HC Deb 07 July 1857 vol 146 cc1048-108

then rose and said:—Sir, I rise to bring forward a Motion for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under most auspicious circumstances. Not that I mean that it will be so considered by the House, but that I believe it ought to be so considered. My late lamented friend Mr. Hume very often pressed this proposition on the House. He brought it forward under very difficult circumstances. He brought it forward in 1824, when Ireland was in a state of confusion almost unprecedented. In 1830 he also brought forward the proposition. In 1844, at the time of the monster meetings of Mr. O'Connell, he again submitted it to the House; and in 1850 the then Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, submitted a Bill with the same object to this House, which was carried in this House, under the most disastrous circumstances. Ireland was then subject to the consequences of the most dire famine that ever visited that unhappy country. But now how different are the circumstances. Ireland is a part—an integral part of England, governed as England is, suffering under no political or natural misfortune. She is now happy in her Government—in her internal and external circumstances—she is, in fact, a flourishing country, and has nothing to complain of. I say this boldly. I say that Ireland is a part—an integral part of the great country to which she now belongs, and has nothing to complain of in her Government, except in respect to the one matter which I am about to bring under the consideration of the House. This House has often been called upon to abolish the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—and why? There are many sorts of alliances between countries. There may be a federal association such as exists in the United States of America. That is an association, if I may so express myself, of integers; but that is not the nature of the present association of Ireland with England. Ireland is and ought to form part of an association of fractions. We do not say the United Kingdoms but the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and Ireland ought to be a fractional part of the great country to which she belongs. She is not and ought not to be considered an independent country; and in so saying, let not hon. Gentlemen from Ireland fancy that I have any wish to say anything offensive to them. Upon this point I may appeal to my long political career, and I will say that if one word or act of mine could be found derogatory to the dignity of Ireland, I should be ashamed of myself. I think, then, I may appeal to the whole tenor of my pas career, for everything proposed in this House in order to make Ireland equal to England has had my most strenuous sup port. Therefore, in proposing, as I now do, that we take from her what I consider the last badge of subjection, I am no offering her an offence or doing her a disadvantage, but an advantage and benefit. What do I seek to do? I have said that there are various sorts of alliances. The federal alliance Ireland does not now pretend to maintain. Before 1800, when there was a Parliament in Ireland, she might be said to be a kingdom of herself; but the moment she consented—and she did—to do away with her Parliament—[Mr. NAPIER intimated dissent.]—My hon. Friend shakes his head; but I say she did consent. Was it not a Protestant Parliament that consented? I do not mean to say that means were not employed, disgraceful to Ireland and to those who employed them, to obtain that consent; but still the Protestant Parliament representing Ireland consented to the union, and thereby the condition of Ireland as a separate and independent nation was entirely done away with. She consented to be a fractional part of a great whole—the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and what I now seek to do is to make Ireland the right arm of England. I want every county in Ireland to be like a county in England, and every parish in Ireland to be like a parish in England, and that she should not call herself Ireland, but a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. I ask what benefit does Ireland derive from the present anomalous condition? She has a viceroy—a papier maché sort of royalty. What does the Viceroy of Ireland do for Ireland? I will tell you. He is the focus of intrigue in Dublin. He makes Ireland dependent, not on her own individual exertions, but on the Government. All those who can afford it run to Dublin, and anybody who knows anything of Dublin knows the sort of scenes that take place in the mock court of the Lord Lieutenant there. In London and in England the profession of the law is one of brotherhood, and there are many hon. and learned Gentlemen sitting on the opposite benches, who, I am proud to say, are friends and intimates of mine. I never asked whether they were Tories, Whigs, or Radicals; but I have learnt within the last few days, to my utter astonishment and dismay, that hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House who are Attorneys and Solicitors General for Ireland have never met in private society with the Attorneys and Solicitors General for Ireland on the other side of the House. The hon. Gentlemen who are now Attorney and Solicitor General for Ireland never met, I understand, my right hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Napier) in private society. Now, I believe that this is the result of an influence emanating from the existence of a Lord Lieutenant in Ireland. I believe that the existence in Dublin of that functionary keeps apart all the elements of society in Ireland. It is a sort of negative electricity. Now, Sir, I would ask, in the first place, what is the expense caused by this tinsel monarch? My late friend Mr. Hume said, and, I believe, truly, that it took £100,000 a year to keep up that sham monarch. But that is not all. There is a divided responsibility. I would ask, how is Ireland governed now? First, there is the Home Secretary, a Cabinet Minister; next, there is the Lord Lieutenant, who is not a Cabinet Minister, but a Viceroy; and then there is the Secretary for Ireland, who has a seat in this House. All these three persons are really the governors of Ireland, but not one of them is in connection with the other, and nobody is responsible for anything done. I say that this is a great mischief. The Lord Lieutenant is a mere sham. He goes to Ireland, and what does he do? There are certain functions of government that belong to the Imperial Government of the country, and which ought to be discharged at the seat of empire. Now, the Imperial Government ought to be here. I know I am saying that which to Irish ears is grating and harsh, but recollect that we have before our eyes the example of a country united with England under far different circumstances from those in which Ireland was united—namely, Scotland. Now, Dublin is at present no further from London than Edinburgh, but at the time when Scotland was united with England, Edinburgh was in reality three weeks' journey from London, and then no Viceroy was placed in Scotland. See the change effected by the electric telegraph and the railways—Dublin is brought within eleven or twelve hours' communication with London. Compare that with the three weeks' journey to Edinburgh when Scotland was made an integral part of England. Let not, then, any Irish Gentleman suppose that I mean anything offensive. What I mean is that Ireland should be part of England—really a part, and I think I may appeal to my own political career to show that I do not want to impose on Ireland anything which England does not bear. I want an equal law for Irishmen and Englishmen. I do not want the distinction of Irishmen to exist. Cork ought to be like York. There ought to be no difference between the great county of York and the great county of Cork, except that one is somewhat more distant from London than the other; but to tell me that there is any difficulty in governing Ireland in consequence of its distance, is to tell me that our forefathers were unable to govern Scotland. Now, is that true? Has not the union of Scotland with England been of the greatest benefit to both countries, and more especially to the former country? Depended upon it—however painful it may be to Irish Gentlemen to hear such an opinion—the union of Ireland and England would be attended with the utmost benefit to Ireland. The history of this country, so far as Ireland is concerned, up to within a very few years, I am willing to admit, has been a disgrace to England. Cruelty, usurpation, despotism, as regards Ireland, have marked every step of English dominion; but, since we have had a Reformed Parliament, only two really offensive Acts applying to Ireland have been, passed. I opposed both those Acts. The one was the Irish Coercion Act; the other was the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. Nobody opposed the latter measure more strenuously than I did. I think mine was the first voice raised against the proposal, and if there be any mischief arising from that Act, I think its consequences will defend Ireland from any repetition of such a measure. What have we seen within a few days past? We have seen a right rev. Prelate of the Catholic Church of Ireland claiming the title of Archbishop of Tuam, and you have not dared to put in force the Act of Parliament you were foolish enough to pass. He boldly asserted that he was Archbishop of Tuam. Now, if any offence can be committed under the Act, this is one. Is there any man bold enough—is there any man insane enough—to endeavour to enforce that Act against the right rev. Prelate? I perceive, by the working of the face of my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), that he does not like this. I take it to be one of the strongest proofs of the truth of what I assert, that although the right rev. Prelate has called himself Archbishop of Tuam, even, my hon. Friend, who entertains such strong feelings on the subject, does not dare to put in, operation the provisions of the Act. I say, then, that Ireland is safe, and that no intervention of this kind will be repeated. Now, what injury, or what insult, I ask, can possibly arise to Ireland from the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant? I have been threatened with opposition by my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Grogan), and I can understand why he opposes my proposal. He represents Dublin. He represents the milliners; and I can understand that those ladies will be very strongly opposed to any proposal which will abolish the sham of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. There is, however, something I cannot understand, and that is, why my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Mr. M'Cullagh) intends to move "the previous question" upon my proposition. Now, what is "the previous question?" It is, in fact, saying, "I agree in what you say, but the time at which you propound your doctrine is unpropitious." That is the real meaning of "the previous question;" but I ask this House—I ask right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench—is the present an unpropitious time for bringing this question under the consideration of Parliament? Is not Ireland quiet? Is there not peace throughout the whole of that country? Are not all the various classes of Ireland in a prosperous condition? I venture to say that if, at any time you could propound with safety a change in the Government of Ireland, it is at the present moment, and I am therefore astonished at the course which my hon. and learned Friend intends to adopt. I could understand a bold, persistent denial of the value of the change which I propose: I should not have much regard for the intellect of the man who ventured such denial, but still I should understand it. I cannot, however, understand an hon. Gentleman who says, "I admit the truth of your proposition, but I think you bring it forward at an unpropitious period." Unpropitious! Why, is the present time as unpropitious as 1850? I have in my hand a curious document relative to the proposal made in 1850 by the noble Member for the City of London—who, I am afraid, is not present—then Prime Minister, for abolishing the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and establishing a fourth Secretaryship of State. I have here the names of the Members of the present Government who voted in 1850 for the Bill of the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), and I will read them for the satisfaction and edification of the House. I will take them in alphabetical order. They are,—Mr. M. T. Baines, the Hon. E. P. Bouverie, Lord B. Bruce, the Hon. W. F. Cowper, Viscount Duncan, Sir G. Grey, Mr. W. G. Hayter, Mr. H. A. Herbert, Mr. E. Horsman, Mr. R. Keating, Mr. H. Labouchere, Mr. G. C. Lewis (now Sir G. C. Lewis), Mr. W. Monsell, Lord Mulgrave, Mr. B. Osborne, Lord A. Paget, the Hon. E. H. Stanley (now Lord Stanley of Alderley), the Hon. C. Villiers, Mr. J. Wilson, the Right Hon. Sir C. Wood. There are now living six Gentlemen who have been Secretaries to the Lord Lieutenants of Ireland. Four of those hon. Gentlemen are Irishmen, and all six voted for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant. They were the Right Hon. H. Labouchere, Sir J. Young, Mr. Horsman, Mr. H. A. Herbert, Lord Naas, and Sir W. Somerville. Of course, the noble Lord the Member for the City of London being at that time Prime Minister, must have brought in the Bill to which I refer, with the approbation of his Cabinet; and among the Members of the Cabinet, who must be regarded as persons acquiescing in, agreeing to, and approving of the measures of the noble Lord, I find the Right Hon. Sir F. Baring, the noble Lord himself, Lord Clarendon, and lastly, the name of Viscount Palmerston. It so happens that the last noble Lord did not vote upon the question, but still I have a right to assume that he approved the proceedings of his chief. I cannot suppose he would withhold his vote for the purpose of saying subsequently that he did not approve the measure; neither can I suppose it possible that any of the hon. Gentlemen who now grace the Treasury bench will so far forget themselves and their former votes as to oppose my proposition. I cannot imagine that they will so far forget what is due to their position as Members of the Government, as Members of this House, as representatives of the people, as honest men, as to forego and forswear their words, and to vote against me on this occasion, even upon the pretence of the "previous question." Mine is a plain and simple proposition. It is to do away with the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland; it is an appeal to the House to make Ireland really a part of the great kingdom to which she belongs, and to abolish the last badge of conquest; for recollect that Ireland was not united to England in the same manner as Scotland. Scotland had never been conquered; she stood upright before us, and met us on equal terms; she was united as a kingdom over which we never pretended to exercise real control. That was not the case with Ireland. Unhappily for her—unhappily for ourselves—we conquered Ireland; we introduced into that country a system of rule that was a disgrace to England; but, happily for Ireland, and happily for this country, we have outgrown the mischief and the misery of conquest. We are now a united people; and I ask this House to do away with the last badge of slavery which we imposed upon Ireland; to abolish the Lord Lieutenancy of that country, and to make her what she ought to be—a fractional part of the great kingdom to which she belongs. The thing must be so plain and clear to the intellect of every man, that I therefore move without hesitation, "That, in the opinion of this House, the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ought to be abolished."


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, in the opinion of this House, the Office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ought to be abolished."


said, he felt considerable difficulty in following his hon. and learned Friend. He had ventured to anticipate from him a greater variety of argument in support of the Motion which he had laid before the House; but, whether from dulness on his part, or from some other cause which he was not able to fathom, he had listened to the speech of his hon. and learned Friend without learning on what ground he asked the House to affirm his Motion. The hon. Member for Sheffield proposed to abolish the Lord Lieutenancy because the government of Ireland was carried on so successfully under the system which now existed, and which, according to him, had rendered the country so prosperous that it had nothing to complain of. That was one of the strangest logical reasons he had ever heard of for the abolition of a particular system of government. It was so odd, indeed, that he should not attempt to answer it. His objections to the Motion were twofold. In the first place, he did not think that this was the proper moment for dealing with the question, whatever its intrinsic merits might be. He did not think, with the greatest possible deference to his hon. and learned Friend, whose ability he admitted, whose earnestness he respected, and whose high courage in vindicating his opinions he admired, that he could introduce a Bill at that period of the Session, and carry it through both Houses of Parliament. He also took the liberty of telling the hon. Member for Sheffield that neither he nor any independent Member of the House was the proper person to propose such a change. It might well tax the energies of any Government, and when brought forward at all it should form the subject of a Government measure. His hon. and learned Friend, therefore, was not the man to lead them to unsettle everything that now existed, and that without even attempting to describe what he would substitute for that which he proposed to sweep away. The notice originally given upon this subject by the hon. Member for Sheffield was conceived, he must be permitted to say, in a much wiser and more statesmanlike spirit than that on which they were that night called upon to vote. By the terms of the Motion as first proposed the House would have been asked to affirm the proposition, not that a separate department for Irish affairs ought to be abolished, but the wholly different and opposite proposition—namely, that it had become expedient to commute the antiquated office of Viceroy into an additional Secretaryship of State. The one proposal would have preserved and improved the Irish department of administration, the other would abolish it altogether. He (Mr. M'Cullagh) had told his learned Friend that he was quite prepared to vote for the original proposal, but that he must oppose him if he determined upon altering its scope and tenour so essentially as he had unfortunately done. In 1850, they had had before them a plan for the future government of Ireland. The Bill consisted of two parts. It would be in the recollection of many Members of the House that great emphasis had been laid by both sides of the House on the fact, that the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, when he asked the House to affirm the principle of the Bill, proposed to substitute for the Lord Lieutenant a fourth Secretary of State, and the first reading of the Bill was consented to with that explicit understanding. He well recollected having formed one of a deputation which waited on the noble Lord before the second reading of the Bill, for the purpose of getting an assurance that he would not depart from the terms of the Bill, and that the equivocal wording of the 16th clause, "If Her Majesty should so please to appoint," should be made more explicit and clear. They called on the noble Lord to get an assurance that a distinct department for Ireland should, under all circumstances, be maintained, and that he would not consent to go on with the Bill if it were so altered in Committee as to carry the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, leaving Ireland without any substitute. They failed in getting that assurance: upon which the present Lord Fermoy, Mr. Sharman Crawford, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Napier), and his colleague, all of whom had abstained from voting on the first reading, found themselves compelled to vote against the second reading. But that was a plan which, if carried out, would have been intelligible, because it proposed that the Lord Lieutenant should give place to an additional Secretary of State. He would not disguise his opinion, however unpopular it might be in Ireland, that he thought it would be a great improvement in the government of Ireland if the sham of royalty were taken away, and the business part of the government of Ireland left untouched, if all the useful part were retained and the useless part removed. He had, therefore, given his vote with great reluctance ou that occasion against the second reading. He differed with his hon. and learned Friend in thinking that the business of Ireland could be tumbled, as easily as he seemed to suppose, into the basket of the Home Office. His hon. and learned Friend was under some delusion in thinking that the Home Office could successfully deal with the additional business which would be cast upon it. His humble opinion was, that the experiment would be a total failure. He rested that opinion not on any vague or unsupported impression of his own. What were the words which were used by the Prime Minister of the day, in 1850, when he brought in the Bill? The noble Lord the Member for the City of London said on that occasion— I have always been of opinion that Ireland is a great loser by not having a Minister in the Cabinet to explain the interests of that country, and to enforce the course which he might recommend. I do not believe that the Home Secretary could efficiently discharge the additional duties which would be thrown upon him if the two offices were united. And he added these memorable words:— I believe it would be better upon the whole to keep the Lord Lieutenancy, with all the disadvantages I have stated, than to attempt to throw this immense mass of business into an office already sufficiently, if not overloaded, with business of the State. That was also the opinion of Mr. Shiel, who, though he voted for the second reading, used the characteristic phrase, "Ireland and her business won't fit into the Home Office." Taking literally all that the hon. and learned Gentleman said about Ireland being an indistinguishable part of England, some hon. Gentlemen might ask what is the difference in the nature of the duties which the Lord Lieutenant and the Irish Secretary have to perform and those discharged by the Home Secretary. Were hon. Gentlemen aware of the result of the course of business in this House in respect of the legislation of the two countries? The hon. Member for Sheffield spoke as if with a map in his hand, in which he drew lines and parallels, and ignored all distinction between England and Ireland. He said he had no ill-will to Ireland, that he wished to see Irish counties the same as English counties, and Irish parishes the same as English parishes. Did his hon. and learned Friend ever look into the index of his own copy of the statutes? Did he know that since 1850 there were no less than 120 Acts of Parliament passed which applied exclusively to Ireland, and many of these on the most important subjects of legislation? Therefore, there was this difficulty in the way of identity of administration, that into whatsoever hands they confided the administration of the law, that individual must at the same time have his attention engaged by two different codes, which he was sorry to say were irreconcilable and even repugnant in many respects. If this were so, it became no question of the good humour of a few Dublin tradesmen, but of imperial legislation, which involved the most important principles that must every day be grappled with in their whole length and breadth. The question could, therefore, never be settled by a mere Resolution of this kind, or any such shorthand mode of legislation as his hon. and learned Friend proposed. He begged to call the attention of the House to some illustrations of this view. Were hon. Gentlemen aware that the whole criminal administration in Ireland was not only different from, but rested on opposite principles to the administration of criminal law in England? There were no voluntary prosecutions in Ireland. All was conducted at the public expense. It was different in England. There was the Court of Quarter Sessions in Ireland, which was presided over by a paid functionary appointed and removable by the Crown, In England it was not so. In Ireland there was an organized and most efficient system of stipendiary magistrates, Would English gentlemen and magistrates be content to have the same system carried out in England? [An hon. MEMBER: God forbid!] He claimed the vote of that hon. Gentleman on the ground that the two systems were not only different, but repugnant. He was not arguing now which was the best system; but he asked any man whether he knew, or whether he knew any man who knew, how to assimilate the two systems? Again, they had in Ireland a system of primary instruction, complete in itself, very popular, and of long standing. The vital principle of that system was mixed, or as it might perhaps more properly be called—neutral education. In England they had an entirely different system—a sectarian one. How were these to be reconciled? In England, questions on the subject of education were laid before the President of the Council; in Ireland they were referred to the Lord Lieutenant. If the whole business of Ireland were transferred to the Home Office, they might have the Secretary of State, for that department asked two questions on the same evening with respect to neutral and sectarian education, and obliged to answer them in a manner diametrically opposite. Did they wish to place the repugnance between the two systems in still greater contrast by making the same man, in the same place, on the same night, answer for both? There were other very important differences between the law of the two countries. The right hon. Baronet who sat below him (Sir J. Graham) had last year been a Member of the Committee to which the Bills for regulating the equity jurisdiction in Ireland were referred; in them was involved the question of the permanency of the Encumbered Estates Court in Ireland. No doubt the evidence was taken with the utmost care, but the members of the Committee differed widely on many matters. The second Resolution of the Committee declared that it was essential to the wants of Ireland that the power of granting an indefeasible title to land sold under that Court should be perpetuated. Several members of the Committee voted against that Resolution; amongst them were the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham), the right hon. the Member for Oxford, the right hon. the Member for Coventry, and the hon. Member for Enniskillen. He (Mr. M'Cullagh) could not believe they did so from any repugnance on their part to the principle of granting an indefeasible title to land; but they shrank from recommending the House to adopt a principle with regard to Ireland which they could not see their way to carry out in England. These Gentlemen had advocated as consistently as any Members of the House the principle of identity of policy, and they must have opposed the Resolution, not from any objection to its principle, but because they could not hope to extend that principle to the other country. There were many other illustrations which he could give. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield had told them Ireland was a part of England. Had he forgotten what took place last year, when a very pale water-colour copy of an Irish measure was introduced to the House—they had Whigs and Tories voting in the same lobby, and protesting as to the purity of their intentions to save the country, by rejecting the imposition of a constabulary force? Would any hon. Gentleman rise in the House and say that it was possible to govern Ireland without the aid of the 12,000 men in green? And yet when it was sought to tranfer a very modified copy of the force into this country, the Bill was not allowed to pass until greatly mutilated. It was unfortunately too true that fifty-seven years after the completion of the Union they were still without identity of legislation. So long as their legislation was unassimilated, they must keep a separate department for the administration of Ireland. It was by no means necessary it should be the Lord Lieutenancy; and, for his part, he did not care how soon that obsolete office was swept away, provided they were prepared to deal with the whole question—how is Ireland to be permanently governed? He must, however, oppose this attempt of the hon. and learned Gentleman, when he sought with his flying battery to knock down the clock-tower of Dublin Castle. He admitted people did not look up to it quite so much as they used, and he cared not how soon they removed it, if it could be done without injury to the stability and usefulness of the remaining portions of the structure. He must tell the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield he knew more of the working of the Irish department than he did. He had observed it for many years. He believed there was as much intrigue and jobbery, for those who were disposed to intrigue and jobbery, on this side of the water as on the other, and they were very much mistaken if they hoped to abolish original sin by removing the office to this side of the Channel. The true means to abolish jobbery was to make every department responsible to the House by its head. How could they expect to make the Home Secretary responsible for the Government of Ireland, when the twenty-four hours of the day would not be sufficient for him to get through the business that would be cast upon him? If the present system was a gewgaw and a sham, let the hon. Gentleman give some practical substitute, and suggest an office which would be responsible for all its acts. He trusted that before many months he would have an opportunity of testing the sincerity of those hon. Gentlemen who were so loud in their cheers whenever identity of legislation was spoken of. They had been told by the first Minister of the Crown that at no distant day the representation of the people would undergo revision. Without attempting to scan the intentions of the Government with regard to the exact measure, he would ask the House whether, on this question, it was not now high time, fifty-seven years after the legislative union, to put an end to separate legislation? Would they have separate Bills or one Reform Bill for the United Kingdom? Were they prepared to give all equal rights? They had already given equality of taxation by the extension of the income tax to Ireland; and were they prepared to give a pledge to Ireland that it should be followed up by equality of franchises. Instead of three Bills for England, Scotland, and Ireland, would they bring in one Bill for the three countries, and so make a step towards realising the dream of Mr. Pitt, of a united legislation. If that were done, the picture drawn by the hon. and learned Gentleman might be prophetic. He did not think it necessary to say another word on this subject. He would merely state in defence of the exact Motion of which he had given notice, on the eve of very important changes, he did not think it unreasonable or unseemly to ask the House to suspend its decision until they saw what steps were likely to be taken towards unity of legislation. He had intended to move the adjournment of the discussion for twelve months, but he was informed that that was not in accordance with the usage of the House, and if he bad moved the adjournment for six months, it would have been decidedly hostile, so he adopted the only course open to him. The objections which he now urged against this Resolution were the same as had been put forward in 1850 in another place, by one of the greatest men that ever lived, and with such force as to induce the Government to give up their Bill. He would remind the House that since then three successive administrations had not moved in the matter; and with regard to his economical Friends who sat near him, and who were the firmest supporters of this Resolution, if their consciences had allowed them to go on ever since 1850, voting £40,000 a year for what they called a mummery—it was rather hard that at the end of a Session they should seek to disturb and censure an imaginative and suspicious people by rolling up institutions like a foot-ball, and flinging them on the floor of the House for a night's amusement. It was not pretended the hon. and learned Gentleman was prepared to bring in a Bill, or that the Government would do so. If they told the people of Ireland that they were prepared to brand with ignominy existing institutions, how could they expect that people to display any profound respect for institutions so branded? He would not further trouble the House, but begged, according to notice, to move the previous question.


said, he begged to thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for the able an telling answer he had given to the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, which rendered it unnecessary for him (Mr. Grogan) to trespass at any length upon the time of the House. He should observe, however, that he could not agree with him in the conclusion at which he had arrived, believing that, instead of postponing the determination of the question till some future period, he ought, upon his own showing, to have met the proposition with a direct negative. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. M'Cullagh), however, had in a very skilful manner recapitulated the main arguments adduced upon former occasions against the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, and had done particularly good service by alluding to the strongly-expressed opinion of the Duke of Wellington, whose statements he (Mr. Grogan) begged to recommend to the consideration of any hon. Member who might be disposed to support the Motion before the House. It was impossible that any man could condemn such a project in stronger terms than those employed by the Duke of Wellington. It was important to remark that the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield had submitted an abstract proposition for the abolition of an office which, under one name or another, had existed for centuries in Ireland, without advancing one argument in its favour, further than what might be comprised in such epithets as "sham," "tinsel," and the like. There could be no doubt that in legislating for the two countries Parliament had always drawn a broad distinction between England and Ireland, and yet, in the face of the fact that the latter was governed by laws peculiar to itself, the hon. and learned Gentleman had not given the slightest indication of the mode in which he would attempt to provide a substitute for the local administration which he proposed to abolish. Upon a question of such vital importance to the whole of Ireland, but especially to the inhabitants of Dublin, whose interests would be injuriously affected by the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield ought to have paused before he submitted a proposal which could only have the effect of disturbing and irritating the minds of the Irish people, without leading to any practical result whatever. Supposing the House were to adopt the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman, there must be some officer on the spot who would be able to discharge the functions which the Lord Lieutenant now performed, and the question immediately arose who was that officer to be. Was it to be the Lord Chancellor, or the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Commander of the Forces, or the Chief Secretary? If the last-named Gentleman were chosen, he must necessarily be absent during six months of the year from the seat of his Government, attending to his Parliamentary duties; and how during that time was the administration of Ireland to be carried on? The truth was that the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman was utterly impracticable. He had certainly mentioned a number of hon. Gentlemen who had filled the office of Chief Secretary as well as other public men who coincided in his views on that question, but he (Mr. Grogan) could cite the opinions of equally distinguished statesmen to show that the project had been condemned in the strongest terms by nearly all the principal authorities connected with the Irish Government. Mr. Goulburn, the late Earl of Ellesmere, and Sir Robert Peel, who had all been Chief Secretaries, united in opposing the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, supporting their opinion by the most cogent and convincing arguments. Earl St. Germans, then Lord Elliot, in 1844, when the subject was brought before the House, in opposing its abolition, stated that there were many criminal cases in which questions of appeal were constantly being urged upon the attention of the Lord Lieutenant, and he asked what were the relatives of those interested in such appeals to do if there were no authority in Ireland to appeal to? Mr. O'Connell, also Sir John Newport, and, indeed, every distinguished Irishman, with any pretensions to patriotism or statesmanship, urged the necessity of continuing the office until, at all events, some approach were made towards uniformity of legislation for the two countries. [Mr. ROEBUCK: Hear, hear!] The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to share in that opinion; but he would remind the hon. and learned Member that all attempts to introduce a perfect equality between the two countries met in that House with a strenuous and successful resistance. A few years ago, when Ireland was reduced to a state of the deepest suffering, it was declared that she had no claim to relief from England, and that she should herself provide for the maintenance of her own poor. He admitted that he appeared before them as the special representative of Dublin, but it should be remembered that it was impossible to pass any measure calculated to inflict injury upon the city of Dublin without at the same time inflicting injury upon the interests of the whole country. At the time of the Union a very large portion of the nobilty and wealthy gentry of Ireland resided in Dublin, but since that period nearly all those persons had disappeared from that city, and had become absorbed in this vast metropolis. At the period of the Union there resided in Dublin 1 duke, 3 marquesses, 41 earls, 21 viscounts, 19 barons, 4 archbishops, and 12 bishops, whose annual incomes, expended exclusively in Dublin, amounted to £2,000,000. In 1831 there resided in Dublin, 2 archbishops, 3 bishops, 5 earls, and 3 barons, whose annual incomes, expended there, amounted to £96,000. In 1850 there were resident in Dublin only 1 archbishop, 1 duke (occasionally), 1 earl, 1 baron, exclusively of the law barons, and the entire sum expended annually by them in the city did not exceed £20,000. If, during the last fifty-seven years, so vast an injury had been inflicted upon Dublin by the withdrawal of most of its wealthy inhabitants, surely such a proposition as that put forth by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield ought to be backed by stronger arguments than empty phrases about "tinselled Royalty." The absorbing attractions of the imperial metropolis had so increased the evil of absenteeism, that had always prevailed to some extent in Ireland, as to result in the state of things which now prevailed. The only attraction left for Dublin was the Lord Lieutenant, and it was not the small outlay of the money voted by Parliament for the maintenance of the Viceregal Court that rendered it important to uphold that office, but because it was the means of inducing country gentlemen and their families to visit the city, in order to pay their respects to the representative of their Sovereign. If the office of Lord Lieutenant should be abolished, some other office must be created to perform the duties, and if the idea of another Secretary of State was entertained, the objections urged against it in 1850 by Sir Robert Peel still remained in full force. It was true that that eminent statesman did not oppose the introduction of the Bill, but he expressly stated that he left the responsibility of it to the Government. He (Mr. Grogan) objected to the Motion as uncalled for, as distasteful to the citizens of Dublin and to the people of Ireland, and he hoped the House would not assent to the Resolution of the hon. and learned Gentleman, as no reason had been shown for it on the ground of State necessity. If any attempt was to be made to assimilate Ireland with England, it should commence with other matters, and if an exceptional system of legislation was to continue he could not see upon what ground the House could be called upon to adopt the proposition which was now submitted to it.


said, if the notice of Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated that the terms upon which Ireland should be governed ought to be similar to those upon which England was governed, and, pursuing that principle, had gone on to declare that it was desirable that inquiries should be made as to the best mode of carrying out that object, he would have voted for it, because he was compelled by a respect for truth to admit that the Government of Ireland was very inefficiently conducted; but he did not believe that the isolated Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman would effect the object which he, no doubt, desired to gain. There were about forty Acts of Parliament imposing duties of an important nature upon the Lord Lieutenant, and an office, which has existed for six centuries, and is so greatly mixed up with the general government of the country, could not be abolished without previous careful inquiry as to whom those Immense powers should be transferred, and in what way they should be exercised. That, as it struck him, was a fatal objection to the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman in its present form. He could not, however, conscientiously say, that he was so great an enthusiast as he was in his younger days, for the maintenance of the Lord Lieutenancy; and, therefore, if he heard an intelligible plan proposed by the Government for the abolition, of the office—a plan which would not, like so many other measures of Irish legislation, make matters ten times worse than they were before—he would be prepared to give it his most careful consideration. The argument used in favour of the Motion was, that it was to assimilate Ireland with this country, but what was being done at the present moment? He (Mr. Whiteside) had had to complain a few nights ago that a different statute law was sought to be imposed upon Ireland from that which was passed for England, and on that very day they had on the notice paper a Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill for Ireland which was quite different from the law upon the same subject, which was acted upon in this country. As long as those who styled themselves Liberal Members sanctioned that provincial system of legislation for Ireland, it would be difficult for the hon. and learned Gentleman to carry out the Imperial principle for which he contended. Ireland was at present tranquil, but not contented. He (Mr. Whiteside) was a Protestant and a Conservative, but he must say, that were Ireland as far removed from England as Canada was, the system of government that was now adopted would soon be blown to pieces as easily as a house of cards. This country had to govern 6,000,000 of people-i Ireland. He had seen Ireland governed by three estimable persons, no doubt, Lord Carlisle, the right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman), and a colonel of engineers. Did hon. Members suppose that, if Irishmen had the power to resist it, they would endure a system of government under which three gentlemen, however respectable, were appointed to administer the affairs of a country with which no one of the three persons named were connected by property, birth, or education? Were they to be told that that was a system which they ought to admire? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud was beyond all doubt a man of character and honour, and had done in Ireland no act which a gentleman need be ashamed to acknowledge; but the right hon. Gentleman must excuse him for saying that, in his part of Ireland the people hardly knew by whom the office of Chief Secretary was filled. As to the supposition, at all events, that the influence of the right hon. Gentleman or of the noble Lord at the head of the Government would enable them to carry an election in Ulster, it was one which it was perfectly ridiculous to entertain. The whole county representation of Ulster was, with one exception, on those (the Opposition) benches, and yet their very existence seemed to be altogether ignored by the Government. They did not, however, address to them any complaints, because they knew that their complaints would receive no attention; but, if he were to give expression to a complaint upon their behalf, he would say that the local Government of Ireland was opposed to nine-tenths of the industry, the intelligence, and the intellect of its people. Well, what were they, of whose feelings and opinions he was the representative, to do? They could not agitate. To do so would be against their principles. He would, however, inform the noble Lord what course they were prepared to take, and he was sure that he would be obliged for the information. They meant, if they could, to obtain through the good sense of the people, such an influence in point of numbers in that House as would enable Ireland, whether through the medium of a Lord Lieutenancy or without its aid, to be governed as she ought to be. As matters at present stood, there was scarcely a question of national importance with reference to which, as far as he could see, the Executive in Ireland possessed any power worthy of the name. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was aware that the representatives of that country were obliged to visit him occasionally: and why? Because there was no one connected with the Executive in Ireland with whom he was acquainted, from whom satisfactory information on matters of national interest and importance could be obtained. When, therefore, the question of placing the administration of the affairs of Ireland in the hands of a responsible Minister was raised in a proper form, he should be disposed to give to any such proposition a candid and impartial consideration. They who talked so loudly of the expediency of assimilating Ireland with England in all respects had been endeavouring, during the last three years, to bring about a more rapid means of communication between the two countries, and even in that simple attempt they had failed. The Circumlocution Office here, with its writing backward and forward upon the subject, had not accomplished in a period of three years that which his late friend Mr. Hartley, director of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Packet Company, would have effected in a single week. Such was the system to which Ireland was subjected; but it was the intention of those of whose interests he was the advocate, to return to Parliament, if possible, a class of men such as those who sat upon his side of the House—men who had the welfare of their country at heart, and who had no jobs to perpetrate—[a laugh]. The noble Lord smiled, but if he knew anything of Ireland—a country which I dare say he had not visited for a long time—he would feel how unstatesmanlike it was to continue a system which excludes from all power in their own country the people who have made the northern province of the island so prosperous. When Mr. Buchanan, the President of the United States, was hi this country, he had had the pleasure of meeting him, and had ascertained from him that he derived his origin from the same part of the world as himself. Now, those whose interests he was upholding could turn out fifty men as good as Mr. Buchanan; yet that gentleman was esteemed to have capacity sufficient to govern a great empire, while his (Mr. Whiteside's) countrymen were scarcely deemed competent to furnish an Under Secretary. Such was the system by which Ireland was ruled. He did not wish to complain of it, but the Motion which the hon. and learned Gentleman had brought under the notice of the House compelled him to speak the truth. He had no desire to raise the question of nationality against nationality, because his own attachments, political and religious, as well as the feelings of those whom he represented, were with England. They would never be found backward, when it became necessary to fight against any of our present allies. He made that statement deliberately; but while he and they entertained those sentiments, let no man suppose that the Irish had not strong feelings of nationality, and were not fully alive to the viciousness of that principle in accordance with which Ireland was governed. Let nobody imagine that they were anxious to encourage a system of jobbing or of misrule, or any of those other systems which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield has been pleased to denounce. The principle, from the adoption of which they had of late received the highest satisfaction, and which they approved, was that which the noble Lord the Member for the West Riding (Viscount Goderich) sought to carry into effect—he meant the principle of competition for the public service. That was a principle which had conferred a great benefit upon the middle classes. All he asked for was, a clear stage and no favour. If the Roman Catholics could then beat them, he, for one, should not object. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield has spoken of promotion here and there, but he (Mr. Whiteside) would not enter further into that question than to say, that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department would, he felt assured, have hesitated long before he would make in England such appointments as many of those which had been boldly made in the sister country. [Cries of "Name, name."] It could be of no use to mention names, because to do so would not be to argue the question before the House. It might be urged that it was but natural that the ties of party should exist, and that appointments should be conferred in accordance with that principle. Granted; but the noble Lord at the head of the Government must excuse him if he called things by their right names, and denominated the persons referred to not as a party, for the noble Lord has no party in Ireland, but by the more appropriate appellation of "clique." The noble Lord might very properly say, "we ought to support those by whom we are supported." Very fair, and he might add that neither he, nor those whose cause he espoused, had any personal dislike to the noble Lord, who had, or was supposed to have, some Irish blood in his veins; and he could assure him, that they were rather pleased, from that reason, to find him made First Minister of England. But then came the question, upon what conditions did the noble Lord obtain the support to which he had alluded? He should answer that question by stating, that not all the patronage which the noble Lord had it in his power to bestow could induce him, or those whom he represented, to enter into coalitions of whose object they could not approve. Let the noble Lord govern Ireland as he governed England; they asked for nothing more. If the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield were to bring forward his Motion avowedly with that object, and then proposed an inquiry to ascertain, whether it would not be better to exchange the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for a responsible, influential Minister, representing Ireland in the Cabinet, he would promise to give the question an impartial and dispassionate consideration, and if he were convinced by the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he would at once admit that he was not so deeply enamoured of the office of Lord Lieutenant, nor did he think the inhabitants of the north of Ireland were so zealous in its behalf, as to render him quite sure that he should very strenuously oppose its abolition. He could not, however, give his support to a Motion which had been brought forward in the abrupt manner in which that of the hon. and learned Gentleman had been submitted to their notice.


said, he thought the hon. and learned Gentleman who proposed the Motion had ample reason to be satified with the course which the debate had taken; for, with the exception of the hon. and learned Member for the City of Dublin, not one hon. Gentleman who had spoken had said anything in favour of maintaining the Lord Lieutenancy. It was his intention to vote for the Motion; and, having been for a considerable period connected with the Government of Ireland, he hoped he should be allowed to trespass on the attention of the House for a short time, while he stated his reasons for pursuing that course. The Motion was one of considerable importance, inasmuch as it sought to effect the abolition of an ancient and time-honoured office, which had extended its ramifications through the legislation of the country, and which should not be lightly thrown overboard. All that the learned Gentleman, however, asked them to do was, to come to a decision as to whether that office should or should not be continued, and if the House decided in the negative, then it would become the duty of the Executive to take into consideration the means by which that decision was to be carried into effect. This was not the first time that the question of the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland had been brought under the consideration of that House. At a period when he had the honour of holding a subordinate position in the Government of Ireland, the noble Lord the Member for the City of London introduced a Bill for the purpose of effecting that object; and he (Sir W. Somerville) had seen nothing, and heard nothing since, which had in any degree altered the opinions which he then expressed on the subject. He regretted very much that the noble Lord was not then in his place, and still more did he regret the cause of his absence; but he was happy to be able to say that he knew what were the opinions of the noble Lord in reference to the Motion before the House. He knew that if the Government opposed the Motion, it would not have been the noble Lord's wish unduly to hurry or press it, and that he would, therefore, have abstained from voting on that occasion. But he also knew that the noble Lord's opinions as to the desirableness of abolishing the office had undergone no change. He knew it to be his opinion that the conciliatory measures which had of late years been adopted towards Ireland, the fact that the distance between the two countries was no longer an element in the question, and the advantages which were afforded by direct intercourse between Ireland and Whitehall, constituted overwhelming reasons why the viceroyalty should no longer be maintained. This question might be considered in three or four points of view. In the first place, it might be considered in a financial point of view; but it would be beneath the dignity of that House to decide such a question with reference to finance. The saving of £5,000 or £10,000, or even £500,000 a year, was as nothing compared with the consideration in what manner Imperial interests, as well as the interests of Ireland, might be best promoted. The question was one which did not regard Ireland alone, and he did not wish to deal with it as if it did. On the contrary, looking at it as it affected the Imperial interests, he was decidedly of opinion that they would gain immensely through the Executive Government being carried on entirely in this country. It was the custom with many to declaim against centralization, but he thought centralization was not in all cases an evil. The present system of Government in Ireland was a roundabout and unsatisfactory system. The Lord Lieutenant was charged with the Executive Government of Ireland, but, though charged with it, he did not in reality administer it; he was obliged to refer to the Secretary of State in this country for instructions. The Secretary of State was invested with the chief power over affairs in Ireland; but then matters peculiarly affecting the Government of Ireland were referred by him to the Lord Lieutenant. Then there was the Chief Secretary for Ireland sitting in that House, as the organ of Government with regard to such affairs, but who was also the Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant. He might here observe, that the device which had been resorted to for the purpose of meeting the anomaly in that case, namely, that of placing the Irish Secretary in the Cabinet, did not in reality cure the evil; for, when Parliament was not sitting, the Chief Secretary retired to Ireland, and being no longer associated with his colleagues in giving directions to the Lord Lieutenant, became his subordinate. In his opinion, Irish as well as Imperial interests would gain by the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy. He wished to see Ireland possessing the advantage of having a Minister of the Crown charged with the duty of ascertaining her wants, promoting her interests, and securing for her just claims, proper, fair, and immediate consideration. Ireland would, in his opinion, be a great gainer by such a change. She did not want a double Executive; the two Executives, clashing together so as to weaken each other, and lead to unsatisfactory results. There was not, in the whole world, an office so anomalous in its nature as that of the Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant was not like a Colonial Governor, with a distinct territory to govern; he was not like an ambassador living at a foreign court, because he was, in fact, deputed to govern a portion of the United Kingdom. He was not, in truth, a Viceroy—because he was deprived of that consideration and those immunities which ought always to attach to such an office. The hon. and learned Member for the City of Dublin (Mr. Grogan) had cited the opinions of different Chief Secretaries for Ireland as to the mischievous consequences which would have arisen at different periods, had the office of Lord Lieutenant been previously abolished. He (Sir W. Somerville) did not understand the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield to contend that the office was one which ought never to have been maintained; what he understood him to say was, that the time had now arrived when it might be safely and beneficially dispensed with. That, at all events, was the opinion of several Chief Secretaries who had given their attention to the subject. The state of things in Ireland was very different now from what it was formerly. Prior to the Union, the office of Lord Lieutenant was an office of great power and responsibility; it continued so for many years, even after that event; but, from the time of the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act and the Reform Bill, it became less and less important in a political point of view, while, as regarded the social aspect of the office, the Viceroy could hardly be said to represent the Queen, when he was deprived of the immunities and considerations which were due to his position. The Lord Lieutenant was abused, vilified, and blamed, as if he had the power of a Minister in this country. Was that a proper position for the Viceroy of the Queen? He had been struck more than once by observing, when a change of Government had recently taken place, the residence of the new Viceroy was deserted by one portion of Her Majesty's subjects, while there was a rush of another portion to his levée, as much to mark disapproval of the acts of his predecessor as to manifest approval of such acts as were expected from himself. If the Lord Lieutenant belonged to one party, he was distrusted by the other; if he endeavoured to hold, and succeeded in holding, a middle course, he was perhaps distrusted by both. He maintained that this was a state of things which was mischievous, not merely to the empire, in general, but to Ireland in particular; it was a state of things which ought not to be allowed to continue—a state of things which, instead of allaying the spirit of party, tended to encourage and foster it. He had touched on the question of centralization. He had heard an apprehension expressed that, if the Lord Lieutenancy were abolished, the abolition of the Irish courts would follow. In what respect, he asked, did the case of Ireland differ from that of Scotland? If the courts of law in Scotland had been maintained so long after the union of Scotland and England, was there any reason to suppose that if, fifty-seven years after the union of Ireland and England, they got rid of the office of Lord Lieutenant—an office of no power, but involving divided responsibility—was it to be believed for a moment that such an act as that would lead to the breaking-up of the Irish courts, and the transfer of all their business to this country? No one, he thought, could deliberately consider that part of the question without being led to the conclusion that the fears which had been expressed were groundless. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin (Mr. Grogan) had especially, and very naturally, taken the part of the city which he represented, and had remarked that the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy would be detrimental to the interests of Dublin, and therefore detrimental to the interests of Ireland. What would be detrimental to the interests of Dublin would perhaps, to a certain extent, be so to those of Ireland; but he bad a strong conviction that the abolition of the Viceroyalty would not injure either. It had been said that a number of individuals in Ireland who now went to Dublin for the purpose of attending the court, would, if the Lord Lieutenancy were abolished, remove from Ireland, and settle in England. Now, he felt convinced that the abolition of such an anomaly as the Lord Lieutenant must take place some day—that, in short, it would not be continued very long, and he confessed he should like to see the names of those Irish gentlemen who were likely to be influenced in that manner by such an event. The absenteeism of Ireland had been caused more by the imperfect nature of the communications between the two countries than by anything else. In proportion as the means of communication had been improved, absenteeism had declined; and he would venture to say that, if his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would come to an agreement with the railway and the steam-packet companies, for the purpose of improving the communications between the two countries as far as possible, he would thereby have done more towards doing away with absenteeism in Ireland, and inducing inhabitants of this country to settle in Ireland, or pay it occasional visits, than had been done by all the Lord Lieutenants that had ruled over the country. He remembered that when the noble Lord the Member for the City of London brought forward his Bill for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, he announced that it was the gracious intention of Her Majesty to visit Ireland occasionally, should the Bill pass, and to hold levées there. Of course, if that gracious intention were carried into effect, it would go far to remove the objection to which he had just referred; and he certainly could not understand why the minor constellations of Dublin Castle should be imagined to have produced a greater effect than might be expected when the brilliant rays of the royal luminary had taken their place. The removal of the Irish Viceroyalty, instead of denationalizing the country, would, in his opinion, unprovincialize it. Ireland would be just such a nation as she now is, but more imperial in character, though no English nobleman was reigning in Dublin Castle. He believed, with the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that the existence of the Viceroyalty was a badge of inferiority, and thinking that its abolition would promote the interests of the empire, and of Ireland, and would not even injure the City of Dublin—that it would tend to allay party feeling, and to unite all parties more and more in one common bond of unity, and under one Imperial Government—he should, in accordance with the course which he pursued in 1850, record his vote in favour of the Motion.


said, that though he was the representative of that city which, as the seat of Government and the residence of the Lord Lieutenant, would be most affected by this Motion, nothing would induce him to stand up for the mere interest of one individual city if he were not satisfied that the abolition of the Irish Viceroyalty would be fatal to the interests and degrading to the political condition of the whole country. He therefore felt it his duty to give the Motion the most direct negative in his power. The hon. and learned Gentleman, without possessing any familiar acquaintance with Ireland on the subject of the Motion, came forward to abolish an office which had existed from 1178—an office which in times of trouble had been the very best instrument for suppressing revolt, which during peace fostered the arts and sciences and encouraged commerce, and the holder of which was able to mediate in many of the unfortunate differences which existed in Ireland, and by a splendid hospitality to bring together men of all creeds and opinions, and thus cement together the good feeling of the various classes of the community at large. The hon. and learned Gentleman was wrong in his statement that the Attorney and Solicitor Generals of the late and the present Administration were never brought together at the Castle; he himself had seen them there in social intercourse, thus proving the ameliorating and softening influence of the institution. The hon. and learned Gentleman, however, seemed to fancy that the mantle of the late Mr. Hume had fallen upon his shoulders, That Gentleman, in 1823, was the first person to propose the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, and the reason he gave was that the Lord Lieutenant was a high Tory, permitting nobody, as far as he was concerned, to hold office, except Protestants and persons of his own political views. Well, very much the reverse of all this was the case at present. In 1830 Mr. Hume again brought forward the subject, but then he did not venture to demand the abolition of the office, but contented himself with asking for a Committee to inquire into the better government of Ireland, and the complaint then was that the Lord Lieutenant was in the habit of bringing over a great number of English dependents, and putting them into the high offices of State. Now, no complaint of that sort could be made at present; Irishmen, he believed, shared fairly in the distribution of offices of trust. In 1844 Mr. Hume stated that the existence of a Tory Lord Lieutenant in Ireland was an incentive to the agitation for the repeal of the Union. Now there was no agitation, though he was not altogether sure that there might not be if the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman were successful. On the next occasion when this subject was discussed it was introduced by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), who, however, stated distinctly that, unless the Administration of the day thought the time had come when this office should be abolished, it ought never to be abolished by any amateur legislation. At that time, as stated by the right hon. Baronet (Sir W. Somerville), there was a strong political feeling in Ireland, and the Lord Lieutenant's levées, as in the case of the Marquess of Normanby, were not frequented by those who differed from him politically. Irishmen, however, were growing a great deal wiser; at the present day there was no distinction whatever as to the gentlemen who attended the levées; men of all opinions and persuasions were there; he himself (Mr. Vance), though he might be called something of a high Tory, had been a constant attendant at the Castle levées, and had shared in the present Lord Lieutenant's munificent hospitality. The right hon. Baronet had observed that Her Majesty might visit Dublin and hold levées there, but he thought that any one who considered the matter must perceive that the fitful stimulus thus imparted to the inhabitants of this city by visits of that kind, occurring at intervals of two or three years, would be rather detrimental than otherwise, on account of the reaction which would follow. As regarded the statement that economy would be—affected by the measure proposed, he believed it would bring about no saving whatever. There must be a central authority in Ireland, and this must exist in the form of a Secretary of State, who would hold the peculiar views of the Administration to which he belonged, and would be looked upon with a suspicion and dislike which the Lord Lieutenant at present by no means encountered. In 1850, Sir Robert Peel said if the Viceregal Court were withdrawn the city of Dublin would have a claim for equitable and liberal compensation. Was the House prepared to give pecuniary or other compensation for the withdrawal now proposed? On the same occasion, Sir Robert Peel, who, having been Secretary for Ireland, and having spent much of his youth in that country, was well acquainted with its condition, stated that the withdrawal of the Lord Lieutenant would undoubtedly increase absenteeism. The nobility who would flock over to attend Her Majesty's Court would make a much longer stay in London than would be agreeable to their tenantry or to the citizens of Dublin. In addition to this, almost all the noblemen who had held the high position of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had declared that it was undesirable, inexpedient, and would be most injurious to both countries to abolish that office. This opinion had recently been expressed by Lord Eglinton, Lord St. Germans, and the Earl of Carlisle; and it was not to be supposed that high-minded noblemen would entertain such views merely because they had themselves for a short time held that high position. In order to ascertain what would be the effect of the withdrawal from the city of Dublin he wrote to one of the leading house-agents of that city, and in reply his correspondent said— I am clearly of opinion that such an event would be most detrimental and most fatal to the value of house property in Dublin and its vicinity. At present it is the custom of the landed gentry to spend several months of the winter and spring annually at Dublin to meet their friends and to introduce their daughters. They return then to their country seats, and in the summer and autumn they come up for some months to Kingstown, or some other of our attractive watering places near Dublin. If the Viceregal Court were abolished the many important advantages attending these habits would be lost, not only to Dublin, but to Ireland, for the result would be, that generally all such persons would hereafter make their visits to London, and then to Brighton and Paris, and in all probability would thus be led to become general absentees. The accommodation at Her Majesty's Court was already insufficient even for the English people, and it would be unfair to subject Irish ladies to the torture which, their sisters in England had lately had to endure. He could assure the House that the withdrawal of the Court would be considered an additional stamp of degradation upon Ireland. They had already in the Parliament House a monument of the national degradation and disgrace. Let them not add another in the deserted courts and state rooms of the Castle of Dublin. Although Dublin was not to Ireland altogether what Paris was to France, it yet exercised a considerable influence over the Irish people. The adoption of this Motion, would lead to the greatest dissatisfaction and the greatest exasperation, and would do as much as could be accomplished by any other measure to revive the agitation which was now happily quelled, but which existed to so great an extent only a few years ago.


had thought that the reforms of the great reformer of the day, the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, would have consisted of something more than he now proposed. A very clumsy workman indeed could pull down a house, but it required an architect to build it up. The hon. and learned Gentleman had, in his own mind, pulled down what he called this fictitious Court, but he had not proposed to put anything in its place. The question must be argued more systematically and be supported on much stronger and more statesmanlike grounds than those given by the hon. and learned Gentleman; and as an Irishman, who had all that he possessed in Ireland, he (Mr. Bagwell) must see something more than pulling down before he gave a vote for the destruction of the system under which Ireland had been governed for so many years. At the same time it was a national question, but looking at the public interest, he would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman and the House whether it was right to introduce a measure of reform which had not been called for by the people? There had been no movement in favour of the abolition of this system of Government in Ireland, nor had there been any demand for it on the part even of Irish Members. The Irishmen who had supported the Motion were unable to obtain seats in their native country, and had spoken, not as Irishmen, but as Englishmen. Unless the people of Ireland made a movement in this direction it was not competent for Parliament, looking to the country as its guide, to legislate upon this question. He would also remind the House of the great increase of friendly feelings towards England which now prevailed in the sister island, and ask whether they would alter a system which had produced so beneficial a result. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield had referred to the Act of Union as the measure of an Irish, and, as if to give additional sting to the remark, of a Protestant Parliament. He believed that owing to the corruption which prevailed the Union was necessary, but considering the means by which it was carried, and the way in which the Irish people were at that time swindled out of their rights, he must protest against an Act of the Irish Parliament being brought forward in support of this Motion. On the contrary, that the real wishes of the people of Ireland were not attended to on that occasion was a strong reason why they should be consulted on this. It was said that there was a great deal of intrigue at Dublin, and no doubt that was true; but would any one tell him that there would be less intrigue in Downing Street than at Dublin Castle? The House ought to consider this question with reference to the feelings—prejudices, if they would—of the people of Ireland, and it would be time enough, when the people called for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, for the Government to interfere and to bring forward a comprehensive measure on the subject. If such a measure would, in his opinion, produce the good government of Ireland, he would support it. At present, however, Ireland was a distinct country, and until it became more amalgamated with England no such measure could be carried into effect.


Sir, I altogether repudiate the maudlin sentimentalities of those hon. Gentlemen who are ready to weep over the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, but who have no tears for the lost liberties of their country—of those who were indifferent when the Parliament House of their native land was converted into a bank, but who shriek with horror at the picture of the Castle of Dublin shorn of its mimic splendour—of those who, when the mass of the Irish nation struggled to restore the plundered Legislature of their country, were the foremost in their resistance to that appeal in behalf of national liberty, but who are now for the retention of a sham royalty and a mock court. As an Irishman, I protest against the tone in which this subject has been treated by those gentlemen who specially represent the city of Dublin, but who affect to speak the voice of Ireland. I give them every credit for their zeal; but I am unwilling that a subject, by no means of vital importance to the well-being of the country, should be swollen, by exaggeration, into one of gigantic magnitude. The question of regaining or abolishing the office of Lord Lieutenant is one which Irishmen may afford to approach in an impartial spirit, and without enthusiasm on one side or the other. For my part, I must admit that my own feelings have undergone a total change with respect to the retention of this office; but that change has been forced upon me by a thorough conviction of its utter worthlessness for really practical purposes of Government and administration. The exaggerations of the hon. Members for Dublin might be safely tested by the calm, able, and instructive speech of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Canterbury, who understood the question thoroughly, and who has shown to the House how utterly helpless and powerless the Irish Viceroy is, and how little he can accomplish for the benefit of the country over which be affects to rule. I confess I listened to that speech with the greatest interest, and I am not ashamed to acknowledge it has made a profound impression upon my mind. The two hon. Gentlemen who represent the millinery interest of Dublin have, no doubt, conscientiously and faithfully discharged their duty to the "shamocracy" of that city; but they have indulged in exaggerations such as no self-respecting Irishman can for a moment sanction. One of those hon. Members has described the Lord Lieutenants as the patrons of arts and sciences, and the promoters of the commerce of Ireland. Why, in what parts of Ireland does commerce flourish? Is it in Dublin, or is it in Belfast, or Cork? Does Dublin monopolise the commerce and the industry of Ireland? What, I ask, has the Lord Lieutenant ever done to promote the commerce or to stimulate the industry of Ireland. There was no Lord Lieutenant in Belfast; and where was there more enterprise, more industry, and greater self-reliance? How does Cork get on, or how does Limerick exist, considering that these cities are only rarely blessed with the presence of that exalted official, whose loss we are assured would be attended with national ruin? Thank God, I say, there is no Lord Lieutenant in Belfast; and I feel delighted that there is not one in Cork. In those northern and southern cities they get on very well without his aid. Without the sunshine of his countenance their manufactures, their trade, and their commerce prosper; nor are they one whit less intelligent or independent because they rarely see the face of a Lord Lieutenant. They want neither an Eglinton nor a Carlisle to render them industrious, enterprising and self-respecting; and the hon. Gentleman who thus expressed himself can only be excused on the ground of excess of zeal, when he tells this House—when he tells Irishmen, who know that the office is a mockery and a sham—that the Lord Lieutenant has promoted the trade or the commerce of Ireland. The junior Member for Dublin eclipses his hon. Colleague in his lamentations and in his exaggerations. Not only does he attribute the peace and tranquillity of the country to the existence of this office, but he goes so far as to assert that the prosperity of Ireland is owing to the holder of that office. To attribute the peace and tranquillity of Ireland to the existence of the Viceroyalty is, at the best, an immense exaggeration; but I do not hesitate to say that to attribute to the Viceroy the prosperity of that country is downright blasphemy. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] I repeat this most deliberately. The prosperity of Ireland is not owing to any human creature, but to that Great Being who presides over the destinies of mankind. He it is who has blessed their harvests. He it is who has given them abundance. It is that Great Being who has removed a load of misery from the hearths and the homes of the people of Ireland. I deny that the Irish Viceroy has in any way contributed to bring about that happy change, which, as an Irishman, I gladly recognize, and which, as a Christian man, I attribute to the mercy of God alone. I contend, then, that the attempt to trace these blessings to the influence of a mock sceptre and sham court, is downright, palpable blasphemy. Now, while I deny that the Lord Lieutenant has done all those wonderful things for Ireland which the hon. Members for Dublin would have the House believe, I freely admit that the Government are much indebted to the present Viceroy; for that noble Lord has done his very best to render himself popular. He has actually mastered all the national dances; and such is the extent of his acquirements in this graceful art, that I verily believe he is equal to any achievement, from the dash and splendour of Sir Roger de Coverley to the intricate mysteries of the double shuffle. I am sure the noble Viceroy has made himself master of these dances out of respect to a dance-loving nation, and in order to place himself upon a good footing with all classes of the people. Lord Carlisle has also proved himself a most eloquent eulogist of Irish bulls; and I would say he has done more to indicate the points and perfections of the national pig, and to render his hearers enamoured of the beauty of that animal, than any Viceroy who has blessed the country with his presence. Moreover, he has ever spoken in the most graceful and propitiatory manner of the national traits of character, and makes the people in love with themselves. To the Government he has done service still more immediate—in a political way; for not even the celebrated Coppock himself is a better electioneerer than Lord Carlisle. The noble Lord, so far as it is possible for a human being, even a Lord Lieutenant, to be so, was omnipresent during the late general elections. He might be said to be everywhere, in borough and in county. Nothing was too great for his genius, nothing too minute for his power of detail. There was not a borough in Ireland—especially a small borough—where he had not a finger in the pie. I admit, candidly, that the noble Lord is an admirable electioneerer; but what real benefit he has ever conferred, or is ever likely to confer, on Ireland, has, in my mind, yet to be discovered. I have myself gone to the Castle—not to bow and scrape before sham Majesty—but upon public business. And on those occasions the Lord Lieutenant of the day has been obliged to admit, practically, the mockery of which he was the embodiment. It is evident to every one who goes on real business to the Castle, that the Viceroy has no power, no authority—that he is a kind of political post office—an electric wire through which a message to other departments might be sent—in fact, a mere vehicle for conveyance—nothing more. "I am not of the Cabinet, I must consult the Cabinet," is the only intelligible answer that he can give on any question of public importance. In the same way the Irish Secretary in this House—or rather the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant—if anything be asked of him, or any representation be made to him, is obliged to confess, practically at least, that he, too, is a mockery, or scarcely anything better. He cannot venture to express an opinion of his own; all he can do is to promise to consult his superiors. I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that, in place of this mockery and this sham, that there must be a responsible authority—an official who will be placed on a level with the other Members of the Cabinet—a Minister to whom Irishmen may represent the wants of their country, and by whom something like authority can be exercised. At present, there is no responsible authority, and no Minister of real power; and so long as some arrangement is not come to, by which a reality is substituted for a mockery, Ireland will continue to be in that degraded and anomalous position to which the hon. Members for Dublin apprehend she will fall if her precious Lord Lieutenant be withdrawn from her capital. It has been said, that if the Viceroyalty be abolished, the courts of law will follow. The two things are totally distinct from each other. I do not care how soon the Viceroyalty is abolished, provided that a proper substitute is found for it; but I would resist, by every means in my power, the removal of the courts of law; and it has been distinctly shown in this debate, that the marked diversity of the laws of the two countries makes it utterly impossible that the law courts of England and Ireland could be amalgamated. But it was said that Dublin would be ruined by the withdrawal of the Lord Lieutenant. I certainly did at one time lend myself to the idea that Dublin would be injured by the abolition of the office; but I have given the question more consideration since then, and now I hold a different opinion. No doubt, the extinction of this mock court, with all its empty, idle pageantry, might inflict a blow upon that bastard aristocracy, that wretched assumption of gentility, so utterly at variance with honourable industry and sturdy independence, which has been generated in Dublin by this miserable abortion of a court. The fact is, there is more real independence in any little town in Ireland than in Dublin. The influence of the Castle is most injurious to the country generally; but in no respect is its evil influence more seriously felt, than in the demoralization of Dublin society. In no city in the world is there more pretence and vanity. In too many instances, it is wretched ostentation and glitter outside doors, and hard, miserly pinching within doors. The country gentleman of £700 or £800 a year was not contented unless he had his daughters presented at the Castle. Accordingly, he came up to Dublin, hired a house—perhaps from that patriotic house-agent who so pathetically appeals on behalf of his imperilled country—enters into the vulgar rivalry so common in that city, and, in order to keep pace with the ambitious barrister, and the more aspiring attorney, he has to screw his miserable tenants, whom he rack-rents or drives to America; and, in the end, this deluded gentleman finds himself embarrassed and a pauper—having sacrificed his all to bask in the smiles of an Eglinton or a Carlisle. Yes, such is too often the result of this miserable jostling and striving, this contemptible bowing and scraping before a mock Majesty, in a mock court. There are those who question the wisdom of sacrificing time and means to enjoy the splendours of a real court; but it does surprise me to witness the eagerness with which rational human beings rush to participation in an absurd farce, even though a dancing Viceroy plays the principal part in the entertainment. I believe this institution leads the public of Dublin to folly and extravagance, and tends to render the pursuit of humble honest industry less respectable than it is in other places. I also believe that it has a corrupting tendency—that it makes men who should alone depend on their exertions for their success in life, servile and sycophantic, and that it interferes with that spirit of self-respect and self-reliance which it is of the highest value to encourage in Ireland. Its effect on the bar is most prejudicial; and, indeed, I do not know any class who are served by its existence. After what I have said, I may be asked, how am I to vote? Notwithstanding the expression of my strong opinion, I do not intend to vote for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. [Laughter.] I am quite aware that this declaration is not a strict logical deduction from my speech, and the laughter of hon. Gentlemen, does not in any way take me by surprise. I do not support the original Motion for the reasons given by the hon. Gentleman who has moved the previous question, and for the same reasons which will actuate the majority of those who are about to vote against the original Motion. [Cries of "No, no!"] I do not believe that there are ten Gentlemen in this House who are in favour of the retention of the office of Lord Lieutenant. [Cries of "Oh!"] Are there twenty, then? There are certainly not more who, if the question were put as a plain aye or no, would vote aye on the merits. I vote against the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield on a strictly intelligible ground—because he only proposes to abolish the office, and does not propose an equivalent. Indeed, the hon. and learned Member is not in a position to offer an equivalent. The Government alone are in that position; and until some definite substantial proposition, or plan, is laid before Parliament, and by those who have the authority and the power to carry it into effect, I cannot vote for any such Motion as that now proposed. The hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Vance) has endeavoured to represent this as a great national question; but that hon. Gentleman has done more to prove it a purely local one, than any other speaker in the debate. Here, he says, is an attempt to inflict a great national wrong; but what does he ask? compensation for Dublin—not compensation for bereaved Cork, or for heart-stricken Belfast, but only for widowed Dublin, about to lose her Carlisle. When a definite plan for the settlement of this question is brought forward, I shall, to speak in official language, be prepared to give it my "best consideration;" and if it propose a change which I believe will be practically useful, I shall not hesitate to support it, and thus run the risk of all those terrible consequences which the excited imaginations of the hon. Members for Dublin suggest—the destruction of Irish nationality and the extinction of the Irish race, which are to flow, as a necessary consequence, from the withdrawal of this miserable sham, a mock court and a mock king. It has been said now, as on a former occasion, that the abolition of the Viceroyalty would keep the Irish gentry from Dublin; but the answer given in 1850 to this objection by the noble Lord the Member for London, was, that it would be better for many of them if they remained on their estates, and spent their money at home; and I must confess I am old-fashioned enough to agree in this opinion. The hon. Member for Dublin bewails the loss of the resident gentry, and of the money which they spent in the capital. But what does he prove? That the Dukes, and Marquesses, and Earls, are annually diminished in number, even though the Viceroy still remains to Dublin. It is true, that Dublin catches an occasional gleam from the coronet of Ireland's only Duke; but the rest of the once-resident nobility are gone, and none are now left but a baron and a bishop. But if the withdrawal of the Viceroy, and the extinction of his splendid court, and the loss of those "gay and festive scenes" so admirably described by the hon. Member for Dublin, are to drive all those great people from Dublin, how is it, I ask, that the Viceroy, and the Court, and the splendid balls of the Castle, do not keep them there, now that all these exist in undiminished splendour and magnificence? I am, Sir, quite prepared, when the right time comes, and the right plan is proposed, to vote for the extinction of a piece of idle and senseless pageantry, which is injurious and not beneficial to Ireland; but on the present occasion I feel bound to vote for the previous question.


said, he should not have taken any part in the debate had it not been for the statement which had been made by the hon. Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) in the course of his speech. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that the present Lord Lieutenant had made appointments of such a character that the Secretary for the Home Department would not, out of regard to his own reputation, be a party to them. Such a statement he could not, consistently with his sense of what was due to the Lord Lieutenant, allow to pass by without remark. Now, as the hon. and learned Gentleman vanished in that rhetorical flash, he (Mr. Horsman) must recur to the statement so made, and show how unfounded it was, which he was able to do from circumstances which had come to his own knowledge from the instructions he had received from the Lord Lieutenant. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, in the first instance, that the Protestant party in Ireland felt extremely dissatisfied with those appointments, and it was not difficult to recognize in this an old charge, which had often been made in the press and elsewhere, but never in that House, that the patronage of the present Irish Government was bestowed almost exclusively on Roman Catholics. That charge was totally unfounded. The majority of the appointments made by the present Lord Lieutenant, during the time that he had the honour of holding the position of Chief Secretary, whether in point of number, influence, dignity, or emolument, had been bestowed on Protestants. Should the hon. and learned Member repeat his charge he should be prepared to move for returns of all the appointments made by the Lord Lieutenant, which would completely establish the truth of the answer which he had just given to it. He was, however, unwilling to move for such a return unless forced to do so, as he did not wish to require persons to enter into a statement of their religious tenets. The hon. and learned Gentleman also said, that he did not complain of these appointments, because, of course, it was usual for every Government to bestow its patronage on its own supporters. Undoubtedly, it had usually been the practice for Governments to give their patronage, in the first instance, to their own supporters; but Lord Carlisle, when he became Lord Lieutenant, established a new system, and laid down a rule that the personal qualities and services of the candidate should be the first claim, and political influence the second; and he could say sincerely that during the two years he had held office he was not aware of a single instance in which that rule had been departed from. Constantly, when recommendations were sent to him by political friends, he had communicated that rule to them, and not in one single instance had he found that any objection had been made to it. Although, during those two years the recommendations of political friends were probably more disregarded than at any other period, nevertheless he had never had a single disagreeable word with any friend on the question of patronage, either by word of mouth or by letter. The appointments of all others in the gift of the Lord Lieutenant which were most valued, and for which there was most competition, were those of assistant barristers. Two of these fell vacant in his time. In both cases the Lord Lieutenant desired to be furnished with a list of four gentlemen who, from their personal and professional qualities, were thought best fitted for the office. That was done, and he selected the one first on each list, appointing gentlemen who had not even been candidates and to whom the appointment was matter of great surprise. No sooner were the selections made than gentlemen who had been candidates, and their friends expressed their approval of them, and stated that, had they known who were likely to be appointed, they would never have presented themselves as candidates at all; and further, they desired him to convey to the Lord Lieutenant their opinion that the best moral effect would be produced by so discriminating and judicious a distribution of patronage. He did not give this testimony for himself only. When he succeeded to the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland he had an interview with his predecessor, who gave him an assurance that a great deal of misrepresentation existed as to the feeling in Ireland on the subject of patronage; that though it was commonly rumoured Irish Members were difficult to deal with in the matter of patronage, he would find it very different when he came to have actual dealings with them. And so he must say he found it. There could be no doubt that in old days the Castle influence had been used for purposes of corruption in Ireland; but it was not for this country to reproach the Irish people on that ground. England had been the criminal—Ireland the victim. For centuries we oppressed them and assailed alike their freedom and their faith. We surrounded them with a network of corruption, and though individuals fell before the system, yet the moral fidelity of the nation remained untouched. They won their freedom, they stood true to their religion, and now we could not but respect them as furnishing the only example in history of a people who, after centuries of oppression, had emerged from it with the spirit and virtues of freemen. He thought the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield in referring, as he did, to the improved condition of Ireland fell into an error in giving too glowing a picture of its-present prosperity, and in not distinguishing sufficiently between that which was permanent and lasting and that which might possibly be uncertain and temporary. Ireland had unquestionably made incredible progress of late years, and there was every reason to hope and believe that she would not again revert to her former pitiable condition, but at the same time they should remember how sudden and recent that improvement had been. Ten years had not elapsed since the condition of Ireland was an embarrassment and a mystery to every statesman, and when the wisest regarded her present with anxiety and her future almost with despair. Within that period she had seen a famine and a rebellion; and the very prostration in which she was then left, opened the first ray of hope for the future. Since then she had been blessed with good seasons, but although her agricultural prosperity had been unexampled still they could not forget that her population was dependent almost wholly on agriculture, and in a great measure on the potato for their subsistance, and that should a succession of bad seasons occur, or the potato crop again fail, we might find that the present prosperity was concealing many evils which there had not been time to eradicate, and that the condition of Ireland might once more become a source of trial and embarrassment. He did not wish the House, therefore, to be led away by the idea that because there was a prosperous calm now the people of Ireland would be able, like the people of England and Scotland, to weather a period of agricultural and commercial difficulty or financial embarrassment. Ireland was just beginning to find her feet after a long period of disease and suffering, and it was their duty to watch over her as a convalescent not yet beyond the danger of a relapse. They must be careful of any step they took in legislating for that country. Eight years was but a short space in the life of any nation. His hon. and learned Friend who brought forward the Motion treated it in one respect as a question of economy; the hon. Members for Dublin (Mr. Grogan and Mr. Vance) as a question of centralization, and the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), as was his wont, treated it as a personal and party question. Like the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, he (Mr. Horsman) should treat it as a question to be looked at from an Irish point of view. The question was, whether the Executive in Ireland was conducive to good government and the wellbeing of the Irish people, and, believing that the moral progress of Ireland had been even more striking than its material progress, he should feel it his duty to defer to the views of the Irish people on that point. There was, he believed, no undue prejudice in Ireland in favour of the Lord-Lieutenancy, but he was not sure that there was not among the English people a great deal of prejudice with regard to Irish character and feelings. He had always recollected the Bill of 1850, as well as the general concurrence which it met with from that House, and he had expected that, on the part of the Irish people, there would have, been considerable difference of opinion on the subject now, preponderating, however, against the course taken by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. The result of his own experience and observation, however, was that such was not the case. In conversing with gentlemen of all classes in Ireland—with judges, lawyers, country gentlemen, and officials dependent on the Castle—on the subject of good government for Ireland—he found that every one of them in the first instance raised this question of the Lord Lieutenancy, and that their opinions generally took the line which had been followed on different sides of the House that night, namely, that of very highly praising the Lord Lieutenant, and then suggesting the abolition of the office. But at the same time he did not think they would have voted for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, and that on the ground stated by several Irish Members—in which he fully sympathized—that it was one thing to destroy and another to reconstruct, and those who swept away should also be prepared for the duty of replacement. There existed very serious apprehensions lest with the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant there might be swept away things of greater value. An hon. Member spoke, for example, of the removal of the law courts from Ireland. In England the whole tendency of recent legislation had been to make law cheap by bringing it home to every man's door; but while this was the popular principle in England, would any one for a moment think of dealing out such a different measure of justice to Ireland as to shut up her law courts, throw her statutes into the Liffey, compel all suitors to make a pilgrimage to London, and the solicitors of Dublin to dance year after year in this metropolis, in consequence, perhaps, of the postponement of suits, the costs of which had swelled up to a ruinous amount? Justice would in such, a case be so dear as to cause a virtual denial of it altogether to the Irish people, and thus the removal of the Irish courts would become an intolerable oppression. But the question was also naturally raised as to what form of government could be substituted for that of the Lord Lieutenancy. In 1850, the proposal of the Government was to establish a fourth Secretary of State. Great objections were urged to that course then, but since that time a fourth Secretary of State had been appointed for another purpose, and now it would be necessary, if that plan were followed out, to have a fifth Secretary, a multiplication which might be liable to many objections. He could not say that the objections urged by the two hon. Members for Dublin were strongly entertained in that city, nor did he think the provinces would very much lament the removal of the Lord Lieutenancy. He did not think that the people of Cork or Belfast would feel the removal of the Lord Lieutenancy from Ireland any more than the cutlers of Sheffield would feel the abolition of the Lord Mayor's Show in London. He had been reminded of the vote he gave on this subject in 1850; and he must say that there was no change of circumstances of great importance which made that inexpedient now which appeared expedient then. If, therefore, he thought that his hon. and learned Friend and the Government were at direct issue on this point, he should feel perplexed as to his vote; for, while unwilling to fetter his own action as to the future, it would be most painful to him to find himself at variance with a Government from which in this very office he had received so much kindness and consideration; but it seemed to him that it was hardly possible for the Government to adopt that night the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend, because the Motion simply condemned the office of Lord Lieutenant. With the carrying of that Resolution the responsibility of his hon. and learned Friend ceased, but with the adoption of it the responsibility of the Government began; and unless they could see their way as to what was to be substituted for the existing arrangement, it would be unwise and unworthy in them to adopt a Resolution to which they did not yet see how they were to give effect. It seemed to him to be a question which must be settled by public opinion, and by the opinion of Parliament, and of that House especially; and the obvious indications of opinion given on all sides of the House could not be lost on the Government. His hon. and learned Friend who moved the previous question made a speech, which proved that he ought to have gone the length, not only of supporting the Motion for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, but also of proposing the appointment of another Secretary of State. When his hon. and learned Friend stated that the Resolution would produce no practical effect, he seemed to have quite forgotten that if the House came to the Resolution that the office of Lord Lieutenant should cease, it would probably take care, should the office nevertheless be maintained, not to pay the expense when the Votes in Supply came under consideration. On the whole, he thought that the House would probably be disposed to act in accordance with the opinion of the Government, very wisely and properly declared by his noble Friend, that any large measures of Reform should not be proceeded with this Session, and he thought this was one of the questions which might safely be remitted for further consideration, and with respect to which the intentions of the Government might be known on a future occasion. Agreeing with what had been stated by his right hon. Friend behind him (Sir W. Somerville), he should be extremely reluctant to press the Government to any final declaration of opinion on the present occasion, and to force them to pledge themselves to any abrupt termination of this office, however anomalous it might be supposed to be. During the next six mouths the question might be considered by the Government, and he was satisfied that in the meantime, under the administration of the present Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, acting in concert with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. H. Herbert), whose appointment to the office of Irish Secretary had been hailed with satisfaction by all his countrymen, the improvement which had taken place in Ireland would go on, and be very much assisted by the wisdom, justice, and impartiality of the present Government.


said, he could not but strongly condemn the tone of ridicule in which the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) had spoken of the office of Viceroy. At the time of the Union a contract had been entered into by which the Lord Lieutenancy was to be kept up, and no reasons had been assigned to-night why that contract should be annulled. Besides, it was a matter in which the feelings of the Irish people themselves ought to be listened to. He denied that the abolition of the office would put an end to "jobbery." If the office were abolished, that jobbery, which was now to some extent controlled, would be perpetrated in London without any control at all. The hon. Member for Dungarvan spoke of a sham court. The hon. Member had been mayor of Cork, and he (Mr. O'Brien) ventured to assert that few men would exhibit more nervousness when presented to Her Majesty. Was Mrs. Jenkins, the drysalter's wife, of London, to be presented at Court without remark, and the presentations at Dublin Castle to be called a sham? He was surprised to hear a sneer in this direction from the emphatic Member for Dungarvan. It was gratifying, however, to reflect that, as far as Ireland was concerned, the hon. and democratic Member for Dungarvan was the only advocate of the abolition of the office.


said, that though disposed to agree on general principles with the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire), he must regret the slighting remarks made by that hon. Member with regard to the nobleman who so well filled the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He knew from communications he had with that nobleman, as a magistrate, that nothing gave him greater pleasure than to improve the condition of Ireland, and especially of the labouring population. Few towns in Ireland had been more benefited from the exertions of the Earl of Carlisle, than the one he had the honour to represent (Waterford).


Sir, there is no denying the importance of the question which the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield has brought under the consideration of the House. It is one with respect to which, however, those who entertain opposite opinions might equally vote for the Motion of the hon. Gentleman who has moved the previous question; because my hon. and learned Friend who made the original Motion has thrown down on the floor of the House an abstract Resolution, which, if it were adopted by the House, ought to be followed up by some practical measure for carrying the Resolution into effect. But my hon. and learned Friend leaves to others the task of finishing that which he wishes to begin; and, without suggesting any arrangement whatever by which the Government of Ireland is to be carried on, simply proposes, towards the conclusion of the Session, a Resolution, the effect of which is to condemn the existing state of things—to render that state of things inefficient for the purposes of government during a long course of time, while he abstains even from hinting at the arrangement he would substitute for it. Now, I think that is a very inconvenient mode of dealing with a great and important question of this nature. It is very well for hon. Gentlemen to propose abstract Resolutions, and to leave it to the Government—if the House should affirm such Resolutions—to devise means for carrying them into effect; but I conceive that that is not the manner in which grave questions of this kind ought to be treated in the discussions of Parliament. I think, if any hon. Gentleman has satisfied his own mind that the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland ought to cease, he is bound, when he makes such a proposition to the House, to suggest for its consideration, and point out to the Government, such an arrangement as he thinks calculated to supply the place of the system which he asks the House immediately, and by a single Resolution, to condemn. With regard to the question itself, I am bound to say that it is one which is surrounded with great difficulties. It is quite true, that in 1850 the Government of the day not only proposed the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, but at the same time suggested a plan for the administration of the affairs of Ireland upon the cessation of that office. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Roebuck) mentioned the names of the Members of the Government who voted on that occasion. He also mentioned the names of those who must be supposed to have concurred in the measure, and among them he mentioned mine. I do not know at this moment how it happened that I was not present at the division; but, undoubtedly, as a Member of the Government, I concurred with my colleagues in the measure which was then submitted to the House. Difficulties arose, however, with regard to the system which was proposed as a substitute for the Lord Lieutenancy, and those difficulties were so serious that the measure was dropped, and a similar proposition has not since been submitted to Parliament. I confess that I, for one, am not prepared at the present moment to propose any arrangement which would be satisfactory, as a substitute for the Lord Lieutenancy. Treating this merely as an abstract proposition, it must be confessed that, in the present relations of the two countries, it is difficult to argue that a separate establishment, like that of the Lord Lieutenant, is necessary for the conduct of affairs in Ireland. It is, Sir, I say, difficult to maintain that the continuance of that office is essential to the prosperity of Ireland, or even to the good government of that country. At the same time it must be confessed, that many local advantages result from having in Dublin an authority with whom residents in Ireland can communicate personally, to whom they can state face to face their wants or wishes, and by communication with whom a great number of local questions which it would be difficult and tedious to arrange by correspondence may be settled without subjecting the persons interested to the inconvenience of coming over from Dublin to London. The question is, therefore, far from being so simple as the hon. and learned Gentleman seems to imagine, when he proposes by a single Vote of the House to cut short all the difficulties of the case. It is needless, however, to say that, even if the Government had determined upon any arrangement which they deemed satisfactory as a substitute for the existing system, it would be utterly impossible to expect them to submit their plan to Parliament at this period of the Session. I am sure, upon reflection, my hon. and learned Friend will feel that it would not be conducive to the interests of the public service that the House should, at this moment, condemn by its vote an existing institution which, as has been well observed, has been maintained for a long period, and should leave that institution under the censure and condemnation of Parliament, without any definite idea being even suggested by the mover of the Resolution as to the system upon which the affairs of Ireland are to be in future conducted, and the functions of that institution supplied. I shall, therefore, certainly vote for the previous question, and I think those hon. Gentlemen who agree with the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that in the abstract the office of Lord Lieutenant may be dispensed with, as well as those who deem it essential to the interests of Ireland to maintain that office, may with equal propriety vote for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Yarmouth (Mr. M'Cullagh), because there cannot be a doubt that the Resolution of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield is one which, at the present moment, it is inexpedient to affirm, as leading to no practical object. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Roebuck) said, that those who voted for the previous question would admit their acquiescence in the Motion, with regard to which the previous question is proposed. I beg leave to differ from the hon. and learned Gentleman on that point. Those who vote for the previous question declare, in effect, their opinion that, for whatever reasons, it is not expedient that the House should, at this moment, come to a decision upon the Resolution which has been submitted to it. Those, therefore, who vote for the previous question give no opinion, and imply no opinion, upon the subject on which the previous question is moved, but they simply declare that the Resolution is one which it is not desirable that Parliament should assent to at the present time. I am glad that my right hon. Friend the late Secretary for Ireland has done justice to Lord Carlisle, whose conduct in the administration of his Government has, I think, been most unfairly represented in the course of this debate. I am convinced that no man who ever filled the office of Lord Lieutenant entered upon it with a more sincere desire than, was entertained by Lord Carlisle to conduct the administration in the manner most conducive to the interests of Ireland and most congenial with the feelings of Irishmen. I venture to say, there never was a man who more completely carried his heart into the performance of his duties than Lord Carlisle, and I think every one acquainted with the present state of Ireland will admit that his intentions have been fully appreciated by the Irish people. Indeed, I believe I may say, there never was a Lord Lieutenant who possessed more fully than does Lord Carlisle the confidence and affection of the people over whose affairs he presides. In the administration of the patronage with which he is invested, he has been actuated by no motive whatever, except that of public duty and the desire of promoting the general interests of Ireland; and I think if the prosperity, the tranquillity, and the good feeling of the country can be assumed as evidences of the merits of the person by whom the Government is conducted, we have ample testimony that Lord Carlisle's administration of the affairs of Ireland has been most successful. It is unnecessary for me, from the ground I have taken, to go into a detailed examination of the arguments which have been urged either in favour of, or in opposition to the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant. I have already stated, that in the abstract I think it would be difficult àpriori to maintain that the continuance of such an office is absolutely necessary. On the other hand, I think it is evident from what has passed in the course of this debate, that there would be great difficulty in providing a satisfactory substitute for that office; and I shall, therefore, vote for the previous question.


Sir, I hope the House will allow one who is neither an Irish Member nor has been an Irish Secretary to take some slight part in this debate; and that one who is an English Member and who holds no official position may be permitted to offer a few brief remarks upon the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. That Motion is unquestionably one of no ordinary character. It proposes to make a very important alteration in the administration of Ireland; and I think we ought to have placed before us very precisely and distinctly the reasons which, in the opinion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and of those who agree with him, render such an alteration not only expedient, but necessary and instant. I do not consider that any such reasons have been placed before us. The charges brought against the office of Lord Lieutenant are of a very general character, and are not such as—even were they true—would in my opinion justify immediate and precipitate legislation. So far as I can collect from the course of this debate, the charges against the office of Lord Lieutenant may be ranged under two heads. In the first place it is said that the office is of a deceptive character—that it is, as it has been repeatedly styled by one hon. Gentleman in the course of his speech, "a sham"—a word, the English of which I doubt, and the Parliamentary use of which I shall always deprecate. The reasons that have been advanced to show that the office is "a sham" have not brought conviction to my mind. Some traits have been referred to which perhaps prove that to a certain extent it is a ceremony and a pageant; hut is the House prepared to terminate all ceremonies and to put an end to all pageants? Some of the objections which have been made to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland would apply to almost all the high offices of State, and if it were not something like blasphemy to say so, to use the expression of the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire), I am not sure that they would not apply to the monarchy itself. Indeed, if you come to analyze all the arrangements and forms that surround the fulfilment of office, I am not clear that the highest offices in this House might not be open to the charge of being what the hon. and learned Gentleman styles "a sham." You might analyze the fulfilment of public duties, and prove that an unknown clerk in a public office could fulfil, and does fulfil, perhaps all these functions which attract so much public attention and obtain so much public confidence. You might reduce Government to a much more simple and rude form than it is at present. But having done all this—having destroyed all sentiment and all responsibility—some day or other an awful crash might occur, and then you would discover that all the time you were simplifying the forms of Government you had been in point of fact but destroying all the sources of authority. But I might observe in passing that the very speakers who tell us that this office is "a sham"—that it is a perfectly idle and inefficient form of government—tell us at the same time that it meddles with everything, that there is nothing which it does not do in Ireland, that there is nobody whom it does not correct and control, and that all the elections which recently took place in that part of the kingdom were more or less influenced by the very power which is said to be absolutely inefficient. But the second charge brought against the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is not only that it is "a sham," but—I beg pardon of the House for a moment, I cannot recall to my recollection at this instant the second charge that was preferred against the office. What I want, however, to impress on the House is, that we are called on to make a very great change in the administration of the affairs of Ireland, while we have no case placed before us for so doing. I do not mean to say that this form of administration is the one best adapted to the state of affairs in that part of the kingdom, or that it is best calculated to deal with all the circumstances which it has to control, and with which it has to contend. I do not agree with the noble Lord that it is an anomaly to have a different administration in Ireland from what you have in England, inasmuch as the circumstances of the two countries are the same, because I cannot admit the circumstances of the two countries are the same. But, passing from that view, I say it is absolutely necessary that we should have a clear case put before us before we sanction a change in the character of the administration of Ireland, and therefore that nothing but a feeling of general discontent acting upon the Government would justify the House, particularly at this moment, in entering upon the consideration of this question. In 1850 we had this question fairly brought before us, and I would appeal to any hon. Gentleman who remembers the circumstances under which it was then debated, whether the substitute that was offered us did not really sink under the repeated discussion which it underwent in this House? There was no indisposition on the part of the House to sanction the principle which has been supported by the hon. and learned Gentleman to-night; but when we had to consider the substitute that was placed before us by the Government, I would ask any hon. Gentleman who was then a Member of the House whether he will not bear witness that, night after, night—for our debates were very much prolonged—it was not the inevitable result of our discussion that the substitute of the Government was generally considered as totally unsatisfactory? Well, no one can now say that there is anything in the circumstances of Ireland which requires such a discussion or necessitates such a change at the present moment. No one will deny, probably, that at no previous period was the state of Ireland more tranquil or more satisfactory than at present. I am not anxious to prove that it is to the existence of the office of Lord Lieutenant that that tranquillity is attributable; but that it is coincident with its existence none will deny, and that that tranquillity exists none will dispute. I may ask, therefore, on what grounds the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield now comes forward to effect so considerable a change in the mode of administration in Ireland? And now, by the way, I recollect the other objection which was urged against the office of Lord Lieutenant. That objection was, not only that the institution was "a sham," but that it was corrupt. That is the second head of accusation against this office. But what proof have we had before us of this corruption? I do not think that in our debates at this moment, we ought to go into the ancient history of Ireland, or that we ought to discuss the character of the office at the time of the Union or before the Union, but we may speak of the action and influence of this office as we know it in our own times and in our own experience. Now, Sir, I will take the last twenty years during which I have had experience of this House and of public affairs; and I would ask what evidence have we before us that the exercise of authority by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland has been intriguing or corrupt? That men may have been managed, and that political results may have been achieved, as they will always be achieved, by the action of a free Government, who will dispute—who is there that ought to object? But I want to know, has there been more intrigue, more corruption, more management of men, or more improper influence through the exercise of the patronage of Ireland during the last twenty years than there has been in England? Let us meet this question fairly. It has been said of Belgium that it has always been the battle-field of Europe, and it may be said of Ireland that it has always been the battle-field of parties. There have been accusations and counter-accusations from both side of the House about the exercise of patronage. Sometimes we are told that a particular Lord Lieutenant has given all his patronage to the Protestants, and that another has distributed it among the Roman Catholics. But we must remember that this is a country of parties; that it has occurred during the last twenty years that Gentlemen of the Roman Catholic religion have generally been followers of one party in the State and Protestants of the other, and that the distribution of patronage has followed the arrangement of parties. Now, however, when we live in calmer times, and can consider these things in a more tranquil spirit, no one attributes that distribution of patronage, by whatever party it is exercised, to corruption or improper influence of any kind, but rather to the natural influence of party spirit in the country in which that patronage is exercised. Take the last ten years—take the time that has elapsed since the last discussion of this subject in this House and some little time previously—and take the last three Lord Lieutenants of Ireland, noblemen who hold different opinions. But first let me say, that we are asked to put an end to the office by which Ireland is administered at this moment. We are asked to put an end to it on two grounds,—first, because it is a mockery, which ground has in no way been substantiated, because every argument that has been used against the Lord Lieutenant would tell equally against the governor of a colony. You might prove, for instance, that the Governor of any colony was not a monarch, or, on the same ground, that the Governor General of India at the present moment was "a sham." Again, you are asked to put an end to this office of Lord Lieutenant because it is corrupt in its influence. But the House cannot have failed to notice that in no single instance has it been alleged that its exercise has been corrupt. Well, then, to revert to the last three noblemen who have held the office, you have first Lord Clarendon, the present Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He exercised his office of Lord Lieutenant in a time of considerable trouble and excitement, and I do not suppose that any one will pretend to say that his exercise of the office was "a mockery" or "a sham." But, whatever may be the differences of opinion as to his Government of Ireland, there is no doubt that Her Majesty considered his services of so signal a character that She bestowed on him the highest honour which the Crown has at its disposal. Then we come to my noble Friend Lord Eglinton, whose viceroyalty was not of great duration, but it was of such a character that he lives in the hearts and recollections of the people whose interests he laboured to promote and whose affairs he administered. Now, we are told that Lord Carlisle is a dancer, and that he knows the difference between a bull and a pig. Sir, I had the honour of a seat in this House for ten years, when Lord Carlisle sat here, not only as a Minister of State, but also as Secretary of a Lord Lieutenant, and let me remind the House that those were not ordinary times. This House then reckoned among its Members probably a greater number of celebrated men than it ever contained at any other time. At other times there may indeed have been individual examples of higher intellectual powers, but a greater number of great men never flourished than during those ten years. Lord Morpeth met them upon equal terms. Lord Morpeth took a great part in our greatest debates. Lord Morpeth was a man remarkable by his knowledge, his accomplishments, and his commanding eloquence. Lord Morpeth was the man, who, as Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, was that responsible Minister for Ireland of whom we have heard so much, and those hon. Gentlemen pay no compliment to the House of Commons, where he filled so considerable a space, when they say that, having come to Ireland, it is found out that Lord Morpeth is only a dancer, and only able to decide between the merits of bulls and pigs. The last three Lord Lieutenants were three considerable men who occupied a considerable space in the public eye, and exercised considerable influence on public opinion, and that leads us to the real point before us. We are not here contending about the forms of Government, for, after all, Government greatly depends on the character of individuals. When we are talking about sham monarchs and intrigues and corruptions in the Castle of Dublin, the question is, whether that has not been the machinery by which, through some means or other, we have placed in authority in Ireland as chief administrators men of considerable eminence and experience. I do not mean to say that you may not allege reasons why a change should occur. I have not heard those reasons. I have heard nothing but vague and common-place charges made against the office. I am not at all prepared to say that you may not devise a more rational and more precise mode of administration; but I recollect that one of the most experienced Members of this House, then Prime Minister of the country, aided by the wisdom and knowledge of a Cabinet, did bring forward a scheme, and that scheme did not stand before the discussion of the House of Commons favourable to it, and therefore I think we ought to proceed with caution when the hon. and learned Member comes and asks us to sanction by our votes a general Resolution like the present. I think that the alternative which is offered is the alternative which we ought to adopt. I do not think that, under any circumstances, we should be justified in voting for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, unless what I may call the enormities of the office were so obvious, unless the public discontent was so overwhelming, and Ministers at the same time were so negligent, that the House ought to come forward and call upon the Government to offer some remedy for existing and acknowledged evils. That is not our case, and therefore I do not see what course we can take, except avoid giving any decision on the question which is before us, beyond saying, which by voting the previous question we do say, that we do not think this a convenient moment to discuss the subject. I understand that to be the real interpretation of voting for the previous question, for I protest against the new interpretation of the hon. and learned Gentleman, that by voting for the previous question we acknowledge the principle of what is before us. That I think to be quite a gratuitous interpretation of our vote. Under general circumstances it would be more convenient that the question should be fairly met and discussed, that we should come to a vote aye or no upon the merits of the Resolution of the hon. and learned Gentleman. But I do not see how we can do that unless we are prepared, or rather unless the Government is prepared, if we agree to the Motion, to bring forward some practical substitute for the administration of Ireland. They are not prepared; there is no public necessity at present; and therefore I think we take a prudent course if, by voting for the Amendment, we express our opinion that it is not convenient at the present time to discuss the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman. In voting for the previous question I beg for myself to state that I do not in any way admit the principle which the hon. and learned Gentleman wishes us to adopt, but that I reserve to myself the right, at the proper moment, to offer upon that subject a mature and unshackled opinion.


said that, having borne a part in the discussion which took place with reference to this question some years ago, when by the Government of the day it was brought in a regular form before Parliament, and he voted for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, he might be allowed to state that he had completely changed his opinion under the influence of the powerful words addressed to the other House of Parliament by the late Duke of Wellington. It was due to himself and to that distinguished Assembly that he should record the reasons why he was about to give a different vote. The Motion was totally unauthorized by the circumstances of the case. Ireland, even in the present very much ameliorated condition of the country, did require the presence of a first-class officer of the Executive. There was no such officer in England or Scotland; but the condition of Ireland was peculiar, and, being peculiar, did require the distinct and direct interference of the Executive. He did not speak his own sentiments, but the sentiments of one much more worthy than he was—those of the late Duke of Wellington. Gentlemen who had just come into the House thought this a subject of diversion; but if they had ever had an opportunity of judging of the sagacity of that great man, they would hardly be disposed to treat it with unseemly mockery. He lived in the vicinity of Dublin, and knew as well as any one the advantages of a more independent state of society which would result from the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy. But the evils which would accrue were vast, and such as he could not contemplate without awe and apprehension, whereas the benefits were partial and few. He had no hesitation, upon these grounds, in giving his vote directly against the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman.


said: The hon. Gentleman has stated that I have brought forward this Motion in an unusual and unprecedented manner. But I had no other course to pursue. When Sir Robert Peel was asked what he would do in a particular conjuncture, he said, "I will tell you when I am called in." It is enough for me as a private Member to point out the defect, and I only call upon the House, not to legislate, but to express an opinion upon an existing institution. I ask you to say whether you think that institution is a good or a bad one. I have not presumed to offer an equivalent, because I have not been "called in." I think the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) is perfectly correct, that if the House were to agree with me our functions for the present would end, and those of the Government would begin. They are the governing body of the country at the present moment, and if this House declares that any institution is faulty, they, by their position, are called upon to propound a remedy, or to say that they are unequal to the task. Now, Sir, the noble Lord at the head of the Government says that for the House to declare at this period of the Session that the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland ought to be abolished. would be an incorrect mode of proceeding, because we should attach to that office the stigma of a Parliamentary division against it, at the same time leaving it to stand without a substitute. But I would ask the noble Lord whether in 1850 there was not a Parliamentary division against the Lord Lieutenancy to which he was a party, and whether he did not leave it from time to time with that stigma attached to it, doing nothing to sweep it away? Surely, as a responsible Minister, he ought to have considered what would be the effect of the proposition which was then approved by the House, and yet he persuaded us to go to a division against the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, though unable to bring forward anything in its place. I am not in a condition to do that. I only call upon the House to say whether they think the Lord Lieutenancy is a good office or not, and then I leave the question, intending to fix upon the Administration the responsibility of providing a remedy. Now, Sir, let me go one step forward. It is stated that the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland is so important an office, that I ought to have intimated distinctly my grounds of objection to it before I asked this House to divide against it. I think, Sir, it is not my habit to enlarge very much upon questions debated in this House. I always endeavour to be as concise as possible; but I imagine that I advanced very cogent arguments in a short space of time against the office of Lord Lieutenant. First, I objected to it as an unnecessary expense. I did not dwell upon that point, but I mentioned it as one item. I said, also, that Ireland was without a responsible Government in consequence of the existence of the Lord Lieutenancy. I said there were three persons concerned in the Irish Government the Home Secretary, the Lord Lieutenant, and the Chief Secretary, and that between the three there was no responsible Governor in Ireland. I objected to the continuance of that anomaly. I said, "Do away with the Lord Lieutenant; appoint, if you please, a real Governor for Ireland, and, above all, make him responsible to this House." It was not for me to enter into any long enumeration of evils after that statement. Moreover, Sir, I followed a very good example—that of the noble Lord the Member for London. I followed him as far as a private Member could follow a Prime Minister. He proposed, first, the abolition of the office of the Lord Lieutenant, and, secondly, the substitution of something else in its place, I, as a private Member, was not in a condition to propose to this House anything like a scheme of Government; but I was in a condition—it was, indeed, part of my duty—to submit to the House faults which I believed to exist in the administration of Ireland. I pointed out those defects, and I left it to the House to determine upon them. Let me ask the House to consider for a moment what they are about to determine. By the aid of science—by the railroad and the electric telegraph—we have brought Dublin within eleven hours of London, and I say compare Ireland at the present day with what Scotland was in the reign of Queen Anne, when the Union was formed with England. At that time to travel from London to Edinburgh took three weeks or a month. Did Lord Somers then ask the House of Commons to appoint anything like a Viceroy for Scotland? Did he not distinctly put his authority against such a thing ! In the reign of Queen Anne, when it took three weeks or a month to go from London to Scotland—a country governed by laws very different from those of England—a country in which not only the law, but the administration of the law was peculiar—nobody thought it requisite to establish a Viceroy at Edinburgh. I ask you, then, now that you are within eleven hours of Dublin—now that Ireland ought to be considered by proximity, as well as by race, manners, and law, the same as England—why will you maintain a Viceroy in that country? You have established a Viceroy in Ireland because you conquered Ireland. But Ireland is no longer to be regarded as a conquered country. She is an integral part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. You do not want a Lord Lieutenant there, but the law. It has been said that we are about to remove from them the law courts. I say that is not a true objection. It is not fairly brought forward. It is mentioned for the purpose of frightening unthinking people. It is not honest, and no one can believe it. Who can believe that this House intended in 1850 to bring the Irish law courts to England? If we did not intend to do that in 1850—and Lord J. Russell, in moving for leave to bring in the Bill, distinctly stated that there was no such intention—the fear must be chimerical now. Why, the aim of all our recent legislation has been to bring the law to the door of every man—to make it local. You have spread County Courts all over England, and have thereby done away in a great measure with the jurisdiction of Westminster Hall. Can the generation that has done that be supposed to be so mad or so inconsistent as to desire to bring the law courts from Ireland and establish them in England? No man in his senses can dream of such a thing. I believe it is—to use a word which, curiously enough, now sounds harshly in the ears of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks—"a sham." Now, Sir, I want to know what the Lord Lieutenant does. I have seen Irish Gentlemen get up and talk of the Lord Lieutenant until they seemed to weep at the very idea of losing him. But I want to know what he really does. If any hon. Gentleman upon the Treasury Bench could enlighten me upon that point I should be very thankful to him. I know the Lord Lieutenant is part of a pageant which has this evening fallen under the special patronage of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks; but that pageant is worse than useless—it is mischievous. Can the Lord Lieutenant do anything? No. Go and consult him. Does he consider and determine like the Governor General of India? No such thing. He tells you that he will consult his superior, that he will send to England, that he is not a Cabinet Minister, that he has not the power to do anything, but that he will give you an answer by-and-by. For that, and that only, you have a Lord Lieutenant in Ireland. He may, it is true, extend his patronage to a race, hold a levée,or give a ball to the people of Dublin, but he has in reality no more to do with the Government of Ireland than the groom who waits upon him. Again, Sir, it has been said that during this debate certain harsh words have been used respecting individuals. I do not think that accusation can be made against me. I said nothing about any individual. I confined my observations to the broad and general grounds upon which I based my Motion, and made no allusion whatever to particular persons. Sir, I know that upon the present occasion I shall be in a small—ay, a miserable—minority; but that does not at all surprise me. In 1850, Lord J. Russell, then Prime Minister, "gave the office," and he was followed into the lobby by a large majority of this House, including many hon. Gentlemen whom I now see on the Treasury Bench. In 1857, Lord Palmerston is Prime Minister; he, too, in sporting phrase, will "give the office," and will be followed into the lobby by all the hon. Gentlemen upon the Treasury Bench, and by many on the opposite side of the House. That does not surprise me. I have been too long a Member of this House to wonder at any change that I see in it. I must say, however, that a greater change than this I never saw, for if in 1850 it was a matter of policy to do away with the Lord Lieutenancy, in 1857 it is still more so, because at the former period there was danger in every step that you took about Ireland, whereas now Ireland is quiet, and the Reform may be effected with perfect safety. But, Sir, I have been told—and the statement does not astonish me—that where there is doubt, difficulty, and danger, we must not move an inch because there is doubt, difficulty, and danger; and that when there is perfect peace—when there is no doubt, no difficulty, no danger—we must not propose a remedy for any existing evil because all is quiet. All is now quiet in Ireland, and I suppose that, however just, however politic, however consonant to the views of hon. Members, my proposition will be rejected by a large majority.

Whereupon previous Question put, "That that Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 115; Noes 266: Majority, 151.

List of the AYES
Adair, H. E. Finlay, A. S.
Adderley, C. B. Forster, C.
Adeane, H. J. Gaskell, J. M.
Alcock, T. Gilpin. C.
Anderson, Sir J. Glyn, G. G.
Archdall, Capt. M. Goderich, Visct.
Ayrton, A. S. Griffith, C. D.
Baillie, H. J. Hackblock, W.
Barnard, T. Hanbury, R.
Baxter, W. E. Harris, J. D.
Beaumont, W. B. Henniker, Lord
Berkeley, F. W. F. Hodgson, K. D.
Biggs, J. Jackson, W.
Black, A. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Blackburn, P. Jones, D.
Brocklchurst, J. Kershaw, J.
Bruce, H. A. King, hon. P. J. L.
Butler, C. S. Kinglake, A. W.
Byng, hon. G. Kingscote, R. N. F.
Caird, J. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Cairns, H. M'C. Langston, J. H.
Cavendish, Lord Lennox, Lord A. F.
Chectham, J. Lindsay, W. S.
Cholmeley, Sir M. J. Locke, Jos.
Clay, J. M'Clintock, J.
Cobbett, J. M. Melgund, Visct.
Collins, T. Moffatt, G.
Colvile, C. R. Morris, D.
Coningham, W. Nicoll, D.
Cox, W. Paget, C.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Pakenham, Col.
Crawford, R. W. Pease, H.
Crook, J. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Crossley, F. Philips, R. N.
Dalgleish, R. Pilkington, J.
Davie, Sir H. R. F, Portman, hon. W. H. B.
Davison, R. Repton, G. W. J.
Denison, hon. W. H. F. Robartes, T. J. A.
Dillwyn, L. L. Roupell, W.
Dunbar, Sir W. Salisbury, E. G.
Duncombe, hon. A. Sclater, G.
Dunlop, A. M. Sheridan, R. B.
Ellice, E. (St. Andrew's) Sheridan, H. B.
Elton, Sir A. H. Smith, J. B.
Evans, T. W. Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Ewart, W. Stafford, A.
Ewart, J. C. Stanley, Lord
Fergus, J. Stapleton, J.
Ferguson, Col. Stirling, W.
Ferguson, Sir R. Sturt, H. G.
Talbot, C. R. M. Whitbread, S.
Thorneley, T. White, J.
Tollemache, hon. F. J. Williams, W.
Tomline, G. Willyams, E. W. B.
Trelawny, Sir J. S. Wise, J. A.
Vane, Lord H. Woods, H.
Warburton, G. D. TELLERS.
Watkin, E. W. Roebuck, J. A.
Watkins, Col. L. Hadfield, G.
List of the NOES.
Adams, W. H. Coote, Sir C. H.
Akroyd, E. Cowan, C.
Annesley, hon. H. Cubitt, Mr. Ald.
Antrobus, E. Dashwood, Sir G. H.
Bagwell, J. Deasy, R.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. De Vere, S. E.
Ball, E. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Baring, T. Dodson, J. G.
Baring, T. G. Du Cane, C.
Bernard, T. T. Dundas, F.
Bernard, hon. W. S. Dunne, M.
Bathurst, A. A. Du Pre, C. G.
Beach, W. W. B. East, Sir J. B.
Beale, S. Egerton, W. T.
Beamish, F. B. Ellis, hon. L. A.
Beecroft, G. S. Elphinstone, Sir J.
Bennet, P. Ennis, J.
Bethell, Sir R. Esmonde, J.
Blake, J. Fagan, W,
Blakemore, T. W. B. Farnham, E. B.
Boldero, Col. Farquhar, Sir M.
Booth, Sir R. G. FitzGerald, rt. hon. J. D.
Botfield, B. FirzRoy, rt. hon. H.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.
Bouverie, hon. P. P. Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.
Bowyer, G. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Brady, J. Forde, Col.
Bramley-Moore, J. Forster, Sir G.
Bramston, T. W. Foster, W. O.
Brand, hon. H. Fortescue, hon. F. D.
Briscoe, J. I. Fortescue, C. S.
Bruce, Lord E. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Bruce, Major C. Freestun, Col.
Buchanan, W. Gard, R. S.
Buckley, Gen. Garnett, W. J.
Bulkeley, Sir R. Gifford, Earl of
Buller, J. W. Gilpin, Col.
Bunbury, W. B. M'C. Glyn, G. C.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Gordon, L. D.
Bury, Visct. Greenall, G.
Butt, I. Gregson, S.
Buxton, C, Grenfell, C. P.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Grenfell, C. W.
Calcraft, J. H. Greville, Col. F.
Campbell, R. J. R. Gray, Capt.
Castlerosse, Visct. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Grey, R. W.
Cavendish, hon. G. Grogan, E.
Caylcy, E. S. Grosvenor, Earl
Child, S. Gurdon, B.
Clark, J. J. Gurney, S.
Clifford, C. C. Hall, rt. hon. Sir B.
Clinton, Lord R. Hamilton, G. A.
Clive, hon. R. W. Hamilton, J. H.
Codrington, Sir W. Hanmer, Sir J.
Codrington, Gen. Harcourt, G. G.
Cogan, W. H. F. Hassard, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Hatchell, J.
Conyngham, Lord F. Hay, Lord J.
Conolly, T. Heard, J. I.
Cooper, E. J. Henchy, D. O'C.
Cowper, rt. hon. W. F. Henley, rt. Hon. J. W.
Herbert, H. A. Palmer, R. W.
Hill, Lord E. Palmerston, Visct.
Hodgson, W. N. Peel, Sir R.
Hopwood, J. T. Peel, Gen.
Horsfall, T. B. Pevensey, Visct.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Philipps, J. H.
Howard, Lord E. Potter, Sir J.
Hudson, G. Price, W. P.
Ingham, R. Pryse, E. L.
Ingram, H. Pugh, D.
Jervoise, Sir J. C. Puller, C. W.
Johnstone, hon. H. B. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Johnstone, Sir J. Ramsay, Sir A.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Raynham, Visct.
Jolliffe, H. H, Rebow, J. G.
Keating, Sir H. S. Ricardo, O.
Kendall, N. Ridley, G.
Ker, R. Robertson, P. F.
King, E. B. Rolt, J.
Kirk, W. Russell, F. W.
Knatchbull, W. F. Rust, J.
Knatchbull-Hugessen,E. Sandon, Visct.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Schneider, H. W.
Langton, W. G. Seymer, H. D.
Langton, H. G. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Laurie, J. Smith, Sir F.
Legh, G. C. Smollett, A.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Somers, J. P.
Levinge, Sir R. Somerset, Col.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C. Spooner, R.
Liddell, hon. H. G. Stanhope, J. B.
Lockhart, A. E. Stephenson, R.
Long, W. Stuart, Lord J.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Stuart, Col.
Luce, T. Sturt, C. N.
Macarthy, A. Sullivan, M.
Macartney, G. Sykes, Col. W. H.
Macaulay, K. Tancred, H. W.
Mackie, J. Taylor, Col.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Taylor, S. W.
Magan, W. H. Thompson. Gen.
Maguire, J. F. Thornhill, W. P.
Malins, R. Tottenham, C.
Mangles, C. E. Townsend, J.
Manners, Lord J. Traill, G.
Marsh, M. H. Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.
Martin, C. W. Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Martin, P. W. Trueman, C.
Massey, W. N. Turner, J. A.
Matheson, A. Vance, J.
Miller, T. J. Vansittart, G. H.
Mills, A. Vansittart, W.
Mitchell, T. A. Verner, Sir W.
Moody, C. A. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Morgan, O. Waldron, L.
Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L. Warre, J. A.
Mowbray, J. R. Welby, W. E.
Napier, Sir C. Western, S.
Nisbet, R. P. Westhead, J. P. B.
Noel, hon. G. J. Wickham, H. W.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Williams, Col.
Norris, J. T. Willoughby, J. P.
North, Col. Willson, A.
O'Brien, P. Wilson, J.
O'Brien, Sir T. Wingfield, R. B.
O'Connell, Capt. D. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
O'Donaghoe, The Wrightson, W. B.
O'Flaherty, A. Wynn, Col.
Ossulston, Lord Wynne, W. W. E.
Owen, Sir J.
Packe, C. W. TELLERS.
Packington, rt. hon. Sir J. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Palk, L. Mulgrave, Earl of