§ SIR W. SOMERVILLE moved that leave be given to bring in a Bill to continue the Act for the Prevention of Crime and Outrage in Ireland, for a limited period.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to con-
tinue, for a time to be limited, an Act of the eleventh year of Her present Majesty, for the better prevention of Crime and Outrage in certain parts of Ireland.
§ MR. HUME
thought that some reasons ought to have been assigned for such a Motion. When the existing measure was brought in, he voted for it, upon the express assurance that it would not be renewed without absolute necessity. There was clearly no necessity for its continuance now, because every account received from Ireland stated that the country was perfectly peaceful, and the people orderly and well disposed. Under these circumstances he could not consent to arm the Government with extraordinary powers, and he should give the Bill his decided opposition. The House ought to have some statement of the grounds upon which such a measure was proposed.
§ SIR W. SOMERVILLE
had no objection whatever to state the grounds upon which Her Majesty's Government requested the House to renew, for a limited period, the powers which the former Act had conferred upon the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was gratifying to him to be able to say, that, in asking for permission to introduce the Bill, it was not in his power, as was the case when the existing Act was passed, to point to a long list of crimes and outrages in Ireland as the principal reason for adopting such a measure. On the contrary, the condition of Ireland, as regarded crime and outrage, had very greatly improved since that period. Still there were certain indications, apparent to all who troubled themselves to observe what was passing in that country, exhibited occasionally by the commission of some startling crime like that which was recently committed upon Mr. Mauleverer, and certain other appearances in the general condition of the country, that, he thought, should induce hon. Members to pause before they suddenly deprived the Lord Lieutenant of the powers he now possessed. He entreated the House not to consent to deprive the Lord Lieutenant of those powers, because he did not believe that any serious objection could be urged against their continuance. When they were discussing this Act on a former occasion, two objections were taken to it—the one being, that it was a severe measure of coercion; the other, that it was not sufficient for the purposes for which it was introduced. But neither of these assertions had turned out to be correct; on 701 the contrary, the Act had not proved to be severely coercive towards any parties except evil-doers, and it had undoubtedly been completely efficient in checking the disposition to crime and outrage. Her Majesty's Judges had, during their present circuit, alluded, in the most gratifying terms, to the almost unprecedented tranquillity prevailing in Ireland; and there was no doubt that very much of that tranquillity was attributable to the Act which he now asked them to continue. Considering the indications to which he had alluded, he thought it would be an act of great indiscretion, and that this House would be much to blame, now to allow arms to fall into the possession of improper persons in Ireland, and thus remove that wholesome check which the Act imposed, and encourage those who were adverse to the maintenance of the public peace to commence a fresh system of crime and outrage in that country. He had said—and he believed it—that the Act had not pressed severely upon any portion of the inhabitants of Ireland excepting the evildoers. None of the peaceable inhabitants had anything to complain of. Its provisions had been administered temperately, firmly, and wisely; and he said again that it would be most indiscreet on the part of this House to risk this state of tranquillity by taking from the Lord Lieutenant those powers which the Act conferred upon him, and which that noble Lord thought it was absolutely necessary should be again entrusted to him. He had said nothing about the time for which it was intended to continue the Act, because that was a question which might be better considered in Committee; but he did entreat the House not to refuse him leave to bring in a Bill which contained such effectual checks upon those who were inclined to disturb the public peace, and to place the tranquillity of Ireland upon a sure basis.
§ COLONEL DUNNE
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had not alluded to the period to which he proposed these extraordinary powers should be limited, and which he hoped would be less than was suggested by the Bill which had come down from the Lords. He admitted that there were indications in various parts of Ireland which should make them cautious how they deprived the Executive of powers they conceived to be necessary for the suppression of crime; but, according to the right hon. Gentleman, the object of the present measure was to prevent improper 702 persons having possession of arms. But, if so, why not propose an Arms Act at once? If a reasonable Arms Act were proposed, he did not believe it would meet with opposition. He was aware it would be answered, "Why, we put the Tories out upon an Arms Act—how, then, can we consistently propose such a measure ourselves?" But because the opposite party had brought forward a bad Arms Bill, was that any reason why the present Government should not bring in a good one? He saw no reason against imposing a small tax on all persons possessing arms, and requiring that such possession should be registered. But there was something necessary beyond that: the Government must deal with the land question. It must be decided whether the landlord should merely be in the position of the holder of a rent-charge on his property, or whether the tenant should be entitled only to fair compensation for improvements. With regard to the question then before them, not being willing to deprive Government of the means which they considered necessary for the maintenance of tranquillity, he should offer it no opposition; he hoped, however, that the period for the continuance of these extraordinary powers would be as limited as was consistent with the public safety.
§ MR. S. CRAWFORD
said, he was under the necessity of opposing the Motion for leave to bring in this Bill. He had never before heard of such a measure being sought to be introduced without any statement being made to enable the House to judge of its necessity. He admitted that in the hands of the Earl of Clarendon the present Act, which it was now proposed to continue, had been administered with prudence and moderation; but that was no reason why its provisions should be continued, unless satisfactory reasons could be assigned for it. When the Bill was originally proposed, it was said that as it was a coercive law it should be accompanied by measures of a remedial character, calculated to improve the social condition of the country. He maintained that those promises had been broken. The people of Ireland had passed through intense suffering, and had borne their afflictions through years of famine with unexampled patience and endurance; and if there were any exciting causes abroad among them to crime and outrage, they must be attributed to the existing relations between landlord and tenant. Clearances and evictions were going on to a fearful 703 extent, in order to drive the people from the soil; whilst the Act passed two years ago to afford relief in this respect had proved a complete failure. Nor would the Act for the Sale of Incumbered Estates have any effect in preventing this evil. He believed that no frauds would be committed by tenants if frauds were not committed upon them either by agents or landlords—a proof to him that there was something defective in their legal relations. But he contended that there was no evidence of crime sufficient to justify the House to adopt coercive measures; and the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for Ireland had only mentioned one case, the murder of Mr. Mauleverer. But there had been strong provoking causes to outrage in that particular district. One crime, however, in a particular locality was clearly not sufficient to justify a general measure of coercion. The late Sir Robert Peel, whose loss they all lamented, when he attempted to pass a Bill of a similar character to this, was told by the noble Lord at the head of the present Government that Coercion Bills should not be sent to Ireland unaccompanied by measures of relief; and since that declaration carried the noble Lord into power, he insisted upon his now acting upon it. He might, however, be told that already Government had done all they could to improve the condition of Ireland, and perhaps he would be reminded of the Incumbered Estates Act; but though the improvement of Ireland was the object of that Act, it served to promote evictions and increase the miseries of the people. Fifteen years ago the House recognised the right of the Irish tenant to something in the shape of protection against his landlord; and repeated, though futile, had been the attempts since then to establish the right by legislative enactment. But, in the meantime, Arms Acts and Coercion Bills had been carried without end. The time had, however, arrived when a stop must be put to this mode of proceeding; and now that the hopes of the Irish tenantry had been excited by the promises of Her Majesty's Government, he warned them that the passing of this Bill, in the place of some remedial measure, would be productive of endless discontent and insurmountable difficulties. But, independently of all this, there was no necessity for this Bill; the country was tranquil, and comparatively free from extensive crime; why, then, persist in passing a Bill of coercion? The 704 other day, when it was proposed to renew the Alien Act, the House of Lords refused the Motion: there was no necessity for it, they said; but if hereafter any occasion for it should arise, then would be the time to ask for its renewal. Now, why could not the same course be adopted with reference to this measure? He should give his strongest opposition to the Bill.
To leave out from the word 'that' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'the distressed people of Ireland have borne unexampled sufferings, produced by famine, and by evictions from the soil, with praiseworthy submission to the Laws; and it is the opinion of this House, that it is not just to renew and continue measures of coercion subversive of the Constitutional rights of the Irish People as British Subjects, whilst the redress of acknowledged grievances connected with the Laws which regulate the relations of Landlord and Tenant, recommended to the consideration of Parliament in Her Majesty's Speech, has been neglected or postponed'—instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. REYNOLDS
sconded the Amendment, and said the right hon. Baronet the Irish Secretary had on this occasion adopted a different course to that of his predecessor in office, when asking permission to suspend the constitution of Ireland, and to curtail the liberties of the Irish people. The habit on former occasions was to relate a long list of crime and outrage; but the habit of the present Secretary for Ireland was to ask permission to re-enact the Act of the 20th December, 1847, and in doing so he said he was free to admit he could give no list of crime and outrage. There were "indications" of such things, the right hon. Gentleman said, but he had not condescended to favour the House with any translation of the word "indication." He had referred to the murder of Mr. Mauleverer; but there was nothing in that case to distinguish it from any of the agrarian murders which had taken place in the country, in proof of which the Lord Lieutenant had not thought it necessary to proclaim the barony where it occured. There was no political agitation in Dublin, nor any disturbance in any part of the country. Yet, because these pleasing results had occurred, the right hon. Gentleman asked the House, with only about forty Members in it, to suspend the constitution for four years. The only excuse he ventured to give for so monstrous a proposi- 705 tion was, that the Earl of Clarendon had not abused the provisions of the present Act. [The hon. Member then read several passages from the Queen's Speech at the opening of the Session, and asked if any of the promises then made by the Government had been kept to the people of Ireland?] Echo answered, "No!" That might be an echo in the Paddy Blake sense—but it was true, nevertheless. He submitted that this Bill was an insult to the people of Ireland, who, the Queen had declared, were loyal and attached to Her; the reward they were to get for that loyalty and attachment was, the suspension of the constitution, which suspension would hand them over to the tender mercies of whoever might represent the Queen in Ireland. He was not prepared to place the liberties of the people of Ireland in the hands of the Earl of Clarendon, or anybody else. A man holding the office of Lord Lieutenant was made of flesh and blood, and, like other men, he might abuse the powers which the law entrusted to him, and, therefore, the name of the Earl of Clarendon ought not to have been introduced in connexion with this question. In the name of common justice, was the House prepared to sanction this Bill? If hon. Members were so prepared, then he would say the Irish people had nothing to expect from a British Parliament but "coercion, coercion, coercion." What had they done for Ireland? The poor-law had been amended; but "amended" in such a case was a misnomer. It should have been "disfigured;" for they had so disfigured it that the pressure upon the landlord was diminished, whilst that on the tenant was increased. Had they attempted to deal with the temporalities of the Irish Church? Had they endeavoured to improve the relations between landlord and tenant? If all these things were left undone, how could they be surprised at the state of Ireland? In conclusion, he called upon the noble Lord at the head of the Government, as the leader of the liberal party, not to lower or stain his high reputation by pressing this Bill upon the country at a time when the Judges of assize in every county had uniformly congratulated the grand juries upon the almost total absence of crime.
§ MR. NAPIER
, in common with all persons who were interested in the welfare of Ireland, deeply and sincerely lamented that the settlement of the landlord and tenant question had been so long delayed 706 by Government. For his own part he could scarcely conceive any legislation to be so bad as the delay which had taken place in grappling with that question, and thus keeping the mind of the Irish people in its present uncertain and excited state. He was desirous of legislating in the most equitable spirit towards all parties; and he did hope, that at all events a very short period only would be allowed to expire before the House expressed its opinion openly and honestly to the people of Ireland as to how far it could by legislation assist them in settling the relations between landlord and tenant. But though the delay of that question might be complained of as a great injury and grievance, that was no reason why he should oppose the Government when they came and asked for another measure which he believed to be a good and useful measure. On the present occasion the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for Ireland had asked leave to introduce a measure which did not suspend the constitution of Ireland—which did not seek to interfere with the privileges of any peaceable or honest man—which only provided for the continuance, for a short and limited period, of powers which, if called into action at all, would only be called into action in the event of disaffection and disturbances again arising in Ireland; and, therefore, he (Mr. Napier) did not feel himself justified in withholding his support from such a measure. The powers, the continuance of which they were now required to agree to, were of no extraordinary character, and he thought the request was not an unreasonable one. Of course it was done upon the responsibility of the Government, and, believing that it would be right for the House to comply with their request, he had no difficulty in giving his vote in support of the Motion. They had been told that the evils against which the Act was levelled were chiefly agrarian evils, and he admitted that this was substantially correct. But they must take Ireland as they found it, with all that complication of its social relations, and all those difficulties and evils which had arisen from innumerable causes; and it was their duty to walk with cautious and prudent steps, and to see, if they did arm the Executive with sufficient powers for the repression of crime, that their legislation was directed also to the preservation of the rights of property and the rights of the tenantry. With regard to the murder of Mr. Mauleverer, he had looked 707 through the depositions of the parties who had been examined on the trial; but in vain had he searched for any single act of cruelty, of injustice, or even of harshness, on the part of the unfortunate gentleman who was the victim of that barbarous and inhuman murder. He held in his hand a statement of facts which Mr. Mauleverer had laid before the Court of Chancery with regard to the condition of the property for which he was the receiver and agent. [The hon. and learned Gentleman then proceeded to read from the documents the details of the circumstances he had mentioned.]
§ MR. HUME
rose to order. They wore called upon to deal with Ireland as she now was, and the hon. and learned Gentleman was speaking of what took place ten years ago. Those cases might be true, but he submitted that they had no bearing on the question before them.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, that one of those cases had already been referred to. However, he would not persevere. He would support the Government in this measure because he thought it necessary, even though Ireland was now peaceable. They were bound to see that the peace of the country was preserved, to prevent the commission of crime and outrage, and at the same time to protect the rights both of landlords and tenants, which were essential to the preservation of the general rights of property, and the peace and welfare of the country. Under these circumstances he should support the introduction of the present Bill, and he should also give his best assistance in aiding the Government to carry an effective measure for regulating the arrangements between landlord and tenant.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
Sir, I am anxious to address the House, because the hon. Gentleman who moved, and the right hon. Gentleman who seconded, the Amendment, have proposed to refuse those powers which the Government ask for, for a limited time, upon grounds which I certainly think will not be considered tenable by this House. What, in fact, they say is this: "You have had a law subsisting for some time, by which you have changed the state of society for the time from one of prevalent crime and outrage, from one of terror on the part of the peaceful inhabitants, from one of murder and assassination, frequently or repeatedly committed, into one of peace, order, and tranquillity; those outrages have been far less frequent than formerly; the 708 peaceful inhabitants, whether landlords, tenants, or labourers, have felt greater confidence than they have hitherto done; the country consequently has means of improvement which it has not so long as crime and outrage are the rule and order of society; and, because you have done this, because with the confidence and the powers entrusted to you by Parliament, and without any alleged abuses of those powers you have established tranquillity and order, the Government is utterly undeserving of confidence, and therefore we will refuse you a continuance of those powers, and declare you are utterly unworthy of the power which you come forward to ask." Now, Sir, I contend that that is by no means a justifiable ground for refusing the powers which the Government ask. I do not say that such powers are to be for ever continued; but, at the same time, when hon. Gentlemen describe these powers as they have been described, as subversive of the constitutional rights of the Irish people as British subjects, I contend that that is a totally erroneous description of the powers which are given by this Act. It is not an Act giving the powers which, I think in 1833 or 1834, were granted by Parliament, to prevent any discussion in public meetings of alleged grievances of the Irish people; it is not an Act like the former Insurrection Acts, by which even the peaceable inhabitants of a district were prevented from going out at night; it is not an Act which at all, as I think, affects the legitimate rights of the innocent and the peaceable; it is an Act which gives power to the Lord Lieutenant, when a district is in a state of disturbance, and offences are frequent, to proclaim that district, and thereupon certain consequences follow. The Lord Lieutenant may place in such district an increased constabulary, which must be a protection and security to the peaceable inhabitants; and at the same time orders may be issued that arms should not be held except by persons to whom licences are granted for that purpose. These large powers are not granted to local magistrates, or to persons at all affected by the local and political passions of the district; but they are confined to persons named by the executive authority, and who, therefore, are totally apart from those passions. The power is given, in places where assassination and crimes of that description are frequent, to take arms from persons who, after ample notice and proclamation, persist in carrying them. I 709 say, then, it is not a right description of such an Act as this, to say it is a measure subversive of the constitutional rights of the people. Such Acts would not be asked for unless they were necessary for the welfare of the people for whom they are enacted; but I confess I have had a lesson upon this subject which induces me to say that I will not part with power for preserving peace if I do not feel confident that the ordinary law, without such extraordinary powers, would enable the Government to maintain peace. At the very commencement of the present Government we proposed to continue an Arms Act which we found existing upon the Statute-book. It being then the month of August, we consented that that Act should only continue until the following May, in order that we might have time to consider it. It was pressed upon us that the people of Ireland might be safely left to the exercise of their own discretion, and that the experiment should at least be tried of having no Act of restriction or coercion. We said we were ready to see if the peace of Ireland could not be preserved without any such Act; and we consented not to have such powers. What was the consequence? Why, the open purchase of arms, by persons who purchased them for the purpose of disturbing the peace of the country—for the purpose of making the highways unsafe—for the purpose of making the house of the industrious farmer unsafe, and for the purpose of placing the whole country in a state of insecurity. I confess that I never felt the weight of responsibility more than when I was brought to consider that our parting with those powers, in our confidence in the disposition of the people, had tended in a great degree to encourage that state of disturbance and insecurity. This, I say, was a lesson to me not prematurely to part with these powers. But, Sir, I must admit that when Gentlemen say that such powers as these, although they are not subversive of the constitutional rights of the people, are yet extraordinary powers, that should not be given for any very long period, they urge a very fair objection. I confess that this is a fair objection to the period for which the Bill was originally proposed; and I shall be quite satisfied to say, that the present Bill shall continue only till the 31st December, 1851, and to the end of the then next Session of Parliament. Parliament would then have the question before them; and they would have time to 710 consider whether the continuance of these powers be necessary. But I certainly must entreat the House not at present to declare that they are quite satisfied no such powers are necessary, and that Ireland should be left during the next autumn without the existence of such powers. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochdale, who proposed the Amendment, says there are various measures which have not been passed, and he refers more especially to our legislation on the subject of landlord and tenant. Why, Sir, we have repeatedly endeavoured to introduce Bills which might give satisfaction upon that subject. One of those Bills was referred to a Select Committee of this House, consisting chiefly of Irish Members, and by them reported to the House. The Bill was introduced in the course of the present Session, it being mainly founded, at least in its principal provisions, upon the report of the Committee. But the subject is one of extreme difficulty; and when the Bill came to be considered in Ireland, such opposition was manifested to it, and such objections made to its provisions, that I was forced reluctantly to come to the conclusion that if we had asked the concurrence of Parliament to the Bill, so that it should become an Act, instead of allaying, it would rather have tended to aggravate excitement upon the subject. At the same time, we had the objections continually made by the hon. Member for Rochdale, and by others, who, whilst opposing the Bill we had introduced, asked for certain other provisions, and those provisions of a nature which I think Parliament could not sanction. Because, if on the one hand it is right to give every security to the tenant which legislation can give, it is not right upon the other hand, when the engagement between landlord and tenant is one of a voluntary nature, and the landlord can be only held to have parted with his property for a certain portion of time, and that time known to the law—whether it be, as it is called, a tenant at will, or for a term of years longer or shorter—that the Legislature should then come in and say, "We will place such conditions upon the bargain between the landlord and tenant, that the real and actual property shall be in the tenant, and not in the landlord." This involves such a manifest injustice, and it is such a direct contradiction to all the known principles of law and justice, that Parliament, I am sure, would not assent to it. Yet many of the propositions 711 I have heard made, though they did not uphold that principle, nor directly aver that the property of one man should hereafter he made the property of another, did indirectly carry such a transfer into effect. I say, then, that with these difficulties, and with a measure sure to excite discontent in the present state of the public mind in Ireland, especially in the north, we could not consent to a measure which would be unjust and contrary to all the rules and maxims upon which the rights of property are founded. Under these circumstances, I am compelled to say we must pause for a time, and endeavour to see whether the provisions we have proposed cannot be modified or amended by a Bill to be introduced, which may give, at least to the tenant, all the rights he can possibly ask, without interfering with the acknowledged rights of the landlord. There is, however, this difficulty in the question, that if, as I should be disposed, you make the remedy extremely simple, you may debar the landlord from those claims that he may properly make; and that, if you give him all the rights of interference which he may claim, and say no improvements shall be subject to compensation, unless they have been made with his consent, you then run the risk of making the machinery of the Act so complicated that it will be inoperative. I have felt these difficulties weigh upon me very seriously. I do not think, however, that the absence of provisions of this kind, is a reason for refusing the present Bill, though I confess the law is in an unsatisfactory state. I do not like at this time to enter into the consideration of other measures which are not before the House; but the hon. Gentleman required that one measure should be introduced in conformity with what we have before stated, namely, a measure with regard to waste lands. We abandoned the Bill that we had introduced on that subject; but, at the same time, we very much increased the sums advanced for the purpose of improvements in land. In the present year, as well as in the last, we have sanctioned, on the part of the Treasury, the advances of very large sums for what is called arterial drainage, and the general improvement of the land already cultivated in Ireland. I confess I am convinced that that mode of improvement—the advancement of sums for the cultivation of lands that are in a state of imperfect cultivation, and which thereby may be made more valuable—is a better mode of apply- 712 ing advances made from the Exchequer of the united kingdom, than upon bringing waste lands under cultivation. I shall not enter into the discussion of other measures—measures which no doubt are highly beneficial, and which will tend to promote the advantage of Ireland, but which many hon. Members consider either injurious, or tending to diminish the welfare of the country. I only refer to them with the view of showing that we have introduced measures, which, in our opinion, tended to improve the country. But I certainly must ask the House to give us the power of introducing this Bill, which shall be, as I have said, of the limited duration of two years; for I think it would be imprudent in the Government not to ask, and imprudent in the House not to concede, the powers necessary for the preservation of order and peace in Ireland, which it is admitted on all hands the Acts of Parliament and the conduct of the Administration have hitherto tended to secure.
MR. M. J. O'CONNELL
said, the noble Lord, by consenting that the Bill should be limited to two years, had admitted that to propose to continue it for four years, was a monstrous proposition. This measure was first brought in at a time when many Members felt themselves forced to give an unwilling support to it, but it was to be of short continuance; and when they knew that Ireland was in a state of security and peace from one end to another, he thought it very strange that this Bill should now he brought forward. He was willing to admit that, in the present state of Ireland, there ought to be some law to prevent the unlimited possession of arms; but they ought to give up marking arms, which was useless, and the power of granting licences ought not to be in the hands of magistrates, which served as an incentive to the possession of arms.
§ MR. BRIGHT
said, he rose for the purpose of making an observation upon a portion, and he believed the principal portion, of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin. The hon. and learned Gentleman had given notice some time ago that he would bring forward the case of the murder of Mr. Mauleverer, and that notice appeared on the paper for some days or weeks. He (Mr. Bright) was not aware it was coming on to-day, and he was not prepared to go into it; hut, for the purpose of justifying Mr. M'Ghee, he would state that he had looked through the whole case, and be- 713 lieving that his statement was capable of proof, he was sorry that the hon. and learned Member had brought it on to-day without notice. He would not go into the Bill now, as he supposed there would be frequent opportunities, during the future stages of the Bill, except to say that there appeared to be no case made out whatever for it. The noble Lord at the head of the Government wanted to make it appear that, because there was no crime in Ireland, there was a case for this Bill. He (Mr. Bright) believed this Bill was unnecessary, and he should be disposed to give his opposition to the Bill. If the noble Lord had brought it in for one year, there might not have been the same objection to it.
§ MR. NAPIER
explained, with regard to the case of Mr. Mauleverer, that he should not have brought it on to-day if other hon. Members had not adverted to it.
§ MR. MOORE moved that the debate be adjourned. His reason for doing so was, that there was a great number of Gentlemen who wished to speak, and it would be impossible to conclude the debate to-day.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, he hoped that the hon. Gentleman, considering the lateness of the Session, would consent to the introduction of the Bill, and on the second reading he could state his objections to it. If he would do so, he should have a full opportunity of discussing the merits of the Bill.
§ MR. C. ANSTEY
should oppose the progress of the present discussion. This Bill had been moved for without notice, and against the forms of the House, and it was for the purpose of coercion. He wished to adhere to the forms of the House for the purpose of preserving the constitution. They ought not to proceed with this measure without having before them the returns of crime and outrage. Why had those returns not been made?
§ SIR G. GREY
said, the only departure from the ordinary practice was, that in ordinary cases leave was given without a debate, and in this case there was a debate.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, the right hon. Gentleman had given no answer to the question of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Youghal as to the returns of crimes and outrage last year in Ireland. They were not moved for till the 12th of 714 July, and they could not be in possession of them yet.
§ SIR G. GREY
replied, that he was not aware those returns had been moved for at all.
§ MR. MOORE
said, he had not the slightest objection that the debate should go on if that was for the convenience of the House; but he did not think it right that the statement of the hon. and learned Member for the city of Dublin should go forth to Ireland, containing, as it did, many erroneous statements, without an answer.
§ MR. TORRENS M'CULLAGH
said, the statements of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin were calculated to create so much misapprehension, both in Ireland as well as in this House, that he could not allow the Bill to be introduced till he had attempted to confute them.
§ MR. HUME
called upon the Government to consent to the adjournment. The Bill proposed to suspend to a certain extent the constitution in Ireland, and it ought not to be hurried through.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 29; Noes 89: Majority 60.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. C. ANSTEY
would then move the adjournment of the House.
§ Whereupon Motion made, and Question put, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ MR. BRIGHT
objected to Irish legislation being carried on at two o'clock in the morning. He had left the House last night on the understanding that what was called the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Bill would not be read a second time that night.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, he would not bring this Bill forward later than eleven o'clock that night. He begged distinctly to deny that the principle of this Bill was a suspension of the constitution.
§ MR. G. A. HAMILTON
disclaimed any intention to mislead the House as to the second reading of the Landlord and Tenant Bill.
§ SIR G. GREY
said, the Bill had been read a second time on the understanding that it would be materially altered in Committee.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."715
§ Debate arising.
§ Debate adjourned till after the other Orders of the Day.