HC Deb 25 June 1875 vol 225 cc553-71

Mr. Speaker—In moving the Address of which I have given Notice with reference to the establishment of a permanent Royal residence in Ireland as a measure of sound policy conducing to the advantage of the Crown and tending to promote universal satisfaction among the Irish people, I desire to bespeak the indulgence of the House, for I feel that in the task I have undertaken I will stand much in need of all the consideration and encouragement which my own observation, extending over a period of 15 years, satisfies me are never withheld from the humblest and least gifted of our Members. No one feels more conscious than I do of my own incapacity to present this question to the British Parliament as it ought to be presented; but nevertheless I think I should not allow my own shortcomings to stand in the way of an humble but earnest endeavour to obtain for the country to which I am proud to belong even a small modicum of that justice and fair dealing which, in my judgment, has, in this particular instance, been denied her. This question has been frequently before Parliament and discussed in the public journals. It is admitted on all hands that just ground of complaint exists in Ireland, by reason of the fact that in that portion of Her Majesty's dominions the Sovereign has no home, and I submit, considering the warm welcome which has always been accorded to the Monarch herself and to every Member of the Royal Family who have paid flying visits to the sister kingdom, such an anomalous and unprecedented state of things ought not to be allowed one hour's additional continuance. During the last 120 years, Royalty, I believe it will be found, has only spent 15 days in Ireland. Now, I ask, is there any special reason why the Crown should be an absentee? The Irish are naturally a loyal people, but it is hard to entertain great affection for persons you never see. They know that the Queen remains for months among the Scotch mountains, or in the softer scenery of the Isle of Wight. It cannot escape their attention there is an Earl of Dublin who visits Prance, Germany, Denmark, Scotland, America, even India—every place, in fact, except Ireland. There is a Duke of Connaught who, I believe, never visited Connaught, and is consequently unacquainted with even so much as the personal appearance of that generous-hearted and chivalrous population. From the Revolution, with the exception of William the Third who went over to conquer, the only English Monarch that visited Ireland was George the Fourth, in 1820–21, and then for a quarter of a century the people of Ireland never saw their Monarch on Irish soil. The Queen has visited Ireland about three times in 38 years; but every year she goes to Scotland, and if she had done the same and gone over to Ireland, or even if some Members of her Family had gone there, remaining three or four months at a time, the country would have been much the better for it. Unless there be a Royal residence the Crown will always be an absentee, and the example set by the Crown is contagious. Let there be a Royal residence in Ireland, and it will become fashionable to resort to Ireland and to stop there, and absenteeism, from which Ireland suffers so much, will receive a heavy blow and great discouragement. Is it creditable to the genius of statesmanship that up to the present period of their lives the two foremost men who have taken such an advanced part in the legislative movements of the United Kingdom for the last half-century have never set their eyes on Ireland? The right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown has never been in Ireland, nor has the late Leader of the Opposition. Would this be the case if there was a Royal residence in Ireland? I ask the sanction of the House to my Motion not merely as an act of grace and kindly feeling, but as a matter of justice and fair dealing, and moreover I will urge my Resolution to a division, relying on the sense of honour which I know actuates British feeling, for I will undertake to prove from their own lips that the Leaders of Parties in this House stand pledged as solemnly as men can be to carry out in its entirety that which I advocate. Enormous sums of money have been spent in providing Royal Palaces in England, but no such expenditure has been made in Ireland, notwithstanding the fact, as I maintain, that Ireland, in proportion to her means, contributes more to the National Exchequer. Having made these preliminary observations, I now, with the permission of the House, proceed to trace the history of the Royal residence question so far as the late and the present Parliaments are concerned, and having done so, I will ask this Legislative Assembly to declare whether I have not conclusively made out a case for this Royal Address, and whether, in their opinion, both the Chief Minister of the Crown and the late Prime Minister are not bound in honour, by reason of their part promises, to take the matter out of my hands and arrange the manner in which the permanent establishment of a Royal residence shall be forthwith a matter of fact. So long ago as the month of May, 1868, now more than seven years since, my right hon. and learned Friend the senior Member for Clare County (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), who has always manifested a patriotic interest in this great national question, brought forward a Motion similar in substance, though not identical in terms, to that which I now have the honour of asking the House to approve. At that time the present Prime Minister was at the head of the Government, with a following, however, by no means so numerous or so powerful as it may now be considered. On that occasion the right hon. Gentleman, in his blandest tones, distinctly held out a hope that at no distant period the expediency of establishing a residence for Royalty in Ireland would be specially recognized. What said the right hon. Gentleman in asking my right hon. Friend not to press his Motion to a division? There are many reasons upon which it is now unnecessary to dwell which would make it inconvenient, and not at all advantageous for the end which the hon. Baronet himself has in view, to compel an immediate Vote of this House. What has been said in the House on the subject to-day will, I am sure, not he forgotten. It is an expression of the feeling which animates very generally society and the whole country; and I trust the time may come when every portion of Her Majesty's dominions "— England and Scotland being already bountifully favoured in this respect— will have the advantage of the presence of Her Majesty or some Member of the Royal Family. But, when alluding to the fact that the visits of the Sovereign to Ireland have not been of very long duration, we must remember that of necessity they could not he lengthened visits. There was no Royal Residence, no Palace in which Royalty could take up anything like a permanent abode. I know"— continued the Premier, and to this admission I desire to direct the particular attention of the House— that this tells favourably for the view of the hon. Baronet; I am not using it as an argument against his views; but I think it right to refer to the point, inasmuch as the brevity of the Royal visits is sometimes mentioned as an indication of indifference and of want of sympathy with the country, whereas it has been the consequence of difficulties which could not be overcome. There are many circumstances to be considered in connection with this subject, but the wish expressed in the Motion of the hon. Baronet is founded on the best feelings of our nature. I am sure the desire it conveys is one in which the country sympathizes; and I hope the time will come when we shall see these views entirely fulfilled."—[3 Hansard, cxcii. 360–61.] Now, having regard to the position then as now occupied by the right hon. Gen-man, I ask, could there be a stronger admission that, in the matter of those Royal visits and the non-existence of a Royal residence, Ireland was treated with manifest injustice; and that, so far as the First Minister of the Crown could pledge his Government, there existed a determination to remove what was felt to be a long-existing and sorely-felt grievance? Both sides of the House were liberal in their approval of the Premier's words of hope and encouragement, and the satisfaction which his apparently frank and favourable promise afforded Members, without distinction of nationality, or political faith, or party loyalty was in no degree diminished when the right hon. Gentleman who then led the Opposition recommended the Motion to be withdrawn, expressing an opinion that the case had been fairly met by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. As I claim on this occasion, for reasons which he will not have forgotten—though they are neither recorded in print or in writing—the vote and the influence he still possesses with the Liberal Party, of the Chief who so often led his followers to brilliant victories, I may be permitted to reproduce the words he uttered on the occasion in question. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich, in alluding to the Premier's recognition of that which the people of Ireland fool so acutely as an insult, said— I do not think that more could have been expected from the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) than the acknowledgments which he has made; and, therefore, I wish to express my concurrence in the tone of his observations. At the same time, I feel strongly with my hon. Friend the Member for Clare, and without indicating the precise manner in which it can be done. …. sympathizing as I do in the views of my hon. Friend, I may express the hope that some appropriate means may be found by which the personal relations between the Crown and the people of Ireland may be strengthened. I regard this as an object of public policy of no mean importance; but I think, after what has been said this evening, my hon. Friend would do well to comply with the recommendation of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government."—[Ibid. 361.] Yet in the face of those declarations by two eminent statesmen, both Advisers of the Crown, and both, it is to be assumed, deserving the confidence of their Sovereign, nothing has been done to strengthen the personal relations between the Crown and the people of Ireland; but, on the contrary, Royalty continues, as it were, to shun the Irish soil, and the leading statesmen of the day embrace each other in united efforts for forging coercive fetters to repress the liberties of a gallant, sensitive, and loyally devoted people. Well, Sir, the Motion was withdrawn in deference to the wish of the Premier, and in complete confidence that the promise given by the Premier, and to all intents and purposes endorsed by the then Leader of the Opposition, would be carried into practical operation. A change of Government took place. Nothing was heard of the matter in Parliament until July, 1870, when I asked a Question on the subject and received an answer which was far from satisfactory. In February, 1871, I again reminded the Prime Minister of the importance of dealing with the question, and he then was good enough to say that— That is a question which has been for some time in the view of Her Majesty's Government; but I am not in a condition, at the present moment, to make a positive announcement respecting it to my hon. Friend."—[3 Hansard, cciv. 491.] In July of the same year I again pressed for some definite information, asking the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich whether, in accordance with his conditional promise given on the 19th of June, and in the state of Public Business, it was the intention of the Government to deal with the subject of establishing a Royal residence in Ireland, with regard to which I then had a Motion on the Notice Paper. If the House will permit me, I should like to read the right hon. Gentleman's reply. He said— The important question to which his hon. Friend had more than once called attention, was first raised in recent times by the right hon. and learned Baronet the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), in 1868, when the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), then in office, stated that it was a proper subject for consideration, and he looked forward to the time when some measure on the subject might be adopted, and when some means would be found by which the personal feelings of attachment between the people of Ireland and the Crown might be strengthened. He fully agreed with the right hon. Gentleman on the expediency of dealing with this matter in a substantive manner, and since the present Government came into office it had not escaped their attention; but they thought the time had not yet completely come for them to arrive at a practical conclusion. As recently as within the last few months they had had the matter before them, and had taken into view the various alternative methods by which it would be possible to proceed. They had also to consider the novelty of the question, and the duty of bringing it before Parliamnnt, whenever it was brought forward under circumstances most likely to ensure a favourable and full consideration … but they did look at it with a practical view, and it was their intention to take the earliest future opportunity of bringing the subject under the notice of Parliament which the state of public business might permit. He expressed a hope that his hon. Friend, who had given Notice of a Motion relative to this question for to-morrow night, would not bring forward the Motion, for it was evident that, if this matter was to be satisfactorily dealt with, so that whatever step was adopted might have that gracious aspect which all would wish, it would be far better in the public interest that it should not be anticipated by a discussion in that House, raised at the instance of an independent Member."—[3 Hansard, ccvii. 1341.] I need hardly inform the House after what fell from the right hon. Gentleman's lips when he was in the cold shade of Opposition, in May, 1868, I experienced considerable disappointment at the vacillating nature of this diplomatic bit of fencing; so as soon as the right hon. Gentleman resumed his seat, I gave Notice that if the Government did not bring forward the question early in the Session of 1872 I should myself take action in the matter. In that Session, on no less than four different occasions was the matter pressed on the attention of the Government. So early as the 15th of February the First Lord of the Treasury was asked by me, whether Her Majesty's Government had come to any determination in reference to the Royal residence establishment in Ireland, and, if so, when be would be prepared to state their views on the subject? The right hon. Gentleman's reply was remarkable. In answer to my Question he said— When my hon. Friend put this Question to me at a late period of last Session, I made a reply, with the full expectation that at the opening, or at the early part of the present Session, I should be able to announce to him definitely the intentions of the Government; but circumstances during the winter, with which he and the whole House, and the public are acquainted, which were entirely beyond our control, have made it impossible for us to achieve that progress which we hoped for in the consideration of this matter. The subject, however, still occupies our attention, and we look forward to a period when we may be able to make known our conclusions with reference to it."—[3 Hansard, ccix. 467.] So far so good—at least, so far as Parliamentary utterances from Ministerial lips are concerned. The last week in April had arrived, and nothing was made known. Expectations were raised in the minds of the Irish people, but not a particle of proof came to the surface to justify belief in the bona fides of Ministerial promises. So, impelled by pressure from without, and acting on the suggestion of several English Representatives, I again pressed the Government for an immediate and definite declaration of their intentions. The right hon. Gentleman still remained at the helm of political affairs, and on him devolved the duty of replying to my Question. His answer was this— I readily acknowledge the zeal of my hon. Friend upon this question; and if there were any risk of the Government forgetting its duty, I am sensible, that by his agitation, we should be reminded of it. Notwithstanding, I have no decision to announce to my hon. Friend at the present time. I will repeat the assurance I gave him on a former day that, when the Government is prepared to announce its decision on this subject, I will not wait for the opportunity afforded by a Question for the purpose of making it known. I will venture to remind my hon. Friend that this is not like an administrative question lying within the province of a department, but is one that involves large considerations; and events of importance have happened within the last six or eight months which have thrown difficulties in the way of securing for it that consideration which it was otherwise our intention to have given it."—[3 Hansard, ccx. 1678.] So matters remained until the Session seemed about to come to a close; and, on the 1st of July, as well as on the 18th of July, Ministers were reminded of their apathy and shortcomings in regard to this Royal residence question; but the old stereotyped reply was all that could be extracted from the First Lord of the period. "He had no communication to make, and no explanation to offer." The Session of 1873 was allowed to pass over in the expectation that the Government, of its own action, and in the face of rapidly declining popularity everywhere—but more especially in Ireland—would announce that all arrangements had been made for providing a suitable residence in Ireland for whatever Members of the Royal Family might desire to visit the sister country annually. But it was a vain hope and delusive expectation—Parliament met, sat for six months, and was prorogued without the slightest reference being made to the solemn undertaking of the past. We all know what occurred in the early part of 1874. The right hon. Gentleman opposite availed himself of the opportunity afforded by his Predecessors in office to strengthen his forces, and he once more assumed the reins of power. When he had comfortably settled down on the Ministerial Bench, an English Representative (Sir Eardley Wilmot) asked him— Whether, having regard to the often-expressed wishes of the people of Ireland, Her Majesty's Government would consider the expediency of establishing a Royal Residence there, with suitable provision for its maintenance, for the purpose of encouraging occasional visits of Members of the Royal Family to that portion of the United Kingdom? All that the right hon. Gentleman, in strange contrast to his unaffected utterance of 1868, vouchsafed in reply, was— I am very much in favour of Royal residences, particularly when they are inhabited; and the great interest I take in Ireland would make me much rejoice if there were Royal residences in that country inhabited by members of the Royal Family."—[3 Hansard, ccxxi. 625.] I trust the Government will consider the question favourably, and will assent to the Motion which I have submitted to the House. I wish to see a Royal residence in Ireland for the Queen to go to, and that it should be occupied by Her Majesty, or some Member of the Royal Family. I am sure that that would lead to an increase of loyalty in that country. I thank the House for the attention which has been extended to me, and beg to move the Resolution of which I have given Notice.


, in seconding the Motion, said, he did so because English Members were as deeply interested as the Irish. Representatives in proposals which would tend to make the interests of the two countries identical. As to the particular Motion now before the House, it afforded him pleasure to second it, because he believed it would be a stepping-stone to the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was old enough to remember the time when this latter question was brought forward in the House of Commons by Lord John Russell, with whom he voted; and he might remark that the arguments then adduced might be urged with still greater effect at the present moment. Archbishop Whately said that if one thing tended more than another to diminish loyal feelings in Ireland, it was the existence of the Lord Lieutenancy, as the people could not possibly be so loyal to a mere political Representative of the Government as they would be to their own Sovereign. He (Mr. Hankey) thought that the people of Ireland had a right to be governed exactly on the same principles as the people of England. He hoped the Government would consider the Motion favourably. Visits of Royalty to Ireland had been few and far between, and any arrangement which would render them more frequent ought to have the hearty support of hon. Members on both sides of the House. In his opinion, if the Queen occasionally visited that portion of her dominions the effect would be to make the people more loyal, for there could be no doubt that the Irish as a nation were essentially loyal, and were only too happy to have an opportunity of testifying their regard for Royalty.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, humbly representing to Her Majesty that it would conduce to the advantage of the Crown and tend to promote universal satisfaction in Ireland if Her Majesty had a permanent residence in that country, and that this House, feeling deeply its importance, will cordially cooperate with Her Majesty in any steps She may he graciously pleased to take to carry out so desirable an object,"—(Mr. Stacpoole,)

—instead thereof.

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


said, the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant was not a question to be debated on that occasion, neither was the loyalty of the Irish people in question. The Queen had been twice in Ireland, and her own description of the manner in which the people received her—and which he (Mr. M'Carthy Downing) had witnessed—was that it was most enthusiastic, and therefore he need not discuss that question. The people of Ireland were thoroughly loyal, and always glad to see any Member of the Royal Family. The Prince and Princess of Wales had experienced a very warm reception when they visited the country—upon that point there was no doubt; but what he rose to say was, that he regretted that his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ennis had, without consulting the Irish Members, brought forward that Motion in such a shape as might appear to commit them to what might appear a solicitation to the Queen to come and establish a Royal residence in Ireland. He was not aware that the people of Scotland had ever interfered in such a matter, which was more a question of Her Majesty's pleasure than anything else. The Queen ought to have the same liberty as any of her subjects, and select a residence for herself. There was no Parliamentary interference; and, as an Irish Member, he strongly protested against any pressure whatever being put upon either the Queen or any Member of the Royal Family to come and fix their residence, for however brief a period, in Ireland. Whenever they did so they would be most gladly received, and he did not doubt that many benefits to Ireland would arise from such visits and such occasional residence. They would tend to keep in Ireland many absentees, and encourage expenditure, especially in the capital; but he did not approve of the mode in which these objects were proposed to be attained. Therefore, although it was rather a dangerous thing for an Irish Member to speak on behalf of his Colleagues, he would say that the Motion of the hon. and gallant Gentleman was one they could not support. If the Queen or any Member of the Royal Family chose to go to Ireland to visit the cottages of the peasantry, to distribute books and presents, as was done in Scotland, no doubt it would promote the spirit of union and a feeling of satisfaction; but do not let it be supposed that it would induce the people to give up their determination to obtain Home Rule. If there were a Royal Prince there to guide the councils of Irishmen, that would be an additional reason why they should demand a Parliament to manage their own affairs. He merely rose to say that as Representative of the county of Cork, he had nothing whatever to do with the bringing forward of the Motion, A similar Motion had been brought forward by an hon. Baronet, who withdrew it; and he hoped the hon. and gallant Member would take a similar course, and not force Irish Members who held views like his own to vote against the Motion, which might lead to misconceptions on the subject.


said, he wished to point out that the late Prime Minister, who for one or two Sessions kept up the delusion on this question, at length said, in reply to the hon. and gallant Member opposite, that he had nothing whatever to communicate to him on the subject. That was the last reply the hon. and gallant Member had received, but he had not read that statement to the House. No Member of the Government or ex officio Member had thought proper to introduce this subject, but the hon. and gallant Member rushed in where angels feared to tread. Neither was the Motion concurred in by many of the old Irish Members, who, like himself, had been in the House for 20 years. No doubt, the Irish people were very anxious, and would be very glad, to see the Queen and any Member of the Royal Family as often as possible in Ireland; but there was not the slightest desire to put any compulsion upon them. It was the duty of the Minister of the Crown to advise Her Majesty on the subject, if he thought proper; and he certainly deprecated any interference on the part of Parliament. He did not think it would tend to promote the object they all had in view if the Minister was placed in a minority on this question, which had been, he regretted to say, unnecessarily complicated by the statements of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Hankey). He did not think anything would be more fatal to the interests of Ireland than the withdrawal of the Lord Lieutenant. They must have a central authority in Ireland; it was suggested they should have a Secretary of State, but he could not be in Ireland more than three months of the year, and he would necessarily be a Party man. The Lord Chancellor, again, was appointed by a Party, and was usually a strong partizan. On the other hand, the Lords Lieutenant, though appointed by the Party in power for the time being, had never during their tenure of office been Party men, and had dispensed a splendid hospitality without any distinction, which had done and was doing much to maintain the capital of Ireland in the position it now occupied. Reference had been made to Scotland, but Scotland and Ireland were differently situated. There was a raging sea between Ireland and England. Enormous injury had been done to the metropolis of Ireland by the Union; but still greater injuries would be done by the withdrawal of the Lord Lieutenancy. He trusted the hon. and gallant Member would withdraw his Motion, for if it was pressed, he (Mr. Vance) must oppose it.


said, he also hoped the hon. and gallant Member for Ennis would withdraw the Motion, seeing that to press it would hardly be consistent with the dignity of the Crown, or the dignity of the Irish nation. [Mr. STACPOOLE: Certainly not.] When the Sovereign of this country evidenced in even the slightest manner a desire to reside sometimes among her Irish subjects he much mistook the temper of his countrymen if, burying in oblivion a great deal that might be unpleasant, they did not show it to be true that every Irishman was a born gentleman, and that on such an occasion they could demean themselves in a manner thoroughly respectful towards the Sovereign. There were three parties in Ireland on this question. There were men who made a great noise in one or two of the Irish daily newspapers about the necessity of a Royal residence in Ireland, and who urged his hon. and gallant Friend to press the Queen, and to give her a strong hint that she would be failing in her duty to Ireland if she did not come and reside among the Irish people whether she wished it or not. That was not the opinion of the Irish people. They would be glad to see the Queen, but they would not throw themselves prostrate in the dust at her feet. It was said in Dublin society that the fashionable mode for an Irish Nobleman to adopt who wished to sell his mansion was to get a paragraph inserted in the Irish newspapers to the effect that it was "rumoured" that such and such a property was "about to be purchased by the Prince of Wales." These people represented to Englishmen that if the Queen were to come and reside in Ireland for a fortnight no more would be heard about Home Rule nor about any other question. Nonsense; let not that House be deluded by the cackling noise of a little clique. The coming of the Queen to Ireland would not have the slightest effect upon those subjects. There was another party in Ireland who would complain of any word being said here expressive of a desire to receive the Queen respectfully. Those were what he called the "victims of the politics of despair," and they would say—"Oh, no, we do not want the Queen. It is wrong of any Irish Member to tell the House of Commons that the Queen would be received with respect in Ireland." Between these two extremes lay the mass of the Irish nation, and that mass was loyal, being influenced not in the sense of what was sometimes called in Ireland "flunkeyism," but in the sense of what might be described as the loyalty of duty, if not by that sentimental loyalty which he himself was weak enough sometimes to admire. When a few years ago the Queen was absent for a year or two from ceremonials in London he blushed at reading some of the articles written in English newspapers upon the topic. Although he made no extravagant professions of loyalty, he felt if the Sovereign so retired, from feelings which might have commanded the sympathy of every family in the kingdom, it ill became the "shopocracy" of London to mutter discontent, and almost to show disloyalty to the Throne. That feeling never would be found to prevail in Ireland. There was in Ireland a sentiment of loyalty ready at any moment to be warmed up into feelings of a still stronger character. Unhappily, in times past the dynasty had been mixed up with the cause of faction in Ireland. The character of William III. was now being understood there. He was a brave soldier and a tolerant man, though his name had been long used in Ireland for party purposes. He was ashamed of his countrymen when George IV. went to Ireland, and when he was met, as Byron said, "by a legion of cooks and an army of slaves." The Queen had been two or three times in Ireland, and no attempt upon her life had been made there, although in England there had been several such attempts. He hoped when next the Queen visited Ireland it would be for the purpose of opening the Irish Parliament. Until then he deprecated Motions like the present one, for it was not seemly that Her Majesty should receive a hint from an Irish Member or from the House of Commons as to where she should reside. He would only say if she came among her Irish subjects at such a time, she would be received with a "Cead mille a failte."


said, if his hon. and gallant Friend persevered with the Motion he should certainly vote for the Speaker leaving the Chair, which he would consider simply as the Previous Question with reference to the Resolution. He (Mr. Butt) opposed it on the same grounds as had been pointed out by several of his hon. Friends. He wished to remark that the question of the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy had no connection with the Motion. As he read the Motion, it was for an Address to the Queen not to come to live in Ireland, but to have a residence there; and regarding that point, he shared a good deal in what had been said by the hon. Member for Louth. He did not think either as Members of that House or as Irishmen they ought to solicit Her Majesty to live in any particular place. Of course, he would have been very glad if the Queen had become familiar with the beautiful scenery of Ireland instead of with that of Scotland, and he was sure that had she done so, she would have acquired the same esteem and affection which she had acquired in Scotland. But the whole value of such a residence would be found in the spontaneous action of Royalty itself. If it was the result of urgent solicitation or Party pressure the whole of its virtue, grace, and value would disappear. Why he was unwilling to vote for the Motion was because he thought a great deal of nonsense had been talked on this subject of a Royal residence in Ireland. That any Royal residence could correct the evils of which Irishmen complained was a mere delusion. There was such a thing as "a craze," and he hoped he should not be considered offensive if he said that his hon. and gallant Friend had a craze on the subject. Irishmen would be happy to see any Member of the Royal Family. None of the Royal Family who had ever visited Ireland had had any reason to complain, and whenever they visited Ireland again they would be received with respect, and he hoped with a certain amount of enthusiasm. But he would be sorry to vote for the Motion, lest it should be taken to imply that what it proposed would be a cure for the evils of Ireland, or lest it might exercise any constraint on Her Majesty's feelings.


This question, Sir, has been dealt with in so admirable a manner by the Irish Members whom we have listened to, that I really thought it was unnecessary for me to trouble you, because I can only repeat the sentiments which I have before expressed on this subject. By the Motion Parliament is called upon to express an opinion that Her Majesty or some other Member of her Family should take up a residence in Ireland, thereby performing an act the whole grace of which would be lost if the act itself were not spontaneous. No doubt it would be a matter of congratulation if there were a spontaneous feeling of this kind on the part of Her Majesty, and I am sure this House would respond in a becoming manner to a sentiment so refined and exalted. The Government of the day, whether represented by myself or by those who preceded me, have not neglected this business as the hon. and gallant Gentleman has supposed. We have given a due consideration to it; it is a subject of a complicated nature, and is not to be precipitated by a vote in Parliament. I think the matter has been placed before the House, by the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Sullivan) especially, in its true colours, and all the circumstances connected with it have been laid before us with an accuracy, truth, and propriety to which I believe the House responded. I think, therefore, the hon. and gallant Gentleman who brought forward the Motion will feel, as was felt by those who have considered it their duty to submit such views to Parliament before, that it would be more becoming and discreet on his part not to force the opinion of the House on the matter. Indeed, I should be very sorry that there should be apparently a great majority voting as, it would be represented, against the residence of Her Majesty in Ireland. Such a vote might be entirely misunderstood. Instead of there being, as there is, universally in this House a proper feeling on the subject, a feeling that such a matter ought to be left to the spontaneous sentiment of the Royal Family, the vote would be misunderstood and misrepresented abroad, and it would appear as if there were dissensions on a matter upon which there is no difference of opinion. With respect to the remarks made by the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Hankey), that hon. Gentleman has called upon us to consider the whole question of the Lord Lieutenancy. I protest against the introduction of that subject, and I question its discretion. I think it was entirely unnecessary. It introduced an element which mars the otherwise simple proposition before us. If the hon. Member for Peterborough really thinks that the institution of Lord Lieutenant is so injurious, let him bring the question before the consideration of Parliament. I shall be prepared to express the opinion of the Government upon it, and the opinion of the House may be legitimately taken on the subject. But on a question of this description no division ought to be taken. The sentiment is universal. It reflects credit on the loyalty and delicacy of feeling of the House, and I must protest against the Motion being pressed to a division.


said, he sincerely hoped that the hon. and gallant Member for Ennis would persist in going to a division, because he (Dr. Kenealy) wanted the true friends of the Irish people to be known; and, if not, he should look forward to an almost universal sentiment existing amongst the Irish people, that there was a great deal of sham in that House, and of blarneying going on at their expense. He was astonished that any Irish Representatives should speak against Her Majesty's residing in Ireland, or that any of them should sneer at a question of that kind, which entered so deeply into the feelings of the Irish nation. He wanted to see Ireland treated as an integral part of the Empire, and for Her Majesty to reside amongst her Irish people as she did amongst her English and Scotch people. The Irish were essentially monarchical, and when Her Majesty visited Ireland she was received with enthusiasm and loyalty. He could understand traders in sedition, persons deriving a guilty livelihood from moving the people of Ireland to sedition and disloyalty because Her Majesty did not reside there, fomenters of discord and abettors of murder, who thrived on their guilty acts—he could understand these, when speaking and voting against the Motion, but he could not understand how any one who wished to cement harmony and union between the two countries could do so. Her Majesty did not live or govern in this country for her own pleasure and amusement alone. She was a great public officer, who ought to live for the universal benefit of the people, and not selfishly and simply to consult her own gratification and pleasure in life. Everyone wished to consult the convenience and pleasure of the Sovereign, and there was no disaffection or disloyalty in expressing a hope that she would reside a portion of the year amongst her Irish people. On former occasions both the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich promised to entertain similar proposals, but now the right hon. Gentleman who was called the head of the Government, simply, perhaps, because the other Members of the Government were nothing but tails, or something of that kind, did not give the slightest hope that the wishes of the people in this respect would be realized. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister had said there was no Royal residences in Ireland; but if he had been in that country he would have known there was one in the Phoenix Park perfectly well fitted for the accommodation and the residence of Her Majesty. He ought to go to Ireland and learn something of it, but he (Dr. Kenealy) supposed he was afraid to cross that "melancholy ocean," of which he had so plaintively written.


I think, Sir, the hon. Member who has just spoken has somewhat misrepresented the character of the speeches which have been delivered on the subject. I have not heard any hon. Member rise to object, as he seems to think, to the idea of a Royal residence in Ireland. The only question on which there has been any difference of opinion between my hon. and gallant Friend who made the Motion and the hon. Members who subsequently addressed the House has been as to the degree in which it is consistent either with the dignity of Her Majesty or this House to press the subject on Her Majesty's consideration. I believe my hon. and gallant Friend entertains very strong views on this subject, and I do not know that it would be of any use for me to add my opinion to that which he has already received not to press his Motion to a division. I think if he does so he will by no means advance the object—a very laudable one—which he has in view; while if he refrains from so pressing it, he will have done good service in calling the attention of the Government to the matter; for it must not be assumed, as I think it might be possibly assumed, from the speeches made, possibly even from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House, that this is a matter which can be settled entirely and solely by Her Majesty and the Royal Family. It must not be assumed by hon. Members that there is any unwillingness on the part of Her Majesty and the Royal Family to visit Ireland more frequently than they do now; but, as the right hon. Gentleman has stated, the subject is rather a complicated one, and it is not so easy as it might appear at first sight to make all the arrangements which would be necessary for the provision of a suitable residence for Her Majesty in Ireland. My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Hankey) has been taken to task for introducing the question of the Lord Lieutenancy. Now, I quite concur that it would not be desirable that the debate should wander into a discussion of the arguments for retaining or abolishing the Lord Lieutenancy; but I may at the same time say that the two questions are to a certain extent connected, and that one of the difficulties in reference to the more frequent visits of the Royal Family to Ireland is undoubtedly associated with the permanent residence there of a Representative of Her Majesty. What has been said in this debate, especially by those representing Irish constituencies, will, I am sure, be highly satisfactory to Her Majesty and the Royal Family. There never could have been any doubt that Her Majesty or any of her Family would, whenever they might visit Ireland, receive a welcome as loyal and respectful as in any other part of Her Majesty's dominions. And I feel the assurance may also be given that presuming there would be no unwillingness on the part of Her Majesty, whenever the Government, to whatever side of the House they may belong, are in a position to make any proposition to Parliament, this House will not be unwilling to entertain it in the most liberal spirit. But what I would venture to urge my hon. and gallant Friend to consider is this—that all that can be done is to press the subject on the attention of the Government. It is a question which the House cannot settle itself. It must wait till a proposition is made to it by the Government. I can assure him that the subject was not lost sight of by the late Government. Difficulties were found in the way; and it would appear those difficulties have not been removed, as I find Her Majesty's present Advisers have not been able to make any recommendation to the House. I can only repeat the assurance I have already given, that whenever they are in a condition to make any proposition to the House it will be received with satisfaction on all sides.


said, that after the expressions which had fallen from the head of the Government, and in the hope that the subject would be dealt with next Session, he would withdraw his Motion. He would say, however, that he was not to be pooh-poohed by any hon. Member in doing what he considered right. If the Government did not take the matter up early next Session, he would bring the question before the House again.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.