After further debate, in which the Bill was opposed by
Lord Percy and Mr. Massie (who had previously presented an anti-suffrage petition with two hundred and forty-three thousand signatures), Mr. Asquith explained the position of the Government. The Cabinet were not unanimous on the question of woman suffrage, but they were strongly in favour of wide reform of the existing franchise,—e.g., the abolition of plural voting and of the distinctions between occupiers and lodgers, Sm. But legislation on these lines, to be effective, must proceed from the responsible Govern- ment of the day, and in these circumstances he did not think it necessary that members of the Government should support Mr. Howard's Bill The Closure having been moved, the Bill was read a second time by 157 votes to 122. As the Bill is not to be sent to a Grand Committee, and as the Government will not give it facilities, we shall hear no more of it this Session. It may be said to have died at birth.