§ MR. BUTT
rose to move—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.The hon. and learned Member said, he need not assure the House of the gravity and responsibility which attached to this Motion. It was an appeal to the highest jurisdiction of that House, which ought not to be exercised except upon the clearest and plainest grounds, and therefore an appeal which ought not to be lightly made. He was so satisfied of the propriety of the course he was now taking that the Motion he had read was the first step in a series of Motions that would end with a proposal of a very grave character. He thought it would be admitted, even by the warmest Friend of the learned Judge whose conduct he was bound to impeach, that it was better, in the interest of justice, that the discussion should be held in the region of full, fair, and free discussion which that House presented, instead of being conducted amid the excited scenes and violent language of public meetings. He had seen it stated by a person occupying a high place that if the decision of a Judge was right in point of law, and justified in point of fact, persons ought not lightly to cavil at the language in which it was couched. He agreed with this to a very great extent; but everyone must admit that even in the language of Judges there might be such an excess and such an abuse as to destroy confidence in the impartiality of the Judges, and so check the belief the people in the administration of justice. The question was one of degree. He admitted that language was not to be lightly taken exception to; but there were cases on record in which the Legislature had been compelled to take serious notice of outrageous language used by Judges on the English 1764 Bench. The decision of the Judge was threefold. In the first place, there was the decision that Captain Nolan had not been duly elected; secondly, there was the decision which reserved a case for the Court of Common Pleas; and, thirdly, there was the decision which was likely to result in the trial as criminals of a considerable number of persons who had been mixed up in the election proceedings which resulted in the Petition. He did not quarrel with the first decision, although he disagreed with the grounds upon which it was based. He quarrelled distinctly with the second, because he believed that the decision which gave the seat for the county of Galway to a candidate who only polled 658 votes struck a blow at the electoral privileges of a vast number of people. With the third branch of the decision he also disagreed in toto; because, as they had heard, Mr. Justice Keogh reported for criminal prosecution persons against whom the Law Officers of England and Ireland combined had been unable to find a particle of evidence to justify a prosecution. In order to correct the distorted representations of the learned Judge, it would be necessary briefly to narrate the proceedings which led up to the Petition upon which Mr. Justice Keogh pronounced Judgment. In 1870 Viscount Burke, the sitting Member for the county, resigned his seat, for which Mr. Mitchell Henry and Captain J. P. Nolan became candidates. Captain Nolan was arraigned by a Roman Catholic clergyman in reference to certain alleged cruel evictions among his tenants, and the result was that Captain Nolan retired from the contest, Mr. Mitchell Henry obtaining the seat, which he still retained. On retiring, Captain Nolan was fortunate enough to obtain from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam a promise of support at a future election on condition of his not then disturbing the peace of the county. [Ironical cheers.] He could not understand these expressions of opinion, because he failed to see that a Roman Catholic Archbishop was in any way debarred from promising his support to a Parliamentary candidate. He, however, would be the last man in that House to bring forward a Motion the object of which was to defend the right of any person to dictate to free electors as to whom they should or 1765 should not choose as their representative. If the Motion had been one to resent—as he believed they might be justly resented—the insults which the Judgment placed upon the clergy of the Catholic Church, he would have left the Motion in the hands of some hon. Member who was not a member of that Church. He based his Motion upon far higher grounds than either of those he had stated. His reason for asking the opinion of Parliament upon this question was founded in his belief that the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh had lowered the dignity of the Bench, and shaken, the confidence of the people in the administration of justice. Before the Roman Catholic Archbishop gave the pledge he had mentioned, something very remarkable occurred. Captain Nolan offered to meet the charges brought against him in connection with the evictions by leaving the matter to three arbitrators, one of them being a distinguished Gentleman who sat in that House (Sir John Gray), and abiding by their decision, even though, putting out of the question the matter of strictly legal right, they ruled that he was morally wrong in his conduct, and therefore bound, in their opinion, to make compensation to the evicted tenants. So matters went on until another vacancy arose by the appointment of Mr. Gregory to a Colonial Governship. Captain Nolan thereupon re-commenced his canvass, as did also Captain Trench. Captain Nolan wrote to Sir Thomas Burke, who refused his support because he was opposed to Home Rule—of which Captain Nolan was a supporter—and believed it to mean, in a different shape, the repeal of the Union. At this time Captain Trench canvassed the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, who informed him that he had already promised his support to Captain Nolan, adding words to the effect that it was unnecessary to consider how far any member of the Clancarty family had any claim to represent the county of Galway. His acquaintance with the late Lord Clancarty was limited; but he knew enough of him to know he was an amiable, estimable, and high-minded man, and an excellent resident landlord. But Lord Clancarty had very strong and peculiar views upon religious matters. It appeared in evidence that he at one time, acting on most honest conviction, refused ground on his estate 1766 for a Roman Catholic place of worship, and had resisted the admission of nuns to the workhouse schools, and he was generally believed to have used his power as a landlord to induce children to attend Protestant schools. This was not calculated to increase his influence with the Roman Catholic people, and if the impression prevailed that his son followed in his steps it was not surprising that he failed to secure the votes of a great Roman Catholic constituency. However, in July an active canvass commenced. Captain Nolan addressed letters to all his friends, and went through the county canvassing. On the 21st of July the Bishop gave the first intimation of his opinion; but unquestionably the Roman Catholic clergy was divided at this time, a fact of which a great deal had been made in the Judgment. On the 27th of September, 1870, the Roman Catholic clergy of the Deanery of Tuam met and adopted resolutions in favour of Captain Nolan. By this time, it should be mentioned, the arbitrators who were appointed had given their award, which was that Captain Nolan should, if still in a position to do so, restore to certain of his evicted tenants the tenements they had formerly occupied, or, if not, that he should make them ample restitution. Whether that was wise and prudent he was not going now to discuss; but the effect of it unquestionably was that it was regarded by many as establishing a principle which was dangerous, which would excite hopes in the people that never could be realised, set class against class in the county of Galway, and create a great deal of opposition to Captain Nolan on the part of the landlord class, entirely on the ground of his assenting to it. But tenants took a different view, and there was thus a division of opinion on the subject. It was then, on the 21st of September, 1871, that the Roman Catholic clergy came forward as supporters of Nolan, and their first meeting was held in the Roman Catholic Deanery of Tuam, the Archbishop in the chair. Resolutions were come to approving the award, approving Captain Nolan's candidature, approving his resolution to restore to his tenantry their farms, saying, "this was the true tenant-right," and demanding—what none in the House would take exception to—that the tenants should be free from coercion. In those resolutions there was not one illegal word, 1767 but simply a declaration of the Catholic clergy, or a particular portion of them, that they would support Captain Nolan. There was a conference of clergy at another place, at which, after the ordinary business for which they had met had been disposed of, they were asked by the Bishop of Galway, who presided, to express their opinions freely on the subject of the election, and while a large number of them were in favour of Mr. D'Arcy, the majority decided that they would support Captain Nolan. He (Mr. Butt) did not see how any fault could be taken with the proceedings in that case either. On the 16th of December a general meeting of the clergy of the county took place, and a determination was come to to support Captain Nolan. Before this a meeting of the gentry was held, at which the Marquess of Clanricarde was present, with several other Peers of Parliament, and Sir Thomas Burke. From this meeting proceeded the cry of "No priests!" and a circular was issued saying the gentry would elect the candidate without the interference of the priests, and expressing a hope that no tenant would vote for the priests' candidate. Another meeting was held on December 13, by which time class was set against class, the priests regarding this as a defiance thrown down to them, and the affair assumed the complexion of a contest between the landlords and the priests. The Roman Catholic priests, no doubt, made this a religious question, and they worked on the religious feelings of the people, and in some instances—though he believed they were not so numerous as had been stated—language was made use of which ought not to have been used. His complaint—and he would say it boldly—his bitterest complaint against the language of this Judgment, was, that its intemperance, its violence, its injustice to innocent men, had had the effect of shielding the guilty, who were denunciated with the innocent, from condemnation, on the part of Irish public opinion, that would have overtaken them if they had not been made martyrs. But those instances had, by common report, been greatly exaggerated. In the diocese there were probably 80 to 100 Roman Catholic priests. The conduct of about 50, or perhaps more, had been investigated, and the Judge was only able to select 20, whom he considered 1768 had used language capable of being construed as intimidation or undue influence. The election came off, Captain Nolan polled nearly 2,000 votes; Captain Trench polled only 658. The return was petitioned against, and the Judge appeared in Galway to try the case. What was the duty of a Judge under such circumstances? Was it not to avoid any expression which might seem to place him in the position of a partizan while leaving him open to declare his moral reprobation of whatever might have seemed opposed to law and justice? The Act of Parliament had defined undue influence by a hard-and-fast-line. It must be intimidation. It was not undue influence in the sense in which some of them had heard of it elsewhere. It was not undue influence in the sense in which a parent obtained from his child a gift when he came of age by the operation of affection. It was not undue influence such as an attorney exercised over his client when he got a bounty. It was the attempt to coerce by intimidation to give his vote. What ought the Judge to have done in this case? He ought to have taken up, case by case, every alleged instance of intimidation, and he ought to have determined whether that case came within the legal definition of undue influence. If he did that, he ought to have said—Was the person who used this influence the agent of the sitting Member; and if he found he was, then that the sitting Member ought to be visited with the consequences of the act of his agent. Now, he (Mr. Butt) believed that Captain Nolan made the Roman Catholic priests his agents, and he believed some of these Roman Catholic priests did acts amounting to intimidation, and, therefore, undue influence, and for these Captain Nolan was responsible. He hoped the House would bear with him, and he would endeavour to state, in language as clear and temperate and distinct as he could, the complaint he had to make of the Judge. It was that, instead of taking up case by case, instead of a calm and judicial decision on acts which constituted intimidation, in this Judgment, from beginning to end, the Judge made himself avowedly and openly the partizan of the landlord class; he allowed his partizanship to carry him to pervert facts—they must bear with him if he spoke strongly, but he would endeavour to prove what he had said. The Judge 1769 arrived at conclusions for which no particle of evidence existed, and he branded men of high station in the Roman Catholic Church, and men of un-impeached honour, with crime without one particle of evidence to warrant or justify him. And this he did with a fulsome adulation of every human being connected with the landlord class, in language which he would not describe, but in language which was not very judicial, and was applied to every human being on the other side. He approached this case under very peculiar circumstances. The Attorney General for Ireland had stated it to be his intention to prosecute 23 out of 36 persons whom the Judge had reported guilty of undue influence, and this he did under the section of an Act of Parliament which directed the evidence to be laid before the Attorney General, who was to determine whether it was sufficient to sustain a prosecution. He had ventured to express a doubt whether the statute in question extended to this case. But that was perfectly immaterial. The Attorney General for Ireland had a perfect right to prosecute. So long ago as the days of Queen Anne it was settled that this House would not address the Crown to order the Attorney General to prosecute, but would give direct orders itself to the Attorney General to do so. Well, the whole of the evidence was laid before the Attorney General for Ireland, that he might, on his own responsibility, decide whether there was evidence sufficient to justify him in putting the persons inculpated on their trial. He could perfectly understand the difficulty in which the right hon. and learned Gentleman found himself. There was the Report of the Judge—not that there was evidence to "prosecute" these people, but that there was evidence to "convict," and the Attorney General for Ireland had on his own responsibility, uninfluenced by that, to determine whether the evidence was sufficient. And to the Attorney General, placed in that invidious position, he gave credit and honour for what he had done. He could well conceive that he was very willing to shelter himself behind the opinions of others, and so he had consulted the Solicitor General for Ireland, the Attorney General for England, and the Solicitor General for England. And what was the result of the combined 1770 opinions of the Attorney General for Ireland, the Solicitor General for Ireland, the Attorney General for England, and the Solicitor General for England? It was this—that in the case of 11 of the persons branded by this Judge—nay, convicted by him of crime—there was not sufficient evidence to warrant them in sending the case for prosecution. He felt a little embarrassed, however, in discussing this Judgment by the decision at which the four Law Officers of the Crown had arrived. He could well understand the unwillingness of the Attorney General to prosecute any case unless it was consistent with his duty to do it. But he believed the Attorney General was prosecuting in cases in which there was not a Gentleman here who would not say that the Judgment which branded the individuals with crime was without foundation. In the face of that prosecution against the 23 individuals he did not want to enter upon the evidence at present; but he was more than compensated for that by the fact that the Law Officers of the Crown, who had inquired into the other 11 cases, did not think there was a case for prosecution. Who were these 11? One was the Archbishop of Tuam, one was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Galway, and there were nine Roman Catholic clergy who were said to have been guilty of undue influence by the Judge. Did the Judge confine himself to the simple duty he had stated? He began his Judgment by saying—I now approach this case. I do not think any adequate idea of it could be formed without taking a rapid glance at the historical, geographical, and moral position of this county.That was the opening sentence, and it was the key to the whole Judgment. He was deciding whether the landlords or the priests ought to hold the county, and for that purpose it was essential to take a review of the moral, social, political, and geographical position of the county of Galway. It could not be necessary to decide whether Father Loftus, having told a man he would denounce him from the altar, was guilty of undue influence; but it was necessary for the question in the Judge's mind that he should take a review of the moral, social, political, and geographical position of the county of Galway. Then the Judge began his review with the year 1826, when he, a boy, saw a house 1771 burning at the election of Dick Martin—a gentleman well known in the House of Commons and in London for his humanity—and went through every case necessary to illustrate his position. Well, that was the key to the whole; it showed what was passing through the Judge's mind, and he never departed from that key. Here was a Judgment of 51 pages, and out of it he ventured to say that no human being could extract six pages of exposition of legal principles or of matter bearing on the subject. He was not going to read it; but he was endeavouring to compress his observations upon a Judgment which had taken nine hours in the delivery and upon evidence which occupied 51 days. As to the cause of Mr. Mitchell Henry's election there could not be a doubt. Mr. Mitchell Henry was undoubtedly returned owing to the influence of a priest named Father Dooley. The Bishop of Galway, when asked whether Mr. Mitchell Henry did not owe his election to the influence of the Archbishop of Tuam, said he was perfectly sure he did not, but to the influence of Father Dooley. The fact was that a very humble and obscure priest, who had got hold of the facts connected with the evictions of Captain Nolan, did keep that gentleman out then, and would have been able to keep him out up to this day if Captain Nolan had not agreed to make what reparation he could, and to refer to arbitration the matters of dispute between his tenants and himself. Well, the Judge dwelt strongly on the fact that Captain Nolan obtained the promise of the Archbishop's support at a future election. Captain Nolan retired in a hurry, and the Judge said—What tremendous influence must have been brought to bear upon him to induce him to retire; and that must have been the influence of the great Prelate of the West. He had mentioned the Archbishop's letter, in which he pledged himself to support Captain Nolan. It was not surprising that Captain Nolan, when he saw that letter, should be anxious to publish it. Accordingly, his brother got 6,000 copies distributed, and the Judge's comment upon this fact was that the distribution of 6,000 copies among a constituency of 4,500 electors, coupled with Captain Nolan's early refusal to speak to any of the county gentry, even Lord Clanricarde, before he had consulted the Archbishop, 1772 were conclusive proofs that Captain Nolan had covenanted with the Archbishop that by him alone he was to be returned. Now, the alleged refusal by Captain Nolan to speak to the county gentry was a gross misrepresentation of what had happened. This declaration was made by Captain Nolan in his candidature of 1870. At that time a gentleman in the county recommended Captain Nolan to go to Lord Clanricarde. As a mere piece of election tactic and prudence, Captain Nolan then said—"I would not like to do that until I know what the Archbishop will do." This occurred in a former candidature; yet the Judge fastened upon it as though it had occurred in Captain Nolan's recent candidature, and showed that he had covenanted with the Archbishop. How could any Judge with ordinary habits of judicial caution and judicial prudence make such a blunder, and make it the foundation of the whole ecclesiastical conspiracy? On the 6th of August, Archbishop McHale and many of the clergy met together at a private dinner party at the house of Father M'Ghee. Captain Nolan was also present, for Father M'Ghee had said to him—"Here is a good opportunity for canvassing. Come and dine at my house, and you will see the Archbishop and many of the clergy." Was it right that such an incident should be made one of the links by which the Judge endeavoured to prove that the Roman Catholic priesthood had entered into a conspiracy against free election in Galway? Then came the meetings held in December and January. There was a Father Conway, for whom, for some reason, the Judge had conceived a great dislike. He said this priest had been reported guilty of undue influence by a Committee in the Mayo Election case some years ago; and then, because Father Conway, answering the questions of counsel, had referred to his chapel yard "in high stilted tones" as "my own demesne," the Judge said—Some few acres, I suppose, that some landlord has been wise enough to give him to stop the clapper of his tongue, which must be infinitely more offensive to a rational creature than that dreadful lugubrious whistle which disturbed my rest for six weeks after I came into this town of Galway.When delivering this specimen of judicial calmness, the Judge mimicked the voice of Father Conway. Was this the 1773 language which a barrister in this country would wish to hear from an English Judge? Was this the language which any English gentleman would wish to hear from an English Judge who might next day have to decide upon his liberty and property? And was such a Judge likely to conciliate for the administration of justice the attachment of the Irish people, who were just as sensitive of judicial propriety and just as able to appreciate judicial dignity as any people on earth? That was one of the mildest of these things. He then said—Suppose that instead of going through this weary case I stopped here, is there a jury in the land—I am a jury for the purpose of this case—who could hesitate to say that Captain Nolan had entered into a combination to be carried out by the illegal agencies which his own brother and agent spoke of, to deprive free and independent electors of this county of the franchise which the Constitution has conferred upon them.Father Conway had since been removed to another world. It was said—he did not know how truly—that he was hurried to his grave by the ferocity of this Judgment. [Laughter.] Perhaps some of those Gentlemen who laughed would like to hear that a Judge had said he had stopped the clapper of their tongues, which was more disagreeable than the lugubrious whistle of a railway engine. One of the melancholy features of this case was that the very men against whom the Judge had manifested the strongest antipathy, and spoken most severely, were men who had spoken most severely of his own political career. Father Lavelle was one of the priests against whom the Attorney General for Ireland said there was not one particle of evidence on which to found a prosecution. Well, the Judge said of him—I say the humblest man in the county who would walk beside him after the exhibition he made of himself here, and in the public eye in every place where he comes, makes a greater sacrifice than any squandering of money by Captain Nolan.Was that judicial language, or should the man who used it ever be esteemed again by the people of Ireland? He said Father Lavelle had been strongly condemned at the time of the Longford election. Such a statement had nothing to do with the question; and it was also a gross misrepresentation. At the Longford election the Roman Catholic Bishop and clergy almost unanimously supported Lord Greville's son, while the popular 1774 feeling was in favour of Mr. John Martin. The Roman Catholic clergy carried the election, and there was a Petition. Father Reynolds got the Bishop to issue an inhibition against Father Lavelle; and Judge Fitzgerald said of that inhibition—I most entirely approve of the course taken by Father Reynolds in keeping that 'patriot priest of Partry' out of the county of Longford. If he was doing his duty as a patriot priest, it would not be in Longford, but in attending to the wants of his own parishioners.Mr. Justice Keogh treated that as a condemnation of Father Lavelle, as if he had been branded by Judge Fitzgerald. In one of his speeches Father Lavelle had commented strongly on Sir Thomas Burke saying the priests were not to interfere, remarking that he had sounded his own "political death-knell." Sir Thomas Burke complained to the Archbishop of Tuam of the use of the words "death-knell," and the explanation was that the words used were "political death-knell." How did Mr. Justice Keogh deal with the incident? He used the following language, which amounted to a charge against Father Lavelle of inciting assassination—a charge for which redress might have been obtained in the Courts as against any man other than a Judge:—This is the Mr. Lavelle of the 'political death-knell.' I adopt his words, for I thought it a great loss of time to be going into it. He is charged with saying 'death-knell.' He says, "Oh, no, it was 'political death-knell.'" I would like to see the Tipperary man with a good blunderbuss in his hand who would draw a nice distinction between a 'death-knell' and a 'political death-knell.' This is the Mr. Lavelle, I say, of 'the political death-knell.' This is the same gentleman who admits that he would set up Peter Barrett for the county. For what is he distinguished? Why is his name introduced? Mark, 'death-knell,' 'political death-knell,' if you like, followed by a statement that, if necessary, he would set up Peter Barrett for the county—that Peter Barrett who is only known to fame as being the son of his worthy and excellent father, of whom we have heard so much in this case, and as having been tried certainly twice; once on a special commission in this county, upon which I had the honour of presiding, in company with my Lord Chief Justice, and subsequently, I believe, at the Bar of the Court of Queen's Bench—for what? For having attempted under the clouds of eventide the cold-blooded assassination of a gentleman of this county. Talk of qualifications for candidates; talk of the 'parrot cry of revolutionists;' talk of religion being lost if the influence of the priest is interfered with; talk of the French Revolution having led to its unmentionable horrors because they neglected the advice of the priests! That is not historically true. The Abbé Gregoire, 1775 the Abbé Sièyes, the Bishop of Autun deny the statement. There were profligate priests, there were profligate curés, there were profligate abbés; ay, and there were profligate Bishops. Who has not heard of Prince Périgord de Talleyrand, who had performed the sacrifice of the Mass in his youth as the consecrated Bishop of Autun? But talk of all those with such a priest as this, still an officiating priest, who goes to the altar, and who, as I say, does not perform, but desecrates the renewal of that tremendum mysterium which was consecrated upon Calvary.Let it be remembered that this was the language of a Judge on the Bench, which he believed no hon. Member would attempt to defend. There were mysteries of religion, Catholic and Protestant, which ought not to be treated lightly, even in Courts of Justice; and in speaking in this way Justice Keogh used language which was inconsistent with his duty as a Judge. Further on, in speaking of the Gort meeting, Mr. Justice Keogh again adverted to Father Lavelle, and he said—Here he is conjured up from the diocese of the Archbishop of Tuam into the diocese of the Bishop of Galway, where he had no right to come without his Lordship's permission. What right had he, I say, to pollute the diocese which is presided over by an intellectual, educated, solemn, grave, and religious pastor, without the special leave of the Bishop of Galway? Had he that leave or dispensation?What had the Judge to do with the internal regulations of the Church? The Judge quoted the terms of the resolutions passed at the Gort meeting, which spoke of "tyrannical landlords," and declared "that every Catholic is a recreant and a renegade who would support Captain Trench;" and a little further on, speaking of the Mount Bellew meeting, he said—A new word is introduced into the resolutions—'recreant and renegado' not 'renegade.' I rubbed my eyes to see whether I was right, and it is so. I assisted my eyes with a glass, and the resolution is this—'That we deem every Catholic a recreant and a renegado who would support Captain Trench, the son of a most notorious enemy of the Catholic religion, Lord Clancarty, and the nominee of the bigots and anti-Catholics of the county.' What is the meaning of the word renegado? Every scholar knows it. Take that beauteous poem, from the reading of which no one has ever risen without feeling the highest admiration of the exalted genius of the greatest modern poet of England—Lord Byron. I refer to the Siege of Corinth. When he who had betrayed his faith, and who had led the Islamite to storm the fortress of Corinth because of blighted love, meets in the last encounter the father of her whom he wanted to be his bride, he says—'Yield thee, Mainotti; mercy take,For thy own—thy daughter's sake.'1776 What is the reply?—'Never, renegado, never!Tho' the life of thy gift should last for ever.'Those are the words that are bandied about without caring for their meaning, and the result would be to leave every poor creature who dared to exercise his franchise in this county perfectly without help, physical or moral, to stand up against the weight of oppression that would be brought to bear upon him.Byron also used the English word—Against the country he betrayedHe stood alone—a renegade.Mr. Justice Keogh condemned priests who said they were "alive and kicking." He said—At Ballinasloe the Rev. Mr. Kemmy said he would show that they were alive and kicking. All this I am asked to pass over as being mere byplay. I recollect a very well-known man—a distinguished man in Ireland—when his death appeared in a newspaper one morning (he did not like to be dead), wrote thus to the paper—'If your correspondent will call upon me at such a place and at such an hour, he will find me not only alive, but kicking.'If this were anywhere else but in a Judgment it would be ludicrous; and this language was uttered among a people quite as capable of judging of judicial dignity and decorum as any people on earth. Commenting on the speech of Father Connor, at the Portumna meeting, the Judge said—He seconds this resolution—'That we regard as a recreant and a renegade any Catholic tenant who allows himself to be forced to vote for Captain Trench against his conscience.' That is the 'Conscience Clause' which we know something of in the history of the National Board. That was moved by Father Horan, P.P., Mount Shannon, in an animated speech, in the course of which he used the following words:—'Look at that country yonder beyond the majestic Shannon, gallant Tipperary.' The cities of Italy used to have names and sayings attached to them—'Geneva la Superba,' 'See Naples and die,' but they all must yield to 'gallant Tipperary.' 'Three cheers for Tipperary!'Perhaps the learned Judge did not know it was either Lord Gough or Sir Charles Napier who in India called upon the men of "gallant Tipperary" to do their duty; and that the phrase had then become one of which every Tipperary man was proud. The Judge continued—What does this amiable priest say? 'They set intimidation at defiance, and returned the man of their choice (I am sure Captain Nolan must have felt a tingling in his veins when he heard this), 'though a convicted felon, to show their hatred of the powers that refused us justice, and thereby goad us into rebellion.' That is Mr. Horan's speech. This is 'seconded by the Rev. Father Cannon as follows, every sentence in his 1777 most effective speech being cheered to the echo.' What does he say: 'Either you will rise to the honour and dignity of freemen; to the illustrious name of patriots, to the elevated character of a religious people, lovers of your priests which transcends all; or you will sink and fall down to the lowest depths of infamy and degradation, to be for ever branded as renegades and recreants, with dishonour and disgrace. It is the enemy of man that has stirred up this division, that has created this division, that has raised this spirit of opposition against the priests of your Church. These are the signs of the times, and one of the signs of the approaching dissolution of the world shall be that the dead will arise out of their graves. And methinks I fancy that I see the ghost of old Oliver Cromwell, his skeleton bones arising out of that sinful grave in which he and his bones had slept so long together.The Judge, commenting upon this, said—I hope I am a loyal man. I believe implicitly that no form of Government that ever existed is so calculated to preserve the rights, the franchises, and the liberties of the people as the mixed Constitution under which we live—the Monarchy of England; but if I were to lay my hand on any man for greatness—majestic greatness of character, for splendid genius, for everything that ennobles a great man—I would say that the greatest Sovereign who ever ruled England was that Oliver Cromwell.He was, no doubt, quite at liberty to have that opinion, and if he had chosen to give a lecture in a proper place he might have proved, if he could, that Cromwell was a Sovereign in England; and he might also have got him a statue in the gallery of that building. But the memory of Oliver Cromwell was regarded by a great part of the people of Ireland with detestation; and the introduction of his name into the Judgment could not be justified. "The curse of Cromwell on you!" was to this hour the bitterest expression of hate that an Irishman could use, and the Judge seemed to pick out every point that could excite the passions of the people among whom he was speaking. He spoke in Connaught, where Cromwell gave them the choice between Connaught and a warmer place; and it was known that if one thing more than another could excite the people there it was that the Judge should become the panegyrist of Oliver Cromwell. Then, again, speaking of Edmund Burke's reference to Cromwell, the Judge said—Let me tell those who did not know it that there are veins in Galway in which the kindred blood of Burke flows. That great man spoke in the highest terms of Oliver Cromwell. What said that distinguished poet about the same man?—1778'Still as you rise, the State exalted too,Finds no distemper while 'tis changed by you—Chang'd like the world's great scene, when, without noise,The rising sun night's vulgar light destroys.'And that name is to be prostituted in the manner we have seen on the vile tongue of that audacious priest (Father Cannon).Surely such language as that was not proper. He would ask any Gentleman who was inclined to defend this Judgment to point out one single syllable upon which could be founded the condemnation of Archbishop McHale. It was no answer to say that Judge Keogh had condemned other men who did wrong. He had condemned 11 men who did no wrong. It appeared that Mr. Sebastian Nolan had said in conversation that even if his brother, Captain Nolan, were unseated, his brother, Major Nolan, would stand for the county of Galway. Judge Keogh, adverting to that expression, said—"If Major Nolan is a wise man he will keep away from it." What right had a Judge to utter such language, and what did he mean by it? He meant that he would take care that for seven long years the Roman Catholic hierarchy should be prevented from taking part at elections, and therefore there would be no opportunity of Major Nolan being returned for the county of Galway. He said—I shall report to the House of Commons, that the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Galway, the Bishop of Clonfert, all the clergymen whose cases I have gone through, have been guilty of an organized attempt to defeat the free franchises of the electors of this county; and that Captain Nolan, by himself, and Mr. Sebastian Nolan, his brother, as his agent, in company with all these episcopal and clerical persons, whom I shall set out by name, have been guilty of these practices; and I will guard the franchises of this county for seven years, at least, for the statute will not allow any one of those persons to be again engaged in conducting or managing an election, or canvassing for a candidate aspiring to be the representative of Galway.Was there ever such a sentence delivered before? The Judge had no right to pretend to decide that his sending the clergy into this kind of penal servitude would prevent any of them for seven years canvassing for a candidate as a friend. There was no evidence of the use of undue influence by Archbishop McHale or the Bishop of Galway, and yet the Archbishop, a man 82 years old, who carried with him the affections of the Irish people, who had for 50 years been a Prelate in their Church, was 1779 branded as a criminal without there being one particle of evidence to prove it, and he was sent into this penal servitude. This was not all; for the Judge ridiculed Captain Nolan for speaking of the Archbishop as "the Great Prelate of the West;" but even the Judge might not have grudged that venerable Prelate the title which the affections of his countrymen had bestowed upon him. The Judge need not have grudged that old and venerable Prelate the title which had been before given him. But if that were base adulation, let him call their attention to the following language:—I see here and recognize one Prelate especially, who is the observed among all observers—the illustrious Archbishop of Tuam, who, like a lofty tower which rises on the banks of the Tiber, is the pride and protection of the city and the glory and guardian of its people.Was that fulsome adulation, or was it something more? Those words were not spoken by Mr. Justice Keogh, but by Mr. Keogh, when Member for Athlone. He thought it was unfortunate for Irish justice that the most rev. Prelate of the West was one of those who had subsequently branded in unmeasured terms the tergiversation of the learned Judge. But if the Judge had the instincts which guided English Judges, and which should also guide Irish Judges, he would have forborne to wreak the hoarded spite of years by inflicting on the grey hairs of that old man a retaliation for the rebuke which had been administered to him at a former period. The Judge might have been constrained to find him guilty; but where was the constraint to sneer at the title of "the Great Prelate of the West?" It was the misfortune of this case, it was the misfortune of the system under which Irish Judges were too often selected—["Hear, hear!"]—by which the base intrigues of party had come upon the Bench, and by which men had been placed there who ought never to have been elevated to the judicial office. He had been betrayed into saying that which he had not intended to say; but he should be unworthy of the position he occupied at the Bar of Ireland were he to shrink from speaking of the manner in which Irish Judges were too often selected. He wished that Irish Judges were chosen in the same manner as those of England were—that instead of men being advanced to the Bench as a reward for political services, they were 1780 chosen by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland on grounds wholly apart from political considerations, and according to his conscience. Proceeding to touch upon another point, he would ask in what position were the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Galway, and Father Lavelle, who were not to be prosecuted, placed in? His right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland said that there was not sufficient evidence against them, in his opinion, to justify their being prosecuted. But in that case how were they to escape from the brand that had been placed upon them by the learned Judge? What would be said in Ireland? Some one said a Member of this House would move for a prosecution. But would this House go through that farce after the declaration of the Attorney General? Would not an excited people say that the Government dared not prosecute the Archbishop and the Bishop of Galway, and therefore they had restricted themselves to prosecuting the priests and a Bishop who had only recently been consecrated? He had carefully gone through the list of names of those who were to be prosecuted and of those who were not to be prosecuted, and he believed that he should be able to convince the House that the acts of the Government bore the most distinct mark of partizanship. The Bishop of Clonfert was to be prosecuted on the ground that he was stated to have held an anathema over the heads of the voters who did not vote in the way he dictated. The only person who had given evidence against him was strongly suspected of deep sympathy with some movements with which that House, at all events, would not approve. The Bishop himself was produced, and swore that he had carefully prepared what he intended to say; that he told them it was their duty to give their votes according to their religious conscience; that no landlord nor priest had a right to dictate to them; but he wished them to support the man whom the clergyman advised them to support; but he warned them that no political advantage was worth a sin, and that it was a sin to indulge in hatred and uncharitableness. The Bishop's evidence was corroborated by Mr. O'Shaugnessy—against whom the Judge could only charge that he was too big to be a magistrate of one county, and that, like the Colossus at Rhodes, he 1781 stood with one foot in Roscommon and the other in Galway—and by another respectable witness, a medical man. The learned Judge, however, said that he would not believe the oaths of the Bishop and of these two creditable witnesses, because a priest who was present at the time had not been produced to give his version of the affair. Had that priest been produced, the Judge, of course, would have said—"Oh, we are all aware which way the sympathies of the curate are likely to go when the character of a Bishop is involved." He regarded the prosecution of the Bishop under these circumstances as an undisguised instance of partizanship. There was another important instance. The Rev. Mr. Conway, of whom they had heard, was driving along the road after the election, and it was said by a witness that, in referring to an elector who did not vote for Captain Nolan, and who had died since the election, he said—"He is down, and more of them will follow." There was an English traveller on the car, and he gave the same version of the conversation as Father Conway. A Spanish gentleman who returned to Madrid soon afterwards, was also present, and Judge Keogh asked why he was not produced. All these things took place after the election, and should not form part of the evidence affecting Captain Nolan's return. In the case of Father Coen, it was alleged that he had made use of the expression that the priests would violate the secrecy of the Ballot by means of the confessional. All that had been proved against him, however, was that, some time before the election, in speaking of the Ballot, he had asked how the secrecy of the Ballot could be preserved if the priests were wicked enough to get from each voter the way he had voted when he was in the confessional. And the mere fact of Father Coen having asked that question had been twisted by the Press into an an-mission that there was a deliberate intention on the part of the whole of the whole of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland to defeat the Ballot. He (Mr. Butt) did not mean to justify all the language that had been used even by the Catholic priests at that election; and he believed that the best chance that night for the learned Judge whose conduct he was impugning was the feeling that had rallied around him by the language which 1782 had been uttered against him, just as he believed that the best chance of the priests was the feeling which the intemperance of his language had rallied around them. The House should enter into the feelings of their Roman Catholic fellow-Christians at having the statement put forward and echoed in every English newspaper that the Roman Catholic clergy intended to use the confessional to defeat the Ballot Bill. He had intended to show—and he hoped that some hon. Member in the course of this debate would show—that in this case the proofs of the landlord intimidation were clear and distinct. There was that case in which the bailiff brought a letter from Sir Thomas Burke, in which were these words—"I expect my tenants will vote as I will." In one instance a wretched old man fell down upon the ground, and implored his landlord to allow him to stop at home. The landlord said he would not coerce his conscience; but the bailiff had been with him (the landlord) and everyone in Ireland knew what the meaning of that was. But in the Judgment there was no word of condemnation of any one of those things—not one word of condemnation of Lord Clanricarde, who told his tenants in effect that if they treated the relation of landlord and tenant as one that involved no allegiance from them to him, he would treat it as one involving no right on their part to favour from him. The "running gales" were accordingly called up, and after the election he withdrew his custom from the town. There was no condemnation of that from the Judge. The influence of the landlord was regarded as legitimate and as a thing to be encouraged. From beginning to end, therefore, he said that was a partizan Judgment; and that through that partizanship the Judge had been led to condemn innocent men for that of which there was no evidence, and to use language which was a disgrace to the Judicial Bench. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in conclusion, said—I thank the House for the patience with which it has heard me. I warn you that you are engaged in a very serious inquiry. I appeal to you, as the great tribunal of the country, on behalf of the Irish people, to give them redress against this great scandal and mighty wrong. I appeal fearlessly to the Members of the Conservative party, who have great tra- 1783 ditions, which teach them to respect judicial dignity and judicial integrity. I believe that that dignity will not be upheld by leaving unrebuked licentiousness like this. I appeal to the English Bar—would they like to hear an English Judge utter such language as I have quoted? I ask you, as lovers of justice, can Father Lavelle trust this Judge in any case affecting his life or property? Can any Roman Catholic in Ireland trust him? The Constitution has left to this House and to the other House of Parliament uncontrolled discretion in the removal of a Judge. I refuse to palter with this question. I will be no party to censuring this Judge and leaving him, dishonoured and disparaged, still to administer justice. The Judge who deserves censure, deserves removal. I, at least, have done my duty, and in the name of the Irish people whose Petitions have been presented to you to-night—in the name of the honour and the dignity of the Judicial Bench—in the sacred name of that justice which has been insulted—in the name of the law which he is unfit to administer—I ask you now to support me in my endeavour to obtain an impartial judicature for Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman then moved the Resolution which stood in his name.
§ MR. MITCHELL HENRY
*: Mr. Speaker—I rise under a deep sense of responsibility, and fully impressed with the magnitude of the issues involved, to second the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick. I should have been better pleased to do so, if Judge Keogh had not made any personal allusion to myself, and especially none that was complimentary. With the evident design, however, of adding one more incident to the epic story he has composed to show the extent of priestly domination in Ireland, he drags into prominence the election of 1871, and remarks that I am connected with Roman Catholics, and have a brother a distinguished priest, and a Jesuit. I am aware that in the printed Report—which, notwithstanding the vehement declarations to the contrary, I shall be able to show has received its fair share of significant corrections under the Judge's own hand—the word Jesuit has been left out. Sir, my brother became a priest too late in life to be distinguished; has led too retired a life for the purposes of ambition; 1784 is not a Jesuit, and has nothing to do with the county of Galway. The House does not expect me to enter into the details of my own private life, and would not tolerate me if I did; but if we all feel that such topics are irrelevant, what are they but idle, indecent, and impertinent in a grave Judgment from the Bench. But, Sir, this love of gossip in the Judge involves more serious consequences; for in his desire to weave a connected and sensational tale, the Judge has quite missed the true significance of the late Galway election. That contest was in no sense a political contest. It was the direct, the natural, and the inevitable result of our recent legislation, and especially of the Land Bill; and this point, if hon. Members will give me their attention for a moment, I will speedily make clear to them. In no county in the United Kingdom had the voters, up to the last election, so implicitly followed the lead of their landlords as in Galway; and it is simple justice to say that, although when Judge Keogh was himself a candidate for a popular constituency, and relied on that priestly support which is now so odious to him, he described the Irish landlords as—"the most heartless, the most thriftless, the most indefensible landocracy on the face of the earth,"—yet the county gentlemen of Galway, and especially the old families, have, as a rule, by their residence, by their kindness, and by their justice, set an example to all Ireland. That this fiduciary relation, so to speak, between landlord and tenant as to the vote had come to be considered the normal state of things, is very well shown by the following letter—which I quote from page 221 of the Evidence—written by a landlord and a dignitary of the Church of Ireland to his agent, but to which the Judge makes no reference whatever:—Saint Grantons', January 6th, 1872.Geohegan,—I wish the tenants at Caltra to support Captain Trench at the coming election by their votes; please let them know this.C. H BUTSON.Let them see the enclosed.Which were extracts from papers adverse to Captain Trench's opponent. It also appears at page 31 of the Judge's Report, where he describes a bothered voter, who, having been interfered with at the polling-booth, at first says he would vote for Captain Nolan and Captain Trench; and being told that he could not 1785 vote for both, finally says that he will vote for his "master"—that is, the Law Life Assurance Company. The most conclusive testimony, however, is given by Captain Trench himself, who, at Question 15,920, page 456, says—I personally canvassed every town, and I rode through the various estates in the county, and there was scarcely an estate in the county where I did not get the same answer; and I found almost universally the answer—'Sir, we like you very much; but we must vote with our landlords, and if our landlords vote for you, we will vote for you.'What is the Judge's own notion as to the franchise may clearly be seen in a remarkable expression which he makes use of at page 48. Referring to a worthy Baronet whose conduct in the election had rightly or wrongly been complained of, he says—Sir Thomas Burke has been spoken of already, and I do solemnly believe that a kinder-hearted man never had in his hands the 'control of tenantry.'And at page 58 of the Evidence you will see it is stated that as this landlord wished to speak to his tenants as to their votes, "they were ordered to come" to the mansion at 12 o'clock. It is all summed up in an expression used to me by a large landowner, after the decision had been given. He said, speaking of priests and landlords, if "two men ride a horse, one must ride behind"—forgetting, as he said it, that the horse which is to be ridden is the free and independent voter, whom the Constitution says shall not be ridden by anybody—You have among you many a purchased slave,Which, like your asses, and your dogs and mules,You use in abject and in slavish parts,Because you bought them.Shall I say to you,Let them be free,—marry them to your heirs?Why sweat they under burdens? Let their bedsBe made as soft as yours, and let their palatesBe seasoned with such viands? You will answer,'The slaves are ours.'I venture to say that these details let in a flood of light upon the secret history of this contest. It was, in truth, a contest between landlords expecting, as if in some sort naturally, the votes of their tenants to return a Gentleman who sits on the Opposition side of the House, and the voters themselves, who are supporters of the policy of the present Prime Minister, headed and urged on by their priests. Let the lovers of electoral freedom on both sides the House— 1786 I do not by any means think they are confined to one side—remember this—that ever since the Reform Bill of 1832 Galway has returned Liberals to Parliament, and when, in 1859, Lord Dunlo, the brother of the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite, contested the county on Conservative principles he was handsomely beaten. You will then see that there is something behind this cry of clerical dictation, and that something is involved in the answer to the question—What made the Galway priests unite on this occasion, which, bear in mind, they have never done at any former election, having hitherto been more or less divided? To say that it was a conspiracy of Bishops and priests to force a candidate of their own on the voters contrary to their political convictions is a ridiculous perversion of the truth. And that leads one to ask the question whether priests and parsons are entitled to exercise any influence at all at an election? I can understand perfectly well that priests in Galway or elsewhere, by undue influence or whatever else it may be called, by violence of language and the like, may deserve to be disfranchised themselves; but it does seem to me a most monstrous thing that half the voters in the county, for listening to them and for adopting their views—no matter whether they are cajoled or terrified into doing so—should incur the like penalty. I have observed in this country—and the hon. Member for Carlisle (Sir Wilfrid Lawson) and his Friends will agree with me—that when a strong party, moved by an irrepressible and earnest desire to maintain the equilibrium of their fellow-creatures, and to prevent among them the catastrophe of Noah, exert themselves to the utmost, they do not disdain the influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood. They are very glad, in their printed bills and household visitations, to placard the names of certain priests as hand-in-glove with them; and if the priest brings in his train a a sufficient number of anti-drink adherents, they do not, I suspect, stop too curiously to inquire whether he gathered them to the righteous side by hopes of Heaven or threats of Hell. They are very glad to enlist Dr. Manning, to show him on their platform, to permit him to speak, and to exhibit the true teetotal zeal—and why? Unquestionably, because his influence as a Roman 1787 Catholic Archbishop has a power and a weight which they estimate and think worth having. There really is, then, a priestly influence, which is commendable, brought to bear conspicuously, persistently, vigorously, dogmatically, with the fervour of a neophyte, and a sincerity as great as that of any bibulous sinner who ever took the pledge from Father Matthew. Such an influence of Roman Catholic Bishops and priests you accept—applaud it, pronounce it straightforward, outspoken, moral, quite the right sort of thing—because it is on your own side. Those priests, perhaps, do say something strong to their flocks; show how drunkenness stimulates other vices, causes crime and sudden death. But, then, it is in a gentlemanly euphuistic style, as broadcloth speaks to broadcloth; they do not rap out to the frieze-coated voter—"Do that, Pat, my boy, and you will go to Hell." Well, then, is priestly influence to cease when we come to an election? Since you made an ex post facto law to keep Home Tooke out of the House, have English parsons never uttered the word "vote"? Have the Conservative gains in Lancashire at the last General Election never been attributed to the "glorious stand made by the Anglican clergy for Queen against the usurpations of the Pope?" And is the priest in Ireland forbidden to explain to his flock why one candidate is not the same to him as another? Because that is what it comes to. In this Judgment Mr. Justice Keogh includes them all in the conciliatory phrase—"the whole rabble rout," and disfranchises an Archbishop and a Bishop, because they each wrote a letter stating why they thought Captain Nolan an eligible, and Captain Trench an ineligible candidate, just as much as humbler priests who exceeded the bounds of electoral propriety. This learned Judge, who as times go was not so particularly straight-laced a politician when he had party objects to serve, has become such a Purist that he will not even hear of clergy at an election, but puts them all on bread and water for seven years, whether they are guilty or not. Again, the Judge is entirely wrong in his account of what took place at the previous election, when I was returned in succession to Lord Burke. The first intimation that reached me that I might possibly be found to be an acceptable can- 1788 didate was from influential landlords themselves. At that time—except the most casual acquaintance with the Archbishop of Tuam—I knew none of the Roman Catholic Bishops, and none of the clergy out of my own parish; and it was only later that I found I should receive much of their support, in accordance with the feelings of a large portion of the Liberal voters; yet the Judge infers that I was the candidate of the priests, who were actually divided—and rather strongly divided—as to my merits. It may seem odd to hear of clerical support; but, Sir, the legislation of the days of bondage and intolerance in Ireland has made the name of priest in the ears of the people synonymous with patriot—and in all the hard-earned victories which gave the Catholics personal and religious freedom, they have continued to be led by their priests, and, I doubt not, will so continue to be led. It is idle to talk of their adhesion to the Liberal candidate on the recent occasion as a conspiracy; for everyone who knows the county of Galway is aware that a conspiracy between the ruler of the archdiocese of Tuam and the rulers of the dioceses of Galway and Clonfert is simply impossible, and the Evidence itself tells us that during the whole contest no word and no line on the subject of the election passed between the Archbishop and the Bishops. I grant you there was the consentaneous but independent action of men who knew their own minds, and were leading on a willing flock, and were anxious that the policy of the present Prime Minister should continue to be supported in Galway. I do not for a moment justify, on the contrary I emphatically condemn, much that was said and done by some of Captain Nolan's supporters; but, Sir, the common experience of mankind tells us that fire, long pent up, burns with fierceness at last, and in considering the details of a heated election contest, you must not merely condemn, but, as impartial men, you must endeavour to understand the motives and the springs of actions of which you cannot approve. Now, this is precisely what the Judge has not done. He sees only one side of the picture, and bends every incident to his contorted view. I observe with pain that many of the leading journals say distinctly the grave, discreet language of the English Judge is not to be expected in Ireland; and whilst they 1789 praise—what no one can deny—the graphic drollery of the Report, which is as comic as a chapter in Don Quixote, they insult the frieze-coated voters who returned me to Parliament by declaring that such judicial language is good enough for them. Sir, I have heard it said of England that because she is a great country her education must be equal and free—the opportunities of the State and its honours open to all; but I say, also, that great as she is she cannot afford to have judicial harangues appearing in the daily papers, teeming, page after page, with comic jests, with scurrility, with the most disgusting flattery, with needless inuendoes and little sarcasms against inoffensive individuals, as the whim of the Judge or his personal prejudices prompt his tongue. It is not enough for Government to appoint a lawyer or a clever advocate to a judicial post. The country has a right to expect also unblemished character, prudence, patience, forbearance, reasonable gravity and impartiality, and, above all, that equity of mind of which Portia says, in The Merchant of Venice—Therefore Jew,Though justice be thy plea, consider this—That in the course of justice, none of usShould see salvation: we do pray for mercy;And that same prayer doth teach us all to renderThe deeds of mercy.Sir, we have waited patiently until the Report and all the Evidence was on the Table of the House. We have waited whilst the voters of Galway are raging at their disfranchisement, but much more at the language applied to them—"mindless, brainless, coward instruments." We have now got the Report, and fortunate would it be for this Judge's reputation if we had never seen it; fortunate for the decency of justice, and the memory of the Minister who made such a Judge; fortunate for the peace of Ireland, and for the fame of the British name. I do not enter upon that Evidence; I confine myself to the Judge's own language; and I say, upon the face of it, that a person using such language is not fit to hold Her Majesty's Commission of the Peace; for, by the malice of his tongue, he has murdered peace. The malice of the tongue is quick—it stirs up the passions of multitudes, it conveys civils strife and civil war. By the Press, in a day, the sarcasms of the Court-house set—aye, and were meant 1790 to set—men's minds in flame. That trimmed and corrected Judgment that we have before us, purged by the Judge's own hand of many a word of fulsome flattery, and many a word of bitter, wicked malice, gives but a shadowed picture of the reality. The Press itself holds the mirror up to nature—it reflects the gestures of the Judge, as well as tells his words; and it is for the protection of the public that it be recorded if his face kindled with unjust passion, if he leered with malice, if his tongue trembled with rage, and if he showed unworthy spleen. I accuse him of keenly reviling what so many hold sacred—of recklessly pandering to party passions, making no scruple to display his own; and that, by colour and by virtue of Her Majesty's Commission, to inquire and report upon interests belonging to this House, and to this House alone, as Representatives of the people. I accuse him, moreover, of absolute dishonesty in the trimming of his Judgment, so as to make it less offensive, notwithstanding we were told that he had only corrected typical errors. I will take some instances collected from the shorthand writers' manuscript deposited in the House. The Press tells us—"Here Judge Keogh mimicked Father Conway's mode of expression, creating laughter in the grand jury gallery." The point was the erection of a platform. We find, indeed, the "high stilted tones;" the words used were—"an abominable air of affectation"—in which the poor priest said it was erected in his own demesne; but we miss the comic imitation of the performer on the Bench, although we can read his comments.Some few scrubby acres" ["scrubby" scratched out] "that some landlord has been wise enough to give him to stop the clapper of his tongue, which must be infinitely more offensive than that lugubrious whistle which disturbed my rest for six weeks after I came into this town of Galway," "or the clapper of any wheel that was ever heard in the world." [Omitted.]Father Conway has gone to his account. He died of fever caught in the discharge of his duties to a poor parishioner a few days after these cruel words were said—his sensitive nature not unaffected by the insults safely addressed to him from the Judicial Bench, to which he could make no reply. He was no friend of mine, but a strong political opponent. Justice compels me, however, to say, that impulsive as he might be, his im- 1791 pulses were always on the side of the lowly and the oppressed, and he died as he had lived, enshrined in the affections of his people. For another irritating sarcasm on a priest, at page 10, we read—"The Reverend Mr. Deely," the words—"the old name of Daly, he has Anglicized it into Deely," judiciously struck out. Then, speaking of Mr. Sebastian Nolan, the words—"that inimitable stage manager," are removed, and at page 11 we find that this gentleman was reported to have said that as Dr. Duggan had been appointed Bishop of Clonfert they had now all the Bishops; and this is the Judge's commentary—be it remembered those Bishops sitting by and hearing him—Let the castles do what they like, let the rooks caw [that is, the priests], let the knights ride in and out of armour, we have got the Bishops.And then, further on—I spoke of castles, I spoke of rooks, I spoke of knights, I spoke of Bishops, why would I leave out the people as pawns." [Roars of laughter.]Of all this elegant buffoonery, the only words left in the Report are—"Let the castles do what they will, we have got the Bishops." I could multiply such instances; but not to take up time I will give one or two specimens of alterations designed to make the Judge less disgusting in his adulation and flattery. Lord Westmeath, whose high character requires no certificate from the Judge, is spoken of—bear in mind he had been sitting by the Judge during the trial—as "Earl of Westmeath not by virtue of any modern—trumpery—creation;" but "trumpery" is struck out, because, I suppose, Mr. Justice Keogh reflected that when his Judgment was laid on the Table of the aristocratic House over the way—as it has been laid—those comparisons might be considered odious to some of our brand-new Peers; and perhaps he thought that a fling by a Puisne Judge against his Lord Chancellor might not go down with an English audience. Then of Sir Thomas Burke, here is a burst of eloquence carefully toned down by the judicious pruning knife of the Judge—I recollect Sir Thomas Burke in Parliament and out of Parliament, and I must say of him, whether he voted in a party division or did not, whether he went over or staid more wisely away, whether he hated the Tories or did not, he was one of the most popular men that ever walked within the walls of Parliament."—[Page 13.]1792 Then the Judge, in further ridicule of the priests, wishes they would call themselves curés and abbés, instead of putting all those alphabetical honours after their names; and he has a hit at the plebeian burgesses of Galway, judiciously left out in the Report.I declare I see sometimes in the papers a town councillor with as many letters as would make three alphabets after his name.Then there is Mr. Joseph Kelly, at page 21. "Beyond a doubt," says the Judge, "a gentleman of the mildest manners." And then the following inimitable specimen of bathos is struck out:—Like his brother, the most accomplished, educated mathematician of his day, in Trinity College, who is not only beloved at the Bar, as gentle as a girl of twelve years of age, but is an accomplished lawyer, and a most admirable Judge.Sir Arthur Guinness is said to have borne his unseating at Dublin like a gentleman of high spirit; and as a special recommendation to the sporting county of Galway, the Judge says—"He never turned a hair upon the subject." [Omitted as not quite refined enough.] Then, the contumelious expression applied to the Bishops and priests—"ecclesiastical corporation"—is judicially and judiciously altered to "clergy."—[page 29]. Then there is a clergyman, the Rev. Mr. McGovern, of Ballygar—"the very name makes me and you shake," says the jocular Judge—taking his audience into counsel with him. [Omitted.] Then, at page 49, the late Duke of Newcastle is mentioned, under his earlier title of Lord Lincoln; and the Representative of Her Majesty on the Bench, dutifully remembering that it was that chivalrous Duke who defended him in the famous debate in the House of Lords, when public propriety was shocked at the elevation of Mr. William Keogh to office, he says—"I enjoyed his friendship—I may say his patronage." The Judge should have lived a century ago, when no doubt he would have been an edifying spectacle in the ante-room of the great, looking out for the crumbs that might fall from the rich man's table. But this, too, is left out. And now one extract more and I have done with this disgusting mess of toadyism and spleen. At page 17, the Judge is reminded that the old Catholic families of the county have been despoiled of lands— 1793I venture to say," says he, "that there is not one who has not lost large possessions—and I can speak feelingly, too, upon that matter—by reason of the fidelity of their ancestors to their faith.This passage, so naïvely brought in to explain the Judge's hereditary sympathy with persons of large estates, is also left out; and, for my part, I can only devoutly wish his estates had been spared, and he had remained a squire, and had never become a Judge. Sir, I am entitled to say that it was not by this cooked Report, but by the public Press report, that Ireland was excited; and we are bound to consider what was the whole demeanour of the Judge: whether the language used befits the Bench, the man who used it, and the country; and if not, we are bound, methinks, to have some regard to the dignity of the Crown. And against whom were those sarcasms hurled? Against the ministers of the people's religion. In Ireland the priest is regarded by his people with a reverence we have not for the clergy in England. Here, if a minister is vain and capricious—if he has failings or even vices—his sermons are affected by the character of the man, and pass by as the idle wind we regard not. Not so with the priest. His ordinary address is "Your reverence," because of the character of his mission. His people excuse his shortcomings for that; for it is impossible for a man to be attentive to his religious duties, to confess his sins and receive absolution, to come to the altar to receive the sacrament, and then to revile his priest. He knows his faults very well—he regrets and pities him, perhaps prays for him—but the respectable Catholic cannot flout and mock the consecrated minister of his religion. The frailties of the priest are treated as Shem and Japhet did the dishonouring drunkenness of their father—with averted faces they cloak the shame. They call him Father, as acting in their view as the Father of all. Sir, I honour these sentiments, though I do not share them; and it appears to me that a Roman Catholic Judge, who flings round his shafts on every side against his Bishops and priests, is on that very account not the man to distribute justice among them. That calm reproof, that painful struggle under the weight of evidence to blame impartially, visible to men's eyes, and felt the more because it costs the Judge so much, is not to be expected from him. Na- 1794 turally enough the harshness of his tone, the vivacity of his voice and action, the withering vituperation has been taken universally amongst the peasants as an onslaught on religion itself. Yes, Mr. Speaker, I charge Judge Keogh with deliberately outraging the religious feelings of a religious people; and there is no one passage in his harangue which has given so much offence, and occasioned so much consternation, as his sneers at the efficacy of prayer. Go amongst the peasantry of Ireland, and your greeting, from the bottom of their hearts is, "God save you;" visit them in their sickness and sorrow, when their crops have failed and hard hunger knocks at their door, and their commentary is, "God is good." Do them a service, and the highest reward they can promise you—not in meaningless words, but out of the sincerity of their religious nature—as I have heard a thousand times, is, "We will pray for you;" for this people of the West pray not with their lips only—they believe in prayer, they believe that they have a Friend in Heaven who will at last redress their wrongs and vindicate Himself to them; and yet, Sir, before such a people, Judge Keogh, from the judgment-seat, and clothed in the official ermine, retails a stale and ribald jest, and fathers it withal on a priest, to show that it is no use their praying for rain unless the wind changes. It is almost incredible. When he calls a Galway priest—"this insane disgrace to the Roman Catholic religion," I cannot help asking what religion he owns himself, and whether he disgraces it or not, and whether he is sane? I am not surprised at his dislike of the word renegade. It is a common term for a traitor—political or religious; and I think there are those who remember his Athlone and Limerick speeches—"the long nights and the short days"—who may feel inclined to think that his violence may be traced back to some association with the term applied at home. The Judge seems to me to require retirement and repose—his temperament demands it. He has had, he says, of public life and of judicial life, satis superque, and I would take him at his word. He is always boasting of his purity and his courage.The higher the person who used this undue influence," he says, "the more fearlessly he ought to be dealt with. I care not whether he be curate, 1795 parish priest, administrator, Bishop, or Archbishop: I cannot go higher than that in this country.He does not stop short of the Pope. It strikes me that it was not necessary to beard the Pope himself, and to shock his fellow-believers, by dragging down the infallible Head of their Church to the level of the curate examined before him. He shows such a deplorable incapacity to discern the relations of things—such an irritating capacity for self-glorification and depreciation of others—such an entire absence of a well-balanced, judicial mind—that if, in fact, he were mad, he would not be more unfit to propound justice to a Catholic population. In Greek, in Latin, in English, and, doubtless, in what he describes as trans-Shannonite gibberish, Mr. Justice Keogh must be allowed to be a master of voluble abuse. He tells one gentleman not to trouble himself about the whole mass of filth raked against him by that parish priest—[page 17]. He speaks of citizen priests, four or five by name, as the whole nomenclature of the most extraordinary presentation of the Christian character that has ever appeared—[page 18]. He tells his humble co-religionists that he firmly believed they all thought a French general was one of the canonized saints of the Church. He has no doubt in the world about it—[page 23]. He ridicules the education of the Catholic colleges of St. Jarlath's and Maynooth, and takes a fling at the public schools—These are the gentlemen who say they ought to have all our education in their hands. These are the people who say that that there can be no education given properly unless it is handed over root and branch to the gentlemen who keep 'musicianers' in the National Schools."—[Page 26.]Because a priest speaks of the common traditions of his country, he says—The amount of history that is to be found in that gentleman's head" [it is "skull" in the MSS.], "I will venture to say can be contained in the smallest pippin that was ever cracked after dinner."—[Page 30.]Sir, I will not pick out other passages that certainly do not much help the conclusion of this astounding Judgment. "To recur," as the Judge piously observes, "to the maxims of our Great Teacher, whose every word was a parable of love," the whole Report is before you, and the commentary of the Judge, on the religion of the Great Teacher, is 1796 to be found at page 31. The ministers of modern religions remind him of the priests of Cybele clapping their cymbals to drown the voice of their God. Sir, I stand abashed before the piety of the Bench. But in "those wild though beautiful wastes," where Providence has made me dwell, wherein I hoped for justice without distinction of class or creed—because justice is the inborn right of every man, I hear the surging of the sea, and the thunder that follows the flash, and I ask, why? Because I find justice, not so much denied as travestied, laughed at, and made the spur of the hot haste of national commotion. The Judge praises Cromwell, and he talks of trans-Shannonite gibberish. The term is, probably, not very intelligible to the House; but it is instinct with meaning and with malignity to the people of Connaught. Cromwell, who destroyed their churches, murdered their priests, and slaughtered hecatombs of their countrymen, sparing neither age nor sex, on the 26th September, 1653, assigned Connaught as the habitation of the Irish nation, whether they must transplant with their wives, and daughters, and children, before the 1st May following, under the penalty of death if found on this side of the Shannon after that day. Driven into exile across the broad river, after 200 years, the righteous Judge again assails the children of the Irish nation with speaking trans-Shannonite gibberish. Sir, a lunatic in a powder magazine, with a red-hot poker in his hand, would be as safe a guide as such a Judge. I will trace this malignity but one step further. The three Bishops reported in the Judgment have petitioned to be prosecuted. One of them, more fortunate than his brethren, is to have an opportunity of proving his innocence before a jury. The Petition of Bishops, and their committal, was once the signal which cost the son of that King whom Cromwell murdered, his Crown, caused a century of rebellion, and gave Ireland the blessing of Protestant ascendancy. Judge Keogh names, in connection with Bishops, whom the people revere, "seven years of penal servitude;" thereby, so far as in him lay, suggesting to an excitable people the spectacle of their Bishops, taken handcuffed to the malefactors' prison, headed by that venerable man now more than 80 years of age, whose name, 1797 for a half-century, has been a household word wherever Irishmen are found. Dr. MacHale has been known for the unflinching constancy with which he has maintained his opinions, and through good report and through ill report has stood behind what he thought the rights of his countrymen and of his beloved Fatherland. Henceforth he shall "pale his in effectual fire," and conclude his days a criminal, sentenced by that upright Judge. But, Sir, is there not a cause? Did not that same Archbishop once brand with infamy the violation of a self-imposed oath, and mark with shame the first step in the official ladder which enabled the heated politician of 1852 to don the judicial ermine; and does this House suppose the people of Ireland are not too stupid to appreciate the coincidence? Dr. Duggan, too, the Bishop of Clonfert, sneered at by this fastidious Judge, because he boldly said that he was "peasant born," and therefore sympathized the more with lowly men, he shall begin his episcopal career as the Archbishop possibly ends his—the subject of seven years' penal servitude. Be it so? Dr. Duggan is loved throughout the West, and known as the hardest working, single-minded parish priest, who in the famine time sold his all to keep his neighbours from starvation, and who so habitually shared everything he had with his flock, that when he was made a Bishop all Ireland hastened to raise that sum absolutely necessary for him; for his all was with the poor. If I were to pick out one man the type of a missionary priest, at once religious and energetic, I should name Dr. Duggan. But, Sir, I ask, by what law, human or Divine, by what code of honour or morality, does Judge Keogh sneer at this ecclesiastic, and then support his sneers in the Report he has submitted to this House? At page 11, he sarcastically refers to the Bishop preparing for the duties of his office—"No doubt, reluctantly and unwillingly." And a little further on he slily congratulates the people of Roscommon that some of them are under this Bishop—"My friends in Roscommon enjoy this advantage." These are the touches that have galled the people to the very quick, and these are the touches the Judge has deemed it prudent not to submit to a British Parliament. One name still remains—that of the Bishop of Galway— 1798 a ripe and elegant scholar; a voluminous ecclesiastical writer, of whom Judge Keogh is good enough to say that he is "an intellectual, educated, solemn, grave, and religious pastor," (page 18), and whom he has the incredible audacity and bad taste publicly to single out as the successor of the venerable Archbishop of Tuam, a few days before actually cross-examined for hours in that very Courthouse, and who, as the Judge says, "exhibited all his mental, as well as his physical faculties unimpaired"—[page 7]. Does the House clearly apprehend what that means? Imagine an English Judge in the course of a trial, in which both were examined, publicly giving it as his opinion that a particular Bishop would be fitly promoted to the See of Canterbury, if the old man, lately before him, should shortly die. Come from what quarter they may, it seems to me that in such observations the "force of impudence could no further go." Sir, you may invest a Judge with the authority of the Crown, you may clothe him in all the dignity of the judgment-seat; but there is no power on earth, nor does any exist in Heaven or beneath the earth, to make others respect a man who does not respect himself. Pause before you reject this Motion, or give it the go-by, by adopting such an Amendment as that of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. Pause, that you may think how worthless and mischievous is the Judge who scalds his hearers with the ebullitions of an unruly temper and a flattering tongue. You say that the great fault of Ireland is, that she has no respect for the law; be doubly careful, therefore, who you make administrators of the law. The Judge, I say—whether evidence establishes his charges or not—who cannot command his passions, and lets loose his tongue among a Roman Catholic population, to speak of their religion and their character as this man has done, is a recruiting sergeant to increase the number of your troops in Ireland. Augment your Army you may, stretch your coercion laws you can; but there is one thing you cannot do—refuse justice and maintain your Empire in peace. If such a Judge is permitted to roam about the country on the plea of judicial duties, dishonouring the delivery of the law, then must Englan think that Irishmen are dead indeed to 1799 shame, and that the God of Justice has veiled his face.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
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.)
§ MR. PIM
said, the passions excited on either side were so strong that they became a formidable obstacle in the way of anyone who preached moderation. He knew that, whatever might be the case in other matters, the middle course was neither the safest nor the easiest in political affairs; yet, on the present occasion, he felt bound to take it. He had no feeling of hostility towards Mr. Justice Keogh; he believed his decision in unseating Captain Nolan was a just one, and strictly in accordance with law. He had no idea of justifying the clerical dictation which had been condemned by the hon. Judge, and he reprobated as strongly as anyone could those senseless exhibitions of anger in the shape of effigy-burning which had been witnessed in several places in Ireland. Nevertheless, he felt bound to raise his voice against the language which Mr. Justice Keogh had used, as—Intemperate and 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.The language used had, in fact, seriously impaired the value of a just decision. The address was wonderfully discursive. In parts it was like the harangue at a debating society, or a lecture delivered to a Young Men's Association—as when he quoted Homer and Virgil for the enlightenment of the peasantry of Galway, or when he broke out into a panegyric on Cromwell or Milton, or treated his audience to four lines of Byron in explanation of the meaning of "Renegado." A panegyric on Cromwell was certainly a most extraordinary topic for a Galway audience. Cromwell was no doubt a great man—a true-born Englishman, and Englishmen might praise him. But to Irishmen his character presented a darker aspect. In Ireland, Cromwell was known as the author of the transplantation, as it was termed, under which 1800 the Irish Roman Catholics were driven to Connaught from their estates in Leinster and Munster, under the threat that, if they did not go to Connaught they might go to "another and a hotter place." His name was associated with the massacres of Drogheda and Wexford, and with the still more atrocious, though less generally known, transportation of young men and women—many of them belonging to Irish families of rank—to be made slaves in the West Indies (the proofs of this were to be found in the Correspondence of Secretary Thurloe with Henry Cromwell). And it was to men in whose breasts the traditional memory of these atrocities rankled that the learned Judge uttered his panegyric on their author. It was madness; it was like waving a red flag in the face of a bull; and whatever might have been its object, its effect must have been to excite the angry passions of his hearers, and to prejudice them against anything he might afterwards address to them. His praise, in other cases, was as fulsome as his censure was undiscriminating. His sarcasm was wholly unsuited for a Judge. Of one priest he spoke of "the offensive clapper of his tongue." Another he held up to scorn for his ignorance of the Queen's English. Another was described in the words—"Splendide Mendax! what an odious exhibition he made of himself upon that table!" One was compared to Thersites, and one to the Harpy Celæno; while another was spoken of as "this wretch," and his evidence as "the debauched evidence of this dreadful priest;" and the whole were characterized as a "rabble rout." He (Mr. Pim) would not inquire whether those opprobrious epithets were warranted by the evidence, because, whatever the evidence was—and he certainly had not read it—it could not justify such language. Such language was inconsistent with the dignity of his office; and it lowered the character of the Court and prejudiced the minds of his hearers. It was most unfortunate that the language used had taken possession of the public mind, and had drawn off the attention from the decision itself to the words in which that decision had been given. The utterances of a Judge in such a case ought to be strong and decided, but calm and dignified; and his condemnation of the guilty should be 1801 that of a man who felt sorrow in being obliged to condemn, rather than that of one who exulted over their misconduct. In these remarks he (Mr. Pim) was not defending clerical dictation, to which he was as strongly opposed as he was to the dictation of landlords or the dictation of the mob. And it was in the hope of getting rid of all these sources of undue influence that he had supported the Ballot. Under the circumstances of the Galway election, the judgment would have had a good effect if it had been expressed with moderation; but the violence of the language made the Roman Catholic clergy appear as martyrs in the eyes of their Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, and the result would be to give them a far greater influence at the next General Election than they would otherwise have possessed. Captain Nolan had also been made to appear as a martyr, and a large sum of money had been put into his pocket. The Amendment of which he (Mr. Pim) had given Notice was objected to by both parties. One said—"If you censure the Judge's language, you must, as a logical consequence, go on to remove him from the Bench;" the other said—"If you censure the Judge's language, it is impossible that he should continue on the Bench, and therefore it is better not to censure him at all." To the first objection he replied that it would outrage all sense of propriety to remove a Judge from the Bench merely for words used by him, however intemperate, when there was no evidence of any corrupt motive. To the second objection, he replied that truth was truth, and should not be concealed; that to withhold censure where censure was due, for fear of the consequences, was doing evil that good might come; and that more harm would result in Ireland from the refusal of the House of Commons to censure openly this intemperate language than from saying plainly in public what everybody admitted in private. He believed that no Judge had been unseated by Parliamentary action since the passing of the Act of Settlement. But a case occurred in 1834 which was to some extent a precedent. In that year Mr. O'Connell, then Member for Dublin, moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the conduct of Baron Smith, charging him with neglecting his duty as a Judge and introducing political topics into his Charge to the 1802 Grand Jury. As originally introduced, Mr. O'Connell's Motion was made with a view to the removal of Baron Smith from the Bench, and was so expressed. But, at the suggestion of the Government of the day—Earl Grey being then Prime Minister—Mr. O'Connell limited his Motion to one of inquiry. The Government supported the Motion so limited—Mr. Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby, and Lord John Russell speaking in its behalf, though the former said he should have voted against the Judge's removal from the Bench, and the latter said he did not think the charges, even if proved, would authorize an Address to the Crown for his removal. On the other hand, Sir Robert Peel opposed the Motion because, he said, to subject a Judge to such an inquiry would be to destroy his independence, and lower his dignity; and he maintained that there was no middle course between petitioning for Baron Smith's removal and leaving his conduct free from imputation. To this Lord Althorp—then the Leader of the House of Commons—replied, by asking—Would it not be a great evil, if a Judge were allowed to make any charge, or conduct himself in any manner that he pleased, short of taking a course that would justify an Address for his removal, and yet be liable to no censure?The Motion for a Committee was carried by a majority of 167 to 74, but on a second discussion this was rescinded—the Government being beaten by 161 to 155. He (Mr. Pim) did not pretend to claim this case as a precedent, so far as the House of Commons itself was concerned, for the Motion had been rejected, though only by a majority of 6; but he did claim it as a precedent as respects the Liberal party, who, if they voted as the Liberal party had done in 1834, must, he thought, support his motion. He would, therefore, in words similar to those used by Lord Althorp, ask the House—Whether it would not be a great evil, if a Judge were allowed to conduct himself in any manner that he pleased, and yet be liable to no censure unless his conduct was such as to justify an Address for his removal from the Bench? Mr. Justice Keogh had undoubtedly spoken unadvisedly and intemperately, whether the House would recognize it by a vote or not. Everybody in Ireland knew this, though there were some who, he regretted to say, approved of the 1803 Judge's language, and would have approved of it still more if it had been still more violent. If such intemperate language disqualified him, no vote of approval would place him in any better position for administering the law; while the determination not to see—the shutting of the eyes to the plain facts of the case—would greatly increase the distrust with which the House of Commons was regarded by a large portion of the people of Ireland. There was in the eyes of political partizans no greater political crime than that of taking a moderate view of any subject on which public feeling was much excited, and in Ireland especially the number of moderate men was very small. It was, therefore, no surprise to him to find that his Motion was strongly denounced by both parties. The Dublin Mail—the excitable exponent of high Protestant principles—had described his (Mr. Pim's) conduct as "ineffable meanness;" and The Freeman's Journal, the organ of the Liberal or Roman Catholic party, had characterized it as "offensive to the honest enthusiasm of the Catholic population," and "insolent dictation as to what should satisfy them." Both of these journals had implied that it would be useless for him on any future occasion to seek the suffrages of the electors of Dublin. Now, he esteemed the honour of a seat in that House as much as most men, and he thought he showed that he did so by his attention to its business; but he would not stoop to maintain the proud position he now occupied by pandering to the excited passions of the day from whichever side they might be pressed upon him. He had referred to the comments of the Press to show that the matter was looked upon in Ireland as a question of religion. The Freeman's Journal said that the Catholics "would not acknowledge his leadership"—and, certainly, he never had any idea of becoming a leader of the Roman Catholic party; he knew there were plenty of men in their own body who were well qualified to fill that position. On the other side, The Mail characterized the censure of Mr. Justice Keogh—by one who was not born a Catholic—as "ineffable meanness." Both looked upon it as a quarrel of the rival religions, and expected every Roman Catholic to take one side, and every Protestant the other. One party, for mere words spoken unadvisedly, pas- 1804 sionately, and, most unfortunately for his country, sought to degrade from his position a Judge against whom no corrupt motive was even suggested. The other exalted him as a hero, entitled to the highest place of honour, because he had clothed a judgment—which every other Judge on the Bench would have given—in words of personal invective which no other Judge would have used. He trusted the House would not give a triumph to either of these two extreme parties. It ought rather to endeavour to strengthen that small, but he hoped increasing party, which was not composed exclusively of either Roman Catholics or Protestants, but embraced those men of both religions, who tried to get rid of these wretched sectarian squabbles, and to look to the general good of all—who, having succeeded in doing away with Protestant ascendancy, were determined, as far as lay in their power, to prevent any other ascendancy from being established in its place; and who asked only for even-handed justice to assist in welding together the discordant elements of Irish national life. In conclusion, he would only say that it was painful to him to propose a Resolution which appeared like a personal attack. He had no personal feeling against Mr. Justice Keogh, but he had felt it to be his duty, in the position which he occupied, to express his opinions on the subject clearly and openly. The learned Judge must surely, on calm reflection, be well aware that he had spoken unadvisedly—that he had been guilty of a grave indiscretion. He (Mr. Pim) had felt bound, on public grounds, to enter his protest against his language; but he certainly did not want to drive him from the Bench. The House ought to recognize the facts as they stood, and express its disapproval of the language used by Mr. Justice Keogh; but further they ought not to go. Believing this, he begged to move the Amendment of which he had given Notice to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick.
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,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. P. J. SMYTH
I hope, Sir, without trespassing much on the patience of the House, and without entering into details of the evidence, to establish the proposition that Mr. Keogh went to Galway ostensibly as a Judge to try a Petition, but in reality as a conspirator against the rights and liberties of the people. On the 13th of March a Motion was made before him in the Court of Common Pleas, Dublin, for a bill of particulars in the matter of the Galway Petition. The almost invariable practice has been to grant such bill of particulars. Upon this occasion the application was refused. The application was founded on the affidavits of Mr. Higgins, a solicitor of eminence in the county, and Mr. M'Donnell, the most extensive merchant in the province. The affidavits of these gentlemen were encountered by those of the Marqness of Westmeath and Sir Thomas Burke. The evidence on both sides was documentary. Mr. Keogh, in delivering judgment, said—It would be ridiculous to waste time in saying to which he attached most importance.That is, to the affidavits of the solicitor and the merchant, or to those of the Peer and the Baronet. That occurred nearly three weeks before the trial, and thus early Mr. Keogh showed his hand—showed that the only evidence to which he was disposed to attach any importance was that of the nobility and gentry of Galway. On the 13th December the gentlemen of Galway (Peers and commoners) met in Loughrea. Not alone the frieze-coats and the shopkeepers, but the priests were excluded from the meeting. They declared that the right to nominate a candidate for the county belonged to them, and to them alone; and they did accordingly nominate the hon. and gallant Gentleman who, by grace of the Common Pleas, sits in this House as Member for Galway. When they took this step they knew that by force of landlord intimida- 1806 tion alone could their nominee hope to succeed, and that intimidation they then and there confederated and conspired to bring to bear upon the election. Sir Thomas Burke was chairman, and upon that very day, with the knowledge and sanction of the landlord-candidate, with the knowledge and sanction of Lord Clanricarde, and in presence of the noblemen and gentlemen who had attended the meeting, he distributed, broadcast with his own hand, the document known as the Loughrea manifesto. Two short passages will sufficiently indicate the character of this document—the production of the chairman, and circulated by him with the sanction and approval of the gentlemen—I now express my hope and confidence that none of my tenants will vote against my will for any candidate.Sic volo! Notwithstanding, the Land Act, the merits of which I fully recognize, there is still a numerous portion of the Irish tenants for whom obedience to the will of the landlord is a matter of life or death. Tenants in such a position could construe the words "I will" in one way only—as an imperative command. The document concludes thus—Recollect that, the election over, the only person you can expect any favour from is the landlord, or his agent.Do not these words imply a distinct threat? The Loughrea manifesto was not the individual act of Sir Thomas Burke—it was the act of the meeting through its chairman, and it was an act of undue influence. The Loughrea manifesto was no idle threat. Lord Clanricarde spoke at the meeting, pledged himself to support in the same way as the other noblemen and gentlemen the landlord-nominee, and became a party to the conspiracy. Before the election he canvassed with his agent for Captain Trench, and the election over, he took his noble revenge by adding 25 per cent to the rents of tenants who had voted for Nolan, and withdrawing his custom from the tradesmen of Portumna, who had the audacity to disregard his will. The rents at which the lands had been let is immaterial to this inquiry—it is sufficient to know that the rents were raised and the custom withdrawn in consequence of the votes. Was the conduct of Lord Clanricarde becoming a Peer of the realm and Lord Lieutenant of the county? If it were not, then condemn the Judge 1807 who, instead of censuring, applauds it, and in a spirit of ermined toadyism consoles the poor tenants of the mountain district and the tradesmen of Portumna by irrelevant and fulsome eulogies of the lineage of the Clanricardes. Mr. Lynch Staunton was not at the Loughrea meeting; but he was informed of the determination of the gentlemen, and he identified himself fully with the proceeding; and Mr. Lynch Staunton addressed a letter to his tenants [which the hon. Member read], in which he expressed his disappointment that his tenants had refused to oblige him, and spoke of the difference their conduct would produce when in future they required his assistance. I say that letter of Mr. Lynch Staunton is a threatening notice, an act of undue influence, and that the Judge who, instead of reporting him to this House, approves his conduct, stands condemned. The cases I have cited establish, I contend, my proposition that a combination, a conspiracy, was entered into at Loughrea to carry the election, if possible, by means of landlord intimidation. All the conclusions arrived at by that meeting Mr. Keogh adopted, all its utterances he approved of, and every act done in pursuance of its resolve, he applauded. Upon the landlords he bestows the slaver of his tongue, and reserves for the priests the venom of his tooth. I might go through this Judgment page by page and find in almost every sentence an outrage upon truth and decency. A majority of this House may, perhaps, retain this man upon the Bench, but no human power can cause him to be accepted as a Judge in Ireland. He quotes resolutions adopted at a meeting of priests of the deanery of Tuam, on the 27th September, Dr. MacHale in the chair; and similar resolutions adopted by the clergy of Kilmacduagh on the 6th November, and the clergy of Galway on the 16th. The resolutions will be found at pages 9 and 10 of the Judgment. He quotes them and then indignantly asks (page 13)—Well, what do the right rev. Prelates mean when they attribute the whole of this contest to the Loughrea resolutions, which, as I have said, were not passed until the 13th December, until, as I say, every avenue of the Constitution, had been closed by ecclesiastical resolutions?Are resolutions to be deemed unconstitutional because they are what he 1808 terms ecclesiastical—that is, adopted by ecclesiastics? The question for the House is—are the resolutions in themselves legal, constitutional, and proper? Read them—they are there. If they be, then the language of the Judge in reference to them is illegal, unconstitutional, and improper. But, oh! the Judge says, these resolutions were adopted previous to the Loughrea meeting. So they were, and were it not for that meeting, the action of the clergy would have been limited to the adoption of these simple resolutions. At that meeting the cry was raised of "No priestly dictation—no priestly interference;" and then the priests felt that it became for them a religious duty to maintain the position which, with the full sanction of the people, they have always held in Irish politics, and which they have always used in the interest of the peace and well-being of society. For their action in the Galway election they require no vindication at the hands of a Catholic Member. They did their duty, and the people will stand by them now. Prosecute—place Galway and Tuam in the dock, with their Brother of Clonfert, and, like the helmet of Navarre, the mitre of the West will be the oriflamme of the nation. At the present moment, Mr. Keogh, going under Her Majesty's Commission of Assize, is accompanied by soldiers, police, and a battalion of detectives. His progress contrasts strangely with that of another Judge going to administer justice 100 years ago. That was Sir Richard Aston, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. Some of the southern counties were convulsed by an outbreak of Whiteboyism, occasioned, according to the testimony of Edmund Burke, by the cruelty and oppression of the dominant faction, the Beresfords of that day—Fortunately, says Plowden, for the country, Sir Richard Aston, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, was sent down upon a special Commission, to try great numbers of these rioters; and so well satisfied with the impartiality of his conduct were the inhabitants of those parts, that, upon his return from Clonmel, where they were tried, he had the satisfaction of seeing the road lined on both sides with men, women, and children, thanking him for the unbiassed discharge of his duty, and supplicating Heaven to bless him, as their protector, guardian, and deliverer.He had actually sentenced several of the peasantry to death; but the people then, as now, reverencing above all 1809 things justice, felt that he had done his duty, and held the scales with impartial hand. Therefore they blessed him. If Mr. Keogh——
§ MR. SPEAKER
I am sure that it is through inadvertence that the hon. Member has more than once spoken of Mr. Justice Keogh as Mr. Keogh. I must call upon the hon. Member to speak of the Judge as Mr. Justice Keogh, out of respect, if not for the man, at all events for the office.
§ MR. P. J. SMYTH
believed "Mr. Justice" was the ordinary mode of referring to a Judge, and added that if the curses—["Order"]—or execrations of the people now pursued Mr. Justice Keogh, it was not because he was the embodiment of justice, but because he was the embodiment of judicial corruption and political profligacy.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Sir, I hope that no apology will be required from me for rising thus early to state, as briefly as possible, the course that the Government intend to take on the Motion and on the Amendment. In the few remarks I purpose addressing to the House, I shall endeavour to avoid using any expression that can wound the susceptibilities either of those who admire and respect the utterances of Mr. Justice Keogh, or of those who, like the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), think that those utterances are most strongly to be condemned. Because the course already takenn ot by the Government authority, but by a Member of it—a course approved by the Government as individuals, but a course taken by the Attorney General for Ireland entirely irrespective of the Executive Government, and on his own responsibility—seems to mark out for the Executive the duty of absolute impartiality on this occasion. The remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick oblige me to demonstrate to the House that the duty performed by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland is a duty cast upon him personally by the wisdom of Parliament, a duty from which he cannot shrink, and which he has no alternative but to discharge as he has discharged it. I regret that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick has repeated a doubt he expressed on a previous occasion, as to the duty cast by the statute upon the Attorney General 1810 for Ireland, for his legal reputation stands deservedly high; but a very few words will satisfy any lawyer, and I think any layman, that there is a judicial duty cast upon the Attorney General, and that he has no choice but to discharge it. The matter stands upon portions of the 26th and 27th and upon the 31st and 32nd of Vict. The former in its 9th section enacts as follows:—That where an Election Committee has reported to the House that persons named by them have been guilty of bribery or treating, and where it appears by the Report of any Commission of Inquiry into corrupt practices at any Election, and laid before Parliament, that certain persons named by them have been guilty of the offences of bribery and treating, and have not been furnished by them with certificates of indemnity, such Report and the evidence taken by the Committee shall be laid before the Attorney General, with the view of his instituting proceedings against such persons, if the evidence should, in his opinion, be sufficient to support a prosecution.By Chapter 125, Section 3, intimidation or undue influence is made a corrupt practice, and the 3rd section enacts that corrupt practices shall mean bribery, treating, or undue influence, or any of such offences as are recognized by Act of Parliament or the Common Law of Parliament. The 16th section enactsThat the Report of the Judge in respect of persons guilty of corrupt practices shall, for the purposes of the prosecution of such persons, in pursuance of Section 9 of the 26th of the Queen, have the same effect as the Report of an Election Commission, that certain persons have been guilty of bribery or treating.The purport of these combined sections is that the Report of a Judge under the new Act shall have the same effect in putting the Attorney General in motion as the Report of a Committee would have had—namely, that he should decide for himself whether there was or was not, ground for prosecuting the persons named. It is therefore due to the House, and due emphatically to my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland, and due also to the cause of justice, that there should be no question upon this subject; that it should be known that what has been done has been so done in the exercise of the judicial duty imposed by Act of Parliament, with which no one has to do, so far as responsibility is concerned, but the Attorney General, either of England or Ireland, or, in a Scotch case, the Lord Advocate of Scotland. And although it 1811 is perfectly true that as individuals the Government approve of what has been done, they could not, and they did not, interfere by counsel or suggestion, directly or indirectly, with that exercise of judgment, for which my right hon. and learned Friend, with characteristic generosity, has assumed the entire responsibility. That being the state of the case, what is it that the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick invites us to do to-night? He has admitted with perfect fairness—as might be expected from him, that the Motion which he now presents is but one of a series of Motions technically connected; that it is but a step to the result he desires to arrive at; that it is but one link in a chain, and that if we are committed to the first of these Motions, everyone who votes for it will of necessity be committed to the rest. [Mr. BUTT: No!] Why, there can be no meaning in going into Committee of the Whole House to inquire into the conduct of Mr. Justice Keogh, unless we are prepared in that Committee to come to the conclusion that Mr. Justice Keogh has been guilty of conduct which—if he has been guilty of it—I perfectly admit would justify the further step that we should address Her Majesty to remove him from the Judicial Bench, to which he would have ceased to be an ornament, and of which he would have become a disgrace. Therefore, in discussing this matter—at all events, on the 25th of July—we must look through technical forms to the sense and substance of the matter; and everybody who votes for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member will vote in fact for an Address to remove the learned Judge from the Bench of the Common Pleas of Ireland. No fair man can deny that that is the legitimate result of the Motion before the House; and that if argued at all, it must be argued on that understanding. Then, how with regard to the Amendment? As to that, I must say, with all respect for my hon. Friend the Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim), that the Amendment, in my opinion, is much worse. If Mr. Justice Keogh be guilty of what the hon. and learned Member for Limerick has imputed to him, then in a straightforward manner remove him; but do not do that which seems to be ten-fold worse—that is, censure without removing, humiliate without punishing, keep the 1812 salary of the Judge, and deprive him of all present weight and future respect. Yet, that is the effect of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dublin. And whatever may be said—and I trust I shall be able to show that very little can be said—for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick, in my opinion, nothing whatever can be said in favour of the Amendment with which the hon. Member for Dublin has endeavoured to replace it. These are the two courses presented respectively by the Motion and the Amendment; and to neither of these courses can the Executive Government of this country consent to be a party, for reasons which I will, as shortly and as clearly as I can, explain to the House. The first answer that the Government present to the proposed courses is this—The Attorney General for Ireland has announced in his place that he has determined upon a course of prosecutions. He has stated that four-and-twenty persons are, in his judgment, sufficiently affected by the evidence laid before the Galway Election Judge to justify him, as Attorney General for Ireland, in putting those persons upon their trial for having been guilty of undue influence at the late election. Now, Sir, to the conclusion of my right hon. and learned Friend I was a party. He has taken the responsibility upon himself—in truth, merely taking upon himself, like a man, what the law has cast upon him; but whatever small responsibility—and it is very small—may belong to anyone who has concurred heartily in the Judgment, I, for one, am prepared to undertake. And having undertaken that responsibility, and being of that opinion, I think the House will see that there are reasons why I, at least, and why all who concur with me in that opinion, cannot but say "No!" to any of the propositions put before us to-night. And, further, the Government of the country as individuals, although they as individuals could not affect the judgment of the Attorney General—and it would have been wrong for them to suggest to him what conclusion he should come to—and although this conclusion is not a political, but a judicial conclusion, yet they assent to it and approve of it, and therefore I think I shall be able to show very good reasons why they also can be no party to either of the Motions put before the House. What is it that 1813 the assent of the Government implies? It implies that, in the discharge of the duty cast by the Legislature upon the Judge who has performed it, and on whose Report the action of the Attorney General has been taken, acts deserving of censure have been committed by the Judge. I will not embark the House in any long legal discussion, but it is essential to a right understanding of the case that the House should see what it is which the law has cast upon the Judge, what duty it is that the Judge has discharged, and what duty it is that the Government has assented to, and what conclusions it has adopted. The House knows very well that the 31 & 32 Vict., a statute passed when right hon. Gentlemen opposite were in office, transferred the jurisdiction upon the subject of Election Petitions from Committees of this House to the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law at Westminster and Dublin, and the Courts of Session in Scotland. By the 11th section of that Act Election Petition inquiries are to be conducted by the Puisne Judges of the Superior Courts of Common Law, and by the 13th and 14th sub-sections of that section, this is what the learned Judge has to report to the House, and upon this the action of the Attorney General in substance is to be taken—At the conclusion of the trial the Judge who tried the Petition shall determine whether the Member whose return or election is complained of is returned or elected, or whether any and what other person has been duly returned and elected, or whether the election is void; and shall forthwith certify in writing such determination to the Speaker, and upon such certificate being given, such determination shall be final to all intents and purposes.The 14th sub-section enacts—Where any charge is made in an Election Petition of any corrupt practices"—and corrupt practices now include intimidation and undue influence—"having been committed at the election to which the Petition refers, the Judge shall, in addition to such certificate, at the same time report in writing to the Speaker as follows:—Whether any corrupt practice has or has not been proved to have been committed with the knowledge or consent of any candidate at such election, and the nature of such corrupt practice; secondly, the names of all persons, if any, who have been proved at the trial to have been guilty of any corrupt practice.The law, therefore, has cast upon the Judge the duty of reporting to the House of Commons, through the Speaker, the names of any persons whom he finds on the trial to have been guilty of intimi- 1814 dation or undue influence; and, as I have already mentioned, the 16th section enacts that the Report of the Judge in respect of persons guilty of corrupt practices shall for the purpose of prosecution be laid before the Attorney General. That is the state of the law; that is what the Judge has done; and that it is which we are called upon to review. Now, Sir, what have we done? We have in large and substantial measure assented to the conclusion of the learned Judge. The hon. and learned Member was wrong in stating that the learned Judge only reported 20 persons. [Mr. BUTT: I said 36.] Yes, he reported 36 in the 1st Schedule, as having been guilty of undue influence; and he reported in the 2nd the names of 20 of the same number of persons as having been guilty of a peculiar form of undue influence—namely, denunciation at the altar. What is the substance of the Report, to which we must have assented? It has been reported to us that the priests have been guilty of conduct and practices which it is impossible to defend. I do not wish to enter into the question of motive or of provocation. They may have had the best motives and the strongest provocation. It is enough that we have assented to a certain extent to the Report of the learned Judge, after a careful perusal of the evidence. The conclusion at which we have arrived is, that the priests have abused their sacred functions; and that they have so mingled up things secular and profane with their highest duties as to bring discredit on the religious communion to which they belong, and have even disgraced Christianity itself. Apart from all technical and legal formalities, that is the substance of the learned Judge's Report, and that is the substance to which, at all events, in substance, the Law Officers and the Government, as far as they have read the evidence, have assented. That being the case, it must be remembered that if the evidence before the learned Judge justified or warranted him in coming to such an opinion, it was his clear duty to report it. He has reported it, and I, who fill the office which I occupy, acting in unison with my Colleagues, have, with the most earnest desire for impartiality, and without any interest in the matter, concurred in the conclusion to which the learned Judge came, at least to the extent to which my 1815 right hon. and learned Friend has gone in the prosecutions which he has announced. If that be so—if that is the substance of what the learned Judge has reported, and if the Law Officers of the two countries and the Government assent to that, with what face and with what respect to our character could we accept either the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick, or the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dublin? It would be impossible. Now, let me point out what it is that the learned Judge has found. It was his duty not only to find the facts, but to pronounce upon the evidence submitted to him, which has likewise been laid before this House. Is the House, is any Member of the House prepared to differ from his finding on that evidence? It is true that the Court of Common Pleas had not the evidence before them, they had merely the statement of the learned Judge; but, having that, they were bound to take the statement of a member of their Court as true and conclusive upon the facts. We have therefore found that 23 or 24 persons are liable to prosecution, and to that extent we have assented to the verdict given by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland, and acting upon that decision, it will be our duty to bring them to trial. Who were the members of the Court of Common Pleas? I put out of sight Mr. Justice Keogh, the gentleman chiefly interested, because his conduct is the subject of inquiry, and the Chief Justice, who differed from him, for whom I have the highest respect. Then there are Mr. Justice Morris and Mr. Justice Lawson. The latter learned gentleman has not very long ago left this House, and I can appeal confidently to all who knew him whether his character, judgment, and general conduct did not commend themselves even to those who politically differed from him. Well, Mr. Justice Lawson assents to the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, and in what language does he describle the character and conduct of those persons against whom the prosecution is to be instituted? Mr. Justice Lawson says—In order to come to a sound conclusion on these points it is absolutely necessary to consider the character of the acts done by Captain Nolan and his agents. I say, emphatically, they were criminal acts. I am not at liberty, sitting here as a Judge, to gloss over those acts, and to say that they were the result of indiscreet zeal or mere 1816 breaches of decorum. I feel myself bound, even at the peril of giving offence, to designate them by their true name as crimes, and those engaged in them, whether lay or clerical, as criminals engaged in an unlawful combination.That is the language of Mr. Justice Lawson, dealing with facts which, at all events, as regards 24 persons, the Law Officers of the Crown believe to have been rightly found by the learned Judge. That being so, the hon. and learned Member for Limerick has not fairly described the issue between us, when he says that because the Law Officers have not seen their way to advising that prosecutions should be instituted against every one of the persons named in the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, therefore that Judgment is wrong. The reason for the difference is obvious. The point before the Law Officers and before Mr. Justice Keogh is perfectly different. My hon. and learned Friend knows well, no man better, that in the case of an Election Inquiry conducted by a Judge, the rules of the Common Law evidence are frequently, and for the purposes of an Election Inquiry, most properly overborne, and that a great many things are receivable in evidence before an Election Judge which are not receivable before a Criminal Judge and a criminal jury. My hon. and learned Friend knows that strong points against individuals may be extracted in cross-examination from themselves before an Election Judge, and that no evidence is stronger. Every man of common sense knows that though the evidence which a man gives against another may be suspected, that which he gives against himself cannot. Therefore, Mr. Justice Keogh, who had a number of these persons cross-examined before him, and whom he himself subjected to cross-examination, might very properly have come to the conclusion that A, B, and C should be reported as guilty to the House. But my hon. and learned Friend knows very well that by the express operation of the statute all evidence of that kind is excluded from the consideration of any other Court. Therefore, the question before my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland and myself was whether, apart from a great deal of the evidence which was before Mr. Justice Keogh, these persons could or could not properly be sent before a jury; and, 1817 therefore, the hon. and learned Member has overstated the case when he mentions the number of those who have been reported and those whom it has been found necessary to prosecute, and draws from that the conclusion that our judgment and the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh are irreconcilable. The plain fact is that there is no necessary contradiction between the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh and the action of the Government. But I am not contented to let the case rest there. Supposing, for the sake of argument, that the four Law Officers of the two countries had come to a different conclusion from that arrived at by the learned Judge, it does not necessarily follow that the Law Officers were right, and that Mr. Justice Keogh was wrong. But allow me to assume that Mr. Justice Keogh is wrong, and even then you cannot say that because the number of persons reported are not prosecuted, there is any feasible ground for this Motion. If the hon. and learned Member for Limerick could show that the Judge was corruptly and perversely wrong—that he had gone wrong without the shadow of a pretext—then he and his supporters would have something tangible to say for themselves. If he rests his case on that, then, indeed, he has something to say for himself; but the hon. and learned Member has not attempted to make that out.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
If he says he said so, I have no doubt of the fact, only I did not hear him. It is enough for my argument, however, that he did say so. I am far from saying that the statement is not worth what it is worth; but it would have been more conclusive to my mind, if the assertion had been proved by some examination of the evidence, and it had been shown that the evidence really bore out the conclusion at which my hon. and learned Friend has persuaded himself to arrive. I have pointed out where in substantial measure we have concurred with the learned Judge; but even where we do not concur with him, it does not follow that we differ. But supposing we have differed, it does not follow either that there is any cause for this Motion; because every day the best of men will 1818 arrive at totally different conclusions on matters of fact in controverted questions. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick, in fact, has quoted only a number of passages from the Judgment, and not from the evidence that produced that Judgment and has invited the judgment of the House on the gravest possible question that could arise—a question—namely, relating to the character and conduct of a learned Judge. I must observe that this is a somewhat new inquiry upon which the House is asked to embark, and I earnestly hope that what may be done directly will not be done indirectly. This is not a question whether the Court of Common Pleas came to a right decision. It is a very different one, though if that were the question, I will admit there would be a great deal to be said. But this House is not a Court of Appeal from the judgments of the Law Courts, and it has plenty to do without sitting in judgment on such appeals. Therefore, what the Government wish not to do directly, they will not do indirectly. The case which the hon. and learned Member has brought before the House is one of fault, of taste, of feeling, of temper rather than anything else. If this were a case in which I thought the faults of temper were such as to lay a fair ground for a Motion for the removal of the learned Judge, then I grant it would be necessary to go into it, and however repulsive the duty cast upon me I should discharge it to the best of my ability. But I have shown that substantially the Government agree in the conclusions at which the learned Judge has arrived, and therefore there is no case for the grave course of removing him from the Bench. If the House is with me on this point, I trust it will be with me on the further point—that the taste, the feeling, the temper of a Judge are not matters for the House to criticize. I protest against being dragged into an opinion about certain passages in a voluminous Judgment, which may or may not be open to the censure of the House. I am giving no opinion. I decline to give any opinion, favourable or unfavourable, on such a question, and I am glad to be relieved from it. ["Oh, oh!"] I repeat that it would be a most unpleasant duty, and I am thankful to be relieved from it. When, however, we have assented to the substantial conclusions involved, it is not 1819 for us to measure very accurately in the scales of judgment the language in which they were expressed. One man may have the power of expressing his views in more measured language than another, and when this can be done, whether in England or in Ireland, it is fortunate. But in every case of this kind fair and equal justice should be dealt out. A word only as to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dublin, which states that Mr. Justice Keogh has been betrayed into irrelevant topics and intemperate expressions, and has, therefore, lowered the dignity of the Bench. I confess to 25 years' experience of the English Bar, but though I have often heard "irrelevant topics" introduced, and "intemperate expressions" used, I have not heard that justice was brought into contempt. I may say that we are sometimes called upon to submit to undignified and egotistical displays, and to unmannerly interruptions; but we comply, knowing that justice is substantially incorrupt. We know that when a man becomes a Judge, he does not lay aside all the frailties of the flesh; but we know the high standard which such a man sets before himself, and we expect him to discharge his duties in the best manner he can. No doubt, many of us have to submit to things that we do not like; but we have the knowledge that justice is administered fairly and in-corruptly, whatever may be the faults of expression. In fact, it is matter of national glory that our administration is so incorrupt. It is impossible for the Government to lend their assent to the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Butt); and still less is it possible for us to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim), which would send forth the learned Judge branded by the censure of the House of Commons as a man unfit to discharge the gravest and most important duties which can be committed to human hands.
§ MR. JAMES
I am sure, Sir, there will be much concurrence in the feeling that all of those who take part in this debate impose a difficult and responsible task upon themselves. We are asked by the Motion before us to place in review the decision of a Judge; we are asked so to review that decision without any opportunity of observing the demeanor, manner, or hesitation of the witnesses before him; and we are invited, 1820 from the result of that review, to come to the conclusion that that Judge must have been so dishonest in his Judgment as to be not only deserving of censure, but also of degradation. I had expected that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick, who introduced the Motion with rare moderation, would have attempted to produce some precedent for the Resolution he has placed before us. But no such attempt has been made, for the good reason, as I believe that the precedent is not to be found. A Judge doubtless may be removed from his office for corruption; may be, even for violent partizanship or flagrant political bias; but who suggests that Mr. Justice Keogh is corrupt? It is admitted that in such respect he is without fault. A partizan? For whom, and for what? He was a Catholic condemning Catholics; a Liberal censuring Liberals. On what ground, then, does this charge proceed? Allusions have been made to-night to private character, and I am told that further reference will be made to the same subject. I cannot, and will not, attempt to deal with such topics. The good taste of this House will dispose of them. For more than 15 years Mr. Justice Keogh has sat upon the Bench. He has tried many Election Petitions; he has exercised those judicial functions un censured and unchallenged. When he unseated a Member for the City of Dublin, and by the effect of his judgment disfranchised the freemen of that City, the journals which now censure him praised him as a man eminently fitted to perform his judicial duties. When on the trial of the Galway Town Petition he decided that priestly intimidation had not been proved, and that the sitting Member had been duly elected, how loudly was it proclaimed—" What a wise Judge is this; with what judicial calmness he exercises his judicial functions!" Recollecting that those things have been, I must leave it to the good feeling of hon. Members, whether they deem it right when discussing this Motion, to refer to matters long past, and which can have no connection with the matter which is before us. For my own part, I shall discuss but one question, and that is, whether in the main the learned Judge was right or wrong in the Judgment which he gave? and to that question I make answer and say he was right. I charge the Roman Ca- 1821 tholic clergy of the county of Galway that they, with plot and plan, with premeditation and consideration, determined to usurp and seize upon the representation of that county, to the exclusion from the free exercise of the franchise of its electors; and that they, so determined, with the knowledge and full assurance that when they did so, and in the doing of it, they would contravene the common law, break through the express enactment of a statute, and set at defiance the rules and ordinances of their own Church. To support such a charge which ought not lightly to be made, I must ask permission of the House to refer to the evidence which was brought before the learned Judge. Previously to the election of February, 1871, Captain Nolan was a candidate in opposition to the present Member for Galway County (Mr. Mitchell Henry). At that time, the Archbishop of Tuam, representing the Roman Catholic clergy, interfered and issued his fiat, which was to determine the election. He bade Captain Nolan go. He bade the hon. Member stay. In a letter written by Captain Nolan upon his retirement, he said—At the request of his Grace the Archbishop of Tuam I have withdrawn from contesting the seat vacated by the resignation of Lord Burke. I return my most sincere thanks to all those friends who had promised me their support, and assure them that, up to the eve of the nomination day, every preparation had, on my part, been taken to render the contest a success; but, as a Catholic, I have considered it my duty to retire for the present, at the request of the great Prelate of the West. Knowing, from a personal canvass, that the principles contained in my address are those held by the vast bulk of the electors, I will, at the next opportunity, confidently seek your suffrages.At the bidding of the Archbishop, Captain Nolan thought it his duty to retire; by that retirement the hon. Member for Galway County avoided a contest and became the sitting Member. I regret so few Members should have had an opportunity of hearing the violent and abusive speech made by that hon. Gentleman to-night. He is an hon. Member who doubtless possesses many virtues—amongst them, gratitude certainly has been conspicuously shown this evening. If the Archbishop had bidden Captain Nolan to stay and the hon. Member to go the House would not have heard a speech in laudation of the infallibility of the Church of Rome—in praise of the 1822 moderate conduct of the priesthood—nor charges of base and dishonest conduct made against Mr. Justice Keogh. Who can doubt but that the hon. Member is indebted to the Archbishop of Tuam for his seat as much as Captain Nolan owes to him his failure then to obtain it? But Captain Nolan did not go empty away. He carried with him a solemn covenant, a promise from the Archbishop to support him at the next election. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick has complained of Mr. Justice Keogh having said that such a covenant existed; but if reference be made to page 731 of the evidence, it will be found that Captain Nolan says in cross-examination that, he retired upon what he called a promise and his Grace called a covenant; and the witness in substance says—"He promised me his support on those terms, that I should submit myself to the award of certain gentlemen, and that I should make restitution for a wrong, which he said, I had done years ago to a tenant who occupied under me." If Captain Nolan be, as doubtless he is, a man of honour and independence, this was a bitter price to pay, and a bitter bargain to make with the Archbishop; but not only was the bargain made, but to some extent, by Captain Nolan, performed. He entered into a submission to arbitration, and then followed the award—now almost historic—the Port-a-Carron Award, by which Captain Nolan was ordered to dispossess tenants who had held for years under him and had done no wrong. In the month of July of last year it became known that Mr. Gregory was about to resign his seat. The Archbishop of Tuam had now to perform his part of the contract and fulfil his promise to Captain Nolan. No one can say he has failed so to do. He was an elector of that county, and therefore the hon. and gallant Gentleman who is now Member for Galway applied to him by letter for his support. With scant courtesy, the Archbishop, instead of addressing him personally, referred him for a reply to the columns of The Freeman's Journal, where, on the 26th of July, appeared a letter from the Archbishop, attacking the family of the hon. and gallant Member, praising Captain Nolan for having submitted to the award, and announcing that that gentleman was the candidate of the Archbishop of Tuam. Of course, that had to be scattered broadcast through- 1823 out the country; it was circulated in the proportion of one and a-half copies to every elector, and every priest was informed of Captain Nolan having become the chosen candidate of the Archbishop—"the great Prelate of the West." Personally, I have no right to object to clergymen of any Church taking part in election contests. They are citizens and electors. To what extent they, as ministers of the gospel, should enter into the heat and turmoil of such struggles is a question which each one of them must determine for himself. But I do complain, that men who are not electors should hold private meetings, from which the public are excluded, and at such meetings they, acting as clergymen and not as citizens, should combine to dictate to men who are electors how their votes should be given—and this is what the Galway priesthood did. The hon. and learned Member for Limerick has made much play out of the fact that the Judge had divided the county into geographical divisions in dealing with the question before him. It must, however, be remembered that it was the clerical supporters of Captain Nolan, who, for electioneering purposes, so divided the county. In the first place, there was that part of the country which was embraced within the Archbishopric of Tuam, and over which the Archbishop himself presided; then there was the diocese of Clonfert, which was vacant until the appointment of Dr. Duggan; and, lastly, the united dioceses over which Dr. Mc Evilly was the chief. The Archbishop having answered for his own diocese, it became necessary to appeal to the Bishop of Galway, who thereupon gave his promise to support Captain Nolan. At a meeting of the clergy held in the diocese of Galway on the 6th of November, presided over by the Archbishop, violent resolutions were passed which represented Captain Nolan as the candidate of the priests. On the same day Mr. Sebastian Nolan suggested that an aggregate meeting of the clergy should be held, and that suggestion having been adopted by the Archbishop of Tuam, a preliminary meeting was held shortly after, and that was followed by the aggregate meeting of the clergy of all the dioceses in Galway on the 19th of December. Now, it has often been alleged that the action of the priests was entirely to repel the attacks 1824 of the landlords upon the independence of the voters. But let the House mark the above dates. All that I have referred to had been effected, except the meeting of the 19th, which had been agreed to and the day fixed, before the landlords had taken any steps whatever in the contest. They met for the first time at Loughrea on December the 13th, and we now know from Mr. Sebastian Nolan and others what had been done before that date. Mr. Sebastian Nolan was admittedly the managing agent for his brother, and the witnesses for the Petitioners spoke to many acts and sayings of his—remark that the counsel for the unseated Member challenged those witnesses to be careful, as Mr. Sebastian Nolan was present, and would be called to contradict them. They, however, persevered in their statements, and Mr. Nolan never made his appearance in the witness box. It is an usual assumption that when a witness can be produced to deny allegations made against him and he declines to contradict them, that such statements must be looked upon as true; and I ask the House so to regard them. Now, Mr. Peter Blake, a magistrate living in the county, had in his evidence thus described what Mr. Sebastian Nolan stated respecting the state of the county—What did he say about the arrangements which his brother had made?—He told me that his brother and himself, I think, had the arrangements nearly complete for the county.Did he say anything as to the arrangements which they had made?—Yes, that they had two of the best agents in every parish all over the county, the parish priest and the curate.Did he refer to any Bishop?—Yes, and the Bishops, and as they had all the Bishops now that Dr. Duggan was appointed Bishop of a district, they were not very—He had been nominated?—He was just appointed?Did he say anything as to how the priests would operate with reference to the people?—He did; he told me that the Bishops or the priests would speak a few Sundays before the election to their flocks, and that he was sure he should have a thousand majority, and that they would all vote whatever way the priests told them; something in that way.Did he speak of any other influences of a rougher character even than the priests—the mob?—He told me something about having the mobs here and there, and that it would be very hard to go against all that.Did he speak of any agitators that were to be imported from the street?—I asked him, I think, who would propose his brother, and I think he said Dr. Mac Hale; and then he said he would have Mr. Butt and Sir John Gray, and Sullivan, 1825 and so on, to speak, and I advised him not to have all those fellows. I thought that it would do more harm than good. He asked me, I think, whom I was going to vote for, and I told him D'Arcy; that I had promised Mr. D'Arcy.I must also refer to another conversation. I do not stay to discuss the taste of gentlemen who make public private conversations; but the evidence was brought before the Judge, who was bound to receive it, and, if he believed it to be true, to act upon it. Mr. Joseph Kelly, speaking of certain observations made by Mr. Sebastian Nolan, replied thus to the questions put to him—State them as fully as you can?—He was talking of the chances of his brother's election. I put them as very small indeed, and he was rating the support which he was likely to have; among others, he mentioned all the Catholic clergy and Bishops. I was differing with him, and told him that I did not think that he had all the Catholic clergy, and that I knew some who had told me that they would not support him, and that one clergyman had stated that nothing on earth would induce him to vote for him.Who was that?—The Rev. Mr. Quin, the parish priest of Rusmuck. He then said that his brother was not to be beaten, or that Father Lavelle was not to be beaten; those were the words which he made use of; that men from Westmeath and Tipperary would come into the county and call at the voters' houses, and that there would be such a panic in the country that the landlords would be afraid to go outside their places. I do not purport to say exactly the words which he used.Are you clear that he said that the Westmeath and Tipperary men would go to the voters' houses?—Perfectly clear.So that the landlords would be what?—That the landlords would be frightened and intimidated by it, and would be afraid of leaving their domains, or something to that effect.This conversation occurred about the 2nd or 3rd of October. Such was the statement of Mr. Sebastian Nolan in regard to this matter, and in that statement Captain Nolan himself appears to agree. When his counsel sought to suggest that the priests had been roused into action in consequence of the landlords' meeting at Loughrea on December 19th, he seems to decline to accept the suggestion so made, for he gives the following evidence:—Say, up to the 20th of November?—On the 20th of November the priests of the county were generally with me, but there were several exceptions.Did you hear it from themselves?—From themselves; there was Father Monahan, Father Hadkin, and Father M'Gough; there were four in the Kilmacduagh diocese, and I think there were at least 12 priests in the county who were not for me; and Father Flanagan, who was for 1826 Mr. D'Arcy, distinctly stated that he would support me as against Captain Trench.After the meeting of the gentry at Loughrea, did you find that the priests became more friendly?—I never fixed the date so much from the Loughrea meeting; it was partly the Loughrea meeting and partly Mr. D'Arcy's retirement, and they were so involved; they did not make up their minds at the time, as a rule. Mr. D'Arcy practically began to retire a fortnight after the meeting, but he did not retire formally till about the 14th or 15th of January. Some of the clergy went with me after the Loughrea meeting, while Father M'Gough did not promise to support me till the 28th of January, and then I did not hear directly from him, but I understood that he would be in our favour.Well, on December 19th the aggregate meeting of the clergy took place, and letters were read from the Archbishop of Tuam, and from the Bishops of Galway and Clonfert, all treating Captain Nolan as their candidate, and asking the electors to support him as such; and that he had consented to become such nominee is clear if reference be made to the letter written by the Archbishop in reply to the letter of Sir Thomas Burke. Now, this letter reminds me of the indignation that has been displayed to-night by the hon. and learned Member for Limerick, because Father Lavelle has been reported by the Judge. But what was the principal ground upon which that priest has been censured? It was, because at a public meeting which was held on the 1st of January he had stated that sooner than Captain Trench should be returned he would propose for election Peter Barrett, a man who had been tried for shooting at Captain Lambert; and that he had further used the expression in reference to Sir Thomas Burke, "that he had sounded his own death-knell." That expression was printed in many newspapers, and no attempt was made to correct it until Sir Thomas Burke wrote to the Archbishop to complain of such language being used, when at length it was stated by the Archbishop that "political" had been omitted from the report, and that Father Lavelle had referred to a political death-knell only. I feel, Sir, that I am standing in a very dangerous neighborhood to-night, and I am particularly anxious to say nothing that may annoy or irritate any of the hon. Members amongst whom I stand; but, admitting that the Galway electors are all their Representative states them to be—pure and noble, surely it is dangerous work for a man possessing Father 1827 Lavelle's influence first to attack and hold Sir Thomas Burke up to execration, and then immediately to talk of any sort of death-knell being sounded. I should have thought a minister who has to preach peace and good-will amongst men had better have avoided such language. Not less violent, however, is the tone that was assumed at the lay meetings, of which there were 13 held throughout the county, and at which the priests took the leading and most violent parts. The accounts of what took place at such meetings are to be found in the newspapers. It was agreed between the counsel at the trial that certain newspapers were to be received in evidence, and the reports contained in them to be regarded as correct. I would remark here, in reference to the argument of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick—that wherever my right hon. Friend the Attorney General for Ireland says that he does not see sufficient evidence to prosecute some of those who are reported that, therefore, Mr. Justice Keogh must have been wrong in scheduling them—that the learned Judge had before him a vast amount of evidence contained in these newspapers which has never been seen by the Attorney General, for by some accident I understand that they have never been placed before him. At all these meetings most violent language was employed. Take, by way of example, the resolution proposed by Father Massey at a meeting held on the 14th of January. It runs thus—And we mark for scorn to all time the recreant and renegade Catholics who in this contest vote with the bigots of Galway county.Upon the same day the Bishop of Clonfert was consecrated, and on the 17th a meeting of the clergy was held at which the following resolution was passed. It was sent out in the form of a circular, signed by the Rev. John Sellars, but framed and written by the Bishop of Clonfert himself:—Loughrea, January 18, 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. 1828 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 county.—I am, Rev. Sir, your obedient servant,JOHN SELLARS, C.A.What, then, did this contest degenerate into? It was not a struggle between different political parties, nor between men of different political opinions; neither were Catholics ranging themselves against Protestants. The merits of the candidates, too, formed no ingredient in that struggle; for who could be enthusiastic on behalf of a man who but a few months ago had been denounced as an evictor of tenants, and whose chief merit must have been found in his penitence? No; it was a contest purely and entirely to promote and support the political power of the united prelacy and priesthood against the laity—a power which all free men ought to denounce and attack. See, too, to what lengths this clergy would go in order to carry out their views. At page 514 in his evidence, Dr. Duggan admitted that he had himself preached to the people on the subject of the election in Ballisnasloe 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." A witness, describing what occurred on the occasion when this Bishop thus addressed his flock, said that he adverted to the Pope, and stated the position of his Holiness, in which he was interested, and that no person ought to be sent to Parliament unless he would advocate the cause of the Pope, and also—that anathema shall be hurled against any person who will not do as I recommend, or as my clergymen recommend.My hon. and learned Friend has said that that was the evidence given by a man who was dismissed. Yes, he was dismissed from his position in the Roman Catholic choir for the sole reason that he voted for Captain Trench. Having briefly pointed out to the House some of the leading occurrences at this election, let me endeavour to support what I have stated, that both the law of this country and the ordinances of the Roman Catholic 1829 Church were broken and violated by these acts of the clergy. I am happy to be able to spare the House any attempt upon my own part to state and explain what our law upon this subject of spiritual influence is. I prefer adopting the definition of it contained in a most able judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald when trying the Longford Election Petition. That learned Judge then said—The Catholic priest has, and he ought to have, great influence. His position, his sacred character, his superior education, and the identity of his interests with his flock, insure it to him; and that influence receives tenfold force from the conviction of his people that it is generally exercised for their benefit. In the proper exercise of that influence upon electors, the priest may counsel, advise, recommend, entreat, and point out the true 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, but he may not appeal to the fears or terrors, or superstitions of those he addresses. He must not hold out hopes of reward here or hereafter, and he must not use threat of temporal injury or of disadvantage, or of punishment hereafter. He must not, for instance, threaten to excommunicate or to withhold the sacraments, or to expose the party to any other religious disability, or denounce the voting for any particular candidate as a sin, or as an offence involving punishment here or hereafter. If he does so with a view to influence a voter, or to affect an election, the law considers him guilty of undue influence. As priestly influence is so great we must regard its exercise with extreme jealousy, and seek by the utmost vigilance to keep it within due and proper bounds.This is the judgment of a Roman Catholic Judge, and I think it will commend itself to the good opinion of every one. So much for the law Let me now show what was the view of the question taken by the Roman Catholic Prelates themselves Even from that very Bishop who said that the altar and pulpit were the right places from which to make appeals to his flock on political matters the words which I am about to quote were obtained. Dr. Duggan was compelled, during his subsequent examination, to refer to the 19th statute of the Synod of Thurles, of which he himself gave the following translation:—We recall to the mind of all the priests of the country the obligations by which they are bound to expound the mysteries of faith, sacraments, commandments of God, and others appertaining unto religion to the faithful on festival days, but whereas there is danger that those should be neglected if dissertations are given in the churches on foreign and profane business, we rigidly forbid that within the solemnities of the Mass (that 1830 covering a great many things) which would be plainly unbecoming, or indecent, or at all ill-judged, there be discourses (I take that to be the meaning of 'agatur' from the 'exponere'), or expositions on matters merely secular; as, for instance, on political elections or other matters of this kind, which might easily promote or excite differences between the pastor and the people, and excite great contention of spirits or minds which (that is the foregoing) however are not to be so interpreted as that there would not be exposition or discussion.Dr. M'Evilly also, in his evidence, stated—I think it right to say also that there is a strong prohibition against the introduction of men's names, or anything like personality in a church. I consider it to be one of the greatest crimes, and to be a thing that cannot be too severely punished, to introduce personalities, or to denounce persons in a church. The Synod of Thurles said that 'quâcunque causâ,' they would not allow anybody to be publicly denounced in a church, and I think it right to state publicly that if those gentlemen who complain of irreverence in the churches had come to mo, or made a report to me, or written to me on the subject, I would have taken the most summary steps to prevent its repetition.But could it be supposed that the Bishop of Galway was ignorant of what was occurring for three Sundays in nearly every chapel in his diocese, or that he had no knowledge of what had been done by the Bishop of Clonfert, and of the orders given by that Bishop to his clergy? The House will find from the evidence that Dr. Duggan had ordered those things to be done, and had himself set the example. There was a statement that on the 14th of January—a Sunday—Father Joyce, in Captain Nolan's parish chapel, said that it was with extreme regret he would enter into political subjects, but that on that occasion he was compelled to do so. Another Catholic clergyman also said the same thing—that he was compelled to enter into those questions. There were 150 priests, but, of course, a smaller number of chapels. There was the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining evidence from the flocks of priests who made those political appeals and indulged in altar denunciations. Proof, however, was given in respect to 38 priests; and 16 of them, whose conduct was the most flagrant, when challenged by name, by time, and by the place where they made those altar denunciations, never appeared in the Court-house to deny the statements against them; they remained silent, and allowed judgment to go by default. To prove how the definition of 1831 Mr. Justice Fitzgerald applies, let me show what occurred. Father Loftus declared that any man who would vote for Captain Trench would go down to the grave with the brand of Cain upon him and his children after him; and that any man who would not vote for Captain Nolan was an emissary of the Devil. Father Quin said that any man who voted for Captain Trench should be shunned as if he had small-pox or typhus fever. Another priest said that the finger of scorn should be pointed to any elector who voted for Captain Trench; that he should not be counted worthy of associating with his fellow-parishioners; that woe be to those persons in the parish who dared to give him their votes; that those who voted for Captain Trench would be helping the enemies of the Roman Catholics to keep their feet on their necks, and that Catholics who did that would be sacrificing their eternal salvation. Another said that any renegade Catholic who voted for Trench would be a disgrace to his Church, to God, and to his country, and would go to hell. He added that he would like to have the name of any man who voted for Trench, and that he would not say mass for him during his life. That was a threat of which any hon. Gentleman who was acquainted with Ireland would easily understand the full significance. His parishioners were told by another priest that they were bound to vote for Captain Nolan, and that if they had made promises to their landlords which involved an opposite course of conduct, they were bound to break those promises. Such were specimens of the altar denunciations which preceded the election, and they were conducted on a fixed plan. They lasted for three Sundays—January 21, January 28, and February the 4th, the Sunday immediately previous to the election. During these three Sundays these denunciations were continued, not spoken in the heat of the moment, but systematically repeated week after week. And not only did these altar denunciations continue, but other influences were brought to bear. The Bishop of Galway wrote a letter to Father Shannon on the 20th of January, in which he said—Perhaps it might be desirable that two or three priests, as you may arrange and select at your meeting, would accompany each parish priest or administrator in his parish wherever any doubt 1832 exists, in order to prove to those doubters that none of the clergy are apathetic.I now pass from the time when the denunciations to which I have referred were uttered, which the House will see were part of a scheme. There was a speech of one priest, in which, speaking of Captain Nolan, he said—"if he had not done so he would not be a nominee of Archbishop MacHale." Another asked the electors to vote for Nolan, who was supported by the priests of the four dioceses, with the illustrious Archbishop of Tuam in the van. A third priest spoke of "our Generalissimo, John, Archbishop of Tuam, the hon. of the fold of Judah the Israel of Ireland," adding the expression of a hope that they would not send down his gray hairs in sorrow to the grave. These, then, are the principal facts upon which the House will have to form its judgment. For myself, I have never given a vote hostile to Roman Catholic interests, nor have I the fear of Roman Catholic voters before me. I am sure that such of my constituents who profess that religion will judge me justly. It is the question of their political free action which is most involved. But approaching this question impartially; bringing to bear upon the subject such experience as I have had; having read every question and answer from beginning to end of the evidence, and recognizing the responsibility which falls upon everyone thus expressing an opinion; I say that if I had had to try the Galway Election Petition—if I had been in the position of Mr. Justice Keogh, I would have done as that man did. Strong opinions have been expressed that the learned Judge should have reported some landlords as having been guilty of intimidation. But the relative position of those landlords and tenants must be considered. Through the action of the priests the tenants had set their landlords at defiance; and when insulting letters were written and like language used, there were landlords, such as Mr. Staunton Lynch, who plainly wrote that if their tenants chose to occupy such a position they must for the future regard themselves as controlled by their contracts, and not appeal to the friendship of their landlord. Well, I admit that such letters had far better not have been written, and they certainly might be most severely criticized; but we in England must make allowance for the 1833 almost civil war raging between the priests and the landlords; and looking at the circumstances under which those letters were written, I am not prepared to say that any offence has been committed against the 5th section of the Corrupt Practices Act. I have said that I would have done as Mr. Justice Keogh did; but the language of his Judgment I am not prepared to adopt. It would have been far better if some of that language had not been employed. Allowance must, however, be made for the position in which Mr. Justice Keogh was placed. He was an Irishman speaking to Irishmen, striving to make them understand him. Even in England we meet sometimes with Irish Judges who, whilst they discharge their duties most uprightly, use at times a little more eloquence than is deemed necessary. But even taking all this language as it was uttered, much can be justified by the circumstances to which it was applied. Take an example. Especial reference has been made to the fact, that towards Father Loftus the Judge applied the term "a wretch of a priest," and] that he had termed another man "an obscene monster." Well, that priest standing on the altar-step—with holy vestment on—during the service, intersolemnia missarum, had referred by name to a lady—Mrs. Griffiths. She was a lady of much charity—of many good works. She had sustained a grievous loss, for, one after another, all her children had been taken from her. Speaking of her, this priest deemed it right to say that there was no Mr. Griffiths, only Mrs. Master Griffiths. Referring to her personal appearance, he said that she would wear certain garments only no tailor could make a pair large enough, and then sneered at the loss of children, saying what a pity it was she had no little son left to help her to canvass the voters. Let me tell the House that shortly—but a few months—before this Judgment was delivered, a deep and a lasting shadow had fallen upon this Judge's inmost home—it had lost its light—and if therefore you say that a Judge is to be above all human emotions—that his language is never to be other than coldly and calmly judicial—condemn Mr. Justice Keogh; but let your condemnation be in these words—"He was a man and had been a father." And this same priest stood by a man, one Barrett, and said— 1834 "well done, well done," whilst he, at a railway station, in the presence of women, used language so filthy and obscene that none could give it as evidence by word of mouth, and it had to be written down and now appears in the evidence before us. Turn to it, and say if this language of censure by the Judge has not been rightly used. And now I have little more to do than to express to the House my thanks for the extraordinary patience with which it has allowed me so unwarrantably to occupy its attention. My primary duty has not been to defend Mr. Justice Keogh, although I believe that never was a Judge more unjustly assailed. Graver considerations even than the censure of a Judge are involved in this Motion. It is a declaration on behalf of sacerdotal supremacy. And how is this Motion to be met? I turn to those Liberal Members who sit around me; from them the chief opposition should come. There are men here who can recollect the days when many a battle was fought—many a victory gained to the good old cry of "Civil and religious liberty." Those battles must again be joined—not now for the removal of disability—not now for the repeal of penal or prohibitory law—but in order to encounter a combination against the freedom which you won, against the liberty which you gained. So be it. Let this fresh struggle commence to-night; and with what weapon shall we arm ourselves? I have no faith in technical prosecutions—no confidence in the verdicts of Irish juries. No; it is to public opinion, freely expressed, that we must look for the repression of this great power. I know how weak are the words of an individual—but the voice of Parliament is strong; and that voice, speaking in no uncertain sound to-night, finding an echo in the breast of men of every class, of every creed, and of every party, will suffice this proud priesthood to tell and to teach that here, within this realm, no allegiance can be allowed save unto our Sovereign, and no obedience can be exacted except by the law.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said, the speech of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. James) had been, in substance, one of complaint that the Archbishop of Tuam and the Catholic clergy of Galway exercised a large and predominant influence on the election which came in question 1835 before Mr. Justice Keogh. Nobody disputed that fact; but who would venture to say that that was a matter which the law would consider an offence or which would come within the purview of the statute? It was a social misfortune in Ireland that circumstances had forced the clergy into a position of prominence on political occasions, and obliged them, in spite of themselves, to become leaders on a popular side. When did this clerical action begin? It began in the famous election of Clare. They all, no doubt, recollected the eloquent speech of Sheil, in which he boasted that every altar had been turned into a tribune to return O'Connell at the election for Clare, before emancipation was passed. That was an election which was said to justify the action of the clergy. ["No, no!"] Hon. Members who cried "No!" had never lived under the control of Penal Laws, and did not understand what was the situation of Ireland at that time. It was the great Liberal party which had deliberately fostered and encouraged that action, and for 40 years had cheerfully availed themselves of the clerical influence in political contests. That, he repeated, was a social misfortune in Ireland; but the landlords must bear their fair share of blame for this result. Why had the Irish landlords generally contrived to run counter to the wishes of the people, who had in their clergy their only advisers and leaders? In spite of the prohibition of the Church and the decrees of synods, the Irish priests found themselves the natural leaders of their flocks in political matters. Let it not, however, be for a moment supposed that he wished to justify altar denunciations. They were condemned by the Irish Church itself, and were not only indecorum, but they subjected the priests who offended to suspension. When his hon. and learned Friend excused the language used by Mr. Justice Keogh. On the ground of the natural warmth of his temperament, why did he withhold his excuse from the priests on the same ground? What was the substance of the expressions charged against these clergymen? The substance was this—that if any of their flock voted for Captain Nolan they would be doing wrong and periling their own souls. Upon that point he contended that Mr. Justice Keogh had strained and perverted the law in a manner that showed gross 1836 partizanship. To pronounce such language intimidation was, he thought, going beyond any judgment ever pronounced in a Court of Law. In regard to the giving of the seat to the present hon. Member for Galway, his hon. and learned Friend opposite had endeavoured to cast the responsibility upon the Court of Common Pleas generally. That, he contended, was a mistake; for the decision of the Court of Common Pleas was procured by the skilful manner in which Mr. Justice Keogh had stated the case for them. How could it possibly be suggested that the votes of nearly 3,000 persons had been thrown away? Such a conclusion involved the supposition that those 3,000 voters had knowledge of the agency of the priests, although many of the circumstances which were held to prove agency were not known until after the election. He could understand the position of the Government as enunciated by the Attorney General for Ireland—that they would pass no judgment upon the Report, but only put it in a train for decision; but the Attorney General for England had put it in a different form, and it was manifest that the Law Officers of the Crown differed upon the point—namely, they endorsed Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment to the extent of 20 of the cases reported on; but they expressly guarded themselves from being supposed to dissent from that Judgment even in the cases where they did not prosecute. [The ATTORNEY GENERAL dissented.] He (Mr. Matthews) understood the hon. and learned Gentleman to state that he agreed with Mr. Justice Keogh in the cases in which a prosecution was to take place, but that he did not express assent or dissent where prosecutions were not to take place. He (Mr. Matthews) must say he could see very little, if any difference between the two. But whatever it was, he must differ from the Attorney General for England, who had challenged the jurisdiction of the House to review the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, because the Report of the Judge was only substituted for the Report of an Election Committee, upon which the House had frequently to take action and pass judgment. As, however, he felt he was addressing the House in favour of an unpopular cause, he would not detain it farther than to say it seemed to him a very grave responsibility to allow the 1837 continuance in office of a learned Judge whose partizanship was exhibited by the language he used; and it was an equally grave and serious matter to send a Judge to administer justice in a country the majority of the Representatives of which would pass an adverse opinion upon him. It appeared to him that Judge Keogh had stirred up in Ireland the most unhappy kind of strife that could be stirred up there; that by taking the side of the landlords against the priests in the open and avowed—nay, he might say, in the shameless—way in which that learned Judge had done, he had stirred up that kind of strife which of all others was most to be deprecated in Ireland—that of the landlord against the tenant, of Protestant against Catholic. ["No!"] No! Why, what was happening in Ireland? Every day he was on circuit the learned Judge was being burned in effigy by the mob, as they were termed. [An hon. MEMBER: Backed by the priests.] Backed by the priests, if the hon. Member liked it; but there was no evidence of it. The grand jury, on the other hand, were passing congratulatory addresses, and everything was tending towards civil strife. It was in vain to talk of the offences of this Judgment as matters of taste and temper, and for the Attorney General for England to refer to occasional displays of temper on the English Bench. The cases were not parallel; for could they conceive an English Judge delivering such a furious and terrific tirade as that delivered by Mr. Justice Keogh, branching off on almost every irrelevant topic, and exhibiting contempt for that which was respected and considered holy by those he was addressing? A person who had exhibited such partizanship, and who had done all in his power to bring contempt on the administration of the law, and to make himself absolutely unfit to administer justice to that class of people whose feelings he had outraged, ought to be relieved from the discharge of his judicial duties, and for that reason he felt bound to support the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick.
§ MR. MUNSTER
said, the manner in which the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Mr. James) had been received clearly showed the feeling of the House upon the subject; but he (Mr. Munster) thought the 1838 hon. and learned Member had committed some of the very faults which he imputed to his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), in bringing forward this charge against Mr. Justice Keogh when he could not be present to answer it. Did not the hon. and learned Member for Taunton pass a most sweeping condemnation on the Archbishop of Tuam behind his back, when he had no opportunity of answering for himself? The hon. and learned Member, moreover, had followed that up by attempting to show that the priests had formed a general scheme of undue influence; but he had altogether failed to do so. The English Executive Government had refused to consider the language and manner of Mr. Justice Keogh, and of that he must strongly complain; for in the sweeping denunciations and attacks that he had made use of, Mr. Justice Keogh had usurped to himself other functions than those he properly possessed. He was a Judge of Election Petitions; but who sent him to Galway to settle the election question? Who constituted him an adviser with regard to the Ballot Bill? Who authorized him to say that the priests disregarded their duties? He called one priest an "insane disgrace to the Catholic Church," and of the same priest he said that the confessional would be used if the Ballot Bill became law. The Irish people looked to that House for justice to be done them in this matter; and he would remind the House that the Judge had stigmatized 3,000 of the electors as brainless and mindless, and they could have no redress except from this House. He therefore entreated hon. Members who were opposed to the Motion before the House—as he found the majority of them were—to bring to the consideration of the matter calm and deliberate argument, and not passionate declamation; for if hon. Members showed an unwillingness to listen to the arguments against them, it would be regarded in Ireland as another proof of English prejudice, and of the indifference towards Irish interests. In conclusion, he would apologize to the House for intruding himself upon their notice, and while thanking them for having listened so patiently to him, premised that he heartily joined in the loyalty to the Queen and the law of which the hon. and learned Member for Taunton had spoken; but if an Eng- 1839 lishman, he was also a Catholic. If there was the law of the land there was a higher law which sometimes might not be in accordance with it—namely, the law of God—and proud as he was of his loyalty to the Queen, he should not be truly loyal to her were he not, if there was any apparent conflict between the two laws, to prefer the law of God to that of his country.
§ MR. PLUNKET
said, he was sure the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House for the first time need have offered no apology for so doing. He (Mr. Plunket) should not have intruded himself into this debate had it not been for what fell from the hon. and learned Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Matthews), who endeavoured to impress upon the House that a strong feeling now prevailed in Ireland upon this subject, and that the feeling? had been aroused by Mr. Justice Keogh. What had really happened in Ireland since the Judgment was delivered? For his own part, he fully shared the concern expressed by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Butt) who so ably and judiciously introduced this question, as to what might be the result of the debate and division of this evening. Probably there never had been before the present occasion circumstances connected with any election which were so fraught with vital interest. Certainly, never before had any Judge carrying Her Majesty's Commission been made the target of a persecution so pitiless; and now that the House had the opportunity, he hoped it would pronounce its judgment on this part of the case as well as on the other, in no uncertain sound, and in a way that could not be mistaken; because if it were true, as was alleged, that this Judge had acted corruptly—if the passions of the people had been aroused by him almost to a state of frenzy—it was the duty of the House to accept the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend, and remove Judge Keogh from the judicial Bench without delay; but if, on the other hand, Judge Keogh had endeavoured—as he believed he had—to the best of his ability, to perform a most difficult, laborious, and most dangerous duty—if in the stronghold of undue influence he had grappled with and overthrown a powerful adversary—then it was the duty of the House to add to the firmness with which they vindicated his honour, to 1840 the zeal with which they repudiated and condemned the treatment he had received. Moreover, the House must remember that Judge Keogh was not only a Judge bearing Her Majesty's Commission. He was also their own deputy, and was sent as their ambassador to try this Election Petition at Galway. In that character he had been assailed, and in that character since his Judgment was delivered his mouth had been closed. If it were true that he had betrayed the trust and confidence of the House reposed in him—that he had tarnished their honour whilst he sacrificed his own—then let him not be spared. If, on the other hand, he had honestly and faithfully performed his duty, then the House ought to extend to him that vindication—long delayed—which he had a right to expect at their hands. But the debate had also given rise to another grave question—going deeper and spreading wider—the question whether the laws of the Queen and the independence of Her Majesty's Judges were or were not to be stronger in Ireland than the influence and the intimidation of the Catholic clergy there? He wished, however, to guard himself from mistakes on this subject. He had no wish at all to disparage the Catholic Church—it was far from his intention to say one disrespectful word of that Church. There were no doubt hundreds and thousands of Roman Catholic clergymen in Ireland, who utterly dissented from the course of conduct which had been pursued by some members of their Body. But what he had to say was this—if there had been scandal brought upon the Catholic Church, in consequence of Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment at Galway, it was not the fault of the Judge. He defied any hon. Member to lay his finger on any word which Judge Keogh had spoken disrespectful to the Roman Catholic Church, save when he spoke of those whose conduct it was his duty to condemn. Hon. Members had no doubt occasionally seen in the London newspapers short descriptions of what happened in Ireland; but what they had read there was not enough to account for the great excitement which now prevailed in the country. Petitions were showered upon the Table of the House, public meetings were held, violent speeches were made, until it was found necessary to send the Judge on his circuit 1841 preceded by a pilot engine, and protected by soldiers and police. ["No, no!"] That was, at least, the case in the early part of his circuit; perhaps he had since been fortunate enough to get into some happier clime. With regard to the question whether all this excitement was due, as alleged by his hon. and learned Friend, to the Judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Keogh, the House must now determine. He would not weary the House by going through all the sickening details of the outrages which had been accumulating for the last few weeks with the purpose of degrading this learned Judge. But it was necessary to show briefly how all this excitement had been worked up. The Judgment had hardly been delivered at Galway when there commenced in almost every parish meetings, attended, he regretted to say, by members of the Roman Catholic clergy, as well as meetings exclusively of the clergy of the various dioceses; and it was an unfortunate circumstance that, throughout this Galway election and all the proceedings that had followed, the Roman Catholic clergymen were made to seem to act as one man, and to stand by one another from the very beginning to the end. And when the House came to criticize the language in which the learned Judge was obliged to speak in reference to their conduct, it ought to recollect that the Judge was not only obliged to prove the guilt of those who were sent to be tried, but also, as far as he could, to overcome the strong conviction which they endeavoured to raise—and to a great extent succeeded in raising—that they were right in acting as they had done. Shortly after the Judgment was delivered a meeting was held in the county of Limerick, attended by Roman Catholic clergymen, and there a speaker referred to the violent end of former persecutors of the Church, and said that might be the case with Mr. Justice Keogh. At Belfast, a priest boasted of having trampled on the ashes of his effigy. At Waterford, he was classed by a speaker with the slanderers of St. Paul and the other Apostles—slanderers of whom, the rev. speaker said, the damnation was sure. It having been alleged that all the excitement prevailing in Ireland was due solely to Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment and to nothing else, he wished to point out that the prelates and clergy who had 1842 aggravated the popular feeling ought to bear their share of blame. It appeared from the evidence that Father O'Brien, the clergyman selected to propose Captain Nolan, said to a Protestant gentleman on the hustings—"It is only our renegade Catholics that we will excoriate." In one of the newspaper accounts it was erroneously reported that the statement was made at the altar and not on the hustings, and, consequently, Father O'Brien published a letter of explanation, in which he said—The renegade Catholics who on a recent occasion voted for Captain Trench are well aware that should Father O'Brien ever again believe it necessary or useful for the dear good cause of faith and fatherland to apply himself to their excoriation he will not hesitate, despite Judge Keogh's certificate to skin them, as it has been his duty to do more than once before, not, indeed, with the scalping-knife of the savage, Sed cultro linguœ et sacerdotali spiritu oris,"with the ploughshare of the tongue, and the sacerdotal breath of the mouth. After that he should pity those renegade Catholics who came across Father O'Brien. When this agitation was first got up in Ireland it was relegated almost entirely to mobs and to those clergymen who condescended to assist in it; but latterly, no doubt, there had been presented Petitions from certain important Bodies whose opinion would carry great weight if it were believed to be altogether unbiassed. Such was the nature of the proceedings which had helped to work up the excitement which now prevailed in Ireland on this question. In many newspapers sentiments of the most violent indignation had been expressed, both regarding the Judgment itself and the language in which it was pronounced. It was no pleasure to him to weary the House with extracts of that kind, and from such sources; but when the charge was deliberately made that the prevailing excitement was owing to Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment, nothing less than a full explanation could account for the facts. [Having read to the House several extracts from Irish newspapers, the hon. Member continued.] He would next refer to the Address issued in Dublin by the Cardinal Archbishop, of whom he wished to speak with all respect as being the head in Ireland of the religion to which many millions of his countrymen belonged. That Address challenged Mr. Justice Keogh's Judgment in the most solemn way, and alleged that his 1843 continuing on the Judicial Bench would be inconsistent with the due administration of the law. The Judge was charged, amongst other things, with being the friend of Charles Lever, the novelist; with having approved mixed marriages; and with speaking in laudatory terms of that godless University which "had been struck with barrenness by the anathema of the Church." Again, referring to that portion of the Judgment in which mention is made of the great champions of Catholic Emancipation—Burke, Grattan, and others, Mr. Justice Keogh was evidently taunted with having said that Protestants ought to share with Catholics the praise of obtaining the blessings of liberty for Ireland, and this remarkable passage occurred—"Can he forget that the nationality of Ireland meant simply the Catholic Church?" If no ideas but those were allowed to be infused into the minds of the humbler classes in Ireland, what hope was there for the future of the country? The object of all true Irishmen for years past had been to break down the barriers between Catholic and Protestant; but the principles laid down by the Archbishop were directly opposed to any united action for the common good of their common country. According to that view, no Roman Catholic in Ireland was to be permitted to learn in infancy beside a Protestant; to share in friendship—such as Judge Keogh was proud to boast of in the person of the late Charles Lever; to be permitted to study with Protestants at a common University; or to mingle with Protestants through the agency of mixed marriages. A tyranny of that kind once set up in Ireland would be of all the most hateful tyranny, for it would pervade every department of life, and enter into every crevice of society. Cardinal Cullen, in his Address, went on to speak of old persecutions, and all that he said on that point met with his (Mr. Plunket's) hearty concurrence. In no part of the world, he believed, was there a clergy belonging to any Church more entirely devoted to the temporal wants and spiritual ministrations of their Communion. He did not believe there was any purer or more devoted set of ministers than the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland had shown themselves; but if while prosecuted they were faithful to their flocks and their religion, care must be taken that what had often happened 1844 in other countries did not occur in Ireland—that the clergy who had been humble and devoted in adversity, and had meekly borne the cross of persecution, when the pressure of adversity was removed, too soon passed into quite a different state of feeling, and when prosperity came upon them it was harder to bear. They exchanged the cross of Christian suffering for the crozier of arrogant and domineering power. And Cardinal Cullen soon passed away from his reminiscences of persecution to other and more immediate topics. His Address was delivered on the very day that the trial of the Case reserved by Judge Keogh came on for argument in the Court of Common Pleas, before a Court in which three of the four Judges were Roman Catholics; and it contained a passage in which the Judge, it was said, must remember that the Great Liberator of his countrybowed down his intellect before the authority of the Church, and was as obedient and docile to her teachings as the simplest peasant in the land.Suggestions such as these were always most skilfully put forward and carefully guarded; but nobody reading them could mistake the intention with which they were made at such a time. These were indications that the ordinary relations between the Catholic clergy and their flocks were being carried from matters connected purely with religion into matters connected with civil society, and that was the point at which society must interpose. The Archbishop further declared that Justice Keogh's expressions would rouse the sleeping bigotry of England and Scotland, and revive the threats of prosecution. It was important that there should be no misconception on this point. They might be only at the beginning, they were certainly not at the end of the same great struggle in Ireland which was being waged all over Europe, against the ambition—so suddenly and so powerfully developed—of a certain section of the Roman Catholic clergy. The Cardinal sought to rouse the feelings of Irishmen by telling them that a "No-Popery" cry was to be raised in England. He (Mr. Plunket) declared his opinion most confidently that it would be impossible again to raise that cry, which was heard so loudly in England at the close of the last century, and so long baffled the efforts for Catholic Emancipation. That cry was 1845 the child of ignorance and superstition, easily startled and frightened by old women's tales, and, once roused, lent itself to the fiercest passions and persecutions; it was an ignorant, stupid, and bigoted cry, and the feeling which prompted it had entirely passed away. In its stead, however, with the spread of liberty and education, had come love of freedom, a feeling so strong as to lead to the determination—within the limits of the Empire at any rate—not to allow any interference with the intellectual, or civil, or social rights of men, by any class of clergy whatever. No more, then, of that "bugaboo" cry of "No-Popery;" it had passed away, and a stronger spirit had taken its place, which, those who opposed it would find it more difficult to combat. After the eloquent speech of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. James), it was hardly necessary that he (Mr. Plunket) should say a word in defence of the political or private character of Judge Keogh. But he might, perhaps, point out that, after all the things which had been laid to his charge were said to have happened, he was returned to the House of Commons again and again by the same constituency; he was again and again promoted to the front Bench by successive Liberal Ministers, and he had been included in the same Administration of which the present First Lord of the Treasury was the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Palmerston, a good judge of character, and a man not likely in any way to tarnish the honour of the country by promoting unworthy persons to positions of dignity, placed Mr. Justice Keogh upon the Bench. That was 15 years ago, and during 10 years of that period, he himself could say from personal experience that by those who practised before him, as well as by the other members of the Bench, there was no one who was more respected, admired, and honoured than Mr. Justice Keogh. And yet it had been suggested that from corrupt motives he had altered his judgment. Good heavens! if he was about to do so he went a very curious way to work, for he might have struck out the very passages which had given his assailants their only possible weapons of attack. Charges like these were unworthy of those who made them, for it was well known that every Judge on the English, Irish, and Scotch Bench revised 1846 his judgment, and wisely so. And it would not be an imprudent thing if hon. Members in that House sometimes revised and altered their speeches too. And now he called on the House to take care that they did not separate without coming to some decision—he cared not how it was taken—which would convey unmistakably to the people of the United. Kingdom what feelings the House entertained with regard to an agitation so unworthily and vindictively raised against Mr. Justice Keogh. Having tried the case for 50 days with the most perfect impartiality, he expressed his opinion in strong language suitable to the occasion. ["Oh, oh!"] He did not defend every expression which had been used; but if they were set side by side with the great work which he had achieved, and the great service which he had done his country, and all the pains and penalties he had incurred—the House would decide that if his language was strong, it was right that it should be so—and if he was a partizan in what he had said, he was the partizan of freedom and independence and of civil and religious liberty.
, who spoke amid considerable interruption, said, he had hitherto abstained, however strong and decided might have been the opinion he had from the first formed upon this Judgment, from pronouncing an opinion upon it, partly because he had recognized the fact that Parliament alone was the arena in which the topic should be discussed, and partly because he stood in a somewhat peculiar position in regard to it. By the consent of the House he had been appointed to a high and responsible office, and in consequence of that appointment he considered it his duty to be doubly careful; but was he, holding the high position he did, to be silent when the county he represented had been attacked and grossly vilified in the Galway Judgment—a Judgment which was neither a just nor a wise one. With regard to the county of Tipperary—which had no more to do with the inquiry than had the counties of Yorkshire or Lancashire—the learned Judge said that it contained no single acre of ground which was not stained with human blood. [Hear! and "Divide!"] He recognized the importance of the objections which existed against the adjournment or prolongation of this debate; 1847 but he had wished to defend his constituents in the House of Commons. He was not allowed to do so, and he would simply remark that it was, in his opinion, a mistake on the part of the English House of Commons to choke the defender of an Irish county which had been wantonly attacked.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Sir Colman O'Loghlen.)
Sir, I confess to a feeling of regret that there should be manifested in any part of the House an opposition to the continuance of the debate during the present evening. I listened—and the House listened—with great patience while the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Plunket) was speaking; and I confess it caused me some surprise that there should not have been in all portions of the House an equal disposition shown to listen with favour and patience to my hon. and gallant Friend behind me, who is not accustomed needlessly or loosely to trouble the House, and who commonly addresses it with an ability—["Oh, oh!"]—which I think the hon. Member who cried "Oh!" might find it difficult to imitate. I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend would be one of the first to say that we ought to consider the question of adjourning this debate in reference to the interests involved. I do not, however, gather from all that I have seen and heard that there exists a general desire on the part of the House to adjourn the debate. If there were such a desire, it would not be for the Government to resist it. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) has expressed such a desire on his own part and on the part of some other hon. Members, and I do not feel myself absolved from the duty of considering whether public advantage is likely to be derived from the renewal of the debate on a future occasion. If I could satisfy myself that that was likely to be the case, I would cheerfully vote with my right hon. and learned Friend. I do not mean to say that in any case I would pertinaciously oppose myself to his wish; but, undoubtedly, if he calls for an expression of the sense of the House on the Motion he has made, I must express my own opinion, based upon the view I take of the public in- 1848 terests involved, that this debate had better not be adjourned. Let me for a moment draw attention to the nature of those interests. In the first place, let us consider the case in reference to the learned Judge who is the object of the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt). I am not going to touch upon the merits of the case, for the views of the Government have been sufficiently explained by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General; but as regards the learned Judge himself, I fully admit the right of my hon. and learned Friend, with the views he entertains, to bring forward a Motion not only impugning the conduct of the learned Judge, but following the issue up to its legitimate conclusion by frankly owning that he contemplated his removal from the Bench. But I think my hon. and learned Friend having stated the grounds upon which he based his Motion at great—but not at too great—length, and with that marked ability which always marks his speeches, and the supporters of the Motion having enjoyed a very large share of the hours available for its discussion, I think it would be just on the part of the House, and more consonant with the view most of us entertain, that when a great question of this kind has been brought up and sufficiently argued, it should be carried at once to a decision, if we proceeded now to take the sense of the House with regard to the Motion which is now before us. I think advantage would not arise from a prolongation or renewal of this debate. The vindication of the law is the object of the statute relative to elections, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland having taken all the means in his power to obtain assistance and corroboration for his own judgment from his learned Brethren, has announced, in the fulfilment of his statutory duties, his intention to prosecute a large number of persons in Ireland—persons important from their station, and from the fact that they possess the confidence of a considerable portion of the community. I cannot altogether rid myself of the apprehension that the continuance of this debate is not favourable to that which we should all probably desire—namely, that the great judicial issue which he has expressed his intention to raise should be 1849 fairly tried, without appeals to passion on one side or the other. In this House it is hardly possible for us to conduct this discussion without its ranging over a very wide field; and I think we must feel, however much the many animated declarations we have heard on one side or the other may be agreeable to the feelings we severally entertain, that their tendency is rather to exasperate than to allay the excitement which already, as we are told, so extensively prevails in Ireland. I do not at all question the title of hon. Members—or the full right of the House, if it so thinks—to enter upon this debate on a future evening; but if I am asked honestly for an opinion whether the balance of public benefit and advantage with respect to the vindication of the law, the quiet of the country, and the concord of all classes is likely to arise from a prolongation or a renewal of the debate, I am bound to answer in the negative, and therefore I shall vote against the Motion of my right hon. and learned Friend.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, as the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has expressed a desire to defer to the opinion of the House as to the continuance of this debate, I am bound to give him such information upon that subject as is in my power. In the first place, with reference to the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Colonel White), I believe on this side there is no wish whatever that he should not be heard; but the fact is, an impression existed that he had risen to speak on the Motion for Adjournment made by the right hon. and learned Member for Clare. If that Motion had not been made, the hon. and gallant Member would have been listened to with all the respect and attention he deserves, as would any other hon. Member, because there is a desire on this side of the House that the debate should close to-night. Of course, on a question such as this there are many hon. Members on this side of the House who, under ordinary circumstances, would solicit your attention, and who would receive it; but considering this is the end of July, and considering the position of Public Business, everyone must feel that it is of very great importance, totally irrespective of the immediate question before us, that we should come to a definite conclusion to-night. Let us look for a moment at 1850 the course of the debate. It has not been an unsatisfactory debate as to entering on the merits of the question; on either side it has been conducted with great ability, and sustained and almost continuous interest. The case of those who felt themselves particularly aggrieved by the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh, and many of whom are in consequence of it to be the objects of criminal prosecution, has been placed before the House by their chosen advocates, and in so complete a manner that no one will for a moment pretend that there has been any omission of any circumstances which should have been urged before the House. On the other hand, the course taken by Mr. Justice Keogh has been vindicated with singular ability, not merely by an hon. Member opposite—the Member for Taunton—a distinguished member of the English Bar—but also by one of the most distinguished Members of the Irish Bar. And in addition to this, we have had a full and candid exposition on the part of the Government of the course they intend to take, and the feelings which have prompted them to adopt that course. It appears to me, therefore, that all the principal objects of the debate have been attained. I candidly confess that had a debate on a subject of this character been begun at the commencement of the Session, I can conceive that there are many hon. Gentlemen on both sides not only anxious, but perfectly capable of addressing the House in a matter which would command our attention, and that even new light might be thrown upon some circumstances, and some novel arguments urged. But, generally speaking, you seldom find an evening devoted to the specific discussion of a great and important question in which the salient points of the question are dealt with in a more masterly manner. Under these circumstances, I believe I may say I am authorized by hon. Gentlemen who sit on this side of the House to express their anxious wish that the debate should close to-night. If there are hon. Gentlemen who wish to address you, Sir, they may rest assured that they will be listened to with the courtesy which becomes this House; but I am, myself, of opinion that the question has now been sufficiently discussed, and is ripe for decision.
§ MR. BUTT
said, the question raised by the Adjournment was, whether the House was in a position to come to a satisfactory decision upon the question he had raised? When he said a satisfactory decision he did not mean what might be satisfactory to that House—they must look at something else. Might he ask the attention of the House to the position of Her Majesty's Government? The Attorney General did not defend Mr. Justice Keogh. No opinion had been given by Government on the Motion he (Mr. Butt) had made, except that it could not at present be carried. For the entire argument of the Attorney General was founded upon the fact, that the Attorney General for Ireland had determined to prosecute; and had the hon. and learned Gentleman moved that the House should pass to the Orders of the Day, he (Mr. Butt) should have felt it very difficult to resist it. It would, in fact, have been saying that in consequence of the prosecutions, that was not the proper time to raise the present discussion. But what was the position in which he and other Irish Members were placed? He was anxious to put down these exhibitions of popular feeling against the Judge, which he thought were unbecoming and injurious to the character of the Irish nation, and when he returned to Ireland any influence he possessed would certainly be used in that direction. He believed he might say the same for every one of his hon. Friends around him. But if the House came to a hurried conclusion, he could not go back to Ireland and say the question had been fairly dealt with. ["Oh, oh!"] He repeated his assertion, and if the hon. Member who violated the Rules of the House and interrupted him by making inarticulate noises was able to express himself distinctly, let the hon. Member wait until he sat down. But although he would endeavour to allay the excitement, he should not be able to say the question had been fully argued, and he appealed to the Prime Minister and to the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had on many occasions shown a spirit of fairness he was ever anxious to recognize, to enable him and those around him to take back to Ireland a good report of the treatment this great question had received at the hands of Parliament.
§ MR. M'CARTHY DOWNING
complained that not a single Irish Member 1852 below the gangway had been permitted to speak on the Motion.
§ SIR JOHN GRAY
also protested against a division taking place before the Irish Members were heard on a subject in which they were peculiarly interested.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
, in that case, thought the right hon. and learned Gentleman should have interfered while the hon. and learned Member for Taunton was speaking on those cases, and quoting the evidence. He did not believe the trial of these accused persons would be prejudiced by the continuance of the discussion. The question ought to undergo further discussion, and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) might alter the Order Book for to-morrow or Tuesday.
§ SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN
thought that the observations of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Mr. James) ought to receive some answer, referring as they did to clerical influence in Ireland during 40 years past.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
remarked that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) would have preferred that the Previous Question had been moved. [Mr. BUTT expressed his dissent from that statement.] He (Mr. Newdegate) had so understood the hon. and learned Gentleman, and should vote against the Adjournment.
§ MR. STACPOOLE
also thought a second night should be given for the discussion of a question which excited unbounded interest in Ireland.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, that the prospect at present before them was a useless struggle on the question of Adjournment, which might last till 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. There were many influential Irish Members who desired to speak, and if they were refused the opportunity the impression would prevail in Ireland that the House was unwilling to hear them. He was himself opposed to the Motion of the hon. 1853 and learned Member for Limerick, and he was anxious to give the reason why. He was, therefore, in favour of adjourning the debate, and he hoped that the Government would consent to that course, and would allow the subject to be fully discussed.
§ MR. AGAR-ELLIS
said, it ought to be remembered that if the debate was now adjourned, there was no reasonable chance of being able to resume it before the 12th of August.
§ SIR DOMINIC CORRIGAN
supported the Motion for the Adjournment of the debate. He wished to address the House on the subject under discussion, for hitherto he had not agreed with any of the hon. Members who had taken part in the debate.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, the Motion was one of a very rare and important kind, and it was entitled to a full and fair discussion in that House. He did not think, therefore, it would be at all a dignified course if the Government were, after one division on the question of Adjournment, to agree to let the matter stand over to some indefinite period. Mr. Justice Keogh had the right to expect that the verdict of the House should be given on the question, and the Irish Members had also the right to ask that the subject should be fully discussed. This was a question which affected the Government and the administration of justice in Ireland in the highest degree. He hoped, therefore, that the debate would be adjourned to a practical day. The proposal to confer this jurisdiction of trying Election Petitions on the Irish Judges was made after the Bill passed through Committee. He ventured to oppose it at the time, on the ground that the impartiality of the Irish Judges would be called in question. He did not expect, however, that his prediction would be so soon verified. Any person having the slightest acquaintance with the historical position of parties in Ireland would have come to the same conclusion as he had done. It was with the greatest diffidence he differed from the judgment of the Leaders on both sides; but he felt bound to vote for the Adjournment.
§ MR. J. MARTIN
supported the Motion for Adjournment in justice both to the Judge who was accused, and whom he himself intended to accuse, and to the people of Ireland.
§ MR. M. GUEST
, from a feeling of justice to Ireland, hoped the debate would be continued. He wished for its continuance, without offering any opinion on the main subject.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 59; Noes 350: Majority 291.
§ Question again proposed.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Maguire.)
said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Maguire) would not persevere with that Motion; but if it were thought fit to renew the Motion for the Adjournment of the debate, he would not resist it further. He could not, however, assent to the resumption of the debate until the essential business of the Session was advanced, so as to admit of definite arrangements being made for Prorogation.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
said, he would withdraw his Amendment, provided he received an explicit declaration as to the day for resuming the debate.
§ MR. MITCHELL HENRY
hoped his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) would not assent to that arrangement. If the debate was not to be resumed till all the essential business was disposed of, he would like to know when it was likely to come on again.
§ MR. SPEAKER
asked the hon. and learned Member for Limerick what course he desired should be taken on that occasion?
explained that in what he had said, he did not mean that the debate should be adjourned till all the essential business had been disposed of.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Question again proposed.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned,"—(Sir John Gray,)—put, and agreed to.1855
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, he wished to point out that the Government having refused to give a day, the question would be undecided, and it would be most unsatisfactory to the country, and to the learned Judge.
§ SIR COLMAN O'LOGHLEN
said, that to adjourn the debate without naming a day would be practically to stifle the decision.
said, that distinct pledges had been given to hon. Members with respect to the disposal of the remaining days of the Session. The best course would be to put down the Bill for to-morrow, and then see whether those who had Motions would give way.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he thought it would not be difficult to find a day when Supply was finished; but would suggest that the Order should be put down for to-morrow evening.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be adjourned till Monday next."—(Mr. Butt.)
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the words "Monday next," and insert the words "this day,"—(Mr. Percy Wyndham,)—instead thereof.
§ Question put, "That the words 'Monday next' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 97; Noes 93: Majority 4.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Debate adjourned till Monday next.