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Orders Of The Day

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

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Supply—Seventeenth Allotted Day

Considered in Committee.

[Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]

Colonial Office—Class Ii

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £37,510, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1915, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, including a Grant-in-Aid of certain Expenses connected with Emigration." [Note.—£24,000 has been voted on account.]

In previous years I have followed the precedent, which I set myself, of taking this opportunity of giving at the beginning of the consideration of this Vote a general review of the progress and conditions in the Crown Colonies. I had intended—and, indeed, I had prepared—such a statement for this occasion, but within the last day or two, for the general convenience of the House, an arrangement has been made through the usual channels of communication that the day will be divided into two halves, the evening after 7.30 o'clock being devoted to Education and the earlier part to the Colonial Office Vote. I do not think under those circumstances, with the time at our disposal for criticism, that I have-any right to occupy the time, as I should do, for more than an hour, and therefore I omit it on this occasion. But I hope that whoever is at the Colonial Office next year—whether myself or my successor—will not depart from the precedent which has been set, which has shown itself to be a useful one, and which is departed from only on this occasion. I do not think I have any right to stand any longer between the House and the discussion.

Would it not be for the convenience of the Committee if you, Sir, indicated at what hour you would terminate this Vote and pass to the Education Vote, and how do you intend to terminate it? Will Progress be reported or will there possibly be a Division?

On a point of Order. It ought not to be assumed that we acquiesce in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that he sets the precedent that the Minister in charge on these occasions should make a speech of an hour's length in introducing the Vote. I hope that that statement will not be taken as being agreed to.

Would it not be possible for the Colonial Secretary to circulate in some way the statement which he has prepared—it would be a great convenience for Members in all parts of the House?

4.0 P.M.

Concerning the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has just made, I think that the precedent which he set as to making a review of the progress and development of the Crown Colonies was a very admirable one, but I have, however, criticised the length of the speech. I thought it was much too academic, and that the Colonial Secretary, on more consideration, could give a more condensed review, which would be extremely gratifying to the Crown Colonies, and also would serve to educate Members of this House who are not too conversant with Colonial affairs. May I say I like to call the Crown Colonies by their old name. We are somewhat handicapped to-day in discussing questions on the Colonial Office Vote, because there are certain questions which it would have been very useful if we could have brought them before the House, but unfortunately we are prevented from so doing by the fact that they are, as it were, sub judice. There is, for instance, the question of the New Hebrides. That is now before a Conference embracing representatives from France and this country, and matters which this House might well consider, and will have to consider very carefully after the Conference has reported, ought properly to have been and would have been discussed to-day were it not for this circumstance. There is also the question of Rhodesia. Before many months have gone the question of the future of Rhodesia, especially as to its future Government and administration, will be a very acute one. We cannot discuss broadly the questions relating to Rhodesia, because the question of the land, which is closely identified with the question of Government, is also sub judice. Therefore that question is eliminated. I had intended to speak on other aspects of the Rhodesian question, but I have decided not to do so, for reasons which I need not enter into further than to say that I wish to devote myself to one subject only this afternoon. There is also a very grave question involving the relation of provincial governments to Dominion Governments, and of Dominion Governments to the Imperial Government. Then there is the question of the Japanese steamer now detained at Vancouver, which has brought Indian subjects demanding admittance to the province as British subjects. We cannot discuss that, though it is clearly a question which ought to be discussed in this House, since we could no doubt rely on the Colonial Secretary to throw light upon a question concerning which many people in this country are confused and anxious. We cannot discuss that question, because the matter is sub judice.

There is, however, a question which we are free to discuss, and I intend to devote my remarks to the question of Somaliland. The right hon. Gentleman stated to-day that he hoped to lay papers very soon concerning Somaliland. It is some weeks since the light hon. Gentleman stated that he would be able presently to lay papers concerning Somaliland. I think he must have anticipated that this Vote would come on this week, or, at the latest, next week, and I do not understand why he has not been able to lay papers, so that we could discuss the position in Somaliland, concerning which we are extraordinarily ignorant. I have been going through the OFFICIAL REPORT since the 24th February last, when a Debate occurred upon what was called a British defeat in Somaliland and the death of Mr. Corfield. I want to repeat now what I said then. I was not then prepared to discuss the British defeat in Somaliland, because there was no British defeat. The followers of the Mullah in Somaliland, when they are asked concerning that event, speak of it as a defeat for themselves, and they speak of Mr. Corfield in terms of which the right hon. Gentleman ought to be proud—proud that a man of Corfield's character served under him while he was at the Colonial Office. I hope that, even at this late date, the right hon. Gentleman will not only say that Corfield upheld the position into which he was driven by the policy which the Colonial Office had pursued, but that in most trying circumstances to the best of his judgment he upheld the responsibility to which he was committed with an honour worthy of a brave gentleman and a competent servant of the Empire. I hope that that belated commendation, which Corfield ought to have received at the right hon. Gentleman's hands on the 24th February, will be given to-day. The right hon. Gentleman can at least say that the Colonial Office are proud of a man whose mistake—if it was a mistake—was made because of the circumstances in which he was placed, and that, as Mr. Archer said in his report—
"It is apparent to me that he considered any other action than engaging the Dervishes impossible for the sake of our already much shaken prestige in the country."
I pass from that with the hope that my words have not fallen unheeded on the right hon. Gentleman's ears. It is not too late to turn aside the criticism, which still stings in the minds of vast numbers of people in this country, that Corfield was abandoned at a moment when his memory should have been supported by the right hon. Gentleman. I want to know what the present situation is in Somaliland. We have had many policies—policies which varied under the late Unionist Government, and which I do not intend to defend. They were experimental; but from their experience the present Government ought to have come to a permanent and consistent policy. The present Government attempted the policy of having about 900 men from sixty to a hundred miles from the coast, based upon Burao, with the object of arming the friendlies, putting down raids, and preventing cattle stealing and marauding. That proved a failure, so they said. Then they send a very responsible Committee of Inquiry to Somaliland, consisting of Sir Reginald Wingate and Slatin Pasha, both men of wide experience, not only in dealing with natives but of the outposts of the Empire. They recommended the evacuation of the interior, concentration upon the coast, and distribution of arms to the friendlies. That was soon abandoned. It was found that the distribution of arms to the friendlies near the coast meant constant raids and difficulties, and the small Camel Corps stationed at Berbera had to issue forth and attempt to put clown these raids. Gradually the policy of the Government developed. Instead of having fifty Camel Corps they had seventy; then instead of seventy they had one hundred and fifty. Instead of staying at the coast, they pushed on to Sheikh; instead of staying at Sheikh, they pushed on to Burao; instead of staying at Burao, they permitted the Camel Corps to go further inland, in order to do—what? In order to protect the friendlies, as far as possible, but by no means to enter upon an engagement in which it might be feared they would be defeated.

It is not customary to British officers, if they have well disciplined men behind them and think that they can achieve a victory, to turn back, when turning back means loss of prestige to the country to which they belong. I am referring to this matter because after Dul Madoba there was a hasty retreat upon the coast back to Berbera. I have never been able to understand why. There was no retreat from Burao at all. Where were the-Mullah and his followers? They were cutting away as hard as they could from-Burao, from the punishment which they had had, when 300 of their number were killed or wounded. There was no danger but if there had been, what was to have-prevented the 700 men from India coming up to Burao and holding that post—and holding something more than that post: holding the prestige of the British nation, holding the respect of the friendlies, holding the Mullah in some sense of awe of the character of British and Indian troops—troops, at any rate, under British control and command. We have the Camel Corps—I fancy that is what was promised—of 500 men. We are going to have Indian troops—perhaps they are-there; I do not know; I want to know—of 400 men. That would be 900 men. I believe that 350 of the Camel Corps are stationed at Sheikh. I was told the other day by the right hon. Gentleman that there were no Camel Corps and no Indian troops at Burao. The Committee must see in what difficulty we are in in discussing these matters. It may be that I am making charges which the right hon. Gentleman can refute by saying, "I have information which goes to show so-and-so." That is the difficulty of the situation. We have no-Papers. I think we ought to have had by this time. If the right hon. Gentleman could promise Papers a few weeks ago, he could have satisfied us by now, if the resources of his Department are not exhausted, as I have no reason to think they are.

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what is going to happen when he re-occupies Burao? He said on the 26th March that Burao was to be reoccupied. To make the situation stronger there will be 500 Camel Corps distributed between Berbera, Zeila, and Bulhar. He will have Indian troops also at the same places. What are they going to do there? Are-they going to sit down and hold the post like a garrison, or are they going to use-it as a base, and move out, as Corfield did, with the approval of the right hon Gentleman, to attempt to preserve peace among-the friendlies, to put down small raids, to stop robberies and marauding, and to attempt to restore the confidence of the friendlies in British administration? And, to look no further than that, if that is exactly the position that existed at the time of Dul Madoba, what is going to happen? The Mullah's followers are in a position where they cannot be touched now—at least, I assume so. Will they not do as they have always done? When you have your posts established and in hand, and you have begun to make your little area, your little circle of protection, they will come nearer and nearer, destroying as they march, to the point where the friendlies have drawn in with their cattle within the circle of British protection, as they believe. The Mullah will come down in force into the area into which the friendlies have drawn with their cattle, and what is going to happen when the raids begin and the Mullah grows bolder and stronger? Will the right hon. Gentleman pursue then the same policy which was pursued in the case of Mr. Corfield? Will he say, "Now remember, just as soon as there is any danger of defeat you will fall back upon Burao; if you are in any danger there, you will draw back upon Sheikh, and then upon Berbera"? That will be a repetition of the indeterminate policy which has brought such trouble in the past. We will not be better off than in 1904, for since then we have had no triumph, except Dul Madoba. We had in 1904 the big defeat of the Dervishes. Since then we have been like a river stream, back and filling. We have not seemed to know exactly where we were, and since papers come to this House so seldom from that country through the right hon. Gentleman, we are always in a circle of darkness until the Colonial Vote comes, and then the right hon. Gentleman does his best to enlighten us.

I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will not beat about the bush to-day. I hope he will give a direct answer to my question, which is this: "What is the policy?" Is the policy to be the same as that pursued from Burao before? If that is so, then if with 800 men in 1908 we could not protect Burao and keep order amongst the friendlies, and prevent marauding, 900 men will not be able to do it to-day, no matter how strong, active and wise the Commissioner is, nor how brave the officer in command at Burao. A firm policy should be pursued. I do not think this nation is in the least disposed to establish posts in the interior of a country like Somaliland, which are only to be held tentatively and the holding of which is only experimental in its nature. To my mind only two things are possible; either a powerful garrison must be stationed at Berbera, Sheikh, and Burao, with a large force available to be sent down to the Ain Valley or into the Koath area, or else we should abandon the interior entirely. Does the Committee consider what the future of the country is going to be? In 1884 we occupied the coast for strategical reasons, in order, as Lord Lansdowne said, "To prevent anybody else occupying it." I think it was essential that we should be established upon that littoral.

I am not at all sure, looking back over the history of the last fifteen years, that this attempt to hold posts in the interior from which we retreated when any difficulty occurs is going to do anything but increase the disturbance and disorder that have existed there, particularly during the last twelve years. The right hon. Gentleman assured us with a smile of content that the Mullah was an old man, dropsical and under the spell of morphia, and that if we waited long enough, our fortunes would turn. The Mahdi had the same disorder and he lived long enough to imprison Slatin Pasha, to appoint a very powerful successor in the Khaliphite, give us great trouble for a long time, and make a great demand upon British money and British troops before he was laid low at Omdurman. Does the right hon. Gentleman think that when the Mad Mullah dies, there will be no Khalifa to follow him? I am inclined to think that these Dervishes whom the Mad Mullah has led will have a strong leader ready to take his place, to pursue the policy of raiding, disturbing, and breaking up the friendly tribes, destroying them, robbing them of their cattle, leaving them to rest again until they have acquired cattle once more, and they are within the protection of the British zone. Then again this successor will make a big effort to take off all the cattle, as the followers of the Mullah did at the time of Dul Madoba. What happened then was that all the cattle of the friendlies were swept away by the Mullah's party. Mr. Corfield seeing that British prestige would be badly hit unless an attempt were made to recover these cattle, made the attempt. It was an excellent attempt, and a successful attempt. If he had lived and had kept his troops at Burao, decimated though they were, I am absolutely certain that this House would have applauded. [An HON. MEMBER: "They do now!"] Yes, they do now—have applauded the action, though it might be regarded as a mistaken action—though I do not think it was mistaken—and one to be regarded as reflecting credit upon British administration.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the policy which is going to be pursued when Burao is occupied—I assume he will tell us that it is going to be occupied—will be simply the policy of protecting, when you can without the least difficulty and danger, the tribes which will gather in and around Burao, and when any trouble comes and the place is threatened, retreating down the coast with the friendlies struggling after and the Mullah's followers cutting them down? Or docs the right hon. Gentleman feel that now that he has a camel corps of 500 with 400 Indians the post will be strong enough to permit a wider protection being established? When the area of protection is endangered by the Mullah's followers, for the purpose of destruction, will those troops be ample to meet the Mullah and his followers? One thing is certain, that if that post is attacked by the Mullah's followers, and that post should be held by 600 or 700 men, or 500, that with the road kept open to Berbera by way of Sheikh, reinforcements could be brought from Aden quickly enough to deliver a smashing blow to the Mullah and his followers if they remain within that area of British protection. I should like to hear from the right hon. Gentleman that we are not going back again to, shall I call it, a "shilly shally" policy, or to a backing and filling policy, to "I will and I will not" policy; whether we, at any rate, are going as far as Burao is concerned and the chain from Berbera to Burao to hold that line, to hold Burao, and to have some post in the interior which we can call our own. If there is no further policy, then we ought to retreat upon the coast and stay there, and allow Somaliland to look after itself and its interior; and forget our treaties, forget our obligations, forget all that we have promised, forget the distribution of rifles, forget the training and organisation we ought to have given to the friendlies, forget all and sit down at the coast and suck our thumbs Upon my word, I do not know what other policy ought to be pursued, unless we mean to hold the position that we have got in the interior, and gradually to extend our power until the Mullah is at last defeated. I look to the right hon. Gentleman to-day to give us a definite reply and make a definite statement.

I do not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman into the question of Somaliland. I wish to ask the Colonial Secretary to give the Committee some information on one or two matters of vital importance to the welfare of the natives, particularly in British East Africa. Some of us have been very, interested in the reading of the Report and evidence of the Native Labour Commission, and we are grateful to the Colonial Secretary for making that available in this country—at any rate to the Members of this House. While that Commission has undoubtedly made many recommendations of great value, I think one of its most valuable results is, to make quite clear to anyone who reads the danger that lies in front of us in regard to the attitude of a large number of settlers in British East Africa to the natives' right to their land and the question of native labour. It seems to me quite clear from the evidence of that Commission that a number of settlers have been constantly pressing on the Government to force the natives out of their reserves in order that there may be a more adequate supply of labour for the planters. It is a very natural economic demand on the part of the settlers, but the position of the native is a very serious one. It has been suggested that the taxation of the natives should be increased, so that they may be forced to spend a larger time in the year labouring for the white settlers. It has been suggested that they should be compelled to wear clothes, in order that they should be forced to buy them. It has been suggested that they should be compelled to do their share of work for the Government, and possibly that they should be farmed out to the settlers. I hope the Colonial Secretary will give us an assurance upon all these points.

But beyond that question of native labour there is the great question of the natives' right to their land, and their right to the existing reserves and to the land which has not yet been definitely assigned to anyone, and which forty years ago was, if the property of anyone, the property of these black natives, when we ourselves had no intention of going into the country. I think public opinion has not yet realised how serious the position to these natives is. In the eye of the law it has been made quite clear by the action that certain members of the Masai tribe have endeavoured to bring, in order to set aside the transfer of their land by chiefs to the Colonial Office. The question of the justice and expediency of that transfer was questioned by certain members of the tribe who were dissatisfied with it. There is no doubt they tried to question its legality, and the High Court of British East Africa decided that these natives, not being British subjects, had no right to bring the action at all in the British Courts. They were a foreign people whose chiefs had made a treaty with the British Crown, and this solemn treaty pledged the honour of the British Crown that these lands should be theirs for ever. They were told that they had no power to bring their case before a British Court, though they are brought before the British Courts again and again if their cattle stray out of bounds and cross the border, as they do in times of great drought. They can come before the Courts as defendants, but they are not allowed to come before the Court in any other capacity. Because of this quibble of the Status of British East Africa they are not allowed to come before the Court and urge their case against the Government. Surely this is a very substantial injustice. Are we to allow it to continue indefinitely by continuing this anomalous status of a protectorate when we all know we have no intention of abandoning the country, and when to all intents and purposes it is part of the dominions of the Crown. We are doing great injustice to a large number of the native population, because they are not getting a chance of maintaining their rights. It may be that this claim may not have been justified in the Courts, but at least those dissatisfied natives had a right to bring it, and we ought to see that that right should be maintained.

I hope the Colonial Secretary will be able to assure us as to this ultimate right of the native population, and that they will be given a position under the dominion of the Crown which they are not allowed by this quibble at the present time. One of the results of the native Labour Commission was that the Comimssioners felt they could not make a definite recommendation as to the native reserves, and there is great disagreement in East Africa as to whether these reserves are adequate for the native population It seems pretty clear they cannot be adequate if any considerable increase takes place in the population. I think we have a right to claim on behalf of these natives whose country this is far more than the settlers, that when new reserves are dealt with, the Government should see that land enough is left not for a bare minimum of the population, but to provide for an increase of the population, both in the interests of the natives and the ultimate interest of the Crown, so that we may not have a dissatisfied landless population, conscious that in distant days this land was the land of their people, and that owing to some legal arrangement entered into under the British Crown it was taken away from them.

The hon. Gentleman cannot be aware that under existing conditions there is no dissatisfaction amongst the East African settlers, and that the men for whom he was pleading so eloquently this afternoon are far richer than the white population.

The hon. Gentleman will see if he reads the evidence given before the Labour Commission that certain settlers maintain that the reserves ought to be cut down; they ask that the land reserved should be taken away, and that the natives should be compelled to come out and work. Have we a right to say that the natives should work for us? We have every right to induce them, by education, by improved economic conditions, and otherwise, to give more of their time to manual labour. I am entirely in favour of that, but have we a right to compel them, by taking away this land, which is morally theirs? I hope the Colonial Secretary will see that it is made quite clear that the British Government will uphold the unwritten rights of the natives, and will maintain them at whatever cost. I feel there is reason for pressing this now because there is before the Council a draft land Ordinance, and that Ordinance declares that all the land not already held by legal title should be Crown land. And it could be made perfectly easy by administrative act for this land to be taken away from the actual occupiers without compensation. I see a real danger—I do not say under the present administration, but we must look ahead—of measures taken now being made an excuse in years to come for a great act of injustice being done to these natives. I hope that the Colonial Secretary, when he speaks upon this point, will make it quite clear that in future, if reserves are delimited, regard will be had not merely to the actual population, but to the natural growth of the population, and that room will be left for them, and that he will trust to other measures, such as education, and a gradual pressure of economic causes when you have a higher state of civilisation, rather than forced measures suggested by some of the settlers to get the natives to come in and give their labour, as so many of the settlers in British East Africa desire them to do. I think we have very great reason to see that we take away this reproach now being made against our rule, that while we talk very much about shouldering the white man's burden, we take great care to secure for ourselves the black man's land.

I desire to say a few words on another branch of the subject in connection with this Vote. I wish to refer to the constitutional discussion that recently took place in Tasmania, and to the public communications made in connection therewith. In Tasmania the Ministry was defeated, and they asked for a dissolution, and for the reasons given in the White Paper the dissolution was not granted. It appears that the numbers of each party in the Legislature were practically or almost equal, and the Governor decided he should not grant a dissolution on the ground that the party in power had recently had an appeal to the country. He then called upon the Leader of the Opposition to assume power and to form a Cabinet, and he asked the Leader of the Opposition to do so subject to one or two conditions. The leading condition was that the Leader of the Opposition who became Prime Minister, should agree to the dissolution of the House and appeal to the people, so that a new Parliament might be returned. That was the important condition. The Leader of the Opposition—that is, the incoming Prime Minister—instead of objecting to the condition which was laid down for his guidance, accepted it. He formed his Ministry, and after it was formed and sworn in they appear to have changed their minds, and they made a representation to the State Governor that it would be a breach of constitutional government for them to commit themselves in advance to a proposition of the character placed before them by the Governor, and, therefore, they wished to be released from their obligations which they had assumed. Now, the first Paper, signed by the Prime Minister, does not disclose the fact that he and the Governor had come to the conclusion to adopt this condition. That was kept in the background, and it does not appear until the Governor made his reply.

When the Governor made his reply he pointed out to the new Prime Minister that before he accepted office, and before his Ministry was sworn in, he, the Prime Minister, had agreed to this condition, and that it was one of the terms of arrangements under which he entered into his office, and that he, the Governor, thought, and still thought, that a new House should be elected. On the following day the legislative Assembly of the State passed a resolution which appears in the White Paper taking up the ground that the Governor acted unconstitutionally in the stand he had taken in making the suggestion to the incoming Prime Minister and condemning the arrangements that had been entered into by the Prime Minister and the Governor as being a departure from constitutional government, and in conclusion it asked that the question should be referred to the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. The correspondence was placed before the right hon. Gentleman, and he proceeded to make a communication upon the subject, and in that communication he points out that it is not the function of a Colonial or Dominion Governor to indicate to his Ministry what course of proceedings should be taken, and that he is bound to act upon the advice of his Ministers, to all of which, of course, very little exception can be taken, but I think it hits somewhat hardly upon the Governor. The Secretary of State for the Colonies says:—
"At the same time, while I consider that you should not have imposed terms on Mr. Earle. I recognise that he was entirely at liberty to decline the duty of forming a Government unless he was left with complete discretion as to the advice to be tendered to you. Instead of doing so, he decided to take office, and thus must be held to have accepted for the time being full responsibility for your action."
Up to this point I take no exception, but the further remarks I will quote I think are open to some criticism:—
"He (the Prime Minister) remained fully responsible until the Ministry determined to advise in the contrary sense, when the policy of dissolution ceased to be authorised by ministerial advice, but became a matter of your personal opinion, that is to say, no constitutional means existed of giving effect to it without another change of views on the part of Ministers, or another change of Ministry."
Although in the main that may be correct, still it does veil in a midst of language that once the Leader of the Opposition became Prime Minister and had assented to the conditions, he was bound by that in the future, and any renunciation later was a breach of a clear bargain made between the Prime Minister and the Governor. While that bargain subsisted surely the Governor was not open to reproach when he had frankly and fairly put before the Prime Minister the conditions upon which he accepted him as his chief adviser. If that was binding up to the time the Minister was sworn in, surely the departure from it, instead of constituting anything in the nature of a reflection upon the Governor of the Colony, was more a breach of the bargain openly made between the parties, as is proved by the evidence of the right hon. Gentleman himself. In this House we have to be extremely careful of the criticisms we make with regard to the Governments in our Dominions over-seas. They have their differences just as we have, and whatever criticism is made by the right hon. Gentleman in this paper, and whatever I have said, has been made in perfect good faith without taking sides.

I wish to say a word or two with regard to the policy of co-operation in the Empire. There is no doubt whatever that this is a matter that we cannot ignore whether we call ourselves great Englanders or little Englanders, because we are all interested in that vast space of the earth's surface and the enormous population which constitutes the British Empire. What we have to look forward to in the future is more serious co-operation in the development of this vast Empire which is our possession. In that connection I am not going to refer to any question that can be regarded as controversial, such as the fiscal question, but I do think that the subject of emigration is one which calls for greater care and supervision. In making that observation I do not mean for one moment that there should be any encouragement to people to leave this country but we know from experience that large numbers of our countrymen do leave this country and go abroad. We have an interest, and emigrants have an interest, in seeing that as far as possible they should settle under the British flag. At the present time supervision in that respect is practically non-existent, and surely it is compatible with the interests of this country and our great dominions overseas that some sort of supervision and oversight should prevail over the emigration that inevitably takes place, so that as far as possible the emigrants should go to countries under the British flag, and should not feel that they are entirely cut off from the Motherland. There should not only be a bond of sentiment but also some practical means of systematic communication kept up between those abroad and those remaining behind in this country other than the post or the telegraph. Whenever our people approach any of our great dominions for settlement I think there should be some co-operation between this country and those dominions with a view to seeing that those people do not arrive there as absolute strangers, in some cases practically stranded in a land that must be more or less strange to them. It would be far better if a friendly hand could meet them, and that they should be conducted or shepherded as far as possible and assisted in finding some means of livelihood and settlement in suitable parts of the country, instead of being left to travel haphazard, perhaps through thousands of miles of territory which is unknown to them.

From what I have heard in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa, the public officials there are quite willing to afford any assistance they can to make things as comfortable and agreeable as possible to those emigrants who desire to improve their fortunes, and I think many of these people might receive more friendly salutation than is the case at the present time. Our means of communication might be vastly improved. In the case of postal matters and telegraph communication there is room for vast improvement. Improvements in our lines of communication, whether by ship or telegraph or by post would materially strengthen the bonds of friendship and help to knit together more-perfectly and strongly the enormous Dominions which are under the aegis of the British flag. In that connection I think it would be a great deal better for this country and for our great Dominions if there could be some sort of reasonable and rational supervision of the news that is sent out from this country to our great Dominions all over the world. Hon. Members who have been abroad know these difficulties, and I have often been at a loss to obtain anything like an accurate idea of what is taking place in the United Kingdom whilst living abroad. How that is to be done I am not able to explain, but the necessity exists, and I do trust it will not be beyond the power of British enterprise and skill and forethought to devise some means by which better and purer news of what is going on here shall reach our great Dominions abroad. These are the only points to which I wish to call attention, and I commend them to the respectful consideration of the Colonial Secretary.

I think the hon. Member for Chertsey (Mr. Macmaster) touched upon a very important point when he referred to an Imperial news service. I think it is of the utmost importance that our Colonies should get accurate information as to what is going on in the old country. Perhaps the Colonial Secretary might do worse than institute a system of cablegrams with regard to important information which can be very easily obtained in this country in regard to news, which never does seem to percolate to other countries. I have been to most of our Colonies, and I know the information they get is of the most extraordinary character at times. I wish to bring to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman the question of the native lands in South Africa. The Colonial Secretary knows quite well, and so do we, that it is impossible to interfere or do anything which might seem like interfering with the Government of South Africa. I happen to have been responsible for a Resolution passed unanimously in this House previous to the passing of the Act of Union, and in the discussion which took place on that occasion the Under-Secretary of State to the Colonies laid it down as one of the duties of the Imperial Parliament to protect in every possible way the interests of the natives in their land, and protect their rights and liberties in that respect. If we take away the land from the natives we take away his liberty. In reference to the Natives Land Act of 1913, I want to put two or three points before the right hon. Gentleman. In the Union of South Africa, blacks own about 4,500,000 morgen of land, and the whites own fourteen times as much land as the blacks, though, of course, they are very much smaller in number. The inequality is very noticeable in the Transvaal, where there are 300,000 whites holding 31,000,000 morgen of land, as against a total of 32,000,000 morgen, and the 1,000,000 natives only have 500,000 morgen of land which they can call their own. The Land Act of 1913 declares in its first Clause:—

"Except with the approval of the Governor-General, a native shall not enter into any agreement or transaction for the purchase, hire, or other acquisition from a person oher than a native, of any such land, or of any right thereto, interest therein, or servitude thereover."
And secondly
"A person other than a native shall not enter into any agreement or transaction for the purchase, hire, or other acquisition from a native of any such lands or of any rights thereto."
5.0 P.M.

It has been said over and over again in South Africa that this Sub-section applies equally to Europeans and Whites as well as to the natives. There is, they say, no injustice. The European is estopped from this purchase of land, just as the native is estopped. All I can say in answer to that is that the fallacy is shown the moment you begin to ask what land the natives have to sell. The native areas are already overcrowded, and they positively have no land which they could sell. When once a native leaves his farm or is evicted or has to quit for any reason whatever, the Act does not allow him to purchase, hire, or to lease anywhere else for farming purposes except from natives, who have not the land to lease or to sell. He therefore must become a servant of the farm. There is absolutely nothing else for him to do but to become a servant of the farm, and in many cases, although I do not wish to say any word against the farmers in South Africa, it practically means that he has got to become a servant. This Act has already produced very great hardships. It has produced hardships to the people who were under notice to quit at the time the Act was passed, to the people who have actually since then been evicted from their farms, to the natives who were in search of land and who are wandering about with their families and stock and have nowhere to settle, and to the natives who have had to leave their crops un-reaped. There are many hundreds of such cases of hardship which have been inflicted under the Act which is being enforced on all sides. I do not wish to go into this question at very great length, because the right hon. Gentleman knows more about it than anybody in the House in all probability, and he knows the difficulties of the situation.

I want to put before him just one point with regard to what can be done. We call ourselves the protectors of the rights of the natives, and we claim that we have always, in season and out of season, insisted that those rights should not be infringed, and that no action should be taken against their liberties. The Imperial Government cannot, of course, intervene in the sense of asking the Govern- ment of South Africa either to rescind an Act of Parliament or to amend an Act of Parliament, unless it is their own wish, but I must point out that Clauses 1, 4, and 5 do operate most harshly against the native, and it might be possible, on the representation of the right hon. Gentleman, for the Prime Minister of South Africa to mitigate the hardships. I do not say that it would be possible to ask him to suspend altogether the operations of those Clauses until such time as the Land Commissioners reported, but certainly, if the Prime Minister could see his way to do that, it would do a very great deal to conciliate native opinion in South Africa, and it seems to me that it would be one of the most humane things that could possibly be conceived. Apart altogether from that, I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the fact that Mr. Dower, the Minister for Native Affairs, by the wish and on the instructions of General Botha, wrote a letter with regard to native lands, and to native affairs generally, to one of the deputation,—which deputation. I believe, is still in England—whether he will use that letter as a lever for obtaining some sort of definite native policy in South Africa. May I read to the Committee a portion, at any rate, of that letter:—
"When the time arrives for introducing such legislation it is the intention of the Government to make full legislative provision for such gradual expropriation of lands owned by Europeans within defined native areas as may from time to time be necessary for the settlement of natives on such lands under a regularised system, for the acquisition of land by natives within such areas, for the gradual extension of the system of individual tenure, wherever the natives are sufficiently advanced to appreciate its advantages, and for the good government and the local administration of affairs in native areas by means of native councils and otherwise."
I say that this bespeaks a very wise and statesmanlike policy, and if only that policy could be, shall I say, recommended or approved of by the right hon. Gentleman, if he would intimate to the Government of South Africa that he strongly approves of that policy, and that he would wish to see it put into operation as speedily as possible, I believe that he would do a very great deal to create good feeling in South Africa, and he would certainly reassure the natives with regard to their future welfare. I do not think that I need say more on this subject, because the right hon. Gentleman is fully cognisant of the difficulties of the situation and of the needs of the natives, and I sincerely hope that he will see his way to take the step that I have suggested.

The subject to which the hon. Member has referred is no doubt of importance, and no one can quarrel with the tone of the speech in which he has introduced it. I want to revert for a few minutes to a subject which was dealt with by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey (Mr. Macmaster), and that is the recent crisis in Tasmania. The Colonial Secretary, in his dispatch, has expressed the opinion that the action of the Governor of Tasmania has not been in accordance with constitutional practice, and I do not think that the statement ought to be allowed to pass without some comment, or that it ought to be taken that all of us agree with the right hon. Gentleman. The action of the Governor of Tasmania, in declining to dissolve Parliament at the request of the late Prime Minister, has not, I think, been censured or attacked. It is plain that his view was that before the House was dissolved it was right that the party which then had the majority in the House—namely the party led by Mr. Earle—should have the opportunity of declaring their policy, and that thereupon the dissolution should take place. No one, I think, has seriously attacked that decision. It was at all events inspired by the wish to give effect to the views of the majority of the House in Tasmania. The censure, if that is the word, or at all events the comment, is made upon the action of the Governor in making it a condition when he appointed a new Minister that an early dissolution should take place, and there it is that the right hon. Gentleman disapproves of the action of the Governor.

I speak with very great reserve, like my hon. and learned Friend, in commenting upon anything that passes in a Legislature of one of our Dominions, but I do just want to point out one or two things. When the Governor put to Mr. Earle this condition, Mr. Earle might very well have said I decline. I do not recognise your right to impose the condition, and I decline to form a Government on those terms." This Gentleman, however, after consulting the whole of his party, came back and said that he accepted the condition, and on those terms the new Ministry, the present Ministry of Tasmania, was formed. Surely there was nothing improper in that! The Governor is entitled to know before appointing Ministers what their views are upon one or the other subject, and, if he thinks that a dissolution at an early date is in the interests of the com- munity as a whole, I do not see anything improper in his obtaining from the incoming Minister whom he is about to appoint his opinion and advice as to whether such a dissolution should take place. Mr. Earle at all events accepted the condition of a dissolution, and took office on those terms. By so doing he accepted responsibility for a dissolution, and in effect must be taken to have advised the Governor to dissolve at an early date. What happened? Mr. Earle might have come back to the Governor afterwards and said, "I have made a mistake: I do not think that a dissolution is desirable." That did not happen. A Member of the House without notice moved what amounted to a censure of the Governor, and Mr. Earle, in spite of having accepted the condition, thought it right to support that Motion, and it was passed by the House, not unanimously, but with very little dissent.

I do not know what comment to make here upon the action of the Prime Minister of Tasmania, but we are concerned with the action of the Governor, and the comment of our Government on that action, and I do think, in view of the circumstances, that the right hon. Gentleman should have been very reluctant to pass any censure at all upon the Governor of Tasmania. He was put in a very difficult position indeed. He had, I think, reason for supposing that the action he took was in the interests of Mr. Earle and his followers, and that this would have been recognised, and that the terms on which they took office would have been accepted and carried out. At all events, he had the right to expect before he was censured by the House in Tasmania, that he would have some notice and some opportunity of knowing what was about to occur. Further than that he had been subjected to very bitter attacks by the Press of Tasmania. I am glad to know that a reaction has taken place, and that there is strong feeling in his favour in Tasmania at the present time; but, while they lasted, the attacks were very bitter, and I think that he was deserving of such support as could be afforded to him by this Government.

I venture to think that the right hon. Gentleman in his dispatch goes too far. He puts a dissolution in a Colony on exactly the same footing as a dissolution in this country, and he lays down the rule that the Governor of the Colonies can do nothing except on the advice of his Ministers, and he extends that to the case of a dissolution of Parliament. I believe that to be a new doctrine as regards Colonial Governments. It is obvious that there is a difference between the Home Government and the Government of a Colony. This is what is said on the subject in well known constitutional text books. When a dissolution is recommended in a Colony the Governor has a discretion in the matter. The responsibility rests upon him. He cannot shelter himself behind the advice of his Ministers, and he must exercise his discretion, having regard to the claims of the respective parties in the Colonies, and to the general interests of the inhabitants. I think it will be found that that is laid down by several constitutional authorities. At all events, I do not want to argue the question in any dogmatic way. It is one of great importance, and, personally, I do not want to pronounce a final opinion whether that view is right or wrong. I do think that the Colonial Secretary, in pronouncing a very dogmatic opinion the other way, has been a little hasty, and, having regard to the position of our Governor, he might have held his hand and not expressed his views so strongly. I desire to enter this caveat against the doctrine laid down in the despatch. I am not satisfied that it represents the right constitutional position, but I am satisfied that the Governor of Tasmania has done nothing whatever which should prevent him from receiving that support which our Governors usually obtain from the Home Government.

I desire to say a very few words with reference to the Native Lands Act in South Africa. I quite realise that in South Africa we have a self-governing country, and, therefore, one would be desirous to be very careful in what he said with regard to its administration and legislation. But this, at any rate, is the right place to express the views that are held by very large numbers of people in this country, who have devoted a good deal of time and money in doing what they can to educate and uplift the native races of South Africa. Those of us who know South Africa, are perfectly well aware that whilst it is now a country owned by the white races, it can only be properly and fully developed with the help of the native races, and the better educated they are, the better work they will be able to do for South Africa. This Native Lands Act was passed very hurriedly. Of course, we cannot blame South Africa for passing legislation hastily, seeing that we are accustomed sometimes to do the same thing in the Mother of Parliaments. Again, the appointment of the Commission, which is now inquiring into the subject and is taking evidence, is helping, I think, to produce injustice in some cases, so far as the natives are concerned, because the introduction of the Lands Act has led farmers to take action to enforce their rights. They have terminated the rent-paying agreements of former tenants, and, knowing that these are precluded from making new agreements for the hire of land, they have either rejected them or have demanded from them three months' unpaid service per annum, which has had the indirect effect of reducing a free people to a condition of service. I could give instances of that from well authenticated sources. I will refer to one only. It is the case of a chief and his people living on land which they and their fathers have dwelt upon for eight generations. The farm was recently purchased by a farmer resident in another province. He decided to terminate the rent-paying conditions previously in existence between the former owner and the natives, and to substitute labour conditions, under which even the chief, an old man, has been required to give service. The people were called upon to quit their houses, square buildings, timbered and thatched, and in connection with this the owner gave less than one month's notice in the following terms:—

"This is to notify I can lot you have the school building no longer. I bought the farm and wish to receive the same at the end of your school quarter."
We desire to speak with all due respect of the self-governing Dominions of South Africa, but I think we may fairly ask the Colonial Secretary to help the Union Government to realise that there is a strong feeling in this country in favour of everything possible being done to secure just and reasonable treatment for the natives. One may fairly ask the right hon. Gentleman to use all reasonable influence with the Union Government to secure for the natives a fair quid pro quo for the loss of their former rights of land purchase, which would mean in some cases an extension of the native area, and if it were possible to suspend to some extent the operation of the Act until the Land Commission has reported. Having been connected with South Africa for a good many years, having travelled through it, and given a good deal of time to it, I desire to do what I can for the uplifting of the people of that country, and that is my reason for intervening in this Debate.

I beg to move that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £100.

I want to ask the Colonial Secretary how it is that the Federated Malay States have been obliged to raise a large loan in London for public works, when, only a short time ago we were told that the States were presenting a "Dreadnought" to this country? His Excellency the Governor, in a despatch on the subject, said it was the Chief Secretary who first proposed that the Malay States should give this warship to Great Britain. This gentleman's name was Mr. Brockman. He was really a dependent of the British Government, and soon after he succeeded in getting the promise of this "Dreadnought" he—

I do not see how the Colonial Secretary is responsible for the matter to which the hon. Gentleman is now referring.

Has the Colonial Secretary nothing to do with the Malay States? I always thought he had.

I do not think that the Colonial Secretary is responsible for the action of the Federated Malay States, and I do not see how he can answer for them in this matter.

I do not know. I am only clear about this, that the Colonial Secretary cannot answer for the action of the Federated Malay States in the question to which the hon. Member is now referring.

Then, I suppose I cannot go on with this. I presume the Malay States will come before this House under some Vote, and if it is not the Colonial Vote, I cannot understand what Vote it is. Is it not a fact that the Colonial Secretary can intervene in a matter like this, and, therefore, would he not be held responsible? If he is not I do not know who can be.

I do not mind, as a matter of courtesy, and the Colonial Secretary offering no objection, allowing the hon. Member to develop his point, but it must not be taken as a precedent.

It seems to me that the Malay people were never consulted in this matter at all. It was the Chief Secretary who made the suggestion to the Sultan of the four States, that a warship should be presented. What I want to point out to the Colonial Secretary is that this money was given for the warship at a time when it was badly needed for hospital accommodation, doctors and nurses, especially in the undrained areas, where men, women and children were suffering, and, indeed, dying, from disease and fever. The serious part of it appears to be that this is the first time the British Government has ever applied the old Roman system of tribute, and the effect must be very bad in India and the East. Apparently the Government wanted to save money, and so they extracted about two and a half millions sterling from the unfortunate Malay people, with the result that they have now had to try and raise a big loan in London for purposes of public works, such as hospitals and roads, which could have been supplied to a great extent cut of the money devoted to the purpose, as the First Lord of the Admiralty put it, of presenting a battleship to the British people. There are, I believe, only about a million people in the Malay States. They are poor people, and this must have been a very heavy tax upon them. It was imposed without their consent, and I say it was a very bad precedent indeed. I shall be glad to hear what the right hon. Gentleman has to say in defence of it.

There is another question which I hope I shall be strictly in order in putting to the right hon. Gentleman. It is. How was it that he agreed in this year's Finance Act to allow the interest on money invested within our Empire to bear a double Income Tax, even when reinvested in the self-governing Dominions or in India, for the purpose of still further developing British Colonies or Possessions. I am quite aware that the interest on Colonial investments when brought home already bears a double Income Tax, but, under the present Finance Bill, things are considerably worsened, because that Bill imposes a British Income Tax even where the money is left in the Colony for the further development of that Colony. If I may take a specific case, British capital is very much required for the development of Australia. Under the present Finance Bill the interest on British capital in Australia will have to pay British as well as Australian Income Tax, even if it is left in Australia. On the other hand, British capital employed in any part of South America, where there is no Income Tax, will only have to pay one Income Tax, and if the interest is reinvested it is very doubtful whether the British Government would be able to collect their Income Tax. Therefore, if capital is sent to South America, the interest on that money will not only not have to pay two Income Taxes, but will not have to pay any Income Tax at all, whereas in Australia it will certainly have to pay double Income Tax, and in all probability the British Government would have no difficulty in collecting the British Income Tax. That state of affairs is a very distinct injury to our great self-governing Dominions, and is bound to check the much needed investment of British capital in those Dominions. The money so invested is at a disadvantage with money invested in the United States, because although the United States now have an Income Tax, I understand that in some, if not in all cases, if a person can prove he is a British subject the American Income Tax is remitted. I asked a question on that subject the other day and the Minister did not deny it. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman will say. If the Colonial Secretary is to be of much use to the great Dominions, he should surely see that British capital invested in those Dominions is not treated worse than capital which is invested in other countries. The people in our great Dominions are very much interested in this question, and it ought to be put right. People in this country should not be penalised for using their capital to develop our great Dominions or any other part of the Empire.

The right hon. Gentleman who now presides over the Colonial Office is one of the greatest of House of Commons reformers. I would ask him to-day to effect a little reform that would help to give more reality to our Colonial Office Debates in future than they have at present. He should endeavour to secure that the Colonial Office Reports, say for the year 1913, should be presented to this House before July, 1914. I cannot believe it is impossible that the Reports from our various Colonies should be printed earlier than they are. I notice that the 1912 Report for Hong Kong, dated 28th June, 1913, took the acting Colonial Secretary nearly six months to prepare, was printed last August and presented to Parliament just after the Colonial Office Debate. We had an eminent predecessor in the office the right hon. Gentleman now holds, the late Mr. Chamberlain. They say—I do not know whether it is true, but I have heard it more than once—that he made his office the only Government office whence one could get a reply to a letter by return of post. At all events, he brought a business spirit into that office which it has never since lost. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman who so ably presides over the councils of that office at the present day, who gave us the boon of a quicker voting system in this House, and so many things in the House itself that were good, could easily secure that the Reports from the Colonies should be presented to this House every year, so that Members could read them before the Colonial Office Debate comes on. I want to say another word in the right hon. Gentleman's praise before I proceed to criticise some things which have occurred in his Department.

I want to thank him for the very great reform he has effected in one branch of the Government in Ceylon, namely, the sensible course that was taken in appointing a Commission to report on the opium rice there, and finally his acting upon that Report as he has done and is doing, thereby greatly reducing the consumption of opium. By registering the users there, by taking the business into the hands' of the Government, gradually reducing it, with very little friction and with no injury but great benefit to the Colony, he is gradually, I hope, extirpating the vice there. The right hon. Gentleman told me two years ago that the recommendations of the Commission on Opium, which was appointed in 1908 and reported in 1909, were being fully carried out. One of the recommendations of that Commission was that an absolute end should be put to the opium vice in Ceylon. It has already been greatly reduced, but I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman when a final end is going to be put to it. We ought not to be behind the example of the United States in the Philippines, where they put an end to opium smoking in three years; and we ought not to be behind the example of China.

The right hon. Gentleman's immediate predecessor said that we ought to live up to the example of China. My opinion is that we ought to go ahead of China, which is steadily extirpating the vice. As to the other side of the right hon. Gentleman's policy, namely, the setting up of toddy taverns, I believe there is already an apprehension on the part of the Colonial Office that they went too far in licensing so many toddy taverns as they did. I have information showing that several licences were granted for the sale of toddy in places where they were certainly not wanted, and in other places where they are not only in excess but injurious. We should never forget that of the population of Ceylon, which is a little over 4,000,000, 2,750,000 are Cingalese, mostly Buddhists, against whose religion opium smoking is an absolute crime; and about 1,000,000 are Tamils from India, in whose case opium taking and alcohol drinking are against their religion. It is to our shame as a nation that we have introduced into Ceylon the two vices of opium smoking and alcohol drinking. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will continue his policy of assisting the leaders of religion there, for whom I have as much respect as I have for the professors of the Christian religion when they are genuine men, because I believe they are deeply anxious for the welfare of their people. May I give the right hon. Gentleman one hint? I have a good deal of information from Ceylon showing that he would considerably add to the value of his local excise committees if he would make them rather more representative. There are native institutions which might be more represented than they are on those committees, and which would enable them to get a better index of the real feeling of the people.

A word or two about Hong Kong. The last Report we have is for the year 1912, which is dated 28th June last year, and was issued in August, too late for discussion last Session. The opium-smoking divans or dens—that is, the opium public-houses in Hong Kong—were put an end to several years ago. When we asked that that sort of institution should be stopped, we also asked that an end should be put to the opium-smoking vice. The Government there have taken the selling of opium into their own hands. I believe the Colonial Secretary prides himself on the fact that, while the revenue has not declined, a much less quantity is being smoked, because it is being sold at higher prices. I feel very strongly on this question of Hong Kong. The Chinese Government are making enormous efforts to put down the opium-smoking vice in China, but it gives them very little encouragement when they see the colony of a so-called Christian Power is deriving a very large amount of its revenue by ministering to this vice. The total revenue for 1912 is about 8,000,000 dollars, of which just two-thirds comes from licences which, I believe, means, although the details are not given in the report—they should be given—that it is mainly derived from the Government sale of opium. The consumption of opium, if We are to judge from the year 1912, is going up. For the five years ending 1912 the opium consumption was: For 1908, 864 chests; 1909, 1,044; 1910, 782; 1911, 761; and 1912, 1,113. I do not know what it was last year. The population of Hong Kong is over 97 per cent. Chinese, who are constantly passing from and to the Chinese Empire. When we remember that this is a standing object lesson of our deriving revenue from this vice, and that the Chinese Government, although very much in need of money, and although it has the opportunity of deriving money from it, for the sake of its people is not doing so, it is high time that we absolutely stopped the opium smoking in Hong Kong as it is now stopped in China itself.

I asked the right hon. Gentleman some years ago to adopt in Hong Kong and also in the Straits Settlements, in regard to the Chinese there, the plan which is being carried out in Ceylon, and which the United States have carried out so successfully in the Philippines, namely, registering the smokers and preventing others from commencing the habit. He replied—I remember it quite well, and there is something in it no doubt—that there is this very great difficulty that the authorities there cannot tell the difference between one Chinaman and another. I suggest that we get Chinese officials, so long as we carry this trade on, the smokers there to be registered, and that this may be a check effected on these opium smoking gentlemen. The Chinese say that we all look alike to them, and I am sure they all look alike to us. We can tell the difference among each other, and they can tell the difference among themselves. I commend that idea to the right hon. Gentleman.

The proportion of Government income derived from licences, mostly opium and the rest liquor, in the Straits Settlements was 75 per cent. in 1911, and 77 per cent. in 1912. In other words the Straits Settlements, whose case has been put before this House over and over again in the last seven or eight years, and where we have been deriving half the revenue from the opium receipts, seem to me, unless there has been a great reform this last year, to be as bad as ever, and there is really no excuse for this, because although the Straits Settlements revenue is not in as overflowing condition as that of their neighbours, the Federated Malay States, yet in the last three years, 1910, 1911, and 1912, they have had very large surpluses each year, and indeed at the end of 1912 they had in one shape or another to their credit nearly 11,000,000 dollars. That is, they had in hand over a year's revenue. The Straits Settlements could very well afford to do without this revenue. The number of chests of opium consumed in 1912 was 4,107. Here again the Government are the farmers of the opium revenue. The total cash receipts for opium in the Straits Settlements for the year 1912 were overs,800,000 dollars, and the liquor revenue nearly 1,500,000 dollars. If we compare the total amount received for opium at the Government shops—over 8,000,000 dollars in that little State with a total revenue of 9,250,000 dollars, we see what an enormous amount of money, in proportion to the population and the money to be spent, is being spent on opium. I again strongly urge upon the Colonial Secretary that in the Straits Settlements and Hong Kong the Chinese, who are prevented from smoking opium in their country, when they come to pay us visits in the Straits Settlements or Hong Kong or the Federated Malay States, should not have the Government panderers to them for this vice. The report of the Federated Malay States for 1912 was only issued this year. This is another case of the reports being very belated. For years they have had an enormous surplus of revenue over-expenditure. They had 21,000,000 dollars surplus revenue in the two last years of which I have any account, 1911 and 1912. Here again the Government have taken a wise step in putting-down gambling. A great many people think that any Government Department that acts at all on moral lines must be acting purely puritanically. There are some people who will sneer at this. The Chinese themselves do not sneer at it, for the Government Report states that the better Chinese of all classes approve this very much, and they have had meetings at which they have approved of the Government's action, because one of the greatest weaknesses of the Chinese is gambling.

I should like to say a word about Borneo, which, I believe, comes under the Colonial Office. There is very great need indeed for the Colonial Secretary to make inquiry into the way in which the North Borneo Trading Company are using their powers in the way of tempting the coolies on the plantations there, when they receive their wages for the past months by means of gambling and drinking saloons and brothels, set up on the confines of the plantations to get money from these poor fellows. There is a great deal which wants inquiring into, but I am quite certain that the right hon. Gentleman will be surprised when he finds the facts—I do not say about the way the British Borneo Company themselves manage it, but the lax things which are going on there, to the great detriment of the poor Chinese coolies who work on these plantations. We have recently added to our Empire some other Malay States, which have to report to the Chief Commissioner at Singapore. We always have springing up in these Eastern States opium and gambling, and I recommend the right hon. Gentleman very strongly to look into the Kedah report for 1912. It is only a little State, but there is a report showing a large State income from opium smoking and gambling there. There is an opium farm in another State, Trengganu, let to a Chinese firm till 1917. The little State of Peril's has 39 per cent. of its revenue coming from opium. The smaller the State the more it escapes public observation and the more necessary it is that a keen eye should be kept on it. I thank the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done in Ceylon. I believe that he has fears that the system of registration could not be applied to the Chinese. I believe you could engage reliable Chinese officials, both in the Straits and in Hong Kong, to carry out the same very wise policy, as it seems to me, of registering old opium smokers, and giving them a time in which they are to cease smoking, and not allowing any fresh ones to be registered. That, of course, is only a temporary policy. In any case I press strongly upon the right hon. Gentleman that we have the same duties to these people, who are so dependent upon us and who are under our absolute rule through the Colonial Office as their Government has to them in their own country, to stamp out and absolutely prohibit after a very short time, if not immediately, the vice of opium smoking, which is against religion and everything that is good. All our self-governing Colonies without exception have stem laws against this vice. In Japan, as we know, it is sternly put down. In China there is one of the most heroic struggles that the world has ever witnessed of a nation struggling with a bad thing, and they are successfully struggling. In our Crown Colonies the right hon. Gentleman has adopted, very tentatively, as it seems to me in some cases, the policy of also putting down this vice. I cannot apologise for bringing once more to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman and of the House that which has been a very great blot on the national escutcheon of our country, and I again urge upon him with all the power I can, in the interests of humanity, to say nothing else, to put a speedy end to the vice of opium smoking in such parts of the British Empire as are under his control.

I do not think the hon. Member need apologise for the eloquent speech he has made in reference to the opium question. This is one of the occasions when party ties are not very closely held, and we are all interested in doing what we can for our Colonial Empire. It is unnecessary to say more on the opium question than the hon. Member has said. I cannot resist an allusion to one or two remarks made by the hon. Member (Mr. Edmund Harvey) and another hon. Member opposite with regard to native labour in South Africa. I think there is a great deal in all that they said. I have had the case of the natives in South Africa put before me also, and I am bound to confess that certainly the first of these gentlemen seemed to have forgotten, and the second seemed to slide over it very carefully, the fact that South Africa is a Home Rule country. I think it is rather a warning to us in this House in regard to legislation affecting another country. I see the hon. Member (Mr. Cotton). I wonder what would happen after Home Rule had been granted to Ireland if two hon. Members on the opposite side of the House were to get up and implore the Government to interfere with the legislation which a Home Rule Parliament might enact. One must accept responsibility for the full grant of Home Rule to South Africa, and though many of us may think that some of these native laws require amendment, I felt I could not make that demand in this House myself because having been responsible as a Member of the House for the granting of Home Rule to South Africa, we must realise that they are in all respects a self-governing Colony, and it would ill befit us to attempt in any way whatever to control what is now a free Colony.

6.0 P.M.

I wish to say a word with regard to labour in East Africa. The question of labour in East Africa was also raised by the hon. Member (Mr. Harvey), and I think he will quite appreciate the fact, that a sufficient supply of native labour can best be obtained by good conditions on the part of the employer. We do not want anything in the nature of forced labour, and we want to encourage our Colonies in every possible way to make the conditions of labour as good as they can possibly be. Of course the Government itself should set a good example in the matter of the labour which it employs. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman one or two questions in reference to forced labour in East Africa. I believe there are regulations proposed to be made either by the Colonial Office or the local government there affecting the question of forced labour. I am prepared to admit that in the present state of civilisation forced labour for the Government may be necessary for some time to come, but forced labour for private property, I want the Colonial Secretary to declare, as the Foreign Secretary has already declared, is a form of slavery, and as such cannot be tolerated. The Foreign Secretary has already made a declaration in this House to that effect, and I believe the Colonial Secretary takes the same view, and I should be glad if he would make that public in order that it may be known throughout the whole of our Colonies. But there will be for some time to come a certain amount of forced labour for Government purposes, I believe. I should like the Colonial Secretary to state for the information of the House and of our Colonies exactly what the conditions of this forced labour are to be. For instance, how many days a year are the natives to be forced to labour if they do not wish to do so? Is it one, two, or three months? What is to be their pay, and how far are they to be taken from their own villages to effect this forced labour? On the answers to these questions as to the proper carrying out of forced labour will depend whether we as a Parliament ought to sanction the use, in so far as it is necessary, of forced labour in East Africa.

I want to deal with a question which has not been dealt with this afternoon, namely, the establishment of liquor distilleries in Ceylon. That is a new movement within the last year or two on the part of the Ceylon Government, and I think it should receive serious consideration if it is to be carried out with the sanction of this House. If this House does not agree with the movement—and I venture to-think it will not agree—I think definite instructions should be sent out either that the whole system should be stopped or that no further progress should be made in regard to it. It is a system which we believe to be totally contrary to the licensing system of this country, and it is-one which should not take place in our Colonies.

I understand the hon. Member to refer to Government-owned distilleries.

Of course, I mean Government-owned distilleries. I believe the hon. Member would be against all liquor distilleries in Ceylon, although I personally could not go so far as that. But the question of Government-owned distilleries is quite a different one. In the first place, I wish to lay down that all the liquor laws enacted here have been restrictive rather than an encouragement of the liquor traffic, and I think that all our laws in our Colonies should be equally restrictive. There should be no possibility of the Government taking part in increasing the liquor trade, or encouraging alcoholic consumption in any of our Colonies. In 1912 power was given to the Excise Commissioner in Ceylon to establish, or authorise the establishment, of distilleries or breweries to be used under licence granted on such terms as the Government of the Colony saw fit. The Government are proposing under the provisions of this Ordinance to establish distilleries at the public cost, and then let them out in order that other people may distil in the Government buildings. A deputation waited on the right hon. Gentleman two years ago from the Society for the Protection of Native Races, which owes no party allegiance, but is composed of people on both sides of politics, and represents the Church of England and Nonconformist bodies who desire to save the natives in our Dominions from the contamination of the liquor traffic. After receiving that deputation, the right hon. Gentleman sent a dispatch to the Governor of Ceylon, in which he said:—

"I desire to add also that, in my opinion, the 'Contract Supply System' should be regarded as merely a temporary expedient, and that it is desirable that it should eventually be superseded by the system, which is in force in this country and in most parts of His Majesty's Dominions, of licensed distilleries paving an Excise duty on output."
The hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division (Mr. Leif Jones) may not agree with me, but I am bound to say that I am not opposing the system of Excise distilleries as they are carried on in our own country. It may or may not be desirable from his point of view, but we do recognise the existence of licensed distilleries. I do not say that they should not exist in Ceylon. All I say is that they should not be built with Government money. We find that last year a definite statement was made by Mr. Allnutt, the Assistant Excise Commissioner in Ceylon, in which he laid down the position the Excise Department has in this matter. On 14th November, 1913—I am quoting from the "Ceylon Morning Leader "—he said:—
"Ultimately we shall have Government distilleries enough to produce the whole quantity required for consumption, but I cannot yet say how many distilleries we shall require…. But we shall have one distillery for each supply area not in it, each distillery supplying its own allotted area. Our distilleries will be erected by the Government and then handed over to the contractor or lessee, who will do the distilling on the same principles as we follow in our present distillery now."
There is a distinct intimation that the Government are going to erect all the distilleries which they deem necessary for the distilling trade of Ceylon. The observation I wish to make on that is that if the Government are going to erect distilleries they will be bound, from the financial point of view, to see that they are a success, and that they bring in the necessary amount of money to pay for the cost of erecting the buildings. The only means of doing that is to see that a sufficient quantity is distilled, and that what is distilled is consumed by the people. I think that is perfectly clear. A certain portion of the revenue of Ceylon undoubtedly arises from these distilleries, and I wish to say that no Government, if possible, should have any partnership share in the control of the liquor traffic.

Many people in this country are supporters of what is known as the Gothenburg system. The objection which many of us have to the Gothenburg system is that is makes the Government, or the municipality, a partner in the sale of strong drink. I hope the Colonial Secretary will say that the Government of Ceylon is not to be made a partner in securing the success of these Government distilleries. The duty of the Government should be merely to control the liquor traffic, to see that it is kept in due bounds, and to take care that no undue inducements are given to the natives to drink. The Government of Ceylon should not have any interest in the profits arising from the distilleries. I submit that it would be impossible for the Excise Commissioners in Ceylon not to push, for revenue purposes, the work of these distilleries. If they push the sale of the output of the distilleries, we in this House, who have a responsibility for the government of Ceylon, will be taking a part and share in encouraging the consumption of spirits by the people of the Colony. I think we have distinct obligations in this matter as the governing Power. There are 2,225,000 Buddhists in Ceylon, and according to their religion it is a low and vicious occupation to manufacture and sell any kind of strong drink. You have more than half of the population condemning the manufacture of strong drink, and here is our Government, which we desire that they should look to as the best for the control of the natives, taking a part and share in what the religion of the people says is a low and vicious proceeding. Surely the Colonial Secretary will not wish to be tarred as the representative of a Christian Power with the contamination of those who belong to the Buddhist religion. Everybody knows that many Hindus take the same view as the Mahomedans, and that they are opposed to the sale and consumption of strong drink. It is no answer to say that all Buddhists and all Mahomedans are not good. We are in a measure forcing upon the Ceylon people the manufacture of a material which is opposed to the best interests, not merely of the Ceylonese people but to the tenets of the religion of nearly the whole of the natives of Ceylon. The Ceylon Government publicly claimed not long ago that they are the most powerful and the most genuine temperance organisation in the island. The acting Colonial Secretary, so recently as 7th May, 1913, made that strong statement, and at the very time he made the statement his Government was concerned in the new proposal for setting up Government distilleries in Ceylon.

I wish to say a word as to the increase which has already taken place in the consumption of liquor since this scheme was first set on foot. In 1897 the consumption of arrack in Ceylon was about 1,100,000 gallons, and the yield to the Government rose from two rupees per gallon in that year to 4.38 rupees in 1905, when they had a fixed minimum price. That fixed minimum price has already gone, and the Government appear to be encouraging the con sumption of liquor. I have said that if the Government owned the distilleries, they would be bound to force the sale. The consumption of arrack in 1912–13 rose to 1,445,000 gallons, and last year it was 1,554,000 gallons—a rise of 400,000 gallons in the last four years. This matter has been put before the Colonial Secretary. A deputation waited upon him some few weeks ago, and I am sorry that on account of other engagements I was unable to take part in it. I trust that the Colonial Secretary to-day will make a perfectly plain public statement as to the attitude the Government are going to take on this matter. I do not know how far it will be possible for them to revoke what has already been done in Ceylon, but it will be perfectly possible for the right hon. Gentleman to send a dispatch—I am sure I have the feeling of the whole Committee with me when I say that it is desirable that he should send a dispatch—stating that, at all events, this thing should cease until further inquiry has been made into it. I do not want at the moment to go further into it. There may be reasons which are not before us at the present time, but all the reasons I have seen will not hold water. To put it on the highest possible ground, we as a nation, and we in this House as representing the nation, are responsible for the good government of Ceylon. It is our duty as a nation to do nothing whatever which can in any way increase the consumption of a beverage which in Ceylon at least is detrimental to the native races. We are responsible, and we should do all we can to protect the people in our Dominions.

I must congratulate the Colonial Secretary on having issued the statement in reference to the recent political crisis in Tasmania, and on the exposition of the constitutional position which it contains as to the powers of the Governor in the exercise of the prerogative of dissolution. It is a curious thing that I should differ from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) and the Member for Chertsey (Mr. Macmaster) as to this particular exercise of the power of a Colonial Governor to dissolve which is nothing more or less than the power of the Sovereign in these countries to dissolve. It is a power as we all know that has always been exercised, as has been confessed, since 1850, at the desire of the Prime Minister of the day. A Colonial Governor in exercising his discretion as regards dissolution has to remember that be is not only a Colonial Governor, and as such is in a analogous position to the constitutional Sovereign of these realms, but that he is likewise an Imperial Officer, and there might arise, though it has occurred very seldom, a case in which a Colonial Governor might find himself in a conflicting position, urged on one side by a Cabinet to dissolve forthwith, and on the other by Imperial consideration which impel him to the other course. But his position in that dilemma is this: immediately to consult the Home Government as regards his actions. What has happened in this case raises a question of Imperial moment, and not merely one of Colonial policy. The Prime Minister of the House of Assembly wished to dissolve. The Governor said "No." The Prime Minister resigned. The Governor sent for another gentleman to act as Prime Minister on whom he imposed a condition, which was unknown in this country since 1770, when George the Third endeavoured to impose conditions on his Ministers taking Office, that they should not introduce certain measures. Here is the constitutional doctrine bearing on the point, to which expression has been given by Sir William Ellison Macartney:—

"It is important, to bear in mind that the discretion of a governor with regard to the question of dissolution is, as in other instances of the exercise of the prerogative, much wider in the Colonies than that upon which by constitutional practice the Sovereign acts in the United Kingdom."
That is a preposterous proposition that cannot be advanced. Here we have a constitutional Governor, appointed by Downing Street, taking up a position which would not be taken by the Sovereign of these countries. Therefore, I wish to say how much I approve of the dispatch of my right hon. Friend, and how truly I believe that it is the proper exposition of the constitutional law. He says:—
"While I consider that you should not have imposed terms on Mr. Earle, I recognise that he was entirely at liberty to decline the duty of forming a Government, unless he was left with complete discretion as to the advice to be tendered to you. Instead of doing so he decided to take office, and thus must be held to have accepted for the time being full responsibility for your action"
And here comes a sentence which proves that my right hon. Friend had the hereditary constitutional leanings:—
"He remained fully responsible until the Ministry determined to advise in the contrary sense, when the policy of dissolution ceased to be authorised by Ministerial advice, but became a matter of your personal opinion, that is to say, no constitutional means existed of giving effect to it without another change of views on the part of Ministers, or another change of Ministry."
At present there has been no other change of Ministry, and Sir William Ellison Macartney still remains in that position. It was not my fault that this gentleman was appointed that position. I was early in the field and foretold what would happen. On 16th December, 1912, I asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Colonies—
"Whether he is aware that Mr. William Ellison Macartney, the Deputy Master of the Mint since 1908, who has been appointed to the governorship of Tasmania was a grand master of the Orange Society, member of the House of Commons in the Orange interest for South Antrim from 1895 to 1903, and has filled the position in the Unionist Administration of Secretary to the Admiralty, from 1895 to 1900?"
And I also asked whether he had consulted the Government of the Colony before appointing him. My right hon. Friend's reply was terse and laconic:—
"I am satisfied that Mr. Macartney will, both in experience and capacity, make a suitable and acceptable Governor of Tasmania. Before I submitted his name to the King, I satisfied myself of the concurrence of the Government of Tasmania."
May I say this, with all the gentleness of my gentle nature, that when my right hon. Friend has an important appointment to make, he should not go into the ranks of men who have done nothing but oppose him. He is going too far. It is an intense extension of the principle of the Sermon on the Mount, but it is not just to his own Friends on the Liberal side to see these gentlemen put into the best positions, and I rather think that in the constitutional utterances of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey and the Member for Kingston, they had at the back of their minds the case of Sir William Ellison Macartney, who was in this House through thick and thin a supporter of the late Government, and was appointed for these great services by the present Government. I hope that hon. Members on the Liberal side will like it.

That shows that my hon. Friend is an innocent Member. Coming to another matter, I wish to say in a few words to the Colonial Secretary that he will have a great opportunity, in the interests of humanity and good will, between man and man, if he will take the chance that presents itself to him of considering whether the Charter of the Chartered Company is to be revised, or revoked, or modified, or placed in such a position as to make it more consonant with the requirements of the country. In October of this year the Charter of the Chartered Company will reach the time limit placed upon it, and when the time comes for the consideration of its revision or renewal, my right hon. Friend should consider the matter very carefully, and I think that he ought to institute a Committee of Inquiry into the administration of the Chartered Company for the last twenty-five years, and that this Committee should report to him, so that full justice might be done in reference to this great country, as to which our position is quite different from that which has been put forward in the plea made with regard to the natives of South Africa, who are, of course, as we all know living in a self-governing country. The country which the Chartered Company controls is not a self-governing country. There are various objections to Government by Charter under the best circumstances. A chartered company is in its very nature and inception a trading company, a commercial company. It has in the one case to look after, and properly so, the interests of its shareholders. On the other hand it has to administer the company. There was never a chartered company that was a success. The East India Company was anything but a success. The Hudson Bay Company in peculiar circumstances very nearly became a success, but in all the companies there is a great temptation that they control the destinies of persons of different race, different education, and different surroundings from themselves, and there is a tendency in the very best of us consciously or unconsciously to take advantage of that.

The Colonial Secretary will remember that at the time of the Committee of Inquiry into the Jameson Raid, the reference to the Committee was not only to inquire into the raid but also to investigate the administration of the Chartered Company with a view to further inquiry. The second part of that investigation was never entered into. I think that the right hon. Gentleman should come now to some decision about that. I speak in no-manner of personal opposition to the company. I am doing this simply on public grounds. I have not a farthing in the company, and I never had. But, I am interested for the sake of liberty and justice. I may give a concrete case. Of course, I am not able to produce legal proof of these things which may be of very considerable interest to the right hon. Gentleman, with the view, at all events, of his instituting an investigation into the administration of the company, against whose members, personally, I make no charge whatever. I have frequently during the course of last year asked questions of the right hon. Gentleman with reference to a transaction of the company in Rhodesia, the sale of one million acres at Is. an acre by the company to the Liebig Company. That seems an extraordinary transaction, and from the information that has reached me, which, of course, is only hearsay, contained in correspondence from persons whom I have never seen, I gather these allegations, which I think should be investigated. By means of a system of cattle removal permits, natives of Liebig's concession, I am informed, are prevented from moving their cattle without Liebig's consent, or from selling their cattle to anyone but Liebig at Liebig's price—£5 and £8 being the current price. By means of an Order the natives on this concession are treated as trespassers in their own home unless they can make terms with the manager of the Liebig concession. This manager is a man who was dismissed from his former occupation as a Native Commissioner in some district for ill-treating the natives. These are serious allegations.

I have received this year letters from various gentlemen, some of whom are of great position and weight in that country, and possess great knowledge of it. One of them writes that the manager of Liebig's is the same man who was a Native Commissioner, and he is not of English birth. The writer speaks of the conditions of Rhodesia, and suggests that before the Charter is renewed, a Departmental Commission should be sent to inquire into those conditions. [The hon. Member quoted passages from the letters which he had received from gentlemen in Rhodesia.] I have placed these communications before the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. We have heard a great deal about the treatment of the natives of South Africa, and the right hon. Gentleman has the power to see that the rights conceded to the natives, even under that Charter are rigorously enforced. I am told that there is great difficulty in obtaining from the natives themselves their actual condition, because they are so coerced and so under terror. There is another matter to which I desire to shortly refer. In a speech which I made some months ago I used language which was thought to be somewhat extreme, though it was perhaps quite justifiable; but when I used certain words I did so rather by way of invective. Exception was taken to my use of the word "atrocities" in my statement as to the condition of the natives in the country. I did not in any way impute personal dishonesty to those gentlemen, whom I did not know; I was only speaking in an impersonal way. I said that the concessions had been obtained at a gross undervalue. I am simply placing these things before my right hon. Friend, and I hope he will take heed of these matters, and have a proper investigation of the affairs of the country and its administration, and especially of the Chartered Company, in regard to which the Government are more the trustees of the natives than they are in any ordinary case. I am not making any charge whatever against the company. I am simply stating what cannot be contradicted or denied in reference to these concessions and the value of them. I find that on the 11th March, 1889, the late Mr. Chamberlain, who was then just about the sunset of his Radical days, asked the then Secretary of State for the Colonies:—
"Whether, in view of the character of the concession said to have been recently granted by the Chief Lo Bengula to Messrs. Rudd and Rhodes, by which, in consideration for a sum of £1,200 a year, together with one thousand rifles and a hundred thousand rounds of ammunition, these gentlemen are reported to have obtained sole rights of prospecting and working for minerals in a territory the size of Italy, Her Majesty's Government will take any steps to call the attention of the Chief to the disadvantages and dangers to the peace of the country incident to such a monopoly; and, whether, in the" event of Her Majesty's Government extending, at any future time, a Protectorate over the Colony now under the sphere of British influence, they will refuse to recognise the concession in question, or any similar concession that may he contrary to the interests of the Chief and people of Matabeleland, and likely to lead to complications and a breach of the peace?"
Mr. Chamberlain was early in the field at that time, and the reply which Baron H. De Worms gave him was:—
"Her Majesty's Government have hitherto abstained from interfering with any commission granted by Lo Bengula, as that Chief is not under their protection, is independent, and has not, till lately, asked for advice. He has now, by his messenger, asked for advice, and that some one may be sent to him by the Queen. It is not clear whether he desires to have some officer permanently resident with him, or only temporarily, for the special purpose of advising him upon the present state of affairs. But Her Majesty's Government are prepared to send some officer to Lo Bengula should he still desire it, and should he agree to any arrangement proposed by Her Majesty's Government in respect, of such a mission. In the meantime, I may state that Her Majesty's Government do not approve of that term in the concession referred to, which provides for the supply of arms and ammunition, and they would advise Lo Bengulu to have this altered. If at any time a Protectorate were declared at Lo Bengula's request over his territory, Her Majesty's Government would discountenance any concession containing such terms of the kind referred to in the concluding words of the question."
That is the foundation of the Charter, and that was the concession that was obtained for £1,200 a year, together with 1,000 rifles and 100,000 rounds of ammunition. It seemed to be of such a value that afterwards the Chartered Company's shares were quoted at £4. That is the story of the inception of the country, and the granting of the Charter which took place afterwards. In the Charter of the Company there were very definite provisions that slaves and the slave trade should be abolished. I have shown as well as I can what is going on, so far as I am aware, and what are the conditions which have been produced. There was an interesting discussion on the 6th of May, 1898, which should be of importance in guiding the right hon. Gentleman's decision as to whether or not there should be a thorough investigation of all the circumstances of this country. On 6th May, 1898, there was a discussion on Sir Richard Martin's Report. That gentleman had been sent out by the Government to investigate and report, and he reported that out of fifteen Commissioners, eight of them stated that the slave trade prevailed in that country. There was another who on that occasion gave his estimate of the conduct of the Chartered Company—Sir Robert Reid, now Lord Loreburn. He said:—
"There has been £5,500,000 obtained from the public by the Chartered Company. I do not know, but it is stated on authority that £20,000,000 or more have been obtained upon mining prospectuses. There are outspoken critics of authority who believe and say openly that most of this money has been thrown into the sea, or, worse still, has gone into the pockets of unscrupulous speculators and promoters of bogus companies…. The mismanagement of the native population, the conduct of the Company with regard to the Jameson Raid, and their financial attitude are such that I venture to think that the most clear statement may reasonably be expected from Her Majesty's Government."
I do not know that Sir Robert Reid's violent language was assailed. I come to almost the worst of all, Sir William Harcourt. He said:—
"The financial history of this Company has not been brilliant, and its connection with the Raid, through its leading officers, has not been creditable. The whole of its past administration has certainly not gained through the examination of Sir Richard Martin, who was very properly sent out by the Colonial Secretary to look into its proceedings."
Then we have last of all the speech from that wise man, Lord Courtney of Penrith, who expressed his opinions of the Chartered Company, and hoped that the Charter would soon be taken from the company. We have had the native question raised recently. I do not want, in the slightest degree, to say anything personal. I do not want to speak more than I have about the dealings of companies of this kind with natives, and as to the great necessity that those dealings should be revised. In that Debate of 1898 a curious thing occurred, Mr. Labouchere said that Mr. Lecky had accepted as the fact the statement that a, large number of the Matabele had been killed in a cave by dynamite. Mr. Lecky at once got up and said he had made no such statement. A day or two afterwards there appeared a letter from Mr. Lecky in the "Times," apologising to Mr. Labouchere, on 9th May, 1898, and in which he gave the passage of his speech delivered in Trinity College eighteen months before. [The hon. and learned Member quoted the passage from Mr. Lecky's speech mentioned, and referring to the Matabele War.]

I neither affirm nor deny anything, but these are things for investigation. I do say, with all the resources of the Colonial Secretary, that there is a great chance for him now to see that these things are done rightly. I do not make any charge whatever of a personal character. The vices and imperfections of this company are inherent in the nature of these companies. I do not wish in the slightest degree to embitter feeling, but in the interests of humanity charges which have so constantly been made require a clear and thoroughgoing investigation by the Government before there is any renewal of the Charter.

I am sorry I must rise now, as the Debate has to close early and otherwise I should not be able to reply to the points which have been raised. When I said at the beginning that I did not intend to make a general statement an hon Gentleman below the Gangway expressed the hope that the precedent I had previously set in this matter would not be followed in the future. My efforts were received with more appreciation by the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir G. Parker), who, however complained of the length of the statements. That is a matter which can be cured. I think, on the whole, the Colonial Office is to be congratulated on the paucity of the matters of acute criticism to which it has been subjected to-day. There has been a wide field covered, but I admit there are some matters which might have created criticism which have been put aside because at this moment they are subjects of judicial consideration. The hon. Member for Gravesend raised again the question of Somaliland. I dealt very fully with the situation in that country and with the intention of the Government in Debates in this House on the 24th of February. I am sure that the hon. Member and other hon. Members realise that I cannot give information here as to our plans for the future, which might be conveyed, and certainly would be conveyed, to the Mullah, and would nullify the chance of our plans being successful. Subject to that limitation, which is one which must always be exercised by anyone making statements in this House. I will tell the hon. Member what he asks. What is the situation there? The present situation is that we are getting 450 camel constabulary and 400 of the Indian contingent. Of those 400 of the Indian contingent I have now arranged that 150 will be mounted, and will act with the Camel Corps, and that increase will be an added strength to the Camel Corps stationed there.

They are being provided. Sheikh and Galoli only are occupied at present. Galoli is about 17 miles south of Sheikh, and has been specially occupied as a training ground for the mounted force which has been built up gradually since I last addressed the House on this subject. When the new Commandant gets out to Somaliland, which he will do in the middle of August, as soon as he is satisfied with the training of his corps, we shall then probably reoccupy Burao, some time perhaps early in September, though I do not wish to commit myself to an exact date. From there our intention is to support the friendlies in their grazing at the mouth of the Ain Valley, towards Shimberberris, of which they have been recently deprived by the fact that there was a small number of the Mullah's men in the neighbourhood, which discouraged and so frightened the friendlies that they have not yet returned. We shall give them the necessary support to enable them to reoccupy the grazing, the loss of which would no doubt encourage the friendlies to pass over to the Mullah. I explained that in February of this year. It is to avoid any such unsatisfactory result that we have slightly increased our forces, and are intending, as at present advised, to reoccupy Burao. I have no more to say on the subject of Somaliland, because the situation has not altered at all since I explained it to the House in February. I am glad to say that the not infrequent reports one reads in the newspapers of a great advance by the Mullah, or of raids by the Mullah or attacks on the British position, are entirely untrue. Those reports alarm me as they alarm other people, but when I make inquiries I get the inevitable telegram that there is not the slightest foundation in any of these reports that have appeared in the Press.

Is it a case, then, that the reports in the Press concerning raids within the last few weeks are wholly inaccurate? A question was asked of the right hon. Gentleman in the House by an hon. Friend of mine concerning a raid upon a friendly tribe by the Mullah's followers. Is that inaccurate?

7.0 P.M.

Yes, so far as I am aware, absolutely inaccurate. There does not seem to be the slightest foundation for it, I am glad to say. The hon. Member for West Leeds (Mr. Edmund Harvey) raised the question of the East African Labour Commission Report, and drew attention to some of the evidence which had been given. I hope that he and others will not make the mistake of confusing the evidence with the Report of the Commission. That is a most undesirable thing to do, because the Report of the Commission does not at all reflect a good deal of the evidence which has been given. It is quite true that some of the witnesses before that Land Commission expressed the opinion that the present native reserves were too large. I do not share that view. I do not intend to attempt to increase the amount of available labour by starving the labourer of the land on which he lives. Native labour interests are carefully safeguarded by the Ordinance of 1910, which laid down very strict rules as to the recruitment of labour. The recommendations of this Commission are now under consideration, both by the Government and by myself. I am not prepared to announce any final decision in this matter. I am well aware of the local demand and the necessity for increased labour. I think the Committee may trust me to move cautiously in this matter with due regard to both sets of interests concerned. With my assent, improved arrangements are now being made for the internal transport of labour, so that it shall not be discouraged by its present discomforts. A revision of native and general taxation may quite possibly be necessary in the future, but, if so, that matter must be considered independently of its effect on the labour supply, and it must not be used as an indirect means of increasing it. Our officers in the East African Protectorate, though it is their proper duty to afford information as to where employment may be available, do nothing which savours of or suggests Government compulsion in the matter of recruitment. It is sometimes difficult to discriminate nicely between advice, persuasion, and compulsion in this matter, but I base my policy on the instructions given by the late Mr. Chamberlain to Government officials in Southern Rhodesia in 1901 in these words:—

"The Government, through its officials, confines itself to what is necessary for the protection of labour, namely, ensures that the contract entered into is regular, contains no false representations, and is understood by the natives, and that proper treatment is given to the natives before and after they are handed over to the actual employer."
The hon. Member also mentioned the case of the Masai. I am happy to say that they have abandoned their appeal to the Privy Council, not because it was not open to them, but no doubt on the advice of those whom they employed for that purpose. I am glad to be able to say that the Masai, with the exception perhaps of a single chief, Legalishu, who has no followers, are now abundantly satisfied with the new reserves. In the last twelve months I have been able to provide excellent water storage by dams and one or two barrages. I had a delightful private account the other day from a man who has been in the Masai reserves helping the natives for over six months, and he says that they are satisfied with the new water supply, which enables them to graze thousands of acres which they could not utilise before.

The hon. Member for Chertsey (Mr. Mac-master) referred to the Tasmanian crisis. I think that my dispatch, whatever other complaint there may be, makes my position abundantly clear. I have laid down in that dispatch nothing new. I have laid down only what I believe, and what I thought most other people believed, to be the rules which properly govern any constitutional ruler or Governor acting on his behalf. I conceive there is an impropriety in a Governor imposing conditions upon an incoming Minister, especially in imposing the condition of a dissolution on a Minister who is coming in immediately after the Governor has refused a dissolution to the other party. I have dealt with the constitutional question in the dispatch briefly, but quite clearly, because it was referred to me by the House of Assembly. I am glad to find that there is very little controversy in this House as to my attitude, except on the part of the hon. and learned Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave), who differed, I think, from my view as to the discretion which a Governor may have to refuse a dissolution. He quoted certain authorities to which we all attach great weight. I would ask the hon. and learned Member to consider himself in the position of a Governor—if I should be so fortunate as to be able to obtain him—who is asked for a dissolution by his existing Ministry. He refuses, a dissolution, and the Ministry resigns. The Governor has only one alternative: he must find another Ministry which has a majority in the Legislature and is able to carry on without a dissolution. Other than that he has no alternative at all except to grant the dissolution which he has been attempting to refuse. I do not call a discretion which is so limited by the course of events a very useful discretion for the Governor, nor one which it is desirable to lay down as an effective discretion in our Constitutional usage.

The hon. Member for South Donegal (Mr. Swift MacNeill) rather invited me to deal with the personal position of Sir William Macartney. I do not think I need do that to-day. I selected Sir William Macartney, not because I have known him in this House, but because I knew him as a Civil servant, as Master of the Mint, where he had done capable work. His political opinions neither encouraged nor discouraged my recommendation of his appointment. I happened to recommend to His Majesty for appointment in the same week an Orangeman to Tasmania and a Roman Catholic to New South Wales, and I was equally and refreshingly abused in each case for the selection I had made.

I think so; I have heard of no further action on the part of the Tasmanian Government since the arrival of my dispatch. I myself regard the incident as closed. The hon. Member for Chertsey suggested that there should be greater supervision of the emigrants from this country for the purpose of directing such emigrants to British Colonies and Dominions. I am happy to say that nothing of that kind is necessary in the present circumstances. I do not think the hon. Member had in mind what is the proportion of the emigration from this country that goes to British Dominions. I am glad to be able to inform him that it is 74 per cent. of our total emigration. In that direction great service has been done by one of the most modest offices—of which not much is heard by the public—the Emigrants' Information Office, which is not a subordinate department of the Colonial Office, but is formed under the ægis of the Colonial Office—

I was not claiming any credit for the 74 per cent. who go to British Possessions; indeed, it is not necessary to claim credit for a fact which is satisfactory to all. The hon. Member was only anxious that people should go to British Possessions and Dominions. I am glad to say that they do, to the extent of 74 per cent. of our total emigration. A considerable part of the change in the proportion has been, due to the work of the Emigrants' Information Office, and also to the great activities of the Dominions which happened to require emigrants of a particular kind and at a particular time. The hon. Member also invited me to set up a Press censorship or bureau here to supply the Dominions and British Possessions with such accounts of our doings as would be satisfactory to—I am not sure whether he meant to him or to me?

What is truth? I quite agree with the hon. Member that a greater amount of that commodity filtering daily into the Press would be a great advantage to the Dominions and even to the Home Country. But I am afraid we shall have to trust to the play of natural forces, and perhaps even to a greater public demand for the substitution of accuracy for mere sensation, for the result which he and we should desire. The hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Alden) and the hon. Baronet the Member for Hackney (Sir A Spicer) have drawn attention to the South Africa Land Act. I think it is necessary, if I am to discuss it at all, that we should completely understand what that Act means and what it does. It is not a sudden inspiration of the Botha Government. It is the outcome and result of a Commission appointed by Lord Milner some years ago, presided over by Sir Godfrey Lagden. The Commission was appointed,

"in view of the possible federation of the South African Colonies, to gather accurate information as to native affairs so as to arrive at a common understanding on questions of native policy."
The recommendations of that Commission were three: first, that in the interests of Europeans and natives alike, the purchase of land by natives or Europeans should be limited to certain areas to be defined by law; secondly, that the same principles should govern purchasing and leasing; and, thirdly, that the unrestrained squatting of natives on private farms, as tenants or otherwise, was an evil, and that it ought to be dealt with on the principles of the Cape Act of 1899. That Commission sat for two years. It had upon it representatives of every Colony and territory. It arrived at what I believe was a unanimous report, and this Act is practically doing no more than carrying out its recommendations. The Act has already been in operation for twelve months. The Commission of Inquiry, which was to be instituted under the Act is now sitting. It is bound by the terms of its appointment to report within two years, and will probably report by Christmas next. The whole of this Act is a temporary measure until that Commission reports. A native deputation has come over and seen me, and I believe many other members. That deputation left Africa against the advice of General Botha, and against almost the entreaties of Lord Gladstone. They knew that the Act would not be disallowed, because that had been announced months before in South Africa. Before the day the deputation saw me the period of twelve months during which that Act could be disallowed on my recommendation had already expired, and it is now an Act which can only be suspended by the Government and Parliament of the Union of South Africa.

Perhaps the hon. Member will allow me to complete my statement as the time is short. The suspension of the Act would be worse than useless at the present stage. It would suspend the Inquiry which is taking place at this moment in the interests of the natives themselves. I cannot believe that any further Commission is necessary, as the existing one seems-to me both efficient and sufficient. The principle is to set apart land for the white and native populations with no power of purchase by either in the domain of the other. The Act gives for the first time a statutory basis to the existing reserves. They cannot be reduced, but may be enlarged on the recommendation of the Commission. The Natal reserves, I am told, are already quite capable of accommodating 30 per cent. more natives than at the present time. This Act does not interfere with any of the existing arrangements, or any of the contracts which have been made. The native is not prohibited, as has been said, from buying land at the Cape, and he may do so elsewhere in the Union of South Africa by permission of the Governor-General. The consent of the Governor-General has already been given in certain cases where it seemed desirable that the natives should be allowed to purchase particular portions of land. The Act is transitory till the Union Parliament, on the advice of the Commissioners, has made other provisions. The Lagden Commission recommended segregation as desirable in South Africa, and I think that the arguments have been reinforced by the occurrence of cases of Black Peril which we have had to regret, and with which we have had to deal in recent years.

The squatting of the natives on absentee landlord farms has been very undesirable. It has led to constant stock thefts. Joint white and native farming, which has taken place in some places, has always been prohibited in the Free State, until I think quite accidentally repealed in a Consolidation Bill a year or two ago owing to a mistake in drafting. If the natives are farm labourers there is no limit to the number who may reside on white property. If not, they are not dispossessed until Parliament acts upon the Report of the Commissioners, and then only when suitable land is provided by addition to a native reserve. There is no necessity to send cut a British Commission, which is one of the things I was asked to do, when one is already at work in South Africa. I think it would be quite unprecedented, and I am not quite sure whether it would not be an insulting procedure. General Botha has written a letter to the members of the deputation. Part of it has been read in the House to-day. I am not sure whether it was this part, but perhaps I may be allowed to read some of it, seeing it was a letter to the natives:
"When the lime arrives for introducing such, legislation, it is the intention of the Government to make full legislative provision for such gradual expropriation of land owned by Europeans within defined native areas as may from time to time be necessary for the settlement of natives on such lands under a regularised system for the acquisition of land by natives within such areas, for the gradual extension of the system of individual tenure wherever the natives are sufficiently advanced to appreciate its advantages, and for the good government and local administration of affairs in native areas by means of Native Councils and otherwise. Meantime, all lawful contracts between natives and Europeans existing at the date of the proclamation of the Act, whether in respect of the sale, lease, mortgage, or occupation of land, are recognised as valid: but in view of the definite decision of Parliament no new contract can be entered into without special sanction."
The deputation which saw me admitted that they were satisfied with those promises of General Botha. They asked me on behalf of the Imperial Government to guarantee General Botha's words, to back his Bill! I think that is an unheard of request; it would be a proceeding of insolence on my part. What is more, it would be quite inefficient. If General Botha breaks his word I have no power to enforce it. I cannot bind his successors. If the Government of South Africa is not to be trusted in this matter they are to be trusted in nothing; and we know perfectly well that they can be trusted in these matters. Note what has been done with respect to the Indian Immigration Act. This was passed not from local desire, but from Imperial considerations. The provisions of that Act have been accepted by the Colonists and by the representatives of the Indians, who consider it the Magna Charta of the Indians in South Africa. I think that that should be a sufficient guarantee as to the way in which General Botha proposes to act. General Botha, too, used these words in Parliament:—
"He had told the deputation that he had given standing instructions to the magistrates throughout the country that if they found anyone in their districts ejecting natives from the farms they had to go and make inquiries and report to him. He had in all those cases which had been brought to his notice used the influence of his Department—the Department of Native Affairs—to get the people evicted placed in location? or in some other farm He had done his utmost in every respect to alleviate any distress that might be caused, and that was the attitude he proposed to continue…It was has policy to see to it that a feeling of contentment and satisfaction was created among the native population."
Though this country has never surrendered the proud position and the proud boast that it is the protector of the natives, I think we must have some regard to the sovereign powers of the Union of South Africa, and we should not be invited to intervene in the matter until gross and palpable injustice have been alleged and proved. That is not so in this case. That natives have not yet made an appeal to their Union Parliament. The Prime Minister of South Africa has tried to induce them to do so. He is also Minister for Native Affairs. He has promised to protect them, and there is no reason to doubt his ability to do so. In a period of transition such as this is, in the native question there are certain to be some hard cases, but I believe that they will be treated with consideration. There is nothing in the record of the Union Government to raise any suspicion in our mind, or in the native mind, of unfairness towards the natives, or that this action of the Union Government has not been taken purely upon the recommendations of the British Commission which sat some years ago. I believe that a just and considerate segregation would probably lead to the greater happiness of both whites and blacks in these parts of South Africa. The deputation which has come here ought to make their appeal to their own Parliament, and not to appeal to us against their own Parliament, except upon the basis of proved and admitted injustice. They have neither proved, nor is there a suspicion of any such injustice to the blacks.

Is it not the case that under the South African Constitution this Government have no power whatever to intervene in such a case as has been cited to-day in regard to the natives?

I do not think I would put it as broadly as that. I think intervention would be difficult. I am not sure that some forms of intervention would not be undesirable. The question does not arise, and there is no reason to doubt the justice and consideration of the treatment that the natives are likely to receive. The hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Hunt) moved a reduction of this Vote, and I am not quite sure upon what point he moved it. He made objection to the fact that the Federated Malay States have been considering the possibility of raising a loan in this country. They have not done so yet. I do not think they are likely to do so for some little time to come, if at all. If such a loan is raised, it is not required for hospitals and the various works which the hon. Member specified, but entirely for remunerative railway extension, which will begin to pay interest and sinking fund probably from the moment of its construction.

Is it not the fact that hospitals, nurses and doctors, are very badly needed in the Malay States, and that there is not money enough to provide them?

No, I do not think those are facts. There is no doubt that in hospitals and medical supplies improvements might well be made, but I think I am safe in saying that some have been made in the last four or five years. I do not say that the Federated Malay States have yet reached perfection, but I cannot for a moment admit the language of the hon. Member for Ludlow as to the "Dreadnought" being in the nature of a tribute. That "Dreadnought" was not exacted from the people. These people are not our subjects. It was a voluntary gift from allies.

Surely that is not the case! Was it not on the suggestion of the Chief Secretary of the Malay States, who is practically dependent on the British Government? Surely that was stated in the dispatch.

The facts were that the rulers of the Malay States discussed this matter with the gentleman who the hon. Gentleman has referred to, and they unanimously expressed a desire to present a "Dreadnought" to this country. The first I heard of it was an intimation from the rulers themselves that it was their desire as allies to make this present to the British Empire. It is not the case, as has been suggested, that the taxation of the people is heavy. The taxation of the people in the Federated Malay States is practically nil. The revenue is raised from the railways, Liquor Duties, Export Duties on tin, rubber, and other products, which do not fall on the native at all. The hon. Member in his speech also invited me to pursue inquiry into Colonial investments and the incidence of the Income Tax. I am afraid that there is no special relation in that to this Vote, and I am certain it would take up a much longer time to-night than I can give to it. But I have also a knowledge that it was fully discussed in the Debates on the Finance Bill, and that, indeed, a concession and an Amendment was made on the particular point raised. The hon. Member for Radcliffe (Mr. T. C. Taylor) complained of the delay in the printing of Colonial Reports. These Reports are derived in the first place from Colonial Blue Books, which are prepared in the Colonies at varying dates. Some of the Colonies use the calendar year; others use our financial year.

These Reports are prepared quite at different times in the different Colonies. I have urged Colonial Governors to send these Reports as early as possible. What I can say is that they are printed as soon as they are received, after having received decent consideration in the Department. If, however, the hon. Member likes, I will give another reminder to Colonial Governors of our desire to have these Reports as early as we can get them. As to the Reports of the Federated Malay States, I have no control over their finance or of the publication of their Reports. The hon. Member also put a question relating to opium in Ceylon. He asked me when con sumption was to cease there. All the consumers of opium in Ceylon are on the register, and no addition can be made to their number. Consumption, therefore, must disappear on the death of the last registered consumer. As they the off the consumption is, of course, declining. The imports of opium into Ceylon are falling rapidly. They have fallen from 16,300 lbs. in 1908 to 11,780 lbs. weight in 1911. The average for the last two years is 9,700 lbs., so that what the hon. Member for Radcliffe desires, the end of opium in Ceylon, is approaching—not, perhaps, so quickly as the hon. Member desires, but still there is a reasonable approach to finality. As to Hong Kong, I am afraid I must differ from him as to the question of registration there of smokers. Registration is impossible. Where hundreds pass the frontier daily from Canton to Victoria, it is quite impossible to have strict or effective registration. The opium farm has now been terminated, and has become a Government monopoly. Opium divans are absolutely abolished. The price has risen from 3¼ dollars per tahil (l⅓ ounce) in 1908 to 5½ dollars in 1913, and to 8½ dollars in 1914. There has been a large increase in price, and discouragement of consumption has resulted from Government control in the Malay Peninsula. In the Straits Settlements in January, 1910, the Government took over the trade, and there the constantly changing population also made registration impossible. But we have restricted the consumption by raising the price and by stopping smuggling. The price of opium in September, 1909, was 3 dollars; in January, 1910, 3.30 dollars; in April the same year, 4.30 dollars; in May, 1912, 5.50 dollars; and to-day it is 6.50 dollars. So that we have more than doubled the price.

The fees for smoking shops have also been largely increased, and in consequence of the increase in price which has been made since May, 1912, the consumption has fallen 8½ per cent. in the Straits Settlement, and 6 per cent. in the Malay Straits. The Preventive Department in these Straits have been active, and it is rather ominous what they have done. They have seized 22,000 tahils of opium in 1911; they also seized over 2,000 ounces of cocaine, and 3,360 ounces of morphia. In 1912 the seizures had decreased, but again 454 ounces of cocaine and 228 ounces of morphia had been seized. These are very ominous figures when you consider what a small dose is required to be given for the destruction of the human body or soul. I am happy to say there is this indication, which is rather striking and curious, that although it is said the people are tending more with the shutting down of opium to those other drugs, that in the gaols of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States—these are the only places where you can make compulsory examination—fewer men come m with punctures in their arms, and I hope that is some indication that the vice is not making serious headway. In Weihaiwei since 1909 there has been a prohibition of all except registered consumers. None can be added. At the end of 1913 there were only 30 registered consumers out of a population of 150,000. Opium divans are prohibited.

The hon. Member for Brentford raised questions about imported labour in East Africa. There is no forced labour, public or private, in the East African Protectorate to-day. There may be occasional bits of forced labour inflicted by native chiefs, but that is not what the hon. Member meant. I said in a letter, and I repeat it publicly to-day, that forced labour for private profit is slavery, and as such should be stopped. The hon. Member dealt with the Ceylon Excise question. I am sorry he did not come to the deputation that waited on me the other day, and where he was expected, as I should have greatly valued his knowledge and experience. If he had been there he would have found the answer to many of the questions he put. Many of these questions were asked and answered. The policy is that we have put up an experimental distillery, which is in existence now. That was not put up for the supply of spirits to the consumers, but it was put up in order that the Government might be able to teach their Excise staff, and to learn facts and cost, and what would be the proper rate hereafter to charge, and what are the proper duties that might be raised upon the arrack produced. Undoubtedly it was and is still the policy to erect one distillery at a time if the plan is going to be pursued further, and if the experience of the experimental distillery suggests to the Government that that is the proper way to deal with the matter. Something must be done to get rid of the present distilleries; they are filthy holes and shanties, often without locks and with back doors, where smuggling goes on frequently. They are frequented by the worst possible characters, and they are not possible distilleries to maintain for any length of time, if distillation is to go on at all. The Governor has already announced in Ceylon that it is not his wish to erect these distilleries if private enterprise would come forward and do it.

It was objected to by the deputation the other day that the Governor had never said that he would allow distilleries to be erected by private enterprise. I have looked up the point, and that fact was made public in Sir Henry McCallum's dispatch of 1912, printed in a Paper presented to the Legislative Council of Ceylon. I know the Governor would encourage private enterprise if he could get it, but I do not want to see private enterprise at the cost of our having to give them security of tenure, or some advantage at a loss to the Excise, which we would find it difficult to get back. I would far prefer to see buildings put tip by the Government, not for the distribution or sale of liquor, but buildings to be let to the contract suppliers. The hon. Member referred to a fixed minimum price which had at one time been arranged and then abandoned. It is abandoned, of course, for a definite reason. First of all, it was unenforceable, and, secondly, the minimum fixed was four and a half rupees, but the selling price has more than doubled the old minimum, and in many places the selling price of arrack is from nine and a half to eleven rupees. The supposed increase of arrack consumption to which the hon. Gentleman drew my attention is, I believe, due to the fact that a very large quantity of illicit sales which took place in the past are being stopped. There was an enormous quantity of illicit traffic, and now the illicit drinker is coming more into the open and on the statistics, and therefore undoubtedly you will have an apparent increase in the spirits sold, but I do not believe there is an increase in the consumption per head of the people. My object, and that of the Government of Ceylon is to encourage temperance in every way. Hon. Members and I may differ as to the method adopted, but I think they do not doubt that our object is the same even though they may think mine is a mistake.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is clearly the intention to continue the erection of Government distilleries in Ceylon! Would it not be possible to deal with the bad distilleries by getting rid of these bad distilleries, rather than erecting new ones?

I do not think we could get good distilleries erected by anyone but the Government, unless you gave private enterprise such advantageous terms as would entail loss of control and loss to the Excise system, which I should be very sorry to see happen. We only intend to erect one distillery to start with, and I can promise the House that before a second distillery is erected there shall be time for discussion as to results and experience from the first distillery.

Do I understand from my right hon. Friend that one distillery is decided upon in addition to the experimental distillery?

Yes, there should be one distillery put up. But it is quite possible, when the Government of Ceylon have gained the experience required from the experimental distillery, they may decide to lease it.

It is not the intention of the Government to allow one distillery to be erected in a district and to allow all the other bad ones to remain. As I understand, the intention is to erect a distillery and to close all the bad ones.

Of course, where a distillery is erected to supply a particular district, the bad distilleries would be closed. I do not mean the bad distilleries all over the island unless I may be allowed to erect good distilleries all over the island. We must make one experiment, and then we shall have an opportunity of judging whether it is desirable to continue the experiment. The hon. Member for South Donegal has referred to the question of the chartered companies. I really cannot in these days go back to the Raid Committee, nor am I inclined to set up another one, but if the hon. Gentleman wants any information that can be reasonably required from Rhodesia, we have got the High Commissioner and the Resident Commissioner, who will be able to supply what is required. I am not prepared to give a decision as to what I am going to do about the Charter when it comes up for revision on the 29th of October. I am not going to say whether it is to continue or whether it is to be amended, or whether it is to be cancelled. One of the reasons why I am not prepared to announce any decision is that Lord Gladstone has only to-day landed in England, and I wish to have the advantage of consultation with him upon the matter, and I desire to say nothing further about the chartered company. I am sorry not to have been able to leave more time for hon. Members to speak. I have had to condense my reply, as I felt bound to observe the agreement come to by both sides of the House, and if the hon. Member opposite will withdraw his Amendment for reduction, I shall move to report Progress.

This is the last chance we shall have of discussing this matter of the Chartered Company before it is finally settled. Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to tell the House what his intentions are with regard to Rhodesia, because we have only at present had one side of the question in this House in the monstrous attacks made by the hon. Member for South Donegal. I feel something ought to be said in answer to that, and I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman has not said more in dealing with the statements of the hon. Member. The hon. Member for South Donegal accused the existing Chartered Company as being a gang of swindlers responsible for the massacre in Matabeleland and charging ruinous rents to white settlers.

On a point of Order. If the hon. Gentleman is to be entitled to make a speech now, I want to know will I be entitled to make a speech also. This is strictly perhaps not a point of Order, but I wish to ask that question.

That is really not a point of Order. I believe there is a general understanding that as soon as possible after 7.30 we should take the Education Vote.

I had intended to reply to the attacks which have been made upon the Chartered Company by the hon. Member for South Donegal (Mr. Swift MacNeill) because they are untrue. Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give his decision in reference to the Chartered Company before the dissolution?

The hon. Member has asked me whether I shall be able to give my decision before the dissolution.

I think it is quite possible I may be able to do so before the prorogation. Lord Gladstone has only arrived to-day and I wish to consider the matter with him.

I do not wish to stand between the House and a discussion of the next Vote, but I wish to seek an early opportunity of replying to the hon. Member for South Donegal, and I regret the right hon. Gentleman has not replied to the accusations which have been made, and which may have a serious effect in South Africa.

The hon. Member will have his opportunity on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill.

Although I am not satisfied that I have received a proper reply from the right hon. Gentleman as there seems to be a general wish to take up another Vote, I beg to withdraw my Motion.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question put, and agreed to.

Colonial Services—(Class V)

Resolved, "That a sum. not exceeding £603,014, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of pay- ment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1915, for sundry Colonial Services, including certain Grants-in-Aid." [Note.— £137,000 has been voted on account.]

Cyprus (Grant-In-Aid)—(Class V)

Motion made and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,000, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1915, for a Grant-in-Aid of the Revenue of the Island of Cyprus." [Note.—£49,000 has been voted on account.]

I understood that the right hon. Gentleman was going to move to report progress.

I find that I cannot do that, because if we report Progress the Chairman will leave the chair, and we cannot go on with the other Vote.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Board Or Education—(Class Iv)

Motion made and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £9,480,621, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1915, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Board of Education, and of the various Establishments connected therewith, including sundry Grants-in-Aid." [Note.—£5,250,000 has been voted on account.]

I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.

I make this Motion in order to afford an opportunity of discussion to a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House who, I understand, are very desirous of bringing forward certain questions in regard to the Administration of the Board of Education. I must express my regret that not more than three hours and twenty minutes will be available for a discussion of the important question of education in this country, towards which so many millions of money are to be devoted. I regret this all the more, having regard to the fact that we are not to have the benefit of that introductory speech which the present President of the Board of Education has always made when introducing the Estimates, and in which he has given us a very full survey of the condition of education in this country at the present time, and the progress that has been made during the past year. I regret it the more because we understood two years ago that a comprehensive measure of educational reform was to be introduced into this House, and I had hoped, and I have no doubt many of my hon. Friends also hoped, that the President of the Board of Education on this occasion would have been able to give us some idea of the principal provisions of that measure, although it may not be introduced this Session. It was even more necessary that he should do so considering the statements which have been made on various platforms, if not by himself, certainly by one of his colleagues, as to the grave defects of our present system of education, and as to the methods proposed to remedy those defects.

The President himself, together with the Permanent Secretary, has lately visited Germany with a view to inquire into some of the details connected with elementary education in that country, and I think he will be the first to state that the condition of elementary education in this country is not so bad as has been represented, certainly by one of his colleagues. I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman will not be able to give us an account of his visit to Germany which we are all very anxious to hear. I think the President of the Board of Education will be ready to support me when I say that I believe, on the whole, elementary education in this country is more advanced than in Germany, although not so advanced as in some parts of France. As regards practical instruction it is only in recent years that the Germans have introduced any practical instruction at all into their schools. Not long ago the idea of putting up workshops in connection with their elementary schools would have been absolutely ridiculed by German educationists, but recently when they came over here and saw what we had done they went back and wisely imitated us in that respect. It is so often stated that Germany is in advance of this country that I think it is as well to say something in favour of the educational system here. Our elementary education is fairly good, but it is certainly susceptible of improvement in certain directions.

Here I desire to call attention to a matter to which I have referred to on more than one occasion, but it is only by reiteration and insisting upon a subject that we can get anything done. The point I wish to refer to is the inadequate and insufficient encouragement which is still given to practical instruction in our elementary schools. I am very glad to learn that the Board of Education are proposing to encourage manual training in our training colleges. That is a very wise step on their part, because unless our teachers are conversant with the methods of manual teaching the good results which we expect to derive from that method of instruction are not likely to be realised. I may add that in France every instructor in an elementary school is obliged to go through a course of manual training, and I hope that before long our training colleges will give that instruction which is so indispensable to successful teaching. I notice from, the Board's Report that during the Session 1912–13, in seventy-one areas in England no provision whatever was made for instruction in any branch, of handicraft. It is true that the number of scholars has increased from 241,733 in 1910–11 to 259,393 in the years 1911–12. But this is a very small proportion of the 6,000,000 pupils who are being educated in our public schools. If, in addition to handicraft in all its various forms we include domestic subjects and gardening, which is taught in some of our schools, the total number of children who are receiving manual instruction of any kind at the present moment does not exceed 800,000. That is to some extent, but not wholly, the fault of the Board of Education, and it is for that reason that I refer to this subject now. Handicraft teaching, which, in the opinion of all recognised authorities in this country is of the greatest possible value, and is of equal importance with what we generally understand as the three R's, is still regarded by the Board of Education as a special or extra subject, and is not placed in the same position as the ordinary subjects in the code. Notwithstanding certain questions which I have recently addressed to the President of the Board of Education the manual training teacher, however well trained he may be, and although he may devote the whole of his time to this kind of teaching, is placed in an inferior position to other teachers, and is not enabled at the present moment to come within any State supported scheme of superannuation.

I hope that these matters will be considered very carefully, so that handicrafts may be made an essential and obligatory part of our elementary education.

8.0 P.M.

Another point I wish to refer to is one of the most important questions which are now under the consideration of this country, and that is the question of the education of children between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. We have heard a great deal about the waste of money and effort in consequence of the fact that such large numbers of children leave our elementary schools and go into different occupations, some of them blind alley occupations, in which they forget a great deal of what they have learned, and when they require to receive more advanced instruction in some of our science or technical classes they are wholly unfit to take advantage of the instruction that is there provided for them. Now this great waste of money on teaching, and its results has generally been recognised, but I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he has done to remedy this defect. Private Members, with more zeal sometimes than knowledge of the difficulties connected with this subject, have introduced Bills into this House, and some of their suggestions have been of so extravagant a character that they could not possibly receive the support of this House. The question I have referred to is to my mind one of the most serious that the Board of Education have to consider, and so far they have left it largely to private members, instead of doing what I cannot help thinking is essentially their duty—that is, preparing a scheme and backing it up by Government support. Much has been said of the necessity of compelling young persons to attend evening continuation classes, but those who make these suggestions too often fail to realise the very great difficulties which are in the way of compelling young persons between the age of fourteen and seventeen to attend classes of this kind. I wish to take this opportunity of placing before the Board of Education through the President some of the questions which I cannot help thinking the Board should consider before asking the local authorities to compel young people to attend classes of this kind. In the first place, it is the duty of the Board of Education to indicate what should be the kind of instruction given to the children who are expected to attend these classes. I have not seen that question dealt with in any of the Bills that have been brought before Parliament, and I am not aware that the Board of Education has yet considered it. If you are to compel children to attend continuation classes you must first settle what sort of instruction you are going to give them, because it is absolutely essential that the instruction should be practical, or otherwise, whether you compel them or not, they will derive very little benefit from the teaching that is given. Therefore, the kind of instruction given seems to me the first matter that ought to engage the attention of the Board. Having decided that, the Board might recommend the local authorities to adopt some approved scheme. At the same time the greatest possible liberty and freedom of action ought to be left to the local authorities, who are in many cases far more competent than the Board of Education to indicate the nature of the instruction to be given. Then it has to be settled whether these continuation classes should be held in the day or in the evening. We have heard from nearly all quarters that evening continuation classes in this country for children between these ages are a failure, and I am inclined to agree. I do not think that it is reasonable to ask young people between thirteen and seventeen to attend evening classes after their day's work is over. You are asking of them a great deal more than they can do, and, if you were to attempt to compel them to do so, you would be compelling them at the risk of their own health and physical development. Therefore, if the evening classes are a failure, as has been stated on numerous occasions, it is for the Board of Education to see in what way they can induce children to attend classes during the daytime, and for that reason it is most important that they should put themselves in communication with employers of labour, because it is only by an arrangement with employers of labour that we can induce them to allow their employés to attend classes in the daytime, and at the same time, we hope, not take away from them any of the wages which they earn. That is another question which I think should be considered.

There is something else. Can we say at the present time that there exist buildings in which these day classes can be held? I am not aware of any. You could not expect day classes to be held in the ordinary elementary schools. You would require separate buildings in which the classes could be held. It appears to me that all those who have made wild statements about compelling children at the present time to attend day continuation classes have failed to consider some of the most important questions which have to be solved before any such scheme can be brought into general operation. At the present time one does not know what the instruction is to be, and in what buildings that instruction is to be given. Another important question is who are to-be responsible, if children are to be compelled to attend these classes, for such compulsory attendance, and, I would say further, under what Department of State? It would be very difficult to compel parents to send their children to school and to fine them if they failed to do so; and it would be equally difficult to compel children to attend and punish them if they did not do so. It has not yet been settled under what Department of State these continuation schools should be held. It may not be generally known that in Germany, and I believe also in France, these continuation schools are held under the Board of Trade and not under the Board of Education. The reason assigned is that the instruction should be of a practical character, adapted to the occupations in which the children are to be engaged, and it is thought that the Board of Trade is better qualified than the Board of Education to deal with trade instruction as distinguished from academic education. As I have stated, the evil is recognised, and the question is, What remedy should be provided?

I would ask the Board, in taking this matter into their grave consideration, not to be influenced to too great an extent by what they see being done in Germany with regard to these schools. We have heard a great deal about the system of continuation schools in Germany, and particular notice has been made in this House of the schools which are established in Munich. We have not heard from the President of the Board of Education and the Permanent Secretary what is their opinion of the schools which have been established in Munich. I think anyone who has made himself acquainted with the continuation classes in that city will certainly recognise that they cannot be very well initiated in this country. We have to recognise that the whole conditions of industry are different here from what they are in other countries, and nothing is more unwise than to attempt to transplant from any foreign country a system of education which is found to be attended with good results there. I was very surprised to find that so great an authority as Lord Haldane has spoken in the most favourable terms of the system of schools existing in Germany, and particularly in Munich. He went so far to say that this country is in grave peril of losing its commercial position in consequence of our not having schools of the same kind. He said, in a speech made not long ago:—
"The British workman finishes his education at thirteen. In many parts of the Continent their training was now going on to sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen, not a training merely in general education, but in the chief points of the calling which the workman was going to exercise in the future. We should have to face that in six or seven years from now."
We have had to face that for the last twenty years, and I do not hesitate to say that the system of training in connection with the workman's trade does not stop in this country at the age of thirteen, or at the age of eighteen. It goes on to the age of twenty-one or even later. There is no country in Europe in which the facilities offered to a workman to continue his education in connection with his trade are equal to those that can be obtained in this country. I hope for that reason that we shall not hear much more about the continuation schools in Munich. I have looked into this matter and have found that in these schools, instruction is provided for chimney-sweeps, for stokers, for printers, for hairdressers, and for butchers. I find that for every twenty-five apprentices in the city of Munich a separate trade school is started. The schools are held in the day time, and the hours of attendance are about six or eight in the week. There are about fifty different trade schools in the city of Munich. We want in this country to establish continuation schools for children when they leave the elementary schools, and before they enter any economic occupation. These schools, on the contrary, are for those who are already apprentices, and who have found useful employment. It is to the advantage of employers that they should have the opportunity of sending their apprentices to a school where they will learn the details of their trade, which it is the duty of the employers to teach them. Compulsion is not necessary, because, of course, the employers are only too glad to have the opportunity of sending their apprentices there.

May I ask whether some of the children do not go straight from the elementary schools into these other schools?

Very few of them. Of course, both in Germany and in France there are higher schools into which many of the children are drafted. That is particularly the case in France. Of course, these continuation schools, either in this country or in any other country, are only intended for those who are unable to attend higher elementary or secondary schools. One is glad to note that a much larger percentage of the children in this country have the advantage of secondary education now, and I should be very glad if we could see further encouragement given to those central schools, or higher elementary schools, which are included in our national system of education, but which for one reason or another do not appear to have been so successful as we might wish to have seen them. I suggest, therefore, that before attempting to introduce compulsion for children of the ages to which I have referred, in place of the voluntary efforts which are already being made, we should settle those matters to which I have drawn the attention of the Committee. Personally, I do not think that any course would be better than that the Board of Education should at an early period appoint a Departmental Committee consisting of representives of local education authorities, of employers, and of other persons engaged in education, to consider the various important questions which I have ventured to bring under the notice of the House.

The speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down contained some very valuable suggestions and some wise criticisms, not only upon existing conditions in our elementary educational system and continuation system, but also upon some of the remedies which are brought to us by enthusiastic persons from abroad. I would, if I might go so far, point out to my hon. Friend that perhaps he himself may have appeared to lay a little too much stress upon the importance of what is called manual training in our elementary schools. I agree that for a very large number of children, perhaps the majority, at our public elementary schools, manual training is a thing to be afforded and encouraged, but I would also point out that there are in every school a considerable number of children who are fitted for other than manual occupations, and I would therefore plead that the balance of instruction between scientific and literary, and manual and practical, that which will fit children not only to make a living, but also to live, should be maintained as far as possible. I also agree with my hon. Friend in what he said as to recent efforts by private Members to affect the conditions and by-laws with regard to the age of school attendance. Again and again in recent years we have had introduced in this House by private Member's Bills of too large a scope for a private Member's Bill, proposing changes, alterations, and amendments of too drastic a nature for the private Member or the promoters of a private Member's Bill to hope to carry through this House. I agree also that the efforts of private Members having failed, the onus of some effort in this direction lies more strongly on the Board of Education, and putting these together with the suggestions which the hon. Member has put forward that we should have legislation to secure something like compulsory attendance at continuation schools—

The hon. Member is now dealing with a question of legislation. He must confine himself to the administration of the Education Board under the existing Statute law.

I was going to suggest, In face of proposals of the kind to which allusion has been made, it would be well for the Board of Education to devote itself to extending and improving the system in ordinary elementary schools, and to making better provision for continuation education than now exists. One essential way of improving your system of elementary education is, of course, to provide more money for the purpose from central sources. We have had during the last few months from the right hon. Gentleman very valuable statements as to what the Board of Education intend to do upon this point. We understand they propose to take the earliest opportunity for so changing the arrangement of Grants to public elementary schools as to encourage, by further monetary aid, those local educational authorities who do their duty in this respect very well, and to penalise to some extent those who do not do their duty very well, and also by general provisions to secure an improvement in the work done in public elementary schools. If there can be added to that some administrative provision with regard to existing by-laws, giving power to the Board of Education to do away with such by-laws as permit of irregular and interrupted attendance at school; if, for example, the half-time system of attendance in Yorkshire and Lancashire could be abrogated; and if the local authorities' by-laws regarding the optional leaving of school earlier than the statutory age could be modified and discouraged, these things, together with an improved system of Grants, and a more complete system of attendance at public elementary schools would go far to prepare children, while in these schools, for continuing their education after they have passed the school age, and might help to make them more anxious to go on voluntarily with their education after leaving school. These are points to which, no doubt, my right hon. Friend has already directed his attention, but I should like to impress upon him that he cannot too soon or too forcibly endeavour to bring them about.

There are questions with regard to the money already promised by the Board of Education to what are known as necessitous school areas. I have no doubt my hon. Friend the Member for Chorley (Sir Henry Hibbert) will deal with this subject in his speech, but I am anxious that the city I have the honour of representing in this House should, to as large an extent as possible, receive aid out of this Grant, and we shall be glad to hear from the President of the Board of Education what are the proposals he intends to put forward and, if possible, what are the amounts which may be granted to new participants. There is a question with regard to certain schools in London at the present moment to which I wish to draw attention. Inquiries have been made in the London county area as to the structural conditions of many of the schools. A number have been scheduled in three classes, according to the defects in their structure and the need for improvements in the buildings and playgrounds, as well as the necessity for lighting the rooms. I am very far from saying that that action of the Board of Education is not entirely justified, and ought not to have been carried out. As far as I am concerned, I am not particularly interested in the aspect of the question which affects the denominational teaching in many of these schools; but I do wish to draw the attention of the Board of Trade to the fact that by these schedules and by the administration of the board which is to arise under Schedule A and the recommendations for improvements, the position of many teachers in these schools may be seriously affected. These teachers have served efficiently for many years in circumstances, to say the least, of much discouragement, and now they find themselves in danger of losing their posts altogether, and of not being able to obtain similar positions elsewhere. The closing of these schools may be a very serious thing for some of these teachers, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to keep that in view, and to do anything he possibly can for them whenever occasion may arise.

Reference was made by the hon. and learned Member for the University of London to the fact that teachers of manual training in the public elementary schools are excluded at present from any system of State superannuation which is extended to other teachers. He might have added that the teachers of domestic subjects, which are of the greatest possible advantage to the girls, are likewise excluded. These teachers are often very highly qualified, particularly those in domestic subjects, who have to pass through along and expensive training in schools especially established for that purpose, and who are now doing most excellent work. The system of instruction in manual and domestic subjects is of comparatively recent establishment when compared with the teaching in public elementary schools, but surely the time has now arrived when the Board of Education should take into consideration provisions for extending to these teachers the advantages in regard to providing for old age which are accorded to the other teachers. I understand a Report has been presented to the Board of Education by a Committee which examined the question of the Superannuation of Teachers in Secondary and Technical Schools and Colleges, and I am told also that the recommendations of that Committee would enable those teachers who instruct in manual and domestic subjects in secondary schools to enter into the prospective scheme of superannuation. But that would not make provision for teachers of these subjects in the ordinary elementary schools. I am glad to gather from the Estimates for next year that a sum of money is being provided for the purpose of financing this system for the superannuation of teachers in secondary and technical schools, and I hope that when the Board of Education are perfecting their plans for this purpose they will take into consideration, so far as they possibly can, the cases of the teachers to whom I have just alluded, and I also trust they will take into consideration another very important suggestion, namely, that the service given originally in public elementary schools by teachers now engaged in secondary schools shall count for purposes of superannuation. That is a detail of great importance which I do not hesitate to draw to the careful attention of my right hon. Friend.

I hope I may be permitted to say, with regard to the general administration of the schools by the Board of Education, the inspection of the schools and the oversight and care of the Board of Education in respect to the schools as a whole, that it is not easy to discover an opportunity for finding much fault. That may be a negative way of stating the matter, but in the past so much fault has been found and so many occasions for finding fault have existed that to comment on the absence of the need to find fault is a compliment. I desire to tender to my right hon. Friend and his officers the thanks of many people in this country who feel that they have now at the head of the Board of Education sympathetic and understanding persons, who are as anxious as anybody possibly can be to help the schools financially more than has been the case in the past, and to give as much help as they possibly can to the local authorities and the teachers as well. But there is one Department of the Board of Education which I must exempt from these remarks. I cannot say that in my own opinion or in the opinion of a great number of persons connected with the art schools of this country, whether they are managers or teachers of those schools, that the work done in the technical branch of the Board of Education is carried out in an efficient or sympathetic way. I have alluded to the desire of the President of the Board of Education to supply more of the sinews of war to the elementary schools, but I find that in the cases of fifty or sixty of the art schools in this country, the sinews of war, hitherto too scantily supplied, have been diminished. A Grant based upon attendance, upon an elaborate system of registration, and possibly in respect of students who are occupied in working during the daytime and are expected to attend the art schools in the evening is not, perhaps, the best form of Grant, but when a Grant based on the attendances of people who are busy all day long is reduced because of a technical failure to complete the number of attendances, though nearly that number has been attained and very good work has been done by the student—when the Grant is reduced and the school weakened, it cannot be said that the Board of Education in that department of its operations is doing what it certainly ought to do and what it can do for the encouragement of the teaching in these schools.

Art teaching could be made a most valuable form of manual training. It might become in this country what it is in France, a most valuable source of national revenue, wide employment, and national wealth. If in this country we had a department administered, as the technical branch ought to be administered, with sympathy and knowledge—as you find in other countries, notably in France—then many of the complaints made against the work done in art schools would pass away, and in the arts and crafts of this country—the higher forms of manual work especially, and of design and artistic craftsmanship—the effects would soon be seen. One result would be a very considerable expansion of the exports from this country of artistic products made by the workmen trained and encouraged in that way. So far as I have been able to observe, the Board of Education, advised as they are by an honorary Committee, whose services are lavishly rendered although their advice has not always been of the most valuable kind, have in one way or another during the past three years, by regulation and by other administration, exercised a depressing effect upon the art schools of the country. The right hon. Gentleman himself for the first time on the part of a President of the Board of Education recognised the work done in these art schools by permitting an exhibition of the work to take place in a room in the Victoria and Albert Museum. That in itself has done something to honour and uplift the work; but when by a change in the system of examination and by various regulations which, so far as I am able to judge, are based upon no cogent or intelligent view of the duties and work of a Department which has to deal with art schools in this country, Grants are reduced, ex-elementary school children are prevented from going to the schools, the number of students is not in- creased but reduced, and the teachers in those schools—excellent men and women as many of them are—are discouraged and depressed, it is high time my Tight hon. Friend should devote his personal attention to this matter and discover for himself whether or not in that Department of his Board the operations are conducted with the same degree of intelligence and sympathy as they are in the other Departments.

It is with some regret that I venture to offer these criticisms, because in most respects the direct reverse is to be said. I feel so strongly upon this matter that I venture to say that unless some change in the administration of the Board with regard to its work takes place before very long, then all the good art work which has been done in this country since the days of the Prince Consort will have to be set at nought and undone. There is a parallel case in the exceedingly official administration in connection with the Victoria and Albert Museum. I see opposite an hon. Member who is interested in the formation of a Parliamentary Committee to deal with the subject of art. It is not too soon that such a Committee should be formed. If such a Committee had been in existence, perhaps the outrage recently committed at the Victoria and Albert Museum would never have taken place. What has happened there within the last two years? It is an action worthy of the Vandals. The Ceramic Gallery, which was in its day and time a very considerable advance in art feeling in this country, and which is historically connected with the development of art at South Kensington and the art schools of this country, has been pulled to pieces, much of the fine work destroyed, and all to satisfy the architectural Puritanism of some members of the Advisory Committee at the Board of Education. It, is most deplorable that this should be. Attention has been drawn to it again and again in the Press, but apparently no effect whatever has been produced on the Board of Education. It may be that persons outside, distinguished artists, public men interested in art, the trustees of the National Gallery and of the British Museum and others, who protested in the Press and elsewhere, are all wrong, and that the Board of Education and its officers, are perfectly right upon this matter. If that is the case we shall hear from the President of the Board later on on what grounds this action has been taken in regard to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ceramic Gallery and so forth, and the paintings upon the walls and windows. I understand the windows have not only to be pulled out, but broken to pieces—at any rate they have disappeared. I hope we shall hear from him on what grounds that has taken place, and in what way he justifies the action of the technical branch of his Board which reduces Grants to schools of art when they need more money, which reduces the supply of students in the schools of art, and which upsets the managers and the governors of the schools, and the teachers.

In view of the statement of the President of the Board of Education, and also of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that a largely increased Grant is being given for education next year, I do not intend to say much about the elementary side of education, but I should like to make a few remarks on necessitous school areas. The President of the Board of Education, speaking on the Finance Bill on 23rd June, said:—

"The £515,000 could be properly divided into two amounts, £438,000 for necessitous areas, and £77,000 for the provision of meals, which would meet about half the cost of providing the meals incurred by local education authorities during the year. Of that £438,000 for the necessitous areas, approximately £75,000 would be distributed amongst fifty-seven necessitous areas, who already are expending £350,000 of the necessitous areas Grants, and that and the other £175,000. would be in addition to the £350,000 These thirty-four authorities have not shared with the fifty-seven authorities, although their education rate has been over Is. 6d. in the £, and therefore it is proposed to distribute the amount of the excess over Is.60d. in the £ among these thirty-four areas previously omitted."
What I want to know here is why should this £438,000, so far as necessitous school areas within county council areas are concerned, not be shared by them. The Act of 1902 gave local education authorities power to charge from one-half to three-quarters of the cost of buildings, and I contend that the Board of Education have no right whatever to penalise those local education authorities who have taken advantage of the Clause which I have mentioned. Take my own area, for instance. We have taken advantage of that Clause to this extent: We have provided, or arranged to provide, places, by building new schools, for 35,874 children at an expenditure of £534,652, and we have never hesitated since the appointed day to build a school where a school was required, or where the inhabitants of the parish interested could tell us that a fair proportion of children would attend that school. What is the position in the counties? I represent the Education Committee of the County Councils' Association, who feel very deeply on this question, who have debated it on numerous occasions, and have made representations to the Board of Education on it, but without result so far. In England there are 250,000 areas in the counties where the rate is from Is. 6d. to 2s. 9d. in the £. In Wales there are 186 areas where the rate is from Is. 6d. to 2s. 7½d. in the £, and yet with the exception of Anglesey and Glamorgan, not one among these areas will, at any rate as far as we can gather, receive any assistance as a necessitous area from the Board of Education. I take it that all counties which pay taxation to a central authority, say, like the Board of Education, expect to get something of their expenditure in taxes back again. The assessable value of the counties of England and Wales, not including London, is £71,000,000 out of £199,000,000–35 per cent. of the whole. I am not speaking for my own country, because we have had hitherto only two of these necessitous areas, though several other areas will soon fall under the same category. I am pleading for the county councils generally. But in my own county we pay 1–25th of the whole taxation of the country and we get nothing at all back, not even in the two areas we have which are necessitous school areas. The question, I know, is an exceedingly difficult one. It bristles with problems which are both financial and religious, and I therefore contend that if any departure is made from the Act of 1902, it ought to be incorporated in a new Education Bill. I am far from believing, although my own county imposed three-fourths of the cost of a new school on the parish served, that that is the proper amount. I think it is too much. I think one-fourth would be quite sufficient. But at the same time I am firmly convinced that in the interests of economy, and no less the interests of education, you must have some charge, or you will be compelled to build schools almost at everyone's back door.

The next questions I wish to deal with are in regard to secondary education. The President of the Board stated on 23rd June that the success of a nation undoubtedly depends upon the extent to which the population has been educated and trained. I think every Member of the House will agree with that statement. We have also heard that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised an additional Grant of £560,000, £395,000 of which next year is for secondary as distinct from technical education. I contend that even with these Grants the amount is absolutely inadequate. Up to 1902, little had been done at all for secondary education. What is being done to-day? My expenditure out of the rates for 1912–13 amounted to £117,500 for higher education. What share did the Government pay of that? I find that the total expenditure of the Lancashire Education Committee on higher education is £231,887. The Government Grant amounts to a little over £79,500, and it represents 34.3 per cent. of the total cost; the rates provide £117,440, which represents 50.6 per cent. of the cost, while the fees themselves amount to £34,768, or 15 per cent. of the cost. I contend that at least one-half of the cost of secondary education, particularly in a county area where it is extremely difficult to administer, should be borne by the Board of Education. On 23rd June the President of the Board of Education said that:—
"Some authorities have thought it necessary to establish secondary schools, but other authorities pass by-laws which tend to restrict the age and encourage children to leave school at an early age."
While that may be the case with some few authorities, and I have no doubt it is, I think the right hon. Gentleman himself supplied the answer to it when he said that it was no doubt caused by pressure from the ratepayers and ratepayers' associations. If this is so, and if education is essential to the national prosperity, then I agree with the Kempe Committee that there should be a distinction between the richer and the poorer areas, and between areas which spend much and areas which spend little upon education. I sincerely hope that in this respect the new Government Grants for secondary education next year will be Grants in relief of already existing taxation and not, as they have been hitherto, Grants to encourage you to spend a larger amount of money in order to earn them.

In my county we attach great importance to secondary education. We wish that every child, boy or girl, in the county shall have the advantage of an education which will enable him to get on in life, and in order to do that we have authorised a minimum fee in all our secondary schools of three guineas per annum. We endeavour to induce children to come from the elementary school into the secondary school before twelve years of age. The result of these low fees is that each child we educate in a secondary school costs £8, after allowing for the Government Grant. We go a little further. Formerly the Board gave local science and art Grants of £4, £7, and £10 for the first, second, and third years respectively for each free place made available in a science or art school. Now these Grants have been withdrawn, and as a condition of earning the higher Grants of the Board we are compelled to give 25 per cent. of free places. Our position is financially worse. I do not wish the House to misunderstand me for a single moment, I attach the greatest importance to the provision of free places, but I do think that when the Government insisted on 25 per cent. of free places being given in secondary schools, a Grant commensurate with the loss incurred by the education authority should have been given to that authority.

There is another thing in connection with this subject. In addition to the loss of £8, we pay the travelling expenses of those who live far from a secondary school, and in many cases we pay a maintenance allowance. Possibly everybody in the House looks upon Lancashire as a commercial county pure and simple, and it will probably surprise hon. Members when I tell them that, in addition to being a commercial county, we are the second dairy county in the country. We have to bring children long distances, in order that they may enjoy the advantage of a good secondary education. In many cases the distance is too far for the children to get home again at night without an enormous amount of trouble, and a great amount spent in railway fares. Therefore, in those cases, we pay maintenance allowance for the children, and all this adds to the enormous cost of secondary education, which, we contend, should be met to a larger extent than at present from the taxes, instead of from the rates. Eighty-seven per cent. of the children in our secondary day schools are from the elementary day schools, and nearly 35 per cent. of the places in our schools are free. If you come to the fifth and sixth forms, you will find that 57 per cent. of the fees are remitted.

Another cause of expenditure is the necessity of getting good teachers and paying them well. You cannot pay the price for a secondary school teacher which that teacher deserves, after the high and expensive education which he or she has had, if you have to pay the amount entirely out of rates. The taxes must come to our assistance. There is another point which I mentioned last year when I spoke with reference to a revision of the Board's Grants to secondary schools. At present no Grants are payable by the Board of Education in respect of pupils under ten years of age attending secondary schools, whereas, in respect of children between five and ten attending public elementary schools, Grants varying from £2 to, in our case, £2 1s. 4¾d., may be obtained. Further, no Grants are payable by the Board for children between ten and twelve, unless they have been previously in attendance at a public elementary school, whereas a Grant averaging £2 1s. 4d. would have to be paid in respect of such children if they were in attendance at a public elementary school. In connection with that, when presiding over the Committee of the County Councils Association last week, I received the following letter from Cheshire County Council:—
"The attention of the Cheshire Education Authority has been called by the governing body of the county secondary school, Crewe, to the working of the above article as affecting the Government Grant. In the particulars of the Board of Education Grant for lust year is the following: 'Grant under Article 36 (a), twenty-seven pupils at £2=£54.' The head master reported that of these twenty-seven pupils seventeen had been receiving instruction during the school year in the same form with those over twelve years of age, and for whom the Board of Education paid a Grant of £5 per head. It was considered that in cases where pupils under twelve years of age are taught in the same form as pupils over twelve, it is a hardship that a smaller Grant should be allowed towards their education, because the cost of educating such pupils is not less than that of educating pupils over twelve years of age; further, that pupils under twelve are frequently the brightest in the class."
I think we are all agreed, at all events those who follow education matters very closely will agree, that it is absolutely essential that if a child is to reap the full advantage of secondary education, he or she must enter a secondary school not a day later than twelve years of age. Therefore it seems only reasonable to expect that a Grant should be made in respect of any child at a secondary school, irrespective of age, provided that that child would be eligible for a Grant in an elementary day school. There is no reason why the Grant to children under twelve should be lower than the Grant for children over twelve. I made a remark similar to this when speaking on the Estimates last year, and the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Goldstone) said in reply that he hoped the President of the Board of Education would not take too serious notice of the suggestion which I made that he should give the maximum Grant of £5 per pupil payable in respect of children under twelve in secondary schools. Then he went on to say:—
"If you allow children under that age to come into secondary schools, you may very well have places in them absorbed which ought to be reserved for the excellent pupils who are coming from elementary schools."
I do not at all agree with that opinion. It is not, at any rate, a course which would be followed by my Committee. In furtherance of that opinion I may tell the House that in September, 1911, we built a large secondary school at Eccles, a non-county borough in Lancashire, with accommodation for 391 pupils. The schools cost us £16,643, and it is now considered too small. It was built in 1911. My committee did not at once say, "We are going to refuse some of the children who come to this school because they are children from an elementary day school or children who crowd out other children who would pay fees." Without a moment's hesitation we said we would enlarge the school, and so I am inclined to believe would all education authorities who have the interests of their pupils at heart. I wish to go on now to the higher technical side of education We all attach an enormous amount of importance to technical education. Both hon. Gentlemen who preceded me have spoken of its desirability. I notice that in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Committee on the Financial Statement, he spoke as follows:—
"The other Grants are for technical, secondary, and higher education, to make it more accessible to the masses of the children, to extend its sphere of influence where children show any aptitude to take advantage of it."
Then he went on to say:—
"We compare very unfavourably with Germany and the United States of America in this respect—very unfavourably. There there is adequate provision for technical training, secondary and higher training for every child who shows any especial gift for taking advantage of it, and I consider that this fact is a greater menace to our trade than any arrangement of tariffs would be."
9.0 P.M.

In spite of that, and without wishing to weary the Committee with statistics, I can only say that while the trade of this country has increased enormously in the last ten years, the trade of Germany has increased to a very much larger extent, and that whereas in 1903 Germany was only £44,000,000 behind us in our exports of produce and manufactures, in 1913 she was only £29,000,000 behind us. And I certainly do assume the mantle of a prophet and tell the House that before ten years have elapsed the exports of the produce and manufactures of Germany will be the largest of any country in the world. I attribute that, in a very large measure, to the technical and scientific training which her sons receive. Legislation has greatly aided technical education in this country. The passing of the Technical Instruction Acts has been of inestimable value to us, supplemented by the Education Act of 1902, which undoubtedly has been a source of part of the immense prosperity we have enjoyed in recent years. Of course a very great deal depends upon the energy and perseverance of our people. So far as technical education is concerned, it is answerable to a very considerable extent for the very large expansion of our trade—in Lancashire at any rate. I can say, again in consequence of burning the midnight oil on the part of these students, that to-day at least 50 per cent. of the looms in Lancashire are owned by men who a very few years ago were operatives, and that the commercial predominance of Lancashire and Yorkshire is maintained by the constant flow of men from the operative classes. A question was asked some time ago as to whether no children went direct from the elementary day school to the evening continuation school. In my county, taking the county as a whole, non-county boroughs, urban and rural districts, at least 32 per cent. go direct from the elementary day-school to the evening continuation school. It was also stated that you could not expect boys, after a hard day's work, to go to an evening continuation school. I have always contended that there should be some sorting age, when the wheat should be sorted from the tares, and I am very much inclined to believe that, not by adopting a scheme of compulsory evening continuation schools, but by endeavouring to persuade the children themselves, and bringing a little influence to bear on the parents, you get by voluntary methods into your evening continuation schools exactly the class of boys and girls upon whom it is in the interests of the nation to spend money.

The Grant which we are going to receive in aid of technical instruction is a small one. I would like the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Education, to recognise that the technical schools, particularly the higher technical schools in this country, are doing a national work, and that we are educating in the higher branches of education a large number of students who will spread all over the British Dominions. I remember very well a case in point of a poor boy, who was a collier in Wigan, a boy with an enormous amount of grit. He attended the evening classes in a mining school after working in the pits the usual time, and he is now one of His Majesty's Inspectors of Mines in India. I could give numberless examples of a similar kind. At the ordinary school-leaving age education is only just begun, and if an adequate return is to be expected from primary education, education must be carried forward. The right hon. Gentleman promises £100,000 out of the £560,000. The higher technical institutions in this country are small in number. The equipment of many of them is absolutely inadequate. The teaching staff consists of highly trained full-time masters. We cannot afford it out of the rates. Two or three years ago I was told by a very great authority that there are more day students in the technical school or college at Charlottenburg than there were in the whole United Kingdom. I regret it, and incidentally it is to the disadvantage of the trade and commerce of this country. We must not lose sight of the fact that the higher technical school is to all intents and purposes the artisans' university. Why cannot we have from the Board of Education Grants similar to those which they gave to Scotland? I have been making a comparison, and I find that the English Grants are for a minimum of fourteen hours per student, and the Grants in Scotland are for a minimum of ten hours per student. Why is there this difference? Take the rates of Grants under 2 Chapter 2 of the Regulations, I find that in England—this is for literary and commercial subjects—the Grants are from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d., or specially from 5s. to 8s. In Scotland the amount is 5s. 10d. in the first year, 10s. in the second year, 15s. in the third year, and 25s. in the fourth and succeeding years. Why cannot we have the same Grant?

Take division 2 (art), and division 3 (science). In art the Grant in this country is 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d., and in special cases up to 15s. In Scotland they are the same as in literary and commercial subjects, from 5s. 10d. up to 25s. in the fourth and succeeding years. In science, in England, the Grant is 2s. 6d. to 15s.; in Scotland, 8s. 4d. in the first year, 13s. 4d. in the second, 20s. in the third, and 35s. in the fourth and succeeding years. In England the amount of the Grant payable bears definite relation to any institution's expenditure. In Scotland, so long as the Grant is earned, it would be paid up to the maximum of three-fourths of what is termed "approved expenditure" of the institution. How does that work out? Take two schools in England and Scotland where the approved expenditure is the same, £5,600. In the case of Scotland, if the Grant is earned, three-fourths of the approved expenditure would be paid (£4,200), leaving a balance of £1,400 to be met by the authority. In England the Grant earned would be £3,000, leaving a balance of £2,600 to be met by the authority. Why this difference between England and Scotland? You may say this would lead to extravagant expenditure. That is not the case in Scotland, because they are not an extravagant nation. Further than that, the Board is quite well able to pick out cases of extravagance. I am rather inclined to believe that the Board themselves are inclined to consider this matter, because I find in Circular 795, 6th June, 1912, the following:—
"The Board desire to give notice that it proposes under the terms of Article 15 to call annually for a full account of income and expenditure in more important schools aided under the Regulations for technical schools. It is desired that accounts of this kind, compiled on a uniform basis, should be available in order that the Board may have accurate knowledge of the cost of technical education of the more advanced types."
Then it goes on to say:—
"It is especially necessary to obtain such information in view of the possibility that the cost of maintenance may at some date become an element in the assessment of Grant for the more important schools."
I hope that the day is not very far distant when the Board of Education will put us on exactly the same financial footing as they do Scotland. There is one other item of which I wish to speak, and that is with regard to internal and external examinations. This is a serious question. While I agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite in his eulogy of the Board of Education and its staff, from whom I have received the greatest kindness, courtesy, and consideration, I am, as he was, forced to make this exception. There is a serious tendency at the present time on the part of the Board of Education to override by means of regulations the powers of the local education authorities as vested in them by Act of Parliament with respect to higher education Unfortunately, this is not confined to the Board of Education, but is a common complaint with respect to other Government Departments. I dare say you may have noticed in the papers that the Urban District Councils' Association met in London quite recently, and a resolution was passed calling attention to the powers which the various Government Departments ascribed to themselves which are not sanctioned by Acts of Parliament. The lever which is used in all cases is the conditions which are attached to Grants made by the various Departments. Dealing with the question of education the Act of 1902, Part II., Section 2, Subsection (1), states:—
"The local education authority shall consider the educational needs of their area, and take such steps as seem to them desirable, after consultation with the Board of Education, to supply or aid the supply of education other than elementary, and to promote the general co-ordination of all forms of education."
This is a great charter of liberty given to local education authorities, and it was intended by the framers of that Act to be a charter of liberty. The local education authorities are only asked to consult with the Board of Education, and then they may take such steps as seem to them desirable. The point I wish to make is illustrated by the recent action of the Board of Education with respect to internal examination in evening technical schools. The Board of Education in the Regulations state that they are prepared to endorse the certificates of students, provided those certificates are awarded on the results of internal examination at the end of the five years' course conducted by the teacher assisted by an external assessor. The local education authorities of Lancashire and Cheshire are not in favour of such a scheme. We have acted for a great many years under a union known as the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes. The union has been in existence for something like seventy-five years, and marches with the times. On the council of that union you will find representatives of all the education authorities of Lancashire and Cheshire. In addition to that, there is an Advisory Committee of teachers with which the council consult not only as to the syllabus which is framed, but, after the result of the examination is known, in order that the council may determine whether the syllabus has been such as to suit the capabilities of the students and the needs and necessities of the district. The idea of the Board of Education to substitute internal for external examinations called for a deputation from this union, which met the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education. Their plea to the President was that it—
"should be permitted that the various authorities within the area of operation of the union's work should, if they so desire, adopt external examinations, and that the results of those external examinations, combined with the record of the students' work throughout the session, should be accepted by the Board of Education as sufficient evidence for endorsement."
The Regulations of the Board of Education are so framed that the opinions of the local education authorities, who have power given to them by this Section of the Act of 1902, are ignored. I think I may safely say that they have not received that consideration which I think they ought to have had. I submit that their powers under the Act have been overruled, and also the fundamental principle that the Regulations of any Government Department should be so framed as to comply with the Acts of Parliament. In this case local education authorities should have the option of stating whether they desire external tests or not, and if they deliberately choose external examinations, the Board of Education should not refuse to accept them as evidence of efficiency. In the face of this it is passing strange that whilst one branch of the Board of Education, the secondary branch, is going in for external examinations, another branch of the Board, the technical branch, is doing all they possibly can to get rid, of them. Let me read some of the conditions of this circular, and then you can form your own opinion of them. It is desired in Circular 776, in the first place, that the teachers shall frame their own schemes of work; secondly, that they shall draw their own syllabus; thirdly, that they shall conduct their own examination; and, fourthly, to issue their own certificates in the final year of the course, the examination to be conducted by the teacher in conjunction with an external assessor. The Board consider such an arrangement is sufficient to maintain the standard of efficiency. I should like to appeal to the Members of the House who have sat for examination in any profession, or in anything calling for examination, whether that examination would be considered satisfactory if they were examined and the certificate given to them by the very men who taught them? We have the greatest confidence in my county, as I think you may have all over the country, in the bona fides of your teachers, but at the same time you have got to consider that the teachers are your paid officials, and that you must have some outside appraisement of the work which they do. I do contend that this setting up of an internal examination in the face of the work which this Lancashire and Cheshire Union of Institutes has done, and in face of the work which the City Guilds of London Institute has done—and I gather that is also threatened—warrants the grave consideration of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education.

I am sorry time does not permit dealing with the many very valuable points dealt with by the last speaker pithily and with expert knowledge, which he possesses in an eminent degree. I thought until the last five or six minutes of his speech that it would only have been necessary for me to express the hope that if his side ever gets into power he would be the President of the Board, but during those last minutes I got very alarmed and I decided I could not express that hope. If there were time I would like to discuss in detail the attitude the hon. Gentleman has taken up, and that apparently his committee in Lancashire has taken up, in regard to this very excellent change on the part of the Board of Education in regard to the dealing with students and teachers, and their work and their education generally. I will only say this to the hon. Gentleman and to those who think like him, that we are pre-eminently the country wedded to a system of external examination. We have held on to it when all the enlightened educationists of the world have long ago abandoned it. In the universities they would regard such a suggestion as he has made with horror, and the suggestion that any kind of person who will have no association with the students can impose the final tests and the tests on all occasions. It is wholly necessary that we should apply the same broad, sane ideas in education—

I think it is an admitted fact that the examinations at Oxford and Cambridge are practically external examinations, and that no teacher of the students would be allowed to sit on the examining body which sets up the syllabus for the examination.

My point is that the gentlemen who conduct the examinations and who are associated with the general drafting of the syllabus are not external individuals who have nothing to do with the district. I quite agree with the hon. Gentleman that there should be an appraisement of the work, that it should be frequent and exhaustive and detailed, but that can be better done by inspection of a thorough and proper kind than can ever be done by promiscuous tests. An occasional written test, for which pupils are worked up, is not, after all, a proper appraisement of the work that has been done, either from the point of view of the teacher who has been responsible or the point of view of the teacher. If time permitted I would like to discuss in detail why I think the Board of Education has been excellently advised in this matter, and that I welcome the movement very much indeed. It is an old controversy that goes down to the very roots of the meaning of education and its purpose, and therefore cannot be disposed of in a few minutes. Before going to the general aspects, I want to put forward a plea to the President over a matter that has happened in Wales. The hon. Member (Sir H. Hibbert) spoke with legitimate pride of the work of the Lancashire County Council in the realm of secondary education. If he will permit me to say so, I think Lancashire has a good deal to do yet before it will have done what my little country of Wales has done in the last few years in secondary education. I believe the hon. Member knows that we do not spend £3 per head upon scholars and come here complaining that it is too much to spend, but that we spend four, five, six, and in some places seven times that out of our local means upon cur scholars and pupils in various parts of Wales. It is a great system of secondary education, which up till recently has been the admiration of all educationists from America and from the Continent, as well as from this country.

This system was in the hands of a Central Welsh Board, the first Board of a National character set up in Wales, and more or less representative and democratic in its institution. That body for many years did very admirable work, until falling, as I am afraid the Lancashire Education Committee is beginning to do, into the trap of its own efficiency, it began to regard papers and certificates as more than the real sinews of character and culture, and degenerated in the last few years. Subject to that criticism of the last few years we do in Wales owe a great debt to this Central Welsh Board which, out of nothing, built up this big framework of secondary education throughout the whole of the land; particularly in the poorer rural districts and out-of-the-way parts of the country. Recently certain officials, and such an accident can happen to the best conducted authority in any part of the land, have been found guilty of very, very serious defalcations in their offices, and there have been very painful disclosures in the Assize Courts, and a situation has arisen with which, of course, the President of the Board of Education is bound to deal. I want to ask the President to be careful, and I want to utter a word of warning as well as a word of appeal with regard to this matter, which is vital and serious to the whole Welsh people. Since this Central Welsh Board was constituted by Act of Parliament, a Welsh Department of the Board of Education has been set up. As was natural—I do not complain of it at all—this Department immediately had to endeavour to get all the ropes into its own hands. Bit by bit it had to get hold of the work, and in doing so the Department necessarily came into conflict with the officials and others of the Central Welsh Board. For several years it looked as though a very nasty fracas was going to take place between the two authorities; but, owing to the great tact, statesmanship, and skill of the officials at the head of the Welsh Department, they managed to come to some kind of working agreement with the Central Welsh Board, and they have, during the last year or two, succeeded in making an arrangement which does not give rise to much overlapping. The Welsh Department has been very beneficial to the Board. We are indebted to them for their criticism of the action of the Board in the over-emphasis upon papers, certificates, and all the miserable things that signify very little in the real education and its effective culture of the mind and character of the pupil. The Board of Education, through its Welsh Department, tried successfully to alter the point of view, and necessarily came into keen conflict with all the aspirations and work of the Central Welsh Board.

Now that this occurrence has happened in the financial department of the Central Welsh Board, there is a danger that the President may be led by his officials to pounce upon the Central Welsh Board and take action which may mean its destruction. This is the warning I want to give: The President must remember that this Board, in spite of the sad occurrences of the past few weeks—which hurt the Welsh people more than anybody else, and which the Welsh people will take good care to deal with in their own way, thoroughly and drastically, through their representatives—is a national body, democratic in its origin, and representative of all the authorities and educational institutions in Wales, and that any attempt to destroy it because of this accident, or to supplant it, will lead to an uprising amongst the Welsh people which I would be the last man to wish to bring about his head. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, whether it is not possible to appoint some kind of Committee altogether outside the Department or the Central Welsh Board, to go into the whole question of the relations between the Central Welsh Board and the Department itself to try and delimit the work, and to consider how far the constitution of the Central Welsh Board is to be altered before he brings in his Bill. I think he will need Parliamentary power to alter that constitution, and I should like him to have the advice of such a Committee before he does it in the forthcoming Education Bill. In regard to the general aspects of the questions raised to-night, I was distressed to find that the hon. Member who spoke last did not follow the hon. Member who opened the Debate in a wise and sane balance as to the technical and continuation education of this country. I was really surprised to find the hon. Member, who knows so much about the question, after the remarks of the hon. Member for the I niversity of London, still giving expression to the exploded fallacy that Germany has a much more magnificent system of evening continuation and technical schools than we have. It has nothing of the kind. The hon. Member for the University of London was quite correct. It is true that Germany has its Charlottenberg, but it is a mistake to suppose that that is a school for artisans from top to bottom.

The hon. Member rather gave that impression, because immediately after speaking about Charlot-tenberg as the grand ideal, he spoke about artisans and technical schools. I accept his correction. I thought it necessary that that should be pointed out. There are schools in Lancashire and Yorkshire—in Manchester and Bradford—which, for efficiency and adaptability to the needs of this country, are superior to anything that can be found in Germany or anywhere else. We have a system of continuation and technical schools, higher ordinary technical schools and trade schools, and so far as the system goes it is superior to anything in Germany from the elementary schools-to the top. The only difficulty is that we have not the same number of students availing themselves of the opportunities for instruction in these schools that they have in Germany. The hon. Member for the University of London put his finger upon the one weakness. The thing to-which we in this country have to address our attention is not in the higher technical ranges, but in that dangerous period when boys are just leaving the elementary schools. That is where the great lapse is with us. Until we can solve that problem—and I would join with the hon. Member for the City of London in pressing the Government to set to work to solve it—we shall go on wasting valuable money which is needed for this great work of education. Whatever your system, whatever your school, you have to base it all on the education of the children of the common people. While I join with everybody in commendation of the advances which have been made, of the excellent schools in the towns and now spread over great parts of such counties as Lancashire and others where they have enlightened education authorities, it is still true, and we must give expression to the fact, that we have what I would' call slum schools—not schools in slums, but schools which are only fit to be described as slums in themselves—in-sanitary, dripping with water, ill-equipped, no pictures, no brightness from top to bottom, with books worm-eaten and germ-filled, and unfit to be put into the hands of children.

We have hundreds of these schools still left up and down the land. In London, in every big city, in counties, whether Lancashire or elsewhere, there are these dens and hovels which ought to be a disgrace to an enlightened nation, and are certainly not places to which delicate children should be sent. I trust that the President of the Board, irrespective of the protests of urban councils, many of whom are sinners in this respect will keep up his pressure in this matter, and see that the children have proper schools to sit in, and proper equipment for their education. But supposing you get rid of all these bad buildings, and have equipment and apparatus of the finest kind, you have still to remember that the teacher is the crux of the whole question of education. The President of the Board has been questioned several times, both by myself and other Members, as to what is being done in regard to the supply of teachers. Up to a few years ago it looked as if we were gradually arriving at the time when all the children in the land from the infant schools would be in the hands of properly trained and competent teachers. During the last few years the tide has set back, and the dearth of teachers has become so serious that very soon authorities will be at their wit's end to comply with the Regulations of the Board of Education. The President in reply to my question said, "Oh, this is a matter for the local authorities." If it had been left to the local authorities ten years ago, they would have kept the supply, but it was the interference of the Board of Education, the putting of the screw upon the local authorities by the Board, that created the situation in which we now are. Since then the Board of Education have forced a new policy upon the authorities. They have been following that for years. Since it is the Board of Education that has done this, it is the Board of Education that ought to get the local authorities out of the muddle. It is useless, therefore, for the President to come down here week after week, and to say that the tide is going out more and more, and going dangerously out, and in effect that he is a mere piece of driftwood on this tide and it is for the local authorities to bring the tide back again. I can assure the President from what I know of the local authorities that they will not cope with it. The President knows very well that his training colleges in London, for instance, this year cannot fill their seats with students. They cannot get sufficient students to occupy their places. It is but a few years ago that we could not get training colleges sufficient. You could not get colleges for 40 per cent. of those who applied to get in. To-day you have training colleges begging for pupils.

Unless the President and his officials of the Board of Education know some scheme by which they are going to deal with this shortage of teachers it is evident that some kind of Commission or Committee should be appointed to go into it to aid the President and the local authorities to try and find out whether or not a solution cannot be found. I want to ask the President to try and get the facts. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that he is not in possession of the facts of what is going on in the schools, and I will tell him why. The existing inspectors in many districts are gentlemen who were directly responsible for forcing the local authorities from the position they occupied in regard to this training of teachers up to ten years ago. The same inspectors are there to-day. They see that instead of an overwhelming number of candidates for the profession the colleges are begging for candidates and cannot find them. Those same inspectors, therefore, naturally do not put the President in possession of the full and alarming nature of the change that has taken place. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that these men do not know what is going on with many of the local authorities to-day. There is a shortage of teachers. Inspectors do not know all, and therefore the President does not know. Those concerned take care that a certain number of qualified teachers are in the particular school ready by the time the inspector turns up. Immediately the inspector's visit has taken place those qualified teachers are shifted to other schools where the inspector will go in turn. I know a district where that has happened, where the inspector will go in his turn; in the meantime the supplementary teachers who have no qualification, some of whom are married, and should not—

No, I cannot give publicity to it for obvious reasons, because somebody would be persecuted.

Why should people be persecuted for giving information to the President of the Board? I was simply pressing upon the President that he ought to make these inquiries, and make quite certain that the schools are staffed according to the figures given to him. I simply wanted to point out to the House that it is no use the President of the Board saying that the supply of teachers is going down. That shortage will increase more and more. It is no use for the President to say, "I can do nothing; I can only wring my hands, and appeal to the local authorities whose scheme ten years ago I destroyed"—that is the Board—and not, of course, the right hon. Gentleman, but one of his predecessors. It is no use the President simply wringing his hands and say he will do nothing. The schools will one of these days be so tremendously understaffed—many of them are now—that the staffs will be much less qualified even than a few years ago. It is so serious a matter that I feel that I must press upon the President to try and see whether he cannot have some kind of conference with the local authorities to try to do something, and at once, in this matter.

Anyone who reads the many Reports of the Board of Education, and who follows the speeches of successive Presidents on this Vote year by year, would imagine that our system of national education at the present time was perfect. What is the actual fact? From the President of the British Association to employers and workmen, and men and women of all classes, the criticism is urged that the results of our present system are quite inadequate when they are compared with the £30,000,000 of public money that we are now spending upon it. What can you expect, what do you expect, when you start with 300,000 children in your elementary schools, who, according to the medical officer of the Board of Education, are underfed? What can you expect when 600,000 of them suffer from illness and infantile complaints? What further can you expect when no less than 500,000 are employed out of school hours, some of them a very long time, when obviously they cannot take full advantage of the teaching that is given them in the schools? Only the other day I read a report which was made to the York Education Committee. In it a case was quoted of a small boy of twelve who was working for no less than forty hours a week outside the hours of class at school. How can you expect good results if there are children in that case, children in great numbers both in the town and country schools? Further, what can you expect when three-quarters of the children in the elementary schools end their education at the age of thirteen, and something like half of them then drift into blind-alley employment?

Lastly, what can you expect when there is no system of continuation classes for boys and girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen? In London only in the last few weeks we have had a remarkable instance of the absence of continuation teaching for London boys. Great efforts have been made to make the voluntary continuation classes popular in London. What do we find? We find that while 123,000 boys, between the age of fourteen and eighteen are in permanent employment in London, only 5,510 are attending evening schools. In face of all this, what have the Board of Education been doing? It would not be in order for me to allude to the promises which have been held out in the last few years of educational reform, but it is in order to say that the postponement of the Education Bill has complicated to a very great degree these problems of educational administration. It is also in order to say that if the President of the Board of Education had given greater support to the Bill which was introduced by the hon. Member for Carlisle with reference to the employment and attendance of school children, many of these problems would be far easier of solution than they are at the present moment. It seems to me that the greatest muddle which is to be laid at the door of the Board of Education is the muddle with reference to the supply and training of teachers. As the last hon. Gentleman who spoke said, it is upon the teacher that all these problems really depend. It is useless to attempt to introduce manual training into the school; it is useless to attempt to reduce the number of the classes if you have not a supply of adequately trained teachers.

What is the present state of affairs? At the present moment we are no longer threatened, but we are actually faced with a dearth of teachers. This fact is, in my opinion, not a little due to the haphazard policy which the Board of Education have adopted in this connection. Let me give two or three examples. In 1906 the Board of Education embarked upon a policy of building municipal training colleges. Since then they have made Grants of no less than £500,000 to the local authorities for the building of these colleges, and since that time the places in these colleges has been increased by the number of 4,000. That is all very well but it is not very much good if you have not got the students to fill these places, and I am informed at the present moment that there is scarcely a college in the whole of the country that is not threatened with many empty places when the term begins in September next. I am informed that the London County Council are actually contemplating the closing of one of their colleges for the reason that there are no students with which to fill the places. Secondly, I think the Board of Education are to blame for having very suddenly revolutionised the training of students. I am quite aware that under the old pupil-teaching system there were several grave drawbacks. At the same time the fact of suddenly insisting upon the adoption of what is known as the Bursary system—that is a training in secondary schools—has meant as its direct result the stopping of the supply of students, particularly in the rural districts.

It must stand to reason that in country districts where there is no secondary school accommodation available it is difficult, and in many cases impossible for the country child to go through the Bursary system, and as a result to become a teacher. And lastly, I think the Board of Education are to blame for not having adopted any consistent policy. They have issued regulations with reference to the training that they require of teachers, and having issued them they have withdrawn them. The result has been to introduce a feeling of uncertainty which I believe has made many young men and women disinclined to enter the profession. The result of all this is that the young men and women entering the profession in 1913–14 were only 4,486, whereas in 1906 the number of those entering the teaching profession was not less than 11,018. It will, therefore, be seen that just at the very moment when we want more, and not fewer, teachers to carry out the requirements we all desire in the schools, the number of those entering the teaching profession has diminished by considerably more than a half, and those leaving the training colleges this term number, as the President of the Board of Education told me two days ago, only 5,300, whereas the vacancies in the teaching profession at the same moment amount to 7,000. I think these facts shows how serious is the problem with which those engaged in the administration of public education are faced at the present moment. I do not think that in the last two or three years the Board of Education has given sufficient thought to this very grave state of affairs. Now what is to be done I In the time at my disposal I can only pass hurriedly over two or three suggestions that I desire to make. I have already alluded to the need of the Board of Education adopting some consistent policy.

I agree fully with what the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Edgar Jones) said as to the desirability of some general inquiry as to what is the demand for teachers over the whole country at the present moment. But I think the President of the Board of Education might take one or two other kinds of action as well. I think he might give greater encouragement to the various schemes drawn up by the local authorities. In the last Annual Report of the Board the hope was held out that the Board would give encouragement to schemes other than the bursary system and other than the pupil-teacher system. I cannot make out that up to the present moment the Board have done very much in that direction. Four authorities have made application for Grants under this head, and at the present moment none of them have received any financial assistance. I hope in the course of next year that we shall see a considerable development in this respect. I think also the President of the Board of Education could make the teaching profession more attractive in rural districts if he gave encouragement towards the provision of housing accommodation for the teachers in rural schools. I have had several cases brought to my notice in which it has been found exceedingly difficult for teachers to obtain suitable accommodation in country villages. I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he might do worse than offer local authorities Grants for the building of suitable accommodation for teachers in country schools. It seems to me that if the right hon. Gentleman gives Grants for the building of training colleges he might equally give Grants for the building of teachers' houses.

I think further he should do more towards helping local authorities to meet the growing expenditure which has been forced upon them by teachers' salaries. At the present moment almost four-fifths of the expense of elementary education goes in teachers' salaries. I do not criticise that for a moment, because it is in the order of things, but I would suggest, although it cannot be an ideal form of Grant, that the best way to raise teachers' salaries, which is very much needed in many country districts, would be to offer a direct Grant towards the cost of those salaries. That again would not be out of keeping with the general policy of the Board which gives Grants from £38 to £53 towards students before they become teachers. I cannot see why if you give Grants in one case you should not also give Grants to these people when they have passed through their training and have become certified teachers.

10.0 P.M.

In this connection I desire to make an appeal to the President of the Board of Education with reference to those older teachers, who, I understand, do not come under the superannuation scheme which has recently been adopted by the Departmental Committee of the Board. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to bring what are known as the pre-1912 teachers within the benefits of that scheme. I pass from that to the only other subject which I wish to bring to the notice of the Committee. It seems to me that the Board of Education have given too little attention to the training and the supply of teachers. On the other hand, I think they are giving too much attention to the question of bricks and mortar. [An HON. MEMBER: "No, no!"] I take, as an example the case of the non-provided schools in the county of London. In April of this year the local authorities and the correspondents of the non-provided schools in London were amazed to receive a circular from the Board of Education making many extensive demands for structural alterations. In this circular no fewer than 150 non-provided schools, or about one-third of the non-provided schools in London, were included. These schools are not only Church of England schools, but include Roman Catholic schools and Jewish schools. We are as anxious as anyone that the non-provided schools in London and elsewhere should be in every way upon as high a standard as the provided schools. But it seems to me that the demands which the Board of Education made were in certain respects unreasonable and unnecessary. Does this Committee realise the real state of affairs? Since 1902 a sum of about £750,000 has, I understand, been spent upon bringing the non-provided schools of London up to the standard required by the Board of Education and the London County Council. By a great effort and by the generosity of voluntary subscribers this work has been done. In carrying it out the managers of the non-provided schools were certainly under the impression that they would be left to themselves for a considerable period, and both the Board of Education and the London County Council were under some obligation to them. They sanctioned the plans and the expenditure, and on the strength of this understanding many schools have spent large sums of money. I have here a number of cases in which the managers of these schools have spent thousands of pounds, and by doing so they have obtained the sanction and the recognition of the public authorities. I have one case in which no less than £15,000 was spent upon a school with the express sanction of the Permanent Secretary of the Board of Education. I have thirty-seven other cases of schools upon which no less than £71,500 have been spent under similar conditions.

What would the closing of these schools mean? It would mean, first of all, that to provide accommodation for the 50,000 children in them the ratepayers of London would have to find a sum of no less than £1,500,000. More than that, it would mean that a great reform which the London County Council has recently adopted for the reduction of the size of classes to forty in the case of ordinary children, and forty-eight in the case of infants during the next fifteen years, would be brought to a standstill. The London County Council under this arrangement are already finding 80,000 new school places, and it must be obvious, if they were required to find 50,000 further places, that the scheme could not be carried out. Again, if these schools were closed a large number of teachers would be displaced, and many of them, owing to their age, would find it extremely difficult to obtain fresh employment. It is worth noting in this connection that the London Teachers' Association have realised the gravity of this point, and have passed a resolution protesting against the action of the Board. Further, if these schools were closed, a great hardship would be inflicted upon many parents in London who prefer denominational schools. And what useful purpose would be served at all? If it could be urged that these schools were turning out children worse taught and of worse character than the children turned out by the provided schools, then I should say that the President of the Board of Education was amply justified in taking what action against them he thought fit; but can he say that in any way the children that are turned out by these 150 schools that he has scheduled are inferior to the children turned out by any 150 other schools, provided or non-provided, in the whole of the county of London?

I, therefore, hope that, in view of the facts, the President of the Board of Education will be in his action both discriminating and sympathetic. Let him realise that we are most anxious to have the best schools possible. We want extensive playgrounds just as much as anyone else, but let him remember that in a crowded area, a crowded city like London, there are often great and sometimes insuperable difficulties in obtaining playground space. First of all, the non-provided schools have no powers of compulsory purchase. I have at my disposal cases in which the managers of non-provided schools have been anxious to obtain increased playground space, but, owing to the absence of the compulsory power of purchase they have been unable to obtain it. Let him also realise the great cost that in many cases this would impose upon the school. I am informed that to obtain playground space in London costs six times as much as it does in any of the other great towns of the country. Let him further realise that, although it may be difficult in some cases to obtain increased playground space, there may be other ways of providing space for the playing of the children in the schools. For instance, it may be possible to make use of play rooms in the schools, and, more important than that, it is possible in many cases in London to make much greater use than is being made at the present time of the public parks. It has often seemed to me that the public parks in London are to a great extent wasted. It would be much better for the children and for everybody concerned, if, instead of playing in the necessarily confined space of an asphalt playground, they could play regular games in the public parks. This is not a party question at all. I understand that many of those engaged in the administration of education in London on all sides of politics agree with much I have said. I have alluded to the resolution which was passed by the London Teachers' Association on the subject in February last. I cannot, I think, do better than read from it a short passage in conclusion. It is as follows:—
"That this meeting of teachers in London of non-provided schools, whilst expressing its approval of the progressive improvements of the structural condition of non-provided school premises, is of opinion that, having regard to the complete and exhaustive survey of non-provided school buildings undertaken by the London County Council subsequent to 1st May, 1904, a period of rest, consolidation, and development should' now be assured to such schools."
I hope that when the President of the Board of Education comes to reply he will be able to give us some reassurance upon this very serious problem.

I would like to draw the attention of the Committee for a few moments to the Dowlais Roman Catholic School case, which has been causing a great deal of anxiety in South Wales during the last few months. I think it would be perfectly sufficient if I merely put one or two questions to the right hon. Gentleman, as I think he is aware of most of the facts of the case. I would like to ask him whether he and the Board of Education entirely agree with Section 49 of the Report of Mr. Barker, the gentleman who went down to hold an inquiry into the whole of the case. I would like him to understand that throughout the whole of this matter I wish to keep separate and apart the two parts of the subject. There is first the question of the charges against the head mistress, which, I understand, is sub judice at the present moment, and there is the question of the dismissal of the eighteen teachers, which I think may very properly be brought up for discussion. The point on the question of the eighteen teachers is really and truly whether he, as President of the Board of Education, if he is in agreement with the whole of Section 49 of Mr. Barker's report, is also in agreement with the local education authority, who will not only pay these teachers' salaries, but the whole of their salaries, especially having in view the fact that the local education authority, although it has not paid the whole of these teachers their salaries, has already deducted from those salaries superannuation money. The third and last question I have to ask is, whether the right hon Gentleman agrees with Mr. Barker's report? As that report stated that these teachers were illegally dismissed by the local education authority, will he cause that authority to do its proper work in its proper sphere? In view of the fact that for three months the children have not been able to attend this school—

If the Board of Education had held the inquiry earlier that strike would not have proceeded. In view of the fact that there is no complaint whatever against any of the eighteen teachers, will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether the school can be as efficiently carried on, in view of the work which it has to carry out, if the teachers, who are supposed to be at work in it, have been illegally dismissed by the local education authority?

I should like, before I deal with the various questions which have been raised, to pay two tributes. The first will be to the memory of Sir William Anson, a prominent figure in these Debates for many years, whose death the whole House and country deplore. Not only have Members of the Opposition suffered a great personal loss, but I can assure them that many of Sir William Anson's political opponents regarded him with feelings akin to friendship, and I am quite sure that he endeared himself not only to political friends but to many in every quarter of this House, and the House misses him now, and education, that great cause, misses his very valuable and devoted support. I should like, if I may, to pay a tribute to the work of the staff of my own Board, because I believe never, in the history of the Board, has the work been more strenuous, more arduous, or more efficiently performed in the various departments of the Board. Long hours have been the rule rather than the exception, and I think the way in which the work has been done during the past year reflects great credit on every individual member of the staff.

I have listened with great interest to the various speeches which have been made this evening, and, while I propose to deal with most of the points, I must compress my remarks, as far as I am able, because I desire to give the Rouse and the country some statistical information which, I think, may be of interest on the present occasion. It will therefore be necessary for me to compress my remarks into the smallest possible space, even in connection with the various subjects which have been touched upon. The Noble Lord who last spoke referred to the Dowlais, case, and asked me two or three questions. I may tell him that the Board have considered Mr. Barker's report, and have decided that they cannot overrule the local education authority in refusing to dismiss, the head teacher; secondly, that they have decided that the local education authority did not legally dismiss certain assistant teachers. They therefore at the present time regarded the local education authority as the authority which should pay the whole of the teachers' salaries which they claim The authority, I understand, have taken counsel's opinion and are now considering that opinion. Until I hear further from them, I do not feel that I am justified in saying anything in regard to the action we, as a Board, shall take. I agree-with the Noble Lord that the other question connected with the charges made-against one of the teachers is a matter which is sub judice, and that is also a subject with which I cannot deal at the present moment.

The hon. Member for West Nottingham (Sir J. H. Yoxall) spoke in appreciative terms of some of the work connected with the Board. He also made some suggestions, which I shall bear in mind, in connection with the superannuation scheme for secondary school teachers. I can assure him that the subject-matter of the transition of elementary school teachers into secondary schools, and of secondary school teachers where the Government pay the Grants into elementary schools, will receive very careful consideration in connection with the scheme that is under our consideration. The hon. Member alluded to another topic in connection with the reforms which have been? undertaken in connection with the art classes in the country. I know of no more difficult or thorny subject than a question-connected with art. Opinions differ so-much as to what is good art and what is bad art, and even in connection with the way in which students and pupils ought to be trained in art, that it is very difficult for a person who is not an expert to venture to pronounce any opinion on any of these subjects.

But I want to say this of the-head of the Department, who was somewhat adversely criticised, that I know-no man in the public service who has worked more whole-heartedly in the interests of the teachers, to secure for them liberty of action in the way they should teach, so that they should teach subjects in a way most calculated to do good, to have regard to the ability of the students and also to the local circumstances, than the head of the Department who was adversely criticised by the hon Member for West Nottingham. He has acted from the first whole-heartedly, with a view to doing his utmost to avoid waste in every branch of technical education. He has saved the country a good deal of money in some directions, but whatever he has saved he has seen that it has been spent with great advantage in other directions. The very fact that he has secured the placing of £638,000, in connection with the work of his Department on the Estimates for this year as compared with £614,000, shows that at any rate he has not been backward in urging the Board to come to his assistance with increased State money, in order to promote technical education, and I am quite sure, when we get the further assistance which we hope to get very shortly, there will be another very great development and a step forward in the branch over which he presides. The other matter for which I was criticised was in connection with the removal of some columns in the Victoria and Albert Museum. These were quite out of keeping with all the exhibits which were intended to be placed in that particular gallery. Most people did not consider that they were very beautiful. If anybody desires that they should be preserved I can assure the hon. Member that similar columns are preserved in the refreshment rooms underneath that particular gallery, and there is no intention whatever to destroy those columns, and they can be seen there for many years to come. In regard to the windows that he so much admires, they are preserved at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and anyone who desires to see those works of art will have the opportunity of seeing them whenever he so desires.

Then I come to the very interesting speech delivered by the hon. Gentleman (Sir Henry Hibbert). He asked me one or two questions in regard to the distribution of the Necessitous Areas Grant. Lancashire worked out a scheme of their own by which they find that if a large number of parishes which have very high education Grants are taken separately, they would obtain a greater sum of money than they would under the proposals which have been put forward by the Board. The Board have looked at this question from a broad point of view, and are doing their utmost to distribute the £438,000 in the fairest way between local education authority and local education authority, and we have not departed from the principle which has been in operation during the last three or four years of giving the Necessitous Areas Grant to a local education authority and not to individual parishes which may exist in certain communities. So far as we are able to ascertain the figures, we believe about £498,000 will be distributed to the old participants, and about £290,000 to the thirty-four new participants, but these figures are subject to correction, as we have not yet received the full figures from the various local education authorities. The hon. Member then proceeded to deal with secondary schools, and to urge that-more generous treatment should be given to them by the State. I can assure him that we are proposing to give much more generous treatment to secondary schools, and also to the technical schools, as soon as we receive the necessary moneys voted by Parliament which were foreshadowed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Speech.

The hon. Gentleman sat down after alluding to the subject-matter of the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institute. I am sorry he thought it was necessary to refer to this matter, because in a recent interview with some of my staff I was under the impression that we had very nearly come to an agreement in regard to the course which should be pursued. At the Board of Education we feel that we are justified in inquiring into the whole question of procedure when it is necessary for us as a Board to endorse any certificate, and in connection with their work we recognise that Lancashire and Cheshire have been pioneers in technical instruction, and that great respect is due to these authorities who have united in order to secure the greater proficiency and efficiency of the technical education in those two counties. At the same time, we hold to our opinion that external examinations are not in every case necessary in connection with technical instruction. External examinations are all very well in connection with entrances into the great professions, but we believe that when the work is done by students it is well that the opinions of the teachers who are brought into contact with the students from day to day and have better knowledge of their progress and the value of their work should also weigh in connection with certificates which may be issued from time to time as the result of work being done in these technical schools, and it is only because the union of Lancashire and Cheshire did not appear to us to pay reasonable regard to teachers' opinions that we had some little difference, which I believe to a very large extent has been met, or is in prospect of being met, by the two bodies. I am only too anxious to work smoothly with these counties, because I do recognise the great amount of work which they have done in the past, which they are doing, and which, I am sure, they will do in the future.

I should like before I deal with the shortage of teachers to say a word or two in connection with the medical branch, because, after all, I regard the health and physical condition of children as an essential preliminary to their education. The mind of a child must, to a very large extent, depend upon the condition of its body, and it is most essential that we should have regard to the health of the child in our elementary school. We try to secure that every child who enters our schools shall be healthy, and that youths of both sexes shall be turned out from our schools not only in a fit state themselves, but that they shall know how to preserve their own health, and in turn become the parents of a healthy race in the future. I am glad to say that 317 local education authorities are now inspecting not only the entrants and the leavers, but are often inspecting the special children, that is to say, the children who are suffering from some ailment, and who are marked out for special examination. In addition to that we have 120 authorities inspecting the children between the period when they come into school and when they leave school. We have 1,097 medical officers engaged in connection with these services. These include 84 women and 300 specialists for the treatment of eyes, ears, and teeth. In connection with teeth I may say that we find half of the children who are in the schools are in want of dental treatment, and I should like to throw out the suggestion to local education authorities that, wherever they find children's teeth not being attended to at home through neglect of the tooth brush, they should take precautions themselves to attend to this matter in the schools of the country. The septic condition of the teeth too frequently leads to the various maladies from which children suffer, and I believe that more regular attention to teeth by parents and local authorities would be money very well spent. In connection with the medical service, two years ago we were spending £47,000 of State money. Last year we spent £130,000, and this year we have on our Estimate £175,000. There are 125 authorities who are employing school nurses at present; 48 are undertaking the X-ray treatment of ringworm; 115 authorities have established their own school clinics or treatment centres; and 300 hospitals are being used for the treatment of infantile complaints. We have in the country 369 special schools for epileptics, mentally defective, physically defective, deaf and dumb, and blind, providing accommodation for 27,000 children. I am very glad that I have been able to secure increased Grants for all these kinds of schools. They are expensive to equip, and the fact that we have been able this year to increase the Grants, which were four to five guineas, up to £12 and £13 for residential day schools, is, I think, a matter for self-gratulation on the part of the House of Commons.

Then I come to another subject which I think is one of the utmost importance. It is the provision of adequate open-air school accommodation for the children who are ailing, debilitated, anæmic, and tubercular. We have only in the whole country at the present moment 945 places in open-air schools. My medical advisers tell me that half a million children in this country are in actual need of open-air treatment. At the present moment we have twelve schools for tuberculous children, and Grants have been given to these schools, which enable not only the capital expenditure of £90 to be given, or three-fifths of the capital expenditure, but enable the schools to be given £3 per head more for day pupils than we can give to the physically defective schools, that is to say a Grant of £9, and we are able to give to residential schools of this character £20, or £8 more than we give for the physically defective schools. In this way we trust the education authorities will respond to the needs and will be encouraged to make the necessary provision for these ailing children. The hon. Member for Chelsea alluded to the number of children who are inadequately fed, and quoted the number as 600,000. Provision is made for 350,000, and there is a supplementary Grant of £77,000, by which we shall, we hope, be able to continue that work of well doing, giving half the cost to the local education authorities, and we trust that this will encourage them to make provision for all the children who are suffering from malnutrition. I do not think that there is any greater tragedy than to see a child sent to school and expected to learn when that child is not properly or decently fed, and we feel that these contributions will lead the education authorities to make good the deficiences of the past.

With regard to physical training I am glad to say that it is now accepted as part of the curriculum in all our schools, and has become an integral part of the work in our eighty-six training colleges. There is certainly need for an increase of teachers' classes in connection with physical training, but whatever our shortcomings I am satisfied that we are behind no other nation in the world in regard to the provision which is made in our schools in connection with physical exercise. There is another branch of what I may call medical work carried on in our schools form others. During the last three or four years we have been taking stock of schools for mothers which have existed. There are about 200 of these schools at the present time; thirty-three of them have been receiving Grants under our technical regulations But I believe that with the approval of the Treasury, which we have got, for the distribution of Grants of £5,000 during the coming year in promotion of the work done by these schools, we shall give a fresh impetus to the work which will add a great deal to the knowledge and improvement of infant feeding, infant care and infant health. I hope that this work which has been done under our auspices, may grow and develop rapidly every year, because I am satisfied that not only can we look after the health of the children while they are in our schools, but that we shall see that they are properly nourished and looked after during the period before which they come into our schools, so that the money spent on their education will not be wasted as soon as they are sent to school.

Then I come to the somewhat controversial subject of bricks and mortar. Whenever I allude to criticisms of building, even if I try to exert the utmost tact, my suggestions always seem to be taken in a somewhat prerogative way. The Board have recently issued a revised edition of building Regulations. We have consulted with the education authorities and teachers as to designs which allow better lighting and better ventilation, of course prescribing the minimum dimensions. We are bound to see that public money is not wasted, and that reasonable economy is exercised; we are bound to discourage extravagance whenever and wherever we can. We proposed the new block Grants under which two-fifths of the loan charges for building will be provided by the State. I believe that this will do a great deal to remove the friction and difficulties which have hitherto prevented the local authorities in every district doing their duty in connection with providing adequate and sufficient accommodation. With regard to playgrounds, I should like to tell the hon. Member for Chelsea that I have endeavoured to deal with this matter in a practical and business way. There is a tendency for the population to draw away from the centre of our towns, and I believe that for the existing population remaining it is very difficult to find adequate playgrounds for the schools. The Board must have liberty to exercise a discretion in regard to accepting playgrounds reasonably adequate and of convenient position in relation to the school. But while we will do anything that can be done to provide adequate playgrounds—and I do not think that the authorities and managers have any great apprehension at this particular moment—I want the hon. Member for Chelsea and his Friends to understand that, so far as I can speak for the Board now and in the future, I cannot promise prolonged life to those who are not prepared to do something to provide the necessary grounds for recreation in connection with the elementary schools of the country. We regard outdoor recreation as being essential to education in those schools, and, whilst we are not prepared to make any unreasonable demand upon the school managers, we shall look at every one of these cases on its merits and do our best to stimulate the authorities to do everything possible in the direction I have indicated. It will interest the House to know that we are now about to restore in some new form the Epidemic Grant which was dropped a few years ago, and which has been asked for very frequently again by the local education authorities, and in the next year's Estimates I hope to include a sum of £50,000, which will encourage and assist the local education authorities to deal thoroughly and comprehensively in elementary schools with epidemics as they arise. I am about to issue additional regulations, so that the authorities may be able to consider any proposals in connection with the distribution of the Grant. I now come to the very important question of the quality of the teaching. Some complaint is made that the quality of the teaching is less thorough than it used to be. If the object is to awaken the child's intelligence and to arouse his interest, you will tend to assign a lower place to mere mechanical perfection. I am unable to find any evidence of wholesale deterioration in the teaching of the three R's.

I received from all quarters evidence that the children are more alert, more responsive, and, above all, happier in their school life than they were. We have revolutionised in many directions the way subjects are being taught. History is being taught in quite a different way. Recently we revised the chapter on geography, and for most valuable help in this matter we are indebted to suggestions by the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Mackinder), Dr. Scott Keltie, and others. Many suggestions are made, and if I accepted all the suggestions which the critics regard as indispensable, it would be an impossible task for the teachers, and if I omitted all the subjects which are thought to be superfluous the children would be taught nothing in the schools. I try to adopt the happy medium and leave the authorities every latitude as to the subjects they teach, and at the same time indicate what we normally expect in the different schools. I will just say in regard to the higher grade schools some experiments have recently been made in some of the counties in connection with this class of school, and they seem to be a real necessity. I can assure the hon. Member for London University (Sir P. Magnus) that they are an unqualified success. As to the supply of teachers, the wastage is about 7,000 per year in our elementary schools. In this figure no allowance is made for any improvement in the teaching staff. We ought to have entrants into the profession of something like 0,000 to allow for leakage. In 1912–13 the entry was 4,325, and there are signs that it will be still further increased this year. The Board has been in consultation with authorities and experts in order to ascertain the causes of the decline, and to see what remedies could be devised. The causes at work are complex, and a complete solution can only be found by making the profession more attractive as a career both in status and in salary.

The Board have issued a Return showing the remarkable variation in the salaries paid in various parts of the country. The head teacher of a county school is often paid less than the assistant teacher in a town. Good trade has created a larger number of attractive openings in business. Many of the local education authorities have been improving their scales of salaries, but this improvement must become more general if the profession is to attract into it a sufficient number of recruits. It is not merely a question or solely one of raising salaries. Women teachers find it very difficult to find lodgings in many parts of the country. I feel that a comfortable hostel for teachers would be one of the best means of attracting women into the Board's service. Under the new proposals two-fifths of the building charges will be found by the State. A large number of schools at the present time have no room whatsoever where a teacher can take any rest or eat a meal. Another reason is the arduous character of the work which is often placed upon a teacher, especially a young female teacher, when she first goes into an elementary school. The result is that she discourages from entering the profession friends and others who might otherwise do so. If there were a fairer distribution of the work in the school she would probably form a very different opinion of the profession when she entered upon the work for which she had been trained. We have revived the pupil-teacher system in rural districts, but we have done it in a very different way from that which formerly existed. The old pupil-teacher system failed because it was frequently the hopeless case of a tired teacher instructing a tired pupil. This will mow be avoided, because the pupil-teacher will not be allowed to count on the staff, and he may not teach more than half-time. We propose to give Grants increased from £20 to £42 for pupils living outside the range of secondary schools; the pupils will be taught partly by head teachers and partly by subsidiary central classes. There are other matters connected with this question to which time will mot permit me to refer.

In regard to supplementary teachers, there has been in the last four years a decline of 4,000, but we still have 13,000 unqualified teachers left in the schools. The Board propose not to allow even the appointment of these supplementary teachers in urban schools, while in rural schools new appointments will be limited to infant classes and the lowest class of older children in a small school. In regard to the leaving age, out of the 600,000 children who leave our elementary schools each year, 35,000 are half-timers, 13,000 leave under the age of thirteen, 176,000 leave at the age of thirteen—on their birthday or thereabouts, 336,000 leave during the age of thirteen, and only 40,000 remain after the age of fourteen. The fact that 176,000 leave at the age of thirteen shows what an enormous proportion leave the very first moment they have an opportunity of doing so. Although they are to a large extent more alert than they used to be, yet they have just reached the age when they are capable of understanding the reasons and principles of what they are learning and how to apply their knowledge. Recollect that if children do not learn by fourteen to use their fingers, their fingers become thumbs. How much can be done to teach children if they are kept at school may be seen by a visit to a London County Council Central School by anyone who takes an interest in the subject. The greatest blot on our system is that the great mass of our elementary schools have to submit to losing large numbers of their scholars just when a good teacher could do most for their mental, moral, and physical development. We have a continuation system which is purely voluntary and almost exclusively connected with evening teaching. I want to do justice to evening schools, but I would point out that in regard to the proportion of students under eighteen in attendance at evening schools, only 5 per cent. between fourteen and eighteen are estimated to be still in attendance at elementary schools, secondary schools, and other places of full-time education. Of the 2,391,000 left available for evening schools, only 14 per cent., or 334,000, are in nominal attendance during a single year. The percentage of pupils who begin at the beginning of the course and go on continuously is only fifty-three, and while the aggregate student hours that can be worked by juvenile students is 287,000,000, the actual is 18,500,000.

The only remedy is by legislation. I have no power to compel authorities or parents, and I can only make representations to the authorities and parents, and urge the latter to keep their children at school. I do all I can to encourage employers to meet the necessities of the case by freeing their children during the daytime for educational purposes. The general body of employers are willing enough to fall in line if the same requirements were made on everybody. German employers themselves recognise that the education their lads get is of advantage to the firms, and a real asset, and no employer desires to go back to the old system. My time is about finished, and therefore I cannot deal with matters that I should like to deal with; but I should like in conclusion to say that there are many defects in our system of education which can only be remedied by attention of the law. These include a compulsory continuation system and the abolition of the religious difficulty that exists in our elementary school. So far as I can judge, apart from the great defect to which I have alluded, with the additional monetary help that the education authorities are about to receive from the Exchequer, there is no reason for us to believe as a nation that we have not got very much to learn from other countries. Our prosperity, from an educational point of view, is, I think, assured, also our future as a nation if we will only put our house in order.

It being Eleven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolutions to be reported to-morrow (Wednesday); Committee also report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.

Austria And Servia

Declaration Of War

May I ask whether the Government have any fresh information to give us now in regard to the present position in Europe?

The only information I can give is the simple matter of fact that we have official confirmation, both from Vienna and Nish, that war has been declared.

Milk And Dairies Bill

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

New Clause—(Cost Of Structural Alterations)

(1) Where any premises, which with the consent, or knowledge of the landlord are used by the tenant as a dairy, by reason of any Milk and Dairies Order cannot continue to be so used unless the premises are altered or improved, the tenant may make such alterations or improvements as are reasonably necessary to enable the premises to continue to be so used, and recover from the landlord such proportion of the expenses incurred in executing such of the alterations or improvements being of a structural nature as may be just and equitable under the circumstances of the case, regard being had to the terms of any contract between the parties.

Provided that the tenant, before beginning to execute any such structural alteration or improvement, shall serve on the landlord notice in writing of his intention to execute the alteration or improvement together with particulars thereof; and

  • (a) If the landlord within twenty-eight days after the service of the notice, undertakes to execute the alteration or improvement within reasonable time the tenant shall not proceed with the execution thereof;
  • (b) If the landlord, within such time as aforesaid, serves notice on the tenant requiring that the reasonable necessity of the alteration or improvement be determined in manner provided by this Section, the tenant shall not proceed with the alteration or improvement unless and until it is so determined to be reasonably necessary or except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions, if any, attached to such determination.
  • (2) An alteration or improvement shall not be deemed to be reasonably necessary if, having regard to the cost thereof, the nature of the premises, the conditions of the contract of tenancy, and the other circumstances of the case, the discontinuance of the use as a dairy of the premises, or the part proposed to be altered or improved, may reasonably be required by the landlord.

    (3) Any question as to the reasonable necessity of any alteration or improvement or as to the proportion of the expenses to be paid by the landlord shall in default of agreement be determined—

  • (a) where the premises form part of a holding to which the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1908, applies by a single arbitrator in accordance with the provisions set out in the Second Schedule to that Act as modified by this Section; and
  • (b) in any other case, by a court of summary jurisdiction.
  • (4) An arbitrator shall so far as practicable act on his own knowledge and experience and shall not, except in such cases as the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries otherwise direct, hear counsel or expert witnesses.

    (5) Section fifteen of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1908, which enables a landlord to obtain an order charging a holding with repayment of the amount paid or expended by him in respect of an improvement to which that Section refers, shall apply to any payment or expenditure made or incurred by a landlord in respect of any alteration or improvement to which this Section refers executed by the landlord or a tenant on a holding to which the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1908, applies.

    Clause brought up, and read the first time.

    I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

    I venture to express the hope that this New Clause will meet with the approval of the House. A very similar Clause appears in the Milk and Dairies (Scotland) Bill, as amended by the Standing Committee, and a similar Clause also appeared in the Milk and Dairies Bill of the last and preceding Sessions. At the present time the Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops Order, 1885, puts upon the occupier of a dairy or cowshed the obligation of carrying out any requirements of the local authority there-under whether those requirements relate to the sanitary condition or the structural condition of the dairy. In many cases cow-keepers occupy their premises on short tenancies and it is most unfair to ask such an occupier to carry out alterations to the structure of the dairy which will materially enhance the value of the dairy and at the expiration of the tenancy continue for the benefit of the landlord. In such cases it is believed that the local authorities often hesitate to enforce, and sometimes abstain from enforcing, the provisions of the Order on account of the inequity of putting such a serious charge on the occupier.

    The Clause is carefully framed so as to safeguard the position of the landlord. Before the tenant can recover from the landlord any portion of the expense of carrying out structural alterations he must serve twenty-eight days' notice on the landlord, and on receipt of that notice the landlord may either undertake to carry out the alterations himself or he may serve a counter notice on the tenant requiring that the reasonable necessity of the alterations shall be determined by arbitration or by a court of summary jurisdiction. It is thought that the machinery of the Clause will work well and that it will enable local authorities to secure the carrying out of necessary alterations in cases where hitherto they have been reluctant to do so on account of their inability to require the landlord to bear any part of the expense incurred in improving his freehold. This Clause is one which will be in harmony with the other Clauses of the Bill, and I trust that the House will, in their wisdom, decide to support it.

    I beg to second the Motion.

    It is obvious that this Bill is one to safeguard the health of the public, and it proposes to place new responsibilities upon the producers of milk and the salesman. It is going to make the production and sale of milk more expensive, and if extra burdens are thrown upon the small men it may have the effect of driving them out of the trade altogether. That would throw the trade into the hands of the bigger men and would probably lead to the sale of milk being a municipal undertaking. That may be a good or a bad thing, but it is not the object of this Bill. In fairness and justice to the smaller men, I think this Clause might reasonably be added to the Bill. The Clause has been drafted well, and it holds the balance between landlord and tenant The interests of both are safeguarded, and I confess that I cannot see why the House should not now accept this Clause unanimously. Since my name has applied to this Clause I have received many letters from people interested, telling me how pleased they are that a Clause of this kind is going to be proposed.

    I sincerely hope that the House will not accept this new Clause, because if they do I fear that it will wreck the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman, in introducing this measure, gave us to understand that the Clauses in the former Milk and Dairies Bill relating to premises were not intended to be placed in this Bill in order to smooth its passage through the House, and he promised to deal with premises if at all through the medium of the Order provided for in Clause 2. If this Clause is incorporated in the Bill it will cause many difficulties and the first of them will be consequent upon the fact that a large number of premises are at present used as cowsheds which were never intended for the purpose, and which are now used by a concession on the part of the landlord owing to the recent development of the milk-selling trade.

    Many of these buildings are barns and other like premises never intended for that purpose and if the tenant seeks to throw a charge upon the landlord to meet the expense he has incurred in transforming them into buildings suitable for the housing of cattle the first effect will be that the tenant will get notice to quit the premises as not having-been intended for the purpose and likely to cause the landlord an amount of expense which he never anticipated. The result would be that milk production would be seriously hampered, and not only that but milk itself would become a much more costly product owing to its increased scarcity. My other objection to" the Clause is that it is irrelevant to a Bill of this character. It is relevant, if at all, to an Agricultural Holdings Bill. In my humble opinion, a large amount of what is desired in this Clause can already be effected under the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1908, and what cannot be so effected can only be properly secured by an Amendment of that Act and not by any extension of the Milk and Dairies Bill. I certainly hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not accept this Clause, because I am quite sure that it will imperil the passage of the Bill.

    I would also respectfully appeal to my hon. Friend not to press this Clause upon the House on this occasion. I have not the slightest objection to the proposal in this new Clause in so far as it brings the liabilities of the landlord more rapidly into force, but I feel that you cannot deal satisfactorily with the whole problem of premises that applies not only to rural dairies, but also to every milk shop in the east end of London and all large towns. You cannot deal with the problem of the premises thoroughly, exhaustively, or really effectively by means of a Clause brought into the Bill at this stage, or by this particular Clause. Part' of the Clause is already, in my opinion, law, part of it can be best done by an Agricultural Holdings Act Amendment Bill, and that part which refers to small premises in large towns would require, I think the He use will agree, to be dealt with separately, because in every case you v ant to make the premises better, and to do it in such a way as not to interfere with the trade and not to give improper privileges to the landlord or to make it too easy for him to hamper the trade. These are difficult questions, to which I hope the House will address itself when it has a better opportunity, but I would appeal to the House whether it is not worth while allowing this Bill to become law. It has behind it an immense con-census of opinion, both in town and country, and we ought not to lose a Bill which is good so far far as it goes, by putting into it a Clause, admirable in intention, good in many of its particulars, but yet inadequate to deal with the very subtle and difficult problem of the premises.

    I would like to add a word to the arguments used against this proposed Clause. If hon. Members realised how wide the interpretation of the word "dairy" will be, they would see at once the danger of inserting such a Clause. The word "dairy," in addition to the ordinary meaning which we probably associate with it in our minds, includes:—

    "Any farm, cowshed, milk store, milk shop, or other place from which milk is supplied on or for sale or in which milk is kept or used for purposes of sale or manufacture into butter, cheese, dried milk or condensed milk for sale."
    And so on. I am not at all sure that it does not include the A.B.C. shops, but at all events it includes a very wide type of premises. Practically all buildings on farms would come under this definition. It is certainly not right, if a tenant turns a farm into a dairy farm that he should be allowed to impose an obligation of this kind on his landlord merely by giving him notice that he is keeping cows and using the farm as a dairy farm. It takes a long time for a landlord to get rid of a tenant or stop a thing of that kind. Suppose a landlord receives information, either by way of formal notice or otherwise—that a farm which may be intended for other purposes is being turned into a dairy farm at the commencement of a yearly tenancy, it will take him nearly two years under the existing law to insist on any change and during that time he may have been compelled to entirely alter the nature of the buildings in order to bring them within the requirements of the Act.

    I can give the House a case of quite recent occurrence in my own district and within my own knowledge. A man took a large cottage standing in about a quarter of an acre of garden ground together with a range of buildings which had Been previously used as a wheelwright's shop and a wood store, backing on the main road, without ventilation, drainage or anything of the kind. The man had some grass land on a different estate on the other side of the road and the first notice the landlord had that the cottage and shed had been turned into a dairy came in the form of an intimation from the sanitary authority that a nuisance was being committed and that the buildings were unfit for the purposes for which they were being used. In fact fifteen or sixteen cows were being kept in the wood shed. If this Clause were put into the Bill before the landlord could alter that state of things he would be compelled, whether he liked it or not—and whether the farm was suitable or not—to put these buildings into the necessary sanitary condition for keeping cows. I would urge on the House that even if at any future time it desires to have a Clause of this sort in a Bill it should insist on consent and not mere knowledge on the part of the landlord.

    To the principle of this Clause little objection can be taken. Viewed in isolation and by itself one could accept it. If structural alterations are necessitated then I think it is right the landlord should be called upon to do his share. But this Bill says nothing whatever about structural alterations: they are not mentioned in the measure from the first page to the last. It was different with the Bills of my right hon. predecessor—the present President of the Board of Trade. His Bill did contemplate making certain structural alterations in dairies and cowsheds. The Scottish Bill contains a Clause to that effect, but in view of the fact that this Bill does not touch this question, and we prefer to rely on the powers, such as they are, in the existing law, I submit to the House it is not necessary to introduce the topic by importing into the Bill the Clause proposed by my hon Friend. Remember that this Bill, if it is to pass, must pass as a generally agreed measure, and as it is quite clear that this Clause meets with considerable opposition from both sides of the House I trust my hon. Friend will be good enough not to press it.

    I wish to emphasise one fact whether my hon. Friend presses his Clause to a vote or not, and it is that this is a compromise measure, I am surprised that because it is proposed to put in something which does not please the farmer or dairyman, we should be told that the Bill will be lost. Those of us who have been sitting for a long period upstairs on this Bill have no desire that it should be lost, but we are not prepared to allow this occasion to go by without emphasising the price which will be paid for getting it through if this Clause is not to be put to a Division. The Clause is absolutely required. So required was it considered that it was put in previous Bills by the Government themselves, and it is in the Scottish Bill which has passed through the Scottish Grand Committee and will have behind it, when it comes before the House, the whole force of that Committee. It is a thoroughly just Clause. Under this Bill dairymen throughout the country will have to put their places in different repair from that in which they are at the present time. It is said that the Bill does not deal with structural matters, but the moment the inspector goes round to enforce the provisions of the Bill he will have to deal with structures that are used by the dairymen. All this will fall on the farmer or the person who owns the dairy. Because we have asked for what is just and fair, namely, that the person should be compensated for some of the unexhausted improvements he puts into the buildings, we are told that if we go on with the Clause the Bill will be lost.

    If the hon. Member who has just sat down feels so strongly on this question it is surprising that he did not bring the matter forward in Committee. This matter was not raised in Committee. I understand that when the Bill was before the Standing Committee, the limitations which the right hon. Gentleman sketched out on the Second Reading of the Bill were duly observed, the Bill was treated as one dealing with the regulation of the milk supply, and all questions of buildings were strictly left out of account. I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman has said, and I hope this Clause will not be read a second time.

    In view of the very strong remarks made as to the Bill being endangered, may I ask the permission of my Seconder to the proposal being withdrawn?

    Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn

    New Clause—(Further Power To Stop Supply Of Milk Within Any County Or County Borough From Any Dairy Without Such County Or County Borough)

    (1) In any case in which the medical officer of health of any county or county borough is of opinion that tuberculosis is caused or is likely to be caused by the consumption of milk supplied from any dairy without such county or county borough, the council of such county or county borough, or the medical officer of health thereof, may stop the supply within such county or county borough of milk from such dairy until the supply of milk therefrom is stopped by the council of the county or county borough in which the dairy is situate (in this Section referred to as "the responsible authority") or the medical officer of health of the responsible authority, or in the case of any difference arising between the council of such county or county borough and the responsible authority as to the necessity for stopping such supply until such difference is determined by the Local Government Board.

    (2) For the purpose of this Section the council of such county, or county borough and the medical officer of health thereof may exercise all such powers as would have been exercisable by them under the provisions of this Act if such dairy had been situate within such county or county borough

    Clause brought up, and read the first time.

    I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

    This is one of a series of Amendments I have put down at the instance of the London County Council. Its object is to prevent the undue curtailment of their present powers to prevent the sale of tuberculous milk in the Metropolis. As the Bill stands the position of the responsible London authority will be considerably worse than it is now. Since the passing of the General Powers Act, 1907, the London County Council have taken strong measures to prevent the sale of tuberculous milk. They have found no less than 1,100 tuberculous samples on sale in London. They want to be able to continue this work. They do not wish, during the time that the local authorities are perfecting their organisation, to find that the milk supply of London has become less satisfactory than it now is. The object of the Clause is to enable them to take immediate action to prevent the supply of tuberculous milk without waiting for the local authority in the county from which the milk came to take steps and make an order. Similar power to this was proposed in the Milk and Dairies Bill of last year, and I think that is a strong argument if the right hon. Gentleman will consent to its re-insertion in this measure.

    The London County Council has no idea of excluding milk in this way in every case where they find it tuberculous. The natural and the usual course will be to communicate at once with the county councils from which the milk has come and leave it to them to stop supply, but we have to remember from bitter experience in the past, that in certain districts there is a distinction in the minds of the local authorities between the importance of the producers' interests and the interests of the consumer. It is quite "possible that you may find some county councils rather slack in administering the new order, and if they are slack it will mean that the milk from the area infected with tuberculosis will go on being sold in London for a very long time. The Local Government Board cannot interfere until they have held a local inquiry which will take probably some months, and then when they do interfere they have only the obsolete and clumsy device of a mandamus.

    I think this power would be a great security to the milk supply of London. The London County Council do not in any way wish to invade the territory of the rural county councils. The Clause, as it is drafted, gives, for the purpose of this Section, to the London County Council and to councils who ask for this power to go outside the area and stop the supply, all powers which they exercise at present or which they would exercise if the dairy was situate in the county of consumption. That is necessary to ensure that proper compensation should be given under Schedule 3 in the Bill in cases where the milk has wrongfully been prohibited from being sold in the county, and it is in no way intended to use it to enable the London County Council to inspect dairies without the permission of the local medical officer, and if it would make it easier for rural county councils to agree to this Clause I should suggest that their difficulty might be met by saying, "Provided these powers mentioned in Sub-section (2) would not enable any county councils to make inspections on its own account outside its own area."

    Although I sympathise with the purpose the hon. Member has in view I am afraid I cannot possibly accept the Clause. It does not apply, of course, only to London, but to all counties and all county boroughs and it would enable any authority of a county or a county borough to stop the supply within its own area of milk from any dairy which it thought was supplying tuberculous milk. It is not to have any power of going back to that dairy and verifying whether or not the milk comes from that particular dairy. It is not to have power to take any steps to secure a remedy for the defect, but it is simply to issue a fiat that the milk from a particular dairy is to be stopped. The scheme of the Bill is that in circumstances such as these the medical officer of the borough or place in which the milk is being sold has a right to call upon the medical officer of the county from which the milk comes to make immediate inquiries into the circumstances and to take all steps necessary to stop the supply of milk.

    There are elaborate provisions in the Bill in Clauses 3 and 4, and in the Second Schedule, to enable this to be done. The case of tuberculosis, after all, though important, is not one of immediate urgency. In the case of scarlet fever or diphtheria we ought to stop the supply instantly. We ought to know whether a great deal of the milk does or does not contain tubercle bacillus, but it is not necessary to stop instantly the supply of milk from particular dairies. The effect of the Clause proposed by the hon. Member would be, I am sure, to cause much friction between the authorities that issued such notices and the localities in which the farms were situated, and against which Orders were issued. The Committee sat for seven days, and this proposal was never made there. I hope the House will retain the Bill as it stands in this regard.

    Question, "That the Clause be read a second time," put, and negatived.

    Clause 1—(Prohibition Of Sale Of Tuberculous Milk)

    If a person—

  • (a) Sells, or offers or exposes for sale, or suffers to be sold or offered or exposed for sale, for human consumption or for use in the manufacture of products for human consumption; or
  • (b) Uses or suffers to be used in the manufacture of products for human consumption;
  • the milk of any cow which has given tuberculous milk, or is suffering from emaciation due to tuberculosis, or from tuberculosis of the udder, or from acute inflammation of the udder, or from any of the diseases specified in the First Schedule to this Act, he shall be guilty of an offence against this Act, if it is proved that he had previously received notice from an officer of a local authority, or that he otherwise knew, or by the exercise of ordinary care could have ascertained, that the cow had given tuberculous milk, or was suffering from any such disease.

    I beg to move, after the word "Act" ["First Schedule to this Act"], to insert the words, "or has permitted the cows or their milk to be handled by any person or persons suffering from any disease liable to infect or contaminate the milk."

    This Amendment must really be read in conjunction with two or three later Amendments, and it will save time if the House will allow me to explain the nature of the proposal now. Under Clause 2 the purposes for which special and general Orders may be made respecting milk and dairies include the following:—
    "(b) the inspection by persons authorised by the local authority for the locality in which the dairy is situate of dairies and persons employed in or about dairies."
    Clause 11 provides:—
    "If any person obstructs any inspector or other officer of the Local Government Board or any medical officer of health, or any veterinary inspector or surgeon, or other officer of or person employed by a local authority, in the execution of his powers under this Act or any Milk and Dairies Order, or fails to give any such officer all reasonable assistance in his power, or to furnish him with any information he may reasonably require, he shall be guilty of an offence against this Act."
    If we turn to Clause 15 we find that the penalty for committing an offence against the Act is £5 for the first offence, and in the case of a second or subsequent offence £50, and so on. I beg to say that these penalties, owing to their magnitude, are obviously intended to be applied to persons engaged in the dairy trade for profit, and not to persons employed at a daily wage in milking cows, cleansing churns, or anything of that kind. If these powers were rigidly enforced for inspecting persons connected with a dairy in order to ascertain whether they are in a state of health, and otherwise fit persons to be employed in a dairy, the Act will meet with a great deal of opposition, and I think the opposition will be justifiable. The purpose of my Amendments, the first of which I am now moving, is to make it quite clear that, the liability for the cleanliness of the dairy and for all matters in connection with the health of the cows being placed on the farmer or the dairy keeper, the liability for employing healthy people who are reasonably cleanly in their habits shall also rest on the person engaged in the industry for profit. The Amendment places that liability on the farmer or dairy keeper in exactly the same way as Clause 1 says:—

    If a person—
    "(a) Sells, or offers or exposes for sale, or suffers to be sold or offered or exposed for sale, …"
    and so forth, the milk of any cow which has given tuberculous milk, he shall be guilty of an offence against the Act.

    He has got not only to see that the cows shall not be animals suffering from acute inflammation of the udder or any disease specified in the first Schedule to the Act, but also that neither the cows nor the milk is handled by any person or persons suffering from any disease which is liable to affect or contaminate the milk. No doubt the effect of this effort to get a purer supply of milk will be to increase the cost of milk. A person engaged in the dairy business will have to comply with all the provisions of this Bill, and I think it perfectly reasonable and fair, to avoid all this friction which will occur from the inspection of every person engaged in or about a dairy, to leave to him the liability for the cleanliness and health of the persons engaged in the dairy, just as you leave the liability for the cleanliness and health of the cows which are being milked upon the farm on the person who is engaged in the industry. Therefore I think that if this Amendment and the following one, which is practically consequential are read together, with the omission of these provisions in Clause 2 and Clause 4 for the compulsory inspection of persons, we shall have a simpler Bill, which will undoubtedly work very much more smoothly, and will be very much more logical.

    I beg to second the Amendment, because I cannot help thinking that this system of compulsory inspection of farm labourers will cause a great deal of inconvenience and irritation in the country districts. Though the Bill talks about dairies yet the term "dairy" includes a farm. Consequently a person employed in a dairy means every person employed on a farm. Consequently every farm labourer whether he is engaged in the business of handling or milking cows will come under the provisions of this Clause and be liable to compulsory medical examination. As the Clause is framed it is apparently a sort of harmless examination, but one has to look for the intention of this Bill to the Bill of last year which was a little more elaborate in its provisions. The effective operation of this Bill rests with the Local Government Board, which may make Orders for the inspection. The Bill of last year set out what the intention then was. It provided that the medical officer of health of any sanitary district or any officer of the sanitary authority acting on his instructions shall have power at all reasonable hours to enter into any dairy situate within the district and inspect the dairy, and the medical officer of health shall have power at reasonable hours to inspect the persons employed in or about the dairy. It is perfectly clear from that, having regard to the interpretation of the Bill, that this is compulsory examination for every labourer engaged on a farm, and not only the labourer himself, but his wife, if she has a job on the farm, or his daughter.

    I have no hesitation in saying that it would be very bitterly resented in the countryside, particularly accompanied, as it is, by very heavy penalties—penalties of £5 for his refusal to submit to medical inspection, or refusal to allow his wife to be submitted to medical inspection; £50 penalty for a second offence, and for a continuing offence £2 a day. Surely that is not reasonable legislation. I strongly protest against the words remaining in the Bill in their present form. [HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed."] Hon. Members opposite call out "agreed." What, would they say if a similar provision were put in a Bill for compulsory medical inspection of trade unionists who handle tools? But we know that compulsion is an element in all Radical legislation. You have it in the Shops Act, in the Coal Mines Acts, in National Insurance, and in Home Rule. It seems to me that there is always a policeman behind every Radical measure. I am concerned for a countryside district where a very large number of labourers are employed, and I very strongly protest against this provision being introduced into the Bill rendering these people, who are unable to protect themselves, and who are indirectly represented here, liable to be subjected to compulsory medical examination. It is said: "We do not intend to examine them all."

    When I referred to this point on the Second Reading the President of the Local Government Board stated some case of a man with a sore hand who had been employed in milking the cows. That is no case on which to base power enabling-a medical officer of health, or any person whom he may employ, to subject to compulsory medical examination every man engaged on a farm. It will be said, it was suggested in Committee, that this power was necessary to discover consumptives and people of that sort engaged in the dairy business. We are all agreed that consumptives should not be employed in actually handling the milk. But this goes far beyond that. If it were limited to people actually handling the milk I should perhaps not have so much objection to it. But by this Clause any busybody or medical officer of health could hunt up consumptives all over the land. That is a very unreasonable provision indeed. We have had in the countryside quite enough in the way of inspection. Most hon. Members know how the countryside has suffered from the administration of the Swine Fever Regulations, the consequence being that where pigs were once a source of profit to labourers, one hardly sees a pig now. All this is the result of this inspection and interference with people who are endeavouring to the best of their ability to carry on a perfectly proper business. Where is that system going to end? Are you going to examine every man who handles food; the baker, the fishmonger, the butcher, the greengrocer. I venture to think these words are wholly unnecessary in order to secure the object we have in view to secure milk for the people, but is simply part of a system which has grown up of interference with the people and their liberties.

    The hon. Members really have two proposals in view. They propose to omit from the provisions in the second Clause the part which would allow the Local Government Board and the Board of Agriculture to make regulations to allow the inspection of persons employed in the dairy, and as a recompense they propose to put into Clause 1 a penalty upon any person who allows a person suffering from a dangerous infectious disease to have any part in the handling of the milk or cattle. With respect to the second proposal which is now before us, I submit it is quite unnecessary because it is already the law of the land. Under the Contagious Diseases of Animals Act of 1878, an Order in Council was made in 1885 which includes this provision which now has the force of law:—

    "It shall not be lawful for any person following the trade of cowkeeper or dairying or purveyor of milk to allow any person suffering from dangerous infectious disorder or having recently been in contact with a person so suffering to milk cows or handle vessels used for milk for sale," etc.,

    and presenting penalties for any breach of that regulation. Therefore it is quite clear so far as the Amendment which is now before us is concerned it is unnecessary, and on that ground I ask the House not to accept it. With respect to the further Amendment, which, as it is linked up with this, I submit I am in order in discussing, that would strike out a part of the Bill which is essential for its proper working. The two things are necessary in this connection. In the first place it is above all things desirable to see that the milking business should be conducted with cleanliness.

    Everyone who has made a study of this matter knows that it is most desirable to impress upon the agricultural community, all the agricultural community, that they should do what the best farmers already do, namely, see that their cows are milked in a cleanly way. It is therefore necessary that the inspectors when they go round examining these matters should have the opportunity of observing whether the persons who actually engage in the milking of the cows and in handling the churns and other vessels have or have not got filthy hands. Secondly, this provision in the Bill aims at the detection of dangerous diseases, not by any general medical inspection, which is not contemplated. It would not be for a moment dreamt of for every labourer and farmer and farmer's wife who might be engaged directly or indirectly in milking cows, but where an epidemic does break out, where there is diphtheria or typhoid fever or other disease which is traced back to the farm it is essential that the medical officer should be able to examine the persons medically to see whether or not they are responsible for the contamination of the milk.

    Let me give the House two or three recent cases that have actually occurred. In Bradford in 1912, 112 persons got typhoid fever due to milk infection from an unrecognised case of typhoid fever. At Chelmsford in 19'10 there were twenty-five cases of diphtheria due to an unrecognised case of diphtheria in the house of the farmer who supplied the milk. In Folkestone and various Kent districts in the years 1905–9 there were no fewer than 323 cases of typhoid fever in several successive outbreaks coming from five different farms, owing to the employment of one man who was what is called a carrier of typhoid fever; that is, he had had typhoid fever, been cured of it, but carried in his body the germs of the disease, which infected the milk at each farm to which he went. Under these circumstances, as similar cases come to the knowledge of the Board year by year, it is obviously necessary that there should be power to secure medical inspection in these cases. For these reasons I trust the House will confirm the decision of the Committee which considered this point carefully, and retain the provision of this Clause.

    I am in entire agreement with the right hon. Gentleman that it is essential that people who have the handling of cows or milk should be liable to inspection. My complaint is that the words of the Bill go much beyond that. The Bill speaks of "persons employed in or about dairies." The right hon. Gentleman will agree that in the opinion of a large number of Members of the Committee that would make almost every employé on a dairy farm liable to inspection.

    Perhaps I can save the time of the House. I had hoped that hon. Members interested in this question would have put down an Amendment which I suggested, namely, to omit the words "employed in or about dairies," and make the Clause read "persons in or about dairies who have access to the milk or to the churns or other milk receptacles." I promised to consider that, and I shall be glad to move it.

    Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and negatived.

    Clause 2—(Extension Of Power To Make Orders Respecting Milk And Dairies)

    (1) The purposes for which general and special Orders with respect to milk and dairies, hereinafter referred to as Milk and Dairies Orders, may be made by the Local Government Board under Section thirty-four of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, 1878, as amended by the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, 1886, shall include the following purposes:—

  • (a) the registration with local authorities of all dairies;
  • (b) the inspection by persons authorised by the local authority for the locality in which the dairy is situate of dairies and persons employed in or about dairies;
  • (c) the prevention of danger to health from the sale for human consumption or from the use in the manufacture of products for human consumption, of infected, contaminated, or dirty milk;
  • (d) the prohibition of the addition of colouring matter and the prohibition or regulation of the addition of skimmed or separated milk, or water, or any other substance, to milk intended for sale for human consumption, or the abstraction therefrom of butter-fat or any other constituent, and the prohibition or regulation of the sale for human consumption of milk to which such an addition or from which such abstraction has been made, or which has been otherwise artificially treated;
  • (e) the regulation of the cooling, conveyance, and distribution of milk intended for sale for human consumption, or for use in the manufacture of products for human consumption;
  • (f) the labelling, marking, or identification of churns, vessels, and other receptacles of milk for sale for human consumption or used for the conveyance of such milk;
  • (g) authorising the use in connection with the sale of milk of the term "certified milk," prescribing the conditions subject to which milk may be sold under such designation and prohibiting the use of such term or designation in connection with the sale of milk in respect of which the prescribed conditions are not complied with.
  • (2) A Milk and Dairies Order with respect to the inspection of cattle in a dairy may authorise the person making the inspection to require any cow to be milked in his presence and to take samples of the milk, and to require that the milk from any particular teat shall be kept separate and separate samples thereof furnished.

    (3) If any person is guilty of a contravention of or non-compliance with the provisions of any Milk and Dairies Order, he shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

    (4) Milk and Dairies Orders shall be made by the Local Government Board with the concurrence of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.

    (5) All Milk and Dairies Orders shall be laid before each House of Parliament as soon as may be after they are made; and if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House of Parlimaent within the next subsequent forty days on which that House has sat next after the Order is laid before it praying that the Order may be annulled, it shall thenceforth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder, or to the making of a new Order. If the Session of Parliament ends before such forty days as aforesaid have expired, the Order shall be laid before each House of Parliament at the commencement of the next Session as if it had not previously been laid.

    The Rules Publication Act, 1893, shall apply to any such Order as if it was a statutory rule within the meaning of Section 1 of that Act.

    I beg to move, in Sub-section (1) (a) to leave out the word "registration," and to insert instead thereof the word "listing."

    I understand that the right hon. Gentleman does not intend that an Order shall be made requiring a farm to be licensed. All that he intends to convey is that an Order may be made by the Local Government Board and the Board of Agriculture empowering local authorities to make a list of the dairies in their districts. That, I think, is a harmless thing to which nobody can object. If it was to be read as a licence it might be taken that unless a farm was on this register it should not be allowed to supply milk. The right hon. Gentleman tells me that that is not the case. I have not the slightest doubt that so long as he is President of the Local Government Board that that intention will be carried out. But the House has got to remember that we may have another President of the Local Government Board who may look at the Act of Parliament and take the meaning of the Act from the Act itself. The simplest way is to put into the Bill all it is intended the Bill shall do.

    I beg to second the Amendment. When the Bill was in Committee I pointed out that registration necessarily implies some conditions precedent to such registration. If a list is intended the word "listing" should meet the case.

    The purpose is to draw up a list by the local authorities so that the inspectors may know to which places they have to go. It is not intended to introduce any system of licences. We have inserted the word "all" before dairies so as to make it plain that all dairies are to be registered, and are entitled to be registered. The word "registration" is the word that appears now in the Order for the registration of dairymen—all these are registered though not the dairies—and it is desirable that in regard to the dairies and not the firms merely that own them, that this, too, should obtain. "Listing" is a term that does not appear in any Act of Parliament. The word "registration" appears constantly, and everyone knows what it means. It does not mean that it implies conditions, nor does it mean a system of licences, but in order to make the matter quite clear I will give the hon. Baronet a Parliamentary assurance that when we draw up our Regulations—and this is a matter that has to be dealt with by Regulation—it shall be made clear that the register is to be a register, and not a mere list for the purposes of the inspector.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (a), to leave out the word "local" ["registration with local authorities"] and to insert instead thereof the word "sanitary."

    The effect of the Amendment is that the registration shall be made by the district councils rather than by the county councils. The district councils are already the sanitary authorities, and administer the local Dairies Orders, and the suggested arrangement would be the more convenient. In Clause 16 the Local Government Board have the power to say which authority shall register. They may name the district councils, but this Amendment would make it certain. The Amendment is one that I have been asked to bring forward by the Rural District Councils Association, and it is, I think, a very reasonable one. It is felt that these councils should be safeguarded, and that these powers should not be shared by the county councils

    12.0 M.

    It is the intention that the sanitary authorities shall be as a rule the registering authority, and the only reason why I cannot accept the hon. Member's Amendment is that I am advised that in small counties such as Huntingdon there may be general agreement that one authority should exercise all these powers in those small areas, and that district councils might wish the county councils to take over the whole of the business with regard to the milk supply. That is why this discretion is allowed to the Local Government Board in this matter. It is intended that our regulations shall in any such unusual cases confer upon the district councils the powers they already have of being the registering authority.

    Would the right hon. Gentleman say it shall be the district councils unless the Local Government Board otherwise order?

    Will the right hon. Gentleman give me a Parliamentary assurance to that effect?

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    I beg to move in paragraph (b) to leave out the word "employed" and to insert after the word "dairies" the words "who have access to milk or churns or other milt receptacles." The Clause would then read: "(b) the inspection by persons authorised by the local authority for the locality in which the dairy is situate of dairies and persons in or about dairies who have access to the milk or churns or other milk receptacles."

    I should like to point out these words are extremely wide. As the paragraph stands it says "persons employed." The right hon. Gentleman proposes to substitute for the word "employed" the words "who have access to the milk or churns or other receptacles." Under that every person about the parish might be liable to inspection. Instead of limiting, these words extend the number of persons to be inspected. If he proposed to inspect other persons in the neighbourhood of the dairy who have access to the milk churns, etc., I should take another view.

    The word "employed" was objected to by many hon. Members in the Committee on the ground that it might be difficult in its technical meaning, in that a small holder or other person who was working for himself would not come under the provisions of the Section as he ought to do.

    Question, "That the word 'employed' stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.

    Words "who have access to the milk or churns or other milk receptacles," there inserted.

    I beg to move, in paragraph (e), to leave out the word "cooling."

    The Sub-section would then read "the regulations for the conveyance, and the distribution of the milk intended for sale," etc. I want to leave out the word "cooling" because in my district all the farmers have cooling apparatus. If this word is left in it will be within the power of the Board of Trade to make regulations allowing the local authorities to inspect the cooling apparatus, and to make a regulation that Jones' cooling apparatus is not one they approve of, and that Smith's apparatus must be put in. That might put the farmers to a very great expense in taking out the apparatus he has got in use in order to put in another. It might be possible that in the case of change in the local authority, or a new medical officer, they might say "you have put in Smith's cooling apparatus. I like Brown's, and therefore you must take Smith's out and put in Brown's." If these words are left in we shall be doing something which will cause great inconvenience to the farmers without securing a better or purer supply of milk. It is absolutely necessary a farmer, on anything like a large scale, who sends his milk any distance from the farm must cool it because, if he does not, the milk will be spoiled when it arrives at its destination, and the buyer will not have it. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will meet me by leaving out those words.

    All those whom I have consulted in reference to this Bill attach much importance to the cooling. I hear on all hands that there are few things more important with a view to preventing bateriological infection in milk than to secure an efficient cooling before it leaves the farm. The hon. Baronet (Sir H. Banbury) comes from a district where the milk is already cooled, but I am afraid that that is not so over a considerable part of the country, and a good deal of milk is sent away which ought to be cooled if it is not to give rise to danger to health. All these regulations require the concurrence of the Board of Agriculture, and I am sure they would not agree to any regulations for the cooling of milk oppressive to farmers and the agricultural industry. If they did so the regulations have to come before this House and hon. Members could pass an Address to alter them. Not only that, but the House of Lords has to consider this matter, and I am sure the hon. Baronet can safely leave his case in the hands of the other House if not in mine. If he omits these words we shall have no power of any sort to make regulations, no matter how reasonable or necessary they may be to secure proper cooling.

    I admit that I have great confidence in the other House, but I do not know that I have great confidence in this House discussing a question of this sort after eleven o'clock at night. I will accept the right hon. Gentleman's assurance that all he desires to do is to insist that milk shall be cooled and not make particular regulations as to the machinery by which it is cooled, and I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    I beg to move in paragraph (f), after the word "identification," to insert the words "and the sealing or closing."

    We know, as the result of some bitter experience, that a large portion of the impurities of milk gets into the milk in transit between the premises of the producer and the premises of the salesman in the town, and there is no uniform procedure on the various railways in connection with the sealing or closing of churns. The result is that under this Bill there will be very great danger of the farmer or other milk producer being charged with certain penalties or even of having the supply of his milk stopped in consequence of impurities getting into the milk at a railway terminus over which he has no control whatever. There is no uniformity of procedure. On some railways churns are allowed to be closed, and on others they are not. I want to put it into the power of the Local Government Board in case of necessity to make an Order dealing with this matter and of so ensuring against the farmer or other milk producer being unfairly penalised in respect of impurities for which he is not responsible.

    I beg to second the Amendment.

    This is really one of the most important parts of the whole Bill. I have in my hand an account of the prosecutions at the London Sessions revealing the practice of borrowing from other churns. It was clearly put forward that at Paddington Station milk was borrowed from one churn and put into another. If that sort of thing is going on, you will be totally unable to follow the milk from the producer to the consumer. I also gave a case the other day at Liverpool Street Station. I think that those two cases clearly show that we must have the Amendment moved.

    I am rather sorry the right hon. Gentleman has done that, because the result might be that my hon. Friend might desire to send something up from Gloucestershire, or wherever it is that he lives, to London, and the cheapest way would be to put it in a churn. That is the reason why the railway companies have objected to the sealing. They did not know whether advantage might not be taken of their kindness to send in a churn something which would cost much more to send in another way. I am rather surprised that my hon. Friend should have seconded the Amendment, in view of the fact that he is a railway director and must know that might occur. If the right hon. Gentleman will make regulations to prevent fraud on the railway companies, then I have no objection, but I am rather sorry that he should have accepted it in such a hurry.

    Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and agreed to.

    I beg to move to leave out paragraph (g).

    This paragraph is absolutely unnecessary, and it will do much to curtail the milk supply. It was not in the Bill when it was before the House for Second Beading. The Bill is, I think, wisely drawn with the object of providing clean and pure milk. Less than that we ought not to be content with and more than that we do not require. Therefore I think it both unnecessary and unwise, after demanding that the milk shall be clean and pure, to introduce this paragraph which makes it possible for any one to obtain a certificate. It is unjust to give any section of milk producers a privileged position. We are requiring milk producers generally to produce a clean and pure article. I have met many dairymen who, although they hold that the Bill is somewhat drastic, seeing that they have always done their best to supply the public with a clean and pure article, yet recognising there is a feeling that greater precautions ought to be taken, are ready to carry out the provisions of the Bill. But having conformed to the requirements therein laid down, they object to any Government label being given to any part or any Section of the milk which may be produced.

    The production of the milk at the present time is somewhat unprofitable owing to the increased and increasing cost of labour for milking, the great expense of replenishing herds when cattle the from disease, and the growing cost of feeding stuffs. Many people have for these reasons already had to give up cow-keeping, and if we introduce in this Bill unnecessary and harassing conditions I venture to say they will result in still further diminishing the milk supply of this country, which would be a calamity to the poorer classes of the people. I have had a deputation of dairy keepers who have urged me to resist to the utmost the introduction of this preferential treatment. Only last Saturday I received a deputation of Essex farmers who asked me to tell the House that they, as large milk producers, were strongly opposed to this preferential treatment being given to any section of those engaged in the industry. They are quite willing to conform to the requirements of the Bill and to supply clean and pure milk, but they object to any differentiation, such as this paragraph would allow, being introduced. It would afford an opportunity to wealthy cow-keepers to have a special examination and secure a special milk certificate after a special veterinary inspection, and that would give them an established position which would discount or reduce the value of other milk supplies not certified in the same way.

    Having called upon all dairymen to produce clean and pure milk it must be detrimental to their interest and unjust if not indeed a breach of faith to the dairymen and to those of us who have taken pains to persuade the dairymen in our Constituencies that it is necessary they should conform to the provisions of this Bill, if, when they have agreed to do so, you introduce, as was done in Committee, this preferential treatment, which will act to the advantage of wealthy cow-keepers by enabling them to produce certain certificates that will ensure higher prices for their milk. I venture to say it is the duty of this House to do all it can to secure a pure and clean supply of milk for all people, rich and poor alike, and not to establish a point at which certain certificates will be obtainable which will enable the holders thereof to charge higher prices, to the detriment of the general body of milk producers. I hope the House will hesitate before they inflict such an injustice on the milk producers of this country. They are rendering a great public service, and it would be calamitous if by any vexatious preferential treatment under this Bill men were deterred from carrying on that industry. We should apply our endeavours to seeing that all milk is pure and clean, that poor and rich alike have an article which is above suspicion, and that no preference is given to any part of that pure and clean supply.

    I beg to second the Amendment.

    The Bill in its original form goes quite far enough without this paragraph. It is quite sufficient to endeavour to secure a uniform supply of clean milk, so far as that is possible. It is not necessary to draw a differentiation between different classes of milk in a Bill of this kind. There is no doubt that when the regulations which are to be issued by the Local Government Board are put into working order they will arouse quite enough resentment among dairy-keepers throughout the country without any addition of this kind to the Bill. I know that some o£ my hon. Friends desire to see various classifications of milk. I presume they wish to have certified milk, pure milk and milk, just as you have new laid eggs, fresh eggs and eggs. That might be left to private enterprise. There are many farmers who send sealed bottles of milk from their dairies up to London. They are able to do that of their own initiative and to charge rich customers an additional price for that class of milk. It is quite sufficient for the House to leave that sort of thing to private enterprise, and I hope that they will therefore reject this paragraph.

    I sincerely trust that the House will keep this paragraph in the Bill. It is one of the most important provisions in the Bill. I cannot quite make out why my hon. Friends wish to take it out. It must be due to a misunderstanding. I cannot understand hon. Members representing farmers and dairymen or agricultural interests wishing to take the paragraph out of the Bill. There are some provisions in the Bill which act as a restraint, there are many penalties contained in the Bill, there are many provisions which harass the farmer or dairyman which are compulsory. This proposal is purely optional. It is in the nature of a reward to the dairyman or fanner who goes out of his way to produce a particularly clean milk. It does not interfere with the Bill as it stands. The Mover of the Amendment said he wanted all milk to be pure and good. I have read my hon. Friend's speeches on milk. I know that he agrees with me that milkers should have clean and dry hands, that the herd should be tested and that the herd should be free from tuberculosis. He does not want to have dirty in the milk. He wants the flanks and udders of the cow to be clean. I am sure he will agree that we should encourage those things, but we cannot do it by legislation. You cannot by Act of Parliament say that all milkers are to have clean and dry hands. You can only secure it by rewarding those farmers and dairymen who take special and peculiar care to see that their milkers have clean and dry hands, that the udders and flanks are clean, and so forth. You can only do this in some such way as is proposed in this paragraph, by protecting the producers of the milk which we call certified milk. At present there is nothing to prevent the milk seller taking a churn of milk, dividing it into two samples and selling it under two different names.

    There can be nothing worse for the milk trade than the knowledge that a man can take a churn of the same milk and sell some as ordinary milk, and some as invalids', children's, certified or guaranteed milk. There can be nothing more injurious to the milk trade than the knowledge of this. There is a great demand for this sort of certified or children's or invalids' milk, whichever you choose to call it. The right hon. Gentleman some months ago said such milk was now sold in London, but that there was no guarantee that the purchaser was getting the article which he thought he was buying. That is to say, at present it is quite easy for an unscrupulous dealer to defraud the public. The proposal really is to provide infants' or invalids' milk for which there is a demand. It is done in Denmark, and in the United States of America.

    I have an extract published by a Government Department in the United States of America, showing that the influence of certified milk in reducing mortality among infants and children is beyond estimation, and another that the result of giving certified milk to infants and children, as shown in the decrease in the death-rate, is a matter of common knowledge. I could bring forward much more evidence to the same effect. If this certified, guaranteed or children's milk really has the effect of reducing the infantile mortality, if it has been tried and this is found to be the case, how could any hon. Member suggest that it could be taken out of this Bill? There is no compulsion. No one is compelled to produce, sell or buy certified milk. It is entirely optional. This proposal was put down in Committee upstairs, and it had the names of Members representing all parties. It was backed by hon. Members on this side, by hon. Members representing the agricultural interest, by Liberals, and by Members of the Labour party. It represented all interests, and it was passed by the Committee unanimously, and I sincerely trust the House will keep it in the Bill.

    The hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Spear) said this provision of the Bill introduced unnecessary and harassing conditions. This provision introduces no conditions at all which a man does not readily himself adopt. It does not require anyone to produce certified milk and it does not require any farmer to subject himself to any unusual conditions against his own will. We know that it will not be possible for many years to come to-secure that our herds shall all be free from tubercle and that all milk shall be absolutely cleanly. We will gradually work towards it. It cannot be done at once; but in the meantime, there are a certain number of farmers who produce milk who are willing to see that their herds shall be free from tubercle, and take the utmost precautions to secure that the milk shall be absolutely pure. It is necessary to-protect those farmers—to give them some terms which shall be a guarantee that they shall be protected by law, so that anyone else who comes into competition with them, and pretends to adopt the same precautions but really does not do so, shall be liable to penalty.

    That is the only purpose of this provision. It cannot be left to private enterprise, as the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. Hicks Beach) suggested, because you cannot have a legal guarantee by merely leaving it to private enterprise. Private enterprise might produce a supply of good milk, but at any moment it is liable to competition of people who sell ordinary milk under the same name without having taken the precautions which their rivals have conscientiously adopted. Most important of all, perhaps, is it that if some farmers produce pure milk certified and get a high price for it and make a good profit, they will be an example to all the other farmers in neighbouring districts, and so gradually a high standard of milk production will spread throughout the country. This proposal was urged upon me by a very authoritative deputation introduced by Sir Thomas Barlow, and other scientists of distinction, but I was unwilling to put a provision in the Bill before ascertaining the feeling of the House. The matter was discussed in Committee, where there was an overwhelming body of opinion in favour of this proposal and no Division was taken against it, and I trust the House will retain it in the Bill.

    If I thought the intention of this Sub-clause was really going to be an injury to the general body of milk producers, as is suggested by my hon. Friends, I should support them in advocating its withdrawal; but, frankly speaking, I do not think it is going to prejudice the position of the milk producers in the least. There are, as the right hon. Gentleman has pointed out, a certain number of milk producers who go in for the production of what one might almost call super-milk. There are a certain number of people who wish to use it. If the farmers tan get a higher price, and if the consumers are willing to pay a higher price, for the excessively good article, I do not see why they should not be allowed to do so. But I think there is a good deal in what the right hon. Gentleman has said, that it is now open to anybody to use the term "certified." If we are going to bring the whole of our milk production under these Regulations, I think that it is not unreasonable that the word "certified" should be restricted to those who conform to the Regulations and restrictions. On the whole, speaking for myself, I think the Sub-clause ought to be retained.

    Although I am satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman would see that this Sub-section was administered reasonably, I have not that confidence in the Department for all time to feel satisfied that it would be safe to extend to them the powers contained herein. I think the powers are dangerous and should not be entrusted to a Department. If you get pure milk from healthy cows, clean and uncontaminated, I venture to say you have a first-class article, and if we could be sure that these Regulations were limited to that, and that alone, I do not know that there would be much objection to the Sub-clause; but I do not know to what extent it might be carried, and I do feel strongly that we have to bear in mind that the Department makes what Regulations they think proper, and if they make a standard of milk in the direction of a certain percentage of butterfats unobtainable by the ordinary farmer.

    I cannot see how you are to avoid casting a reproach upon a large number who have not the opportunity to produce milk of a standard such as might be set up. Now it is all very well to say you can have milk of various grades. The certified class of milk in the mind of everybody would rank above a class not certified, although the latter has all the qualities of first-class milk. I say that the good-class, respectable dairymen are those upon whom the dairy-farmers must rest to get a reasonable return for the efforts they put forward, and no respectable dairyman can afford to admit that he does not sell first-class milk. Therefore if first-class milk is to consist' of certified milk, he must turn to certified milk, and if the conditions of obtaining a certificate are to be such as I express a fear they might be, that would put out of court a large number of farmers who can produce a thoroughly good article but cannot come quite up to the standard that might be set, with the result that they would have to take a smaller price for their article or probably go out of the trade altogether.

    You want as much milk as ever you can get of a good high standard. I do not see how you can have it of higher value for the large mass of the people than the quality of which I have spoken, and you can only get it if you keep the largest possible number of farmers in the industry. But if you are going to pass a Clause of this sort you throw out a large number who cannot compete with people who have the opportunity, perhaps, of producing this certified milk, with the result that you get a less supply of the article you really want. I do not know how a continuous certificate is to operate. Let the milk be as good as it will to-day, it may be bad to-morrow or the day after, and, if you are going to certify milk, it would have to be applied to every day's milk so as to ensure that you get what you wish. I venture to say with some knowledge of those carrying on the business that it is impossible for a farmer to conform to any regular standard if he has to conform to every-day conditions. You may have a first-rate herd of dairy cows; you may fix your standard what you like—you fix it perhaps at 3½ per cent. of butter-fat; you can get that standard in the evening when it may be impossible to get it in the morning. In producing this milk for market you cannot avoid the diversity of standard that now obtains everywhere. You cannot avoid it, because your cows have to be milked at greatly varying periods, with the result that the morning's milk is below standard, and the evening's milk above standard. I believe a learned Judge on the Bench said that sort of thing ought to be altered and could be altered.

    I wish that theorist on this question had to tackle the conditions under which milk is produced. He will find from the labour point of view alone that the farmer cannot carry on the trade and produce the kind of milk that might be wanted. At present he has to set to work at 4.30 in the morning. He cannot possibly keep the men all day, with the result that to carry on his operations he has to have a period of some thirteen or fourteen hours between one milking and the other, nine hours in one case and thirteen or fourteen in the other. That being so, it is not possible for him to conform to the conditions that might be laid down. He has plenty now to worry him in carrying on the business as well as he does, and I think that if this Clause stands it will be a discouragement to a large number of people who really support this Bill and desire to see it become law but do not desire to see anything in it which would make it more difficult for the farmer to continue in the trade and make a reasonable profit. We want more and more farmers to come into the trade. My hon. Friend (Sir John Spear) said this Clause was not in the Bill when it was introduced. It is therefore no affront to the Government to ask them to withdraw it or to vote against it, and if he goes to a Division I shall support him.

    The right hon. Gentleman (the President of the Local Government Board) has referred to what took place in the Committee upstairs when we were discussing the Amendment then proposed by the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Astor). The impression conveyed by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, I think, was that this Clause as it stands was exactly as it was then proposed, and was carried unanimously. We were told that a prolonged discussion took place in connection with this question. It was a long discussion, and there was a very strong expression of opinion that it was a doubtful procedure that was being put into the Bill, and if you will look at the proceedings of the Committee you will find that it was not put into the Bill until concessions were made to those who were doubtful about it. Considerable concessions were put into the Clause as it was originally proposed by the hon. Member for Plymouth.

    I think this is a question that should not be hurriedly swept to one side as some hon. Gentlemen seem to think. We all want milk of a high quality; but we were not satisfied to let the Clause go through until we had amended it in the Committee, and also until we got strong representations from the right hon. Gentleman (the President of the Local Government Board) that in any Order that was issued no distinction would be made which could be used as a trade mark by a big firm. It is no use concealing the facts from the House. There are many supplies of pure milk, but we all know there are big concerns who have advantages which the smaller milk producer cannot have, and they would be able to get a standardised article under the sanction of the Government which would virtually have a Government monopoly under the cover of the Government certificate.

    We all desire to prevent that, and I think after the discussion upstairs in Committee and the Amendments which were made that it is possible that the Clause might be improved at the present time if the right hon. Gentleman would give it his consideration and see that no designation of milk would pass into use which would not protect the smaller man against the great monopolies who have a large hand in and a heavy control over the milk supply of the metropolis and other large places, and who to a large extent have at their mercy the farmers who send the milk in. It is sent in to these large firms, and the farmer does not come for one moment into direct contact with the consumer. I think that is a serious thing, and I ask the House not to sweep it away as something which is not worthy of consideration.

    I think the contention of the hon. Member for Berkshire (Mr. Gardner) as to the difficulty of keeping up a high standard is met by the insertion of the provision for continuous inspection in these cases. Anyone who expected to supply the certified milk would obviously have to be prepared to provide samples at frequent intervals to show that the standard was kept up. It is not, as has been said, a standard of butter-fat; I should imagine it would deal with the case of those people who wish to get milk only from herds that have been tested for tuberculosis, and whose milkers are clean, and milk supplied in bottle and bottled at the farm itself. Surely it is reasonable if people are prepared to pay for milk of that kind that there should be some means of ensuring that it is what it purports to be.

    Hon. Members have said it is necessary to get cheap milk and that this would make milk more expensive. I think it would have the opposite effect. If you do not have this certified milk you may have an agitation for milk all round the majority of consumers can afford to pay for. I think you can prevent that only by enabling milk to be produced to meet the two different classes of demand. The average producer cannot supply this higher standard, as the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. Hicks Beach) has said. If he attempts to do so he is liable to competition on the part of those who want to take fraudulent advantage of the name. Take the case of bottled milk. People bottled milk, instead of 4d. per quart, sometimes Is. a quart. If you look through the window when the bottled milk is being delivered in the morning, you will often find that what these people are paying an extra 8d. per quart for, milk as bottled on the farm as they imagine it to be, it is really bottled at their very door, and is possibly infected by the lips of the man who delivers it as he licks the label which he puts on the bottle to say it is pure bottled milk.

    As a representative of an agricultural constituency though not a member of the Committee may I be permitted to support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Sir John Spear). One of the results that would be bound to follow from the inclusion of this Clause would be a falling off in the milk supply, which is the very opposite to that which we want to get by this Milk Bill. Another point I would like to urge is that this was not originally in the Bill. We all know the suspicion with which the agricultural community looks upon all new proposals of this kind which result in the further inspection of their industry.

    It would be an unfortunate thing if this part of the Bill were left in, because, in my opinion, it does not really tend towards the general purposes of the Bill, and it may lead to difficulties in the administration of it when it is put into operation. It seems to me to give an unfair advantage to the big producer, because there is no doubt whatever he will be in a position to obtain these certificates and to obtain a higher price for milk, and these opportunities will not be open to the smaller producer. That is a consideration worth attending to. This is a general Bill to improve the standard of milk all over the country. Is it desirable in a Bill of this kind to set up two standards of milk—one for the poorer classes and the other for the richer classes—to have one standard of milk for the poorer classes and another standard of milk for the richer classes? What we want to do is to improve the general standard of milk all over the country, and if you make a distinction of this kind, you really defeat the broad and real objects of the Bill itself. Now, the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Astor) said that this proposal was something in the shape of a reward for clean milk, for dairies carried on under the most favourable conditions possible. But, if he looks at it from the point of view of agriculturists, he will see it is not so much a reward for exceptional milk as that it would result in putting a slur on the milk which was not so certified, and for which farmers were not able to obtain these particular certificates.

    Then, the hon. Member went on to say—and I was rather surprised to hear it—that, in regard to all these matters you could not carry them through effectively by legislation. That is my opinion, but it seemed to me to be an argument against the proposal rather than in favour of it. As a matter of fact, those dairymen who do, under existing conditions, produce an exceptional class of milk are unable, in the ordinary commercial way, to demand an exceptional price for it. We all know that. I do not like this idea of a Government guarantee. I think it is open to many objections, and if it is introduced in respect of milk in this way, of course, further demands will be put forward for Government guarantees and Government certificates in all directions. I really think that it is a proposal which we ought to look at with very great suspicion. I think, also, that it is a very unworkable proposal. No hon. Member who has spoken in favour of it has given any clear idea, indeed, as to how these inspections should be carried out. One hon. Member said they were practically to be continuous inspections; that seems to me to be a quite unworkable proposal. Others said there should be periodical inspections. Well, as the hon. Member who last spoke pointed out, there are great elements of unfairness and injustice in periodical inspections taking place in the varying conditions that exist. Altogether, it seems to me to be a part of the Bill which would be very much better struck out, in the interests not only of the agricultural community, but of the general consumers of milk throughout the country.

    I am asked to say, on behalf of the Agricultural Organisation Society, which contains, mainly, the small farmers rather than the large, that they hope that this House will retain this Clause. They have got now a large number of cooperative milk depots in various parts of the country, whose object largely is to maintain a high standard of the milk, and to secure that no milk which is not of a high standard passes out of those depots. They contend, and properly, in my opinion, that it is only fair that some preference should be given to such milk. The hon. Member for Tavistock opened his remarks by saying that it was not fair to put any section of milk producers in a privileged position. To that I entirely demur. If milk producers produce a better article, and attain some standard of purity for

    Division No. 203.]

    AYES.

    [12.56 a.m.

    Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)Clough, William
    Acland, Francis DykeBigland, AlfredCourthope, George Loyd
    Addison, Dr. ChristopherBoland, John PlusCrumley, Patrick
    Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.Booth, Frederick HandelCullinan, John
    Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)Bowden, G. R. HarlandDavies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)
    Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
    Arnold, SydneyBrace, WilliamDawes, James Arthur
    Astor, WaldorfBrady, Patrick JosephDelany, William
    Baird, John LawrenceBryce, J. AnnanDevlin, Joseph
    Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)Carr-Gomm, H. W.Doris, William
    Beauchamp, Sir EdwardChancellor, Henry GeorgeDuffy, William J.
    Beck, Arthur CecilChapple, Dr. William AllenDuncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)
    Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)Clancy, John JosephDu Pre, W. Baring

    that article, it is only fair that they should have a privileged position.

    After all, what is milk? Is milk an article containing, say, a bare 3 per cent. of butter fat and 5,000,000 bacteria per cubic centimetre, say a salt-spoon; or is it an article containing 5 per cent. or more of butter fat, or only 7,000 bacteria per cubic centimetre? In one case, it is worth at least double what it is in the other, and if that is the case surely it is only fair that we should do, in this country, what is done, and done without difficulty, in Denmark and in the United States, to give some sort of a guarantee to such milk, after a periodic inspection, and to ensure that those who really desire to obtain good value for the money they pay for milk, do obtain what they ask for. In those countries, so far from doing any injustice to those who do not put certified milk on the market, it levels up the whole milk supply and enables the poorer part of the population to obtain much purer milk than they ever got before.

    I should like just to explain that although I was a Member of the Committee, I was not there that day being called away to the funeral of a very near relative. I would say just this word. All the arguments of hon. Members against this Amendment seem to me to arise as if they thought that this Bill was going to be a failure. We take a higher standard than they do. We say that this House is responsible for seeing that all milk is clean and pure, and therefore, having supported a Bill which will accomplish that purpose, we do object, in the interests of the general producer, to any preferential treatment being given to the wealthy section of dairymen.

    Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'term' ["of the term"], stand part of the Bill."

    The House Divided: Ayes, 183; Noes, 52.

    Elverston, Sir HaroldLardner, James C. R.Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
    Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)Pringle, William M. R.
    Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)Levy, Sir MauricePryce-Jones, Colonel E.
    Falconer, JamesLewis, Rt. Hon. John HerbertRaffan, Peter Wilson
    Ffrench, PeterLundon, ThomasReddy, Michael
    Fitzgibbon, JohnLyell, Charles HenryRedmond, John E. (Waterford)
    Flavin, Michael JosephLynch, Arthur AlfredRedmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
    Forster, Henry WilliamLyttelton, Hon. J. C.Kendall, Athelstan
    France, Gerald AshburnerMaclean, DonaldRichardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
    Gladstone, W. G. C.Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
    Glanville, Harold JamesMacVeagh, JeremiahRoberts, George H. (Norwich)
    Goldman, C. S.McGhee, RichardRobertson, John M. (Tyneside)
    Greig, Colonel J. W.McKenna, Rt. Hon. ReginaldRobinson, Sidney
    Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis JonesM'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lines, Spalding)Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
    Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)Manfield, HarryRussell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
    Gulland, John WilliamMarkham, Sir Arthur BasilSamuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
    Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)Marshall, Arthur HaroldSamuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
    Hackett, JohnMeagher, MichaelScanlan, Thomas
    Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)
    Hancock, John GeorgeMeehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.
    Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)Millar, James DuncanSheehy, David
    Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)Molloy, MichaelSherwell, Arthur James
    Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)Montagu, Hon. E. S.Shortt, Edward
    Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)Morgan, George HaySimon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook
    Hayden, John PatrickMuldoon, JohnSmyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
    Hazleton, RichardMunro, Rt. Hon. RobertStanier, Beville
    Helme, Sir Norval WatsonMurphy, Martin J.Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
    Henderson, Arthur (Durham)Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.Staveley-Hill, Henry
    Henry, Sir CharlesNewton, Harry KottinghamStrauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
    Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)Nolan, JosephTaylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
    Higham, John SharpNuttall, HarryTaylor, Thomas (Bolton)
    Hills, John WallerO'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)
    Hogge, James MylesO'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
    Holt, Richard DurningO'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)Thynne, Lord Alexander
    Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)O'Doherty, PhilipTrevelyan, Charles Philips
    Hudson, WalterO'Donnell, ThomasVerney, Sir Harry
    Hughes, Spencer LeighO'Dowd, JohnWebb, H.
    Illingworth, Percy H.O'Malley, WilliamWhite, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
    John, Edward ThomasO'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)White, Patrick (Meath, North)
    Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)
    Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)O'Shaughnessy, P. J.Wilkie, Alexander
    Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)O'Shee, James JohnWilliams, Aneurin (Durham, N. W.)
    Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)O'Sullivan, TimothyWilliams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
    Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)Palmer, Godfrey MarkWilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
    Joyce, MichaelParker, James (Halifax)Wing, Thomas Edward
    Kelly, EdwardPease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)Yeo, Alfred William
    Kenyon, BarnetPhillips, John (Longford, S.)
    Kilbride, DenisPonsonby, Arthur A. W. H.

    TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.

    King, JosephPratt, J. W.Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.

    NOES.

    Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)Gibbs, G. A.Sanders, Robert Arthur
    Banbury, Sir Frederick GeorgeGilmour, Captain JohnSanderson, Lancelot
    Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)Goldsmith, FrankSandys, G. J.
    Barnston, HarryGreene, Walter RaymondStrauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
    Barrie, H. T.Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)Talbot, Lord E.
    Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.Tryon, Captain George Clement
    Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis FortescueHope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)Watson, Hon. W.
    Bridgeman, William CliveKinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementWeston, Colonel J. W.
    Burn, Colonel C. R.Lane-Fox, G. R.Wheler, Granville C. H.
    Cassel, FelixM'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)
    Cautley, H. S.Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
    Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)Wills, Sir Gilbert
    Clive, Captain Percy ArcherMount, William ArthurWilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)
    Crichton-Stuart, Lord NinianOrde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)
    Currle, George W.Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
    Dalrymple, ViscountPeto, Basil Edward
    Denison-Pender, J. C.Rowlands, James

    TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir

    Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.Rutherford, John (Lanes Darwen)John Spear and Mr. Hicks Beach.
    Gardner, Ernest

    Further Amendments made:

    Leave out the word "term" ["of the term 'certified milk' "] and insert instead thereof the word "designation."—[ Mr. H. Samuel.]

    Leave out the words "term or" ["term or designation"].—[ Mr H. Samuel.]

    I beg to move to insert after paragraph (g)

    (h) The procedure to be followed in the bacteriological examination of milk and the methods to be employed for this purpose, together with such data as shall be necessary for the interpretation of results so obtained.

    I desire to give the Local Government Board further powers with regard to bacteriological examinations, and I have no doubt that if they have these powers they will immediately use them. The Act mentions frequently bacteriological examinations, and as there is nothing on which there is more difference of opinion and more trouble than bacteriological examinations it is necessary that the Local Government Board should lay down definite rules as regards the method by which these examinations should take place. The Board should say definitely whether all that is required is a microscopical examination; whether that is sufficient or whether inoculation of the animals is to be added; if so, how long the animal is to remain under observation; or if it is only to be a microscopical examination what method of straining ought to be used, and other details. Unless that is done there will be great divergence of opinion, and neither the purveyor nor the distributor will know exactly how to conduct examinations in order to agree with those of the examiners.

    It is equally necessary that it should be stated definitely what inference should be drawn from such results, because there again there are vast differences of opinion. It is usual for these examiners to use different methods, and unless a uniform method is employed all over the country, the distributor and purveyor will never know how far he is liable. It is very easy to formulate such Regulations. We have them in the United States. In the United States they are very strict about the purity of water, and the Association of Bacteriology has strict regulations and rules as to how bacteriological examination is to take place. There will be no harm in inserting this Clause containing the powers I wish to have given to the Board, and I trust the President will see no objection to inserting it in the Bll.

    I am advised that it would not be practicable to prescribe by an Order of the Local Government Board what shall be the procedure to be followed in making bacteriological examinations of milk or the methods to be followed by the bacteriologists. It would be turning a text book on bacteriology into a Regulation, and my Department could not take that duty upon itself, and if it did, the bacteriologists throughout the country would regard it as an unwarranted interference with their professional functions.

    Clause 7 goes as far as we can in this respect. It is laid down that provision shall be made for such facilities for bacteriological or other examinations of milk as may be approved by the Board, that is to say, that the Board takes power to provide for a bacteriologist being appointed, to see that a man of repute and whose methods are recognised to be sound is employed for bacteriological examinations; but we cannot go as far as the hon. Gentleman desires, and if we did prescribe the methods we should have no means of enforcing them unless we had an officer of our own watching the bacteriologist conducting the examination.

    Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and negatived.

    I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "require" ["to require any cow to be milked"], to insert the words "at the usual time of milking."

    I wish to do that. I will not say to prevent harassing the farmer, but still to make the operation of this Act as easy as possible for him. I can easily understand that if an inspector comes in and makes the farmer go into his shed and turn out animals for inspection the animals disturbed will not be only those for examination but others in the shed might be disturbed. I do not expect the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment, but if he would I should be glad. At any rate I move.

    The words in the Bill follow precisely the Clause inserted in over 100 local Acts of Parliament, which, so far as we know, have given rise to no difficulty of any kind. Of course, as a rule a person would meet the convenience of the farmer, but, if it were made a statutory obligation, it might give rise to a controversy in particular cases which should be avoided. The words are not necessary, and might give rise, in our view, to difficulty, and be of no advantage. I should, however, be glad to accept the two following Amendments of the hon. Member, which would effect some verbal improvement in the Clause.

    After what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    Further Amendments made:

    In Sub-section (2), after the word "and" ["kept separate and separate examples"], insert the words "to take."

    Leave out the word "furnished" ["separate samples thereof furnished"].—[ Mr. Gardner.]

    Before we come to Clause 3, I should like to ask how far the Government really wish to go to-night? We have done our best to keep the Debate strictly business-like. We have been discussing this matter for two and a quarter hours, and have really made considerable progress. I understand it is not the wish or intention of the Government even to attempt to force the Bill through the House when all parties are doing their best to expedite the Bill. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us how far he thinks we ought to go to-night.

    I must ex press my acknowledgments to hon. Members opposite and in all quarters of the House for the manner in which they have endeavoured to expedite the proceedings to-night, and I should certainly not desire to carry the Bill further than hon. Members opposite would wish me to do. Perhaps we may take this one other Clause, in which, I think, there are hardly any points, and then move to report Progress.

    Clause 3—(Power To Stop Supply Of Milk Likely To Cause Tuberculosis)

    (1) If the medical officer of health of a county or county borough is of opinion that tuberculosis, is caused, or is likely to be caused, by the consumption of milk supplied from any dairy in which cows are kept within such county or county borough, the provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the reports to be made and the steps to be taken with a view to stopping the supply of milk from the dairy, and with a view to stopping such supply orders may be made in accordance with that Schedule, subject to such right of appeal and the payment of compensation in such cases as are provided therein.

    (2) Where an order stopping the supply of milk is made under the said schedule a dairyman shall not be liable for an action for breach of contract if the breach is due to such order.

    (3) If any dairyman whilst any order made in accordance with the said schedule prohibiting the supply or use of milk is in force supplies or uses any milk in contravention of this order he shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

    (4) The Local Government Board may by order direct that the council of any non-county borough within the county, which is a local authority for the purposes of the Diseases of Animals Acts, 1894 to 1911, shall exercise and perform within the borough the powers and duties of the county council under this and the next succeeding section, and where such an order has ben made with respect to any non-county borough this and the next succeeding section shall apply as if the borough were a county borough.

    I beg to move in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "is of opinion" ["county borough is of opinion that tuberculosis"] and to insert instead thereof the words "shall certify."

    I consider it is one of the worst features of the Bill that most extraordinary and wide discretionary powers are given to the medical officer of health, and in regard to a point on which most of the doctors—most of the authorities—disagree themselves. The reason why I wish the words changed is simply that any medical officer of health might give his opinion simply to show that he knows better than the scientific experts who are generally employed by the large farmers, but more particularly my reason for wanting the words changed is that it is almost impossible to come to a proper conclusion without bacteriological examination, and one has to consider in this matter the producers and the distributors, and it seems to me that the Committee in their consideration omitted the interest of the large distributors altogether. If this Clause remains as it is now, the distributor who is dependant on the opinion of the medical officer is liable to very injurious consequences which certainly ought to be avoided. It is well known that his testimony, if pitted against the authority of the medical officer of health, is worthless, and the Authority will always accept the testimony of the medical officer of health in preference to the aggrieved person.

    Of course there is power of appeal, but if a producer comes into Court he knows very well that the case will appear in the papers and will do him a deal of damage, and he would rather have his milk condemned than have it advertised all over the place that he has been selling unsound milk. It must not be forgotten what fearful punishment this inflicts, especially on the very large distributors in towns, simply on the opinion of the medical officer. The whole of his supply is stopped. He will not be able to supply his customers with milk for two or three days—perhaps longer. He loses his customers, who will go elsewhere, and it does his business considerable harm. All I ask is that the medical officer should not have such absolute discretionary powers as to be able simply to say he is "of opinion." He should say something more definite, and take more responsibility in the matter. I think the words I propose here will give him this responsibility, and I trust that, in order to safeguard the interest of the producers, the President of the Local Government Board will not object to change the words in the Clause.