a motion for the adjournment of the House than that offered by the Leader of the Opposition, but the object of the motion of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition is to protest against the frivolous manner in which the Government have treated the House of Commons in this matter. I asked the Leader of the House why, if Lord Lansdowne was prepared to give an answer in the House of Lords, he was not prepared to give an answer here. The right hon. Gentleman treated my question as one of a general character; but the special object of my question was to indicate that if Lord Lansdowne was informed about a matter of great national importance, one which must necessarily be settled by the Government as a whole, it was the duty of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House to be able to furnish the House of Commons at once with the information which Lord Lansdowne was prepared to give to the House of Lords. What was the question which the hon. Member for Carnarvon asked yesterday? It was whether the right hon. Gentleman had any announcement to make as to the negotiations between Russia and this country. Now, a settlement could not possibly have been arrived at without the knowledge of the Government of which the right hon. Gentleman is a principal member; and yet the reply of the right hon. Gentleman was, "No, Sir; I have no statement to make." But Lord Lansdowne had a statement to make in the House of Lords, and was prepared to make it on short private notice, and without making any reference to official documents. Why was not the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House in a position to give the House of Commons the same information? Then, later on, the hon. Member for Carnarvon asked this question very pointedly; he said—
Now that is a question of the most specific character possible, and the right hon. Gentleman either knew or did not know what were the facts. If he knew the facts, what excuse has he for not communicating them to the House? If he did not know these facts, how came it that other people knew them hours before? The hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon asked for an answer to the specific question which he put and to that the right hon. Gentleman did not deign to give any reply whatever. This House, after all, is the representative Assembly of the country, and whatever respect we may have for the other House it has not the representative character which this Housepossesses. It is this House which disburses all the funds for carrying on foreign wars, and on a question of this kind—of a grave international question arising between this country and Russia—this House ought to have the first information. Now, I desire to ask the right hon. Gentleman specifically, Did he know or did he not know the terms which had been arranged with Russia when he came down to the House yesterday?"May I ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether an arrangement has been arrived at whereby both Russian and British troops are to retire from the disputed territory, that matters are to be referred to Count Von Waldersee, and that an apology is to be offered by the party found to be in the wrong?"
said it seemed to him that the vital part of this discussion as he looked at it appeared to be that the Government did not appreciate the real feeling of the country. On the previous day the country had been very much concerned at the position which had arisen between this country and Russia in China. The Government hardly seemed to realise the extreme feeling which had arisen on this important matter, because, had they done so, directly the new communication had come to Lord Lansdowne he would have at once informed the Leader of the House, and the House would not have had to ask for information, because that information would have been volunteered. He had always thought that the formation of the Government was such, especially what was termed the internal Cabinet, that intercommunication between Ministers was rendered as easy as it was possible to be by domestic affairs. The House, seemingly, had lost the advantage of that intercommunication, because the Leader of the House did not know anything about this matter. If the right hon. Gentleman did know about it the position of things became more extraordinary than ever. If a matter of this importance was known to the right hon. Gentlemen, surely it was only right and proper that the information should have been put before the House at once. Having regard to the extreme tension of the country and its anxiety upon the matter it would have been only fair to volunteer the information.
asked did the right hon. Gentleman yesterday, when the question was put to him, know, or did he not, that the question had been answered in the House of Lords? The right hon. Gentleman had shown considerable heat in the matter when one of his supporters had taken it for granted that he did not know of the answer yesterday. He (Mr. Philipps) was one of those who on the previous day heard the question asked, and, lightly or wrongly, thought from the answer given the right hon. Gentleman knew nothing whatever about the subject. Would the right hon. Gentleman now say whether he did or did not know? The right hon. Gentleman was extremely angry when the House took it for granted that he did not know.
I am not angry at all. I do not care what you assume.
did not suppose the hon. Gentleman eared what assumption was made. He could only judge from his action, and the right hon. Gentleman certainly did show extreme annoyance when one of his supporters assumed that he did not know. Why could not the right hon. Gentleman answer the question? Why could not he volunteer the information? The noble Lord the Member for Rochester had stated that he was not allowed to answer extemporary questions, and no doubt there were good and wise reasons for that, but was the process to be carried further? Did the Government now assume that the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury was not a fit and proper person to be trusted with information? Was it possible that the Government were telling him nothing? Either the right hon. Gentleman did not know, in which case it was a matter for the discretion of the Government, or he did know, and if he did, then he had cleverly concealed his knowledge on the previous day, and was continuing to conceal it. The House had become a good deal accustomed to wars and rumours of wars under the present Government, but many hon. Members not yet habituated to rumours might think a war with Russia at this time on the top of our other liabilities a sufficiently serious matter for the right hon. Gentleman to take an interest in. If the right hon. Gentleman did know the position on the previous day, he had been guilty of an act of great levity in not making a statement in regard to it. If the right hon. Gentleman did not know, it looked very much as if the inner circle of the Cabinet of which the House had heard so much had been restricted to a still narrower limit, and that not only the noble Lord but the right hon. Gentleman himself was not to be trusted to answer extemporary questions on foreign policy, which might account for the heat he had shown.
said a few words from, him might possibly put an end to a discussion which, so far as he could see, was really a sheer waste of time. Not one of the gentlemen who had spoken had shown the least appreciation of the facts. He thought he could in half a dozen words make perfectly clear what the situation was. The situation at Tientsin at one time was a very critical one, and if there had been a collision it would have been difficult to see what the end would be. Therefore, when negotiations were opened for the purpose of settling the Tientsin dispute in a satisfactory manner, it was essential that not a single word should be said until these negotiations had gone so far as to make it certain that the arrangement proposed had been finally accepted by both parties. Did not that explain the position? Yesterday the Government were in possession of a satisfactory proposal from the Russian Government, but they had to send an answer to that proposal. That answer was sent, and it was not until the Government knew that it was accepted that it was possible for anyone to make a statement in the House. The only person who could judge as to when a statement could be made was the man in charge of the negotiations. Although his right hon. friend and the noble Lord the Under Secretary and himself knew what was going on, not one of them could have ventured to open his mouth until he knew the transaction was closed. He believed Lord Lansdowne had no intention of making a statement on the subject, but he was conducting the negotiations, and just before he left his office he believed they had got to such a point that it was possible to make a statement without in any way endangering the success of the negotiations. When Lord Lansdowne got to the House of Lords, Lord Spencer, as he understood without notice, intimated that he wished to put a question, and he being in possession of all the facts, which, of course, none of the Ministers in the House of Commons knew—
Then the right hon. Gentleman did not know?
Lord Lansdowne, knowing exactly how far the negotiations had gone, and this nobody else could have known at that moment, for it was a question of minutes or, at least, half-hours—
Might I ask at what hour was the reply sent?
said it was a close shave between the time the answer was sent and the time the statement was made by the Foreign Secretary. Although Ministers in the House of Commons were in full possession of the proposals made, and although they believed that the acceptance of them would conclude the negotiations, there was not a single man in the House with any sense of responsibility who would have ventured to make a statement to the House on the actual information then in their possession. The only man to whom it was possible to make a statement was the Foreign Minister, who went to the House of Lords, he believed, without any intention of doing so, The India Office was next door to the Foreign Office, and he was in constant communication with his brother J official, who certainly would have informed him if he had any intention of making a statement.
May I ask the noble Lord whether Lord Lansdowne did or did not inform Lord Spencer that if a question were put he would be prepared with an answer?
All I can say is that while Lord Lansdowne was seised with full information, not one of us in the House of Commons was in a position to take the full responsibility, having a sense of what might have been entailed by the failure of the negotiations, to make a statement in the House, which must have been immature or premature. When certain gentlemen came back from the other place yesterday they said a statement had been made. I still think that if the Leader of the Opposition had put a definite question as to whether these negotiations were proceeding satisfactorily, we could have given the answer that they were; but we could not possibly have made the statement that they were concluded. So far from not taking the House into our confidence or wishing to deprive hon. Members of information to which they might be legitimately entitled, whatever reticence was shown yesterday was due to the fact that we knew what was going on, and, knowing what was going on, we felt it our duty not to say a single syllable which might prejudice the negotiations.
The right hon. Gentleman has made the case very much worse. He says that Lord Lansdowne was asked this question in the House of Lords without notice. Now, the right hon. Gentleman here had notice.
Without public notice.
I understand that Lord Spencer, when he came to the House of Lords, asked Lord Lansdowne whether he could make a statement or not. The noble Lord the Secretary for India had notice of a question to this effect when he came down to this House.
And I answered all the questions put to me.
If the right hon. Gentleman had any respect for the honour and dignity of this House, he would have given the same answer here as Lord Lansdowne gave in the House of Lords. Lord Lansdowne's statement was made in the House of Lords at 4.30, and the right hon. Gentleman was not asked here until 5.30, so that he had really an hour wherein he could get the information from Lord Lansdowne. I maintain that the noble Lord the Secretary for India, in that confused statement of his, has actually shown that he deliberately treated the House of Commons with disrespect in this matter. He cannot get away from the fact that while Lord Lansdowne had short notice indeed, he had ample notice, and that he withheld the information from the House. When the right hon. Gentleman says that it is a sheer waste of time for the Leader of the Opposition to get up to vindicate the honour of the House, I begin to think that he forgets what is due to the hon. Gentlemen who are elected by the people of this country. I venture to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire, if such a question had been put to him when he was Leader of the House as was put to the noble Lord yesterday, would have answered it, and given the fullest information in his power. If we had been on the verge of war with Russia, does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that we in this House are not entitled to know some- thing on such an important subject? We were entitled to the information as early as the other House, especially when notice was given to the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India. The noble Lord says, "I am in full communication with Lord Lansdowne, but I could not venture to make a statement bearing on the negotiations." But Lord Lansdowne made a statement in the House of Lords an hour earlier, almost without notice. I contend that the House of Commons has been treated with disrespect, and it was the obvious duty of the Leader of the Opposition to bring the matter before the country.
There was one observation which fell from the noble Lord which is not quite consistent with the information I have had of the circumstances in the House of Lords. The noble Lord the Secretary for India, in defending the action of the Government, stated that Lord Lansdowne was taken unawares, that his answer was impromptu, and that he had no intention of making a statement. As a matter of fact, Lord Lansdowne had his answer written. When he was asked the question by Lord Spencer he took a written statement out of his pocket and read it. How does the noble Lord find this consistent with his statement that it was an absolutely impromptu statement on the part of Lord Lansdowne? The Government had no information yesterday as to what happened in China; they have no information to-day as to what actually happened in the House of Lords. Either they give no information to the House of Commons at all, or the information they give is not absolutely reliable. Surely this is a very serious state of things. Here is a matter which might have involved war between two of the greatest Powers in the world. We know what war means even with two small Republics in South Africa. Here we have troops facing each other, not knowing the moment we might be precipitated into war with Russia. We were informed that Russia would accept nothing but an apology. A question is put to the First Lord of the Treasury, the Leader of the House of Commons, as to what happened, and he says he does not know.
What had happened in the House of Lords.
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. He has forgotten what he said yesterday. I asked him specifically, not what had happened in the House of Lords, but what had happened in China, and the right hon. Gentleman turned round in blank astonishment, and asked everybody whether they knew what had happened in China.
The hon. Gentleman is not quoting accurately. I did not say I was unaware of what was happening in China.
Did you know?
I know that I asked the right hon. Gentleman what had happened, and, if he knew, he was deliberately concealing from the House of Commons what had already been given to the House of Lords. One of two things must have happened. Either the right hon. Gentleman knew or he did not. If he knew that an arrangement had been arrived at, and did not answer the question respectfully addressed to him, he must have been deliberately withholding the information from the House of Commons. The other alternative, I think, is the true one. It is the one which, I think, is borne out by the action of the right hon. Gentleman. He did not know what was happening at all. What a Government we have got! No wonder they are making a mess in South Africa. They do not know what wars they have on. We have one office taunting the other, one saying "These wars belong to you," the other saying, "No, they belong to you," and another Minister, the Leader of the House of Commons, does not know whether there is war or not with Russia. It is a serious state of things. [Mr. BALFOUR, ironically: Hear, hear.] Yes, and it is by treating these things with a light spirit here that wars are precipitated.
It is by inopportune questions.
Are they inopportune in the House of Lords? A question invited by the Foreign Minister in the House of Lords is inopportune when it is asked in the House of Commons This is part and parcel of an attempt which seems to me to be deliberate, step by step, to lower the dignity and the efficiency of the House of the people, and it is time that without any respect to party at all we should protest against a Government whose whole conduct is deliberate contempt of the House of Commons.
A great deal of heat seems to have been engendered by this motion to adjourn the blouse. We are told that the public was waiting with extreme anxiety to know what was going on, and that the Government were withholding from the public what it ought to know. It seems to me that if there was all this great anxiety, and so much indignation on account of the action taken yesterday, the motion for the adjournment ought to have been made yesterday, and not this afternoon. I think it is an extraordinary illustration of the anxiety of this House that it should be translated in the form of a supplementary question put by an hon. Member who had just come from the I louse of Lords, having heard the answer he desired to obtain. The hon. Member for Carnarvon said there appeared to be some doubt as to whether the First Lord of the Treasury knew.
No doubt at all.
The hon. Member has been carried away by the autobiography of the right hon. Baronet the Member for West Monmouthshire. He said he made it a condition that he should know all that the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister knew of Foreign Affairs. Fancy having to make such a condition before you take office That is the revelation of a secret of the late Cabinet for which we are grateful to the right hon. Gentleman.
Will the hon. Member allow me to say that I was placed in a position of difficulty which was not felt under the former Government. When I succeeded to office I was placed in the position of not having the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The difficulty arose from the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary both being in the House of Lords. Everybody knows that in Foreign Affairs communication is direct between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, and therefore it was necessary that communication between the Leader of this House and the Foreign Secretary should be as direct as it is between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary.
It is extremely necessary, not only for the safety of this country, but for the safety and good feeling of other countries, that the declaration made should be identical in form in this House and the other House. Hon. Members are not so absolutely unacquainted with the English language as not to know that the same statement might be put in one form in this House and in another form in the other House, and it might easily appear, and indeed it has appeared, to foreign nations that the two Houses are contradicting each other. It would have been possible to give the same answer here if Lord Spencer had persuaded his colleagues on the Front Opposition Bench to take the same step as he took to translate the public interest in the matter by asking a question. I think my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury is safeguarding the interests of the nation by refusing to answer questions without notice as he did yesterday afternoon.
I do not think the part taken by the Secretary of State for India in this debate has improved the position of the Government. The First-Lord complains that notice was not given of a question in this House, and I believe one of his explanations with regard to this particular matter is that due notice was given in the House of Lords to the Minister responsible. I wish to remind hon. Members that a written notice of his intention to ask a question on this subject was banded in by my hon. friend and colleague several hours before Lord Lansdowne came down with a written explanation. That shows that the Government were in possession of the facts, while at the same time the noble Lord here was pretending ho had not been given sufficient notice. Moreover, if the answers given in the two Houses are compared it will be seen that they differ in every material point; and whereas the explanation given in the other place was full, that given here was meagre and evaded nearly all the points raised by my hon. friend. The contention now put forward that the answering of the question might endanger the negotiations was not raised yesterday, and nothing can be clearer than that information in the possession of the Government was refused to the House of Commons, but given to the House of Lords. That is only in keeping with the treatment we have received at the hands of this family Cabinet and with the manner in which the present Government has behaved towards the House of Commons.
I think the words used by the First Lord of the Treasury and the Secretary of State for India in the first sentences of their speeches amply justify this motion. The First Lord actually used the word "frivolous," while the Secretary of State for India thought this a waste of time. If anything were needed to prove the want of appreciation they have of the occurrence of last night those expressions would reveal it to the House. Even now we are left in ignorance as to whether the First Lord actually was cognisant of what was known and stated by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. I rather gathered from the noble Lord the Secretary for India that he knew nothing about it. As to the opportunity given yesterday for answering the question there can be no doubt whatever, as a specific question was put by the hon. Member for Carnarvon. Why was no answer given to that question? The right hon. Gentleman had as ample an opportunity for answering that question as Lord Lansdowne had in the House of Lords if he was able to do so from his own knowledge. If he was not able he stands convicted.
If the hon. Member will pardon my interruption, I may say that nothing could induce me to answer a difficult and delicate question of that kind under those circumstances without having some opportunity of knowing what my noble friend had said, especially in regard to negotiations of that kind.
There was an opportunity of getting to know, since the question was not put here until an, hour after Lord Lansdowne's reply in another place. But I will pass from that. We are discussing merely an incident, but it is a very grave symptom in regard to the treatment of this House by the Government. We are entitled to receive from the Executive Government of the day on all the important matters which are proceeding the very latest and fullest information. We are the representatives of the taxpayers, and I must say I am astonished at the attitude of hon. Members opposite. Some of them will come back after the next election and some will not, but apparently they might as well be coming here as mere voting machines. We are all Members of Parliament, and whether we sit on the one side or the other everyone is entitled to the fullest and latest information from the-Executive Government. I do hope the right; hon. Gentleman will lay aside this terrible nonchalance in regard to matters concerning this House, and that he will see that we have at all times the fullest and latest information laid before us as to the conduct of the Executive Government in such very grave matters.
I desire to call the attention of the House to the manner in which the Secretary of. State for India answers questions of which he receives due notice. The question was put to him whether additional British troops had reached Tientsin yesterday or to-day, or were expected to arrive there immediately, and the answer was that a certain number of white troops had; been substituted for certain of the native Indian troops at Tientsin. That answer conveyed the-impression to the House that a certain number of native troops were with-drawn—
Order, order! That matter is not within the leave given. It was referred to by another hon. member, and I did not interrupt because it was merely suggested that the question had given an opportunity to the noble Lord to make the statement which Lord Lansdowne is said to have just made in another place. It is only in that light that the reference was in order.
I understand the motion for adjournment was made on the ground that the Government have declined to give information to this House on important public questions—
On a certain specific case yesterday.
I submit that the specific case was the position of affairs at Tientsin, and therefore I am entitled—
The hon. Member cannot deal on this motion with the question of whether or not the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India answered a question about reinforcements at Tientsin in a proper manner.
What I desire to point out by way of illustration is that on this particular matter—
Order, order! The hon. Member must really conform to my ruling.
Then I will only refer incidentally to this question. In connection with this matter the Government undoubtedly refused information which was at the disposal of the public through the ordinary channels of communication, and if the Government are entitled, having had notice of a question, to refuse information which has already become known through the public press, it is an extraordinary state of affairs. I submit that the action of the Government with reference to that specific question was inconsistent—
again called the hon. Member to order.
Well, Sir, I support this motion on the ground that in this matter the Government has not treated this House with proper consideration, and I hope that the protest which has been made this evening will have some effect in changing to some extent the attitude of the Government in its treatment of this House.
I would point out to the House the very narrow point to which the matter in controversy has now been reduced, and how on that very narrow point we are still refused any kind of material information. When the discussion started the House was in doubt as to whether the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury did or did not possess the information for which we on this side of the House vainly pressed yesterday. That doubt no longer exists. It has been made clear by the remarks of the noble Lord that the First Lord of the Treasury did not possess the information. But the First Lord has been anxious to repudiate any suggestion that he did not possess that information.
I did not say so.
The noble Lord scarcely remembers the purport of his own remarks. He said that not only did the First Lord not know, but he did not know himself.
The question put to my right hon. friend was whether certain negotiations were going on.
Everyone knew that.
But the point which I endeavoured to make was that although we knew negotiations were going on, and going on satisfactorily, we did not know whether they were in such a state as would justify a statement to the House.
Several times during the course of his remarks the noble Lord, when he found himself interrupted, said, "At least I might be allowed to proceed without interruption," I, on the other hand, am grateful to the noble Lord for his interruption, because; he has in reality confirmed our contention and almost repeated the very remark I was addressing to the House. He tolls us now that, of course, the First Lord knew that negotiations were going on. What a remarkable piece of information! He thinks it worth while to get up and inform the House of Commons repeatedly and indignantly that the First Lord of the Treasury did know that negotiations were proceeding, but he goes on to add that the right hon. Gentleman did not know that these serious troubles had arrived at a settlement. It was with regard to that settlement the question was put. What we desired to know yesterday was whether this critical state of affairs had or had not come to an end. It had come to an end. The danger of war between two of the greatest Powers in the world had passed away, and the First Lord of the Treasury, who is Leader of this House, was not aware of it! The Secretary of State for India, who certainly would have been very materially concerned in his Department if the trouble had not passed away, told us, as an interesting piece of political geography, that he is next door to the Foreign Secretary, but the Foreign Secretary had not told him anything about it.
made a remark which was inaudible in the gallery.
The noble Lord sad that the Foreign Secretary had not told him he was going to make a statement. How am I to interpret that interruption? Does it moan that, although the Foreign Secretary did not tell him he was going to make a statement in the, House of Lords, he acquainted him with the substance of the statement he was going to make? Does the noble Lord mean that? It is perfectly clear from what the noble Lord has told us that this has happened, whether he knows it or not—that an answer to a question of which notice had been given in the House of Lords, I believe some days previously—
The noble Lord, should make inquiry upon that point.
Let him repeat his inquiry. The question had been put down, the answer was settled in the Foreign Office, and the written reply was read out in the House of Lords. But the noble Lord did not know that until about half an hour ago. He does not know it now! An answer appears to have been settled by the proper officials next door to the noble Lord concerning a matter so vitally affecting the safety, peace, and prosperity of this Empire and the world, but the Minister, a colleague of the noble Lord, who settled that answer, sitting on the other side of the door, did not think it worth while to give any information to the noble Lord, or to the Leader of this House, or by any means whatever to the representatives of the English poeple concerning the determination of that trouble. That is the position the House of Commons is in. If the First Lord had possessed the information and withheld it, our complaint would have been that he had displayed gross disrespect, but in this ease that gross disrespect has been displayed by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, which makes the question all the more serious. Is this to be treated as the usual course of business as far as this Cabinet is concerned? Whenever the Government have wars or when we have rumours of wars, is the House of Commons going to be treated in this way when it asks for information? This involves very gross disrespect of the House of Commons by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary—a disrespect which every Member of this House, however humble, has a right to resent, and a disrespect which. I believe, will be noted and resented by the English people. That is the significance which will attach to the vote which we now proceed to give.
said he rose to put a question to the Secretary of State for India. The noble Lord spoke of a final telegram received from Russia, and he stated that no answer could be given until that final telegram had been received. He wished to know if the final telegram referred to by the Secretary of State for India was the long message from the Russian Ambassador of which Lord Lansdowne spoke in the Mouse of Lords, and which he said had been received that morning, or was it some other final telegram of which he made no mention whatever. [Nationalist cries of "Answer, answer."]
Order, order! The hon. Member has resumed his seat, and I have called upon another hon. Member. The hon. Member cannot compel an answer.
said he was a loyal supporter of the Government and should vote with them on this occasion, but he felt that all Members ought to feel much obliged to the Opposition for raising the question. He felt that this great Assembly had not been treated with respect in regard to this particular matter. He believed, with other Members, that the privileges of the representatives of the people of this country were, being curtailed by degrees by the Government. It would not be difficult to refer to several small matters of late in which the consideration due to that House had not been shown by the Government, of which he was a supporter. He referred to the treatment they received at the opening of Parliament, and various other matters, and he was of opinion that they ought to be justly jealous of the great privileges of that House, because, after all, the House of Lords depended on the House of Commons, and the House of Commons depended on the people. [Ministerial cries of "Divide!"] It was all very well for his hon. friends to call "Divide," but he knew that he was voicing the opinion of scores of Members on the Ministerial side of the House when he gave a gentle hint to the Government that the business of the House and of the country must be conducted on business lines. If he did not think and feel assured that the Leader of the House and of the party to which he belonged had given them to understand that in future a repetition of what occurred the previous day should not occur again, out of respect for the House of Commons he should not have supported the Government on this matter. In this case he thought they were perfectly safe in following the Leader of the House of Commons.
said he thought the House was entitled to an answer to the question put by the hon. Member for North Dublin as to the reception of the official telegram from Russia by the Government. The matter was one which concerned the honour of the House of Commons, and they wanted to know whether the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was in possession of that information. They were told that the Leader of the House and the Secretary of State for India did not know at 6.30 in the evening that a certain telegram had been received from Russia. The hon. Member who last spoke had, he thought, expressed better than some Members the true state of feeling on the Ministerial side of the House. It was not a small thing that the Leader of the House and the Secretary of State for India—the two Ministers concerned in this matter —should come down and tell them that they did not know at 6.30 facts known to the Secretary for Foreign Affair in the course of the morning. [Opposition cheers and cries of "Divide, divide!"] They all knew that the statement was made by the Secretary for Foreign Affairs at half past four in the afternoon in the House of Lords, but no information was forthcoming an hour later in the House of Commons when a question was put. [Ministerial cries of "Divide!" and Nationalist cries of "Order, order!" and "Call in the police."] He believed it was contrary to all tradition and precedent in matters of this kind that when a statement was made in the House of Lords upon a question of policy no intonation was sent to the Leader of the House of Commons or to the Minister directly concerned in this House. In preceding Governments information had always been conveyed from the House of Lords to the representative in the House of Commons, with an intimation that a statement had been made. The Leader of the House, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary of State for India were in a blissful state of ignorance as to what had happened in the House of Lords on the previous day, and he thought that circumstance showed to what a position they were drifting in this matter and the kind of spirit of contempt in which the House of Commons and its Members were treated. The two Members of the Government in the other House did not even condescend to pursue the course which was usual in this matter of warning their own colleagues of what had been done. He thought they were entitled to have a plain answer to that question.
said the right hon. Gentleman had declared that nothing would induce him to answer a question of that kind while negotiations were going on. They had from the Secretary for India a statement that neither he himself nor the noble Lord the Member for Rochester knew what was going on in the other House. He should like to know which of those statements they were to believe. He thought a very easy way out of the difficulty would be to send for the Colonial Secretary and get his version of the affair. It was high time that they made a stand against the contempt which was being shown for the House of Commons.
I seem fated to be obliged to intrude again upon the time of the House. I had to intrude at some length last night, because on a previous occasion I asked a question and I got no answer from the Government. The result was that I had to take up some more time, and the same thing occurs again this afternoon. I asked the First Lord of the Treasury respectfully a question which was quite pertinent to this matter, and he did not condescend to give me a reply. Therefore, I am compelled to ask the same question again at this juncture. The question I asked was one which, had it been answered in a satisfactory way, would to a great extent have curtailed this debate, and saved greatly the time of the House. I asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he could assure hon. Members of this House that, for the future, the Foreign Secretary would make arrangements, when he had important information with regard to foreign affairs in his possession, that he would take the earliest opportunity of informing his representative in this House, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, of that information, so that such information might simultaneously be conveyed to the House of Commons as well as to the House of Lords. I do not think there was anything unreasonable in making a request of that kind, and I think most hon. Members will agree that it is a question which at least deserves some consideration and some answer from the Leader of the House of Commons. I submit that not only in this matter of refraining from giving the House of Commons information which is given to the House of Lords, but also in the practice of Ministers in this House refusing to answer questions put to them, the rights and privileges of hon. Members of this House are being ignored and curtailed, and almost done away with. What is the cause of this trouble? The whole cause lies in the fact that the Foreign Minister—who is the most important Minister of the whole Cabinet—is not in this House along with the representatives of the people, but he is in the House of Lords.
The hon. Member is not keeping to the definite question before the House.
I am endeavouring to show that the adjournment has been properly moved, because Members of this House were denied information which was put before Members of the House of Lords, and I am endeavouring to show that that inconvenience was caused by reason of the fact that the Minister responsible for the case in question had not a seat in this House.
The hon. Member cannot upon this motion discuss the question as to whether the Foreign Secretary ought or ought not to have a seat in this House.
I have not the slightest intention of disobeying your ruling, nor do I intend to discuss the broad question as to whether a great Minister of State should have a seat in the House of Commons or a seat in the House of Lords. I am confining myself to the fact that this information did not reach Members of the House of Commons as soon as it ought to have reached them, because the Minister responsible to the country was in the House of Lords. What did take place at four o'clock yesterday afternoon was that there was an announcement made in the House of Lords of first-class importance, upon a matter in regard to which it was a question, perhaps, whether war would take place or not between this country and a great continental Power, and it was an announcement which the people of this country were anxiously looking forward to. At four o'clock that information was given to the House of Lords, and one and a half hours later the elected representatives of the people of this great country asked for that information, and were refused it by the First Lord of the Treasury. I have heard it stated in this debate that the noble Lord the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs was not asked directly for this information which was given in the House of Lords. But the First Lord of the Treasury was asked directly for this information, and he conveyed to the House of Commons the impression that he had not got that information. Therefore you have the extraordinary and unprecedented state of affairs that a private Member of this House, who happened to be in the House of Lords at four o'clock that afternoon, found himself in possession of information with regard to this grave matter, and when he came across the lobby from the Lords to the Commons ho found that the information which he had got by the accident of being in the House of Lords was not in the possession of the Leader of this House and the occupants of the Treasury Bench. I say that that is an outrageous state of affairs, and to treat the House of Commons in that way is to make an attack upon the rights and privileges of the House of Commons. I say that the Members of this House are entitled to have at the very first opportunity—I will venture to say that they
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.||Asquith, Rt. Hn Herbert Henry||Black, Alexander William|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Atberley-Jones, L.||Blake, Edward|
|Ambrose, Robert||Austin, Sir John||Bolton, Thomas Dolling|
|Asher, Alexander||Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Boyle, James|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bell, Richard||Brand, Hon. Arthur G.|
are entitled to have it before the Members of any other Assembly—the fullest information upon all these subjects. The hon. Member opposite, who is a supporter of the First Lord of the Treasury, has spoken in deprecation of the action of the Government in this matter, and he was met with loud cries of, "Divide, divide!" from Members sitting opposite. I hold that the view he expressed is the view which is largely held outside this House by supporters of the Government, and if Conservative opinion of the action of the Government is desired, I invite hon. Members to read the Globe and other Conservative newspapers, and there they will find leading articles condemning the action of the Government quite as strongly as the Leader of the Opposition and other Members of this House have condemned it. If we are not to have the responsible Member for Foreign Affairs in this House, the least that we can ask for, at any rate, is that he shall have as his representative in this House somebody to whom we can direct questions with some hope of them being replied to, instead of having a man like the noble Lord, who deliberately told us that he was only at liberty to say what the First Lord of the Treasury gave him leave to say. I say that if this kind of thing is to continue, a seat in the House of Commons will become a mockery to a man calling himself a representative of the Government, and I say here that I do not believe there is a single Member opposite who could face a public meeting of his constituents and justify before them the fact that the House of Lords was informed of this important matter, and that the very same day the House of Commons was refused the same information.
The House divided:—Ayes, 168; Noes, 250. (Division List No. 88.)
|Brigg, John||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||O'Shee, James John|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Partington, Oswald|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Perks, Robert William|
|Burns, John||Jacoby, James Alfred||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Caine, William Sproston||Joyce, Michael||Power. Patrick Joseph|
|Caldwell, James||Kearley, Hudson E.||Price, Robert John|
|Cameron, Robert||Kennedy, Patrick James||Priestley, Arthur|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Rea, Russell|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Kitson, Sir James||Reddy, M.|
|Carew, James Laurence||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Carvill Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Lambert, George||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Layland- Barratt, Francis||Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)|
|Colville, John||Leamy, Edmund||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Rigg, Richard|
|Crean, Eugene||Leng, Sir John||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Levy, Maurice||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Daly, James||Lloyd-George, David||Roche, John|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lundon, W.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Crae, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Dillon, John||M'Dermott, Patrick||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Fadden, Edward||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C.R.(N'thants|
|Duffy, William J.||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Strachey, Edward|
|Ellis, John Edward||Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Emmott, Alfred||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Morley, Rt. Hon. John (Montrose||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Evans, Sir E. H. (Maidstone)||Morton, Edw. J.C. (Devonport)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Moss, Samuel||Thomas, F. Freeman -(Hastings-|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Murphy, J.||Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomson, F. W. (York,W. R.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Newnes, Sir George||Tomkinson, James|
|Field, William||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Ure, Alexander|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wallace, Robert|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ryMid||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Connor, James (Wicklow W.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Doherty, William||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Donneli, T. (Kerry, W.)||Wodehouse, Hn. Armine(Essex|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Dowd, John||Woodhouse, Sir J.T.(Huddersf.|
|Hammond, John||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Sir William||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Mert'r Tydvil||O'Malley, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Causton.|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Mara, James|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Carson, Rt Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Banbury, Frederick George||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)|
|Aird, Sir John||Bartley, George C. T.||Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire-|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden||Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Chamberlain, Rt.Hon J.(Birm.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bignold, Arthur||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r|
|Arrol, Sir William||Bigwood, James||Chapmar, Edward|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Bill, Charles||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Cohen, Benjamin L.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Brookfield, Col. Montagu||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Brown, Alex. H. (Shropshire)||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Bull, William James||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bullard, Sir Harry||Compton, Lord Alwyne|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg'w|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Butcher, John George||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hutton, John (Yorks. N.R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jebb, Sir Richd. Claverhouse||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Randles, John S.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Hemy||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Kimber, Henry||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Knowles, Lees||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Renwick, George|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fd.Dixon||Law, Andrew Bonar||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lawrence, William F.||Ridley, S. Forde(Bethnal Green|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lawson, John Grant||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham)||Round, James|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Faber, George Denison||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S.)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col.Edw. J|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'r)||Lowe, Francis William||Sharpe, Wm. Edw. T.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Shaw-Stewart, M.H.(Renfrew|
|Finch, George H.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Macartney, Rt. Hn W. G. Ellison||Smith, H. C. (North'mbTyneside|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Macdona, John Cumming||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Maconochie, A. W.||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Flower, Ernest||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Garfit, William||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H. (City of Lon.||Majendie, James A. H.||Stirling-Maxwell. Sir John M.|
|Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||Malcolm, Ian||Stroyan, John|
|Gordon, MajE.-(T'r Hamlets)||Martin. Richard Biddulph||Strutt, Hn. Charles Hedley|
|Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Maxwell, Rt.Hn. Sir. H. E. (Wigt'n||Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Talbot,Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf' d Uni.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Milward, Col. Victor||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw.Murray|
|Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Greene, Sir E. W. (B'ry S. Edm'nds||Montagu, Hon. J. S. (Hants.)||Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Grenfell, William Henry||More, It. Jasper (Shropshire)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Morgan, David J.(Waltham'w)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Shef'd.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morrell, George Herbert||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E.|
|Hain, Edward||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney|
|Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Morrison, James Archibald||Welby, Lt.-Col. A.C.E. (Ta'nt'n|
|Hamilton, Rt. HnLord G.(Mid'x||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Welb'y, Sir Chas. G.E. (Notts.)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Mount, William Arthur||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Harris, Fleverton(Tynem'th)||Muntz, Philip A.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.),|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Grakam (Bute||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Nicholson, William Graham||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Heath, James (Statfords, N.W.)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Heaton, John Henniker||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Holder, Augustus||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Henderson, Alexander||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Parker, Gilbert||Wyndham, Rt. Hn. George|
|Hoare, Ed. Brodie(Hampstead||Peel, H. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Pemberton, John S. C||Young, Commander (Berks, E.|
|Hobhouse, Henry- (Somerset, E.||Penn, John|
|Hope, J F (Shefrield, Brightside)||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Horner, Frederick William||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Howard, J. (Midd.,Tottenham||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Plummer, Walter R.|