Skip to main content


Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Ill-Treatment By Police (Bengal)


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the statistics received from the province of Bengal of alleged serious ill-treatment or torture by the police in the year 1912–13, from which it appears that sixty-two cases were reported, that fifty were brought before the criminal Courts, that twelve resulted in the conviction of the accused constable, and seven are said to have been compromised; whether he can say how these figures compare with the figures of other years in Bengal; and whether he has received any similar report from other provinces?

The answer to the first part is in the affirmative, except that the number of convictions was thirteen, and not twelve, as stated. In regard to the second part, it is not possible to institute an exact comparison, since the reports for previous years do not furnish exactly comparable statistics. In reply to the third part, statements regarding cases of ill-treatment by the police are given in the annual police reports of the various provinces. I shall be glad to place these reports at the disposal of my hon. Friend.

Can the hon. Gentleman say generally whether the police torture in other provinces is commensurate with the police torture that takes place in Bengal; is it not a fact that in the last six years seventeen persons have died under police torture in India, and what steps have the Government taken?

Press Act, 1910


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has now received the report of the judgment of the Chief Court of the Punjab in the appeal brought by the proprietor of the "Zemindar Press" of Lahore against a declaration of forfeiture made under the Press Act, 1910; whether, as the result of this appeal, the proprietors of this newspaper are penalised by a fine of £800 and the total loss of printing presses, together with the payment of costs on account of certain articles, which were held to be likely to spread dissatisfaction; whether he is aware that one of these articles was in effect a criticism of the Prime Minister and Lord Crewe for declining to see two representative Mahomedans who had come to London at the request of a large body of fellow Mahomedans to complain of the operation of the Press Act; whether any of the articles contained any incitement whatever to violence or disorder; and whether, in view of all the circumstances of this case, the Secretary of State will take any action in the matter?

The answers to the first, second, and third parts are in the affirmative, except that there were two orders of forfeiture and two judgments of the Chief Court. In regard to the fourth part, the Chief Court have upheld the local Government in its view that the articles were likely to bring into hatred and contempt and to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in British India. The Secretary of State does not propose to interfere in this case.

Can the hon. Gentleman say why the Secretary of State refused to see these two men who came over purposely as representing the people in India? The Secretary of State is paid a big salary, and is it not part of his duty?

I think the Secretary of State, in his discretion, did not see any occasion for seeing these gentlemen.

Was it not admitted that this paper is generally conducted on lines which are perfectly compatible with loyalty to this country, and that these were exceptional articles rather in the nature of criticism than incitements to sedition?

I cannot accept that version of the judgment. The view expressed by the judgment was that the tone of the articles must be regarded as being characteristic of the paper as a whole.

Confessions To Police

15 and 16.

asked the Under Secretary of State for India (1) whether the Secretary of State has yet come to any decision either to abolish or perpetuate the existing practice in India under which accused persons alleged to have confessed their guilt to the police are liable to have their confessions recorded by a magistrate and then used against them at their trial, without being given any opportunity of examining or cross-examining the policeman to whom they are alleged to have confessed; and (2) whether it is the intention of the Secretary of State to sanction the continuance of the system of committing accused or suspected persons in India to the personal custody of the police who are investigating the crime and to allow them to remain in that custody for as long as fifteen days and to be interrogated by the police for the purpose of eliciting a confession of guilt to be afterwards recorded and used against the prisoners at their trial?

Under Indian law the police are not permitted to interrogate a prisoner with a view to eliciting a confession, and a confession made to the police may not be recorded or admitted in evidence. There is thus no question of examining or cross-examining a police officer with regard to an alleged confession. The question of the treatment of confessions voluntarily made to magistrates before trial, including the remand to police custody of the accused, is still under consideration in connection with the revision of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Has not this question been under consideration for over two years, and how soon will a decision be reached?

I think it has been under consideration for about that time, but careful opinions have been collected of the various local governments of India, and that takes time.

Have not these quaint and un-English judicial methods the direct effect of encouraging torture by the police in order to elicit evidence, and are any really strong steps being taken by the India Office to put a stop entirely to this practice of torture?

No, Sir. The Indian law is much stricter in its precautions to defend accused persons than the English law. Every effort as the hon. Member knows perfectly well, is made to root out the practice.

Indian Cavalry Regiments


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he can now say what steps have been or will be taken either to promote or else to compensate those officers of the Indian Army who would be debarred from promotion to the command of their regiments by the operation of the new rules introduced in December last?

The Secretary of State for India in Council has approved the Grant of a special rate of unemployed pay to officers vacating appointments in Indian Cavalry regiments under the orders referred to. He has also authorised relaxation of the rules in special cases where they occasion real hardship to existing seconds in command.

Public House Licences


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before the Finance Act of 1909, the City and County of London paid one-eighth of the total sum paid for licences for public-houses and beer-houses in the United Kingdom, exclusive of London; whether, for the five complete years ended 31st March, 1914, the aggregate duties have been no less than £3,207,000 for London and £14,683,000 for the whole of the United Kingdom, exclusive of London, equal to nine-fortieths; whether, if the old proportion had been maintained, London would have paid £1,300,000 less during the five years, equivalent to an excess for London of over £250,000 a year; whether the rate of increase has been in London 193 per cent. and the rest of the United Kingdom 76 per cent., and the average payment has risen from £28 to £87 in London, and in the rest of the United Kingdom from £14 to £20; and when he proposes to redress this state of affairs?

Before the Licence Duties were increased by the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, the city and county of London contributed about one-ninth of the total sum paid for licences for public houses and beer houses in the United Kingdom, and if this proportion had been maintained London would have paid about £1,980,000 out of the total amount collected in respect of those licences for the five years ended 31st March, 1914. The amounts which have actually been paid for the city and county of London for this period are not shown in the official records, for the reason explained on the 1st May, 1913, in a reply I gave to the right hon. Gentleman who was then Member for East Worcestershire, and I am not therefore in a position to check the comparison made by the hon. Member. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for East Nottingham on the 25th ultimo.

Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to do anything to redress this manifest injustice?

As the hon. Member knows very well, I have done my best to induce the licensed victuallers to supply mc with information which would enable us to introduce a Bill to levy on the basis rather of the trade done. That would be very much better adapted to the case. Up to the present I have not succeeded, because the interests of the London licensed victuallers and those of the country are in direct opposition.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the information he asked for was perfectly useless for the purpose?

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that this injustice affects not merely licence holders, but the ratepayers of the whole of London, because the other ratepayers have to make up the reduction in the rateable value of licensed premises?

I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman that it Has an indirect effect undoubtedly on the rates.

Income Tax


asked whether the assessment to Income Tax for 1914–15 on income from possessions will be based on the average income which accrued due in each of the three preceding years?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that my question yesterday referred to incomes actually received, whereas this refers to income accrued due, and is it not the fact that income which accrues due is not paid until the following tax year?

I will consider the point, but I was under the impression that it was practically the same question.

Settlement Estate Duty


asked whether, in cases where Settlement Estate Duty has been claimed on the occasion of deaths which have already occurred but has not yet been paid, it will now be exacted?

The answer is in the affirmative in the case of deaths occurring before the 12th May last.

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that this will be retrospective against the subject and not against himself?

It simply means that you cannot discriminate against people who pay their duty promptly. Those who have delayed paying Death Duties cannot be put in a better position than those who have not.

Is it the case that they will be called upon to pay the premium for insurance after the Insurance policy is voided?

They will be called upon to pay exactly what everyone else has paid before May, and it would be very unfair that these people should have a special advantage because they delayed payment of duty.

Is it not the fact that they will be called upon to pay after the bargain has already been repudiated?

I repeat that they will be called upon to pay what everyone else has paid under the same conditions as before.

Does the right hon. Gentleman really mean to insist on exacting the insurance premium when the policy itself has been voided, and that these people will be made to pay the duty when the consideration for which they are to pay it is not to be received?

Unless that were done we should also have to refund the money which has been paid by others, and where is that going to end?

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that that is the consequence of his own legislation, and not the fault of these people?

That is a matter which was argued in the House. If a thing is to be done you have to fix some date and you cannot discriminate as between people under the same circumstances, having to pay the same sum of money under the same law.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is only the rich people who are now complaining about the Budget?

Road Board (Chairmanship)


asked whether the chairmanship of the Road Board is a full-time appointment; and, if this is so, how Sir George Gibb can have time for the duties of the chairmanship of the committee for inquiring into the Holt Committee Report?

The statutory duties of the Chairman of the Road Board occupy his full time, but I hope that he may be able without undue inconvenience to perform the duties of Chairmanship of the Post Office Wages Committee, which he has been requested by the President of the Board of Trade to undertake.

Certainly. They are very onerous duties. At the same time, Civil servants very often are invited to assist Committees and Commissions of this sort. Unless they were these Committees would suffer a good deal.

Who will undertake his duties when he is obliged to attend the meetings?

Surely the whole of his time will not be taken up by the Committee. He will be able to attend to the work of the Board. I have made inquiries about that. It may involve overtime, but he will be able to do it.

Will not onerous duties be imposed on the Road Board with reference to accounts under the Revenue Bill, and, if so, how will this official find time, being Chairman of a very important Committee?

I hope the Committee will have reported before the duties cast on him by the Revenue Bill will begin.

Land Valuation Department


asked whether up to October last travelling expenses and subsistence allowances were paid to assistant valuers under the Valuation Department when they were sent into the country to inspect properties; whether they were engaged on the understanding that this was the practice; whether since October last these allowances have been withheld; and, if so, on what grounds?

There has been no alteration in the regulations which govern the travelling expenses and subsistence allowance.

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my question on the Paper: Whether this allowance was given up to October last, and whether it has since been withdrawn?

Land Court (Scotland)


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the special cases stated by the Land Court to the Court of Session for opinion are still being delayed through the continued illness of Lord Kennedy, the president of the Land Court; whether these cases have been before the Court since August, 1913; how much longer it is expected they will be delayed; and whether some steps will be taken to prevent similar delay in the future?

I have done all that is in my power to facilitate the work of the Land Court by appointing an interim chairman in terms of Section 3 (5) of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act, 1911, to act during the temporary absence through ill-health of Lord Kennedy. I understand the interim chairman is dealing with special cases along with the other work of the Court.

Is it the fact that none of these applications have ever been decided against Lord Kennedy, and therefore does it matter whether they are heard at all?

Fishing Industry (Fraserburgh)

27 and 28.

asked the Secretary for Scotland (1) if there are upwards of 2,000 people from the Highlands and Islands engaged in the fishing industry at present at Fraserburgh; and whether any inspection of their quarters is made by a local government inspector; and (2) whether, in 58, Castle Street, Fraserburgh, there are a number of young women lodged in connection with an adjoining herring-curing yard; whether there are six grown-up young women sleeping three to a bed in low rooms fourteen feet square, the bedding being of straw; whether there is no through ventilation; whether the skylights are sealed with cement; whether the occupation of herring-curing is wet, dirty, and odoriferous; whether as a result there has been considerable sickness, the sick having in some cases to sleep three in a bed along with the healthy; and if he will say what steps he will take to remedy matters?

I am informed that the number of persons from the Highlands and Islands at present engaged in the fishing industry at Fraserburgh is, approximately, as stated by the Noble Marquess. A medical inspector of the Local Government Board is at present in Fraserburgh examining the conditions, but I have not yet received information on the detailed statements contained in the second question.

Housing Conditions (Greenock)


asked the Secretary for Scotland when he will be able to publish the Report of the inquiry by the Scottish Local Government Board in reference to the housing conditions of Greenock?

The Report is at present before the Local Government Board who propose to obtain forthwith the observations of the local authority, and will thereafter consider the question of its publication.

Small Holdings (Scotland)


asked whether the bed-recesses in the new kind of cottage which the Board of Agriculture for Scotland proposes to erect for small holders are lit from above by a sky-light; and in what manner is their proper ventilation provided for?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The rooms are ventilated by windows and chimneys.


asked whether the Scottish Board of Agriculture has yet built any of the new kind of cottages for small holders; and, if so, how many, and where?

Of the three standard types of cottages shown in Appendix 7 of the Report of the Board for last year there have been built:—

Type 1. One cottage at Stonefield, Aberfoyle, and one at Lochearnhead.

Type 2. Two cottages on new holdings at Harrietsfield, St. Boswells.

Type 3. One cottage at Palace, Jedburgh.


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he will place copies of the plans of the Scottish Board of Agriculture's cottages for small holders in the Library in order that Scottish Members of Parliament may judge for themselves whether the proposed cottages are satisfactory?

The plans and elevations of the three standard types of cottages are shown in the Appendix 7 of the Report of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland for 1913.

Antiquities (Scotland)


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that an ancient urn, described by the director of the National Museum of Antiquities as of rather unusual quality and not similar in ornamentation to any other example in the national collections of Scotland, was found recently at Hawcraig; whether it was sent as treasure trove to the King's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer in Edinburgh; whether he advised that it should be placed in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh; and whether, seeing that there is an excellent museum, called the Perthshire Natural History Museum, in Perth, the principal town of the county in which the urn was found, he will make representations to the proper quarter with a view to the placing of the urn in the Perth Museum?

The reply to the first portion of my hon. Friend's question is in the affirmative. I am informed that the question of placing the urn in the Perthshire Natural History Museum instead of in the National Museum of Antiquities has been considered on a request by the Curator of the former Museum but that, in view of the fact that the urn is of a type somewhat distinct from the other examples of its class in the national collection and of the importance to the public and to students of making the latter as complete and representative as possible it has been decided that the national claim should prevail over that of the locality.

Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that all important antiquities found in Scotland should be sent to the collection in Edinburgh and kept there?

No, but I suggest that where you have such a specimen it is much more valuable to have it in a National collection than in a small local collection.

Agricultural Institute, Inverness


asked the Secretary for Scotland if he has taken any further steps to meet the views of those who are anxious to establish an agricultural institute in Inverness; and, if so, what?

The Board of Agriculture for Scotland are arranging a meeting at Inverness with persons interested to discuss the question, and to ascertain the extent of local support which may be given to the project.

Trawling, Moray Firth


asked the Secretary for Scotland how many foreign trawlers were reported fishing in the Moray Firth since 1st January; if, during the same period, any British trawlers were seen in the Moray Firth and, if so, what distance from land; whether any prosecutions took place, and were the prosecutions directed against British or foreign trawlers, and with what result; how many Government vessels were employed in patrolling the Moray Firth during the period mentioned; what has been their cost to the State; and how is it that they are used for the purpose of arresting British trawlers, while foreigners can fish without molestation?

Since the 1st January last fifty-eight trawlers under foreign flags and two under British flags have been observed fishing in the Moray Firth. The two latter were observed respectively 10 miles and 13 miles from land. Three prosecutions have been instituted, two against masters of British trawlers and one against the master of a foreign trawler, who was detected fishing within the 3-mile limit. One British master was fined £75 or sixty days' imprisonment; the foreign master was fined £10 or sixty days, with the forfeiture of all fish on board his vessel; the charge against the other British master has not yet been tried. There has generally been one and at times two vessels patrolling the Firth, but as several vessels have been engaged, and have performed other duties, the cost cannot be stated. With regard to the last portion of the question, I would remind the Noble Marquess of the discussions which have taken place in the House during recent years on the point which he mentions, and of the inquiry of the Departmental Committee respecting fishery limits, which is now proceeding.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if the foreign fines have been paid or the sentences carried into effect?

I would ask the hon. Member kindly to put the question down on the Paper.

Lecropt Public Sbhool


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that with regard to Lecropt public school the school board appointed a fully certificated teacher on the promise that they would receive a special Grant of £50; that that Grant has been paid regularly in April and May along with the annual Grant; that for the first time this Grant was not paid in May, 1914; and that the school board have been informed that it is not to be paid until 15th May, 1015, some fifteen months after it has been earned, a practice which is to be continued, thus keeping the board one year's Grant in arrear or, in other words, depiving them of a year's Grant; and will he say what are the reasons for this proceeding?

The Grant in question is payable from the Education (Scotland) Fund under Section 17 (9) of the Act of 1908. The secondary education committee for the county of Perth have adopted" an alternative scheme of Grants under that Sub-section, as therein provided, one feature of which is the limitation of the aggregate amount of such Grants in each year to a total sum to be fixed by the committee. This scheme applies to Lecropt Public School as to all other schools in the county. Payment of the Grant claimable under Section 17 (9) by that school has had to be postponed (in common with similar Grants claimable by other schools in the district) till near the end of the Committee's year (15th May, 1915), because until then (1) the aggregate amount claimable by schools in the county, and (2) the limiting sum to be fixed by the Committee cannot be ascertained. And until these two factors are ascertained, it cannot be known how much Grant is payable to any particular school.

Is the right hon. Gentleman endeavouring to ascertain these details?

I have explained why they cannot be ascertained till other factors are known.

Scottish Education Department


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he has recently received any representations from Scotland in favour of enlarged areas for Scottish educational administration; and whether the Scottish Education Department has reached any conclusion on the subject?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. There is a good deal of difference of opinion on the subject, and I am not at present prepared to make any statement.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman how long it will be before the Scottish Education Department makes up its mind in the matter, more especially as the Department appears to be under the control of bureaucrats?

In this case we cannot be accused of bureaucratic or arbitrary action. The fact is that there is very great difference of opinion among Scottish Members on this subject.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if the question does not refer to the Scottish Education Department's mind and not to the mind of the Scottish Members? Will the right hon. Gentleman give a straight answer for once in a way?

My hon. Friend is a little inconsistent. In one breath he complains of bureaucratic behaviour, and in the next he complains that the Scottish Department is deferring to the wishes of the Scottish Members.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he could not take the initiative of calling a meeting of the Scottish Members to discuss this extremely important question?

Is it not quite possible for local areas to be amalgamated and enlarged under the power conferred by the Act of 1908 in cases where the authorities desire that the areas should be enlarged?

The hon. and learned Member is quite right. There is power, but, unfortunately, the rates are affected dissimilarly in different districts, and the one which is adversely affected generally objects.


asked the Secretary for Scotland what is the final result of the negotiations in Berwickshire for the constitution of the county as a single administrative area for education?

The negotiations in question have broken down and the Committee in intimating this result state that, while they approve of larger areas, they consider that the matter can only be satisfactorily arranged by legislation.

Does not my right hon. Friend think that the answers to the last two questions show quite clearly the desirability that the Scottish Education Department should take some definite forward step now in order to ascertain whether the bulk of Scottish opinion is in favour of this change or not?

The matter cannot be dealt with except by legislation, and it is quite impossible to promise legislation at this moment,

As preparatory to legislation, is it not desirable to undertake further inquiry in the matter?

I am pretty well acquainted with Scottish opinion, but if my hon Friend can suggest some way of ascertaining it more fully I will be very glad to consider it.

Scottish Fisheries (Housing Accommodation)


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the terms of reference to the Royal Commission on Housing in Scotland include an examination of the provision made at various fishing ports for the temporary accommodation of those engaged in herring curing, etc.; and whether he is aware that the conditions in some of these ports call for the immediate attention of the Local Government Board for Scotland?

The matter referred to in the first portion of my hon. Friend's question is covered by the terms of reference to the Royal Commission. The herring curing stations are under inspection by the local authorities of the various areas in which they are situated, and, as I have already informed the Noble Marquess the Member for West Perthshire, one of the medical inspectors of the Local Government Board is at present engaged in examining the conditions at Fraserburgh.

In view of the many representations made with regard to these fisher girls this year, can the right hon. Gentleman not see that the representatives of the Local Government Board, going round from fishing port to fishing port, make a complete report on the conditions?



asked the Secretary for Scotland if he proposes to take any steps to give further time to the forty tenants at Kirkland who have been ordered to quit their houses within thirty days by decision at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on 22nd July; and whether the provisions of the Government Housing Bill would assist these tenants to obtain the houses which at present it is impossible for them to procure in the district?

I have no power to interfere with the order of the sheriff. I am informed that considering the number of houses alreary vacated, the nearness of several growing centres of population, and the tramway facilities, no great hardship need result through these houses being closed to occupation. The applicability of the Housing Bill would depend upon facts and circumstances, and I am not in a position to give an opinion on the question contained in the last part of the question.


asked the Secretary for Scotland if he will make application to the Treasury for some portion of the money set apart under the Government Housing Bill for the housing of Government employés for men employed in the torpedo factory, Greenock?


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether, having regard to the powers proposed to be conferred by the Housing Bill on the Local Government Board for Scotland with reference to the housing of Government employés, he will bear in mind the necessity of making such provision for the employés of the torpedo factory at Greenock, either directly or by assisting local co-partnership societies incorporated with this object?


asked if the new Housing Bill will allow provision to be made for the erection of dwelling-houses for those employed by or on behalf of the torpedo factory at Greenock?

As regards the powers to be conferred by the Housing Bill, I must refer my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock to the Bill itself. If and when the Bill becomes law, no doubt the case of Greenock will be considered by the Government Departments concerned.

Agricultural Labourers (Wages)


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of the increased cost of living and the high rents that are paid for ordinary labourers' cottages in the district, the Government propose to increase the wages, which have remained unaltered for many years, of their lowest paid employés in the Forest of Dean?

Some time ago I set on foot the procedure necessary for a revision and increase of the wages referred to by the hon. Member, but I am not yet in a position to make a full statement on the subject.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the wages of these men are considerably below the workhouse minimum referred to in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Swindon speech?

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can say when a decision is likely to be arrived at, and also whether the evidence will be available at the time the applications are sent in?

I cannot answer the last part of the question until we have further details. The proposal we are intending to make in detail provides these men with a sufficiently large wage to give increased remuneration, and at the same time enable them to pay an economic rent for the cottages they occupy.

King's Bench Division


asked the Prime Minister whether he can now state to which of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Delay in the King's Bench Division, other than those requiring legislation, it is proposed to give effect; and whether the proposals of the Royal Commission dealing with the Long Vacation are to be adopted?

The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Delay in the King's Bench Division which can be carried into effect with the present number of judges of the King's Bench Division by administrative action are mainly those relating to the trial of Order 14 and other urgent cases during the Long Vacation, the hours of sitting of the judges of the King's Bench Division, arrangements as to the civil work on the Assizes and the arrangements of the work in London. These recommendations have, so far as practicable, been made effective by resolutions of the judges of the King's Bench Division, and, when necessary, followed by Rules made by the Rule Committee.

Sheriffs Court Appeal Court Bill


asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a Bill entitled Sheriff's Court Appeal Court Bill, introduced by the Member for Banffshire; and whether he will give facilities for the early passage of the measure into law?

I regret to be unable to promise the facilities desired by my hon. and gallant Friend.

Income Tax Laws


asked the Prime Minister whether it is intended that the Commission on Income Tax shall inquire into the whole system and working of the Income Tax Laws, with a view to their codification and to the removal of the various anomalies that have arisen; and whether they will have power to suggest alterations in the machinery of the assessment and collection of Income Tax?

Yes, Sir. These matters will fall within the scope of the inquiry.

Second Chamber Reform


asked the Prime Minister whether, in preparing his Resolutions for the Reform of the Second Chamber, he has had the assistance of any Committee especially appointed by him to inquire into the working, composition, and powers of other Second Chambers?

The question has been examined in all its aspects by a Committee of the Cabinet, who took into account all relevant considerations.

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has taken into consideration Lord Lansdowne's Reform Bill?

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the House will be in possession of the Resolutions?

I cannot give the date. I said it would be before the end of the Session.

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that many of his followers do not want a Second Chamber at all?

English Bishoprics (Consecration Fees)


asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the fees and charges payable by bishops of the Church of England on their consecration; and whether he will introduce legislation by which these burdens, which may amount in certain cases to £350, may be abolished?

I am aware that considerable fees are leviable on bishops upon their appointment. Only a portion of these fees are received by the Exchequer, and I am now considering whether some reduction in them cannot fairly be made by ordinary executive measures.

Industrial Unrest


asked whether the Special Committee which is considering the prevailing industrial unrest and the means to be adopted to remedy the present state of affairs has yet completed its inquiries; and when the House will be afforded an opportunity of discussing the matter, in view of the condition now obtaining in regard to some of the most important industries of the country?

The Industrial Council, to which His Majesty's Government entrusted an inquiry with regard to certain matters relating to labour questions, reported last year. The recommendations of the Council are receiving the consideration of the Government.