HC Deb 15 May 1868 vol 192 cc346-62

rose to call attention to the absence of a permanent Royal residence in Ireland, and to move a Resolution on the subject. He said that in the Session of last November he gave notice that, when Parliament should re-assemble in February, he would move the Notice to which he now begged to call the attention of the House; but circumstances over which he had no control had prevented him from bringing it forward until that evening. He did not regret that, because in this, as in many other cases, there was a compensation for delay. An opportunity had been thereby afforded of eliciting public opinion on the subject. The organs of public opinion both in Ireland and this country had almost unanimously pronounced in favour of his Motion. There was another respect, too, in which the delay had been advantageous. It enabled a contradiction to be given in the most marked manner to the statement that the Irish people were steeped to the core in disloyalty, and did not wish the Royal Family to visit them. Within the last few weeks the Prince and Princess of Wales had visited Ireland, and anyone who was present or took part in the proceedings there must admit that nothing could be more successful than that visit, or prove more strongly the feeling of loyalty that still existed in the minds of the Irish people. Some persons outside the House had objected to the Motion, as involving matters in which the House of Commons ought not to interfere, but he did not agree in that opinion. He thought that everything concerning the welfare of the Empire should be considered in that House; and, believing that it would be for the welfare of the Three Kingdoms to have a Royal residence in Ireland, he felt justified in bringing the question before the House. He trusted he should say nothing disrespectful to the Queen. He had a right to exercise the privilege of speech in that House, and he was sure Her Majesty would be the last person to take the slightest degree of offence at anything said in that House in a dutiful and respectful manner. The question was totally independent of party politics, and he would endeavour to avoid irritating topics. It was admitted on all hands that the present state of Ireland was not satisfactory. No one would venture to say that the relations between Ireland and England were as satisfactory as the relations between England and Scotland. It was the duty of the Estates of the Realm, as far as possible, to remedy that state of things, so as to endeavour to conciliate the Irish peole and make Ireland really an integral part of the United Kingdom. The realm consisted of three Estates, and he was anxious for the co-operation of the first; and he was sure that if Her Majesty would graciously establish a Royal residence in Ireland, that would tend greatly to produce good feeling, peace, and contentment among all classes. It was no novel complaint for Ireland that her Sovereigns had no residence there. The great evil of Ire- land had been absenteeism, and the Sovereigns had been the greatest absentees: 250 years ago Sir John Davis, who was sent over to Ireland by James I., wrote a valuable State Paper upon its then condition, and inquired how it was that, though for 400 years English monarchs had borne the title of Sovereign Lords of Ireland, the country had not been thoroughly brought under subjection to the Crown; and he said that the main cause was, first, the absence of the King; and next, the absence of the great Lords. He pointed out that since the Norman conquest, only three Kings—Henry II., John, and Richard II.—had visited Ireland; that on the occasion of their visits the Irish chiefs and persons of authority hastened to take the Oath of allegiance; and he added that many causes of discontent would have been removed by the more frequent presence of the King or the King's son, because the natives of Ireland, both of English and Irish descent, liked to be governed by some great personage. The present complaint of the absence of Royalty was not, therefore, a novel complaint. Sir John Davis, by the way, declared of the Irish— That there was no nation under the sun who loved equal justice better than the Irish, or would rest better satisfied with the execution thereof, even against themselves, so that they might feel assured of the protection of the law when upon just cause they did desire it. Was it "equal justice" that the Sovereign should be always an absentee from Ireland? In the last 250 years since Sir John Davis wrote had the relations of Royalty with Ireland become more intimate? How many times had Royalty visited Ireland since? He would not refer to the visit of Oliver Cromwell as that of an English monarch. Nor could James II., when he fled from England, or William III. when in pursuit of James II., be said to have "visited" Ireland. From 1690 till 1821 no English King ever visited Ireland; and after 1821 28 years elapsed before another Sovereign, Her present Majesty, landed on the Irish shores. In 1849 Her Majesty paid a visit to Ireland; but she remained only five days. In August 1853 the Queen renewed her visit, but only remained for the same period; and in August 1861 she again paid Ireland a five days' visit. Now, he did not wish to throw the slightest blame upon the illustrious Lady on the Throne; he only stated these facts to show how Ireland had been treated by English monarchs from the earliest times. Was it surprising that the Irish should be irritated by such treatment? Could we expect them to be over-loyal when they were so neglected by Royalty. Should we expect England or Scotland to be contented if they were treated in the same manner? Suppose that the Kings of England when Electors of Hanover had resided in Hanover, and only paid flying visits to this country, would the English have borne it so patiently? The fact was that if rulers forgot their people the people would forget their rulers. Loyalty was a species of sentiment or religion which required to be vivified by the presence of Royalty, in the absence of which it withered away altogether. You could not expect a people to be enthusiastic about a Sovereign they never saw. The Irish people, however, had proved that, though they were neglected, they were still loyal; and whenever they had had an opportunity they had proved their loyalty. They had shown it towards the unfortunate house of Stuart; they showed it towards George IV., a monarch who certainly did not deserve much gratitude or respect; and Her Majesty, in her recent Book, had borne conclusive testimony to the loyal and enthusiastic reception she received, even in a district which, if disaffection existed in any part of Ireland, was certainly the most disaffected. "In Cork," she said, "our reception was most enthusiastic. Everything went off to perfection, and was well arranged." The scene in Dublin when Her Majesty arrived there was described by her as "Wonderful and striking; everyone so enthusiastic and yet perfect order maintained." There had been an attempt at outbreak in Dublin in 1848, yet in 1849 the loyalty of the people was manifested as Her Majesty described. He might also refer to the visit which the Prince of Wales had paid to that country within the last few weeks. It was well known that his Royal Highness had stated both in public and private, how much he was impressed with the loyalty displayed. A person who went over with the Prince and Princess, and who had always attended Her Majesty in her progresses through the kingdom, stated that he never saw such enthusiasm as that with which the Princess of Wales was received. He was aware that some cynical minds, ignorant of human feelings, were apt to sneer and talk of flunkeyism when any Irishman expressed a desire for a Royal residence in Ireland; but he denied the justice of the sneer in this case, A Royal residence would not prevent the Irish from asserting their rights and seeking redress for their grievances. One great object of a Royal residence in Ireland was to aid in the work of pacification there. It would he of advantage, too, in making the national feeling of Ireland coincide with the Imperial policy. No laws, however good, would be accepted in a country unless they were in accordance with the feelings or even the prejudices of a people. It was of the utmost importance to enlist on the side of order the aspirations of the people, and it was for this purpose he wished to establish a Royal residence in Ireland. Some people sneered at nationality; but a country without national feelings was a country not worth living in, Scotland was intimately connected with England, and yet the national feelings of the Scottish people were cherished in the highest degree, and were found to be compatible with the strongest attachment to the Empire. But the national feeling of Ireland was utterly neglected, and, being neglected, it was made use of by the enemies of order for their own purposes. The way to bring the national feeling of Ireland into harmony with the institutions of the Empire was, in the first place, by legislating so as to remove any grievances of which the Irish people had to complain, and showing them that they might appeal for address with confidence to the Imperial Parliament, instead of rushing blindly and foolishly into wicked conspiracy; and in the next place, to gratify the national pride, and show that Ireland was to be treated like England and Scotland. The residence of the Royal Family in Ireland for a portion of the year would have the best possible effect. It would be regarded as a declaration that Her Majesty took an interest in the country and had confidence in the people, and would reconcile the dynasty to them, and make it, so to speak, racy of the soil. It was admitted that absenteeism was one of the greatest curses of Ireland. Legislation could not remove it; but if the Royal Family were to reside there from time to time some of the nobles and great landed proprietors, who now never showed their faces in the country, would be induced to visit it occasionally, and that, too, would be of the greatest possible benefit. And if the Queen were to visit the cottages of the poor as she did in Scotland, it would endear her to the hearts of the people, and have an immense effect in leading to obedience to the laws. There were a few objections raised to the proposal he now made which he would like to notice. In the first place it was said that the Royal Family would not be safe in Ireland. Now, that was a libel which he indignantly denied. It was true that a fanatic at the other side of the globe bad attempted the life of the Duke of Edinburgh; but that atrocious crime had been regarded with abhorrence by every man in Ireland, and he had no hesitation in saying that the life of the Queen would be as safe, in Ireland as in any part of Her Majesty's dominions. Then there was another objection that there were a number of palaces already, and the cost of maintaining them was very great. But to that he would reply that it would be found much less costly to keep a Royal residence in Ireland than to employ the large number of troops that were now maintained there. Then it was said, if you have a Royal residence in Ireland, why not one in Yorkshire? But Ireland was a separate nation, and would remain so, and, therefore, the cases were entirely different. Even if Her Majesty could not at her time of life be expected so far to niter her habits as to spend a few months of the year in Ireland, there were other members of the Royal Family, the Prince of Wales, for example, might do so. The allowance to His Royal Highness at present might not enable him to undergo additional expense; but he had no doubt it might be left to the liberality of the House on a future occasion to make a Grant for this special purpose. No higher object could be achieved by His Royal Highness than that of rendering the Union not a mere parchment Union, but one of heart and soul; and to win the hearts and feelings of the Irish people would add more lustre to his name than were he to engage in wars of conquest and add new realms to the Empire.


, in seconding the Motion, said, he advocated the establishment of a Royal residence in Ireland not merely as an act of grace and kindly feeling from which the best results might be hoped for, but also as an act of justice and fair dealing, and yet not in any degree as a substitute for the remedial measures which had at various times received the attention of the House. The people of Ireland had a just claim to their share in the smiles of Royalty, and might appeal with confidence to those motives of public policy which were founded on the duties that a Sovereign owed to his subjects. It would be in effect a recognition of the nationality of Ireland as one of the three kingdoms which constituted the United Kingdom. It would be a recognition that the Sovereign of England and Scotland was also Sovereign of Ireland; and that as she had noble palaces in England, and a Highland home, as well as ancestral palaces in Scotland, so she ought also to have a fitting residence in Ireland, which might show to the people that she looked upon Ireland not as a mere dependency of England, as it had too often been regarded, but as a country of which she was Queen in the same sense as she was Queen of England and Scotland. There were noblemen who had large possessions in Ireland as well as in England, and who while they passed the Parliamentary Session in London, yet visited their estates in the autumn, and thus became acquainted with their tenantry and acquired and preserved that influence which a landed proprietor would always have who made himself known to and was respected by his tenants. Similar reasons might well be expected to induce Her Majesty to visit and make herself personally known to her subjects, and thus preserve those feelings of loyalty and affection which were often created and always strengthened by personal intercourse. The bereavement which Her Majesty had undergone, had induced her to live in retirement for some years, and if her absence from London was felt so much, what must be the feeling in Ireland where she had been so rarely seen. A Royal residence would be an inducement for frequent visits, and not merely for a flying visit of a few days as the guest of the Lord Lieutenant; but for such length of residence as might suit her pleasure and convenience, and afford her the opportunity of becoming better acquainted with the country and with her Irish subjects. There were few things, apart from the redress of admitted grievances and the removal of positive injustice, which, would tend so much to cement the union between Great Britain and Ireland, as would the frequent residence of their Sovereign in Ireland. Hon. Members might laugh at that as a mere sentimental grievance; but they knew but little of human nature, and certainly of Irish nature, if they supposed that sentimental grievances, as they were called, did not exercise a powerful influence on the feelings and conduct of a sensitive and warm-hearted people. Such a residence would be appreciated as a mark of confidence, and as a proof that Ireland was really valued, as a proof, in short, that Her Majesty was not merely Queen of England, or even of the United Kingdom, but Queen of each of the three kingdoms of which the Union was composed. But whilst strongly advocating the proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Clare, he must say that the establishment of a Royal residence in Ireland would not be in the least degree a substitute for the just settlement of those questions respecting Ireland, which have so often been pressed on the notice of the House. The hon. Baronet's proposal was, in fact, the Corinthian capital of the column, perfectly useless in itself, without the shaft and pedestal; but necessary to give grace and dignity to the pillar, and fit it worthily to support the building for which it was designed. The great value of a Royal residence was, in his opinion, that it recognized the distinct nationality of Ireland. It had long been the policy of England to: quench the spirit of nationality in Ireland—to try to convert the people into English. To that was sacrificed the only hope of inducing them to accept the doctrines of the Reformation, deliberately and knowingly sacrificed, as he believed. Instruction was refused, or at least neglected, in their native language, in the vain expectation of converting them into Englishmen by making them speak English. They spoke English now, were they more of. Englishmen than before? That policy of destroying their nationality had been persistingly pursued. How had it succeeded? Largely, he regretted to say, with the Protestants of Ireland. Fear and jealousy of their Roman Catholic countrymen had driven them to repudiate that national feeling which actuated their fathers during the short period of Irish independence. They felt and spoke as Englishmen. They tried to forget that they were Irish, and would have others to forget it also. Thus the feeling of nationality was left to the Roman Catholics alone. They refused to give it up. They held to it tenaciously, as founded on the traditions of the past. They spoke of themselves as the people of Ireland, and their assertion was accepted by others. It was of the Roman Catholics of Ireland that Englishmen, and that foreigners thought when they spoke of the Irish people. With them, and not with the Protestants, rested the traditions of the past, and, to a large extent, the expectations of the future. People talked of their turbulence, and of the insecurity of life and property, as if there was a murderer with a rifle behind every hedge, so that men were absolutely afraid to come to Ireland. They were constantly told that agitation was the bane of the country, and they were taunted with the example of Scotland. He would not say a word in depreciation of the energy or industry of the Scotch; but, did they not owe something to political circumstances, and to those national institutions which had resulted from the recognition of their nationality? Lot them suppose for a moment that the circumstances had been different, and that William III. had determined to enforce prelacy on the Scottish people. No doubt there would have been a rebellion headed by the Marquess of Argyle and other nobility and gentry who favoured Presbyterianism, and the rebellion would probably have been successful; as long as none but Scotchmen interfered. But they might suppose William invading Scotland at the head of an army of Englishmen, and then a war in which the Presbyterians were at length obliged to surrender their last stronghold after a defence which commands the respect even of their conquerors. His Scotch friends could complete the picture. Let them think of the Presbyterian nobility and gentry in exile—their lands confiscated and sold or given away to prelatical adventurers from England—the proscribed Presbyterian ministers preaching to scattered congregations in the wild glen or on the bare mountain side, while Bishops were enthroned in the cathedrals and prelatical clergy possessed the benefices. Scotchmen referred with just pride to that system of common schools to which Scotland owed so much of her prosperity—perhaps more than to any other cause. Now let them think of it as a crime for a Presbyterian to presume to teach; and notwithstanding all that, let them recognize the fact that more than three-fourths of the people of Scotland still clung to their Presbyterian ministers with a tenacity inspired as much by their feelings of nationality and love of country as by their hatred of prelacy. It was needless to say that he had been speaking of Ireland under the name of Scotland, and perhaps some would say that it was wrong to open old sores. But without doing so it was difficult to realize the disadvantages under which Ireland had been placed, and how greatly those disadvantages had affected even her material prosperity. He therefore continued the com- parison, and asked whether there would have been no turbulence and ill-blood in Scotland under circumstances such as those? Would there have been no mutual distrust and hatred? Would there have been no agitation? Might there not even have been riots and bloodshed? Would none of the energy which had produced the agriculture of the Lothians, the manufactures of Paisley find Dundee, and the commercial enterprise of Glasgow, have been devoted to party politics? Finally, would the Scotch be animated by any very fervent love of Englishmen, or any very devoted loyalty to British institutions? It might appear to some that this had little to do with the question now before the House, but, in truth, it had a great deal to do with it; for the bad name which had been given to them, the insecurity which was attributed to society among them, the slowness of their material progress when compared with England and Scotland, were so many discouragements in the way of the proposition now under consideration. Treat them as Scotland had been treated and similar results would follow. The Scotch were once disloyal. That had passed away and had been succeeded by a thorough union of two nations still possessing their distinct national individuality. Why should they fear their nationality? Could patriotism exist without it? There was certainly no necessary antagonism between a love for Ireland or Scotland as their native land, and a full appreciation of the benefits derived from the Constitution under which they lived, or the warmest interest in the fortunes of the Empire of which they formed a part. They could not make them into Englishmen. Nature was against it. The sea which divided them forbade it. It was only by recognizing and acknowledging, and even cultivating their nationality that they could make Ireland loyal. Above all, let their Sovereign appear among them as if she were really the Queen of Ireland—not the mere visitor from a foreign country. To the mass of the people of Ireland she was a foreigner—the Queen of a country for which they entertained no very warm affection. Yet they had always discriminated between the Sovereign and the Government, and on every occasion of their visits their Sovereigns had been warmly welcomed. They could not feel loyalty to an abstraction. Let the people see their Queen living among them—let them see and visit the abode of Royalty. Even the outward show and circumstance of Royalty had its use, and especially with a sensitive and imaginative people. He knew there were many who thought that, in asking the Sovereign or the Royal Family to visit them they were requiring from her the performance of an irksome task. He did not believe it would prove to be such. But even if it were, the French aphorism was applicable—noblesse oblige. If the country be worth retaining, the Queen should see her subjects, and allow them to see her, Danger of insult or injury there was none, no more than in England or Scotland—notwithstanding the late insane and wicked attempt in Australia, In former times the Prince often risked his life when leading his subjects in war. The duties of a King now were more peaceful, but not less real; and it was not less incumbent on him to perform them properly. If the affections of the people of Ireland were worth having, some exertions and some sacrifices must be made to obtain them.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, humbly representing to Her Majesty that it would conduce to the advantage of the Crown and the good Government of Ireland, and tend to allay jealousy and discontent in that country, if Her Majesty had a permanent residence in Ireland, and that this House, feeling deeply its importance, will cordially co-operate with Her Majesty in any steps She may be graciously pleased to take to carry out so desirable an object,"—(Sir Colman O'Loghlen,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he was unwilling to trespass on the attention of the House, but he wished to express the great pleasure he derived from being able for once to agree with the hon. Baronet the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen). The proposition made by the hon. and learned Member was so evidently advantageous to Ireland that all must agree to it; and he for one was not disposed to allow hon. Members opposite to claim all the loyalty in the country. The present time was appropriate for bringing this subject forward, because it would be difficult for any private individual to follow the present Lord Lieutenant. Whenever the period should arrive, and he trusted it might be far distant, when the present Lord Lieutenant should resign a dignity the duties of which he bad discharged in be magnificent a manner, with so much judgment, liberality, and consideration for the interests of all classes, it would be almost impossible to find a successor for him who would give such general satisfaction. With regard to the question of loyalty, he agreed that it was not a quality which was innate in the human mind. It must, to a great extent, rest upon the conviction on the part of a nation that the preservation of the Crown was linked with the interests and prosperity of the people. Loyalty was, moreover, very much a feeling of a personal nature; and the presence of the Sovereign, if it did not remove the misfortunes of that country, would soften the asperities that unfortunately prevailed. He could not, however, but express his surprise that the hon. and learned Member for Clare had introduced his Motion at a period when so serious a change was hovering over one of the greatest institutions of the country. It was an extraordinary proceeding to call upon the Queen to visit that country, the institutions of which the Sovereign had sworn to maintain, at a time when one of those institutions was most seriously attacked. With regard to the question of safety, he agreed that any Member of the Royal Family would be perfectly safe in Ireland; and he had that opinion of the wisdom and prudence of the Royal Family that he believed they would see that their best security was to trust themselves to the good feeling of all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. He wondered that the hon. and learned Member had not dwelt upon the more important question where the funds for providing this Royal residence were to come from. He had sufficient confidence in the wisdom of that House, and still more of the country, to believe that the day was far distant when the total disestablishment and disendowment of the Church in Ireland would take place. But he would ask the hon. and learned Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), whether it was his intention to overcome the difficulty, which seemed so awkward to hon. Members opposite—namely, what to do with the revenues of the Irish Church, which they held could not be applied to either educational or religious purposes, by devoting a portion of it for the purpose of building a Royal residence in Ireland?


said, that though English Members might sometimes be accused of not understanding the affairs of Ireland they took a, very great interest in that country. He did not think that his hon. Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) had taken the right course in proposing this as a first measure. Preliminary to this there was, in his opinion, a much more urgent measure, which, in the interest of Ireland, ought to be taken, and that was the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant. The maintenance of that office was inconsistent with a Royal residence in Ireland. Attachment to the Lord Lieutenant meant attachment to the Ministry of the day, and not to the Crown. He agreed with Archbishop Whately that loyalty to a Government was a totally different thing from loyalty to a Sovereign. Nothing would conduce more to the welfare of Ireland than that Her Majesty should frequently visit that country. It was remarkable how very few and far between had been the visits of Royalty to the sister country. From the time of William III. down to George IV. Ireland had not been visited by any English Sovereign. He was indebted to Sir Bernard Burke for a memorandum from which it appeared that during 120 years Royalty had only spent a very few days in Ireland. [Sir COLMAN O'LOGHLEN: Fifteen!] The Irish people must feel this; and he believed that the rarity of the visits made by Royalty to Ireland during the last 150 years had tended to diminish personal loyalty to the Sovereign.


said, he claimed for Wales as pure a nationality as belonged to either Ireland or Scotland. Wales had no Royal palace within her border; but he could not claim for her a Royal residence on the ground of economy, seeing that the loyalty of the Welsh arose naturally, and did not require the presence of a body of troops.


said, the question before the House was a very important one with regard to that other question of the pacification of Ireland and the maintenance of a spirit of loyalty among its people, if the people of this country complained when Her Majesty retired to some extent from public life, surely the people of Ireland, who never saw her at all, were fully justified in their anxiety for the erection of some Royal residence in that country in which Her Majesty might reside during some portion of the year.


said, enormous sums of money had been spent in providing Royal palaces in Eng- land, but no such provision had been made for Ireland, notwithstanding the fact that Ireland, in proportion to her means contributed more towards the National Exchequer than even England did. Even the Isle of Wight was honoured by a Royal residence, and England had eight or ten, but poor miserable Ireland had not one. Ireland was called the sister country, but she ought to be called a step-sister, for she was treated like one. If the people of Ireland were treated like those of Scotland and of this country, there would be little to complain of. Nothing would do more to cement the union between the two countries than the establishment of a Royal residence in Ireland. It would save thousands of pounds to the Imperial Exchequer by stimulating the loyalty of the Irish people. Of course the Queen could not reside there for any long period at a time, but at all events one of her numerous sons might remain in Ireland, if not permanently, at least for a season every year.


said, he cordially approved of the hon. and learned Baronet's (Sir Colman O'Loghen's) proposition, and should support it if it were pressed to a division, believing that the expense which might be entailed by the terms of the Motion would be as nothing compared with the gain of the hearts of a people. The Royal Family seldom visited the Black Country, and the great city of Manchester had been visited only once. The people there did not complain; but the enthusiasm with which Her Majesty's visits to those districts had been hailed showed what might be expected to follow in the case of Ireland.


Sir, I quite agree that there is no influence more beneficial than that which proceeds from personal relations between the people and their Sovereign. But in listening to the complaints which we have heard from various parts of the United Kingdom, arising from the absence of Her Majesty and of her predecessors, I would observe that this was largely to be attributed to the great difficulty of communication that for a long time existed between the various kingdoms over which Her Majesty rules. But the tendency of the age in which we live is very much to diminish those difficulties, if not to make them disappear altogether. And if we take a general view of the subject I think there is some evidence of a very much increased inclination on the part of the Royal Family, to visit those portions of the country which for so considerable a period have not been blessed by the presence of our princes. Indeed, the hon. Baronet who brought forward this Motion, and complained that Ireland in the course of two centuries had only been visited for a certain number of days—which have been calculated by a herald—must admit that the greater number of those days have been contributed by Her Majesty herself. And we cannot for a moment suppose that there is any want of sympathy between the Queen and her Irish subjects; because the hon. Baronet has himself alluded to the written record of Her Majesty's feelings to which everybody who has read them must have fully responded. We must remember also that the position of Ireland is in this respect no worse than the position of Scotland was until very few years ago. Scotland, I think, was never visited for any time by one of our Sovereigns from the time of James II. to the reign of Her present Majesty. [Cries of "George IV."] I am speaking of Sovereigns who resided in the country. But during all those years the principle of Sovereignty at least was represented in Ireland, while it was not so represented in Scotland. And though it may be easy to talk in depreciating terms of the office of the Lord Lieutenant, I am myself persuaded—not merely from the experience which we all have at this moment, but from other instances which we may remember—that a man of ability and splendour filling that office may effect a great deal of good, and is something more than the nominee of any Minister. We must recollect, then, that during this period Scotland was as little visited by the Sovereign of this country as Ireland, and that Scotland has not had the advantage of an institution which, when well administered, is in my opinion extremely beneficial. It is impossible not to have been gratified—every Englishman must have shared the feeling—at the manner in which their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales were received during their recent visit to Ireland. And I may be permitted to say that their visit afforded Her Majesty the greatest gratification, and that she has been pleased to express her wish that the visits of the Royal Family to Ireland shall not be infrequent. With regard to the specific Motion before us, I trust the hon. Baronet will not ask the House in the present instance to decide upon it. There are many reasons upon which it is now unnecessary to dwell which would make it inconvenient, and not at all advantageous for the end which the hon. Baronet himself has in view, to compel on immediate vote of this House, What has been said in the House on the subject to-day will, I am sure, not be forgotten. It is an expression of the feeling which animates very generally society and the whole country; and I trust the time may come when every portion of Her Majesty's dominions will have the advantage of the presence of Her Majesty or some member of the Royal Family. But, when alluding to the fact that the visits of the Sovereign to Ireland have not been of very long duration, we must remember that of necessity they could not be lengthened visits. There was no Royal residence, no palace in which Royalty could take up anything like a permanent abode. I know that this tells favourably for the view of the hon. Baronet; I am not using it as an argument against his views; but I think it right to refer to the point, inasmuch as the brevity of the Royal visits is sometimes mentioned as an indication of indifference and of want of sympathy with the country, whereas it has been a consequence of difficulties which could not be overcome. There are many circumstances to be considered in connection with this subject, but the wish expressed in the Motion of the hon. Baronet is founded on the best feelings of our nature. I am sure the desire it conveys is one in which the country sympathizes; and I hope the time will come when we shall see those views entirely fulfilled.


I do not think it necessary to detain the House for more than a few minutes; but I cannot help rising to say that I do not think my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) has anything to complain of in the manner in which he has been met in this case by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. I do not think that more could have been expected from the right hon. Gentleman than the acknowledgments which he has made; and, therefore, I wish to express my concurrence in the tone of his observations. At the same time, I feel strongly with my hon. Friend; and, without indicating the precise manner in which it can be done—because this is not a fitting opportunity for anything of that kind—sympathizing as I do in the views of my hon. Friend, I may express the hope that some appropriate means way be found by which the personal relations between the Grown and the people of Ireland may be strengthened. I regard this as an object of public policy of no mean importance; but I think, after what has been said this evening, my hon. Friend would do well to comply with the recommendation of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. Indeed, I am sure that, with that tact, good feeling, and intelligence which always characterize his proceedings in this House, he will see that the cause he has at heart will be best served by his not asking the Speaker to put the Motion from the Chair.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.