§ Bill, as amended, considered.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, he must express his regret that the Government, after consideration, did not intend to carry out the promise they had given when the Bill was in Committee, that they would prepare clauses for giving effect to an Amendment he had then proposed, for extending the operation of the measure to England and Scotland. He the more deeply regretted that, because he felt that, considering the course of the discussion in Committee, he should have had a very fair chance of carrying his Amendment on that occasion had he pressed it. It was quite clear from the evidence called by the Crown before the Westmeath Committee, that the Ribbon societies carried on their plans in England; that the leaders came over to England; that some of them lived in England; and, above all, that the watchwords and countersigns came from England. Mr. Seymour and Captain Talbot said that the Ribbon organizations were directed from England, and that the delegates were to be found in Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow; and, therefore, it was quite clear that if the Bill was to be operative, it should give to the Lord Lieutenant power to arrest men wherever they might be found, whether it was in England, in Scotland, or in Ireland, and the object of his present Amendment was to give such a power. Striking out Clause 2 and inserting Great Britain in Clause 8 would have made the Bill operative throughout the United Kingdom. Instead of that, however, the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington) had given Notice of his intention to add after the word "arrested" the words "in any part of Ireland;" and he had made a similar alteration in the form of the warrant, thus confining the operation of the Bill entirely to Ireland. As the Bill now stood, the moment the Ribbon leaders took shipping from the Irish Coast and came to England or Scotland, they might defy the law, and live in security, being almost connived at and tolerated by the Government. The Bill would be valueless, unless a power were given of arresting in Eng- 1780 land those persons who might fly here from Ireland in order to avoid its operation in that country. Surely no Englishman could wish that this country should be used as an asylum by the miscreants who had disturbed the peace of Ireland, and therefore he did not think that there would be any serious objection on the part of hon. Members to accept the Amendment he proposed; and, further, he thought it would be unjust and unfair to Ireland to allow the Ribbonmen who might think themselves in danger in that country to come over here for the purpose of concocting schemes with impunity for creating further disturbances there. He objected altogether to Coercion Bills, which had been tried without success from 1760 to 1870—the cause of their failure to preserve the peace being that immediately after they had been passed a new power had almost invariably been conferred upon landlords, enabling them to evict their tenants with greater readiness. He thought that right hon. Gentlemen should have gone beyond their Act of last year, and should have still further amended the law of landlord and tenant in Ireland. They should have put some check upon the enormous power of the landlords; they should have assimilated the Poor Law of Ireland to that of England, and should have established Union rating in that country. This Bill had been forced upon the House by the grand jury of Westmeath, and he thought that the time had come when the grand juries of Ireland should be placed upon the same footing as the grand juries occupied in England. In conclusion, if a Coercion Bill were to be passed at all, it should at all events be an effective one, which he did not believe the present one would ever be, unless his Amendment was accepted, for should the contrary be the case, the measure would be merely so much waste paper. Under these circumstances, he would beg leave to move that Clause 2 be struck out.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out Clause 2.—(Mr. M'Mahon.)
§ Question proposed, "That Clause 2 stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. WEST
said, he would observe that had the Bill come before the House in the form in which the hon. and learned Member for New Ross sought to amend 1781 it, it would have been objectionable for grave constitutional reasons, which he should have taken the liberty to lay before the House; as it was, he would confine his observations to the practical difficulties to which this Amendment was obnoxious. The Habeas Corpus Act should not be suspended in England, merely because disturbances existed in a certain limited part of Ireland. The Bill was made to extend to the whole of Ireland, not because it would be necessary to put it in force over the whole of that country, but merely because there was no natural boundary by which the particular district in which it was sought to restore order could be accurately defined. If any person who had offended against the law in Ireland crossed over into this country, he might be arrested under the ordinary law, and dealt with accordingly. It would be impossible, owing to objections of a technical character, to apply the Bill to England as it was at present framed. Of course by Act of Parliament they could make a warrant of the Lord Lieutenant run through every part of the United Kingdom; but suppose it was sent to England or Scotland, how could they work it? Suppose it was sent to Manchester; the Manchester police were appointed by the Watch Committee; and a member of that police would not know how to act in the execution of a warrant, signed by some one of whose existence he would very probably be quite ignorant. Suppose an Irish detective were sent to this country to take Michael O'Reilly, that detective might probably make a mistake in apprehending a wrong person of that name, and thus an innocent person might be locked up for two years. There should be no power to remove a man from his own district until he was convicted. In England the widest distinction was drawn between men who had been convicted, and men who had not. It would be enacted by the Bill that all persons who were arrested in pursuance of it should be subject to such treatment in prison as the Lord Lieutenant might direct; did the hon. and learned Member for New Ross mean that the Lord Lieutenant should give directions to magistrates in England and Scotland as to the manner in which persons were to be dealt with in English and Scotch prisons? He thought it odd that private Members should seek to arm the Government with 1782 more arbitrary and extraordinary powers than were demanded by Government itself, and at which the House itself had been alarmed; and he was also rather surprised to find private Members so willing to surrender the privileges of the subject in England and Scotland, merely because a state of disturbance existed in Ireland. If the Government had asked for such powers he should have resisted their demand to the utmost of his power; he would never consent to place in their hands extraordinary and unconstitutional powers, which even they did not demand as necessary for the peace of Ireland.
§ MR. CONOLLY
said, the flaw of the Bill was, that it regarded as criminals men against whom there was nothing but suspicion. He thought the Bill ought to be amended by inserting a clause to the effect that the Lord Lieutenant's warrant should run only against the persons named therein, and that they should be arrested only by the constables to whom such warrant was directed, provided always that in case the persons named should be found or suspected to be in England or Scotland, such warrant should, previously to its being acted upon in those countries, be endorsed by a justice of the peace of the district in which the persons so named should be residing. Nothing could be more invidious than that England or Scotland should be placed under the ban of this odious Bill; but it was necessary that a criminal should be followed to his den, be it at Manchester, Glasgow, Paisley, or any other place in Great Britain.
§ MR. W. H. GREGORY
said, he wished to see this question argued on its general merits, and not on purely technical grounds. When the point was discussed before, it was seen that the objections were very great on technical grounds; but they who were in favour of such a provision as his hon. and learned Friend the Member for New Ross wished to introduce, were perfectly satisfied with the assurance of his noble Friend the Chief Secretary, that a clause would be framed which would get rid of all those technical difficulties, and effect the object they all had in view. The noble Marquess, however, said the other day that he was unable to carry that pledge into effect. There might have been very great objections on the part of Her Majesty's Government to the introduction of such a provision, but he wanted the noble Mar- 1783 quess or the Solicitor General for Ireland to show that the Bill would be efficient without it. He, and many others who thought a Bill of this kind necessary, felt humiliated at the constant introduction of such measures, and therefore when introduced they wished them to be effective. His hon. and learned Friend (Mr. M'Mahon) had voted against the Bill; he had voted for it, but they were both agreed in endeavouring to render the Bill effective. The Bill was founded on the correct assumption that there were a certain number of men in Westmeath and places adjacent who had completely overridden the law of the land; that these men were perfectly notorious to the authorities; and that if the Bill were passed justice could at once lay her hands upon them. But, as the Bill now stood, justice never could lay her hands upon a single one of them, for they would put the sea between themselves and her as soon as they found that the Bill was about to become law. Now, his wish was, that the measure should be the least vexatious possible to the well-meaning portion of the population, at the same time that it was the most formidable to the evildoers. He had never supposed that those evildoers would be allowed to remain within 12 hours of the scene of their exploits, and that they would have nothing to do but to remove to Manchester or Glasgow, whence they could put themselves into communication with their associates. The consequence of that would be that their edicts would be respected; and when, at the end of two years, they came back, they would be received as heroes by an admiring population. He had been informed that one of those heroes was in doubt whether he should set out for England or America, and that he would not announce his intention to his friends until he ascertained what determination the House of Commons should come to. Now, whether such persons resided in Liverpool, Manchester, or Glasgow, they ought to be subjected to the same law to which they would be amenable if they resided in any part of Ireland. Yesterday he had met a most experienced magistrate from Ireland, who told him that he was in favour of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus, provided the evildoers were to be driven out of the United Kingdom; but, if they were not, he should never dream of 1784 passing so hateful an Act as the one before the House. This was not the first time that the cry was raised—"Oh, spare my English subjects;" but there was not a human being in England or Scotland that could by any possibility be inconvenienced if a clause were introduced enabling the Lord Lieutenant's warrant to run in England and Scotland against any person that had been living in Westmeath since the 1st of January, 1871. If the Bill should happen to be effectual, let the Government have the credit of it; but if it should not be effectual, let not those who wished to extend the operation of the measure, in the manner suggested, be considered responsible for its failure.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he would not trouble the House with many remarks on this question, for he could not conceive that it was seriously intended to prolong the debate. No doubt it was quite open to hon. Members to criticize the course of the Government or the form in which the Bill now stood; but he could not believe that any section of the House seriously intended to force upon the Government powers which after full consideration and upon their responsibility—for it was they who were responsible for the preservation of life, property, and peace in Ireland—they declined to assume. He entirely agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Galway (Mr. W. H. Gregory) that it was desirable to discuss this question on its merits, and not on technical grounds. Of course, his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. West) had, upon technical grounds, established a strong case against the Amendment. But if the Government thought it desirable, clauses might have been framed to enable the writ of the Lord Lieutenant to run in England and Scotland. He did, in pursuance of the pledge he had given, endeavour to have such clauses framed; but, in the course of the inquiry which it was necessary to make, the Government had to consider the whole question very carefully, and to see whether it was essential to the objects of the Bill so very greatly to increase the powers of the Lord Lieutenant, for there was no doubt that to make the whole of England and Scotland subject to the warrant was an immense extension of powers which he had already described as unconstitutional. The Go- 1785 vernment would, in his opinion, be scarcely justified in asking for the extension of the arbitrary powers which the Bill would confer upon them, unless they thought that such extension was absolutely necessary for the preservation of life and property in Ireland. That it was so they would not undertake to say; and, if they were intrusted with the additional powers which some hon. Members were anxious they should possess, he did not believe that they would use them in more than two or three cases of persons leaving Westmeath for Liverpool or Manchester. The great object of the Government in bringing in the Bill was to resist that terrorism in Westmeath which rendered it impossible for the respectable and peaceable inhabitants there to maintain order for themselves; and they had not been able to hit on any other mode of putting down that terrorism, except the unconstitutional one which the House was then engaged in discussing; but they did not think that system would be continued when these powers were granted, and they did not believe that the residence of one or two persons in Liverpool or Manchester would contribute to the continued existence of that terrorism. His hon. Friend the Member for Galway had attempted to show that there was something invidious in the course which the Government were taking, and that, although they were ready enough to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland, they hesitated to do so when England was concerned. Now, for his own part, he believed the English and Scotch Members were perfectly willing to give the Government the powers in question if they were in a position to say that they were required; but that was not their opinion. It might be contended that, theoretically speaking, there was no better reason for extending the operation of the Act to Cork or Belfast than to Liverpool or Manchester; but the Government had taken the only boundary line which they could adopt, which was the sea, and it was impossible for them to fix on any second line such as that proposed. He had no doubt the Bill would be efficient without any such power, and its effect had already been to reduce the number of outrages to almost nothing.
§ MR. M'CARTHY DOWNING
said, he should like to know what good reason there was why Captain Duffy, if he 1786 went to Glasgow, where it was said the plots of the Ribbon conspiracy were hatched, could not be touched, while the hand of the law might be at once laid upon him in Cork or Kerry. If Captain Duffy had left Westmeath at all, he ventured to say that he was not very far from that House. He wished the Solicitor General for Ireland would state why he was under the impression that Duffy had gone to America? So far as he was aware, he neither had gone to America nor had any intention of going there. The probability was that he would take up his residence in some town in England, where the warrant of the Lord Lieutenant could not reach him. There was no difficulty, he maintained, in framing a provision to meet such a case; and the real reason why the Government had not done so was clearly, as had been indicated in an article in a leading journal, because they knew that the English Members would protest against a course which would interfere with the liberty of the subject in this country by suspending the Habeas Corpus Act. That, however, which they dared not do in the case of England, they had no hesitation in doing so far as Ireland was concerned. Mr. Peter Burrowes, speaking in the Irish House of Commons in June, 1809, asked whether the 550 English Members would show the same reluctance in suspending the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland as in England? Those were prophetic words, and they had now been verified.
§ DR. BALL
said, that two entirely different questions had been discussed in this debate—one being the propriety of the particular Amendment now before the House, and the other being as to whether additional provisions should not be introduced into the Bill in order to enable the warrant of the Lord Lieutenant to have effect and be operative in England. With regard to the Amendment now before the House, he coincided with the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland in the view that that Amendment would not effect the object sought by those who promoted it; and that, if it were necessary to have additional legislation, special provisions of an affirmative and positive character should be introduced into the Bill. The hon. and learned Member for New Ross (Mr. M'Mahon) did not, however, confine himself to this one Amendment; 1787 for, in the 8th clause, he proposed to change the expression "within Ireland" into "within the United Kingdom." But even that alteration, together with the present Amendment, would not carry out the object in view. The 7th clause, which related to arrest, empowered the Lord Lieutenant to issue his warrant under particular circumstances, and to give that power to the Lord Lieutenant, or to anyone, merely authorizing him to issue his warrant, would not of itself enable the warrant to run or to be executed, except where the jurisdiction of the individual to whom the power was given was independent of the Act and already attached to his office. Under these circumstances, he regarded the Amendment as objectionable, and as incapable of carrying out the purpose in view. Of course, provisions of an affirmative and positive character might be introduced into the Bill, so as to enable the Lord Lieutenant's warrant to run and be executed in England; and several of the objections which had been made to such provisions had been caused by a misunderstanding of the character of the Bill. The Bill did not give an unlimited power of arrest; it only gave power to arrest those who had been domiciled in the county of Westmeath since the 1st of January last. If the Lord Lieutenant's warrant had been made to run in England, it would have been necessary to have provided that those persons who were arrested in this country should not be tried or adjudicated upon here, but should be at once returned to Ireland. If the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland, after consulting with the Lord Lieutenant, whose opinion deserved the greatest respect on any matter connected with the administration of the law in Ireland, had asked the House to give him such a power, he would have supported the noble Lord, without caring whether such a course was popular or unpopular. But when the noble Lord, after deliberation, declined to ask for this power, he would not take the responsibility of interfering with a decision which he believed to be honest, bonâ fide, and well considered. He could not, therefore, support this or any other Amendment which tended to embarrass the Government in putting into execution the law and repressing crime in Ireland. The Bill was in a shape for which the Government were responsible, and there 1788 should now be an end of discussions which were productive of no good, and which occupied time with a perpetual renewal of topics ending in nothing.
§ MR. SYNAN
said, he thought it inconsistent on the part of those who objected to the Bill that they should propose to extend its operation. The Irish people did not wish that the Act should be extended to England. They had protested against its application to Ireland, and they did not desire its extension, either directly or indirectly, to any other part of the Empire. It was no consolation to them, when their own Constitution was suspended, that it should be extended elsewhere. He could not, therefore, support the Amendment, and would recommend its withdrawal.
§ MR. BRUEN
said, he did not fear that the liberties of English subjects would suffer if the Amendment were carried. Any Irish constable armed with the warrant of the Lord Lieutenant would, he presumed, be accompanied by an English constable, whose local knowledge would prevent the apprehension of the innocent; and no warrant could be directed against an English resident under the Act, because it provided that no person could be arrested unless there was ground for suspecting him to be a member of a Ribbon society and a resident in the district proclaimed. The Amendment was necessary, because the natural refuge of Ribbon conspirators would be the large English towns; and, beside that, it would be most impolitic to confirm a feeling among Irishmen that, while the liberties of the English were to be protected, Ireland could be dealt with at pleasure. Such a feeling had already been excited by that exceptional legislation in which principles adopted for Ireland were repudiated as inapplicable for England and Scotland.
§ MR. PIM
, in stating that he would support the Amendment, said, that no case had been made out against any place except Westmeath and parts of contiguous counties, and therefore the arguments for making the warrant run through Ireland applied equally to making it run throughout the United Kingdom. The policy of acting towards Ireland as a nationality, only for purposes of repression, was most dangerous to the interests of the country; and as he believed the proposal of the Government 1789 would be fruitful of evil, he purposed voting for the Amendment.
§ COLONEL STUART KNOX
said, he could not believe more powers were necessary than the Government asked for, but recommended Irish Members, if they were in earnest, boldly to move the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant; then the warrant of the Home Secretary would run throughout the whole kingdom. The Motion, too, would not be without reason, because there was more jobbery at the Castle, in Dublin, than in any other Department in the State; and, if the office of Lord Lieutenant were abolished, the Castle would then be at the service of one of the Royal Family.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, he would ask permission to withdraw the Amendment, as it was impossible not to see what the result would be.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON moved the addition of the following Proviso to Clause 12:—
Provided always, That the provisions of the sixty-fifth and sixty-sixth sections of 'The Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870,' shall not apply to any county cess levied under the authority of the said 'Peace Preservation (Ireland) Act, 1870,' and the Act and Acts therein designated or referred to as the Peace Preservation Act, as altered, amended, and continued by this part of this Act.
§ MR. MITCHELL HENRY
said, he could not allow the Bill to pass the third reading without recording an emphatic, although he knew an unavailing protest, against those provisions which imposed heavy pecuniary penalties on disturbed districts. The extra police tax was condemned by almost every witness before the Select Committee, and the House could hardly be aware of the crushing severity with which it fell upon many poor and loyal subjects of Her Majesty. He knew that this tax was justified, on the ground that the payers of it sympathized with the authors of outrages, but that conclusion was far too hasty. Did the inhabitants of Paris sympathize with the Commune; or were they not, in a large proportion, paralyzed with fear, and terrified into inaction? It was precisely the same thing in Ireland — nothing spread more rapidly than that demoralization, and it was most unwise and impolitic to visit such a state of things 1790 alike upon the just and the unjust; and, moreover, he contended that it was altogether illogical. Was it not, let him ask, the first duty of an Executive Government to preserve life, property, and order; and, if it failed in that, did it not abrogate its primary functions? Well, in some parts of Ireland, Government had for years failed to perform the primary duty, and it mattered not, for the purpose of his argument, from what cause that failure had arisen. The fact remained—that a power greater than that of the Government had sprung up and been tolerated for years — namely, the power of secret societies; and that the poor man had come to know to his cost that if he aided the course of justice his life and property became the forfeits, and they, the Legislature, sitting there in security, and not personally feeling any of those things, expected of their humbler brethren a courage and consistency they might possibly not exhibit themselves if the circumstances were reversed. And now that the Legislature had awakened from its lethargy and determined once more to become the masters, and put the law in operation, were those poor creatures, who were really not the supporters, but the victims of those societies, to pay penalties which, in reality, were absolute ruin and civil death to them? He did earnestly trust that the Government would re-consider their position in that matter, and endeavour to discover whether they were not defeating the objects they sought to attain by that exceptional legislation that was to make the people of Ireland loyal and peaceable. The government of Ireland was far too centralized. Instead of consulting the resident gentry, who were thoroughly acquainted with the state of the country, they were far too fond of relying on the reports of the inspectors of constabulary, who were brought up in a semi-military atmosphere not likely to inculcate respect for civil and constitutional rights, and of resident magistrates who were not chosen for knowledge of law, but on other considerations. In all parts of Ireland there were deputy lieutenants and magistrates, many of whom were sober-minded, experienced, and liberally disposed gentlemen, who ought to be much more consulted and referred to by the authorities than it was now the fashion to do. In short, the Government must make up its mind 1791 that Coercion Acts would not longer be accorded to them; and unless they could reconcile the different orders of society to each other, and the whole people to constitutional rule, they would find that they would not save society in Ireland, any more than centralization and bureaucratic government saved it in France.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, the question of the extra police tax had been fully discussed in the Committee, which did not take the trouble of dividing upon it. The hardship of that tax had been greatly exaggerated. Almost the whole cost of the Irish constabulary was defrayed from the Estimates, and there was certainly no injustice, and he thought but very little severity, in making particular districts bear the charge for any extra police force that was necessary within them.
§ Amendment agreed to.
said, it was a matter entirely for the consideration of the House, but it would be for the convenience of the public service if the House were disposed to read that Bill the third time forthwith. There had been full Notice of the Report, and ample opportunity for raising and disposing of every point to which hon. Gentlemen had wished to direct attention, excepting so far as the principle of the measure went; and therefore with the permission of the House, he would move that the Bill be now read the third time.
§ MR. CHARLEY
said, it had been stated that no English Member had risen to protest against the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards Ireland. As an English Member he now rose to protest against that policy, not having been so fortunate as to catch the Speaker's eye on a previous occasion. The policy of the Government might be summed up in two words—"confiscation and coercion;" confiscation for the Irish Protestants, and coercion for the Irish Roman Catholics. Some hon. Gentlemen seemed disposed, like Bishop Nulty, to praise the Government for confiscating the property of the Irish Protestants, and to blame them for coercing the Irish Roman Catholics. He, for his part, ventured to blame them for doing both. Was it not a mockery that the Government, in the teeth of the fact that they were obliged to ask for the renewal for 1792 two years of a most unconstitutional measure, should describe their policy in regard to Ireland as a beneficent policy? The answer to their policy had been communicated to the House by the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Martin). The Prime Minister had spoken of the hon. Member for Meath in rather disrespectful terms, as a sort of antiquarian curiosity; but it was the policy of the Government which had galvanized into life the views which that hon. Member represented. That hon. Member only asked that Ireland should have a Parliament of her own, but those who supported him asked that the Union should be repealed. The policy of the Prime Minister during the last three years had given a greater impetus to the Repeal movement than O'Connell had been able to give it during the whole of his career, inasmuch as that policy had united Protestants with Roman Catholics in an endeavour to obtain a repeal of the Union, a result which O'Connell had never been able to obtain. In 1869 Her Majesty's Government sent to Ireland a message of peace; in 1870 they sent her a message of peace with one hand, while they held a drawn sword over her with the other; and in 1871 they were unsheathing two swords against her, without sending her any message of peace whatever. He (Mr. Charley) admired the ingenuity of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, as he listened to the Queen's Speech. The right hon. Gentleman had assigned as a reason for not introducing the Irish Education Bill this Session, that agrarian outrages still prevailed in certain parts of that country; but the real reason for his declining to introduce such a measure was, because he dreaded that it would split up his followers into two hostile camps. The right hon. Gentleman also excused the non-introduction of such a measure on the ground that "Ireland required a period of calm." A period of calm! One would have thought the right hon. Gentleman's messages of peace would have had a soothing effect upon the nerves of his patient, and that a third message of peace would have completed her cure. But the policy of the right hon. Gentleman, instead of soothing the nerves of his patient, only seemed to act as irritants, and he was now obliged to stand over his patient with two drawn swords in order to keep her in order. He was not 1793 surprised that the right hon. Gentleman had taken shelter behind the Westmeath Committee; because, after the language he had addressed to the people of South Lancashire, he might well be ashamed to propose the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. The right hon. Gentleman, on the occasion to which he referred, had based his policy with regard to Ireland on the maxim that the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act indicated a state of things only one degree short of civil war. The result of his having had Ireland at his feet for the last three years was, that he had been compelled to introduce into that House to renew for two years longer one of the most unconstitutional measure that had ever been proposed, and to ask Parliament to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act with respect to a large part of that country. The right hon. Gentleman might well apply to his Irish policy the motto that he had suggested should be applied to the Irish Church—"Total Failure."
said, he hoped that this case would not be regarded as furnishing a precedent for reading Bills of this character without Notice a third time, immediately upon the Report being agreed to.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he could assure the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) that no Notice was ever given in cases where it was proposed that the Bills should be read a third time immediately after the adoption of the Reports. The Amendments which had been made in the Bill on the bringing up of the Report had been of a purely verbal character, and, as the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had said, the Motion for the third reading of the Bill was made solely on the understanding that the proposal would be generally accepted by the House.
§ MR. CONOLLY
said, he must protest against the noble Lord opposite taking upon himself to define the limit of the responsibility of the Government with regard to this Bill. The Bill, in order to be complete, ought to have enabled the miscreants who escaped from Ireland to be followed up into their lurking places in England. He was sorry that a mere technicality had interposed between him and discharging the duty of impressing on the noble Lord the Chief 1794 Secretary the necessity of making that addition to the Bill.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, he thought that the fact that an election was about to be held in Westmeath was a good reason for postponing the passing of the Bill.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed, with Amendments.