HC Deb 22 March 1870 vol 200 cc424-512

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [21st March], "That the Bill be now read a second time;" and which Amendment was, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Moore.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

Debate resumed.


said, he rose to address the House with a feeling of deep regret, in common with every Irish Member who had addressed it since the Bill had been introduced. He believed there was one English Member who more deeply regretted the introduction of the Bill probably than any Irish Member—that was the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister. He was satisfied that nothing but an overwhelming sense of duty would have induced him and the other occupants of the Treasury Bench to introduce a Bill of Pains and Penalties. While he admitted that agrarian crime, to a certain extent, did exist in certain portions of Ire- land, he did not believe that any case had been made out by the Government to justify the introduction of a Coercion Act more aggravating in its form than many of those formerly introduced when crime was more rife in Ireland. He believed that had been partly caused by misrepresentation, by public feeling being excited in England, and by the Press of England constantly calling attention to every occurrence in Ireland, and no matter whether it was agrarian or not, attributing it to that cause. He regretted that hon. Gentlemen opposite, who came from Ireland, never lost the opportunity of doing the same thing; and suggested that they did so probably with the view of their being able at the next election to throw the odium on the Liberal party of having brought in a Coercion Bill. There was one paper which seemed to be more remarkable than any other for sensational articles bitterly hostile to the people of Ireland. He alluded to The Pall Mall Gazette. In the month of May that paper called the attention of the public and the Cabinet to the then state of Ireland, and it gave and recited in detail thirteen cases of agrarian crime of the greatest magnitude. Now, what were those thirteen cases? Six of them were manufactured out of one transaction—the Ballycohoy case. Mr. Scully, who was engaged in that affair, was described as having been shot dead, though he was now alive and in excellent health. Two policemen were, in the next place, said to have been shot, and three policemen to have been wounded; so that six distinct cases were thus made out of one transaction. But there was also another sensational announcement made with regard to a gentleman whom he happened to know, and who was respected by all who were acquainted with him. He referred to Mr. Smith, who resided in the neighbourhood of Kanturk, and who was a large land agent as well as a man of property. Well, it was stated in all the London papers that a terrible outrage of an agrarian kind had been committed on Mr. Smith. It was said that while he was sitting in his drawing-room, reading a book, he was fired at through the window, and severely wounded with slugs. It was added that the outrage was due to his having served a tenant with a notice to quit. The fact, however, was, that Mr. Smith had never been fired at, and had never served notices to quit. This gentleman was attending a fair at the time he was supposed to have been shot at. It was by such reports that the people of Ireland were misrepresented to the English people and this House. It had been said the other night that Tipperary was the very worst county in Ireland. But a letter had recently appeared in one of the Manchester papers, in which a gentleman said— I have returned to Dublin after a journey to the county Tipperary. I suppose this is the county of all others in which Englishmen think that outrage and crime prevail. When I took my seat in the railway carriage in Dublin I bought a copy of The Pall Mall Gazette, and on opening it I was told that news from Ireland was daily growing worse, and then the article proceeds for a column and a half to give such a description of the state of the country as must frighten everybody from going to Ireland. I was then going to Tipperary with a writ in my pocket to take possession, and I took possession without an armed police or any other force than the writ. That letter spoke for itself. And now, let him ask, was England in a position to throw stones at Ireland in respect to crime? If English Members would only look into the Returns which had been made of the relative crime in Ireland and England, they would see that Ireland presented a most favourable contrast to this country. In 1868 the whole number of indictable offences in Ireland was 9,090; while in England and Wales, for a corresponding population, the number was 14,239—more than 50 per cent over that of Ireland, taking the same population in both countries. Nor was this disproportion to be explained by the negligent performance of their duty by the police. Though often assailed, the Irish police were active, intelligent, and faithful, and had proved their fidelity under the most trying circumstances. The number of apprehensions in Ireland was 63 per cent of the offences, while in England the percentage was only 58; so that the police in Ireland were more vigilant than the English police. Again, there was comparatively no theft in Ireland; crimes which showed a low moral tone were unknown. You did not hear there of men beating and battering out the brains of their wives, or of a general massacre of infants. The Reports he had in his hand stated that verdicts for murder on coroners' inquests were much less numerous in Ireland than in England and Wales. Murder in England was largely in advance of the same crime in Ireland, taking the population into account. Now, the answer made to all this was, that it was not agrarian crime. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin; (Dr. Ball) said that crime was crime, and he (Mr. McCarthy Downing) said that murder was murder, whether a man was shot from behind a hedge or in a railway carriage because he carried a watch, and it mattered little whether a man had vitriol thrown upon him in Sheffield or had slugs fired at him in an Irish county. What was the conduct of the men in Sheffield? They prevented employers employing whom they pleased, and prevented the employés working unless they belonged to a certain society. Was not this of the same type and character as what was called in Ireland agrarian crime? Why, then, should this coercive—this Algerine measure be applied to Ireland? They all heard of the case where a clergyman residing in an English county was shot, together with his wife and servant, because he prevented a young man visiting at his house. He (Mr. M'Carthy Downing) would point to England, and would say that eight murders occurred there for every one that took place in Ireland. What was the state of the very city in which they were legislating? He quoted from The Pall Mall Gazette of Thursday, the 3rd of March. What did The Pall Mall Gazette say?— Robbery with violence has been a disgrace to London for some years past. Offenders are so rarely caught, and, when they are caught, are dealt with so tenderly, that the profit arising from the occupation far outweighs the peril. There are certain streets and lanes of the metropolis which a cautious man would not willingly enter after nightfall; but it seems hard that with 8,000 policemen to guard us by day and night, we are not safe from molestation even in respectable localities. The lady who was nearly strangled by a ruffian on Sunday night, and now lies insensible at St. Thomas's Hospital with little prospect of recovery, was no doubt ignorant of the peril she incurred in passing through a court in the New Kent Road with a watch and chain in her possession. She probably thought that authority in this great city is everywhere strong enough to prevent open lawlessness and brutality; and she is suffering for her ignorance accordingly. He did not suppose that it was the intention of the Government to bring forward a Coercion Bill for London. Then, if not, they were not in a position to turn round and say to the people of Ireland that they were in such a low and degraded state as to need a measure of this kind. The hon. Member for York City (Mr. J. Lowther) recommended that steps should be taken to send the seething mass of Irish ruffianism and crime thousands of miles away from Ireland; but he would recommend the hon. Member to try first that same experiment with the crime and ruffianism of London. Small farms had been spoken of as if they were the cause of the present condition of Ireland. On the contrary, he believed the miserable condition of the labouring population was due to the consolidation of holdings and consequent evictions. It was a mistake to suppose the people of Ireland would leave the country; they were determined to remain in it, and he thought they had a right to do so. It was too bad to say the population of Ireland was too large; as if it was not enough that 3,000,000 of the people were in their graves or in a foreign land. If Ireland had no manufactures, it was because she had been robbed of them by English legislation; it was Parliament that had made Ireland an agricultural country, and left her nothing but agriculture to rely upon; and having done that, and diminished the population of the country by 3,000,000, it was cruel to the people to talk of still further reducing their numbers. He maintained, on high authority, that Ireland was capable of maintaining in comfort, contentment, and affluence a population much greater than that she had at this moment. The condition of Ireland in 1832 had been referred to; but it was remarkable that its condition in previous years was very similar to that which now existed. In 1830 Ireland was in a most disturbed state; the Tory gentry were highly incensed at the Government of the Duke of Wellington for having passed Catholic Emancipation, and it did not improve the material circumstances of the peasantry, just as the Irish Church Act of last year had done nothing for them, beyond removing a sentimental grievance which it was necessary to remove before attempting to improve the material condition of the people. But, before 1833, when the Coercion Bill was passed, there had been several prosecutions in Ireland, and large rewards had been offered in vain for the detection of offenders. Now, however, there had been but one prosecution, that of Barrett, who had been spoken of as an assassin at large; but to hold such, language was to impeach trial by jury, for in his case the juries had disagreed, the venue was legally changed, there was really considerable doubt as to his guilt; the Dublin jury was most impartially constituted, there was no one upon it who had any sympathy with him, and I not a single tenant-farmer; and the prosecutor was one of the most unpopular men in Galway. The imputation that had been cast upon the juries could not be sustained in argument. In comparing the present with the past state of Ireland, its condition during the years 1844 and 1845, when a Tory Administration held Office, and did not bring in a Coercion Bill, was most remarkable. According to a letter written by Earl Russell to the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. C. Fortescue) there were, in 1844, 18 homicides, 26 cases of firing at the person, 12 assaults endangering life, 121 incendiary fires, 7 cases of holding forcible possession, 54 of killing or maiming cattle, 9 demands for arms or unlawful carrying of them, 417 of sending threatening letters, 84 of attacking houses, 18 of resisting legal process, 69 of injuring property, 31 of firing into dwellings, 43 of aggravated assaults, and 30 cases of the administration of unlawful oaths by Ribbonmen, there being within the year a total of 1,001 crimes of agrarian origin. But things must have been even worse in the next year, for there were then 1,944 cases of threatening letters. With Ireland in such a condition a Conservative Government did not resort to a coercive measure, and it was not until 1847 that one was passed. Of course, the Conservatives would point to the fact that the Whigs had passed a coercive measure in 1870, while the Conservatives had abstained from doing so in 1844, when things were worse than they were now. The Charges of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to the grand juries of Clare, Limerick, Cork, and Kerry, were congratulatory addresses upon the state of those counties; and in the great county of Cork, with a population of 500,000, there had been only one case of homicide in a period of seven months. It had been said that in 1832 the peasantry of Ireland lived freely upon potatoes and milk, and he only wished the people had them now; for their condition would be much better than it really was. Let anyone take up the Reports of the Poor Law Inspectors lately made, and say whether he could doubt that the state of the labouring population of Ireland was very much worse than it had been in the years 1844 and 1845, and that this was the spring of a great proportion of the crime and outrage which were now disgracing Ireland. As a cause of the discontent, it was stated that since the period of the famine the owners of property and their agents had, as a general rule, been strongly opposed to the erection or continuance of cottier houses on their estates. It was impossible not to draw the conclusion that agrarian crime and outrage were, to a great extent, attendant upon the oppression of the landlords. In Meath and Westmeath the proportion of these was above the average, and both these were grazing counties, where the agricultural population had been disturbed and ejected from their holdings, Mayo and Donegal had been in a disturbed state, and anyone who read the Reports of the Inspectors would say it was surprising, not that agrarian crime existed there, but that insurrection had not broken out, for tenants had been obliged to sign agreements that they would resign their holdings on the following 1st of November, and it was said that notices to quit were printed on the receipts given to the tenants. With regard to the case at Ballina, alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman, where a number of ejectments were served by a lady, anyone who had read the accounts of what had occurred might well despair of the country where such things could happen. The very lady who the right hon. Gentleman said was fired at, to show that she was not dead appeared in court with her jaw bandaged to support her ejectment cases, and tenants who had improved their holdings were turned out without 1s. of compensation, houseless and homeless on the world. ["Hear, hear!"] If hon. Gentlemen would call "Hear, hoar!" at such statements, he entirely despaired of getting from them any measure of justice to his country. He maintained that there was more of crime and outrage in England in proportion to its population than in Ireland, and that the crimes were of a more aggravated nature. He did not intend, at the present moment, to go through the clauses of the Bill, because he should have an opportunity of commenting on them in Committee; but he objected to several of them, and to one in particular, which provided that a man taken on suspicion in a proclaimed district might be carried before a magistrate and examined on oath, and sent to prison if he refused to give evidence. That was contrary to all the law he had ever heard or read of, and it was an invasion of the constitutional principles by which England had hitherto been guided, and of which she had been so proud. The provisions in respect to the Press appeared to him of such a character that no English Parliament would assent to them if they thoroughly considered their nature. They empowered the Lord Lieutenant to seize the whole plant of a newspaper suspected of containing seditious matter, and to confiscate the entire property. Such a proceeding would cause the ruin of the editor or proprietor, and deprive everyone employed upon it of their bread. Six months afterwards the deprived man might appeal for redress to a jury empanelled by the very authority which had inflicted the wrong, and upon which the Lord Lieutenant's shoemaker and grocer might sit. If these provisions were calmly considered by English and Scottish Members, he had hopes that they would never lend their sanction to such an aggression upon that liberty of the Press of which Englishmen had been wont so loudly to boast. But if the Bill passed in its present shape, he had no hesitation in declaring his conviction, that so far from its benefiting or pacifying the population of Ireland, it would be resisted as one of the most daring invasions of their rights which had ever been attempted.


The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has made the discovery that this Bill is the result of a Machiavellian policy, pursued by those who represent Irish constituencies on this side of the House, and advocated by that well - known Tory organ The Pall Mall Gazette. The hon. Gentleman believes also that the great object of this Machiavellian policy is to ruin the present Government, aided again by that well-known Tory print The Pall Mall Gazette. The hon. Gentleman went on at some length to show that the circumstances of Ireland were not of such a complexion as to justify or show the necessity for the pro- visions of this measure. He proceeded to prove that if there was crime in Ireland there also was crime in England, and he even went so far as to specify the town of Sheffield, and allude to the crime which has been known to exist there. I would beg leave, however, to remind the hon. Gentleman that the crime of Sheffield has been specially legislated for by Parliament, the Explosive Substances Act having been passed for the purpose of preventing, as far as possible, a particular class of outrages common some years ago in that town. I am free to admit that there is crime in England; but is there that characteristic of crime which this Bill is intended to cope with in Ireland—namely, that crime is not only committed, but is neither detected nor punished? I should have thought the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, showing that 767 cases of agrarian crime had taken, place in Ireland in one year, the Charges of the eminent Judges to whom reference has been made, six in number, all pointing to the terrible condition of those parts of Ireland with which we have to deal, and the paragraphs read by the Solicitor General for Ireland from The Irishman and other newspapers, would have proved sufficiently the exceptional circumstances of Ireland, and spared us from listening to the laboured argument of the hon. Gentleman to prove that no exceptional circumstances exist. I pass, however, from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, and will make some reference to the speech of the Solicitor General for Ireland, which we heard last night. I am under the impression that the Solicitor General for Ireland seems rather to think that those on this side of the House who are prepared to support Her Majesty's Government, in, I admit, this very exceptional legislation, by the very fact of their support are debarred from criticizing or canvassing the past conduct of the Government and the time at which this exceptional measure is introduced to our notice. I must say for myself, whilst I do not shrink from the full responsibility of giving a most hearty support to the provisions of this measure, I must claim the right to criticize the past conduct of the Government and the period they have selected for the introduction of this Bill. Before I do that, I wish to supple- ment what I have said as to the exceptional condition of Ireland at this moment by reading extracts from two letters out of a multitude I have received from Ireland—as no doubt other gentlemen havo—showing the fearful condition of society in many districts of that unfortunate country. The first extract I will take the liberty of reading is from a letter written by a lady connected by birth and allied by marriage to several of the greatest Whig houses in the two kingdoms, and married to a resident landed proprietor of large possessions in one of these disturbed districts. The letter was written a few days before notice was given by the Government of their intention to introduce this Bill. The writer says— This wretched country is in an unheard-of state. The non-governing system is ending in complete terrorism. Everyone is dreading what to-morrow may bring forth, and all Mr. Gladstone's sympathies seem engaged in remedial measures to content the disloyal and disaffected, and not one pitying effort made to protect or encourage those who are doing their best to uphold the British Empire in its entirety. Repeal of the Union and a National Parliament are at the bottom or behind all this agitation. The only good feature in this dismal chaos is that the priests are dreadfully alarmed, and are heartily wishing for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, as well as the suppression of the violent Fenian papers. This is from one of the disturbed districts. The other extract I shall take the liberty of reading is a business letter, in answer to an application from a resident landed proprietor in another disturbed district to have his house insured— National Assurance Office, Dublin, March 10, 1870. Sir,—I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 9th instant, with proposal for insurance against fire on house, &c., amount £8,000, which, having been laid before the directors, I am desired to inform you that they are not disposed to undertake the risk. I ask the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down whether, in the record of crime in England, he can produce instances of such complete social disorganization, and disruption of all the ties that bind society together, as are indicated by the two extracts I have read. I come now to the past conduct of Her Majesty's Government with reference to this subject, and the period at which this measure is introduced. The hon. Member has said he believes we are supporting this Bill on this side of the House with a view of saying hereafter to the Irish people—"We, the Tory Members, were reluctant to support the Government in this measure, and you see what it is to have Whigs and Liberals in Office." I am now going to cut that ground, at any rate, from under my feet, for I am going to charge the Government, instead of having been too precipitate, with having been too remiss and too late in introducing this Bill. On the 29th of April last, from information I had received, I felt it my duty to challenge the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland to the condition of agrarian outrages and crime in Tipperary and Westmeath. The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion assured me that the attention of Her Majesty's Government was uninterruptedly devoted to the repression of agrarian crime in those two counties. The statement made by the right hon. Gentleman was thought by independent Members on both sides of the House to be so unsatisfactory that it was immediately challenged by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves), and on the very next day a long and animated debate took place in this House on the condition of agrarian crime in certain districts of Ireland. Men of great eminence and weight on both sides of the House took part in that debate. Part of the Cabinet spoke. And what was the result? The right hon. Gentleman the First Minister told me that I had been guilty of exaggerated alarm. The language of the Government was, that they would do nothing to repress crime and outrage, except by the machinery they had then in their hands, until they had been able to introduce what they called "consolatory measures." That was on the 30th of April. I remember that at that time agrarian crime was distinctly stated by the Irish Secretary to be confined to the two counties of Tipperary and Westmeath. The circle of crime went on widening. On the 10th of May, again, I called the attention of the Government to the spread of these frightful outrages, and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. C. Fortescue) told me that the attention of the Government was being directed to the preparation of measures that should have for their object to give more speedy and effective means to the Lord Lieutenant to repress these agrarian crimes. That was on the 10th of May. May passed away. No measure was introduced. The circle of crime went on widening. June passed away. July was almost ended, when my hon. Friend the Member for the county of Londonderry (Sir Frederick W. Heygate) again made a last appeal to Her Majesty's Government. What was then the answer of the Government to the appeal? Parliament was shortly to be prorogued, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant told the astonished House of Commons that the state of general crime in Ireland was, on the whole, satisfactory, and he believed and hoped that the existing law, put in force by the untiring energy of the Executive Government, would be sufficient to repress and put down agrarian crime in the few districts where it yet lingered. Now, we have had given to us, by the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, the figures of agrarian crime during the whole of the year 1869. The number of those crimes was 767. More than that, in the course of the speech with which we were favoured last night by the Solicitor General for Ireland extracts were read from the incendiary newspapers, which, according to the Government, necessitated this Draconian code, as it has been called, being immediately applied to the Press of that country. An hon. Gentleman below the Gangway, when one of these extracts was read, asked for the date. The Solicitor General gave it. What was it? The middle of last year. Now put those two facts together, and what have we? We have a state of crime that was rapidly increasing, bringing the sum total of those agrarian crimes up to 767 in the course of the year. We have the statement as to criminal articles in the revolutionary and seditious Press, which, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, call for this stringent measure of coercion, every instance given by the Solicitor General occurring in the spring, or summer, or autumn of last year. And what happens? Parliament is prorogued without any measure being introduced. But before it was prorogued the magistrates of Westmeath had met and formally laid their opinion on the state of the case before the Government. I am not aware that any notice was taken of their representations. Crime went on increasing, and now we are told, by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, that the reason why the Government took no action during the whole of the last Session of Parliament was that it was not till November or December that the crimes rose to the amount of ten per diem. Let us admit that this was so, and that one of the articles to which the Solicitor General for Ireland last night called attention was dated on Christmas Eve, and what a case Her Majesty's Government have made out against themselves for not introducing this measure the very first day Parliament met! Well, Sir, this short record which I have given of the conduct of the Government will, I trust, spur them on to the discharge of their duties now, and induce them to exorcise redoubled energy in putting an end to the state of things which has shocked the public feeling of both countries. I wish I could stop here; but some observations fell from the Prime Minister, at the close of the short debate on the introduction of this measure, which compel me to make some reference to the language used by great and eminent persons in public. I cannot say that I think the Government, or certain Members of it, at any rate, are altogether free from all responsibility for the present state of things, considering the language which they have used during the last fifteen months. My hon. Friend the Member for Londonderry (Sir Frederick W. Heygate)—than whom, I must say, there is not a more guarded or moderate speaker on either side of this House—the other night ventured to say that he thought the Prime Minister had made use of language which, wrested, perhaps, from its original purpose by agitators and demagogues, had produced most mischievous effects. The right hon. Gentleman commented, with some severity, upon this statement of my hon. Friend. But the hon. Member for Sal-ford (Mr. Charley), in the course of the same debate, went more into detail, and reminded the Prime Minister of the now historical reference he made in a speech, I think at Wigan, to Protestant ascendancy as the Upas tree of Ireland, which must be destroyed. The right hon. Gentleman, commenting with great severity on that statement, proceeded to give his own version of what he said at Wigan. I was under the impression, from what the right hon. Gentleman had said in an earlier debate, that he expressed a wish that the Upas simile should never be heard of more in the House, and, in fact, I understood him to express a wish that he had never used it, and that it might be allowed to drop out of memory. But I am now led to suppose that, as often happens with the right hon. Gentleman, I must have misunderstood his meaning, because the other night I heard him reassert and vindicate the famous simile. But on that occasion, I am bound to say, the right hon. Gentleman did not do full justice to his own rhetorical powers, for he said that he had used the old-fashioned simile of the Upas tree to describe Protestant ascendancy, but now it had been cut down and there was an end of it. But this was not the simile. The right hon. Gentleman, having said Protestant ascendancy was a Upas tree, proceeded, in that vein of imagination which characterized him, to endow the tree with three branches: the first was the Church, the second was the land, and the third was education; and he thereupon called on the people of Lancashire and of the United Kingdom to aid him in cutting down these three branches, and then destroying the original stump. As to the Church, no doubt there could be little misapprehension on the part of the people how he intended to cut down that branch. But I am not aware that the right hon. Gentleman ever gave any hint how he intended that Protestant ascendancy in the land was to be dealt with. My impression is that that problem was left to be solved by the excited imagination of the people of Ireland. If so, I think it was the most unguarded and unfortunate expression which he could have allowed himself to use, and which he might be sure would be served up and traded upon by the agitators and demagogues of that country. The right hon. Gentleman says that for the use made of any expression of his he is not responsible. Possibly, But I will give him another instance of an unfortunate expression used by a man in high station, which has been turned to a dangerous use. Another great Cabinet Minister, a few months ago, found it necessary to speak, during the Recess, on the subject of Ireland. That Cabinet Minister is a man of singular caution and moderation—I allude to the Earl of Clarendon. He is reported—and I believe correctly reported—to have stated, in a speech made in England, that certain acts supposed to be done by certain landlords of Ireland were felonious. Now what has since happened? The Solicitor General for Ireland told the House last night that all the Fenian prisoners who had been amnestied, with the exception of two who were Americans, had shown how worthy they were of the favour conferred upon them by the lives they had since led, and the hon. and learned Gentleman particularly instanced Mr. Kickham. Now, unless my memory deceives me, it was not long after this speech, of the Earl of Clarendon's, in Hertfordshire, where he uttered that unfortunate expression, that a newspaper in Ireland contained a careful, and, I am bound to add, a logical and exhaustive argument, from the pen of Mr. Kickham, to prove, on the authority of the Earl of Clarendon, that every landlord in Ireland who presumed to regain possession of his land was condemned as a felon and ought to be shot. But that is not all. Mr. Kickham, you may say, is a gentleman of very pronounced opinions, and not apt to be measured in his language. But I hold in my hand a letter which was written the other day from the seat of infallibility by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, Dr. Nulty. It refers to a farm of ten acres, which was held on a tenancy-at-will by a priest. The priest died; but he expressed on his death-bed a wish that the landlord would let the farm to his spiritual successor. But for certain reasons, good or bad—I do not enter into that part of the case—the landlord declined to admit the new priest to possession of the farm of ten acres. Dr. Nulty then writes the letter which I hold in my hand. Having set out the facts as I have related them, he says— The man who holds possession of the tenant's improvements because he is proprietor, and because he plunders according to law holds me up to the scorn of the whole Empire, commits a 'felony'"— and I beg the House to understand that the word felony is placed between inverted commas, in evident allusion to the expression used by the great Cabinet Minister— commits a 'felony' which English justice and English statesmen I trust will not allow him to repeat. A few lines farther down, in this letter Dr. Nulty takes occasion to inform us that— Standing on a hill that overlooks this farm you can see the spot on which Mr. Featherston was murdered, and also the scene of Mr. Anketell's murder, a few months later. I say, therefore, that the hon. Member for Londonderry and the hon. Member for Salford were fully vindicated and justified in the expressions they used. But now, having expressed my opinion as to the lack of energy shown by Her Majesty's Government in the past, I fully admit the obligation that rests upon those who hold the opinions which I have expressed to give their cordial support to the passing of this Bill. It seems to me that this Bill contemplates four objects, all of them of the greatest importance in the present unfortunate condition of Ireland. The first is the prevention of crime, the second is the detection of crime, the third the punishment of crime, and the fourth the repression and suppression of the incendiary Press in Dublin. As respects the first point, the prevention of crime, I hope and believe that the new provisions of the Bill, laying restrictions on the sale of arms and gunpowder, and on the use of revolvers in the specially proclaimed districts, the arrest of persons moving about by night, and the arrest of strangers coming into the district, will have some effect. But I own I am not, after all, perfectly satisfied that the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act would not have a more considerable effect in certain districts for the prevention of crime. There are districts in Ireland in which, not perhaps the actual perpetrators, but the more dangerous and guilty persons, the men who are the instigators and paymasters of the assassins, are well known. There are districts in Ireland where at this moment the police could put their hands upon the heads of the Ribbon conspiracy, and under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act undoubtedly that result would be assured. But what would be the effect of this step upon the assassins themselves—the humble bravos who for £2 and a bottle of whisky would assassinate any man, or woman either, that was pointed out to them? My impression is that they would be paralyzed when they saw their masters in prison, and that, alarmed and apprehensive from this action of the Government, they would take one of two courses—either they would fly the country, or when they saw Government was in earnest, and that the power of the law could no longer be resisted, they would come forward and give evidence against their instigators and employers. I believe that that would be the effect, in all human probability, in certain districts in Ireland. But I admit fully to the Government that they must be the best judges. They have acted on the responsibility of their office, and from a survey of all the circumstances resolved not to ask Parliament for this power, and therefore I do not press it. Now, I come to consider the provisions that are made for the detection of crime, and I think that these provisions of the Bill promise well. The power of searching for documentary evidence, the power of punishing witnesses who refuse to give evidence, will go some way in the detection of crime which has hitherto eluded our grasp. I am, however, afraid that in some cases an almost insuperable difficulty will be experienced, because it is not only that in some districts witnesses are reluctant to speak the truth, but, beyond that, I fear the gangrene in the heart of those districts is so deeply seated that many men when put into the witness-box, and compelled to speak, will not hesitate to perjure themselves in order to prevent the detection of crime. I do not say this on my own authority, but from a conversation which I had last year with a Roman Catholic professional gentleman of eminence and experience, in which he informed me that although, when he first became acquainted with the district in which he resided, the peasantry, when called upon in court to give evidence on oath, were as reliable as witnesses of any other class or in any other country, he had since noticed a melancholy and. lamentable change come over them, so that now they did not scruple to perjure themselves—nay, in some cases seemed to take a positive pride in doing so, in order that the criminal might escape and his crime go unpunished. It will be impossible for this Bill to be successfully applied to districts where such a feeling prevails; but so far as human legislation can deal with such a state of affairs, I think the provisions of this part of the measure will be efficacious. As regards the punishment of crime I am not so sanguine, for the only provision in the Bill is that which, facilitates a change of venue, and there is already evidence of the futility of that course in what occurred on the trial of Barrett for the attempted murder of Captain Lambert. The hon. Member who spoke last told us that there were peculiar circumstances in the case of Barrett which should prevent us coming on that case to any conclusion with respect to the effect of the proposed change. I admit that the circumstances are peculiar, for what occurred at the trial in Galway? While the jury were in deliberation in the room one of them threw up the window and flung down to the excited mob outside a slip of paper containing the names of the jurors who were favourable to conviction. That, I hope, was an exceptional circumstance. But we must remember that the same failure of justice occurred at Dublin; and if a verdict according to the evidence cannot be obtained in Dublin, I know not where you are likely to obtain it. It seems to me that the power of changing the venue would be made; more effective if at the same time you gave the Judge who is to try the case the discretion of certifying for a special jury. If you did that you might have some hope that the most atrocious crimes would no longer go unpunished. The last point of the Bill is the suppression of revolutionary and seditious papers. There can hardly be two opinions as to the severity and power of the provisions, for the opposition to the second reading has been mainly based upon them. But if they are too severe and stringent an opportunity of considering them will be afforded in Committee. For the present I give them my cordial support. But while I freely admit and hope that the Bill, if pressed forward with energy and acted on with firmness by the Government, will do something to check these outbreaks of agrarian crime, I must at the same time say that circumstances which are patent, admitted, and notorious—the relations which exist between the Executive Government and the classes in Ireland who are to carry this measure into execution—fill me with alarm and apprehension. Both the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant and the Solicitor General for Ireland have stated, in the course of this debate, that the Government have only a limited confidence in the magistracy of Ireland. Well, Sir, but after the speech we have heard from the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. Bagwell) and the statements I have read as made by a noble Marquess in "another place," as well as from a document circulating in Ireland, expressing on the part of a large portion of the magistrates their opinion of the conduct of the Government towards one of their number, I think I do not go too far when I say that, however limited may be the confidence felt by Her Majesty's Government in the magistrates of Ireland, it is more than reciprocated by the magistrates of Ireland towards Her Majesty's Government. I cannot conceive anything more alarming than this condition of affairs. We are going to place unreserved powers in the hands of the magistrates. Everything, humanly speaking, as to the immediate future, depends upon the most frank, intimate, and cordial communication between the magistrates and the Government, and when we see divisions and mutual distrust it opens up a sad prospect as to the operation of this measure. I wish the magistrates of Ireland could be induced to regard this measure as a proof of the new and restored confidence which the Government is disposed to put in them. I hope we shall hear no more of such statements from any Member of the Government as those to which I have referred. With fully-restored confidence, and the establishment of cordial relations between the Executive Government and those classes which contain among them the wealth, the enterprize, and the education of Ireland, a measure of this kind may produce tranquillizing effects. But if it is otherwise, you may, on the one hand, disestablish and plunder the Church, you may diminish the proprietary rights in the land of the gentry of Ireland, and hand over the primary education of the country to Cardinal Cullen and Bishop Nulty, and attempt, on the other, to cope with the outbreaks of agrarian crime and with the publications of an incendiary Press by exceptional laws of this kind; but rely upon it, you will not succeed in restoring contentment and prosperity to the country, because prosperity and contentment can only come by, and through, and in the wake of peace, order, and good government.


said, he was unwillingly obliged, when introducing this Bill, to detain the House at considerable length; and he was not disposed to repeat that process on this occasion; but he was bound to make some observations on the criticisms directed against the Bill. The most important of the charges urged against the Government by the noble Lord who had just addressed the House related to the time at which they resolved to introduce this repressive measure. On that point he should touch presently; but in the last part of his speech the noble Lord made some observations which he must notice very shortly. The noble Lord fell foul of a Colleague of his, the noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, for a single epithet used by him in the course of what he might call a Conservative speech on the Irish land question. That epithet was, he believed, well deserved and appropriate on the assumptions and under the restrictions with which his noble Friend connected it; but it had been singled out of his speech by the organs of the extreme party in Ireland; and now, on the principle that extremes meet, the noble Lord had attempted to use for his own purpose that epithet which had been improperly and unjustly used for their purpose by politicians differing very much from the noble Lord. What did the Foreign Secretary mean? The noble Lord knew well what he meant, and he (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) believed at the bottom of his heart the noble Lord agreed with the epithet as it was meant to be used by Lord Clarendon. The Foreign Secretary supposed a case in which the landlord, contrary to moral equity and principle, appropriated to himself the improvements made on his estate with his own consent, express or implied, by the tenant; and in describing such conduct the noble Earl used a condemnatory epithet of great force and pungency. The noble Lord spoke of the Foreign Secretary as if he were a person who encouraged turbulence and agrarian outrage. Now, he could not think that worthy of either the noble Lord or his party. In all essential respects the Foreign Secretary was, in the truest sense of the word, as Conservative as the noble Lord himself; and in the speech referred to he condemned nothing which the noble Lord himself, when not speaking as a partizan, would hesitate to condemn. The noble Lord had also spoken of the little confidence the Government reposed in the magistrates of Ireland. That, too, was an extraordinary attack, considering the provisions in the Bill now before the House, and considering the view taken of those provisions by some of the political friends of the Government below the Gangway. The Bill would confer powers on the magistracy and on grand juries which were not at all approved by the hon. Gentlemen to whom he referred. The Government did not show any want of confidence in the magistrates—[Lord JOHN MANNERS: Not by this Bill]—they did not show any want of confidence in the magistrates by the provisions of this Bill. The noble Lord had put his own interpretation on isolated and rare occurrences, in which the Government had been brought into collision with two or three gentlemen in that position. But the Government had only exercised what they considered a painful and imperative duty. The truth was that the provisions of the Bill showed no want of confidence in the magistrates of Ireland, and although they might be open to attack from their own supporters, he thought that they had steered a fair course as regarded the magistracy. They gave certain powers to the magistracy of Ireland, and thus at the same time did that which the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. Bagwell) in his marvellous speech—in which in one sentence he spoke as the highest Tory and in another as the deepest Radical—repudiated as an insult to the magistrates of Ireland. They had provided that when acting under the Bill a stipendiary magistrate should be present. He was sorry that his hon. Friend the Member for Clonmel, in his original way of looking at things, should look upon that as an insult to the magistrates of Ireland. It was not so intended, and he did not believe the gentlemen who held the commission of the peace in Ireland would take it so. The Government were of opinion that, while the justices of the peace might properly have jurisdiction in a certain class of cases, action should not be taken in such cases under the Bill without the presence of a magistrate in immediate and official communication with the Government. In carrying out the provisions of such a Bill as this the Government would require the assistance of magistrates whose services they could call for at any time, and by whom they would be officially informed of everything done by the magistrates in administering the law under an exceptional statute. They also felt it important to have magistrates present who would be out of the reach of local influence. That he believed to be a most important provision, but one by no means derogatory to the gentlemen who held the commission of the peace in Ireland. He might add that the Government meant to enable the Lord Lieutenant to appoint temporarily an increased number of resident magistrates to work the provisions of this Bill, and to secure that those provisions should be fully carried out. His hon. Friend the Member for the county of Cork (Mr. Downing) thought that no case had been made out for the introduction of a Bill of this kind. He believed his hon. Friend was almost singular in that view; and that he had allowed his judgment in the matter to be too much influenced by the absence of agrarian crime in the great county he represented. Though in the towns of the county of Cork there was a large amount of sedition and lawlessness which required constant watchfulness and repression, it was perfectly true that agrarian crime scarcely existed at present in the county of Cork, and scarcely ever did exist to any extent. They did not rest the Bill on the condition of the whole of Ireland; on the contrary, they rested it on the condition of certain parts of Ireland, with which they could not successfully grapple under the present law. His hon. Friend had spoken of the exaggerated statements made in respect of the state of Ireland. On that point he, to some extent, agreed with his hon. Friend; because while the amount of undetected crime in Ireland was a full and complete justification for the introduction of the Bill, he thought, with his hon. Friend, that there had been a great deal of exaggeration. Even in the course of the present debate expressions had been used by Gentlemen of high authority which went much beyond what the facts warranted. In fact, if things were as bad as they had been represented in some quarters, this Bill would be useless. Certainly he, for one, would despair of dealing with such fearful evils as some hon. Gentlemen had described by legislation like that proposed by the Government. He would not enter into a discussion on the details of the Bill; but there was one point referred to by his hon. Friend, on which he wished to say a word. He specially singled out the clause in which power was given to the magistrates, even in cases in which no prisoner was charged, to examine witnesses on oath under the usual penalties to which witnesses were subject when there was a prisoner in the dock. Now, that he believed to be one of the most valuable provisions of the Bill, and one thoroughly suited to the present condition of things in Ireland, which was the best justification it could, have. For the question in all these cases was, not whether your legislation appeared to be strong and stringent, but whether it was adapted to the object in view. By that provision they introduced no new principle into the law—no principle more adverse to the witness than the law now was. If the present law was right, the change now proposed was equally justifiable. At present, provided some person was actually charged with the offence and put into the dock, all the powers given by that clause were applicable to every witness; and it was now merely proposed that when, as was too often the case, no prisoner could actually be charged and put in the dock, but where there was a previous examination, and there was every reason to believe that certain witnesses were able to give that same information to the court which they would give if any prisoner were actually charged, the witnesses should be treated in the same way as now, when the accused was produced. That provision was one of great importance for the detection and punishment of crime. He wished next to say a few words on the speech of the Mover of the Amendment, whom he was sorry not to see in his place. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Moore) constructed his plan of operations against the Bill in a very ingenious way. In giving his reasons for not agreeing to the second reading, the hon. Gentleman said, first, that the Government had totally neglected to use the means at their command; and, next, that he objected to the connection of any legislation against the Press, any political legislation, with those provisions which were directed merely against a low and vulgar class of agrarian crimes. The hon. Member, in words which certainly caused him some astonishment by their audacity, asserted that so far from the ordinary powers of the Government being exhausted, they had not even been tried. For that assertion, however, he did not give, or attempt to give, the slightest shadow or tittle of proof. The only approach to evidence for it, which he of course implied, was the unfortunate fact, known by all, and by none more than by himself, that in the disturbed districts of Ireland the present Government, like many other Governments, had not been able, under the ordinary powers it possessed, to put an end to that state of agrarian turbulence and crime. But was this the first time that an Irish Government had failed, even during long periods, to suppress agrarian turbulence? He might remind the House, in passing, that in dealing with that state of things, among the difficulties it had to contend with—and he believed no Irish Government had greater difficulties to contend with in dealing with agrarian crime—was the fact that the present Government was the first which for some years had undertaken the task of governing Ireland under the ordinary law of the land. No Gentleman on the front Bench opposite could blame him for observing that the late Government, which did its work very well in repressing crime and keeping the peace in Ireland, never governed that country for a single hour with the Habeas Corpus Act in force. That Act was suspended throughout their whole term of Office; and it was scarcely possible to exaggerate the difficulty inevitably caused by the transition from that condition of things to the attempt to govern Ireland under the ordinary law. Immediately on the restoration of the Habeas Corpus Act every dangerous and disaffected character driven out of the country by its suspension could return to it, and a number of lawless men then came back from America, and had been doing mischief ever since. ["Hear, hear!"] Did those cheers mean that they ought to govern Ireland for ever without the ordinary guarantees for personal liberty? He was only showing how the difficulties of the present Government had been increased by the transition from an exceptional to an ordinary state of the law, and by those characters being able to return to use their dangerous influence in Ireland. But, he asked, was this the first time an Irish Government had failed to put down agrarian crime in certain parts of that country? Had not Governments failed at a time when these crimes were far greater than now, and when Parliament was asked, as now, for larger powers to repress it, but those powers were refused? He spoke of the period of 1847, when the extent of such crime was far beyond that of 1869, and of 1846, when the Government of the day applied to Parliament for further powers, which were denied them. But between 1847 and 1852—during which period the Government had obtained certain moderate powers under the statute called by the startling name of the Crime and. Outrages Act—the whole amount of Irish crime, including that of an agrarian character, far exceeded that of 1869, or that which now exists; and yet he was not aware that any Irish Government was condemned on the ground of not having done its best to keep that crime in chock. He had no doubt those past Governments had done their best, and had accomplished much for that purpose, as the present Government had done, although they were not able to put an end to the existing state of intimidation. But the hon. Member for Mayo went so far as to say the Irish Government had actually abdicated its functions, that it was in a state of positive coma, and for months past had done nothing. That statement was almost peculiar and exclusive to the hon. Member for Mayo; it was certainly not supported in the important speech made on the previous night—he meant that delivered by his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball)—with the greatest ability, fairness, and public spirit; because, although his right hon. and learned Friend had a very strong opinion, which he expressed with his usual force and candour, as to the time at which they were asking Parliament for those additional powers, he did not condemn the Government of Lord Spencer, or himself, for any indifference or any neglect to make the best use of the powers they possessed. The hon. Member for Mayo did not seem to know the condition of his own county; but let him ask any Mayo magistrate, who knew its condition, whether the Government had shown any indifference or slackness in the exercise of its powers. On the contrary, he would be told that the Government and the police had done all in their power to put down crime. They had sent there a large force of military and police; detachments of police were stationed at various points over largo districts; the roads were at this moment daily and nightly patrolled with the greatest energy and vigilance; and all that was needed for the successful use of the force they had there was exactly the additional powers they now asked for, which, he believed, would increase ten-fold the effect of the police and military force already despatched to that and other disturbed districts. The hon. Gentleman spoke as if he (Mr. C. Fortescue) was totally indifferent to that lamentable state of things, and quoted, for about the fiftieth time, the letter written in his name, on the part of the Lord Lieutenant, to the magistrates of Meath, stating that the Government would welcome any opinions or suggestions they had to make on the state of crime and its suppression in their own districts. Did the hon. Member pretend to believe that because they sent that letter the Government therefore folded their arms, or in the least degree relaxed their efforts to keep the peace and check crime in that county? Such an idea could only be the offspring of the most heated and unfair spirit of partizanship. The few persons, either in or out of that House, who used such language respecting the Irish Government, could have little notion of the constant anxiety, labour, and vigilance which he must in all sincerity say had been displayed by every member of that Government throughout the difficult and trying months of the late autumn and winter. The hon. Gentleman, in the second place, opposed the second reading, on the ground that the Government had improperly combined in the Bill measures of regression against the Press with measures intended to deal with what he treated as a vulgar and contemptible form of crime—namely, agrarian conspiracy and outrage. The hon. Member was not right in his facts. The other provisions of the Bill—excluding the clauses relating to the Press—did not deal solely and exclusively with Ribbonism and agrarian crime. On the contrary, they were calculated, many of them, to deal also with the crime, outrage, and danger arising from Fenianism and political conspiracy. He was quite as well aware as the hon. Member that Fenianism and agrarianism were not the same. With respect to their leaders and objects they were very different; but in actual operation in certain districts in Ireland, and he believed in Mayo, there was a certain amount of combination and union between them; for it often happened that the same person in a locality was a member of the Fenian conspiracy, and also an agent of mischief and a leader in outrage and agrarian crime. It would be a great mistake to suppose that there were no provisions in the Bill directed against the Fenian conspiracy. All those provisions against the sale and purchase of arms were as much directed against the Fenian conspiracy as against agrarian crime. They knew very well that Fenianism, though not showing much on the surface, had not ceased to be a danger in Ireland, and that everything was done to purchase arms and introduce them into the country. That process was going on to a degree which it was not easy to specify. But there were many provisions in the Bill relating to the possession and the robbery of arms which would be equally applicable to dangers arising from the Fenian conspiracy, whenever they should come into play, and to agrarian crime. And when the hon. Member protested against the introduction into a Bill like this of clauses intended to control the licentiousness of a dangerous and seditious Press, he had quite forgotten the object and the very name of the measure before the House. If they were to have a Peace Preservation Bill for Ireland, he knew no clauses more fairly conferring that title than those by which that Press, which week after week inculcated among the people of Ireland a spirit of lawlessness that showed itself in many ways, sometimes in the form of Fenianism and sometimes in the form of agrarian crime, was to be controlled. He had only a word to say with respect to the hon. Member for Dundalk (Mr. Callan), who seconded the Amendment. His hon. Friend rested his opposition to the Bill mainly upon what he assumed to be the inefficiency of the Irish police, which he, as well as other hon. Gentlemen took for granted, without the slightest attempt at proof or indication of proof, beyond the fact that he had received a threatening letter, the writer of which had not been detected by the police. He need hardly remind his hon. Friend and the House, that of all crimes there was none more difficult to detect, expose, and prosecute to conviction. In proof of that, he need only refer to the Charges of the Judges; though in several cases the writers had been convicted and received the punishment of their crime. But if his hon. Friend would look back to what had occurred tinder former Governments, he would find that the proportion of convictions to the writing of threatening letters had been very trifling; because it was impossible, in the vast number of instances, to furnish a jury with evidence sufficient to bring home the charge to the accused. He must say that those vague charges against the police, which were apt to be put forward for the purpose of getting rid of measures like the present, and of pointing out certain other remedies which had been suggested over and over again, were most unfair to that distinguished body of men. Upon this point he would like to read to the House a few words from a very impartial authority, a gentleman who, for half a century, had been Crown Solicitor for the county of Meath, and who was thoroughly acquainted with the history of crime during that period. They were contained in a Report from that gentleman to the Attorney General for Ireland. The Crown Solicitor for Meath said— It has become the fashion of late to malign this invaluable body as well as the Government, because, as it is said, crime is not discovered, proper exertions are not made, and its perpetrators are allowed to go unprosecuted and unpunished; but such assertions can emanate only from those who are either ignorant of, or do not choose to acknowledge, the difficulties with which the constabulary and the Government are surrounded and beset, and with which they have to contend; but if they were to know, and witness as I have done, the untiring efforts of the police—often most painful to see—to obtain evidence, and their deep-felt disappointment, they would cease to undervalue and to abuse a force which for efficiency and good conduct has no parallel, and without which crime would run rampant through the country, and life and property would be a thousand-fold more unsafe than even now. He did not know why he should not read what followed. The same gentleman said— I have already stated what I know to be the fact, that at no former period for the last fifty years has the Government been surrounded by so many difficulties as regards the suppression of crime, and that at no former period has greater watchfulness or anxious care been observed, or greater efforts made for the discovery of evidence. [Mr. CONOLLY: What is his name?] Mr. Seed; but his name made no difference, it was the experience that he had which lent so much weight to his words. Now, the most serious charge against Her Majesty's Government—a charge which was made by men of weight and authority—by his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dublin University (Dr. Ball), by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), and the noble Lord who had just sat down, was that the Bill was too late for the necessity of the case, and that it was the duty of the Government to have introduced it sooner. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University talked as if they ought to have introduced it long ago, meaning probably in an autumn Session; but the language used by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire was that it ought to have been introduced five weeks ago, or immediately after the meeting of Parliament, and that he took to be the real charge. But of all charges it was possible to make against a Government he knew none easier to put forward than that a measure of this kind ought to have been introduced before. The responsibility of introducing a measure of this kind was very great, and it was for the Government to consider and decide, under the sense of that responsibility, the precise time when they ought to ask Parliament for such powers. But one thing he was prepared to say in opposition to the opinion given by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, and that was that Her Majesty's Government advisedly did not intend to make this Bill what that right hon. and learned Gentleman called "the cardinal and essential measure of the Session." When he heard these words of the right hon. and learned Gentleman they appeared to him to carry in them their own condemnation. What would have been the condition of the Government, and not of the Government only, but of Parliament, if it appeared to the people of Ireland, or even the people of the United Kingdom, that this measure of painful but necessary repression was "the cardinal and essential measure of the Government in the Session of 1870?" These were the very words used by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. To have so treated this measure, or to have given the people of Ireland the slightest shadow of an excuse for believing that such was the nature of the policy of Her Majesty's Government, would have been the greatest calamity; and it was for the purpose of making such a calamity impossible, and of giving a fair chance not only to this measure, but to the far greater measure which they had in hand, that they had resolved, no doubt with great difficulty and under a very grave sense of responsibility, not to make this proposal to Parliament in the first place; and he was confident that the result had proved they were right. Expressions had been used in the course of the debate, especially by the right hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman), and indications of opinion had been given, which showed that if this Bill had been introduced when Parliament first met it would have had a very different reception. It would have been introduced under very different auspices both with respect to that House and to Ireland. Its moral effect would have been miserably weakened in comparison with what it now appeared to be, and, instead of losing, Her Majesty's Government had actually gained, with respect to the effectiveness of the Bill, by the delay which they decided to interpose before its introduction. He did not mean to deny that circumstances might conceivably have occurred at the commencement of the Session which might have rendered the instant introduction of such a measure imperative; but he maintained not only that such circumstances had not arisen, but that there had been much exaggeration respecting the amount of crime in Ireland. In proof that such exaggeration existed, he need only refer to the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the late Chief Secretary (Colonel Wilson-Patten) that the state of things in Ireland resembled that which existed in France during the Reign of Terror—a kind of language which only showed what a vast amount of exaggeration and panic must exist in the minds of those less able and less well informed than was his right hon. Friend. There was, undoubtedly, a system of intimidation existing which they had not hitherto succeeded in repressing; but there was not such urgency and overpowering danger as to preclude the Government from exercising any discretion as to the time when this Bill should be introduced. No agrarian murder had at that time been committed since October; they were not on the eve of an insurrection; when they talked of 700 agrarian outrages it was necessary to know and distinguish the nature of those offences; and although it was true that a system of intimidation prevailed in some counties which was intolerable, which they could not tolerate, which they did not mean to tolerate, and which was liable to spread, yet to say that when Parliament met the state of things in Ireland was in such a condition as not to leave the Government any discretion within a limited time when they should bring in this Bill, was a gross exaggeration of the facts of the case. He believed that, at the opening of the Session, they had a discretion as to the question of time. It was, no doubt, a responsible and painful one, and one which, to the Irish Government especially, had been very trying; but nevertheless the condition of things at that moment was one which, considering the reasons he had indicated to the House, of a grave, permanent, and political character, in which the future welfare of Ireland was so deeply involved, admitted of a certain delay. Acting upon that conviction, the Government had adopted the course they had pursued, in first endeavouring to secure the consent of Parliament to what they believed was the greatest and most vital measure ever proposed for the permanent benefit of Ireland, and had advisedly waited till now before introducing the present Bill. He could only repeat that the delay with which they had been charged had not been a loss, but a gain, both to the prospects and moral effect, not only of this measure, but of that other and far greater measure which they had in hand; and by the course which they had adopted they would, he believed, be brought nearer to that which was their constant endeavour and desire—namely, whether by material force for the moment, or moral force for the future, to effect the pacification of Ireland.


said, he had listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland with some interest; but he had only attempted to grapple with that part of the exhaustive and argumentative speech of the noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners), in which the right hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to extricate the noble Earl the Secretary for Foreign Affairs from the inextricable position in which he had placed himself. The Chief Secretary for Ireland had endeavoured to excuse the impotency of the Irish Government on the plea that they had not had the advantage of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act which he said their predecessors had; but the right hon. Gentleman and his associates were responsible for its withdrawal. It was rumoured in Ireland that the hardworking officials who were responsible to Government for the maintenance of peace, law, and order in that country urged upon Her Majesty's Government, when they came into Office, to retain the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and it was further rumoured that when it was refused, they said—"For goodness' sake give us power to retain it in one or two parts of the country," but that was also refused them. The right hon. Gentleman can state whether or not this rumour is true. The Government took the responsibility upon their own heads, and the difficulty was of their own making. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] He was glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman acknowledge his error, and that the difficulty they had now to contend with was one of his own making. He was, on general grounds, opposed to Her Majesty's Government; but he was ready to give them a cordial and hearty support in carrying this or any other measure that was calculated to restore peace, law, and order to his unfortunate country. At the same time, he reserved to himself the right of criticizing their acts both of commission and omission. He would not now allude to Mr. Madden's case nor to Lord Granard's case, because they would be brought before the House on Tuesday next. It had been said that it would be very unfair to refer to Lord Granard's case in his absence; but it should be remembered that the noble Lord was a Member of the other House, where he could defend himself, and that he would here be ably defended by the Solicitor General for Ireland, than whom no learned Gentleman was more competent to make the best of a bad case. In 1867–8 the amount of agrarian crime in Ireland was small; and in 1868, even after the Prime Minister had commenced his crusade against Protestantism in Ireland, owing to the firmness of the Executive in that country, the amount of agrarian crime was exceedingly small. In the autumn of that year the Prime Minister commenced his election tour in South Lancashire. He would not go so far to describe his speeches as semi-seditious as the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) had done, but this he would say, the violent, and inflammatory harangues of the Prime Minister, when bidding for the Irish Roman Catholic vote in Lancashire, were reproduced in the Irish Press, read throughout the length and breadth of the land in every cottage and in every hovel, and tended to promote and produce the excitement, the irritation, and bad feeling which has ever since gradually been increasing. He would not here allude to the Upas tree of the right hon. Gentleman further than to advise him not to open up the question again. His message of peace had been a sword. He had let loose the dogs of war; and, during his (Sir Thomas Bateson's) memory, Ireland had not been in such a disorganized state as at that moment. He believed that this measure had not been brought forward sooner, because it was the keenest satire and the most stinging sarcasm upon their policy It would not, he believed, have been brought forward even now had not such a measure been repeatedly demanded by the Liberal Press in England; and still the gravity of the present crisis was so little recognized by the right hon. Gentleman that he had not introduced this measure himself, but had allotted that task to the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman himself introduced the Irish Church Bill last year, and he would not do him the injustice to say that that Bill had not produced some effect in the North of Ireland, because it had almost doubled the number of the Loyal Orangemen of Ulster, and he could only say that if the right hon. Gentleman remained in Office long enough it was probable that almost every Protestant in Ulster would become an Orangeman. The right hon. Gentleman, in one of his speeches in the autumn, said he was stimulated to pass a communistic land Bill because the intensity of Fenianism had induced him to take up the Irish Church question. [Mr. GLADSTONE: I did not say so.] He was reported to have said so, and he (Sir Thomas Bateson) was glad to hear the denial. He would not refer to what the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had said, because the right hon. Gentleman was absent, and because he believed that that right hon. Gentleman had mode rated his views just as those of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had advanced. He would, however, quote from another speech. He had always been simple enough to believe that the Home Secretary was the personification of law, order, and moderation. Now, the present Home Secretary was reported in a Welsh paper to have said, when canvassing the electors of Merthyr— Was it not a deplorable fact that only 7 per cent of the land belonged to the Roman Catholic population? Such a state of things could only have been brought about by the enactment of the most cruel and infernal laws that over were enforced upon a people. There, then, was the Home Secretary, who by his oath of office was bound to administer the laws equally, characterizing them as infernal. He wished to ask whether, when this speech was reproduced in Ireland, and after it became known that the right hon. Gentleman who made it was appointed to the office of Home Secretary, the turbulent section of the Irish people did not naturally say to themselves—"At length we shall have Ireland governed according to Irish views. We shall no longer have to suffer from the operation of the infernal laws." That, at least, was a very fair inference to draw from the speech. Passing from that, the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had endeavoured to excuse the speech of the noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by saying that it was a Conservative speech, and made use of in a way that was not meant to hurt the feelings of anybody. Conservative or not Conservative, that speech was reproduced in Ireland, and circulated throughout the length and breadth of the land. It was quoted from the platform and in the pulpit, and notwithstanding what had been said in its palliation, he felt confident that to the use which was made of that speech in Ireland several of the murders which had been committed were distinctly traceable. Of course, he quite acquitted the noble Earl of any such intention as that of exciting the people of Ireland to the perpetration of such deeds; but that they had had such an effect he was perfectly certain. Men occupying the high position of the noble Earl could not be too careful in their utterances. The noble Earl was diplomatist enough to know that in speaking upon such a subject as that contained in the speech referred to he ought to weigh every word scrupulously. And yet the noble Earl did not make his remarks during the heat of an election contest, but at a provincial dinner table. He thought the language which the noble Earl made use of upon that occasion was very much to his discredit. Leaving that, he would now come to more general matters. When the present Government came into Office their first act was to liberate the Fenian prisoners almost wholesale. Those very men were set at freedom whose conviction had only been obtained at the risk of the lives of Judges and jurymen. Was not that, to say the least of it, a slap in the face to the juries who had convicted them? And what, might he ask, was the result of such conduct? Why, during the last twelve months, there were no less than thirty-three murders, or aggravated attempts at murder, in Ireland, and Government had not been able to secure a single conviction. Might that not very reasonably be in some measure attributable to the manner in which those juries had boon treated who had honestly and fearlessly striven to perform their duty? It had been admitted by the Government that the presence of one partizan among the jury was sufficient to defeat the ends of justice, and yet they still hesitated to introduce any alterations into the law relating to the constitution of juries. His own opinion was that some modification of the Scotch system, by which the decision of ten out of a jury of fifteen would be sufficient for conviction, would prove effectual in Ireland. Last year the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) brought forward a Motion on the subject of outrages in Ireland; but the Government declared that the existing law was amply sufficient, and rejected his Motion. Mr. Anketell was brutally murdered on the 3rd of March at Mullingar; and on the 15th of Maxell extra policemen were quartered on the town. On the 24th the inhabitants memorialized to be relieved from this expense; but, by order of the Lord Lieutenant, a reply was forwarded, stating that the additional police had not been sent down until the local magistrates had been consulted; and, moreover, that the Government had every reason to believe there were many persons residing in the town of Mullingar who had culpable knowledge of the persons by whom the crime had been committed. But the lamented Under Secretary (Sir Edward Wetherall) died, and under the new regimé, without any cause or reason being assigned, these extra police were withdrawn; and this, he was informed, had been done upon the representation of the junior Member for the county of Westmeath, to whose family the property in the town mainly belonged. The right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown would correct that statement if he was wrong. [Mr. GLADSTONE: I have no knowledge of the transaction.] The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland probably had some knowledge of it; and he was sorry to find that he was not now in his place. The celebrated case of the Meath magistrates was another example of the manner in which Government treated questions of the gravest importance. Twenty-seven magistrates of that county met in deliberation, and memorialized the Government to protect their lives, and put down the horrible agrarian conspiracy. So deplorable, indeed, had the state of matters in that county become, that shortly after the right hon. Gentleman acceded to Office gentlemen were obliged to go out hunting with revolvers in their pockets. [An hon. MEMBER: "Oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen might cry "Oh!" but those who did so had no knowledge whatever of the reign of terror that existed in Ireland. And the hon. Member for Nottingham, though he might have some acquaintance with Nottingham lambs, had no knowledge whatever of the state of Ireland. Why, one gentleman, Mr. Nicholson, went out hunting with his groom carrying a double-barrelled rifle behind him. This Meath magistracy case had been referred to in the House; but little satisfaction had been derived from the Government. The answer given upon the subject by the Chief Secretary, in answer to the noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners), was of the most miserable character. His conduct upon that matter had been aptly described as vacillating and undignified, and one Liberal London paper had gone the length of declaring that it was mere "scrambling impotency." During the past two days he (Sir Thomas Bateson) tad been looking over the speeches of the Prime Minister delivered during his celebrated tour in South Lancashire. Upon one of those occasions, the right hon. Gentleman had characterized the conduct of the loyal Orangemen of Ulster as odious and dreadful. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Where? Quote the passage.] In the speech at Wigan, reported in The Times, he believed, of October 24; he had not the paper with him, but he would furnish the right hon. Gentleman with the passage to-morrow morning. The loyal Orangemen of Ulster certainly said that the Prime Minister described their conduct as odious and dreadful. "But," they added, "he has never made use of such strong language with reference to the perpetrators of agrarian outrages, or the leaders of the Fenian conspiracy." Those loyal men of Ulster said—"You called our Church Protestant ascendancy, and you have destroyed it. But what, let us ask, is the ascendancy which you now have at Dublin Castle?" Again, the Chief Secretary had described the proceedings of the Ulster Orangemen as worthy only of the inhabitants of an African village. Now Ulster was, at the present moment, peaceable and obedient to the law. He did not mean to say that the people of that Province were satisfied. On the contrary, very strong feelings of dissatisfaction prevailed among them. The Government's conduct in destroying the Church still rankled in their breasts, and that conduct would never be forgotten nor forgiven. "Worthy only of the inhabitants of an African village," said the Chief Secretary; but he (Sir Thomas Bateson) would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether such remarks were not more applicable to other people in Ireland than the Orangemen? Were they not more applicable to the men who mutilated an unfortunate farmer by cutting off his nose? Were they not more applicable to the men who murdered an egg merchant in Mayo, because he had raised the price of his eggs 1d. per dozen? Were they not, in short, much more applicable to those who shot down a farmer in open noon-day because he dismissed a negligent or dishonest servant? Such remarks were much more applicable to persons outside Ulster than to the loyal Orangemen. The state of affairs, some of whose deeds he had been narrating, had been brought about to a very large extent by the inaction of the Government. Last year they were urged to take action before it would be too late. They were told that the monstrous conspiracy was growing day by day; and yet they took no notice of it, but allowed it to grow and increase and spread its ramifications over the whole length and breadth of Ireland. Formerly the disorders had been confined to Westmeath and Tipperary; but now they prevailed over all the land. What, for instance, was the present state of affairs in Mayo, which, at one time, was one of the most peaceable and orderly of all the counties of Ireland? He had in his hand a letter written by a lady, which gave the following terrible picture of the state of affairs there:— You two years ago prophesied that if the Church Bill passed no Saxon could live in Ireland. Your words are being so terribly fulfilled that I write to ask you whether this county will become one of the proclaimed districts. Nothing could be much worse than my part of the country is just now. My husband would have called upon you to hear what you had to say upon the subject, but he is absent buying two dozen revolvers to arm our poor Protestants. The danger is constant and great. Even the Liberal Press itself had last year urged the Government to take some action before it was too late. For instance, a Liberal London paper said that the prevalent system of secret assassination derived all that was formidable in its character from the inaction of the Government and the inability of the existing law to deal with it. The writer regarded the inaction of the Government as an indication of the weakness of the Executive; and, indeed, what we wanted was, as the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) said last night, a strong Executive, and not "scrambling impotence." He maintained that it was the duty of the Government last autumn, when crime had increased in Ireland to such a frightful extent, to have summoned Parliament together in a special Session for the purpose of passing a Bill similar to that now under discussion. The paper from which he had just quoted was of opinion that the Government ought then to have armed themselves with fresh powers, so as to enable them to make the law once again supreme in the country, to punish incendiary journalists, and to arrest the instigators to violence and outrage. If this were done, the writer added, the danger would vanish as if by magic. His right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) had alluded last night to the innocent blood which had been shed. The occupants of the Opposition Benches were not, however, responsible for the reign of terror which existed in Ireland at the present moment. As he had said, the Government had been warned time after time by the Liberal Press, and yet they had refused to stir. So great, indeed, had been their apathy, that his belief was that, had not the public opinion of England demanded it, no such measure even as the one before the House would have been introduced. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government appeared to have forgotten the speeches which he had delivered during his celebrated Lancashire tour; but he would ask the right hon. Gentleman calmly to read through those speeches, especially the celebrated one in which he stated that he had burnt his boats and destroyed his bridges, and to search his own heart and conscience in reference to the existing state of things in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman then would be able to tell the House who was really responsible for the bloodshed, anarchy, and confusion which now existed in that country, and which had existed ever since the right hon. Gentleman commenced his reign in Downing Street.


expressed his sincere and unqualified regret at being compelled to vote a second time, within so brief a period, against a Government measure relating to Ireland. He opposed the Bill because he felt confident it would be cruel in its effects. It would oppress the country, while it would not tend to the maintenance of law and order. In particular it would bear hard upon the poorer classes, because it assumed them to be sympathizers with agrarian murders and other outrages, and, therefore, placed them under the ban of suspicion. The Bill contained a provision for disarmament, and he sincerely wished that the prohibition, to carry arms were extended to the landlords and gentry. We should then be spared the humiliating spectacle of gentlemen riding to cover armed with revolvers in their pockets. Indeed, the statements made by the hon. Baronet (Sir Thomas Bateson) must give rise to a fooling of astonishment that Irish gentlemen should have so little sympathy with and trust in the people among whom they dwelt that they deemed it necessary to carry arms. If the people were treated with liberality and justice, the disorders which now weighed so heavily on Ireland would speedily disappear. Until a satisfactory land scheme was produced, successive Governments would always find it necessary to ask for special powers to protect life and property. He wished the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had acted on the opinion he once enunciated and governed Ireland in accordance with Irish ideas, for by such a policy alone could the respect and sympathy of the people of that country be won.


said, he did not wonder at the hon. Baronet (Sir Thomas Bateson) complaining of this measure not having been brought forward earlier, because for nearly a hundred years Government had been passing Insurrection Acts. For the same period promises had also been held out of remedial measures, and the Parliaments of England had been during all that time dealing with agrarian crime in Ireland by passing coercive Acts. Until the present year, however, no Government had attempted to revise the landlord and tenant code, which was admitted to be at the root of all agrarian crime in Ireland. The Bill now before the House contained a series of select extracts from a long list of repressive, Coercive, and Peace Preservation Acts, all of which had been passed for the better government of Ireland; but no real step had been taken in this direction till the Land Bill of the present Ministry was laid before Parliament. His own belief was that if the English Parliament had at an earlier period, resolved to do justice to Irish claims in the matter of the land, there would have been no need for the Coercive Bill which they were now discussing. As the Solicitor General for Ireland had remarked, the Irish Parliament, between the accession of George III. and the time of the Union, passed sixty Landlord and Tenant Acts; while, during the whole reign of the same Sovereign, the English Parliament passed only five Acts relating to the landlord and tenant question. Now, every one of the Irish Acts was passed in the interest of the landlords and against that of the tenants. At the time of the Union all these Acts were suffered to remain in force. In 1816 an Act—the 56 Geo. III. c. 88—was passed for facilitating ejectments through the Civil Bill Court; but, as if that was not enough, it was followed by the 58 Geo. III. c. 99. These Acts had scarcely been in operation two years, increasing dissatisfaction by enlarging the powers of the landlords, when another Crime and Outrage Act was passed; that was the 60 Geo. III. and 1 Geo. IV. c. 1; so that the accession of his late Majesty was celebrated by another attempt to repress the consequences of the unjust land laws. A similar Act inaugurated the reign of William IV., and that, again, was followed by another Ejectment Act—the 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 75. All these statutes, by increasing the power of the landlords to oppress the tenantry, aggravated the cause of the disturbances, while nothing was done to remove the source of the evil. In 1856 an Act was passed which might be deemed the basis of the present Bill. When these Acts had effectually crushed all political opinion the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1860 came into operation, consolidating all the previous measures, and making them many degrees worse than they were before. He defied any hon. Member to find any law resembling it in Scotland or England, or the Continent of Europe, or in the civilized parts of America. And even now, if the cry of crime and outrage which had been raised was allowed to have the effect intended, attention might be diverted from the landlord and tenant code of Ireland, perhaps for another century. Now, in dealing with the present state of Ireland, it was the duty of Parliament, he maintained, to proceed on broad, general principles; for there was no use in relying upon individual cases such as that of the lady who had written to state, as was mentioned by the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Thomas Bateson), that she and her friends were obliged to dine with armed revolvers on the table. Agrarian disturbances had existed in Ireland for at least a hundred years, and it must be evident to anyone who viewed the question with an unprejudiced mind that people were not continually in a state of insurrection if the laws under which they lived did not operate unjustly. That eminent writer on the laws of England, Justice Fortescue, said that nothing made a people rise against their rulers but a lack of goods or a lack of justice; and it was, he believed, to the fact that justice had hitherto been denied to their tenants by the landlords in Ireland, that the repeated outbreaks in that country were mainly due. The poet Spenser had been referred to in connection with the subject on the previous evening; but he was not a fair witness to appeal to in the present instance, for he had disgraced himself by having given utterance to the sentiment that the whole Irish race ought to be starved to death and cleared off the surface of the country. Lord Coke was a more impartial witness to appeal to; and he, in his fourth Institute, mentioned that he had been informed, by many persons occupying judicial places, that no nation were ever greater lovers of justice than the people of Ireland. They were descended, he added, from the ancient Britons, and ought on that account to be the more endeared to Englishmen. Well, if the Irish people were lovers of justice, it was only now that that justice was being meted out to them; and he believed that the landlords, although they objected to doing away with laws which they looked upon as beneficial to themselves, would in the end arrive at the conclusion that nothing which was not just was profitable. Since he had sat in that House he had been endeavouring, but in vain, to get something like one law for both England and Ireland, and to set aside those various Acts which made the people of the two countries substantially I different nations. He hoped that one result of the discussion of the Land Bill would be the establishment of one uniform system of laws for the two countries, for there was scarcely a law in Ireland which departed from the English law that was not mischievous in its effects. It had been said that the Liberal Press of England had urged the Government to coercive legislation. Some newspapers, which passed for being Liberal, might have done so; but he did not believe the Government would have brought forward this Bill had they not been goaded by the extra-judicial utterances of some of the Irish Judges. It was somewhat singular that these Judges had been but recently removed from the political arena, and that four out of five had been the Solicitors General or the Attorneys General of respective Governments. Mr. Justice Morris, whose speech in Tipperary had been alluded to, was Attorney General to a Conservative Government, as was Chief Justice Whiteside, who had recently addressed a grand jury in Westmeath; Mr. Justice George was Solicitor General while the party opposite were in Office; and Baron Deasy was the Attorney General of the Liberal Government, and carried through the House the Landlord and Tenant Bill of 1860, which was an aggravation and complication of the existing laws. He did not think it right that the Government should be led into a wrong course by the utterances of these gentlemen. English Judges, even when dealing with such cases as the murders at Sheffield and the trade union outrages in Manchester, did not indulge in diatribes against the Government and the police, but confined themselves to the matters contained in the depositions laid before them. The contrary practice to which he alluded in Ireland arose in a great measure from the fact that the Irish Judges had not sufficient judicial duties to perform. If they were as fully worked as the English Judges were, they would not travel beyond the cases which they might have to try. In England there were ordinarily fifteen Judges, who had sometimes to attend the House of Lords and Privy Council in appeal cases, to sit in the Divorce Court, and to consider and decide the law for 20,000,000 of people largely engaged in trade and commerce. In Ireland there were twelve Judges to do the legal work of 5,000,000 of people, and these twelve Judges—not the existing Judges, but their predecessors—had done much to bring about the present unsatisfactory and unjust land laws by refusing to adopt the views of the English Judges and treat agricultural usages as binding between landlord and tenant. The Government ought not to be influenced by the addresses of the Irish Judges, delivered under the circumstances he had described. The noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners) had referred to an address from the grand jury of West-meath. He had before him a resolution of the grand jury of Queen's County, who also asked for extended powers from the Government, in consequence of the insecurity of land and property, and the increase of crime in the county. The worthlessness of such expressions of opinion would be evident when he stated that this resolution was passed after the grand jury had been congratulated by the Judge on the satisfactory state of the district. There was, in fact, as appeared from the Returns quoted on the occasion, nothing whatever to warrant such a resolution. He complained that for acts done in secret, when people residing in the district could not interpose to prevent them, the grand jury were empowered under the Bill to assess compensation for any injury, and levy the amount upon the occupiers. Nothing of the kind was proposed, when the Sheffield outrages were committed, or when the Luddites rose. Why, then, have a special law for Ireland which nobody thought of proposing for England and Scotland? So far as the Bill was designed to give additional protection to life and property he had no objection to it; his objection—and one which would compel him to vote against the Bill—was that, in defiance of experience, the Government proposed a law for Ireland which they would never think of proposing for this country. Murder and open violence might be repressed; but the feeling of dissatisfaction with, the Government prevailing in Ireland on account of the mismanagement of that country could not be repressed by Act of Parliament, or at least by physical means; it could be repressed only by doing justice to the people. We had commenced to do justice by abolishing the Established Church, the existence of which was a hindrance to peace and prosperity, and when we had diminished landlord despotism by passing the Land Bill, we should have done something towards satisfying public opinion; but it was not to be done by passing Bills like this. The Earl of Clarendon, a Minister of great experience, familiar with the laws and usages of civilized States upon this subject, and knowing it was the law of every country except England that anything built upon or planted in the soil by the tenant in good faith could not be appropriated by the owner of the soil without his paying the full value of it, was justified in speaking as he did of felonious landlords. The law as he had laid it down was that of Scotland, and, in truth, it agreed with the practice in England; for he did not believe there were ten country gentlemen who would commit the felonious appropriations common with landlords in Ireland. The noble Earl was perfectly justified in using the phrase he did; and if it had not been for felonious landlords, there would have been no necessity now for either a Land Bill or a Peace Preservation Bill. He would ask hon. Members to read the 27th clause, which was taken from the Insurrection Act of 1775. There was no difficulty in obtaining convictions in Dublin, and an hon. Friend near him (Sir John Gray) was a high authority on the point, for he had tried the experiment in his own person; but if the Government had found there were people in Ireland committing political offences for which convictions could not be obtained in that country, they might have asked Parliament to change the venue from Ireland to Liverpool or London—a course for which there was a precedent, for a gentleman, named Maguire, had been tried, convicted, and executed in London for treason committed in Ireland. Anything would have been better than this provision— Where any newspaper printed in Ireland contains any treasonable or seditious engraving, matter, or expressions, or any incitements to the committing of any felony, or any engraving, matter, or expressions having a tendency to foster, encourage, or propagate treason or sedition, or to incite to the committing of any felony, all printing presses, engines, machinery, types, implements, utensils, paper, and other plant and materials used or employed or intended to be used or employed in or for the purpose of printing or publishing such newspaper, or found in or about any premises where such newspaper is printed or published, together with all copies of such newspaper, wherever found, shall be forfeited to Her Majesty. This clause might be put into operation by any official with influence enough to work upon the Lord Lieutenant, and all the types, presses, engines, and machinery of an office seized and confiscated. ["Hear, hear!"] An hon. Member opposite cried "Hear, hear!" He hoped, therefore, that the hon. Member would propose an Amendment to this Bill, and extend this part of the measure to England.


said, he would occupy but a few moments if the House would allow him to offer a few remarks, not so much on the nature of the important measure now before it, as on what he might call the exigencies which had necessitated its introduction. During the course of the debate some hon. Members, among whom he might refer to the hon. Members for the county and city of Cork, had urged that the present state of Ireland had been exaggerated and made to appear worse than it was by the statement of his right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland when introducing the Bill. Now, he thought, while granting that the whole of Ireland was not in that deplorable condition, it would appear to hon. Gentlemen, who viewed the matter dispassionately, that it was a strange state of affairs to say that little more than a week having elapsed since a measure of an unquestionably exceptional nature had passed its second reading, guaranteeing to the Irish tenant security of tenure, they should be now engaged in devising means to secure to the Irish landlord security of life. He might quote the words of the right hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) in his speech the other night, when he said— The Government has shown they can be just; they must now show they can be firm and resolute. The law must be upheld, life must be protected, society must be made safe. He thought he might well ask, was it in a civilized country that such a state of affairs existed as these facts and these words too plainly pointed at? The hon. Member for New Ross (Mr. M'Mahon) laughed at the idea that the fact of an insurance office refusing to insure a house could be regarded as an indication that the country was in a disturbed state. He received a letter only two days ago which would show how matters were in the county of Meath. He would read an extract if the House would allow him— Mr. Nicholson cannot get his house insured against fire; both the insurance houses that he has tried have refused upon the ground that they cannot run the risk. I am sure many would refuse to live in a house where the state of the country is such that it cannot be insured. This is a fine spring day and we cannot get Mr. Nicholson to take a drive, which would just renew his life, because he is afraid of his coachman being fired at. The writer went on to express the wish that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) would go over to Ireland and taste the pleasures of that sort of life, as an experiment. He could read other letters; but he would not waste the time of the House by adducing other proofs of what had been already too sadly proved. The necessity of some such measure as that now before the House was unquestionable and urgent. In his opinion, it had only been too long postponed. But in promising to give it his earnest support, he could not refrain from glancing at what appeared to him to be two of the principal causes which had brought about this present unparalleled crisis—they were ceaseless, reckless, unprincipled agitation, and feebleness and partiality on the part of the Government in their administration of the law. He could read to the House pages of incendiary speeches, openly inciting an ignorant peasantry to murder and outrage; but he would not so trespass upon their time. He would content himself with two extracts; the first was from the speech of a well-known Roman Catholic clergyman in the county of Wexford, the Rev. Thomas Doyle, P.P., of Ramsgrange. It was delivered at a tenant-right meeting at Enniscorthy, over which the right hon. the Earl of Granard, K.P., presided. He was not sure that it was not the very meeting at which the noble Earl made use of those words which had already been referred to about the classic associations of Vinegar Hill. However, he would let them rest, and proceed, if the House would allow him, to read the extract. The Rev. Thomas Doyle, in the course of his speech, said— He called upon the meeting to tell those 'felonious' landlords that the people would stand this no longer. The landlords claimed absolute ownership of the land; but he would tell them they had no right to absolute ownership of the soil. English law could not confer upon any man absolute ownership of the soil. The great God alone had absolute ownership of the soil. Was this earth created for kings, emperors, or governments? No, no. Was it created for an aristocracy or an oligarchy of buckeens? Oh no. The land was made for the people, and no oligarchy or Government possessed absolute ownership in it. The Government owned the land conditionally, that condition being that the land be divided for the good of the people. The moment the Government gives the land from the people to the oligarchy, that moment the people were free from their allegiance. Allegiance was due only for protection, and the moment the ruling powers ceased to protect, the people were free from their allegiance, and it depended on prudential or other considerations whether they should not rise up to overthrow that Government; but their allegiance had ceased. From the persecution which he had witnessed resulting from evictions he proclaimed war, undying war, against Irish landlordism. Every man there present had as much right to live on the land as the landlords. If a landlord offered to buy them out, they might deal with him as they pleased, but if a landlord said—'I will exterminate you,' he would say to them, exterminate him. He called upon them, whose fathers fought on that hill (Vinegar Hill), not to let the landlords clear them off the land. If he had a landlord who tried to clear him off, he knew how he would deal with him. The landlord who took his tenant's improvements was a robber. The tenants were only bound to pay a fair rent for the land in the state in which they got it, leaving themselves a liberal margin to cultivate the land and live respectably according to their station in life. He had none but a feeling of kindness for landlords; but he warned them of the influences of certain messages coming across the Atlantic weekly. He would read one of those messages. It was from John Mitchel, a man who had greater influence with the Irish race than perhaps any living Irishman. Mr. Mitchel had written recently in his paper—'If the landlord evict you, shoot him like a mad dog.' He (the Rev. Mr. Doyle) did not approve of that; but yet the landlord should deal with it as a fact, and a very important fact. Mr. Mitchel continued—'If the landlord hides in London, shoot the agent, and if you cannot shoot the agent, shoot the bailiff, or all three together.' He (the Rev. Mr. Doyle) did not refer to this as a threat; but with such advice coming from the American Press, he saw that unless a radical change were made, there would be terrible work in that country. The only other extract with which he should trouble the House was from the speech of the Rev. J. Ryan, P.P., Cashel, at the nomination for the county of Tipperary, November 22, 1869— The Rev. J. Ryan, P.P., Cashel, commenced by repeating more than once the following question:—Is there any one in court afraid of British cannon? [Loud cries of 'No.'] Then there is no Irishman in this court, no man with an Irish heart beating within his breast, who is afraid of the truth. Is there? ['No.'] Convinced, then, that I am addressing Irishmen in truth, courage, and principle, I will make no apology for proposing a gentleman as a fit and proper person to be your representative—a gentleman who has displayed his attachment to the old faith by proceeding to Italy and there fighting for the Holy Father—Mr. Michael Crean. [Loud cheers.] Father Cahill had referred to cause and effect. Need he do so, too. Need he prove the baneful influence of bad landlords? Let me say one word respecting the landlords. They are frightened out of their jackets, and I will tell you why. The old system of taking revenge on the landlords is entirely given up, and the people are now acting on anew patent and most successful principle—mind you I am not praising it; as a priest, I am a man of peace. But now one brother will not trust another with the secret, nor the father the son, nor the son the mother, with what he intends to do. he goes out, he takes his revolver, and he tumbles his landlord. ['Bravo,' and loud cheers.'] After some further observations, ha concluded by nominating Mr. Crean. These were only a sample of the agitation to which in many places the people of Ireland had been exposed. He would leave it to the House to judge whether they proved his assertion as to its being one of the causes of the present troubles. He thought the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard agreed with him, for immediately after the words which he had already quoted he said— That is not to be done"—i.e., society was not made safe—"by striking at the poor miscreant who fires the shot. He is not the real criminal; the real criminal is he in the higher walks of life, who, for his own purposes, inflames the passions that find vent in blood. He would ask the Government if one man paid or otherwise incited another man to commit a murder was he not amenable to the law? Was it less culpable, then, to excite to a general massacre of an entire class than to an individual assassination? If the law, as it at present stood, did not give the Government power to take notice of speeches of that nature, why did they not seek for that power which Parliament would gladly give them in this present Bill? But if the present law did give them that power, why had they not used it? Was it an impartial administration of justice to punish with a quick and severe hand Captain Coote and Mr. Madden, and to leave the noble Earl (the Earl of Granard), and the two rev. gentlemen, even unre-monstrated with? he could not but ask himself if it were the other way how would the case be? If the noble Earl was an Orangeman, or the two rev. gentlemen ministers of the Disestablished Church, would they be allowed, with impunity, to incite to such deeds? All he could say was, Heaven forbid they should! He was sorry to be obliged to say it, but he believed it to be true—that such had been the policy of Her I Majesty's Government since they came into Office, and he regretted to have to admit it. The policy of the previous Administration, in some cases, was very near akin to it. Fenian processions the noble Earl, now Governor General of India (the Earl of Mayo), permitted unnoticed, or nearly so, while Orange processions were stopped by force, and the leaders thrown into prison. He was not an Orangeman. He deprecated, as strongly as any man could, such processions, or any act calculated to give offence, but he did like even-handed justice. Without it those whom they tried to conciliate would scorn and despise them, and in the minds of those who suffered from their injustice they raised feelings of bitter hate. He would conclude by asking Her Majesty's Government gravely to consider the vast importance of the present crisis, to remember that it was from no earthly hand they held the power for weal or woe, and before more blood was spilt to do justice and fear not.


supported the second reading—because, on the highest authority in the House, they had been told that by so doing they would simply affirm the principle of the Bill; but as it passed through Committee he should feel himself perfectly at Liberty to insist on any alteration or Amendment in any clause or section which, in the circumstances of the case, as opened in debate, might seem to him necessary for the welfare of the country. So far as the measure purported to preserve the peace of Ireland, and to amend the laws now in force having regard to the peace of Ireland, he gave it his cordial assent. Was it necessary now to pass a measure to amend the law in reference to the preservation of peace in Ireland? That depended, in his estimation, on two questions. Was the state of Ireland, or of any part of Ireland, or of any large part of Ireland, at present such as to require strong measures to repress crime? Secondly, was the ordinary state of the law sufficient for existing exigencies? The Government did not say that the entire of Ireland was disturbed. It was not alleged that a large portion of Ireland was disturbed. A large portion of Ireland was subservient to law and order, and required no measures beyond the ordinary administration of the law. But if there were found in it one, two, three, or four counties in which the ordinary administration of the law was insufficient to secure life and property—if this was the condition even of one district, it was the duty of the Government to see that measures should be taken to secure this object and repress crime and outrage in that district. He spoke not only in the interest of the landlords and wealthy proprietors, but of the humble who could not protect them- selves, and suffered more from agrarian crime than men in a more exalted position. As an illustration he would mention that two butchers in the town of Navan, who required a certain quantity of land in the neighbourhood for their cattle, had been served with notices calling on them to give up that land, and threatening them respectively with the most dreadful deaths in the event of their not doing so. These men required protection; some of these had had these town parks and fields for twenty years; and they were now called upon to give them up that they might be used for the purposes of tillage. It was because the Government proposed what he deemed to be necessary that he supported the second reading of the Bill. Some hon. Members on the Government side of the House had objected to the Bill, because they did not see the necessity for such a measure, and among them was the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire), who called that county a model one. Although King's County, which he (Mr. Sherlock) represented, was quite peaceable, only one outrage having been committed there, he was not blind to the existence of crime in other counties, and was, therefore, bound to assent to the measure of the Government, without at this stage pledging himself to all the details. Hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House had insisted that the Government had unduly delayed bringing forward this measure, and had alleged that the existence of crime in Ireland was owing to the inactivity of the Government, although the late Government, as well as the present one, had proved unable to assert the supremacy of the law and bring criminals to justice. He could not make any charge against the late Government of neglecting their duty, because in the Ballycohey case they had not discovered the criminals; for the state of the country prevented them from bringing to justice the men who committed that outrage; and the same might be said with respect to crimes committed during the present Administration. It was impossible to obtain evidence which would load to conviction; and, therefore, the commission of crime had been much encouraged as the population saw notorious criminals going about unpunished. This measure was not needed only for the landlords, but equally or more for the protection of the humble class of occupiers, for such an arrest of criminals as was effected in the attack on Mr. O'Connor's house could scarcely have resulted in the arrest of the criminals had the attack been directed to the cabin of a poor man. The landlords, and bailiffs, and agents did not need protection as much as the humbler classes who could not defend themselves, and were, therefore, obliged to ask the Government to interfere; and it was no answer to their demand to say that they were troubled with nothing but threatening letters, which did not interfere with the ordinary conviviality of their county. The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), in. moving that the Bill be read a second time that day six months, admitted the necessity of such a measure as that now under the consideration of the House, and he had stated his intention to vote in favour of the measure, provided the Government would give up the provisions directed against the Press. If such measures were absolutely required, he would prefer the milder course of leaving the personal liberty of these gentlemen unrestrained, and confiscating the property that was the means of doing the evil attributed to them, thus preventing the dissemination of what was thought by the Crown to be injurious to the peace and prosperity of the country. He had not heard enough yet to satisfy him that it was necessary to restrain the Press in the way that was proposed. The hon. Member for Cork had alluded to the French Press, which he alleged to be considerably more violent than the national Press of Ireland. In that opinion he could not agree. He had read the numbers of the Marseillaise that appeared after the imprisonment of M. Rochefort, and the articles had seemed to him rather mild compared with what he had been accustomed to see. There was not the same amount of energy and zeal that were imported into the political writings of the Irish national journals; and he was certain that if the editor of one of the latter had been imprisoned, the columns of his paper would have contained language much more stimulating than anything he had seen in the Marseillaise. Men of the very worst character, having for £2 or £3 obtained a licence to carry arms, were known to use that licence for the purpose of going about the country carrying terror where- ever they went; and that was provided for by the Bill; but there was another provision necessary with respect to the granting of licences by the Excise to beer-houses. Men of the worst character had those houses in Ireland, and were not subject to the ordinary provisions imposed by the magistrates at quarter sessions. Those licences were taken out as a matter of right, and in these beerhouses was concocted nearly all the mischief that caused these assassinations. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had intimated that some measure was about to be introduced with respect to beer-houses and public-houses; and as such a measure appeared to be closely connected with the preservation of the peace, it should not be delayed on account of any fiscal consideration. It might be true that the Chancellor of the Exchequer derived income from this source; but that should not be taken into consideration when the introduction of such a measure was intimately connected with the preservation of the peace in Ireland. Another question, also closely connected with the pacification of Ireland, was that of the magistracy. At present Her Majesty's Ministers had no confidence in the magistracy of Ireland, and that want of confidence was fully reciprocated. It was of the first importance that when great powers were about to be entrusted to a body of men, we should have an assurance that they would exercise those powers with discretion and impartiality. He wished now to allude to a subject which had been referred to by the noble Lord the Member for North Leicestershire (Lord John Manners). That noble Lord had commented upon the word "felonious," which appeared in a pamphlet written by Bishop Nulty. Now, the case quoted was this—a small patch of land of ten acres, once a mere quagmire, and worth nothing, was reclaimed, after much labour and expense in draining, &c, and made into valuable land by the tenant, a Catholic clergyman. Previous to the tenant's death, he desired to leave this land to his successor. The landlord, Mr. Hamilton, having been asked to agree to this arrangement, the successor was rudely cast off, and told that he was interfering with, and intruding upon, the rights of the landlord. He would ask the noble Lord whether he would have acted as Mr. Hamilton had done under similar circumstances? He was sure the noble Lord would not. Dr. Nulty, in his pamphlet, appealed against what he called the felonious confiscation of this property to the justice of the English Government. Now, although he (Mr. Sherlock) thought that the word felony might not be strictly legally applicable to that transaction, yet it might be considered a confiscation of property, and it was requisite that a law should be passed to prevent the recurrence of such transactions. He trusted that the Land Bill, which was passing through the House, would remedy such evils. In the interest of the landlords, whose lives and properties were now insecure; in the interest of the farmers, who could not prosecute their ordinary avocations; in the interest of the traders in the small towns, who could not carry on their trade unless they were protected by law; and in the interest of the political prisoners, whose liberation depended on the restoration of law and order, he cordially assented to the second reading of the Bill.


said, he would support the second reading of the Bill, believing that the Government would not have asked for further powers unless they had been of opinion that a more stringent law than any at present existing was necessary for the preservation of peace, law, and order in Ireland. Nevertheless, he should reserve to himself the right of objecting to some of the details in Committee—he referred particularly to those clauses which regarded the Press, because he thought the mode proposed to carry out all those restrictions was not the best that could be devised by the Government. Though it might appear paradoxical, he should prefer even open, plain, and broad treasonable writing being left to be dealt with in the ordinary course than by special legislation. But he thought that those journalists, who addressed themselves to assassination, and justified the taking of life under certain circumstances, were outside the pale of civilization, and ought to be dealt with exceptionally. Political writings, however strong or treasonable they might be, might, in his judgment, be left to be dealt with by public opinion and the existing law of the country, and, no doubt, juries would be found quite ready to vindicate the law. He merely wished to state the course which he should take, as his hon. Colleague had stated it to be his intention to vote against the second reading.


said, he wished to reply to some observations which had fallen from the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. Bagwell) yesterday, and from the hon. Member for Cork County (Mr. Downing) that evening, in reference to the government of Ireland by the late Ministry. The hon. Member for Cork County, in his admirable speech to his constituents, seemed to express some regret that Mr. Scully was not killed in the affair of Ballyeohey. [Mr. M'CARTHY DOWNING dissented.] And as to the hon. Member for Clonmel, he would say, with great respect, that his opinion regarding crime in Ireland was not to be taken on this occasion, and for this reason. During the year 1866 or 1867, when the late Lord Lieutenant was under great apprehension as to the expected rising of the Fenians in Ireland, and the Irish Government appealed to the magistracy to assist them in repressing crime, the hon. Member for Clonmel either wrote a letter or made a speech, in which he—a magistrate of Tipperary—stated that he believed that the apprehensions of the Government were utterly absurd so far as he and others were concerned, and that all the protection they needed was an umbrella. [Mr. BAGWELL: I never said anything of the sort.] Whether the umbrella to which the hon. Gentleman referred was to be of silk or cotton he did not know. A Gentleman who held such sentiments, at a time when there was so much danger, was not, he conceived, competent to form an opinion as to what was required for the protection of life and property in Ireland. The hon. Gentleman had, however, been so aroused by an outrage in his immediate neighbourhood, that he imagined it was the commencement of the state of things with which the House was now called upon to deal. The remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland were of rather more importance. That right hon. Gentleman fixed the date of the Ballycohey outrage as that at which the terrible state of affairs now existing in Ireland had its beginning. A similar statement was made in "another place" last year, and a noble Relative of his at once replied to it. On the 13th of May last his noble Relative (the Duke of Abercorn), speaking in "another place," said— It was stated, by the noble Duke who spoke the other night, that the attack upon Mr. Scully was the commencement of the outrages; and it has been stated elsewhere by the present Secretary for Ireland that the present Government on coming into Office found that those outrages had been going on for a long time, and were then in full force. My Lords, I give both those assertions the most complete denial; and I will prove to your Lordships, first, that the attack on Mr. Scully had no reasonable connection with the outrages that occurred five months later; and, secondly, that at the time that the late Government left Office, and the present Government succeeded them, there bad not been heard a whisper of such agrarian outrages as we now hear so much about."—[3 Hansard, cxcvi. 727.] After stating some further facts, the noble Duke said— To the assertion of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, that his Government found these outrages in full force, I give the most complete denial."—[Ibid. 728.] Now, those words were spoken with all the authority of one who had for two and a-half years been at the head of the Irish Government, and his opinions were fully borne out by the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Colonel Wilson-Patten), also by the late Under Secretary for Ireland (Sir Thomas Lareom), and by the lamented Sir Edward Wetherall. The attack made in August, 1868, on Mr. Scully was of a totally different character from the late agrarian outrages—it was an attack made in open day by an armed force upon an armed force. His noble Relative granted Mr. Scully a police force solely for the protection of his life. Contrary to the instructions given to the police at the time its aid was granted, Mr. Scully, acting like a rash man with foolhardiness, used the force to make an attack upon the tenants, which they resented, and the result was that Mr. Scully was wounded. That he was not killed was viewed as a matter of regret by the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Downing). The Government immediately sent down a large force to that part of the country. The hon. Member for Clonmol (Mr. Bagwell) charged the late Government with the withdrawal of that force; but it remained in the district for three months, at the expiration of which Sir Thomas Lareom, acting' under instructions, wrote to the chairman of the petty sessions that were to be held on a certain day, asking whether, in the opinion of the magistrates assembled in petty sessions, it was necessary for the safety and well-being of the county that that force should be retained there. Mr. De Gernon, who happened to be the chairman of petty sessions chosen by the magistrates present, and who had been appointed by a Liberal Government, said?—and the other magistrates agreed with him—that there was no reason for retaining the force in the district any longer. So much for the outrage at Ballycohey, which the Chief Secretary for Ireland stated the other evening was the commencement of those agrarian outrages which now so disgraced the country. If that were so, and if from the moment that outrage occurred in August, 1868, there had been a gradual development of agrarian crime, and that species of crime was in full force in the month of December, 1868, how was it that the present Government, immediately on assuming Office, adopted the suicidal policy of repealing the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland? In 1869 Her Majesty's Speech from the Throne stated— The condition of Ireland permits me to believe that you will be spared the painful necessity which was felt by the late Parliament for narrowing the securities of personal liberty in that country by the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. That condition must have been satisfactory, or such language would not have been used. The truth was, that Her Majesty's Government found Ireland comparatively peaceful, contented, and prosperous. After the lapse of fourteen short months they were asked by the same Government to help them to pass a Coercion Bill—a Coercion Bill had always, with one exception, been the consequence since 1832, of the accession of the Liberals to Office. That was the result arising first from the encouragement which, as a means of gaining power, the present Government gave to agitation, and next from their inability when in power to suppress the consequences of their own mischievous and unpatriotic conduct. From the day Her Majesty's Government assumed Office in that country dated the commencement of those agrarian outrages which had ever since continued to spread unrestricted. It was not alone their policy which had helped to develop that increase in agrarian out- rages, but more especially the manner in which it was first shadowed out to the country in the autumn of 1868, then brought before Parliament at the beginning of last year, and finally carried out. Need he allude to the speeches of the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the President of the Board of Trade, and other prominent members of the Administration? Though delivered outside of the House, they were but too familiar to all hon. Gentlemen; and they had also been emblazoned and hung up in every Roman Catholic cottage in Ireland. Those speeches were intended for a purpose, and they had, indeed, borne their fruit. An Upas tree, seven times more dreadful than the Lancashire Upas tree of the First Minister, had sprung up with noxious growth in Ireland, poisoning everything under its baleful shadow. The fruits of remedial policy, proclaimed with a great flourish of trumpets by Her Majesty's Government as likely to produce, in one short year, happiness and concord in place of the discontent which previously prevailed, had been the foul assassinations alluded to the other night by his hon. Friend the Member for the county of Londonderry (Sir F. W. Heygate), who stated that had the declaration they heard with so much pleasure from the Prime Minister a few evenings ago been made fourteen months before, the lives of many excellent men now in their graves would have been spared to their country and their mourning families. That statement was met with natural indignation on the Treasury Bench; but it expressed the conviction solemnly entertained by thousands of Irishmen, and also, he believed, by every Irish Member on that (the Opposition) side of the House; and it was his own solemn conviction, that had Her Majesty's Government acted fourteen months ago as they were now acting many valuable lives would have been spared. But the Government had at last awoke to the gravity of the situation; they had at last discovered that there were some responsibilities attached to the position of Ministers of the Grown. The Chief Secretary had stated that it was easy to make charges against that Bill, and to say it ought to have been brought in five or six months ago. No doubt that was so. But he made those charges for this reason—The Solicitor General for Ireland had told them he had hundreds of papers in his possession containing as treasonable articles as he had read to the House, but that it was utterly impossible to obtain verdicts against them in the present state of that country. Now, he would ask why, the moment the Government found it to be impossible to obtain verdicts against those treasonable articles, they did not come to Parliament for further powers? He exonerated his learned Friend, who was not then in Office; but the necessary information was in the possession of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, and the moment he found the law unable to cope with the evil, he should have introduced a Coercive Bill. He wished now to say a few words with respect to certain provisions of the measure before the House. Clause 13 enabled justices to take evidence against an offender in his absence. He would respectfully suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the evidence so taken might be used against the offender subsequently, in the absence of the witnesses, who, for many reasons peculiar to Ireland, might not be forthcoming. He would also suggest that it might be in the power, he would not say of the magistrates, but of some court, to award sums of money not exceeding £20 to persons giving evidence, which would tend to the apprehension and conviction of offenders under the Bill. He believed they had a precedent for that in an Act passed by Sir Robert Peel for England, the provisions of which somehow had not been extended to Ireland. With regard to the clause which related to the levying of cess as compensation for murder and outrage, for once in his life he found himself agreeing in opinion with the senior Member for the city of Cork (Mr. Maguire). To put the grand jury, especially after what had been said of the magistracy, and after the opinion which his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General for Ireland had expressed of them, in such a situation that they would have to inflict penalties of that kind for offences, would be to place them in a very peculiar, unhappy, and invidious position. For what were the grand jury? They were chiefly composed of the landowners in a county; it was against the landowners that the present agrarian crimes were chiefly directed; and if they imposed on the grand jury the levying of the cess, an ex- citable people like the Irish, would say—"These landowners were unable to cope with us individually before; they were afraid of us; but now Her Majesty's Government have stepped in and enabled them collectively to punish us." He was sure, therefore, that if this power were granted them, it would be attended with the most disastrous results. If, on the other hand, the power were given not to the assistant barristers, who would probably have more than enough to do under the Land Bill of Her Majesty's Government, but to the Judges of Assize, or some such judicial authority, it would be attended with the most beneficial effect. With respect to the clauses relating to the Press, he was sure there was no Member on that side of the House, and but few on the other side, who could take exception to those admirable provisions. Anyone connected with Ireland, and especially those who had governed, or tried to govern, that country, was aware that one of the most formidable obstacles they had to contend with was the Press. They might disestablish Churches, they might bring in Land Bills, they might promise Education Bills, they might do all that human ingenuity could devise for the good government of Ireland; but as long as the Press of Ireland remained as it was, it would be utterly impossible that they could have any loyalty, contentment, or prosperity in that country. Therefore, he would say that the provisions of the Bill of Her Majesty's Government, with regard to the Press, should meet with the cordial approbation of everyone on both sides of the House. But it was not to the so-called "National" Press only that these remarks would apply. There was also another portion of the Press which had hitherto assumed a garb of respectability, but had been contaminated of late by this rampant evil. These organs did not write sedition, but they countenanced, and therefore encouraged it, and they persistently stirred up bad feeling between the different classes of society, especially between the owners and occupiers of the soil. They had received their cue in Ireland, and also from prominent gentlemen living on this side of the Channel, and in their efforts to stir up ill-feeling they hesitated not to make use of the most unscrupulous assertions, and the most violent allega- tions. He noticed the other evening, when the Chief Secretary stated the provisions to which he referred, a huge shudder passed over the forms of certain Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite. He was not surprised, for they all know that one of the first instincts of nature was self-preservation. He hoped, whatever Her Majesty's Government would do, they would adhere strictly and firmly to those provisions with regard to the Press. Unless the "national" Press, and the semi-national Press, were controlled—and he had no doubt the semi-national Press would take warning from what was going to happen to the national—they could have no peace, prosperity, or contentment in Ireland. He begged to thank the House for the kind manner in which they had listened to him, as he felt bound, as a Relative of one who had had the Government of Ireland in his hands, to make these few remarks.

MR. M'CARTHY DOWNING rose to explain with reference to a remark of the noble Lord who had just sat down. He did not think the House would assume, from any observations he (Mr. M'Carthy Downing) had made, that he had expressed a wish that Mr. Scully should have been shot. It never entered into his mind to express any such wish.


I entirely withdraw the statement.


said, he could not fully exonerate Her Majesty's Government from all blame in this matter; but, at the same time, he must give them his cordial support in passing the Bill. Some said that the provisions of the Bill were too stringent, others that they were not sufficiently so. For his part he did not think them too stringent. There never was a time when some measure for the repression of licence on the part of the Press was more necessary than at this moment. The "national" Press, as it was called—he hoped it would not be long called so—was almost the only literature of the sort that was read in Ireland; it was most pernicious, most poisonous, and it was the duty of Her Majesty's Government to do everything in their power to put it down. The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), in moving his Amendment, had laid great stress on some words of the Prime Minister with regard to governing Ireland according to Irish ideas. All he would say on that subject was that he trusted the right hon. Gentleman would look to the quarter whence those ideas came. The Bill was a necessary and good Bill; but what was the use of good laws if they were not put in force? He was afraid from what he had seen during the last twelve months, unless a very different course was pursued, they should not have the law put in force. He should like to give to the Government a few words of advice, such as had been sent over from Ireland to this country for the last 300 years, and that was that they should be inexorably just, that they should go straight to their point without turning to the light or to the left; and if this policy were strictly enforced, he believed that but few years would pass over before they would see Ireland as prosperous as she ought to be.


said, he could not vote against this measure, because he concurred with what had fallen from all the speakers on both sides of the House—that the responsibility attending the present position of affairs rested with Her Majesty's Government; but he could not vote for the measure, as he was indisposed to intrust any Executive Government in Ireland with the extraordinary and unconstitutional powers contained in the Bill, more particularly with those that related to the freedom of the Press. Before offering a remedy for the present state of things he would remark that he could not remember during the last ten years hazarding a prophecy which had not been justified by the event—indeed, he wished he did—and he would now venture to prophesy that this measure would be found ineffectual for the purposes designed; and that the disaffection of centuries' growth would continue, unless some entirely different mode of dealing with it were adopted by the Government. The remedy which he ventured to propose had been tried before, and had been successful; it was not unconstitutional nor penal, nor would it inflict wrong upon any person or party. The Church of England and Ireland was established for the purpose of resisting the aggressions of Popery, and of exposing, he would not say the fallacies of that Church, because such an expression might not be acceptable to hon. Members who believed in those fallacies, but the principles of that Church, which were and ever had been antagonistic to the principles of civil and religious liberty. Never, however, had he given a vote more heartily than the one he did last year in favour of the abolition of the Established Church in Ireland—indeed, he only lived for the purpose of doing what he could to secure the same result for England, because he believed that protection to religion was as fatal as it had been when applied to other objects, commercial or otherwise. In confirmation of what he had said he might remark that it was provided by the Rubric of the Church of England that her ministers should preach four times a year at the least against Popery, and all other—the phrase was not wrong—"foreign" doctrines. Inasmuch as we had now abolished the Established Church in Ireland, he desired to ask the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government what substitute he had provided for that preaching against Popery. The outbreak of outrage and crime had undoubtedly followed the abolition of the Established Church in Ireland—not that he believed those four sermons against Popery were invariably preached. That renewal he viewed only as a coincidence but—he was forced to balance his words, for the safety of the Empire depended not upon any particular measure of repression— Melius est petere fontes. Really they were only wasting time in following the little streamlets of outrage and difficulty in Ireland unless they went to the source. That source was well-known to the hon. Members of this House; but for party purposes they could not express themselves so freely about it as he did. The source of the then present difficulties, and of still greater difficulties yet to come arose from the fact that they would not recognize the circumstance that the Roman Catholic hierarchy were bound by their duty and by their oaths to promote, and, indeed, under the pretence of religion did their best to promote, the power and authority of their own body to the destruction of peace and order throughout the country. [Interruption.] He had on more than one occasion been prevented from speaking, but what was it that he had done when he had been silenced, and when he had not been supported—through what he must term the want of judgment on the part of hon. Members opposite? He had sent forth Mr. Murphy. What was the result? Mr. Murphy might have been unworthy, but he was the best man he could get. That man, holding, as it were, his life in his hand, and the doctrines and machinery of the Roman Catholic Church in the other, visited different places in the country. And what was the result? [Several hon. MEMBERS: What is the remedy?] He was showing them what would have been the remedy if the Home Secretary had not dug up an old Act relating to sedition or something of that kind. The Weekly Register, the organ of the Roman Catholics, said— This man Murphy must be put down, for wherever he goes a Roman Catholic priest cannot once show his face. [Interruption.] He was afraid some hon. Gentlemen were in the same position as the opponents of Murphy; being unable to answer the facts brought forward, they endeavoured to drown his voice. The instructions which Murphy received were not to go one iota beyond the actual teaching and preaching of the Roman Catholic priests from day to day and from Sabbath, to Sabbath. And now he came to the remedy. And it was not a new one. It was the remedy adopted in the time of Queen Elizabeth, it was the remedy adopted in the time of Oliver Cromwell, and in the time of William III.; and it consisted in organizing a staff of men who, being protected in discharging the duty intrusted to them by the Government, were to make known to those who were under the control and domination of the Roman Catholic priests what were the ends aimed at by that great foreign Power, and what was the machinery by which it organized its influence in this country. Having disestablished the Church in Ireland, it was especially incumbent upon them to carry out this mission of protesting against Popery. He believed that 99 out of every 100 Roman Catholics had no real notion of the system under which they lived.


said, he did not wish it to be supposed, as he was about to vote with his hon. Friend the Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), and the hon. Member for Dundalk (Mr. Callan), that he either approved or countenanced agrarian outrage. He was prepared to go any length with Her Majesty's Government and the House in the detection and punishment of agrarian outrage; but there were certain principles to be found in the Bill which he was not prepared to sanction. He did not urge that the effect of the Land Bill should first be tried before the present measure, which was really a corollary of the Land Bill, was proceeded with; for he knew that in Ireland there existed a necessity for a certain amount of coercion. But he objected to the powers which were about to be given to the local magistracy. An attempt had been made to prove that the local magistrates possessed the confidence of the country; but he had the authority of the Solicitor General for Ireland and of the Chief Secretary for Ireland for saying that the local magistracy needed improvement. He objected to the local magistrates having the powers proposed to be given to them by the Bill, because he believed they were subject to panic and to local prejudices. He objected to the clauses relating to the Press. He was informed that the Executive Government had already sufficient powers for dealing with the Press. He believed it was a principle of English law that everybody should be assumed to be innocent until he was proved to be guilty; but by this Bill it was proposed that the Lord Lieutenant should regard the proprietor of a newspaper as guilty until he had proved that he was innocent. Bat supposing that papers which the Government disliked were suppressed, as the Austrian Government, in the plenitude of its power, suppressed the press of M. Mazzini at Milan, how were they to guard against secret publications and the spread of secret societies? What was to be the test or criterion of a seditious publication? He hoped the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, when he came to reply, would give the House a definition of sedition.


said, it must be satisfactory to the Government to find that so many of their usual supporters would go into the Lobby against them and in favour of crime and outrage in Ireland; it must also be satisfactory to the Government to find that these same hon. Gentlemen were all with one accord against the employment of the local magistracy. From those two premises he drew the conclusion that the local magistracy of Ireland had, in some cases at all events, done their duty, and, therefore, that those hon. Gentlemen who were approvers and extenuators of crime and outrage in Ireland—["No, no,"]—were against the local magistrates, and against their employment in carrying out this Bill. He complained against the Government that in this Bill they had not availed themselves of the services of the local magistracy in Ireland. This complaint did not apply solely to the present Government, for during the last twenty years the Government of Ireland had been degenerating in this respect towards democracy. It was something worse than "Larcom and the Police," for they would now find the police without a head and without direction. The police were a good and efficient body of men; but it was of no use taking away the only power which would bring that body into effective action—namely, the local magistracy of the country. In this contemptible state of crime in Ireland what did the Government do? It paralyzed the action of the people of Ireland in defence of law and order. These crimes might he easily pursued to their source if the law were put in action by proper and legitimate moans. Men were never led in Ireland or any other country except by their natural superiors. He remembered that when there were murders in Tipperary every member of the grand jury of the county came in his carriage to witness the executions of the persons convicted of these crimes, and ere long Tipperary was brought into a state of law and order. The task might be odious to the last degree, but it was necessary in the cause of law and order. He was ashamed to hear the Solicitor General for Ireland say that he had no confidence in the local magistracy.


denied having said anything of the kind. He had said he could not say the magistracy of Ireland was in a satisfactory state; and in explanation observed that he had no objection to the magistrates now existing, but objected to the omission of persons from the lists who should be there.


Well, at all events, the learned Gentleman was only a puny Member of the Government. It mattered little what the hon. and learned Gentleman thought or said; but it did matter to those who hold the commission of the peace in Ireland that a slur should be cast upon them by this Bill. For himself he should never refuse to do his duty as a magistrate whoever might be in power; but he did say that the magistrates of Ireland, almost as one man, had called upon the Government to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. If the whole of Ireland were proclaimed the people of the North would not consider it an outrage upon them if crime and outrage could be put down in the South. They would not be afraid of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act with respect to Ulster, if by such means they could hope to repress crime in Minister. Let the magistrates be invested with the weapon of a suspended Habeas Corpus Act, and they would answer for the peace of the country.


said, he could not support the Bill, although he could not vote against the second reading, because he fully appreciated the laudable object with which the Government had introduced it. He was unable to vote for the second reading in consequence of his strong repugnance to that part of the Bill which had reference to the Press of Ireland. The seditious and treasonable character of a portion of the Irish Press was no novel affair, for he remembered seeing in the town of Athlone when he last visited Ireland, about twelve years ago, a newspaper printed partly in Irish and partly in English. He could vouch for the treasonable character of the portion written in English, and he dared say that the portion written in Irish was still more treasonable. One of the articles referred to a subscription then being got up for presenting Marshal M'Mahon with a sword, which the writer trusted he would wield on behalf of the nationality of the country that had given birth to his ancestors. In his judgment the clauses in question would prove utterly nugatory, as the whole experience of modern times was dead against the efficacy of Press laws. Even when the Austrians were in the plenitude of their power in Italy, they could not prevent the insurrectionary or patriotic writings of Mazzini being put in circulation, and oven His Holiness the Pope, who, according to many persons, possessed supernatural powers, could not suppress within his own territory the publication of a newspaper which advocated the cause of Italian unity. Again, the late M. Herzen published in the Russian language at London a newspaper called the Kolokol, copies of which, were shipped in large quantities to Poland, and extensively distributed by the agency of Jewish pedlars throughout the whole length and breadth of the Russian Empire; and the same was the case with regard to the Lanterns, the publication of which was prohibited in Trance. Now, even if Her Majesty's Government could utterly extinguish the seditious Press of Ireland, did they imagine for a moment that Ireland had a monopoly of Fenianism? Were there no Fenians in England, and would not plenty of persons be found willing to print treasonable papers in Liverpool, and by every packet that crossed the Channel would they not send a supply of sedition if there was a demand for it? In France there was always the most eager demand for prints which were prohibited, and he believed the same might be the case in Ireland after the passing of this Bill.


although objecting, in common with many Irish Members, to many clauses in the Bill, and regretting its introduction at the present moment, was, nevertheless unable to oppose the second reading, as he could not object to any legislation which might tend to prevent agrarian crimes and outrages in Ireland. Agrarian crime, indeed, had now reached such a pitch that he for one would never say "No" to any remedial measure which might be proposed for its repression.


Sir, I have felt it to be my duty, in conformity with the usage of this House when the Government are proposing a Bill of this nature, which naturally and necessarily raises many questions affecting the conduct of the Government itself, to postpone addressing the House as long as it appeared that any hon. Gentleman was desirous of adding to the criticisms which have been passed upon it. But having now reached that point, Sir, I feel I could not with propriety allow the division to be called without asking for the indulgence of the House while I make a few remarks. My right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) has expressed his regret that this Bill was not introduced by the head of the Government. I will only say, in answer to my right hon. Friend—the patriotic spirit of whose suggestion I entirely admit—that when that duty was committed to the Minister who had most closely followed from day to day the details of crime and outrage in Ireland, and who was best acquainted with the whole of the facts, the arrangement was not intended in the slightest degree to derogate from the responsibility of the Government at large, or to allow it to be for a moment supposed that we did not feel our whole credit at stake on the success of a measure such as this. With regard to the measure itself, the discussion has naturally enough run into three divisions. One has been criticism of the Bill, another has been the general conduct of the Government, and the third has been the conduct of the Government with regard to the introduction of this Bill. As respects the Bill itself, I must venture to remark that the criticisms of those who contend it has come too late have been balanced by the criticisms of those who contend that it has come too soon; while the judgments of those who have objected to it on the ground of its too great severity have been balanced by the judgments of those who accuse us of too great leniency. With respect to particular remarks, I would venture to assure the hon. Gentleman who lately spoke from the opposite side (Mr. Conolly) that nothing can be further from my intention than to allude to him as a person who is unfit to exorcise any discretion which might be placed in his hands as an Irish magistrate, for I am convinced from all I have seen of the hon. Member, although I sharply differ from him in politics, that he would exercise any functions committed to him with most conscientious care, with kindness, and even with tenderness, as far as justice permitted, to all those who might be brought before him. But I venture to allude to the speech of the hon. Gentleman in this view—that when regretting that this Bill does not contain a provision for a prolonged suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, he betrayed an unacquaintance with the precise nature of those suspending measures, because he imagined they gave to each local magistrate a general power of imprisoning on suspicion. I will now advert to the objection of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Claud John Hamilton), who thought the case must be conclusive against the Government, if they were of opinion that agrarian crime existed to any extent in Ireland, and if they nevertheless allowed the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act to be dropped. But the noble Lord, in his keenness to get up a case against the Government, has entirely omitted to notice the circumstance that the provisions of the Act suspending the Habeas Corpus have no relation to agrarian crime, and that if the suspension of the Habeas Corpus had been continued it could not have had, the slightest influence on that species of crime, as all warrants issued under that Act must be warrants relating to high treason, treason-felony, or treasonable practices. With regard to the local magistracy, the hon. Member for Donegal (Mr. Conolly) will not think it unreasonable, if it implies any reproach, if we express an opinion that, after all the feuds and difficulties of Ireland, it is not possible that the local magistracy should be in a state of perfection. It does not follow that we have on that account no confidence in the local magistracy. If an hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House was unwise enough to bandy reproaches tonight between that body and the Government, saying that if we had no confidence in them they had no confidence in us, he can scarcely feel that the consequences of such indiscreet remarks may be to weaken the authority of the Executive in Ireland, and to produce a state of things which we might all have good reason to regret. For our part we have every disposition to respect the discretion of the local magistrates, and to make use of their services, so far, at least, as to expose ourselves to much criticism from many Irish representatives on the ground that we are going to ask Parliament to give them powers greater than they will be able to exercise to the satisfaction of the country. As is natural enough, the principal subject in the Bill itself which has been the subject of discussion is the provision relating to the Press. Here, again, the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn says—"The moment you found you could not prosecute certain articles respecting treason-felony, you ought to have proposed an alteration in the law." This, however, I would assure him is not a point which can be decided with facility according to the hour which the minute hand of the clock may reach. I know of no more difficult question in any country than that which is involved in an interference with the laws of the Press. Has the noble Lord failed to observe that on those very Benches on which he sits a Gentleman equal in authority to most Members of this House—the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley)—took grave objection to the provisions relating to the Press on the score of their stringency? Does not that fact make some impression on the mind of the noble Lord? Does it not suggest to the mind of the noble Lord, who has hardly reached the ago for suspension of judgment with all its pains and penalties, that notwithstanding its suspension on political questions, it is alike a necessity and a duty? With respect to these clauses, it has been remarked on this side of the House that they confer great powers on the Executive. They do so, and they are meant to do so. It would, in my opinion, be idle to ask for any alteration in the laws relating to the Press, which embrace matters involving long consideration and much scrutiny, if that alteration gave us only some slight or narrow advantage. The state of the law, as I understand it to be in Ireland at this moment, is as follows:—My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General for Ireland (Mr. Dowse) has pointed out that one particular difficulty, which now presents itself, is that you are liable to lose the verdict by the dissent of one single man out of the twelve of which a jury is composed. Now that, without any general disposition to depreciate the character of Irish juries, is, I must say, an important fact. But that is not the only point. As I understand the matter, you may prosecute a newspaper for articles contained in it under one of two categories. You may prosecute it for treason-felony, or for seditious libel. Now, if you prosecute it for treason-felony, the proof is extremely difficult, because you are bound to prove not only the general tendency and animus and spirit of the writing, but the directness of the connection between the spirit of the article and the effect contemplated, so as to make it very hard indeed to bring home nothing more or less than an act of treason on the basis of written words. If, on the other hand, you prosecute for seditious libel, then you may, as the late Government did, obtain two convictions and secure the imprisonment of two editors. But what is the advantage obtained under those circumstances? The paper goes on, the seditious writing is not stopped. It may be said that the law authorizes the imposition of a fine as well as the infliction of imprisonment in such cases, but if the learned persons to whom is intrusted the carrying out of the law generally have recourse to the latter mode of punishment we have no power to interfere with them. It is clear we cannot dictate to the Judges what is the kind of punishment they should inflict, because we must take the sentences which they pass to be pronounced in accordance with the spirit of the law; and thus it happens that prosecutions for seditious libel are looked upon as being under the circumstances wholly inefficient. Now, the Government ask for powers by which this state of things might be remedied, and here I come to the objection which has been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire. The objection I understand; but I am not quite sure that I am equally clear as to the remedy which he proposes. The right hon. Gentleman says we are quite right in asking for effective powers—powers to seize the types and apparatus necessary for the production of a newspaper. But "You ought not," he says, "to throw on the proprietor, or the parties suffering from that seizure, the onus of proof against you, and so place on your own side the advantages of defence." How does the right hon. Gentleman propose to escape from that difficulty? As I understand him, he would have us seize the materials and indict the parties. But suppose we do. In pleading to an indictment the party charged would, no doubt, have the advantage of defence. But suppose the indictment to fail, where is the man's remedy. It is no satisfaction to him that the indictment fails. He has suffered heavy loss; the progress of his newspaper has been stopped, its circulation and. connection have been destroyed. How are you to give him a remedy? I do not understand how the right hon. Gentleman proposes to do so; but, perhaps, he will at a future stage of the Bill give the House some explanation on the point. For my part, I do not see what course would remain open to a person so placed, except that he should bring his action after the indictment against him had failed, and then the Government would have those very advantages of defence which the right hon. Gentleman contends we ought not to have. The only difference, then, between the right hon. Gentleman's plan and ours seems to me to be that under his plan the party would have to submit to the seizure of his property, the disadvantages of bringing an action, and the expense and anxiety of an indictment to boot. With respect to the justification of this Bill on general grounds, my hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire), who spoke with great weight, representing, as he does, a great county, and because of his own character and ability—drew a comparison between the state of crime in Ireland and in England and Scotland, in which he himself can hardly, I think, have much faith. It is a pleasure to anyone connected with the Government or to any public man to be able to acknowledge that the state of general crime in Ireland is most satisfactory, and most honourable to that country. Some forty years ago the criminal population of Ireland was larger than that of England or Scotland; at this moment its criminal population is considerably smaller, speaking, of course, proportionately. But my hon. Friend, says, "Crime is crime." Now, it may seem a great paradox; but I would observe that crime is not crime under all circumstances—that is to say, that one kind of crime is not to be compared to another kind of crime. In cases of legislation such as this we are not to take moral guilt for the measure of our action; we are to take social guilt. When we speak of general crime we speak of that which leads a weak or a bad man to vindicate his own private wrong against his neighbour. When we speak of agrarian crime, we speak of a crime in which the agent is the representative of a class or widespread feeling, and in which the sufferer also represents a class, and that not necessarily a very narrow class. We must, therefore, discard the comparison of the state of general crime in the two countries if we wish to arrive at the true ground and justification of a measure which is specially meant to operate in the case of agrarian crimes. On this subject my hon. and learned Friend the Member for King's County (Sir Patrick O'Brien) made a statement-which is, I think, very well deserving of the attention of the House. There could not be a greater mistake than to suppose that this is a Bill which is introduced for the simple purpose of defending the lives of the landed classes or their immediate representatives. The mischief has spread far beyond that. Men in an humble position and with small means—aye! and women, too, in no small numbers, are the objects of agrarian crime. I hold in my hand a list of the number of the objects of crime reported by the Irish Constabulary since the 1st of August, 1869. The list comprises—landed proprietors, 3; stewards, agents, and employers of labourers, 9; or in that class which may be taken as representing property, 12 persons. But in the humbler orders, among those who are employed, such as policemen, gamekeepers, and other persons, the number on this list is 11; of farmers, 21; of women, 9; of labourers, 36 or 37; so that against 12 persons who may be said to be, in the present condition of Ireland, the objects of crime, to be representatives of property and the classes immediately connected with it, there are 78 representing labour and the feebler classes of the community. With regard to the Bill itself, I must say that on the whole, I think, there has been a chorus of something approaching to unanimity of approval of its general provisions, subject to certain reservations connected with the question of the Press, on which probably there may be some further discussion in Committee. But passing from the Bill, the introduction of which I think has received ample justification from the sense of the House, I would make a few observations on the conduct of the Government, which has been the subject of much animadversion on the part of some hon. Gentlemen opposite. Of these animadversions a great deal has related to the supposed rhetorical excesses of myself and other members of the Goverment. And here I must be allowed to put in a plea which the tone of the discussion upon this point has induced me to make. I do think, Sir, that it is only fair, and for the convenience of the House, to require that where Ministers are charged with anything affecting their position—that where men holding Offices of such great public responsibility are charged with having used language that has led to crime, that language should at least be faithfully produced. Instead of that my hon. Friend (Sir Thomas Bateson), in quoting words against me of which I had no trace, and of which I could not assign the source, seemed, with scant courtesy, to think it an unreasonable demand when I asked for the source from which he had drawn the words, telling me instead that he would supply me with them tomorrow morning after the debate would be all over.


I said they were taken from The Times of October 24.


My hon. Friend only said that he thought the language he attributed to me was contained in that newspaper. Does the hon. Gentleman suppose that I have The Times newspaper for the last ten years beside me to refer to whenever I may be called upon to do so? [Sir THOMAS BATESON: the date was 1868.] It is all very well to talk about the date. But what I want the hon. Gentleman to do is to produce the words which he attributes to me, and I hope he will produce them. I will only say that nothing can be harder upon a man, one of whose besetting and most flagrant sins is to have been guilty of many words, than to be put upon proof of the negative on charges of this kind. I am glad, however, to say that through the kindness of a friend I have procured a copy of that very Wigan speech to which my hon. Friend so obscurely referred. I have gone over it, and all I can say is that there is not a word in it which bears the slightest semblance to the words he has attributed to me. Here is the speech. Will the hon. Gentleman peruse it? I hardly suppose he will accept the offer. But if he would give a patient perusal to these documents, I think he would derive considerable advantage from them. Well, then, passing from that, there is a phrase which has been very larely circulated, to the effect that Ireland should be governed according to Irish ideas, and this phrase has been attributed to me. Well, again I have to prove a negative. I cannot do it. I cannot prove that I never used such words. All I can say is, that I am not conscious of having used them. Although I have been made the scapegoat of much of the disorder prevailing in Ireland on account of that phrase, I have never been able to get from hon. Gentlemen opposite the slightest indication where the phrase is to be found. I am very sorry to trouble the House upon this point, but the only passage I am conscious of—the passage nearest in meaning to the doctrine imputed to me, that Ireland was to be governed according to Irish itleas—occurs in a speech of mine delivered in this House on the 8th of February, 1866— Sir, I hope, therefore, that while this House will avoid giving forth to the world vague promises capable of misapprehension, I also hope that as each subject connected with the condition of Ireland comes before us, we shall be able to treat it, if it be specifically Irish, with a special view to Irish objects and interests."—[3 Hansard, clxxxi. 272.] First of all, those sentences are transmuted at will by prejudice and party feeling. They are then circulated throughout the country, are produced at length in this House, and upon them are founded most striking discourses addressed to me and others upon the dangers of rhetorical exaggeration. Then there is my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (the Earl of Clarendon). I need not hardly speak of him after the defence made by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) further than to say that he never alleged there was a class of landlords in Ireland who were felonious, and no one can extract that sense from his words. There is another victim—my right hon. Friend the Homo Secretary (Mr. Bruce)—who, it seems, has been guilty of describing the laws of Ireland as "infernal laws." That, Sir, I admit is certainly strong language for a Secretary of State to make use of. But to what Irish laws did my right hon. Friend refer? Why, to the Penal Laws of the last century. He referred in particular to the detestable and shameful law, for which no epithet can be too strong, according to which any member of a Roman Catholic family who became Protestant, was by law entitled to defraud his family of their rights and property. Well, Sir, my right hon. Friend—the admirable balance of whose mind on nearly all subjects all of us admit—did use a strong word in describing that law; and who agrees with him in the use of this strong word? Why, the hon. and learned Member for Stroud (Mr. Winterbotham). That hon. Member knows the Bishop of Peterborough very well, for he referred to him the other night. And what did the Bishop of Peterborough say of these laws? Here are his words, uttered upon the 15th of June, 1869— On the one hand there were the Penal Laws—those infernal Penal Laws, as I will join in calling them, which now excite our indignation."—[3 Hansard, cxcvi. 1861.] Coming now, Sir, to other matters, I shall refer next to the attack made upon the Government by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson-Patten). He made a speech the other night upon the subject of the Bill. He did not say very much respecting the measure itself; but he dwelt at considerable length upon our misdeeds. My right hon. Friend has passed a long and most honourable Parliamentary life, but he is very young in the practices of party. I do not mean dishonourable practices, for my right hon. Friend is incapable of anything of that kind. But it is not long since he took to party as a line of duty, and he therefore forgot some things which he might have remembered, and remembered some things which he might have forgotten. Above all, he accused us of this—He said—"All your strength has been directed against your political opponents."


Certainly not. I said you showed more vigour on the one side than on the other.


I think there was some vigour on both sides. My right hon. Friend forgot one act of vigour when we took upon ourselves the responsibility of proposing to Parliament to pass a special Bill depriving the Mayor of Cork of his office. That was our first and by far our strongest and most severe act. Nothing but the strongest necessity could justify a Government in invoking against an individual the whole power of the Legislature to crush him, and surely this is some evidence of impartiality. [Colonel WILSON-PATTEN: No!] So far from that, my right hon. Friend thinks it an evidence of weakness. He absolutely makes a charge against the Government that we did not carry the Bill through. Now, this charge does not apply to us alone. It applies to him. The Bill was before the House. We said—"We think on the whole that the House need not proceed with it." Why did my right hon. Friend not object to the proposal? [Colonel WILSON-PATTEN: I did object.] Did my right hon. Friend say the Bill ought to go on? [Colonel WILSON-PATTEN: Yes.] I am sorry that I did injustice to my right hon. Friend's policy of vigour. But what was the course he seems to have recommended? After this person had been elevated to a momentary notoriety by receiving a municipal office—after having been guilty of most improper and unbecoming language, so as to make it necessary to appeal to Parliament to remove him from his office, and that after he had given to the offended majesty of the law such a reparation as had never before been witnessed in Ireland, by the voluntary surrender of his office—my right hon Friend, after all this, would have gone on with the Bill, crushing a man who was crushed already, and endeavouring to inflict upon him disqualification for life, he having previously by his own act entirely disarmed himself of the power of doing any further mischief. [" No!"] My right hon. Friend says No. But yet he says that he would have gone on with the Bill, and if he had done that I do not know what he means, except what I have hinted at. What I have described, however, as the effects of such a policy would have resulted from going on with that Bill. At any rate, I feel sure, if he had proposed to go on with the Bill after the Mayor had resigned and had thus removed the corpus of the offence, this House would never have consented to pass the Bill. Now as to the conduct of the Government upon the Bill itself. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Dr. Ball) performed a service to us and to the House by an able and exhaustive analysis of the provisions of the Bill—an analysis to almost the whole of which I should subscribe, though I am not sure I should agree in his general doctrine with regard to the unanimity of juries. He was of opinion that, in the first place, the subject of the Bill ought to have been treated quite independently of what is called remedial legislation, and should have been taken as the cardinal and essential measure of the Session. He also said it was a measure which should have been introduced earlier, though whether at the beginning of the Session or during the autumn he did not specifically state. As to the treatment of this Bill—independently of remedial legislation, if it be laid down as a general and abstract proposition that measures for the repression of crime and disorder, and for the maintenance and security of life and property, ought to be held separate from subjects of general legislation, I entirely agree with him, and we are giving testimony of our adhesion to that principle in making the great sacrifice of foregoing the progress of the Land Bill in order to give this Bill the first and exclusive place till it shall have gone through all its stages, and be sent to the House of Lords. It would, however, be pushing the abstract principle too far if we were to say that, in the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, we would have no regard to remedial legislation. There may be Gentlemen in this House who hail a Bill of this kind with eagerness, and who have a faith in the extent and radical character of its operations in which we do not participate. It is a reproduction of measures which temporarily suppress mischief without curing, and possibly with some risk of aggravating more permanent and deeply rooted evils. A Bill of this kind never can be regarded justly except as the lesser of two evils. Nothing can be more painful, I hope, to any Government, but certainly to any Government associated with the Liberal party, and those who glory in the profession of popular principles of action, than to find themselves constrained by duty to pursue a policy of repression. If anything could add bitterness to such a necessity, it is that the moment they are compelled to make that proposal should be the moment when, in their own belief, and in the belief of the House and the country at large, not only they have made to Ireland, but Parliament by its acceptance of the principle of the Bill has made to Ireland, such an offer as a Parliament hardly over made to a people. But, Sir, it is impossible to conceive a nicer class of questions than those which present themselves to the mind of any Cabinet considering of the introduction of a Coercion Bill for Ireland under such circumstances. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said we were absolutely bound to introduce this measure at the commencement of the Session, and I make him two replies. I do not think we should have been justified in absolutely saying—"We will not present any measure for the maintenance of peace and the protection of life and property in Ireland until we have produced our Land Bill, and obtained a vote of the House upon it." I do not say that; on the contrary, I repudiate it; still, the fact that the measure to the operation of which we looked for a permanent cure was ready and was about to be produced was, in a nicely-balanced state of things, an element that could not but enter into the case. There was another element it was our duty to consider, and one which has not been as yet introduced into this debate, and it is this—Gentlemen will recollect that in the Speech from the Throne it was stated that a partial improvement might be observed in the state of things in Ireland, and that was strictly true. In January there had been a material diminution in the number of homicides and offences. I have here a monthly record of offences, including, as hon. Gentlemen know, that which certainly is often a very serious matter, though sometimes a lighter matter, but always an act of the grossest misconduct—namely, the writing of threatening letters. These are the figures as they stand—In October, 1869, the number of agrarian offences was 59; in November it was 144; in December, 337; and in January, 251. I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman will see that the diminution occurring at that time was an important element entering into our consideration of the case. The rise had been sudden; we could not tell whether the fall would continue. The fall has not continued; but even in February the total number of offences reported was considerably less than it was in December. Now, with respect to the question of time, I assume from what has been said in the debate, that the right hon. and learned Gentlemen does not think it would have been our duty to call Parliament together in November. But let me observe, with respect to the criticism of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire, that this measure ought to have been proposed five weeks ago, if he will have the kindness to refer to former periods of crime followed by legislation in Ireland, I think he will find in every instance that the Government responsible for making proposals has pondered long before making them. As we were told to-night, disorder prevailed in Ireland for years after the passing of the Emancipation Act; and it seems to be a fatality in the history of the country, whether from excitement or from whatever cause, that those periods of extraordinary access of the disease of crime—for it is a natural disease—have commonly fallen upon periods of legislation favourable in one sense or another to the rights of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The years 1830 and 1831 were, I believe, bad years in Ireland; the number of murders (which last year was 29) was 248 in 1832; and after waiting long and patiently Lord Grey's Government proposed the Coercion Bill in 1833. I do not think they were then told they should have done it five weeks earlier, and that they were liable to I know not what responsibility for life and property because of the lapse of those five weeks. In the same manner, 1845 was a year of legislation when this country was greatly stirred by measures proposed by Sir Robert Peel in the interests of civil and religious liberty in Ireland; but it was also a year of very great prevalence of agrarian crime in Ireland. The number of homicidal offences in 1845 was 66, while last year they were 26. Although that amount of crime was being committed, Sir Robert Peel made no proposal in that year; but he made a proposal in the year 1846; the proposal which he made even then Parliament did not think it proper to accept; and it was not until 1847 that a remedy, in the partial and narrow sense of the word, was applied, for such measures as these I are necessarily violent methods of treatment applied only to external symptoms, and not touching the seat of disease. Therefore I think experience shows us that Governments, and wise Governments—aye, and Conservative Governments—have thought it wise not to act on the first impulses of terror and alarm with respect to these periods of crime; but that they took time to weigh well the whole character and nature of a step so serious as making a demand upon Parliament for the concession of extraordinary powers of repression. And is that an unwise course? Why, does not the whole benefit of these measures, so far as they can pretend to secure a moral benefit, depend upon the cheerfulness and general assent with which they are received by Parliament? If we had come down to the House in a doubtful state of mind—if we had been liable, as I know we should have been, to hear, not only representatives from Ireland, actuated by generosity and a necessarily warm patriotism, but possibly many persons of weight and experience representing other constituencies, expressing doubts as to whether the question was ripe for legislation—who does not see, in the first place, that the progress of our measure would have been delayed, that we should have lost in angry and unprofitable controversy week after week, and that, when the Bill was passed, it would have gone forth as the expression of a divided sentiment, instead of being, as it will now be, the organ of the judgment of Parliament, which in heart and mind is thoroughly at one upon the subject? I say thoroughly one, because after listening to the speech of the hon. Member who spoke last, and who showed by the step he took a week or a fortnight ago a disposition to carry to the utmost the vindication of popular principles in Ireland, I observed that he said he would not take on himself the responsibility of refusing to the Government the powers asked for by this Bill. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire), too, used a remarkable expression, for he stated that he must vote against the Bill, but insinuated this apologetic protest, that the course he took would not interfere with the result. I think there was in his mind a latent fear lest he might be supposed to do anything which would have an injurious effect on the progress of the Bill. When my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland endeavoured carefully to balance and measure his statements with respect to the condition of crime in Ireland, he was not only challenged but condemned by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire for having laboured to take away the strength of his own case. Now I object to that kind of comment. It is our duty to avoid conveying an exaggerated view, as it is our duty to weaken our case whenever we are afraid that an impression may without qualification be produced which would carry with it a conviction beyond what the facts of the case would really warrant; and it was from a regard to measure his statements in accordance with truth and justice that made my right hon. Friend obnoxious to the censure of the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire. We shall not scruple to incur that censure whenever we see cause, and with respect to the present condition of Ireland my right hon. Friend stated quite sufficient to satisfy the mind of the House. But do not let us, on that account, despair of Ireland. The present disorder in that country is not altogether, as represented by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire, a wanton, causeless outbreak. It is so essentially, but it is not that kind of transaction which you cannot refer to some probable causes, and those causes are the diminution of employment, the restriction of the means of livelihood, the increase in the expense of living without an increase in wages; the consolidation of farms and the transference of land to pasture, without sufficient consideration of the effect of such a proceeding on the condition of the labouring classes. These are considerations which ought not altogether to be put out of view; but we do not admit that they in the slightest lessen our duty to make the necessary provision for the security of life and property in Ireland. I have mentioned that the homicides in 1869 were fewer than in 1832; but, on the other hand, allowance should be made for the diminution of the population. Yet, I cannot but believe that the condition of Ireland has on the whole improved, though it has lost ground within the last five years. But another cause which should be taken into account in estimating the present condition of Ireland is, that the remedy we apply, unlike a remedy of a moral kind, loses and does not gain strength by repetition, and it is applied to a people among whom fomentors of discontent or agitators are stronger than in former times, in consequence of having their base of operations abroad. I cannot, however, refer to this topic without expressing my sense of the injustice done to the people of the United States, when they are made responsible for that base of operation, and I think that there is greater cause for them to find fault with us for transporting to them a multitude of Fenians than for us to blame them for the consequences which flow from that state of things. Another cause which leads to crime is the greater portability of arms in the present day; and let me point out that forty years ago we were dealing with a people of high natural intelligence, but with small opportunities of cultivating their gifts of mind, and that we now have to do with a people far more instructed and informed, and, therefore, more difficult and dangerous to deal with until they are reconciled to the spirit of our legislation. In all cases, as I have stated, the Government have shown by their example the necessity of taking time before introducing a measure of a character like the present, and I have been surprised to hear in the present debate hon. Gentlemen who look to the period of the existence of the late Government as a golden age, speak of agrarian crimes as being unknown under the régime of the Government. Still the increase of agrarian crime is great and lamentable, and in referring to a statement of the amount of those crimes I will draw a distinction between the more serious and lighter kinds of agrarian crime. The two great classes of agrarian crime which may be called the lightest are the administration of unlawful oaths and the sending of threatening notices. The increase of agrarian crime from 1868 to 1869, if you include those two classes, was from 160 to 767, but deducting those two classes, and reckoning only those which are of the weightest character, the result is that in 1869 the number was 116, and in 1868 the number was eighty-five. It is a mistake to suppose it was the creation of a moment, and that it sprang into existence during the last autumn. The year 1866 was the minimum year of agrarian crime. The period of the late Government, which was not their fault, was a period of increase, a pretty steady increase in agrarian crime. At any rate, in 1866 the total of agrarian crime was only eighty-seven, and in 1868 the total was 160. Something was said by the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) upon the subject of the Executive of Ireland; and he quoted an expression which I think has been correctly attributed to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli)—that Ireland had a very weak Executive. Sir, I do not quite know in what sense that sentiment is to be understood. It is to be understood, I think, in reference—I do not refer to it for any purpose of censure, or even criticism, but merely as a matter of historical discussion, or rather a discussion of the existing facts—that the Executive of Ireland is, if we measure its strength by the faculties accorded to it by law and practice, not a weak, but a very strong Executive. It is a far more powerful Executive than England possesses. If power is to be regarded as a thing that can be created by legal and authoritative arrangements, apart from social and moral influence, the Government of Ireland is highly decentralized; the Government of England is highly centralized. In that sense Ireland has a very strong Executive. Why has she a very weak Executive? Because it wants moral influence; because it has not the co-operation of any class of the people, high or low, to the same degree as in this country, or up to the degree necessary to constitute a healthy state of things. The co-operation of the class possessed of property it has to a certain extent; but, unfortunately, as we go downwards, we come to a broader stratum of society, where not only that co-operation is wholly wanting, but we get into a region of sentiment infinitely various in their shades, but all very different from that which is necessary to constitute loyal and healthy attachment to the law; and it is upon that loyal and healthy attachment to the law that the whole strength of an Executive clearly depends in the only sense in which that strength is either desirable or permanent. Now, Sir, I venture to differ a little from the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin, in one thing, when he said—I am not sure that I am differing merely with his words, or rather with their sense—that these agrarian crimes were perpetrated by a class we could not get at. Now, Sir, the whole object of a good Irish policy, in my opinion, is to aim at the isolation of that class which perpetrate agrarian or any other political outrages—either agrarian or Fenian outrages. The whole object of a good Irish policy, therefore, ought to be to attract moral strength to the Government. We must isolate that class. How? By drawing from it gradually all the persons who—though they do not belong to it, yet palliate its proceedings, excuse its acts, and sympathize with it to a great extent, sometimes tacitly, sometimes actively, and in that way to bridge over with a mass of neutral, and occasional sympathetic materials, the wide gap between the mere murderer, the mere criminal, and the loyal mass of an honest-minded people. Sir, it is only by wise and liberal legislation that isolation can be effected. I cannot deny I feel that the process of isolation is more or less checked by the necessity of penal legislation of this kind. It is, therefore, under a strong necessity that we have proposed it, proposing it we have not for one moment dreamt of endeavouring to weaken the proposals we have made, so that they should not be in our judgment ineffectual for the attainment of our purpose; but our desire and hope is that being strong, they may be effectual; that, being effectual, the evils may speedily pass away, and that Parliament maybe enabled to resume in peace that process of beneficent legislation upon which alone we build our permanent hopes for the future. And if that is realized—if our temporary measure be well adjusted to temporary need, and our permanent measures be well calculated to provide for a bettor future, we should not much grudge the criticisms, though we may not be able to concur in them, and may find in them occasionally something of a carping spirit—those criticisms which may, of course, very fairly be cast upon a Government, especially upon a Liberal Government, when it makes a demand upon the House for the purpose of what it admits to be an occasional and painful description of legislation.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 425; Noes 13: Majority 412.

Acland, T. D. Bingham, Lord
Adderley,rt.hn. Sir C.B. Birley, H.
Agar-Ellis,hon. L. G. F, Blennerhassett, Sir R.
Akroyd, E. Bolckow, H. W. F.
Allen, Major Bonham-Carter, J.
Amcotts, Colonel W. C. Booth, Sir R. G.
Amphlett, R. P. Bourke, hon. R.
Anderson, G. Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Bowmont, Marquess of
Anson, hon. A. H. A. Bowring, E. A.
Anstruther, Sir R. Brand, right hon. H.
Archdall, Captain M. Brand, H. R.
Arkwright, A. P. Brassey, H. A.
Arkwright, R. Brassey, T.
Armitstead, G. Brewer, Dr.
Assheton, R. Bright, R.
Ayrton, right hon. A.S. Brinckman, Captain
Aytoun, R. S. Brise, Colonel R.
Backhouse, E. Broadley, W. H. H.
Bagge, Sir W. Brodrick, hon. W.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Brogden, A.
Baines, E. Brooks, W. C.
Baker, R. B. W. Brown, A. H.
Ball, J. T. Bruce, Lord C.
Barclay, A. C. Bruce, Lord E.
Baring, T. Bruce, right hon. H. A.
Barnett, H. Bruce, Sir H. H.
Barrington, Viscount Buller, Sir E. M.
Barry, A. H. S. Burke, Viscount
Barttelot, Colonel Burrell, Sir P.
Bass, A. Butler-Johnstone, H. A.
Bateson, Sir T. Buxton, C.
Bathurst, A. A. Cadogan, hon. F. W.
Baxter, W. E. Cameron, D,
Bazley, Sir T. Campbell, H.
Beaumont, Capt, F. Candlish, J.
Beaumont, S. A. Cardwell, right hon. E.
Bective, Earl of Carington, hn. Capt. W.
Beresford, Lt.-Col. M. Carnegie, hon. C.
Bagwell, J. Maguire, J. F.
Bryan, G L. O'Brien, Sir P.
Carter, Mr. Alderman O'Conor, D. M.
D'Arcy, M. P. Synan, E. J.
Digby, K. T.
Downing, M'C. TELLERS.
Gray, Sir J. Callan, P.
Heron, D. C. Moore, G. H.
M'Mahon, P.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.

Cartwright, F. FitzGerald, rt. hn. Lord O. A.
Cartwright, W. C.
Castlerosse, Viscount Fitzmaurice, Lord E.
Cave, right hon. S. Fitzwilliam, hn.C.W.W.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Fitzwilliam, hon. H.W.
Cavendish, Lord G. Fletcher, I.
Cawley, C. E. Floyer, J.
Cecil, Lord E. H.B.G. Fordo, Colonel
Chadwick, D. Forester, rt. hon. Gen.
Chambers, T. Forster, C.
Chaplin, H. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Childers,rt.hn. H. C. E. Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Cholmeley, Captain Fortescue, hon. D. F.
Cholmeley, Sir M. Fothergill, R.
Clay, J. Fowler, R. N.
Clive, Colonel E. Fowler, W.
Clowes, S. W. Garlies, Lord
Cogan, it. hn. W. H. F. Gavin, Major
Colo,Colonel hon. H. A. Gladstone,rt. hn. W. E.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Gladstone, W. H.
Coleridge, Sir J. D. Goldsmid, Sir F. H.
Colthurst, Sir G. C. Gooch, Sir D.
Conolly, T. Gordon, E. S.
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L. Gore, J. R. O.
Cowper, hon. H. F. Gore, W. R. O.
Cowper-Temple,rt.hnW Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Gourley, E. T.
Crawford, R. W. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Crichton, Viscount Gower, Lord R.
Cross, R. A. Graham, W.
Dalrymple, C. Grant, Col. hon. J.
Dalrymple, D. Graves, S. R.
Dalway, M. R. Gray, Lieut.-Colonel
Darner, Capt. Dawson- Greaves, E.
Davies, R. Gregory, G. B.
Do La Poer, E. Gregory, W. H.
Dent, J. D. Greville, hon. Captain
Devereux, R. J. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Dick, F. Grieve, J. J.
Dickson, Major A. G. Grosvenor, hon. N.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Dimsdale, R. Grove, T. F.
Disraeli, right hon. B. Guest, A. E.
Dixon, G. Guest, M. J.
Dodds, J. Gurney, right hon. R.
Dodson, J. G. Hadfield, G.
Dowdeswell, W. E. Hambro, C.
Dowse, R. Hamilton, Lord C.
Duff, M. E. G. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Hamilton, Lord G.
Du Pre, C. G. Hamilton, I. T.
Dyke, W. H. Hamilton, J. G. C.
Eastwick, E. B. Hanmer, Sir J.
Eaton, H. W. Hardy, right hon. G.
Edwardes, hon. Col. W. Hardy, J.
Edwards, H. Harris, J. D.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Hartington,Marquess of
Egerton, Sir P. G. Haviland-Burke, E.
Egerton, hon. W. Hay, Lord J.
Elcho, Lord Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Ellice, E. Headlam,rt. hon. T. E.
Elliot, G. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Enfield, Viscount Henley, Lord
Ennis, J. J. Henniker-Major,hn.J.M
Erskine, Admiral J. E. Henry, J. S.
Ewing, A. O. Herbert, hon. A. E. W.
Eykyn, R. Herbert, H. A.
Feilden, H. M. Hermon, E.
Fellowes, E. Hibbert, J. T.
Fielden, J. Hick, J.
Figgins, J. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Finnie, W. Hoare, Sir H. A.
Hodgkinson, G. Miall, E.
Holland, S. Milbank, F. A.
Holms, J. Miller, J.
Holt, J. M. Milles, hon. G. W.
Hood,Cap.hn.A.W.A.N. Mills, C. H.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Milton, Viscount
Hornby, E. K. Mitchell, T. A.
Horsman, right hon. E. Monk, C. J.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Monsell, rt. hon. W.
Hurst, R. H. Montagu, rt.hn.Lord R.
Hutton, J. Morgan, C. O.
Hyde, Lord Morley, S.
Illingworth, A. Morrison, W.
Ingram, H. F. M. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Jackson, R. W. Mundella, A. J.
James, H. Murphy, N. D.
Jardine, R. Newdegate, C. N.
Jenkinson, Sir G. S. Nicholson, W.
Jessel, G. Noel, hon. G. J.
Johnston, A. Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.
Johnston, W.
Johnstone, Sir H. O'Donoghue, The
Kavanagh, A. MacM. Ogilvy, Sir J.
Kay-Shuttleworth, U.J. O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C.M.
King, hon. P. J. L.
Kingscote, Colonel O'Reilly-Dease, M.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Otway, A. J.
Knatchbull - Hugessen, E. H. Paget, R. H.
Pakington, rt. hn.Sir J.
Knightley, Sir R. Palmer, J. H.
Knox, hon. Colonel S. Palmer, Sir R.
Lacon, Sir E. H. K. Parker, C. S.
Laird, J. Parker, Lieut.-Col. W.
Lambert, N. G. Parry, L. Jones-
Langton, W. G. Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.
Laslett, W. Pease, J. W.
Lawrence, Sir J. C. Peel, A. W.
Lawrence, W. Pelham, Lord
Lawson, Sir W. Pell, A.
Lea, T. Pemberton, E. L.
Leatham, E. A. Percy, Earl
Lefevre, G, J. S. Philips, R. N.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Pbipps, C. P.
Leslie, C. P. Pim, J.
Lewis, J. H. Platt, J.
Lindsay, hon. Col. C. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Loch, G. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Locke, J. Potter, E.
Lopes, Sir M. Potter, T. B.
Lorne, Marquess of Powell, W.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Price, W. E.
Lowther, J. Price, W. P.
Lowther, W. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Lubbock, Sir J. Rathbone, W.
Lusk, A. Reed, C.
Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Richard, H.
M'Arthur, W. Ridley, M. W.
M'Clure, T. Rothschild, N. M. de
Macfie, R. A. Round, J.
Mackintosh, E. W. Russell, A.
M'Lagan, P. Russell, F. W.
M'Laren, D. Russell, H.
Magniac, C. Rylands, P.
Maitland,Sir A.C.R.G. St. Aubyn, J.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. St. Lawrence, Viscount
March, Earl of Salomons, Sir D.
Martin, P. W. Samuda, J. D'A.
Matheson, A. Sandon, Viscount
Maxwell, W. H. Sartoris, E. J.
Mellor, T. W. Saunderson, E.
Melly, G. Scourfield, J. H.
Meyrick, T. Seely, C. (Lincoln)
Seely, C. (Nottingham) Vance, J.
Selwin - Ibbetson, Sir H.J. Vandeleur, Colonel
Verner, W.
Seymour, H. de G. Vickers, S.
Shaw, R. Vivian, A. P.
Sheridan, H. B. Vivian, H. H.
Sherlock, D. Vivian,Capt. hn. J.C.W.
Sherriff, A. C. Walker, Major G. G.
Shirley, S. E. Walpole, hon. F.
Sidebottom, J. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Simeon, Sir J. Walsh, hon. A.
Simonds, W. B. Walter, J.
Sinclair, Sir J. G. T. Waterhouse, S.
Smith, J. B. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Smith, R. Welby, W. E.
Smith, W. H. Wells, W.
Stacpoole, W. Wethered, T. O.
Stanley, hon. F. Whitbread, S.
Stansfeld, rt. hon. J. Whitwell, J.
Stapleton, J. Whitworth
Starkie, J. P. C. Williams, W.
Stevenson, J. C. Williamson, Sir H.
Stopford, S. G. Wilmot, H.
Stronge, Sir J. M. Wingfield, Sir C.
Strutt, hon. H. Winterbotham, H. S. P.
Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N. Wise, H. C.
Talbot, J. G. Winn, R.
Taylor, rt, hon. Colonel Wynn, C. W. W.
Tipping, W, Young, A. W.
Tollemache, hon. F. J. Young, G.
Tollemache, J.
Tracy, hon. C. R. D. TELLERS.
Hanbury- Adam, W. P.
Trevelyan, G. O. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Turner, C.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

House adjourned at One o'clock.