Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [25th July],
That this House do resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider the Report of the Address delivered by Mr. Justice Keogh on the occasion of delivering Judgment on the Trial of the Election Petition for the County of Galway, and the complaints that have been made of the partisan and political character of that Judgment and Address,"—(Mr. Butt,)—
And which Amendment was,
To leave out from the word "House" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "regrets that Mr. Justice Keogh, when delivering Judgment on the Trial of the Election Petition for the County of Galway, allowed himself to diverge into irrelevant topics, and to make use of intemperate expressions and language inconsistent with the dignity which ought to be maintained by a Judge, and therefore calculated to lower the character of the Courts of Justice in the estimation of the people of Ireland; but, on reviewing the whole circumstances, this House does not think that the case calls for any action with the view to the removal of Mr. Justice Keogh from the Judicial Bench,"—(Mr. Pim,)
§ —instead thereof.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ SIR COLMAN O'LOGHLEN
said, that before the debate was resumed by his hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray)—who, he believed, was in possession of the House—he wished to take the opinion of the Speaker on á point of Order. On the last occasion when this debate was before the House, he (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) moved the Adjournment of the debate, and the House divided upon it and resolved in the negative. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) then moved the Adjournment of the House, and that Motion also was negatived; but subsequently, at the suggestion of the First Lord of the Treasury, the House consented to the Adjournment of the debate moved by the hon. Member for 761 Kilkenny. He (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) had been informed on high authority that in consequence of his having unsuccessfully moved the Adjournment of the debate, although he did not speak upon the Main Question at all, both himself and the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion were supposed to have spoken on the Main Question, and could not speak upon it again—which he confessed appeared to him to be an extraordinary rule. It was true that the rule was acted upon by the late Speaker, Lord Ossington; but Lord Eversley, who preceded the noble Lord as Speaker, acted upon a different rule. Under these circumstances, he wished to ask—first, whether he should be in Order in speaking upon the Main Question; secondly, if that was not in Order, whether he should be in Order in speaking on the Main Question in the event of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim) being withdrawn or negatived; and, thirdly, whether he should be in Order in speaking on the Main Question in the event of a Motion being made for the Adjournment of the House?
§ MR. SPEAKER
I will endeavour to answer the Questions upon points of Order which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has just raised, and as those questions all relate to the debate on which the House is just about to enter, I may say that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was quite in order in bringing them forward. The first and most important question raised by the right hon. and learned Gentleman is, whether a Member having moved the Adjournment of the debate—and that Motion having been negatived by the House—he is entitled to speak on the Main Question? That point has already been conclusively determined by my predecessor, and is, in my judgment, governed by the general rules and practice of the House. It was brought under the notice of the House on the 16th of March, 1869, when the then Speaker gave a clear and deliberate decision, which, with the permission of the House, I will now quote; and in order to make that decision more clear, it is necessary that I should also quote the preliminary Question addressed to the Speaker. On the debate on the Second Beading of the University Tests Bill, the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. 762 Beresford Hope)moved the Adjournment of the debate, the Motion being seconded by the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck), neither addressing any speech to the House. The Motion being negatived, the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge rose to speak to the Main Question; but Mr. Speaker ruled that neither the hon. Gentleman nor the hon. Member for Whitehaven, who had also risen, were entitled to address the House. On a subsequent evening, the hon. Member for Whitehaven having put a Question to the Speaker on the point of Order, Mr. Speaker's reply was that though of late years, partly for the convenience of discussion, there had been a relaxation of the rule with regard to seconding Motions, the Mover and Seconder of the Motion for the Adjournment of the debate were not entitled, by the practice of the House, to rise afterwards and speak on the Main Question or make another Motion. [3 Hansard, cxciv. 1450, 1467.] The principle on which this decision is founded is clear, and it is this—no Member is entitled to speak more than once while the same Question is before the House. While the present Question was under discussion on the 25th of July last, the right hon. and learned Gentleman rose in his place and moved the Adjournment of the debate, and according to the well-recognized rule of the House he must be held to have spoken on the Question which was before the House when he rose. Had his Motion been agreed to, he would have been entitled to pre-audience on the resumption of the debate—it being understood that on rising to speak he is in possession of the House; but if he moves the Adjournment of the debate it is agreed by the House, for the sake of convenience, that his remarks shall be reserved until another day. But, as it happened, the right hon. and learned Gentleman's Motion was negatived, and therefore he has exhausted his right to speak until another Question is proposed from the Chair. This principle is the same as that applied to Motions of Adjournment. It is well known that a Member cannot move the Adjournment more than once in the same debate. This principle is well illustrated by a case which occurred on the 17th of June, 1870, when no fewer than 10 divisions were taken on the Question of Adjournment, in order 763 to defeat the Clerical Disabilities Bill. On that occasion the rule which prevents a Member who has already moved or seconded a Motion for Adjournment from making another similar Motion was strictly enforced. That practice of the House has now for many years been established, and until the House shall, by direct Resolution, alter that practice, I conceive I am bound to its observance. With respect to the other two Questions put to me, if the hon. Member for Dublin should think proper to withdraw his Amendment and the House acquiesces, then the Question put to the House would be under a new form, and, no doubt, the right hon. and learned Gentleman would be able to speak on that Question. As to the third Question of the right hon. and learned Member, I have to say that if the Adjournment of the debate were moved he would be at liberty to speak to that Question. The practice of the House of late years has been to allow much latitude on speaking to Motions of Adjournment; and although I do not commend the practice of speaking to the Main Question on Motions of Adjournment, I should not feel at liberty in calling him to Order if he thought proper to do so.
§ Debate resumed.
§ SIR JOHN GRAY
said, * he wished to remind the House of the question on which it would have to pronounce its decision that night. No matter what collateral issues might be raised—no matter what importance might be attached to those issues—the real question which, in substance and in fact, the House had to decide and to vote "yes" or "no" upon was this—Was it, or was it not, of importance to the well-being of Ireland, the honour of the Crown, and the safety of the Empire, that the Irish people should have a well-grounded confidence in the administration of the law and in the impartiality of those who might be appointed by the Sovereign to dispense justice in the Irish Courts? Upon that question the House must that night vote "aye" or "no." There could be no evasion, no postponement; and upon the decision to which that House might come; upon the judgment of that House with regard to the manner in which Ireland was henceforth to be legislated for, dealt with, and governed, under the 764 direction of that House, would not only every Irishman living in Ireland, but every member of the Irish race, no matter in what country he might live, whether he was a forced or voluntary exile, or still remained in the land of his fathers, judge of and estimate the resolve of the Imperial Parliament with regard to the principles on which Ireland was to be governed in the future. That was a question with which he wished to deal calmly, and having regard to the important issue raised, he hoped hon. Members would not treat it lightly, but that they would each ask himself how the law should be administered in Ireland, and whether or not it was essential that the Irish people should have confidence not only in the equitable and impartial administration of the law, but also in the conduct, manner, tone, and demeanour on the Bench of those who were appointed by the Crown to dispense justice in that country. He (Sir John Gray) did not wish to place before the House his own definition of the language, the tone, and the manner which became a Judge. Fortunately for him, that task had been performed by one far more able and more accomplished, and one whom the House would recognize as a man whose intimate knowledge of mankind, and whose acquaintance with the springs of human action, eminently fitted for the task—the Rev. Sydney Smith. In a sermon preached by that eminent divine and scholar before two of the Justices—[Captain DAWSON-DAMER: In what year was that?]—In 1824, when preaching before two Judges of the English Court of Queen's Bench, who were then on circuit at York. His language on that occasion was so appropriate, and his description of a model English Judge differed so much from what they had recently experienced from the Judge at Galway—whose conduct, tone, and language was, he understood, to be that night declared by the Government and the House good enough for Ireland—that he would ask permission to read it to the House—May I add the great importance in a Judge of courtesy to all men, and that he should, on all occasions, abstain from unnecessary bitterness and asperity of speech. A Judge always speaks with impunity and speaks with effect. His words should be weighed, because they entail no evil upon himself, and much evil upon others. The language of passion, the language of sarcasm, the 765 language of satire is not, on such occasions, Christian language. It is not the language of a Judge. There is a propriety of rebuke and condemnation, the justice of which is felt even by him who suffers under it; but when magistrates, under the mask of law, aim at the offender more than at the offence, and are more studious of inflicting pain than repressing error, the office suffers as much as the Judge: the respect for justice is lessened, and the school of pure reason becomes the hated theatre of mischievous passions.This was the description of a Judge given before English Judges by an English divine—from the Cathedral pulpit—that place in which they were told things divine only were to be spoken of. Was the language of Mr. Justice Keogh at Galway free from "bitterness," as English Judges were admonished theirs should be? Was it not rather full of bitterness? Was it not the language of "sarcasm" and of "satire?" To use the language of Sydney Smith, it was neither "the language of a Christian," nor "the language of a Judge." Did not the Judge who was deemed good enough for Ireland aim at the supposed offender and not the offence, and use the mask of the law to inflict pain on those against whom he railed? But the Rev. Sydney Smith did not stop there. He knew that Judges were men of human passions like other men. Mr. Justice Keogh was a man "Irish born," as the Attorney General for England said, and, therefore, allowance was to be made for him, as he spoke to Irishmen and of Irishmen. But hear what was said of English Judges in an English Cathedral by an English divine—I admit," said the reverend preacher, "it to be extremely difficult to live amidst the agitations, contests, and discussions of a free people, and to remain in that state of cool, passionless Christian candour which society expects from their great magistrates; but it is the pledge the magistrate has given, it is the life he has taken up, it is the class of qualities which he has promised us, and for which he has rendered himself responsible. It is the same fault in him which want of courage would be in some men, and want of moral regularity in others—it runs counter to those very purposes, and sins against those utilities for which the very office was created—when, without these qualities, he who ought to be cool is heated, he who ought to be neutral is partial; the ermine of justice is spotted, the balance of justice is un-poised, the fillet of justice is torn off, and he who sits to judge after the law smites contrary to the law.By that English standard of what the deliverance of a Judge ought to be, and of what the Judge was always supposed to be, he (Sir John Gray) desired to 766 judge of the performance of Mr. Justice Keogh in Galway. He would ask—Did Mr. Justice Keogh so conduct himself at Galway as to inflict pain on individuals, not to correct offences? He would ask any hon. Member who had read the Galway Judgment, was it not the realization of the words he had just read which described an un-English Judge? The Irish people felt deeply on this question, and they, too, were desirous to ask that House—Was Mr. Justice Keogh's conduct at Galway that of the "neutral" or that of the "partial" Judge? Had he so conducted himself as to manifest to the people that it was the cool judment of a Judge, and not the passion of a partizan that was speaking to them from the Bench of Justice? Did he so demean himself as to satisfy those who heard him that the ermine of justice was not spotted by his conduct? Did he satisfy them that the balance of justice was evenly poised, and that he was not, under the mask of the law, sitting as if to judge under the law, but smiting contrary to the law. It was in this spirit that he wished to criticize the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, and in that spirit he wished the House to consider it. The portraiture which had been given from the pulpit was that of the Judge whom the Irish people desired to have, and with whom alone they would be content. The Attorney General of one of our Sovereigns said, many centuries ago, after a careful survey of the geographical features of Ireland, and examination of the mental character of its people—"There is no people under the sun who love impartial justice more than do the Irish people." Those were the words of Sir John Davis, Attorney General to King James; and he recommended to his Sovereign that impartial justice should be provided by the law and administered impartially to all the people. Would the House accept and endorse that principle? Would it say that impartial justice should be henceforth the general rule in Ireland? Would the House say that the law should be administered with equity and justice, and that there should be no more of such exhibitions as they had heard of from Galway? In order that hon. Members might have the opportunity of contrasting the language, manner, and tone adopted in Galway with the description given of 767 the upright English Judge by the Rev. Sydney Smith, he would ask permission to recall some of the phrases used by Mr. Justice Keogh at Galway, though already quoted, in order that hon. Members should have, during that debate at least, some data for comparison before them when they came to vote that night. He would not trespass on the indulgence of the House by reading long extracts, as the terms used would suffice for the comparison to which he invited the House. Having cited those phrases, he would confidently ask the Government, who endorsed his Judgment by instituting prosecutions, and those who were about to vote that his conduct was good enough—perhaps they meant too good—for the Irish—Was Mr. Justice Keogh deserving of their confidence? Father Conway was described by the Judge as splendide mendax. The Judge even condescended to mimic his accent and his gesture, and wound up by saying "that the clapper of his tongue" was as odious as the lugubrious railway whistle which disturbed his rest nightly at Galway, and had occasionally to be silenced by a direct bribe. Was that the judgment of calm justice, or the language of mischievous passion? Father Conway's voice was silenced for ever. Death, encountered in the service of his people, claimed him as one of the first victims to duty; but all who knew him—his devotion to the poor, his anxious labours for their benefit, and his self-sacrifice—knew that his tomb would be the shrine for the pilgrimage of many a wearied and troubled heart, and that whenever his name was mentioned in the presence of any member of the Irish race, at home or abroad, it would be spoken of with reverence and respect. The whole body of the clergy were designated "ecclesiastical tyrants," and "a rabble rout." One was described as the vamper of "debauched" evidence. Another was singled out, and declared to be the direct instigator of assassination. One only was said to be an honest man; and the Judge, drawing upon his classic lore, said he had found one honest man among a rabble rout, as did Diogenes of old with the aid of his lantern. He would ask the House to consider the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh as a whole; his slanderous assertion that the Archbishop of Tuam and the Bishops of Galway and Clonfert 768 were dark "conspirators" against the free franchises of the people—that the priests would use the confessional to defeat the privacy of the Ballot—that "a Catholic ascendancy" was concocted by the ecclesiastics of Galway—that the three Prelates had constructed an ecclesiastical circumvallation of the county, and say whether such language was that of a Judge or of a heated partizan? It would not be tolerated in England. Would the Imperial Parliament vote that it was good enough for Ireland? That Judgment handed over the representation of the county from the 2,800 voters who elected Captain Nolan, to the 600 who voted for Captain Trench, making the seat a gift bestowed by the Judge, and not by the electors; but he would confine himself at first to the insults heaped on Prelates, priests, and people, and ask that Mr. Justice Keogh be judged by his language, his tone, and temper, apart from all other grounds for declaring his disqualification for the Bench. He had, however, other charges to advance than those against his language and his insults. He arraigned the Judgment as unjust in substance, as well as indecent in style. Everyone who had read the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh would recognize that one idea was developed at the very opening of the Judgment—ran through it from beginning to end, and was most consistently and elaborately worked out for the purpose of establishing the several conclusions to which the Judge eventually arrived. The one idea to which he referred, and which took possession of the Judge from the outset, was that there existed in the county of Galway what he called a Prelatical conspiracy against the free choice, the franchises, and the consciences of the electors. This theory guided and governed every proceeding of the Judge. This Judge-created conspiracy was put prominently forward by the Judge throughout his whole performance at Galway, in his opening and in his conclusions. There was not one particle of evidence to support or to prove that such a conspiracy as he described existed. There was nothing save the wicked imagination of the Judge himself to warrant the assertion that the Archbishop of Tuam—whom he, with taunting ridicule, called "the great Archbishop of the West,"—and the 769 Bishop of Galway, and the Bishop of Clonfert had combined and conspired to deprive the people of Galway of their free franchise. He devoted the opening of his Judgment to the assertion that such a conspiracy existed; but he (Sir John Gray) asserted that not a particle of evidence was adduced to show that there was such a conspiracy, or that there was even an arrangement for joint action for a common purpose. Such was not alleged in the Petition, nor by the counsel for the opposite side. It had no existence, save in the prurient fancy of the Judge. It was a theory of his own; and in the absence of evidence he elaborately drew upon his imagination to prove a conspiracy whereon to base his Judgment, and transfer the representation of the county from the electors to his own nominee. No man could read the Judgment without concluding that Mr. Justice Keogh based his entire fabric on the theory that the three Prelates had entered into a conspiracy against the franchises of the people. The Judge thus asserts his views—He had, he says, to combat "an ecclesiastical conspiracy against the free choice, the free franchises, the consciences of this Roman Catholic county;" and of this conspiracy, he says, the three Prelates having jurisdiction in Galway were the concoctors, the guides, and the moving power. Speaking of them, he says that the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Galway, and the Bishop of Clonfert were the "three right reverend Prelates whose conduct is said to have nullified the election." Who, he (Sir John Gray) would ask, had ever said anything of the kind, save the Judge himself? The rival candidate did not suggest it. The assertion was the Judge's invention. He substituted a chain of the most barefaced sophisms for evidence to sustain his vile doctrine of Prelatic conspiracy. He argued in a vicious circle, thus—The Archbishop was the Chief Prelate of the West. Dr. M'Evilly was president of the Tuam College, and was translated thence to the Episcopal See of Galway. Dr. Duggan was a priest in Tuam diocese, and he was translated to Clonfert as Bishop. The two latter were the suffragans of Tuam, and they all three agreed that Captain Nolan, who retired before at the suggestion of Dr. M'Hale, was the most eligible candidate; ergo, concluded the Judge as the perfection of logic, 770 those two Bishops conspired with Dr. M'Hale to defeat the free franchises of the people of Galway. Having thus established, on his own evidence and vicious reasoning, his pet theory of a Prelatic conspiracy as the basis of the Judgment which disfranchised Galway, he proceeds with all the formality of a prosecuting counsel, to concoct the several counts of the indictment, and connect together the overt acts in sustainment of each separate count. The Judge does not, indeed, use the word "count" in laying his indictment. He calls each overt act a fact, and they had fact the first, and second, and fourth, and so on, each being the overt act in support of a count in the monster indictment. He (Sir John Gray) repeated that not a particle of evidence was adduced to show any conspiracy; and so far from there having been any agreement or concurrence between the Prelates, he could state as a positive fact within his own observation—but which he was authorized to state on the best authority, that no communication of any kind either oral or written had passed between the Archbishop of Tuam and the Bishop of Galway in reference to this election; and he believed that the presence of the most Rev. Dr. Duggan at a meeting of the Tuam deanery was his only confederation with the Archbishop in the illegal design falsely and malignantly attributed to the three Prelates. The Bishop of Galway was, indeed, promoted from the presidency of St. Jarlath's College, Tuam; but he was made Bishop without the interposition of the Archbishop, who, no doubt, rejoiced at his merited elevation, though he was not the moving power. The Bishop of Clonfert was absolutely appointed before the Archbishop knew of his elevation; and it was a notorious fact that, so far from being appointed by or with the previous knowledge of the Archbishop, Dr. Duggan was not even consecrated by the Archbishop of Tuam. He would dismiss the doctrine of the Prelatic conspiracy by stating that the only evidence of its existence was the despicable sophism of the Judge, who did not even succeed in bringing the alleged conspirators in contact or in communication one with the other. Now, what were the facts? Those three Prelates exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the county of Galway, each in his own 771 sphere separately and distinctly, and they gave their support to a particular candidate because of his opinions. The Judge, however, linked them together by a chain of sophisms, and from the judgment seat he boldly asserted that they had combined together to deprive the people of Galway of their rights. He (Sir John Gray) would then proceed to deal with Mr. Justice Keogh's indictment, which he urged on Mr. Juror Keogh. Before dealing with the alleged overt acts by which each count was sustained, he (Sir John Gray) would place before the House a short sentence from the Judgment delivered in Longford by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, and quoted with most extravagant laudation by Mr. Justice Keogh at Galway. That sentence was the deliverance of the calm and sound judgment of a man who was an ornament to the Bench, and would commend itself to all who heard it. He would, with the permission of the House, read it verbatim, in order that each hon. Member might have before him the Judgment of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to compare it with the reputed criminal overt acts of the maligned Prelates. It ran as follows:—I now refer to the Judgment in the Longford case, delivered by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, than whom, as we all know, there is no more accurate lawyer, no more experienced Judge, no man who commands—and justly—so thoroughly the confidence of the profession, and of his colleagues on the Bench; he says, referring to the question of undue influence—'In the proper exercise of that influence upon the electors the priest may counsel, advise, recommend, entreat, and point out the then line of moral duty, and explain why one candidate should be preferred to another, and may, if he thinks fit, throw the whole weight of his character into the scale.'These then are the things which, according to Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, a Prelate or a priest may do not only with the consent of, but by the authority of the law—he may "counsel," "advise," "entreat." [Captain DAWSON-DAMER: Treat] No; "entreat." Point out "the line of moral duty," and throw all the weight of his character "as Prelate or priest" into the scale to show "why one candidate should be preferred to another." These things it is the duty of a Prelate or priest to do, and this explicit declaration of Judge Fitzgerald was cited—probably in the hope it would be lost in the cloud of verbiage at Galway—to show that the coming Judgment was in accord with these sentiments. By that 772 approved standard of duty he would wish the House by comparison to test the several illegal and unconstitutional overt acts attributed to the conspirator-Prelates. The first overt act was the letter of the Archbishop of Tuam to Captain Trench, refusing to support him, and stating that he had already promised his vote to Captain Nolan. The only "criminal" act deduced from the letter was the promise—or as Mr. Justice Keogh called it the "contract," to support Captain Nolan. He (Sir John Gray) would not waste the time of the House by reading the letter, which was admitted by the Judge-juror to contain only the one point—the "contract"—or as it in fact was, the statement of a previous promise to vote for Nolan. He would ask however the House to say, was that promise in excess of the duty of the Prelate as explained in the constitutional passage from Mr. Justice Fitzgerald's Judgment which he had just read? He (Sir John Gray) contended that the letter failed, if in anything, in not coming up to the full legal obligation imposed by law on a Prelate or a priest or any patriotic citizen to "advise," "entreat," and explain the reasons for "preferring" one candidate to another. The overt act or "fact" set forth in the second count he passed over altogether, as it amounted only, according to the Judge, to the crime of dining, in company with the candidate, at the Rev. Mr. M'Gee's—a curious overt act in a hospitable country like Ireland, to be woven into the sophistical web of the Judge, but a definite proof, he contended, of the utter absence of legal evidence, when the Judge-juror and supplemental witness who sat on the Bench, had to resort to it. He would now take the third count in the monster indictment—the resolutions of the deanery of Tuam. They were very long and would be found in full in page 388. He would select the strongest passage, and if any hon. Member could discover anything stronger, he (Sir John Gray) would read it. It occurred in the fourth resolution—They (the tenant-voters) cannot, therefore, fail, in their own defence, to return Captain Nolan, the candidate, who, in a manner so peculiar and unprecedented, has so nobly identified himself with the fixed and permanent interests of his tenantry, thus advocating tenant-right in the sound and genuine sense of the term.Then followed another resolution advocating 773The complete and uncontrolled freedom of individual voting, which, when in full operation, will lead all the other important measures in its train.Was there, he would ask, anything in the whole series even amounting to the duty declared by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to have been imposed by the law on the ecclesiastical guides and friends of the people—"counsel," "entreat," cast the weight of your character into the scale, and point out the "line of moral duty" to your flocks? "The line of moral duty"—broad words and pregnant with meaning—which he contended the Tuam resolutions, at the adoption of which the "great Archbishop of the West" presided, did not fully come up to, much less surpass. He now came to the fourth overt act in sustainment of the fourth count in the Judge's indictment—the resolutions of Kilmacduagh and Galway, so dwelt upon by the Judge as another proof of the Prelatic conspiracy. These resolutions were, in fact, never written, and, of course, never printed, and amounted simply to an approval of the principles of Captain Nolan and an adoption of his candidature. The fact was announced in the Galway and other papers as an item of intelligence, and the fact that the Bishop and clergy were not divided, and distracted, and disunited, but agreed that the principles of Captain Nolan entitled him to support, is made the basis of a separate count in the indictment. Was there anything in the law as laid down by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to prevent their making that fact known? Nay, was it not their duty as honest men to declare their opinion—to "advise," "counsel," "point out the line of moral duty?" But they stopped short of their legal duty, and merely announced the fact that they were united in opinion; and for that union of sentiment with his clergy and people the Bishop of Galway is described as a black conspirator against the liberties and free franchises of the people by Mr. Justice Keogh. The next count in this monstrous indictment was supported by the overt act of the Clonfert resolutions. These resolutions he had also in his hand. Great importance was attached to them by the fact that the Government had resolved to prosecute, as a criminal in the criminal dock, his valued friend the Bishop of Clonfert, who presided at the meet- 774 ing at which they were adopted. He would, therefore, read the principal—in fact all the practical—portions of the series, that the whole might be before the House—1st. That as the spiritual no less than the temporal interests of our Socks are likely to be most seriously affected by the legislation of the coming Session of the Imperial Parliament, we deem it a sacred duty, as it is a constitutional right, to make every legitimate effort that our county may have such representation in Parliament as will most conduce to the advancement of those interests.2nd. That with this object solely in view, we declare our full confidence in Captain Nolan; and we call on such of our parishioners as are privileged to vote to record their votes fearlessly and conscientiously for that gentleman in the coming struggle.Did those resolutions exceed the line of duty laid down by Judge Fitzgerald? The spiritual interests of the Catholic subjects of the Bishops were involved in the Irish education question so sneered and scoffed at by Judge Keogh as part of a vile conspiracy to seize on education—"our education"—and hand it over to ecclesiastics. The resolution pointed out that their line of duty—"of moral duty"—was, to use Judge Fitzgerald's words, to "record their votes fearlessly and conscientiously." Was that wrong? Was that illegal? Was that contrary to law? Was it not rather within the duty pointed out by the Judge at Longford, and felt and acted on by every freeman in England? Yet that was dwelt on by Mr. Justice Keogh as proof irresistible of the guilt of the Bishop of Clonfert, and for that the Government were about to place him in the criminal dock as junior Prelatic conspirator against the "franchises" and the "consciences of the Catholics of Galway." He now would come to the last of the formal counts, which was based on the celebrated "Sellars" letter which the Rev. Mr. Sellars, the secretary of the meeting, wrote, enclosing the resolutions, together with a brief statement of the Bishop's views, with reference to the course to be taken by the clergy. That was relied on by the Judge as conclusive proof of the illegal designs of the three Prelates, especially of the culprit selected by the Government—Dr. Duggan—to be made an example of. He would ask leave, therefore, to read it in full. It was as follows:— 775Loughrea, January 18th, 1872.Rev. Sir,—I am instructed by the most Rev. Dr. Duggan to enclose resolutions adopted at the meeting of the clergy here on yesterday. The unanimous desire of the clergy, also, was, that his Lordship would request all the priests of his diocese to explain to their flocks, on next Sunday, the rights and responsibilities of the electors in exercising the franchise in the coming election; that it is a trust vested in them for the benefit of the people at large, and not to be used for private or personal purposes, but without fear or favour, according to the dictates of each man's conscience. His Lordship, therefore, expects that in this crisis, where the intention is explicitly avowed to crush "priestly dictation"—the parrot cry of the advocates of revolution and Communism, no clergyman will be found apathetic or indifferent. His Lordship is fully confident that the people will fearlessly sustain the united Prelacy and priesthood of this great Catholic country.—I am, Rev. Sir, your obedient servant,JOHN SELLARS, C.A.That was the celebrated "Sellars" letter, said to be the most criminal overt act of all, dictated as the letter was by the Bishop, though signed by the curate, Did that letter exceed, nay, did it come up to the duties defined by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald—"counsel," "advise," "entreat," "point out the line of moral duty," "cast your personal weight into the scale?" It was weak as compared with the Judge's definition of duty, though it boldly expressed the good Bishop's expectation—that there would be no apathy in pointing out to the electors that the franchise was as yet a trust to be used for no private or personal purpose, but for the good of all—for the whole nation—as each man's conscience dictated. He fearlessly asked hon. Members to compare that letter called "the celebrated," because of its force and directness, with Judge Fitzgerald's dictum, and say was it not far, very far within the law? Yet it was upon trumpery facts or counts like this that the Galway Bishops were to be branded as conspirators against the free franchise and consciences of their people by Mr. Justice Keogh. He challenged all men to produce one elector in Galway who was forced to vote against his conscience for Captain Nolan at the late Galway election by either priest or Prelate. It was not even alleged that there was one instance of the kind. He asked the prosecutors, he asked the defenders and backers of the Keogh Judgment to produce one case of coercion of conscience or of opinion by a priest or Prelate—let them prove it, or even assert 776 its existence, if they could. He had read with scrupulous fairness all the counts in the indictment and all the overt acts so skilfully grouped together by Mr. Justice Keogh, and he challenged every lawyer who sustained him to say did any one of these overt acts, or all of them put together, amount to the full duty imposed on ecclesiastics in the shape of entreaty, exhortation, reasoning with and encouraging electors in the true line of their moral duty, as laid down in the Judgment of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, and quoted from the very Bench where such opposite views were advanced? He (Sir John Gray) would then proceed to another branch of the Judgment, and ask the House, was Mr. Justice Keogh rigidly "neutral" or was he "partial?" Did he hold the scales of justice evenly poised when dealing between the landlords of Galway and the tenants whom they sought to coerce? It was an established doctrine that a Judge occupying a seat on the Bench should be absolutely neutral and not partial. But did Mr. Justice Keogh exhibit that neutrality which kept the ermine unspotted, or did he exhibit that partiality towards one class and against another which sullied the lustre of the ermine, and changed the Bench from the seat of justice to the throne of injustice? At the meeting presided over by Sir Thomas Burke it was stated emphatically by every speaker who was favourable to the candidature of Captain Trench, that the reason why they opposed Captain Nolan, was that he had submitted a case in dispute between himself and his tenants to arbitration. That act was declared by the Lords and magnates who assembled at the bidding of Lord Clanricarde to be of evil example, and not to be countenanced, though arbitration was a leading feature of the Land Act passed the year before by the imperial Legislature. After the Loughrea meeting, all the landlords of the county took up the cry, and denounced Captain Nolan and the evil example of his submitting his case to the arbitrament of others. The tone which had been adopted created a strong feeling throughout the country that a choice lay between two candidates, one of whom was a nominee of the landlords, and the other of whom was not. Now, anyone who knew Ireland as his right hon. and learned Friend 777 the Attorney General for Ireland did, knew that one of the most bitter elements that could be introduced into a contested election in that country was a question between landlords and tenants; and that question was undoubtedly raised at the Loughrea meeting, inasmuch as the chairman of that meeting issued a notice to his tenants, telling them to vote with him; and other landlords followed his example. The crime of Captain Nolan was clearly stated, and for that he was to be punished. In the Appendix to the Evidence was given a Report of the Loughrea meeting, from which it would be seen that every landlord speaker, from Sir Thomas Burke to the Lord of Portumna Castle, denounced Captain Nolan, and said Galway must select some other candidate, because of the Portacarron arbitration case. Now, the submission to arbitration and the award were two different and distinct matters. For the submission Captain Nolan was responsible, but he was not responsible for the award. One was his act—the other the act of the arbitrators, over which he had no control. He (Sir John Gray) would therefore confine himself to the submission to the arbitration, and not then refer at all to the terms of the award made by the arbitrators, for which Captain Nolan was not responsible personally. [Ironical cheers.] He (Sir John Gray) understood those ironical cheers; they came chiefly from a noble Lord who was about to speak. He was prepared at any time to defend the award in the Portacarron case, if the noble Lord would give him Notice, or without Notice he would discuss it and maintain its principles. He did not enter into it now, because it was no part of the case before the House; but as Chief Secretary for Ireland the noble Lord had opportunities of learning all the facts. He (Sir John Gray) knew them fully, and would, if he liked, discuss them fully there or elsewhere.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I agree that the award has nothing to do with the case now under discussion.
§ SIR JOHN GRAY
continued: For submission to arbitration Captain Nolan was ostracised by the Lords and landlords, and thenceforth the contest became one between landlord and tenant almost exclusively. In trying the Petition, how did Mr. Justice Keogh hold 778 the balance between the two classes? He would ask the indulgence of the House while he went into this, the most important branch of the case. Landlord intimidation was met by the priest, the only man who sheltered the poor tenant, and bid him not to allow the law of force to overcome the law of right. "The line of moral duty" was pointed out by the priest, and that Mr. Justice Keogh called undue influence. One passage from the Judgment would show the true animus of the Judge, and the purpose with which he ascended the Bench. Those who had had the misfortune to wade through the celebrated document called a Judgment, as he had, would remember that the Judge, after dealing with the Prelates, whose "ecclesiastical circumvallation" was, he said, completed by the resolutions he (Sir John Gray) read to the House, who had shut up every "avenue of the Constitution," who manned "every embrasure," took each priest in detail, and enumerated his crimes and misdemeanours. First came the Rev. A. B., who was a debaucher of evidence. Next came the Rev. C.D., who was an assassin. Then came E. F., who was a polluter of the altar, and even of the parish soil. Each had his peculiar paragraph and denunciation allotted to him. In due course came the consideration of the Rev. Mr. Macdonough's case. He had one entire paragraph of the Judgment devoted exclusively to him, and that paragraph, in simple but conclusive words, tells the whole story of this Judgment. It was this—Then comes the Reverend Mr. Macdonough; he said the landlords had no more right to the votes of their tenants than to their souls.Not one word more; yet he who runs can read, and understand the animus of the paragraph. The "audacious priest" had the criminality to declare that "the landlords had no more right to the votes of their tenants than they had to their souls!" What audacity, to proclaim so "illegal" and so unconstitutional a sentiment as that! He would ask the House was it illegal?—was it unconstitutional? Had the landlords a right to the votes of their tenants? Did the law give them that right? Did the Constitution recognize it? Was the priest criminal who said they had no such right, and that the vote of the tenant was as free from landlord domination as was the 779 soul of the Irish peasant? Judge Keogh dealt with such a sentiment as a crime, and it was for that House to say who was the real criminal against the Constitution—the priest who was pilloried, or the Judge who was ermined on the Bench. What meant the Reform Bill? What meant the Franchise Bill? What meant the Ballot? What had the Commons of England laboured for these 20 years? Was it to enfranchise the people, or to give votes to them to be used not as duty or conscience dictated, but at the bidding of, and as the property of the landlords, as Mr. Justice Keogh indicated in that paragraph, in assault upon the terrible priest who said "the landlords have no more right to the votes of their tenants than to their souls?" Had they? Let the vote that night give the answer. That one sentence told more clearly than words the spirit in which the Judge ascended the judgment seat, and the work he went there to perform. But he meant to quote the evidence of landlords and their agents, admitting that coercion was freely resorted to to force the tenants to vote as the landlords directed. And yet that impartial Judge, who reported John of Tuam for writing a letter of which no man need be other than proud, refused to report the men who raised the rents—who tore down the roof-tree—who deprived a trader of his living—because he would not vote as ordered by the master of soul and body and vote. Mr. Blake, agent to Lord Clanricarde, on being questioned, gave the following evidence, admitting that three half-years' rent were exacted at once, because the tenants refused to vote with the Lord:—9057. You called upon the tenants to pay up to November a year and a-half's rent—was not that request addressed to the voters in consequence of the way in which they voted at the election?—I do not think it was.9059. Did the circumstance of their voting against the wishes of Lord Clanricarde influence you in insisting upon the whole year and a-half's rent at once?—In some instances it might.9060. In some instances did it not, upon your solemn oath?—It did.Mark, how slowly the witness arrived at truth. In another case, the Judge thus parried off the exposure that threatened the landlord who adopted another mode of coercion—the increase of the rent. But, of course, Judge Keogh failed in getting rid of the facts, and thought it all right to increase rents on recreant 780 voters, and would not report the party who did it. Here is Mr. Blake's evidence on this point—Mr. Macdonogh asked for a list of the voters where rents were increased.Mr. Justice Keogh: It is the valuation that determines the vote, and not the rent. You will see there the valuation.'Mr. Macdonogh: Yes, my Lord; but I want to show what the amount of increase was.Mr. Justice Keogh: We are not trying a case between landlord and tenant, but as to the election.Mr. Macdonogh: I want to show, my Lord, what the increase was. In one case it was from £50 10s. to £82 5s.; in another from £28 8s. 8d. to £48 11s.; in another, from £88 to £112.The list was eventually forced from the witness by the counsel, and verified every statement made in the question put by the defendant's counsel. The withdrawal of custom was also admitted to have been used as a punishment for voters who refused to vote. On that, too, he would cite the admissions of Lord Clanricarde's own agent, who reluctantly let out the truth. The evidence is thus reported in the Blue Book—8987. Do you know any of the shopkeepers in Portumna who voted against the wishes of Lord Clanricarde?—I believe some of them did.8988. Were not directions given from the Castle, that the custom of Lord Clanricarde should be withdrawn from those voters?—There were things got elsewhere, undoubtedly.8997. Did you make that change since the election?—I did.8998. I ask you, as a gentleman, was it not because they voted against your view, or Lord Clanricarde's view?—Well, I do not know.8999. You made the alterations since the election?—I did; I dare say it may have operated a little.9000. As a fair man, and looking to the serious sanction under which you are speaking, I ask you, did it not operate?—I dare say it did.9001. Then the custom has been withdrawn?—Partly, I think.9002. In consequence of the voting?—I told you exactly how it was before; that I considered it more beneficial to get things in quantity from Ballinasloe.9003. I know that was your consideration; but I ask you, was it not partly in consequence of the voting that the custom was changed?—I told you before, that to a great extent it was.9004. Do you know the baker, whose name is Mr. Burke, at Portumna?—I do.9005. Has he been discontinued?—He has.9006. Did he not vote for Captain Nolan?—I believe he did.9007. Was that the reason, on your oath?—I think it was.Was that coercion, or was it not? Was that undue influence or not? Was the increase of rent—the withdrawal of cus- 781 tom —the enforcing of three half-years' rent instead of one—were these singly or in the aggregate "undue influence," and was the actual infliction of these penalties reported by Judge Keogh? If not, he asked why not? The answer was plain. The landlords who coerced were to be beslavered with adulation. The Prelates and priests who protected the people from coercion were to be sentenced to "seven years' penal servitude." Those were acts of oppression which Englishmen would not tolerate. Englishmen loved their country, and were proud of it; they loved their Constitution, and would make any sacrifice to defend it. Why should English Representatives encourage in Ireland acts of tyranny unknown in any other country in Europe save Ireland alone? He would not believe that English Gentlemen would by their votes that night endorse the conduct of a Judge who refused to treat such persecution as undue influence, and who tried to prevent its being developed in the evidence, as he had shown. [The hon. Member then proceeded to read the letter of Mr. Staunton, addressed to his tenants, threatening all kinds of evil—the raising of rent, the deprivation of bog, and other injuries, should they refuse to vote as ordered; and commented on it as a clear case of threatened injury. Having read the letter of Mr. Staunton and his sworn evidence, he continued]—Would the House believe that it was distinctly proved in evidence, that Mr. Staunton served a notice on his tenants, in which he stated that strict justice allowed the landlord to raise his rent to a point which no barrister and no Court under the Land Act could say was too high? The Peers and Commons of England had declared that tenants should be free; but here was a case of direct coercion, on the face of which it was declared by the Judge that landlord intimidation did not exist. More direct even than that was Mr. Staunton's own evidence. He admitted that one of the tenants purchased the goodwill of the holding some six or seven years before the election, continued to pay the same rent as his predecessor, and yet, because he would not vote according to his landlord's dictation, the houses were unroofed over his cattle. That was sworn to; it was admitted by the landlord himself; and yet Mr. Justice Keogh came to the conclusion that 782 there had been no intimidation on the part of the landlords, and that they had only exercised their legitimate rights by raising rents, depriving men of their means of living, levelling houses, and other such acts, to demonstrate that the votes were given by that Parliament not for the tenants' own use, but for the aggrandizement of the lords of the soil. He came then to another branch of the case—the prosecution of the Bishop of Clonfert and some 20 priests in sustainment by the Government of Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment. Mr. Justice Keogh certified to the House that 36 persons, including three Bishops, had been guilty of undue influence. When the debate was fixed for the 25th of last month, within two days of its coming on, the House was startled by the announcement made by his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland, that 23 or 24 of those named were to be prosecuted, including one of the three Prelates and some 20 priests. Other cases of undue influence had been reported to that House, and no prosecution followed. In the Drogheda case, it was reported to the House that the sitting Member was guilty of undue influence. The sitting Member was thereupon unseated; but no prosecution was ordered by the Attorney General of the day. Why not then prosecute, if it was right to sustain Mr. Justice Keogh by prosecuting a Bishop and 20 priests now? In the Dublin case 11 persons were reported as having taken bribes, and three or four as having administered the bribes, yet no prosecution was ordered by the Attorney General of the day, though a series of bribery cases was well established. He was far from attributing anything unfair to the Attorney General for Ireland; but he was bound to ask the Government how it came, in the face of these facts, that a Bishop, 21 priests, and two laymen were, under less weighty circumstances, even on the Government showing, directed to be prosecuted? It was an idle farce to call the prosecution a prosecution by the Attorney General. His right hon. and learned Friend was a shrewd man, and never wasted his money. Was he about to enter on that monster prosecution at his own cost? If not, who was to pay the bill? He would undertake for the Attorney General for Ireland that he would not pay it. Who, then, would? 783 It would be a costly proceeding. If the Treasury were to pay, why not avow that the prosecution was ordered by the Cabinet, who would pay the bill, and not by his right hon. and learned Friend, who would not pay one farthing of the cost. He would tell them Ireland would deal with the prosecution as a Government prosecution, and meet it as it deserved. One thing he would assure the House—that there would be no verdict obtained by the Government, and for the best reason, there was no evidence to warrant a conviction. No jury of Englishmen—not even if selected from Exeter Hall—could convict on the trumpery evidence relied on by Mr. Justice Keogh and Her Majesty's Ministers. He (Sir John Gray) had, in addition, to complain of the tone and manner in which the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Mr. James) had addressed the House on this subject. Speaking of the evidence of the most Rev. Dr. Duggan, he said that he had been "compelled" to admit the restrictions imposed by the 19th statute of the Synod of Thurles in the case of political addresses from the altar. What was the fact? The evidence was volunteered by the right rev. Bishop, when Mr. Justice Keogh endeavoured to force the Bishop to see through his eyes, and discover that the Council of Trent, by one of its statutes, forbad the priest to address his congregation on any save Divine subjects from the altars or during mass. The Bishop could remember no such statute, and suggested that the Judge was probably thinking of something else of the same nature, which was decreed by the Synod of Thurles, but with reservations as to topics; and absolutely he volunteered to get the decrees, read them over, and furnish the Judge with the facts, and thus correct the Judge's memory. That this was so was manifest from the fact that, on the following day, the Bishop actually brought the original Latin and a translation, and supplied it to the Judge. But the worst of the case attempted to be made by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton was, that he suppressed the important part of the very decree he was referring to—breaking off in the middle of the sentence, as given in evidence by the Bishop, for no purpose that he (Sir John Gray) could discover, save that of misrepresenting the Bishop, and giving effect to the suggestion of Judge Keogh, 784 boldly expressed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton, to the effect that the Galway Prelates violated not only the law of the land, but the canons of their own Church. [Mr. JAMES: No, no!] He (Sir John Gray) said "Yes, yes," for he had the passage in his hand. But it would be better to see at once what his hon. and learned Friend did actually say. His words, as reported, were as follows, and he admits the report to be accurate:—At page 514 in his evidence, Dr. Duggan admitted that he had himself preached to the people on the subject of the election in Ballinasloe parish church, and when asked this question—'Then you seemed to think the pulpit and the altar a judicious place from which to propound political opinions during a hotly-contested election?' His answer was—'Certainly.'… Now, he maintained that in this case the common law, the statute law, and even also the ordinances of the Roman Catholic Church had been broken. Dr. Duggan had declared that in his opinion the pulpit and the altar were proper places in which to enter into political matters.…. Let him next consider what was the view of the matter taken by Roman Catholic Prelates themselves. Even from that very Bishop himself who said that the altar and the pulpit were the right places from which to make appeals to his flock on political questions, these words which he was next about to quote were obtained. Dr. Duggan was compelled, while being examined, to refer to the 19th statute of the Synod of Thurles, of which he gave the following translation.The hon. and learned Member then quoted the translation of the decree, forbidding "dissertation" on "profane business" or "on political elections or other matters of this kind" which might excite contention between the pastor and the flock, "which, however, are not to be interpreted as that there would not be exposition or discussion"—and at this word the hon. and learned Member stopped. He never completed the sentence, but the Bishop did, and read on to the end of the sentence, thus—Which are not to be interpreted as that there should be no exposition or discussion on actions taken or exposition ordered on not receiving bribes, about perjury to be avoided, about the rights of the Church, about the charity and care due to the poor.His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton omitted to read the conclusion of the sentence. Why? Because if he had done so, he could not have the brass to accuse the Bishop, as he did, of violating the canons of his own Church, for the very canon or decree which his hon. and learned Friend suppressed di- 785 rected action identical with the directions given by the Bishop of Clonfert in the "Sellars" letter; the decree said certain instructions ought to be "ordered," and the Bishop literally acted up to the decree of his own Church, instead of violating it, as his hon. and learned Friend asserted that he did. [Mr. JAMES: Read on.] Did his hon. and learned and theological Friend want him to read all the decrees of the Synod of Thurles for that House? He would only finish the sentence, in the middle of which his hon. and learned Friend conveniently broke off, and he objected to trouble the House with further quotations, even to gratify the theological tastes of his hon. and learned Friend. But it would not do to read the sentence in full; the Bishop was to be prosecuted, and if the friends of the prosecutors could make the Bishop odious as a violator of the decrees and canons of his own Church, public sympathy would be against him, and the object of the prosecutors would be gained. The Bishop of Galway gave the same information to the Judge on the previous day, yet the Judge endeavoured to misrepresent the whole of the facts, as did his hon. and learned Friend in that House. Having apologized for the heavy tax he had imposed on the indulgence of the House, he asked the House could they, with the facts he cited, consider the Judgment impartial, and that equal justice had been done, and he contended that the House ought to give its decision in favour of the Resolution, and that there should be the same impartial administration of justice in Ireland as in England. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving the adjournment of the debate.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, he would trespass only a short time upon the attention of the House, but he was desirous of addressing a few words to it on this subject. He agreed with the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray) that the question raised was, whether the Irish people were to have a well-grounded confidence in the administration of the law. That was the exact point which was raised on the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick City (Mr. Butt), and it was precisely on that point that he entirety differed from the conclusion arrived at by the hon. Member for Kilkenny; for he believed it would be found that the con- 786 duct of Mr. Justice Keogh in this case was not inconsistent, but consistent with the interests of the public and the dignity and honour of the Crown. He was inclined to think that as the Attorney General for Ireland had announced that it would be necessary for him, in his official capacity, to prosecute certain parties who had been reported upon by the learned Judge in the Schedule—some in both Schedules—it would have been better, perhaps, for the hon. and learned Member for Limerick to postpone this Motion. It was hardly fair to those persons who were to be tried that they should be canvassing and criticizing their cases, instead of having them fairly discussed in a Court of Justice. But as the question had been brought before the House, he was anxious to make a few observations upon it. He did think that the Irish Representatives had some just cause of complaint against the Government for not having given them a better opportunity of discussing the question than had been accorded to them. He thought it unfortunate that the discussion, by a long adjournment, should have been so disjointed; but if this was unfair to the Irish Representatives, how very unfair and unkind it was to Mr. Justice Keogh? He gave his Judgment on the 27th of May. The Report was made on the 11th of June. Was it fair to Mr. Justice Keogh to have all this time the discussion hanging over his head, and to have his conduct canvassed as it had been? The evidence before the Court had been given piecemeal, like the publication of a serial. Would it not have been much fairer to lay it on the Table at once in three volumes, which, with a little activity and zeal, might have been done? But what was still more important, looking to the observations of Baron Deasy, when presiding as Judge of Assize at Tralee, directed against the Government, he asked what explanation could be given of the lukewarmness and indifference of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland? Here was a Judge of Assize referring to the burning of the effigy of Judge Keogh, and saying—This disgraceful proceeding was allowed to go on from commencement to conclusion without any attempt on the part of the police to interfere with those concerned in it. The example, owing to the inaction in the capital, was followed in the provinces, and those scenes allowed to go on, for what reason I know not, without any attempt to 787 punish the perpetrators of them on the part of the authorities.That was a serious charge against the Government, which it was incumbent on the Government and the Lord Chancellor of Ireland to meet, and rebut if they could. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick City had fairly raised the issue before the House. He said in his opening observations that he was glad—and the House and the country would be glad—that he had removed the question from the heated currents which prevailed in Ireland to the cooler atmosphere of the House of Commons. He thought every impartial person in Ireland as well as in England would be glad that those burnings of the effigy of Judge Keogh—civil as well as military—were no longer taking place with the connivance of the authorities. We had had enough of anathemas and denunciations, both clerical and civil. This agitation had been kept up for weeks, and he was glad—as he believed the majority of the House were—that the hon. and learned Member had brought it forward. The question had been cleverly dealt with by his hon. and learned Friend, of whose able assistance years ago he had a lively recollection; and the hon. and learned Gentleman, if he ever spoke ten times as strongly from the Bench as Mr. Justice Keogh had done, might depend upon his support. The hon. and learned Gentleman said the landlords were the head and front of the offending, and that it was the meeting at Loughrea which was the origin of all this; and the hon. Member for Kilkenny had endorsed thatview; but it was not correct. Judging from the evidence before the Court, we were bound to say that the landlords, at all events, were not the cause of this melancholy state of things, and that their case was not reported by the learned Judge. It was assumed that he was partial; but for the purpose of argument their case was not in the Judgment, nor upon the evidence before the Court, and, in his opinion, the hon. and learned Gentleman had no right to bring it forward here. Whether it were landlord or whether it were priest, nothing had occurred for many a day which had excited so much feeling among certain classes in Ireland; nothing had so much disturbed the social harmony which existed in that country, and nothing had occurred for many a day which had 788 done so much to defeat what the Government had laboured earnestly to promote—the uniting and the knitting together of all classes and creeds—as this miserable Galway Election. The hon. and learned Gentleman had poured out the vials of his wrath upon Mr. Justice Keogh in language which was rather too strong. He said—My bitterest complaint against him is partizanship, and intemperance, and injustice. He allowed himself to be the partizan of the landlord class; he branded Roman Catholics with crimes from which they are wholly free.With regret he heard the further expression that the Judge gave vent to the "hoarded spite of years." The hon. Member talked of the wicked imagination of the Judge. Knowing something of Mr. Justice Keogh, having had many opportunities of intercourse with him in 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1864, when he himself had the honour of being connected with the Government of Ireland, he rejoiced that the opportunity was now afforded him, as a private Member of Parliament, of bearing his testimony to the merits of that learned Judge—to his zeal and intelligence, and to the fearless independence with which he had acted on many occasions. When he had seen, day after day, insults and injuries heaped upon his head, almost with the connivance of the authorities, as Baron Deasy had said, he should be ashamed to sit still without endeavouring to raise his voice in vindication of the character of the man whose judicial acts were unjustly maligned and traduced. He believed every impartial person considered Mr. Justice Keogh an ornament to his profession; his own experience of the Judge's conduct and character led him to entertain that opinion: in the discharge of his duties he had acquired the respect and esteem of all honest men; but he admitted that Mr. Justice Keogh's name was execrated by everybody whose evil deeds were exposed to the broad light of truth and justice. The learned Judge administered the law as he found it, and he had been blamed for it, and it was not true that his continuance on the Bench was inconsistent with the interests of the public or the honour of the Crown. No greater compliment could have been paid to the learned Judge than the decision of the Attorney General for Ireland as an officer of the Government, that out of a 789 certain number of persons reported by the Judge so many were to be prosecuted. Of all Judges in Ireland, Mr. Justice Keogh was the most competent to deal with Election Petitions; he had tried the most difficult of the Election Petitions in that country—Drogheda, Dublin City, Sligo, and Galway town. And this was the Judge who was accused of partizanship! The four decisions, so far from sustaining the imputation, absolved him from it. There could be nothing stronger than the statement of the Attorney General for Ireland—that of 36 persons guilty of using undue influence Government had determined, on the evidence, to prosecute 19 priests and five other persons. He wished the Government would say something more about Lord Granard's conduct. His observations about the scurrilous invective and insulting insinuations with which Mr. Justice Keogh had endeavoured to sully the honour and reputation of the local clergy were best answered by the conclusion of the Attorney General for Ireland—that the evidence warranted the Government in prosecuting. If the Government wanted to act in a straightforward and fearless manner they would not try these 24 persons in Connaught. [An hon. MEMBER: In England.] He quite agreed with the hon. Member who said that. If they were tried at Westminster, he believed they would be quite certain to have a fair trial. He did not say they would not get a fair trial in some places in Ireland; but considering the agitation in Connaught, he was sure that the trial could not be fairly conducted there before a jury. He wished to see the matter fairly tried and decided. All the Law Officers of the Crown, whether of England or Ireland, agreed in the course the Government ought to take. Although as the Attorney General (Sir John Coleridge) said, that this course was forced upon them, still the Government might have sought to avoid taking action. He wished, in the next place, to refer to the recent abuse of spiritual power in Ireland. Nothing had excited so much indignation in this country as that abuse on the part of the priests. The matter was a very serious one, for it must be borne in mind that those very priests wished to have the control of denominational education in Ireland entrusted to their hands, and when they were ask- 790 ing for £300,000 a-year it became a very important question whether they were persons in whom Parliament ought to place the exclusive education of Roman Catholic children in Ireland. It was the abuse of the very spiritual power of which he was speaking that had led to the action abroad of which so much had been heard, and he trusted that abuse would not be carried any further in Ireland. He held in his hand an extract which he had taken from the Papers before the House, showing to what extent the spiritual influence of the priests was pushed in that country. The extract was to the following effect—"The controversy is supposed to lie between Nolan and Trench, but," in the opinion of one reverend gentleman, "it lies between belief and unbelief," the belief being represented by Captain Nolan, and the unbelief by Captain Trench. Again, it was said that Captain Nolan was chosen by the Archbishop of Tuam, and that he should therefore be elected. Again, what were the words of the Bishop of Clonfert? He said—"Pat, be sure you vote for the Pope," which meant that he should vote for Nolan. [Cries of "What page?"] One of the pages in the book. If any hon. Member doubted the accuracy of the quotation, he would only say that he would not do so, if he had read the four volumes through which he himself had waded. On one of the banners which were displayed were the words—"Vote for Nolan and God," which it was hardly possible the House would think should have been inscribed on a flag at an election. But that was not enough, for Mr. Pox swore—page 40, if anybody wished to refer to the Papers—that Father O'Grady said from the altar—"You must return Nolan, because, if you return a Protestant, they will restore the penal laws." Now, let the House observe how grandly eloquent Mr. Justice Keogh was upon that point, whatever fault hon. Members might find with his reasoning sometimes. [Laughter.] It was all very well to laugh, but he recollected with what admiration the right hon. and learned Gentleman used to be listened to when he sat within those walls. In dealing with the point which he had just referred to, the learned Judge said—Do the infatuated people of this country believe that there has ever been in this realm the 791 tithe of the persecutions for religion's sake which have been inflicted in France upon the Huguenots; in the valleys of Switzerland and Piedmont upon the Waldenses and Albigenses; in Spain upon the unhappy Jews and Moors, whose expulsion has left Spain in many places an arid, rocky, and un-productive waste?.… Through the whole of Germany hundreds and thousands of men have been sent to their last account in the sacred but polluted name of religious uniformity.The next point to which he would refer was one which had caused an immense deal of agitation in Ireland. Whoever had lived in that country, as he had done for some winters in Galway, must know Sir Thomas Burke. He was a real good fellow. He did not suppose there ever was a better fellow than Sir Thomas Burke; but he was abused for using the words "priestly dictation," and what upon that point were the words of Mr. Justice Keogh? "Sir Thomas Burke is traduced for using the words 'priestly dictation.'" Listen to what the Judge says—I, from this bench, having examined the whole of the evidence in this case, I solemnly believe, with more care than I ever did anything before in the whole course of my life (and I now speak from an experience at the bar, on this circuit, where I was long known, and on the bench for now 16 years or 17 years, during which time I have never spared myself—and certainly I have not spared myself in this case, having worked at it 17 or 18 hours a-day since the case closed)—on a full review of the whole evidence, proclaim it to have been not 'priestly dictation,' but the most astounding attempt at ecclesiastical tyranny which the whole history of priestly intolerance presents.He should like some hon. Member to rise in that House, and, if possible, make out a better case against Mr. Justice Keogh than had been made out by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Limerick on the opening night of the debate. The hon. and learned Gentleman, indeed, must himself have felt that he had made out no case against the learned Judge, and if the opportunity again presented itself to him—as he presumed it would, for the discussion would now in all probability be prolonged for a fortnight or three weeks—he hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would be able to do something better in support of the view which he advocated than merely to throw the responsibility on the landlords. He wished now to say a few words with respect to the Press in Ireland. In discussing a question like the present, there was no use in mincing matters, 792 and Mr. Justice Keogh pointed out that Sir Thomas Burke had been maligned and slandered by the Irish newspapers in every way which the vocabulary of the foulest literature could suggest. [An hon. GENTLEMAN: Not by the Irish papers.] The hon. Gentleman did not mean to insinuate that it was by the London newspapers? but if there were any doubt on the matter he would give the House one or two samples. He might state in confidence that he had a collection of newspaper articles written during the time he had lived in Ireland, which caused him to deplore, seeing how ably Irishmen could write, the manner in which the Irish Press was conducted. It would be well if it were conducted on the model of the English Press, for it was not well, surely, that it should be employed in slandering men. Only the other day—such a thing could never have happened in England—The Dublin Gazette had been ordered by the Government to warn The Tuam News against the insertion of articles inciting to murder, and there was The Galway Vindicator, an old friend of his, which he looked upon with a very suspicious eye. He might also refer to The Freeman's Journal, from which every hon. Gentleman must have seen extracts in The Times newspaper, containing libels of the most infamous character against the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, because the Government had resolved to institute proceedings against certain of the parties reported by the Judge. The right hon. Baronet concluded as follows:—If ever there was a man during the last 40 years who has insisted upon Parliament undertaking measures for the benefit of Ireland, it is the Prime Minister. I do not believe there has ever been a man in the House or the country who has more earnestly endeavoured to do so much good for Ireland; and yet, because of the action of the Attorney General, this slanderous newspaper Press must attack the Prime Minister in the way it does. It is these articles, it is this Press—this slanderous Press—which I know, from my own official connection with Ireland, works incalculable ill in that country. I recollect the difficulty we always had in dealing with this rebel Press. ["Question."] "Question!" Why, it is the Question; and that very observation of "Question" makes me rejoice that I 793 have brought the subject before the House; because I am not afraid of bringing a matter of this kind before its attention. I know how dangerous the influence of the Irish Press is for creating disaffection. Only the other day, because I ventured to ask the Government a Question as regards the conduct of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, somebody sent me a provincial paper called The Cork Examiner, with an article dated from the House of Commons. Can anything be more indecorous than the system in practice in Irish newspapers—some of them, because I am only alluding to some of them, because there are as upright and honourable papers in Ireland as any in the United Kingdom—but there is The Cork Examiner. That article is dated "House of Commons, 11 o'clock at night." Because I chose to ask a Question the other day, somebody sent a copy of it to me. It attacked me in the vilest manner, because as a Member of Parliament, I had ventured to ask the Government what steps they proposed to take in a matter in which I was interested. I will not trespass any longer on the time and attention of the House. I thank the House for giving me an opportunity of expressing my vindication of the character of the eloquent Judge, who has been so maligned and traduced; and I hope that, at all events, the effect of this Election Petition and Report may lead to a better state of things in Ireland. One more observation—and only one—and what I am about to say I say with all sincerity and earnestness of heart. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick City has recently, with the eloquence with which he is familiar, dilated on the future of Ireland, and in glowing terms he traced the destiny of that country, in the hope that no narrow or illiberal prejudices would disqualify her from filling it. I cordially share in the hope that such may be the case; for it cannot be denied that it is these religious animosities upon political questions—these narrow and illiberal prejudices—which become a source of national weakness, and which degrade religion, love, and charity into what the learned Judge somewhere in his Report called an Aceldama of strife. Let it cease in future, and Ireland will see better days. It has been well said that history records nothing like the power and energy with which Germany is 794 welded together—populations professing as they do different creeds; and I am sure that I do but give expression to the universal sentiment of the House when I say that Parliament would rejoice to see the power and energy of the Irish people not marred by transactions and occurrences such as those which now unhappily form the topic of discussion, but presenting as they might so readily do, with all the genius and character of their race, to the eyes of Europe and the world, the spectacle of a harmonious and united state.
MR. SYNAN *
observed that the present painful subject had sprung from the transfer of the trial of petitions against election returns from that House to a single Judge, from whose arbitrary decision upon subjects of fact there is no appeal. Since the time of Wilkes and Lutterell no such outrage on the Constitution has been perpetrated as this. In that case it was done by a packed Parliament; in the present by a Judge whom a reformed Parliament has made omnipotent in this matter. Three great questions arise on this Motion—first, was the conduct of the case by the Judge impartial; second, was his Judgment one becoming the dignity of the Bench, and calculated to serve the administration of justice; and the third was, is the return of a candidate having 600 votes out of 5,000, his act substantially, and can it be constitutionally upheld? The question at the Galway election was not a religious question, it was a social question; it was a question between landlords and tenants on the subject of perpetuity of tenure. Captain Nolan entered into a consent to restore some evicted tenants to the very lands from which he evicted them several years before, and had made that consent and the award under it a rule of one of the Superior Courts. He was therefore the advocate not only of perpetuity of tenure for the future, but for the past; and the very moment he became so, the peasant voters and the priests gathered round his standard. The whole county is set in a flame; the landlords are alarmed—they start to their feet und unite for the purpose of maintaining their political power over their tenants, and stamping out the Portacarron award. Sir Thomas Burke, the chairman, in his speech at the meeting of landlords at Loughrea, on the 13th December, states—"We are 795 met—there is disguising it—to prevent Nolan and humbug from coming into the county." In his circular to his tenants demanding their votes he says—"If Nolan's system of restitution be-comes law some of you will have to give up your lands." What does Lord Clonbrock—one of the principal supporters of Mr. Trench—say? "The whole people were in favour of Nolan." What does Mr. Macdonogh say? "If landlords or priests did not interfere, Nolan would have been returned." Mr. Neary says—"The voters were never more unanimous on any subject." Captain Cowan says—"The frieze coats would not have a son of Clancarty." Mr. C. Blake says—"People would not have supported Trench." Some of the landlords at the Loughrea meeting knew the feelings of the people, and, being as much opposed to Nolan and restitution as their Conservative friends, proposed D'Arcy in preference to Trench. Now, here is the key to the whole of this election contest. Nolan and restitution on one side—Nolan and Communism and humbug on the other. It is easy to see what side the priests were obliged to take. Dr. M'Evilly says—"The people were determined that even if the priests were to ask them, they would not vote for Captain Trench." He then is pressed on cross-examination as to the instances, and he says—The Rev. Francis Arthur, of Craughwell, stated to me that some of his people were so indignant with him for his supposed indifference, that they went to some of the neighbouring chapels rather than go to his chapel.Father Kilkelly says—"I believe the Archbishop's opinions were founded upon what he conceived to be the opinions of the people." The Rev. Mr. Conway, who has since died, says—"If landlords desist, we will desist." What does Captain Daly, a supporter of Captain Trench, say? "The tenants came to him and said, 'For God's sake, let us off voting for Captain Trench.'"—The alternative was then put to them by landlords of not voting at all. What do the tenants do? They send to the landlord or his agent threatening letters, which they said they received, against remaining at home. Those letters are written at their own instance and are sent to the landlords, because, in the words of one of the witnesses for petitioner—Mellady—"They wished to get up the best ex- 796 cuse they could." The questions are 4,639–40–42, page 128. [The hon. Member read the concocted threatening letter.] Now, why do I refer to this evidence? It is to show the extraordinary manner in which the Judge dealt with it. It went to prove conclusively that the voters would not vote for Captain Trench. What does the Judge say to that evidence, and to the argument that he could not give the seat to Captain Trench, inasmuch as the great majority of the electors were hostile to him?—I was saying to myself every now and again, 'What is the value of all this, unless Captain Nolan is going to be unseated?' If Captain Nolan holds the seat, what business of his is it that Captain Trench cannot get it.The Judge ought to have known that there was a third party before him, much more important than either Captain Trench or Captain Nolan—that was the county of Galway. It was his duty to become the advocate for that county, and, in the discharge of the duty entrusted to him by this House, to take care that the electors of that county were not disfranchised. He has taken the opposite course. He has disfranchised that county, and he has returned to this House a man who had 600 votes out of 5,000; and this House cannot alter or amend that return. I come now to another question, most material for the Judge to decide, but which he has not decided, or decided against the evidence—I mean the acts of the landlords. On the 5th of December there was a preliminary meeting held in Loughrea, in the rent office of Lord Clanricarde. Lord Clanricarde drove to that meeting, and called on Lord Westmeath and took him with him. The agent, or his nephew, acted as secretary, and, with the aid of Captain Daly, drew up the circular. It was shown to Lord Clanricarde and approved of by him, and was to be sent to gentry only, and the priests and frieze-coated voters were to be excluded. This all appears on the evidence of Mr. Blake, the agent of Lord Clanricarde, and of Captain Daly. The circular stated that Lord Clanricarde would attend the meeting on the 13th. The meeting is held at Loughrea and Lord Clanricarde attends; Sir Thomas Burke, his relative, is in the chair, and tells them they were to keep Nolan and humbug out of the county. Mr. Blake, of Tower Hill, and 797 Mr. Redington express themselves in favour of a candidate accepted by priests and people. Sir Thomas Burke replies—"Accepted by the gentry, but not by the priests," and goes on to say that they are met to put down priestly dictation. Captain Daly says that Lord Clanricarde supported Trench, because he started on Liberal principles, and that he would vote the same as Lord Clanricarde. Resolutions are drawn up adopting Captain Trench, and the landlords issue forth to canvass and secure the votes of the tenants for him. Can any man doubt what this organization meant? Will any, except Judge Keogh, doubt that Lord Clanricarde organized that meeting, and by doing so violated the Resolution of this House and was guilty of a breach of the privileges of Parliament? Mr. Justice Keogh falsifies or forgets the evidence in his Judgment, and treats it only as a case of canvassing a few tenants while out shooting. No person denies the legitimate influence of a Peer as a landlord. But when a Peer of Parliament and a Lieutenant of a county gets up a preliminary meeting for the purpose of an election, and holds it in the house of his agent, issues a circular that he would attend a general meeting, and did attend such election meeting, such conduct is a clear violation of the Resolution of this House and of the privileges of the Commons. If it is not, you had better erase this Resolution from your Votes. But the matter does not rest there. Lord Clanricarde issues forth with his agent and canvasses the tenants. Mr. Justice Keogh says he went out shooting. He meets the tenants and canvasses them for Trench; they refuse, and supplicate to be left at home. And Justice Keogh decides that Lord Clanricarde is not guilty of any undue influence, and he does find the Bishops guilty of undue influence for being present when resolutions were passed for adopting Captain Nolan. But what is the conduct of Lord Clanricarde after the election? He takes away his custom from all the shopkeepers he dealt with, including his grocer, his iron merchant, and his baker. He raises the rents of some 12 or 20 tenants from 20 to 60 per cent. and he calls in what is called the dead gale in Ireland—that is, the half-year due the last gale day. How does the Judge treat this? He does so by simply falsifying or forgetting the 798 evidence. The Judge says he merely changed his baker. All the facts I have stated are admitted by Lord Clanricarde's agent, and the Judge says Lord Clanricarde changed his baker. I now come to Sir Thomas Burke, who told the priests at the meeting that he would have no selection or dictation by them, although he was always supported by them. Sir Thomas Burke, after presiding, issued the following circular and sent it to all his tenants:—I wish all my tenants who have votes to give them to Captain Trench. He is as good a Liberal as his cousin, Mr. Gregory, your late Member. Give a wise vote now while you can, you may soon be without one. Recollect, when the election is over, you have no one to expect a favour from but your landlord or his agent.Does that contain a promise and imply a threat? Is it undue influence? What does Sir Thomas Burke do after the election? He dismisses his bailiff, and withdraws his custom from shopkeepers for not doing as he required. What does the Judge say to that? Does he report Sir Thomas Burke as being guilty of undue influence? He says that this House would consider him the strangest Judge in the world if he did anything of the kind. If that is the opinion of this House, then I must say that the freedom of election has but indifferent guardians. I now come to the case of Mr. Lynch Staunton. He canvassed his tenants, and they refused to vote for Trench. What does he do? He sends a letter to his agent, telling him that tenants would in future get only strict justice from him, and that he would never oblige or convenience them in any way, and that they could go to the priests for favours, and he deprives some of them of turbary. How does the Judge treat all this? He passes a eulogium on Mr. Staunton's ancestry. He sneers at counsel for respondent for pretending to act for public right. He says—That the arguments were arguments in which the parties were not concerned, and that it is extraneous to the rights of the parties; and it is for the Judge to decide whether there is proper ground for such a report.He pronounces all these acts not to be undue influence, and he calls it safe, steady, and legitimate influence, while he convicts the Bishops of undue influence for consenting to resolutions supporting Nolan. If this is not using two weights and two measures in the admin- 799 istration of justice I do not know what is. But the Judge does not stop there; he not only pronounces a judgment like an advocate, but he conducts the case like an advocate. He cross-examines and brow-beats the witnesses after counsel has done with them. Take his examination of the Rev. Mr. Furlong, at page 660, and did any advocate ever go further in his cross-examination? Then take the admission of evidence—he admits all kinds of evidence—hearsay, and what a party thought. One farmer says another farmer told him that a priest said he would not give a man confession unless he voted for Nolan. The priest denies it, and he believes the hearsay evidence against the priest's oath. Lord Gough says that two tenants told him that one of the Gort priests would not give them absolution if they voted for Trench. The tenants are not produced, and the evidence is admitted. I am as satisfied as I am addressing this House that this was an excuse on the part of the tenants to be let off. I have no hesitation in pronouncing this Judgment as partial, partizan, and unjust towards the electors of Galway, and conducted more in the spirit of an advocate than of a Judge. There may have been evidence to unseat Captain Nolan, but there was much stronger evidence against giving the seat to Captain Trench. Upon all the evidence, he was in no way the elected of the county, but the rejected of the county; and to seat him, and to openly disfranchise the electors of Galway, was such a high-handed act of power and such a flagrant violation of the Constitution as to call for an immediate declaration of this House. I now come to the manner in which the Bishops are treated by this Judgment. The only evidence against the Archbishop is that, at a conference of his priests, on the 27th September, resolutions were passed adopting Captain Nolan; that the Archbishop had made him a promise to support him on his retiring in 1870, and that he performed his promise. Beyond these resolutions, he says that he did not canvass or write to priest or layman on the election, or publish a pastoral, or deliver any word of discourse. He left the whole matter to the free choice of the electors, merely recommending a particular candidate by the resolutions at Tuam. The Judge treats these resolutions as the commence- 800 ment of a "combination, to be carried out by illegal agencies," to return Captain Nolan. If the Archbishop of Tuam has the common rights of a British subject, his conduct is so far perfectly legal, and there is not a particle of evidence in the whole case making his conduct illegal. Of course, if the Archbishop of Tuam has not the rights of a British subject, this House can say so. But what is the evidence that this Judge gives us that his conduct was illegal? It appears that Sebastian Nolan, the brother of Captain Nolan, met a man named Peter Blake, on the 4th of November, and in a boasting way told Blake that he had all arrangements made—that he had now all the Bishops—that his brother had two of the best agents in every parish—the parish priest and curate—and that the Archbishop would propose his brother. And this boasting is to bind the Archbishop and Bishop of Galway who did not know the man. I say, if this be evidence against the Bishops, no man is safe; neither his life nor his liberty is worth a day's purchase—it is in the hands of every Judge who violates all rules of evidence. What is the language of this Judge on this evidence?If I wanted anything to satisfy me upon the subject of this inquiry, it is furnished to me by that conversation.Are we living in the land where freedom exists—where the laws are a full security for the perfect enjoyment of life, liberty, and property; or are we transported to the tribunals of a Turkish cadi, or of a Russian judge with the knout in his hand; or are we taken back to the times of a Scroggs or a Jeffreys? Sebastian Nolan's conversation with Peter Blake subjects the Archbishop of Tuam to being a party to an illegal combination and to penal servitude for seven years—for that is the elegant language of this Judge. I ask the House to pronounce its condemnation not only of the language used, but of the injury done to the administration of justice in Ireland by such a Judgment. What is the evidence against the Bishop of Galway? Simply, that at a conference of his clergy he presided, when resolutions to support Captain Nolan were adopted. The clergy were not called together for the purpose, but being assembled for a religious conference, after their duties were over, adopted these resolutions. Do the resolutions contain anything illegal? Yes, 801 they contain the words "legitimate means," and the Judge laughs at these words, and says they mean illegitimate means. They contain the words that the franchise should be used by each man "according to his conscience," and the Judge laughs at the words, and insinuates that they were used in a sense opposite to their natural meaning, and he sneeringly calls it "the conscience clause." It is very clear that on the Bench at Galway these words had not much weight. You may say to that tribunal—Conscience, avaunt! you threaten here in vain.Having got the Bishops together, and having, by the force of his own imagination, made them parties to an illegal organization, he launches forth into a most indecent attack upon priests and Bishops—Talk," he says, "of the French Revolutions having led to horrors, because they did not follow the advice of their priests.That is not true.There were profligate priests, there were profligate cures, there were profligate abbes—aye, and there were profligate Bishops.Why were these words introduced? Was it not for the purpose of gratuitously insulting the Bishops? And is it to be wondered at if such language has stirred the Catholic mind of Ireland to its depths? Does this House approve of this language, and of the idea contained under it? Does it think that there has been any evidence of profligacy against these eminent and holy men? If there is not—and I challenge its production—I call upon the House to condemn the Judgment. I now come to the priests, and the charges and attacks upon them. The Judge repeatedly states that the meeting of landlords at Loughrea had nothing to do with the action of the clergy. And the Judge is wrong, and partizan here as in every other part of the case. The general meetings that were held and attended by the clergy did not commence until the 19th December—six days after Sir Thomas Burke's challenge that they would have no selection or interference by priests. The priests took up the challenge, and, I admit, used strong and violent figurate language. They seem to have modelled themselves upon the style of the learned Judge. Let any person compare the language of the speeches of 802 these gentlemen and that of the learned Judge, and decide for himself which is the more violent, the more indefensible. In my opinion, the Judge has beaten them hollow. But let us remember that these gentlemen spoke on political platforms, where great license is always allowed—and properly allowed—for the sake of freedom of opinion. But the Judge spoke from the Bench, and he has degraded that Bench as no Judge has done since the time of Jeffreys. But I wish to know this—is violent language at the time of an election, no matter from what platform it may be uttered, to be construed as undue influence? And if it is, what becomes of our liberties? We place them in the keeping of one man—perhaps the most politically profligate in the community—and erect the Judges into being the masters of the constituencies of the United Kingdom. I think the words "renegades," "brand of Cain," "black sheep," "political death-knell," may be used in elections or at any time without exposing the utterer to penal servitude for seven years. But if punishment is to be inflicted for the use of violent and hard language, how can the learned Judge escape, whether we judge him by this Judgment or his previous performances in political life? Oh, human folly and inconsistency! why has this Judge been exalted to the highest and most envied station, and these men who imitate his example condemned to be prosecuted as felons? Of that prosecution, I have no fear for the result. I have examined this evidence rather closely, and, with few exceptions, have discovered no evidence of spiritual threats even attempted to be proved. And in the few exceptions it is of so weak, so suspicious, so self-contradictory a character, and so strongly and conclusively contradicted, that, for myself, I have no fears for the result of such prosecutions. Pending them, however, I will not enter on that part of the case. But there is one topic connected with this subject that I cannot pass over, and that is the conversation between Father Coen and Mr. O'Flaherty. [The hon. Member then read the evidence of Mr. O'Flaherty.] Now, what does that evidence come to? It comes to this—that a curate in the wilds of Connemara, at the house of a friend, answers the question of that friend in a loose and general manner, not apparently 803 attending to it, and the witness not having taken any notes of the actual words used, which would make all the difference in the case. But what does the answer come to? Simply this—that if a penitent in the Confessional disclosed that he was going to vote, or had voted, against his conscientious opinions and his religious convictions, that the priest would advise just the same as if he did the same under the open voting. What is the language of the Judge? It is that the Roman Catholic clergy—if Father Coen was a representative of them—were going to use the Confessional for the purpose of election intimidation. Is that language warranted? Is the charge against the Catholic clergy warranted? I say it is not. The language did not hear the meaning the Judge put upon it. As a Catholic, he ought to know it; as a Catholic, he ought to know that a priest in the Confessional would not, and dare not, ask about political matters. And he ought to know that if the penitent asked advice in the Confessional, the duty of the priest would be to give it, if it related to moral or religious matters. But the Judge makes Father Coen a representative of the Church, and at the same time calls him an insane disgrace to that Church. Now, I am at loss to know how this poor curate in the mountains could fill both characters. Suppose I wanted to make the Irish Bench responsible for the language of Mr. Justice Keogh, and treated him as a representative of it, what would the Irish Bench say to me? Probably they would complain of my libelling them. I now come to the great constitutional question in this case. Was this Judgment and that pronounced by Mr. Justice Keogh in the Court of Common Pleas—for I deny it to be the Judgment of that Court—according to the law of this land, and can it be constitutionally upheld? Now, I will read the case reserved by Mr. Justice Keogh for the Court of Common Pleas. [The hon. Member read the case reserved.] Now, the House will perceive that that case required an answer to two questions—the first, a question of fact; the second question, a question of law, depending upon the answer to the first question. But the first question could not be answered without hearing the evidence, and the Judges of the Common Pleas had no evidence to hear. How, then, could they answer the ques- 804 tion? They answered it because Mr. Justice Keogh gave them the answer. Mr. Justice Morris said ditto to Brother Lawson, and Brother Lawson said ditto to Brother Keogh. I defy them to answer in any other way, and therefore pronounce this Judgment to be the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh. The Chief Justice separated himself from his brothers, and defended his own character and the Constitution at the same time. But what is the effect of the Judgment? It is this—that a candidate who has no chance may serve a number of notices upon some of the voters, stating that his adversary is disqualified, and if he ascertains afterwards that the agents or some of the agents have been guilty of bribery, or of treating or undue influence, he must get the seat and come into this House to represent a constituency that has almost unanimously rejected him. Has any lawyer in the House defended that Judgment? Not one. Has any man in this House defended the manner in which the case was conducted, or the language of this Judgment? Has any Member justified the charges made by this Judge against men against whom, in the opinion of the Government, there is not any evidence whatsoever? Then why should not the House and the Government express their opinion? I can understand the Government moving the Previous Question—or that the decision of the House cannot be taken pending the prosecutions. But I cannot justify their voting against inquiry at all. What! When a Judge speaks with levity of the most sacred rights—when he flings broadcast his slanders and accusations against the most eminent men filling the most sacred offices—when he shows his profound ignorance of the constitutional right of Her Majesty's subjects, and avows and expresses his complete contempt for the franchise of the very men he was sent to protect, is an inquiry refused? Are ecclesiastics who use violent language in the heat of an election contest to be branded as felons by a Judge, while the very man who has set that fatal example has fled into the arms of power as into an asylum, and is now enjoying the emoluments of the highest office the kingdom knows—the wages, perhaps, of his apostacy. However high our veneration for the character of a Judge, can we restrain 805 our indignation at beholding that Judge, instead of discharging his duty with the gravity and dignity becoming the Bench, acting with violence, with levity, and with the zeal of a partizan? Will we allow the infamous fabric of Judge-made law in Ireland to be established on the ruins of the constitutional law of the land? If that is to be so, if such doctrines are to receive the deliberate sanction of this House, it is high time for my hon. Friends and myself to withdraw from an unequal contest, and to appeal to the Irish people to defend their franchise against the consequences of such a Judgment.
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
said, that although he could not vote for the Resolution of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), he must say, as an English lawyer, without any sympathy with the Ultramontane party, he thought that the hon. and learned Member had made out a good case against the Judgment of this Judge. No one could defend the language of the Judgment, because it was indefensible. When a Judge called one witness "an obscene monster," when he said of another that "he had never climbed a father's knee or embraced a mother's neck," he stepped out of the path of judicial decency. What would be said if an English or Scotch Judge so delivered himself? Why there would be an outcry from Land's End to John O'Groat's House. If they wanted a parallel for such language they would have to go back to the times of Scroggs and Jeffreys. He had carefully read the Judgment with every prejudice in favour of the learned Judge; but he had risen from its perusal with the conviction that it was the judgment of a partizan—the impassioned tirade of an advocate rather than the calm deliverance of a Judge. In his desire to convict the priests of intimidation he forgot another class of culprits who were more guilty, because they were not ignorant peasants, but highly educated gentlemen—namely, the landlords. He would refer to the words of Sir Thomas Burke, written immediately after the meeting held some time about the 10th or 12th of December. It was said by Sir Thomas Burke to his tenants—"Recollect that when the election is over you have no one to expect any favour from but your landlord or his agent," and the expressions used by his agent were of a 806 similar nature. And he was astounded at hearing his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. James) take the part of the landlords. He (Mr. Osborne Morgan) was far from defending the conduct of the priests; but it should be recollected that intimidation on the part of the landlord begot intimidation on the part of the priests. The whole of the Galway Inquiry pointed to this—that everybody seemed to assume that the unfortunate voter must be intimidated either by the landlord or the priest; and showed that he was a shuttlecock bandied about between the battledore of the landlord and the battledore of the priest. One of the priests told his hearers that if they voted for Captain Trench they were sacrificing their eternal welfare. He believed that there was a certain amount of spiritual intimidation on the part of the Irish priests; and if the Judge had stated in decent, judicial language, that he considered some of their practices illegal on the ground of their using illegal influence he (Mr. Osborne Morgan) should not have had a word to say on the subject; but he wanted to know how their con-duet could justify the seating of Captain Trench. With respect to the decision which had been given, he did not believe there was any legal Member in that House who would have stated that Captain Trench was entitled to the seat. The contest that had been raised was more than a party struggle. It was a contest between the clergy and the laity. It had been said that the question was whether the people of Ireland were to be governed by the priests or by the law. Now, he believed it to be whether the people were to be governed by the priests or by the landlords, and he deplored the raising of such a contest on the part of the Irish people themselves. He could not join in the unqualified approbation that had been expressed by the English Press on this Judgment. For the last four years the Prime Minister had laboured to build up a policy of conciliation towards Ireland by the removal of grievances; but to secure the success of that policy it was necessary that it should be followed by a policy of stern, unflinching, uncompromising justice, which knows no distinction of person. He had nothing to hope or fear from any Roman Catholic vote; indeed, he had many constituents 807 to whom the conclusion he had arrived at on the subject might he distasteful. All his feelings and predilections were in favour of the Judge and against the priests; but on such an occasion as that he had but one duty to perform, and that was to give a verdict according to the evidence.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had expressed opinions and arrived at conclusions to which he (the Marquess of Hartington) could not agree. The hon. and learned Member had arrived at these conclusions, it must be generally admitted, from a distinctly Protestant point of view, and not as actuated by any sympathy for the Roman Catholic element of the case. As Chairman of the Parliamentary Elections Committee, he heard a great deal about Irish elections, and it then presented itself forcibly to his mind that the Irish voter was the last person who was expected to have any influence over his own vote, and that it was a struggle between the landlord and the priest as to who should take him to the poll, and he then came to the conclusion that any chance of approaching freedom of election in Ireland could only be found by resorting to the Ballot. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick City (Mr. Butt) had raised an issue of a very important character, which it was very desirable should be decided by a full House and at a time when it was not wearied by a pressure of Public Business. Speeches of great ability had been delivered that night; but nothing material had been added to what was said on a former occasion, and there was no reason why the House should not have come to a decision on the Motion at that time. It was very inexpedient that the debate should be much longer continued, because there was a tendency to diverge into individual cases which the hon. and learned Member for Limerick, when he brought forward his Motion, wished to avoid. The opinion of the Government had been already expressed on the subject, and he had nothing to add or take away from it as embodied in the speech of the Attorney General delivered a fortnight ago. They had shown by the course they had resolved to take that the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh was so far to be accepted as impartial, when they were prepared 808 to act upon it to a great extent. It was quite impossible that the Government could assent to a Motion implying that the continuance of the Judge on the Bench was to depend on the result of the trials. It was quite possible that the Law Officers of the Crown might fail to satisfy a jury that there were grounds for the conviction of the persons who had been reported; but it did not in the least follow that there was not evidence sufficient before the Judge to induce him to report these persons to that House. He (the Marquess of Hartington) refused to go into the details of the case. The Government had expressed their opinion that there were not grounds before the House for removing the Judge on the only grounds on which he could be removed—wilful and corrupt injustice. If it was not the business of the Government, neither was it the business of hon. Members to discuss the conduct of the Judge in terms which he was afraid to characterize. They had been taunted with not having supported the Judgment more warmly; but it appeared to him that it would be as fatal and prejudicial to the impartiality of the Bench if the learned persons sent there were to look for praise from that House any more than for blame. The consciousness of the right performance of their judicial duties was quite enough, without entitling them to any special recognition or thanks on the part of the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel) had made some observations on the conduct of the Government since the Judgment was delivered which were both erroneous and remarkable. He (the Marquess of Hartington) could not gather, however, how the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had incurred the right hon. Baronet's displeasure. The right hon. Baronet had referred to a Charge delivered by Baron Deasy at Tralee, and wondered that the Government had not replied to that Charge. It was no part of the duty of the Government to indulge in controversy with the Judges of the land on the subject-matter of their charges. But Baron Deasy was not sufficiently informed of the facts. When the Duke of Edinburgh was in Dublin, an effigy of Mr. Justice Keogh was burned at the corner of Sackville Street A State ceremony was going on at the time, and the metropolitan police were 809 engaged keeping the route of the procession and in other duties. If it was burned without interference on the part of the police, it was for the very excellent reason that there were no police in the neighbourhood to prevent it. But it occupied only a short time, and on the arrival of the police the mob, which was a small one, had entirely dispersed. This so-called outrage was followed by many attempts of a similar kind, the more serious of which were stopped, and the persons implicated either sentenced to imprisonment, or fined. As to occurrences in other parts of the country much had necessarily been left to the discretion of the magistrates and constabulary officers, and, on the whole, they had dealt with these matters in a firm, satisfactory, and prudent manner. With regard to the observations of the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray), attacking the Attorney General for Ireland for the course he had taken in prosecuting persons for undue influence, he might state that the Attorney General only acted on the part of the Government, and that the Government in no way wished to shirk any responsibility that devolved upon them in respect to those prosecutions. They felt that they were simply discharging a duty which the law imposed upon them, and therefore they deserved neither censure nor praise in the matter. In expressing the hope that the debate would be closed that evening, he acknowledged that it was reasonable to expect that a Judgment which had caused so much excitement in Ireland should be the subject of discussion in that House, and it had, he thought, been fairly debated. No doubt, many hon. Members from Ireland sincerely felt that in substance and in form the Judgment of Mr. Keogh was open to very grave objections; but (continued the noble Marquess) I would warn those hon. Members that it is of the greatest importance that their object and intention in bringing forward this Motion should not be misunderstood. The House is quite ready to give them credit for the intention I have attempted to describe; but I think there is some risk in the country of those intentions being misunderstood. I think it is essential it should be positively understood that they are only impugning what is faulty in substance and form of the Judgment, and that they had no intention to uphold in Ire- 810 land a system of priestly influence and intimidation. No one will deny—at least no Liberal Member will deny—the great services which have been rendered by the priests in the political struggles which have taken place in that country; and, certainly, they had a perfect right, as individuals, to place themselves at the head of their people, and to lead them in their political struggles, if they thought fit to do so; but, at the same time, they should take care—it is highly necessary that they take care—that they do not use their organization and the great spiritual power which they undoubtedly possess over the people for the purpose of restricting the freedom of election in Ireland. If there is anything of which this House is jealous, it is of organized undue influence or intimidation of any character whatever. The House of late years has set itself resolutely to the suppression of undue influence of every kind. Whether the intimidation be by trades unions or by Roman Catholic Bishops and clergy, or by any clergy whatsoever, Parliament has boldly, and properly so, set its face against anything of the kind. I do not think it is the intention of hon. Members from Ireland to attempt to defend any such system; but I warn them against this—that there is a risk of their intentions being misunderstood, at least in England, and they should therefore guard themselves against an impression of that kind getting abroad.
§ MR. JOHN MARTIN
proceeded to address the House, holding a MS. speech in his hand, to which, amid the impatience and hostility of the House, the hon. Member continuously referred. The following is that part of the manuscript which was "actually spoken:"
* Mr. Speaker, the question before the House appears to me to be well worthy of the serious attention of hon. Members for many sittings. Several extraordinary circumstances present themselves in connection with this now celebrated Galway Election Judgment. It is remarkable that a Judgment, delivered from the Bench of Justice by one of Her Majesty's Judges in Ireland, should excite such passionate indignation among the people of that country that they have publicly burned, hanged, or drowned the effigy of that Judge in perhaps 50 different places. It is remarkable that the Government has thought proper to send that Judge on 811 circuit with a pilot engine to clear the way for him on the railroad—with squads of detectives to scour the country all around him—with an imposing military force of horse and foot to mate demonstrations in his front and in his rear as he journeys—and with an imposing constabulary force to occupy the Court when he sits on the Bench of Justice. And it is remarkable that here are Irish Members of this House—men representing the sentiment of a vast majority of the Irish population—to declare that the keeping of Mr. Justice Keogh any longer on the Irish Bench is inconsistent with the interests of the public and the honour of the Queen But this House—if it cared to understand this annoying Irish affair—ought, in the first place, to advert to the fad that this Mr. Justice Keogh was placed on the Irish Bench in despite of the declared wishes of the Irish people, in whose estimation he was not qualified, either by integrity of character or by legal eminence, for the administration of law and justice. And, in the next place, this House—if it cared to form a right opinion—ought to examine and consider the system by which such appointments as that of Mr. Justice Keogh come to be made in Ireland, and by which such scandals as this of the Galway Election Judgment come to be possible. I do not ask this House to imagine the case of an English Judge having delivered from the Bench a virulent tirade against the English clergy and people—of an English Judge having so outraged the feelings of the English people that they were burning his effigy in every county in England—of an English Judge going circuit in England with pilot engine and military force as if in an enemy's country—as if he were a provost-marshal of an invading army, and not a peaceful Judge. This is a free country, and enjoys the Constitution; and therefore such a case cannot occur to shock common sense and common decency in England. I propose to state before the House the main facts and circumstances of this Galway Election and Judgment, as they appear to my own mind—to consider the political aspect of the question—and also to expose, to, some extent, the system of public appointments, and, in particular, of judicial appointments, which prevails in Ireland under the rule introduced there by the Union (as it is called) of 812 1800. I shall thus try to contribute to the clear and just comprehension of the question before the House. But, before I begin, I wish to explain that I have no idea of appealing to this Parliament as to a tribunal entitled or competent to pronounce upon this or any other Irish matter. I merely exercise my right as a Member of this House; and for the motives that guide me, I feel responsible only to my own constituents and my own country. It became generally known at the end of last summer that a vacancy was about to be made in the representation of the county Galway. But, owing to circumstances under the control of the Government, the election did not actually take place till February last. Two candidates were then before the electors—Captain Nolan and the hon. Captain Trench. A great majority of the landed proprietors, including the chief titled territorial magnates, had declared for Captain Trench. A great majority of the Catholic clergy had declared for Captain Nolan. As to the tenant-farmers, small shopkeepers, and in general, those classes of the Irish population which have always held patriotic sentiments, they were all enthusiastically for Captain Nolan, and for these reasons—The constitutional policy of trying to elect for Members of Parliament men sharing in the national aspirations of the people had been shortly before adopted and acted on by the franchised peasantry and patriotic classes in Tipperary, Longford, Meath, Westmeath, and Limerick. The Home Rule movement, as it was hoped—and as I still fondly hope—urged on by this policy, would enable the Irish nation to recover its right—of which it had been robbed by the Union Act—without violent revolution or bloodshed. Now, before the adoption of this Home Rule policy, the people of Galway had, for a considerable time, been in the habit of giving their votes at the bidding of the landlords, just as they gave their rents. The return of Members to this Parliament was a matter in which they took little concern, and they were willing to give their landlords the compliment of their votes. They did so all the more readily that, in most cases, kindly relations existed between them and their landlords. But here now were their fellow-countrymen in other parts of Ireland, enthusiastically, against all risks, with the priests or against the priests, voting 813 to elect men who might help on the movement for Home Rule, and bring back peace, prosperity, and honour for dear old Ireland. Does any reasonable man doubt that the Catholic peasantry of Galway sympathized with their brethren in the rest of Ireland in that patriotic sentiment? And, moreover, here in Galway was the happy circumstance that whereas, at some other elections, Catholic Bishops and priests had opposed the Home Rule candidate, and Catholic voters had felt bound by duty to their country to vote against the wishes of their priests, in Galway on this occasion all the Catholic clergy were on the patriotic and national side, and at their head the Archbishop of Tuam—revered as a faithful minister of religion, trusted and honoured as a patriot, beloved as no other man living by the Irish race at home and abroad. There was also a personal reason for the strong feeling of the tenant-farmers and the Catholic clergy in favour of their candidate. Captain Nolan had, like great numbers of Irish landlords, evicted several families from his estates. But he had this singular grace and merit—that he repented of his conduct; that he engaged to make restitution to his evicted tenants, as far as could be done without new injustice; and in cases where that could not be so done, to make such compensation as a fair Court of Arbitration should award. This noble conduct of Captain Nolan won for him the admiration and gratitude of the Catholic Irish people; for they love to forgive, and they admire what is noble. And so priests and people were eager to mark their sense of the affair of the Portacarron Award by electing Captain Nolan to be their Parliamentary Representative. [The hon. Member continuously referring to his MS., there were loud cries of "Order!"]
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, that though the Rules of the House permitted an hon. Member to refer to notes for the purpose of refreshing his memory, they did not permit him to read a written speech.
§ MR. JOHN MARTIN
said, that under these circumstances, he thought he had better sit down; but the circumstances were so grave, and the charges he had to make so onerous that he had thought it right to commit his words to paper, lest he might say anything that might justly give offence to anyone, and that he might strictly confine himself to the facts of the case. The hon. Member 814 proceeded:—But, on the other hand, the high territorial aristocracy, and the bulk of the landed gentry, both Protestant and Catholic, regarded the Portacarron Award as a sort of slur on their order; and they were eager to mark their disapproval of such an innovation in the exercise of the rights of property, by preventing the author of it from election for the county. They determined to exert all their influence against the popular candidate, and they were indignant that this threatened rebellion—as they considered it—of the tenant-voters should be countenanced by the Catholic clergy. And so the contest was fierce and bitter; all the more so because of the long postponement of the election. The landlords and their agents and bailiffs endeavoured to persuade the tenants to vote against their own judgment and convictions, in order to keep out the man of the Portacarron Award. The priests encouraged the people to be true to their own convictions, to exercise their constitutional right boldly, and vote for nationality and tenant-right, in spite of danger to their private interests and temptations to corruption. Contested elections are often times of much passion and violence of language, even in this model country of yours. This Irish election was very fiercely contested, and both sides did their best to win. But on the polling-day the candidate of the landlords was defeated by a majority of over 4 to 1. The defeated party, however, would not take their defeat in good humour. They presented a Petition against the man who had been elected by the majority of the voters, and with the notorious sympathy of the mass of the population. And Mr. Justice Keogh was sent to try the Petition. And he did try it, for 57 days, and he then gave judgment—in a very remarkable fashion—that Captain Nolan should be unseated on the ground of undue influence; and that Captain Nolan and three Catholic Bishops, and over 30 Catholic priests, who supported him, should be disfranchised for seven years, as guilty of the alleged undue influence. Now, Sir, what is undue influence? As quoted by Mr. Justice Keogh in his Judgment, it is defined in the Act of Parliament in these words—Every person who shall directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, make use of, or threaten to make use of, any force, violence, or restraint, or inflict or threaten the infliction by himself, or by or through any other 815 person, of any injury, damage, harm, or loss, or in any other manner practise intimidation upon or against any person, in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of such person having voted at any election; or who shall by abduction, duresse, or any fraudulent device or contrivance, impede, prevent, or otherwise interfere with the free exercise of the franchise of any voter, or shall thereby compel, induce, or prevail upon any voter either to give or to refrain from giving his vote at any election, shall be deemed to have committed the offence of undue influence.I am, to be sure, no lawyer; yet it seems to me that any fair-minded man of common sense may interpret those words as the Constitution intends them. To influence a voter to vote against his own wish, against his own judgment, against his own conscientious opinion of what is virtuous, right, and wise for the public good, and to influence him so to vote, or refrain from voting, by threats of injury to his personal interests or promises of reward—to influence a voter to forego the free exercise of his franchise, and, through considerations of reward or punishment, do what he believes to be wrong, or refrain from doing what he believes to be right—that is undue influence, as I understand the meaning of the Act. The principles of law do not allow that any citizen should be forbidden to remonstrate with others against doing what those others themselves feel to be wrong. As the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Matthews) remarked in his speech, the law, striving to make witnesses tell the truth, appeals both to their fears of punishment in this world and their fears of punishment in the world to come. The principles of law leave every citizen free to entreat and command, with all the force of moral authority, against falsehood, against violation of duty, against wickedness. Spiritual intimidation, rightly understood, is the fear of God acting on men's consciences to save them from committing wickedness and to make them repent for having done wickedness. And ministers of religion are false to their sacred duty when they fail to exert the authority of their position—an authority, mark! that has no sanction, no existence, save in the conscience of the person influenced—they are false to their duty, I say, when, remembering that God sees them, they do not warn against evil and encourage to good. Now, far be it from me to pretend that to vote for or against either candidate at this election was, in itself, either bad or good conduct. Those who 816 voted conscientiously voted right, whether they voted for Captain Trench or Captain Nolan. But in this election the influence of the Catholic Bishops and clergy was exerted to persuade the voters to vote conscientiously—to save voters from being led to vote or refrain from voting, against their own wish, judgment, and conscience—to save them from undue influence, in short. In all that vast mass of evidence taken by the learned Judge, it is never proved in any single instance that the Bishops or clergy endeavoured to make any man vote against his own judgment and conscience. I deny that the Galway clergy on that occasion did anything in any way to prevent the free and lawful exercise of the franchise by any voter. And I assert, on the contrary, that those efforts for which Mr. Justice Keogh has doomed them to penal servitude, were made to prevent undue influence from prevailing with the voters against their own sense of duty. The tenant-farmers of Galway wished to give their votes for Home Rule and tenant restitution. But they feared and were reluctant to displease their landlords. And in Galway no political occasion had come till now to stir the people's blood to such a pitch that they should stand up to disobey and defy the parties who had long been allowed to have a property in their votes. They needed moral and spiritual support in this new effort of patriotism; and their priests courageously gave them the support of their counsels, their warnings, their earnest sympathy. That, in my judgment, was due influence, legitimate influence, influence such as the spirit of the Constitution justifies and approves. In so long and fierce a contest, of course there was violent language used, and there were intemperate proceedings by individuals on both sides. And anybody, priest or layman, Peer or peasant, who broke the law, is liable to be dealt with by the law. But to me it would seem best to have amnesty on both sides for faults natural to the time, when the time is past. I think, then, that the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh in unseating Captain Nolan was wrong in law, and I think the Judgment of Judges Keogh, Lawson, and Morris in seating Captain Trench was wrong in law. Both were clearly against constitutional principle. However, the Irish people are not given to murmur long or loudly against a Judgment once it has been delivered 817 from the Bench, merely because they deem it unjust and wrong. And had Mr. Justice Keogh been content to give a Judgment unseating the popular candidate and loading him with the enormous costs—to give that Judgment in decent language and with something of judicial gravity—much as that Judgment affected the patriotic hopes of the Irish people, they would have received it quietly. The Judgment in the Court of Common Pleas was considered more clearly and flagrantly wrong than that of Galway. Yet it has been received quietly, and there is no effigy-burning of Mr. Justice Lawson and Mr. Justice Morris, neither of them having indulged on the Bench in virulent invective and brutal insolence of language. But the furious tirade delivered from the Bench against so many men and things revered by the Catholic Irish people—the poisoned darts aimed by the ermined assailant against the tenderest feelings of the uncorrupted portion of his own race—it is that which has raised the indignation of the Irish people so high. Strange and shocking sights have many a time been seen in Ireland under English rule. But such a spectacle as the right hon. Mr. Justice Keogh, in the spirit of a Red Indian tormenting his captive at the stake, sitting on the Bench of Justice to pronounce John MacHale a criminal, and sentence him to seven years' penal servitude, is one to shock angels as well as Irishmen. That great Prelate, that faithful minister of religion, that most noble old Irishman, denounced as a criminal by Mr. Justice Keogh, demands to be tried—demands to be justified or condemned by the law, upon the charges of Mr. Justice Keogh. I think it is his right to be tried. Will Her Majesty's Government accord to him his right? I have remarked already that Mr. Justice Keogh, at the time of his appointment to the Irish Bench, was not trusted nor respected as a public man in Ireland. On the contrary, his public character was odious to the Irish people, who regarded him as an unprincipled and unscrupulous political trader, and a worthy political confederate of the late right hon. John Sadleir, the distinguished Lord of the Treasury, swindler, and suicide. And it is worth remarking that the Irish Protestant Ascendancy party and the English Conservative party, whose organs at the Press and in Parliament have much to say in praise of 818 Mr. Justice Keogh, now that he has been blackguarding the priests from the Bench, by no means praised his appointment to office at the time it was made. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Mr. James) and the hon. Member for Dublin University (Mr. Plunket) had better read for themselves in Hansard for 1853 what was said in Parliament on the subject by the late Lords Derby, Eglinton, and Mayo (then Naas), by the present Chief Justice Whiteside, the present hon. Member for Armagh City (Mr. Vance), and others, when Mr. Justice Keogh received his appointment.
At this point the displeasure of the House being unmistakeable, the hon. Member sat down.
§ MR. M'CARTHY DOWNING
said: * Nothing but a sense of duty would induce me to present myself to the House at the present time, but that duty I feel to be unavoidable and imperative when I consider the magnitude of the question under consideration as regards Ireland. The aspect of this case, as against Judge Keogh, is entirely changed by the conduct of the Government, who have been several times—since the Judgment impugned has been laid on the Table—asked to state what course they intend to take, and who have avoided a satisfactory answer until, of their own free will, they, on the day but one before the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) came on for discussion, announced their intention of prosecuting one Bishop and 23 priests. That the duty of advising the Government as to the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a prosecution is compulsorily thrown on the Attorney General for Ireland is true, and I consider it only mere justice in the present state of feverish excitement in Ireland to make the declaration; but the Government are responsible for the action taken by him, and the generous self-sacrifice of an Attorney General mounting the breach will not save them from the consequences, be they good or bad. I ask, why did not the Attorney General make the announcement before my hon. and learned Friend put his Notice of Motion on the Paper? He told us, that with his other duties he could not do so; and, turning to this portion of the House where the Irish Liberal Members sit, he, with an artless tongue, and in that simple and guileless manner for which he is remarkable, assured us that he lost not a moment 819 unnecessarily in the matter. Had his apology been offered for making his statement immediately before the discussion on my hon. and learned Friend's Motion came on, I could understand it; that not being so, I can appreciate it at its full value, and in making my estimate the Government shall have credit for the move by which it was sought to check-mate my hon. and learned Friend—a move so admirable that the Prime Minister gave him 24 hours to consider if there was another for him on the board; but my hon. and learned Friend required no time for consideration, and at once put forward a Bishop, one of the uncaptured. It appears to me that the case against Mr. Justice Keogh is not quite understood by the House, notwithstanding the powerful and comprehensive speech of my hon. and learned Friend. We, who conscientiously feel that Mr. Justice Keogh ought no longer to continue to discharge the functions of his high office, have been placed in a position of great disadvantage by the course taken by Her Majesty's Government to which I have already adverted, but still further by their adoption of the most offensive portion of his language as regards the Catholic population of Ireland. My hon. and learned Friend asked for the opinion of the House on the grounds—That Mr. Justice Keogh had acted as a partizan, and had lowered the dignity of the Bench, and shaken the confidence of the people in the administration of justice.How has that charge been met by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General, the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Mr. James), and my hon. and learned Friend the senior Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Plunket)? They say, you have shown no corruption on the part of the Judge; and the hon. and learned Member for Taunton said—"Could the hon. and learned Member for Limerick justify the Motion he had made; a Judge might, he said, be deprived for corruption, but where was the proof of corruption?" and he continued to say—"The question which the House had to determine was, whether the Judge was right or wrong in the Judgment which he had given." I utterly deny that to be the question; there is no appeal from the Judgment to this, nor to any other tribunal; and I, with confidence, assert that the question is that put by my hon. 820 and learned Friend the Member for Limerick. To give direct proof of corruption is impossible—that is, the corruption laid to Judge Keogh, for he is not charged with receiving money as a consideration for the Judgment; but there is not a Member in this House who will say that a partizan Judge is not a corrupt Judge, and how is this partizan-ship to be proved otherwise than by his language, and the circumstances by which the whole case is surrounded? I will venture, Sir, to answer not for Galway and Tipperary, but for the whole of Ireland, that 4,000,000 of her inhabitants would, with one voice, proclaim that he was a partizan Judge; that from him they could not expect justice, and that he was unworthy longer to wear that ermine whose purity he had stained. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton put a false issue before the House, when he said the question it had to determine was whether the Judge was right or wrong in the main in the Judgment which he gave. He did so, because he could not meet the question put by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for England told us—and truly, that this House was not a Court of Appeal against the Judgment of a Judge on Election Petitions, and that in itself would dispose of the issue as put by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. The plain, naked question upon which the House is called upon to pronounce is—Did Mr. Justice Keogh, in his Judgment, use language unbecoming a Judge, insulting to the great mass of the Irish realm and their Prelates and clergy; did he launch into political and other utterances, topics foreign to the duty he had to discharge; did he so misconduct himself as to lead every rational, unbiassed mind to the conclusion that he was a partizan rather than an impartial Judge; and was such misconduct calculated to raise prejudice against him in the minds of jurors and others who may be called on to aid in the administration of justice, and suspicion in suitors, prosecutors, and prisoners, that he is a Judge full of prejudice and partiality? The inquiry is, perhaps, as grave and serious a one as ever occupied the attention of this House, within the memory of the oldest. It will test the sense of liberality and impartiality of hon. Members representing Great Britain; it will affect the character 821 and popularity of the Minister; but, above and beyond all, it will affect the peace and tranquillity, the property, the liberty, nay, the lives of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland; and let me here say to every Gentleman who will vote, exercise it as if the party implicated, instead of being an Irish was an English Judge, who had so insulted the English people. The Judge was a Galway man, born, I believe, in the town of Galway, descended probably from one of those unhappy Munster men who, to the beat of drums, were marched from Clonmel to Con-naught by that cruel monster whom the Judge regards as the greatest Sovereign England ever saw. The fact of the Judge being so intimately connected with Galway, and mixed up with its inhabitants, should have prevented his selection, and, at all events, pointed out to himself the impropriety of his acceptance. We find him, however, seated on the Bench; and for myself I declare that, after a perusal of the voluminous proceedings, I feel utter disgust at the manifest partiality exhibited each day by the Judge—proceedings which, I venture to say, other Judges in Ireland and any Judge in England would have compressed into one of the three parts into which they have been divided. Mr. Justice Keogh's conscience—a word for which he appears to entertain a horror—warned him that his Judgment must be canvassed and examined; because in his manuscript Judgment laid on the Table of the House will be found those words subsequently erased—"I wonder what will they say of the Report of the Galway Election"—words full of meaning, and pregnant evidence that every word and act of his was deliberate and for a purpose; it may be to transmit his memory to posterity as the traducer of the hierarchy and clergy of that creed to which he professes to belong; if so, his object is likely to be fully attained. Let us now investigate a few of those cases in reference to which the Judge used such coarse, violent language, and I will then ask the House, with great confidence, to pronounce with the hon. and learned Member for Limerick, that Mr. Justice Keogh did go precisely wrong, and upon partizan grounds. I will take, firstly, the case of the Bishop of Clonfert, which the Judge describes as the most important case of all, as it was the most painful. The charge against the Bishop is, that from the pulpit in the chapel at 822 Ballinasloe he used these words—"Anathema, anathema shall be hurled at any person who will not do as I recommend, or as my clergymen direct." The charge is supported by the single testimony of a person named John Carter, who sang in the choir, and as corroboration he swore that Mr. Thomas Carroll, a respectable shopkeeper and land agent, was by his side, who at the moment nodded to him and said—"That is for you, Carter." Now, who is Carter? On his cross-examination he says—I was accused of Fenianism. I was in jail on that charge. The police said that I wanted to seduce two soldiers from their allegiance. That was not the truth. I was five months in jail. I was not tried at the Assizes. My wife went to Lady Clancarty, and she exercised all the influence she possibly could.He is asked—"Have you been frequently drunk?" and he answers "Frequently;" and adds—"I do not say 'drunk;' but I took drink in a social way." He says he was dismissed by the nuns, but admits that the Bishop was not aware of it. Mr. Thomas Carroll, who was summoned by the petitioner, but not called by him, was examined on the part of the respondent, and he swore that the Bishop did not use the word anathema, nor anything to the like effect, and that the observation which Carter swore that he, Carroll, had made use of, was never used, nor did anything of the kind occur. The witness described the Bishop as "twisting his ring on his little finger" while speaking; he could not say if it was the episcopal ring. He is then taken up by the Judge and cross-examined on the important point, whether it was on the little finger or the next finger to it the ring was, and it ended by the following question and answer:—"Are you sure it was the small finger?" Answer: "I think—I can swear it was." You will presently see what use the Judge made of the little finger. Now, if the case of the Bishop rested on the evidence to which Shane adverted, is there an impartial jury that ever was empanelled who would leave their box without finding in favour of the Bishop? But the case does not so rest. Mr. O'Shaughnessy, a magistrate for two counties, and a close connection of Lord French's—which I do not put forward as giving him any additional weight as a witness—was examined and gave the following evidence:— 823I was at Ballinasloe Chapel on the Sunday that the Bishop of Clonfert preached.He is asked—Did he say that an anathema should be hurled against anyone who did not do as he and the priests directed?—Most decidedly not, he never said anything or cursed anyone; and he did not convey directly or indirectly that an anathema would be cast or hurled against anyone in connection with the election.But there was yet something that might be said by the "great man" who led for the petitioner, or by the second in command, "whose burning words were still ringing in the Judge's ears"—he might say, It is true that the evidence is altogether in favour of the Bishop; but why was he not examined himself? That was not left open. The Bishop was examined, and stated on his oath that it was utterly untrue that he used the words attributed to him, or words of any such import or meaning. I ask the attention of the House to the manner in which Mr. Justice Keogh disposes of the case. Alluding to the evidence of Mr. Carroll, he says—Carroll recollects particularly that the Bishop did not use the words charged, because he saw him twisting his episcopal ring upon his little finger. Well, if I am not mistaken, as every Roman Catholic knows, whoever bends his knee to kiss the episcopal ring, that it is not carried upon the 'little' finger, but on the finger next thereto. Him I do not believe. Carter I do not disbelieve.He thus refers to Mr. O'Shaughnessy—O'Shaughnessy, who is so able a man in the magistracy that one county is not enough for him, comes on the table rough and ready, and goes on with the most extraordinary conversation, a sort of trans-Shannonite gibberish!'And thereupon he reports his Lordship as guilty of "undue influence" and as having used "altar denunciations." I implore of you to lay aside your prejudices, which have been excited. Do by the Bishop of Clonfert as you would by the Bishop of London, and I may then appeal with hopeful confidence to your honour, your impartiality, and to that high sense of justice and fair play which has so often characterized the Commons of England, when character and personal liberty were at stake, to join me in pronouncing that Judge Keogh's decision respecting the Bishop of Clonfert was perversely wrong, grossly partial, and the deliberate act of a partizan. And here let me ask what do you 824 think—what will the country think—of those high and learned officials, the Attorney and Solicitor Generals for England and Ireland, who counselled and advised Her Majesty's Government that there was sufficient evidence to place this dignitary of the Catholic Church in the dock? I now come to the case of Father Coen, which occupies so large a share of he Judgment, and excited so much prejudice against his order. A gentleman in Her Majesty's service was discussing this Judgment with me, and said—"I consider the evidence of Mr. Coen raised the worst aspect of the case." I said—"What evidence he had of that?" and he answered—"That, where he swore that the Catholic clergy would use the Confessional to maintain their influence in elections under the Ballot." I found it most difficult to get him to believe that he gave no such evidence. Now, what are the facts of that case? Four months before the election—before angry feelings were excited—the Rev. Mr. Coen, an humble curate, met Mr. Bernard O'Flaherty at breakfast at a friend's house, and the question of the Ballot, then pending, was among other topics introduced; and Mr. O'Flaherty, a warm supporter of the sitting Member, said—"I think that some were wicked enough to say that the priests would make use of the Ballot in the Confessional;" and he said they (the priests) would make use of it. He said—"That they thought they would be committing a sin in voting for a wrong man." You will see that the answer as given is quite unintelligible; but the meaning of it is quite clear—namely, that if a voter felt he was voting for a bad man, and made it a matter of conscience, he, as a priest, would advise him. Mr. O'Flaherty protested—whether sincerely or not I do not know, against being called on to detail a casual conversation which had no reference to the Galway Election; counsel for Captain Nolan objected and protested; but the Judge would have it, and the witness was compelled to give it; and on this unintelligible account of a loose conversation, which had no connection with the election, Mr. Justice Keogh designated that clergyman as this "insane disgrace to the Roman Catholic religion," and added—I say that Ministers and the Legislature ought to know that the Roman Catholic clergy (if that Father Coen is a representative of them) mean 825 to use the Confessional for the purposes of election intimidation if the Ballot is made the law of the land.I ask, was there ever a more unjustifiable imputation than that? Father Coen was not even charged with saying any such thing nor anything like it; but if he did, was it fair to the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland to mix them with this breakfast conversation, and endeavour to influence the action of this House on the Ballot Bill then pending? I could expose almost every case as I have those, but it would weary the House; and I now come to the most extraordinary and indefensible part of the Judge's conduct—namely, that on the recriminatory case made by Captain Nolan; but, before I do so, let me say a word or two on the Petition itself, which contained 18 grounds for annulling the election, which the Judge reduced to two—treating and undue influence. The charge of treating the Judge dismissed, and yet he gave full costs against Captain Nolan, contrary to every decision made by every Judge in the United Kingdom in similar cases; and to render his unique Judgment complete and famous, he, with his Brothers Lawson and Morris, gave the seat to the petitioner. The Judgment of the Common Pleas in Ireland has been condemned by every lawyer in Ireland whose opinion is worth having. Influenced by a feeling of high honour, the hon. and learned Member for Taunton condemned it. Is there a lawyer in this House who will stake his professional reputation by standing up to say it was right? I challenge the Law Officers in this House to express their opinions. I take it that the universal condemnation of that Judgment will not surprise anyone in Ireland, where the great legal knowledge, great experience and purity of Chief Justice Monahan is known and appreciated. In conclusion, I maintain that I have made an overwhelming case against Mr. Justice Keogh. I beseech of you to do your duty without favour or affection—that you will, by your votes to-night, prove to the people of Ireland that you are determined to deal with an Irish Judge as you would with an English one. If you do, you will diffuse confidence and gladness through the land. If you do not, you will only give another proof that in this House there is no justice to be had for Ireland.
§ SIR DOMINIC CORRIGAN
Sir, I stated on a former occasion in the course of this debate that I differed in my views from many who have spoken. I still retain my own views. After a most careful consideration of the whole case and evidence as printed by order of the House, I came to the conclusion that no useful result could follow from the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt); and after an earnest attention to the whole debate, I still adhere to that view—and there then only remains to be considered what course, in my opinion, would be best under present circumstances. It appears to me that the best course for the country for a return to peace and quietness would be that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick would withdraw his Motion; that my hon. Friend and Colleague the Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim) would withdraw his Amendment; and that the Government would abandon the prosecutions for undue influence and intimidation, and let us hear no more of the whole matter. I shall, briefly as I can, state my reasons for the view I take. Firstly, with regard to the judgment in the case—that is, the legal decision that Captain Nolan was unseated, and that undue influence and intimidation were used to obtain his return, and that certain parties—clergymen and laymen—were guilty of such. That judgment may be right or may be wrong—but right or wrong, we cannot reverse it; we have, by our election laws, made the election Judge both Judge and jury; we cannot reverse the decision, and surely it is folly to spend our time in discussing what we cannot alter. The next phase in the transaction is the decision of the four Judges constituting the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, who decided, on the legal point reserved for their consideration, that Captain Trench should have the seat from which Captain Nolan was unseated. From that decision there is no appeal—it, too, may be right, or may be wrong; but like the first decision, we have no power to reverse it; and again, in my opinion, it is mere waste of time on our part to spend time in discussing what we have no power to alter. We are in this House the makers of laws; we are not the interpreters of law. This finishes my views of the law of the case. We now come to the great casus belli—the 827 language of the address of the right hon. Judge Keogh, and on this I believe I speak the opinion of nearly all who have read it—that it was utterly indefensible—and that while excuses may be offered for those who, in the excitement of the election and of party, made use of language which they would not use on calmer reflection, there was very little or no excuse for the Judge who did not preserve dignity of speech on the judgment seat, and who should have maintained himself far above all lower disturbing elements. Not a single Member in this House has adopted or approved the language of the right hon. Judge. What termination beyond this can my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick expect? Nothing more than has already occurred on the night of the adjournment; and surely it is not the part of a good commander to put himself and his troops forward to be twice beaten. And now for my last point of view. In like manner, as I have called my hon. and learned Friends right and left to withdraw their Motions and Amendments, I would ask the Government to withdraw the prosecutions for undue influence and intimidation. There is to be no prosecution for bribery or violence. There has not been a life lost or a bone broken, or a shilling expended in bribery, in the whole of the county of Galway. What good is to come out of these prosecutions? Undue influence was used on every side. If it be proved on one side that a dairyman refused to sell milk to an adverse witness, it will be equally proved on the other side that a landlord refused to buy bread from a baker's boy who voted against his candidate. One of the most serious charges to be tried is that of a clergyman, who, in an excited address, is alleged to have used the word "Anathema" to those who would vote for Captain Trench. Imagine a Galway witness cross-examined before a Judge and jury, browbeaten by counsel on both sides, bewildered, and then sternly asked on virtue of his oath whether the word was "Anathema" or "Anabaptist"—the sermons being half Irish and half English—and all this after the lapse of more than a year; for these trials—24 in number—will not come on until nearly the end of the next Session of Parliament. Heaven only knows when they will be 828 terminated. The trial of the Phœnix Park affray at the end of two years shows no sign of termination. Does anyone expect a verdict? I certainly do not; and what is the good of all this? I cannot see any good in it, but I see much evil—the continuance of angry passions and bad feelings throughout the whole country. I am vain enough to think that if the course I have presumed to suggest be approved and followed, good feelings will again return between landlords, priests, and people in Galway. Leave Galway to itself, and all will be friends again—a consummation devoutly to be wished. I think I may fairly infer that the majority of my fellow-Irish Liberal Members share in my view of desiring that in this House the question should now drop, for they have not come here to take any share in this debate. If I am not mistaken in my reckoning, of about 70 Irish Liberal Members there are at least 40 absent. I do not think, however, I can anticipate that either party will adopt my suggestions; but entertaining the views I have expressed, I will not, in justice to myself, vote with either the hon. and learned Member for Limerick or with the Government.
§ MR. STACPOOLE
said, it was a perfect mockery to debate this question at the present hour, and therefore he moved that the debate be now adjourned.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Stacpoole.)
§ COLONEL WILSON-PATTEN
urged that hon. Members should allow the debate to be brought to a conclusion.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he perfectly agreed that it was only reasonable that the debate should now come to a conclusion, because the question was practically settled when it was last before the House. At the same time, he did not exactly approve of the debate terminating in the way it was likely to do; for, in order to give an opportunity to the Irish Members to speak, the grossest injustice had been done to Mr. Justice Keogh, one entire night having been occupied by them in attacking the learned Judge, whilst only one Member, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth 829 (Sir Robert Peel), had ventured to give expression to the feelings which he believed were entertained upon the subject by the great majority of the House. Whether Mr. Justice Keogh had been incautious or not in the language he had used, one thing was clear, the learned Judge had rendered a great service to the country in the performance of the duty imposed upon him by the law. The precedent which Judge Keogh had set stood by itself—first, in respect of the gravity of the offence which had been committed by the supporters of Captain Nolan, and upon which the learned Judge had to pronounce his Judgment; and, in the next place, that it was the first time that there had been any idea of instituting a prosecution for intimidation in Ireland. ["No!"] That seemed to be very uncongenial to the assailants of Mr. Justice Keogh. No doubt, it was so. It was the first instance in which a Law Officer had had to face—and had dared to face—the clerical and priestly intimidation of Ireland. In Judge Keogh they had one who had had the courage to do that, and he (Mr. Newdegate) was confident that that House would demonstrate its agreement with that which was the undoubted verdict of the great majority of the nation, and the verdict also, he believed, of the majority of the Irish Representatives in that House, judging by the absence of so many of them on the present occasion. He would only further observe, that he was truly glad that Her Majesty's Government were about to take action upon the Report of the learned Judge.
Several hon. Members, among them Mr. DIGBY, Mr. CALLAN, Dr. BALL, and Mr. MAGUIRE [see Appendix] continued the debate, amid continued murmurs, and cries of "Adjourn, adjourn!" and "Divide, divide!" At length—
§ Motion, "That the Debate be now adjourned," by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."830
§ The House divided:—
§ The Tellers reported the numbers as Ayes 23; Noes 125: Majority 102.
§ Mr. Adam, one of the Tellers for the Noes, stated that Jonathan Pim, esquire, one of the Members for the city of Dublin, had not voted though he had been in the House when the Question was put.
§ Whereupon, Mr. Speaker directed the honourable Member to come to the Table, and asked him whether he had heard the Question put.
§ The honourable Member having stated that he had heard the Question put, and having declared himself with the Noes, Mr. Speaker directed his name to be added to the Noes, and declared the numbers to be, Ayes 23; Noes 126: Majority 103.
§ Question, "That those words be there added," put, and negatived.
|Blennerhassett, R. (Kry.)||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Brady, J.||O'Conor, D. M.|
|Browne, G. E.||O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.|
|Bryan, G. L.||Redmond, W. A.|
|Callan, P.||Sherlock, D.|
|Delahunty, J.||Smyth, P. J.|
|Digby, K. T.||Stacpoole, W.|
|Downing, M'C.||Synan, E. J.|
|Ennis, J. J.||White, hon. Colonel C.|
|Gray, Sir J.|
|Greville-Nugent, hon. G. F.||TELLERS.|
|Maguire, J. F.||Butt, I.|
|Matthews, H.||Henry, M.|
|Munster, W. F.|
§ House adjourned at Four o'clock in the morning.