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fully defined what that compensation SIR THOMAS ACLAND said, the ought to be, and how it should be given. Amendment proposed by the right hon. They had pointed out what they con- Gentleman the Member for Sandwich sidered the best way of giving it, and all was an important one. The Prime that his Amendment did was to say that, Minister had told them that the principle if landlords preferred to give it in some of the Bill was freedom of contract. other way they might do so, but that they That was a principle which the House had should not contract themselves out of not formally adopted. What was wanted the Bill altogether without giving it in was, to secure compensation and security any way at all. It might be said that to farmers in the carrying on of their the Amendment would lead to litigation; practical business as farmers. There but it would soon be discovered what was another interest to be kept in view, the Courts would hold bond fide compen- and that was the interest of the whole sation to be, and he believed there would community having capital invested in be little difficulty in the matter. The land, so as to secure the largest possible question of compulsion had not yet been production of food of all kinds. What really decided by the Committee. He he desired was that a Bill dealing with (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) had stated this subject should be a reality. It was his views upon the subject at length partly declaratory, and partly enabling. upon the second reading of the Bill

. He wanted to make the declaratory part But he had not then pressed his Amend- a reality, and to relieve the limited ment, because he owned that its permis- owners. With respect to the Amend. sive character was not the main or only ment of the right hon. Gentleman, he principle of the Bill, which did admit must say that he felt himself in a diffithat compensation should be given to culty. He had an Amendment on the farmers, against which a vote against Paper, one of a series of Amendments the Bill upon second reading or Com- which had been carefully prepared, to mittee would have seemed to be given. reserve freedom of contract, and if he For the same reason he had voted with voted with his right hon. Friend it would Government upon the question of going be with the reservation that he would at into Committee upon the Bill, when the later stages in Committee have the right hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. Bar- of urging that some real security should clay) again raised the question of compul- be given to tenants. The adoption of sion and against advice insisted upon a the principle involved in those Amenddivision when the real issue could not be ments would give substantial value to before the House. That issue was now the Bill, and he trusted that Her Mafairly before them. According to his pro- jesty's Government would give it their mise upon the second reading, he (Mr. serious consideration. He begged to Knatchbull-Hugessen) had brought it thank the right hon. Gentleman the forward in a legitimate manner, and he First Lord of the Admiralty and the earnestly pressed the Government to hon. and learned Attorney General for accept the Amendment.

the courtesy with which they had uniAmendment proposed,

formly treated their opponents during

the consideration of the Bill; and it was In page 12, line 40, after the word “ agreement," to insert the words “securing to the but just to add that the discussions tenant bonâ fide compensation for his unex- which had arisen on the provisions of hausted improvements.” - (Mr. Knatchbull- the Bill were highly honourable to the Hugessen.)

country Gentlemen who were Members MR. HUNT said, the question whe- of the House, and evidenced the kindly ther the Bill should be compulsory or feeling which existed between them and permissive in character had been fully those who were connected with them in discussed on the second reading, and he the position of tenants. hoped he should be excused from going SIR EARDLEY WILMOT, as the into the matter again at that late period Representative of an agricultural conof the Session. The Government con- stituency, regretted that the Government sidered that the Amendment was in re- had not seen their way to the adoption striction of the freedom of contract, and of the principle to secure bona fide comtherefore against the principle of the pensation to tenant farmers for unexBill, and on that ground they were hausted improvements. unable to accept it.

MR. FAWCETT, in supporting the of this country as being founded on Amendment, said, that those who on the what might be termed “the supply second reading of the Bill pointed out of food " argument. If increased secuits shortcomings did not wish to oppose rity given to the investment of capital its progress, because, though defective in the soil should increase the supply of in itself, it contained seeds which would food by 25 per cent, amounting, as it was in future bring forward a bountiful har- stated it did, to £240,000,000, it would vest of land reform. It was a great be equal to the creation of new wealth thing to enunciate the principles on of the most valuable kind to the amount which landlords and tenants should con- of £60,000,000 a-year. That would at duct their mutual relations, and, though the same time greatly increase the not compulsory, it might be expected demand for labour in this country, and that in course of time custom would the agricultural labourer would greatly grow into accordance with law. As to prefer to remain at home than emigrate the objection that the Amendment of the to any of our colonies. Those who right hon. Gentleman would infringe the sanctioned a permissive Bill should reprinciple of freedom of contract, it was member that the House, whatever it only necessary to say that in many other might do with regard to Corporations, instances they had set aside that prin- never sanctioned the permissive principle ciple; and in every particular case that between individuals. He (Mr. Fawcett) point must be discussed as one of policy never did anything to jeopardize the Bill and expediency with reference to the -he was bound to confess that, though special circumstances of each case. Why, very imperfect, it would be productive of even the high priest of that new religion much good. The most important of the -the noble Lord the Member for Had tenant farmers assembled at Wilts were dington-had supported an infringement in favour of the principle of the Amendof it in the case of miners, as the House ment they were now discussing ; but had done in the case of the Artizans what would they say when they heard Dwellings and other Bills passed that that the hon. Member for West WorSession. Whatever might be his line cestershire (Mr. Knight) had declared on this Bill, where the interest of the that there was only one landlord in masses was concerned the noble Lord the House in favour of the Bill ? was ready to treat them as children. What danger could there be in making These questions, however, were not to the Bill compulsory ? The landlord inbe settled by a phrase, but must be de- terest was fenced round in it with every termined by considerations of policy, security, and he could see no reason expediency, and necessity. He had heard why the principle of compulsion should it said over and over again that what not be adopted. Nothing in the first class was wanted to be done by the Bill was could be done by the tenant without to constitute a model agreement and, as the permission of the landlord; and the his hon. Friend the Member for Bury landlords could, if they liked, contract St. Edmunds (Mr. Greene) had said, a themselves out of the Bill. As to the model lease; but was it not treating the improvements of the second and third tenant farmers of England like children, class, they were simply comprised in the if it was said that the House was going term “ good husbandry;" and no posto occupy itself night after night in sible disadvantage could come to a landtelling the tenant farmers what was the lord from his tenant spending his capital best kind of lease and what was the in what formed good husbandry. It was best kind of agreement which ought evident that the Prime Minister, in to subsist between them and their land- common with the farmers generally, lords ? If it were necessary to draw a himself did not expect that the measure model agreement for a farmer, why would be attended with any great and should not such agreement be drawn for immediate practical results; but it was all other classes of people? As he had a measure which laid the foundation for said, he advocated a Tenant Right Bill on a great land reform; and he (Mr. Fawthe ground of the great land reforms cett) ventured to predict that in after that would in future come from it. years the name of the right hon. GentleThe speech delivered by the Prime man would be associated not only with a Minister last week would be memo- great political change in our Constiturable in the history of the land tenure tion, but also with the fact of his having


originated a still more important reform Bill to make provision for giving further in the land tenure of the country. powers to the Board of Trade for stop

COLONEL -BRISE said, he was not ping Unseaworthy Ships. This measure disposed to admit the authority of the the Government recommends to Parliahon. Member who had just sat down ment on the postponement of their (Mr. Fawcett) upon questions of agricul- larger and more complete measure for

He (Colonel Brise) looked upon the amendment of the Merchant Shipthe Bill as one for extending the Lin- ping Acts. The House is aware that colnshire and other existing customs, that complete measure proposed means and for meeting exceptional cases of for checking the overloading of ships; hardship. He believed that the time for making more definite the liability of had not yet come for compulsory mea- shipowners in respect to loss of life and sures. If, however, they were legis- damage to property at sea; for consolilating only for some particular part of dating, or, rather, codifying the provithe country, or for the Eastern Counties sions for discipline at sea; and for imonly, then compulsory legislation, so proving the mode of inquiry into casualfar as the third class of improvements ties at sea. The hon. Gentleman the was concerned, would be no great in- Member for Derby (Mr. Plimsoll) also jury to the owner, and of very great introduced a Bill on this subject, but importance to the occupier. As to other mainly on opposite principles—a Bill for improvements, however, such compul- supplementing the classification of ships sion would be very unfair to the land- by private registry offices, through the lord in some cases. It would be unfair Government undertaking to complete the to the landlord, for instance, where he classification and periodical survey of all had bought up the custom, or where ships. I believe that the Government there had before been no custom in exist- Bill was framed on the right principle.

He believed, upon the whole, It was framed on the principle on which that the Government had acted in the all our legislation has hitherto been interests of the occupier in not giving based-namely, that of enforcing reway to many of the Amendments which sponsibility on those who conduct the had been brought forward.

Mercantile Marine service of this country LORD ELCHO accused the hon. Mem- to take all reasonable precaution or ber for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) of de- means in their power to protect the lives parting from his principles as a political of those who are employed by them at economist, in advocating compulsion sea. Unfortunately, the measure, by versus freedom of contract.

delay, has lacked time for thorough disMR. NEWDEGATE thanked Her cussion and for passage through ParMajesty's Government for having intro- liament this Session, and it has had, duced the measure, and believed that, consequently, to be postponed. I beconsidering the improvements it had re- lieve the Bill of the hon. Gentleman ceived in Committee, it would be of the Member for Derby—and in that great benefit to the country. He would opinion I shall I think be borne out by advise the right hon. Gentleman the the great majority in this House-is Member for Sandwich, in good agri- based on wrong principles. (“No, no!”] cultural language," not to "hurry any Well, I merely wish to point out to Parman's cattle."

liament the difference between the two

Bills. That of the hon. Member for Question put, “That those words be Derby attempted not only the punishthere inserted." The Committee divided :-Ayes 116; harassing Government constant inspec

ment of offenders, but a needless and Noes 178: Majority 62.

tion and warranty of all unclassed ships, House resumed.

and on the part of Government it actually Committee report Progress; to sit undertook the conduct of the merchant again To-morrow.

shipping itself; and, as I think, a Bill

based on that principle, so far from UNSEAWORTHY SHIPS BILL.

securing life at sea, tends rather to a greater loss of life at sea, by removing

the principal check of the liability of SIR CHARLES ADDERLEY: Sir, those who are conducting the service, I rise to move for leave to introduce a and the responsibility of seeing to all



practicable security from off their shoul- | that scarcely any vessels have been ders. I point out the different prin- stopped except on good grounds. Conciples of the two Bills brought before sidering the great importance of stopParliament this year for the purpose of ping the great mercantile traffic of this showing that, while in the case of the country upon insufficient grounds, I Government Bill we were unable to pro- think that the House will congratulate ceed this Session, yet, considering the itself that the Acts passed in the interests other Bill, we were unable to adopt of the lives of our fellow-subjects have it in lieu of the Government measure, been carried out with so much success because we believe that it proceeds on a for their object, and so little vexation wrong and dangerous principle. But to the well-conducted shipping interest. there are measures which may be passed Of the 58 ships stopped on the ground in the interim, and which may re- of overloading, all of them had to be main in force until the Government is lightened of their cargoes. These are able to pass more complete legislation great powers, and they have been careon the subject.

may be taken fully acted on.

At the same time, which will have the effect of more effec- owing to the nature of the Acts, they tually stopping, in the meantime, unsea- have not been applicable to all emerworthy ships from going to sea. This gencies, or adequate to all possible occais not the first time that we have at- sions; but they are capable of great tempted legislation with this object. expansion. What the Bill that I now We have passed many Acts already; ask the leave of the House to introand I may point out the stimulus which duce seeks to do is to carry out still furwas given to legislation on the sub- ther the provisions of these Acts in the ject by the hon. Member for Derby particulars to which I have alluded ; to only followed upon our first attempt strengthen the Executive by giving the to legislate in this direction. There Government the power of more rapid are the Acts of 1871 and of 1873, and direct action in this direction. The which empower the Board of Trade, Bill proposes to enable the Government upon complaint, or upon their having to appoint a sufficient number of officers any other means of believing that the forthwith, and from time to time, to deship going to sea is in an unseaworthy tain unseaworthy ships—that is, ships condition, to detain her for survey; in defective condition, or overloaded, or there are also powers under those Acts improperly loaded—for the purpose of enabling one-fourth of the crew of any being surveyed, and not allowed to go ship to allege in defence of any one of to sea till set right, without waiting for their number who had deserted or ab- authority from the Board of Trade, but sented himself from the ship, that the immediately reporting. The House is ship was unseaworthy and in a danger- aware that the Surveyors of the Board ous condition demanding survey.

I can of Trade can only now report ; upon only say that these powers have been which authority is sent down to the honestly carried out to the best ability officers of Customs, and the proposal of of the Department. During the last the Bill is to give the Government the two years the Board of Trade have right to delegate such powers. The Bill stopped 558 ships under these powers is proposed only for one year, both on acupon the ground of want of survey and count of the strong powers asked for, and bad construction, and about 58 ships as a guarantee that the Government will have been stopped on the ground of lose no time next Session in legistheir being overloaded. Nobody doubts lating more completely on the subject. that unseaworthy ships are sent to sea; The Bill also proposes to allow onebut what I want to point out to the fourth of any crew to demand a survey credit of the Department, and, of course, of an alleged unseaworthy vessel withto the satisfaction of Parliament, is, that out the preliminary of desertion, and such care has been taken in exercising without even the necessity of giving sethe

power under these Acts, that out of curity for costs incident to the prosecu. these 558 ships stopped on the ground of tion of the complaint, precautions, of unseaworthiness, 515 were, on investi- course, being taken against frivolous gation, proved to have been unseaworthy, or vexatious allegations. Now I hope and others are now under investigation these two provisions, which are the main which may add to the number, showing provisions of the Bill, will be sufficient

Sir Charles Adderley

to prevent a great number of unsea- I have adopted with regard to legislation worthy ships from going to sea, in the upon Merchant Shipping has placed the interval between this time and the pass- House in considerable difficulty; but, ing of a measure next Session of a more being in this difficulty, I think it is the comprehensive character. And it will duty of the House of Commons to see also encourage Parliament to give how we can best extricate ourselves from the Government these powers for the it calmly and dispassionately, doing full occasion, that they are powers which justice to the great interests of life and can in no case be vexatious to owners of property involved. I am sure that it good ships, and can only be a terror to will be the universal wish of the House those who own bad ships. In any ge- that we should approach the question, neral measure there must be provisions as I have stated, with calmness, and that of a more or less harassing character to in a matter so vitally affecting the lives the owners of good ships; but special of seamen and the prosperity of our powers to selected officers to detain Merchant Shipping we should exclude glaringly overloaded ships from going Party considerations. The hours remainto sea till righted will not interfere ing at the end of the Session are so few with well-conducted trade. There is that I think we shall all be disposed to also this advantage—that the second approach this question in a business-like provision enables seamen themselves fashion, and to consider the proposals of to set in motion the inspecting officers Her Majesty's Government upon their without the preliminary of having to merits at the present juncture. I shall incur the charge of breaking the law, not follow the right hon. Gentleman the and without the embarrassment of hav- President of the Board of Trade in his ing to give security for costs, though contrast between the original Bill of the liable to punishment for frivolous com- Government and the Bill introduced by plaints. I can only conclude by saying the hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Plimthat these preventive measures for in- soll). I think it is almost unfortunate creasing the security of life at sea are, that he should at this particular moment in our opinion, of the first importance; have introduced such a comparison at and I know perfectly well that there all. As regards the Government Bill it will be no difference of opinion upon is withdrawn; as regards the Bill of the either side of the House, that Govern- hon. Member for Derby, that is still bement should have adequate powers for fore the House; but everyone must be such an object. We are all equally aware that to carry it at the present anxious for the increased security of the period of the Session would be an exlives of our seamen in a necessarily ceedingly difficult, if not an impossible perilous and most important national task. At the same time, I wish to say service. We can only differ as to the that I should consider personally that best means, and the necessary powers | the hon. Member for Derby, and those and interference of Government for who are in favour of his Bill, will be the attainment of that end. I hope perfectly in their right if they run their Parliament will consent to give the Go-Bill against the Government Bill, and vernment the powers which they ask for attempt to press it upon the acceptance on the present occasion. I can speak for of Parliament. But while I say that the sincerity and earnestness of the Go- they will be perfectly in their right if vernment in wishing to carry out their they follow that course, I think it would full and complete measure on the earliest be to be deplored if those who do not occasion next Session. I deeply regret hold the view that it is wise to accept a the delays which have postponed the compulsory classification or the regulated measure which I had in my charge, load line, should allow their judgment and I can onlyspromise, on behalf of now to be biassed either by the withthe Board of Trade, that if Parliament drawal of the Government Bill, or by will now give these special powers the incidents which have taken place to the Government, they will be reso- since in connection with this agitation. lutely and effectively carried out in the Let the Bill of the hon. Member for Department itself. I now move for Derby stand upon its merits, as he has leave to introduce the Bill.

proposed it, and as others may be able MR. GOSCHEN : (r. Speaker, the to sustain it by argument. And, on the course which Her Majesty's Government other hand, I am sure the House of

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