§ MR. O'DONNELL,
on rising to call attention to the action of our Representatives in Turkey and Egypt, remarked that in consequence of the hon. Member for Eye's Amendment having been negatived he should not be able to conclude with the Motion of which he had given Notice, and which was in the following terms:—That this House regrets that Her Majesty's representatives in Turkey and Egypt have been 1897 employed for a number of years past in furthering the schemes of money-lending associations and persons whose operations have resulted in extreme injustice and suffering to the people of Egypt.He would, however, lay before the House some statements which were worthy of its consideration at the present grave crisis. The financial speculations to which he would have referred were the causes for which brave men would have to fight upon the plains of Egypt. He wished to repudiate all idea of censuring or blaming the various gentlemen of the financial profession, the Oppenheims, the Erlangers, or the Frühlings and Goschens—whose operations had been supported so unfortunately by the diplomacy of Her Majesty's Government. Those gentlemen took advantage of their opportunities, and conducted a business which was perfectly legitimate in their eyes. If the profits on some of their transactions ranged from 12 to 26 per cent. or perhaps more, he was sure that all those enterprizing gentleman would have taken 50 or 100 per cent if they could fairly have obtained it, and would not have been ashamed of their success in business. The result of their financial operations had, however, been to involve the people of Egypt in misery and the country in financial ruin. As he wished to fix the attention of the House on the nature of the financial transactions which our diplomatists supported, he would lay before the House a brief account of those speculations. There was an absence of debt in Egypt 20 years ago, when the Khedive was introduced for the first time to the mysterious advantages of European finance. The official Report of Sir Stephen Cave, submitted to the House in 1876, stated that in 1864, the second year of the Khedive's administration, the Revenue of Egypt was practically £4,937,000, and that it rose to £7,377,000 in 1871. Under the latest developments of European Control, which was only another word for the results of European financing, the Revenue of Egypt exceeded £10,000,000. He would now call attention to the loans which our diplomacy had so disastrously promoted. The first was contracted by Said Pasha in 1862. The nominal amount was £3,992,800, repayable in 30 years, the interest being 7 per cent, and the Sinking Fund 1 per 1898 cent. No particulars were given of the amount actually received on this loan by the Egyptian Government. The technical contractors of the loan were Messrs. Erlanger, and the London agents were Messrs. Frühling and Goschen. The nominal amount of the loan of 1868 was £11,890,000, of which only £7,193,334 was received by the Egyptian Government. In 1873 a loan of £32,000,000 was issued at 7 per cent. Sir Stephen Cave said that only £20,000,000 was really received by the Egyptian Government. A loan had been raised in 1866 for the construction of railways, and, for a wonder, £2,640,000 was actually received. In addition to the local State Loans and the Daira Loans, there were certain personal loans. Of all those, Sir Stephen Cave had said that none cost less than 12 per cent. some 13 per cent. and the Railway Loan even 26 per cent. including the Sinking Fund. Among the many striking features, it was to be noticed that the large amount of indebtedness in 1876 gave absolutely nothing to show for the Suez Canal, the whole amount having been absorbed in payment of interest and Sinking Fund, with the exception of £16,000,000 for that great work. Further, Sir Stephen Cave had said that the unfortunate condition of Egypt in that respect was due in great measure to the onerous conditions of the loan of 1873, which was contracted for the express purpose of clearing off debt. Of the £32,000,000 raised, only £20,740,000 was received, and only £9,000,000 applied to the payment of debt. The bonds w ere purchased at a heavy discount, the price being sometimes 65 per cent. and entered the Egyptian Treasury at 93 per cent. The difference between the 65 and the 93 went into the pockets of the financiers. The financiers certainly deserved credit for attending to their own interests, if not to those of the Egyptians. Granting that the late Khedive was an Eastern despot, extravagant and extortionate, he would never have been able to bring such ruin on his country without the help of European financiers such as the Erlangers and Oppenheims. The worst that such a despot could do would be to enrich himself out of the proceeds of one year; he could not, as he had done by the aid of the 12 per cent financiers, mortgage the whole future of his country. After the loan 1899 of 1866 of £3,000,000 the Sultan protested, and issued a Firman forbidding further loans without his permission. In spite of that protest, loans were raised on the Crown lands, and in 1870 a fresh debt of £7,000,000 was incurred, of which the Khedive only received £5,000,000. Then diplomacy entered the field, and suggested that the Sultan's permission should be obtained for a fresh loan. To that end it was necessary, first, that the Sultan's Ministers should be bribed, and next that the Sultan himself should also be bribed. Accordingly, a douceur of £50,000 was given to the Grand Vizier to obtain a Hatt from the Sultan authorizing the loan. That was a proceeding which ought to have been denounced by our Ambassador at Constantinople. It was stated in the Parliamentary Papers of 1879 that the Chiefs of the Turkish Ministry did not affect to conceal their regret at this disgraceful transaction, and they suggested to the British Ambassador, who was slow to act of himself, that he should take steps to procure the cancelling of the Firman. Sir Henry Elliot, when thus appealed to, speaking, no doubt, as the mouthpiece of Her Majesty's Government, returned this answer—that the word of the Sultan had been pledged to the Viceroy, and, at whatever inconvenience, it must be kept. Accordingly a further debt of £32,000,000 was fastened round the necks of the people of Egypt, only £20,000,000 being even nominally received by the Egyptian Government. In 1873 the Khedive was encouraged to lay, in the words of the Parliamentary Papers, £900,000 "at the feet of the Sultan," and in return he received, on the 8th of June, 1873, a new Firman allowing him to pledge to any extent the resources of his unfortunate subjects to the money-lenders of Europe. No doubt the reluctance of Turkey to grant the Khedive those ruinous powers of borrowing was only feigned; but that was no excuse for our diplomacy, which was on the side of the money-lenders. In 1873 a Liberal Administration was in Office, practically the same Administration as was in Office now, and, if he was not mistaken, a Gentleman who was afterwards to figure as Her Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary at Constantinople, and who also figured in relation to the finance of Egypt as member of the firm of Frühling and Goschen, was in 1873 and in 1870 a Member of the 1900 Liberal Cabinet. He could only surmise that the presence of that Gentleman in the Cabinet at the time was not unfavourable to the money-lenders' advances in Egypt and Constantinople. He made no charge against the moneylenders; they acted in accordance with their conscientious views; they were in no way false to their traditions; and did not sink in their own estimation by anything they did. Far be it from him to try any gentlemen except by the law of their own consciences. But the fact remained as regarded Her Majesty's Government that a stain of no ordinary gravity rested on our diplomacy for the aid it gave to those financial transactions. For he must altogether decline to try the policy of a great State with a Christian civilization by a standard which might suit the consciences of money-lenders. By those most corrupt proceedings a debt of £72,000,000 had been fastened on the Egyptian State, and British diplomacy uttered no protest; in some cases it uttered words in favour of the transaction. And now for some proofs of the working of the accumulated loans on the unfortunate people of Egypt, who were like a pack of slaves, and had no power whatever in the matter. Although during 10 years a sum of £35,000,000 had been paid by the taxpayers of Egypt, the principal of the debt was as heavy as ever. The late Sir Stephen Cave had stated that the fellaheen were subjected to extortion, and that three years' taxes were probably sometimes paid in two. In 1879 the Consul General reported to the Government that the result of the fearful indebtedness of Egypt and of those great loans which British diplomacy had furthered was that taxes were exacted in advance, and that the peasantry were crushed under the weight of taxation imposed upon them. In fact, the sound of the lash was heard on the back of the fellah in order that gold might be obtained with which to supply the money-lender in the land of Goschen. Messrs. Frühling and Goschen called upon the Consul General at Cairo to support their demands for greater punctuality in the payment of the debt incurred by the Khedive. [Mr. GOSCHEN: No; that is not so.] He fully recognized that the gentlemen whom he had named had a perfect right to look after their own interests; but he maintained that it was not the duty of 1901 the British Government to give them assistance. He did not wish to use one word of censure against Messrs. Früh-ling and Goschen, and he believed that their consciences felt no twinge of remorse for the results of their action. In 1876 Messrs. Joubert and Goschen went to Egypt avowedly at the request of 2,000 holders of Egyptian Stocks. Our Consul General assured the Khedive that they would hold the scales evenly between the European money-lenders on the one side and the wretched, unrepresented, down-trodden fellaheen on the other. That, he argued, was a representation which ought not to have been made by the Consul General. It was a recognized principle that no man ought to be the judge in his own case; and, Mr. Goschen being in Egypt at the time in that position, the Consul General ought not to have made such a representation. The Consul also pointed out that it was impossible that the state of affairs existing then could continue, as it would result in the ruin of the country. Our Representative thus played a part of which England could not feel proud, for, on the one hand, he made representations which he ought never to have made, and, on the other, threatened the Khedive with ruin, his object all the time being to insure the Khedive's acceptance of the views of Mr. Goschen. The mission of Messrs. Joubert and Goschen in Egypt was not unopposed. There were Native Ministers in Egypt who thought money-lending in Egypt was a practice which had gone too far—which was increasing, and ought to be diminished. At the head of that Party was the Minister of Finance, who was opposed to the mission of Mr. Goschen. On the 10th of November, 1876, the Finance Minister of Egypt was suddenly seized by order of the Khedive, on the ground that he had provoked agitation in the Provinces and was conspiring against the Khedive, whom he accused of plundering the country in concert with Europeans. The Finance Minister was found guilty on that charge, probably unheard in his own defence, and was sent to the White Nile, a sentence equivalent to death. Messrs. Joubert and Goschen did not place on record a protest that they would have nothing to do with the Khedive until he had brought back to Egypt the independent Finance Minister.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
said, he found no record of any such interference in the official documents. On the 11th of November the Finance Minister was exiled. By the 18th of November all the financial proposals of Messrs. Joubert and Goschen had been accepted by the Khedive. The transactions between the money-lenders and the Khedive did not seem to be interrupted for a single moment. The money-lenders had the full approval of Her Majesty's Government. Their diplomacy was exerted to promote the ends of the money-lenders, and when the International Tribunal gave a decision in favour of other creditors, he found that diplomacy insisted that other judgment creditors should be defrauded rather than that the money-lenders should lose a small fraction of their pound of flesh. Even the wretched soldiery were unable to obtain payment of the arrears of their miserable remuneration. During the years 1877 and 1878 the money-lenders had effectually fastened their nets around Egypt, which at that time might be regarded as financially ruined. The result of that policy had landed us in a war, in which the sympathies of the whole Egyptian people were against us and hostile to the Khedive.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, some Members of the House might not recollect the fact that in the year 1865 he retired entirely from all connection with the firm to which he then belonged. He wished to devote himself exclusively to public life, and to public life he had devoted himself exclusively since that time. The firm to which he then belonged had not been in any way connected with Egyptian loans since the year 1866. In all subsequent transactions to which allusion had been made, neither he nor the firm to which he had belonged had in any way been parties since that date. He would not, therefore, attempt to follow the hon. Member through his speech. With regard to the year 1876, as the House and the public were well aware, he went in a perfectly honorary capacity, without any pecuniary interests whatever, to Egypt, to make the best arrangements that could be made, and to show that the interests of the taxpayers and the bondholders were not opposed. The whole 1903 extent of those operations were fully set out in 1876, and all the points were discussed both in the Press and in the House at the time, and he did not feel called upon, at the invitation of the hon. Member, to revive the discussion. The belief he entertained was that the Control thus established had resulted in improved administration, and evidence had been forthcoming from various quarters to the effect that the prosperity of Egypt had been promoted by that administration.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he did not feel called upon to deal with the remarks of the hon. Member for Dungarvan at any length, particularly as he was informed that the debate would be again raised to-morrow. The greater part of the speech of the hon. Member concerned matters which had very little directly to do with the Eastern Question. In speaking of the origin of the Control, the hon. Member had omitted to mention that the late Government of this country, as well as the other Powers, used their influence with their subjects to induce them to take less than they would otherwise have had a right to receive from Egypt. The result was that an agreement was made by which the amount due from Egypt was much reduced. The present Government found the Control set up by the late Government, and they had to deal with it as it existed. They came to the conclusion, and the Reports from all sides clearly showed, that however questionable the origin of the Control might have been, yet it had worked well. The hon. Member had quoted at great length Reports from the Agents of this country in Egypt, many of them made many years ago, and describing the state of things which existed in the time of Ismail Pasha. It had been asserted by the hon. Member that no one in Egypt respected the Khedive; if that statement were true it would be of very considerable moment. But, so far as they were informed, every man of real note in Egypt supported the Khedive. All the men who had taken any part in public affairs—all the former Ministers—were supporting the Khedive. Notwithstanding that they were usually opposed, there was reason to believe that they had agreed on a uniform course of action to show most distinctly and publicly that they supported the present Khedive. And not 1904 the whole of the past Ministers only, but Sultan Pasha, President of the Chamber of Notables, was a warm supporter of the Khedive. In all the towns of which they had certain knowledge the original Governors and Vice-Governors supported the Khedive. The Governors of Ismailia, of Port Said, of Suez, and other towns, it was true, had been driven out of the country, and creatures of Arabi Pasha had been put in. The hon. Member had occupied a great deal of time in referring to events which happened in the time of Ismail Pasha, with which the present Government had nothing to do. It was not quite clear how far the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell) accepted or condemned the Control; but it was satisfactory that the right hon. Member for Ripon (Mr. Goschen) had had an opportunity of emphatically denying some of the assertions which had been so recklessly made concerning him. As the subject might be again raised to-morrow he would not reply to the hon. Member at that time at any greater length.
§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
wished to make a personal explanation with reference to a statement attributed to him by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He did not say that at the present moment they were in a state of hostility with the German Government; but he said that up to quite recently the policy of the British Ministry had been based upon other combinations. Nor did he refer alone to the one journey to Berlin which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goschen) denied was made use of by the Government, but to his two previous political missions to that capital, which could not be denied.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ MR. CALLAN
asked the Chairman which clause of the Bill referred to the Irish Legal Administration?
There are no clauses that refer to the Irish Legal Administration specifically. There are Votes in the Schedule that refer to it.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, he wished to know whether he would be in Order in speaking on the Question of the Irish Legal Administration on the clause itself?
If there is any specific Vote the hon. Member wishes to reduce, when that part of the Schedule is called referring to a particular Judge, he can move his Motion.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, he desired to speak in support of a reduction of the Vote for the Irish Law Officers of the Crown.
§ Schedule B.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Schedule B stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. CALLAN
said, he had received information from Ireland in reference to a matter which had been brought before the House—namely, the packing of juries in Ireland, and the exclusion of Catholics from the jury panel by the Attorney General for Ireland. He wished to draw attention to an extraordinary state of things—namely, that on Thursday and Friday last, in Dublin, in cases where persons were prosecuted by the Attorney General in person, a great many jurors on the list were ordered to "stand aside." In one case 20 were ordered to stand aside, and in another 26, so that in all 46 were put aside in these two cases, and, by some fortuitous coincidence, they all happened to be Catholics, whilst the jurors selected happened to be Protestants. One of the cases tried was an ordinary case of appearing in arms, and the other was a capital offence. On Friday and on Saturday, articles appeared in The Freeman's Journal commenting on this circumstance. On Friday that paper said the Crown had exercised their right to challenge on a wholesale scale; and no less than 19 persons, some of them amongst the most respected citizens of Dublin, were ordered to "stand aside." On Saturday, The Freeman's Journal said—We are unwilling to credit the rumour that the Crown have resolved that juries exclusively, or almost exclusively, Protestant shall determine in some cases the liberty, and in others the lives, of the prisoners on trial at Green Street, yet colour is lent to the report by the fact that yesterday, in the capital case—just as on the previous day in the Whiteboy case—Catholic gentlemen of admitted respectability and position were ordered to 'stand aside' when they took the book to be sworn. To the gentlemen in question no stereotyped 'trade' objection can be made; and the inference, therefore, is that they were shoved aside from their duties as jurors simply because they are Catholic. If this is true, an odious and, it was hoped, obsolete prac- 1906 tice has been revived, and the course taken, as unnecessary as it is injudicious, must naturally cause indignation and resentment in Catholic circles.… The notion that such men as Edward Lenehan, of Castle Street, William Dennehy, of John Street, and others whom we could mention, should not be trusted to find a true verdict according to evidence in country cases brought to Dublin for trial, which is the simple and only inference, is offensive in the extreme. The representatives of the Crown would not venture to publicly make such a declaration; yet the names of the gentlemen specified appear in the published list of the rejected. The matter is one that calls for inquiry and explanation. For the present we will only express our regret that the representatives of the Crown should deem it necessary and expedient to 'Boycott' Catholic special jurors of the city and county of Dublin.He found that yesterday, commenting upon those articles, Mr. Justice Lawson, in the Commission Court, said—I can only say I hope the attention of the Attorney General will be directed to those outrageous articles that are published for the purpose of prejudicing and defeating the administration of justice in this Court, which I have been reading with feelings of horror since this Court sat.And after this the Solicitor General said it was the intention of those representing the Crown to ask their Lordships' attention, in a formal manner, to some articles and publications in The Freeman's Journal, adding—And we hope that it may not be inconvenient to your Lordship to entertain the matter at the sitting of the Court on Wednesday next. We believe that the publication of such documents is calculated to interfere in the most serious degree with the administration of justice.Mr. Justice Lawson stigmatized as outrageous articles the calm and fair comments he (Mr. Callan) had read to the House. But what had been the result of those articles? Instead of prejudicing or injuring the administration of justice, it had had this effect. Yesterday a man named Laurence Kenny was indicted with having, on the night of the 18th of May, at Mullingar, fired a revolver at Sergeant M'Auley, of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers, with intent to murder him. A second count charged the prisoner with firing at the sergeant with intent to do him grievous bodily harm; and the following were amongst the jury sworn: — Michael O'Loghlen, Richmond Street; Joseph Archbold, Malahide; James Magee, Rathmines; Patrick Cloudalkin; James Reilly, Baldoyle; and Thomas Philips, 1907 Dame Street. The jury, after a short absence from Court, found a verdict of "Guilty" on the second count. So that the effect of the articles which had appeared in The Freeman's Journal had been that the Solicitor General did not form the jury which had been formed by the Attorney General. On Friday and Saturday the course followed was most detrimental to justice, 46 Roman Catholics being ordered to stand aside; but on Monday, owing to attention having been called to this circumstance, the gentlemen he had named, who had been amongst those told to stand aside, were put on the jury. At least, six jurors, whom the Attorney General had twice ordered to stand aside, were empanelled on the jury, which, after a short absence, found a verdict of "Guilty" against the prisoner tried before them, which prisoner was sentenced to transportation for life. These jurors had been ordered to stand aside because, from the fact of their being Catholics, it was thought that they were unfit to try cases. ["Hear, hear!"] The Home Secretary said "Hear, hear!" Of course, the right hon. and learned Gentleman's feeling was that no Catholic was fit to try a prisoner in Ireland. What did his "Hear, hear!" mean, if not approval of this disgraceful practice of challenging men merely because they were Catholics? As The Freeman's Journal very truly said, this practice had resulted in filling the Catholic mind of Ireland with indignation. The Freeman's Journal said this matter was one which called for inquiry and explanation, although, they said—For the present we will only express our regret that the Representatives of the Crown should deem it necessary and expedient to 'Boycott' Catholic special jurors of the city and county of Dublin.The Catholics of Ireland owed a deep debt of gratitude to the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Gray) and his paper for directing attention to this case of ordering Catholic jurors to stand aside. He was sorry that certain ceremonials taking place to-day in Ireland prevented Irish Members from being present tonight; but as he (Mr. Callan) happened himself to be in town, he should not have done his duty if he had allowed this opportunity of calling attention to this subject to pass. What had happened in the Commission Court he considered 1908 reflected grave dishonour and disgrace on an Administration which, he believed, in regard to the cases he had mentioned, to be utterly unprincipled. He referred to the ordering of Catholics, on Friday and Saturday, to stand aside, and, on Monday, allowing them to go on the panel. He was sorry to be obliged to make these remarks in the absence of the Attorney General for Ireland, but hoped to be able to repeat what he had said when the right hon. and learned Gentleman was present. He (Mr. Callan) hoped the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary would either give them some explanation of the circumstances in question, or would get up in his place and emphasize his "Hear, hear!" by a defence of this disgraceful conduct.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
During the course of last week, the hon. Member who has just sat down, and other hon. Members on that side of the House, have undertaken to educate the country for the Autumn Sitting. If anything can make the House and the country see the impossibility of conducting Business on the principle we have seen worked out during the last few weeks, the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Callan) and the hon. and learned Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton) will have opened their eyes on the matter. What has just happened? The hon. Member for Louth, at the commencement of the Sitting, brought forward this question by moving the adjournment of the House; but having had a reply from the Attorney General for Ireland completely answering his allegations, and giving an absolute contradiction to his statements—
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Having, I say, received an absolute contradiction to his statements at 11 o'clock to-night, the hon. Member again commences the same discussion on the same subject in the absence of the Attorney General for Ireland, and intimates that it is his intention, on a future occasion, to renew the same debate. If anything were wanting to convince the country of the necessity of dealing with such a power for the abuse of the Forms of the House, this is an admirable example. With reference to the substance of what the hon. Member for Louth has said, I think, also, that the attention of the 1909 country will he directed to a very important circumstance. One of the great and crying evils of Ireland has been the impossibility of the administration of justice in consequence of the terrorism which existed; and the reason why it was impossible that life and property in Ireland should be safe was because juries throughout that country were acting under such a terror that they did not dare to give righteous verdicts. This House has, by a large majority, passed a measure one of the provisions of which was to remove these juries from the influence of that terror; and one of the brightest signs of returning peace to Ireland is that at last it has been found possible to form juries who, when the evidence is plain and beyond all possibility of doubt and contradiction, find verdicts in accordance with the evidence. But what happens the moment that takes place? Why, there is a certain section of the Irish Press, and there are certain Members from Ireland, who set to work to renew against the administration of justice the same statements and speeches—
The hon. Member has repeatedly said, in a loud tone of voice, "That is false!" I call on him to withdraw the statement.
§ MR. CALLAN
I say the statement is made that I have set myself to prevent the due course of justice. I say that is a false statement.
Did the hon. Member mean to represent that the Home Secretary has made a false statement?
§ MR. CALLAN
The statement that I have delivered speeches here or anywhere intended to prevent the course of justice, by whomever made, is a false statement.
I wish the hon. Member to withdraw the statement that the Home Secretary has made a false statement to this House.
§ MR. CALLAN
Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman made that statement? If he has not I withdraw.
Does the hon. Member withdraw the statement that the Home Secretary has made a false statement?
§ MR. CALLAN
If the Home Secretary—[Cries of "Name him!"]—I say if the Home Secretary has made the statement that I have deliberately attempted to pervert and thwart the course of justice, I say that statement is a false statement.
Does the hon. Member withdraw the statement that the Home Secretary has made a false statement in this House?
As the hon. Member refuses to withdraw the statement that the Home Secretary has made a false statement in this House, I must Name him to the House. If he does not withdraw it immediately I must Name him.
I must first ascertain whether the hon. Member withdraws the statement that the Home Secretary made a false statement.
§ MR. CALLAN
Does the Home Secretary impute to me that I have been guilty of conduct unbecoming a Member of this House, and for which I should be criminally responsible? If he says he did not mean that—
The hon. Member must, in the first place, withdraw the statement in which he deliberately accuses the Home Secretary of making a false statement to this House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will afterwards, no doubt, explain what he meant. But the hon. Member has been guilty of misconduct and of an un-Parliamentary course in accusing the Home Secretary of having made a false statement. If the hon. Member does not withdraw the statement, I have only one course to pursue.
§ MR. CALLAN
If the Home Secretary says he did not wish to impute to me that I have deliberately attempted to pervert the course of justice—conduct for which I should be criminally responsible—I will withdraw the expression. It was that charge that I characterized as false. I am not guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice. It was to the imputation of criminal misconduct that I used the word "false."
The hon. Member several times repeated the words "That is false," and he must be perfectly aware that such words are un-Parliamentary. If he does not withdraw them, unequivocally—if he does not say that he did not intend to impute falsehood to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, which he has it in his power to do, I have only one course to take.
§ MR. CALLAN
If a statement has been made imputing to me an improper and dishonourable act, I characterize that as false. I go no farther, and I go no less.
The hon. Member having several times accused the Home Secretary of falsehood in this Committee—[Mr. CALLAN: I did not; I said the imputation was false.]—a course that is altogether un-Parliamentary, I have only one course to pursue, and that is to Name him to the Committee. I Name Mr. Callan as, in having disregarded the authority of the Chair, been guilty of an offence against this House.
I move that Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of this House during the remainder of this day's Sitting.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of this day's sitting."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 68; Noes 3: Majority 55.—(Div. List, No. 337.)1912
§ Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair in order to report the said Resolution to the House.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
resumed the Chair, and Mr. Playfair reported to Mr. Speaker that Mr. Callan had been Named by him to the Committee as disregarding the authority of the Chair, and that the Committee had resolved that Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of this day's sitting:—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
thereupon forthwith put the Question, "That Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of this day's sitting."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 3: Majority 57.—(Div. List, No. 338.)
§ The following is the official Entry taken from the Votes:—
§ [Mr. Callan, Member for the County of Louth, having been Named by the Chairman for having disregarded the authority of the Chair:—
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of this day's sitting:"—(Mr. Gladstone:)—The Committee divided; Ayes 58, Noes 3.
§ Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair in order to report the said Resolution to the House.
§ Mr. Speaker resumed the Chair, and Mr. Playfair reported to Mr. Speaker that Mr. Callan had been Named by him to the Committee as disregarding the authority of the Chair, and that the Committee had resolved that Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of this day's sitting.
§ Mr. Speaker thereupon forthwith put the Question, "That Mr. Callan be suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of this day's sitting:"—The House divided; Ayes 60, Noes 3.
§ Mr. CALLAN withdrew accordingly.]
§ Then the House again resolved itself into the Committee on the Bill.1913
§ Question, "That Schedule B stand part of the Bill," again proposed.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
said, he rose to a point of Order which he had deferred in consequence of the ruling of the Chair. He wished to ask for the censure of the Chair upon the Home Secretary for having distinctly stated that the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Callan), by his action in moving the adjournment of the House earlier in the Sitting, and by repeating his objections in Committee on the Appropriation Bill, had showed that there were Members in this House from Ireland who desired to restore impunity to crime in Ireland. For that gross imputation of motive he now asked the Chairman to censure the Home Secretary, and to call for the withdrawal of those words, and an apology to the hon. Member for Louth.
I heard nothing in the language of the Home Secretary that deserved censure, or I should have noticed it at the time. The Question now before the Committee is that Schedule B stand part of the Bill.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
said, the Home Secretary, in his reply to the hon. Member for Louth, had betrayed considerable warmth, apparently through ignorance of the facts of the case.
§ MR. MORGAN LLOYD
asked whether, after the ruling of the Chair, the hon. Member was in Order in rising to the same Question again?
If the hon. Member desires to discuss the Question of this being the Schedule to the Bill he will be in Order.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
said, the hon Member (Mr. Morgan Lloyd) was somewhat mistaken. He (Mr. O'Donnell) was continuing the discussion raised by the hon. Member for Louth, and replying to the Home Secretary. The right hon. and learned Gentleman had stated that the action of the Irish Members, and especially that of the hon. Member for Louth, deserved condemnation in the severest terms, because the hon. Member for Louth objected to the jury-packing in Ireland during the last two days. He did not intend to delay the House more than a couple of minutes; but the reason why he brought his question before the Committee, having already spoken upon it at the commencement of the Sitting, and why the hon. Member for 1914 Louth brought the question again before the Committee was, that since they mentioned the matter last, they had received telegrams of the most urgent character from Ireland, begging them, for the sake of the Government and for the sake of peace and order in Ireland, to call the attention of the Committee to the practice of jury-packing, and to beseech the Government to make use of the tribunal of Judges which had been established under the Coercion Act in preference to jury-packing. The Home Secretary was mistaken in stating that previously the Government were unable to get verdicts in Ireland, because they had always been able to get juries to give verdicts whenever they packed the juries; and what the Irish Members regretted was that the subordinate officers in Ireland had been packing juries in the most unblushing manner within the last two days. Forty-six Roman Catholics had been ordered to stand aside, and the Government had chosen the juries exclusively from Protestants. The Home Secretary was equally mistaken in saying that the Attorney General for Ireland had completely replied upon that point. The right hon. and learned Gentleman had stated that the exclusion of Roman Catholics was only a strange coincidence; that it did not take place because of their religious opinions; that the challenges had no reference to their religious opinions. He (Mr. O'Donnell) was informed that the Crown Solicitor challenged the jurors and ordered them to stand aside simply from his brief; he received the panel with a number of names, and objected to certain gentlemen without being aware why they should be ordered to stand aside. He read "object," on his brief, and objected to these jurors. It was quite possible that a gentleman in the distinguished position of the Attorney General might not know the religion of the gentlemen he objected to, and might be quite unaware that the 46 gentlemen to whom he objected were Roman Catholics. He could quite understand that that might be so; but he must press on the Government that 46 Roman Catholics were ordered one after the other to stand aside, and that the Government in Ireland were re-establishing the worst practice of the worst era in Irish history, and making Protestants their means of trying oases. He could not too strongly express the emotion 1915 which had spread throughout Ireland upon this revival of jury-packing in its worst form; and he had no doubt that trial by Judges, obnoxious as that was, would be infinitely preferable to trial by packed juries. He was instructed to protest against that practice strongly. It was fatal to good government; it was fatal to all chance of conciliation between Ireland and England. He did not wish to use a single expression which he might desire to recall in calmer moments; but while he could fully admit that the higher authorities in the Administration in Ireland might not be aware of these facts, the fact remained that 46 Roman Catholics were ordered to stand aside in order that juries might be composed of Protestants in the Catholic capital of Catholic Ireland. He thought he was really standing on the side of all lovers of fair play in declaring it a most deplorable and unfortunate coincidence—or accident, to say the least of it—that 46 Roman Catholic jurors should be ordered to stand aside and exclusively Protestant juries formed in consequence. He could exculpate the Attorney General for Ireland and the Prime Minister from a knowledge of this circumstance; but the practice existed, and a more infamous practice could not be conceived.
§ MR. O'SHEA
said, one of the cases tried in Dublin came from the county which he represented. There could be no stronger opponent of the exclusion of Catholics from juries than he; and it would be the greatest misfortune to the country if it should be supposed that Catholics would be ordered to stand aside under the authority of the new Act; but he was told from Dublin that some of the Catholics, who were ordered to stand aside, were ordered to stand aside simply because they begged to be excused from serving on the juries. This ought to be taken into consideration. He was also informed that since the trials on Friday and Saturday a proportion of the juries had been Roman Catholics, and that they gave verdicts as he had no doubt juries so constituted in Dublin would—in accordance with the evidence placed before them. He was certain that nothing could create greater popular distrust and discontent than the idea that Catholics would be excluded from the jury panels; but he was glad to know that, at least in some instances, they had been excluded upon their own request. With 1916 regard to the opinion expressed by Mr. Justice Lawson, if that learned Judge went too far, that would be very regret-able; and he was sorry that, under some circumstances in Ireland, the Judges sometimes used expressions which were a little too strong, and it would be better if, in their Charges, they only used such expressions as those of Mr. Justice Stephen on the Clerkenwell case. But he was certain, from what he heard from Dublin, that there had been considerable exaggeration in regard to the exclusion of Catholic jurors.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. W. M. JOHNSON)
said, he had already stated that there had been no such thing as jury packing in Ireland, and the constant assertion of that by persons who had instructed the hon. Member opposite would not establish as a fact that which did not exist. It would be as idle to say that jurors were ordered to stand aside because they had red beards or wore white hats. These jurors were not excluded on account of their religion, nor was their religion known to the persons who ordered them to stand aside. He had already stated the reasons why they were ordered to stand aside, and his hon. Friend (Mr. O'Shea) had repeated those reasons from an independent source with which he was not acquainted. The result of the trials in Dublin had been heard with a good deal of horror and emotion throughout Ireland, and he trusted that those whom those results had inspired with horror and emotion would be satisfied that the commission of crime in Ireland would be much less safe than it had hitherto been.
§ MR. MOLLOY
said, he knew nothing about the facts of this case; but the attorney who was employed in the case had written to The Freeman's Journal endorsing the views which had been brought before the House to-day.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
said, unfortunately, juries in Ireland were struck by a peculiar system in regard to political trials. He believed he was the only Member present in the House who had been prosecuted for a criminal offence. He was prosecuted for intimidating his county in order to secure his election. He firmly believed that he was totally innocent; but he had no wish to revive that matter, except to say that he had been twice re-elected by that county. 1917 He had no objection to Protestants in England; but if he were tried in Ireland by a Protestant jury, from which all Catholics had been carefully weeded, he was certain that he would be convicted. The Government might strike the Irish people down and crush them with heavy fines; but as a Representative of a Catholic county, if Catholics were to be excluded from juries, even by their own wish, it would be much better to hand over trials to the Judges. As a Catholic politician, be should have no confidence in any Protestant jury, from which all Catholics had been excluded.
§ MR. MOLLOY
said, that what he wished to convey to the Committee was that in to-day's Freeman's Journal there appeared a letter from the solicitor employed to defend the prisoners in this case, who stated distinctly that the Roman Catholics on the panel were told to stand aside, and not one of them was allowed to try the case. He knew nothing about the facts, and he would make no comment upon it, lest be should make an accusation which he could not sustain.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr W. M. JOHNSON)
said, that could not be the case under any circumstances, because the whole jury were taken by ballot, and the panel of jurymen were not exhausted.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
said, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman said he was glad to hear him (Mr. O'Donnell) say that the results of the late trials in Dublin were received with emotion and horror throughout certain parts of Ireland. What he (Mr. O'Donnell) stated was that the renewal of the practice of jury packing was received with emotion and horror, and it was exceedingly unfair to try and catch a cheer by turning his statement. They now heard that the jury showed an admixture of Catholics. That that was the case was the strongest possible justification of the manly and patriotic action of The Freeman's Journal in denouncing jury-packing during the first two days; and if it was now struck down for its defence of the liberties of the people, there was no man in Ireland who would not resent the cowardly outrage.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. W. M. JOHNSON)
said, he would withdraw what he said, if he misrepresented the hon. Gentleman.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time To-morrow.